Facepalm

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking political asylum at Ecuador\’s London embassy.

This is something I\’ve really never understood.

For the US to extradite him from the UK would be easier than extraditing him from Sweden. For the UK/US extradition treaty is pretty simple isn\’t it? We\’d like him, here, have him? The NatWest bankers, Chairman of Morgan Crucible, Gary Mackinnon….OK, that last might not be so simple but the arguments aren\’t about whether the law says they can have him. They\’re about whether there\’s some exception that her can squeeze through aren\’t they?

That\’s at least the impression I get anyway (and yes, please do correct me) so the whole \”If I\’m sent to Sweden then the Americans will get me\” shtick just doesn\’t seem to work, does it?

16 thoughts on “Facepalm”

  1. As opposed to the “If I’m sent to Sweden then they’ll prosecute me for rape” schtick?

    I don’t think I was ever particularly sympathetic towards him as an individual but the extreme self-pitying petulance he has displayed since he was accused has been an outstanding demonstration that he is merely one of the political class, albeit on the outside pissing in, rather than any form of “wind of change”.

    Not even an unwelcome fart.

    But, then, other people think he’s a saint.

  2. If he’s sent to Sweden the Swedes will get him. The US shit is just a typical smokescreen. The Left are hardly going to rally around an absurd conspiracy theory about…Swedes.

  3. Because his concern with human rights is such that he employed and supported an anti-semite as his right-hand man in Bellorussia, has a TV show where he interviews crooks, cronies and despots from around the world (as long as they are anti-US, or anti-Israel), and has now fled to the embassy of a human-rights violating third-world country to avoid extradition to a first-world democracy.

    Cognitive dissonance at work.

  4. Assange is a self-pitying narcissistic twit.

    I do hope his “celebrity supporters” lose their money.

    It would be rather fun if the US announced that he is far too unimportant for them to bother seeking his extradition. Nothing would better deflate his ludicrous self-importance.

  5. Considering that Assange’s Swedish Lawyer made patently false statements at his original UK court hearing, I think he’s been poorly advised to say the least.

    If Assange were arrested in Sweden on a US warrant while extradited there, then the Swedish Courts would not only have to go through the usual process of extradiction, they would also have to go through the hoops of determining whether the warrant is valid, they would also have to have the go-ahead from the British, according to a statement from a Swedish Minister when he was first arrested.

  6. Oh, I see that Ecuador has an extradition treaty with the US meaning that even if he were given asylum against the evil nasty swedes, he can still be extradited to the States.

  7. Isn’t it that extraditing him from the UK would be problematic because the Yanks want him to answer charges which could lead to the death penalty… and we don’t extradite anyone likely to face the death penalty.

    I’d imagine that both the US and UK authorities are pretty keen to not have to ‘go there’.

    I might be entirely wrong, though.

    @ Peter (8)
    One presumes that his ground for asylum would be that one country or another is going to get him sent to the US where he will be poked with sticks because he said yaaboo to The Man. So one who granted him asylum from that would, presumably, not just hand him over themselves.

  8. Isn’t it that extraditing him from the UK would be problematic because the Yanks want him to answer charges which could lead to the death penalty… and we don’t extradite anyone likely to face the death penalty

    Not really. The standard practice in the UK, the EU, Oz, NZ and Canada is to seek an legally binding assurance that the Death Penalty will not be sought and this has been the practice as long as I can remember. It’s usually invoked in Murder cases and the US hasn’t tried to execute anybody for espionage for quite some time.

    As for your second point, simply being a political refugee does not give you immunity against all extradition requests. And if he is seeking asylum against extradition to the US, then he has no real grounds for asylum in Ecuador given that a) the Swedes are seeking his extradition and b) the US has not made an extradition request. One doesn’t hand out asylum for hypothetical threats.

  9. But they have no way of getting him to Ecuador. As soon as he leaves the embassy, he will be arrested, and held in custody as a flight risk. (No-one would post bail for him anyway.)
    He has run from one end of a blind alley to the other, and achieved nothing. All he has done is made his own situation worse, and fleeced his friends out of their bail money.

  10. Sweden has a weird legal procedure under which a foreign national who’s in Swedish custody can be ‘loaned’ to another country without the usual safeguards. This is underreported, because making cheap points is much easier.

    Also, Assange has spent more time under house arrest in the UK than he would have served under any realistic estimate of the charges he’s been served with in Sweden. Whether or not he’s right to believe he’ll be dispatched to a Federal prison for life, he clearly does believe that’s what will happen: otherwise, a worst case of a few months in a Swedish jail is hardly worth dodging…

  11. John, that link doesn’t work, but I’d like to see it as it’s the first I’ve seen any reason to not agree completely with Tim, it’s always bothered me the whole ‘they’ll send me to America’ thing given the state of extradition law, etc.

    I think he wants to dodge the few months in a Swedish jail because as soon as he’s convicted (and from what I understand, he would be with the evidence presented in an English court let alone a Swedish one, whatever bibble his lawyer’s coming up with), then he’s no longer a martyer being chased for alleged crimes for political purposes, but instead a convicted rapist, and that doesn’t play as well in certain quarters.

  12. @Monty:

    Although he is clearly in breach of his bail conditions, his mates won’t automatically lose the money / securities they’ve put forward. This will only happen if he doesn’t turn up in court when told to.

    It would be a very simple matter for a judge to issue a bench warrant for breach of bail and set a hearing for the same.

    It would be somewhat ironic if those putting up the bail were to lose it all because of the pointless escapade.

    It just goes to show that for all the interest in Wikileaks, Mr. Assange is just another egotistical chancer.

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    john b – “Also, Assange has spent more time under house arrest in the UK than he would have served under any realistic estimate of the charges he’s been served with in Sweden.”

    House arrest, in this case, consisting of living it up in a large country mansion considerably better than the suburban Australian sh!thole he came from. Tended by nubile young female groupies. Hardly what I would call a punishment.

    “Whether or not he’s right to believe he’ll be dispatched to a Federal prison for life, he clearly does believe that’s what will happen: otherwise, a worst case of a few months in a Swedish jail is hardly worth dodging…”

    A conviction for rape is worth dodging. Mind you, I think the charges are insane. What he is being charged with is sleeping with a younger hotter girl without telling the woman he was sleeping with the day before. Who hasn’t and/or wouldn’t?

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