Will the UK extradite Assange?

MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
I know the British are exhausted by Brexit, but will there be any resistance -- or are we talking poodledom here on the same level as Ecuador?
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Comments

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited April 14
    As Jess Phillips points out in the Guardian, an important question is: which country to extradite him to. Sweden I believe still wants to question him in regards to rape.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    edited April 15
    Dafyd wrote: »
    As Jess Phillips points out in the Guardian, an important question is: which country to extradite him to. Sweden I believe still wants to question him in regards to rape.
    I thought the Swedes had dropped that case?

    from Wikipedia:
    "...On 19 May 2017, the Swedish chief prosecutor applied to the Stockholm District Court to rescind the arrest warrant for Julian Assange, effectively ceasing their investigation against Julian Assange. The case may be reinstated until the expiration of the statute of limitations. Additionally, Britain's arrest warrant pertaining to bail violations remains open.

    In 2013, Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition but the English Crown Prosecution Service dissuaded them from doing so. "
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I think Sweden has first dibs. What Sweden will do after they finish with him is an open question.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Moyessa, there's talk of the Swedish case being re-opened.

    I'm very much not a supporter of Assange. When I saw him being carried out of that embassy, I thought about how long he had confined himself there, and how damaging that must have been to his physical and mental health. I think his decision to resist when the cops came to arrest him was not one I would have made, and not one that showed that he was thinking straight.

    As to extradition, in my opinion the Courts will have no hesitation extraditing Assange to Sweden or the United States. These are friendly countries, long-term allies with established judicial systems akin to the British system. Assange's lawyers will certainly have plenty to say, but they have said it all before and the British Courts were unmoved. The only extra factor they now have is Assange's health, and they had better be getting busy with medical reports. Assange has thumbed his nose at British justice for seven years, and now its time for the law to take its course, as Bob Dylan sings with Mavis Staples in a version of "Gunna Change My Way of Thinking" that I can't find on you-tube.

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    I'd expect a court would find that he could be extradited - first choice Sweden. The invariable practice here is that the Minister gives an undertaking to the court that there will be no extradition without first obtaining an agreement with the receiving country that there will be no death penalty as a result of successful prosecution.

    I have no sympathy for Assange. His action in fleeing Sweden suggests that there was some substance in the allegations. Before that, he quite clearly helped in the leaking of vast quantities of classified information - and I'd prefer that decisions what to publish and what to maintain secret be made by the elected government. On top of that he appears to have had close contact with the Russians in the leaking of anti-Clinton information, all to the benefit of Trump.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    I may be doing Assange an injustice, but he appears to want the crown of martyrdom without being willing to pay the price.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    IIRC, one of the rape charges had to do with not using a condom. Reportedly, that's considered illegal (and maybe even rape) even if both parties consent to not using a condom. (How do they expect to make more Swedes?)

    I have no idea what Assange did/n't do in Sweden. But the timing of announcing the charges, way back then, made it seem like someone (US?) was going after him for WikiLeaks things.
  • Yes, I feel politically, the US are out to get him for daring to expose their war crimes. For anyone on the left, and I would have thought, liberals, opposing his extradition to the US is axiomatic. The Swedish case is separate.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    IIRC, one of the rape charges had to do with not using a condom. Reportedly, that's considered illegal (and maybe even rape) even if both parties consent to not using a condom. (How do they expect to make more Swedes?)

    One very good way of improving internet discourse is to check things that sound obviously ludicrous before propagating them.

    In this case a quick search would have shown this to be a myth.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    chris--

    Thanks for the link. IIRC, what I said was in the mainstream news at the time, and that article indicates as much. And a Web search on "assange condom" brings up articles from back then and now.

