Indefinite detention without charge equals a country that does not deserve to have prisoners extradited to it

Yesterday’s Crikey, on Julian Assange’s recent move:

To seek asylum, rather than to seek to address the allegations against him in Sweden (although Assange has repeatedly offered to be interviewed by Swedish authorities in the UK over the past 18 months), will undoubtedly further damage Assange’s reputation. The stain of “alleged r-pist” will always follow him, until the claims are resolved.

But Assange knows that the Vice-President of the United States has called him a terrorist. He knows that the Obama administration readily kills those it labels terrorists, even if they are US citizens, and even if they aren’t terrorists, without due process. He knows that a grand jury has been empanelled and has, according to those with connections inside the US security establishment, produced a sealed indictment against him. Being extradited to Sweden increases the risk that he will be surrendered to the United States where an uncertain fate awaits.

And Guy Rundle points out two critical points about Assange going to Sweden:

  • There is no such thing as bail; you’re either accused of a non-coercive crime and let out on licence, or you’re on remand until trial.
  • Sweden has a distinctive system of extradition — especially to the US — in which someone accused of a crime in Sweden (and hence on remand) can be “loaned” to the US for prosecution there. This process does not exist in many other countries.

And while the US is a country that will imprison people indefinitely without charge, and murder Afghans with drones simply for being in their own country, and will execute people even when there’s very strong evidence they’re innocent – nobody should be forcibly sent there to face that kind of prosecution. And while Sweden will hand people over to such a country, it should be treated as being part of the same profoundly flawed system.

If it were your life on the line, I suspect you would do something very similar to what Assange has done.

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37 responses to “Indefinite detention without charge equals a country that does not deserve to have prisoners extradited to it

  1. narcoticmusing

    Wow. So now we are advocating that someone accused of rape should not face those charges simply if he risks facing other charges too? And isn’t it great that supporters of this keep downplaying the accusation, as if it not being a violent rape suddenly means it was ok. It’s all said in a ‘Read between the lines people’ way, in that having a condition on consent doesn’t count because she is just some slut that liked rough sex. Just wow.

    Are you suggesting that Julian should have a green light to commit any crime he wants, merely because he offended the US? That he should not have to answer accusations against him because the US want to question him too? You realise real war criminals make the same sort of bullshit excuses (and seek asylum in the same places) as Jules is right now?

    There is no comment on that it might just be a good thing that Sweden respects a woman’s right to have full control of her consent. That a woman should be able to control who, when and how a man has sex with her (which is the intent of the Victorian legislation but it never quite gets applied that way).

    Suddenly Sweden, who has a better rights record than Australia, is evil because advocates of Julian say so? You realise Australia is also currently holding legitimate refugees, who have been fully reconised as refugees due to actual persecution, that Australia is holding indefinitely without charge?You would be aware of the potential consequence for treason and/or terrorist acts here too right? They are on the harsh end of the scale and Julian was aware of it. I’m not suggesting it isn’t a bad law that he broke (or that the subsequent laws amended weren’t unjust), but lets not pretend Julian is any Martin Luther King.

  2. “Wow. So now we are advocating that someone accused of rape should not face those charges simply if he risks facing other charges too?”

    Double WOW! I love people who tell other people the bleeding obvious, so I’ll do a bit of it my good self. Jeremy is right. Assange could well face the death penalty if the U.S. gets their stained with blood greasy mits on him.

    They, that is the government of Sweden and for that matter Australia are trying to get Assange back to the states by stealth. It has been proven time and time again the U.S. runs the foreign policy of both the U/K and Australia. Anyone thinking for a nano second that Assanges fate is not sealed, must live with their head shoved up their own orifice.

    Assange has sought asylum in Ecuador for good reason. he and his supporters, especially his lawyers know, his cards are marked for, destination U.S. The court case in the U/K for Assange is just a sham, they have been told “We want him” placate your population anyway you like to make it look like judicial process has taken place. Assange was on borrowed time and they all knew it.

  3. Wow. So now we are advocating that someone accused of rape should not face those charges…

    HE HASN’T BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING.

    keep downplaying the accusation, as if it not being a violent rape suddenly means it was ok

    More like the credibility of the evidence is fairly weak given the different versions and contradictions.

    There is no comment on that it might just be a good thing that Sweden respects a woman’s right to have full control of her consent.

