View Full Version : Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is expected to appear in a UK court tomorrow!

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Peter Lemkin
12-06-2010, 11:02 PM
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is expected to appear in a UK court tomorrow after his lawyers said he would meet police to discuss a European extradition warrant from Sweden relating to alleged sexual assaults.

As the legal net continued to close around the whistleblowers' website and US attorney general, Eric Holder, said he had authorised "a number of things to be done" to combat the group, Assange appeared to be reconciling himself to a lengthy personal court battle to avoid extradition.

Jennifer Robinson, a solicitor with Finers Stephens Innocent which represents the Australian freedom of information campaigner, told the Guardian: "We have a received an arrest warrant [related to claims in Sweden]. We are negotiating a meeting with police."

Another lawyer representing Assange, Mark Stephens, added: "He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the police by consent in order to facilitate the taking of that question and answer that is needed."

Stephens explained that the interview would happen in the "foreseeable future" but he could not give a precise time. According to other sources, it is thought that Assange would appear before a court to negotiate bail .

Assange is seeking supporters to put up surety and bail for him. He said he expected to have to post bail of between 100,000 and 200,000 and would require up to six people offering surety, or risked being held on remand.

In recent days Assange has told friends that he is increasingly convinced the US is behind Swedish prosecutors' attempts to extradite him for questioning on the assault allegations. He has said the original allegations against him were motivated by "personal issues" but that Sweden had subsequently behaved as "a cipher" for the US. He has also said he declined to return to Sweden to face prosecutors because he feared he would not receive a fair trial and prosecutors had requested that he be held in solitary confinement and incommunicado.

This weekend he said he was exhausted by the effort of running his defence against the allegations in Sweden rape charges and the release of the US embassy cables at the same time, as well as running WikiLeaks, which has split since some supporters became disaffected over Assange's handling of the Afghanistan war logs.

Once he turns himself into the police he will have to appear before a magistrates court within 24 hours, where he will seek release on bail. A full hearing of his extradition case would have to be heard within 28 days.

In the past Assange has dismissed the allegations, stating on Twitter: "The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing."

Last week Stephens added: "This appears to be a persecution and a prosecution. It is highly irregular and unusual for the Swedish authorities to issue [an Interpol] red notice in the teeth of the undisputed fact that Mr Assange has agreed to meet voluntarily to answer the prosecutor's questions."

While the latest US diplomatic cables released on WikiLeaks have been stirring international political alarm and recriminations, Assange is understood to have been staying out of public sight in south-east England.

Prosecutors in Sweden issued a warrant for his arrest last month but it could not be enforced because of a technical blunder. The Australian's details were also added to Interpol's most wanted website after a red notice was issued, alerting police worldwide to his status.

Detectives in Sweden want to question Assange after two women claimed they were sexually assaulted by him when he visited the country in August. The country's supreme court upheld an order to detain Assange for questioning after he appealed against two lower court rulings. The sex assault claims may be Assange's most pressing legal issue, but it may not be the only legal complications he faces as several countries consider the impact of his diplomatic cable disclosures.

He has come under growing pressure after WikiLeaks started publishing excerpts from a cache of 250,000 secret messages. In the US, the level of political vituperation has become more vengeful. The former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has described Assange as "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands". The senior Republican Mike Huckabee said that "anything less than execution is too kind a penalty".

Meanwhile WikiLeaks has been forced to move to a Swiss host after being dumped by US internet companies as it comes under siege from cyber attacks.

PostFinance, the financial arm of the Swiss post office, said it had closed Assange's account after he provided "false information". "PostFinance has ended its business relationship with WikiLeaks founder Julian Paul Assange," the bank said in a statement. "The Australian citizen provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process."

Peter Lemkin
12-07-2010, 09:59 AM
Assange is seeking supporters to put up surety and bail for him. He said he expected to have to post bail of between 100,000 and 200,000 and would require up to six people offering surety, or risked being held on remand.

....so next time you don't use a condom in consensual sex...think twice! [if you're on the USG's 'hit list'] Can we go back and prosecute Clinton for not using a condom with Ms. L.?!

Peter Lemkin
12-07-2010, 11:07 AM
Julian Assange has been arrested and has NOT been presented with the reasons for his arrest [the charges] in English - but in Swedish, which neither he nor his lawyers can read...illegal by EU and International law. Seems they will use every dirty trick in the book.

Mr Assange will appear before City of Westminster magistrates so a decision can be made about whether the warrant is appropriate for extradition.

Mr Stephens has warned any attempt to extradite will be resisted, mainly on the grounds that he may be handed over to the Americans.

Sky News US correspondent Greg Milam said officials in Washington are watching developments very closely.

He added: There is a growing clamour in the US for something to be done even if theyre not completely sure what that should be.

The big fear for everyone here is what comes next. What will be contained in the next leak of documents and how damaging will that be?
More and more this appears to me as the States [not U.S., but all States, as in Nations] v. The People!

Magda Hassan
12-07-2010, 11:18 AM
Let's see how different they handle this to Pinochet :boxing:

Peter Lemkin
12-07-2010, 12:42 PM
Let's see how different they handle this to Pinochet :boxing:

180 degrees different - States are usually [with a FEW notable exceptions] fascist in nature and friendly to dictators and fascists - not to whistleblowers and those that would tell State secrets..... Pinochet had an 'in' with the ruling rich elites in the most powerful nation. Assange is that same nation's declared enemy #2 [after the long dead OBL!]

David Guyatt
12-07-2010, 01:40 PM
Let's see how different they handle this to Pinochet :boxing:

Yep, will the usual double standard apply? I strongly suspect it will. Mass murderers go free thanks to their political clout and contacts, whereas an ordinary guy is arrested on trumped up charges and (will be?) extradited on such trivial evidence it is laughable.

The moral being, don't fuck with power because they will get you anyway they can. No matter what.

Vindictiveness at its worst it seems.

Peter Lemkin
07-14-2011, 05:40 PM

Argument 1: JA Alleged conduct by two women do not reflect alleged conduct in arrest warrant
• The original police complaint describes different conduct than the alleged conduct in arrest warrant.
In the case of Assange v. Sweden the police report and the European Arrest warrant just don’t match and the allegations in the European Arrest Warrant are different and more serious than those alleged by the Swedish women. That is enough to invalidate the arrest warrant.

Argument 2: Julian has not been even charged
In the case of Assange v. Sweden the European Arrest Warrant was issued by a Swedish prosecutor for other legal purposes: interrogation. He has not been accused of any crime and there are not yet charges against him in Sweden.
JULIAN ASSANGE CASE IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL AN DISPROPORTIONATED because the prosecutor ignored Mutual Legal Assistance mechanisms to interrogate him in the UK, the prosecutor also ignored electronic mechanisms to interrogate him by using videoconference or other digital tools available and accepted as valid by Swedish courts. Instead, his freedom of movement and other related freedoms have been restricted for more than 200 days, staying almost 2 weeks in solitary confinement last December and almost seven months under house arrest with a strict curfew, electronic tagging and the duty to sign a book every day in a police station.

Argument 3: European Arrest Warrant was vague, rights restricted
• Prosecutor issued order saying that offences occurred on August 18 or on any of the days before or after that day.
In the case of Assange v. Sweden the uncertainty around the dates when the allegations were committed invalidates the arrest warrant.

Argument 4: Extradition arrest warrant was not issued by a judicial authority
• Judicial authority and mutual recognition principle was not respected.
In the case of Assange v. Sweden the person who signed the request for extradition is not a judicial authority, BUT a public prosecutor. A prosecutor is by definition, not a judge, because the figure of a prosecutor is partisan. In contrast, a judicial authority is independent and impartial. The European Arrest Warrant should be issued by a judicial authority exercising recognisably judicial functions in an independent manner. A European Arrest Warrant was issued by a Swedish prosecutor on 26th November, 2010 and was neither evaluated nor ratified by a Judge.

Therefore, the EAW is void.:pirate:

Magda Hassan
11-02-2011, 11:17 AM
UK court backs Assange extradition request

Published: 02 November, 2011, 09:27
Edited: 02 November, 2011, 13:55

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, will be extradited from the UK to Sweden to face questioning over rape allegations. Britain's High Court has decided that there is enough evidence against the Australian citizen to grant the request.
Both Assange and the Swedish prosecutors have the right to take the case to the Supreme Court.
If it does go to the Supreme Court, it is likely that the entire basis of the European arrest warrant, under which people can be extradited to other EU countries to face questions with very little evidence, will be put under scrutiny. Many in the UK would welcome that.
If the judge rules out further appeals one of two things will happen. Assange could be set free immediately after 11 months living under strict bail conditions. Or his feet might not touch the ground as he could be extradited to Sweden within 14 days.
Either way, his life’s work is under threat. WikiLeaks is in crippling financial trouble and maybe forced to close in the New Year.

Magda Hassan
11-02-2011, 11:20 AM

Peter Lemkin
11-02-2011, 11:47 AM
Disappointing, of course - and no doubt much political pressure applied - as there were NO good reasons to extradite, as NO charges had been filed. It is as if any citizen can be forced back to another country only because the police want to interview them for the possibility of filing charges - even after they had and didn't take the long time they had to do so when he was there....what a joke!

This along with the announcement last week that Wikileaks is almost broke [due to their money being frozen and not allowed to be collected by mainstream methods] shows a coordinated campaign out of the American Empire to get him to the USA and try him for terrorism [i.e. life in prison with no trial or evidence....]:hitler:

This from Professors Blog:
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
A fair trial for Assange?

Here is a sample of "juridical" irregularities - viewed from international standards - concerning the Swedish administration of Justice and particularly referred to the Swedish case against Julian Assange:

Sweden has a judiciary system in which judges participating in the courts are appointed by the political parties (there is not Jury-system in Sweden, neither exists in Sweden the institution of bail).
Sweden allows secret, "close-doors" trials. Particularly with regard to sexual-offences trials in which case secret trials is the most common form to be used in the Swedish system of justice.
The appealing system in Sweden has been notably reduced after a law of 2008 (the so called EMR reform) devised to curve down the number of cases resulting on appealing at higher courts.
In the Swedish case against Assange the police investigators conducted interrogations without video-recording, sound-tape recording or other form of transcription. This is an aggravating anomaly and which infringed clear standard proceedings as instructed by the Police Authority with regard to cases involved suspicions of rape.
The interrogation of one of the nominal accusers was performed by a police officer friend of the other nominal accuser.
The interrogation of Julian Assange could have very well have conducted in Sweden but the prosecutor chosen to issue an Interpol warrant what it made possible the fabrication of an extradition case.
The law-firm defending the accusers is co-owned by a politician member of the very same political group within the Swedish Social democratic party, Mr. Thomas Bodström (former Minister of Justice) and in which the accuser AA was at the time of the accusation the political secretary.
The actual lawyer appointed by the firm (the other co-owner of the law firm) is Mr. Claes Bogström, which, together with the prosecutor of the case Ms. Marianne Ny, and together with the former Minister of Justice and chairman of the Justice Committee of the Swedish Parliament Mr. Thomas Bodström participated in the study of the new legislation which radicalized the proceedings and penalties for sexual-offences in Sweden.
Mr. Thomas Bodström was the main politician - apart of the former Prime Minister Göran Persson - signalled around the agreements with CIA on the rendition of political refugees in Sweden to be transported to torture elsewhere. For that he was called upon the Swedish Constitutional Committee. The Swedish political parties however, as well as the mainstream media, did never really condemn such behaviour.

Peter Lemkin
01-19-2012, 01:14 AM
Expansion of Indefinite Detention under NDAA Compounds Extradition Fears of WikiLeaks’ Assange

Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings was with WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange when the pretrial military hearing for accused Army whistleblower Private Bradley Manning was taking place in Fort Meade, Maryland, last month. Hastings says the military’s case against Manning, coupled with President Obama’s recent authorization of a measure expanding indefinite detention anywhere in the world in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), has added further urgency to Assange’s effort to avoid extradition from Britain. "Julian Assange’s fear is that he will be extradited to Sweden...and then there will be some kind of media campaign where the U.S. government or the Swedish government starts leaking things about 'Oh, Assange helped the Iranians' or 'Assange helped the Taliban with this information,'" Hastings notes. "And then they’ll say, 'Well, you know, we need to try him as a spy.' And though that case might be very, very difficult to prove, it’s the threat of it that, in my mind, is so damning." [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to switch gears and ask you about the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Michael Hastings. Rolling Stone is out with your piece today based on your interview with Assange. You were with him when the pretrial military hearing for accused Army whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning, was taking place in Fort Meade, Maryland. At that time, we spoke to Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington, when the pretrial opened, and he described the scene inside, noting Assange’s lawyers were there.

ED PILKINGTON: On the left side was Julian Assange’s lawyer, who is attending the trial. But rather humiliatingly for them, and they’re very cross about it, they’re being relegated to the public benches and being withheld full access to the trial, which, they argue, is completely wrong, because Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, as we know, are all also being investigated by the Department of Justice in a criminal investigation, in which Bradley Manning is likely to be a main witness. So they say their case is intimately tied into the Bradley Manning hearing, and they should therefore be given full access.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Ed Pilkington of The Guardian, while Bradley Manning was inside that Fort Meade pretrial that is now leading to a court-martial. You were sitting with Julian Assange in London—in Britain.


AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about how he was monitoring this?

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Yes. I mean, the time I spent with Julian, the Bradley Manning trial was his primary focus. And it’s very important, what’s actually happening in Manning trials, vis-à-vis Julian Assange. And the key is that the Department of Justice is investigating WikiLeaks and trying to flip Bradley Manning as a witness to basically say that Manning and Assange committed this sort of conspiracy for espionage, which is completely nuts, to be honest, you know, when you’re talking about an organization that is basically doing, sort of in a different and revolutionary way, in many sense, but they’re essentially doing kind of a journalism and what should definitely be protected free speech.

AMY GOODMAN: The concern of Julian Assange right now, the possibility that he would be extradited to the United States, with the NDAA just passed, that President Obama said he would veto and then he passed, that said anyone can be picked up anywhere, anytime, in this country or outside, and held without charge indefinitely—


AMY GOODMAN: Is Julian Assange fearful of this?

MICHAEL HASTINGS: I believe, yes. Well, I know he is. I mean, this is—this is the nightmare scenario. Now, people in Sweden and in England will say, "Oh, no, that’s never going to happen." I wouldn’t be—if I was in Mr. Assange’s shoes, I would not take those—I would be a little skeptical of those words, as well, because we’ve seen some of the gross abuses that can happen. So, yes, Julian Assange’s fear is that he will be extradited to Sweden—and they’re going to make that decision on February 1st—and then there will be some kind of media campaign where the U.S. government or the Swedish government starts leaking things about "Oh, you know, Assange helped the Iranians" or "Assange, you know, helped the Taliban with this information" and sort of lay the groundwork. And then they’ll say, "Well, you know, we need to try him as a spy." And though that case might be very, very difficult to prove, it’s the threat of it that, in my mind, is so damning.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Hastings, I want to thank you for being with us, contributing editor at Rolling Stone. His new book is called The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Peter Lemkin
01-24-2012, 08:51 PM
2011-03-04 Jennifer Robinson: Brief to Canberra meeting of MP's re Julian Assange
Submitted by Heather Marsh on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 22:05
News Julian Assange Julian Assange hearing Law WikiLeaks Australia EU Sweden United Kingdom United States Wikileaks trials

The following brief was submitted to the meeting outlined here by WL Central: On 2nd March 2011 at 9.15am a meeting was held, organised by Andrew Laming (Liberal Party MP Bowman Qld) at Parliament House Canberra to allow federal parliamentarians who wished to attend, some insights into the matters of Julian Assange facing extradition from the UK to Sweden, and facing (subject to that extradition process) a possible trial in Sweden and another possible extradition to the USA thereafter.

Among others, MPs Andrew Laming, Malcolm Turnbull, Doug Cameron and Sarah Hanson-Young were in attendance, along with parliamentary staff members.

Three speakers made themselves available for oral presentations and questions: Greg Barns, barrister from Tasmania; former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin and Peter Kemp solicitor from NSW, the latter two made written material available for the parliamentarians reprinted here with their permission.

The following brief was submitted to the meeting by Jennifer Robinson of the firm Finers Stephens Innocent. She is part of the legal team representing Julian Assange in the extradition proceedings requested by Sweden.

Jennifer Robinson's biography.

1. I am writing to you to provide a briefing for the meeting of members of Federal Parliament on Wednesday 2 March 2011 regarding the case against Julian Assange. This briefing note sets out the timeline of events and the human rights concerns that we have raised in relation to Julian’s case in Sweden.

2. Julian is facing extradition to Sweden pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). He is currently electronically tagged and held under virtual house arrest, having spent nine days in solitary confinement in a London prison for a crime that he has not been charged with and in relation to allegations that he emphatically denies.

3. It is mutually concerning that an Australian citizen like Julian has been treated in ways which would not accord with the standards of Australian law or indeed international law. As I set out in this note, if he is extradited to Sweden, he will be held incommunicado, in solitary confinement, and without bail for several months and then tried in secret on allegations which are weak and which would not constitute a crime in Australia or in the UK. In such event, it can be predicted that Australians will be outraged and that considerable damage will eventuate in respect of relations between Australia and Sweden.

4. It is hoped that this briefing note will act as a resource for concerned Australian MPs to raise questions and to take action on Julian’s behalf.

Timeline of Events and Overview of Concerns

5. Julian had travelled to Sweden in August last year for the purposes of giving public lectures about his work on Afghanistan and in order to seek protection for WikiLeaks from the strong free speech and publication protections under Swedish law in advance of the Iraq War Logs, the publication of Iraq war military reports, and “Cablegate”, the publication of US diplomatic cables. The allegations against Julian were made to police on 20 August 2010.

6. That same day, the initial Prosecutor, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, unlawfully told the press that Julian was wanted for rape (reported in the tabloid Expressen) before he himself had been informed. Julian first learned of the allegations when he read it in the papers. In providing this information to the press the Prosecutor contravened Swedish privacy and secrecy law, which protects the confidentiality of preliminary criminal investigations and is supposed to protect those being investigated from adverse and prejudicial media coverage. A complaint was made about the Prosecutor’s illegal act to the Judicial Ombudsman but no action is being taken. As a result of this illegal act, Julian discovered in the press that he was ‘wanted for double rape’. Within hours there were millions of website hits for “Assange” and “rape”, causing irreparable and incalculable damage to his reputation. The illegality of the Prosecutor’s actions was confirmed by our expert evidence in the extradition proceedings here in London, as was the fact that no remedy exists in Swedish law for the breach.

7. The next day, Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finne, threw out the rape charge after reviewing the police file and the statements of the two women. The investigation continued on lesser allegations of harassment only. Julian volunteered himself for interview on 30 August 2010 in relation to this ongoing investigation. Julian sought an undertaking from the police that his testimony would not be provided to the press. This undertaking was violated: his police interview turned up in the tabloid Expressen the very next day. Again, Julian has no remedy against this breach of privacy and the continued disclosures by police have continued to fuel prejudicial media coverage.

8. An appeal was brought against Ms Finne’s decision to drop the rape charges by a lawyer acting for the complainants, Mr Claes Borgstrom. Mr Borgstrom is a Social Democrat politician who was, at that time, campaigning for election in the election to be held the following month (September 2010) and whose political platform and reputation is closely associated with sexual offence law reform. The Prosecutor, Ms Ny, granted the appeal on 1 September 2010 and the rape investigation was reinstituted. Julian was not informed of this appeal or provided the opportunity to make any submissions.

9. The Prosecution continued to provide information about the preliminary investigation to the press. Expressen applied for access to the police file on 1 September and this was granted: redacted versions of Julian’s statement and emails between the police and prosecutor were provided to the press shortly thereafter. We were only alerted to this on 21 January 2010, some four months later, when this same material was disclosed by the Prosecutor to Mr Hurtig and passed to us. It is noteworthy that Mr Hurtig had applied for disclosure of the police file in September and November 2010. Both requests for disclosure were denied by the Prosecutor, Ms Ny, despite the fact that some of this material had already been provided to the press.

10. Julian remained in Sweden for approximately 5 weeks to answer the allegations against him. Through his lawyer Mr Hurtig, proactive attempts were made to arrange interview and to seek permission to leave the country. For example, Julian offered himself for interview on 15 September but this was rejected by the prosecutor because the relevant police officer was sick.

11. An interview was finally proposed on 22 September (more than three weeks after Ms Ny had begun the investigation) for 28 September. Mr Hurtig was unable to contact Julian to communicate this request. It is important to note here that Julian was, at that time, difficult to contact. He was maintaining a low profile because of threats to his security and increasing pressure from the US in advance of the two largest disclosures of US classified documents in history: the Pentagon had just announced a team of 120 people dedicated to “taking action” against WikiLeaks. Before Mr Hurtig was able to contact Julian he had already left Sweden for Berlin for WikiLeaks meetings associated, having been told on 15 September that Ms Ny had no objection to him leaving the country. He did not flee the country to avoid interrogation, as has been suggested by the Prosecution, but instead had left for a pre-arranged business meeting with Der Spiegel - one of his media partners in Cablegate, on the understanding that there was no impediment to him leaving the country.

12. Julian telephoned Mr Hurtig from Berlin on 29 September to inform him that his luggage had gone missing on his Stockholm-Berlin flight and that it was now presumed to have been stolen since the airline had not been able to locate and return it. He called to instruct Mr Hurtig to take legal action. It was then he was informed of Ms Ny’s intention to interrogate him. Julian offered to return to Sweden on 9-10 October for interrogation. This date was rejected as being ‘too far away’.

13. During October and November, Julian was in London working on the Iraq War Log release and preparing for Cablegate with media partners, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais and The New York Times. He also travelled to Switzerland to present at a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting. During this period, we offered that Julian be interviewed via telephone or video-link from London on the condition that the Prosecutor provide him further information about the allegations and potential charges. We offered his voluntary cooperation, through his Swedish lawyer Mr Hurtig, and suggested the use of the Mutual Legal Assistance scheme between Sweden and the United Kingdom. These offers were rejected.

14. In the meantime, I wrote to the UK police on 2 November 2010 and informed them that we acted for Julian and that he could be contacted through us for the purposes of any legal proceedings. This is significant: throughout this period Julian had continually indicated his willingness to cooperate with the authorities by offering alternative means of interview to the Swedish and by reporting his presence in the UK to the local police. The widely reported suggestion he was in hiding from justice is simply false.

15. After our voluntary offers of cooperation were rejected, the arrest warrant in Sweden was granted on 18 November 2010. Ms Ny, the Prosecutor, sought an arrest order to have Julian held incommunicado pending potential trial. These pre-trial detention conditions in Sweden have been heavily criticised by the European Council and by the United Nations, in particular, for the treatment of foreigners:

16. Just before the hearing on 18 November Mr Hurtig was, for the first time, provided a description of the allegations against Julian and provided copies of parts of the police file. At that time he was also shown more than 100 text messages between the two complainants and their friends, which contained important evidence about the allegations and the women’s motives. For example, the second complainant had been texting her friends in between sexual encounters with Julian over the course of the evening in question and states that she was “half-asleep” at the relevant time at which the arrest warrant asserts she was “asleep”: a very important factual error in the warrant which undermines the entire case. Further, the women speak of getting “revenge”, making money from the allegations and ruining Julian’s reputation by going to the press. However, the prosecutor refused to allow Mr Hurtig to take copies or to even take notes from this important evidence.

17. Mr Hurtig has made numerous requests for further disclosure under Swedish Criminal Procedure Code (Chapter 23.18), but these have been denied. In correspondence with the Australian Embassy in Stockholm, Ms Ny justifies her position in refusing to disclose this important material on the grounds that Julian has not yet been charged. This highlights the injustice of the EAW system: Julian has been held in solitary confinement and is now under effective house arrest without the Swedish Prosecutor having to show a reasonable case against him - or, indeed, any of the evidence against him to the British court.

18. Despite Mr Hurtig’s requests, Ms Ny had consistently refused to inform Julian regarding the specific charges to be brought against him before he was interviewed: interview by ambush is the preferred Swedish method. We had requested a specific description of the charges and the evidence in English as a condition precedent to Julian returning to Sweden to be interviewed. This, again, was refused. The first time document Julian received from the Prosecutor in English was the translation of the EAW provided by the English police at Kentish Town Police station in London when Julian voluntarily met with police to answer the warrant on 7 December 2010. This was the first time he had been informed in writing of the specific allegations and potential charges against him in English. I was with Julian at the police station and witnessed his shock and surprise at reading the allegations as described in the warrant.

19. It is noteworthy that the both the EAW and the Interpol red notice were issued for Julian by Sweden just before WikiLeaks began to publish Cablegate with their media partners and were executed just days after publication began. Had Julian returned to Sweden in October or November, we know (confirmed by the findings of the judge in London on 24 February 2011) that he would have been held incommunicado in prison pending trial and we may not have seen the release of Cablegate. Furthermore, his Swedish counsel, Mr Hurtig noted at the time that it was highly irregular for an international arrest warrant to be sought in relation to allegations of this kind.

20. The Swedish prosecutor has failed to disclose any materials to Julian in English (the language he understands), which is her obligation under the European Convention of Human Rights. We have since been provided certain excerpts of the police file in Swedish and translation costs now exceed £20,000 (AUD$32,000) as a result of the Prosecutor’s failure to meet her human rights obligations in this regard. Furthermore, she has failed to disclose relevant exculpatory evidence that tends to demonstrate Julian’s innocence.

21. The Prosecutor has apparently failed to consider and disclose exculpatory evidence in her investigation, as is her duty as prosecutor.

(1) First, it is clear that the text messages (approximately 100 of them) between the two complainants and their friends cast doubt on the allegations and contradict the specific factual allegations in the EAW that form the basis of his arrest - though we are unable to properly assess these because the Prosecutor refuses to disclose them to Julian.

(2) Second, it has subsequently come to light that the first complainant, Ms A, has been deleting important evidence (i.e. tweets which demonstrated that she had been enjoying Julian’s company after the alleged assault). It is not clear whether this evidence has been considered because, despite the fact it was provided to the Prosecution by Mr Rudling, it does not form part of the police file disclosed to us.

