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UNASUR backs Ecuador on Assange choice

AFP/The Local · 20 Aug 2012, 06:26

Published: 20 Aug 2012 06:26 GMT+02:00

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Foreign ministers of the Union of South American Nations, meeting in Ecuador's biggest city Guayaquil, expressed "solidarity" with Quito and urged the parties "to pursue dialogue in search of a mutually acceptable solution," according to a joint statement.

The statement, read by UNASUR Secretary General Ali Rodriguez of Venezuela, also declared support for Ecuador over the "threat of violation of its diplomatic mission" and reiterated the "sovereign right of states to grant asylum."

Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987, which it says allows it to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on British soil and go in to arrest Assange.

The 41-year-old Assange is fighting to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes. He took refuge in June at the London embassy after exhausting all legal appeals.

Assange claims the accusations against him in Sweden, made by two female WikiLeaks volunteers, are politically motivated and that he would eventually be extradited to the United States, which was enraged when his website published a vast cache of confidential government files.

With British police posted outside the Ecuadoran embassy, it is unclear whether Assange will be able to leave the building.

Story continues below…

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday that his government was obliged under its own laws to extradite the Australian national to Sweden.

On Saturday, the ALBA grouping of leftist Latin American and Caribbean nations also came out to support Quito, warning "grave consequences" if Britain breaches the territorial integrity" of Ecuador's embassy.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

07:27 August 20, 2012 by SOIS.COM
Fantastic courage on the part of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela in support of Ecuador.

Hopefully UNASUR will continue to work towards the dreams of Bolívar. Keep fighting against the colonialists and imperialists, nationalize UK and US companies, sue them in your courts for their human rights and environmental abuses, such as the 13 billion dollar suit against Chevron and the abuses of workers by Dole.

Together UNASUR is a population of nearly 400,000,000. It is never easy for such large organizations to work together, by focusing on the large issues, and putting small differences aside South America can achieve great things with your resources and people. May liberty and justice not fault your peoples as it has since the US has evolved into a terror state.
08:04 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
sois, is it couragous to support somebody avoiding a rape investigation? I presume if these alleged victims were members of your family you would still be on Assanges side, even though you don't really know him as a person. Only his media front? Of course Argentina will go against anything British, other countries like Bolivia have had their natural resources squandered by the US for decades, then there is Venezuela? Is it any suprise these nation are anti US/UK, they'll just pretend they didn't hear about the rape allegations, just like Assange in his speech!
08:10 August 20, 2012 by Camlon
UNASUR has stated that they are not questioning the Swedish rape case.

What they are questioning is what is going to happen with Assange after the rape case. Is Sweden going to hand him over to the US.
08:20 August 20, 2012 by riose

Don't say rape, say not wearing a condom.

Calling that rape distorts what a rape really is.

And he is not guilty (not even charged with it) yet.

Do you defend an extradition of a political refugee, even when his live is at risk?

What would you think if the case was the same, but instead of US there was a risk of being extradited to Iran?

Of course the bad guys is everybody else, not US/UK.

Could you please explain me your version of the Pinochet case?
08:34 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
sex without consent in rape in most nations?

never said he was guilty, I said alleged, it's an investigation

Political refugee? since when. He is an internet clown who got out of his depth.

How many people have been extradited to the US and faced the death penalty? None.

How many people have been extradited to the US from Sweden compared to the UK, insignificant.

It's many times easy to extradite to the US from the UK, Ecuador also has a US extradition policy?

If it was Iran, he wouldn't be extradited, because they don't have an agreement and under the convention people aren't sent to nation where they might suffer.

I think you've bought his story of Assange the freedom fighter, whilst missing the point. He is happy to let others take the punishment for stealing classified data, while he runs and hides. Coward more like.

Even if the US did want him to punish him, he should believe in his cause and take it, that's what life is about if you believe in a cause, he just wants the glory without the responsibility, childish.

Pinochet, was released by the UK because of a legal decision, Assange has to go to Sweden because of a legal decision, they follow the rule of law, not make their own up to suit them.
08:41 August 20, 2012 by RobinHood

It is indeed terrible these allegations have not been investigated in the proper way and justice will not be done. That however, is not Mr Assange's fault. The Swedish prosecution service has let down the young ladies concerned terribly.

