Julian Assange’s supporters will end up destroying WikiLeaks


2:41 pm - June 21st 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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I think WikiLeaks is important. In fact I’ve written several pieces here defending WikiLeaks and its work.

But the drama and circus around Julian Assange is actively hurting the cause of WikiLeaks and his supporters need to recognise that.

And this may be inspite of the technical and legal arguments that support his right to political asylum in Ecuador.

For example, Glenn Greenwald writes in the Guardian:

Given the travesty that is American justice, WikiLeaks’ founder is entitled to seek asylum and well-advised to fear extradition

He is entirely right on that account. There are legal points too, that Glenn Greenwald summarises here:

(1) Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he’s charged, let alone convicted of anything;

(2) the accusations against him are serious and they should be accorded a fair resolution within a proper legal framework; and

(3) until then, he has every right — just like everyone else does — to invoke any and all available legal protections (including asylum requests) and to have their validity decided upon.

There should be no doubt whatsoever that the US government is out to ‘get’ WikiLeaks. Last night the human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger added in a statement:

If one looks at the trial of Bradley Manning, which has been an appalling mockery of the judicial process, one can understand Julian Assange’s concern. He fears that justice will not be served if he is extradited to the United States.

So I’m not going to sneer at the real fear that Julian Assange has of being extradited to the USA.

But, there are clear arguments against supporting this action.

First, while Julian Assange may well be technically within his rights to seek asylum, his actions are morally repugnant because he is avoiding answering to serious rape allegations. Don’t the women who want him to respond to allegations have rights too?

This is worse than tax avoidance: while the accused may be within the law, the actual action is seen as morally repugnant (and rightly so).

Second, the more this drags on the more it hurts WikiLeaks. Now even some of his closest supporters such as Jemima Khan are distancing themselves from Assange [update: she says he should answer allegations but understands his fear]. Every day that Assange avoids answering the serious allegations, he loses credibility.

Worse, Assange has become WikiLeaks: the Twitter account now focuses more on defending Assange than exposing secrets from around the world. The focus of the project has shifted entirely. It is over-shadowing all the excellent work WikiLeaks has done in the past.

If Julian Assange becomes a permanent fugitive then WikiLeaks will become a project to support him rather than to “open governments and corporations”.

This is terrible for the future of WikiLeaks. Julian Assange has become paranoid and is becoming a fugitive. It would be huge loss if he takes WikiLeaks down with him. His supporters need to recognise that.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Hear hear. Excellent post.

2. The Gray Hand

I completely agree. The Authorities have done a great job of shutting down Wikileaks. Pity.

If the US government vowed not to seek to have Assange extradited to their country, then that would enable him to face the allegations in Sweden.

As I see it, Assange is trapped between two evils – avoiding answering the rape allegations and the strong risk of being extradited to the US where is likely to face life imprisonment and potential inhuman treatment (as a UN investigation into Bradley Manning’s treatment found).

I can understand why Assange has opted for the former – especially considering the following facts:

– Sweden has not brought any criminal charges against him, currently they only want to question him

– The US vice-president has called Assange a terrorist, which is highly significant given that in the US, suspected terrorists are a special category who are deprived of much due process constitutional and human rights. Moreover, due to “national security” bars, the courts in the US refuse to examine accusations of torture by the state.

– The “cruel and inhuman” treatment suffered by Bradley Manning, documented by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture

– WikiLeaks has not been charged with any crime and is carrying out 1st Amendment activity

Regarding the whole ‘fear of extradition’ thing, isn’t it actually easier to be extradited to the USA from here, than it is from Sweden?

Well said Sunny – to my eyes, Assange is fast becoming the new Roman Polanski.

It’s not really plausible that he risks extradition to the US – if they were going to do that, wouldn’t they have got our government to hand him over already? I think he just loves keeping up the public image of a persecuted hero, and knows that if he goes to face these allegations he may not be able to maintain that reputation.

I think that ‘morally repugnant’ is incredibly unfair.

If he is genuinely innocent, as well mostly suspect, then he knows that and doesn’t feel any need to prove his innocence at massive personal risk to himself. If he is innocent, then he knows the charges are politically motivated and that ‘rape’ is obviously not why he is being sought, but he’s being sought so he can be shipped off to the US. It would be stupid to allow yourself to be put in that position.

If he is guilt, then raping 2 women is probably more ‘morally repugnant’ than avoiding court don’t you think?

I think that ‘morally repugnant’ is incredibly unfair.

If he is genuinely innocent, as well mostly suspect, then he knows that and doesn’t feel any need to prove his innocence at massive personal risk to himself. If he is innocent, then he knows the charges are politically motivated and that ‘rape’ is obviously not why he is being sought, but he’s being sought so he can be shipped off to the US. It would be stupid to allow yourself to be put in that position.

If he is guilty, then raping 2 women is probably more ‘morally repugnant’ than avoiding court don’t you think?

He’d better watch his step in Ecuador, I’ve just been perusing their criminal code.

Article 22 says that ‘no offence’ has been committed on the part of anyone being sexually abused or raped if they murder their assailant…..

Just their word against your, er, very silent one…

http://bit.ly/LDBo8r

9. Shatterface

This is worse than tax avoidance

Classic.

Jack,

Ask yourself – which country has a track record of handing over people to the US authorities without question – Britain or Sweden?

Yeah, right!

Sunny, Alasdair, Anna:

ad hom much?

What has stopped/is stopping the Swedish plod from interviewing Assange in London? Sweden & UK are both in Interpol and similar bodies, aren’t they? Why do they want to drag him back to Stockholm?

As novelfootsteps has pointed out, senior figures in the US régime have already tried and convicted Assange a priori and in absentia (just as Obama has done with Manning), so Assange is probably quite correct in trying any way within his means to avoid the possibility of being shipped off to the US, which is at least as likely to be done by the Swedish authorities as by the British – governments in Stockholm are not as independent-minded as some of you seem to think.

12. Charlie Beckett

I don’t disagree with your argument Sunny, but the logic of your conclusions may be flawed.
Firstly, he really does fear extradition and so asylum is logical. Survival trumps morality any day.
Secondly, WikiLeaks has already been screwed by this. He can’t do much more harm to it. It hasn’t accepted leaks for ages and has lost vast amounts of credibility and goodwill. Like you, I don’t celebrate that. And anyway, it was always his creation and his creature and his supporters knew that, so in that sense it’s his to screw up.

13. David Boothroyd

More pro-Assange rubbish in the comments from novelfootsteps and ‘The Judge’. Under Swedish law the police cannot interview a suspect out of the jurisdiction, and cannot charge a suspect until they have been interviewed; all they can do is ask for extradition so that he can be interviewed – which is what they have done.

The US has a constitutional guarantee of free speech which is rigorously enforced and protects journalism even when it involves classified documents. If by some clever legal move the US could find an extraterritorial offence by which it could charge a national of a foreign country for acts against its national security committed in a third country, it is surely less likely to find Sweden facilitating the extradition than the UK. And should Assange be extradited to Sweden, then both Sweden and the UK would have to agree to his further extradition to the US.

14. the a&e charge nurse

So, trial by internet is to continue – did you know the penalty for Swedish sex without a condom is a fine – no, neither did I.

According to this item, ‘a Google search for “Julian Assange rape” returns over 445,000 responses’ – what could possibly go wrong in such a climate?
http://www.fastcompany.com/1707146/wikileaks-assange-wanted-for-sex-by-surprise-but-the-internet-thinks-hes-a-rapist

11/The Judge: to avoid the possibility of being shipped off to the US, which is at least as likely to be done by the Swedish authorities as by the British

But that doesn’t make sense.
1) Extradition from Sweden after he’s extradited from the UK to Sweden would require the agreement of both UK and Swedish authorities, whereas if the US just asked the UK direct the Swedes wouldn’t have to get involved.

2) The US government have disliked Assange for quite some time. During this time, Assange freely visited Sweden for several weeks, to talk about hosting Wikileaks there. Not the actions of someone who actually believes the Swedish authorities would be likely to extradite those involved with Wikileaks if the US asked.

3) He then came freely to the UK, despite our well-publicised and highly flexible extradition treaty with the US. Again, not the actions of someone who expects the US will actually try to have them extradited.

16. the a&e charge nurse

‘his actions are morally repugnant because he is avoiding answering to serious rape allegations’ – have new charges emerged?

I understood Assange has NOT been charged with rape – just a minor point in the finger pointing fest.

Charlie: Firstly, he really does fear extradition and so asylum is logical. Survival trumps morality any day.

Secondly, WikiLeaks has already been screwed by this.

I agree on both points. But I’m saying his supporters, who would presumably be supporting him because they like WikiLeaks, should recognise that WikiLeaks is coming to more harm the longer this saga drags on.

I don’t think WikiLeaks is lost forever. It still has an infrastructure and a brand name. It has the ability to generate headlines. It isn’t lost yet.

But as it becomes about Assange rather than WikiLeaks itself, the latter loses support. Assange’s supporters should recognise that at least.

I can see why he’s doing it. I can’t see why people who want WikiLeaks to carry on are supporting it.

14/a&ecn: So, trial by internet is to continue

Trial by internet will continue until Assange either gives himself up to the Swedish authorities or is handed to them for trial by judicial system. Had he done that two years ago I think everyone would have been far happier, but I’ll settle for him going there now. (Had he done that two years ago, and been found guilty, he’d probably be out of prison by now anyway. The Swedes really don’t go in for harsh sentences…)

did you know the penalty for Swedish sex without a condom is a fine – no, neither did I.

Well, that explains why the Swedish birth rate has been zero for the last few decades, then.

Regardless of minor differences in laws between Sweden and the UK, the rulings of the magistrate’s court and the appellate court were unambiguous that the offences Assange is accused of are offences in both countries.

In fact, when considering the maximum punishment, a hypothetical Mr Egnassa facing extradition from Sweden to England for identical offences would be likely to receive a prison sentence at least twice as long, and potentially several times longer, if convicted in England, than will Mr Assange if convicted in Sweden.

16/a&ecn: I understood Assange has NOT been charged with rape

This is technically true, because the Swedes won’t charge him in absentia without first interviewing him, being a due-process-abiding country, and they can’t interview him because he keeps not being extradited and won’t go voluntarily.

However, he is wanted for questioning regarding an offence of rape which he is alleged to have committed, in an investigation which were it taking place in the UK’s legal system (which lays charges much earlier on in the investigative process) would have progressed to the stage where charges would already have been laid.

The distinction between this and formal charges is narrow enough that it’s not that worth worrying about.

20. William Cleverley

Forgive me if this sounds dumb, but I don’t understand the logic that it is easier to extradite him to the US from Sweden than the UK??

Sweden is hardly a bosom pal of the US and look at the apparent ease with which UK citizens can be extradited to the US.

21. Shatterface

So, trial by internet is to continue – did you know the penalty for Swedish sex without a condom is a fine – no, neither did I.

So how to they reproduce?

22. Shatterface

And what [i]is[/i] Swedish sex? Is it like French – but with a thick woolly jumper on?

23. Man on Clapham Omnibus

20

My understanding was that the Sweden Govt was very right wing and had aided the US in rendition during the Iraq war.Moreover, I thought it was generally accepted that these rape enquiries were initially dropped and then resurrected after the US became embarrased by the Manning leak. Please correct this if I am wrong.

As to Sunny’s article,I am not quite sure of the point of it. Are you saying he should give himself up and be extradited or not.

This idea that Assange would be extradited to U.S. from Sweden is just absolutely silly. I don’t know how fanboys and -girls can pretend believing that with a straight face.

Which country was in alliance with U.S. invading Iraq? Sweden or UK? Which is in military alliance with U.S.? Sweden or UK? Which has been mostly aligned with U.S. and which is neutral?

That you hate the U.S. shouldn’t make you become completely idiotic.

One could credibly claim that handing Assange over to Sweden violates his rights because Sweden is a feminist activist country where men can’t get a fair trial. But this extradition and Guantanamo thing is just utterly ridiculous.

“Rape” is deeply questionable.

Assange is a sleazy idiot who is perhaps the worst poster-boy imaginable for Wikleaks.

“Sleazy idiot” and “rapist” are very different terms.

As a result, the left is entirely busy tying itself up in knots about whether a chap should be sent to jail forever because his partner didn’t enjoy the sex much, or about whether heinous rapists should be freed because they’re good at bullshitting.

Which is all basically nonsense. Everyone competent from Wikileaks left over a year ago, like James at the Guardian (*waves*), or has started their own organisation.

26. the a&e charge nurse

[19] Assange is wanted for alleged sex offences (not wearing a condom, etc) – how do you make the leap to a rape charge?

If two rapes really did take place it makes a complete mockery of the judicial process that followed in the immediate aftermath of the alleged crimes.

For example, ‘On August 20th 2010, a Friday afternoon, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, at
the time prosecutor on duty in Stockholm, decided to arrest Julian Assange in absentia on grounds of suspected rape. This decision was made upon a telephone report by a police officer. It was taken BEFORE the police interviews of the two women concerned were finished. Somebody leaked the decision to the Swedish tabloid Expressen, and it was made public all over the world (perhaps a sign of things to come).
However, the decision was overruled within 24 hours by chief prosecutor Eva Finné. She stated that Assange was no longer suspected of rape. Claes Borgström, a lawyer known for feminist activism, lodged an appeal on behalf of the two women. The appeal was examined by Marianne Ny, chief of a prosecution ”development center” specialized in, among other things, sexual offences. She decided to overrule Finné’s decision and reopen the case of suspected rape. Like Borgström Ny is a feminist. She is known to have said that when a woman alleges she has been a victim of assault by a man, it is a good idea to have the man detained, because it is not until he is arrested that the woman has time to think of her life in peace and realize how she has been treated. According to Ny the detention has a good effect as protection for the woman ”even in cases where the perpetrator is prosecuted but not found guilty”. However, during the weeks Assange was still in Sweden Ny did NOT arrest him, nor did she interview him about the allegations under investigation’.
http://www.dsm.nu/JA_arrest_UK-1.pdf

If we take this report at face value it suggests that an alleged rapist was free to wander about Sweden without charge, or even questioning – what I don’t get is that if Assange HAD committed such serious crimes (and on more than one occasion) why on earth did the Swedish authorities not act sooner – I mean it hardly breeds confidence does?

The bit where Assange is a very silly person, and two ladies who’d had consenting sex with him told him to get a VD test, and he didn’t, and so they told the cop, because apparently that’s what you do in Sweden (that bit still messes with my head. “introducing the cops to a scenario” is the bit where people get jailed or shot in the head. I can’t imagine a scenario where I would bring the cops in where they wouldn’t make everything worse).

The cops initially said “well, meh to fuck, this isn’t a case, fuck off”. Then brought in an hilarious double act of the opposition foreign minister and a lady whose literal job was “extend the sex crime law to try and define new things as sex crimes”.

And lo, because liberals lose all their judgement about “people should be protected from the government” when the government’s accusations relate to sex, Assange is being deported to corrupt-dodge-land on the basis of shit that has been entirely made up,

Shatterface @22:

“And what [i]is[/i] Swedish sex?”

It’s like their furniture; the zero birth rate is due to Tab A not fitting into Slot B.

As MoCO points out, the Swedish prosecutors had decided not to proceed against Assange, but then changed their minds once the centre-right government had come under pressure from Washington.

29. Robin Levett

@john b, a&ecn MoCo and The Judge:

Read the decisions from the Mags Court upwards; what Assange is accused of would be charged as rape here. One of the charges involves consent haveing been given for sex but only with a condom; he is accused of having deliberately broken the condom so it didn’t get in the way. Conditional consent where the condition is broken isn’t consent – hence it is rape.