    The accounts in the articles may well be in error, and so may the descriptions of Swedish law that accompany the accounts. But I didn't get the info I mentioned from rumors or some backwater conspiracy site.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I'm sure there are quite a lot of people in government and out of it who must be wishing they could find an excuse to send him home to Australia and let them sort it out.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited April 15
    I think one of the reasons the liberal Obama Administration wanted to try him was the disclosure of information in ways that put the lives of US operatives and others at significant risk. That's the problem with Wikileak's philosophy and method. People say that without Assange we wouldn't have found out the truth of American war crimes. I think that's bullshit. There are plenty of reputable and sensible investigative journalists out there who would have filtered the publication of material that Chelsea Manning would have provided to one of them, in the event that Assange wasn't on the scene.

    Assange has had criminal intentions from the time he was a delinquent hacker here in Australia, pissing off our security services with his gung-ho, no consequences style and his boy-genius demeanour. How he responded to Sweden's desire to question him and his paranoid refusal to face justice at the hands of an Administration as committed to the rule of law as any in living memory in the United States is simply the culmination of his youthful arrogance and criminality.

    People are wrong to fuel his delusion that he is a hero, or that he has achieved anything worthwhile in his life. It would be better for him if the world turned its back, and allow him to live out the consequences of his actions with his sanity and his health restored.

    We will take him Enoch, even though I don't see the need. We can send him to the prison farm in Aararat with all the other sex offenders.
  • I don't see him as a hero. That's irrelevant. But I think the left are duty bound to object to US attempts to try him for Wikileaks.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    While the way he handled classified information was reckless, there was at least a journalistic fig leaf involved. When he acted as a useful fool for the Russians by interfering with our election and facilitating the rise of Trump, all pretense was discarded in favor of this foul man's self-indulgent disregard for everything but his own ego. That was further reinforced by the way he shat on his Ecuadorian protectors. It is impossible for me to feel anything but contempt for this foul excuse for a human being. I have no preference for which country gets to imprison him, as long as one does.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    IIRC, one of the rape charges had to do with not using a condom. Reportedly, that's considered illegal (and maybe even rape) even if both parties consent to not using a condom. (How do they expect to make more Swedes?)

    One very good way of improving internet discourse is to check things that sound obviously ludicrous before propagating them.

    In this case a quick search would have shown this to be a myth.

    What about if the sex were commercial? Which in all of these cases with Assange is the case?

    The man is a coward twice over either way.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited April 15
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I think one of the reasons the liberal Obama Administration wanted to try him was the disclosure of information in ways that put the lives of US operatives and others at significant risk. That's the problem with Wikileak's philosophy and method. People say that without Assange we wouldn't have found out the truth of American war crimes. I think that's bullshit. There are plenty of reputable and sensible investigative journalists out there who would have filtered the publication of material that Chelsea Manning would have provided to one of them, in the event that Assange wasn't on the scene.
    tclune wrote: »
    While the way he handled classified information was reckless, there was at least a journalistic fig leaf involved.

    The U.S. has no laws preventing journalists from publishing classified information. This was settled in 1971 in New York Times Company v. United States (a.k.a. the Pentagon Papers case). The presumption is that it's not a journalist's job to conceal the government's secrets. Quite the contrary. On the other hand, someone who does have a responsibility to conceal government secrets (like Chelsea Manning) can get into big trouble for revealing those secrets.

    What Assange is being charged with (so far) by the Americans is conspiring with and assisting Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning in accessing restricted government computers. While there's no American law that says a journalist can't publish classified information, the laws against hacking and conspiracy still apply. In other words, journalists can publish classified information that comes into their possession, but they're still criminally liable if they break the law to acquire that information in the first place. Being a journalist is not a license for criminal behavior.

    This is not an assessment the strength of the evidence involved, which I haven't seen, merely a brief summation of the legal premises of the case.
  • edited April 15
    It sees that there's enough info that he committed sexual assaults in Sweden, so he should be extradited there. I understood there were 2 women reporting him.

    The USA desire for extradition is entirely different. If the Americans decide to prosecute the people who fired on civilians from the helicopter battleships for murder in the video he released, then by all means send him there.

