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Ecuador moots Assange interview in London

AFP/The Local · 31 Jul 2012, 07:26

Published: 31 Jul 2012 07:26 GMT+02:00

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"Our ambassador in Sweden has begun steps to ask the Swedish government to

collect the statement of Mr. Assange where he is located, at the Ecuadoran

embassy in London," said Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.

Assange, 41, is seeking asylum in Ecuador to avoid his extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sexual assault.

The WikiLeaks founder fears that from Sweden, he could subsequently be re-extradited to the United States to stand trial for espionage, on account of the trove of leaked US diplomatic cables and military logs that were published on his website.

"This is the request we have made in an effort to protect Mr. Assange's life at all costs," Patino added, joined at a press conference by Assange's mother, Christine.

Christine Assange met with Patino Monday.

"I am sure the president and his aides will make the best decision in this case," she told government website El Ciudadano.

Story continues below…

Ecuador will respond to Assange's request on August 12th, Patino said, after the 2012 London Olympics.

"We will take decisions that do not affect our relations with Britain," Patino said, explaining that Quito would be careful not to do anything that could interfere in any way with the Olympic Games.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:18 July 31, 2012 by RobinHood
The tragedy for Sweden is that the disrespect and suspicion of its legal system has reached the point that foreign governments now blatantly express their concerns in the most undiplomatic language. This is a fate usually reserved for international pariahs like North Korea and Belarus. Sadly, Sweden now has a place next to those countries.

If Sweden rejects Equador's sensible offer (Mr Assange has been available for interview for a year and a half now), it will make it very easy for Equador to conclude (perhaps incorrectly) that the proceedings in Sweden are simply a pretext to get Mr Assange into Swedish custody for entirely another reason than to interview him about an alleged sexual assault.

Poor Mr Reinfeldt must be wondering how this all happened, and who is to blame.
09:50 July 31, 2012 by JohnAndersson
Sweden is put absolutely to shame over this scandal. Assange is only wanted for questioning, and has offered to use telephone, skype or other methods to facilitate this. It's obvious that Assange's extradition has but one purpose: to capture Julian Assange for extradition to the USA.
10:54 July 31, 2012 by Byggare Bob
Conspiracy theory in a nutshell - a selection of (not necessarily connected) arguments to support the claim of a grand conspiracy.

JA is wanted for questioning in a rape case. It is a serious crime. Why should the Swedish prosecutor travel to London?

Get on a plane Julian, get on a plane.
11:31 July 31, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
Just do it, Sweden has become an international joke, simply because a number of politicians have been exposed by WikiLeaks as no more than stooges of the USA. Revenge is the sole basis of this crock of trumped up charges, for that exposure.

Given Sweden's proven record of assisting rendition, at the behest of the USA? Why wouldn't Julian Assange harbour genuine fears for his safety?

Sweden is no longer the bastion of freedom, democracy, rule of law that we've always heard about and led to believe?
11:44 July 31, 2012 by Grävling
The details have been posted on this site and many others so many times, really it's making Sweden look a big silly. The thing is, if he does go to Sweden, then does end up in the US / disappears for awhile that would be the nail in the coffin for the Swedish political system.
11:57 July 31, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
There may be controversy throughout Europe if Ecuador grants him asylum, since this could be preceived an affront to the European arrest warrant system.

Cleary Brtain does not want to upset all the European delegations they are hosting at the moment, and the delay that Ecuador is taking in announcing their decision about Assange appears to suggest that they WILL grant him asylum, but are politely waiting for the games to end before they do that.

If true, this would suggest that Ecuador cares more about their relations with the UK than with the US or Sweden.
11:58 July 31, 2012 by J Jack
Why didn't they do that way back at the beginning and save us all the fuss? I have never heard the word 'moot' either.
13:26 July 31, 2012 by Garry Jones
Ecuador are trying to play it safe. Assange HAS already been questioned in Sweden so its more than likely that Sweden have decided there is enough evidence to be answered in court and they are to charge him with these offences. Surely everyone knows that "taking in for questioning" or "helping police with their enquiries" often results in a charge?