    We respect that as well. The problem is that they’re prosecuting a matter (and seeking to imprison someone) on weak evidence that could never reasonably get over the threshold of beyond reasonable doubt.

    That a woman should be able to control who, when and how a man has sex with her (which is the intent of the Victorian legislation but it never quite gets applied that way).

    Only because it’s very difficult to prove. What’s your suggestion? That we just lock up anyone accused of the crime?

    Suddenly Sweden, who has a better rights record than Australia, is evil because advocates of Julian say so?

    No, because it will lock him up pending trial – if they don’t send him to the US where he might not even get that.

    You realise Australia is also currently holding legitimate refugees, who have been fully reconised as refugees due to actual persecution, that Australia is holding indefinitely without charge?

    Yes, and that’s an outrage too. If there was some prospect of someone being extradited to Australia and held in that fashion I’d oppose that as well.

    You would be aware of the potential consequence for treason and/or terrorist acts here too right?

    Terrorism. Exposing the murder of journalists and a coverup by the US military?

  4. narcoticmusing

    The problem is that they’re prosecuting a matter (and seeking to imprison someone) on weak evidence that could never reasonably get over the threshold of beyond reasonable doubt.

    If this were someone else, you’d be insisting that that evidence be tested before a court, not merely trial by media.

    A person who has not been charged but has been accused of an indictable offence should face that “charge” (by that I meant accusation, not formal charge*) in that jurisdiction. He has not been charged because they haven’t been able to question him. It is unreasonable to expect a jurisdiction to come to you for your convenience.

    I did not suggest he had been charged (as in formal charges) I was meaning that in a lamens sense of a serious accusation to which charges would be likely. Apologies for the poor use of terms, I can see how that would be interpreted that that was the suggestion. I hope this clarifies.

    Nevertheless, you did not answer my question. Are you advocating that a person accused of a serious offence like rape, not have to answer to that jurisdiction (in order to ascertain whether charges should be laid) simply because he is wanted in the US? So should Julian be immune? What is the limit? Can he kill people too providing it is in a jurisdiction that could cause extradiction to the US?

    My points re treason/terrorism were that Australia is not much better than the US in this regard.

    No, because it will lock him up pending trial – if they don’t send him to the US where he might not even get that.
    Because no other jurisdiciton does that… riiiiiight. Oh wait, that is the normal process. Their licence process is not inconsistent with our bail process. He is a clear flight risk (look at his current actions!) so NO jurisdiction would grant him bail either.

  5. narcoticmusing

    Assange could well face the death penalty if the U.S. gets their stained with blood greasy mits on him.

    So are you suggesting Assange be immune from prosecution of ANY crime that could result in his extradition to the US (despite the fact that he has committed crimes against the US, regardless of whether they were good or bad laws, which I agree many of them are very poor).

    This makes the Left look like religious loonies – suddenly as long as it is Assange, he can do no wrong. He is defended with the same sort of zealot responses used to defend war criminals (his actions are disturbingly similar too – notwithstanding he is, by no means, comparable to a war criminal). If this was a fat cat banker or NewsCorp exec, the left would want his blood regardless of any consequence.

    Assange was on borrowed time and they all knew it.
    Oh FFS, enough of the conspiracy crap. Are you suggesting if the US really wanted him in custody or dead, they couldn’t have achieved this by now? Really? If they are so uber powerful, he’d be dead. It’d either be made out to be an accident or the US would brag about it as a warning. Don’t give me the ‘people would riot’ because they wouldn’t. It’d blow over. Political memory is very short. Far worse things have occured in the UK lately and the electorate only really cared about the pastie tax despite knowing the other evils (eg NewsCorp corruption and connection to their PM).

  6. So are you suggesting Assange be immune from prosecution of ANY crime that could result in his extradition to the US

    He certainly shouldn’t be sent to Sweden before being charged.

    He is defended with the same sort of zealot responses used to defend war criminals (his actions are disturbingly similar too – notwithstanding he is, by no means, comparable to a war criminal).

    That’s a hilarious sentence. Disturbingly similar but by no means comparable.

    It’s important that the US, that’s recently shown it has no respect for the rule of law or due process – that’s basically thrown habeas corpus out the window – does not get its hands on him, though, yes.

  7. narcoticmusing

    I will resist feeling as though you purposefully attempt to misconstrue me.

    He is defended with the same sort of zealot responses used to defend war criminals (his actions are disturbingly similar too – notwithstanding he is, by no means, comparable to a war criminal).

