Could the US extradite Assange?

On 7th December 2010, Dianne Feinsteinn wrote in WSJ:

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released his latest document trove—more than 250,000 secret State Department cables—he intentionally harmed the U.S. government. The release of these documents damages our national interests and puts innocent lives at risk. He should be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.

The law Mr. Assange continues to violate is the Espionage Act of 1917. That law makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit “information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”

The Espionage Act also makes it a felony to fail to return such materials to the U.S. government. Importantly, the courts have held that “information relating to the national defense” applies to both classified and unclassified material. Each violation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Dianne Feinstein is the US Senator from California since 1992: she was also Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. She graduated from Stanford University in 1955: her degree is in History. She is not a lawyer, any more than I am, and while I respect her decades of political acumen, I doubt that she took legal advice before she wrote that column in the Wall Street Journal.

The US Espionage Act 1917. Section 2, paragraph 1 says that:

Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury or the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicated ….. to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country … or to any representative … or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly and document, writing [etc] or information, relating to the national defence, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty years.

Go read it in full. The clear point is: this Act is obviously meant to apply to US citizens. No government can make a law that citizens of another country are not allowed to use information provided to them “to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation”.

(Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Greenglass, who are the only civilians who have been executed under the Espionage Act, were both US citizens: I know of no non-US citizen who has ever been charged under this Act.)

When President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for this legislation in his 1915 State of the Union address he was quite clear he wanted to use it against American citizens:

There are citizens of the United States … who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life; who have sought to ring the authority and good name of our Government into contempt … to destroy our industries … and to debase our politics to the uses of foreign intrigue…. [W]e are without adequate federal laws…. I am urging you to do nothing less than save the honor and self-respect of the nation. Such creatures of passion, disloyalty,and anarchy must be crushed out.

But on 26th January 2011, Fred Burton, the vice president of Stratfor, sent a email to his colleagues. The email was explicitly not intended for publication. We know what it was, because Wikileaks leaked it this year:

“Text Not for Pub,” he wrote. “We” – meaning the U.S. government – “have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.”

Fred Burton was a special agent of the US’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). He was involved in the US investigation of the Lockerbie/Pan Am bombing, with what results everyone knows. (Stratfor is a company set up in 1996 by George Friedman, a former political science academic, whose Wikipedia bio says (without citation) that he used to regularly brief very senior military people on “security and national defense matters.”) Does Burton have a special inside link to what the government of the US is planning to do?

An email sent to “The OS List” (Via) includes in full a news item from Xinhuanet dated 14th April 2011: U.S. grants 34 ex-Nigerian militants visas for professional training:

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has issued visas to 34 former Niger Delta militants to study courses related to oil and gas and engineering, an official has said.
Kingsley Kuku, the special assistant to the president on Niger Delta affairs, said in Abuja on Wednesday at a meeting with the former militants from the region that some 4,000 militants had benefited from the various training programs since the government gave them amnesty.

An employee of Stratfor, Anya Alfano, using the email address “tactical-bounces”, sends it on to ‘TACTICAL’ with a covering note:

Just FYI, and a little bit of wow.

Fred Burton responds on his BlackBerry

Brilliant

Anya Alfano reacts:

Kamran can’t come in the country, but 34 militants who’ve spent their lives blowing up pipelines, stealing fuel and carrying out political assassinations are welcome, so we can entrust Nigeria’s future to them. Killing me.

Fred Burton responds on his Blackberry

Obama..its a black thing

Does this sound like top-level amazingly-well-informed national security analysis to you? (Burton is reportedly considered one of the US’s top counter-terrorism experts.) Stratfor have excellent reason not to like Assange or Wikileaks even before their internal emails were leaked; their economic justification for existing is selling information of the sort Wikileaks provides for free.

If Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden from the UK, any attempt to extradite him from Sweden by another country would have to satisfy both the UK and Swedish judiciary systems. (Note: As of August 2010, Sweden was where Julian Assange intended to live, until he fled the country rather than face police questioning about sexual assault.)

I do not see that the US has any legal grounds to extradite him. (A Grand Jury has been empanelled to investigate Wikileaks, citing 18 U.S.C. § 371 : US Code – Section 371: Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States – but again: with regard to classified information or espionage, this would have to apply to US citizens or at best to activities carried out within the US.)

Dianne Feinstein again:

As for the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has held that its protections of free speech and freedom of the press are not a green light to abandon the protection of our vital national interests. Just as the First Amendment is not a license to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, it is also not a license to jeopardize national security.

In effect, to agree that the US legislation applies to Julian Assange, both Sweden and the UK would have to agree that no matter what a person’s actual citizenship, their first loyalty is owed to the US.

Can I say how unlikely I think that is?

Arguing that the US might just take him anyway?

In summary:

I prefer to try to deal with facts. There is nothing to suggest either case. Sweden is far from being a tin-pot democracy. It is a fellow EU member and ranks amongst the very highest countries in the world for lack of corruption (Sweden is currently 4th in the Corruption Perception Index; the UK is 16th). If I personally had to go on trial anywhere, knowing I was innocent, I’d be quite happy to trust judicial process in any Scandinavian country.

The UK is interested in fulfilling its legal duty to extradite him to Sweden to face a criminal investigation. There has not, to the best of my knowledge, been any request to extradite him to the US made to either the UK or to Sweden. Arguably it would be less likely for this to take place from Sweden than from the UK in any case (see the many criticisms of our lenient US extradition policy).

Finally, both the United Kingdom and Sweden are prohibited from extraditing anyone who faces the death penalty under the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Swedish authorities cannot charge Julian Assange until he has been questioned by the police – a matter of due process. Assange has claimed he would agree to be questioned by the Swedish police in the UK, but has failed to show any reason why he should be allowed to avoid returning to Sweden (or why he should have left Sweden, where he had applied for a residency permit on 18th August). He’s also said he would agree to go to Sweden if they guarantee he will not be extradited to the US.

But no country could make that kind of open-ended guarantee. There is (as far as is publicly known) no legal basis for the US to extradite Assange for his Wikileaks activities, which is what he claims to be afraid of. Once he is extradited to Sweden to face police questioning, they will either decide to charge him or to release him: if they decide to charge him, he will go on trial and found guilty or not guilty on the various crimes for which he is wanted. If found guilty he’ll be sentenced to jail for no more than six years, probably less for good behaviour.