Over 100 American companies do business in Ecuador so they would never create a problem for themselves with the US.

The UK is a ally of the US and is currently standing firm in the world struggle against terrorism. If the US feel that Assange has weakened the fight they would have asked the UK for Assange, but they haven't.

Conclusion, Assange does not want to go to Sweden for another reason. Guilty conscience maybe?
13:26 July 31, 2012 by prince T
There is no single evidence to dat effect dat US wants him. Wen did our laws start reading pple mind to make decision. There is psychic section in our laws. Ecuador should get on with it and stop drawing attention
13:53 July 31, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Assange, possible through his lawyers, have made suggestions on the conditions of his "interview." The result is that Swedish prosecutors has refused.

Sweden prosecutors will negotiate through their representative the surrender of Julian Assange. That is where he surrenders to UK authorities, or UK authorities are allowed to extract him from the embassy.

Assange for almost 2 years continues to avoid surrendering to Swedish authorities. The excuses for not surrendering are lame, and backed up with spin.

Playing the media might make for interesting news for some. However, it denies the inevitable that being a fugitive Assange has to go to Sweden.
14:38 July 31, 2012 by prince T
Assang lost a court case not to be released to sweden. Why should ecuador start their own court. Assange should be law abiding.
14:56 July 31, 2012 by bcterry
Sweden should tell this country with it's documented history of human rights abuses to put it where the sun don't shine, and to either grant him asylum, or hand him over to the British authorities, who can then carry out the legal decision made by their courts, which is BY FAR a hell of a lot more credible then their own.
19:01 July 31, 2012 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
If Assange was genuinely fearful that Sweden had plans to send him to the US, why did he come here in the first place? His fear seems a little bit too convenient to me.

That said, I think the European Arrest Warrant is a disgrace to due process and should be challenged. Such a shame it fell to this weasely coward to take up the fight.
19:36 July 31, 2012 by Nilspet
It would have been easier, more convenient and cheaper had the Swedish prosecutor(s) traveled to London to interview Assange a year and a half ago. It is not too late though! If they travel to London to talk to Assange in the coming days, they will have a chance to attend the Olympic games as well. Do not miss this opportunity!
23:35 July 31, 2012 by IranianBoy

I, on behalf of me and my friends thank the Swedish judicial system for providing us with a subject for having laughs and mockery when we are together. I bet when they accept his application for asylum, the story of "the lady waking up and finding her having sex with JA" and "I told him use a condom and he didn't, so it's a rape" will come under light again in Ecuador government's announcement; and I and my friends will have so much fun... again.... thank you! thank you!