(3) Third, the Prosecutor has not contacted several potential witnesses who spent time with Mr Assange and the first complainant, Ms A, who know them both and can attest to their friendly relations in the days after the alleged assault.

22. The parts of the police file disclosed to the defence on 18 November 2010 (translated at significant cost to Julian) demonstrate that police have acted improperly and in breach of proper procedures in investigating sexual offence allegations.

(1) First, it is clear that the women met together before making the allegations and had discussed the evidence at length, thereby contaminating their evidence.

(2) Second, it has since come to light that the policewoman who had interviewed both women and initially reported the alleged rape to the Prosecutor was a friend of the first complainant, Ms A, and had also run for election for the Social Democrats (the same party for which Ms A and her lawyer, Mr Borgstrom, have stood for election) .

(3) Third, both women were interviewed only briefly over the telephone and their interrogation is in summary form only. Indeed, the second complainant’s interview summary is not even signed or approved by her (she was upset at hearing Julian had was wanted for rape and her friend’s later interview to the police states that she felt “railroaded” into making the complaint). This breaches police procedure: interviews with witnesses in sexual offence cases must be recorded in full (video or tape recorded) because the initial interview is important evidence at trial. It is notable that all of the Prosecution witnesses interviews are recorded in summary format so it is impossible to know what the police asked and what their precise answers were in response. Only the interviews with Mr Assange and his friendly witnesses were recorded in full. These irregularities in police procedure will cause evidential problems in any trial, particularly if the reliability of the complainants’ testimony is in question.

23. As to the strength of the evidence that founds the basis for the warrant, a number of observations can be made. First, evidence at the extradition hearing in London brought to light that not one, but two well-regarded prosecutors in Stockholm do not believe there to be sufficient evidence to found a prosecution. Eva Finne dropped the rape investigation in August but was overruled on appeal. Ms Ny’s own deputy, Prosecutor Erika Lejnefors, had told Mr Hurtig in November that the case would likely be dropped because it was so weak. Nevertheless, an international arrest warrant was sought for Julian’s arrest. Second, expert evidence from the most respected criminal lawyer in England, Professor Andrew Ashworth of Oxford University, concludes that the facts as alleged in the EAW and the police statements of the two women would not constitute rape or any other crime in England.

24. Further, Julian has suffered immense adverse prejudicial media coverage in Sweden, fuelled both by the disclosure of police material to the press by the Prosecution and by the highly prejudicial media statements of the lawyer of the two complainants and funded by the Swedish government, Mr Borgstrom. Mr Borgstrom has called Julian a “coward” for not returning to Sweden and has alleged that his refusal to return is indicative of his guilt.

25. The Prime Minister of Sweden intervened in the case by making highly prejudicial and pejorative remarks in the Swedish press following the extradition proceedings in London on 7 and 8 February 2011. The Prime Minister told the press that Julian has been indicted and is being prosecuted for rape. This is not correct - Julian has not yet been charged, the preliminary investigation has not yet been concluded and no decision has been made to prosecute. The Prime Minister’s comments are inappropriate given his political position (he had, just weeks earlier, refused to comment on Julian’s case on the grounds it was a matter for the courts and not for politicians) and given that a key question being determined by the British court is whether the warrant is for questioning or for prosecution. The Prime Minister made pejorative remarks regarding Julian’s legal defence, including the incorrect suggestion that Julian’s defence is to deem women’s rights “of little value”. This was subsequently reported as Julian and his defence team “trying to limit the right for women to take a claimed sexual abuse to court”. This clearly and unfairly mischaracterises Julian’s defence case and has led to him being portrayed as an enemy of Sweden and of women’s rights in the Swedish press.

26. Other politicians have followed the Prime Minister in attacking Julian and his defence. For example, the Chancellor of Justice, Anna Skarhed, has described the defence as “shocking”. The Chancellor of Justice then states that the defence has accused the Swedish legal system of being “corrupt”: but anyone who has read our submissions or followed court proceedings will know this is simply not true. Our skeleton arguments and all of the case evidence filed with the court is available on our website: http://www.fsilaw.com/news-media/news/28-julian-assange-case-papers/.

27. Given the nature of the press coverage in Sweden, we have grave concerns as to whether Julian will receive a fair trial: he will be tried in secret, behind closed doors, by a judge and three lay judges (jurors) who are appointed by political parties. The Swedish press does not seem at all concerned with the need for suspects to be presumed innocent and it is difficult to see how jurors could remain unaffected by this media coverage.

28. In summary, our concerns regarding the case in Sweden to date include:

• the unlawful and prejudicial disclosures by police and the prosecution regarding ongoing criminal investigations;

• the failure to disclose details of the allegations and the evidence in English;

• the breaches of police procedures in the investigation of the allegations;

• the apparent failure of the Prosecutor to consider exculpatory evidence;

• the disproportionate behaviour of the Prosecutor in refusing voluntary offers for cooperation and refusing to make use of alternative methods for interviewing Julian - insisting instead on an international warrant which unduly restricts his liberty;

• the pre-trial detention conditions sought by the Prosecutor;

• the prospect of a secret trial; and

• the adverse and prejudicial media coverage, fuelled by the state-funded lawyer for the complainants and the country’s most senior politicians, including the Prime Minister.

Decision to grant extradition - 24 February 2011

29. On 24 February 2011, District Judge Riddle ordered that Julian be extradited to Sweden. It must be noted that this is simply the initial ruling on the validity of a EAW and did not deal with the substance of the allegations against Julian, which he has always firmly denied. The judgment concerns whether it is technically valid for a EAW to be used in this manner. The strength or weakness of the allegations, and even their detail, cannot be heard in a EAW case. This is one of the central complaints made by law reformers about the EAW process - a civil liberties disaster and the subject of investigation and campaigns by human rights groups such as Fair Trials International.[1]

30. It must be remembered that under the EAW system, the British courts are bound to regard the prosecutors of no less than 26 countries, including Poland and Romania – as perfect. The Extradition Act 2003 allows European countries to deem prosecutors and even policemen "as judicial authorities" (a contradiction in terms, because they are neither independent nor impartial) and to demand return of their suspects from the UK so long as they tick the right box on the EAW form. In Julian's case, for example, they ticked "rape" and the court cannot dispute that the allegation is of rape, even though the leading authority on sexual offences, the Oxford Professor Andrew Ashworth, disputes this characterisation. There can be no questioning on the merits of the charges – in 2003 parliament abolished the traditional right of a suspect to require foreign governments to show a prima facie case before dragging them off to unfair trials. It also took away the historic right of individuals facing extradition to show that the case against them was unfounded.

31. Judge Riddle - a hostile judge - made a number of important factual findings. Judge Riddle ordered Julian’s extradition to Sweden despite the fact that he agreed that:

• upon return to Sweden Julian will be held incommunicado pending trial because Sweden has no system of bail; and

• Julian will be subjected to a secret trial, which is anathema to Australian and British traditions of open justice and an outrage given the widespread dissemination of the allegations against him by the Swedish authorities.

32. The decision to extradite Julian is not final, nor (as has been misreported) does it "determine his fate". Julian is permitted an appeal as of right by the 2003 Extradition Act. Thereafter, points of law may, with permission, be appealed to the Supreme Court.

33. The appeal to the High Court was filed today in London. The dates for this appeal are not yet available but we anticipate it will be heard sometime between April and June.

34. It is our position that the EAW system should not simply be used as a rubber stamp, but instead ought to be used to improve the quality of justice throughout Europe. Extradition ought to be refused when the trial in prospect is likely to be unfair judged according to fundamental fair trial principles because only then can things improve and human rights blind spots be eradicated. If the British courts declare that open justice is the only possible justice by refusing to extradite Julian to Sweden, this would very likely have the result that Sweden would change its unacceptable policy.[2]

Action points for Australian MPs

35. Julian remains willing to cooperate with the Swedish investigations, provided that certain guarantees are provided in respect of the human rights concerns raised above. We would encourage Australian MPs who are concerned at Julian’s treatment to raise the following concerns.

36. First, to ask our government to seek guarantees from both the Swedish and British governments that Julian will not be extradited to the United States to face prosecution in relation to WikiLeaks publications. Any such prosecution would violate the right to free speech and the protections of the First Amendment. His concern about being extradited to the US is justified in light of:

• US Attorney-General Eric Holder’s ongoing criminal investigation;

• recent subpoenas of Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks, their associates and supporters, which proves an ongoing federal criminal investigation in Virginia and demonstrates intent to prosecute; and

• the recent statement by US Ambassador to the UK to the BBC that the US is waiting to see how things work out in the British courts.

37. Second, demands must be made of the Swedish authorities to ensure that, if Julian returns to Sweden, that his human rights will be protected. These include:

• The evidence in the case be disclosed to him in English, as is Sweden’s obligation under the European Convention on Human Rights. Full disclosure of the police file, including the exculpatory evidence such as the text messages, must be provided.

This request - made in November when an international arrest warrant was being threatened and extended by us to Mr Hurtig as condition precedent to Julian returning/being interviewed - has still not been complied with. Translation costs have exceeded £20,000 because of Sweden’s failure to meet their human rights obligations in this regard. It has also delayed our work and made our legal defence more difficult.

• A guarantee be provided that he will not be held incommunicado or in custody pending any trial.

Again, this was one of our concerns in October and November when Ms Ny requested that he return to Sweden - a concern that was validated on 18 November when Ms Ny sought an order for arrest that would have seen Julian held incommunicado pending trial. These pre-trial conditions have been criticised by international human rights bodies. Aside from human rights concerns, as noted above, Julian was at that time preparing for the release of the Iraq War Logs (23 October 2010) and Cablegate (28 November 2010). Had he returned to Sweden and been held incommunicado in pre-trial detention, these important and internationally significant WikiLeaks releases would have been jeopardised.

• A guarantee be provided that his trial be heard in public: the press and public should be permitted entry to the Court. Other measures, similar to those deployed in Australian courts, can be taken to protect the women in giving their testimony.

• A guarantee be provided that he will not be extradited to the United States, but instead will be allowed to travel back to Australia.

In considering the risk of extradition to the US from Sweden, it must be recalled that Sweden has a history of complying with US requests to hand over persons of interest notwithstanding potential human rights concerns - international bodies have recently found Sweden liable for handing asylum seekers over to the CIA for torture (see Mohammed Alzery v. Sweden (Communication No. 1416/2005, UN Human Rights Committee) and Agiza v. Sweden (Communication No. 233/2003, UN Committee Against Torture, Decision of 24 May 2005 (CAT/C/34/D/233/2003)).

Further, WikiLeaks cables released last December demonstrate that intelligence sharing and cooperation between Sweden and the US is far deeper than anyone had realised, calling into question Sweden’s perceived neutrality, and the extent of this cooperation had been hidden from the Swedish Parliament and the Swedish people.

Peter Lemkin
02-04-2012, 08:11 PM
The Assange Extradition Hearing: Day 2
Submitted by GMason on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 06:13
News Analysis Legal Analysis Clare Montgomery EAW Extradition Julian Assange hearing UK Supreme Court WikiLeaks Wikileaks trials Sweden United Kingdom

During the second and final day of the U.K. Supreme Court's hearings on Julian Assange's extradition, Matrix Chambers attorney Clare Montgomery offered her rebuttal to arguments made yesterday by Assange's counsel. (Dinah Rose is representing Assange in his fight against extradition to Sweden for questioning on sex crime allegations.)

The week's proceedings have highlighted disparities of law among EU countries and the legal challenges involved in reconciling these conflicts. Assange's case may test the extent to which EU nations can maintain their legal autonomy under the rubric of a unified European system. It may also raise the question: to what degree will EU states have to harmonize their conflicting legal regimes in order to avoid this sort of continued legal wrangling in the future?

Montgomery presented Sweden's case against Assange for about four hours, during which time she appeared to reject EU-wide legal standardization -- essentially arguing that respecting state sovereignty requires preserving the status quo. If it agreed with Montgomery's position, the Court would have to accept significant differences among EU nations in implementing EU-wide legal standards. By contrast, Assange's legal team largely took the position that, while allowing for some variation and inconsistency, the Court should mandate certain universal principles in the extradition process, because of the seriousness of the potential risk that extradition may pose to individual rights.

Under EU law, only a competent "judicial authority" may legitimately issue a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). As presented by Montgomery, Sweden's case boiled down to two core arguments: (1) a Swedish public prosecutor qualifies as such a "judicial authority"; and (2) a state requesting extradition (the "issuing authority") should have sole discretion to decide who qualifies as a "judicial authority." Montgomery rejected Rose's argument that extradition requires court involvement. Stating that parties seeking arrest are partial by their very nature, she dismissed Rose's position that a person requesting extradition must be impartial and independent.

The heart of Montgomery's argument was that, because an EU state has discretion to determine who can issue EAWs, and this determination varies from state to state, "judicial authorities" in the issuing and responding states don't have to have the same qualifications. Montgomery stated that English custom that requires a court to issue arrest warrants is outside the norm; and she advocated for an expansive definition of the term "judicial authority" that could include anyone "who exercises authority under domestic law in connection with" the ministry of justice -- from public prosecutors to police officers.

However, Montgomery's argument begs the question: if the U.K. is obligated to recognize Swedish custom -- which, unlike the U.K., allows interested prosecutors to issue extradition requests -- then isn't Sweden likewise obligated to recognize the U.K.'s right to refuse to extradite, based on the U.K.'s own application of the law? Logically, Montgomery's argument should make extradition discretionary on both sides. But Montgomery argued the opposite: she stated that, since the 2003 Extradition Act was intended to streamline the process, complying with an EAW is basically automatic and mandated upon request.

In response, the Court asked Montgomery: because of the nature of the individual rights potentially harmed by extradition, shouldn't issuance of an EAW demand a bit more than is needed to arrest someone domestically? One of the Lords opined that "anyone would think" that issuing an EAW should require the involvement of some kind of judge. But Montgomery responded that issuing a domestic arrest warrant -- which is a prerequisite for issuing an EAW -- involves enough court process to validate an extradition request.

Rose spent the final hour of the hearing mostly reasserting her arguments made yesterday -- that, because Sweden's public prosecutor Marianne Ny is not a qualified "judicial authority," Ny's EAW demanding Assange's extradition is invalid. Her position echoed that of former Assange counsel Geoffrey Robertson, who wrote earlier this week:
"The notion that a prosecutor is a ‘judicial authority’ is a contradiction in terms. ... Judges must, as their defining quality, be independent of government. Police and prosecutors employed and promoted by the state obviously cannot be perceived as impartial if they are permitted to decide issues on the liberty of individuals. They are expected to be zealous in working up evidence against a suspect, so they are the last people who can be trusted to weigh up impartially the evidence they themselves have drummed up. That is a matter for a court."

As Robertson also notes, Montgomery's insistence on an expansive definition of the term "judicial authority" is necessary to serve "the international purpose of ... allowing a system that does not have harmonious practices and procedures." Robertson continues:
"It will be inconvenient if Assange’s appeal succeeds, because 12 European countries will have to change their extradition procedures if they want to get their hands on suspects from the U.K. But the argument from inconvenience is the classic way for civil liberties to be lost."

The 2003 Extradition Act that lies at the heart of this hearing was a post-9/11 statute intended to facilitate the process of extraditing "persons of interest." One question raised by the week's proceedings is how well this post-disaster measure of expediency will hold up against future challenges based on encouraging legal consistency and protecting human rights.

Peter Lemkin
02-04-2012, 08:12 PM
The Assange Extradition Hearing: Day 1
Submitted by GMason on Wed, 02/01/2012 - 22:33
News Analysis Legal Analysis EAW Extradition Julian Assange hearing UK Supreme Court Sweden United Kingdom United States Wikileaks trials Wikileaks

At Day 1 of the Julian Assange extradition hearing

On the night before the hearing began, one dedicated Assange supporter in London told me that she planned to arrive at Court by 6 a.m., ahead of the throngs that she expected based on the turnout at Assange's hearing last November. No doubt the freezing February temperatures kept large crowds at home this morning; instead of the masses anticipated, there were only a few orderly lines segregated into cameramen, sign-wielding protesters, and the courtroom audience -- a mix of media representatives, Assange faithfuls, and the curious. I was in the latter line, which was also peppered with a few Occupy London luminaries. During the next hour of collective shivering, I met journalists from all over Europe and the U.S., who now braved frigid weather to witness this historic proceeding. Arriving at around 8:30, one hour before the Court opened to the public, I witnessed the expectant crowd devolve into a chorus of complaints as the early-morning, late-winter wind chill robbed our fingers of almost all feeling.

But, mercifully, 9:30 at last arrived -- as did Assange, soon after. The white-haired WikiLeaks founder offered a spirited hello to the crowd and preceded us into the Court.

At the entry, Court staff had handed out a media briefing, which included the following details:
"Issue: Whether a European Arrest Warrant ('EAW') issued by a public prosecutor is a valid Part I EAW issued by a 'judicial authority' for the purpose and within the meaning of sections 2 and 66 of the Extradition Act 2003.

"Facts: The Appellant, a journalist well known through his operation of Wikileaks, visited Sweden to give a lecture in August 2010. He had sexual relations with two women. Both women went to the police who treated their visits as the filing of complaints. The Appellant was interviewed by police and subsequently left Sweden in ignorance of the fact that a domestic arrest warrant had been issued for him. Proceedings were brought in the Swedish courts in the Appellant's absence, although he was represented, in which a domestic warrant for the Appellant's detention for interrogation was granted and upheld on appeal. Subsequently, an EAW for the Appellant was issued by the Swedish Prosecution Authority that set out allegations of four offences of unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape. The EAW was certified by the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency under the Extradition Act 2003. The Appellant surrendered himself for arrest in the UK and, following an extradition hearing, his extradition to Sweden was ordered. The order was upheld on appeal to the Divisional Court."

Inexplicably, the wifi in the entire court building died right after my third live-tweet, about 2 minutes into the proceedings. Also, this being England, no power outlets were in sight; and since, for the past 5 years, none of my laptops has held a charge for more than an hour or so, I was stuck taking hand-written notes throughout the hearing. Thus handicapped by the snail's pace of writing with benumbed fingers, lack of internet access, and minimal familiarity with EU law, during the next five hours I nevertheless took the following notes:

Assange, the Appellant in the 2-day proceedings, was represented by attorney Dinah Rose, who displayed stamina as she held the floor during a four-hour virtual monologue, interrupted only by questions from the seven Lords of the Court.

At the outset, Rose characterized the case as a "simple issue of law." Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden following the issuance of an EAW by Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny. The Extradition Act 2003 requires any arrest warrant to be issued by a judicial authority. Since, Rose asserted, Ny is not a "judicial authority," then there exists no legal basis for Assange's extradition. Though the term appears to be ill-defined, Rose averred that a "judicial authority" must exercise independent power granted by law; and, as a party to the proceedings, a Swedish prosecutor cannot be independent and is thus not competent to issue an EAW. The next five hours consisted mainly of exploration and variations of this theme.

Assange's team noted that the 2003 legislation (enacted soon after the 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks) restricted the ability of EU nations to refuse to extradite persons of interest to requesting nations. This new system, Rose argued, depends on mutual trust and confidence -- confidence that is undermined if arrest warrants can be issued by a prosecutor, rather than the authority of a court. Moreover, she stated, the new streamlining, simplification, and acceleration of the extradition process must be balanced with protection of individual rights. Those subject to extradition under an EAW can suffer severe deprivations including detention, loss of employment, and separation from family members. Given the severity of the possible restrictions on individual freedom, Rose stated, substantial safeguards must be in place to make the pan-European system of arrest warrants acceptable, and only a court should hold authority to issue an EAW.

Also problematic, according to Rose, is the inconsistent application of the law in different EU nations. She stated that Sweden and other countries that allow issuance of an EAW by a public prosecutor or other person other than a competent judicial authority are in breach of the system. Assange's counsel argued further that, although nothing in the EAW framework decision prevents a state like Sweden from issuing a non-judicial EAW, other states are not obligated to honor that EAW; and legally, therefore, extradition is effectively discretionary. Nevertheless, in order to be valid, an EAW must have specific features. In addition to being a "competent judicial authority," an official who issues an EAW must be independent from both the executive and the parties. According to Rose, since Swedish prosecutors do not meet the independence requirement, by definition they cannot qualify as competent judicial authorities. Throughout the proceeding, Rose exposed the balancing act involved in reconciling the different legal systems within the EU and the 2003 Act's requirement of consistency regarding the necessity of an independent, competent judicial authority to issue EAWs.

Over the course of the day, Rose ran through statutes, case law, and legislative history supporting her argument regarding the inability of a public prosecutor to fulfill the independence requirement. Assange's counsel pointed out that the initial draft of the EAW's framework decision did allow for prosecutors to issue EAWs, but this provision was omitted from the final, enacted version; Rose argued that this indicated that the EU member states deliberately rejected the idea of a public prosecutor acting as a judicial authority competent to issue EAWs. She averred that the "insistence on a true judicialization" of the EAW process demonstrated a concern for the seriousness of the individual rights that are impaired by the issuance of an EAW.

The Assange extradition hearing is scheduled to conclude tomorrow; according to the media briefing, opposing counsel Clare Montgomery will argue for the first 2.5 hours, followed by the Assange team's one-hour reply.

But no one expects a quick decision once the hearing wraps. The Court has signaled that it will likely reserve judgment for several weeks. In the event of an adverse decision, Assange may appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg -- which may or may not decide to take his case. And whether or not Ny's EAW is upheld by a court, the U.S. may still seek Assange's extradition and prosecute the journalist in the US.

Asked last month whether the U.S. government will follow this course, U.S. Attorney General responded only: "We will see."