    My reaction to him is that he is a distasteful person as others have noted. Has he done some useful things notwithstanding? It appears so.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    If Assange had lived 400 years ago, he would have been deemed a mischief-maker and dealt with as such - he would have been lucky to escape with the loss of his ears.
    Is irresponsible and damaging action justified if it incidentally exposes wrongdoing? That is a matter of opinion.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    If Assange had lived 400 years ago, he would have been deemed a mischief-maker and dealt with as such - he would have been lucky to escape with the loss of his ears.
    Is irresponsible and damaging action justified if it incidentally exposes wrongdoing? That is a matter of opinion.

    It also depends on the wrongdoing. If I expose a bunch of kids stealing sweets, well, over the top. If I expose state machinations, war crimes, and so on, which means justify those ends?
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    The U.S. has no laws preventing journalists from publishing classified information. This was settled in 1971 in New York Times Company v. United States (a.k.a. the Pentagon Papers case). The presumption is that it's not a journalist's job to conceal the government's secrets. Quite the contrary. On the other hand, someone who does have a responsibility to conceal government secrets (like Chelsea Manning) can get into big trouble for revealing those secrets.
    There are a few questionable notions kicking around in that short paragraph. First, it is not at all clear that Wikileaks is an organ of journalism at all. Second, if you bother reading the conclusions in your oyez link, it is clear that the decision was that this particular case did not meet the rather high bar for prior restraint of publication -- which I in my ignorance take to mean that there is legal basis for prior restraint of publication. Indeed, I would be shocked if there were not. And finally, even if the government cannot suppress publication of classified materials in a given case, it need not mean that the publisher is necessarily immune from prosecution after the fact for having done so. As always, IANAL, so take this for what it's worth.
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    I'm hearing more about Assange's unpleasant personality than extradition-worthy evidence and facts.

    As far as whether or not Assange's work is journalism, I note journalist-par-excellence, Glenn Greenwald's take:
    "The security state agents for NBC/MSNBC are cheering the Trump administration for arresting Assange because they're authoritarians who only pretend to care about press freedom when it advances their partisan interests.This is what happens when news outlets merge with the US Govt"
  • I think the judge called him a narcissist. I was curious as to what he based that on, as in court, Assange said, "Not guilty". Sounds impartial.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    The U.S. has no laws preventing journalists from publishing classified information. This was settled in 1971 in New York Times Company v. United States (a.k.a. the Pentagon Papers case). The presumption is that it's not a journalist's job to conceal the government's secrets. Quite the contrary. On the other hand, someone who does have a responsibility to conceal government secrets (like Chelsea Manning) can get into big trouble for revealing those secrets.
    There are a few questionable notions kicking around in that short paragraph. First, it is not at all clear that Wikileaks is an organ of journalism at all.

    Which is irrelevant as far as the First Amendment is concerned. "Freedom of . . . the press" is considered to extend to anyone who publishes something. The idea that there are "organs of journalism" that have special rights is antithetical to the American Constitutional system. If the state is able to declare certain entities not proper "organ(s) of journalism" that practically becomes a license to censor.
    tclune wrote: »
    Second, if you bother reading the conclusions in your oyez link, it is clear that the decision was that this particular case did not meet the rather high bar for prior restraint of publication -- which I in my ignorance take to mean that there is legal basis for prior restraint of publication. Indeed, I would be shocked if there were not.

    That's covered in Brennan's concurrence:
    Our cases, it is true, have indicated that there is a single, extremely narrow class of cases in which the First Amendment's ban on prior judicial restraint may be overridden. Our cases have thus far indicated that such cases may arise only when the Nation "is at war," Schenck v. United States, 249 U. S. 47, 249 U. S. 52 (1919), during which times

    "[n]o one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops."