The UK also has a legal basis with which to charge him, since he’s undeniably skipped bail, so it’s also possible that if he were found innocent on all charges (or the Swedish authorities decided not to send him to trial) the UK might request him back.

But, so long as he is in Sweden and in the criminal justice system there, in order to get hold of him the US would either:

  • Have to satisfy both UK and Swedish judiciary that they have a legal basis to extradite him
  • Kidnap him by force while he’s in transit or from a Swedish jail or prison

The second action, if Julian Assange is seriously worried about it, is exactly as available to the US whether Assange is in Knightsbridge, in Sussex, in Stockholm, or in Quito.

[Update, via:

An acute diplomatic crisis broke out between the United States and Sweden in 2006 when Swedish authorities put a stop to CIA rendition flights, according to the latest revelation from Wikileaks. (5th December 2010)

The only two people who were forcibly repatriated to their home country from Sweden at the request of the US, where they were tortured, were two Egyptians sent in 2001: the Swedish government paid compensation in 2008. Assange would if treated the same way, be forcibly repatriated to Australia. An option also available to the UK government.]

I suspect that the most safe place for the Assange for the next four to six years if he’s worried about US kidnapping would actually be a Swedish jail. Constantly under observation and surrounded by people whose job it is to make sure none of the prisoners make an unauthorised exit.

I’m not a lawyer. It’s entirely possible I’m just missing something. On what grounds could the US extradite Assange from Sweden and the UK?

Update, 18th August

Answer, from Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney, who authored a report published on 10th January 2011 from the US Congressional Research Service:

This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply, but notes that these have been used almost exclusively to prosecute individuals with access to classified information (and a corresponding obligation to protect it) who make it available to foreign agents, or to foreign agents who obtain classified information unlawfully while present in the United States. Leaks of classified information to the press have only rarely been punished as crimes, and we are aware of no case in which a publisher of information obtained through unauthorized disclosure by agovernment employee has been prosecuted for publishing it. There may be First Amendment implications that would make such a prosecution difficult, not to mention political ramificationsbased on concerns about government censorship. To the extent that the investigation implicates any foreign nationals whose conduct occurred entirely overseas, any resulting prosecution may carry foreign policy implications related to the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction and whether suspected persons may be extradited to the United States under applicable treaty provisions.

In short: a legislative attorney did the research (much more thoroughly than I did) and concluded:

  • There’s probably no law that Wikileaks has broken by publishing US classified material.
  • Even if in some instances it can be shown that Wikileaks broke the law, it’s doubtful that a citizen of another country whose activities all took place outside the US, could be said to have broken US law in doing so.
  • Even if it could be shown that a citizen of another country broke US laws in publishing outside the US, it would be impossible to extradite that person, because it would be a political crime and extradition treaties don’t cover political crimes.

Julian Assange can go to Sweden and be perfectly safe there from US extradition.

Update, via Jeremy Duns: Swedish extradition for criminal offences law (1957:668)

  • Section 4: Extradition may be granted only if the act for which it is requested corresponds to an offence for which imprisonment for one year or more is prescribed by Swedish law. If the person has been sentenced for the act in the requesting state, he may be extradited only if the sentence is deprivation of liberty for at least four months or other institutional custody for a corresponding period.
  • So Sweden won’t extradite to the US unless the US can show that Assange has committed a crime which would, in Sweden, get him at least a year’s sentence. Sweden has a very solid FOI law: Assange intended to live there two years ago.

  • Section 6: Extradition may not be granted for a political offence. If the act also constitutes a non-political offence, extradition may be granted for that offence, provided, in the particular case, the act is predominantly of a non-political nature.
    The first paragraph does not apply where rejection on this ground would be contrary to an international agreement applying between Sweden and the requesting state. (SFS 2003:1158)
  • The first paragraph would clearly block any attempt to extradite Assange using the Espionage Act. Is there any international agreement between Sweden and the US that could require Sweden to extradite Assange?

    Update, from 1992 (note that Howard is a US citizen, which Assange is not):

    Upsetting American efforts to return him to stand trial, Edward Lee Howard, the only Central Intelligence Agency officer to ever defect to the Soviet Union, abruptly fled back to Russia last week, hours after his release from detention in Sweden.

    Mr. Howard moved to Stockholm from Moscow last year, operating as a business consultant. Pressured by American officials to expel him, the Swedish security police arrested him and conducted a brief inquiry. But in the end, the Swedish Government let him go. One reason: The treaty between the United States and Sweden does not recognize espionage as an extraditable offense.

    If you wonder if this still applies, the US Congressional Research Service in 2011 notes:

    The “political offense” exception has been a common feature of extradition treaties for almost a century and a half, and the exception appears to be contained in every modern U.S. extradition treaty.

  • Section 7: A person may not be extradited if, on account of his origin, belonging to a particular social group, his religious or political views, or otherwise on account of political circumstances, he would run the risk of being subjected in the foreign state to persecution which is directed against his life or liberty or is otherwise of a harsh nature, or if he does not enjoy protection against being sent to a state in which he would run such a risk.
  • The conditions in which Bradley Manning has been held, or the solitary confinement cells in US prisons, would constitute harsh treatment under ordinary EU human rights law: and unless the US can show evidence of a non-political offence – ie, not connected with Wikileaks – this would seem to apply as a “political circumstances” extradition.

  • Section 8: Extradition may not be granted where in a particular case, in view of the youth, state of health or any other personal circumstances of the person concerned, due account also being taken of the nature of the act and the interests of the foreign state, it is considered to be manifestly incompatible with basic standards of humane treatment.
  • Given that US politicians have called for Assange to be assassinated for acting against US interests, this section would also seem to apply.

  • Section 11: A person who is being prosecuted in Sweden for another offence, for which imprisonment is prescribed, or who has been sentenced to imprisonment or some other form of institutional custody, may not be extradited so long as that impediment prevails. The same shall apply if a preliminary investigation has been instituted with reference to an offence as aforesaid.
    If Assange is charged for rape and sexual assault, he can’t be extradicted to another state while this is ongoing or if he is found guilty and jailed. For up to six years.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph, a person may be extradited to stand trial for the act for which the foreign state has requested extradition, subject to the condition that he shall subsequently be surrendered to a Swedish authority in accordance with that which the Government decides. (SFS 1975:292)

  • Well, unless the Swedish government decides they’ll hand him over to the US, if the US can get past all the other blocks against extradicting Assange, but they don’t have to agree to do so and they will then have a right to get Assange back.