Peter Lemkin
02-29-2012, 06:07 PM
AMY GOODMAN: The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published an internal email from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that suggests the Justice Department has obtained a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In an email dated January 26, 2011, the vice president of Stratfor, Fred Burton, wrote, quote, "We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect," unquote.
On Monday, WikiLeaks began publishing more than five million emails from Stratfor’s servers that were obtained by the hacker group Anonymous. The Justice Department has not confirmed the existence of the secret indictment, but it had been previously reported that a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, met in 2010 and ’11 to consider criminal charges against Assange. Legal experts say the Justice Department could charge Assange under the Espionage Act for disseminating classified U.S. State Department cables and other information.
On Tuesday, Assange released a statement condemning U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for conducting the secret grand jury. Assange said, quote, "This neo-McCarthyist witch hunt against WikiLeaks may be Mr Holder’s defining legacy. Any student of American history knows that secret justice is no justice at all. Justice must be seen to be done... Secret Grand Juries with secret indictments are apparently Eric Holder’s preferred method of dealing with publishers who hold his administration to account. Eric Holder has betrayed the legacy of Madison and Jefferson. He should drop the case or resign," said Assange.
The news of the possible indictment against Assange comes less than a week after U.S. Army whistleblower Bradley Manning was arraigned for leaking classified military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks. The 24-year-old Manning was formally charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet, and theft of public property.
Joining us now is Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He was at Bradley Manning’s arraignment and is a legal adviser to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He’s the co-author of the book Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America [with Margaret Ratner Kunstler].
Michael Ratner, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the significance of this email that was on Stratfor’s servers that WikiLeaks has just released.
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, it has a lot of important implications. First of all, we have a secret grand jury that, as we understand, was sitting in Alexandria, Virginia—secret. Then you have what the emails refer to as a sealed indictment. Again, it’s secret. And then somehow you have a private intelligence company, Stratfor, a "shadow CIA," as people have called it, having information about this sealed indictment—secret again—that Julian Assange doesn’t have, that WikiLeaks doesn’t have, that his lawyers don’t have. So, what you see here is secrecy, secrecy, secrecy, all for the purpose of keeping secret crimes that the United States has committed in Afghanistan and Iraq. So it appears that they will go to every length to try and keep secret material that the American people and the people of the world ought to know. So one major significance is that they’re continuing to use secrecy.
The second one, if it’s true—and of course it looks like this guy, Fred Burton, was very high up at one point in the State Department diplomatic corps, was involved in counterterrorism, and, it’s very likely, has knowledge that may well be true about this sealed indictment. Already, the Obama administration has gone after six people under the Espionage Act, six different cases under the Espionage Act. That’s more cases under the Espionage Act than happened in—since the Espionage Act was actually begun in 1917. So you’re seeing really an effort by the Obama administration, despite claims to the contrary that they would have a more open government, that it wants a closed government and that it’s willing to go after journalists.
And of course, a third implication is here is a clear case of going after WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, journalists who have revealed, you know, millions, at this point—certainly hundreds of thousands—of documents implicating the United States in serious crimes.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m looking at another email from Fred Burton, the vice president of Stratfor, who says, "Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever."
MICHAEL RATNER: I have to say, when you read through the WikiLeaks press release, which has a number of the Stratfor documents that refer to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, they’re really sickening, because what they really say is we have to treat Julian Assange as a high-tech terrorist, we have to treat Julian Assange as somebody who we have to take down like al-Qaeda.
And if you look at what they say they should do to Julian Assange, it’s actually what’s happened. One of the things the emails say is, "We have to cut off all their funding supplies. We have to just give them no money at all." And that’s why, of course, you see MasterCard and Visa having cut off any donations to WikiLeaks. "We have to go after his associates."
AMY GOODMAN: Meaning they stopped anyone from giving them money online through their credit cards.
MICHAEL RATNER: I can’t use my credit card—
MICHAEL RATNER: —and I can’t use PayPal to give money to WikiLeaks. So what is said in the Stratfor documents that we have to do to Julian Assange has actually—and WikiLeaks—has actually happened. So you really have to ask yourself what’s going on here. We have this private intelligence company hand in glove—it’s like a revolving door—with U.S. intelligence.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, Michael Ratner, explain again just what Stratfor is, why they have all this information.
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, Stratfor is what you would call a private intelligence company. So, as you had on your show the other day, if you’re somebody from—if you’re somebody from Coca-Cola or some big corporation, and there’s some opposition to what you’re doing, whether it’s in Bhopal or with Coca-Cola, you hire Stratfor to try and get information on your opponents. And sure, some of the information is just, you know, regular, you know, what you can get off the internet. But some of it, if you read these documents, apparently is information they get from various people within the intelligence agencies. They then transmit that information to the company, so that they can combat opposition to their policies. And it’s not just private companies who hire Stratfor. Apparently, the U.S. Marines have hired Stratfor. The Department of Homeland Security has hired Stratfor. So what you see is the privatization of essentially the CIA operating in the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen. How is he possibly indicted for treason?
MICHAEL RATNER: You know, I think—it’s not treason. It’s the Espionage Act. And in fact, one thing you just said, treason is under the Constitution. It’s adhering to your enemy, particularly during time of war. And in fact, the Espionage Act can be looked at as a way to get around the strict requirements of treason that are in the U.S. Constitution.
In fact, I think there’s a serious question whether someone like Julian Assange, who is not a U.S. citizen, can be indicted under the Espionage Act. What duty does Julian Assange owe the United States vis-à-vis the Espionage Act? If I, tomorrow, surface documents that had to do with the Soviet Union, or Russia, rather, and what it’s doing in Chechnya, that were classified, could Russia actually get my extradition from the United States because I put out classified documents belonging to Russia? I don’t think so. But that would be—if they actually have an indictment and if they go after Julian Assange in the way that so far they’ve indicated they want to, that will certainly be an important issue. What duty did Julian Assange owe to the United States?
AMY GOODMAN: Is Stratfor breaking the law? How is Stratfor selling intelligence legal, when WikiLeaks giving it away for free is not?
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, certainly, if Stratfor is giving away classified material, if it’s actually getting information from people within the government that is classified, if it’s actually paying anybody within the government, then yes, Stratfor, by selling it, would be considered to be violating the law—and particularly if you look and compare Stratfor to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is journalism. WikiLeaks is putting it out there. Stratfor is selling it privately. They’re not journalists. So they don’t have a journalist’s defense here.
I mean, the important thing to understand about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is this is, I think, perhaps the first time, if this indictment is true, that the United States has actually indicted a journalist for going—for revealing material given to him—apparently, allegedly given to him—by someone who had access to classified material. But it’s the first time that I know of where actual documents have been the subject of such a criminal indictment.
AMY GOODMAN: You were at the arraignment of Bradley Manning?
MICHAEL RATNER: Yes, I was there. I went down for that, last week.
AMY GOODMAN: Tell us exactly what happened.
MICHAEL RATNER: I had to go to Fort Meade. It’s hard to get in. They inspect your car. They open the trunks. You have to have insurance. You wait for hours. And then you walk into a courtroom that looks like a hospital room. It’s Celotex ceiling, cheap carpet, bright lights, eight-foot-high ceiling. And you sit in this really bureaucratic, antiseptic courtroom. There’s about eight spectators, maybe 10, maybe 10 press people. Bradley Manning walks in in his dress uniform, short haircut, glasses, sits down next to his attorney. And then there’s about a one-hour proceeding in which he is asked to plead guilty or not guilty, or a third choice, which is the one he took, to defer prosecution.
And Amy, what I couldn’t get over is how bureaucratic it all is. Here you have the man who allegedly downloaded documents showing the number—you know, thousands of people, civilians, killed in Iraq, the "Collateral Murder" video, Reuters journalists being killed, children being shot, and they’re having this bureaucratic proceeding. And when I sat there, my feeling was only the people who should be in that room—first, the people who should be defendants are obviously the people who started this Iraq war and are continuing it, and the Afghan war. But the people who should be observing it are the dead Reuters journalists, their ghosts, the ghosts of the children and the people killed in Iraq, and the people killed in Afghanistan. That’s what this should be about. Instead, what this government is doing is taking a whistleblower like Bradley Manning and going after him because they don’t want whistleblowing, but they don’t want their crimes revealed. And people have to understand that. You can argue all you want about technical violations of the law, but in the end, what this is about is the United States wanting to suppress the truth.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about Julian Assange’s fears? I saw him last July in London. I interviewed him on Independence Day weekend. And this concern about—well, we haven’t even talked about the possible extradition to Sweden. But if he is extradited, why he fears that he could be sent, more likely than extradited, to the United States than if he is in Britain, and what that would mean if he was brought into this country? Is it possible the sealed indictment would never be unsealed?
MICHAEL RATNER: I mean, one of the reasons that the Center for Constitutional Rights and myself have been going to the Bradley Manning hearings is because what happened to Bradley Manning, and what is still happening to Bradley Manning, may very well and likely happen to Julian Assange.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, is it true that Bradley Manning actually faces the death penalty?
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, he has a—
AMY GOODMAN: Though the prosecutors say they could give him life, that a judge could decide that they would give him death.
MICHAEL RATNER: That’s correct. The aiding to the enemy charge, which is the first charge against him, against Bradley Manning, does carry a death penalty. What the prosecutor has said is they will not ask for the death penalty. I don’t know if that makes it impossible for the judge to give a death penalty. I think the judge could still give a death penalty in that case.
But what could happen to Julian—look at Bradley Manning’s case, and ask yourself what can happen to Julian Assange. He spent nine months in solitaire, some of it stripped to the bone, forced to go outside and stand in formation stripped to the bone, temperature problems, in solitaire, no ability to really exercise, no materials—really what amounts to, and many people have said and I think, as well, amounts to torture for the nine months. Finally, there was a huge public outcry. Even the State Department official who was forced to resign, P.J. Crowley, said this isn’t right. And he was—and Manning—
AMY GOODMAN: And that lost P.J. Crowley his job.
AMY GOODMAN: He said that at MIT, the former State Department spokesperson. And soon he was out of his—
AMY GOODMAN: —State Department spokepersonship position.
MICHAEL RATNER: So that’s what to look at. Look at that example when you think of what could happen to Julian Assange. He comes here, he gets off some airplane, and they take him probably to Alexandria, Virginia, because where you go for the first—where you first land is usually where the indictment is. They take him to Alexandria.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s where the secret grand jury is going to be.
MICHAEL RATNER: That’s where the secret grand jury is. They put him into some hellhole in solitary. They put special administrative measures on him, which are called SAMs, that probably will allow no communication with anyone. Let’s say one of his lawyers wants to go in and talk to him. They can talk to them, but they probably can’t say anything outside, anything to the press or anything. So he gets treated like Bradley Manning. He gets SAMs put on him. And then—and then that continues. And he won’t get—very unlikely they would give him bail. So if you look at Bradley Manning, you can look at what happens to Julian Assange. And, of course, there is at this point—I don’t think there’s a death penalty charge—we don’t know until we see the indictment—against Julian Assange. There is a death penalty in a different part of the Espionage Act, but it’s not the one they seem to be investigating Julian Assange for.
AMY GOODMAN: Could a sealed indictment never be unsealed?
MICHAEL RATNER: No. A sealed indictment, if they—if and when they want to extradite him, they’re going to have to unseal that indictment. But at that point, he’s going to be in custody somewhere. I mean, he’s now in custody, arguably. He can’t leave England. He has a bracelet on. He has to check into the police station. So he is in custody still. But he’s not in a prison. If and when they decide—if and when they go for extradition, whether it’s from the U.K., United Kingdom, or from Sweden, if that’s where he is—
AMY GOODMAN: And is it easier to extradite him from Sweden?
MICHAEL RATNER: You know, we don’t know the answer to that. My guess is that a bigger country like England, which has incredibly good attorneys on extradition and has actually recently held up a hacker’s case, the guy who went into the Pentagon computer, a young man—eight years they’ve been trying to extradite him to the U.S. and haven’t gotten him—that Julian Assange will have the most support and the best legal team in the United Kingdom, and that Sweden, my guess, because it’s a smaller country that the U.S. can bat around, will be easier for the United States to get Julian Assange
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, legal adviser to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, author of the book with [Margaret Ratner Kunstler] Hell No.

Albert Doyle
02-29-2012, 06:27 PM
The American people need to make a statement that the US Government does not represent them in the case of Mr Assange. That the American people demand Constitutional protection for Mr Assange for doing the transparency the US Government was avoiding in its recent international offenses.

Peter Lemkin
03-11-2012, 06:04 AM
Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, has spent many long months reaching out to supporters and urging them to contact their local political representatives. Recognising that many politicians do not even know the true story behind WikiLeaks and her son's legal battles, she asks supporters to give them the facts as well as requesting their assistance.
Christine today used her Twitter account and the #fact4mp hashtag to post more than 50 important talking points for supporters to disseminate:
1. Wikileaks and Assange have not been charged with any crime in any country in the world. See http://justice4assange.com
2. WikiLeaks and Assange have been recognized for quality investigative journalism with many prestigious awards. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange
3. WikiLeaks has a perfect record regarding information reliability. No government has denied the authenticity of any documents.
4. WikiLeaks redacts its documents, so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.
5. WikiLeaks exposes government and corporate corruption, fraud, shady deals, war crimes, torture, and kidnapping. It is in the public interest to know these things.
6. WikiLeaks partnered with The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegal, Le Monde, and El Pais to publish Cablegate. Why target only WikiLeaks?
7. WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism. It publishes information given by various sources.
8. WikiLeaks acts like traditional media but protects its sources with a secure anonymous Drop Box.
9. WikiLeaks is a legal, legitimate, online news publisher, recognized as such by other journalist organizations worldwide.
10. WikiLeaks is a non-profit independent publisher funded by donations from ordinary citizens from around the world.
11. WikiLeaks goal is altruistic: "Justice Through Transparency." WikiLeaks is a catalyst for democracy movements around the world.
12. WikiLeaks launched in 2006 to provide safety for whistleblowers in Third World regimes and dictatorships, and to inform the world of their plight.
13. For the first four years, WikiLeaks published government and corporate wrong-doings from many countries.
14. In 2010 WikiLeaks received files for the U.S. Collateral Murder video, Afghan War Diaries, Iraq War logs, and U.S. Embassy cables.
15. The U.S. war videos and documents revealed war crimes, rorting, and lying by the U.S. government, regarding civilian casualties and war progress.
16. U.S. cables revealed government and corporate exploitation, bullying, and manipulation of other governments (as well as good actions by U.S. officials).
17. The cables revealed and confirmed to people WHO in their own governments and corporations was involved in shady wrong-doings.
18. WikiLeaks exposed the attempted ALP "Clean Feed" internet censorship plan for Australia.
19. The Australian government promoted "Clean Feed" as a way to filter child porn. The police opposed this as the images were peer-to-peer (not websites).
20. WikiLeaks published the "Clean Feed" blacklist, which included politically contentious sites, anti-abortion sites, and euthanasia sites as well as WikiLeaks.
21. "Clean Feed" was abandoned as a direct result of WikiLeaks’ exposure of its fundamentally undemocratic political nature.
22. WikiLeaks exposed ALP Senator Mark Arbib as a protected source for the U.S. government for 4 years. Arbib was involved in an ALP coup that overthrew an elected Australian Prime Minister.
23. In 2007 WikiLeaks released a cable showing the Australian government was risking the Great Barrier Reef, and secretly wavering penalties for U.S. tankers breaching laws in Torres Strait.
24. In line with WikiLeaks’ harm minimization procedures, WikiLeaks asked the U.S. State Department to help with cable redactions. They refused.
25. Note the timing:
5/4/10 Collateral Murder video released
24/6/10 Gillard coup
25/7/10 Afghan Diaries released
20/8/10 Sex allegations surface
22/10/10 Iraq War logs released
28/11/10 Cablegate released
26. After the Afghan War Diary release, Julian visited Sweden to obtain residency and base WikiLeaks there (because they have good whistleblower laws).
27. The U.S. was aware of more WikiLeaks releases to come and wrote threatening letters. Julian warned of entrapment plans.
28. Woman AA invited Julian to speak in Sweden at a seminar about Aphganistan in mid August 2010
29. Woman AA offered Julian her flat to stay in as she was going to be away but returned early.
30. Woman SW stated she went to seminar to meet Julian & invited him to stay at her place.
31. Both women have stated to police and media that sex was consensual and non-violent.
32. Exculpatory evidence (txts 2 friends) show women had no complaints re sex till finding out about each other.
33. Evidence (100+ txts btwn AA and SW) speak of revenge, making money, and ruining Julian's reputation by going to press.
34. AA takes SW to visit a police station, not close by, but where her friend officer Irmeli Krans works.
35. Officer Krans stayed back hours after shift ended to interview SW.
36. Swedish police breach all their own procedures interviewing women AA & SW.
37. Police interviews with women AA & SW were not recorded (against procedure).
38. SW was so upset that police were going to allege rape, she does not sign her interview statement.
39. SW has stated she felt "railroaded" into making the complaint.
40. In Sweden, consensual, non-violent sex can be legally defined as "rape".
41. On the same day, 1st prosecutor Maria Haljebo Kjellstrand unlawfully told the press Julian was wanted for rape.
42. Julian was not interviewed or informed. He found out in the tabloid newspaper "Expressen" that he was wanted for double rape.
43. Within hours there were millions of website hits for "Assange" + "rape" causing irreparable harm to Julian's reputation.
44. Next day, after reviewing the file, Stockholm's Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne threw out the rape allegation.
45. "I consider there are no grounds 4 suspecting he has committed rape," said Eva Finne, the Chief Prosecutor.
46. The investigation into the lesser allegations of harassment only continued.
47. Julian offered himself for interview on 30/8/10. Police promised not to unlawfully leak interview to the media again.
48. Julian's police interview unlawfully turned up in the tabloid Expressen again the next day.
49. Julian and his witnesses' interviews are videotaped while the women and their witnesses are not.
50. The witness list becomes unbalanced against Julian as police do not follow up interviews with his witnesses.
51. Police continue to leak file to tabloid media redacting sections favourable to Julian or unfavourable to women.
52. The interpreter in police interrogation Gun Von Krusenstjerna was not authorized by relevant authority.
A UK Supreme Court decision on extradition to Sweden is expected any day between now and March 14th. Christine Assange notes that if Julian gets extradited there will be protests outside DFAT offices in Australian cities and local MPs regional offices on the next day (or Monday if it's a Friday announcement).
Australian supporters have already organised protests for Townsville (http://www.facebook.com/events/358913260807014/) and Sydney (http://t.co/B80FZZKj) this week.
Christine Assange will be appearing on March 17th from 2pm to 5pm at the Bleeding Heart Gallery, 166 Ann Street, Brisbane, as part of The War On WikiLeaks public discussion. All welcome:
Website: http://www.bleedingheart.com.au/2012/02/the-war-on-wikileaks/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/266455633430406/
More Links:
Former Australian diplomat Tony Kevin’s brief to Australian MPs on political agenda, U.S and Sweden, entrapment: http://wlcentral.org/node/1414
Lawyer Jen Robinson brief to Australian MPs on facts, timeline, players, concerns re Sweden fit up re WikiLeaks: http://Wlcentral.org/node/1418
Lawyer Peter Kemp brief to Australian MPs 2/3/11 re breaches of legal and human rights, political agendas, extradition: http://wlcentral.org/node/1414
OzWikiWatch, a site to help Australians contact their MPs and Senators and build a register of political support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks: http://ozwikiwatch.blogspot.com
Follow Christine Assange @AssangeC on Twitter for more.

Magda Hassan
03-14-2012, 02:54 AM
Further evidence of secret US indictment of Julian AssangeBy Mike Head
1 March 2012Internal emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor indicate that the Obama administration has had a secret indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for more than 12 months. The emails, published by WikiLeaks this week, also point to the close involvement of the Australian Labor government and intelligence agencies in the operation against Assange, an Australian citizen.The emails were sent by Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice-president for counterterrorism and corporate security. Burton is a former deputy chief of the US Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). The DSS is playing a leading investigative role in the ongoing operation to extradite Assange to the US, where he would be tried under the Espionage Act of 1917 and could face the death penalty.In January 2011, Burton revealed in Stratfor correspondence that a secret grand jury had issued an indictment: “Not for Pub—We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.” According to Burton: “Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever.”A few weeks earlier, following Assange’s release from a London jail, where he had been remanded as a result of a Swedish prosecutor’s arrest warrant, Burton told SkyNews: “extradition [to the US is] more and more likely.”Burton’s emails indicate that the US government is employing the same “counter-terrorism” methods against WikiLeaks as against Al Qaeda. “Take down the money. Go after his infrastructure. The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same tools used to dismantle and track aQ [Al Qaeda],” he wrote.Later Burton pointed to a relentless dirty tricks and destabilisation operation. “Ferreting out [Assange’s] confederates is also key. Find out what other disgruntled rogues inside the tent or outside [sic]. Pile on. Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years. But, seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki.”The Stratfor emails undoubtedly reflect sentiments inside the Obama administration to exact revenge on Assange and destroy WikiLeaks for having exposed US war crimes all over the globe. These exposures began in April 2010, when WikiLeaks released a video of a massacre of civilians in Baghdad by a US attack helicopter. Since then the site has released thousands of documents detailing US killings of civilians and complicity in torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, and numerous other conspiracies carried out by Washington and its allies.Burton’s emails help confirm earlier reports, dating back to December 2010, that a secret grand jury had been empanelled in Virginia, near Washington, to prepare a sealed indictment under the Espionage Act.In the past, this reactionary law has mostly been used to prosecute government officials who make classified information available to foreign agents. Now it is being employed to censor publication of politically damaging information. In earlier periods, the act was invoked to imprison American socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, execute Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for allegedly passing nuclear information to the Soviet Union, and prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the US war crimes in Vietnam.Responding to the Stratfor disclosures, Assange said: “For over a year now, the US Attorney General Eric Holder has been conducting a ‘secret’ grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks. This neo-McCarthyist witch-hunt against WikiLeaks may be Mr. Holder’s defining legacy. Any student of American history knows that secret justice is no justice at all.”The Stratfor correspondence makes clear the connection between Assange’s indictment and the imprisonment of alleged WikiLeaks source Private Bradley Manning. In an email to Stephen Feldhaus, Stratfor legal counsel, Burton remarked: “I look forward to Manning and Assange facing a bajillion-thousand counts [of espionage].”Manning has been held in US military brigs for more than one-and-a-half years, and subjected to months of solitary confinement, forced nakedness, sleep deprivation and other cruelties amounting to torture. This brutal treatment is aimed at forcing him into a plea bargain to help the US government’s case against Assange. Currently under house arrest in Britain, Assange is awaiting a decision in his UK Supreme Court appeal against extradition to Sweden on baseless sex charges, which could quickly lead to his extradition to the US.Assange’s arrest, in December 2010, came just after WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked US embassy cables, the largest collection of confidential documents ever released into the public domain. WikiLeaks was subsequently subject to a block on financial donations by Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, forcing it to suspend its activities.It is clear that Australian authorities, acting on the instructions of the Gillard government, are heavily involved in the conspiracy against Assange. In July 2010, Burton wrote to George Friedman, Stratfor CEO and founder: “We probably asked the ASIS [Australian Secret Intelligence Service] to monitor Wiki coms and email, after the soldier from Potomac [Manning] was nabbed. So, it’s reasonable to assume we probably already know who has done it. The delay could be figuring out how to declassify and use the Aussie intel on Wiki.”Because of the widespread support for Assange in Australia and internationally, the Australian government has repeatedly denied any knowledge of his indictment. Yesterday, in parliament, the government’s Senate leader, Chris Evans, again stated: “I can tell you that the Australian government is not aware of any charges by the US government against Mr. Assange.”These denials fly in the face of the record. The Labor government publicly backed the persecution of Assange from the outset. In December 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard improperly declared the WikiLeaks publication of the US cables “illegal.” Without any legal basis, the then-attorney general, Robert McClelland, claimed that obtaining classified information was also an offence under Australian law. The government authorised an investigation, involving ASIS, the Australian Federal Police and other security agencies, to assist the US witch hunt.The Labor government’s complicity in the drive to railroad the WikiLeaks founder to jail is entirely in line with its unequivocal alignment behind the Obama administration’s aggressive measures to confront China and other deemed threats to Washington’s geo-strategic and economic interests. Canberra’s involvement in the Assange operation is of a piece with Gillard’s agreement to station US troops and host more US military planes, ships and submarines.Assange and WikiLeaks are being pursued because their cable leaks have helped lay bare the criminal objectives and operations of US imperialism and its allies, including Australia, which stand in direct opposition to the interests and sentiments of the broad mass of the world’s population
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wiki-m01.shtml (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wiki-m01.shtml)

Peter Lemkin
03-14-2012, 06:35 AM
Magda, Any reaction to this 'Down-Under'? It is not surprising, but that the proof is now there is a bit amazing. If you think what has happened and will happen to Manning is rough, it will be child's play compared to what the USG would do with Assange!!!! Gitmo or worse would be his fate! Torture and worse. Life in prison, minimum - death, maybe. And, apparently, the Australian Govt. sits on its hands and lets all of this happen to one of their citizens - perhaps even participates in this travesty of Justice!

Magda Hassan
04-19-2012, 11:24 AM
Assange-link lawyer on 'inhibited' fly list
Henrietta CookApril 19, 2012 - 2:30PM

Read later

'Watch list'... One-time WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson.
An Australian human rights lawyer and WikiLeaks supporter has reportedly been placed on a watch list and requires permission from the Department of Foreign Affairs to fly home.
Jennifer Robinson claims she was stopped at Heathrow airport this morning, only days after meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Ms Robinson said she was told she was on an inhibited travel list and unable to enter Australia without permission from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
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"Just delayed from checking in at LHR because I'm apparently 'inhibited' - requiring approval from Australia House @dfat to travel," she tweeted.
An airport security guard told the London-based human rights lawyer she "must have done something controversial" and said he would have to phone the embassy, she said.
She then tweeted, "@dfat Please explain: What is the 'inhibited' travel list? And why am I now apparently on it?"
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was not aware of any Australian government restrictions on Ms Robinson's travel.
"As an Australian with a valid passport, she would be free to return to Australia at any stage," a spokesman said.
"The UK border authorities or airline of travel may be able to provide further insight on claims that she was impeded from boarding her flight."
WikiLeaks expressed concern about the incident, which comes only a day after Mr Assange's talk show The World Tomorrowpremiered on TV network Russia Today with an interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the militant group Hezbollah.
"Jennifer Robinson (@suigenerisjen) met with Assange on Monday. Assange show broadcast Tuesday. Australian watchlist incident Wednesday," WikiLeaks tweeted.
Robinson's twitter name @suigenerisjen began trending in Melbourne and Sydney shortly after the incident. It is believed she was eventually able to board the plane, which is flying to Sydney via Hong Kong.
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam fired off an angry tweet to the Department of Foreign Affairs, requesting information about why the human rights lawyer was allegedly placed on a watch list.
"@DFAT care to explain why @suigenerisjen is on your watch list? what kind of threat do human rights lawyers pose exactly? #auspol," he tweeted.
Ms Robinson is the director of legal advocacy at the Bertha Foundation in London.
She advises WikiLeaks and Mr Assange and acted for Mr Assange in extradition proceedings in Britain.
She recently recently appeared on behalf of WikiLeaks at the Bradley Manning court proceedings in the United States.
The Rhodes scholar is due to speak at a Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House event in early May and was travelling to Australia to speak on a panel titled Lawyers on the Frontline at tomorrow's Commonwealth Lawyer's Association's Regional Law Conference.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will speak about terrorism and human rights at the same event.
The UK Border Agency has been contacted by The Age but is currently closed.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/assangelink-lawyer-on-inhibited-fly-list-20120419-1x8sf.html#ixzz1sU4MHRuz

Magda Hassan
05-23-2012, 10:06 PM
Police BiasInterrogating officer’s bias against Assange on Facebook
Irmeli Krans: The Facebook Trail - Police Bias
On 10 March 2011 an article in Expressen revealed that Irmeli Krans, the officer who interrogated complainant SW (the ’rape’ allegation) was a friend of complainant AA (http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/avslojar/1.2360428/interrogator-in-the-assange-case-friend-with-woman-accusing-wikileaks-founder), the woman who has accused Julian Assange of molestation and sexual assault.http://justice4assange.com/IMG/jpg/Facebook.jpgThe article followed Facebook comments by Krans about Julian Assange, the complainants’ lawyer, and Thomas Bodström. Her Facebook page also showed that she was connected with complainant AA and Bodström since at least 2009. More about connections between Krans, complainant AA, Bodström, Borgström and the social democrat party in the Duckpond (http://justice4assange.com/Duckpond.html).Krans’ Facebook entries show a clear dislike of Julian Assange and a very high regard for Claes Borgström:The Trailhttp://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 25 August 2010 (15:43 (http://postimage.org/image/os4dbxj8/)) Krans writes "OUTRAAAAGEOUS" on her status update, followed by "Well Jesus Christ!!! The outrage in every newspaper and news bulletin. But our dear eminent and uniquely competent Claes Borgström will hopefully bring some order!"

Note 1: The ’outrage’ refers to Eva Finné’s press release (reported at 15:24 (http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/assange-inte-langre-misstankt-for-valdtakt_5167469.svd)) that had terminated the investigation for the ’rape’ allegation.

Note 2: Krans’ reference to Claes Borgström, the lawyer for the two women, and his request that the investigation be reopened predates the request by two days. Krans was no longer on the case, which means that she was aware of this intention by Claes Borgström through other means, presumably through her friend, complainant AA.

http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 18 September 2010 (12:41 (http://postimage.org/image/os60va10/)) "Then support and encouragement to Claes Borgström in the Central station before the departure for Göteborg. What tempo!"http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 16 October 2010 (02:11 (http://postimage.org/image/orxr6jk4/)) status update "realises that she should listen to her friends more often and google herself more often than once a year" followed by a comment "Yes, loads of strange websites, flash back and other nastiness. A little frightening. I should be more aware..."http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 2 December 2010 (16:53 (http://postimage.org/image/oscn0o04/)) "’Minor rape’ is what the lawyer calls it. Manjerk! :("

Note 3: This comment created a heated exchange between Krans and a senior member of the Swedish Police Board, Harald Ullman, on Facebook. He tells Krans that she is undermining the public’s perception of a professional and impartial police force by showing her bias. Moreover, this is an ongoing investigation in which she is implicated. See Investigation (http://justice4assange.com/Investigation.html) for the exchange.

http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 10 December 2010 (00:39 (http://postimage.org/image/orm6f43o/)) Comment: ’suspected on reasonable grounds’http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 14 December 2010 (22.13 (http://postimage.org/image/orivcf44/)), comment on Claes Borgström (lawyer of the two complainants) and Julian Assangehttp://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 23 December 2010 (04:36 (http://postimage.org/image/orw3n72c/)), "Claes Borgström is an admirable and incredibly knowledgeable lawyer. I am proud that he is a Social Democrat!"http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 9 February 2010 (02:01 (http://postimage.org/image/os7oemis/)) writes as her status "thinks Bodström should come home and put an end to Flashback" followed by a comment "We should have freedom of speech AND turn the lights off for Flashback!"