Another of the charges involves penetration – without a condom – while the woman was asleep and when she had only consented to sex the previous night if it was with a condom.

Why is it that anyone the US doesn’t like gets a free pass; any prosecution must be politically motivated because… Guantanamo Bay.

There may or may not have been contacts between the US and Sweden – but until there is some evidence that Ny acted otherwise than out of prosecutorial zeal on what appears at first sight to be a reasonable case, can we stop making the assumption that the prosecution must be the result of US pressure?

At least we haven’t had the “secret temporary surrender treaty” show up here…

cim has dealt with the question of why he Swedes don’t come over here to interview him; but there are a couple of other issues he hasn’t touched on.

The first question is: why? The usual position is that if Joe Bloggs is wanted for pre-charge questioning under an EAW in another country, then Joe Bloggs goes there. Whence does Julian Assange receive the right to special treatment?

The second issue relates to the fact that Assange is a clear flight risk. He left Sweden while the prosecutors were, through his lawyer, trying to question him. His lawyer’s “explanation” of what went on then did not impress the District Judge one little bit.

He has now confirmed that he is a flight risk by seeking asylum in Ecuador.

Why would the Swedes come here to interview him, given that they have no jurisdiction here, so could not even stop him walking out on the interview, still less arrest him should he (as is now clear is very likely) seek to do a runner?

30. the a&e charge nurse

[29] ‘Another of the charges involves penetration – without a condom – while the woman was asleep and when she had only consented to sex the previous night if it was with a condom’ – pity the poor old Swedish authorities couldn’t figure it out despite a succession of different legal authorities hearing the story but still deciding against any decisive action.

Mind you that didn’t stop the Expressen from running an article which begins ‘Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sought by Swedish police. He’s on suspicion of rape in Stockholm’ – long before the EAW was belatedly issued.
http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/wikileaks-grundare-anhallen-for-valdtakt/

See – he’s a rapist, sorry, alleged rapist already.

31. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #30:

..pity the poor old Swedish authorities couldn’t figure it out despite a succession of different legal authorities hearing the story but still deciding against any decisive action.

You’ve lost me; so far as I’m aware, we are only discussing this because the Swedish authorities did decide to take action against assange. Isn’t that what the last couple of years’ court cases have been about?

Oh, and I don’t read Swedish.

What WikiLeaks has shown, is that those with most power in contemporary global politics can, and will, get away with injustice unless they are closely watched. Supporters of WikiLeaks understand that the importance of the organisation goes way beyond that of the individual leaked data packages- this is a movement about democratic navigation, inciting citizens to become engaged and act in recognition of their political agency.

If we were to become silent on the case against Assange, if we were to stop watching, injustice would go unnoticed.

WikiLeaks and the movement starting because of it is more than Julian Assange, but he is being used by the powerful West to signify activism and to deter us all from feeling empowered to stand up and engage. If we turn our gaze away, we become removed from the future that WikiLeaks is inspiring us to fight for.

The facts of the case clearly show (see here for example wlcentral.org/node/1418) that the case currently against him cannot be divorced from the political agitation against his work. This is not about defending the rights of two women. If had been Julian Assange would have been questioned when he was available in Sweden for the 5 weeks immediately after the instances are alleged to have happened.

Friends and citizens- keep watching, keep taking note. This is what our freedom looks like.

33. the a&e charge nurse

[31] ‘You’ve lost me; so far as I’m aware, we are only discussing this because the Swedish authorities did decide to take action against assange’ – yes, eventually, but we have to ask why it took them so long, especially given the obvious political backdrop.

We can all agree that rape is a very serious crime, indeed many on t’web would already have believe JA a two time rapist.
Now these crimes were brought to the attention of more than one Swedish legal authorities, so one might assume if there was any substance to these serious allegations they would not have spent so long twiddling their thumbs before the belatedly issuing the EAW?

Put another way lets say JA had stabbed both women do you think he would have been left free (for weeks on end) to enjoy Stockholms finest husmanskost?

The lack of early arrest and subsequent political interference suggests that something might be rotten in the state of, err, Sweden – but maybe you have another theory explaining Sweden’s apparently lax approach to serial rapists?

34. the a&e charge nurse

Sorry for the horrendous typos, Robin – I hope you get my meaning.

Hundal fails to grasp the concept that Assange find himself in this predicament BECAUSE of WikiLeaks, which in turn owes him the loyalty of defending him, just as Bradley Manning does. Hundal fails to grasp this concept because he is too middle-class to understand such concepts and instead delights in dissecting Guardian comments to furnish him with red herrings.

And whilst these are no doubt serious charges repeating the r*** word, ad nauseam, just exposes Hundal’s bias. These are not r*** charges. Even if you were a rabid opponent of Wikileaks, and generous to a fault to the Swedish prosecutor, only a single charge is claimed to be remotely related to the r*** word.

Shame Hundal is incapable of rational debate. Liberal Conspiracy? It’s certainly not liberal but it is a conspiracy!!!

36. Charlieman

@32. Teclo: “If had been Julian Assange would have been questioned when he was available in Sweden for the 5 weeks immediately after the instances are alleged to have happened.”

Let’s get back to the facts. Assange agreed to attend a police interview in Sweden and approximately one week before it was scheduled he decided to leave the country. He chose not to assist the investigation.

@29. Robin Levett: “Why would the Swedes come here to interview him, given that they have no jurisdiction here, so could not even stop him walking out on the interview, still less arrest him should he (as is now clear is very likely) seek to do a runner?”

Further to that, the Swedish investigators may wish to present Assange with physical evidence during the interview. They cannot realistically do that in a video interview and courts are likely to devalue exhibits that have toured Europe.

I remember when he was briefly denied bail, all his supporters loudly insisted that he wasn’t a flight risk. Well, clearly he was and is – for he’s trying to flee. Now, this should have been obvious, because he’s always claimed that there’s a conspiracy against him and that he faces a kangaroo court in Sweden, which he characterises as a banana republic and as “the Saudi Arabia of feminism”. Leaving aside the absurdity of those characterisations for a moment, one thing is clear: most people who seriously believes that they don’t stand a chance of a fair trial will flee if they possibly can. So unless his supporters knew his paranoid fantasies were delusional, why are they surprised that he has fled?

38. the a&e charge nurse

[36] ‘Assange agreed to attend a police interview in Sweden and approximately one week before it was scheduled he decided to leave the country’ – so have I got this right, serial rapists in Sweden can make a loose arrangement to meet with the police when it suits them?

Imagine the scene – 2 women approach the authorities BOTH claiming rape by one of the most notorious men on the planet, yet offence-appropriate action is still not taken (at the time of the allegations) – even though Sweden’s MSM is running stories about what JA is alleged to have done.

Why on earth would the cops say come back in a week rather than get your arse down to the station, RIGHT NOW – why would they let JA leave the country – have they never heard of computers, or passport control?

Good article, although technically none of the people who put up his bail money have actually distanced themselves from him, Jemima Khan simply said she was surprised he’d done what he did. Has anyone else made a statement?

Also isn’t ‘morally repugnant’ a little bit strong considering he has actually asked that the Swedish prosecutors interview him here in the UK and reportedly wants to answer their questions about the allegations. If this is the case he can’t really be said to be avoiding it can he?

His argument for being interviewed here, is that in Sweden he would go straight into custody prior to, or even in absence of any charges being made. He believes being in prison in Sweden would make it easier to be extradited because he would simply not be at liberty to seek asylum should the US move to indict him.

Doesn’t this seem a reasonable request, given his circumstances and isn’t it the Swedish authorities who are at fault for not taking the complainants allegations seriously and questioning him here, when it would be easy and less costly for them to do so?

40. Robin Levett

@Paul Nelson #35:

And whilst these are no doubt serious charges repeating the r*** word, ad nauseam, just exposes Hundal’s bias. These are not r*** charges. Even if you were a rabid opponent of Wikileaks, and generous to a fault to the Swedish prosecutor, only a single charge is claimed to be remotely related to the r*** word.

Where I come from, rape is sex without consent. In relation to two of the four charges, that is precisely what is alleged, given that consent is vitiated when the condition on which the consent is given is not complied with.

The other two charges are of sexual assault.

41. Robin Levett

@Paul Nelson #35:

…oh, and one other thing; if the charges are made out, what has put him in this position is not Wikileaks, but his inability to accept that the women with whom he sleeps have the right to decide the conditions on which he has sex with them.

42. douglas clark

Robin Leeitt @ 40 / 41.

You appear to be a bit of a whizz kid on this subject.

What are the prospects that he would be found guilty in Sweden?

Do they have some sort of odd judicial system where a charge has an improved chance of being proven if two women make the same allegation, yet relating to themselves and not to each other, and neither at the same time. In other words is that sufficient?

Would it not be prejudicial that the two women had, apparently, colluded on their witness statements? Or is that now an abandoned defence?

I am just questioning whether or not he can get a fair trial.

RP: I think you mistyped above. You used the word “absurdity”, when you meant to say “obvious truth”.

Anyone who thinks Assange’s actions as outlined in the Swedish indictment warrant criminal proceedings, as opposed to warranting being described as a cad, is dangerously deranged.

Although following the bizarre changes to English law made under the SOA2003 they are *technically* illegal in E&W (waking your partner up by giving him a blowjob is technically illegal in E&W under the same rules), charges would never have been brought in England in a comparable situation.

Which is a very good thing, albeit something that the people who keep seeking to reverse the burden of proof in sex cases are trying to reverse.

44. Robin Levett

@john b #43:

As I understand it, you believe that having been given consent to protected sex during the course of an evening, you have free rein – at least at law – to indulge yourself in a bout of unprotected sex the following morning before your partner wakes up – before she has a chance to decide whether this time she is happy for the sex to be unprotected. I think you should make that clear to any sexual partners you may have before you start – they might think differently.

That behaviour would have been rape even before the 2003 Act; you would have had no reason to believe that she would have agreed to unprotected sex had she been awake.

43/john b: waking your partner up by giving him a blowjob is technically illegal in E&W under the same rules

You missed some words out of that sentence. What the law actually says is that:

waking your partner up by giving him a blowjob when he does not consent to this is technically illegal

. That’s a pretty important difference.

Furthermore the SOA2003 says that being asleep allows an evidential presumption of non-consent to be held in court. An evidential presumption is less strong than a conclusive presumption. In fact, it says right there in 75(1)

the complainant is to be taken not to have consented to the relevant act unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he consented, and the defendant is to be taken not to have reasonably believed that the complainant consented unless sufficient evidence is adduced to raise an issue as to whether he reasonably believed it.

In other words, if your partner has said that you may wake them up with a blowjob on a particular morning, either by a specific statement about that morning, or a statement about mornings in general which they have not later revoked, then:
1) You will have a defence under that part of 75(1) of reasonable belief should the judicial system investigate
2) which it won’t, because if your partner was actually consenting they aren’t going to go to the police.

Now, if you haven’t discussed waking them up in this way previously, there are two possible scenarios, different to the first. In neither, because of the lack of discussion, is there a reasonable belief in consent.
Scenario 1) You wake them up this way, and they consent to this. This, as there is consent, is legal even though there is no reasonable belief in consent. But since they aren’t going to go to the police, the precise legalities are irrelevant.
Scenario 2) You wake them up in this way, and they do not consent to this. You neither have reasonable belief in consent, nor do you have consent, and therefore this is – and should be! – a sexual offence under the meaning of the Act.

However, since in the absence of previous discussion, there’s no way to tell which of 1 and 2 will apply when they awake, anyone who does not want to be a rapist will not put themselves in that position.

46. the a&e charge nurse

[45] ‘That’s a pretty important difference’ – unless you are a Swedish police officer, or Chief Prosecutor, in which case violent men are left at liberty to rape more women (potentially) until a casual meeting is arranged a few weeks down the line.
Don’t forget the 2 women contacted the police on 20th August – JA remained in Sweden for a further 37 days (before leaving).

Does anybody have a hypothesis as to why appropriate action was NOT taken in a more timely manner given that half t’web, and the Swedish MSM are claiming JA is a two time rapist?

On the other hand isn’t it possible that the Swedish authorities did not think it likely that JA had actually raped anybody, at least until a certain super-power, a superpower still seething over Wikileaks, stuck their oar in – the lack of curiosity by the anti-JA lobby over this sequence of events is somewhat surprising given that so many people are out to nail him?

What just MIGHT help Assange is a wikileaks type exposure of communications between the Swedish authorities and between the USA who are on record as regarding JA as ‘a terrorist’, and their Swedish counterparts – one things for sure JA has no chance of receiving proper justice.

So far we know that “The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has not given Julian Assange or his lawyers information on the allegations against him in writing, which violates the Swedish Code of Procedure (RB 23:18) and the European Convention of Human Rights (article 5), and the EU Fundamental Charter on Human Rights.

There has been political interference with the Prime Minister’s statements to the Swedish Parliament during the trial (see Political Interference, and constant press attention has been given to the complainants’ lawyer (see Media climate in Sweden).

The bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden (see section on US extradition). Under US custody, Julian Assange risks kidnapping, torture, and execution’.
http://justice4assange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html

It is undeniable that Assange has allowed his life to become a circus and what appears as Assange’s egocentrism impacts badly on the reputation of Wikileaks. If Assange’s squatting in the Ecuadorian Embassy results form a genuine fear of ending up in the clutches of the CIA, then he is right to have done what he did. If, on the other hand, he is only motivated by not wanting to face charges in Sweden, then I have little sympathy for his behaviour.

That said, a further point should be made. By now it has come to be an established media formula to say that Assange faces allegations in Sweden of serious sexual misconduct. Yet, if we apply anything like the same level of analysis to those allegations (looking at the evidence now available) as we do to the political behaviour of Assange, we would see most of the allegations are unlikely and are certainly not able to be proved. In my view, only one allegation stands even a 50-50 chance in an unbiased court: namely, sex by surprise when there was consent to the sex, but not sex without a condom.

Almost certainly Assange’s selfish and inconsiderate behaviour led to these allegations being made. But the resuscitation of the investigation, after it being dropped, and the pursuit of his extradition are almost certainly politically motivated. On those grounds, he has every right to oppose his extradition to Sweden, but not by putting in jeopardy his own word and his supporter’s money.

Wot cim and Robin say.

“The Court rejected Mr Assange’s contention that under the law of England and Wales consent to sexual intercourse on condition a condom was used remained consent to sexual intercourse even if a condom was not used or removed.”
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.html

which is a summary of http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.pdf

49. the a&e charge nurse

[47] ‘If, on the other hand, he is only motivated by not wanting to face charges in Sweden, then I have little sympathy for his behaviour’ – Assange has plenty of motivation NOT to go back to Sweden.

It is claimed, if extradited, Assange will be:
Held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned, despite not having been charged (likely to spend up to a year in custody). There is no time limit to detention in Sweden.

Experts say that he will remain in pre-trial detention indefinitely.

If there is a charge and a trial, it will be held in secret.

He will not be judged by an ’independent and impartial tribunal’, a fundamental requirement under the European Convention of Human Rights (article 6.1). Three out of the four judges are lay judges, who have been appointed by political parties and have no formal legal training (see Lay Judges).
http://justice4assange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html#CSJS

A year in solitary – doesn’t that seem a tiny disproportionate for bad sex?
Given that Assange was at complete liberty for 37 days after the initial allegations it seems clear to me that none of the Swedish authorities considered JA to be a rapist, at least until uncle sam told the Swedes to exploit a golden opportunity to nail him.

