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Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt" 915

An anonymous reader writes "After a statement from a window at an upper floor from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange '... called on US President Barack Obama to "do the right thing" and for his government to "renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks."'" However, the U.S. issued the following statement regarding Assange's stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy, "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law,"
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Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt"

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  • Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#41045485) Journal

    Assange spoke today -- Sunday. That statement by the U.S. was released two days ago in response to Ecuador calling for a meeting of the OAS. It was *NOT* in response to Mr. Assange's speech, as the summary implies.

  • Re:is this for real? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:35AM (#41045489)

    In the past:
    -The United States has cut off funds to Unesco as a punitive action after the Palestinian Authority was accepted into the UN agency as a full member in defiance of American, Israeli and European pressure.

    -They're not part of The International Criminal Court

    -They didn't sign for the Kyoto protocol


  • Re:is this for real? (Score:5, Informative)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:44AM (#41045569) Journal

    As it turns out, it was the answer to a question:

    Question from press briefing [state.gov]

    So some reporter asked a loaded question (implying the US had an OAS commitment to recognize diplomatic asylum), and this is a correction.

    The case of Cardinal Mindszenty, which many are bringing up, is one where the Communist Hungarian government did not in fact recognize diplomatic asylum; Mindszenty was stuck in the US embassy for 15 years until the Hungarians relented.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:49AM (#41045597)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @10:56AM (#41045653)

    Political asylum is not the same thing as diplomatic asylum.

  • by shentino ( 1139071 ) <shentino@gmail.com> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:02AM (#41045697)

    I still find it strange that wikileaks got burned by a NEWS agency that supposedly leaked the decryption key.

    Why would a news agency shit on its own sources like that?

    The whole thing smells like a covert operation designed to give the world a reason to hate wikileaks.

    All wikileaks did was mitigate the danger by making the leak public and giving everyone at risk a fair chance at protecting themselves. They TRIED to keep it redacted, but thanks to the decryption key leaking thanks to the news agency, their hand got forced.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:05AM (#41045727)

    he behaved just fine, until weeks later the women became unhappy with him and then made up a new story. that is not rape. that is pandering to rabid feminist bullshit.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Antarius ( 542615 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:07AM (#41045759)
    I thought that too, until the leaking of the cables saying that they were. [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:17AM (#41045829)

    'WikiLeaks did not disclose any sensitive intelligence sources or methods, the Department of Defense concluded.'


  • by gsnedders ( 928327 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:20AM (#41045869) Homepage

    The original investigation, as I understand it, was about the fact that he had sex with her in her sleep (this is in almost all countries rape, as someone asleep is not able to consent), and explicitly told him to stop when she awoke, which he did not do. That story has been entirely consistent from the time it happened.

  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:26AM (#41045897)

    The US doesn't recognize it as a matter of international law.

    That means that the US believes that matters of political asylum are strictly between the state granting asylum and the state from which the asylum-seeker is being withheld, and international bodies such as the OAS, the UN, etc., and their member states, would/should not get involved.

    In other words, if Ecuador wants to find a way to get Assange out of the UK, they can't rely on the OAS to enforce safe passage - they'll have to actually negotiate that with the Brits.

  • Re:is this for real? (Score:5, Informative)

    by fondacio ( 835785 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @11:32AM (#41045939)

    Thanks. That clarifies things a bit and you also raise an important point regarding the difference between diplomatic asylum and other cases of people seeking refuge in an embassy.

    Before we all get too worked up about the US not recognising the concept of diplomatic asylum (too late I guess), there's less here than meets the eye. Diplomatic asylum is a concept that has long been accepted in Latin America, and it developed there in part because of some periods in which there were many coups and people trying to escape from new regimes found refuge in foreign embassies. Diplomatic asylum is however not the same as Chinese dissidents seeking refuge in the US embassy in Beijing or the Cold War cases, as parent points out, and this reflects that outside of Latin America, the concept of diplomatic asylum is not accepted under international law. That's why it's sometimes described as regional international law. Chinese and other dissidents are rather making use of the diplomatic immunity that these places enjoy, which prevents the authorities of the host state from exercising their jurisdiction on the premises but doesn't mean they can leave.