  • Section 12: When extradition is granted the following conditions, when applicable, shall be prescribed:
    1. Except with special consent in accordance with Section 24, the person extradited may not be prosecuted or punished in the foreign state for any other offence committed prior to his extradition …
    The US would not be able to decide to prosecute Assange for any other offence but the one they’d had him extradicted for.

    2. A person extradited may not be prosecuted for the offence in a court which has only been given ad hoc or emergency powers to try such cases. The government, however, may grant exemptions from this provision where it is considered compatible with legal security to do so.

    The US would not be able to try Assange in the Guantanamo Bay kangaroo courts, or any other ad hoc court – unless the Swedish government consented.

    3. A person who is extradited may not have the death penalty imposed for the offence.

  • The US is the last superpower standing, but Sweden is a member of the EU. If the US were to provide evidence of a non-political offence for which Assange could be jailed for at least a year in Sweden, and gave guarantees to Sweden that Assange would not be tried except by a proper court for that specific offence and would not be sent to any prison where he would suffer by-EU-standards harsh treatment and would above all not be executed: then Sweden might decide to let the US have Assange – but if the US then violated those guarantees, this would be an extremely aggressive act by the US against the EU.

  • Section 15: Before the Government makes a decision on the request, the Prosecutor-General shall deliver a statement of opinion on the matter. In addition, if the person referred to in the request has not consented to being extradited, the case shall be tried by the Supreme Court. The request shall, however, be rejected immediately if there is a manifest reason why it should not be granted. (SFS 1981:1090)
  • That looks like a whole set of reasons why Sweden would simply reject any request by the US to extradite Assange under the Espionage Act or the Conspiracy legislation.

And then, the US also has to apply to the UK for permission to extradict Assange. And no one’s yet shown me what law they’d charge him with breaking….

Julian Assange’s demand for an open-ended guarantee against ever being extradicted just isn’t realistic. If all he’s guilty of is deeply annoying the US government by publishing their classified information via Wikileaks, the US have no means of legally extraditing him by either (as far as I can see) US law or Swedish law. But how can anyone say that would be so forever?

Cecilia Riddselius, an official at the Swedish Justice Department (Scandinavia Today) “feels that the issue according to the way thinks look now, is highly hypothetical. There is yet no request from the U.S. that Assange be extradited. There have also been calls to say that it is not even likely that such application will be submitted.”

“No such guarantee is set. I can only reply at the official level. But after working with these issues for ten years, I can not see how it could become a reality.”

If Assange would return to Sweden and the request comes in, there remains a long process, which will go through the Attorney General to the Supreme Court and Parliament. It also required the consent of Great Britain and their bureaucratic process before it could be determined whether Assange would be extradited.

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26 Comments

Filed under American, Justice

26 responses to “Could the US extradite Assange?

  1. Robbie Pennington

    Nice to see you considering that a trial might be a good way of considering guilt or innocence, unlike your Twitter persona.

    • *sigh* The one person in the world who’s done most to deny Julian Assange due process and a fair trial, is Julian Assange himself.

      All his defenders, on Twitter and elsewhere, appear to share his views that rape is no big deal, or have stupidly overlooked the fact that they’re defending the main man working hard to deny St Julian a fair trial.

  2. Robbie Pennington

    There is a difference between defending Assange and defending due process; it’s intellectually extremely lazy, as well as plain wrong, to condemn people as “rape apologists” who are doing the latter. It’s also a huge leap to describe “all his defenders” as sharing the view that “rape is no big deal”; sure there will no doubt be some unpleasant motivations there, but “all”? No, highly unlikely.

    Making facile accusations simply spares you the bother of exploring the issues, doing the ‘homework’ and challenging your own assumptions. The person who you most condemn by behaving in that way is yourself, which is really disappointing because it tends to devalue the other things you have to say, many (most) of which are extremely sound and important.

    I agree that much of Assange’s own avoidance of due process can be seen as unhelpful or indeed self-destructive, but given the record of US lawlessness and assassination over many decades, it would be a brave person indeed who would rely on the law for protection. And Sweden’s own hands appear not to be entirely clean vis-s-vis CIA rendition flights, for example, and Sweden’s record on this particular case has been neither straightforward nor exemplary…

    …none of which, of course, bears upon whether Assange is innocent or guilty. But until proven otherwise he is innocent and even being a fugitive isn’t proof of his guilt.

    Can you please just do what you’re so obviously normally more than capable of, appraise and analyse cooly, drop the invective and allow that people may disagree with you without being ‘rape apologists’?

    • There is a difference between defending Assange and defending due process

      Absolutely there is. Julian Assange is not interested in getting due process. If he were, he’d have gone to Sweden when he was first told he was wanted for police questioning: or, going through extradition, he would not have walked into the Ecuador embassy when it was clear that the next stage in due process would be for him to go to Sweden.

      Now, you can defend that, but in that case, you are defending Assange: you are not defending due process.

      It’s also a huge leap to describe “all his defenders” as sharing the view that “rape is no big deal”

      Read more carefully.

      which is really disappointing because it tends to devalue the other things you have to say, many (most) of which are extremely sound and important.

      That’s not much of a compliment, if when you disagree with me, you stop thinking that what I have to say is extremely sound (if not important: I wouldn’t claim that of all my blog posts….). You disagree with me. That’s fine.

      but given the record of US lawlessness and assassination over many decades, it would be a brave person indeed who would rely on the law for protection.

      So? Assange is not being extradited to the US. The US has made no application for his extradition, and as I’ve outlined here, I do not see any basis on which they could apply for his extradition.

      And Sweden’s own hands appear not to be entirely clean vis-s-vis CIA rendition flights, for example, and Sweden’s record on this particular case has been neither straightforward nor exemplary…,

      Thus far, Sweden cooperated with the US on one occasion, in 2001, repatriating two Egyptian nationals to Egypt. It’s now four general elections later and two changes of government. If we dig back into the passt, in 1992 Sweden (as I’ve noted in my blog post) declined to return a US national to the US, because the US were charging him with espionage. But if we go with 2001, Sweden might agree to return Assange to Australia. But there’s no more reason to suppose the government of 2012 would do the same as the government of 2001 than there is to assume that because Cameron and Blair are both British PMs they’ll both have similar politics.