Note 4: Krans is referring to the online discussion forum which has led to many of the revelations and leaks in the case. The popularity of the forum and of the thread that deals specifically with the Julian Assange case (https://www.flashback.org/t1275257) (+38,000 entries) responds to a homogenous and self-censoring media climate in the mainstream media.

http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 24 February 2010 (20:59 (http://postimage.org/image/os9bxz0k/)) Krans comments on her friend’s status which reads "Can you believe that we can chat with a man suspected of rape! Thank you Aftonbladet!", her comment is "What the hell????"

Note 5: On 24 February Aftonbladet offered readers a chatroom with Julian Assange.

http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif 24 February 2011 (22:32 (http://postimage.org/image/orm6f43o)), "I long for a politician à la Jan O. Karlsson in these tumultuous times. He would probably have something forceful and unforgettable to say both about the dictator in Libya and the overhyped bubble ready to burst Assange."Complaint Filed Against Irmeli KransWhen Krans’ Facebook messages and friendship with complainant AA reached the media, a complaint was made against her at the Parliamentary Ombudsman for Justice (JO).A Civil Liberties organisation, RO, filed the complaint at the JO (Parliamentary Ombudsman for Justice). Krans had been the first person to speak to complainant SW on record about the most serious allegation of ’rape’. The questioning is written in reported form, in Krans’ words. There are serious concerns about Krans’ bias in the investigation, even at this early stage. It has been suggested that complainant AA and IK had been in touch before the women arrived at the station, or in the days following the complaint, even though Krans was later taken off the investigation.On 23 May 2011, the Office for the Parliamentary Ombudsman for Justice (JO) dismissed the complaint against Irmeli Krans because the Prosecution Authority had already carried out their own investigation and concluded that there were no grounds for challengeability (ie interrogating officer Irmeli Krans did not contaminate the investigation, and there were no grounds for suspecting her of bias). Grounds for challengeability ’jäv’ (http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/56094521?access_key=key-1iyi1fp1ba2qj222t46r), the decision is translated into English (https://ccwlja.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/police-officer-irmeli-krans-behavior-ok-according-to-jo/). Grounds for challengeability are circumstances that undermine the impartiality of the police officer (Code of Procedure, Sections 4, 13 § 10 and 7, 6 and 9 §§).Expressen: Interrogator in the Assange case friend with woman accusing Wikileaks founder (http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/avslojar/1.2360428/interrogator-in-the-assange-case-friend-with-woman-accusing-wikileaks-founder)

Magda Hassan
05-30-2012, 09:02 AM

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2012, 10:12 AM

With the hidden powers in UK and USA leaning on the process, what would one expect....but he has a few more appeals possible.....sickening.

Dawn Meredith
05-30-2012, 07:04 PM

With the hidden powers in UK and USA leaning on the process, what would one expect....but he has a few more appeals possible.....sickening.

And of course they must make an example here as well. A warning for those who would dare to come after him.

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2012, 09:29 PM
Britain’s Supreme Court has upheld the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes. Swedish authorities want to question Assange over accusations of rape and sexual assault made by two women. Assange has been under house arrest in Britain since December 2010. Assange’s lawyers had argued the Swedish public prosecutor did not have the legal authority to issue the arrest warrant. Earlier this morning, the British Supreme Court handed down a split decision. Five judges supported extradition, two judges opposed it. Nicholas Phillips, the president of the Supreme Court, said the decision came down to the definition of "judicial authority" under the terms of the European Extradition Treaty.

NICHOLAS PHILLIPS: The point of law is simply, what do the words "judicial authority" mean? Mr. Assange has argued that they mean a court or judge. Sweden’s request has been issued by a public prosecutor who is not a court or judge, so Mr. Assange’s argument is that request is invalid and he doesn’t have to go back to Sweden. The point of law is simple to state, but it has not been simple to resolve. Indeed, we have only reached our decision by a majority of 5-2. There was discussion in parliament about the words judicial authority when the bill which became the Extradition Act was being debated. The bill used the words "judicial authority" because those words were in the Framework Decision and the act was designed to give effect to the framework decision. It is clear that some members of parliament believe that the words "judicial authority" in the Framework Decision meant a court or a judge. Indeed, one minister specifically stated to a parliamentary committee that this was the case. But he was mistaken. Judicial authority is the English translation of the French words "autorité judicial." The Framework decision in both English and French, so it’s necessary to have regard also to what the French phrase means. The French phrase has a wider meaning than the English phrase. In French, the words "judicial authority" can be used of a public prosecutor. For these reasons, the majority has concluded that the Swedish public prosecutor was a judicial authority within the meaning of both the Framework Decision and the Extradition Act. It follows that the request for Mr. Assange’s extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Nicholas Phillips, president of the British Supreme court. Moments later, Dinah Rose, an attorney for Julian Assange, addressed the court.

DINAH ROSE: There is one matter which causes us considerable concern on our initial reading of the decision, and that is that it would appear that a majority of the members of this court have decided the point either principally or solely on the basis of the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a point with respect which was not argued during the appeal, and which we were given no opportunity to address. Now, obviously, this court will have in mind its recent decision in [a previous case] holding that Article 6 applies to extradition proceedings in the United kingdom. We are therefore currently considering our position on whether or not it will be necessary, with great regret, to make an application to this court that this matter should be reopened so we have an opportunity to argue this point.

AMY GOODMAN: In response to the legal concerns raised, the Supreme Court gave Assange a stay of 14 days on the extradition order so that the ruling could be challenged. To talk more about the case, we’re joined by two guests, Helena Kennedy is joining us from Oxford in England. She’s a British attorney on the legal team representing Julian Assange. She will be joining us in a minute. And joining us by Democracy Now videostream, Glenn Greenwald, blogger for Salon.com, constitutional lawyer as well. He has been closely following the WikiLeaks story. Glenn, can you respond to the decision of the British High Court that Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden?

GLENN GREENWALD: I think it’s difficult to have expected any other outcome. Remember Julian Assange is one of the people most hated by Western governments because of the transparency that he brought, and typically, unfortunately, judicial branches in the United States and in the United Kingdom do the opposite of what they’re intended to do, which is they protect institutional power and help to punish and deprive the rights of those who are most scorned. And so, I would have been most shocked had the court ruled in favor of Assange, even though as the two dissenting judges on the high court pointed out, the argument of Sweden and those advocating extradition is directly and anathetical to what the statute says. No one thinks that a prosecutor is a judicial authority. He has not been charged with a crime, and therefore, there is no court or judge seeking his extradition. It’s purely a prosecutor. But the law in these cases typically is not what governs. What governs are political considerations and the views of the party. And so absence of some unexpected event—-highly unexpected event—-at some point in the near future, it is likely he will be extradited to Sweden.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And apparently, Glenn, of course, the punishment that he is likely to face in Sweden, even if is charged, is much less than what he is likely to face if he is extradited to the U.S. where the punishment he faces for possible espionage and conspiracy charges will be much greater. Can you say a little about that?

GLENN GREENWALD: I think there’s two issues of concern with being extradited to Sweden. One is that, although we don’t think about Sweden this way, it is none the less the case that they have a very oppressive — I would even say borderline barbaric system — of pretrial detention where when somebody is charged with a crime, they are almost — especially in Assange’s case where he’s not a Swedish citizen — automatically, more or less, consigned to prison, not released on bail, even though he’s proven over the course of the last two years that his appearances can be secured. And not only would he likely be imprisoned pending trial, but he would be imprisoned under very oppressive conditions, where he could be held incommunicato, denied all contact or communication with the outside world. The hearings , pretrial hearings in Sweden, are not public. They are entirely private. The media, the public has no idea what takes place within these hearings. And given how sensitive this case is, the idea that judicial decisions in Sweden will be made privately and secretly is very alarming. But, I think the broader concern is the one you just raised, which is clearly in the U.S. efforts underway, not just to investigate but to convene a grand jury, and there are reports that he had already been indicted with a sealed indictment. There are certainly efforts by the U.S. government to do so, and the real concern is that Sweden, which in the past has demonstrated subservience to the United States with rendition and other things, will hand him over without much of a fight and he will face life in prison under espionage statutes for doing nothing more than what newspapers do every day, which is publishing classified information in the public interest.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the significance of Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, going to Sweden? It is the first time in a very long time that a U.S. Secretary of State is going to Sweden. First, it was announced the high court would be making its decision today, Glenn. Then, Sweden tweeted out that Hillary Clinton would be coming there on Sunday.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. I mean, one of the causes for concern is that there has been a flurry of activity recently with FBI agents harassing people who are alleged to have communication or contact or association with WikiLeaks. A French citizen and an Icelandic citizen both in the past couple of weeks have been very aggressively accosted by FBI agents on foreign soil. And now you have what looks to be high-level meetings between the State Department, Secretary of State, and Swedish officials. There really is not much of a secret that the Obama administration is busting at the seams to punish Assange. Remember, this is an administration that has more aggressively than any prior president has punished people who are government employees who have been whistleblowers, and yet here is a someone who is not a government employee, has no duty to safeguard classified information, and yet it looks very much like the U.S. government is eager to get their hands on Julian Assange. That has been the concern all along going to Sweden. He has never been worried about facing these charges. He feels very confident that he will be ultimately vindicated, that there is nothing to them. I have no opinion one way or the other on that. He has always been willing to face these accusations. The issue has always been because he is not charged, there has been this extraordinary and unusual effort to get him onto Swedish soil. The fear has always been that is just a pretext for turning him over to the United States, something that Britain would have a very hard time doing for a variety of reasons, but that Sweden, as they have proven, can be coerced and bullied and pressured into doing it fairly easily. Once he’s in the grip of the U.S., it is really hard to imagine how he will ever secure his freedom or liberty again, given what the U.S. has demonstrated it is willing to do in terms of flouting conventions of justice and other things when it comes to people accused of harming national security.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Why is that though Glenn? Can you explain why would Sweden be more amenable to extradition to the U.S. and not the U.K., which is a very close ally of the U.S.?

GLENN GREENWALD: For one thing, just a matter of basic international relations it is much easier for a country like the U.S. to pressure and coerce smaller countries than it is larger countries. I think there would be a big outcry — [NO AUDIO]

AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, you were finishing up saying?

GLENN GREENWALD: ...and where Sweden is a small country, much more susceptible to that pressure — and again they’ve demonstrated in the past to be willing — the U.N. Commission found they actually violated international law and prohibitions on oppressive treatment in the way that they allowed CIA agents to basically abduct Egyptian nationals on their soil and render them to Egypt. So, I think there’s a real concern when you add on to that the secrecy behind these pre-trial proceedings that there’s a much higher risk that Sweden will be complicit in turning over Assange to the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: We are joined in Britain by one of the attorneys for Julian Assange, Helena Kennedy. When the judge announced the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Assange’s extradition, he invoked the 1957 European Convention on extradition. I want to ask Helena Kennedy about the significance of that Convention and why it was put into effect. We’re going to just go to a clip of the ruling first. This is Lord Nicholas Phillips, President of the Supreme Court in Britain.

NICHOLAS PHILLIPS: The Swedish public prosecutor has requested the extradition of Mr. Assange on charges of serious sexual offenses. That request has raised a point of law of general public importance. It is not a point in respect of which the particular facts of Mr. Assange’s case have any relevance. This summary is about that point of law. It used to be the case this country would not extradite a person to another European country until a court here had considered the evidence against that person. The court would not approve extradition unless the evidence justified his being subjected to a criminal trial. All that changed in 2001 when we gave effect to the 1957 European Convention on extradition.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Lord Nicholas Phillips, President of the Supreme Court in Britain, explaining the decision to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to Sweden. Helena Kennedy, you’re one of the members of Julian Assange’s legal team. Can you respond to the decision that was just handed down hours before this broadcast?

HELENA KENNEDY: Well, I’m a consultant to the team, and extradition is one of the areas of law that I have some practice and knowledge of. It is right that it is comparatively recently that we have become much more closely involved in legal arrangements with the rest of Europe about the handing over of persons sought for questioning or for proceeding on to criminal trial. On a much more sort of familiar basis so that we do it with little examination of evidence and the idea is that we respect the legal systems of these other countries to be just and fair, even if they’re different from ours. The problem about that is, or course, in other parts of Europe we don’t have a common law system. In fact, the American system is much closer to the British system, and there’s a civil law system, where the whole arrangements are rather different. And so, one of the concerns that was raised in this case was that a really important point of law, which was about this request having been made by prosecutor who wanted to question Assange. There is still an issue as to whether he would ever be charged.

There is no doubt that if the old processes had been relied upon, the evidence would not have been enough to justify a prosecution here in Britain. But they were invoking the new arrangement. The new arrangement in this last decade or so has been that a Euro warrant can be issued and that it does not involve a close examination of evidence, and the request had been made by a judicial authority. That’s how it has always been presented and that’s how it was introduced into law in Britain. Two of the judges, interestingly, did not go along with this decision. It was a 5-2 majority decision. But another two of the five say that had parliament known the judicial authority might mean a prosecutor and not a judge, it may be that the arrangement would not have been accepted by parliament. But now that it has been and has been going on for the last years, this practice should be accepted as one that is respectful of other jurisdictions.

Now, the concern that we all had, and I think that any democrat in Britain would have, is that the idea of a prosecutor demanding that someone is brought by force to their country in order to be questioned, and that that is not a decision being made by a judge or a court, is alarming to us because we believe in judicial independence. We believe that the state sometimes does things that have to be called into question, or certainly have oversight by an independent judge, and that hasn’t happened here. And so, that is why this was a very important issue and went all the way to our Supreme court, and the court has, by a majority, come down saying that really they have to be respectful of the fact and other systems, this is what happens; that a prosecutor can make these decisions without judicial oversight. Well, I think that has left a lot of us feeling very unhappy about the arrangement we’ve entered into and as to whether it really complies with our respect for the rule of law and independence of the judiciary to overview what decisions are made by prosecutors, because it is not a happy situation that prosecutors can decide who they’re going to have brought by warrant and by force back for questioning without any judicial intervention.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Helena Kennedy, isn’t it relevant at all that Julian Assange hasn’t in fact been charged with any offense in Sweden yet? Doesn’t that have any bearing on the European arrest warrant?

HELENA KENNEDY: Well, the European arrest warrant says that you can be arrested in order to be questioned, but it is interesting that Assange volunteered to be questioned here at the Swedish Embassy or at Scotland Yard. He didn’t see why that it was required that he should go all the way to Sweden. And of course, what he suspects and is concerned about is that as soon as he sets foot on Swedish soil, that he becomes much more vulnerable to the perhaps intentions of the U.S. to have him extradited from there to the United States to stand trial on much more worrying charges, from his perspective, because he would face the sort of American sentences that go along with espionage.

AMY GOODMAN: While Julian Assange didn’t address the news media after today’s Supreme Court decision, the news reports said he was caught in heavy traffic. I want to play for you what he said in November after he lost his initial appeal.

JULIAN ASSANGE: I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European arrest warrants is so restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering our next step in the days ahead. The full judgment will be available on swedenversusassange.com. No doubt, throw the many attempts made to try and spin these proceedings as they occurred today, but they are merely technical. So, please go to swedenversusassange.com if you really want to know what’s going on in this case.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Julian Assange, not this time, but in November after he lost his initial appeal. Speaking to us from Oxford, England is Helena Kennedy. She is a consultant to Assange’s legal team. I’d like you to respond to that and also the decision of the judges when raised by his attorney Dinah Rose, that they allow her to argue on this point that she said that she hadn’t gotten a chance to argue on, the decision that they had made that he can stay for another two weeks. What are the avenues that Assange has right now?

HELENA KENNEDY: What came up in court was the Vienna Convention was invoked by the judge’s to say that, basically, the words — the French words — are the words which they looked at which is "judicial authority"–"autorité judicial," and that that has been translated into judicial authority which we the British common law listeners took to be a judge and a court and certainly that is what the British Parliament thought. Whereas, in fact, to Europeans who have a different system, it would be interpreted as being a prosecutor, and therefore in endorsing the Vienna Convention on extradition, then we committed ourselves to the French interpretation. So, I think, I know, that Dinah wants to be able to have a look at that and to see whether that is a proper interpretation, because she didn’t have the opportunity of dealing with it; it wasn’t raised by the other side at the original hearing.

Now, I’ve spoken to Julian Assange since the — he is caught in traffic — and I spoke to him since his hearing of the judgment. We will all look at what this means and whether we think it is likely to make any difference. It is very rare for the Supreme Court to give an opportunity to revisit an argument. The last time I remember it was in the Pinochet case. But certainly one will have a look at this. But, it is — the sense one is getting is that even in this court, there was argument as to whether this is an acceptable thing within the common law tradition that you just hand somebody over on the say so over prosecutor, and there was definite unease in two of the judges. The sole woman we have and another judge both took a different position and therefore didn’t go along with the majority. So there’s serious argument that there should be on this — and may actually have to be revisited by parliament in the fulness of time, but It might not be good for Assange because the decision is going to be as it stands at the moment. So, it’s a matter of serious concern.

I listened to Glenn talking about the implications of this if he’s returned to Sweden. Glenn Greenwald is right. Sweden does not let people out on bail. It is very, very rare that they would allow anybody, particularly someone who is a foreign national, to be in any position other than in custody and in secure custody. So, it means that he will be returning there, and even if a decision is made which is favorable to Assange in Sweden, one just wonders if he’s going to be slapped with a warrant from the United States wanting him to be extradited to the U.S. And that has to be a matter of concern for us and for those who are advising him legally.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: If the legal team has to seek recourse with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which is apparently the last court of appeal, what is the likely outcome of that? Is it possible that the European Court could stay his extradition?

HELENA KENNEDY: You have to understand that the European Court isn’t quite like a last court of appeal. It is an avenue that is open. If it’s an issue which the European Court would think was a matter that needed to be resolved because it had implications for lots of other countries. It is very rare for a case like this on this kind of point to go to European court. But, obviously, we will take a look at that and we will put that argument in writing to the European court, and they can either say yea or nay and that will determine whether there is any further avenue left to us. So we’re getting to the situation where there’s going to be — the options are narrowing by the day, and so I think that we will probably have to make decisions over the next 48 hours as to what happens next.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Helena Kennedy, you said you spoke to Julian Assange. He is caught in traffic. Usually does make a statement after a decision is handed down. What was his response to the high court ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden?

HELENA KENNEDY: Well, in many ways, Julian of course is skeptical about any kind of judicial decision making in this field, and he’s very aware that Britain, of course, is part of Europe and has made agreements and has found a sort of modalities and arrangements for our different systems to work together. So there is a general unwillingness not to respond to a call from another country for somebody to be taken there on a warrant. So, it is right that this has political — with a small p — implications, if not even with a big P. But, I think that he was actually heartened that there was so much argument, clearly, between the judges and that two of the judges came to the view that this was not right that a prosecutor could call for somebody to be just handed over for questioning. And was also heartened by the fact that two of the judges who remained, who went along with the judgement, still had reservations about whether parliament would have agreed with this, but basically, ended up going with the majority decision on the basis it had been in practice now for a number of years and it was now inbedded. So, that is how they came to that majority opinion. So, he has been heartened by the fact that in many ways it points to just how complicated this whole issue is.

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2012, 09:41 PM

With the hidden powers in UK and USA leaning on the process, what would one expect....but he has a few more appeals possible.....sickening.

And of course they must make an example here as well. A warning for those who would dare to come after him.

The USA is determined to 'get him' one way or another...the legal route [sic - as there is little 'Legality' in it]; or the 'black' route......Julian, sadly, is a 'marked man'.

Keith Millea
06-19-2012, 09:03 PM
2012-06-19 [UPDATED] Assange requests political asylum from Ecuador

Submitted by m_cetera (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/users/mcetera) on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 19:38

WikiLeaks announced (https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/215152161502412801) via Twitter that Julian Assange has requested political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

This comes after the UK Supreme Court refused a submission to reopen his case on June 14. Julian Assange has spent 560 days under house arrest without charge. His extradition to Sweden is set between June 28 and July 7.

Mr Assange will remain (http://www.ecuadorembassyuk.org.uk/news/statement-on-julian-assange) at the Embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian Government while they consider his request.

In his statement to the Diplomatic Mission of Ecuador, Julian Assange commented (https://twitter.com/ravisomaiya/status/215157793953562624/photo/1/large) on his abandonment by his home country, Australia, as well as the threat of the death penalty in the U.S.

Ecuador has been offering (http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/notitas-de-noticias/details/ecuador-offers-to-shelter-julian-assange/3244/) political asylum to Julian Assange since November 2010. At that time, Vice Chancellor Kintto Lucas stated, "We are open to grant him Ecuadorian residency, without any kind of problem or any kind of conditions."

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was a guest (http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-6.html) on Julian Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow" this past May. The full interview is available online in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Arabic.

Updates will be added as they become available.

[UPDATE: 21:25 BST] Julian Assange's U.S. based lawyer Michael Ratner commented on the request via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/justleft):
Julian's asylum not about questioning in Sweden. Facing life in solitary in US with no comm.for exposing war crimes, What Would You Do???
Sweden easier. Smaller. lawyers in UK remarkable. More public support. He would be in jail in Sweden, US lodges warrant and he never is out

[UPDATE: 21:29 BST] Clark Stoeckley (https://twitter.com/WikileaksTruck/status/215176449303392256) of the WikiLeaks Truck and Venezuelan author Eva Golinger (https://twitter.com/#!/evagolinger) will be on RT (http://rt.com/on-air/) to discuss Julian Assange and his request for political asylum.

[UPDATE: 21:33 BST] Jesselyn Radack (https://twitter.com/JesselynRadack/status/215168014239285249) of the Government Accountability Project and Barrett Brown (https://twitter.com/BarrettBrownLOL/status/215164813054185474) will also be on RT to discuss Mr Assange's request for political asylum.


Peter Lemkin
06-19-2012, 09:17 PM
Moments ago Assange took political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.....an interesting move.....and I wonder if the UK or USA will try to stop him from being moved to Ecuador or to just remain in their embassy.....I'm sure the USA wants him either dead or locked away and tortured forever and will be leaning on the UK hard now. :spy:

Quickie from the Guardian:

Julian Assange seeking asylum in Ecuadorian embassy in London

WikiLeaks founder walked into the embassy and asked for asylum under the United Nations human rights declaration

Beatrice Woolf guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 19 June 2012 20.45 BST

Julian Assange has asked for asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sought political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He walked into the embassy in Knightsbridge, London on Tuesday afternoon and asked for asylum under the United Nations human rights declaration.

A statement issued on behalf of the embassy said: "This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government.

"As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito.

"While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian government.

"The decision to consider Mr Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden."

Assange was on bail and living with friends before his extradition.

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino also confirmed the Australian had taken refuge at its embassy and that the country's government was weighing up the request.

A message was posted on the Wikileaks Twitter account, saying: "ALERT: Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London."

A second read: "We will have more details on the Ecuadorian situation soon."

The dramatic move by Assange followed his long-running legal bid to halt his extradition to Sweden, where he faces sex crime allegations.

The UK Supreme Court decided on 30 May that extradition was lawful and could go ahead, but Assange was given time to consider the judgment.

The Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of raping a woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.

Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, says the sex was consensual and the allegations against him are politically motivated.

Last week the supreme court reaffirmed its rejection of the 40-year-old's appeal against his extradition, turning down an 11th hour request to reopen the case.

In a brief statement, the court said the application was "without merit and it is dismissed."

The supreme court case revolved around the question of whether a prosecutor constituted a "judicial authority" as the European arrest warrant specifies.

The court found by a majority of five to two against Assange, saying that the warrant was valid.

In its statement declining to reopen the case, the court said it had agreed unanimously that extradition proceedings should not begin for another two weeks.

Assange's marathon legal battle has played out in the glare of worldwide publicity and his court appearances have previously attracted a range of celebrity supporters and members of the public who back him.

Magda Hassan
06-19-2012, 10:14 PM
Brilliant move Julian! :lol:

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2012, 05:21 AM
Brilliant move Julian! :lol:

Few remember, but Ecuador had offered him asylum many months ago......obviously, Julian never forgot. So....acceptance is a mere formality and it is a good country for him...however, I still think that getting him out of London and to Ecuador will not be as easy as usual....we shall see if the UK and USA will follow the international rules this time...so often they do not! When he is free to speak again, I'm interested to know why he felt he would not go the route of his last appeal to the European Human Rights Court.

Magda Hassan
06-20-2012, 05:46 AM
Maybe he's already gone? But announced as if still in negotiations.
PLEASE send a message to the Embassy of Ecuador and ask them to grant asylum to Julian Assange!
(it's very easy--click on link, add your name & email and a simple message "please grant asylum to Assange")

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2012, 09:19 AM
The BBC is interviewing experts who state that Assange is safe in the Embassy, but there is legal precedent for not allowing a person to leave such a situation to leave the country. Ecuador has little to bargain with, other than international moral justice arguments - a currency I think the UK and USA don't trade in.

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2012, 09:42 AM
The British Police have just issued an arrest warrant for Assange for [as they put it] breaking his bail conditions......this is going to be long and tricky. Assange is far from home-free, at this point! A somewhat similar situation had a man who remained in a foreign embassy for 15 years. Let's hope that is not what happens here...for many reasons, not the least being this is a very small embassy building.

Albert Doyle
06-20-2012, 02:07 PM
Where are the crowds around the embassy?