    Near v. Minnesota, 283 U. S. 697, 283 U. S. 716 (1931). Even if the present world situation were assumed to be tantamount to a time of war, or if the power of presently available armaments would justify even in peacetime the suppression of information that would set in motion a nuclear holocaust, in neither of these actions has the Government presented or even alleged that publication of items from or based upon the material at issue would cause the happening of an event of that nature. "[T]he chief purpose of [the First Amendment's] guaranty [is] to prevent previous restraints upon publication." Near v. Minnesota, supra, at 283 U. S. 713. Thus, only governmental allegation and proof that publication must inevitably, directly, and immediately cause the occurrence of an event kindred to imperiling the safety of a transport already at sea can support even the issuance of an interim restraining order. In no event may mere conclusions be sufficient, for if the Executive Branch seeks judicial aid in preventing publication, it must inevitably submit the basis upon which that aid is sought to scrutiny by the judiciary. And, therefore, every restraint issued in this case, whatever its form, has violated the First Amendment -- and not less so because that restraint was justified as necessary to afford the courts an opportunity to examine the claim more thoroughly. Unless and until the Government has clearly made out its case, the First Amendment commands that no injunction may issue.

    Which seems to be a very narrow exception which does not cover any of the allegations, to date, against Wikileaks.
    tclune wrote: »
    And finally, even if the government cannot suppress publication of classified materials in a given case, it need not mean that the publisher is necessarily immune from prosecution after the fact for having done so. As always, IANAL, so take this for what it's worth.

    The U.S. does not consider publicizing classified materials to be a crime unless done by someone with a professional duty to safeguard the secrecy of such materials. In other words, the U.S. government does not have the authority to effectively "draft" the press into its state security apparatus, with the noted very narrow exception cited by Brennan which relies on the danger of publication to be inevitable and immediate.
  • Presumably, that's why US authorities allege that Assange conspired to hack a computer network, and sought to crack a password. That goes beyond publishing stuff.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Presumably, that's why US authorities allege that Assange conspired to hack a computer network, and sought to crack a password. That goes beyond publishing stuff.

    Yes. Being a journalist is not a license for breaking and entering, or computer hacking, or obtaining information in otherwise criminal ways. Just because publishing illegally obtained data is not a crime (unless you're someone professionally obligated to safeguard that information) doesn't mean that obtaining information in illegal ways suddenly becomes legal because you've published it.
  • And Manning is in jail again because she refuses to testify against Assange, although this is to a grand jury, which she objects to.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    In the interest of accuracy, I must point out that the US authorities did not arrest Assange. The British Metropolitan Police arrested him for jumping bail.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited April 16
    And Manning is in jail again because she refuses to testify against Assange, although this is to a grand jury, which she objects to.

    So she is. Give her a Nobel.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    That's why I said once Sweden is through with him, it will be Sweden to determine if he will be extradited to the US. My bet is Sweden will not since they may consider the American charges as political over criminal.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Hacking is not political, regardless of the motive.
  • That's an interesting point about a Swedish decision on Assange, but of course, the US request may take precedence. There may be grounds for denying the US, but will a right wing UK govt really do that? Of course, they did with Gary McKinnon, but he was ill.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What's politics got to do with it? Is there a criminal case of hacking to be answered for?
  • AIUI Sweden has dibs.

    It’s very important in my view that Assange goes there – I can’t help feeling a lot of the discussion around this is based on the view that the rape charges are a bit secondary and aren’t all that serious. They are very serious.
  • AIUI Sweden has dibs.

    It’s very important in my view that Assange goes there – I can’t help feeling a lot of the discussion around this is based on the view that the rape charges are a bit secondary and aren’t all that serious. They are very serious.

    error.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    What's an error, that the charges re serious, or that people haven't been taking them seriously?
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    What's an error, that the charges re serious, or that people haven't been taking them seriously?

    No, I wrote something in error.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I am not denying from a US perspective what he did was a crime. I am just saying Sweden might look at it differently.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    I am not denying from a US perspective what he did was a crime. I am just saying Sweden might look at it differently.

    An alleged crime, surely.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I am not denying from a US perspective what he did was a crime. I am just saying Sweden might look at it differently.

    An alleged crime, surely.

    Point taken.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Hopefully he's banged up in Sweden, then the US. There again he was banged up in Ecuador for 7 years...
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I am not denying from a US perspective what he did was a crime. I am just saying Sweden might look at it differently.

    As an aside, the general rule is that country A will only extradite someone to country B if the crime that country B wants them for is also a crime in country A ("double criminality"). I would guess, offhand, that unauthorized access to computer systems is a crime in both countries, but I don't know.