Within minutes of the young ladies making their complaint, a prosecutor betrayed their right to privacy (and Mr Asasange's) by tipping off the press. That prosecutor was quite rightly removed from the case, and a second prosecutor reviewed the evidence and advised the young ladies, and Mr Assange, that there was no crime; Mr Assange was given permission to leave Sweden. The young lady's lawyer, a well-known feminist, contacted a prosecutor friend, another well-known feminist, and persuaded her to revive the case. For several months, the latest prosecutor has declined to interview Mr Assange while he was in the custody of the British, or now the Ecuadorians, even though this procedure has been carried out several times before in other cases. Swedish criminal experts almost universally agree, the case is now so weak and has been mismanaged so negligently, there is not now a chance of a conviction, no matter what Mr Assange might say during his interview. The simple fact is that even the prosecution cannot agree there has been a crime, and that is enough to establish reasonable doubt.

On the evidence and by negligent prosecution, the Swedish criminal case is lost already.

The question now, is whether it serves the young ladies interests in continuing the charade? Of course, it does not. There are several professional reputations now at stake within the prosecutor's department. One way or another, the prosecutor's eccentric mismanagement of the case will trigger one, or several, investigations, and I suspect certain people's concern to keep their jobs has superseded their obligations towards the young ladies. The prosecutor is "in too deep", and doesn't know how to get out. If she is going to save her reputation, and her career, her only hope is a conviction or that no trial ever takes place, and the only way she is going to get that is if Mr Assange throws up his hands and confesses, or spends several years in Ecuador. She knows she will not get the first and is praying for the second.

I hope she has the good grace to apologise to the young ladies. If they were not raped before, they have been now.
09:02 August 20, 2012 by BackpackerKev

You should read some of the other articles from other websites which other people have discussed.

Ecuador does not have an extradition policy, this is why he went to their embassy.

It is easy to extradite from the UK because of a dumb agreement made years ago between the two counties. Sweden doesn't have the same agreement. But the UK still cannot deport known terrorists because of the Eu human rights (once the charges are known), where they will be tried for terrorism. Because The charges have not been specifically shown by the usa, they can make up any combination of charges once he is in Sweden.

While one of the named people from Sweden in part of the investigation has links to the cia, the legal system in Sweden are far from competent , the main thing being, it can take years in paperwork with appeals in the UK, sweden most likely miss a court deadline with an appeal, USA dont want to spend years they want fast action while this is Highly news worthy to be a win.

There is a big difference between England and the USA, England has but one law for the whole country, the USA has different law per state and can choose which state he will be prosecuted in for the most harsh sentence, but once hes in the usa hes in the system and whatever assurances are made before he hits america are off the table. so, Life imprisonment or the death penalty is still on the table.

I guess many still think there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq.
09:06 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
I agree with much of that Robin, regardless of the outcome, due process should be followed in the alleged rape investigation. Assange smokescreen of of USA and wikileaks is working. If Assange was arrested and released in Sweden, at the start of the proceedings, they could have withdrawn his passport etc and this whole farce would never have started. Funny how many people (SOIS) forget that Assange was after Swedish residency/passport just a couple of years, because he knew he was safer in Sweden than the UK in terms of USA extradition.
09:28 August 20, 2012 by byke
Its no longer a question of what Mr Assange is being wanted for, the attention is now on Sweden and its legal system is now seriously in question.

And that is the bigger question.

If a legal system is under such staunch criticism, it then makes any cases under such irrelevant.
09:41 August 20, 2012 by RobinHood

The correct due process in a hopeless criminal case such as this, is to abandon the investigation. It is extremely eccentric that this has not been done, and begs the question why it has not been done? Delay serves only the interests of the prosecutor, who hopes to benefit from it by keeping her job.

There is nothing to be gained for the Swedish prosecution department, or for Sweden, in further delaying the innevitible truth that there is (for numerous reasons), no viable criminal case against Mr Assange.

One wonders who is the Swedish prosecutor's boss? If one of my employees made such a terrible mess of something this public, I would remove him/her from the job, take it over myself, and make the difficult, but correct, decisions necessary to protect what was left of my department's reputation, protect the alleged victims and even protect Mr Assange.
10:36 August 20, 2012 by graceolsson
Not matter what happened between Assange and the two Swedish women(I do not know if Assange rapped them), the Swedish court has the right to interview him in Sweden. When Sweden extradited somebody to USA?

