Assange expelled from embassy and arrested for both Bail Act offence and US extradition request

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
And he has a court date in the new year --


Whatever one thinks of Assange (and I think I've made my views pretty clear ever since he was arrested in connection with the Swedish rape allegations and the initial proceedings began) I think it's important to focus not on Assange and Wikileaks so much as on what the extradition request says is the criminal misconduct for which they want him extradited.

The US request, of course, isn't anything to do with the Swedish allegations and neither is it anything to do with Assange's or Wikileaks supposed role in colluding with the Trump election campaign and Russian Intelligence. It's about his role in allegedly assisting Chelsea Manning in abstracting and distributing classified materials to which she had access as part of her military duties.

From everything I've read, the request seems to suggest that what many people in the US and elsewhere would regard as perfectly legitimate journalistic activities are, in fact, potentially criminal behaviour and possibly espionage, and leaves many people wondering why the grand jury didn't indict the editors of several major US, British and other European newspapers for their role in coordinating the material's world-wide publication.

While I think Assange certainly belongs in a British prison and almost certainly in a Swedish one, I am a lot less happy at the implications of him ending up in a US one, not out of any concerns for him, particularly, but because of what it would mean for other, more legitimate, journalists and editors.
 
Last edited:

Bartholomew Gallacher

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
1,588
SL Rez
2002
Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; Human Rights Chair, Geneva Academy; Professor of International Law, University of Glasgow, has a very clear opinion about Julian Assange in the embassy: it was psychological torture up to Assange's breaking point.


and another piece here: Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange - Nils Melzer - Medium

Quotes:

"My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

"I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future."

"Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards getting Mr. Assange extradited to the United States for prosecution, raising serious concern over the criminalisation of investigative journalism in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights law."

About having access to lawyers: "Although Assange is not held in solitary confinement, the Special Rapporteur said he is gravely concerned that the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and his lack of access to case files and documents make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence in any of the complex legal proceedings piling up against him."

His conclusion: "In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Melzer said. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!"

And on the rape case in Sweden:

"Surely, I thought, Assange must be a rapist! But what I found is that he has never been charged with a sexual offence. True, soon after the US had encouraged allies to find reasons to prosecute Assange, two women made the headlines in Sweden. One of them claimed he had ripped a condom, and the other that he had failed to wear one, in both cases during consensual intercourse — not exactly scenarios that have the ring of ‘rape’ in any language other than Swedish. Mind you, each woman even submitted a condom as evidence. The first one, supposedly worn and torn by Assange, revealed no DNA whatsoever — neither his, nor hers, nor anybody else’s. Go figure. The second one, used but intact, supposedly proved ‘unprotected’ intercourse. Go figure, again. The women even texted that they never intended to report a crime but were ‘railroaded’ into doing so by zealous Swedish police. Go figure, once more. Ever since, both Sweden and Britain have done everything to prevent Assange from confronting these allegations without simultaneously having to expose himself to US extradition and, thus, to a show-trial followed by life in jail. His last refuge had been the Ecuadorian Embassy."

This is exactly the ugly picture many expected it to be. In a nutshell according to Mielzer the USA want to stage a propaganda trial, like normally only a dictatorship would do, and then let Assange rot somewhere away.
 
Last edited:

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
Oh, for heaven's sake!

As anyone who is actually sufficiently interested in Assange's extradition proceedings to have read the transcripts knows -- so not many of the people who write about it, clearly -- the "Assange was never charged with anything" point is a complete and utter red herring, in that the Swedish criminal justice process requires a final interview between the suspect, his legal representative and the Swedish prosecutor at which the prosecutor puts the case to the suspect and, if not satisfied with the replies, then formally charges the suspect and takes him into custody.

It was because Ecuador refused to cooperate with this final stage -- which should have take place after Assange arrived in Sweden, had he not hidden in the Embassy -- and would not agree to the final confrontation (particularly, I would think, the requirement that the Swedish prosecutor would be allowed to arrest Assange should she not find his answers satisfactory) that he couldn't be formally charged.

Believe it or not, Assange had -- and still has -- competent legal representation in the UK, who argued his case all the way up to the Supreme Court. The lawfulness of the Swedish extradition request was examined at length during the appeals process, which provided an opportunity to give a definitive answer to many technical questions about European Arrest Warrants in general, and this particular aspect of the proceedings didn't trouble anyone for long.

The criminal investigation process in Sweden is, at least as far as our Court of Appeal and Supreme Court are concerned, somewhat different from ours in the UK in formal terms but Assange's position was completely analogous to that of a suspect who had been bailed on suspicion, pending further investigation, and then failed to surrender to his bail at the end of the investigation.