    So while Ecuador sees the Assange case as a one of diplomatic asylum, the UK only accepts the immunity of the embassy (and if the story about threats is to be believed, not even that - but that would be a violation of international law). Had the UK accepted the notion of diplomatic asylum under international law, it could also grant safe passage to Assange to leave for Ecuador upon recognition of the diplomatic asylum granted by Ecuador. In any case, both UK practice and the US position reflect longstanding positions of international law, regardless of what we think about all the other aspects of the case.

    I'd like to say at this point IANAL, but I can't, since I'm actually an international lawyer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:09PM (#41046249)

    He made two mistakes. The first was pissing off the U.S.A and the second was committing sexual assault.

  • by Pav ( 4298 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:25PM (#41046379)

    Are brain cells somehow becoming an endangered species even here on Slashdot?

    Swedish legal protocol has been compromised so badly in this case it's hard to imagine a trial happening even if the guy IS guilty, but don't believe me, here's the considered opinion of a retired Swedish prosecutor [scribd.com]. Read it... it's informative. This situation could EASILY be solved by interviewing Assange in the UK according to Sven-Erik, and according to evidence on the public record [google.de]. Why the insistance on extradition in this case? The guy might be an asshat sometimes, but that doesn't deserve a ticket to gitmo... and this whole thing feels very bad. I think the average citizen in the west has been lied to enough that some healthy skepticism is long overdue, and frankly I'd be happier to see it err on the side of paranoia than apathy.

  • Re:Not recognized? (Score:5, Informative)

    by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:25PM (#41046385)

    And why is that? I don't live in the USA, and the OP didn't state that they did either. The concept of free speech predates the USA by quite a bit, and the USA is one of the countries that has routinely shown contempt for the whole concept of rule-or-law or free speech even within it's own borders, let alone in the rest of the world where they don't even pay lip service to due process.
    If you want to argue that the USA won some war in the past that might have helped someone, I'd remind you that the USA did not act alone, and in fact was quite late to the party. And Contrary to what is shown in Hollywood, the USA didn't win anything by itself.

  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:34PM (#41046473)

    Minor (or actually pretty major) nitpick... there are no rape charges. He hasn't been charged with anything. he was wanted for questioning. He was already questioned once in Sweden, he was told he was free to go, so he left, then they decided to ask him again, he even offered to be questioned in the UK, Sweden said no. He offered to be questioned in the embassy, Sweden said no. He offered to go to Sweden if they promised not to extradite him to the USA, they refused to guarantee that.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

    by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:43PM (#41046549)

    Those cables don't say what you think they say. They say Australian diplomats think the US eventually intends to extradite Assange, and believe that Assange is currently being investigated by someone in the US Government. That should not surprise anybody. Somebody is definitely keeping an eye on Assange, because Wikileaks managed to hurt US Government interests badly. "Keeping an eye on" constitutes an investigation. And if you're not a cop you could easily conclude that they wouldn't investigate him if they had no intention of charging him with a crime.

    He's not gonna be charged with anything by the US Government. As a guy who is put on trial for releasing diplomatic cables he's a major embarrassment. As a freedom of information advocate whose trying to flee to Ecuador (which opposes freedom of information) to dodge rape charges? Even if he's vindicated by the Swedes he's a punchline. They'll keep on eye on him just in case, but they ain't gonna make him a martyr.

    Seriously. The major reason I don't think the CIA has anything to do with his current plight is simple: I don't think the CIA is that good. I don't think it's humanly possible to be that good.

  • Re:is this for real? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:49PM (#41046595) Homepage

    now you see the true face of your government

    Which is saying we didn't sign a treaty that we didn't sign? The horror.
    God, the +5 ACs on this page are stomach churning.

    Slashdot, I know you're trying real hard to be radio talk show, but there's a lot of tech news out there, you don't need to pander to these vapid morons to get page views and commentary. Look at the quality on this page. Are page views all you care about?

    Why don't you guys just own up and call this place Weekly World News for Nerds?