Assange and the President of Ecuador have an objective: attack USa because those ´people who live in South America know very well how Correa treats the media, his EMbassadors, etc.Ecuador isn´t example of Democracy and Libety of expression.
11:22 August 20, 2012 by SOIS.COM
@Grace. Ecuador has problems, Sweden has problems. Who made a difference for democracy and transparency, not Sweden.

If you live in Sweden you should not cast stones while living in a glass house. Your armaments industry has murdered countless by proxy by supplying the US terror state with armaments but your press does not continually and unabated keep that subject at the tip of the peoples minds as it should be. Also, Swedish media does its best to exclude immigrants from the national debate. Your press is in part responsible for a de jure apartheid system that exists in Sweden.

On the other hand Ecuador's press is largely privatized and supports the large corporations for the most part. Correa wants to ensure that their is objectivity in the press and want to ensure there is a private segment, public segment, and not for profit segment. He wants to promote diversity and debate within the press rather then the agenda driven and narrowly focused media that exists in Sweden or the USA.

Focus on taking responsibility for Sweden's mess first. As always, Sweden is unwilling to accept responsibility for its war crimes of selling arms to the nazi's, it forgave and in fact let the nazi industrialists the wallenbergs and kamprad flourish. The Swedish system is as much a lie as any other nation if not more so.
11:47 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
Correa only wants to remain in power, he doesn't care who owns the press as long as they remain on his side and help him maintain a majority. Have you been to any of these countries you claim to be an expert on? I've been to at least half a dozen countries in South America and in general it was like visiting any other 3rd world nation (most are), 1% are living well, the rest scraping by. Correa wants to make sure he remains in that 1% and the 99% don't take too much of his money or power. Prove me wrong?

In Sweden anyone can join in the national debate and can participate in society, a first generation Swede to an immigrant family was voted by 'Swedes' to represent them in the Euorvision, would seem fairly inclusive, it's was the people choice?

Everyone knows about the Swedish arms industry, but at least Sweden take refugees from war torn nations, more than can be said the for the bigger war mongers in the world? It also gives foreign aid that doesn't have spending strings attached, again unlike the bigger war mongers in the world.

perhaps look closer to home and the holes in your own glass house? Before throwing stones towards anyone elses?
12:12 August 20, 2012 by Scepticion
Indeed, as pointed out by RobinHood, Sweden made a mess. And the way to go after Assange with big guns for a 'questioning" seems really pigheaded.

Sweden has a history of granting asylum to many people, many of which are threatened and prosecuted by their home governments, some probably having broken laws. On the other hand we have now Assange who has gotten asylum in Ecuador. So why does Sweden not honor this given their "asylum" tradition? The crime they are chasing Assange for would not be considered a crime in many of the other countries, so a case could be made that Assange is prosecuted unfairly and inhumanly and deserves asylum. Who knows how many asylum immigrants in Sweden have a lot more to answer for than Assange, yet they are happily accepted?
12:19 August 20, 2012 by Steve911
"With British police posted outside the Ecuadoran embassy, it is unclear whether Assange will be able to leave the building"

Swedes may not know that to support your governments intransigent attitude, the UK taxpayer is funding 30 police officers per shift plus 10 support vehicles plus numerous other police resources that would otherwise be used to stop or catch real criminals. Besides the millions of pounds this operation is costing us, the tying up of police resources will result in more serious crime on the streets of London, more murders, more rapes, and more serious assaults. Perhaps your 2 'rape' victims and their supporters would like to explain how this is worth it and why they don't now have blood on their hands.

It seems clear that the only way this impasse will be resolved is if the Swedish prosecution swallow their pride and interview Assange in London, like they did when they went to Serbia to interview an alleged murderer.
13:34 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
Steve, there is no blood in anyones hands, those Police officers won't be draining resources, they'll be overtime. The vans etc. will be part of a support team, that would normal be training or on standby for major events etc. they are not normal bobbies on the beat. Just like putting Police in the Olympic park, didn't mean that the central of London lost it's police for 2 weeks. Should we ban football in the UK, how many police officers are involved in Police football matches and their drunken supporters every week?

If you don't enforce the rule of law for these alleged offences, then there will be even more, once the law is proven unenforcable.

Assange is potentially a real criminal in Sweden. he is certainly a criminal in other respects because he knowingly publish stolen classified information, but that court case will come in time, perhaps.

