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Thread: Julian Assange - Extradition or Asylum?

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Julian Assange - Extradition or Asylum?

    Just saw the verdict on TV. Looks like UK legal authorities have decided to extradite Assange. Not sure about appeals - apparently Assange can go to the European Human Rights Court, but is likely out of options in Britain.

    Interesting to see how this goes.


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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    (Reuters) - WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London and asked for asylum, officials said on Tuesday, in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime accusations.

    Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country would weigh the request from the 40-year-old hacker, famous for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.

    The appeal for protection was the latest twist in Assange's 18-month fight against being sent to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former WikiLeaks volunteers.

    The situation threatens to inflame tensions between the government of Rafael Correa, Ecuador's leftist and ardently anti-Washington president, and U.S. authorities, who accuse Assange of damaging its foreign relations with his leaks.

    It is also an embarrassment for Britain, where the Foreign Office whose foreign ministry on Tuesday confirmed Assange was beyond the reach of its police in the Ecuadorean embassy.

    "Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request," Patino told reporters in Quito. He added that any decision would be made with "respect for norms and principles of international law".

    The Andean nation in 2010 invited Assange to seek residency there but quickly backed off the idea, accusing him of breaking U.S. laws.

    Since his detention, Assange has mostly been living under strict bail conditions at the country mansion of a wealthy supporter in eastern England. His associates say that amounts to 540 days under house arrest without charge. Breach of bail conditions is potentially a criminal offence.

    EMBASSY PROTECTION

    "While the department assesses Mr. Assange's application, Mr. Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean Government," the embassy said on its website.

    "The decision to consider Mr. Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden."

    Assange arrived at the embassy in London's exclusive Knightsbridge district asking for protection and complaining that his home country of Australia had abandoned him and refused to defend him, according to a statement from Ecuador's Foreign Ministry.

    "Such statements (from Australia) make it impossible for me to return to my home country and puts me in a state of helplessness by being requested to be interrogated by the Kingdom of Sweden, where its top officials have openly attacked me," the ministry quoted him as saying on its website.

    According to Patino, Assange fears extradition "to a country where espionage and treason are punished with the death penalty". He appeared to be referring to the United States, because Sweden does not have the death penalty. Neither Sweden nor the United States has charged him with treason or spying.

    The Swedish Prosecution Authority said it had no information other than what had appeared in the media.

    The lawyer for the two female former WikiLeaks volunteers who made the complaints against Assange said he was not surprised by Assange's latest move but expected Ecuador to reject the asylum request.

    "This (asylum request) is of course without any grounds ... It is nonsense actually," lawyer Claes Borgstrom told Reuters.

    "He wants to focus on Wikileaks, the CIA etc. It will not change the situation, he will be extradited."

    EXTRADITION LOOMING

    Britain's Supreme Court last week said Assange could be extradited to Sweden in about two weeks' time, rejecting his argument that a European arrest warrant issued by Swedish prosecutors for his extradition was invalid.

    The only recourse left to him through the courts is an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

    Assange, who has not been charged with any offence in Sweden and denies any wrongdoing, has argued that the case is politically motivated because the release of documents on his website has angered the United States.

    In 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

    The silver-haired Assange spent nine days in jail in Britain before being released on bail on December 16, 2010, after his supporters raised a surety of 200,000 pounds.

    Anti-censorship campaigners who backed Assange at one stage included celebrities such as journalist John Pilger, film director Ken Loach and socialite Jemima Khan.

    As part of his bail conditions, he had to abide by a curfew, report to police daily, and wear an electronic tag.

    "There's been an organized campaign to undermine him in recent months in Britain," the BBC quoted Assange's friend Vaughan Smith as saying, "and he believed that if he was sent to Sweden, he would be sent to America".

    Smith put Assange up until last December.

    Wikileaks has faded from the headlines due to a dearth of scoops and a blockade by credit card companies that has made donations to the site almost impossible.
    The man is devolving more and more into farce with each passing day

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    The man is devolving more and more into farce with each passing day
    The man doesn't want to be extradited to USA and is grabbing any straws left to avoid that.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    I have no doubt he raped those women.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

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    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    I have no doubt he raped those women.
    I really don't care.

    I hope he slowly rots in whatever jail they decide to put him in.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    The man is devolving more and more into farce with each passing day
    yeah, a sort of sad soap opera.


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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    I have no doubt he raped those women.
    I think its likely he did what he is accused of. Whether or not that rises to what any of us would be happy to have defined as 'rape' is another. He should face the charges against him in court. There is no guarantee he will even get convicted.


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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    BF,

    Can your government guarantee him he won't get extradited to USA?

    I still can't see the basis for USA to seek him. He is not US citizen, nor he did a crime on US soil.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    BF,

    Can your government guarantee him he won't get extradited to USA?

    I still can't see the basis for USA to seek him. He is not US citizen, nor he did a crime on US soil.
    Not sure what the Oz government has to do with it Doc. he's in England (well, an Ecuadorian bit of it) and is to be extradited to Sweden to face charges there. If the US wants him I imagine we will offer him the usual consular support.

    To be honest, standing up the the US isn't something we do much these days - last government was happy to let the US bang up blokes in Gitmo without ever providing much of a reason. Even detoured one of them to Egypt for a bit of torturing. All we did was watch & imply they got what they deserved.

    I'm not sure if we have any guarantees to offer. I am pretty sure we won't offer them either way.


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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    What's the moral of the story here?
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    BF,

    Can your government guarantee him he won't get extradited to USA?

    I still can't see the basis for USA to seek him. He is not US citizen, nor he did a crime on US soil.
    The UK government has an extradition treaty with the US and has extradited it's own citizens in the past. If the US wanted him, they'd have asked by now.
    He's using his media celebrity to avoid the central issue of returning to Sweden to answer questions over whether he raped the two complainants.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    What's the moral of the story here?
    Maybe that the uber-feminist claim of the seventies that all men are rapists has come true?

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    He is apiece of trash as are his supporters...

    The useful idiots who lionised the amoral and cowardly Mr Assange have ended up looking utter twits

    By Stephen Glover

    PUBLISHED: 17:24 EST, 20 June 2012 | UPDATED: 17:24 EST, 20 June 2012

    Comments (17)
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    Full circle: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was once feted at the champion of free speech

    Full circle: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange was once feted at the champion of free speech

    The story of Julian Assange would be hilarious if he had not caused so much damage. Hilarious because the founder of WikiLeaks was once feted by the Left as a hero and champion of free speech who had exposed the manifest evils of the United States.

    Now, as Mr Assange huddles in diplomatic sanctuary in the embassy of Ecuador in London, it is difficult to find anyone with a good word to say for him. The man with the looks of a James Bond villain has alienated most of his former friends, disappointed many admirers and behaved in a thoroughly discreditable way.

    There were reasons for being interested in Mr Assange when he burst on the scene two years ago. With his fellow ‘hackivists’, he had accessed tens of thousands of secret American diplomatic cables.
    Some of these were illuminating, and their publication seemed to be in the public interest. For instance, WikiLeaks released shocking footage showing U.S. soldiers shooting dead 12 civilians in Iraq.

    Other disclosures lifted the veil closer to home. Surprising criticisms by Prince Andrew of a Serious Fraud Office investigation into an arms deal between the British company BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia were published, and he was said to have spoken in a rude manner during an official engagement.

    No less revealingly, Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was quoted as having made ‘thuggish’ threats to the British Government to halt all trade deals if convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi were not released from a Scottish prison. That, in fact, is exactly what happened in August 2009.


    More...

    That's £200,000 down the drain! Celebrity friends who backed Julian Assange 'shocked' as they face losing bail money after he pleads asylum
    STEPHEN GLOVER: A debacle that will dog him forever: Cameron survived, but his lack of judgement will haunt his premiership
    STEPHEN GLOVER: Cleggie has double-dealing written in his DNA, and the bone-headed rabble he leads are even worse

    It would be silly to deny that some of these revelations threw a fascinating light on previously dark dealings. The trouble was that, despite co-operating with The Guardian, The New York Times and other respectable publications, Mr Assange believed everything should be published, and to hell with the consequences.
    Demonstrators protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy after Julian Assange entered the embassy Tuesday in an attempt to gain political asylum

    Demonstrators protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy after Julian Assange entered the embassy Tuesday in an attempt to gain political asylum
    Diplomatic sanctuary: Julian Assange's move to be granted political asylum has been greeted with some dismay - even from his supporters

    Diplomatic sanctuary: Julian Assange's move to be granted political asylum has been greeted with some dismay - even from his supporters

    One obvious example concerned the newspapers’ publication of the names, villages, relatives’ identities and precise GPS locations of Afghans who had co-operated with Nato troops. WikiLeaks also revealed the whereabouts of American tactical nuclear weapons, as well as the location of key U.S. facilities including pipelines and communication hubs.

    Owing no allegiance to any country or its interests, Mr Assange wanted everything in the public domain, and sometimes bullied the newspapers with which he was collaborating into publishing information that they would have been wise not to.

    Nor did it ever occur to Mr Assange, or the newspapers that published his stolen material, that states, not unreasonably, wish to keep secret some of the communications between them. There seems little doubt that as a result of the WikiLeaks disclosures, foreign diplomats will be less forthcoming to their U.S. counterparts in future.
    Jemima Khan and Tony Benn arrive to attend the extradition case of Julian Assange at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in Woolwich, south-east London, in February 2011

    Support: Jemima Khan and Tony Benn arrive to attend the extradition case of Julian Assange at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in Woolwich, south-east London, in February 2011

    Mr Assange proved so difficult and overbearing that he fell out with his collaborators at The Guardian, with the reporter Nick Davies describing him as an ‘extraordinary, dishonest man’.