    That’s a hilarious sentence. Disturbingly similar but by no means comparable.

    His actions are disturbingly similar: he is resisting extradition to face questioning on a serious crime. He has then sought refugee status from the same sort of nation war criminals go to because they know the west would never support them.

    The actual crimes he is accused of are not comparable to a war criminal in that what he is accused of and indeed what he has done (wikileaks) can not be compared to the sort of actions seen at the Hague.

    Ok, so because he is wanted by the US he should be immune from answering any violation of rights to another citizen of any nation that might have an arrangement with the US. This is, of course, despite the US’s complete lack of respect for the rule of law or habeas corpus, they have not assassinated him or simply abducted him etc (suddenly they are powerless!!!) Surely if they did not respect the law they would have just killed him, no?

  8. Narc this is a serious issue I agree.

    I’d rather he faced the charges, but at the same time to me (as a male I admit) this looks like a sus prosecution. If it weren’t for the fact that Sweden has such a dodgy reputation wrt to renditioning people to be tortured on behalf of the US the whole thing would be quite different.

    The partner of the lawyer representing the 2 women was the Swedish official responsible for facilitating extraordinary rendition during the first 5 years of the GWOT. The actual lawyer himself is EDIT

    Assange offered to be interviewed at the Swedish Embassy in London, rather than be extradited for an interview. Why wasn’t that option considered? Cos it would certainly make his actual extradition if charged look less clouded by international politics. (Unfortunately this whole issue is clouded by international politics.)

    Allegedly one of the women has withdrawn her support for the charges. The one accused of being a CIA operative, or acting on their behalf.

    I don’t think much of Assange’s latest stunt, but I also don’t trust that he won’t be sent to the US from sweden without a chance to legally challenge his extradition. Sweden’s record on facilitating US torture and rendition and the association of legal firm that is leading his prosecution with enabling that torture and rendition raise serious questions about this whole thing.

    If he is extradited to the US it puts a cloud over whatever sexual offences he may have been accused of.

  9. zaratoothbrush

    It’s pretty simple narc – for all that Assange needs to face justice, there is simply no guarantee that justice will be done if he is handed over to the Swedish authorities. All your hysterical strawmen cannot disguise this simple fact.

  10. “So are you suggesting Assuage be immune from prosecution of ANY crime that could result in his extradition to the US (despite the fact that he has committed crimes against the US”

    1. I never said that. 2. Yes if it means he could lose his life for what I believe at the end of the day is nothing more than whistle blowing.

    Moreover the alleged so called offences by Assuage does not, on the basis of the known evidence necessitate his presence in Sweden. I mean, what are they going to do when they get him back to Sweden beat the required evidence out of him? From my point of view it is his word against theirs.

    As fot the yanks getting rid of Assange by killing him, give me a break. This would only confirm in the minds of people that support Assange, the yanks are indeed a load of conniving murdering swines.

    As for the British people rioting are you serious? Brixton, Liverpool, London, Birmingham to name just a few. The British public at the moment, need very little to get them out on the streets, that’s not a conspiracy but a fact of life. The Nazi concentration camps where millions of innocent people were gassed, started off a rumours. Idi Amin was being wine and dined by the British establishment until the evidence got out. The only conspiracy there was, he said he was the King of Scotland. But carry on.

  11. narcoticmusing

    Zara – please point out my ‘hysterical strawmen’ – you like to insult and call arguments strawmen without any actual analysis. Please explain to me why a jurisdiction should deny the rights of its citizens for someone you happen to be a fanboy of? You say he needs to face justice but because justice may not be done, we should just allow him to be immune – and yet it is my arguments that are strawmen? Are you kidding?

    You realise this is the same argument that Peter Dupas made – that because of the media attention around him, he couldn’t get an impartial jury and therefore should not have to face a trial. Ever. Period. Dupas – do you know who this guy is? The Court in that case said that if we measured the requirement for a person to face their accusation/charge/etc by that standard then NO ONE who ever committed really heinous crimes that were of public interest would ever face justice. Charles Manson wouldn’t have – and btw he too said he couldn’t get a fair trial so should be acquitted. War criminals would never be tried because how can they ever get a fair trial? The evidence against them is generally very weak and pretty pathetic on the grounds of a trial as we all know it.

  12. narcoticmusing

    So Lynot, you are now accusing Sweden of having no justice or respect for human rights, due process, etc etc. If this was a banker, you wouldn’t be suddenly claiming that.