Interview in London? sure, if he leaves the embassy and goes to a British Police station. He can't be interviewed just anywhere, there are regulations, PACE etc. or at least the Swedish equivalent, which if broken would mean any evidence would be invalid in court anyway.
13:45 August 20, 2012 by RobinHood

Now you are being silly. Yesterday there were several dozen (very normal) officers on duty at the Ecuadorian embassy and several more elite ones, hovering overhead in a helicopter. Do you believe the hard-pressed and recently cut back British police have those kind of resources to spare? Do you honestly believe that? No, I didn't think so. Please think before you write; it demeans you when you do not.
14:00 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
It's doesn't matter what they are wearing, they will be employed in one of the support groups(TSG SO20), they are all part of the Met, they do get normal uniforms, not just riot shields and fire proof overalls. The helicopter, will probably on have 1 or 2 police observers and a camera, civvy crew.

If the Police can cover 80,000 people, per day, going to the Olympics, or police festivals, football matches, or many of the bigger demo, Jubilee parades. I think they'll can scrape by for a few weeks longer with watching a house in central London.

Having been to lots of bronze, silver and gold control & MACC(military aid to the civil community) meetings because of my previous job in the British military, so I have a fair idea of exactly what resources can be pulled out of the hat, where they are located, response times etc. No to mention who actually pays the bills, because that question always comes out at the higher level meetings.

Yes, the Met / UK can afford to up hold the courts decision.
14:32 August 20, 2012 by bcterry
Assange has fled from a U.K. court order, and that makes him a fugitive.

He's holed up in an embassy on British soil, and the British authorities are sure as hell not going to sit by and let him walk out of their country while he snubs his nose at them on the way out.

He is also snubbing his nose at the Swedish justice system.

I support both countries in their standing strong to uphold the laws of their respective countries.
15:02 August 20, 2012 by Steve911

Your idea that the UK police operation against Assange is at no cost is laughable. Police officers get wages, the team outside of the Embassy is there 24/7 and getting paid more money for overtime. Any policing for the Olympics comes out of the Olympics budget (most of the security was provided by a private company G4S and the Army). This embassy operation will clearly reduce the resources available for general policing. Policing of a football match is paid for by the football clubs. Will the Swedish government be compensating us for our policing costs?

If you follow UK news you will realise we have a serious debt crisis, government funds are limited, and many of our public services are rationed. Extra costs of policing will result in cuts elsewhere. Trying telling a patient waiting for an operation on the NHS that the fact that there is not enough money to do it is because the Swedish government can't be bothered to send someone to London to interview Assange.

You should know Assange was in police custody early on in his stay in London, so why didn't the Swedish prosecutor come then? He has offered to be interviewed.

The average person breaks the law several times a day, do you have any idea how much it would cost to enforce every law and how many police would be required? We would need to be a police state, perhaps you would like that?

I'm afraid Sweden is losing the argument in the UK, have a look in the comments section of the BBC and major newspapers to see how much we are losing patience with the Swedish government. The idea that Sweden is still some progressive liberal country is now a sick joke.
16:02 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
Yes the Police cost, but many would be on duty anyway. The Police did police a massive proportion of the games. The military filled the gap left by many of G4S's failed recruitment drive.

Given the size of the Met, the Embassy job won't cause a very big dent at it's present scale. The football policing is paid for by the clubs, but still uses the same assets of people and vehicles, there is capacity within the organisation to do all. Clearly if you have Mayday riots, the Olympics and the FA Cup final or several local derbys all on the same day, then it just couldn't cope. But given that the Met is around 30,000(available for active duty - not deskies). If you had 100 officers dedicated to the Assange job, that is just 0.33r% of the force. In contrast on any 1 olympic day there were 12,000 Police on duty, about a 1/2 of them from other forces around the country, so in proportion Assange policing is just a drop in the Policing Ocean.

I do follow UK news, I only moved to Sweden last year. I'm more than aware of the UK problems. Have any patients had operations delayed due to Assange Policing. Nope, it's a completely different budget. The funding sources are different too, Policing is fund partially from Council tax and central funding, NHS is all centrally via the exchequer.