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2012, 05:45 PM
NERMEEN SHAIKH: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London and asked for asylum. Assange made the move Tuesday in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime accusations. Earlier today, police in London announced Assange is now subject to arrest because his decision to spend the night at the Ecuadorian embassy violated the conditions of his bail.
Assange is seeking asylum because he fears extradition to Sweden may lead to his transfer to the United States, where he could potentially face charges relating to WikiLeaks. In an apparent reference to the United States, an Ecuadorian official said Assange fears being extradited, quote, "to a country where espionage and treason are punished with the death penalty." The Ecuadorian government says Assange can stay at the embassy for now as it reviews his request for asylum.
In a statement, the Ecuadorian embassy said, quote: "As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito."
In 2010, Ecuador invited Assange to seek residency there but quickly backed away from the idea, accusing him of breaking U.S. laws.
AMY GOODMAN: In a moment, we’ll be joined by one of Julian Assange’s lawyers. But first I want to turn to a recent episode of Julian Assange’s TV show, The World Tomorrow, on RT, in which he interviewed Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.

JULIAN ASSANGE: President Correa, why did you want us to release all the cables?

PRESIDENT RAFAEL CORREA: [translated] Those who don’t owe anything have nothing to fear. We have nothing to hide. Your WikiLeaks have made us stronger, as the main accusations made by the American embassy were due to our excessive nationalism and defense of the sovereignty of the Ecuadorian government. Indeed, we are nationalists. Indeed, we do defend the sovereignty of our country. On the other hand, WikiLeaks wrote a lot about the goals that the national media pursue, about the power groups who seek help and report to foreign embassies. We have absolutely nothing to fear. Let them publish everything they have about the Ecuadorian government.
AMY GOODMAN: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange interviewing Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on his show, The World Tomorrow, on RT.
Well, for more on Julian Assange’s decision to seek asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy and in Ecuador, we’re joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
Michael, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about this surprise move of Julian Assange.
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, I was completely surprised by it. In fact, I got a tweet from—or, no, a text message from you, Amy, that said, "Michael, Julian Assange has gone into the Ecuadorian embassy." So that really surprised me.
On the other hand, if you look at what he was facing, I had—I’ve been really very upset and nervous for, really, since he lost the decision in the High Court of England on the 14th of June, because here’s his situation. He’s about to be extradited now to Sweden. Sweden does not have bail. Now, these are on allegations of sex charges—allegations, no charges—and they’re to interrogate Julian Assange. But despite that, he would have been in prison in Sweden. At that point, our view is that there was a substantial chance that the U.S. would ask for his extradition to the United States. So here you have him walking the streets in London—sure, under bail conditions; going to a jail in Sweden, where he’s in prison, almost an incommunicado prison; U.S. files extradition; he remains in prison; and the next thing that happens is whatever time it takes him to fight the extradition in Sweden, he’s taken to the United States. There’s no chance then to make political asylum application any longer. In addition, once he comes to the United States—we just hold up Bradley Manning as example one of what will happen to Julian Assange: a underground cell, essentially abuse, torture, no ability to communicate with anybody, facing certainly good chance of a life sentence, with a possibility, of course, of one of these charges being a death penalty charge.
So, he was in an impossible situation. And in my view, it was a—it is a situation of political persecution of Julian Assange for his political activities. And it does fit within the asylum—the asylum application procedure under the Declaration of Human Rights, which is what President Correa and/or at least what the embassy in London was mentioning. His choices were terrible—not that they’re so great right now. I mean, now he’s in the embassy in London. He’s asked for political asylum. The Ecuadorians will decide whether to give him political asylum or not. Assuming they do, whatever time it takes, what happens then? He gets political asylum, how does he then leave the embassy? And that’s a difficult question. He made need—the Ecuadorians could ask the British for a safe passage to get him out of London and into Ecuador. On the other hand, it’s conceivable that the English could—the Britishers, the U.K., could arrest him if he tries to leave the embassy, even if it’s in a diplomatic car. And while I think that might be illegal, it’s taking a big chance. So now he is in the embassy and having to stay there indefinitely until the situation can resolve.
But let me just say, the other situation was so terrible, in my view, the extradition to Sweden, which was really—it’s not about the charges in Sweden. There’s no charges. It’s not about the allegations in Sweden or the interrogation. I think if the United States tomorrow said, "We will not be prosecuting WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, there will be no indictment of him, the grand jury is over," etc., etc., I don’t think Julian Assange—I haven’t spoken to him about this—I don’t think he would have any issue about going to Sweden for interrogation on these charges. It’s really—what this is about is the United States wanting to get their hands on him, put him into an underground cell with no communications, giving him life imprisonment. And, of course, people have already called for his death in the United States. And he was faced with really a terrible situation, considering—considering that he is the person who, as a publisher and journalist, has exposed massive U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and the WikiLeaks cables.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: His extradition proceedings were supposed to commence next week, June 28th. Do you have any idea how long an application for political asylum, such as the one that he’s filed, normally takes—I mean, for Ecuador to make a decision?
MICHAEL RATNER: I’m not sure I understood, the extradition proceedings. He was—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Sorry, sending him to Sweden, the decision to—
MICHAEL RATNER: Right, the decision to go to Sweden, he would have had to be in Sweden by July 7th. So it’s very soon. You can—as people in the United States know, if you apply for political asylum, those political asylum applications can take a week, or they can drag on for two, three, four, five, six, seven years. So we don’t know what Ecuador will do. We do know that, from what you played on President Correa, that he was sympathetic to WikiLeaks, even though—it’s interesting—some of those cables skewered some of the current government in Ecuador. And in fact, the U.S. ambassador lost his job for calling some part of the Ecuadorian police corrupt. The U.S. ambassador was kicked out. So that even though some of those skewered some part of the Correa government, President Correa was willing to say, "I believe in what WikiLeaks is doing. We need transparency, and WikiLeaks is taking a very positive step."
AMY GOODMAN: For people who aren’t following this that closely, you talked about the—an indictment against—against Assange by the United States, a grand jury, a secret grand jury. What do you understand the U.S. wants with Assange? And why wouldn’t they have moved on that while he was in Britain? I mean, he wasn’t walking a free man, but he was able to walk around during the day.
AMY GOODMAN: And he was home at night. So they could have gotten him any time.
MICHAEL RATNER: Right. It would have—for the U.S. to move within Britain, of course, it would have complicated matters a great deal, because then he’s facing a Swedish—a Swedish prosecution, and then the U.S. comes in. So what happens to the U.S.—to the U.S. indictment? And then, of course, Julian Assange gets notice that he’s been indicted in the United States, and of course it makes his situation more precarious. And in addition, he would have probably been able to remain on the streets in London, whereas the U.S., really, I think, probably understood that as soon as he gets into Sweden, he’s in prison, he may—those charges may not amount—not charges, those allegations may not amount to anything once he testifies, once he gives evidence, and then they can keep him in prison with this warrant.
And I also think that, if you look at the situation, Sweden versus the U.K., the U.K. can take years to get someone extradited. I mean, we know of the case—I forgot his name, but the young man who supposedly hacked into the Pentagon computer to find out about UFOs—seven, eight years on his extradition. Incredible extradition lawyers in London. It’s a big country. Sweden, whatever we think of Sweden, its justice system certainly seems to have some problems, because Julian Assange would be in jail without bail. And also, it’s a smaller country and just can be knocked around more by the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: And why the U.S. wants Julian Assange? Why the U.S. would prosecute him over WikiLeaks? This is nothing to do with the sex crimes charges.
MICHAEL RATNER: No, it’s nothing, but it’s the ultimate issue in this case. The allegations about sex crimes, as I said, I think will be disposed of quickly. I don’t think those are the issues underlying. It has—it has really—
AMY GOODMAN: And we should say—I shouldn’t say "sex crimes charges" —
AMY GOODMAN: —because he wasn’t charged.
AMY GOODMAN: Allegations of sex crimes that—where he would be questioned in Sweden, and possibly let go.
MICHAEL RATNER: Oh, that’s very conceivable. I mean, it’s very conceivable. But when you say "possibly let go," it’s important to understand, he’s in prison while that proceeding is going on. The minute—the minute—there would be someone in court—assuming there’s an indictment of Julian Assange, there would be someone in court—when they say, "We order you released," they would file the warrant at that moment, and Julian Assange would not be able to leave the court, would be back in prison, and would be in the United States, where only his lawyers will probably be able to communicate with him. And I probably wouldn’t be able to say a word about what he ever said to me.
But let’s look at what he’s facing. The claim would be that he’s being investigated for espionage, essentially for transmitting, you know, quote, "secrets" of the U.S. government, that were classified, that could harm the United States in some way. And that’s the espionage indictment. That’s what Bradley Manning is being looked at for, under military law. And that’s what they would want to look at Julian Assange for. And there’s a grand jury that’s been going on really since at least 2011. We have the Stratfor emails that says that—that say that there’s a sealed indictment against Julian Assange. We have recently two people who have some association with WikiLeaks being questioned again by the FBI by—around what—about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
AMY GOODMAN: Who is that?
MICHAEL RATNER: Zimmerman and McCarthy. One is from France, one is from Iceland. Again, questioned by the FBI about Julian Assange. This is an active investigation. We have, in Bradley Manning’s case, what came out at the Article 32—
AMY GOODMAN: The young U.S. private who is accused of releasing tens of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks.
MICHAEL RATNER: Right, and Bradley Manning is in a court-martial proceeding going on in Fort Meade. As part of that examination, as part of that court-martial proceeding, an FBI agent was asked about who else is being investigated here, and he said seven other civilians are being investigated with regard to—with regard to WikiLeaks. And who are they? He said—he didn’t give the names, but he said these are — "Are these people who are managers or founders of WikiLeaks?" And he said, "Yes, they are." So we’re talking about an active investigation, most probable an indictment already. This is what Julian Assange was facing: never to see the light of day again, in my view, had he gone to Sweden. And so, he’s in not a great situation now, in the sense that, look at, he’s sitting in an embassy in London. He has to get political asylum. And then, how does he get out of the embassy?
NERMEEN SHAIKH: But in response to some of these criticism, Swedish authorities have said that the European Court of Human Rights would intervene if Assange was to face the prospect of, quote, "inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial" in the U.S.
MICHAEL RATNER: Well—well, first of all, wait a second, I’m not sure I understand that at all. The European Court of Human Rights only has jurisdiction over Europe. So, once he’s in the United States, there’s not much the European Court of Human Rights can do. In addition, the European Court of Human Rights recently came down with a major decision concerning four English Muslim men, and what they said was so negative and so outrageous, in my view, and such a denial of rights, that I would not depend on the European Court of Human Rights. They basically disregarded the fact that people spend years in solitary in the United States, that they get life sentences, that they have no way—that they have—they’re in communications managements units where they can’t speak to each other. And despite all of that evidence in the European Court of Human Rights, they just approved the extradition of four young—of four people from the United Kingdom. So I would not put anything on the European Court of Human Rights as positive for this case.
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to Julian Assange in November, after he lost his initial appeal.

JULIAN ASSANGE: I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering our next step in the days ahead. The full judgment will be available on swedenversusassange.com (http://www.swedenversusassange.com/). No doubt there will been many attempts made to try and spin these proceedings as they occur today, but they are merely technical. So please go to swedenversusassange.com (http://www.swedenversusassange.com/) if you want to know what’s really going on in this case. Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Julian Assange last November. Michael Ratner, your response?
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, he was talking about the restrictions on the arrest warrant and the case that actually he lost in Britain. His argument in Britain was that the Swedish prosecutor had asked for his extradition, and under the European arrest warrant, it needs to be a judge. A prosecutor has a bias, because the prosecutor wants to prosecute. And that had never really been considered by the British courts. It went all the way up to the highest court in Britain, which was a surprise, to begin with. And in the end, the highest court in Britain came down five-to-two against Julian Assange. But I think most people think—many of us think that was a political decision. What they didn’t want to do was invalidate another European country’s process for extraditing people under the European warrant. So he lost that case in what many people would say was a political—a political decision. And that’s when he was ordered to surrender and go to Sweden—not go, he’s picked up by the Swedish in Britain, he’s put on an airplane, he’s handcuffed, taken into Sweden, goes into a prison in Sweden. U.S. then, at some point, files their extradition warrant, and he, as I said, really never sees—never sees the light of day.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: On his show, The World Tomorrow, Julian Assange asked Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s president, about U.S. involvement in Latin America. Let’s just go to that clip.

JULIAN ASSANGE: What do Ecuadorian people think about the United States and its involvement in Latin America and in Ecuador?

PRESIDENT RAFAEL CORREA: [translated] Well, as Evo Morales says, the only country that can be sure never to have a coup d’état is the United States, because it hasn’t got a U.S. embassy. In any event, I’d like to say that one of the reasons that led to police discontent was the fact that we cut all the funding the U.S. embassy provided to the police. Before and even a year after we took office, we took a while to correct this. Before, there were whole police units, key units, fully funded by the U.S. embassy, whose officers in command were chosen by the U.S. ambassador and paid by the U.S. And so, we have increased considerably the police’s pay.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Michael Ratner, your response?
MICHAEL RATNER: Well, first of all, you have to remember, President Correa got rid of the U.S. military base in Ecuador. The WikiLeaks cable talked about the corruption of the police within Ecuador. And what you see President Correa says, well, they were being paid by the U.S. embassy. And, of course, his great line is that the only reason there’s not a coup in the United States is there’s no U.S. embassy, essentially, to plan it. So you’re seeing—you’re seeing a good part of this world understand the importance of what Bradley Manning allegedly did and understanding the importance of the publication by WikiLeaks of the diplomatic cables. Obviously not just in Ecuador—the secret war in Yemen, in cases that my office has been concerned with about prosecution of Rumsfeld and others in Spain—we see the U.S. interference all over. And the positive part, a strong positive of WikiLeaks, is they exposed to the world not just the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but incredible hypocrisy in our own State Department.
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, any precedent for people staying in embassies for years?
MICHAEL RATNER: Not such great ones, in the sense that they’ve been there for a long time. I mean, the one that comes mostly to mind—of course, the Chinese guy, he only stayed in the U.S. embassy for a couple of weeks, Chen, because then you had the U.S.—every diplomat in the world say, "Well, let’s deal with the Chinese and get him out of the embassy and get him into the United States." We should only have that situation where the—where people are going to the Ecuadorian embassy and—or saying to the British, "Let’s get him out and get him to Ecuador." I would love that.
But the precedent that I think of, Amy, is Cardinal Mindszenty. Cardinal Mindszenty—most people are too young for the Cold War—he was a Catholic prelate in Poland, opposition to the Polish government, took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, spent 13 years in the embassy in Warsaw. So, there’s precedent for very long times in the embassy. I don’t—look at, I want to see Julian Assange—I want to see no prosecution in the United States. I want to see him be able to go answer questions in Sweden without having the threat of immediate extradition to the United States, to deal with that and then to walk this world as a free person, having really done an incredible service to the peoples of the world.

Peter Lemkin
06-20-2012, 09:02 PM
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 09:40 PM +0200
Assange asks Ecuador for asylum
The WikiLeaks founder is motivated by one thing: a desire to avoid extradition to the U.S. Can anyone blame him?
By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below – Update II [Wed.] – Update III [Wed.] - Update IV [Wed.])

Julian Assange was scheduled within days to turn himself over to British authorities for extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case in which he has never been charged. Instead, Assange earlier today went to the Embassy of Ecuador in London and sought asylum from that country under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, issued a statement indicating that his government is “evaluating the request” and that Assange will remain under protection at the Embassy pending a decision.

Ecuador may seem like a random choice but it’s actually quite rational. In 2010, a top official from that country offered Assange residency (though the Ecuadorian President backtracked after controversy ensued). Earlier this month, Assange interviewed that nation’s left-wing President, Rafael Correa, for his television program on RT. Among other things, Correa praised the transparency brought about by WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables as being beneficial for Ecuador (“We have nothing to hide. If anything, the WikiLeaks [releases] have made us stronger”). President Correa also was quite critical of the U.S., explaining the reason he closed the American base in his country this way: “Would you accept a foreign military base in your country? It’s so simple, as I said that at the time, there is no problem in having a U.S. military base in Ecuador but ok, perfect - we can give permission for the intelligence base only if they allow us to install an Ecuadorian base in the United States, a military base. That’s it, no more problem.”

Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden for a year-and-a-half now, during which time he has been under house arrest. He has never been charged with any crime in Sweden, but a prosecutor from that country is seeking his extradition to question him. After the British High Court ruled against him by a 5-2 vote earlier this month, and then refused to re-hear the case last week, his appeals in Britain contesting the extradition are exhausted.

Assange’s resolve to avoid extradition to Sweden has nothing to do with a reluctance to face possible sex assault charges there. His concern all along has been that once he’s in Swedish custody, he will far more easily be extradited to the U.S.

In general, small countries are more easily coerced and bullied by the U.S., and Sweden in particular has a demonstrated history of aceeding to U.S. demands when it comes to individuals accused of harming American national security. In December, 2001, Sweden handed over two asylum-seekers to the CIA, which then rendered them to be tortured in Egypt. A ruling from the U.N. Human Rights Committee found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for its role in that rendition (the two individuals later received a substantial settlement from the Swedish government). The fact that Sweden has unusually oppressive pre-trial procedures — allowing for extreme levels of secrecy in its judicial proceedings — only heightens Assange’s concern about what will happen to him vis-a-vis the U.S. if he ends up in Swedish custody.

Can anyone claim that Assange’s fear of ending up in American custody is anything other than supremely reasonable and rational? Just look at what has happened to people — especially foreign nationals — over the last decade who have been accused of harming the national security of the United States.

They’re imprisoned — still — without a whiff of due process, and President Obama just last year signed a new indefinite detention bill into law. Moreover, Assange need merely look at what the U.S. has done to Bradley Manning, accused of leaking documents and other materials to WikiLeaks: the Army Private was held for almost a year in solitary confinement conditions which a formal U.N. investigation found were “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” and he now faces life in prison, charged with a capital offense of aiding Al Qaeda.

Beyond that, the Obama administration has been uniquely obsessed with punishing whistleblowers and stopping leaks. Worse still, the American federal judiciary has been staggeringly subservient to the U.S. Government when it comes to national security cases, rendering defendants accused of harming national security with almost no chance for acquittal. Would you have any confidence in obtaining justice if you were accused of harming U.S. national security and came into the clutches of the American justice system?

Over the past two years, I’ve spoken with numerous individuals who were once associated with WikiLeaks or who still are. Of those who no longer are, many have said that they stopped even though they believe as much as ever in WikiLeaks’ transparency cause, and did so out of fear: not fear that they would be charged with a crime by their own government (they trust the judicial system of their government and are confident they would not be convicted), but out of fear that they would be turned over to the United States. That’s the fear people have: ending up in the warped travesty known as the judicial system of the Land of the Free. That is what has motivated Assange to resist extradition to Sweden, and it’s what has undoubtedly motivated him to seek asylum from Ecuador.

UPDATE: Just to address some media chatter I’m seeing around: Assange has not “fled” anything, is not a fugitive, and did not concoct some new and exotic procedure to evade legal process. Everyone knows exactly where he is: at Ecuador’s Embassy in London. Seeking asylum based on claims of human rights violations (such as unjust extradition) is a widely recognized and long-standing right, as Foreign Policy documented during the recent Chen Guangcheng drama. It’s a right that Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to invoke. If Ecuador refuses his asylum request, then he’ll be right back in the hands of British authorities and presumably extradited to Sweden without delay. He has a lot at stake, and — like anyone else accused of serious crimes (though he’s not been charged with anything) — he has every right to invoke all legal procedures available to him.

UPDATE II [Wed.]: This is one of those cases where, unless you include caveats in every other sentence about what you are not arguing, then people feel free to attribute to you arguments you plainly are not making. Here is what I wrote all the way back in December, 2010 about the accusations against Assange in Sweden:

I think it’s deeply irresponsible either to assume his guilt or to assume his innocence until the case plays out. I genuinely have no opinion of the validity of those allegations.

Nothing has changed my view of that since then. It’s really not that complicated: (1) Assange, like everyone else, is entitled to a presumption of innocence before he’s charged, let alone convicted of anything; (2) the accusations against him are serious and they should be accorded a fair resolution within a proper legal framework; and (3) until then, he has every right — just like everyone else does — to invoke any and all available legal protections and to have their validity decided upon.

UPDATE III [Wed.]: I have an Op-Ed in The Guardian today elaborating on some of these points, adding others, and responding to media discussions of this issue over the past day.

UPDATE IV [Wed.]: Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh this morning conducted an excellent interview on all of this with Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who has represented Assange in the U.S. A transcript will be posted here shortly, but it’s well worth watching:

Magda Hassan
06-22-2012, 05:22 AM
Manuel Beltrán @Beltrandroid
"Assange will stay all the time he wants or needs under the protection of the Ecuatorian Embassy" Words of president Correa! #Wikileaks

Magda Hassan
06-27-2012, 10:51 PM

Fair Trial in Sweden:
Fair Trial for Julian Assange?: http://justice4assange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html

Lay Judges: http://justice4assange.com/Lay-Judges.html

Political Interference: http://justice4assange.com/Political-Interference.html

Rule of Law: http://justice4assange.com/Rule-of-Law.html

Action: http://justice4assange.com/Action.html

Australia: http://justice4assange.com/Australia.html

The European Arrest Warrant (EAW): http://justice4assange.com/The-European-Arrest-Warrant.html

Timing: EAW & INTERPOL Red Notice: http://justice4assange.com/Timing-EAW-INTERPOL-Red-Notice.html

US Extradition: http://justice4assange.com/US-Extradition.html

As of today, 26 June 2012, Julian Assange has been under house arrest for 567 Days *WITHOUT CHARGE*

Human Rights Watch: 'Sweden Violated Torture Ban in CIA Rendition'
Diplomatic Assurances Against Torture Offer No Protection From Abuse


Julian Assange and detention before Trial in Sweden:

Pre-Trial Detention:
"Across the EU, people not convicted of any crime are locked up without good reason for months or even years, often in appalling conditions with limited access to a lawyer"

'Swedish justice'

"Mr. Assange has repeatedly made clear he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but in the United Kingdom. But the Swedish government insists that he be brought to Sweden for questioning. This by itself, as Swedish legal expert and former Chief District Prosecutor for Stockholm Sven-Erik Alhem testified, is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate.”
We believe Mr. Assange has good reason to fear extradition to Sweden, as there is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned, and then likely extradited to the United States."

Cambridge Law Journal calls Assange UK Supreme Court decision “.. a fundamental mistake in the legal reasoning of the Court.” http://www.cjicl.org.uk/index.php?option=com_easyblog&view=entry&id=22&Itemid=102

Group of former CIA/military intelligence analysists request Assange be granted asylum.
'Asylum for Julian Assange -- Former Awardee for Integrity'http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Asylum-for-Julian-Assange-by-Ray-McGovern-120625-997.html

Read about the US/Sweden extradition treaty: https://wlgrandjury.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/the-ussweden-agreement/

US/Sweden extradition treaty (PDF): http://internationalextraditionblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/us-sweden-extradition-supplementary-treaty-35-ust-2501.pdf

via @WLGrandJury

Peter Lemkin
07-03-2012, 05:07 PM
The Anti-Empire Report

July 3rd, 2012
by William Blum
Julian Assange

I'm sure most Americans are mighty proud of the fact that Julian Assange is so frightened of falling into the custody of the United States that he had to seek sanctuary in the embassy of Ecuador, a tiny and poor Third World country, without any way of knowing how it would turn out. He might be forced to be there for years. "That'll teach him to mess with the most powerful country in the world! All you other terrorists and anti-Americans out there — Take Note! When you fuck around with God's country you pay a price!"

How true. You do pay a price. Ask the people of Cuba, Vietnam, Chile, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Haiti, etc., etc., etc. And ask the people of Guantánamo, Diego Garcia, Bagram, and a dozen other torture centers to which God's country offers free transportation.

You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to torture Assange if they got hold of him? Ask Bradley Manning. At a bare minimum, prolonged solitary confinement is torture. Before too long the world may ban it. Not that that would keep God's country and other police states from using it.

You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to target Assange with a drone? They've done it with American citizens. Assange is a mere Aussie.

And Ecuador and its president, Rafael Correa, will pay a price. You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not intervene in Ecuador? In Latin America, it comes very naturally for Washington. During the Cold War it was said that the United States could cause the downfall of a government south of the border ... with a frown. The dissolution of the Soviet Union didn't bring any change in that because it was never the Soviet Union per se that the United States was fighting. It was the threat of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model.

For example, on January 21, 2000 in Ecuador, where almost two-thirds live in poverty, a very large number of indigenous peasants rose up in desperation and marched to the capital city of Quito, where they were joined by labor unions and some junior military officers (most members of the army being of indigenous stock). This coalition presented a list of economic demands, seized the Congress and Supreme Court buildings, and forced the president to resign. He was replaced by a junta from the ranks of the new coalition. The Clinton administration was alarmed. Besides North American knee-reflex hostility to anything that look or smells like a leftist revolution, Washington had big plans for a large military base in Manta (later closed by Correa). And Colombia — already plagued by leftist movements — was next door.

The US quickly stepped in to educate the Ecuadorean coalition leaders as to the facts of Western Hemispheric imperial life. The American embassy in Quito ... Peter Romero, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America and Western Hemispheric Affairs ... Sandy Berger, National Security Adviser to President Clinton ... Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering ... all made phone calls to Ecuadorian officials to threaten a cutoff in aid and other support, warning that "Ecuador will find itself isolated", informing them that the United States would never recognize any new government the coalition might set up, there would be no peace in Ecuador unless the military backed the vice president as the new leader, and the vice president must continue to pursue neoliberal "reforms", the kind of IMF structural adjustment policies which had played a major role in inciting the uprising in the first place.

Within hours the heads of the Ecuadorian army, navy and air force declared their support for the vice president. The leaders of the uprising fled into hiding. And that was the end of the Ecuadorian revolution of the year 2000.1

Rafael Correa was first elected in 2006 with a 58% majority, and reelected in 2009 with a 55% majority; his current term runs until August 2013. The American mainstream media has been increasingly critical of him. The following letter sent in January to the Washington Post by the Ecuadoran ambassador to the United States is an attempt to clarify one of the issues.

