moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Posted (10 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1801 times:
The latest thing of interest to pop up in this saga is a very lengthy, but very revealing article by Jemima Khan (one of those who put up bail money for Assange) about the entire situation:
It may well be that the serious allegations of sexual assault and rape are not substantiated in court, but I have come to the conclusion that these are all matters for Swedish due process and that Assange is undermining both himself and his own transparency agenda – as well as doing the US department of justice a favour – by making his refusal to answer questions in Sweden into a human rights issue.
There have been three rounds in the UK courts and the UK courts have upheld the European Arrest Warrant in his name three times. The women in question have human rights, too, and need resolution. Assange’s noble cause and his wish to avoid a US court does not trump their right to be heard in a Swedish court.
I don’t regret putting up bail money for Assange but I did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering to the allegations.
FlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1717 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (10 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1792 times:
I think he should turn himself in, being that he is wanted for espionage in the US which is a death penalty crime under federal law, he would likely not be extradited to the US. Im sure his legal team knows this. Then in his defense, laws can be bent when needed especially when it comes to "national security" matters.
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (10 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1710 times:
(For more information on the legal aspects, see my comments in the earlier thread.)
" I think he should turn himself in, being that he is wanted for espionage in the US which is a death penalty crime under federal law"
Has an arrest warrant been issued? To date the US has not confirmed that it is seeking to extradite Assange, merely claimed that investigations are continuing. As Assange is an Australian citizen, the opinion of the Australian Government was sought and the Government wrote that it would not oppose any extradition request. The Australian Government has repeatedly stated that there has been no request made. Part of the problem in lodging a request is knowing under which legislation to frame it.
There would be little point in making an application with zero chance of success because the basis for the charge is a crime for which the death sentence is possible. Nor could the US Government simply promise that despite being charged he would not receive such a sentence: that would be overstepping the boundary between the executive and the judiciary. The best that the Government could do is say it would not demand the death penalty. But for a request to have a greater chance of success it would have to be based on charges that do not include the possibility of a death sentence being imposed.
But as you say, laws can be bent - or ignored altogether. Renditions, kill lists, etc. It is amazing how many EU countries have assisted in acts that are unlawful. In Sweden's case they did assist in the kidnapping of "suspects", shipped them out to Egypt where they were tortured, only to be later released. Following legal challenges, Sweden was later forced to pay compensation and grant citizenship to those "suspects."
"very interesting article on the legal myths"
The New Statesman article is incorrect on the question of extradition from Sweden. Contrary to the claim it makes, the final decision would rest with the Government, not the courts. This is because an extradition request is a request from Government to another, not from one court to another, so it is the responsibility of the Minister to either grant or deny the request based on applicable law. The courts can decide whether there is any legal impediment to extradition and whether the Government "may" do so. The relevant legislation does not use the word "shall". There is a legal gulf between "may" and "shall", meaning that if the responsible Minister decides against extradition it would be within his/her powers to do so. All the Court can do is issue an order disallowing an extradition if the court rules that such extradition would be unlawful.
But all of this is speculative because a) Assange is still in the UK and b) no request has been made.
"His actions simply reek of guilt."
You would think that he would wish to avail himself of the opportunity to challenge the claims and clear his name if he is innocent. Yet the longer this goes on the more people will conclude that he has something to hide and that talk of possible extradition is simply a smoke screen.
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9742 posts, RR: 37 Reply 6, posted (10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1694 times:
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4): Yet the longer this goes on the more people will conclude that he has something to hide and that talk of possible extradition is simply a smoke screen.
I for one concluded that from the very first, Quokkas. I'm sure that, from the very first, Assange and the Ecuadorian President visualised a quick ride to Heathrow in a diplomatic car, after which he would have been able to go on running Wikileaks from Ecuador, with Ecuador refusing extradition to Sweden. But neither of them checked whether the London embassy had a basement car park.
I'm equally sure that Assange has no plans at all for the future. He'll go on sitting in the Embassy like the proverbial 'rabbit in the headlights,' for the foreseeable future.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (10 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1658 times:
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 6): I'm sure that, from the very first, Assange and the Ecuadorian President visualised a quick ride to Heathrow in a diplomatic car, after which he would have been able to go on running Wikileaks from Ecuador, with Ecuador refusing extradition to Sweden. But neither of them checked whether the London embassy had a basement car park.