The case is in Sweden, an innocent made would come and prove his innocence, we all know he like to grand stand, so it would give a great arena. Provided he is innocent of course ;)

I actually get the impression Assange is loosing support, his balcony rantings at the USA didn't exactly help his argument either.
16:44 August 20, 2012 by smilingjack
skogsbo you are delusional. wouldnt surprise me if you were one of those stooges employed by the USA who flood forums worldwide trying to give them some credence. The USA in the last 10 years alone has kidnapped, tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of people. get your head out of your arse mate. have you forgotten abu ghraib? look at usama bin laden for starters. the USA went illegally into someone else country then proceeded to murder in cold blood several unarmed women and men. justice yank style. can you imagine how they would carry on if a muslim gunned down george w in the street. the hypocritical bleeting we would get about justice, victory and peace. bradely manning has been in solitary confinement for 816 days straight - WITHOUT CHARGE. Thats the standard you get from the worst criminals and biggest media manipulators in the world. The USA.
17:43 August 20, 2012 by bcterry
"look at usama bin laden for starters. the USA went illegally into someone else country then proceeded to murder in cold blood several unarmed women and men."

The same bin laden that planned and ordered the execution 3,000 people in the New York attack?

The "several others" killed in "cold blood"???

"In addition to Osama bin Laden, three other men and a woman were killed in the operation. The individuals killed were bin Laden's adult son Khalid[71][72], bin Laden's courier (Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti), al-Kuwaiti's brother Abrar, and Abrar's wife Bushra.[42]

Al-Kuwaiti was shot and killed by the first team of SEALs before he could fire his AK-47. His wife Mariam was shot and wounded in the right shoulder.[73][74][3][75] The courier's male relative Abrar was shot and killed, before he could reach a weapon found lying nearby, by the SEALs' second team on the first floor of the main house. A woman near him, later identified as Abrar's wife Bushra was also shot and killed. Bin Laden's young adult son rushed towards the SEALs on the staircase of the main house, and was shot and killed by the second team.[3][52][72][75][76] An unnamed U.S. senior defense official stated that only one of the five people killed was armed.[77]"

It's obvious that you just make up this sxxx as you go along.

17:44 August 20, 2012 by dannyisback
Hello all!

I'm a Ecuadorian-American and I wanted to comment. Ecuador and much of South America is capable on deciding on human rights. In my opinion the failure to afford or extend countries this right, strains relations. Also, reducing entire countries(up to %99 percent according to comment above) to tireless thoughtless populations just getting by, feeds that.

Since at least 2007, countries are not strictly rated on living conditions of a sample(large as it may be). HDI or the Human Development Index calculates different dimensions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

I'll choose to not mention Assange's rape culpability or lack thereof, because I believe that is not the issue hand. As regrettable as it may be, were he guilty.

Evidence to the above causality as a means of explaining the impasse, is clearly visible with the letter sent by the British Foreign Office to the Ecuadorians.

Above all, peace in the world for as long as we may have it!
17:59 August 20, 2012 by themoron
Some facts about the circusm because it seems that many posters who would like to see Julian hanged, do not known what there are writing about.

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. Now she claims 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, turned out to be unused and therefore could not have been torn apart in the way she claimed.

Anna Ardin declared: "I was proud ss 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, 2012, 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 two 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.
18:00 August 20, 2012 by skogsbo
smilingjack, it is you that is delusional if you believe the USA has kidnapped many 100s of 1000s of people how many? a millions? :) I don't agree with much that the USA and UK governments did and have done regarding foreign policy, but we have Blair to blame for that, you have Bush. I was quoting knowledge of what is involved in the Police of London, gained from first hand knowledged when I was serving. When I also have the dis/pleasure of visiting pretty much every other trouble spot the UK was involved in abroad over the past 20years. So I am 'probably' much much more aware of exactly what was and is going on.

Danny, when I quoted 99% living in total poverty I was referring to what I saw in Bolivia, which is obviously one of the poorest places in S America, I'm sure you have seen similar in other places.
19:21 August 20, 2012 by siddal
Only one way this can be resolved and that involves Assange being handed over to the Swedes on, an american inspired rape charge and then handed over for a taste of what passes for justice over the pond. Perhaps even execution.

Shame on you Swedes. How will you ever hold your heads up?
19:30 August 20, 2012 by byke
It appears that our resident @skogsbo has an agenda to deny anything and use anything to smear irrespective of truth or fact.
19:50 August 20, 2012 by dannyisback
99% poverty living conditions is not strong prove of a person's dignity, to which human rights speak of. While I'm sure Correa has his own agenda, I really doubt he wouldn't do more to help the poor than you. Judging by your God complex!
19:54 August 20, 2012 by cheeba
Just the idea that under the Swedish justice system, a defense attorney can "prosecuter shop" and get a case reopened because he has a personal friend who is a prosecuter who will see things his way is shocking to me.

