Julian Assange's 10th year in prison.

Innula Zenovka

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I know Assange's supporters say he was frightened the Americans would somehow kidnap him, with Swedish connivance, and spirit him off to Gitmo, in complete contravention of its extradition treaties with both Sweden and the UK, but he never actually tried to argue this in court, and present evidence to show his fears were well-founded and not just an excuse to avoid facing justice in Sweden, so the courts couldn't consider the point.

If he had any persuasive evidence, that would have been a bar to extradition, but without it, the unsupported claim "I was frightened I might be kidnapped by a foreign power" isn't much of an excuse for failing to surrender to bail.

The first main hearing on the US extradition request, postponed from May because of Covid-19, is scheduled for early September.

Whoever wins, it'll go to appeal, possibly all the way up to the Supreme Court or the ECHR, but from what I read, the Human Rights Act presents several pretty enormous obstacles to the US request, so I expect -- and very much hope -- that, at the end of the appeals process, the application will be refused and he will be released from custody and be deported back to Australia, where he can begin to enjoy his new-found liberty several years later than would have been the case had he surrender to his bail and faced trial in Sweden (where I suspect the prosecution would have found it difficult to make the case to the criminal standard, but even if he had been convicted, he'd have been out well before 2019).
 
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I'm entirely unsurprised by these reponses. The man thought, rightly or wrongly, that the Americans were out to get him, and neither the Brits or the Swedes would do anything to stop it happening. He made some mistakes - no-one is perfect. Perhaps you might try getting down off your high-horses and putting yourself in his place for a moment or two...
"He made some mistakes" is quite the understatement there :D

The difference between Julian Assange and the rest of us is we have to face up to our mistakes and their consequences. When you can't just hide in an embassy, it's amazing the shit you can't avoid and just have to deal with. Assange is just a creepy man-baby who needs to grow up and take responsibility like everybody else. No special treatment or consideration, he has enough enablers and supporters chasing his tail end already.

I do however pity the umpteen children unfortunate enough to be his, including the 2 he produced in the embassy.
 

Veritable Quandry

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Of course when he gets to Australia, there will be another extradition request to deal with...
 
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bubblesort

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Assange is a great hero of democracy. He told us what our elected officials are hiding from us, from war crimes in Afghanistan, to off shore banking, and yes, even Hillary's emails, which is an important story, I don't care what your politics are.

People who oppose his style of activism are a bunch of war hawks and establishment goons. They are terrified of knowing what's actually going on, because they are cowards. They are scared to look at the reality of what they voted for.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Assange is a great hero of democracy. He told us what our elected officials are hiding from us, from war crimes in Afghanistan, to off shore banking, and yes, even Hillary's emails, which is an important story, I don't care what your politics are.

People who oppose his style of activism are a bunch of war hawks and establishment goons. They are terrified of knowing what's actually going on, because they are cowards. They are scared to look at the reality of what they voted for.
This isn't to do with whether you agree with him or approve of him. It's about everyone, including "great heroes of democracy," being equally subject to the criminal law.

Yes, I know there are all sorts of theories about the allegations of rape and sexual assault being no more than a conspiracy got up by the CIA to discredit him or possibly to enable them to kidnap him, but generally courts have to decide that kind of thing, after hearing both sides' evidence.

That's why he spent all that time holed up in the Embassy and why his now resisting the US extradition request from prison rather than on bail -- because he broke his promises to the court and his sometime friends to honour his bail and didn't want to face the inevitable consequences.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Please explain what you mean here.

In what way do you say the UK's judicial system hasn't followed normal procedures in Assange's case? Please be specific about what you mean -- which hearing are you talking about, and in what way do you say normal procedures were not followed?

In particular, what did Assange's legal team have to say about whatever abuse of process you think has taken place?
I have linked enough of that in the past, including Craig Murray's (former UK ambassador) eye witness reports of Assange's trial at Woolwich Crown Cort (Part 1 and 2), the timeline and research about Assange's case presented by Nils Melzer (UN special rapporteur on torture) where he indicates all the unsual stuff in great detail and many more.

You just brush it off and always carry on your "it's all Assange's fault" mantra, which is why discussing this again is pointless.