    It reminds me of Canada's extradition of this guy to the US not too long ago, though I don't know if the actual charges are the same.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    At the moment, I think all the crimes are 'alleged'. Because he's been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, he's managed to avoid being tried for any of them.

    Whether Sweden has first dibs on him depends on what exactly is the status there of the original Swedish charges. How dropped are they?

    Remember that although I'm sure the UK would eventually like to see him go somewhere - possibly anywhere - else, he also has an outstanding charge here for jumping bail. Irrespective of the others, that has an independent existence.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Remember that although I'm sure the UK would eventually like to see him go somewhere - possibly anywhere

    Which may well explain this episode.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I think one of the reasons the liberal Obama Administration wanted to try him was the disclosure of information in ways that put the lives of US operatives and others at significant risk. That's the problem with Wikileak's philosophy and method. People say that without Assange we wouldn't have found out the truth of American war crimes. I think that's bullshit. There are plenty of reputable and sensible investigative journalists out there who would have filtered the publication of material that Chelsea Manning would have provided to one of them, in the event that Assange wasn't on the scene. ...

    ...People are wrong to fuel his delusion that he is a hero, or that he has achieved anything worthwhile in his life. ...
    Assange claims to be a journalist, but he's anything but. He just dumped Manning's information (and Democratic Party emails) without sifting through them or redacting information that allowed America's enemies to arrest, torture, and murder operatives. He endangered our security, almost as much as Trump is doing now.

    He's all about Assange. While a guest at the Ecuadorian Embassy, he continued to mess in other countries' politics, in direct contravention of the rules of his staying there. And, of course, there are women who took the brave step of coming forward and credibly accusing him of rape. Frankly, I'm more worried about what happened to his cat than what he faces for his crimes.

  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Martin--
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Hacking is not political, regardless of the motive.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    What's politics got to do with it? Is there a criminal case of hacking to be answered for?

    Seems to me that hacking can be political, and/or criminal, and/or ethically wrong or right, and/or for pay, and/or for revenge...and/or etc.

    Why in the world couldn't it be political???

    Oh, and Hacktivism (Wikipedia).
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Sadly, were Assange free to travel, there's nothing we could do to stop his return. He may need a passport to prove both his identity and his right to return though.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    The poor bugger's good and bad and mad and gone and going even madder.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    That's true Martin. I think we should bear in mind the possibility that the guy has as a consequence of his own actions gone quite a bit mad. I hope that the courts who try him take that into account when considering the punishment to impose. I know this thought has almost stopped me from trolling his supporters in leftist fringe media. I troll with my own name, so I'm thinking, not for the first time, that I'll probably be in the second or third wave of executions when the Revolution comes. The revolution will not be televised, but it will be streamed and digitally enhanced.

    My current line on leftist comments threads is that Julian has done enough for the cause, that he is a sick man and needs to step away from the spotlight. On that basis, GITMO is the best place for him. Thank God Obama never managed to close it. Usually I am ignored, just as I deserve, but occasionally I get a bite. That's often from people who are lefties trolling the righties, so we get to have fun trolling each other together. Hmmm, I feel a Tom Lehrer moment just happened.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Which may well explain this episode.
    I'm genuinely troubled by the assertion in that article that
    "continuing to enforce the arrest warrant is disproportionate after so many years"
    could ever become 'disproportionate' when the reason why it's 'after so many years' is because the accused has been deliberately evading having it enforced against him. That strikes me as a profoundly immoral take on the concept of proportionality.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I'm genuinely troubled by the assertion in that article that
    "continuing to enforce the arrest warrant is disproportionate after so many years"
    could ever become 'disproportionate' when the reason why it's 'after so many years' is because the accused has been deliberately evading having it enforced against him. That strikes me as a profoundly immoral take on the concept of proportionality.

    Well, that's the line from Assange's lawyers rather than the newspaper, one which they are free to take - and I assume a judge and jury will be equally free to take a view should it go to trial.

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