Not sure on that front, because Assange would have had to leave the car at some point to board the aircraft, and then he's fair game - he couldn't take the Channel Tunnel either, as the arrest warrant is an European one, so where could he go to escape it? He would have to remain in the car until he exited the EAW area, but then what if France refused him entry and sent him back?
I think Ecuador envisioned the British Government allowing him passage, which was a far fetched belief in the first place - but the more likely reality is Ecaudor doesn't give a toss about Assange, and was just looking for some good international stage time with the press. They didn't have an end game to this mess in mind, and thought that either Assange would cave quickly or the British Government would cave quickly.
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (10 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1630 times:
"Not, however, when an extradition carries a possibility of the death penalty being used."
If that were the case (i.e. the request was made on charges which carried the death penalty) Swedish Courts would probably rule an extradition unlawful, so it would unlikely reach the ECHR. My point was that even if the Swedish Courts ruled that there was no legal impediment, the Government could still deny the request. In that sense the decision is in fact with the Government and not the court. Swedish legislation makes it clear that the court can rule on whether the Government "may" but not rule that it "shall". Whether the Government would wish to deny a request is another question.
The distinction between the powers of the courts and the powers of Minister was brought into sharp focus not too long ago in the UK. Recall the instance of some chap (McKinnon) wanted in the US, appeals and further appeals with all the various courts in the UK right through to the ECHR ruling that their was no reason to block the request on points of law. Still, the Minister refused the request. I don't wish to debate the rights or wrongs of that case, but it does highlight that requests are made Government to Government and it is in the power of a Government to refuse, but may only grant a request if it is in accordance with laws and treaties.
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9742 posts, RR: 37 Reply 11, posted (10 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1605 times:
Quoting moo (Reply 9): All that needs to happen then is a guarantee from the prosecutors that they won't seek the death penalty. Been done before.
Moo - with respect, you're falling into the 'trap' set by Assange and his mates. The only extradition request 'in view' is the Swedish one - which is about rape, which doesn't 'attract' the death penalty in Sweden (or in any other places I'm aware of)?
The United States has made no efforts to extradite Assange, and it appears unlikely that they will start now. Assange may have managed to fool his supporters into believing that, if he goes to Sweden, the USA will immediately seek his extradition from there; but a moment's thought reveals that notion to be 'wrong-headed.' The United States has much more of a 'special relationship' with the UK than it has with Sweden; if they really wanted to extradite Assange, they'd have a much better chance of extraditing him from the UK than they would have from Sweden.
IMO, The whole thing is a 'smokescreen' - Assange didn't fancy facing rape charges in Sweden (or anywhere else) so he dreamt up this 'US capital punishment' rubbish. More fool him - ironically, he's just about sentenced himself to 'life imprisonment' - in a smaller cell than he'd probably have to put up with in a Swedish prison, and with much less opportunity for any sort of exercise in the open air. And with no chance of 'parole for good conduct,' either.......
IMO he's just a 'mug' - didn't think things through, and is now facing the consequences. He's just about made himself the complete 'non-person' in legal terms........
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 12, posted (10 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1596 times:
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 11): Moo - with respect, you're falling into the 'trap' set by Assange and his mates.
With all due respect, no I'm not - its entirely possible to discuss the minutiae of a topic without agreeing with the validity of that topic.
Thus, its possible to discuss possible routes for a Sweden to US extradition, including why various arguments for and against such an extradition being possible and how certain road blocks aren't actually road blocks, without ever agreeing that Sweden has any current intention to extradite to the US, nor that the US has any intention of requesting an extradition.
The Swedish and European courts would block any extradition to the US for any charges which carry the death penalty as a possibility, but its entirely possible for the prosecutors to agree to the Swedish or European court that they would not seek the death penalty and that would remove that road block. If the prosecutors lied or changed their minds then they would be sought for contempt of court and could not visit the EU ever again.
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1439 times:
If Assange is not at present on the Electoral Roll I assume he is using the condition "you departed Australia within the last three years and intend to return within six years of your date of departure from Australia." I wonder how his intention squares with his current self-immolation in the Ecuadorian Embassy?
Further, are there any residency requirements in Victoria for election as a Senator? Is long-term absence from Australia disregarded if a citizen wishes to enroll from overseas? Is the Ecuadorian Embassy regarded as part of Victoria? Can a person simply list there mother's address if they haven't actually been there in several years?