maybe we will mention the subject of "skatteverket registering prostitutes as business owners while buying sex is a crime" in our conversations and we will laugh more... and more.... thank you!
00:24 August 1, 2012 by Garry Jones
Nilspet - They HAVE interviewed him. Here is protocol from the police interview with Assange. Swedish http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/docs/memoria.pdf English http://www.nnn.se/nordic/assange/docs/protocol.pdf Now. Back to what I said earlier. if the police have decided to charge then normal proceedure would be to ask someone to come in for secondary questioning. And during that questioning offcially arrest them. I gather this would not be allowed or apt to do so in a foreign country. This is the most obvious reason Sweden want him here and also his most likely reason for his staying away.
00:41 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
"Sweden insists on Assange's forcible removal to Sweden. Once there, he will immediately be seized by police and put in jail. He will be taken to the detention hearing in handcuffs, and will almost certainly be detained. He will remain in custody for the duration of the proceedings. This is unnecessary," Samuelson wrote. http://www.thelocal.se/41814/20120703/
01:03 August 1, 2012 by racistreport.org
Looking from the outside, it seems as running against Justice. But I have followed this case very closely and has done a lot of research on this case. Assange, I believe will not be found guilty if tried in Sweden given a fair trial and if Justice and rule of law prevailed against any politics. Assange if extradited to Sweden will have to stay in pre trial DETENTION for quiet a long time pending the outcome of his case. This can mean 6 months to one year. There is no bail system in Swedish Judicial system. Assange I believe is also using this extradition case to challenge the system knowing fully well that the whole mess is politically motivated. The Prosecutors threw out the charges after initial days Assange was charged by the Swedish prosecutors, before he left Sweden he was cleared to leave by the Authorities. But when he got to England they opened up the case and sent an extradition request against him. One of the lady who claimed to be raped twitted the next morning on Twitter on how she had a great time with Assange the nite she claimed to be rapped and also claimed she is so happy to be among intelligent people. Before she made her rape claim she consulted with the other ladies and even went to police the nite before to ask about these type of charges. Just to cut the story short, there are lots of contradictions on their stories which can be thrown out of court any day following the right jurisdiction. However, Assange I believe have a good legal team and they must have gone through all options. I am glad he is playing out on this to challenge a stupid EUROPEAN UNION Arrest warrant which experience have shown is flawed and should be abolished. How can you send a warrant to arrest someone without any charges and no evidence, simply because it was carried out under a so called "European union arrest warrant" and therefore no ground to contest. I think that the situation we are today with the "European Union Arrest warrant" which often comes without any evidence and charge is violating our human rights and should be abolished. Assange case is raising this awareness, I think in every sense, the UK court has right to ask the Swedish state to provide evidence and if there is not, should have right to deny the Swedish state extradition rights. There has been several cases like this in the EU were Poland, Finland and other East Europe countries extradites citizens without any evidence and have them tortured and abused. The case about Assange extradition is now raising the awareness and the flaws of a European Union arrest warrant. For me this case should raise awareness about the flaws of "European Union Arrest warrant" without any evidence which have been used by member states to abuse and torture citizens. I am hoping that this can raise a discussion in the European parliament to abolish the stupid law.
01:11 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
Yes he can't run away forever, but he has raised awareness about this so called "European Union Arrest Warrant" WITHOUT EVIDENCE. Which gives any member state the right to arrest anyone from other member state without any evidence. For example if a person living in Sweden is been arrested, the police must provide an evidence, but if a person is wanted in Sweden and living in Finland, the "European Union arrest warrant" overrides the Finnish law and do not require any sort of evidence. Therefore this person must be handed over the Swedish authorities without any evidence. This is a big flaw. Another angle to consider looking at is if claim is bogus and unfounded, he has right to contest the extradition, and so far he is playing the gambit of using up every legal means necessary to fight back. Extradition process is not as simple as police coming to your home to arrest you and then you are bailed out the following day and continue the legal process from home. Assange do not have a job nor family connection in Sweden, he is not an EU national and do not have any address in Sweden, therefore when extradited to Sweden he will remain in Prison pending his trial and pre trial investigations and trials could last up to one year or more while Assange remains in Swedish detention before getting a verdict of guity or no guity. And if found eventually not guilty, the Swedish state will use TAX payers revenue to pay compensations. The Extradition process in the UK can last up to one month in UK while Assange wait in UK prison during the period and on arriving Sweden he will continue to stay in prison.
01:14 August 1, 2012 by racistreport.org
Also, the longer this drags on, the more publicity for Wikileaks and free advertisement and the more Assange last in the game the more he tries to make his point. Don't make anything easier for your enemies and that is the point. Assange is not in a HURRY to sleep in Swedish jail for a year before getting a fair verdict. Play it out and buy as much time as possible, that's what I will advice him if am his lawyer, and make my enemies loose as much time and resources as possible. If I were him, I will do exactly what he is doing right now. Drag it to the end and don't make it ever easy for them as long as I am sure it all political mombojumbo and bogus claims. Assange have enough time to waste, he has no child, no wife and no dependents, and not even a 9 to 5 job. he has nothing to loose by dragging this as long as it can last. Just my take. For the fact that he even contested the extradition process in the UK court, prosecutors will definitely use it against him in the court in Sweden as means to proof he will evade justice if let out during the pre trial investigations and during the trial and therefore to continue keeping him in detention through out the trial process. This also coupled with the fact that he has no address in Sweden, no employment, no family ties and not a Swedish or EU citizen. Many years back I would say the exact things you are saying. But when I have understood the games of the judicial systems in scandinavia, I therefore believe my opinion to be very objective puting my self in Assange shoes. in this case the EU Arrest Warrant overrides members states law except and Asylum case. Yes, he has been cornered and he has exchausted all legal means so far as the UK court has thrown out his case.
01:18 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
Mind you, there is no JURY system in Sweden, ok, there will be a 3 person Jury selected from different political parties in Sweden who will have at least 20% vote in the decission of the final verdict but not as the full jury system in the USA or UK were the Jury has 100% vote to decide the case. In the Swedish system, the Judge has 80% vote to decide on the case. So, were the judge is bias, it is difficult to get a fair hearing. If you feel you did not get a fair hearing from the lower court decided mainly by one Judge then the defendant can take the appeal to the higher court were several appointed judges can sit together and deliberate on the case. And if still not satisfied, then the defendant can send an apeal to the supreme court which is the highest judicial authority in the country. If the supreme court appeal fails and defendant still feels its not a fair, defendant can make one last appeal to the European Union Court of Justice which decision is a final closure for the case and if come through overides all member states supreme court decision. This whole process till the European Court of Justice can last almost 5 years or more depending on the complexity and credibility of defendants appeal. Yes you can only deal with the law with the law, and here is the clause, if you seek political Asylum were you are facing extradition for fear that your life is in danger, this is probably the only legal way to change the EU warrant Arrest. So, here Assange plays last legal gambit. There is no status of limitation, citizens needs to obey court injunction or face heavy sanction. There is no way about it. But for a controversial case like Assange which has been in the media, everyone is more careful, Assange case has become political, every Judge has read about him in the Media, including Swedish Judges, so it is either you hate him or like him. There is no way to proof how much he has made him self hated by Swedish Judicial system.
01:45 August 1, 2012 by racistreport.org
'No fair trial for Assange in Sweden': lawyer : www.thelocal.se/41814/20120703/