The second prosecuter closed the case. It should never have been reopened because the defense attorney knew someone powerful.
21:03 August 20, 2012 by Steve911

"Yes the Police cost, but many would be on duty anyway."

Yes on duty, trying to catch real criminals who are a danger to the public not someone who is a danger to our corrupt governments. Someone suggested that the embassy operation is costing £50,000 per day, that's £18 million per year. That may be peanuts for someone working in the military but if I needed a lifesaving operation costing £18 million do you think the taxpayer would pay for it? If the taxpayer wouldn't pay to save the life of an individual why should it pay out to send one man to Sweden for questioning?

Assange is in the perfect place to embarrass the UK, US and Swedish governments; he could stay there for years making press statements. UK Foreign Secretary Hague has already been made to look a complete fool by making threats to storm the Ecuadorian embassy. Unless the police search everybody coming out of the embassy, at some point Assange will slip out disguised. Then all the money spent so far will be in vain and the UK government will look even more foolish.

The UK's only option is to give Sweden a choice, either pay for the police operation or we remove the police guard on the embassy next week. I'm sure the Swedish prosecutor will be on the next flight out to London when their taxpayers have to fork out.
21:22 August 20, 2012 by cheeba

The figures you posted have been published in the British press as well. It is an insane amount of money to pay to keep this circus running, especially since there has been precedence of Swedish prosecuters conducting their interviews overseas.

Their reason for refusing to conduct their interview in the Ecuadorian embassy is they want to put him in Jail in Sweden as soon as he steps off the flight.
21:39 August 20, 2012 by wendist
"The UK's only option is to give Sweden a choice, either pay for the police operation or we remove the police guard on the embassy next week. I'm sure the Swedish prosecutor will be on the next flight out to London when their taxpayers have to fork out."

It was sloppy swedish police work that made it possible for Assange to leave Sweden but it was sloppy british police work that made it possible for him to jump bail and enter the embassy. You pay for cleaning up your own mess thank you very much!
23:51 August 20, 2012 by Steve911

"it was sloppy british police work that made it possible for him to jump bail and enter the embassy" Nonsense, perhaps you don't understand the British bail system? The lawyer for Sweden had the opportunity to oppose bail but the court decided Assange should be given bail under extremely strict conditions. British Police don't have the time and money to follow him 24/7. Perhaps it's different in Sweden but UK courts try to avoid jailing innocent people who have not even been charged. No ordinary alleged criminal would have been given asylum; the Ecuadorian's rightly decided that the obvious political dimensions of this case outweighed the rather suspect criminal ones. Sweden is welcome to complain to Ecuador but many in Britain consider that we have tolerated the cost of Swedish intransigence far too long
23:55 August 20, 2012 by themoron
themoron says:

On August 30, 2012, 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.

After the hearing, the authorities told him that he could leave Sweden, and he did.

Sweden is in a deep hole. Its prestige is questioned. UK is in another big hole; a diplomatic one by threatening to storm the embassy of Ecuador in London, to grab Assange and put him in a plane to deliver him to Sweden, which in turn, might put Assange in another plane and deliver him to the United States, as Sweden did with two Egiptians back in 2001.

And all began with the sex for pleasure Assange enjoyed with two Swedish ladies.
01:37 August 21, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
It seems to be the Swedish justice system has not only been poorly served by these events but has been brought into serious disrepute.

That this case has been seriously compromised by politicisation does not give cause for confidence.

Now what efforts have the Swedish government made to reverse this decline? Or are they simply burying their heads in the sand giving further ammunition to those who assert that the USA is really pulling the strings.

In any event, the prospect of Julian Assange being given a fair trial after all this furore now seems quite remote. What do the average Swedish citizens make of this unseemly fiasco?
11:47 August 21, 2012 by Steve911
"I support both countries in their standing strong to uphold the laws of their respective countries." …@bcterry

I guess your counterparts in Russia are saying he same thing in respect of 2 years in jail for members of Pussy Riot. Your counterparts in the UK applaud 6 years in jail for the Naked Rambler and your counterparts in Iran fully support strongly upholding the law in the execution of gays, adulterers etc

Sometimes the law is an Ass or the law has to change with the times, can you imagine how silly we would be if we retained laws against witchcraft etc.
14:08 August 21, 2012 by bcterry
@ Steve911,

"Sometimes the law is an Ass or the law has to change with the times, can you imagine how silly we would be if we retained laws against witchcraft etc. "

What part of the U.K. extradition laws that gave Assange all the appeal avenues available to make his case would you consider an "Ass" of a law?