    From my point of view it is his word against theirs.
    Yes, that is how most rape accusations go. What they are granting him is the right to a hearing (ie a right to give his side of the story) BEFORE filing formal charges. They are giving him the right to set the record straight without tarnishing him with formal charges. This is more than Australia would have done. It is not appropriate that a jurisdiction worry about the whims of others (ie it is not appropriate that they come to him, he should go to them). This is especially the case in Europe (which is the reason for their extradition laws being based on accusation not charge) because border passage is very common. For a jurisdiction to go to Assange would set a terrible precedent and double standard that suddenly jurisdictions needed to meet the whims and conveniences of those people they might charge. That is ridiculous and simply not fiscally feasible for any jurisdiction. It is one of the key rationales for Europe’s extradition rules.

    As fot the yanks getting rid of Assange by killing him, give me a break. This would only confirm in the minds of people that support Assange As if the Americans would care what supporters of Assange think? As if they couldn’t deny involvement and pretend it was an accident etc if they did care? Surely if you are going to go for the whole ‘there is a mass conspiracy against Assange’ it must follow that there are easier ways to do this. Why would the US care about riots in Brittain? No one in the US will care that matters to the US Govt. Be realistic.

    I agree the US laws he is accused of breaching are of significant concern. I agree that on the face of it, it appears his actions that the US are pissed with amount to a whistleblower scenario. I do not dispute that, nor do I dispute that he should not be extradited to the US. My concern is that people are advocating a terrible precedent of immunity for crimes providing a ‘nasty’ jurisdiction wants you for something. Assange KNEW the US would not approve of his actions – that does not give him a free ticket to criminal activity.

  13. Well, this pretty obviously a garden variety strawman:

    If this was a fat cat banker or NewsCorp exec, the left would want his blood regardless of any consequence.

    How about this? If he has a legal right to asylum in Ecuador, then all he has done if granted asylum there is access his legal rights. And if his asylum claim is refused, he gets extradited to Sweden pretty swiftly where the law takes it’s course. I’m not seeing where there’s anything to get outraged about here.

    I think anybody who asserts they would not claim asylum as Assange has done if placed in the same position is kidding themselves. Imagine: you have a potentially good asylum claim in Ecuador, but you decline to make that application for fear of offending the Swedish authorities and a bunch of angry people on the internet who might say nasty things about you? Get real.

  14. Gawd Narc – is it really useful to imply that everyone who advocates on behalf of Assange is a rape-apologist? Why would you accept such a limited frame for what is such a complicated and important issue?

    For the record I absolutely support what Assange has done with Wikileaks: I support the model he has created and the results he has achieved. I support the notion of transparency in government and an adversarial press committed to delivering it even when it runs counter to the interests of the powerful.

    I suspect you do too.

    The problem is that (by design or by accident) it’s now become difficult to separate support for Assange’s cause from support for the man himself. Assange has effectively become poster-boy for the Wikileaks model – a situation that the US Government is clearly trying to exploit.

    To be quite honest Narc I don’t want to see Assange go down if it means the push for greater government transparency goes down with him. If that means an accused rapist has to escape prosecution then I’d be willing to accept that – it would be less-bad than the alternative in my view.

    But I don’t believe we’re actually faced with that dilemma.

    In my view Assange’s extradition to the US for prosecustion would be a far stronger catalyst for renewed support for media and press freedom than his continued cowering in the UK (or Ecuador) will be. If the US successfully extradite him from Sweden for prosecution him they will create a powerful rallying point – a potential wedge between a lawless US and the rest of the world, and a fault line in the ongoing amalgamation of the US Press and the US Government.

    If I had the opportunity to advise him I would tell Assange to turn himself in to face the music. It’s the most powerful thing he could do to promote his (incredibly important) cause, and it also happens to be the right thing to do in terms of the sexual assault allegations.

  15. narcoticmusing

    Buns – some examples then? Strauss-Kahn; Christopher Skase and the Murdoch’s in the current UK inquiry – is this a ‘garden variety strawman’?

    I’m not suggesting Assange shouldn’t access his rights. I am disputing the zealot-like response to anything to do with this that Assange not be required to face the accusations in Sweden as required by their law simply because another justification also wants him.