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @12:58PM (#41046687) Homepage

    Have you read this? Karl Rove is personally advising the Swedish govt on how to expedite him.

    http://www.readability.com/m?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FG6iMlJ3G [readability.com]

  • by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:04PM (#41046743) Journal

    I was going to do an "in before he hasn't been charged" reply to the OP, but obviously I'm too late.

    1. Assange faces no charges in Sweden. There is not even an indictment.

    True. But it doesn't really matter. For starters, "indictment" is an English word, and represents a common law concept of formal charges being brought. Sweden, being a civil law country may not have "indictments" in the US sense, in which case it wouldn't be surprising that one doesn't exist.

    In paragraphs 128-154 of their judgment [bailii.org] (I wonder how many times I've linked that on /. this week...), the English High Court considered whether or not Assange was "accused" of a crime and found he was. I could paraphrase what they wrote, but I think it is fairly clear:

    ... even if the court was constrained to determine whether someone was an accused by solely considering the question of whether the prosecution had commenced, we would not find it difficult to hold that looking at what has taken place in Sweden that the prosecution had commenced. Although it is clear a decision has not been taken to charge him, that is because, under Swedish procedure, that decision is taken at a late stage with the trial following quickly thereafter. In England and Wales, a decision to charge is taken at a very early stage; there can be no doubt that if what Mr Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged and thus criminal proceedings would have been commenced. If the commencement of criminal proceedings were to be viewed as dependent on whether a person had been charged, it would be to look at Swedish procedure through the narrowest of common law eyes. Looking at it through cosmopolitan eyes on this basis, criminal proceedings have commenced against Mr Assange.

    I think that's pretty clear. So yes, he hasn't been charged, but that's not really important.

    One of the women has retracted her allegations.

    Again, this may not matter. I don't know much about Swedish criminal procedures, but traditionally prosecutions for crimes are brought by the state. It may be that one of the complainants has retracted her allegations and doesn't wish him to be prosecuted (although I'm not sure what you're source is for that - there's no mention of it in any of the legal proceedings I've read), but that doesn't mean a case cannot be brought. Unless she has changed her statements of fact, then the events supposedly still occurred, and a crime may still have been committed. Thus the Swedish prosecution authority may still have the right (if not a duty) to bring a case.

    The "rape" allegations were cleverly manipulated and brought to public attention in an attempt to do several things.
    - Prey upon Assange's personality and identify his persona as a synonym for Wikileaks.
    - Move the core issues exposed by Wikileaks to the periphery of any examination.
    - Assault the liberal/humanitarian orientation of any naturally inclined to support Wikileaks and Assange, creating dissension and re-aligning former supporters.

    I have to wonder what you are trying to imply with those ""s... but anyway. The allegations do seem to do all of those. That doesn't mean they are intended to. If the facts given (and uncontested, it seems, by Assange's legal team) are true, there does seem to be an arguable case for "rape" and "sexual molestation" (although ianal), and something like 5 courts in Sweden and the UK have agreed this (or at least accepted that the original arrest warrant, and EAW were both valid).

    Just because Assange runs/ran Wikileaks, doesn't mean he should be able to act with impunity in other aspects of his life.

  • Re:Courage (Score:4, Informative)

    by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:33PM (#41046959)

    No, here in Sweden we don't allow these kinds of interview to be conducted via video conference

    You need to read your own law [lagen.nu], dude. According to that ruling by the Swedish Supreme Court, if a subject is abroad and cooperating, video conferencing is appropriate. Up until very recently Assange was inarguably cooperative.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:2, Informative)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:34PM (#41046965) Journal

    Quick responses (I assume this [markcrispinmiller.com] is the actual article):

    1) There is evidence of a lack of consent. The point is partially discussed in the English High Court judgment (linked elsewhere), but the "being asleep" (or at least, unresponsive) and the suggesting that consent was conditional on use of contraceptives, would seem to raise the possibility of a lack of consent.

    2) is kind of interesting, yes... although from my reading of the cases, he's accused of 4 offences, 3 relating to one woman, one to the other, so in that sense, the individuals are being kept apart; maybe he will have to face two trials?

