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Assange will be sent to Sweden: accusers' lawyer

20 Jun 2012, 12:51

Published: 20 Jun 2012 12:51 GMT+02:00

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"I cannot imagine that Ecuador will give him asylum," lawyer Claes Borgström told the TT news agency after Assange walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in London Tuesday and applied for political asylum, as time ran out in his marathon legal battle to avoid being sent to Sweden.

The request for asylum came after Britain's Supreme Court last week rejected an application by Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition, effectively closing his last legal avenue in Britain, although he could still take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

"This is a new attempt to stop or delay the legal review he must go through in Sweden for justice to be served," said Borgström, who represents two Swedish women who claim Assange raped and sexually assaulted them.

Following the move, police in the UK said Wednesday that Assange had breached bail conditions by entering the Ecuadorian embassy and is subject to arrest.

The conditions include staying at his bail address between 10pm and 8am and "he is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act for breach of these conditions," a Scotland Yard spokeswoman told AFP.

However, the Foreign Office said late Tuesday that because Assange was in an embassy he was on diplomatic territory and "beyond the reach of the police", although it said it was working to resolve the situation.

Assange, a 40-year-old Australian former computer hacker, does not deny that he had sex with two WikiLeaks volunteers in Sweden while attending a WikiLeaks seminar in August 2010, but insists the sex was consensual and argues there are political motives behind the attempts to extradite him, and that the real aim is for him to be handed over to US authorities.

WikiLeaks enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified US information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also published more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables, revealing often candid assessments of a huge range of issues as well as the views of other governments.

If the country does grant the 40-year-old WikiLeaks founder asylum, "they would be placing themselves above the European arrest warrant and it would also mean very sharp criticism of the United States," Borgström said.

"I expect that Ecuador is a state of law that will follow international rules in this area," he added.

Story continues below…

The lawyer described Assange's request as "very, very unique," pointing out that "usually people seek asylum because they cannot get the protection they need in their own country."

The Swedish prosecution authority, which issued the European arrest warrant for Assange and is expecting him to be in Sweden by early next month, meanwhile said it would not comment on his asylum request, stating only that such an application "has nothing to do with the Swedish criminal investigation."

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

13:16 June 20, 2012 by heroine
I really hope he gets the asylum in Ecuador because I am still skeptical about the swedish juridical system.
13:54 June 20, 2012 by exon180
Here is why he doesn't want to come to Sweden:

14:02 June 20, 2012 by smilingjack

How dare a sovereign nation criticise america.

Just because the swedes cant think for themselves and do what ever Hillary tells them too doesnt mean the rest of the world does.

what a tool. forgot international law oohhh you cant upset america.

I note a certain chinese gentlemen went into the usa embassy very recently and got asylum. I take it you have no problems with that? political asylum is a genuine avenue for mr assange knowing that yes the swedes will definately hand him over to the americans and yes they will torture him and might even seek the death penalty.
14:11 June 20, 2012 by Rebel
So does Obama give orders directly to Reinfeldt or does he leave that up to Hilary?
14:31 June 20, 2012 by unionisten
Heroine why are you skeptical about the swedish juridical system?
14:36 June 20, 2012 by Åskar
Probably because she knows eff all about it.
14:43 June 20, 2012 by unionisten
well i dont know where shes from but i found her comment quite funny
14:53 June 20, 2012 by Abe L
Extradition treaties should only be used for serious real crimes, it's a flat-out shame that Sweden uses this tool to achieve something to meaningless. And it will reflect extremely negative on the country if he does get extradited and then gets forwarded to the United States.
14:53 June 20, 2012 by klubbnika
I would be very worried about the female employees of the Ecuadrian embassy at this point. The man is a pig.
16:14 June 20, 2012 by unionisten
well Abe L rape is a serious crime and its real to.

and whats this talk about sweden sending him to the usa?

it will reflect very badly on all the trolls if sweden dont extrodite him to the USA
16:18 June 20, 2012 by Nomark
This just gets more bizarre. The UK is notorious for having an unfair extradition with the US and yet he claims that the reason for extradition to Sweden is because he'll be sent to the States...... He seems to have gone full circle since that was what he first claimed before moving onto the Sweden feminist angle as an explanation for the charges .. Next week it will be something else.

Regarding extradition, this is nothing special. The EU arrest warrant was supposed to make this type of thing easy. Its no surprise the Swedes are using it. This is the real issue - the inconsistent use of the arrest warrant by EU states. Its a pity that its being missed in all the sensationalism. If he feels a victim then he should spare a thought for those unfairly extradited across Europe without influential supporters and the glare of the media.