      Assange was (presumably, since it’s known to anyone with access to the Internet!) aware of both incidents when he applied for residency in Sweden on 18th August 2010. If Assange didn’t fear being extradited to the US from Sweden then, why is he suddenly claiming to be so afraid of it now?

      The UK is far more mired in CIA rendition flights than Sweden: the UK’s record on extrajudicial rendition – even of British nationals – is completely appalling. Yet Assange went to the UK from Sweden, apparently unworried by the higher probabilty that the UK would allow the US to extradite him.

      Can you please just do what you’re so obviously normally more than capable of, appraise and analyse cooly, drop the invective and allow that people may disagree with you without being ‘rape apologists’?

      I see you are unwilling to suppose that I have appraised and analysed coolly and blocked rape apologists because, you know, I just don’t like rape apologists.

      • Robert F

        ” If Assange didn’t fear being extradited to the US from Sweden then, why is he suddenly claiming to be so afraid of it now?”

        Again, you are making assumptions. You don’t know what US laws Assange may have broken since 2010 and you don’t know whether the US intends to bring him to trial.

        • You don’t know what US laws Assange may have broken since 2010

          I wrote this article BECAUSE I wanted to know what US laws Assange could have broken. None of the laws people kept claiming he’d broken actually seemed to apply when I looked at them – and even if they were twisted to apply to Assange, Swedish extradition law would then clearly block them. A fact Assange was probably as aware of in August 2010 as I am today.

          If you’ve got a better idea of what laws Assange might be said to have broken, do share. But if you’ve got nothing, don’t waste my time.

        • Updated my article with a link to research done by the US Congressional Research service, which came to the same conclusion in January 2011: Assange hasn’t broken any laws for which he could be extradited, or – if extradited – reliably convicted.

  3. Robbie Pennington

    “I see you are unwilling to suppose that I have appraised and analysed coolly and blocked rape apologists because, you know, I just don’t like rape apologists.”

    I know you haven’t.

    You know many less rape apologists than you think you do.

  4. Mats Henricson

    Aren’t you all being really naive now? The purpose of these legal threats from the US is not primarily to put him jail, but to make him spend all money and time in courts instead of leaking documents.

    If we assume the not too unlikely scenario that he eventually is sent to Sweden, questioned, then released because of lack of evidence (or put in jail for a few months and THEN relased), what could happen is that the US asks Sweden (and possibly also the UK) to pass him over. The charges? Sorry, can’t tell you, national security is at stake. It would then be the minister of justice and/or minister of foreign affairs in Sweden and the UK to decide. They could say, sorry dude, we’re sending you to the US, and all this is classified. Can’t tell you any details. He would then end up in the US, where he could spend years battling really smart people who will bend the laws as long as they can. See Bradley Manning, in case you wish to see someone handled like this in the US…

    It doesn’t matter if these charges makes sense at all, the purpose is to force him to spend all his time and money in legal battles.

    • The purpose of these legal threats from the US is not primarily to put him jail, but to make him spend all money and time in courts instead of leaking documents.

      1. There have been no legal threats from the US that forced Assange to spend time in courts.
      2. If Assange didn’t want to spend the past two years in court, he should have stayed in Sweden to face police questioning: it would probably have all been over and done with by the end of 2010.

      If we assume the not too unlikely scenario that he eventually is sent to Sweden, questioned, then released because of lack of evidence (or put in jail for a few months and THEN relased), what could happen is that the US asks Sweden (and possibly also the UK) to pass him over.

      Then please read the rest of my post. Thanks!

      • Cylux

        Regarding point 2 “If Assange didn’t want to spend the past two years in court,” – perhaps he should have, ya know, learned to respect consent and all that and not be a rapist.

        Hell, if I were a US security agent I’d be pissing myself laughing at the hole Assange has dug for himself. He’s killed his own credibility and that of wikileaks, and made himself a virtual prisoner all by himself, at this point a rendition flight would be surplus to requirements. The US gets what it wants by merely doing nothing and watching a paranoid egomaniac destroy his little empire by desperately avoiding a rape charge.

      • aletheia

        Nice ‘curate’s egg’ discussion = good in parts.

        “If Assange didn’t want to spend the past two years in court, he should have stayed in Sweden to face police questioning …”

        Q (to both birds): Why did you (Swedish sex-kitten) complain?

        A (in stereo unison): Because he did it with her too!

        Did not Assange leave SE as a free man, only to have the putative ‘*rape*-case’ later re-opened, by some politically-motivated 3rd party?
        Lemma: One non-trivial lie = zero credibility.

        Q: Is the current SE government still being advised by one Karl Rove?

        Q: Do you seriously consider the US to be honouring some ‘rule of law?’ Ditto for UK & SE; they are all ‘leaning over backwards’ to give such an appearance, but F+UK/NATO just smashed Libya? UK as part of B, B & H smashing Iraq, millions (via Albright to Lancet & beyond) dead? And SE, the WW2-collaborator, never changed its spots? (Secret agreement with NATO = un- & anti-democratic, violations of fundamental human rights)
        [http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR42/001/2006/en/97edf527-d3d2-11dd-8743-d305bea2b2c7/eur420012006en.pdf]

        Q: Are all these signs of ‘Laura Norder?’

        • Q (to both birds): Why did you (Swedish sex-kitten) complain?

          A (in stereo unison): Because he did it with her too!

          Goodness. So, if a man sexually assaulted you, and then you found that he had also raped an acquaintance, this would make you less likely to complain to the police? In fact, patterns of sexual assault/rape tend to be discovered as women come out about what happened to them, and more women come forward. :

          He did it for so long, for so many years. How many people haven’t come forward?

          “It beggars belief that someone could get away with something like that for so long. I know of two other friends who said a taxi driver had offered them champagne.

          “I think those who think they may have been attacked should speak out. Part of the fear is not being believed and not wanting to be dragged through it again, but it is important.”

          Nice bit of nasty sexism, by the way, referring to female Wikileaks activists as “Swedish sex kittens”. Do that again and you’re banned.