    3) is also odd. Of course, just because they took the testimony doesn't mean it will be admissible in court, but yes, things are sounding a bit suspicious.

    4)-6) are also interesting, but... however unusual, I'm not sure how relevant it is as the women's lawyer won't be prosecuting the case - the public prosecutor will. There will still be issues, but I'm not sure how significant they are.

    7) suggests the different attitudes at different stages; starting with the police just wanting to be helpful (and asking him to take a test), and then someone else realising that it may have been rape and taking over.

    8) is the particularly damaging one. Leaking sensitive documents like that is pretty disgraceful from a legal point of view.

    However.... despite all of this, we have to come back to the fact that the arrest warrant was challenged by Assange in the Swedish courts, which found that, presumably despite the irregularities, it was valid. Secondly, the EAW and background to it was examined in the English courts, and again, it was accepted as proper. Yes, the prosecution may be odd and unusual, but that doesn't mean Assange shouldn't face it. Unless he feels the entire Swedish (and then ECHR) judicial and legal systems are in on the conspiracy.

  • by oakgrove ( 845019 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @01:48PM (#41047061)

    From what I can tell, Sweden let Egypt have some suspects

    Bull-fucking-shit. In 2001 [hrw.org], it was CIA operatives that took possession of the two Egyptian men at Bromma airport in Stockholm. What you are confused about is what happened in 2006 [hrw.org] with one individual when Sweden was found to be complicit with the CIA in the case of extraditing I-Zari again to Egypt. I bet you would get the facts right if it was you that was bound, gagged and put on that airplane.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163436/Seven-Britons-extradited-US-sent-lopsided-act.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    With legal recourse. What was the legal recourse of the people extradited from Sweden?

  • by TheP4st ( 1164315 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:40PM (#41047435)

    Why bother with legalities?

    "Extraordinary rendition provoked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Sweden in 2006 when Swedish authorities put a stop to CIA rendition flights.In December 2001 Swedish police detained Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery, two Egyptians who had been seeking asylum in Sweden. The police took them to Bromma airport in Stockholm, and then stood aside as masked alleged CIA operatives cut their clothes from their bodies, inserted drugged suppositories in their anuses, and dressed them in diapers and overalls, handcuffed and chained them and put them on an executive jet with American registration N379P. They were flown to Egypt, where they were imprisoned, beaten, and tortured according to an extensive investigate reports by Swedish programme "Kalla fakta". A Swedish Parliamentary investigator concluded that the degrading and inhuman treatment of the two prisoners violated Swedish law.In 2006 the United Nations found Sweden had violated an international torture ban in its complicity in the CIA's transfer of l-Zari to Egypt.Sweden imposed strict rules on rendition flights, but Swedish Military Intelligence posing as airport personnel who boarded one of two subsequent extraordinary rendition flights in 2006 during a stopover at Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport found the Swedish restrictions were being ignored.In 2008 the Swedish government awarded al-Zery $500,000 in damages for the abuse he received in Sweden and the subsequent torture in Egypt."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition#Sweden [wikipedia.org]

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @02:42PM (#41047451)

    That's a nice story, but those things weren't in the Wikileaks cables. Try again.

    Not even a good straw man complaint, there. I'm replying (as you obviously know) to the GP's implication that government shouldn't do things in secret. Which is nonsense on the face of it. And you know that, but you're trying to change the topic so that reality doesn't get in the way of your politics. You try again.

    Oh, and just in case you don't know about (though you do, and you're just asserting an alternate reality for bogus political points), the leaked cables absolutely do give up details of all sorts of covert operations, quiet conversations between nations, at-risk protesters with families living under brutal regimes like Iran, etc. Exactly the sort of stuff that's kept out of the public discourse for a reason. It must me relaxing to think there's nothing at stake in the world, and that none of people who risk their necks to get things done are of any worry to you. But then, that's what it's like to be in junior high school, right? Let me guess - 9th grade? Ah, those were the days.