Incidentally did you know ‘of all the signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, Sweden has the highest per capita rate of cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights relating to article 6.1 (right to a fair trial). It also has the highest rate of adverse rulings when it comes to the fair trial’.

I’m beginning to understand why an Equadorian cupboard might seem so attractive?

In my view, only one allegation stands even a 50-50 chance in an unbiased court: namely, sex by surprise when there was consent to the sex, but not sex without a condom.

Eh? If there was consent it isn’t rape. If there isn’t consent (because it was conditional on the use of a condom and a condom was not used) then it is rape.

Scenario 2) You wake them up in this way, and they do not consent to this. You neither have reasonable belief in consent, nor do you have consent, and therefore this is – and should be! – a sexual offence under the meaning of the Act.

See, this is the difference in our positions: you believe that the Act is reasonable in defining this as a sexual offence. I don’t. It’s somewhere between farcical and offensive to conflate poor etiquette with sexual assault.

Wickileack smwickileaks..If it wasn`t for J. Assange it wouldnt be even heard of… shame on the person who writes above artical namely sunny holldall … if jemima khan is tired of it cos she has her own life to live with her kids and all.. thats not even the point . Free Julian Assange or give him a fair trial in Sweden. I think those woman are total pros anyhow…

U.S. A methods well known for corruption when it comes to their wrong doings to be aired…
and rats like you Sunny leaves the boat first in adversity…

53. the a&e charge nurse

[49] ‘If there isn’t consent (because it was conditional on the use of a condom and a condom was not used) then it is rape’ – a concept apparently lost on the enigmatic Swedes?

They leave their, err, rapists free to stalk the the streets of Stockholm – what is there not to like?.

46/a&ecn: Does anybody have a hypothesis as to why appropriate action was NOT taken in a more timely manner given that half t’web, and the Swedish MSM are claiming JA is a two time rapist?

Given that John Worboys was allowed by the Met to have a multi-year career as a serial rapist with 12 proven and over 100 suspected attacks, despite independent reports to the police from some of his victims (and Worboys is hardly the only serial rapist the UK police have allowed to roam free through incompetence), the most obvious explanation seems to be that the Swedish police are a typically incompetent force in their handling of sexual offences.

Certainly, things would have been much simpler if the Swedes had got their act together properly in the first place, and you won’t find me defending their early mishandling of the case.

But okay, let’s assume that it’s true that anyone arriving in Sweden can be extradited immediately to the US without any right of appeal just dependent on the US asking (which isn’t the case, of course). Why, in that case, did Assange visit Sweden in the first place? It’s not as if his unpopularity with the US only started after he entered Sweden – he was going there with the intent of finding a new home for Wikileaks! Surely if Sweden was that dangerous for him he’d no more have gone there in the first place than to the US itself.

And then he next went to the UK, which has a well-publicised and heavily used extradition treaty with the US. Again, not the actions of someone who thinks the US might actually try to extradite him. If he’d left Sweden for Russia, or China, or Ethiopia, or somewhere else without an extradition treaty with the US, then it might be more plausible.

Now, it’s possible that he’s the sort of traveller who only checks what extradition regulations are in place several weeks after arrival in a country. I know on my trips abroad I never checked the extradition regulations at all … but that’s because, perhaps like Assange, I never expected anyone to actually try to extradite me to the US… (and they didn’t, for the record)

Reply to comment 49

Consent and rape

British courts have only asked the question: was there consent throughout the whole operation? They have not considered conditions imposed the operation which one party failed to fulfil, and the non-fulfilment was unknown to the other party at the time.

Given the danger of STDs, it is reasonable that the condition of requiring the male to wear a condom should be legally protected. Sweden recognises that. It is a debatable issue to what extent a duty lies on the injured party to check that the condition is met. And whatever the law, it throws up huge evidential problems.

A&E @49, I suggest justice4assange should supply that information to Assange’s lawyers – I can’t see any indication any of it was argued before our courts. If there was a ‘real risk’ of an unfair trial for example, he wouldn’t be extradited.

57. the a&e charge nurse

[53] with all due respect, cim, an unknown london cabby is slightly different to 2 women telling the police they have been raped by one of the most famous men on the planet (although I take your point about the police treating rape victims very poorly in some cases).

In any event we know that the first prosecutor decided not to act.
The second prosecutor (who was reported to be a strong feminist) also left JA at large, apparently unperturbed by the fact he might continue his spree of condomless raping.

Now maybe you think that all adds up, while the avowed intention of the US to get JA is neither here nor there, but many are concerned, rightly so in my opinion, that those who expose the dirty doings of the power elite must be punished, and that this objective must be achieved by hook or by crook.

There is a further backdrop which I guess is to do with the sexual mores of our time. For example it is claimed Miss A tweeted about a document entitled “7 steps to legal revenge”, in which she writes: “Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/rape-claims-julian-assange

Now according to some this is the same woman who was giving JA a blow job within hours of meeting him – another factor which makes this case rather to different to the London cabby convicted of raping strangers.

58. the a&e charge nurse

[55] ‘I suggest justice4assange should supply that information to Assange’s lawyers’ – why, secret trials are apparently part of the Swedish system, while there is no limit to detention – what can his lawyers do about that?

Assange has rightly calculated that this case might be about a number of things, but justice is not one of them.

‘Julian Assange will, according to the judge’s finding of fact, be held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned to Sweden and will then be interrogated, held without bail and later subjected to a secret trial on accusations that have been bruited around the world, not least by this newspaper. He has a complete answer to these charges, which he considers false and baseless. Even if acquitted, however, the mud will stick and, if convicted, the public will never be able to able to assess whether justice has miscarried. This country, which has given to the world the most basic principles of a fair trial – that justice must be seen to be done – denies that basic liberty for those that are extradited to Sweden’.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/25/europe-open-justice-sweden-assange

50/john b: See, this is the difference in our positions

I can see that, but I’m not entirely sure what your position is.

Given that scenario 2 is defined by there not actually being consent, are you saying that the person in that scenario:
– does actually have reasonable belief in consent, despite never having asked their partner about this (if so, why?)
– does not have reasonable belief in consent, but that the SOA basic definition of “no consent and no reasonable belief in consent” for its offences is wrong (if so, what definition would you use?)
– something else?

A&E, I know next to nothing about the Swedish criminal justice system. What I wonder is, if the Swedish system is as unfair as is being made out, why on earth didn’t Assange (legally represented by Mark Stephens, who wrote that Guardian article you link to) advance this argument before our courts? I’ve checked the judgements on BAILII and can find no evidence he did. You may be able to tell me otherwise.

You ask “why, secret trials are apparently part of the Swedish system, while there is no limit to detention – what can his lawyers do about that?”

We wouldn’t extradite him if the court found there is a ‘real risk’ he faces an unfair trial! That’s my point.

See for example Abu Qatada.

61. the a&e charge nurse

[59] ‘We wouldn’t extradite him if the court found there is a ‘real risk’ he faces an unfair trial! That’s my point ‘ – quite aside from the Assange case we already know Sweden tops the league for unfair trials (see 48).

Honest question – in the light of all the circumstances surrounding this case do you think it is possible for JA to have a fair trial in Sweden – I suppose the answer might depend (amongst other things) on whether you regard a year in solitary as fair or not?

Or put another way – if the women’s allegations are found to be malicious do you think THEY should be put in solitary for a year?

62. Robin Levett

@ a&ecn passim:

Forget the unfair Swedish trial points; if Assange’s legal team (and he’s had a formidable team of Counsel throughout – the best that other people’s money could buy) thought there was any mileage in them, they’d have raised them beyond the magistrate’s court.

On the one hand, Assange devotees (as opposed to Wikileaks supporters) argue that he should be allowed to remain in this country and interviewed by Skype or similar; but on the other hand thay argue that he should have been clapped in irons in a dawn raid even though, through his lawyers, he appeared to be co-operating with the investigations – until he left Sweden without telling anyone. Make your collective minds up.

As for this:

The bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden (see section on US extradition).

Article 6 (the relevant part) of the US-Swedish extradition treaty reads:

Article VI of the Swedish treaty:

“If the extradition request is granted in the case of a person who is being prosecuted or is serving a sentence in the territory of the requested State for a different offense, the requested State may:

(a) defer the surrender of the person sought…; or

(b) temporarily surrender the person sought to the requesting State for the purpose of prosecution. The person so surrendered shall be kept in custody while in the requesting State and shall be returned to the requested State after the conclusion of the proceedings against that person in accordance with conditions to be determined by mutual agreement [*7] of the Contracting States.”

There is, by the way, a provision in the same terms in the UK-US treaty.

That Article says nothing about extradition under it being any different, procedurally, from extradition without the extra factor of requested country prosecution/imprisonment.

I’ve even seen this described as a secret provision with no equivalent in the UK treaty – hence my comment upthread.

Under US custody, Julian Assange risks kidnapping, torture, and execution’.

But if that is the case, he won’t get to US custody. Both Swedish and UK law prevents that – as does the Framework agreement, to which we both subscribe.

63. the a&e charge nurse

[62] ‘Forget the unfair Swedish trial points’ – eh, the entire point of this thread is whether or not JA stands to receive fair treatment.

From start to finish have we witnessed anything but that – I see you prefer not to repsond to questions about WHY Assange was at liberty for 37 days in Sweden despite allegations of a double rape (even though more than one prosecutor was involved).

Do you refute the possibility of a long time in solitary?

Do you refute the likelihood of a secret trial?

Do you refute Sweden’s poor record on fair trials?

Does of any of this seem PROPORIONATE – I mean can you imagine it happening to you on the basis of what appears to be a misunderstanding of etiquette (the lack of action during the time Assange was in Sweden makes it very likely nobody, not even the feminist prosecutors gave much credence to the double rape meme)

The title of the OP is ‘JA’s supporters will end up destroying wikileaks’ – perhaps a more accurate header might have been wikileaks will end up destroying Julian Assange – the real moral of the story is that you mess with the power elite at your own peril – surely those on the sidelines should at least have enough insight to recognise that?

a&ecn: Under US custody, Julian Assange risks kidnapping

Now, now. I’m sure that if the US did ever get their hands on Assange they would be very careful to ensure that no-one kidnapped him. That would just be embarrassing.

From start to finish have we witnessed anything but [fair treatment]

Okay…
– he’s been allowed to make a series of appeals, up to the highest court in the land, against a routine extradition request of the sort that less famous and well-funded people must simply submit to
– during this time, despite being a pretty obvious flight risk (oh look, he just did), he has been allowed a high amount of freedom of movement within the UK, including the attendance of anti-government demonstrations, as bail was granted (and not, given the wealth of his supporters, on a particularly large amount of money)
– he has, as Robin points out, had some of the most expensive lawyers in the country representing him to the best of their abilities.

What, I have to ask, would fair treatment look like, if that’s considered unfair to him?

Do you refute the possibility of a long time in solitary?

From what I understand of the Swedish justice system, the trial usually follows very soon after charges have been laid. If charges are to be laid, that is done very soon after the questioning he is being brought back for.

If he spends a long time in a Swedish jail before the trial, this will probably be because of his habit of appealing anything and everything so the trial can’t get started. Given he’s just shown himself to be a definite flight risk, I can’t imagine they’d grant bail, either…

Do you refute Sweden’s poor record on fair trials?

If his expensive legal team in the UK had actual evidence that he would not receive a fair trial in Sweden, they would have mentioned it. They did not. Sweden is not perfect on human rights matters, but on average it’s probably a bit better than the UK. Both are covered by the various European human rights conventions and the ECHR which would ensure a fair trial.

the lack of action during the time Assange was in Sweden

…makes you wonder why, if it’s so straightforward for the US to extradite people from Sweden, they didn’t do it then. He was there a while, after all… talking to the Swedish Pirate Party about hosting for Wikileaks (presumably the SPP wouldn’t have even considered it if the US could just have them all extradited without objection or recourse)

65. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #63:

Quick comment, more later:

From start to finish have we witnessed anything but that – I see you prefer not to repsond to questions about WHY Assange was at liberty for 37 days in Sweden despite allegations of a double rape (even though more than one prosecutor was involved).

And I note that you continue to apply a double standard – it is so serious an offence that the Swedes should have clapped him in irons when he appeared to be co-operating with the investigation, but not so serious that they should now not inisist on him getting his butt back to Sweden to answer questions, but should accept the poor second-best (if that) of interviewing him here.

I also fail to see the relevance of this; either the allegations are serious or they are not. We know what they are and can judge their seriousness on that basis, rather than second-guessing the prosecutors.

I don’t buy that it is relevant to the question of whether they are bowing to US pressure. Ny took the step of re-opening the case without any such pressure.

A&E,

[59] ‘We wouldn’t extradite him if the court found there is a ‘real risk’ he faces an unfair trial! That’s my point ‘ – quite aside from the Assange case we already know Sweden tops the league for unfair trials (see 48).

Well, I don’t already know that – you copy+pasted a claim from justice4assange.com, which cites an article in Swedish. I don’t understand Swedish, so I have no idea what their methodology is. I find it hard to believe Sweden is more unfair than, say, Russia.

67. the a&e charge nurse

[64] ‘Now, now. I’m sure that if the US did ever get their hands on Assange they would be very careful to ensure that no-one kidnapped him. That would just be embarrassing’ – yes, I’m sure detainees in Guantanamo can testify to the fact international embarrassment plays a large part in US actions when their national interests are threatened – mind you Obama has closed it hasn’t he?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQXZoM__vU0&feature=related

‘What, I have to ask, would fair treatment look like’ – well I go back to the point that no less than three different prosecutors each considered allegations against Assange yet none decided there was sufficient evidence to undertake an immediate and full investigation (which seems extraordinary given the allegations of double rape).
I mean what do you have to do to get arrested in Sweden?

So instead Assange is left at large for a further 37 days, leaves the country but then something changes, something that led to a belated to decision by the Swedes to hunt him down.

Now I ask you, what in those 37 days might have changed?
Don’t forget the nature of the allegations were evident from the very outset – so either the prosecutor had some sort of belated epiphany, or is it possible the regime responsible for flagrant human rights abuses at Guantanamo saw an ideal opportunity to get their man and exerted sufficient pressure to convince the Swedes that solitary was the best place for Mr Assange?

I must admit your faith in the country responsible for Guantanamo and another which favours secret trials and unspecified periods of detention is touching.

68. LadyRoisin

You mention 1) innocent before trial and 2) ‘serious sexual allegations’: are you sure of the ‘seriousness’ of these..the words are bandied about. However I understand that these women had consensual sex (they did not report ‘rape’ to the police afterwards) the only on-going consequence was that Assange did not use a condom…and this is something questionable under Swedish Law…
If rich supporters wanted to give money, it’s loss shouldn’t reflect on JA anyway, they are adults and have the money to spend I would imagine…
What he did outweighs, in my opinion, most criticism..

Im not too sure, if anything this has made me a more hardened follower.

While I am in no doubt there are questions to be answered in Sweden, I think most of them fall on the prosecution, politicians and the original women who made the allegations.

The prosecution / investigators didn’t think there was a case to follow. One member of the prosecution knows one of the alleged victims. There has been political interference in reopening the case. One of the original women went through a process of destroying evidence, including tweets.

Given all the above, none of if under investigation, I don’t think the case would actually make it to a UK court. To go further than that, I believe most of the people involved in bringing this case would themselves be accused of crimes if in the UK.