    I dispute the tarnishing of the alleged victim in order to make Assange look like a victim. I heavily oppose the victim bashing that occurs in all of these situations in order to make the zealot’s messiah look fabulous. I heavily oppose descriptions like that used in the Crikey article ‘non-violent rape’ that suddenly imply that even if it is all true, it is OK. As if rape is ok if it is non-violent. As if a condition on sex can be breached and that is fine because she is a slut that liked rough sex. I oppose the view that because one person withdrew it means the rape didn’t happen. I am glad that Sweden has not pressed charges without having his side of the story and feel that this demonstrates a positive position to justice. If they wanted to be unjust as Lynot claims, they would have made shit up. They refused. The whole extradition would’ve been easier if they’d made up charges. Why go to all the effort of what Jeremy describes as a pretty weak case? Why not just outright lie? Who’d know?

    I dispute the tarnishing of an entire jurisdiction (one that protected the pirate bay no less from the Americans, which is more than I can say for Australia). I oppose the view that a jurisdiction should not be able to question the ONLY suspect in a crime to ascertain if charges should be laid. I dispute that a jurisdiction should meet every convenience of that party (ie go to them). Imagine if it was the only suspect for a serious crime in Australia. Imagine if Rupert Murdoch said to the UK inquiry, this is inconvenient, but feel free to come to my office…

    I dispute that it is not just to deny accountability for actions (particularly of a serious crime like rape) on the basis of another jurisdiction who might have access to him being unfair.

    It does not follow that being wanted for an arguably just breach of an arguably unjust law in an arguably unjust nation gives you licence to commit crimes in other jurisdictions.

  16. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – I agree with all your points. To clarify, I do not think that anyone supporting Assange is a rape-apologist – but I have repeatedly pointed to people trying to diminish the rape (ie by describing it as non-violent as if that makes it ok) etc etc or defame the alleged victim or even worse, claim that even if it is all true it is ok. I also seek clarification from supporters as to where it would end? At what point would they believe it just for him to face accusers?

    I agree that obeying the law, as Martin Luther King did, would highlight his respect for citizens (such as the accused) and strengthen his cause. I also agree that if the US manage to succeed in an extradition from Sweden this would do more for the actual cause as he’d be a martyr regardless of the outcome of the trial. I am, however, concerned his trial in the US would not be fair and I would be lobbying for Australia to play its role in ensuring he had a fair trial.

  17. dispute the tarnishing of the alleged victim in order to make Assange look like a victim. I heavily oppose the victim bashing that occurs in all of these situations in order to make the zealot’s messiah look fabulous. I heavily oppose descriptions like that used in the Crikey article ‘non-violent rape’ that suddenly imply that even if it is all true, it is OK. As if rape is ok if it is non-violent. As if a condition on sex can be breached and that is fine because she is a slut that liked rough sex. I oppose the view that because one person withdrew it means the rape didn’t happen.

    I agree with all of that except that you’re going to the other extreme and treating Assange as something other than to be presumed innocent.

    I am glad that Sweden has not pressed charges without having his side of the story and feel that this demonstrates a positive position to justice.

    (a) they’ve declined to hear his side of the story in the UK where he’s agreed to be interviewed;
    (b) charging someone requires putting the evidence on which you intend to rely out there for critical assessment and evaluation – and no country should extradite on less. Assange should go there to answer – what? Allegations not even in the form of formal evidence? Allegations of what charges precisely?

    Holding your cards back is not “a positive position to justice” – it’s shonky.

  18. I have repeatedly pointed to people trying to diminish the rape (ie by describing it as non-violent as if that makes it ok) etc etc or defame the alleged victim or even worse, claim that even if it is all true it is ok. I also seek clarification from supporters as to where it would end? At what point would they believe it just for him to face accusers?

    1. When Sweden actually charges him with a crime and presents the evidence and it’s credible enough to warrant extradition. (ie, it has a realistic prospect of being proved beyond reasonable doubt.)
    2. When Sweden guarantees it won’t send him to the US.

  19. I dispute that a jurisdiction should meet every convenience of that party (ie go to them). Imagine if it was the only suspect for a serious crime in Australia. Imagine if Rupert Murdoch said to the UK inquiry, this is inconvenient, but feel free to come to my office…

    Imagine yourself facing prospective rape charges in another country – charges that you knew were completely bogus. You are going to spend thousands of dollars travelling internationally to facilitate those charges being laid? If you say you would do that, I’m sorry but I can’t believe that you would.

    I guess George W Bush should make his way in an orderly fashion to Malaysia tout suite to commence serving his sentence for war crimes then, yeah? If not, why not?

