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ASSANGE EXTRADITION FIGHT
Correa: Assange set for indefinite embassy stay

Correa: Assange set for indefinite embassy stay

Published: 18 Aug 2012 08:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Aug 2012 08:31 GMT+02:00

Ecuador's president acknowledged Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will remain in Quito's embassy in London as long as Britain refuses to give him safe passage out of the country.

"The problem is that they aren't going to give him the safe conduct," Rafael Correa said in a radio interview, adding that "Mr Assange can stay indefinitely in our embassy."

Ecuador on Thursday granted political asylum to the 41-year-old Australian activist, who has been holed up in the country's embassy in the British capital since June 19th to escape extradition to Sweden.

Britain said the Ecuadoran decision changed nothing and that it was obliged under its laws to extradite Assange, who is wanted for questioning in Sweden in a sexual assault case.

Correa contended that European law was "a bit different" from Latin American legal practice, which he said requires the country where the embassy is located to "obligatorily grant safe conduct."

"In Europe it's not like that, at least not in the United Kingdom," he said, in his first public comments since his foreign minister announced that Assange would be granted asylum.

In its decision, Ecuador cited the possibility that Assange might be extradited to the United States where he fears he could face the death penalty for WikiLeaks' release of a massive trove of classified US documents.

Correa repeated an accusation made earlier this week by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino that Britain had threatened to storm the embassy to seize Assange.

"A couple of days ago we received... the threat, not even a veiled threat but explicit and in writing, that they could come into our embassy under their domestic laws," he said.

Correa insisted that even though diplomatic premises are inviolable under international treaties, "that possibility exists according to what the United Kingdom itself expressed," he said.

Britain on Thursday denied that it had threatened to storm the embassy.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned, however, that "no one, least of all the government of Ecuador, should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation to see Mr Assange extradited to Sweden."

Correa said Ecuador acted only after exhausting all efforts to secure guarantees that, once in Sweden, Assange would not be extradited to the United States.

"Sweden never gave that guarantee, England never gave it," he said, adding that Assange risked life in prison if extradited to the United States.

The US State Department said the struggle over Assange's status was a matter between Ecuador, Britain and Sweden, and that the United States had no plans to interject itself in the dispute.

The Organization of American States has meanwhile called a meeting of foreign ministers for August 24th to discuss the standoff sparked by Ecuador giving asylum to Assange.

Twenty-three countries voted for the resolution proposed by Ecuador to convene the meeting at its Washington headquarters to discuss Quito's standoff with Britain over Assange.

The United States, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago voted no. Five countries abstained, and three others were absent.

The US envoy to the OAS, Carmen Lomellin, said a meeting of OAS foreign ministers "would be unhelpful and harmful to the OAS' reputation as an institution."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:24 August 18, 2012 by grymagnusson
The really sad thing is that anything achieved by WikiLeaks has now been reduced to the personality cult that is JA.

He is accused of serious sexual assault allegations in Sweden. A man can be a fighter for free information AND a suspected rapist - there is no contradiction in terms.

In order to resume work as the former, he needs to deal with the latter. Unless of course, he is actually guilty and is merely a common criminal seeking to use his notoriety to avoid justice.

In the meantime the US have him just where they want him - silenced.
10:52 August 18, 2012 by Frobobbles
I just hope they have enough muchachas
11:01 August 18, 2012 by matona1
grymagnusson ,, please look beyond the rock and face the reality
11:18 August 18, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Grym both women have stated the sex was consensual...boils down to him not using a condom.

The following link demonstrates 8 serious problems with the investigation.

http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/
13:23 August 18, 2012 by Hisingen
The resident barrack-room lawyers are on the go again, knowing more than anyone else as usual.

assange is in the best place - free - for the moment only. Ecuador's reputation for freedom of the press is well known for its generosity - with prison sentences.
14:52 August 18, 2012 by philster61
I bet when he the nights he indulged in consensual carnal pleasure with the women he never expected the consequences would amount to this. Normally when people indulge in casual sex they worry about STDs. But this surely must take the cake for out of proportion consequential risky sex.
15:25 August 18, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Hisingen, you do realize full well that the media in Ecuador is largely controlled by industry and banks that have been fleecing the country for years. The difference between Correa and say an Obama is Correa is standing up to them. Its not free press when the media is owned by a few families, its privatized press which is something completely different.

Sweden, hell no, earlier in the day before the asylum was announced Carl Bildt inagurated a Raoul Wallenberg monument. How handy to edify the dead and good Wallneberg to forget about all the nazi collaborator Wallenbergs via SKF, SEB, et. al. How nice it must be to impose some neo conservative rewrite of history.