Given the above, the joke that is America and its legal system, the attack on a free press / whistleblowers and the farce that is the Bradley Manning trial I would suggest this is taken as far as it can go as it exposes the lawlessness that is the Western World.

70. the a&e charge nurse

[65] ‘either the allegations are serious or they are not’ – judging by the lack of action taken by the Swedish prosecutors (all three of them) we can only conclude not, at least not until some mysterious change of heart months later.

Presumably if they thought there WAS any credence to the rape allegations they would have invited Assange to Stockholm central for nice a little chat, and at the police’s convenience not his?

My guess, and it’s only a guess, the Swedish authorities were unconvinced by the female protagonists, one who continued to cook for Assange post-rape, the other who tweeted a manifesto about punishing men (allegedly) – a fact hardly helped by the fact the two women collaborated on what did or did not happen before telling their story to the police.

It is simply too much of a volte face to accept that the Swedes took an entirely different line (having had more than enough opportunity to properly interview Assange yet neglecting to do so) without external influences being brought to bear?

71. the a&e charge nurse

[66] ‘I find it hard to believe Sweden is more unfair than, say, Russia’ – Russia is not a member of the EU, Sweden is.

Secret trials, unlimited detention – I would have expected you of all people, UKL to raise an eyebrow about such an unpromising state of affairs?

A&E,

[66] ‘I find it hard to believe Sweden is more unfair than, say, Russia’ – Russia is not a member of the EU, Sweden is.

Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights in ’98. According to HUDOC there have been 100+ Article 6 (right to a fair trial) cases vs Russia, 11 vs Sweden, and 29 vs. UK. I haven’t bothered to work out the ‘per capita’ or read further into it. Surely the onus is on justice4assange to supply the evidence to substantiate it’s claim that Sweden is unfair?

Secret trials, unlimited detention – I would have expected you of all people, UKL to raise an eyebrow about such an unpromising state of affairs?

I’ve said a couple of times in this thread I know next to nothing about the Swedish system. Am I supposed to simply believe what justice4assange.com says without looking into it for myself? Until Assange I had never heard any criticism of Sweden in this context.

I don’t know what you mean by “unlimited detention” – that’s the first time I’ve seen the phrase in relation to this. There is a difference between ‘secret’ and ‘private’, you know.

Looking into it, fairness and ‘secret’ / ‘private’ was raised before the magistrate but not since then, I think. Read from page 27.

I quote,

I have not been referred to any significant body of European Court cases that show that the Swedish practice in rape cases offends against article 6. Article 6 specifically envisages circumstances where the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the hearing. Apparently the practice in Sweden is long-standing. One assumes that rape allegations are not that uncommon. If the Swedish practice was in fundamental and flagrant breach of human rights I would expect there to be a body of cases against Sweden confirming that. In fact I think the position is more subtle and less stark than Mr Robertson [for Assange] suggests. His own witness, Mr Alhem, who is clearly a thoughtful man and much attached to the principle of fairness, was in two minds about the issue

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/jud-aut-sweden-v-assange-judgment.pdf

Read from page 9, points 7 to 18, of the same judgement for what actually happened with regard to the prosecutor trying to get in touch with Assange’s lawyer and Assange.
http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/jud-aut-sweden-v-assange-judgment.pdf

74. the a&e charge nurse

[72] ‘I don’t know what you mean by “unlimited detention” – well let me ask you this, do you think it is reasonable that JA could be held in solitary, without chance of bail for an unspecified time period – and if you do, what would you regard as a reasonable time frame?

After all the Swedes have had more than enough time to prepare their case, so surely we should be talking about a timescale of days, or perhaps a few weeks (unless JA’s team request more time) – JA doesn’t even know if they will actually charge him.

I mention secret, or if you prefer private hearings because of the obvious importance of justice BEING SEEN to be done.

All this against a backdrop in which it is alleged that “In all instances, the 2 plaintiffs consented to sexual intercourse, which they did not take the initiative to stop: they never expressed non-consent and afterwards declared to not have felt threatened by Julian Assange.
http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,04.shtml

75. Stuff Wikileaks, Read Cryptome

After all the Swedes have had more than enough time to prepare their case, ../blockquote>

Er no. The whole point is that they are unable to properly prepare their case until Mr Assange has been formally questioned by the prosecutor – something that Mr Assange is going to great lengths to prevent, hence the reason why he left Sweden in the first place – contrary to his agreement with the Swedish authorities.

If he had simply stayed in Sweden as he initially agreed to do, then he would have been left at liberty. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to be remanded in custody if they a believed to be likely to abscond,something which in Mr Assange’s case – given his previous form – seems likely. As he is being investigated for what we would term rape, it would be pretty normal in this country for him to be kept in isolation from other prisoners. I can’t speak for Swedish prisoners, but in a British nick, those thought to be “sex cases” are generally pretty thankful for Rule 45 (43 as used to be). I suspect that when Mr Assange emerges from the Ecuadorian embassy, he will be remanded in custody here, and, as a famous sex case, he will be in solitary.

On a lighter not however, we may have found a solution to the prisons overcrowding crisis. SImply ensure that prisoners are driven past foreign embassies at some point during their trial period, allow them to “escape” to said foreign embassies, and, hopefully, they’ll try to claim assylum, thus ensuring that they spend what would have been their sentence in the basement of said foreign embassy at the embassy’s expense. We get to reduce our prison population, save money, and get some scumbags off the streets too. An all round winner.

76. the a&e charge nurse

[73] thanks for the link – but surely these points become virtually irrelevant once we are dealing with a serious crime? (double rape)

If JA had shot both women do you think the prosecutor would have wasted time telephoning Assange’s lawyer to ask where he was (bearing in JA had ALREADY been interviewed by the Swedish authorities) – no, of course she wouldn’t, Assange would have been hunted by the police before being taken into custody.

From the document you link to the first expert witness claims;
‘There is an improper motive behind the issue of the EAW. The real motive is that Mr Assange is outside Sweden and Ms Ny wants to arrest him immediately after he is interviewed, regardless or what he says. “That may be her approach. Let him suffer for a bit so he can be a bit softer.”
And, “There are political considerations behind this prosecution.The issue of sexual offences is very political in Sweden”.

Of course Assange’s case is not helped by the fact the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, criticised him on Swedish national radio.

Certain parties in the USA must have felt as though all their Christmases had come at once after learning Assange had become entangled in a web of Swedish bedroom etiquette – sexual impropriety, what better opportunity for a bit of wikileaks payback?

A&E,

[72] ‘I don’t know what you mean by “unlimited detention” – well let me ask you this, do you think it is reasonable that JA could be held in solitary, without chance of bail for an unspecified time period – and if you do, what would you regard as a reasonable time frame?

I’ve seen no evidence to support the claim that he will be held for an “unspecified time period” in “solitary”. I don’t think his lawyers raised this issue, so it’s a non-issue in any case.

I don’t know what a reasonable time period to hold someone pending trial for rape etc is, and if they are a flight risk. In England a person charged with rape might be held for 182 days unless his trial is sooner; for sexual assault, 56 days again unless his trial is sooner.

After all the Swedes have had more than enough time to prepare their case, so surely we should be talking about a timescale of days, or perhaps a few weeks (unless JA’s team request more time) – JA doesn’t even know if they will actually charge him.

I think they want to question him first, which they have been unable to do…

I mention secret, or if you prefer private hearings because of the obvious importance of justice BEING SEEN to be done.

Certainly public hearings are better on the face of it. I merely make the point that “secret” has a different – and negative – connotation to “private”. So the use of “secret” here seems like propaganda, which I dislike.

Secret or private, the magistrate said, as I already pointed out, “I have not been referred to any significant body of European Court cases that show that the Swedish practice in rape cases offends against article 6” and to my knowledge the issue was not raised in the courts since then. His lawyers presumably believe there’s no point pursuing that argument.

All this against a backdrop in which it is alleged that “In all instances, the 2 plaintiffs consented to sexual intercourse, which they did not take the initiative to stop: they never expressed non-consent and afterwards declared to not have felt threatened by Julian Assange.

It is alleged by a fansite. Well, I’m convinced, let’s see what the courts say.

78. Charlieman

@75. Stuff Wikileaks, Read Cryptome: “I can’t speak for Swedish prisoners, but in a British nick, those thought to be “sex cases” are generally pretty thankful for Rule 45 (43 as used to be). I suspect that when Mr Assange emerges from the Ecuadorian embassy, he will be remanded in custody here, and, as a famous sex case, he will be in solitary.”

During Assange’s brief detention in the UK, he was held in segregation. In a previous thread about this, Carl Gardner tried to establish whether this was at Assange’s request or imposed by the prison authorities. Newspaper reports quoted the prison authorities as saying it was Assange’s request but this was contradicted by Assange’s (then) barrister. I am not aware of any protests about segregation until after Assange was released on bail.

79. the a&e charge nurse

[75] ‘As he is being investigated for what we would term rape, it would be pretty normal in this country for him to be kept in isolation from other prisoners’ – what WE would term rape, interesting turn of phrase, does it imply that rape can be understood in different ways?

Incidentally, can you shed light on why serious sex offenders (or at least alleged offenders) are free to roam the streets of Sweden in the vain hope the accused’s lawyer will ask the offender to pop in and see the police when he has a spare moment – seems a bit odd to me, especially when the accused is as well known as Bill Gates.

Is such leniency generally shown to other types of violent sex offenders as well?

80. the a&e charge nurse

[77] ‘I think they want to question him first, which they have been unable to do…’ untrue, Assange WAS interviewed by the police on 31st August (11 days after the rape allegations)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/9343503/Julian-Assange-rape-accusations-timeline.html

‘It is alleged by a fansite’ – maybe, but the content is said to be a ‘transcript of the first witness statement in the preliminary police investigation’ (amongst other transcripts) – the interrogation of ‘Witness A’ was conducted by Ewa Olofsson by telephone on 7 September and 8 September (18 days after the case was filed) and all told took 45 minutes.

81. Charlieman

@76. the a&e charge nurse: “If JA had shot both women do you think the prosecutor would have wasted time telephoning Assange’s lawyer to ask where he was (bearing in JA had ALREADY been interviewed by the Swedish authorities) – no, of course she wouldn’t, Assange would have been hunted by the police before being taken into custody.”

All that you seemed to have proved, A&E, is that the Swedish investigators succumbed to Assange’s plausibility nine months ago and believed his promise to attend a further interview. Assange changed his mind when the Swedish investigators decided that the two cases had not been followed with sufficient rigour. Or in more simple words, Assange did a runner after the investigation became serious.

The fact that the initial investigation was lightly conducted is irrelevant. The investigators are entitled to review the evidence and change their minds.

BTW, I am baffled by the quote (Assange expert witness): “There are political considerations behind this prosecution.The issue of sexual offences is very political in Sweden”. Are there any countries in northern Europe where sexual offences are not a serious political matter? The implication is that membership of a political party (Swedish Social Democrats) motivated the investigation. Some Swedish Social Democrats had reason to dislike WikiLeaks but others were clearly delighted that leaks discredited opponents in the party. There is no basis to assume a conspiracy.

82. Charlieman

@79. the a&e charge nurse: “Incidentally, can you shed light on why serious sex offenders (or at least alleged offenders) are free to roam the streets of Sweden in the vain hope the accused’s lawyer will ask the offender to pop in and see the police when he has a spare moment…”

Because, as we should all remember, Assange is not a rape defendant at this time nor during his time in Sweden. He is somebody accused of offences and who was asked (required during his time in Sweden) to attend an interview to determine whether he would become a rape defendant.

I doubt whether anyone looking at this from a UK perspective would question that the investigators were naiive in their handling of Assange. In the initial stages, the investigation appears to be very light.

Assange was treated with extraordinary generosity, which makes insinuations of political conspiracy appear so absurd. If it was a conspiracy, the evidence would have stitched Assange immediately and we would not be holding this discussion.

@79 I can’t answer that specific question, but generally yes, Sweden is well known as having a comparatively lenient justice system (“more humane, lenient, and tolerant system than exists in many Western nations”, according to a report by the Canada Correctional Service – https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=76675 ). Are the authorities sometimes too slow to act or too lenient where rape is concerned? That seems entirely possible – we know that is true of many countries, so for it to be true of a country with a reputation for leniency would hardly be a surprise. I don’t think Sweden is actually a feminist utopia, despite what anti-feminists like Assange will tell you.

84. the a&e charge nurse

[81] “All that you seemed to have proved, A&E, is that the Swedish investigators succumbed to Assange’s plausibility nine months ago and believed his promise to attend a further interview” – I would put it another way Charlieman, I suspect there was a lack of concern about the women’s version of events which may have contributed to the authorities rather lackadaisical approach (at least until the alleged crimes became politicised).

The fact JA was a guest of one of the women (and remained so after the imbroglio) while both admitted to consensual sex might have contributed to the low key nature of the police interview on 31st August?

If, on the other hand the woman had told the police (on 20th august) had both been raped I find it simply impossible to imagine that JA would have been given the freedom of Stockholm for so long – Assange may be persuasive but even he wouldn’t be able talk himself out of a double rape charge, surely?

85. Charlieman

Returning to the OP: “For example, Glenn Greenwald writes in the Guardian:
‘Given the travesty that is American justice, WikiLeaks’ founder is entitled to seek asylum and well-advised to fear extradition'”

In that piece, Greenwald muddles extradition and a US investigation as to whether, quote, “WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917”. This is nonsense because WikiLeaks is not resident in the USA (a person? a legal entity?). Assange is an Australian citizen so unless he was present in the USA whilst arranging to leak “US secrets”, he is personally clear.

For Assange to extradited from Sweden, Swedish courts would need to regard alleged violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 to be an extraditable offence. It is a natural for a “political defence”: I committed no crime here and the motivation for extradition is about who I am.

In most western countries, there is the further defence that WikiLeaks is “a post office”. Leakers send information and WikiLeaks disseminates it. WikiLeaks is the repository, not the original source of a leak.

Then we have the clever lawyers. Clever lawyers ensured that a huge leak of information which embarrassed nations (allegedly sourced by Bradley Manning) went to serious newspapers. Those were the glory days of WikiLeaks when you could read a low level diplomatic report about an event covered twelve months previously by journalists risking life in conflict zones. After that were the gory days, when WikiLeaks revealed the names of political activists and truth seekers to authoritarian governments.

The clever lawyers erected a formidable defence for WikiLeaks (not for leakers). If a story has been published in serious newspapers across the world, the damage has been done. The story is in the open and nothing can be done. To WikiLeaks, the repository, nothing can be done.

The forgotten victim in this story is Bradley Manning who is alleged to have leaked information to WikiLeaks. The treatment of Bradley is unforgivable and, from a security perspective, incomprehensible.

Aside from that, we need to consider extradition and extraordinary rendition by the USA. We can guess that the only people who can report extraordinary rendition are people who survived it. The victims are “normal people” who caught the eye of spooks and who could be “disappeared” without too much concern. Assange is not a “normal person”.

86. the a&e charge nurse

‘the essence of the charges wouldn’t constitute rape anywhere in the world … apart from Sweden’ according to this item (at 4:00) – meanwhile a swedish rape campaigner also expresses grave concern about the way the Swedish authorities have conducted their enquiries, including selective use of tape interviews (4:25).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXVDHDXyI0

87. Charlieman

@84. the a&e charge nurse: “I would put it another way Charlieman, I suspect there was a lack of concern about the women’s version of events which may have contributed to the authorities rather lackadaisical approach (at least until the alleged crimes became politicised).”