It will be interesting to see whether a) the Electoral Commission Accepts the enrollment, and b) whether the nomination for election as a Senator is considered valid. Either way, unless Assange can physically return to Australia he will be determined to be "absent without leave" and his seat declared vacant. If he thinks this manoeuvre will result in any kind of immunity from prosecution for crimes alleged against him, he is sadly deluding himself and his supporters. Neither candidates nor elected politicians enjoy immunity under Australian law for any offences committed either in Australia or overseas. Don't believe me? Ask Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper.
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1435 times:
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 15): Neither candidates nor elected politicians enjoy immunity under Australian law for any offences committed either in Australia or overseas
Wouldn't matter if they did anyway - the Ecuadorian Embassy is not in Australia, neither is the UK, or Sweden
Immunity local to a jurisdiction never, ever trumps laws local to a different jurisdiction - even if Australia offered him every immunity under the sun, theres still a valid EAW for him, still a valid extradition order and still a valid UK policeman waiting to arrest him.
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1432 times:
Quoting moo (Reply 16): Wouldn't matter if they did anyway - the Ecuadorian Embassy is not in Australia, neither is the UK, or Sweden
Absolutely and I am in full agreement. This is why I am puzzled by his application. Surely he, and his advisers (lawyers?) would be aware of these elementary points. But I suppose it does keep the media spotlight on him for a while and perhaps that is all that matters. Perhaps in his mind, given a past history of Governments ignoring the law and facilitating abductions, renditions and torture, he believes the media remaining interested is his best chance of survival. Whether he is justified in believing that is another question and hinges on the question of whether the US actually want to "get even."
If they do, it is quite clear that the Australian Government would not care one way or the other, as is evidenced by the lack of concern when another Australian citizen simply disappeared and, more damningly, the written confirmation that the Government would not oppose any request. (I posted the relevant document in the previous thread.) The first response in the disappearance case was the usual denial of any knowledge. That has since proven to be a lie. So paranoia or not, guilt or innocence, from Assange's standpoint I can see his desire to avoid anything and everything. But the latest ploy seems as poorly thought out as the last.
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9742 posts, RR: 37 Reply 18, posted (9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1398 times:
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 15): It will be interesting to see whether a) the Electoral Commission Accepts the enrollment, and b) whether the nomination for election as a Senator is considered valid.
Looks from this as if he can't stand unless he returns to Australia and gets his name on the electoral roll. And that, in any case, even if he wins a seat in terms of votes, any such election would be 'null and void' unless he can physically attend the Senate to be sworn in:-
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 20, posted (9 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1283 times:
And Assanges motives for standing for election in Australia suddenly become clear - he thinks that the diplomatic issues surrounding extraditing a standing politician would force both Britain and the US to drop their legal proceedings due to the "embarrassment" and "political costs".
IMHO hes starting to sound desperate...
If he wins a Senate seat at elections on Sept. 24, Mr Assange told the website that the US Department of Justice would drop its espionage investigation rather than risk a diplomatic row.
The British government would follow suit, otherwise "the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still," he said.
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9742 posts, RR: 37 Reply 21, posted (9 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1277 times:
Quoting moo (Reply 20): Yeah, I don't think so. Politicians are still accountable to laws in other countries.
Agree entirely, moo. Sooner or later Assange has to catch up with the concept of the 'separation of powers.'
Over the centuries, most civilised countries (for very good reasons) have 'separated out' politics, government, and the law. The process is usually referred to as 'the separation of powers.'
The extradition request came from the Swedish courts, and was agreed to by the British courts (after they had given Assange every opportunity to 'make his case'). That decision cannot be 'over-ridden' by 'politicians doing deals'; not even British ones, leave alone American ones (who naturally have no interest in, or jurisdiction over, alleged rapes committed by Australians in Sweden).
I think that Assange will sooner or later have to realise that, unless he faces up to the Swedish thing, he has effectively sentenced himself to 'life imprisonment' in that embassy...........
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 22, posted (9 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1275 times:
I think hes expecting Australia to kick up a stink about a newly elected politician being extradited between two foreign governments under warrants that predated his election, despite his stated intention for standing for election explicitly being to avoid that extradition.
I don't think hes going to get very far with that train of thought...
NAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9742 posts, RR: 37 Reply 23, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1170 times:
Quoting moo (Reply 22): I think hes expecting Australia to kick up a stink about a newly elected politician being extradited between two foreign governments under warrants that predated his election, despite his stated intention for standing for election explicitly being to avoid that extradition.
Assange has had 'a win' and 'a loss' in the last few days.
The win was that he has managed to get himself on to the electoral roll, which will allow him to stand for the Senate.
moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3765 posts, RR: 4 Reply 24, posted (9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 1150 times:
Quoting NAV20 (Reply 23): Assange has had 'a win' and 'a loss' in the last few days.
Thats a very very small win, and a huge loss.
His getting onto the electoral roll doesn't mean anything concrete in the long term - there are no guarantees that the Senate will accept a proxy for him, and they may indeed declare his seat vacant when he doesn't turn up to be sworn in.
While the Australian Foreign Minister specifically declining to discuss him at what is possibly the best opportunity to discuss him, well, thats just a huge "screw you"
25 NAV20: Have to agree, moo. He appears to have been officially elevated to 'persona non grata' status. Or, as the sentiment tends more often to be expressed
26 DeltaMD90: Does he even command a lot of support at the polls? I doubt many Australians are gonna vote for a seat they know is gonna be empty for at least for a
27 L-188: And that is assuming that he even gets himself elected..... Fact is that if I was his opponent I would challenge his lack of physical presence, and re
28 NAV20: Almost impossible to tell at this stage, DeltaMD90 - thanks to Australia's 'party-friendly' voting system. When voting for the Senate, you have two c
29 DeltaMD90: Wow really? I guess it's hard to see the thoughts of others when you don't live there, but I thought most people were getting sick of him. Wikileaks
30 NAV20: Some figures here, from some time ago, DeltaMD90. Looks is if, thanks to our convoluted voting system, he could well edge out the Greens:- "UMR found
31 DeltaMD90: I am sorry, but I am not too well versed in your voting system, or of parliamentary systems in general, but is he running for a party or what? Do the
32 TheCommodore: Its complicated, even for the average Australian to understand, and I cant say I really do, but the article below should make it clearer for you (and
33 NAV20: Signs are that he will set up a 'Wikileaks party,' DeltaMD90. The Senate normally has six seats available in each state each 'half-senate election.'
34 moo: My comments are based on the "unlikely" happening I doubt that in any actual election he would command more than 1% of the votes cast.
35 DeltaMD90: Makes a bit more sense, kinda like it though it is complicating. That being said, it wouldn't be a huge stretch to see him get elected but I still do
36 NAV20: Guess that I 'kinda like it,' too. Given that the voting is state-wide, if you stuck to 'first past the post,' with no onward 'transfers,' you'd just
37 TheCommodore: From what Ive read, there will be no way in heavens earth, that he will be able to attend, even if by some miracle he is elected. He's even acknowled
38 NAV20: I believe that's one of the reasons why he's forming a party, TheCommodore - apparently there is a provision that if an elected senator can't take up
39 Quokkas: It's not so much a proxy but a requirement that any vacancy that arises must be filled by a member of the same party as the member who is unable to a
40 Quokkas: Further to my post above, this would explain why Assange decided to run as a member of a Wikileaks Party and not simply as an independent. As a membe
41 NAV20: I looked up the last half-senate election, in 2010. Scroll down a bit on this site and you'll that the Democratic Labor Party won a senate seat with o
42 Quokkas: I can't think of a single State that actually has 13 million registered voters. Senators are elected on a State-wide basis and not an Australia-wide
43 mariner: Gaming the system, again. But he's still an attention whore: http://www.theage.com.au/national/wi...s-assange-says-20130305-2fihd.html "WikiLeaks has
44 moo: I wonder if the Ecuadorians are getting sick of him yet - he's violated their terms of sanctuary several times, and yet they haven't done anything abo
45 NAV20: I thought so too until I read that story, Quokkas - but if you look down that article (about one mousewheel turn ) to the Section headed "Senate (STV
46 Quokkas: No, that can not happen because the States each elect an equal number of Senators with separate provision for the Territories. The "surplus" votes in
47 DeltaMD90: Anyone else think this is a little shady? IDK why he wouldn't just release it, Manning is going to be making big rocks into little rocks forever...