  • by Pav ( 4298 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:07PM (#41047615)
    Are you serious? How many times does this point need to be made? It wasn't randomly dumped [statesman.com]. Wikileaks collaborated with major media outlets to assist in removing sensitive information. Just because people spout the same bull over and over and ... ... doesn't make it true.
  • Re:Go to China (Score:1, Informative)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:10PM (#41047639) Journal

    Nice list, but there are a few inaccuracies. Here are some.

    In 1989, no one had heard of a "free speech zone". The entire *country* was a free speech zone.

    The 1988 democratic national convention used free speech or protest zones. They have been in existence in one way or another since the 1960's riots in Chicago protesting the DNC.

    In 1989, you could go to concerts, amusement parks, nightclubs, and ballparks without being groped by some thug, having to show the contents of your pockets, backpack, or purse to another, going through a metal detector, or being under constant 1984-ish CCTV surveillance.

    Every concert I have gone to since the late 1970's had bag inspections and in some cases pat downs looking for Alcohol.

    As for being free, we have been less free since the beginning of our country. The entire idea of freedom or land of the free comes from the fact that unless a law makes something illegal, it is automatically legal. This was a departure from other cultures in Europe where the laws actually said what the people could do and there was no assumption of being allowed to do something unless it was already an existing law. With this radically different construct, laws needed to restrict what society found as undesirable or pertinent to the health and progress of society.

    You can look at almost any time perion stretching across 25 years and point out how we were less free after the time period. It is simply the nature of progress.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @03:24PM (#41047737) Homepage


    The more he does (or doesn't do), and the more I read, the more I'm convinced he's either paranoid or using the cover of US oppression to escape doing some rather mean things in Sweden.

    Which one of the offers to help the Swedes via teleconference did you miss? What about the offer to meet the Swedish investigators on UK soil to clear things up? Did you miss that too?

    At no point has he avoided the Swedish authorities, he's just avoiding Swedish soil because the USA can get him there.

    nb. The Swedes have traveled to other countries to interview people. Why not Julian Assange?

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @05:47PM (#41048707) Journal

    a) Nothing about this 'investigation' passes any known smell test. No matter how you sniff it, it smells of rat.

    Some 5 courts and at least 10 judges have looked into this "investigation" and found nothing rat-like about it. But maybe you have a better nose than them (or more facts).

    b) Yes, it's much, much easier for the USA to grab him from Sweden than the UK [justice4assange.com]. Once he's there they can 'borrow' him with hardly any legal process.

    Ok, after about half an hour of research, I think I've managed to find where the "temporary surrender" thing comes from (sorry, but I don't trust justice4assange.com to be entirely independent and unbiased). It seems to originate with Article VI of the Supplementary convention on extradition between Sweden and the US, signed in 1983, TIAS 10812. Apparently it's too old to be published anywhere official, but there's a copy here [wordpress.com].

    Article VI states:

    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 until the conclusion of the proceedings against that person, or the full execution of any punishment that may be or may have been imposed; 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 of the Contracting States.

    Right, so what does this mean? Yes, Sweden can temporarily surrender him to the US for the purpose of prosecution. However, note the first 6 words; "If the extradition request is granted...". I'm not an international lawyer, but to me that means that the US must first apply for extradition, thus jumping through all the various hoops (both in Sweden and the UK, including challenges in courts) before they can even start looking into temporary surrender.

    Secondly, there is absolutely no reason why this process (being part of extradition, and an action carried out by the State, i.e. Sweden) wouldn't be subject to the ECHR, in particular, Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and any others Assange might want to throw at the case. So using "temporary surrender" would actually be *harder* than normal extradition, as there is that extra step on top of everything else.