  20. Splatterbottom

    The funny bit is that the tossers who posted bail for Assange will do their dough. At least some justice will come from this farce.

    Assange is a narcissist who relishes the attention he gets. He famously said:

    “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,”

    I take it that that is not what you had in mind, Mondo, when you said you supported the results Assange has achieved.

  21. narcoticmusing

    Jeremy – the extradition threshold is lower in Europe between European nations due to the nature of it being a group of nations that allow passage freely across borders. As such, the extradition threshold is appropriately lower. You know this. You are pretending, ingenuously, that it is equivalent to an extradition process in Australia – with no such border arrangements. Are you suggesting a suspect of a crime in Wodonga should not be asked or forced to return to Wodonga if they are waving from Albury? There are indeed border limitations to law enforcement between the States, but the extradition threshold is, as you would be aware, much lower than international thresholds.

    Buns, thanks for not reading my post but merely cherry picking a para out of context. As I had already said in that post (which pretty much makes the para you cherry picked a bit odd on its own) – I am not suggesting he shouldn’t consider every mechanism legally open to him. Nor, for that matter, am I presuming his guilt.

    I am disputing the view by others that he should not face the accusation/Sweden period, which is the view of many here. What Assange himself does is up to him – are we not all here debating the right and wrongs that we believe? Indeed, many have said it wouldn’t matter if he was guilty, that they still believe he shouldn’t have to face Sweden. Guilt is another reason a person avoids facing their accusers – so is that ok if that is his true motivation (again, I am careful to note that guilt is not up to me or the media but a court). Others even suggested that ‘worse’ crimes would still be ok, implying a criminal licence for him merely because they agree with his first deeds (wikileaks). I believe his other deeds are irrelevant to what he has been accused of; which is a category of crime that is so widespread and so heinous that our attention should be focused on that rather than attempting to further harm victims to score points for your heroes.

    I am suggesting the zealot type response of the Left in this case stinks of hypocrisy, of a standard we would never apply to others. If this were a person whose crimes we did not like so much (say, Murdoch for example), we would be demanding he answer and face his accusers (Murdoch has not been charged with anything either – the law of the UK allows them to call upon Murdoch to give testimony, funnily enough the law of Sweden allows them to extradite on an accusation in order to test that. Please point out the difference.) He was not able to convince several layers of courts in the UK that there was any credible risk to him simply giving his side of the story. IE. the evidence of the ‘threat’ against him is not great.

  22. narcoticmusing

    Holding your cards back is not “a positive position to justice” – it’s shonky. According to people here, Sweden has no sense of justice whatsoever and participates willingly in criminal activity with the US, so why wouldn’t they just lie? Why not simply say she never gave the consent – considering his initial act WAS rape (ie he started sex while she was not conscious). Instead, she is defending him and saying, no no I gave consent after the fact. Does that sound like a person trying to get him into trouble? Really?

    Let’s not forget it is Sweden that protects WikiLeaks. It is Sweden that protects the PirateBay. Why would it be Sweden all of a sudden who is unjust?

  23. The funny bit is that the tossers who posted bail for Assange will do their dough. At least some justice will come from this farce.

    Wow, that is so helpful. Thanks for stopping by, troll.

    I am disputing the view by others that he should not face the accusation/Sweden period, which is the view of many here.

    narc, he hasn’t been charged. And he has agreed to be questioned at the Swedish embassy in London. Why can’t he be questioned there? Am I correct that we are just down to arguing the location at which he should be questioned in relation to charges that haven’t even been laid yet? Because you haven’t yet explained (as far as I can tell) why that can’t appropriately be done at the Swedish embassy in London. Or, say, by videolink which no doubt could be arranged fairly simply. If he’s agreeing to be questioned, it’s pretty hard to argue he has refused to “face the accusation”.

    Can you also please clarify whether, in your view, George W Bush should take himself to Malaysia to serve time for the war crimes he’s been convicted of there or otherwise explain why, in your view, he should not do so?

  24. I take it that that is not what you had in mind, Mondo, when you said you supported the results Assange has achieved.

    Absolutely – he allowed people to know the truth.

    If you withhold the truth from people on the basis that it’s “for their own good” then you an Authoritarian.