Letter to the Editor:

We were offended by the Jan. 12 editorial "Ecuador's bully," which focused on a lawsuit brought by our president, Rafael Correa, after a newspaper claimed that he was guilty of ordering troops to fire on innocent citizens during a failed coup in 2010. The president asked the publishers to release their evidence or a retraction. When they refused, he sued, as any citizen should do when recklessly wronged.

No journalist has gone to prison or paid a significant fine in the five years of the Correa presidency. Media criticism — fair and unfair, sometimes with malice — of the government appears every day. The case involving the newspaper is on appeal. When the judicial process ends, the president has said, he will waive some or all of the penalties provided he gets a retraction. That is a common solution to libel and slander cases in the United States, I believe.

Your writer uses obnoxious phrases such as "banana republic," but here is the reality of today's Ecuador: a highly popular, stable and progressive democracy for the first time in decades.

Nathalie Cely, Washington
No shelter from the drones of infinite justice or the bacteria of enduring freedom

Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai said recently that he had had an argument with Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, about the issue of American drone attacks in Afghanistan, following yet another deadly airstrike that killed a number of civilians. Karzai asked Allen an eminently reasonable question: "Do you do this in the United States?" The Afghan president added: "There is police action every day in the United States in various localities. They don't call an airplane to bomb the place."2

Karzai's question to Allen was rhetorical of course, for can it be imagined that American officials would bomb a house in an American city because they suspected that certain bad guys were present there? Well, the answer to that question is that it can be imagined because they've already done it.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On May 13, 1985, a bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor's office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict an organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.

The victims were all black of course. So let's rephrase our question. Can it be imagined that American officials would bomb a house in Beverly Hills or the upper east side of Manhattan? Stay tuned.

And what else can we imagine about a society that's been super militarized, that's at war with much of the world, and is convinced that it's on the side of the angels and history? Well, the Boston transit system, MBTA, recently announced that in conjunction with Homeland Security they plan to release dead bacteria at three stations during off-hours this summer in order to test sensors that detect biological agents, which terrorists could release into subway systems. The bacterium, bacillus subtilis, is not infectious even in its live form, according to the government.3

However, this too has a precedent. During five days in June, 1966 the Army conducted a test called "A Study of the Vulnerability of Subway Passengers in New York City to Covert Attack with Biological Agents". Trillions of bacillus subtilis variant niger were released into the subway system during rush hours, producing aerosol clouds. The report on the test noted that "When the cloud engulfed people, they brushed their clothing, looked up at the grate [at street level] and walked on."4 The wind of passing trains spread the bacteria along the tracks; in the time it took for two trains to pass, the bacteria were spread from 15th Street to 58th Street.5 It is not known how many people later became ill from being unsuspecting guinea pigs because the United States Army, as far as is known, exhibited no interest in this question.

For the planned Boston test the public has not been informed of the exact days; nor is it known how long the bacteria might linger in the stations or what the possible danger might be to riders whose immune system has been weakened for any reason.

It should be noted that the New York subway experiment was only one of many such experiments. The Army has acknowledged that between 1949 and 1969, 239 populated areas from coast to coast as well as US overseas territories were blanketed with various organisms during tests designed to measure patterns of dissemination in the air, weather effects, dosages, optimum placement of the source, and other factors. Such testing was supposedly suspended after 1969.6

Government officials have consistently denied that the biological agents used could be harmful despite an abundance of expert and objective scientific evidence that exposure to heavy concentrations of even apparently innocuous organisms can cause illness, at a minimum to the most vulnerable segments of the population — the elderly, children, and those suffering from a variety of ailments. "There is no such thing as a microorganism that cannot cause trouble," George Connell, assistant to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified before the Senate in 1977. "If you get the right concentration at the right place, at the right time, and in the right person, something is going to happen."7

The United States has used biological weapons abroad as well, repeatedly, not for testing purposes but for hostile purposes.8 So what will the land which has the highest (double) standards say when such weapons are used against it? Or when foreign drones hit American cities? Or when American hi-tech equipment is sabotaged by a cyber attack as the US has now admitted doing to Iran? A year ago the Pentagon declared that "computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war. ... If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," said a US military official.9

"The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity." – André Gide
Barack Obama, his mother, and the CIA

In his autobiography, Dreams From My Fathers, Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as "a consulting house to multinational corporations" in New York City, and his functions as a "research assistant" and "financial writer".

Oddly, Obama doesn't mention the name of his employer. However, a New York Times story of October 30, 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960.10

The British journal, Lobster — which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters — has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji.11 In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls.12 After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington's nuclear desires, was reinstated to power — R.S.K. Mara was Prime Minister or President of Fiji from 1970 to 2000, except for the one-month break in 1987.

In his book, not only doesn't Obama mention his employer's name; he fails to say exactly when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left — including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)13 — it's reasonable to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.

Adding to the wonder is the fact that his mother, Ann Dunham, had been associated during the 1970s and 80s — as employee, consultant, grantee, or student — with at least five organizations with intimate CIA connections during the Cold War: The Ford Foundation, Agency for International Development (AID), the Asia Foundation, Development Alternatives, Inc., and the East-West Center of Hawaii.14 Much of this time she worked as an anthropologist in Indonesia and Hawaii, being in good position to gather intelligence about local communities.

As one example of the CIA connections of these organizations, consider the disclosure by John Gilligan, Director of AID during the Carter administration (1977-81). "At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind."15 And Development Alternatives, Inc. is the organization for whom Alan Gross was working when arrested in Cuba and charged with being part of the ongoing American operation to destabilize the Cuban government.
How the owners of a society play with their property

The Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Liberals as well as many progressives are very pleased, regarding this as a victory for the left.

Under the new law, people can benefit in one way or another depending on the following factors:

Their age; whether their income is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level; whether their parents have a health plan; whether they use tobacco; what state they live in; whether they have a pre-existing medical condition; whether they qualify to buy health insurance through newly-created market places known as "exchanges"; and numerous other criteria ... They can obtain medical insurance in a "competitive insurance market" (emphasis on the "competitive"); they can perhaps qualify for various other kinds of credits and tax relief if they meet certain criteria ... The authors of the Act state that it will save thousands of dollars in drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by closing a coverage gap called the "donut hole" ... They tell us that "It keeps insurance companies honest by setting clear rules that rein in the worst insurance industry abuses."

That's a sample of how health care looks in the United States of America in the 21st century, with a complexity that will keep a small army of lawyers busy for years to come. Ninety miles away, in the Republic of Cuba, it looks a bit different. If you feel sick you go to a doctor. You're automatically qualified to receive any medical care that's available and thought to be suitable. The doctor treats you to the best of his or her ability. The insurance companies play no role. There are no insurance companies. You don't pay anything. You go home.

The Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly serve as a disincentive to the movement for single-payer national health insurance, setting the movement back for years. The Affordable Care Act was undoubtedly designed for that purpose.
Washington Post, January 23, 2000, p.1; "The coup in Ecuador: a grim warning", World Socialist Web Site, February 2, 2000; Z Magazine (Massachusetts), February 2001, pp.36-7 ↩
Washington Post, June 12, 2012 ↩
Beacon Hill Patch (Boston), "MBTA to Spread Dead Bacteria on Red Line in Bio-Terror Test", May 18, 2012 ↩
Leonard Cole, Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas (1990), pp.65-9↩
New York Times, September 19, 1975, p.14 ↩
"Biological Testing Involving Human Subjects by the Department of Defense", 1977, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, US Senate, March 8 and May 23, 1977; see also William Blum, Rogue State, chapter 15) ↩
Senate Hearings, op. cit., p.270 ↩
Rogue State, op. cit., chapter 14 ↩
Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2011 ↩
New York Times, December 27, 1977, p.40 ↩
Lobster Magazine, Hull, UK, #14, November 1987 ↩
Rogue State, op. cit., pp.199-200 ↩
Carl Oglesby, Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Antiwar Movement (2008), passim ↩
Wikipedia entry for Ann Dunham ↩
George Cotter, "Spies, strings and missionaries", The Christian Century (Chicago), March 25, 1981, p.321

Magda Hassan
07-11-2012, 11:05 AM
Gillard Govt coup: timelines & cables reveal why Assange has to be ‘removed’.
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Crucial to the US war against Wikileaks (http://alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/grand_jury/) is the support of a compliant Australian Government. The United States Government decided that Julia Gillard was the right person to lead Australia (at least in terms of their interests) and so, like a game of chess, pieces had to be moved into place.The following timeline is adapted from the Jararparilla website (see link at end of this posting) and includes additional links via Darker Net searches to cables and other files that show a synergy between moves by the US to outlaw Wikileaks and political manoeuvres in Canberra.So, no wonder Julia Gillard and her ministers are not providing assistance to Assange in his fight against onward extradition to the USA. It is a political not a legal decision and has nothing to do with ignorance of the facts surrounding the case, or apathy, but because the very survival of the Gillard Government depends on Assange’s removal from circulation (if not worse) and the destruction of Wikileaks.Timeline of events surrounding Gillard coup24 November 2007 – Rudd wins election after a campaign in which he called climate change “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time” (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/rudd-speech-to-the-united-nations-20090924-g3nn.html). He promptly signs the Kyoto Protocol (http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/rudd-signs-kyoto-deal/2007/12/03/1196530553203.html), leaving the USA isolated. Australia withdraws remaining “combat troops” from Iraq (http://www.theage.com.au/national/troops-pull-out-of-iraq-20080601-2kjh.html).29 November 2007 – Rudd directly chooses his frontbench, breaking with more than a century of Labor tradition whereby the frontbench was elected by the Labor caucus, with the leader then given the right to allocate portfolios.13 June 2008 – US Canberrra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=08CANBERRA609) titled “Deputy PM Julia Gillard Star In Rudd Government” notes: “At this point, Gillard would have to be considered the front-runner to succeed Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, which would make her Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Several contacts caution, however, that Rudd is ambivalent about Gillard, who is not from Labor’s Right Wing like he is, and he will avoid creating a potential rival. By the time Labor is thinking beyond Rudd, Gillard may well face more serious competition…. Many key ALP insiders have told pol offs that Gillard, who joined the ALP as a member of the Victorian branch’s Socialist Left faction, is at heart a pragmatist. New South Wales Right powerbroker Mark Arbib (protect) described her as one of the most pragmatic politicians in the ALP. Michael Cooney (protect), from the ALP Right and a former senior adviser to ALP leaders Mark Latham and Kim Beazley, said she has been very impressive as a minister: knowledgeable on the issues, listens to advice from subordinates and civil servants and is not afraid to delegate responsibility. When we reminded Paul Howes (protect), head of the right-wing Australian Workers Union, that ALP Qof the right-wing Australian Workers Union, that ALP politicians from the Left, no matter how capable, do not become party leader, he said immediately: “but she votes with the Right.” … Although long appearing ambivalent about the Australia-US Alliance, Gillard’s actions since she became the Labor Party number two indicate an understanding of its importance… Although warm and engaging in her dealings with American diplomats, it’s unclear whether this change in attitude reflects a mellowing of her views or an understanding of what she needs to do to become leader of the ALP. It is likely a combination of the two. Labor Party officials have told us that one lesson Gillard took from the 2004 elections was that Australians will not elect a PM who is perceived to be anti-American.”10 November 2008 – Rudd votes against Israel on two UN resolutions, ending Howard government’s unswerving alignment with the United States.11 Feb 2009 – US Canberrra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09SHANGHAI321) notes: “Rudd, who likes to centralize decision-making in any event, undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia’s foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly… In October, Rudd’s self-serving and inaccurate leaking of details of a phone call between President Bush and him cast further doubt on his foreign policy judgment… In January, after the press published a story that the U.S. had asked Australia to accept some Guantanamo detainees, the Government responded to the story by issuing a statement publicly acknowledging our confidential request and stating that they were not likely to accept the detainees.”4 May 2009 – Rudd delays implementing an emissions trading scheme until 2011, defers Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme legislation until 2013.June 10 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA545&q=gillard) titled “Gillard: on Track To Become Australia’s Next Prime Minister” notes: “Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard – who visits Washington later this month – has positioned herself as the heir apparent to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as ALP leader… Gillard, a product of the ALP Left in the state of Victoria, has shifted towards the political center since Rudd became ALP leader and is now a strong supporter of the Australia-US Alliance and Israel. Although she is still seen as a leftist by key right-wing union powerbrokers, that is not likely to stop her from succeeding Rudd as the next leader of the ALP… Gillard recognizes that to become Prime Minister, she must move to the Center, and show her support for the Alliance with the United States… Don Farrell, the right-wing union powerbroker from South Australia told us Gillard is “campaigning for the leadership” and at this point is the front-runner to succeed Rudd, conceding that the Right did not yet have an alternative. Agriculture Minister Tony Burke, one of the early NSW Right backers of the Rudd-Gillard team, confided that Gillard is the clear front runner to succeed Rudd and in the end, the ALP caucus will follow the opinion polls if she is the one the public wants… At present, the question of a successor to Rudd is probably two elections away. Several Rudd confidantes have told us that Rudd appreciates Gillard and sees her as a possible PM, but that he wants to avoid anointing her to head off a possible leadership challenge when his poll numbers inevitably sag. The PM’s brother Greg told us in April that Rudd wants to ensure that there are viable alternatives to Gillard within the Labor Party to forestall a challenge. Mark Arbib once told us a similar story, though he stressed that Rudd appreciates Gillard’s strengths. However, another Rudd advisor told us that while the PM respects Gillard, his reluctance to share power will eventually lead to a falling out, while Gillard will not want to acquiesce in creating potential rivals. In the meantime, Gillard has proven her value to the Prime Minister and we expect her to remain the most important member of the Rudd Government, after the Prime Minister himself.”July 2009 – Wikileaks releases report of serious nuclear accident at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility (related to later Stuxnet virus).July 20 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA665&q=gillard+rudd) titled “Mark Arbib: Clout-wielding Ascending Leader” notes: Arbib is a close adviser to Rudd and is his key conduit to the ALP factions… We have found that Arbib (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/yank-in-the-ranks-20101208-18pwi.html) is an astute observer and able conversant in the nuts and bolts of U.S. politics. He understands the importance of supporting a vibrant relationship with the U.S. while not being too deferential. We have found him personable, confident and articulate. A strong supporter of the alliance, he has met with us repeatedly throughout his political rise.”4 August 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA709) on ALP Forum: “Rudd, to the bewilderment of many observers, remains highly popular with voters across the political spectrum. This is the bedrock of Rudd’s unchallenged authority over the party.”October 2009 – WikiLeaks publishes Joint Services Protocol 440, a British document advising security services on how to avoid documents being leaked.Dec 23 2009 – US Canberra Embassy cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09CANBERRA1123) discusses Rudd’s reshuffled cabinet: “Foreign Minister Smith stepped out of Rudd’s shadow and the resignation of Joel Fitzgibbon as Defense Minister proved to be a blessing for the government. Support for the U.S. Alliance, and the mission in Afghanistan, remained strong…. Labor Right factional powerbroker Mark Arbib – close to the Prime Minister – was rewarded with a ministry despite his inexperience… [Gillard] remains Rudd’s clear heir apparent. Colleagues continue to be in awe of her mastery of detail and confident performances…Rudd has unprecedented power for a Labor leader; one MP told us he had never seen a Labor Caucus as subservient to its leader, noting Rudd’s control over promotions. Another told us she was surprised at marginal seat holders’ acquiescence on the ETS. However, powerbrokers confide the factions will assert themselves when Rudd’s popularity wanes.”18 February 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes REYKJAVIK13 cable (http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09REYKJAVIK15&version=1314919461), dated 13 January 2010. This is the first published Cablegate file.April 2010 – Polling shows Rudd government was highly popular until this month.April 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes Collateral Murder video (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/collateral-murder-wikileaks-iraq-youtube/).May 2010 – Bradley Manning is arrested after online chats with Adrian Lamo. US State Dept goes into damage control over release of cables. Australian Mining industry launches media “ad war” against Rudd’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax (http://www.theage.com.au/business/let-rudds-fate-be-a-lesson-on-minerals-taxing-rio-chief-20100709-1047s.html).10 June 2010 (approx) – Australia’s US ambassador and former Labor leader Kim Beazley meets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to provide a briefing on the coming leadership change.23 June 2010 – Gillard announces leadership bid for next day.24 June 2010 – Rudd steps down, becoming the only Australian Prime Minister to be removed from office by his own party during his first term.October 2010 – WikiLeaks release Iraq War Logs (http://www.wikileaks.ch/wiki/Category:Iraq). See also here (http://warlogs.owni.fr/).December 2010 – Fairfax journalist Phillip Dorling publishes WikiLeaks cables (quoted above) showing Australian ALP politicians were in regular contact with the US Embassy.To see the original of the above timeline with an introduction but minus links and cables, click here (http://jaraparilla.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/was-us-govt-behind-coup-that-toppled-oz.html).
To see the ‘Wikileaks Australian files’ (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/wikileaks), via the Sydney Morning Herald website.


Peter Lemkin
07-11-2012, 01:39 PM
How does it feel to have another hostile country running your polity - and treating you like a fourth world nation? [what flavor of a very bitter taste?]. Sorry. I didn't elect any of them. In fact, they were not elected...they are the product of a coup, followed by propaganda, fudged elections, lies, and power-politics supported by covert/black ops - Oz has seen more than its share of them for a so-called 'friendly allied nation' - or should that be 'vassal state' .....:unclesam:

Magda Hassan
07-12-2012, 10:03 AM
http://thing2thing.com/wp-content/uploads/condom_black.jpg (http://samtycke.nu/eng/2012/03/the-assange-case-the-condom-speaks-out/)Condom produced by AA – “Told police where the rip was before she’d examined it”.
For those who haven’t read or been told about the lab report,
For those who haven’t read or been told about the lab report, no chromosomal DNA was detected on the famous ripped condom. Concurring statements by Assange and the remaining accuser AA, assert that the condom had been used for several hours during sexual contact, and for that reason, forensic experts said it must be expected to be covered with chromosomal DNA from both parties. With a 2% error margin in the reliability of observations, none whatsoever was detected.
The significance of this item is paramount. Not only did it fuel countless weird and salacious stories in the press world-wide; it was also used as material evidence to re-open investigations into the affair; which had already been closed by a second, more senior prosecutor, Eva Finné, on the basis of the other woman’s testimony, strangely enough.
It was made clear that the two women came to the police station to make an enquiry, not a complaint; that no statements had been initially recorded, and that Assange had definitely NOT committed a crime. Surely a lab report which negated the very reason for the re-opening of this case would matter to an impartial authorité judiciaire in any country, but Marianne Ny did not let up.Ny has seemed determined, vexatious and inordinately unaccommodating; the veritable attack dog of Lady Hale’s worst nightmares.

It seems unlikely, but if Ny did manage to mount a case, then Assange would be subjected to another indefinite and incommunicado pre-trail detention, and who would be optimistic in that case, irrespective of whether America exercise their right to “Temporary” Surrender before, during or AFTER this ordeal, which the defence estimate could take up to a year? Even if Assange walked an innocent man after 3 years of house arrest and imprisonment, the whole process would be likely to start all over again, take a life-time, and eventually entail his execution for the sought-after conviction of espionage.
What’s clear is that from Sweden onwards, no one would know what’s going on in the courtroom, because the doors would be closed. While they were open, it was obvious that the facts of the case, especially the lab report, became of little interest; neither to the High nor Supreme Courts; and neither to the press, who have only just learned not to copy/paste the word “charges”, lest they be sued. And unless a miracle happened, Julian was going to Sweden very soon.
Yesterday Julian’s father, John Shipton explained why:
“He can put in an application to the European Court of Human Rights, but there’s a three year waiting period. It will not prevent his immediate extradition and imprisonment – for God knows how long… What good is it if they decide in three years time that it was in violation of his human rights?
Hmmm… that is about as backed into a corner as one can get.
Mr Shipton joins Julian’s mother in recommending some enlightening reading. He’s very much a Rixstep man http://rixstep.com/0/jawl.shtml
(http://rixstep.com/0/jawl.shtml)“…to learn everything about the case in Sweden, and for reference to other unfortunates, already held at a prosecutor’s “pleasure”; incommunicado and without time limits.”

Magda Hassan
07-12-2012, 10:20 AM
How does it feel to have another hostile country running your polity - and treating you like a fourth world nation? [what flavor of a very bitter taste?]. Sorry. I didn't elect any of them. In fact, they were not elected...they are the product of a coup, followed by propaganda, fudged elections, lies, and power-politics supported by covert/black ops - Oz has seen more than its share of them for a so-called 'friendly allied nation' - or should that be 'vassal state' .....:unclesam:

With friends like this who needs enemies?

Peter Lemkin
07-16-2012, 04:27 PM
The founder of the Frontline Club sat down with GlobalPost to talk about Wikileaks, journalism and what the future might hold for one of the world's most wanted men.
Charles M. SennottJuly 15, 2012 15:52

Protesters and Assange supporters stand outside London's Ecuadorian embassy. The Wikileaks founder remains inside awaiting a decision on his plea for asylum.

LONDON – Of course, it’s raining.

Outside the Ecuadorian Embassy a gaggle of supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are clustered under umbrellas and tucked in doorways trying to stay dry.

Their placards, laminated against the rain, state their case: “Free Assange” and “Asylum for Assange. No to Rendition.”

One that reads “Freedom of Expression is a Right” is handwritten in black ink and the words run like tear-stained mascara down a white cardboard poster in a steady downpour.

An armed Scotland Yard officer in uniform is posted at the entrance of the Embassy. Several more police hover on the fringes and in unmarked cars on the narrow street known as Hans Crescent just across the entrance from Harrods. The streets are packed with tourists and shoppers on Friday afternoon in the run up to the Olympics, but few take notice of this little stand-off between the protesters and the British government’s attempts to extradite Assange to Sweden where he still faces allegations of sex-related offenses.

Assange, the Australian-born creator of WikiLeaks, fled into the Ecuadorian Embassy in the end of June hoping that the left-leaning government there might grant him asylum and perhaps even citizenship.

Assange caused an international uproar when WikiLeaks released a trove of some 750,000 sensitive documents and diplomatic cables related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other delicate international issues. The documents were first obtained by Bradley Manning, a young Army soldier who had access to classified documents in Iraq and illegally downloaded them. He was arrested in May 2010 and faces trial in September on charges of releasing classified documents to unauthorized sources and aiding the enemy, a capital offense. Assange provided the documents to the New York Times and the Guardian who in turn published fact-checked and redacted versions of the documents.

More from GlobalPost: Assange and Ecuador: mutually toxic

The United States views Assange’s role in the leak of the documents as a crime and many observers consider it likely that U.S. prosecutors will seek to bring charges in connection with their publication.

Assange’s political asylum case is built on a fear that if he is extradited to Sweden that he will end up being extradited to the U.S. where he could potentially face serious, criminal charges. Many prominent international and American figures have supported his asylum bid, from Oliver Stone and Michael Moore to Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers.

For now, Assange is ensconced inside the first-floor flat of the Embassy here in London’s posh neighborhood of Knightsbridge. An Embassy official answered the door Friday and then a young man with black Buddy Holly glasses named Joseph came out to politely explain that Assange is not doing interviews right now.

But earlier, I spent some time with Vaughan Smith, the founder of the Frontline Club, who has stood by Assange for nearly two years through his odyssey in the limelight and his legal ordeal.

Smith’s Frontline Club is a gathering place for journalists near Paddington which has become home base in London for many of the world’s foreign correspondents (including this one).

Smith has taken some heat for his support of Assange. Some journalists have disagreed with Smith’s assertion that Assange has as much right to be a member of the Frontline club as any other self-proclaimed journalist. Assange is in the business of digging for information and publishing it, and for Smith it is really that simple.

I am a founding member of the Frontline Club, which opened its doors in 2003. I wrote a pretty tough column in this space on Assange, challenging the notion that trafficking in stolen documents is journalism. But as the smoke settles on the Assange affair and the facts come into focus, it is becoming clear that Smith took a bold and principled stand.

More from GlobalPost: Julian Assange asylum request considered in Ecuador

Smith was right to stand up for Assange and defend his release of hundreds of thousands of documents and diplomatic cables that dragged the U.S. and U.K. and other governments into the glaring light of transparency on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if they came kicking and screaming.

Over a long lunch with Smith at the Frontline Club, we talked about the Assange affair and the sad state of traditional journalism as we knew it back in the lush days of mainstream media when we were covering Afghanistan in the 1990s. But we also shared the excitement in the air about opportunities that lie ahead in the digital age.

“In the final balance sheet, I think any professional journalist who studies the facts would conclude that the release of documents – the sum of them all – was a great public service,” said Smith.

The British press in particular, he said, personalized the Assange story, and missed the larger point of the documents and what they told the world about how power works.

Smith said he had done a Google search of British newspapers several months ago and found that the word “Assange” appeared 7 to 8 times more often than the word “WikiLeaks.”

Yet, the media accuse Assange for chasing the limelight, Smith points out. At the Associated Press, the ratio of Assange-WikiLeaks was 3 to 1, and it's now 2 to 3, in Wikileaks' favor. But, in newly industrialising countries, the focus is more on the content of the documents, not the man. Smith points out that a Google search of the Hindustan Times revealed that Assange is mentioned only once for every three times that WikiLeaks is mentioned. The Hindustan Times alone did 20 front pages on the release of the documents.

More from GlobalPost: Extradition notice served to WikiLeaks founder

“That suggests to me that the world is more interested in the content than the man and that perhaps we in the Western media misunderstand just how valuable these documents are to the developing world,” said Smith.

“Assange has given us information that allows us to understand how our governments act in the world, and how corporations act in the world… If diplomats have secrets to keep, it is their job to keep them. We as journalists and as representatives of the public’s right to know should be arguing for the least amount of secrets possible,” said Smith.

As a father of five children and a retired Captain in the Grenadier Guards, a storied British army regiment, Smith is heir to a large farm in Norfolk that has been in his family for 250 years. He’s hardly a radical.