    Thirdly, and the main reason to dismiss nearly all of his claims: if this is a problem, why isn't Assange arguing it in court? If he has, it must have been dismissed by the Court. On this point, we go to the initial extradition ruling [bailii.org], final major paragraph beginning "There was at one stage ..." Actually, I might as well just post the whole paragraph here as I seem to be pasting lots anyway... (emphasis mine):

    There was at one stage a suggestion that Mr Assange could be extradited to the USA (possibly to Guantanamo Bay or to execution as a traitor). The only live evidence on the point came from the defence witness Mr Alhem who said it couldn’t happen. In the absence of any evidence that Mr Assange risks torture or execution Mr Robertson was right not to pursue this point in closing. It may be worth adding that I do not know if Sweden has an extradition treaty with the United States of America. There has been no evidence regarding this. I would expect that there is such a treaty. If Mr Assange is surrendered to Sweden and a request is made to Sweden for his extradition

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday August 19, 2012 @07:21PM (#41049291)

    I think you have a bit of a skewed version of the events. There has been no massive level of hunting going on, only normal legal methods, that have then gotten drawn out by his behaviour.

    So it starts with Assanage going to the UK. Sweden then says "We want you back here for questioning regarding these charges." He says "No you can question me remotely, but I won't come back." They say "That's not ok, you have to come here in person." He refuses. This is all consistent with not only Swedish law, but pretty much anywhere. Cops like to interview people in person for many reasons and you'll find that if you say "No, just call me and interview me that way," they will make the in person thing more compulsory.

    So Sweden files for extradition. This is normal between countries. If a country has someone you want, you have to formally file for extradition. In Europe it is even more common given how many countries are close to each other, they have a fairly streamlined setup, agencies like Interpol and so on. Pretty much have to unless you want criminals evading justice by skipping national lines.

    This is just a pro-forma thing, the extradition treaty is such that this is a legit request. So Assanage is held by the British Police to make sure he doesn't run (as the treaty specifies) and is released on bail (as British law provides). However Assanage's legal team then fights this extradition tooth and nail over any issue they can. It finally goes all the way up to the British High Court who rules that this is a legal extradition request per the treaty and thus is going to happen. Remember they aren't concerned with the validity of the crime, that is for a Swedish court to decide, just if the request is a legit one per the treaty.

    Well then Assanage runs off to the Ecuadorian embassy. At this point, he's now a criminal in Britain: He skipped on bail. Prior to that has was in no trouble there, they were just watching him because of the extradition request. However when he skipped bail, he broke British law. So now they have a criminal complaint against him, and are probably fairly angry. The whole idea of bail is you promising to appear as required, and as such being allowed to go free until then.

    Ecuador then granted Assanage asylum, which is a slap in Britain's face. Part of being a diplomat in a foreign country is you are a guest and you are supposed to obey their laws. You don't shelter criminals or the like. So now the UK is quite angry, and understandably so. It is a major diplomatic breach and they are threatening retaliation. This is legal. Embassies are not some complete inviolable entity that some people seem to think. They can be dissolved unilaterally by the host country. The diplomats and their papers must be allowed to leave without hindrance, but the embassy can be dissolved. Also there are provisions for the police to enter and get someone. They can't arrest any of the diplomats, nor touch any of the papers, but they can arrest a non-protected person in there.

    So this really isn't that unusual except in the lengths that Assanage has gone to in trying to avoid going to Sweden. If the police in a country, particularly in the EU, want to talk to someone in another country and that person won't come in, an extradition request is how you deal with thing. For example the UK received about 4,000 extradition requests from other EU countries in 2011. It is quite a standard activity.

    Now they are just angry because he has broken UK law by skipping bail, and they are angry with Ecuador for pulling this stunt. There really isn't anything witch-hunty going on unless you consider the original charges in Sweden to be that. All the stuff in terms of extradition and the UK are quite normal.

  • Re:"Witchunt" (Score:4, Informative)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <<gmack> <at> <innerfire.net>> on Sunday August 19, 2012 @09:18PM (#41049937) Homepage Journal

    After reading this I went to the Swedish government website on extraditions [sweden.gov.se] And I went off and read the relevant treaties with the US [wordpress.com] (article VI is the relevant one) Now there is something called a temporary extradition but it is only for the case where someone is being prosecuted or has been sentenced in Sweden so that the person can be returned to Sweden at the completion of there sentence. I see no evidence that this is for questioning or anything like that and all normal safeguards are in place. The only people who seem to be claiming otherwise are Assange supporters.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser