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'Assange could spend a year in embassy': father

The Local · 15 Sep 2012, 11:14

Published: 15 Sep 2012 11:14 GMT+02:00

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John Shipton, Assange's biological father, said he spoke frequently with the 41-year-old who won asylum from Ecuador to escape extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault allegations.

"He's in a small room... and in that he has a treadmill and a sunlamp," Shipton told AFP in Sydney's Redfern where he had accepted an Aboriginal Nations passport on behalf of his son.

Shipton, 68, said that his son "faces his future with equanimity" and is prepared for his "long meditation".

Shipton also explained that his son is pressing ahead with his plans to run for the Australian Senate in next year's national election.

The WikiLeaks founder has asked his father to write the constitution for his yet-to-be founded political


Sydney-based Shipton said he felt Australians were "genuinely concerned and moved" by the plight of Assange and the work of WikiLeaks

He said he had spoken to Assange about the Aboriginal Nationals passport - used for travelling through Aboriginal lands in Australia.

"This occasion is a further opportunity to generate support for Julian's situation," he said.

"The irony is it's a great help to bring to notice to people that the situation is well, very questionable, morally very questionable.

"The (Australian) foreign minister could do a little more. Although he says he has done a lot, he won't speak to me."

Shipton, who said he had always kept in touch with Assange's mother but had little contact with his son from when he was three until his twenties, spoke of his pride in Assange, a former computer hacker.

"I am astounded, absolutely astounded. And each day more impressed," he said.

"He seems as though he handles himself at those rarefied atmospheres really quite well."

Story continues below…

"It must have taken a great deal of suffering to have learned so quickly how to move amongst those people... and not display fear when the whole American empire wishes to crush you."

But Shipton won't be watching a new movie about Assange's earlier life called "Underground: The Julian Assange Story" which is set to screen on Australian television early next month.

He doesn't have a television.

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

12:47 September 15, 2012 by Jack of Hearts
The ones who are hurt the most by this dragged-out judicial process is neither Assange nor Sweden, but Wikileaks and their followers. Having to abandon their usually quite sensible activities in order to act as a propaganda machine for Assange (often providing seriously distorted information aimed at slandering the US, UK and Sweden) they lost all their journalistic credibility.

I was, along with many people I know, a supporter of Wikileaks. The respect I once had is now all lost.

Meanwhile, anyone with at least half a brain does understand that the Swedish legal system is not what Assange and his supporters claim it to be:

13:56 September 15, 2012 by Borilla

Agree. One would hope that Mr. Assange will spend more than one year in the embassy (many more), something both Assange and Ecuador deserve at this point.
14:33 September 15, 2012 by Camlon
Jack of Hearts:

You don't think other countries would extricate Assange to the US. Plenty of countries would. It just happens to be a case against him in Sweden, which makes it much easier. Some idiots ask "but why doesn't UK extricate him?", because UK can not imprison him without a case. Also it is harder.

if this was all about a rape case, then UK would not threaten to storm the embassy. They would put one police guard outside the embassy and wait till he comes out. Sweden would have gone to the UK to interview him, and the case is likely to be dropped because it lacks evidence.

It is pretty clear what is going to happen to him if he get sent to Sweden. Sweden is in no way a perfect country and my bet is that people like you will not mind at all.
15:24 September 15, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Is Assange looking up to see if there are any drones overhead?

Camlon, the UK did not have a case against Pinnochet but could have sent Pinnochet to Spain to face trial for the murder of Spaniards and crimes against humanity, under international law. They never sent him to Spain, and allowed him to return to Chile. That decision was and still is controversial.

The UK is now adhering to its obligations under European law. The UK supreme court nearly overturned the extradiction order, out of fear that one day a British citizen might be asked to be extradicted to some third nation for cruel and unusual punishment, but Sweden basically treats criminals like royalty, so he will hardly face any hardship, even if convicted.

The pro-Assange camp should reserve their anger for Sweden if Sweden does in fact extradite him to the US. This has not happened yet.
05:04 September 16, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
The long Assange lets this drag out the worse it makes him look. It is almost two years since Swedish authorities wanted Assange to come in for a second interview. It is curious what Assange expects to change in a year from now.

His securities should be putting more effort into telling him to surrender. Some have already lost the money they put up for his bail. Those who want their money back have to convince Assange to surrender. However, it seems that maybe on has made that suggestion.
07:28 September 16, 2012 by Camlon
Reason and Realism:

First off your username is arrogant.

Secondly, you need to reason. Did you ever ask yourself you the question. Why do they need to imprison him. Because the moment US ask for extrication, he will run off to an embassy and get a lot of support. In Sweden he will be in prison so that is impossible. In the UK they can not imprison him before they get that request. That is why he get sent to Sweden.

Have you wondered why UK is willing to spend 50K pounds per day, and destroy the relationship with the whole South America for a guy that gave his one week girlfriend wake up sex. Why do Sweden care so much about this case when they are plenty of rapes in Sweden. This case is weak and will not get through under normal circumstances. If you assume this is all about a rape case, something is not right.