“I’m a member of the establishment, a mischievous one, but a member nonetheless,” says Smith, who has allowed Assange to stay with him on his family farm for much of the last two years.

“We as journalists are defined, and best understood, by our ability to be tolerant of many points of view. Assange challenges us as journalists to rethink what we do and I think that is a good thing,” said Smith, who hosted a press conference for Assange at the Frontline Club and eventually the club granted him membership.

“There is a tendency of journalists to guard their profession, to see it as a club, that it is somehow exclusive,” he says, as we sit back in the leather couches of the Frontline Club surrounded by the photos, signed books, framed photographs, famous front pages and the memorabilia and keepsakes of the old guard of mostly British foreign correspondents.

Smith smiles at the irony laden in his words before I can call him out on it.

He turns a glass half-filled with white wine in his right hand and quickly adds, “He’s stirred up journalism, and he’s challenged our notion that we hold the exclusive right to control the information. We don’t. Not anymore.”

In the throes of the complex process and paperwork required to prepare a case for political asylum in Ecuador, Assange has been meeting with lawyers on and off, particularly Gareth Pierce, the fierce human rights lawyer who represented so many Irish Republican activists in the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Among the Assange supporters there on the sidewalks was Jim Curran, 65, the head of the Irish Civil Rights Association and a long-time activist against the use of extradition of Irish prisoners. Wearing a tweed jacket pierced with a pin of an Irish flag, he said the history of the British exploiting extradition for political purposes has a nearly 500 year old history and that Assange is just the latest victim.

Niall Taylor, 45, a high school history teacher and an Assange supporter, said, “WikiLeaks is about letting us know the truth about what our governments are doing in our name, and you can’t have democracy without that.”

Taylor spoke with a thick Scottish accent and had a Red Sox cap pulled down tight against the rain. The fact that he has chosen this baseball team to follow, of course, says everything we need to know about his enduring faith in and penchant for underdogs and lost causes. He said he was well aware the Red Sox have been dwelling in last place this summer, but he was still a fan.

When asked why he is spending his afternoon in the rain showing his support for Assange, he said, “It’s important to support people who are telling the truth. That’s it, really.”

Magda Hassan
07-25-2012, 12:40 AM
Baltasar Garzon will assume legal management of the legal team of Julian Assange
David Ballota (http://www.nacionred.com/autor/david-ballota) July 24, 2012 | 22:57Baltasar Garzon will assume legal management of the legal team representing Assange and WikiLeaks. Garzon has already held a meeting with Julian Assange at the Embassy of Ecuador in London "to discuss a new and forceful legal strategy that will seek to defend both WikiLeaks and its founder, abuse of process and arbitrariness of the international financial system will reveal the true extent of the operation against Julian Assange, "the organization said in a statement (http://www.twitlonger.com/show/igotu2/) .

Also pursue demonstrate that "the secret process that is followed in the United States is a clear threat that vitiates any other process, such as motivating the request for extradition for questioning in Sweden, a request that appears as a mere instrument to achieve this purpose. "

Magda Hassan
07-25-2012, 12:58 AM
A fairly decent programme aired the other night on the Assange case. I will post the transcript of it as I am not sure every one can watch the programme if outside of Australia. You may like to try an Australian proxy to access it.

Video link available here (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19/3549280.htm)

Blurb and overview:

Monday 23rd July 2012When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won't receive justice if he's taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?"I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court." Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia WilénBoth Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States."Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lapdog and it's not a matter we're particularly proud of." Assange supporter"The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it's simply a matter between the UK and Sweden." Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to AustraliaFour Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" being made against Assange - which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange's supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI's attempts to convince some to give evidence against him."Sex, Lies and Julian Assange", reported by Andrew Fowler and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 23rd July at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th July at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/) at 8.00pm Saturday, ABC iview (http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/series/four corners)and at 4 Corners.


Sex, Lies, and Julian Assange - Monday 23 July 2012
KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: He humiliated the most powerful country in the world. But his relationship with two Swedish women, and their claims of sexual assault, may yet destroy Julian Assange.
PER E. SAMUELSON, SWEDISH DEFENCE LAWYER FOR ASSANGE: You shouldn't write such text messages if you had been raped by that person the night before.
CLAES BORGSTROM, LAWYER FOR ANNA ARDIN & SOFIA WILEN: I will not tell any media of how I am going to represent the women in court. I'm sorry.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Sex, lies, the Swedish justice system, the founder of WikiLeaks - and, somewhere in the background, an angry and embarrassed US government. A tangled web indeed. Welcome to Four Corners.Julian Assange may have suspended his fate at the hands of a Swedish court by claiming political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but the Swedes are not going away anytime soon. Nor are the British police, who are waiting to arrest him and extradite him to Stockholm the minute he attempts to leave his temporary sanctuary. Assange's troubles in Sweden go back almost exactly two years. The first sensational intelligence of diplomatic leaks had already hit the public domain. In the American government's eyes, Assange had become public enemy number one. But for many others around the world, he was a cause célèbre. But for all their power and influence in the world, they had seemed impotent to stop the leaks, or somehow make Assange pay for what they saw as espionage.When it emerged that two young Swedish women were pressing charges against him, alleging rape and molestation in somewhat curious circumstances, an extradition proceedings began in the British courts, Assange alleged that America was somehow manipulating the whole process behind the scene, in order to in turn extradite him back to the US to face the judicial music there.On the assumption that Assange can't wait in his Ecuadorian sanctuary forever, and while we await the outcome of that standoff, Four Corners has gone back to Sweden, where the drama began, to pin down what actually happened there, and take a closer look at the inconsistencies in the various versions of events. Here is Andrew Fowler's report.
ANDREW FOWLER, REPORTER: In late 2009 WikiLeaks set up home in the Iceland capital of Reykjavik. It was a perfect fit. Iceland has world class internet. Its constitution forbids censorship. Julian Assange was made welcome. It was here that Assange received the first leaked cable of the now famous Cablegate documents. It centred on the US embassy in Reykjavik. Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic MP was working with WikiLeaks. She received an invitation to a cocktail party at the Embassy
BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIR, MP, ICELAND: Cocktail parties are mind-numbingly boring, and I only go if I have a reason. So I actually decided... I thought it was sort of funny and I'm a bit of a prankster sometimes, so I decided it would be quite funny for me to go with one of the WikiLeaks people to the Embassy.
ANDREW FOWLER: She invited Julian Assange, but on the day of the cocktail party she couldn't find him. Birgitta Jonsdottir decided not to go, but Assange did.In a moment of monumental chutzpah Julian Assange inveigled his way into the cocktail party here at the US embassy. He struck up a conversation with US diplomat Sam Watson. Several weeks later Assange published confidential cables authored by the very same diplomat. Now Sam Watson hadn't leaked and neither had any of the other US Embassy staff. Nonetheless, there was a massive internal investigation.
BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIR: I think that many people thought that he had actually gone in and mysteriously sucked out the cables with some spy device or something.
ANDREW FOWLER: Once the document came out, it was convenient to say it might have come from the Embassy?
ANDREW FOWLER: Which would have driven the United States intelligence agencies crazy trying to find out where this leak came from?
BIRGITTA JONSDOTTIR: Yes. Well you know, they all need to have a reason to earn their bread.
ANDREW FOWLER: It was the first act of humiliation by WikiLeaks of the world's greatest superpower, but it was nothing compared to what was to come: Collateral Murder; the gunning down of unarmed civilians in a Baghdad street; and the Afghan War Logs. Eight months after his taunting of the US in Iceland, Assange landed in Sweden. He was now a cyber-celebrity.
THOMAS MATTSSON, EDITOR, EXPRESSEN NEWSPAPER: I would say he was... it was a like a pop star, ah, arriving in Sweden. He made public appearances and many media companies wanted to, to talk about... talk with him about eventual co-operation with WikiLeaks.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange had come to Sweden to speak at a conference, but he was also there for more intriguing reasons - to negotiate the use of a former underground nuclear fall-out shelter that stores Internet servers. It would provide first class security against the prying eyes and ears of the world's intelligence agencies. The bomb shelter houses the computer hardware of Rick Falkvinge's Swedish Pirate Party.
RICK FALKVINGE, SWEDISH PIRATE PARTY: We contacted them first, as in just offering server space - right?
ANDREW FOWLER: It might sound like a whacky organisation, but in Sweden it's taken seriously enough to have a member in the European Parliament. The Party's close to WikiLeaks.
RICK FALKVINGE: So we knew about them, they knew about us. We saw they were in trouble and we said, "Hey guys we might be able to help you out here."
ANDREW FOWLER: Falkvinge offered WikiLeaks some space in the bunker.
RICK FALKVINGE: It's an amazing place, to be honest. But, yeah, that's where we offered them hosting space. I don't know how they're using it. I shouldn't know how they're using it. That would interfere with my interests. But I understand it got quite some attention worldwide that WikiLeaks is now hosted in a nuclear bomb-proof fallout shelter.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange was on a roll. Stockholm August 16th, 2010. Julian Assange caught a train from the central station. All the years of hard work were finally paying dividends for Julian Assange. Collateral Murder had been released, so too had the Afghan War Logs. But what would happen in the next few days would derail the WikiLeaks juggernaut.Assange was not travelling alone. His companion was Sofia Wilen, a 26-year-old admirer. As Assange and Wilen left the train to spend the night together, they could have no idea of the repercussions that would flow from their one night stand. Assange's life would later descend into turmoil.Two days earlier, the faithful and adoring had gathered at the L.O. building - Stockholm's Trade Union Headquarters. In the audience were two women: Sofia Wilen - in the pink cashmere sweater - and Anna Ardin. Assange was staying at Ardin's flat. They'd slept together the previous night. Later she would tell a friend she had a "wild weekend" with Assange.Sofia Wilen was enthralled by the Assange phenomena - she texted during his talk, "He looked at me!"
PER E. SAMUELSON: He came to Sweden on the 11th of August 2010, and he had this apartment where one of these women lived. She was supposed to be away so he could stay there, but she came home on the that Friday night - 13th of August - and then they had co...sensual sex and he continued to stay in that apartment until the 18th of August. But in the meantime he made acquaintance with the other woman, and and one night he travelled to her town in Sweden and they had co-co-co...
ANDREW FOWLER: Consensual.
PER E. SAMUELSON: Consensual sex.
ANDREW FOWLER: The sex with Sofia Wilen in her apartment might have been consensual, but critically there was a question over whether Assange had used a condom. The next day, Assange caught the train back to Stockholm. Wilen stayed at home, worried about the possibility of an STD infection. She later rang Anna Ardin, Assange's lover of the previous week.
PER E. SAMUELSON: Somehow the two women started to exchange text messages which... with each other and started to discuss what had happened, and they ended up at the police station, but they did not file any charges against Julian.
ANDREW FOWLER: Ardin and Wilen went to Central Stockholm's Klara police station to see if they could compel Assange to take an STD test should he refuse.
PER E. SAMUELSON: But the police interpreted what one of the girls said as some sort of sex crime having been committed and that resulted in a prosecutor the same night issuing a warrant of arrest for Julian.
ANDREW FOWLER: It would become a tabloid journalist's dream: sex, politics and international intrigue.(to Thomas Mattson) How big a story has the Assange case been here?
THOMAS MATTSON: The Assange story has been huge, of course...
ANDREW FOWLER: Thomas Mattson is the Editor of Expressen.
THOMAS MATTSON: The story has so many aspects. You have the political question whether this is a case created to damage WikiLeaks...
ANDREW FOWLER: At the time though, Mattson thought it was little more than salacious scandal.
THOMAS MATTSSON: I think that many people... in the beginning, people were, like, shaking their heads, thinking that if you are innocent, well in that case, this is, cannot be a problem. Just show up, say that you're innocent and you will most probably be cleared, if that's the case.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange in fact did go to the Swedish Police ten days after the first allegations were made. He was interviewed but not charged with any offence, and he was free to leave the country while the inquiry continued.
PER E. SAMUELSON: In mid-September he got a message from his then-lawyer, but the prosecutor did not want him and... that he was... for an interview, and that he was free to leave Sweden, and under that assumption he left Sweden in the afternoon of the 27th of September in good faith that he had sought for and got approval from the prosecutor to leave the country.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange made his way to London, holing up at the Frontline Club for journalists. He had unfinished business with America.
JULIAN ASSANGE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WIKILEAKS (October, 2010): This disclosure is about the truth.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange was at his peak, working with some of the most prestigious and influential media outlets in the world - including the Guardian and New York Times. But ominously, 12 days after giving Assange clearance to leave the country, the Swedes issued a warrant for his arrest. Three weeks later WikiLeaks launched the third big hit against America: The Iraq War Logs.Then the Swedish prosecutor upped the ante - with Assange now working on the biggest and most sensitive cache of US cables yet, Sweden issued an Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.
JENNIFER ROBINSON, UK LEGAL ADVISOR TO ASSANGE: You only need to look at the way that Red Notices are used around the world. Red Notices are normally the preserve of terrorists and dictators. The president of Syria does not have a Red Notice alert. Gaddafi in Libya, at the same time Julian's arrest warrant was issued, was not subject to a Red Notice but an Orange Notice. It was an incredibly... it was incredibly unusual that a red notice would be sought for an allegation of this kind.
ANDREW FOWLER: The timing of the Red Notice could not have been worse. US Army soldier Bradley Manning had allegedly leaked WikiLeaks more than a quarter of a million classified documents, and Julian Assange was anxious to get them out. They became known as Cablegate.
JULIAN ASSANGE (September 2011): There are so many thousands of stories that have come from that and have influenced elections and have been involved in the course of revolutions.
HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people's lives in danger, threatens out national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems.
ANDREW FOWLER: An outraged Washington set up a crack team of Pentagon investigators to take on WikiLeaks. It even launched a legally questionable financial blockade to starve WikiLeaks of funds. For America, Cablegate was the final straw. Some even wanted Assange dead.
(Excerpt from Fox News, December, 2010)FOX PANELLIST: This guy's a traitor, a treasonous, and, and he's broken every law of the United States, the guy ought to be... and I'm not for the death penalty, so if I'm not for the death penalty there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son-of-a-bitch.
FOX PRESENTER: Paul what about it?
FOX PANELLIST II: This little punk... now I stand up for Obama. Obama, if you're listening today you should take this guy out, have the CIA take him out.(End of excerpt)
ANDREW FOWLER: If Assange was looking for support from home, he didn't get it.
JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PM (December 2010): I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website. It is a grossly irresponsible thing to do - and, an illegal thing to do.
ANDREW FOWLER: The then-Attorney-General threatened to revoke his Australian passport. It was only because the Federal Police believed that Assange's passport was the best way to track him that he kept it.
JULIAN ASSANGE (September 2011): Well the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General are US lackeys. I mean, it's a simple as that. They had a whole of government task force involving every intelligence agency and the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Defence and him trying to work out how to deal with WikiLeaks and me personally.
ANDREW FOWLER: Though the task force found that Assange had broken no law, his more immediate worry was that his extradition to Sweden would be a backdoor to onward extradition to the United States.For more than 500 days Julian Assange and his legal team fought his extradition. Through the magistrates courts to the High Court and on to the Supreme Court, the most powerful court in the land. But on June the 14th Julian Assange lost his final appeal. The Supreme Court ruled he'd have to be extradited. Five days later, Assange fled to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.Last month, we managed a brief phone call from a London hotel with Assange in the embassy.(on phone to Julian Assange) Ok, hang on, I'm just going to put the speaker phone on, one second, sorry...He revealed why he was seeking political asylum.
JULIAN ASSANGE (on phone): Yes, there are a number of dramatic events that occurred just beforehand. First of all, the Swedish government publicly announced that it would detain me without charge in prison under severe conditions. On the same evening, the UK government security contractors that maintained the electronic manacle around my leg turned up unannounced at 10.30pm and insisted on fitting another manacle to my leg, saying that this was part of routine maintenance - which did not sound to be credible.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange sensed that the net was tightening around him.
JULIAN ASSANGE (on phone): Then the next day, the Crown Prosecution Service, acting we believe on behalf of the Swedish government, requested that the 14 days that I had to apply to the European Court of Human Rights, be reduced to zero.Assange is safe all the time he remains inside the embassy. But once he steps out, it's almost certain he'll be arrested and extradited to Sweden.
PER E. SAMUELSON: The minute he hits Swedish soil he will be arrested. He will be brought to a custody jail. He will be kept there in isolation for four days. He can only meet with me and my co-lawyer. On the fourth day he will be brought into a courtroom in handcuffs in front of a custody judge, and they will decide whether he will be kept in custody up until the final court case is tried, or if we if he will be released. I will try to get him released of course. But at least four days in Sweden in Swedish prison is... we can't avoid that.
ANDREW FOWLER: At the heart of the matter is whether the Swedish judicial authorities will treat him fairly. Certainly, events so far provide a disturbing picture of Swedish justice. Using facts agreed between the defence and prosecution and other verified information, we have pieced together what happened during those crucial three weeks in August.On August 11th, 2010, Assange arrived in Sweden to attend a conference organised by the Swedish Brotherhood - a branch of the Social Democratic Party. He was offered Anna Ardin's apartment while she was away, but Ardin returned home a day early on Friday the 13th. She invited Assange to stay the night, and they had sex. She would later tell police Assange had violently pinned her down and ignored her requests to use a condom. Assange denies this.The following day, Assange addressed the conference with Ardin at his side. Later that afternoon Ardin organised the Swedish equivalent of a top-notch barbeque - a Crayfish Party. She posted a Twitter message. "Julian wants to go to a crayfish party. Anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow?"The crayfish party was held that night in a court yard off her apartment. It went on until the early hours of the morning. Ardin tweeted at 2am: "Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world's coolest, smartest people! It's amazing!"A guest at the party would later tell Swedish Police the event was a very hearty evening. When he offered to put Assange up at his apartment, Ardin replied, "He can stay with me."In the past 24 hours, Ardin had worked closely with Assange, had sex with him, organised a crayfish party on his behalf - and, according to one witness, turned down alternate accommodation for him. It is during this same period that police will later investigate whether Assange coerced and sexually molested Anna Ardin.
PER E. SAMUELSON: Well, if you send text messages like that, "I've just spent some time with the coolest people in the world", the night after you then say you were raped - I mean you shouldn't write such text messages if you had been raped by that person the night before.
ANDREW FOWLER: Your client described Julian Assange as a "cool man". I think, one of the "coolest men in the world" that she'd had in her bed.
CLAES BORGSTROM: I will argue in court. I have of course arguments concerning exactly what you're talking about now, but I will not tell any media of how I am going to represent the women in in court. I'm sorry.
ANDREW FOWLER: But can you see how that looks as though...
CLAES BORGSTROM: Yes, of course I can.
ANDREW FOWLER: ...it's a fit up. It looks as though they are in fact setting him up.
CLAES BORGSTROM: I'm quite aware of that.
ANDREW FOWLER: Sunday August 15th - the next day. Assange attended a dinner party at Stockholm's Glenfiddich restaurant, organised by pirate party founder Rick Falkvinge.
RICK FALKVINGE: I think a lot of people at the... at the table had meatballs. I think Julian might have been one of them. Now, Swedish meatballs that, that's a little bit like mum's apple pie in Sweden - as in, you can call my wife ugly, you can kick my dog, but the instant you say something bad about my mother's meatballs I'm going to take it personal.
ANDREW FOWLER: Also at the dinner was Anna Ardin.(to Rick Falkvinge) So, just to get this straight: Julian Assange arrived with Anna Ardin and he left with Anna Ardin.
ANDREW FOWLER: What was their behaviour like towards each other?
RICK FALKVINGE: Well, I was discussing mainly with Julian and the... again I can't go into too much detail here, but it was at least a very professional dinner. There were two high level organisations, both intent on changing the world behaving professionally.
ANDREW FOWLER: The fact that Anna Ardin accompanied Julian Assange through this dinner and left with him - what does that say to you?
RICK FALKVINGE: Well that's going into speculating on merits of extradition, and I can't really do that. I think that be... you're presenting an objective fact, as did I, and if people want to read something into that that's obviously ripe for doing so, but I can't spell it out.
ANDREW FOWLER: Four Corners has obtained a photograph, lodged with police investigators, from that evening. Anna Ardin is on the left. Afterwards, Assange would again spend the night at her apartment.The following day, August the 16th, Assange had sex with Sophia Wilen at her apartment. According to police records, Ardin was aware that he had slept with Sophia. A witness told police he contacted Anna Ardin looking for Assange. She texted back: "He's not here. He's planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?" That same day, the witness asked Ardin, "Is it cool he's living there? Do you want, like, for me to fix something else?" According to the witness she replied: "He doesn't, like, sleep at nights so that's a bit difficult. So he has a bit of difficulty taking care of his hygiene. But it's ok if he lives with me, it's no problem."Three days later on August 20th, Wilen, accompanied by Ardin went to the Klara police station in central Stockholm to seek advice about whether Assange could be forced to take an STD test. Ardin had gone along primarily to support Wilen. Sometime during Wilen's questioning the police announced to Ardin and Wilen that Assange was to be arrested and questioned about possible rape and molestation. Wilen became so distraught she refused to give any more testimony and refused to sign what had been taken down.
JENNIFER ROBINSON: The circumstances leading up to the issue of the arrest warrant gave cause for grave concern for Julian about the procedures that were adopted in the investigation. We have to remember that when the announcement was put out that he would be subject to a warrant, one of the complainants was upset by that, and later said that she felt railroaded by the police.
KARIN ROSANDER, SWEDISH PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE: Well what happened is what was that the duty prosecutor got a phone call from the police and the duty prosecutor decided that he should be arrested.
ANDREW FOWLER: And what happened?
KARIN ROSANDER: He was arrested in his absence, but he... they never got in... got in contact with him so, but he was arrested in his absence. It's a technical... technical thing in Sweden, Swedish law, yeah.
ANDREW FOWLER: The Prosecutor's Office might not have contacted Assange but within hours they let the whole of Sweden know what was going on - leaking to the Expressen Tabloid the statements of Ardin and Wilen. The newspaper front page read: "Assange hunted for rape in Sweden".
JENNIFER ROBINSON: Julian wakes up the following morning to read the newspapers to hear that he's wanted for double rape and he's absolutely shocked.
THOMAS MATTSSON: Two of our reporters had information about Julian Assange, and we also had a confirmation from the prosecutor which confirmed on record that there was a police investigation against Julian Assange.
ANDREW FOWLER: It was now the case took a strange twist. Within 24 hours, a more senior prosecutor dismissed the rape allegations, leaving only the lesser accusation of molestation. Assange willingly went to the police on August 30th and made a statement.During the interview he expressed his fears that anything he said would end up in the tabloid newspaper Expressen. The interviewing police officer said: "I'm not going to leak anything." The interview was leaked.
PER E. SAMUELSON: Why did you leak his name to a tabloid paper? How... how can you drop the case and reopen the case and how can you... how can you not say that he waited for five weeks in Sweden voluntarily to participate in the investigation? Why do you have to arrest him? Why do you have to keep him in handcuffs? Why can't you conduct this in a proper manner? The rest of the world sees it, but Sweden unfortunately doesn't.
ANDREW FOWLER: It is perhaps understandable that Assange had doubts he would receive fair treatment from the Swedish authorities. On September 15th, the prosecutor told Assange he was permitted to leave Sweden. Assange, back in England, would later offer to return within a month. The Swedish Authorities said too late - a second warrant had already been issued for his arrest.
ANDREW FOWLER: He says that he left the country and then was prepared to come back at any time. Is that your understanding?
CLAES BORGSTROM: I don't believe that.
ANDREW FOWLER: He says that he was prepared to come back in October but the prosecutor wanted him back earlier.
CLAES BORGSTROM: I don't know. I don't believe he wanted to he was he wanted to come freely back to Sweden. I don't think so.
ANDREW FOWLER: Can you understand that the Australian people may not understand how somebody can be accused in their absence when they haven't even been interviewed, then have that rape case dropped, the arrest warrant removed and then have it re-instituted, all in the space of a few days?
KARIN ROSANDER: Yeah I can very well understand the confusion and, and, I... that is very difficult to understand, well, exactly how it works.
ANDREW FOWLER: Well you call it confusing, it's... it may be slightly more than that.
KARIN ROSANDER: Well that's the way it works here in Sweden so, well... but I can understand the confusion, definitely.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange, still hunkered down in the London embassy, has no doubt what his fate will be if he is extradited.
JULIAN ASSANGE (on phone): If I was suddenly taken to Sweden, I would not be in a position to apply for political asylum in relation to United States. it would be the end of the road. I would just be taken from one jail to another.
JENNIFER ROBINSON: the US has said specifically, the US ambassador to London said, they would wait to see what happened in Sweden. And so we are very concerned about the prospect that once matters are resolved in Sweden, he will... there will be an extradition request from there and he will not be able to travel home to Australia and will have to fight extradition in the Swedish court.
ANDREW FOWLER: The US Ambassador to Australia suggests that Washington isn't interested in the Swedish extradition.
JEFFREY L. BLEICH, US AMBASSADOR TO AUSTRALIA (May 2012): It's not something that the US cares about, it's not interested in it, it hasn't been involved in it - and frankly, if he's in Sweden, there's a less robust extradition relationship than there is between the US and the UK, so I think it's one of those narratives that has been made up - there's nothing to it.
MICHAEL RATNER, US LAWYER ASSANGE: That's diplomatic speak. That doesn't mean anything. Their last statement three days ago by their spokesperson Linn Boyd says we are continuing our investigation of WikiLeaks. So you can't accept those words.
ANDREW FOWLER: Michael Ratner, Assange's New York lawyer, believes there's an easy solution to the issue.
MICHAEL RATNER: If they flatly said, "We do not... we will not prosecute Julian Assange" that would be a very different kind of statement - and... and they, in my view, is they should that I think they should say it, one, because then Julian Assange could leave the Ecuadorian Embassy, go to Sweden, deal with Sweden and continue on with his life.
ANDREW FOWLER: But Ratner thinks that's not what the United States wants. He's convinced a Grand Jury is investigating WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Four Corners has obtained a copy of a subpoena from a Grand Jury which is examining evidence for possible charges relating to "conspiracy to communicate or transmit national defence information" and obtaining "information protected from disclosure from national defence". Critically the subpoena contains the identifying codes "10" and "3793'.
MICHAEL RATNER: There's a Grand Jury currently sitting in Alexandria Virginia and the Grand Jury's number - and it's interesting the Grand Jury's number is 10 standing for the year it began, GJ which is Grand Jury and then 3793. Three is the Conspiracy Statute in the United States. 793 is the Espionage Statute. So what they're investigating is 3793: conspiracy to commit espionage.
ANDREW FOWLER: Certainly, anyone associated with Assange is feeling the heat of the US authorities. Icelandic activist, Smari McCarthy, worked on the Collateral Murder video. We caught up with him at a Reykjavik hotel.
ANDREW FOWLER: So what is it about WikiLeaks that changed everything?
SMARI MCCARTHY, ICELAND MODERN MEDIA INITIATIVE: It industrialised the process of leaking.
ANDREW FOWLER: McCarthy flew into Washington earlier this year to attend a conference. Security officials had him in their sights the moment he stepped off the plane.
SMARI MCCARTHY: When I get out through the doorway there's two bordering customs control officers. One of them takes a look at my passport, says, "Yes this is the guy", and they walk with me away.
ANDREW FOWLER: McCarthy was questioned for several minutes about the reason for his trip, before the border guards got to the point.
SMARI MCCARTHY: And then about, like, in the last couple of minutes they say, "Well you know we're actually asking you these question is because we know you're related to WikiLeaks", and I say, "Well I was, but I'm no longer". And they ask, like, "So you're not in contact with Julian Assange?" And I say, "No, I have no contact with Julian", and they're like, "Oh, okay", and basically let me out. I'm on my way.
ANDREW FOWLER: But it wasn't the last McCarthy would see of the FBI. After the conference McCarthy had a drink with friends before heading to the Washington Metro. He missed the last train. As he walked out of the Archives Station two men confronted him.
SMARI MCCARTHY: Two guys come up to me and address me by name, and say that they're FBI agents, and, "We'd like to ask you some questions", and I say to them, "Well I've had some beers and I don't have lawyers, so no, I'm not going to answer any questions". They nevertheless give me a piece of paper with a phone number and an email address. This was not a business card, this was a piece of paper. This was just a kind of a card file thing, but it was handwritten and the email address was not at FBI.gov as you would expect from FBI agents.
ANDREW FOWLER: Just why they wouldn't give an FBI email address puzzled McCarthy .
SMARI MCCARTHY: They say, "Well, they contain our full names", and I said, "Why is that a problem?" "Well we're afraid that if our full names... if we give you our full names, then there will be retaliation against us personally from Anonymous."
ANDREW FOWLER: The two men seemed worried he might be a member of the cyber-hacker group Anonymous which had worked with WikiLeaks.
SMARI MCCARTHY: And I said, "Who the hell do you think I am? I'm not like the grand master of Anonymous. There's no... I don't even know anybody in Anonymous," right?
ANDREW FOWLER: McCarthy's experience could be dismissed as an oddity, but in the backstreets of Paris we found someone with a very similar story. Jérémie Zimmermann heads up an Internet activist group. He's a WikiLeaks supporter.
JÉRÉMIE ZIMMERMANN, INTERNET LIBERTY: I'm a friend with Julian. I think he's a he's a very intelligent and and very witty person, and I enjoy very much the conversations we have together.ANDREW FOWLER: Earlier this year, as he prepared to board a plane at Washington's Dulles Airport, two men approached him about his involvement with WikiLeaks
JÉRÉMIE ZIMMERMANN: They didn't show any badge. So I didn't ask for one, but I saw their colleague maintaining the gate of the plane open, so I thought you don't do that with a, you know, a university library card, so I thought...
ANDREW FOWLER: So you thought they must be FBI?
JÉRÉMIE ZIMMERMANN: I thought they must be FBI - and actually the agent questioning me was a caricature of FBI agent, you know, with a large jaw, short hair, tight suit - and he said, "Well, your name was mentioned in a criminal investigation for conspiracy involving lots of people", and so which case he was referring to it's the Grand Jury in Virginia. And so I ask him, thinking aloud, if I understand correctly: "Either I talk to you or I take full responsibility for my actions in front of a judge during a fair trial". And this is where he replied immediately: "Have you ever been arrested? Have you ever been to jail?" - in an obvious attempt to intimidate me.
ANDREW FOWLER: What do you think they were trying to achieve?
JÉRÉMIE ZIMMERMANN: Maybe it was to turn me into an informant, try to send me, get information from Julian, or whatever. I don't know. I will never know, probably.
MICHAEL RATNER: Zimmermann was stopped roughly at the same time coming back from a similar thing with McCarthy, so I don't know who would be tricking them into thinking they were FBI agents. What we've seen in a couple of these stops in the Assange WikiLeaks case is people introduce themselves as Homeland Security - at least in one instance - and not as FBI and then when they get pushed a little they have to admit they're FBI. Now, it's interesting when you think about it: these people have been hit by the FBI and that what it also tells you that this is a Justice Department investigation of civilians.
ANDREW FOWLER: Even Assange's UK legal advisor, Jennifer Robinson, appears to have been caught in the US dragnet.
JENNIFER ROBINSON: I'd had an incredibly long day at work and I was late to the airport. I rushed out to Heathrow, handed over my passport and the woman behind the desk was having a lot of difficulty. She couldn't check me in. She looked at me in a strange manner and said "Look, this is odd. You're Australian, you're travelling home to Australia, you shouldn't need a visa". I said, "Well no, I'm Australian. Here's my passport, I'm going home", and she said, "I can't check you in".
ANDREW FOWLER: A security officer took Robinson's passport away
JENNIFER ROBINSON: She came back about 15 minutes later carrying a mobile phone, handed my passport to the woman behind the desk and said, "She's inhibited. We can't check her in until we've got approval from Australia House."
ANDREW FOWLER: Though Robinson was eventually allowed to catch the plane, she has still not received an explanation why she is on a so-called "inhibited list". It does not appear to be an Australian government term. But US Homeland Security uses the phrase to identify people who need to be watched.Now back in England, she continues to be Assange's legal advisor. We caught up with her on a visit to the Ecuadorian Embassy.
JENNIFER ROBINSON: Look he is now gathering and preparing materials for the purpose of his application to the Ecuadorian authorities, and essentially now it's a matter for the Ecuadorian government.
ANDREW FOWLER: How is he... what's his manner like? How's his humour?
JENNIFER ROBINSON: I have never known anyone to deal with the amount of stress that he's under as well as he does. He's in very good spirits and still very committed to WikiLeaks work. He may be confined to the embassy but as he showed during house arrest, that doesn't stop him. In the last 18 months we've seen a television program, we've seen further WikiLeaks releases - so I don't think he'll let this stop him either.
ANDREW FOWLER: Assange's primary concern is that the Australian Government has never properly addressed the central question: the near certainty that a Grand Jury is investigating WikiLeaks and the possibility of him being charged.
JENNIFER ROBINSON: We are very concerned about the very prospect of potential extradition to the US. We need only look to the treatment of Bradley Manning. He's been held in pre-trial detention for more than two years now, in conditions for a large part of that detention which the UN Special Repertoire said amount to torture. We are very concerned about the prospect of him ending up in the US, and the risk of onward extradition from Sweden was always a concern and remains a concern.
ANDREW FOWLER: Once in Sweden he would be at the mercy of a system which has a record of complying with US wishes. And there's evidence that Sweden has acted illegally in past extraditions involving the US.
RICK FALKVINGE: Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lap dog and it's not a matter we are particularly proud of. The Swedish Government has... essentially, whenever a US official says, "Jump", the Sweden Government asks, "How high?"
ANDREW FOWLER: If that seems like a heavy handed comment, there's evidence to back it up.
RICK FALKVINGE: There was a famous case in last decade where a couple of Swedish citizens were even renditioned by the CIA in a quite torturous manner to Egypt where they were tortured further, which goes against every part of Swedish legislation, every international agreement on human rights - and not to say human dignity.
ANDREW FOWLER: A United Nations investigation later found against Sweden. The country was forced to pay compensation. For Assange, coupled with his other experiences of the Swedish judicial system, it is perhaps understandable that he fears ending up in Sweden.
MICHAEL RATNER: For me the question really is if I'm sitting in Julian Assange's if I if I'm sitting in Julian Assange's position, I'd be very, very nervous because the United States gets their hands on you in this case, and you're a goner. So, you know, what I get asked all the time is, "Well, how do you know." To me the question isn't how I know I know there's a lot of evidence out there that it looks like that. To me the burden should be on the United States Government to say, "We are not planning to prosecute Julian Assange". If they just gave that assurance, I can guarantee you that Julian Assange would go to Sweden tomorrow.
KERRY O'BRIEN: We approached Australia's Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, to pose a number of questions related to the Assange case, but she was unavailable on holidays. Ultimately, some of our questions were answered by a Foreign Affairs spokesman, by email, on behalf of Foreign Minister Bob Carr. They're on our website.Next week on Four Corners, the woman who forecast her own brutal death, but could find no one willing to listen. Until then, good night.
End of transcript