Its difficult to see what Assange is going to achieve. He can stay in the embassy as long as he wants (as long as his hosts don't mind). However, its hard to see how he could actually get to Ecuador. To portray himself as a political prisoner living in fear of a possible extradition should be extradited to another state to answer questions about sexual assault doesn't really work (except in the minds of the true believers). It looks like he's having a hissy fit. At some point he'll have to realise that he has made a lot of mistakes. However, for an egotist like him this will be painful and a long time coming.
16:21 June 20, 2012 by bcterry
"it will reflect very badly on all the trolls if sweden dont extrodite him to the USA "

Their greatest fear.

I've heard that crow has quite a foul taste.
18:55 June 20, 2012 by Carbarrister
To all of you conspiracy theorists, if the USA really wanted Assange they would already have him. They have Bradley Manning who will be lucky to keep his worthless life. At this point they don't care about Assange any more.
19:47 June 20, 2012 by Nomark
Perhaps Ecuador can use the Umari Dikko approach to getting him out of the country. It didn't work for the Nigerians but that's no reason not to try again. It would be another good episode in this soap opera.
20:14 June 20, 2012 by gpafledthis
NOTICE !! My keyboard does not "do" sweedish and if it ever does I will issue a "fatwa faster than the mad mullahs of malmo" THAT I will not tolerate in my house !!
01:51 June 21, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Heroine Your skepticism may be valid. Generally the prevailing lawyer base is derived from the aristocracy of Sweden. Before the current blue government the labor party ruled for decades...the logic goes...if the blue bloods can't control the politics, which is arguable, then they should control the courts and it seems that's what they have largely accomplished.

I have firsthand contact with a few folks educated as lawyers and one of them does not come from the right pedigree and according to her it has influenced her career in a negative way and so she chosen another profession.

In a grander scheme of things the noble class switched their coats for industrialists and divided up the country long ago. Most of the large companies were founded by members from the noble class and to an extent their reach is far, wide, and deep to this day. A fair share of countries in Europe cater to their nobility, Sweden would be one of those, there are special trusts for the wealthy to avoid the socialist ideology and associated taxes and no shortage of Swedes owning holding companies in tax havens such as Luxembourg.

Sweden is the epitome of the good old boy (and girl) network. Its a consensus driven society...status, image, and keeping up appearances are very important here and hence who gets in the club is carefully scrutinized. Mavericks are rare and class mobility is severally limited compared to Canada or Australia. At the end of the day Sweden still is a country on the periphery of Europe that has a small kingdom mentality...some people find that quaint and charming others backwards and banal.
06:56 June 21, 2012 by unionisten
SOIS.COM you are speaking of somthing you have no clue about so stop making a fool of your self
08:14 June 21, 2012 by RobinHood

Are you sure you have not become confused between Sweden and Switzerland? Please refer to an atlas for more information.
08:47 June 21, 2012 by Tamm O'Shanter
People are right to be skeptical about the Swedish 'justice system'.

1) Sweden has the highest proportion of 'right to fair trial' cases (article 6.1 of the European Court of Human Rights) brought to the court

2) Also the highest number of adverse rulings

3)There is a likelihood of, once extradited, Assange would be detained in solitary confinement indefinitely - pending charges/trial

4) Political interference in the Swedish judicial system

Details courtesy of http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html)

Like him or loather him, there are very disquieting things about the whole Assange affair
11:25 June 21, 2012 by Rebel
Why have people lost faith in the fairness of the USA? Oh sure there is a corrupt justice department, a narcissistic president, the NDAA, GITMO and drones but other than that the USA is still really not such a bad place.
12:15 June 21, 2012 by unionisten
Tamm O'Shanter

1 yes thats trua and a good thing, this would be the case in other nations aswell if they stood up for them selfs not a bad mark on swedish law.

2.Once again then the laws in EU works thats good.

3 pure speculation and propaganda.

4 speculation again or can you give examples.

its all about that Assange thinks he is above the law.
17:15 June 21, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Unionisten You can't debate the subject effectively so you resort to personal attacks. It shows how uninformed you are and incapable of conducting a cogent argument. Are you an attorney or law professor by the way?
22:17 June 21, 2012 by unionisten
SOIS.COM your arguments are so stupid, first of all the Swedish courts is not runned by the blue bloods and if you look at the big companies very few are owned by the nobility, In fact it's a while ago Sweden separated nobility from state, your whole argument doesn't have a leg to stand on
00:26 June 22, 2012 by Cocoa Jackson
This is a new attempt to stop or delay the legal review he must go through in Sweden for justice to be served," said Borgström

What a load of bullshit, Julian Assange has sought to highlight the situation, raising awareness of the duplicitous acts of the USA and Australia when it comes to justice. He will be extradited from Sweden.

The extradition has been for the true purpose of extradition to the US, otherwise there would have been a video link set up by Sweden's prosecutor to the UK in the alleged rape case. Sweden's political centre of gravity is Neoliberal this is evident to anyone widely read on politics and history.

Shame on Sweden for this bias toward neoliberals you have become mere pawns and will pay a heavy price.
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