          Did not Assange leave SE as a free man, only to have the putative ‘*rape*-case’ later re-opened, by some politically-motivated 3rd party?

          No. The two incidents took place on 14th and 17th August. On 18th August, Assange applied for residency in Sweden. On 1st September, the public prosecutor re-examined the testimony and confirmed that the evidence showed that a crime had taken place, and instigated the police investigation. On 15th September, Assange left Sweden, apparently making a committment to return to be questioned: a commitment he has chosen not to fulfil. There is no evidence that the public prosecutor was politically motivated.

          Q: Is the current SE government still being advised by one Karl Rove?

          No idea. Sweden’s judiciary is Constitutionally independent of the government. No one has shown any evidence that Karl Rove is “advising” the Swedish judiciary, and no one has shown any link between the police investigation of the crimes of rape and sexual assault, and Karl Rove’s advising the current government.

          Q: Do you seriously consider the US to be honouring some ‘rule of law?’

          I concede the possibility that the US may intend to unlawfully kidnap – or even assassinate – Julian Assange. If so, the safest possible place for Assange to be would be a Swedish jail cell: the least safe would be to live in Ecuador, which is 4th in the world tables for the risk of kidnapping. If the US want to get hold of Assange legally, they have to prepare an extradition request which can be honoured by the UK (while Assange is here) or Sweden and the UK (when Assange has been extradited to Sweden: or Ecuador, if the next President isn’t as keen on Assange as President Correa.

          Ditto for UK & SE; they are all ‘leaning over backwards’ to give such an appearance, but F+UK/NATO just smashed Libya?

          And this has what relevance to extradition in a case of rape / sexual assault?

          And SE, the WW2-collaborator, never changed its spots?

          Sweden was neutral during WWII, allied with neutral Finland. Trade agreements made at the start of the war were not honoured – Swedish shipping to the UK was attacked – and blockade runners had to get roller bearings for the British aircraft industry through the German blockade of the Skagerrak straits. During WWII, some Swedes did things they should be ashamed of: others belong to “the Righteous among the Nations”: “In 1942, Sweden allowed the immigration of 900 Norwegian Jews. In October 1943, Sweden gave asylum to more than 8,000 Danish Jews, the whole Danish Jewish community, which came to Sweden via small fishing boats. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is famous for having saved thousands of Hungarian Jews in Budapest. Also, Count Folke Bernadotte helped bring Jews and non-Jews out of concentration camps.” Jewish Virtual Library: Sweden

          You’re really talking bollocks when you call Sweden a “WW2-collaborator”. Be ashamed.

          Ecuador: “Indigenous and community leaders faced spurious criminal charges. Those responsible for human rights violations continued to evade justice.”

          http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/ecuador/report-2012#ai-reports

          UK: “The protocol for the Detainee Inquiry was published and fell far short of human rights standards. The government confirmed its intention to expand its deportations with assurances programme to facilitate the return of individuals to countries where they face a real risk of torture. The Baha Mousa Inquiry criticized UK armed forces for serious human rights violations against detainees.”

          http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/uk/report-2012

          Sweden: “Ahmed Agiza, who had been subject to rendition, was released from prison in Egypt. Concerns were raised that many Romani asylum-seekers from Serbia were being denied access to a fair asylum procedure. Forced returns to Eritrea and Iraq continued. ”

          http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/sweden/report-2012

          None of these countries are perfect. But it’s notable that Assange’s cultists do not care to look at the human rights issues of Ecuador, or consider whether the UK is really so much better than Sweden (it isn’t).

          • aletheia

            Blog item title: Could the US extradite Assange?

            Scandinavia_today: “Assange want guarantees from the UK, U.S. and Sweden. … Sweden can not guarantee in advance that he will not be extradited, according to Cecilia Riddselius.”

            Tacit admission that Sweden *could* extradite.

            Needed: Estimation of likelihood; UK, U.S. and Sweden.

            EdinburghEye: “I concede the possibility that the US may intend to unlawfully kidnap – or even assassinate – Julian Assange.”

            Thnx, that’s ‘it’ for the US.

            Because people lie, also by omission (= secrecy), we look to ‘form.’

            EdinburghEye: “You’re really talking bollocks when you call Sweden a “WW2-collaborator”.”

            1. “During the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Sweden allowed the Wehrmacht to use Swedish railways to transport (June–July 1941) the German 163rd Infantry Division along with howitzers, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons and associated ammunition, from Norway to Finland.”

            2. “However, when it came to trade with the Nazi regime, the Swedes, for a period of time, accommodated themselves to the Reich to an even greater extent than the Swiss did. … But after 1943 the Swedish government, heeding Allied warnings about neutrals …”

            POD: collaborate v. (-ting) (often foll. by with) 1 work together. 2 cooperate with an enemy.

            There seems to be some controversy as to how ‘neutral’ WW2-SE was.

            (BTW, Interesting that Bernadotte got a mention, see what he got from ‘friends’ (the militant Zionist group Lehi) of some of those he helped.)

            Since then, AI-pdf (op. cit.): “on the basis of secret intelligence, allegedly provided by foreign…” But that was the previous SE regime.

            What of the current SE regime? Ideologically, it is moving towards the mainly US model = cutting taxes and services, and generally reducing the ‘quality of life’ that made SE the envy of the world. That in itself proves nothing; what of the chances of ‘dirty tricks,’ here handing Assange over? That’s why my mention of Rove.

            EdinburghEye: “No one has shown any evidence that Karl Rove is “advising” the Swedish judiciary, …”

            Carl Sagan: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

            Nor has anyone shown that despite pious utterances, something very bad may be ‘allowed’ happen (say one thing, do another); Murphy says ‘If something may happen then eventually it will’ – here assuming that the campaign against Assange is continued.

            Ditto for the UK,

            EdinburghEye: “And this [F+UK/NATO just smashed Libya] has what relevance to extradition in a case of rape / sexual assault?”

            It goes to UK ‘form,’ and here we can cite two items, the Downing St Memo and the Chilcot enquiry. One demonstrated deliberately concealed info, the other was denied critical info, and the F+UK/NATO Libya-smashing after Iraq-smashing shows policy ‘continuity’ across opposing governments.