As to the UN expert's report, I am really left wondering about his supposed expertise in anything. He makes a number of very valid points about the US extradition request while will doubtless be argued in detail before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and, quite possibly, the European Court of Human Rights, along with any complaints Assange and his team have to make about abuse of process by denying him adequate access to legal representation or resources.

If Assange or his team think the expert's views are in the slightest bit relevant to their case, then doubtless they will advance them, and perhaps even call Mr Nils as an expert witness so he can assist both their client and the court.

As to the comments on psychological torture, though, I am still reeling from the leap on logic contained here:
“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years,” the expert said. “Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” the expert said. “Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture."
It's obviously based on a huge undistributed middle, equivalent to "X suffers from the following injuries. These could have been caused by Y, so Y must have caused them". Rephrase it slightly, and you end up"Mr Assange presents with 'extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma' not inconsistent with prolonged exposure to an extremely stressful, anxiety-provoking and traumatic set of circumstances, such as being holed up in the Embassy for the last 12 years because he jumped bail".

It tells us nothing about who caused this trauma and is roughly on a par with the dimmer supporters of Brexit who tell us that the EU will be to blame for all the bad consequences of leaving the EU without a deal because they won't back down on enforcing the UK's treaty obligations with the RoI and stubbornly insist on the "Irish backstop."

The matter is now in the hands of the British and European criminal justice systems. Assange has a very strong case against the US extradition request, and doubtless it will be argued in detail before the courts. That's all there is to it.
 
Last edited:

Romana

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
945
SL Rez
2010
"Deliberately exposed to a hostile and arbitrary environment"? I hadn't heard anything to suggest he was being held prisoner. To my understanding he could have left any time, he would just have to face the Swedes. He'd have been better off with them then with 45's lot.
Of course, the Free Assange cultists swallow the "torture" narrative whole. They're as gullible as the QAnon folks (probably did overlap there too) and the MAGAts.
I'm surprised that Wikileaks hasn't dropped some stuff on 45, or threatened to, in revenge.
 

Kara Spengler

Queer OccupyE9 Sluni-Goon
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,276
Location
SL: November RL: DC
SL Rez
2007
Joined SLU
December, 2008
SLU Posts
23289
"Deliberately exposed to a hostile and arbitrary environment"? I hadn't heard anything to suggest he was being held prisoner. To my understanding he could have left any time, he would just have to face the Swedes. He'd have been better off with them then with 45's lot.
Of course, the Free Assange cultists swallow the "torture" narrative whole. They're as gullible as the QAnon folks (probably did overlap there too) and the MAGAts.
I'm surprised that Wikileaks hasn't dropped some stuff on 45, or threatened to, in revenge.
Yeah, if he was sure he would face prison in Sweden or the US it is pretty much a no-brainer.
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Rose Karuna

Stora

Active member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
70
SL Rez
2002
Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation

Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.
Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.
The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.
He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.



Sweden drops Assange rape investigation
 

Brenda Archer

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
1,391
Location
Arizona
SL Rez
2005
Joined SLU
Sept 2007
SLU Posts
12005
The case for his extradition to the US is, as I understand it, far, far weaker than that for his extradition on the sexual assault charges.
Going to Swedish jail was actually one of his better options. When he’s finally free, will someone want him to disappear?
 
  • 1Agree
Reactions: Arkady Arkright

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
So the victim’s account is credible, but Sweden won’t advance the case because it’s been too long.

Incels and MRAs will be celebrating all over.

jfc
To my mind, though, the Swedish authorities are in a difficult position, since the seriousness of of the charges is certainly a compelling reason to try the case, but against that the prosecution need, I think, to balance their considered assessment of whether there's a realistic chance of conviction, particularly since the statute of limitations for the rape charge expires next year, and even without the complication of the competing US extradition request, launching a new extradition request would apparently necessitate a series of new hearings and appeals because of changes to the European Arrest Warrant system.

I'm not happy about it either but, particularly since I'm unfamiliar both with Swedish law and the case papers, I'm prepared to defer to the Swedish prosecutor's judgment.

Also, the prosecutors have had the opportunity to discuss their options with the complainant, so they know her views (which obviously carry a lot of weight) and I don't.
 

Salome

Vermicious Knid
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
243
Location
Carmen Sandiego's Pocket
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Fuck I don't remember
To my mind, though, the Swedish authorities are in a difficult position, since the seriousness of of the charges is certainly a compelling reason to try the case, but against that the prosecution need, I think, to balance their considered assessment of whether there's a realistic chance of conviction, particularly since the statute of limitations for the rape charge expires next year, and even without the complication of the competing US extradition request, launching a new extradition request would apparently necessitate a series of new hearings and appeals because of changes to the European Arrest Warrant system.
Agreed. I’m not blaming the Swedish authorities. They’ve done better than most to try and secure justice for his victims. It’s just repellant that the slimy fuck can sneak away to avoid justice, engage in his fuckery, and be rewarded for it.

