Julian Assange had promised to turn himself if the UN ruled his detention lawful


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I’ve read about this several times, and I’m just not understanding how he thinks the UN is going to get him off on what’s a purely British bail jumping crime.


#3

“The UK police spent £12 million keeping Assange under continuous surveillance in the embassy for three years”

A ludicrous amount of money spent on false assumption of guilt…


#4

Isn’t the avoided arrest a European warrant for extradition to Sweden?


#5

Yes, and I’m inclined to agree with this quote from the British Foreign Office in the linked article:

We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorian embassy. An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European arrest warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.

Assange supporters will typically point out that he hasn’t been formally indicted, but that misunderstands how the Swedish justice system works. Christoffer Wong of the Lund University Faculty of Law writes in his Overview of Swedish Criminal Procedure:

It is a feature of Swedish criminal procedure that a person is formally charged – through an indictment – at a relatively late stage of the process. As pointed out above, this takes place when the preliminary investigation is to terminate. This differs quite markedly from legal systems in which a person is charged on a lower degree of suspicion and is then detained or given bail while the police or prosecution authorities continue with the investigation. It is therefore not at all unusual for the Swedish Public Prosecutor to issue an European arrest warrant or a request for extradition of a suspect, before making a decision to indict the person. This does not detract from the fact that the request nonetheless is made for the purpose of prosecution [emphasis in original], albeit that there is is no actual indictment.

As to why the prosecutor doesn’t just interview Assange remotely, it’s likely because the purpose of the interview is to formally inform Assange that he’s a suspect and then remand him into custody. Quoting Wong again, “On a literal application of the statute, the requirement to notify the suspicion is applicable whenever, but also only, when the suspect is being questioned.” If Assange isn’t on Swedish soil there’s not much point.

ETA: I actually meant to reply to miasm


#6

Holy shit, how much do London cops pull down?

Hey London, I will gladly come over and with a crack team of 3 others for round the clock surveillance for the bargain basement sum of only 2 million pounds per year.


#7

My understanding is that there are two issues here: 1) the outstanding warrant for the sex stuff in Sweden; and 2) he jumped bail on the British arrest. The first one is kind of iffy to me, from an American interpretation. But even if the first one goes away, the second problem still has to be dealt with. Personally, if the US feds were after me, I’d rather be in Swedish custody-- I’d think the Brits would probably turn him over to the US, legal or not.


#8

A legal extradition from Sweden? Unlikely. But more clandestine connections exist


#9

Kind of like he has always said that he would go to Sweden, if they would commit that they would not extradite him to the US, and they’ve never been willing to make that commitment. Makes it almost seem like they don’t really care about the crime he’s charged with in Sweden that much.


#10

Would you prefer to hear why such a request is asking for a legal impossibility from a British lawyer, or from a Swedish one?

(Note that even if Sweden eventually agreed to hand him over to the US, they’d still need the consent of the British government before they legally could. It’s an argument that’s never made sense to me, as attempting to extradite him from Sweden is significantly more complicated than if they were to simply attempt to do so from the UK.)


#11

Christoffer Wong is wrong, sort of. He has actually correctly characterized how it works in the US as well. Most people don’t know that when it comes to major crimes that the justice system, when it works as it should can result in a lengthy period of time before a criminal complaint is filed and an arrest is made. Too many people get their idea of how criminal investigation works from crime shows and the hugely unaccountable war on drugs (where a lot of care simply isn’t taken). All other (real) major crimes take time to pursue and prosecute.


#12

@heckblazer, two thoughts, couldn’t he be interviewed in a Swedish embassy in London and what makes it so difficult for the Swedish authorities, over and above their investigatory requirements, to state that they will not deport him to America during his incarceration?

Could you possibly detail how he is wrong?


#13

Not only has a repeatedly offered to do so but, I believe, the Swedes just agreed to do so recently.

BTW, he’s not wanted for questioning on a “rape” charge as is stated above in @heckblazer’s quote. The crime is a sexual crime that isn’t the same as rape under Swedish law.


#14

Reading the Swedish one, it sounds like the UK home secretary could make that decision without judicial review, and it would be unlikely, but not impossible, for Sweden to extradite him, since doing so would necessarily involve making use of some special rules and facing a lot of domestic backlash. I still kind of think that Assange is worried about that, though, considering that the maximum penalty he could face in Sweden is significantly less than the amount of time he’s spent in that Embassy.


#15

Seems like @heckblazer is quoting a British Foreign Office official, which only makes the mistake more egregious.

Do you have a link about the Swedish embassy interview? I can only find stories about potential interview in the Ecuadoran embassy being stalled.


#16

Didn’t the US ground, on threat of being shot out of the sky, president Evo Morales of Bolivia’s personal plane when they thought Snowden was on board?


#17

See that’s what I’m thinking, too. I don’t think he’s necessarily unreasonable at all for being that paranoid, and he might well know things that I don’t.


#18

Oops that was hyperbolic, they just brought pressure on the countries it was passing through to deny entry to their airspace. Although I’m sure I remember a story at the time about an accompanying fighter plane…


#19

Oh. I can see how that wasn’t clear. I meant he’s wrong about thinking it’s any different elsewhere in the Western world.


#20

I did think he had sort of given himself an out by saying

This differs quite markedly from legal systems in which a person is charged on a lower degree of suspicion and is then detained or given bail while the police or prosecution authorities continue with the investigation.

Which would only mean he’s differentiating from those legal systems that do that.

So, where do we have to look for a case that this isn’t true?