"Sweden routinely imposes severe restrictions on suspects held on remand. Pre-trial, suspects are often held in detention, or even in isolation. This treatment is unnecessary and humiliating and thwarts the defendant's ability to prepare their case," he wrote.

Samuelson claims that detainment and isolation should be reserved for criminals such as Norwegian serial killer Anders Breivik, but that less serious allegations like those leveled at Assange should be exempt from such treatment.

"Sweden insists on Assange's forcible removal to Sweden. Once there, he will immediately be seized by police and put in jail. He will be taken to the detention hearing in handcuffs, and will almost certainly be detained. He will remain in custody for the duration of the proceedings. This is unnecessary," Samuelson wrote.
02:14 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
I think the European Arrest Warrant is a disgrace to due process and should be challenged and it doesn't matter who challenged it first.
10:00 August 1, 2012 by unionisten
@ Texrusso well a European Arrest warrant wont be issued against just anyone so the system is pretty safe.

And whats the problems with Sweden dont have a Jury, there has been proven that in USA for an example Jurys have sent inocent people to jail and sometimes worse.

Julian should go to sweden and face the music, he might be cleared of suspicion and all is good, who knows? i cant see why he should have any special treatment.
12:41 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
@Unionisten, I have seen the European Union Arrest warrant abused many times. Yes and sometimes just to anyone... It doesn't even give the victim a chance to ask why or defend them selves especially were no evidence available.
12:44 August 1, 2012 by unionisten
well its just an arrest warrant if you havent done anything then you will be free to go, so no big deal.
13:33 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
@Unionisten, its not just a warrant, There are international protocol involved, the defendant will have to stay in prison for a while during the paper handling process for transfer to next country, say 2 weeks to one month. And eventually after transferred to Sweden, the defendant will remain in custody till the end of the lengthy trial and in this case for Assange, he has no address in Sweden, no family ties, no job and not a Swedish citizen, therefore there will be no bail for him like he got in the UK with guarantors. In Sweden it is a different. So, it is not just a warrant, there is an extradition and other process involve.