Other than the part that went against hat you were hoping for that is?

I'd bet the farm that if the ruling had went in favor of assange, you would be praising the same law you now consider to be an "ASS".
19:37 August 21, 2012 by cheeba

The simple fact is that the U.K. laws led them to free Pinochet who was responsible for the murder, torture and RAPE of tens of thousands.

The same U.K. laws say they MUST turn over to Sweden this man who faces absurd claims from two scorned women who invited a stranger back to their homes for cheap sex.

If you see nothing wrong with this, I can think of nothing to say that would convince you that the U.K. law is an ASS !
19:51 August 21, 2012 by Steve911

Extradition to Sweden is via the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) the basis of which is that it considers the laws of all EU countries equally valid and it's an automatic process without consideration of the merits of the case. Certain EU countries are abusing this process, eg Poland is using EAW's for extraditing people for trivial civil debts at vast expense to the UK taxpayer. There is no consideration of whether an EAW request is proportionate or fair. Besides being against British principles of fairness and liberalism, it was originally promised it would only be used for terrorism offences. It is doomed to fail unless all EU laws are the same. It is extremely unpopular in the UK and the regular abuses of the EAW system by less responsible EU members aid those who argue that we should leave the EU. Don't get me started on the one-sided extradition treaty with the US.

In short, yes UK extradition laws are an ASS.
20:27 August 21, 2012 by bcterry
@ Steve911,

Assange was afforded ALL the legal appeal rights possible, the courts rejected his argument in every stage.

How do you know they did not consider all the merits of the case?

I'm sure his lawyers presented all the merits, and presented every argument they could think of to stop the extradition.

The courts heard them all, they rejected them all.

He had his days in court, he lost, too bad, now he has to abide by their decision or face the consequences.
16:52 August 23, 2012 by themoron
themoron says:

Sweden's 'reinterpretation' of the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA, a common legal practice in the European Union. It is an agreement between two countries to help cooperation during investigation of alleged crimes. The EU's website states "mutual legal assistance and agreements on extradition are essential for the EU in order to achieve a European area of justice".

The Swedish prosecution has requested Julian Assange's extradition for the purpose of questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct. He is yet to be formally charged with an offense.

Since his arrest, Mr Assange has offered himself to be questioned under the MLA practices, by telephone, video conference, or in person. He continues to retain this offer, even during his current stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy as he awaits a decision on his application for asylum. The Ecuadorians have agreed to letting the Swedish prosecution come to the Embassy to question him.

WikiLeaks' legal adviser Jennifer Robinson met with Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt on July 5 during Almedalen Week, a political conference in Gotland. She discussed with him the allegations against Julian Assange and why Sweden has refused to question him over the past 18 months.

He told me it's not allowed. And when I pointed out that Sweden had only recently done just that in a murder investigation in Serbia, he had no reply.

Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny made similar statements in 2010, saying that Swedish Law prevents Mr Assange being interviewed by telephone or video link, and that both Swedish and British law prevent her from traveling to London to question Mr Assange. Many of the articles containing the latter statement were later removed.

Since Julian Assange has not been formally charged, he does not have the rights of a defendant, i.e. access to the full accusations against him or any of the evidence. Could the fact that he only faces allegations affect the use of MLA law?

The guidelines for getting Mutual Legal Assistance from the UK state the contrary.

In the section entitled "What must be included in a Letter of Request" it states:

A description of the offences charged or under investigation and sentence or penalty

Furthermore, in an "Example Letter of Request" it states:

Supply information on the charge or proposed charge.

A full page of the document is also dedicated to the information needed to request a telephone or video conference call, which includes an address, a possible list of questions, and any formal notification of rights.

Neither Carl Bildt nor Marianne Ny would explain how or why it is illegal under Swedish law to question Mr Assange via telephone, video conference, or in person. With no explanation on their behalf, the EU promoting the use of Mutual Legal Assistance, and a document explaining how to achieve information this way, it opens the door for speculation as to why Sweden refuses to question Mr Assange.

Source: Guess!
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