Also, the prosecutors have had the opportunity to discuss their options with the complainant, so they know her views (which obviously carry a lot of weight) and I don't.
Yes. Given how they went out of their way to affirm the credibility of her account in their statement, I think the concern for her safety given the ridiculous cult of support the goon has has to play a role in the decisions.
 

Salome

Vermicious Knid
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
243
Location
Carmen Sandiego's Pocket
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Fuck I don't remember
Its also annoying that he cannot be charged for fleeing justice and obstructing an investigation. This is basically signaling to every scumbag with connections that you can get away with whatever you want if you just hide out long enough.
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
Given how they went out of their way to affirm the credibility of her account in their statement, I think the concern for her safety given the ridiculous cult of support the goon has has to play a role in the decisions.
I think the outcome everyone other than Assange and his legal advisors wanted to avoid was the case coming to trial in Sweden and then his being acquitted, not because the court disbelieved her but because they didn't think the prosecution had proved the case to the criminal standard.

That's what I'd have been worried about, anyway -- what she described was certainly rape, but I suspect it would have been difficult for the prosecutor to meet the criminal standard of proof, assuming it's the same in Sweden as it is in the UK or USA, and you can imagine what his mob of cyber warriors would have done to her had he been acquitted.
 
  • 1Thanks
  • 1Like
Reactions: Brenda Archer and Salome

Salome

Vermicious Knid
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
243
Location
Carmen Sandiego's Pocket
SL Rez
2004
Joined SLU
Fuck I don't remember
That's what I'd have been worried about, anyway -- what she described was certainly rape, but I suspect it would have been difficult for the prosecutor to meet the criminal standard of proof, assuming it's the same in Sweden as it is in the UK or USA, and you can imagine what his mob of cyber warriors would have done to her had he been acquitted.
I know. It’s just depressing as fuck that the narrative we’re going to have to endure by his idiot squad supporters is that he’s innocent and not that it’s incredibly difficult to hold rapists and other sexual predators accountable, even in the best of circumstances.
 

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
'Julian Assange could die in prison': Dozens of international doctors warn UK - that should please the yanks, and the people on here who are so certain of his guilt.
It's unclear from the report that any of these dozens of international doctors have actually examined Assange or, indeed, that they've ever had access to his medical records, or even met him.

I was struck by this passage in particular:
“As it stands, serious questions surround not only the health impacts of Mr Assange’s detention conditions, but his medical fitness to stand trial and prepare his defence.
“Independent specialist medical assessment is therefore needed to determine whether Julian Assange is medically fit for any of his pending legal proceedings.
“Consistent with its commitment to human rights and rule of law, the UK Government must heed the urgent warning of medical professionals from around the world, and transfer Julian Assange to an appropriately specialised and expert hospital setting, before it’s too late.”
Assange is, quite rightly, assisted by a very competent and committed legal team, and of course they'll be very concerned to ensure he has access to appropriate medical care while on remand.

They will also be very concerned that any doubts about his fitness to plead or stand trial are fully resolved -- that's a basic professional duty of the defence, after all -- a duty they owe to the court as much as they do to the defendant.

So why aren't his legal representatives raising the matter, if it's a genuine concern?

I'm not "certain of his guilt" but I am certain that the rule of law should apply equally to everyone.

He's the subject of a legitimate extradition request from the US -- legitimate in the sense that it complies with the formal terms of the US-UK extradition treaty -- which he is contesting in court.

He was quite rightly given a custodial sentence for the Bail Act offence he committed when he fled and holed up in the Embassy, and he's now quite rightly being held on remand while he contests the US extradition request because he's pretty conclusively demonstrated that, if granted bail, he can't be trusted to adhere to its terms.

He has a skilled and committed team of legal advisors who will doubtless raise with the courts any issues and concerns they may have about his health, the medical care he's receiving in Belmarsh, and his ability to follow the legal proceedings and assist in his defence here and in the US, and who have also shown themselves laudably assiduous in protecting his rights under the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.

I will take rather more seriously these concerns when they're raised either by his lawyers or by a doctor who has actually examined him
 
Last edited:

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
3,280
SLU Posts
18459
"Nothing to see here, move along please..."
What's your explanation for the curious behaviour of Assange's legal team?

Time and again, Assange's supporters raise concerns that should have any competent defence lawyers, let alone people of the stature of Assange's advisors, seeking urgent judicial action on their client's behalf if they thought there was any merit in them, and time and time again his lawyers ignore these concerns and complaints.

One possibility is that the lawyers have been nobbled by MI5, the CIA and the Deep State in general.

Another is that they think the concerns are unfounded, so they won't waste the court's time (and risk judicial ire) by raising frivolous points with no factual basis.

Which do you think it is?
 
Last edited: