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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon" 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the leaving-the-building dept.
An anonymous reader writes Julian Assange has hosted a press conference in which he indicated he is soon about to leave the embassy of Ecuador in London. From the article: "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent over two years in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid a sex crimes inquiry in Sweden, said on Monday he planned to leave the building 'soon', but Britain signaled it would still arrest him if he tried. Assange made the surprise assertion during a news conference alongside Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. But his spokesman played down the chances of an imminent departure, saying the British government would first need to revise its position and let him leave without arrest, something it has repeatedly refused to do.
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:00PM (#47696381)

    He is not scared of being put in jail in Sweden. He is shitting bricks over the thought of Sweden handing him over to the Americans.

  • Re:Diplomatic pouch? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:09PM (#47696467) Journal

    >So essentially all Ecuador has to do is give him citizenship and declare him a diplomat?

    No, the host country has to agree to the designation as well.

  • Re:This is so silly (Score:5, Informative)

    by machineghost (622031) on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:39PM (#47696737)

    You seem a little ignorant of recent history. Have you heard of America's rendition program? Have you heard of all the EU countries which participated? Here's a map to help:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

  • Re:Diplomatic pouch? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .todhsals.suteteaeht.> on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:45PM (#47696795) Homepage Journal

    Suppose they drove a van into the embassy, Assange got in (or didn't get in), and they drove it out to an airport.

    Your plan is close, but you would actually need a man-sized diplomatic pouch, large enough for Assange to crouch within, with the zipper fully closed with a diplomatic seal. He'd need to stay in the pouch until his plane was outside territorial airspace.

    The "diplomatic pouch" concept comes from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, art. 27:

    Art. 27(3): The diplomatic bag shall not be opened or detained.

    However, the next section kills your plan:

    Art. 27(4): The packages constituting the diplomatic bag must bear visible external marks of their character and may contain only diplomatic documents or articles intended for official use.

    Diplomatic pouches have been opened in the past when they contained, for example, mines, drugs, and even a person - and they weren't violations of the Convention, because they were no longer diplomatic pouches. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:49PM (#47696827) Homepage
    What sex crimes? I'm unaware of any government anywhere that has charged him with any sex crimes.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Monday August 18, 2014 @12:56PM (#47696893)

    Actually he violated the terms of his bail in the UK. So he can be apprehended at any time. [telegraph.co.uk] He knew this as he fled into the Embassy. I agree with you though, he's probably tired of staring at the four walls every day and even RT is not giving him the airtime he used to get.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Monday August 18, 2014 @01:47PM (#47697373) Homepage

    Thanks to Wikileaks we know that the US has been rendering people illegally from the EU. It's mostly been stopped now but I'm sure they would make an exception for someone like Assange.

  • by fredan (54788) on Monday August 18, 2014 @02:08PM (#47697521) Homepage Journal

    http://internationalextraditionblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/us-sweden-extradition-supplementary-treaty-35-ust-2501.pdf [wordpress.com]
    The supplementary treaty between Sweden and U.S.

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/25/the_brilliant_legal_calculus_behind_assanges_asylum_request [foreignpolicy.com]
    The legal calculus behind Assange's asylum request

    And you also have this monster thread regarding this (in Swedish) with over 62000 comments!
    https://www.flashback.org/t1275257 [flashback.org]
    Wikileaks grundare Julian Assange eftersokt for valdtakt i Sverige

  • by fsterman (519061) on Monday August 18, 2014 @02:09PM (#47697531) Homepage

    Except per Swedish and EU law that would be illegal.

    I don't know why you people keep bringing it up.

    Because Assange has said that if Britain and Sweden would put forth a good-faith promise not to extradite him he would happily travel to Sweden to face the molestation charges.

    If what you are saying is true then I don't know why Glenn Greenwald (a former lawyer) and others [theguardian.com] would have put together a document detailing exactly how the two governments could make that promise,

    This is why this is so crucial: if Sweden (and/or Britain) would provide some meaningful assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the US to face espionage charges for WikiLeaks' journalism, then the vast majority of asylum supporters (including me) would loudly demand that he immediately travel to Stockholm to confront those allegations; Assange himself has said he would do so. That gives the lie to the ugly slander that those who have expressed support for Ecuador's asylum decision are dismissive of the sex assault claims or do not care about seeing them resolved.

    Speaking for myself, I have always said the same thing about those allegations in Sweden from the moment they emerged: they are serious and deserve legal resolution. It is not Assange or his supporters preventing that resolution, but the Swedish and British governments, which are strangely refusing even to negotiate as to how Assange's rights against unjust extradition and political persecution can be safeguarded along with the rights of the complainants to have their allegations addressed.

    Of course, Greenwald and the Guardian might be lying but, at this point, I trust them much more than I trust British and Swedish governments.

  • Re:This is so silly (Score:2, Informative)

    by jeremyp (130771) on Monday August 18, 2014 @02:21PM (#47697637) Homepage Journal

    The UK won't extradite Assange unless the USA asks us to. Have you heard of any extradition requests form the USA yet? No, neither have I. Assange isn't afraidd of the Americans, he is afraid of the Swedish, specifically, he's not sure he will be found innocent of the rape charges.