    The WikiLeaks founder struck back, calling The Guardian’s David Leigh ‘deplorable’, and at one stage threatened to sue the newspaper. He labelled British journalism as the most ‘credit-stealing, credit-whoring, back-stabbing industry’ he had ever encountered. Some may think such a description could be more aptly applied to him.

    What the disagreement partly showed was that Mr Assange is not a journalist at all, in the sense that the word has normally been understood. He is a brilliant hacker who believes that information should be published despite the damage it might do to states or individuals. He is, in short, amoral.

    Further insights into his true character have been provided by his response to an international arrest warrant issued by the Swedish authorities over allegations of sexual assault. He is accused of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in August 2010.

    Of course, we can have no idea whether or not he is guilty. It is his attempts to resist extradition to Sweden that should raise doubts. The precepts of justice are upheld in that country as much as almost anywhere one can think of. What does he fear from a fair trial in a properly constituted court?

    Without producing any evidence, he has argued in British courts that the Swedes might spirit him away to the United States to face trial for treason. It was the recent decision by the Supreme Court that he should be extradited to Sweden to face charges that precipitated his risible flight to the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge.
    Ken Loach attends the London Gala Screening of Oranges and Sunshine at BFI Southbank on March 22, 2011

    Enlightened: Film director Ken Loach has been an active supporter of Assange

    What an impressive man this is! He thinks he is above the law. He won’t try to clear his name in Sweden, so instead goes running to the embassy of a country which, by the by, has an appalling human rights record — much worse than that of the United States. This does not deter Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa from regularly throwing mud pies at Washington.

    In fact, a true hero would relish going to the U.S. to defend his actions and show solidarity with Private Bradley Manning, the alleged source of many of the WikiLeaks documents, who has reportedly been treated abominably by the American authorities. But Julian Assange, as we have seen, is very far from being a hero.

    He looks to me much more like a chancer who happens to have an amazing gift of hacking. I wonder what his enlightened supporters, such as the socialite Jemima Khan and the film director Ken Loach, would say if he were ever convicted of rape in a Swedish court. Perhaps they would simply reject the verdict.

    His supporters, though doubtless well-intentioned, look like ‘useful idiots’. They should ask themselves what kind of man they have succoured. By jumping bail, he would appear also to have betrayed those who contributed to the £240,000 surety for him. They stand to forfeit their money.

    As for those newspapers which published his material, despite the illuminating nature of some of the WikiLeaks stories, they should ask themselves whether they were right to associate with him for so long.

    Indeed, one can’t escape the irony of The Guardian’s behaviour. Without registering any moral inconsistency, the paper has rightly taken a stern line over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal while also publishing top-secret emails that arguably undermined the security of the West.
    High profile: Socialite Jemima Khan has been vocal in her support for Assange

    High profile: Socialite Jemima Khan has been vocal in her support for Assange

    I’m sure it would plead public interest, and often rightly so, but the justification doesn’t work in every case.

    The truth is that Mr Assange was treated as a hero by many on the Left because he had information damaging to the Great Satan, the United States. Those who adulated this dreadful man ignored his obvious moral failings until many of them could not put up with him any longer.

    How fitting that he should have chosen the embassy of anti-American Ecuador in which to cower. I expect they will turf him out as soon as decently possible, whereupon he should be put on a plane to Sweden. It is preposterous to represent him as a political prisoner.

    There is, however, another delicious prospect. In 1956, the anti-Communist Hungarian Catholic Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty sought refuge in the U.S. embassy in Budapest. But the Soviet-backed government would not give him free passage to the airport, and the unfortunate cardinal was obliged to stay in the embassy for 15 years.

    If Julian Assange comes out, he shouldn’t be given free passage to anywhere. If he stays put, I suggest we happily leave him for 15 or even 30 years in the Ecuadorean embassy, where his hosts can furnish him with a computer so that he can continue to hack away. Female embassy staff, however, should probably tread warily.

    Read more: Julian Assange: The useful idiots who lionised the amoral and cowardly Mr Assange have ended up looking utter twits | Mail Online
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  14. #14
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by troung View Post
    He is apiece of trash as are his supporters...
    I object to this article and its obvious fallacy in the strongest of terms: there is no way in hell that either The Guardian or The New York Times can be described as respectable publications.

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    Colonist Senior Contributor
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    I was under the impression that being extradited to Sweden or whatever it was, was less about the case and more about being extradited there-after to the U.S by pro assange apprehensiveness.

    Whatever... should have complied with the law in Sweden.

    The vehemence state siders have against Assange reminds me a lot of the My Lai Massacre, and the conviction many had back then about the persecution Thompson went through (and it's justification) for his actions.

    Calley got 2 days, and then served 3 years and 1/2 years under house arrest for killing at least 20 that day.

    Bradley Manning, (Remember, the bloke that leaked data from a highly insecure network to a foreign entity or national) has been under arrest since May 2010 most of that time, solitary confinement.

    Whenever he does get convicted, chances are he will have spent more time in the donk than Calley got under house arrest.

    Yet, all the attention is on Assange.
    Ego Numquam

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