Any logical person by now would understand that he is not scared of Swedish prison system, because staying one year in Swedish prison is better than staying one year in Ecuadorian embassy. He has legitimate fears he will be sent to the US.

Why should we reserve our "anger" till when it is too late? What if used the same tactic under the second world war. Oh..wait, we actually did.
13:16 September 16, 2012 by Jack of Hearts

In the purely hypothetical case that the US would deliver an extradition request based on a legit crime (as far as I know, there is not any substantial evidence tying Mr. Assange to espionage) and there is no risk of death penalty: Yes, there are treaties on handing over suspected criminals just as there are such between Sweden and the UK in the present scenario. The second part of your reasoning you unfortunately just pulled out of your ass though. The UK can detain Assange if such a request is made from the US, and also it would only require approval from the UK themselves (whereas in Sweden, both the UK and Sweden have to approve).

In the second paragraph, you are again making some weird statements. This situation is not about Mr. Assange's Wikileaks activites. The embassy of Ecuador is harboring a suspected criminal, who is likely planning to flee the country. This is a really rare scenario, but it would probably look the same with or without Wikileaks.

And yes, unless Mr. Assange confesses himself the case is likely to get dropped. Which is why it is painful to see him dragging this out and destroying every shred of credibility Wikileaks previously had.

It is indeed pretty clear what will happen if he gets sent to Sweden: He will be subjected to a fair legal process. Law experts worldwide agree on that point.
13:16 September 16, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
There is nothing arrogant about either the word 'reason' or the word 'realism'. It can be understood as an appeal to myself and to other posters to apply both to their posts.

A person does not have to be sitting in a UK prison and charged with a crime in the UK for the UK to apprehend him and send him to the US, if the US had issued an arrest warrant and extradiction request that the UK agreed to enforce. Instead Assange was out on bail and could get to the Ecuadorian embassy because there was no US warrant, and/or because his rape crime was not considered all that serious, and/or because he was considered a low flight risk at the time. I have not heard of US arrest warrants against any other Wikileaks staff, many of whom are widely known individuals, and who are not hiding in Ecuadorian embassies at this time. Bradley Manning is a US citizen and violated his legal obligations so his troubles are more serious.

The Assange camp wants a promise that Assange will not be extradicted to a third nation. But that would be unprecedented. As I posted elsewhere, if it suddenly surfaced that Assange had murdered a family in Iceland, Sweden would need to extradict Assange for trial there, because Iceland has had no death penalty since 1831. As for extradition to the US, the Assange legal team could prevent Sweden from sending Assange to the US on the grounds that some US senators or congressmen have talked about Assange getting the death penalty, so some future administration could conceivably try to do that. Another aspect of an agreement that Assange never be extradicted to a third country is that this might enable Assange to sit around Sweden for decades and order cyber attacks against companies or governments that he does not like, and Sweden might be legally powerless to do anything about it according to that agreement. Assange would first have to become a Swedish citizen, but he may be able to get married to some female admirer here either before or while serving his sentence. A lot of hypotheticals here, but the main point is that nations like Sweden do not normallygrant immunity against any and all extradiction requests except where the death penalty is concerned.

I am not particularly pro- or anti- Assange, but I am heavily against the 'pre emptive strikes' that Wikileaks has apparently already conducted against the Swedish government websites for something it has not even done yet, and may never do.
13:17 September 16, 2012 by Jack of Hearts
Have to clarify: The last sentence in the first paragraph of course relates to the actual extradition (not detention).
23:28 September 16, 2012 by frenchviking
leave the guy alone...

if there had been a rape it would have been proven by now...
23:34 September 16, 2012 by Swedish Cat
Agree and the alledged rapes has even been detracted by at least one of the women and we all know he did not do it. Not like he left someone on the tracks to die and still he will face more truble with the law that that scum. Were is the justice here?
23:44 September 16, 2012 by frenchviking
at least assange left sweden and does not want to come back...

not sure the tbana scumbag will have that decency...
23:48 September 16, 2012 by Swedish Cat
Well if he did I hope Sweden does not try to extradite him back..
06:12 September 17, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
And in the event he becomes an elected Australian Senator? Not beyond the realms of possibility.
09:30 September 17, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Ian C. Purdie

Former heads of state used to get blanket immunity from prosecution, which is one reason why the UK was dragging its feet over the extradition request by Spain to get Pinnochet to stand trial for the murder of Spaniards and crimes against humanity during his rule in Chile, but as far as I am aware senators, ministers, and members of parliment are not granted that kind of immunity, except maybe against parking tickets.
10:08 September 17, 2012 by Camlon
Jack of Hearts: Yes, they can detain him, but it will take time. They can't just detain him now, without an American case. Time that Assange can use to leave to an embassy.

In Sweden that is not possible as he will be in prison waiting for them to drop the case.