            To the Q: Why doesn’t the UK hand him over? – I can only surmise that that might just be a step too far for the Poms.

            Then,

            EdinburghEye: “then you found that he had also raped an acquaintance, … He did it for so long, for so many years. How many people haven’t come forward?”

            telegraph.co.uk: “It is feared that hundreds of women could have been targeted by the 51-year-old former stripper who was convicted on Friday for a string of assaults against 12 female passengers.”

            This is a (fallacial; apples/oranges) attempt at smearing Assange via association, and aligns nicely with the Aftonbladet.

            EdinburghEye(earlier): “All his defenders, … appear to share his views that rape is no big deal, …”

            Robbie Pennington: “it’s intellectually extremely lazy, as well as plain wrong, to condemn people as “rape apologists” …”

            EdinburghEye(later): “… in a case of rape / sexual assault?”

            Q: What evidence is there for ‘sexual misconduct’ per se, and is the label ‘rape’ appropriate and if so how justified?

            telegraph.co.uk: “Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 percent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape,” Mr Galloway said. “At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it. And somebody has to say this.”

            EdinburghEye(later): “On 15th September, Assange left Sweden, apparently making a committment …”

            Q: Can this statement and its paragraph be substantiated?

            Failing a conviction, ‘alleged’ must be appended, and ‘innocent until …’ respected. The ‘Western’ media, both for-profit and publicly-financed, have long since dropped the ‘alleged.’ This moves us to the next step: “people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

            It’s actually not a matter of what Assange did or did not do with the two Swedish ladies (somewhat ‘unfortunate’ as Cylux pointed out), but what the US intends and how they go about it. Anyone who crosses the US usually attracts some sort of ‘disproportionate’ response, ask Iran (1953+), Libya (1986+) and Iraq (1990+) etc.. Failing a successful ‘white knight’ (an Ecuador asylum success, say), Assange’s outlook is pretty grim.

            EdinburghEye: “Julian Assange can go to Sweden and be perfectly safe there from US extradition.”

            Nightmares are often somewhat irrational, and due to his ‘business,’ Assange may know a lot more negatives about the US than we do.

          • “Tacit admission that Sweden *could* extradite.”

            Yes. Sweden can extradite Julian Assange from the UK because he is wanted on charges of rape/sexual assault in Sweden. Suppose it turns out that Assange has a *pattern* of rapes/sexual assaults and other witnesses start coming forward? Other countries can extradite Assange from Sweden after Swedish judiciary are done with him, if they present a solid legal case.

            “POD: collaborate v. (-ting) (often foll. by with) 1 work together. 2 cooperate with an enemy.”

            So Sweden collaborated with Germany and with the UK. Um, pretty sure that sounds like being neutral.

            “Why doesn’t the UK hand him over? – I can only surmise that that might just be a step too far for the Poms.”

            Certainly the UK won’t do it unless the US makes a legal application. Which the US hasn’t.

            Rather than making a fool of yourself citing George Galloway, who has just been condemned by the leader of his own party for his comments on rape, kindly answer the question: So, if a man sexually assaulted you, and then you found that he had also raped an acquaintance, this would make you less likely to complain to the police?

            “On 15th September, Assange left Sweden, apparently making a committment …

            The date Assange left Sweden, less than a month after he’d applied for a residency permit, two weeks after the public prosecutor had decided the evidence was sufficient to open a rape/sexual assault case, is fairly well substantiated all over the place. Assange’s committment to return is slightly less substantiated: hence my use of the word “apparently”.

            It’s actually not a matter of what Assange did or did not do with the two Swedish ladies

            Of course it is. He’s wanted for charges of rape/sexual assault. To you, this may be a matter of indifference. Not to them.

            (somewhat ‘unfortunate’ as Cylux pointed out), but what the US intends and how they go about it. Anyone who crosses the US usually attracts some sort of ‘disproportionate’ response, ask Iran (1953+), Libya (1986+) and Iraq (1990+) etc.. Failing a successful ‘white knight’ (an Ecuador asylum success, say), Assange’s outlook is pretty grim.

            Yes, he’s wanted for rape/sexual assault in Sweden, he’s busily insulting Wikileaks supporters for not supporting him personally, and he’s stuck in a small room in Knightsbridge, apparently indefinitely. Safe enough from the US, of course, but he would be far better off if he’d stayed in Sweden in Sepetember 2010.

    • Chris

      Bradley Manning is a member of the armed forces, who willingly signed away some of his rights for the interim of his enlistment. The document he signed put him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. His trial takes place under a wholly separate legal code than the criminal laws covering civilians, and there’s no credible legal theory that would have Mr. Assange tried by a military court under the UCMJ.

  5. Thanks for this article.
    It agrees with everything I already have said online from a common sense standpoint, but it’s good to see the law actually backing up what I already thought.

    I’m a Norwegian, and I regularly watch Swedish TV. I can tell you that the rendition of the two asylum seekers from Sweden to Egypt caused quite a stir in Sweden. There was a documentary on TV about it that was very critical of the Swedish government. -And the two people rendered has gotten settlement money from the Swedish government because they were treated wrongly. (Don’t remember seeing anyone else paying damages to anyone rendered.)

    Most likely it will be political suicide for any party in Sweden who extradites Assange to the USA. Having followed Swedish politics for about 30 years, I just can’t see that happening.

    When it comes to fears the US would kidnap Assange. Well, if I led a US team tasked with kidnapping Assange, I would have done it while he was in the UK. And then planted a false story that he went underground because of the rape charges. -That would be much easier than waiting until he got to Sweden, where he most likely will be under custody of the authorities the whole time he’s there.

    It just doesn’t make sense to go to the UK rather than Sweden if you are afraid of the USA getting hold of you. Either Assange’s lawyers and advisors are totally clueless, or he knows what he did will get him convicted of rape in Sweden and that is what he’s really fighting -and everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

  6. Pingback: In the news - Page 326 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

  7. What if depotation were the tool used, instead of extradition. i.e., what if Sweden convicts him for the rape charges. Does Swedish law have any provision to deport foreign nationals convicted of a crime? (e.g. To his home country, or perhaps another country which might be more likely to extradite him to the US?)

    - RG>

    • I don’t know.

      My guess would be that Assange could not be deported against his will to any country but Australia: and if he could make a case that in Australia he would face persecution/harsh treatment due to his political views, he could claim asylum in Sweden.