Ecuador has its issues, Sweden has its issues. But only one of those two countries allows itself to have the long and wide shaft of the US inserted into it backside. Does it tickle? Do you enjoy it? Will Sweden charge the US with rape because its not using a condom? My guess is your country is Sweden is just half asleep.
16:20 August 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
It seems that Mr. Transparency is anything but the Master of Spin, all while keeping the truth secret. Such an irony. A man who once claimed that he was all about the truth until he got himself in trouble with two women. Great men have been brought down by their indiscretions how with will be the greatest fall without the prospect of recovery.

Image Assange wants to challenge UK desire to arrest him in an international court. Does he believe that suppressing the truth there will work

UK is legally obliged to send Assange to Sweden. Sweden is legally bound to return Assange to the UK after all legal proceeding has ceased. Also, Sweden must request UK's permission to extradite Assange to a third country.

Correa being a bright economist and politician can easily wash his hands of this episode, by claiming he got faulty legal advice. Correa does not want a legal fight over this issue.

It is carious why Correa wants a conference of the Americas on Assange. He must know that the US is part of the Americas, and would strongly disagree with him. He must know strict legal principles is his only asset, and repeat conjecture is of no assistance.

The tide has started to shift away from Assange.
16:46 August 18, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Tiny, the women do not want to press charges, it was consensual sex. The issue was over whether he wore a condom or not. The first prosecutor dropped the case the second one picked it up. In Sweden, a prosecutor can pick up a case over and over again with little to stop them. Do me a favor next time before you spout off at the mouth get your facts straight of keep your pie hole shut.

You just sound like the mainstream media...focus the attention on Assange and the hyperbole rather than examine the contents of what wikileaks releases in depth. You sound like a shill, if someone wanted to read drivel of your caliber than they could just tune into CNN or Fox. Noting new here from Tiny Red Ant.

Regarding Correa, South America should just nationalize everything their owned by the US and the UK and then privatize it to their own people. Continental Europe, Asia, and the Middle east will still be happy to do business with them. Its about time the US and the UK got a little taste of their own colonial medicine.
17:23 August 18, 2012 by Freespeech
@Sois.com...Couldn't of said it better myself..
19:09 August 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
@SOIS.COM

It will never be understood why you keep pushing information that is false. When it comes to fairness Sweden is in the top 10.

I have to apologize but is you and other Assange appologist who are focused on Julian Assange.

Here is an exert from the ruling against Assange, on page 20.

"Clear and specific serious allegations have been made against Mr Assange in Sweden. Attempts have been made by the Swedish prosecutor as long ago as September to interview him. He has not been interviewed. The Swedish system anticipates detention and early questioning in allegations of this type, but this has not taken place. Mr Assange is not known to have returned to Sweden since September. I have no doubt that this defendant is wanted for prosecution in Sweden."

To bad Assange picked a leader who abuses his power against the media.
20:08 August 18, 2012 by sgt_doom
@1, Grym,

Please see my comments at this excellent article on Bradley Manning's trial, under "WikiLeaks Primer" ---

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/the-most-disturbing-thing-about-the-case-against-bradley-manning/Content?oid=14460991

Also, you might wish to review all the positives resulting from those WikiLeaked cables: at least 13 ambassadors were declared persona non grata at their host countries for working on behalf of multinational interests against the interest of their host countries, etc.

Also, please review those Stratfor files:

"Stratfor e-mails have revealed that a sealed indictment has been issued by a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, for Julian Assange. The email is dated 26 January 2011. This means that there has likely been a sealed extradition order for over a year, which will be activated (unsealed) against Assange in Sweden, Australia and the UK when the US Government gives the order."

http://wikileaks.org/Stratfor-Emails-US-Has-Issued.html

Let us not ignore the facts as madmen often do.

Thank you.
20:58 August 18, 2012 by cheeba
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A WOMAN SCORNED.

Why did these women wait days to report their "rapes" ? Why did one of them throw a party for him the next morning after he "raped" her?

It was only after they got together and conspired to discuss their intimate sex lives that they realized Assange was two timing both of them, that he just used them for sex and he would never be their boyfriend.

Only then did they suddenly decide to go together to prosecuters with this "case".

What luck for the CIA that they could exploit this and get Assange to a country that has a strong extradition treaty with the US, as well as a history of cooperating in "renditions" including to Egypt, where it is proven two men sent there by Sweden were tortured.

The apologists shout, there are no charges pending in the US, but leave out the detail that the US has a practice of issuing sealed indictments, one must notice the carefully parsed words of Victoria Neuland "not that I am aware of".

HA HA
06:55 August 19, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
@cheeda.

Why do victims of sexual violence some times takes years to report the offense?

Why do victims of domestic violence and sexual assault stay with their partners who abused them?

There are various reason for both questions. Sometimes it is fear of the abuser or fear that they will not be believed.

There is no evidence that even suggest that there is any outside influence other than the women told about their rights, and having some help plead their case.

There is no sealed indictment as the grand jury is still on going. A sealed indictment is a legal document which is held by the federal or state prosecutor until the person or persons in the document have been apprehended.