  25. narcoticmusing

    Buns – I’ve said many times why I think, given the border arrangements in Europe, why it would be fiscally irresponsible to expect jurisdictions to meet the conveniences of an accused. It is in their laws for a reason. It would set a precedent that the extradition law passed by the European legislatures obviously sought to deal with. What you suggest is that we ignore the democratically elected representatives of every European nation that placed this in their laws and agreed to it to enable easy border passage.

    I am not fully across the details of the alleged crimes of Bush regarding Malaysia, but I’d suggest that it could hardly be a fair trial if he’s been convicted without being present (sorry, only have what you’ve said to go on). But, my apologies, I am really not across that situation so I can’t comment on it. If it is how you suggest, then he should be brought to an international court for war crimes (I don’t agree that war crimes should be heard in the nation effected as a fair trial is even more impossible than it would already be).

    Another example of the inconsistent standard being placed here vs other cases is that of the Trayvon Martin shooting – where the presumption of guilt of the shooter was so unquestioned by the left made me shudder.

  26. returnedman

    Yawn. Just yawn.

  27. I think it’s important to realise that when Julian Assange was in Sweden, he made himself available to the authorities and answered all questions regarding the matter of rape.
    The prosecutor in charge, Eva Finné, decided that he had no case to answer and no charges would be brought.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11049316

    During that time Assange was applying for residency and a work permit in Sweden. He wanted to stay in the country.
    Unfortunately, his application was unsuccessful and with an expired visa, Assange left Sweden for the UK.

    http://www.thelocal.se/29684/20101018/

    While all this was happening, Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor, Marianne Ny, a woman described by one Swedish (female) judge as having “a rather biased view against men”, decided to re-open the case and ordered an arrest warrent for Assange.

    There are many people who think that Assange is a fugitive from Swedish law.
    He isn’t.
    The irony of the situation is that, had Sweden granted him a work visa and residency, he would still be there now to answer to the authorities, for the second time.

    Since September of 2010, and since Marianne Ny got involved, everything is a bit more sinister with sealed indictments by the USA and misrepresented evidence from the Swedish Prosecution.
    If I was Julian, I’d be wanting to hang out in a South American country as well!!

    Cheers.

  28. narcoticmusing

    Thank you Marek for the background – but surely the UK High Court and the Courts below it would have taken these things into account? The extradition proceedings are barely applicable in the UK and yet, these courts have agreed he should go to Sweden – are we all suggesting that every layer of the UK courts and Sweden are utterly corrupt? And that this ‘sinister’ Marianne Ny is the mastermind of some grand conspiracy?

    You realise that because someone labelled her as being biased against men, may just be people biased against her and/or women right? You realise that ANYONE who defends a woman’s right to choose anything about themselves gets labelled a misanthropist within seconds. That feminism has become a slur. You don’t think maybe those elements might be relevant?

    Again, I’m not saying the man is guilty. I’m saying we cannot and should not ever turn a blind eye to an act just because of who did it – or else we might as well go back to the days where Lords could give themselves rights to women as property in their domain.

  29. but surely the UK High Court and the Courts below it would have taken these things into account?

    Not at all.
    And I would hope that they didn’t. It’s not their job to rule in that manner. They are only able to look at the International, European and National laws pertinant to the case and rule accordingly. They were not ruling on Assange’s or Ny’s character. They were simply ruling on procedural matters pertaining to who has the authority to issue extradiction orders.

    There has been a lot of partisan stupidity surrounding this case (see SB’s comment above) and I wanted to deal with two of the memes going around.
    Namely that 1/ Assange refuses to cooperate with the Swedish authorities and 2/ Assange fled Sweden to escape his just desserts.
    Both are false.

    As for Marianne Ny, the person who labelled her ‘biased against men’ was a retired female judge, hardly your typical mysoginist. Indeed, Ms. Ny is on record as stating that men who are accused of domestic violence should be locked up as a precaution and to give the woman a ‘bit of space to think”. Charming.

    http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2010-12/wikileaks-assange-schweden

    Anyway, Ms. Ny may be a Right-Wing Femenazi Chief Prosecutor looking to curry favour with Sweden’s current Right-Wing government as a means of securing pre-selection (or whatever they do in Sweden) in a safe seat or she may be a thoroughly professional officer of the court who is simply doing her job whilst being unfairly maligned by cretins like me.
    Eitherway, the only people turning a blind eye with regards to Julian Assange are those who fail to acknowledge that he has already answered these accusations to the satisfaction of the Swedish authorities.