      Because Assange is now wanted for jumping bail in the UK, and because the UK is the country from which Sweden is extraditing him, once Sweden’s judicial process is done with him, Assange would normally have to be returned to the UK.

      If he chose, Assange could probably make a good case to the Swedish authorities (if the UK consented to drop the charges for his jumping bail) for deporting him to either Australia or Ecuador – if they keep open their offer of asylum and if Assange still chooses to accept it.

      There’s no lawful grounds that I know of for deporting Assange to the US and a solid legal case against doing so since Assange would there be at risk of torture or death.

  8. aletheia

    Q: Why does comment of 22/08/2012 at 9:21 am not have a “Reply” option?

    EdinburghEye: “Yes. Sweden can extradite Julian Assange from the UK …”

    *From* is not the topic – why did you do that? It’s the chance of SE allowing extradition *to* the US; you could try re-reading the quote from *your* link to Riddselius: “can not guarantee in advance that he will not be extradited…”

    Emphasis: “that he will not be extradited.”

    EdinburghEye: “Rape” seven times, of which four “rape/sexual assault;” no single “alleged.”

    Lemma: It is not who says what, but what is said. You introduced telegraph.co.uk; there was Galloway: “It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”

    Emphasis: “bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”

    EdinburghEye: “kindly answer the question” – no, on the one hand, only if I *wish*, (which I might if the Q had some relevance), and on the other, I don’t generally ‘do’ hypotheticals. Perhaps you might care to respond vis-à-vis your fallacial attempt at smearing Assange via association with someone “convicted on Friday for a string of assaults against 12 female passengers?”

    And while you are at that, consider again: Failing a conviction, ‘alleged’ must be appended, and ‘innocent until …’ respected.

    EdinburghEye: “I’m not a lawyer.”

    We are thankful for small mercies. The ‘Western’ media, *and you*, are indulging in smearing Assange, using the worst available language, the SE authorities are attempting to drag Assange back to SE, on what may well be trumped-up charges, perhaps encouraged, even actually instigated, by Karl Rove. At all times, the US (regime, psy- and black-operators, CIA renderers – what do we know, since it’s all *covert*, which is itself by definition un- and anti-democratic) – is hovering in the background, with the threat of death or worse – for a whistle-blowers’ agent. It’s called tyrannical persecution of the messenger – lastly, because that messenger has published material that shows wicked malfeasance – of the US regime, and many of its toadies.

    • Q: Why does comment of 22/08/2012 at 9:21 am not have a “Reply” option?

      WordPress software. I stopped nesting comments at 3 levels because I was concerned to keep comments readable. It’s really intended “(1) Comment: (2) Reply: (3) -if wished- Brief Response. That way everything stays readable. If you wish to write a long comment in response to a Reply, it’s probably best to start anew and use italicised quotes or blockquotes to be clear what you’re replying to.

      *From* is not the topic – why did you do that

      I didn’t , you did. You said: ““Tacit admission that Sweden *could* extradite.” Yes. Sweden can extradite.

      there was Galloway: “It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”

      Galloway’s endorsement of rape sheds a horrible light on him ethically and morally. I have already advised you once to stop this. You need not answer the question, of course – but I need not tolerate your comments if you continue to quote an advocate of rape approvingly.

      The question is: if a man sexually assaulted you, and then you found that he had also raped an acquaintance, this would make you less likely to complain to the police?

      only if I *wish*, (which I might if the Q had some relevance), and on the other, I don’t generally ‘do’ hypotheticals.

      You began your first comment here decrying two Swedish Wikileaks activists from going to the police precisely because of that situation. That’s the relevance. Got an answer?

      If not, well, I conclude you are not interested in engaging in dialogue. As many rape convictions discover, few rapists attack only one victim.

      And while you are at that, consider again: Failing a conviction, ‘alleged’ must be appended, and ‘innocent until …’ respected.

      Many people do try to defend rapists who have escaped justice by claiming we are not allowed to identify rape as rape except if the attacker has been convicted. This is untrue. The presumption of innocent until proved guilty applies in the special protected circumstances of trial, court, and the possibility of prison.

      Consider the Rochdale rapists, for example:

      But in August 2008, the gang had been uncovered: the police found a suspect’s DNA on Tom’s daughter’s underwear; two men were arrested and charged. Yet the victims’ ordeal was far from over. Months went by without news.

      It took the police 11 months to send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which then decided in July 2009 not to prosecute, for fear that Tom’s daughter would not be a credible witness. Only in late 2010 was the case taken up in earnest and arrests made that would eventually bring the gang to trial.

      Yet, in the months that followed Tom’s daughter’s arrest, she continued to be abused and her parents, with no support from social workers, were unable to prevent it. Worried that the police were on to them, the gang passed her to Abdul Aziz, 41, a taxi driver, who would transport her between houses where she would be raped by up to five men in one night, several times a week.

      The ‘Western’ media, *and you*, are indulging in smearing Assange, using the worst available language

      Worst available language? *thinks* Oh no, you’ve led a very sheltered life if you think that’s so.

      • aletheia

        Oh, dear.

        1. Wilful misinterpretation: “I didn’t , you did.” – ignoring now, *twice*, the ‘primary source’ = *your* citation. (Lemma: If any doubt, refer to original.)

        2. “Galloway’s endorsement of rape” is *your* interpretation, and follows *your* mindset = assuming Assange guilty = “Begging the question: demonstrates a conclusion by means of premises that assume that conclusion. … Also called Petitio Principii, or assuming the answer.”

        3. “The question is: if a man sexually assaulted you,” – see (2). No, and I do mean *NO* proof of rape has ever been made available, neither to you nor the (corrupt?) SE-prosecutor; otherwise Assange would have been arrested instead of *being allowed to freely leave SE* – totally independent of your now admittedly unsubstantiable “apparently making a committment” [sic].

        4. EdinburghEye: “… complain to the police?”

        Yes, that’s what the “female Wikileaks activists” did, then a) they got cold feet, b) the case was dropped, c) one at least refused to sign any statement, then d) the case was revivified, and I cease to care in which order – because of the 99% possibility of ‘trumped up charges,’ then see (2) begging the question and (3) being allowed to freely leave SE.

