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Britain predicts long showdown over Assange

AFP/The Local · 26 Sep 2012, 07:34

Published: 26 Sep 2012 07:34 GMT+02:00

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Assange is to speak by videolink to a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday to back his case to be allowed to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

Hague told reporters in New York that he had held talks with Ecuador's Vice President Lenin Moreno in August over the Australian activist and that negotiations would continue.

"I've seen no sign of any breakthrough since our meeting," Hague said.

"The position was to uphold the law in the United Kingdom. That remains the position. This may go on for some time."

The British minister is to hold talks with Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on Thursday.

Hague would not comment on Assange's plan to speak to diplomats and reporters at the UN event organized by the Ecuador government.

Patino will speak with the WikiLeaks founder who entered the London mission on June 19th.

Assange took shelter in the Ecuadoran embassy after exhausting all appeals against extradition from to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over the sexual assault allegations. Ecuador has granted him diplomatic asylum.

Story continues below…

Assange, 41, fears Sweden will hand him over to the United States, where he could face prosecution over WikiLeaks' release of a vast cache of leaked Iraq and Afghanistan war reports and diplomatic cables.

The activist's lawyers and supporters say he would not get a fair trial in the United States.

Ecuador has reportedly made one proposal that Assange be transferred to Sweden but stay under the protection of the Ecuador government.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:35 September 26, 2012 by johan rebel
If Assange chooses to voluntarily incarcerate himself for five or ten years, than that's fine by me. I can think of more pleasant places to spend my time than an Ecuadorian embassy.
18:41 September 26, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
There is no "media blackout." The contents of 100 page report was know when the extradition hearing was started.

Assange apologist arguments are becoming very uninteresting. They should try to understand Sexual Assault laws and their relationship to the accusations against Assange.

It is perplexing why a movement dedicated to transparency invokes characteristics that amount to utter lack of understanding.

Assange should just stop and surrender to the Met.
21:21 September 26, 2012 by Grokh
look he hasnt been charged with rape he has been called in for questioning.

so all this paranoia and focus on him is clearly political since in sweden people get away with less.

All this manhunt just to ask the guy questions is very weird. if all they do is ask questions just ask him, i dont see a need for extradiction.
23:49 September 26, 2012 by Carbarrister
Looks like someone at the Ecuadoran embassy gave poor Julian a prison haircut.
03:46 September 27, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
The problem with the some of the evidence was known before the extradition hearing was started. However, through Assange's own admission in that same 100 page document he clearly stated that a condom was used on at least one occasion.

All evidence needs to be judge on it merit, excluding those judged inadmissible or unreliable.

According to Assange's claims the acts were consensual. This is even though the law on the accusations amount to sexual assault, with the concept "wearing a condom" not including that law. Assange must defend himself.
09:21 September 27, 2012 by Nomark
Tiny Red Ant

JA is innocent - end of story. The charges are political - end of story. Well, maybe not - sometimes they're due to extreme feminism and sometimes they're political. His accusers are angry scorned extreme feminists- end of story. But maybe not, sometimes one of them works for the CIA - either way they're liars and deserve to have their anonymity trashed and the receive the self-righteous bile of JA-supporters on the web.

Also, in spite of him being locked up in a London embassy surrounded by UK police after a number of failed attempts to overturn an extradition order, he needs to moved to Sweden before another extradition an take place since the UK is more likely to protect his rights. Got that ? Its obvious, isn't it. If you don't, you're a fool who "can't see the world as it really is".

Furthermore, someone leaking info about this case at the start fundamentally violated JA's rights. Sympathy is needed here, ok ? This was *wrong*!!! It is irrelevant that JA thinks that redaction of documents to protect innocent people is dangerous is unnecessary and has published a whole of info this way. Different things altogether, ok ?
16:01 September 27, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Innocent? Well it seems trail in Sweden was missed, or when the case was closed.

The onus is on Assange's surrender to bring this to a close, and this is a genuine legal dispute.

"The leaking of information about this case" violated Julian Assange's right results in bemusement.

* The information was posted by those attempting to defend Assange, and is used as such.

* It was Assange's own lawyers who provided the information about the condom.

There is indifference as the same people want to fraught outrage. Genuine concerns of any violations of Assange's rights should be addressed in Swedish courts.

Refusal to understand the "non-political" crime of "sexual assault" does not make the prosecution of such a crime political. Also, some jurisdiction have broader definition of "consent" than Sweden.

The reaction is generally belly laugh to disbelieve in the lack of genuine research Julian Assange actually does. There is no need for anyone to look through those eyes.
20:19 September 27, 2012 by Clarabow
The world is littered with important people, doing important work, who hold high office and yet can keep their trousers zipped up. I am glad if the facts in this case are available on the internet so we can have a trial by public opinion; I do think if the allegations are false they should be confined to the waste paper bin and if there is no case they probably would be if only the Prosecutor could talk to Mr Assange. I am not sure how anyone who lives in a country that has Laws and a justice system thinks that Mr Assange should be treated differently to anyone else? I can think of some very important people who think they are above the Law and it is refreshing when they find out they are not. I have no judgement to make in this case because I am not the complainant, I am not the police or the prosecutor, or the defendant and his legal team. And I don't believe everything I read on the internet. Trial by public opinion is a very bad idea and not likely to get at the truth.
21:15 September 27, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
There seems to be a gross lack of understanding. The information about the condom was known almost 2 years ago, and disappeared into the "abyss." It was never used in the extradition hearing in the UK. It only became news again recently because the information was provided by Assange's lawyers.

It is not unusual for cases to be re-opened at a later date because of changes.

It is correct that Assange has not been charged, which is not unusual either. Assange is a person who is wanted for prosecution, and should be extradited to Sweden.
17:26 September 30, 2012 by MarkDnrs
THERE ARE GOOD REASONS why being extradited to Sweden (and thus why this is 100% about Wikileaks not ludicrious fake charges about a"broken condom") is condemning the person being extradited to that renegade country to torture and human rights violations:

1. You get imprisoned in Sweden even before being charged, so if the US brought charges at that time he has no recourse to diplomatic protection;

2. Sweden has a history of agreeing to all extradition requests to the US, including extraordinary rendition in 2001, in 2006 it was reported by Swedish Military Intelligence that subsequent restrictions were being ignored;

3. Sweden has a clause in their extradition treaty for "Conditional Release" which the UK does not, which would not be subject to the same restrictions as extradition and the UK would not need to approve the onward extradition;

4. If, as Australia believes, the US would bring charges carefully worded to avoid conflict with the First Amendment, the UK and Sweden could declare that the charges are not political offenses and therefore not prevent him from being extradited.

5. If Sweden wanted to question Assange, they could have done so in the UK. Issuing an EAW was disproportionate, especially when no charges have been brought. Expert legal opinion supports this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/4839...

6. 3. The International Prison Chaplains Association says that Swedish prisons are the worst prisons in Europe. In 47 percent of cases, prisoners in Sweden are held incommunicado.

7. To repeat the point about Sweden's nature as a human rights violator:

There is always that Swedish legal device known as a Temporary Surrender or Conditional Release, under which Assange can be sent on from Sweden to the United States secretly and quickly.

Sweden has in the recent past allowed rendition (torture) on its soil at the request of the US. In fact, in the last 10 years Sweden has done whatever the US wants so that it can share security information. Much like Britain. The Swedish foreign minister responsible for extradition, Carl Bildt, became a U.S. Embassy informant in 1973 when he was 24 years old. He shipped his personal effects to Washington, to lead a conservative leadership program, where he met Karl Rove. They became old friends and would go to conferences together and so on.
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