    There are no new witnesses, no new evidence and no new charges.
    So what’s going on?

    Cheers

  30. Pertinent.
    Fail!

    Cheers.

  31. narcoticmusing

    I disagree that women aren’t a source of sexism and discrimination against women. So I do not think that because the person calling her biased is a woman suddenly means the claim is not motivated by some other reason. Nevertheless, Ny may well be biased. Are you suggesting people with a passion or bias should not be involved in the law? That such passion or bias should disqualify them from defending a cause? I put it to you that that would be a sad prospect indeed.

    There are no new witnesses, no new evidence and no new charges.

    That you are aware of.
    This also ignores that confusion and fear are common with rape and sexual assault victims. Feelings of self shame etc cloud the mind and the person will withdraw or even play down the event . Perhaps Ny gave a sympathetic ear. Perhaps she has more experience with these sort of cases which is what gave people reason to think she was biased. Perhaps she thinks that a woman’s consent is more important than Assange’s morning urges. Whatever. Just as Assange should not be demonised as a rapist (as he is not – that has not been proven nor even charged), she (both victim and Ny) shouldn’t be demonised simply because people prefer Assange.

    to the satisfaction of the Swedish authorities.
    Apparently not, or they would not have authority to extradite. The extradition provisions are not designed for vexatious purposes which is essentially what you are suggesting (that the claim is either false or vexatious because someone said Ny was biased.)

    Btw, the casual equating of feminists with Nazism is beneath you, Merek, even if it was meant in jest.

  32. Calling her a Femenazi was hyperbolic, as was calling myself a cretin.
    I’m wounded that you chose not to defend me against myself!! ;-)

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my Thai yellow curry is humming along nicely and if I don’t get the rice on right now, all will be lost.
    Have a great weekend.

    Cheers

  33. What a minefield this issue is. If the US Government has orchstrated these rape charges in an attempt to smear Assange and wedge his supporters then their plan couldn’t have worked better eh?

    On the other hand if the rapes occurred and it’s just an unfortunate coincidence that the charges were brought haphazardly, and at the same time the Wikileaks leaks were causing such heartache to Western governments the world over, then what appallingly bad timing for the alleged victims!

    I do agree with Narc however that supporters of Assange’s work at Wikileaks, and as a political figure being targeted for retribution by a lawless US Government that is clearly trying to suppress whistleblowing, should find ways to do so without deliberately attempting to undermine the rape allegations made against him.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure how one is supposed to do this.

  34. The thing is that the rape allegations aren’t even charges. They are based on testimony that has changed several times. They are based on the word (well, one version of the word) of one witness against another.

    It’s not a matter of “undermining” rape allegations – it’s that they’re at a serious level where some evaluation of the strength of the evidence is critical. And at its highest it falls short.

    If Assange HAD raped those women in the manner alleged, and we knew that because there was credible evidence supporting charges that had been laid in accordance with the basic principles of criminal justice, then I would certainly want him prosecuted. But we know no such thing and cannot reasonably treat him as anything other than innocent.

  35. “So Lynot, you are now accusing Sweden of having no justice or respect for human rights, due process, etc etc. If this was a banker, you wouldn’t be suddenly claiming that.”

    You must be taking the urine, I have not said anything of the kind. But now since you’ve asked by accusation, no I don’t trust governments and why would or for that matter should I. Governments from the prestigious halls of the White-house/Whitehall/Kremlin and hundreds of tin pot regimes all around the world since year dot, have runs on the board for corruption., judicial or otherwise.

    To deny this very salient fact is either bordering on naivety to the nth degree, or delusion you be the judge.

    If the Swedish government/judiciary had a prima facia case against Assange, I would be the first to see him sent back to Sweden. But of course they don’t, is all they have is a load of innuendo, with a splattering of insulted ego’s. If his life wasn’t at issue, I have no problem with him being returned to Sweden to face his accusers.

    Just for the record, I believe Assange is a creep, and a weirdo, however a creep and a weirdo a guilty man does not make.

  36. narcoticmusing

    I guess my concern is the very media based evidence folks here would say to ignore is the very basis for people saying he shouldn’t return to Sweden.

  37. Its always easy using half a quote to make someone look bad.

    Here is Assange’s full comment wrt to the Kenyan elections that were marred by violence 5 years ago. Its not what he famously said, its what he actually said.

    ”1300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak. On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shilling being debased.”

    Perhaps that puts a different spin on the comment.

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