I follow the first part of the argument. I do not understand the politicisation angle; to me it seems that people woke up and determined that a crime may have been committed.

“The fact JA was a guest of one of the women (and remained so after the imbroglio) while both admitted to consensual sex might have contributed to the low key nature of the police interview on 31st August?”

Most certainly. The investigation into Assange is not about street rape but about a form of uninvited “surprise sex”, plus broken condoms et al. If you have sex with a man who you presume to be a friend, it may take a while after to twig that “I didn’t agree to that.”

“If, on the other hand the woman had told the police (on 20th august) had both been raped I find it simply impossible to imagine that JA would have been given the freedom of Stockholm for so long – Assange may be persuasive but even he wouldn’t be able talk himself out of a double rape charge, surely?”

See previous comments. Reflect also that the two women did not directly accuse Assange of rape. The two women who reported Assange to the police mentioned other concerns (eg sexual health). It took a long time for the Swedish police to determine that Assange might be a problem. It is their problem, and Assenge is a problem for the UK courts. Nothing more than that

88. Charlieman

@86. the a&e charge nurse: “‘the essence of the charges wouldn’t constitute rape anywhere in the world … apart from Sweden’ according to this item (at 4:00) – meanwhile a swedish rape campaigner also expresses grave concern about the way the Swedish authorities have conducted their enquiries, including selective use of tape interviews (4:25).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXVDHDXyI0

Do you suggest that “surprise sex” is not rape? UK law recognises that a man is not allowed to jump on his partner and demand penetrative sex. The concept of consent is not difficult to understand.

Differently, let’s fuck with a condom but I won’t do it without, does not require intellectualism. It means that when we fuck in the morning, we use a condom again. Is that difficult to comprehend?

89. the a&e charge nurse

[88] ‘Is that difficult to comprehend?’ – I would suggest that confusion about this very question is at the very heart of the case, even so, none of the reports I have read suggest either women was EXPLICITLY non-consenting.

For reasons best known only to the Swedish police, tapes were made of Assange’s interview (as well as two pro-Assange witnesses) yet curiously neither woman, or any of the other anti-Assange witnesses were recorded – doesn’t that strike you as rather odd, I mean the absence of a definitive record assuming we really believe the offence to be double rape?

It may be that Assange was less than the perfect gent, treating the women as little more than political groupies (given the timescale from meeting to first blow job) – hardly the epitome of romantic ideals, but not a crime either as any touring rock band will tell you.

90. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #89:

none of the reports I have read suggest either women was EXPLICITLY non-consenting.

I just thought I’d extract this from your post and ask you to reflect on it. Would you even think about saying this on any other thread than this one? Are you truly reduced to this in your defence of Assange?

Tbh, at this point, I think what’s happening to wikileaks and Assange with this whole rape scandal plays far more into USA global interests than extraditing him could ever achieve. The conspirators could even be half right, p’raps the case WAS reopened after US pressure, but could they truly have predicted that he would assassinate his own character to this extent in response?
I doubt it.

I have read suggest either women was EXPLICITLY non-consenting

Er, really it should be consent that is explicitly spelt out, not non-consent. Otherwise having sex with someone who is unconscious would not be rape, because they didn’t cry out NOOOOO!

93. Robin Levett

Can we have the one about Anna Ardin being a CIA agent next? Please?

94. Charlieman

@89. the a&e charge nurse: “For reasons best known only to the Swedish police, tapes were made of Assange’s interview (as well as two pro-Assange witnesses) yet curiously neither woman, or any of the other anti-Assange witnesses were recorded – doesn’t that strike you as rather odd, I mean the absence of a definitive record assuming we really believe the offence to be double rape?”

That is normal and incompetent. Incompetence. If it was a conspiracy it would be a Daily Mail story.

none of the reports I have read suggest either women was EXPLICITLY non-consenting.

Ladies, always get it in writing.

96. the a&e charge nurse

[90] the accusations remain mysterious so that we still don’t know, even now, what they are, or indeed if any charge will ever be made (despite the EAW, previous police interview and involvement of 3 different prosectors).

In any event I have only ever commented on reports, or rather absence of any reports in which either woman has ever claimed (in unambiguous terms) to having been raped (leaving aside Sweden’s rather idiosyncratic, indeed unique definition).

What I do know is that Assange has suffered more than enough already through the international trashing of his reputation, solitary in a grubby british prison and prolonged uncertainty about his future (including the distinct possibility the Yanks would like to lay the Guantanamo treatment on him – or whatever they deem appropriate for ‘terrorists’ nowadays) – all of this far outweighs the dogged pursuit of a case already tainted by the Swedish mishandling, including gaffs made by their own Prime Minister (who saw fit to pronounce on Assange’s character, and intentions).

I have already made numerous comments about the fact the Swedes did not really believe rape had ever been committed by virtue of the fact they did not treat the initial allegations with any degree of seriousness (when Assange was first interviewed by the cops) – I certainly doubt whether any English court would have been very interested in johnny-gate?

Perhaps you, and one or two others need to reflect on the dreadful experience Assange has experienced (for failing the perfect gent test) and whether this suffering is in any way PROPORTIONATE to the mysterious accusations which may, or may not be put to him?

97. the a&e charge nurse

[92] ‘Er, really it should be consent that is explicitly spelt out’ – of course it should, and ideally the sex lawyers should be in the room to ensure both parties are fully capacitated (with contemporaneous documentation signed by all parties, especially if group sex is taking place) – the logical endpoint in a ‘he said’, ‘she said’ environment.

On the other hand people could simply refrain from naughtiness until they had developed a little bit of knowledge about their prospective partner (admittedly this might take a bit longer than a few hours before the first episode of fellatio is performed).

98. the a&e charge nurse

[95] ‘Ladies, always get it in writing’ – or at least don’t get caught deleting incriminating tweets.

99. the a&e charge nurse

[93] ‘Can we have the one about Anna Ardin being a CIA agent next?’ – disappointing, not least because nobody has made any such claims.

As far as I know the Americans are disinterested bystanders who would not use any sort of political pressure to get their man, no-siree – btw, who are the Yanks invading this week, is it Iran or Syria?

Has Obama shut down Guitmo yet?

of course it should, and ideally the sex lawyers should be in the room to ensure both parties are fully capacitated (with contemporaneous documentation signed by all parties, especially if group sex is taking place) – the logical endpoint in a ‘he said’, ‘she said’ environment.

Funnily enough I don’t think I’ve ever had the need to have lawyers present during lovemaking, course that might have something to do with me asking questions first before doing, and during for that matter. Course that might have more to do with me not seeing the point in sex if the other person isn’t enjoying it too.
Still, I might try it out with a couple of solicitors present and watching next time, sounds hot.

101. Charlieman

@96. the a&e charge nurse:

“What I do know is that Assange has suffered more than enough already through the international trashing of his reputation, solitary in a grubby british prison and prolonged uncertainty about his future (including the distinct possibility the Yanks would like to lay the Guantanamo treatment on him – or whatever they deem appropriate for ‘terrorists’ nowadays) – all of this far outweighs the dogged pursuit of a case already tainted by the Swedish mishandling, including gaffs made by their own Prime Minister (who saw fit to pronounce on Assange’s character, and intentions).”

Did you hold your breath through that?

102. the a&e charge nurse

‘Course that might have more to do with me not seeing the point in sex if the other person isn’t enjoying it too’ – naive, even men fake their orgasm.

‘course that might have something to do with me asking questions first before doing, and during for that matter’ – won’t that get boring after the 50th time with the same partner, it might even kill the spontaneity, or dare I say passion of the moment?

Still as long as unnecessary rapes are being avoided I suppose relentless checking must be a good thing?

103. the a&e charge nurse

[102] ‘Did you hold your breath through that’ – ad hominem, I assume the ideas locker is empty?

104. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #96:

For the benefit of the feminists on this blog, would you please answer the questions posed in my #90? At the moment, you’re looking like SMFS on the topic of rape.

the accusations remain mysterious so that we still don’t know, even now, what they are, or indeed if any charge will ever be made (despite the EAW, previous police interview and involvement of 3 different prosectors).

Perhaps you could help yourself by reading the reports on the case in the magistrate’s court, High Court and Supreme Court? They are pretty clearly spelt out there.

leaving aside Sweden’s rather idiosyncratic, indeed unique definition

“Unique”? Both the broken condom incident, and the unprotected sex whilst asleep, are both, if proven, rape at English law – so the English courts say, anyway.

What I do know is that Assange has suffered more than enough already through the international trashing of his reputation

It’s pretty inevitable that someone doing everything he can to avoid answering to charges of rape and running a high-volume publicity machine whilst doing so will attract a degree of opprobrium that wouldn’t be accorded to someone not trying to get the case into every newspaper in the country. TLDR – whose fault is that?

solitary in a grubby british prison

He was on remand for only 9 days. Was he in solitary? If he was, it was probably Rule 43, unsurprisingly.

Ouseley J freed him because he didn’t consider him a flight risk. He was wrong, as we now see.

I certainly doubt whether any English court would have been very interested in johnny-gate

You may be right – but that isn’t because the English courts would be right, but because someone wasn’t doing their job. The English courts have been quite clear that the accusations are of conduct that a jury would be entitled to find to be (in the 2 relevant cases) rape at English law.

Perhaps you, and one or two others need to reflect on the dreadful experience Assange has experienced (for failing the perfect gent test) and whether this suffering is in any way PROPORTIONATE to the mysterious accusations which may, or may not be put to him?

If the accusations are true, the words aren’t “failing the perfect gent test”, but “raping two women”. In large part, what has happened to Assange over the last two years have resulted from his attempts to avoid answering the accusations against him, while running a high-volume smear of both the British and Swedish legal systems. I have little sympathy for him, I am afraid; and would have even less if he is found guilty of the charges that will be put to him..

105. Charlieman

@96. the a&e charge nurse: “What I do know is that Assange has suffered more than enough already through the international trashing of his reputation, solitary in a grubby british prison and prolonged uncertainty about his future.”

What the fuck are you talking about?

106. Robin Levett

@ A&ECN #99:

‘Can we have the one about Anna Ardin being a CIA agent next?’ – disappointing, not least because nobody has made any such claims.

Really?

I fear you are misinformed; try googling Anna Ardin cia agent.

She has been accused of being put up to it by the CIA, of being a CIA stooge, and even of being a CIA agent. Would you care to make any of these claims – or defend the Counterpunch story which appears as one of the results on the google I suggest above?

As far as I know the Americans are disinterested bystanders who would not use any sort of political pressure to get their man, no-siree

If you truly believe that, you are hopelessly naive.

On your general continued claim that charge 4 isn’t one of rape, you really haven’t been following the story (which is probably why you repeatedly refer to the allegations as “mysterious”). The allegation is that the complainant had given consent the previous evening on the explicit condition that he wore a condom, and he then did so. She says that when he then woke up the following morning, but while she was still asleep, he penetrated her without a condom. Even assuming that he was entitled to assume that she consented to her penetrating her at all, what in those circumstances could possibly justify a conclusion that she had changed her mind about the condom?

107. the a&e charge nurse

[106] ‘I fear you are misinformed; try googling Anna Ardin cia agent’ – and ‘As far as I know the Americans are disinterested bystanders who would not use any sort of political pressure to get their man, no-siree – If you truly believe that, you are hopelessly naive’ – (sigh) do I really have to explain all of this?

Nobody ON THIS THREAD has suggested that either woman is a CIA agent, while my comments about the USA, well if can’t work them out then I can’t be arsed to explain.

Now turning to your question @90 (one that must assume the greatest importance given your snidey reference to SMFS).

I say ‘none of the reports I have read suggest either women was EXPLICITLY non-consenting’.

To which you respond, ‘Would you even think about saying this on any other thread than this one? Are you truly reduced to this in your defence of Assange?’.

In short we arrive at a discussion about what the various protagonists understood on the matter of consent – now whatever did or did not take place we have statements from Assange to the effect he did not rape anybody, while neither woman has claimed to have been raped by Assange.

Today it appears there is no taped record of what either women claimed on 20th August, (a very important point given this is likely to boil down to a he said she said sort of case) neither is there any written record of what charges will be laid against Assange, if indeed any charge are ever brought against him.

If there was certainty about the veracity of the women’s story either at the time of Assange’s first police interview, or subsequently the Swedes would have said so in unambiguous terms.

You seem wilfully disinterested in the social milieu in which these allegations took place, such as comparing notes before going to the police, deleting incriminating tweets, as well as the political inclinations of the women which framed the bedroom in a certain way, not least the fact both women were acquainted and admitted to consensual sex with Assange 5 minutes after meeting him – the sum of all these events warrants a certain degree of scrutiny in my opinion.

108. the a&e charge nurse

[105] ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ – I expect better from you, come back when you have calmed down.

As a liberal, I’m primarily concerned about protecting people from the exercise of force by the state. As such, I don’t think the state should deprive people of their liberty without beyond-reasonable-doubt evidence.

As such, I don’t think explicitly consensual sexual encounters that are alleged to have become non-consenting without any explicit withdrawal of consent are an appropriate topic for the law to get involved (in response to CIM’s question upthread, if you have sex with someone and then choose to sleep with them in their bed, then it seems entirely reasonable to assume that you’re consenting to continued sexual activity with them unless/until you explicitly withdraw your consent. Fucking someone in their sleep is distinctly gauche, but touching that would be considered indecent assault in other contexts is surely *completely normal* in this scenario?)

I recognise that many liberals abandon their liberal principles in such contexts, and I suspect many of Assange’s supporters would indeed abandon their liberal principles if anyone other than Assange were in this situation. But it’s a point I’ve consistently made and will continue to make.

won’t that get boring after the 50th time with the same partner, it might even kill the spontaneity, or dare I say passion of the moment?

Generally it’s those that don’t bother asking questions that end up with the boring and staid sex lives. My habit of asking questions allowed me to discover with one particular one nighter that their kink was being strangled while being called a dirty slut, skank, whore, etc and being fucked hard and rough. Which being GGG I was happy to accommodate. They wouldn’t have opened up about that if it wasn’t for my general curiosity. It’s also something that I should never assume is something that will be well received by everyone.

They also required that I wear a condom, at no point did I decide that any of the above meant that the condom was merely optional. Given the prevalence of STD’s and possible pregnancy (which if unwanted would require an abortion, of which you already believe there are ‘too many’ of), wearing a condom and respecting the wishes of your partner to have safe sex rather than risky unsafe sex is kind of a big deal.

109/john b: it seems entirely reasonable to assume that you’re consenting to continued sexual activity with them unless/until you explicitly withdraw your consent

I would argue that:
1) that only applies if there is an opportunity to express withdrawal of consent, which someone asleep or otherwise doesn’t have
2) that only applies if the sexual acts in question were already consented to at all.

In this particular case it is alleged in the extradition document that the victim in offence four had consented to protected sex but explicitly expressed a lack of consent to unprotected sex. To then initiate unprotected sex while the victim has both expressly refused consent to this and has no ability to express a change of mind is … well, if that’s not rape, I’m not sure how any action can be defined as rape at all.

The Assange supporters in this thread – if you had a mass of sensitive and damaging data in your possession would you punt it Assange’s way? Would you trust his judgement in dealing with it? That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? It’s important that a safe depository for the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers should exist. I’d agree with the OP that Assange has done this cause no good.

Never mind the rape charges – what I have found disturbing about him is his readiness to believe in Jewish or “Zionist” conspiracy theories, his association with Israel Shamir, who is deeply creepy and an informant to the vile government of Belarus and his taking employment with Russia Today. Also many credible people who have worked with him professionally end up being pissed off with him.