They have used this arrest warrants to innocent persons, assuming someone gives a false evidence against you while you were on a trip in another EU country, upon returning to Sweden your base, prosecutors from the said EU country sends an EU warrant arrest to arrest you in Sweden. You are not allowed to ask question or question the arrest for evidence. You must face all this lengthy stress of extradition and been in prison. Do you think its right because it has not happen to you??

My point is their should be a limitation to this law surrounding EU arrest warrant. Law makers should put a clause that allows defendant host country to ask for evidence and clarification.

Yes, we all know the law is meant for the bad guys,, but sometimes good guys are falsely accused and the law should be flexible to accommodate the good guys so that they don't suffer for nothing and also to avoid unscrupulous authorities taking advantage of the system. It can be more transparent.
15:04 August 1, 2012 by unionisten
Texrusso noone have the right to Bail since Sweden dont use that system so that wouldnt be relevant as an argument. in serious crimes you can get locked up before trial, that times counts against the time he will get if he get convicted.
16:00 August 1, 2012 by Texrusso
@unionisten: Yes, The bail system does not apply in Sweden, I use the word bail in my writeup to mean, (free during trial). If defendant is a permanent residence or citizen of Sweden and has family ties, employment etc in Sweden, the defendant could be let out before trial pending trial and verdict were the Judge thinks the case is a minor. But in Assange case or any other were the defendant do not have an address in Sweden and not a Swedish citizen he will be kept in jail and what if at the end of the day defendant is acquitted of all charges. Believe me no amount of money/compensation can make up the mental and psychological trauma the process guarantees.

'No fair trial for Assange in Sweden': lawyer : www.thelocal.se/41814/20120703/

"Sweden routinely imposes severe restrictions on suspects held on remand. Pre-trial, suspects are often held in detention, or even in isolation. This treatment is unnecessary and humiliating and thwarts the defendant's ability to prepare their case," he wrote.

Samuelson claims that detainment and isolation should be reserved for criminals such as Norwegian serial killer Anders Breivik, but that less serious allegations like those leveled at Assange should be exempt from such treatment.

"Sweden insists on Assange's forcible removal to Sweden. Once there, he will immediately be seized by police and put in jail. He will be taken to the detention hearing in handcuffs, and will almost certainly be detained. He will remain in custody for the duration of the proceedings. This is unnecessary," Samuelson wrote.
17:23 August 1, 2012 by racistreport.org
The big question is this, if Sweden wants Assange for questioning why not just give him a call or send him a letter to invite him to come over for questioning? Why use all this bogus process of European Union Arrest warrant to arrest to humiliate him? Assange would have easily taken a 3 hours flight from London to Stockholm to get it over with since over one year ago. Why involve a complicated arrest process which thwarts tax payers money and abuse human rights?? especially that he has not been charged, unless of course there is some foul play involved. Assange is a public figure, there was no way he could try to evade justice then if he was simply given a phone call and invited to Sweden for questioning. Only then and if then if he refuse to come to Sweden for questioning should an arrest warrant be sent.

But heaven knows what prosecutors are thinking by sending out an arrest warrant first before even inviting him for questioning. After all, the whole case was already made public before the arrest warrant was sent.
08:52 August 2, 2012 by unionisten
@ Texrusso well do you thing Assange deserves to be on bail, he has already skipped the british bail conditions costing his pals a pretty sum.

I can understand that Julian would be locked up since he does everything he can tyo avoid questioning.

neither can the any money/compensation make up for the mental or physical trauma for a rape victim.

samuelsson is entiteld to his opinion as a defence lawyer but it doesnt mean he is right.

that he will be hancuffed is for his own protection aswell as the staff that brings him to hearings and back, that is the same for everyone.

Lot of what Julian and his followers dont really hold water Im affraid.

if sweden is such a bad and dangerous place why did he want top settle here in the first place, if sweden wanted to send him to USA it would have been the easiest thing in the world to pic him up and send him away.
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