  • Re:Hello! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rei (128717) on Monday August 18, 2014 @04:36PM (#47698591) Homepage

    Link

    He phoned ahead to the police station to tell them he was coming. There were two phones on his lap but he answered neither one himself. A French journalist was following the car but lost us. At the police station, Sarah stopped and said: ‘Shall I do the honours?’ I watched as she went out and searched the bushes.

    ‘Is she checking for paparazzi?’ I asked.

    ‘I wish,’ said Julian.

    ‘What then?’

    ‘Assassins.’

    There was this incredible need for spy-talk. Julian would often refer to the places where he lived as ‘safe houses’ and say things like, ‘When you go to Queensland there’s a contact there you should speak to.’

    ‘You mean a friend?’ I’d say.

    ‘No. It’s more complicated than that.’ He appeared to like the notion that he was being pursued and the tendency was only complicated by the fact that there were real pursuers. But the pursuit was never as grave as he wanted it to be. He stuck to his Cold War tropes, where one didn’t deliver a package, but made a ‘drop off’. One day, we were due to meet some of the WikiLeaks staff at a farmhouse out towards Lowestoft. We went in my car. Julian was especially edgy that afternoon, feeling perhaps that the walls were closing in, as we bumped down one of those flat roads covered in muck left by tractors’ tyres. ‘Quick, quick,’ he said, ‘go left. We’re being followed!’ I looked in the rear-view mirror and could see a white Mondeo with a wire sticking out the back.

    ‘Don’t be daft, Julian,’ I said. ‘That’s a taxi.’

    ‘No. Listen to me. It’s surveillance. We’re being followed. Quickly go left.’ Just by comical chance, as I was rocking a Sweeney-style handbrake turn, the car behind us suddenly stopped at a farmhouse gate and a little boy jumped out and ran up the path. I looked at the clock as we rolled off in a cloud of dust. It said 3.48.

    ‘That was a kid being delivered home from school,’ I said. ‘You’re mental.’

    People turned up out of nowhere. No one introduced them properly, and they didn’t have titles anyway: they were just Carlos or Tina or Oliver or Thomas. One night in Ellingham Hall, a French guy called Jeremy came in with a sack of encrypted phones. Julian always seemed to have three phones on the go at any one time – the red phone was his personal one – and this latest batch was designed to deal with a general paranoia that newspapers were hacking all of us. It was always like that: sudden bursts of vigilance would vie with complete negligence. There was no real system of security or applied secrecy, not if you’ve read about how spy agencies operate. Julian would speak on open lines when he simply forgot to take care. The others kept the same mobiles for months. And none of them seemed to care about a running tape recorder. Granted, I was there to ask questions and record replies, but still, much of what they said had nothing to do with the book and they simply forgot about it. Only once was I asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, when Julian gave me a hard-drive containing very sensitive material, but they forgot I had the drive and never asked for it back.

    The guy was living like a character in a spy novel long before he started Wikileaks; he's a total paranoid regardless of what threats are actually present. The last person you want running an organization that might draw negative attention from powerful entities is a guy who grew up (for a period, at least) in a white supremicist cult [wikipedia.org] and then was pursued by them for years after he and his mother fled.

  • by nbauman (624611) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:28PM (#47700397) Homepage Journal

    What Assange is *actually* charged with, the rape charge (#4 on the EAW) is:

    4. On 17th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.

    There are a few other facts that made me doubt all of that. They're hard for me to find because the complaintant's name has been scrubbed from the news accounts so I can't do a Google search for her, but:

    (1) Immediately after the supposed rape, she was tweeting that "Julian is FANTASTIC" and she still continued to have sex with him. If your boyfriend "rapes" you (and you're not into that), I would expect you to break up with him.

    (2) She filed her complaint after she found out that Assange was also fucking a younger girl. She also had a blog on the subject of "Revenge", which she took down afterwards. On the blog she recommended getting revenge on boyfriends who cheated on you.

    (3) This is conveniently for her a situation which happened in the bedroom and which nobody else can confirm. It's her word against his. Do you think it's possible that a man could be falsely convicted (with the help of a jealous ex-girlfriend who likes to get revenge)?

    (4) What's the boundary between forcing yourself on an unwilling woman, and convincing an unwilling woman to be willing? She invited him to live with her, she was sleeping in the same bed with him, and she was fucking him up to then, after all.

    (5) She was working in Cuba with an international "aid" group promoting Cuban "democracy" that received some funding from the CIA. I don't like to be conspiratorial, but why did somebody work for the CIA and then go to the other side to become Assange's escort?

    To put it quite plainly, he's charged with, when a girl who was paranoid about disease and pregnancy refused to have unprotected sex with him, he waited until she fell asleep and then started F*ing her unprotected. Which is F*ing rape, and the fact that people keep trying to pretend that it's not "real" rape, I find sickening.

    Yeah, that's what she said after consultation with her lawyers and the prosecutors to figure out how to write a complaint that would hold up in court. It might be true and it might not be. If I were on a jury and I saw the facts above, I would be left with a reasonable doubt.

    You're outraged because you assume the story she told was true. Suppose the story wasn't true. Your outrage would be misplaced, wouldn't it?

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