And yes the case is likely to be dropped, then why are they spending 50K pounds to get him? You think they would have done that if he was not part of wikileaks? Also, my experience from outside Sweden is that he has gained more credibility over the last months.
13:37 September 17, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Julian Assange had went through about 18 months of court proceedings do decide whether or not he should be extradited to Sweden. It was within weeks that he was suppose to sent to Sweden that Assange sought the assistance of Ecuador. Then Ecuador granting him asylum 2 months later.

Sweden has one of the worlds highest rates of rape reported to authorities. So, Assange is just one of many people who are accused of sex crimes.

The hash reality is the courts in the UK wrote that the allegations of rape against Assange, would be a crime in the UK. However, that is one of four allegations that were also tested for dual-criminality.

Assange should have never been given asylum, because he is not being persecuted by the UK or Sweden. He being sought for the prosecution of non-political crimes.

What is strange is the court in the UK gave Assange due process and listened to both sides. Ecuador granted Assange asylum by only listen the Assange's supports with the soul result in irritating the UK and Sweden.

2 years later and some think the case will be dropped. The accusations relate to Assange's personal life. The only way the case will be dropped if there a "statute of limitation" exists and is met for the accusations against Assange.
16:43 September 17, 2012 by bcterry
In the end, what, if anything has assange accomplished from this futile wickileaks bullsxxt?

Other than to use Bradley Manning, a naive 22 YEAR OLD, who he knew he was putting in great danger by using him to further his narcissistic nonsense, and as a result, Manning is now in sxxx up to his eyeballs.

For what he did to Manning, that alone makes him a reckless pathetic scum.
23:31 September 17, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Wikileaks has accomplished very little in comparison that its movement has credited it to.

It is unknown the relationship between Bradley Manning and those who work for Wikileaks.

At this point all that can be suggested is that Manning fell in with a group of "radical transparency" activist and used his position to leaks documents for that agenda. He is a young man who had Wikileaks turn it back on him when he it is really needed.

For the investigation in the US, Assange believe that it is all about him, even though it includes several other people. This is the same for Manning's court martial.
01:55 September 18, 2012 by bcterry
"It is unknown the relationship between Bradley Manning and those who work for Wikileaks."

So they do not check the source for reliability, or even know who sent it, and simply release any information that comes to them anonymously without back checking at all?

How would they know that the information was not just simply fabricated?
09:38 September 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Wikileaks has never made claims that they "check the source for reliability." The organization confidence is that it reputation will prevents sources from submitting junk. Specifically, that sources know that the information will be checked. When though of seems kind of strange.

The experienced reporter will want to know about the source and the information they provided. This includes if the information was stolen by an outside source, something which Wikileaks seems to not care about. There is a real suspicions that stolen information has been fabricated.

The absolute anonymity of Wikileaks accomplishes nothing. That is for the protection of the source, or the reliability of the information.

Bradley Manning and Rudolf Elmer comes to mind as two sources who were lulled by the illusions of Wikileaks.
16:51 September 18, 2012 by bcterry
"Wikileaks has never made claims that they check the source for reliability. The experienced reporter will want to know about the source and the information they provided. This includes if the information was stolen by an outside source, something which Wikileaks seems to not care about. There is a real suspicions that stolen information has been fabricated."

There is much more to this of course, but that alone shows what a farce he, and this whole exercise is.
20:24 September 18, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Beyond "a real suspicions that stolen information can be fabricated." Just watching him on Ted will show he believes himself to "the" prophet who is impeccable.
23:23 September 18, 2012 by bcterry
What's Ted?
02:50 September 19, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Ted is a symposium for discussion of a variety of topics. More on the philosophical that practical. The video is "Why the world needs Wikileaks." Arrogant if you ask me, but listening to him lie with a straight face makes should make some people cringe.
03:41 September 19, 2012 by bcterry
Thanks, i'll check it out.
11:32 September 20, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
When the video has been watched, then an opinion would be appreciated. That is irrelevant of how much was seen.
12:30 September 22, 2012 by alecLoTh
@Jack of Hearts

Wrong Jack! Sweden does get hurt by this, you only hope it dosen't. Sweden has made itself complicit to a sham and a farce. People are at this time wary of governments and the internet is ground-zero of this information war. That's why governments seem to readily agree that he must be removed from the equation. But people can see clearly what this is. Before all this Swedes had a pretty good reputation, but it has now been smeared.
19:04 September 22, 2012 by Gjeebes
If Sweden had a good reputation "sometime", it was only ever because of the Yankie PR firm it pays big bucks to. Come on, Sweden is quite a crap place in general, once you live here, it becomes quickly obvious. The only ones who think its great are illiterate goat herders that are welfare sponsor recipients and the pale looking government sponsored robot locals. Anyway, leave Assange alone already, he does good work. Maybe one day he will show Sweden for what it is, like he has the USA. And anyway, there is more of a problem of beastiality in Sweden so why not focus on that (although animal sex is not yet actually illegal in this mighty "country"!).
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