        There is a proof here, accessible by logic: IF SE had sufficient and necessary proof of some crime THEN they would have long since charged Assange (au contraire they let him go; 15th Sep is a looong time from the 1st); since asking for Assange’s physical presence could add *precisely nothing*, were Assange to say “I have nothing further to say” – aka his right to remain silent. In other words, the whole kerfuffle really is a years-long ruse – to get Assange’s body into SE – but *not* because of any putative female Wikileaks activists related issue.

        Emphasis: IF evidence THEN charge; IF no charge THEN insufficient evidence, loop a few times and invert = SE has insufficient evidence to charge HENCE no charge; Assange’s physical presence may add *zero* new info, … insufficient evidence = no charge = no (prosecutable) crime.

        Like SE, I can only go on available evidence; they *outright refuse* to charge and that years long = they just don’t have anything substantial on Assange. Repeat: Ruse. And look at the time and effort wasted.

        5. EdinburghEye: “The presumption of innocent until proved guilty applies in the special protected circumstances of trial, court, and the possibility of prison.” See (2) again, and your ““Rape” seven times, of which four “rape/sexual assault;” no single “alleged.”” You must be Joe King?

        6. EdinburghEye: Rochdale rapists irrelevant rubbish. See (2) etc. – looping.

        7. EdinburghEye: “you’ve led a very sheltered life …” No, mate. I came off the grass, latest with B, B & H’s Nuremberg-class crimes, retrospectively ditto Zionists’ 65+year-long crimes against humanity outrages, no end (yet) in sight. (Q: Why Jews? A: You mentioned ‘em, 7 times.) Your turn – to come off the grass. Oh yes, one more thing: You very well “need not tolerate” anything, *all* people are *always* free – to remain in their own chosen ‘information-state.’

        • Wilful misinterpretation: “I didn’t , you did.”

          Interesting how often bad communicators accuse their readers of “wilful misinterpretation” for responding to what they wrote, rather than what they meant.

          2. “Galloway’s endorsement of rape” is *your* interpretation

          Indeed: also the interpretation of Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect party (Galloway’s party), Mandy Rhodes (editor of Holyrood magazine), Lesley Riddoch (noted Scottish journalist), Louise Mensch (Tory MP., and not someone I ordinarily agree with at all), Archie Bland (deputy editor of the Independent)

          “The question is: if a man sexually assaulted you,” – see (2). No, and I do mean *NO* proof of rape has ever been made available

          Apart from the testimony by police interview of both women. In states where Sharia law applies, a woman’s testimony is regarded as “No and I do mean NO proof” of rape, but in countries where women’s testimony is not disregarded, that is not the case. So your claim that there’s “NO proof” of rape is just plain wrong, as you’d know if you knew anything about the case. Which apparently you don’t!

          George Galloway, Julian Assange, and Todd Akin may have very little else in common politically, but they are at one – it appears – in their vigorous endorsement of the idea that just because there was no consent sought or given, that doesn’t mean non-consensual sex is rape.

          No, and I do mean *NO* proof of rape has ever been made available, neither to you nor the (corrupt?) SE-prosecutor; otherwise Assange would have been arrested instead of *being allowed to freely leave SE*

          Individuals within the EU are allowed to move freely. That is our general policy. Sometimes – as when a fugitive from justice sits down in another EU country and evades police questioning – this may come expensive, but, price of freedom.

          IF SE had sufficient and necessary proof of some crime THEN they would have long since charged Assange

          On the contrary. Assange is entitled to due process. Everyone agrees to that, except for Assange himself, his more cultlike supporters, and extremist Americans. Due process means that Assange cannot be charged until he has been questioned by the police.

          As Assange left Sweden and refuses to go back, he cannot yet be charged. Assange’s “defense” that he “hasn’t been charged with anything” is no defense at all, merely an acknowledgement of, thus far, successfully evading the next stage in his due process.

          The Swedish judiciary are pursuing this because they have evidence of the crimes of rape and sexual assault that may be sufficient to convict Assange in court: but Assange is obviously entitled to a fair trial if it comes to that.

          Your confrontational ignorance of legal process is quite fascinating.

          Rochdale rapists irrelevant rubbish.

          Not at all. Totally exploded your claim that it’s not rape until the rapist has been convicted. Any other case would have done the same.

          EdinburghEye: “you’ve led a very sheltered life …” No, mate.

          Oh, honey, you claim that so bravely, yet you think that Assange has been talked about in the “worst possible” language? No, little flower, he has not.

          • aletheia

            EdinburghEye: “Interesting how often bad communicators accuse their readers …” 3rd missed swipe = clean bowled; not listening, over and out.

            [Ed: Thanks for being so honest! In that case, I’ll stop replying – I didn’t think you were listening, but now that’s confirmed.]

            EdinburghEye: “Indeed: also the interpretation of …” see ipse dixit. Your fallacy count goes up and up.

            EdinburghEye: “Apart from the testimony by police interview of both women.”

            supremecourt.gov.uk: “The proceedings against Mr Assange are founded on complaints made by two women on 20 August 2010. A Preliminary Investigation conducted by the Chief Officer, in which Mr Assange co-operated, concluded that there was no case against him in respect of the alleged rape. … He then left the country, which he was free to do.”

            Me: “IF SE had sufficient and necessary proof of some crime THEN they would have long since charged Assange”

            EdinburghEye: “Due process means that Assange cannot be charged until he has been questioned by the police.”

            Comment; Q: IF so THEN why not interview by some alternate to physical presence? There are SE-precedents, hand any (extra) costs on: User pays. But no, years long kerfuffle. See posit.

            Comment: You ignore my logic as your nth missed swipe; I conclude that you are only interested in following your own preferred themes.

            Proof (from a non-lawyer): “Your confrontational ignorance of legal process is quite fascinating.” – Thank you, that’s quite enough abuse.

            Apart from Q: Why doesn’t UK extradite = allow rendering (UK = too cowardly?), there is another Q: IF supposed evidence THEN why no charge?

            A; posit: That there is a (quasi-)legal ‘trapdoor’ waiting; between SE-arrival and (putative) charging, Assange is vulnerable to ‘accelerated extradition’ – my invented (1984-inspired) terminology, aka rendering (recall antidemocratic ‘covert ops’) – and it’s good night from him.

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