I agree with Sunny’s original post that it isn’t paranoid of Assange to fear that the USA may pounce on him in one way or another. I’d think that was stupidly vindictive on their part – Assange has done all the damage he can to the USA and can’t do any more; He has hurt his own credibility that I can only see the very core of the fan base including John Pilger sticking to him. However great powers can be stupidly vindictive so Assange is justified to try and dodge them if he can. I dunno if causing an international incident for Ecuador is the best method of self protection though.

113. the a&e charge nurse

[104] ‘the broken condom incident, and the unprotected sex whilst asleep, are both, if proven, rape at English law – so the English courts say, anyway’ – in England we also have the ‘evidential test’ – in other words before any case ever gets to court there must be grounds to believe that there is ‘a reasonable prospect of conviction’.
http://www.cps.gov.uk/education/11-18/decision-to-charge.html

Amongst the deluge of stuff that has emerged around the accusations nobody has reported any forensic evidence, such as bruising, pulled hair, signs of a struggle in the bedroom, scratches on the alleged assailant, etc – neither was a third party present to refute or corroborate what has been claimed – what we are left with are two individuals both giving an entirely different accounts of what happened.

In an English court of law what possible basis would a jury have for arriving at a guilty verdict which met the standard of ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ – or is it more likely that the absence of any objective evidence would result in the case never getting to the court in the first place simply because there is no realistic prospect of conviction (not least because the women have undermined the strength of their own testimony by colluding with each other before presenting their version of events to the authorities).
The fact both women admit to consensual, and repeated sex with JA so soon after meeting him is also, I think, a significant factor that could weigh against their version of events (in the absence of any forensic evidence).

Remember neither woman went to the police in the immediate aftermath of the incident, in fact one continued to act as a hostess despite being allegedly raped by her infamous guest.
The women then met to discuss their experiences and it was only 3 days after the last sexual episode that they finally approached the authorities.

I have not come across any account were either woman describes what happened to them as rape (at least not in the beginning) notwithstanding the torn condom, JAs refusal to have an hiv test, and the exact etiquette of initiating a further bout of penetration post coitally.

The picture in Sweden is complicated by a number of factors – as we can see (@76) the prosecutor, Ms Ny has been criticised by an expert witness because of her political leanings, while the Swedish PM has already found fit to pronounce on the accused’s character, – remember, any case against JA will not be heard in public, while the police investigation has hardly been text book sort of stuff.

Oh, and uncle sam is straining at the leash to have Assange extradited to provide him with their special brand of terrorist treatment – a punishment that will make the last year of JA’s life, despite all its travails seem like the best in a very long time.

114. the a&e charge nurse

[111] ‘well, if that’s not rape, I’m not sure how any action can be defined as rape at all’ – beyond academic, or philosophical discussions how can such accusations ever be proven or disproven in a court of law if there is no forensic evidence, and an admission of earlier consensual sex?

What should a jury or a secret Swedish court base their decision on – who is the most convincing story teller?

A&E@113, this is where it would help if you acquainted yourself with the various judgements.

in other words before any case ever gets to court there must be grounds to believe that there is ‘a reasonable prospect of conviction’.

AFAIK the Swedes haven’t reached that decision yet. Their prosecutors want to first question Assange.

what we are left with are two individuals both giving an entirely different accounts of what happened.

Well, they aren’t in fact “entirely” different accounts. They agree there was penetrative sex, for example. For the rape offence, read from para 121 of this document for the description of what happened and what the dispute is actually about.
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.pdf
No-one is alleging violent rape, so your bruises, scratches and signs of struggle are irrelevant.

while the police investigation has hardly been text book sort of stuff.

Sadly true of rape investigations in the UK, to put it mildly, and irrelevant to whether he should be questioned by Swedish prosecutors.

The picture in Sweden is complicated by a number of factors – as we can see (@76) the prosecutor, Ms Ny has been criticised by an expert witness because of her political leanings,…

“She was then asked what material she has to justify the conclusion that Ms Ny “is a well-known radical feminist”. She did not produce any further evidence to substantiate that conclusion”
page 4
http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/jud-aut-sweden-v-assange-judgment.pdf

116. the a&e charge nurse

[111] ‘I would argue that only applies if there is an opportunity to express withdrawal of consent, which someone asleep or otherwise doesn’t have’.

So lets imagine a couple that have been married for 10 years.
The husband wakes up with an erection (which he for some reasons he feels rather smug about, not least because he and his wife had enjoyed sex at bedtime).

He easily slips into his wife before ejeculating – his wife does not respond very much, and in fact says afterwards I wish you hadn’t done that.

Is a court case now inevitable?

Is a court case now inevitable?

No.

next question?

118. the a&e charge nurse

[116] No – ‘next question’ – OK, the woman involved has become a recent addition to the LC community.

Having read this very thread, she thinks, my god, I have been raped.

Being a law abiding sort she goes to the police and tells them about her lack of consent to penetrative sex – her husband also backs up his wife’s story saying that he took the initiative while she was dosing.

The police are still slightly unsure so turn to LC for guidance – penetration without consent = rape, yes the formula seems quite clear, they think.

The young officer turns to the now rather worried husband, saying, ‘it looks like it’s a fair cop, sir’.

Does a custodial sentence now beckon?

119. the a&e charge nurse

[116] ‘Is a court case now inevitable? – No’ – is that because penetrative sex without explicit consent is OK in some circumstances, or it’s not OK but there’s no mileage in a court case?

In this particular case it is alleged in the extradition document that the victim in offence four had consented to protected sex but explicitly expressed a lack of consent to unprotected sex. To then initiate unprotected sex while the victim has both expressly refused consent to this and has no ability to express a change of mind is … well, if that’s not rape, I’m not sure how any action can be defined as rape at all.

cim@111

If it had happened to me, I would have probably chalked it down as another bad experience, such things happen, what a pig this guy is and so on. However it’s certainly rape. It’s rather like lending a “friend” a few hundred quid and they do a runner. That’s theft, or fraud, or what have you, but not many people would take it to the police – they would just swallow it as too much trouble to pursue.

I’ve just heard on Radio 4 that Swedes have a sense of the state being generally a force of benevolence. So though I wouldn’t report such an incident to the police a Swedish woman might.

A&e@115 – hmm, you seem to getting a little nostalgic for the days when a bloke had conjugal rights over his wife i.e. could shag her whether she wanted him to or not, and seem to think that Assange had a form of temporary conjugal rights over his bed partner. That of course is one of the things that feminists have campaigned about for years – that if a woman had sex with a bloke once it couldn’t be rape if he shagged her again against her will. As for his word against hers – isn’t that a case for many rape cases where the victim hasn’t appeared without knife marks, bruises etc. These are such old arguments that it’s painful to have to bring them out again.

The police are still slightly unsure so turn to LC for guidance

I doubt it.

122. the a&e charge nurse

[119] ‘hmm, you seem to getting a little nostalgic for the days when a bloke had conjugal rights over his wife’ – I made no mention of conjugal rights, I am asking if, in the scenario described, whether or not rape has been committed, and if it has, is a court case inevitable?

‘As for his word against hers – isn’t that a case for many rape cases where the victim hasn’t appeared without knife marks, bruises etc. These are such old arguments that it’s painful to have to bring them out again’ – it may be painful to discuss but the fact remains the evidential test must be met in England before a trial proceeds.

If your point is that men are getting away with it, and always have done, then I agree entirely. But as you know the behaviour of other men cannot be used as framework to decide if JA is guilty or not – each case has to be taken on it’s own merits and as far as I can make out this one does not get much beyond he said, she said?
Of course if both woman had taken more than a moment to find out a bit more about their sexual partner then they might have arrived at a rather different opinion about him, and so acted in a different way – I mean isn’t it inevitable that there will be greater scope for misunderstanding with virtually no prior knowledge of the person you go to bed with?

Anyway, what do YOU think the answer is in cases were there is no forensic evidence (to suggest a struggle) and both parties admitted to consensual sex before hand?

what do YOU think the answer is in cases were there is no forensic evidence (to suggest a struggle) and both parties admitted to consensual sex before hand?

Both parties appear before a body which has long been established to decide on cases where one person accuses another of having done something criminal to them. The place could be called a court, and the process called a trial. The person who presides over this could be called a judge or adjudicator or some such name. Many countries have adopted a system like that, I believe.

124. the a&e charge nurse

[122] ‘Both parties appear before a body which has long been established to decide on cases where one person accuses another of having done something criminal to them. The place could be called a court, and the process called a trial. The person who presides over this could be called a judge or adjudicator or some such name. Many countries have adopted a system like that, I believe’ – oh, sorry, I misunderstood – I thought you were implying that the current arrangements favoured men too heavily, and ultimately resulted in rapists walking free, because the chances of proving ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ (in the absence of forensic evidence) is often very low.

Anyway, what do YOU think the answer is in cases were there is no forensic evidence (to suggest a struggle) and both parties admitted to consensual sex before hand?

If one party is accusing another party of doing something criminal to her, I would suggest that both parties are taken to a body where their cases are presented. This body called be a court, the process called a trial and someone presiding over it could be called a judge or adjudicator. Quite a lot of countries have adopted this system, I believe.

126. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #113:

in England we also have the ‘evidential test’ – in other words before any case ever gets to court there must be grounds to believe that there is ‘a reasonable prospect of conviction’.

Believe me, I am fully conversant with the Code for Crown prosecutors; one aspect of my current assignment is that I supervise a team of prosecutors.

But that is entirely irrelevant. We are not talking about the evidence needed to justify a charging decision in English (inc Welsh) law; we are talking about the evidence needed to justify extradition. That need only disclose a prima facie case; if the facts as alleged are proved, does that constitute an offence known to both English and Swedish law.

Amongst the deluge of stuff that has emerged around the accusations nobody has reported any forensic evidence, such as bruising, pulled hair, signs of a struggle in the bedroom, scratches on the alleged assailant, etc – neither was a third party present to refute or corroborate what has been claimed – what we are left with are two individuals both giving an entirely different accounts of what happened.

That is because the court deciding upon extradition is not a trial court. The test for extradition is and always has been as set out above. There is not, and never has been, any necessity to consider the evidence against the proposed extraditee beyond that.

Having said that; there is in the extradition request no allegation of violence such as would leave the forensic evidence you refer to. Are you really saying it isn’t rape unless the victim physically resists and is injured, or injures, in trying to prevent it?

Passing over your criticisms of the quality of the evidence, which are irrelevant to the issue of extradition – we are not arguing here whether he is guilty or not; we come to:

Ms Ny has been criticised by an expert witness because of her political leanings

And the expert witness has none? The criticism, by the way, is not of party political leanings: Ms Sundberg-Weitman complains that she is a “well-known radical feminist”. If you wish to go to party political leanings – Sundberg-Wetiman points out that one of the complainants is on the left, and claims that gender politics is a party-political issue – with the radical feminists on the left.

So which side do you think Ny’s presumed party-political leanings would lead her to jump if pressured by the US?

And enough of this:

a secret Swedish court

It is not a “secret” court that would try Assange; it is a court that hears the case in private. They are two very different things; stop equivocating between them.

A&E,

Instead of inventing stories to argue about, why don’t you read the account of what occurred between Assange and the woman at paras 121 and 122 and argue about that?
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.pdf

There is no dispute that the activity described occurred. She apparently said or indicated no sex without a condom before they had any sex. I don’t think that is disputed. They had sex with a condom. Later they had sex with the condom only partly on. None of that is disputed. In the morning he commenced penetrative sex without a condom while she was asleep or half asleep. That isn’t disputed. She acquiesced in the moment or did not say “no”. That is what this particular allegation is about: whether he had what we would call a “reasonable belief in consent”. Her conditional consent in the evening, and her not saying no in the following morning.

It is for the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange and decide whether or not to prosecute him. It is for the Swedish court to hear both sides of the case. How else can it work? “Oh OK Mr Assange, if you don’t think it’s rape you’re free to go. Sorry to trouble you.”

128. the a&e charge nurse

[125] ‘Passing over your criticisms of the quality of the evidence, which are irrelevant to the issue of extradition’ – now you’ve moved the goal posts – this discussion, in the main, has not been about the mechanics of the EAW per se (a rather dull, technical area), but rather perceptions about what or may or may not be happening behind the scenes, such as a malign influence from the US, or political interference in Sweden – surely you can see there is a distinction?

The reason for such scepticism is obviously related to the fact a number of authority figures are out to get Assange (and are on record as saying so) – in other words some believe JA must be punished for exposing what many already suspected about the amoral, manipulative and shockingly violent behaviour of our very own power elites – behaviour which tell us that such shadowy characters have little respect for the law when it suits them (see Guantanamo, and of course the illegal invasions) yet at the same time will not hesitate to use the law if it helps them to achieve their own nefarious ends.

You also say ‘It is not a “secret” court that would try Assange; it is a court that hears the case in private. They are two very different things’ – yet one of the most important lessons we have learnt from Wiki is how authority figures are afraid of real transparency.
If something is not completely open then the first question we must learn to ask is why – I mean isn’t there all the more reason to so given the level of bungling so far?

129. the a&e charge nurse

[126] thanks for the link UKL – it contains a number of allegations – none appear to be corroborated and I could not see a version of Assange’s version (have I overlooked it).

I can see (2nd page) allegations were made about incidents that took place on either 13th or 14th August, then further allegation that additional offences were committed against the same woman, at the same house some 4 days later – does this imply that Assange raped her, remained a guest for a further 4 days before raping again?

Yet it seems she still chose not inform the police at least not until she had discussed her experiences with the second woman a few days later (so almost a week from the first attack).

Assange is already on record as saying he did not rape anybody – during the early stages of this matter chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, said: “I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/aug/22/wikileaks-julian-assange-denies-rape-allegations

You say, ‘It is for the Swedish prosecutor to question Assange and decide whether or not to prosecute him. It is for the Swedish court to hear both sides of the case. How else can it work’ – I don’t think it can really work now (for any of the parties), because the entire case has been bodged.

My instinct is that if the Swedish authorities were in any way convinced at the the outset that a serious crime HAD indeed taken place they would have taken a very different course of action – a great deal of what has played out in the aftermath is largely due to political interference in my opinion.

130. I'm Going Back to Bed!

Jesus fucking Christ.

Having read some of the comments by Assange’s supporters here, implying that there has to be evidence that a woman has said “no” for it to qualify as rape, or that there doesn’t seem to be evidence of a woman having been beaten up or slapped around etc. just makes me realise how progressive and forward thinking Margaret Thatcher was being when she came down like a ton of bricks on PC Plod for taking the same attitude back in the 1980’s.

Have you no shame? Have you no concience? Are there no depths to which you will not sink in the service of your hero worship?

That some of the people on here – who consider themselves to be part of the liberal left I might add – are more reactionary in their attitude to rape that the 1980’s Conservative government is frankly, fucking scary!

131. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #127:

Very quick response.

First, I’m not moving the goalposts; I don’t argue Assange is guilty of rape, because neither of us knows whether he is; the question is whether he should be extradited, and whether he is being extradited simply to enable the US to extradite him from Sweden. To those issues, the question of how evidentially strong is the disclosed case against him is irrelevant; the question we have been discussing is whether the claims made disclose offences in English law; and your minimisation of those offences as a “breach of etiquette”. The claims as made do disclose crimes; and not of the “breach of etiquette” variety, either.