Instead I will just point out that Assange has now the support of Amnesty International that the USA should drop all charges against him related to Wikileaks publishing activities. Make out of that whatever you will.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I have linked enough of that in the past, including Craig Murray's (former UK ambassador) eye witness reports of Assange's trial at Woolwich Crown Cort (Part 1 and 2), the timeline and research about Assange's case presented by Nils Melzer (UN special rapporteur on torture) where he indicates all the unsual stuff in great detail and many more.

You just brush it off and always carry on your "it's all Assange's fault" mantra, which is why discussing this again is pointless.

Instead I will just point out that Assange has now the support of Amnesty International that the USA should drop all charges against him related to Wikileaks publishing activities. Make out of that whatever you will.
Please explain, though, who you, or Craig Murray, or anyone else, say should take the decision to release Assange and what authority they would be acting.

Assange is resisting the extradition request and Murray describes the initial hearing, where District Judge Vanessa Baraitser was hearing the preliminary legal arguments, in order for both sides to be able to agree on the matters under dispute. The case was adjourned for a full hearing with witnesses., initially until May but then adjourned, at the request of Assange's side, until September. That will presumably happen as scheduled, and then be appealed by whichever side loses to the High Court, and possibly the Supreme Court too.

I sincerely hope that at the end of the process Assange will be released, because the US request seems to contravene several provisions of the Human Rights Act (which adopts the European Convention on Human Rights into British law) but I don't see who is supposed to be able to order his release other than the English courts after hearing the case in the normal way.

It's unfortunate for Assange that he has to contest the case from Belmarsh but that certainly is his own fault since, through his own actions, he demonstrated he can't be trusted to honour his promises if granted bail.

Who, other than the English courts, do you say should order his release?
 
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Fionalein

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This subject is very difficult, because you can be both a hero and a villain at the same time. I don't see why he should be an exception from this but many consider him only one of both and refuse to even consider any probability he might also be the other.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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For the record, I don't think he needs to be extradited to the US - but anyone how abuses hospitality and worse, abuses an animal that trusts them deserves to rot..... just on general principle.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I don't want him extradited to the US either, because if he is, it drives a coach and horses through large parts of the Human Rights Act, but the decision has to be one for the courts, made on the basis of arguments and evidence from both sides, and that's what's happening at the moment.

Assange has to remain in custody while the legal process takes its course because his previous history of failing to surrender suggests there's a serious risk that he would similarly abuse his bail if it were granted a second time.
 

Arkady Arkright

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Assange has to remain in custody while the legal process takes its course because his previous history of failing to surrender suggests there's a serious risk that he would similarly abuse his bail if it were granted a second time.
And for the same reason - too many western powers want their pound of his flesh...
 

Innula Zenovka

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And for the same reason - too many western powers want their pound of his flesh...
Quite possibly so, but given the fact that, rightly or wrongly, we have an extradition agreement with the US, and we've received a request for Assange's extradition, then the courts have to consider the request, and Assange's previous conduct when granted bail while the Swedish request was being considered has disqualified him from receiving bail this time.

Who would you rather decided on extradition requests, the courts or Priti Patel?
 
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Eunoli

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This subject is very difficult, because you can be both a hero and a villain at the same time. I don't see why he should be an exception from this but many consider him only one of both and refuse to even consider any probability he might also be the other.
Anyone could be considered both hero and villain. But, this particular villain enabled the circumstances that now account for 190,000 + people dead, thousands of kids in cages, the withdrawal of the US from NATO and a serious undermining of attempts worldwide to halt global warming. Literally no amount of hero-ing can undo that.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I don't really care, in this particular context, what good he is supposed to have done in publishing information about wrongdoing by the US military in Iraq, or what harm he is supposed to have done by assisting Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016.

What's important is that his legal representatives raise some serious objections on the grounds the request contravenes several important provisions of European human rights law, which makes this a particularly important case both for press freedom and for establishing whether certain aspects of the US prison regime (particularly at that federal supermax place in Colorado, where he's likely to find himself if convicted, apparently) are so harsh and degrading that it would be unlawful to expose him to them.