The irony here is the level of proof required by some to suggest Assange avoiding being a victim, is significantly lower for them than the fact that he is accuses of molesting two women.
07:49 August 19, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Tiny, what did I say that was false? Regarding your quote, what "clear and specific, serious allegations" is the court referring to. What are the facts in your opinion ;-) ?
08:38 August 19, 2012 by Flutterbye
consensual sex........yuk who would want to sleep with this creepy freak also wondering if someone is taking bleach into the embassay, his roots must need doing by now.
08:57 August 19, 2012 by Coaxen
This whole affair exposed how 'democratic' our western countries are. Threatening to raid an embassy? That's what happens in riots in Middle-Eastern countries, right? Not anymore.
09:15 August 19, 2012 by grymagnusson
@matona @sois

Are the rape and sexual assault allegations part of a US backed CIA conspiracy?

No they are not and it is delusion to think otherwise.

Are the rape and sexual assault allegations erroneous?

Quite possibly. But until JA cooperates with the investigation the matter can't be resolved.

I know it can be hard to "look behind the rock" on this one, but that is the only thing that matters here in relation to JA's extradition to Sweden.

The rest - however true, feasible, imagined or fantastical - is the plot to an entirely different movie.

It is possible to be US public enemy number 1 (well, perhaps 10) and also be a common criminal. The two don't have to be linked, just because you want them to.
09:24 August 19, 2012 by Kevin Harris
What is undeniable here is that a huge number of normally sensible people employed by several nations,, ranging from prosecutors, the Swedish prime minister, to the British foreign minister have all said and done some absolutely wierd and crazy stuff in this mad case of minor sexual assault. This week, the British forign minister ignored his own legal advice and unwisely hinted he might invade an Equadorian embassy. And that's not the worst of it, they've all gone completely bonkers in their ambition to get control over this strange little man.

The so far unanswered question is ..... Why? Has a very dodgy case of minor sexual assault become synonymous with mass murder or genocide? Or are all these major players interested in Assange for another reason?
09:54 August 19, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
@SOIS.COM

Either read the court rulings or don't. It is your choice. There is no surprise that you haven't. You can disagree with the ruling, but that doesn't seem to be case.
14:58 August 19, 2012 by grymagnusson
"Why? Has a very dodgy case of minor sexual assault become synonymous with mass murder or genocide?"

Because JA has chosen to make it so.

If he had got on a plane to Sweden the circus would never have happened and he would have been interviewed in connection with the allegations - which include one of rape.

He is only holed up in the embassy because he walked in and asked.

He has only been under subject to bail conditions for almost two years, because he has chosen to pursue all avenues of the UK legal system.

He is either guilty as sin. Or he is playing his cards in this opportunity the best way he can. None of us know and at the moment all there is widespread contempt of the UK and Sweden's legal systems.
18:06 August 20, 2012 by themoron
Some facts about the circus.

With all the controversial comments I have read in this thread, one can assume that for millions and millions of people around the world, Julian Assange will be remembered as the famous man from Australia who went to Sweden and raped two women. There are many things to be considered:

On August 21, barely one day after the arrest warrant was issued, suspended by the prosecutor no. 2, who considered that "there were no grounds for suspicion of rape or other sex crime".

Anna Ardin was interrogated by the police over the phone and provided a description of its sexual encounter with Assange on August 13. Her testimony is different from what she had previously told her friends. She claimed that she was the victim of a sexual assault in which Assange is said to have destroyed a condom and tricked her into unprotected sex. But the "used" condom which she subsequently provide as proof, turns out to be unused and therefore could not have been torn apart in the way she claimed.

Anna Ardin declared: "I was proud as a peacock..the world's most awesome man In my bed and living in my flat…It is completely untrue that we were afraid of Assange. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him".

Eva Finne (Senior prosecutor) declared: "I have discontinued the preliminary investigation Of the charge originally designated as rape. There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever".

Claes Borgström (lawyer of Anna Ardin: "She is not a lawyer", he said, when Mrs Ardin at first did not believe that she had been raped by Assange. At the request of Borgström, his close friend, Marianne Ny, reactivates the case. She is the third prosecutor to become involved.

On August 30, 2010, Julian Assange was questioned for the first time, after a delay of ten days. This procedure violated the police guidelines which provide rapid investigations. The hearing was supposed to deal with the residual suspicion of non-sexual assault. But the interrogating police chose instead to focus on Assange's sexual relations with Anna Ardin, particularly her story about the broken condom.

Assange is afraid of being extradited by Sweden to the United States. Many posters assure that Sweden would never do that, but Sweden did that in 2001 by deporting to Egyptians to Egypt on a plane chartered by the CIA, with the O.K. of deceased Anna Lindh, former Foreign Relations Minister for Sweden.

There is much more to write about this outrageous confabulation between Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States, to make Julian Assange pay for his many "crimes" against the kingdom of Barack Obama.

The never ending story will have an end. It is just a matter of sitting and waiting.
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