I would be viewed by some feminists on here as an unreconstructed dinosaur and card-carrying member of the patriarchy; but even I recognise that the issue with rape is whether the woman said no to the activity concerned, but whether she said yes. Nor is it relevant whether she physically resisted.

If something is not completely open then the first question we must learn to ask is why

Protection of the innocent defendant?

The Americans have gone to extraordinary lengths in persuading Sweden to try rape cases in private just in case one day an enemy would be accused of raping someone in Sweden.

133. the a&e charge nurse

[129] ‘implying that there has to be evidence that a woman has said “no” for it to qualify as rape’ – do you mean evidence is not necessary before finding somebody guilty – are you advocating a form of hearsay based justice?

Instead of accusing people of hero worshiping Assange, wouldn’t it be better if your anger was directed at those in power seeking to punish anybody who exposes the fact they are responsible for far greater crimes (war, torture, illegal detention, etc).

It is this very political backdrop that has made the possibility of justice for any of the parties very difficult indeed.

134. Robin Levett

@I’mgbtb #129:

Quite.

135. the a&e charge nurse

[130] “the question is whether he should be extradited, and whether he is being extradited simply to enable the US to extradite him from Sweden” – you are overlooking the possibility that authority figures in Sweden, indeed ‘right wing’ authority figures according to some, have in some way been got at by the US.

Surely the belated action by the Swedes in the absence of any new evidence makes this a distinct possibility – you know as well as I do that the not even a Swedish prosecutor saw this as rape to begin with (see Eva Finne’s comments @128)

‘The claims as made do disclose crimes; and not of the “breach of etiquette” variety, either’ – I accept this a deeply problematic question, indeed so problematic as to be virtually unamenable to a legal solution (the lack of convictions in this area is well documented and will remain so so long as the measure of guilt remains beyond all reasonable doubt).

Some people simply fail to recognise that the bedroom can be an extremely dangerous place – but if people want to take such risks what, if anything is to be done about it?

A&E,

[126] thanks for the link UKL – it contains a number of allegations – none appear to be corroborated and I could not see a version of Assange’s version (have I overlooked it).

Eh? It tells you what he argued, what the Swedes argued, what the laws etc. What do you want, a video?

It’s a weird thread. I’m out.

138. the a&e charge nurse

[135] well I was speed reading it – if you link to lengthy documents it might help if you could point out the pertinent bits.

Anyway I can now see (from point 58 onward ) that Assange says simply that the EAW does not contain a fair and accurate description of what is alleged to have taken place.
The Swedish authorities were not obliged to make the full file available to Assange’s defence team, so didn’t.

So in essence we still do not know JA’s version of events accept to the extent he believes he has not committed a crime, while the allegations outlined the EAW are not (in his view) a fair and accurate description of what took place.

In short, the document deals primarily with the validity of the EAW, which as we now know was upheld in favour of the Swedish authorities.

139. Charlieman

@108. the a&e charge nurse: “[105] ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ – I expect better from you, come back when you have calmed down.”

You are correct and I apologise. My frustration did not justify my words.

140. the a&e charge nurse

[139] no need, Charlieman – I was in a very funny mood last night and have been thinking a lot about this case (the small and big picture).
In fact, I’m still trying to work it all through in my own mind – perhaps it’s time to shut up and listen to some of the other valued commentators – pity UKL has been scared off!

141. Charlieman

@135. the a&e charge nurse: “you are overlooking the possibility that authority figures in Sweden, indeed ‘right wing’ authority figures according to some, have in some way been got at by the US.”

A lot of us separate Assange the citizen from Assange the political activist. We think that the accusations about Assange’s civil behaviour are serious and believe that the legal process being conducted is just. We believe that the process is about deciding whether sexual offences occurred.

I agree that Assange and WikiLeaks offended many powerful people who would wish to do them harm. However those people are disarmed by the public arena in which Assange and WikiLeaks exist. Assange is one of the most recognisable people in the world and cannot be “disappeared”. Assange cannot be shipped to a kangaroo court unless liberal democracy has collapsed in Europe and the USA, in which case we have other things to worry about.

A few simple questions: Does the USA have a case for requesting Assange to be extradited from Sweden or the UK? If the USA has a case, why did they not pursue it in 2011 before the sexual offence allegations?

142. the a&e charge nurse

[141] ‘Does the USA have a case for requesting Assange to be extradited from Sweden or the UK? If the USA has a case, why did they not pursue it in 2011 before the sexual offence allegations?’

Well ……… ‘While most of the attention regarding Julian Assange’s possible extradition to the US has focused on the EU agreements that are meant to impede extradition – namely that the UK Home Office would have to consent to his extradition, little or no attention has been given to the temporary surrender (also called ‘conditional release’) mechanism that Sweden established bilaterally with the United States 27 years ago.

Under this treaty, Sweden may: “temporarily surrender the person sought to the requesting State for the purpose of prosecution. The person so surrendered shall be kept in custody while in the requesting State and shall be returned to the requested State after the conclusion of the proceedings against that person…”.

Temporary surrender allows for the swift and prosecution of a person sought in two jurisdictions by allowing the temporary transfer of the person to the Requesting State for prosecution, when that person is subject to proceedings (either prosecution or service of a sentence) in the Requested State.

While the scheme is intended to combat serious crimes (such as drug trafficking and terrorism), the United States Attorney General, Eric H. Holder will likely argue that Assange is no less a threat to the Western struggle against Global Jihad than is the proverbial net- savvy Taliban fighter who has moved his jihad online.

Holder will, more assiduously than would be expected, demand Assange’s extradition given he’s under an unrelenting attack over his role in Operation Fast and Furious.
Under this procedure, Assange can be ‘lent’ to the US for prosecution on the condition that they will be returned for prosecution in Sweden at the end of his sentence (to stand trial for the ‘lesser’ offence of sexual misconduct once more evidence is gathered)’.
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12929&page=2

There is a long discussion of the extradition issue on the justice4assange site – so hardly an independent source, but very interesting nonetheless.
This source states ‘The UK’s extradition treaty does not have the temporary surrender (’conditional release’) clause. The UK’s judicial review process, while far from perfect, has a number of practical review mechanisms. The nearest equivalent case, of Gary McKinnon – a UK citizen who has been charged for hacking US military systems – has been opposed in the courts for 8 years’

It is further noted, ‘The United States is looking to charge Julian Assange under the Espionage Act among other charges: A secret grand jury located in Alexandria, Virginia, only six kilometres from central Washington D.C., has been meeting since December 2010. The grand jury decides whether to bring charges against Julian Assange and other people associated with WikiLeaks. The grand jury is held in secret, with no judge and no defence counsel. Four prosecutors are imposing subpoenas on individuals who are affiliated with WikiLeaks and on social networking sites including Twitter to disclose information about WikiLeaks’ work’.

Temporary surrender clause and no commitment by Sweden not to extradite.

Maybe our legal eagles can reassure us that Assange has nothing to fear on this front (once whisked under EAW to Sweden)?

There may be no commitment by Sweden not to extradite, but is there a commitment by the UK not to extradite? If not, why is it being put about that Sweden is a more dangerous place to be than the UK, even though before the sex scandal broke out, Assange considered Sweden safe enough to visit and to consider as a hosting site for Wikileaks? According to @62, the temporary surrender provision exists in the UK, not just in Sweden.

All this stuff about Sweden being a more dangerous place to visit and a bigger US stooge than the UK is rather unconvincing and it is odd that such dubious arguments are swallowed so readily.

The other thing I find uncomfortable about a&e’s line of argument is the way the morals and motives of the women keep getting questioned.

I also find it strange that a&e seems to know how much evidence there is against Assange and thus be able to pre-judge the trial.

144. the a&e charge nurse

[143] ‘Julian Assange is at high risk of further extradition to the United States. The U.S. and Sweden have a “temporary surrender” agreement which allows the extradition of persons while bypassing usual safeguards of the process. Sweden has not refused an extradition request by the U.S. since 2000.

Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks revealed that the U.S. has a sealed indictment against Julian Assange. A secret grand jury into WikiLeaks has also been active in Alexandria, Virginia since September 2010.

Cables from the Australian Embassy recently revealed that Julian Assange remains the target of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Government. He is also the focus of intelligence exchanges between the U.S. and Australia.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Sweden on June 3 to meet with Swedish officials regarding internet freedom’.
http://wlcentral.org/node/2624

I understand England has no such agreement (fortunately for Gary McKinnon).

At the risk of stating the obvious, RP, I cannot prejudge anything but I can navigate bits of google, in other words a great deal of info about the case is out there if you want to trawl the various commentaries – I have said (repeatedly in fact) that the political backdrop screws things up for ALL the protagonists.

145. the a&e charge nurse

[143] Oh, and just to come back to this point – ”the other thing I find uncomfortable about a&e’s line of argument is the way the morals and motives of the women keep getting questioned’ – well, as the case proves, casual sex is not without risk, and the mindset preceding such choices presumably contributed to the expectations, and boundaries for each of the protagonists?

Given that these relationships unfolded very quickly it seems probable that there was insufficient time, or trust, to clearly set all of the ground rules?
Again, at the risk of sounding redundant lets not forget that there are diametrically opposing accounts about what is alleged to have taken place.

146. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #144:

The U.S. and Sweden have a “temporary surrender” agreement which allows the extradition of persons while bypassing usual safeguards of the process.

I understand England has no such agreement (fortunately for Gary McKinnon).

You understand wrong – on two counts. Firstly, the US-UK extradition agreement has essentially identical wording; secondly, there is nothing in either treaty that bypasses the usual extradition safeguards for these circumstances. See my #62. The UK provision is in Article XIV of the US-UK treaty.

I’m fed up with doing your research for you (you pontificate without having even read the judgments in the extradition case in the UK, and haven’t even read my post ion this issue in this thread) – you find it. Clue – you’ll find me quoting both provisions in a thread below a David Allen Green post on his New Statesman blog.

147. the a&e charge nurse

[147] ‘you pontificate without having even read the judgments in the extradition case in the UK, and haven’t even read MY POST on this issue in this thread’ – tetchy, very tetchy, I’m afraid.

It seems not everybody has the same understanding vis a vis how ‘temporary surrender’ agreements might be applied across the respective countries – if you are the definitive font of knowledge then perhaps you can reassure everybody for once and for all the JA will not spend a very long time in a US jail as a result of such a mechanism (because that’s what really matters, doesn’t it – even his worst detractors, while happy with jail time in Sweden would not wish to see him shipped of to some squalid US penitentiary, or military facility?).

I doubt if discussion about the EAW has much more mileage in it, and I fully admit that I have not read the full judgements – but enough to get the main gist and enough to undertand that there has been some disquiet amongst the commentariat about its use – for example the warrant has not been issued “for the purpose of being prosecuted … for an offence”, but merely for questioning’.

Honestly, try and get over yourself – this is just a conversation and commentators are entitled to test out their ideas, even when their state of knowledge is imperfect.
I do know however that before he legged it to the Equadorian embassy Julian Assange had been under house arrest for over a year.

148. Robin Levett

@ a&ecn #147:

And even this is wrong…

I do know however that before he legged it to the Equadorian embassy Julian Assange had been under house arrest for over a year.

He’s been under a bail condition that he reside at a known location, and be there between 10pm and 8am; not a description of house arrest that I recognise.

I am getting tetchy; because you have been trotting out the “commentariat”‘s complaints one by one irrespective of their validity, without having looked into their validity yourself.

Take the one you’ve just raised:

for example the warrant has not been issued “for the purpose of being prosecuted … for an offence”, but merely for questioning’.

That is comprehensively wrong; and a proposition that has failed before every court from the magistrates to the Supreme Court. Had you informed yourself by reading the judgments, we could have had a discussion about whether the Supreme Court got it right; or about whether the minority arguments were stronger. But you haven’t; you have simply repeated the assertions of “the commentariat” as if they were words of holy writ.

Take the question of political motivation on the part of the complainants and the prosecutor. What is overlooked is that Assange was in Sweden because he saw a safe haven there for the Wikileaks servers; that the complainants themselves were Wikileaks volunteers; and that Ny was, if anything, on the left in Swedish politics and hence a friend neither of the US nor of the current centre-right government in Sweden.

Why would the complainants wait until they’d discussed it amongst themselves before complaining? Try this as an option (on the assumption the allegations are true): they are Wikileaks volunteers, and while feeling personally wronged individually, were prepared to “take one for the team” in the interests of Wikileaks. Only when they realised that they were not isolated cases, that Assange had a habit of doing this, did they decide that their loyalty to Wikileaks was outweighed by their loyalty to the sisterhood.

149. the a&e charge nurse

[149] ‘But you haven’t; you have simply repeated the assertions of “the commentariat” as if they were words of holy writ – ‘simply repeated the words of the commentariat’, as if they were the words of the holy writ, oh, I didn’t realise that I had done that.

Curiously after re-reading my comments I cannot find any occasion were I have described the concerns of the commentariat as the only possible way to frame this case and the sum total of these utterances amount to no less than a ‘holy writ’ (you do like your religious metaphors, don’t you) – maybe you can point to a few examples of your bizarre assertion that I ascribe ‘holy writ’ status to anything I have said.

Assange lost his appeal against the EAW not everybody agreed with this judgement, perhaps on the day the courts prove themselves infallible in all matters then observers will stop asking questions – due to the technical nature of the law is it really so outrageous that a lay person might take a little longer to work through or fully understands the court’s machinations?

You then say ‘they are Wikileaks volunteers, and while feeling personally wronged individually, were prepared to “take one for the team” in the interests of Wikileaks. Only when they realised that they were not isolated cases, that Assange had a habit of doing this, did they decide that their loyalty to Wikileaks was outweighed by their loyalty to the sisterhood’ – have you actually the read allegations made against JA?

It is claimed JA raped AA at her home on 13/14th August (he was a guest in her apartment) – after this assault she did not go to the police, nor did ask him to leave (if she had and Assange had refused then surely this would have prompted some sort of action?).
Even if she was a die-hard wiki supporter it is hard to understand why she would continue to provide hospitality and a roof for a man who she hardly knew, and who had proven himself to be a rapist (according to her version of what happened).
In any event it is alleged he raped her for a second time 3-4 days later, again at her home – yet the woman still did not inform the authorities (at least not to begin with) despite this second serious assault.

We do know that AA deleted x2 tweets after the alleged first rape took place – the first tweet said ‘Julian wants to go to crayfish party, anyone have a couple of seats tonight or tomorrow’ – and later ‘sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing’ – it has been claimed that the tweets were deleted because they would have been helpful to Assange’s defence.

I just don’t understand how the victim of a rape would be in any state of mind to attend a crayfish party with the man who raped her, and not only that but allow him back into the apartment for a few more days and not complain sooner despite being raped a second time – perhaps we should also add the JA denies any sexual act that could be construed as non-consensual.

Of course, I say all of this with the caveat my opinions are based on information gleaned from the web’s commentariat (although, to be clear, I do not ascribe holy writ status to it) – I wasn’t present when each of the encounters unfolded, so like everybody else have no way of knowing what actually happened.

150. the a&e charge nurse

A case against use of the EAW has been made by Connor Burns MP.
http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/files/ConorBurns_EAW.pdf

The tory MP claims;
‘On too many occasions citizens have been extradited and forced to spend many
months detained without charge or prior to facing trial on evidence that was later
shown to be remarkably weak’ (a prescient thought to keep in mind, perhaps).

And, ‘While some member states reserve their use of EAW’s for serious offences and following extensive investigation, others appear too trigger-happy to use the tool,
whether for minor offences, to assist in investigations or where evidence is scant and where it is far from certain charges will be brought’ ……. ‘cases were evidence is scant’, and were it is ‘far from certain that charges will be brought’, yes, that all sounds rather familiar.

A number of cases are presented under the heading ‘When the European Arrest Warrant goes wrong’ (p20 onward) – is it possible that after the dust has settled the use of a EAW against JA will fall into this very category due to low quality evidence, or especially if it led to onward extradition to, shhhh …… you know where?

Everyone is saying rape, but that is incorrect…the allegation of rape was withdrawn. In Sweden, consensual sex without a condom is considered rape…but assange is not alleged to have done that. What is alleged is that consensual sex took place with a condom in place, but that this was dislodged/removed at during intercourse. So what is alleged is sexual molestation of the consensual partner. Whilst the law is different to that in the UK, it still needs to be answered. Assange has offered to talk directly with the prosecutor in England, as is allowed by law, but they are refusing to do this and are insisting on extradition.

Assange is a political dissident and should be protected. This case is not about rape, that is not even alledged. It is about freedom of speech, protection of whistle blowers, double standards in foreign policy, war crimes, corruption. If we let America lock up Assange….we will have lost so much.

I expected a better article from Left Foot Forward.

And before anyone asks I am female AND a rape survivor.

Josie, it is you who are misinformed, I’m afraid. If you read the judgement on the Supreme Court’s website ( http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2011_0264_Judgment.pdf ), it clearly states that “The offences of which he is accused and in respect of which his surrender is sought are alleged to have been committed in Stockholm against two women in August 2010. They include ‘sexual molestation’ and, in one case, rape”. So the accusation of rape hasn’t been withdrawn.

And I don’t think you’ll find a reputable source to back up your claim that in Sweden, consensual sex without a condom is rape. However, sex without a condom is rape if the woman consented only on condition that a condom was used and if the lack of use of a condom was deliberate. Surely this is true of UK law too. The courts certainly said so.

Nothing compels Sweden to interview Assange in a foreign country. There is no reason why the accused should determine how these things work.

It is possible that the US will at some point request Assange’s extradition. It is not certain the request will succeed. No valid reason has been presented why it would be more likely to succeed in Sweden than in the UK. A lot of fake reasons have been presented, but no real ones. Assange was perfectly happy to travel to Sweden previously, so it cannot be all that dangerous a place to be. And if he did suddenly discover that the US was after him, why did he then travel to the UK, which is not exactly known as a safe haven for those wanted by US prosecutors? His story just doesn’t add up.

I had a look at the extradition treaty between the US and Sweden today, it’s really interesting. You can find it here; http://internationalextraditionblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/sweden.pdf

This is a particularly enlightening section:

ARTICLE V

Extradition shall not be granted in any of the following circumstances:

1. When the person sought has already been or is at the time of the request being proceeded against in the requested State in accordance with the criminal laws of that State for the offense for which his extradition is requested.

2. When the legal proceedings or the enforcement of the penalty for the offense has become barred by limitation according to the laws of either the requesting State or the requested State.

3. When the person sought has been or will be tried [*8] in the requesting State by an extraordinary tribunal or court.

4. When the offense is purely military.

5. If the offense is regarded by the requested State as a political offense or as an offense connected with a political offense.

6. If in the specific case it is found to be obviously incompatible with the requirements of humane treatment, because of, for example, the youth or health of the person sought, taking into account also the nature of the offense and the interests of the requesting State.

… does anyone have any facts about the Swedish authorities that actually indicates how likely or unlikely extradition actually is? The more I read the more I think the UK wold have been far more likely to extradite (had the S athorities requested that).

154. Robin Levett

@a&ecn passim:

The part of the commentariat from which you have draw your assertions has decided that the US wants to get hold of Assange; not in itself an unreasonable assumption.

Where they become unreasonable is in their insistence that everything that has happened can only be analysed in the light of that wish. Hence the claims that Ardin was at the least put up to it by the CIA; that Marianne Ny, the prosecutor who is a radical feminist and Social Democrat (hence not an obvious friend of the US), only picked the case up again as a result of US pressure; that the crimes alleged in the EAW aren’t actually crimes in English law; that Assange hasn’t even been charged in Sweden.

The claim broadly is that the US pressured the Swedish government to resurrect the rape charges so that Assange could be removed to Sweden via an EAW, from where they could get him more easily than from the UK.

The problem with the conspiracy theory is that it is actually more difficult to remove him from Sweden, he having arrived there under an EAW, than from the UK. Firstly, there is the difficulty that the strength of the Swedish laws on press freedom and source protection mean that it is difficult to see what offence the Americans could extradite him for. Remember, all extradition treaties require dual criminality – the offence alleged must be an offence in both jurisdictions involved.

That legislation was precisely the reason why Wikileaks has placed its servers there, so that it can guarantee the anonymity of its sources; it trusts the Swedish government not to violate its own source protection laws even under pressure from the US.

Secondly, the Framework Agreement requires the UK to agree any onward extradition of someone surrendered to an EAW; and the UK in considering this applies the rules applicable to extradition from the UK. This means that the UK could not agree unless Assange could have been extradited from the UK for the offence stated by the US.

The conspiracy theory falls apart at this point; getting Assange to Sweden makes it more difficult, not easier, to get him to the US.

Hence the conspiracy theorists look for something else; and they have alighted upon Article VI of the US-Swedish treaty as somehow avoiding the safeguards generally placed upon extradition – but that article does nothing of the kind.

They have also claimed that when Assange gets to Sweden the Swedish authorities will drop the rape allegations, thus avoiding the requirement of UK approval, and simply arrest him and extradite him to the US. The problem with this is that they can’t do that; the Framework Agreement prevents it. Either the UK has to consent, or Assange has to have been given 45 days to leave Sweden first.

Ah, they say, can we trust the Swedish government to follow its own laws? Well, that is very much conspiracy theory territory. I would say that the presence of Wikileaks servers on Swedish territory rather answers the question.

In general, therefore, there are answers to all the claims made by the conspiracy commentariat.

I have seen nothing in your comments so far that suggest that you have taken the trouble to inform yourself in relation to these claims other than to read sites such as justice4assange; you have not even read the judgments which both make clear the shaky (being polite) legal basis of those claims and clarify the timeline.

That is why I referred to you as producing the claims as if holy writ; you have not questioned them, merely repeated them.

I’ve skimmed Burns’ document; it’s interesting that he describes the 4,100 EAWs issued in 2009-2010 to the UK as being against “British citizens” (p12), but the following page refers to the bulk of the Polish warrants – 2,403 – as being against Polish citizens.

It is however irrelevant; even before the advent of the EAW, Assange could have been extradited to Sweden.

155. the a&e charge nurse

[154] ‘That is why I referred to you as producing the claims as if holy writ; you have not questioned them, merely repeated them’ – and what have you done other than rephrase, or reproduce Riddle’s judgement, a judgement that can be pretty much reduced to a single sentence: if it’s good enough for Ny, it’s good enough for me (even though she didn’t make herself available in London).

Now if we take your analysis about the prospects of extradition to the USA at face value it would appear Obama and his power crazed mates have more chance of getting our very own Prince Philip to Guitmo than JA – so it only seems logical that the frustrated supa-power will soon issue a diplomatic guarantee that they will not be bothering him (julian, not phil) so long as he remains under house arrest in the UK or kept in solitary in a Swedish prison.

Hooray!!

.

156. Robin Levett

@ a&ecn #155:

and what have you done other than rephrase, or reproduce Riddle’s judgement, a judgement that can be pretty much reduced to a single sentence: if it’s good enough for Ny, it’s good enough for me (even though she didn’t make herself available in London).

Read the High Court and Supreme Court judgments; read relevant passages of both extradition treaties and the Framework Agreement, read the relevant parts of the justice4assange site, and generally researched the position; and then thought about what it all said and meant, and explained to you why the allegations made by the Assange faction don’t mesh with reality.

Oh, and for what it’s worth – you’ve mischaracterised the DJ’s judgment.

157. the a&e charge nurse

[156] ‘Read the High Court and Supreme Court judgments; read relevant passages of both extradition treaties and the Framework Agreement, read the relevant parts of the justice4assange site, and generally researched the position; and then thought about what it all said and meant, and explained to you why the allegations made by the Assange faction don’t mesh with reality’ – well I may not have read separately on the extradition treaties but I have now read the judgements (and, err, thought about them) – incidentally, you demonstrate your own fossilised position when you characterise objections as psychotic, or ‘not meshing with reality’ as a kindly psychiatrist might say to a disturbed patient.

The formula is simply this – Ny says there is a case, Riddle says if Ny says there is a case, then there is a case.
Oh, and we do not need to consider the quality of evidence at this stage because if it’s good enough for Ny ……… (see formula).

Now tell me I’m wrong.

158. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #157:

incidentally, you demonstrate your own fossilised position when you characterise objections as psychotic, or ‘not meshing with reality’ as a kindly psychiatrist might say to a disturbed patient.

I’m trying to be polite. To take one example: justice4assange either lies, or is reckless as to the truth, in claiming that Article VI of the US-Swedish treaty has no counterpart in the US-UK treaty.

The formula is simply this – Ny says there is a case, Riddle says if Ny says there is a case, then there is a case.

Oh, and we do not need to consider the quality of evidence at this stage because if it’s good enough for Ny ……… (see formula).

Now tell me I’m wrong.

You’re wrong. Happy?

The EAW procedure does not require any consideration of the evidence. The DJ doesn’t consider whether “there is a case”; he is required only to consider whether the facts alleged constitute an offence under English law.

That bridge had been sold in 1991, well before the EAW – as you’ll know from the Supreme Court judgment.

You will though also know – from the Divisional Court judgment – that the Divisional Court considered the prosecution material supported the fairness of the offence description de bene esse; and came to the conclusion in each case that they did.

159. the a&e charge nurse

[158] ‘You will though also know – from the Divisional Court judgment – that the Divisional Court considered the prosecution material supported the fairness of the offence description de bene esse; and came to the conclusion in each case that they did’ – in other words both legal settings agreed the terminology of the ALLEGATIONS constituted offences here and in Sweden, but that still does not refute the point I am making – in fact you make the point for me.

The EAW procedure does not require any consideration of the evidence, or put another way providing the the instigation of the EAW follows procedure it is irrelevant how flimsy, or none existant that evidence might be (surely an important factor given the dilatory, and apparently flawed manner of the initial investigation).

Riddle did not have to consider whether there was any realistic prospect of a conviction (unlike the standard applied in british cases).
Put simply, once Ny said there was a case, then there is a case – as I say, the formula holds (even if you are trying to detract away from the point by highlighting the year such a mechanism came into play).

Incidentally, I note you became rather quiet when your ‘taking one for the team’ hypothesis was challenged (@113) – perhaps you are better off sticking to paraphrasing court judgements?

160. the a&e charge nurse

And @149

161. Robin Levett

@ a&ecn #159:

The EAW procedure does not require any consideration of the evidence

Exactly correct.

or put another way providing the the instigation of the EAW follows procedure it is irrelevant how flimsy, or none existant that evidence might be (surely an important factor given the dilatory, and apparently flawed manner of the initial investigation).

…but this is wrong, as you have seen from paragraph 69 of the Divisional Court decision.

The Framework Agreement, incorporated into law by the 2003 Extradition Act (but not a new departure for UK law) requires that European judicial authorities mutually respect each other’s decisions in relation to the issue of EAWs. The exceptions mentioned in para 69 of the Divisional Court decision are there, but rare.

Assange’s case is not within the exceptions. Extradition would not have been refused even before 1991; there is a prima facie case against him. It has never been for a surrendering country’s court to go beyond an examination of that case. Applying that test, as the Divisional Court did, there is a case against Assange. I have never said he is guilty – I don’t know. There is however a case that, unless he displaces it, would suffice to convict him.

As for the criticism of the investigation; you may be right that the Swedes should not have trusted Assange to hang around to be questioned. I hardly think, however, that the circumstances disclosed in the DJ’s decision go to the credibility of the complainants; rather to Assange’s.

Riddle did not have to consider whether there was any realistic prospect of a conviction (unlike the standard applied in british cases).

Which “british cases”?

This has never been the test applied to extradition cases; not even of extraditions UK to US.

Put simply, once Ny said there was a case, then there is a case – as I say, the formula holds (even if you are trying to detract away from the point by highlighting the year such a mechanism came into play).

Aren’t you forgetting something; something to do with the Svea District Court? See paras 51-54 of the DJ decision.

<blockquote.Incidentally, I note you became rather quiet when your ‘taking one for the team’ hypothesis was challenged (@113) – perhaps you are better off sticking to paraphrasing court judgements?

I assume you mean #149 alone, since the hypothesis was only raised in #148. did you say anything in that comment that said anything other than “it is hard to understand why…” or “I just don’t understand how…”?

OK: if you really need a reply to those: “No it isn’t”, and “I can” respectively. Why? Because they individually felt that they were “taking one for the team”. Happy now?

I’d add that you’re on rather thin ice criticising others for ignoring rebuttals to their claims.

162. the a&e charge nurse

[161] Robin, thank you for a long conversation – yes I did mean 149 (and not just 113) – the update I posted correcting this oversight did not (or has not yet) appeared.

To me it feels like we have punched ourselves out?

I concede that your post @154 was pretty good stuff, and I respect your legal expertise in setting out this argument – lets hope you are correct in your assessment.

Why have I been shouting a stranger on the internet for 2 or is 3 days (or vice versa) Not sure is the honest answer.

Anyway our arguments are now out there for the blogging fraternity to judge.
Perhaps it’s time to wait until the prosecution finally gets underway in Sweden (as it must at some stage) – only when the matter has been settled can we come back to the various concerns that have been raised in order to determine if there was ever any substance to them?

163. Robin Levett

@a&ecn #162:

Truce, then…

164. Rob Safar

“Julian Assange has become paranoid and is becoming a fugitive.”

As far as I understand it, it’s not paranoia if “no doubt whatsoever that the US government is out to ‘get’ WikiLeaks.”

This article is a huge oversimplification of the issue, boiling down to a tabloid-esque call for ‘justice’. As many people have already commented, justice cannot be done while US-extradition and execution loom.

This article’s point is completely moot.

165. Robin Levett

@Rob Safar #164:

If you’d read the comment thread above, you’d appreciate that the issue here is whether extraditing JA to Sweden was a step on the way to getting him to the USA; the answer of many (including me) is that it makes it more difficult to get him to the USA, so the conspiracy fears of the JA supporters are groundless. Mor eimportantly, the USA extradition considerations should play no part in the decision whether he should be surrendered to the EAW to answer charges of two rapes and two sexual assaults.

That being the case, far from the supporters being seen as supporting a brave fight against injustice, they risk being seen as supporting a personal attempt to avoid answering pretty serious charges.

166. Rob Safar

@Robin Levett #165:

With all due respect to your evident legal expertise, I did not “read [all of] the [30k word] comment thread above.”

And, although your legal analysis of JA’s chances of being extradited does sound convincing, either his lawyers disagree with you or he is knowingly decreasing his chances of evading US-extradition by taking the course of action he is. In the latter case he would indeed be using Wikileaks as a shield to avoid these certainly serious allegations.

It would have been more interesting to read in this article your point about Swedish custody being detrimental to the possibility of US-extradition than the guff above of ‘everybody’s tired of this charade, Julian, pack it in’.

Would you be willing to put it in a blog, if you haven’t already?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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