Magda Hassan
07-25-2012, 01:15 AM
On Assange, government defiant in face of reality
by Bernard Keane (http://www.crikey.com.au/author/bernardkeane/)

The government’s insistence on ignoring the Obama administration’s investigation of Julian Assange is becoming increasingly untenable as public evidence mounts of a grand jury and a continuing campaign by the US government against him.
In a response to a recent letter from Melbourne QC Julian Burnside (http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/letter-to-Nicola-Roxon-30-June.pdf), acting for Assange, acting Attorney-General Jason Clare (http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Ministers-reply-7-July.pdf) refused point blank to respond to direct questions about whether the government had asked the Obama administration if it was conducting an investigation of Assange’s journalism as editor of WikiLeaks. Instead, Clare resorted to the government’s standard line that the US has not laid any charges against Assange.

http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/24-07-2012-12-13-41-PM.jpg (http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Ministers-reply-7-July.pdf)While the existence of a sealed indictment of Assange remains formally unconfirmed, an investigation of Assange was confirmed by the Obama administration on the public record (http://www.alexaobrien.com/secondsight/wikileaks/bradley_manning/witness_profiles_us_v_pfc_bradley_manning/agents/witness_us_v_pfc_bradley_manning_special_agent_mar k_mander_cciu.html) late last year through an agent giving evidence at the pre-trial hearing of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, currently enduring an almostKafkaesque military trial (http://ww2.cox.com/myconnection/middlegeorgia/today/news/national/article.cox?articleId=DA047BK02&moduleType=apNews) in which his ability to call witnesses or raise exculpatory evidence has been severely circumscribed.
On June 30 this year, a Department of Justice spokesman again confirmed that there continues to be an “investigation” (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hKgeAFt-Jvt45zkBjEpqF4DWDS-A?docId=CNG.c91772083f0e08ad2fbc893999aa0a54.121) into Assange for his journalism. We also know there is a grand jury investigating Assange via several subpoenas, including that of David House (http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/david-houses-statement-on-the-wikileaks-grand-jury), who recently published a transcript (http://pastebin.com/q0hTkwFh) of his appearance on June 15, 2011 before the grand jury (much of which is hilarious), based on notes that Department of Justice prosecutor Patrick “phalanx of attorneys” Murphy demanded House stop taking.
And as Crikey recently r (http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/07/04/us-increases-harassment-of-wikileaks-assange-associates/)eported (http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/07/04/us-increases-harassment-of-wikileaks-assange-associates/), this year has seen several activists and journalists stopped and interrogated for their connections to Assange (Four Corners followed up (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19/3549280.htm) some of this last night).
With so much evidence now on the public record of an investigation of Assange for his journalism and of a grand jury process, the Australian government’s refusal to say anything other than a obstinate insistence that no charges have been laid has become a straight refusal to acknowledge reality. Clare’s letter carefully and tightly frames a response to Burnside’s direct questions about whether the government has inquired about the investigation or the grand jury by talking only about the “issue” of whether charges have been laid. “The Minister for Foreign Affairs has raised this issue … The Attorney-General has also raised this issue,” Clare says.
That issue, of course, is a cover for either gross deception by the government as to the advice it has received from the Obama administration, or a wilful blindness as to its intentions.
Clare also clearly states for the first time the government’s belief that there is no grounds for the view that the “temporary surrender” mechanism that exists in a treaty between Sweden and the United States (but not between the UK and the US) has less appeal or procedural rights than standard extradition. Clare says:

“Temporary surrender is not an alternative to extradition but an option for a requested State to interrupt its own legal proceedings or sentence and allow extradition of a person for the duration of criminal proceedings in the country seeking the extradition (hence ‘temporary’). All protections available to the person whose extradition is sought apply equally to an extradition that is a temporary surrender.”
This is a key point in dispute between the Australian government and Assange’s lawyers, who insist there is doubt over whether the Swedish government would be required to observe standard extradition protections for a temporary surrender, or whether Assange could be handed over by Sweden to the United States before he has time to appeal against surrender, given the close relationship between the current Swedish government (with its prime ministerial consultant adviser, one Karl Rove) and the United States. There are many lawyers who agree with the government’s interpretation.
For Assange, however, the stakes are much higher than a mere legal point of difference; it may involve an extended prison sentence for his journalism or even his life.

Magda Hassan
07-25-2012, 01:49 AM
US pushed to clarify Assange intentions
DateJuly 25, 2012

Read later
Dylan Welch (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/by/Dylan-Welch)National Security Correspondent

THE West Australian Labor MP Melissa Parke has called on the US Attorney-General, Eric Holder, to make a categorical statement ruling out that America is seeking to extradite the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to prosecute him for espionage.
Her call comes amid persisting public debate about whether the US has secretly convened a grand jury in Virginia with the purpose of prosecuting Mr Assange and others for a ''conspiracy to communicate or transmit national defence information''.
''In the light of the public information regarding a grand jury investigation, it would be helpful if the US Attorney-General would categorically state that the US has no intention of seeking the extradition of Julian Assange from Sweden,'' Ms Parke told the Herald yesterday.
It was revealed in April last year a grand jury had been formed in Virginia with the likely aim of prosecuting people involved in the release of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables in February 2010.

A former US army intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been charged with the theft and is about to face trial.
There have been no other arrests, but the US government has served orders on Twitter seeking the records of three WikiLeaks supporters and subpoenaed several people to testify before the grand jury.
On Monday night, ABC's Four Corners program referred to one of the subpoenas.
The US Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich, told Four Corners there was no plan to extradite Mr Assange from Sweden.
''It's not something that the US cares about, it's not interested in it, it hasn't been involved in it. I think it's one of those narratives that has been made up. There's nothing to it," Mr Bleich said.
The Australian government has said little publicly, but several senior officials have told the Herald they are unaware of any plans to extradite Mr Assange, who is an Australian citizen.
Mr Assange has spent the past month inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after fleeing there five days after English courts dismissed a final appeal by his lawyers against his extradition to Sweden.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-pushed-to-clarify-assange-intentions-20120724-22nkr.html#ixzz21awWYuZM

Magda Hassan
07-25-2012, 02:17 AM
Baltasar Garzon will assume legal management of the legal team of Julian Assange

David Ballota (http://www.nacionred.com/autor/david-ballota) July 24, 2012 | 22:57Baltasar Garzon will assume legal management of the legal team representing Assange and WikiLeaks. Garzon has already held a meeting with Julian Assange at the Embassy of Ecuador in London "to discuss a new and forceful legal strategy that will seek to defend both WikiLeaks and its founder, abuse of process and arbitrariness of the international financial system will reveal the true extent of the operation against Julian Assange, "the organization said in a statement (http://www.twitlonger.com/show/igotu2/) .

Also pursue demonstrate that "the secret process that is followed in the United States is a clear threat that vitiates any other process, such as motivating the request for extradition for questioning in Sweden, a request that appears as a mere instrument to achieve this purpose. "


WikiLeaks also commented (https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/227871098681847808) that Judge Garzón is the one who issued the extradition request for Augusto Pinochet, while Clare Montgomery, the current lead prosecutor for UK/Sweden against Mr Assange, represented Pinochet.
Judge Garzón will be a keynote speaker (http://ica2012.com/pages/keynote-speakers.php) on "Truth, Justice, and Reparation" at ICA 2012 in Brisbane, 23 August at 9AM.
50 diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks mention (http://cablegatesearch.wikileaks.org/search.php?q=baltasar+garzon&qo=0&qc=0&qto=2010-02-28) Judge Garzón.

Peter Lemkin
08-03-2012, 07:33 PM
If Julian Assange is granted asylum in Ecuador, he will become a resident of Latin America, where the trove of classified U.S. State Department cables he strategically disseminated through WikiLeaks has generated hundreds of headlines, from Mexico to Chile. A year after thousands of cables on Latin America were first released, the revelations have had different results — in two countries it led to the forced departure of the U.S. ambassador; in another it helped change the course of a presidential election. We’re joined by Peter Kornbluh, guest editor of "WikiLeaks: Latin America," a recent edition of The Nation magazine devoted to exploring the impact of WikiLeaks across the region. Kornbluh is a senior analyst on Latin America at the National Security Archive. [Includes rush transcript]

Magda Hassan
08-15-2012, 02:16 PM
Wikileaks fightback: meet the ‘A’ Team… see document requesting espionage prosecutionPOSTED BY DARKERNET (https://darkernet.wordpress.com/author/darkernet/) ⋅ AUGUST 4, 2012 ⋅ 1 COMMENT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHxCdMe1aiI&feature=player_embedded (https://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/wikleaks-fightback-meet-the-a-team-see-document-requesting-espionage-prosecution/#comments)

We now know that the official request by US Senator Diane Feinstein to prosecute Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, for espionage was made as far back as December 2010. To see the original document, click here (http://intelligence.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=328832) (Gillard and Co. would have been informed of this at the time). Here is a quote from it: “We believe that Mr. Assange’s conduct is espionage and that his actions fall under the elements of this section of law. Therefore, we urge that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act”.Meanwhile, the chess pieces are falling into place: the Swedish Government continues to insist that Assange can only answer questions about the sex allegations in Sweden, from where he will be onward-extradited to the USA; the British Government can insist, but won’t, that as a condition of Assange’s extradition to Sweden there be no onward extradition; the Australian Government insists it is doing all it can to assist Assange, who has received death threats, but in reality is doing bugger all. (See video interview with Jennifer Robinson, above, who raises these issues much more eloquently.) Ultimately, everything points to America, which intends to make an example (http://www.thenation.com/article/169209/fate-julian-assange) of Assange (and Bradley Manning) so that no one dare leak or publish leaked information again.The US Government, however, is delusional if they believe they can stop dissent or prevent those who reveal truth from continuing to do so. If Assange is extradited to America, charged and then convicted, no matter how draconian the punishments, the human tendency to fight against authoritarian systems will prevail. But rather than adopt a largely defensive posture we – Wikileaks supporters, or otherwise; Assange supporters, or not; liberationists in general – must go on the attack via every means at our disposal, including expanding the Wikileaks operations and creating many similar initiatives.There are also a number of legal moves that can be made, beyond the purely defensive (as outlined here (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/could-a-wikileaks-grand-jury-of-international-jurists-prosecute-the-usa-for-war-crimes/) and here (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/war-on-wikileaks-legal-heavyweights-go-on-the-offensive-against-swedish-uk-australian-and-us-govts-prosecutions-to-follow/)) and should civil writs be served (in more than one country) then Christine Assange, the mother of Julian, may prove to be pivotal. The expanded Wikileaks legal team, under the direction of Sr. Garzon, could not be better placed if prosecution went ahead, so perhaps it’s time we got to know the people in this team a bit better.Here, then, is a brief introduction to the members of what could be called the Wikileaks ‘A Team’. Each is renowned for his/her stand against injustice and their fight for human rights. Collectively, their integrity is unquestionable.Note: to see a recent article by Michael Ratner (see profile below) on the US war against Wikileaks, click here (http://gu.com/p/39en2).Julian Burnside (Australia)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-julian-burnside-qc-th1.jpg?w=750Julian Burnside represented the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute and won the case. He represented Victoria’s chief civil liberties organisation against the Australian Government over the Tampa affair. He was a staunch critic of the Howard Government’s policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers. He has organised free accommodation and legal representation for refugees in Australia. He won a major case re. the ‘Stolen Generation’ involving Aboriginal children forcibly taken from their parents by Government. In 2004 he was awarded the Human Rights Law Award and in 2007 he received the Australian Peace Prize from the Peace Organisation of Australia. His involvement with the Assange case is largely in relation to Australian Government matters.See
http://www.listgbarristers.com.au/barristers/detail/?id=35Baltasar Garzon (International)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-garzon_31.jpg?w=750On 17 October 2008, Sr. Baltasar Garzón formally declared the acts of repression committed by the Franco regime to be crimes against humanity, and accounted them in more than one hundred thousand killings during and after the Spanish Civil War. Garzón came to international attention on 10 October 1998 when he issued an international warrant for the arrest of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens. The Chilean Truth Commission (1990–91) report was the basis for the warrant, marking an unprecedented use of universal jurisdiction to attempt to try a former dictator for an international crime. Eventually it was turned down by British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, who rejected (on spurious health grounds) Garzón’s request to have Pinochet extradited to Spain. Garzón also filed charges of genocide against Argentine military officers on the disappearance of Spanish citizens during Argentina’s 1976–1983 dictatorship. Eventually, Adolfo Scilingo and Miguel Angel Cavallo were prosecuted in separate cases (Scilingo was convicted and sentenced to over 1000 years incarceration for his crimes). Garzón issued indictments for five Guantanamo detainees, including Spaniard Abderrahman Ahmad and United Kingdom resident Jamil El Banna. Ahmad was extradited to Spain on 14 February 2004. El Banna was repatriated to the United Kingdom, and in 2007, Garzón then dropped the charges against him. Garzon was recently appointed to the Assange/Wikileaks legal team.See
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/5/31/wikileaks_war_crimes_and_the_pinochet_principle (http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/5/31/wikileaks_war_crimes_and_the_pinochet_principle)
http://www.france24.com/en/20120227-garzon-spain-judge-acquitted-franco-fascist-spanish-civil-warThomas Olsson (Sweden)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-thomas-olsson-300x256.jpg?w=750Thomas Olsson has been engaged in a battle to quash eight murder convictions of Thomas Quick, who is a mental patient who was addicted to confessing crimes he had not committed. Quick has since been cleared of half of the murders (the remaining sentences are currently under appeal). Quick’s defence counsel during the murder trials was Claes Borgström, who is now disgraced because of his handling of the case. (Note: Borgstrom, who represents the two complainants, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen, against Julian Assange, has recently been reported to the Swedish Bar for misconduct.)See http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Press-Contact-ListGareth Peirce (Britain)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-gareth-peirce-stuart-jeff-0062.jpg?w=750‘My job is to get you out and I’m going to get you out’: Gareth Pierce on first meeting with Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four in Long Lartin prison (she did get him out – and the others). Ms. Pierce was instrumental in ensuring the quashing of convictions of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six. She was a legal representative in the infamous Persons Unknown trial, when six people, anarchists, were accused of conspiracy to bomb (she and her legal colleagues convinced the jury that the charges were a farce and the defendants who pleaded innocence were consequently freed). Peirce has also led high-profile cases involving members of the Muslim community who have been wrongly accused of terrorism and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Ms. Peirce often comes across as a timid, quiet and very private individual, though in truth she is indefatigable, tenacious and never, ever gives in. Even with the less high-profile cases… a well-known, 64 year-old anarchist, Albert Meltzer, was arrested (on a charge later thrown out by the court) and held overnight in a police cell… Gareth was concerned about Meltzer’s safety (he was overweight and had health problems) and rang the duty sergeant and told him in no uncertain terms that if anything untoward happened to Mr. Meltzer and he did not survive the night, she would hold him personally responsible… (As it was, Albert was released the next day after the police station had received hundreds of calls from concerned individuals from around the world, including Noam Chomsky, Gunther Grass, Sean MacBride and so on).On Peirce: “Once she has taken up a case, which she comes to believe in, what is impressive about her is her certainty that an injustice has occurred. It’s never on the one hand, on the other. And she expresses that certainty in such convincing terms.” Ludovic Kennedy.http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/oct/12/gareth-peirce-fight-human-rights
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jan/14/politics.september11Michael Ratner (USA)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-200px-michael_ratner2-1.jpg?w=750Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and a past president of the National Lawyers Guild. He represented Guantanamo Bay detainees in the United States Supreme Court, which decided that his clients had the right to test the legality of their detention. In 2006, he filed a complaint in Germany against US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials for the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Ratner sued the George W. Bush administration to try to stop the Gulf War, the Clinton administration to try to stop the strategic bombing during the Kosovo War, and won a case on behalf of victims of the Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic, for war crimes.See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_RatnerJennifer Robinson (Australia and Britain)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-jennifer-robinson-0081.jpg?w=750From 2009, Jennifer Robinson worked for the UK legal firm, Finers Stephens Innocent and was appointed legal adviser to Julian Assange in October 2010. In 2011, she became the Legal Director for the Bertha Foundation in London, with the task of creating and developing a global human rights and public interest law program. Although officially she is no longer part of the Assange defence team she acts on his behalf from time to time, particularly in relation to Australian Government mattersSee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Robinson_(lawyer)Per E Samuelson (Sweden)http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/wpid-250px-per_e_samuelsson_attorney_cropped.jpg?w=750Mr. Samuelson represented Carl Lundström in the trial against the Pirate Bay 2. He also specialises in defending rape cases.See


Press Release of Intelligence CommitteeFeinstein-Bond Ask Attorney General to Prosecute WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange for Espionage

Contact: Phil LaVelle (Feinstein) or
Gil Duran (Feinstein) 202-224-9629
Shana Marchio (Bond) 202-224-0309
Friday, December 3, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Christopher (Kit) Bond (R-Mo.), vice chairman of the committee, asked Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for espionage. Following is their letter to the attorney general:

December 2, 2010

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Attorney General Holder:

We respectfully urge the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take action to bring criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and any and all of his possible accomplices involved in the unauthorized possession and distribution of vast quantities of classified and unclassified material from the U.S. government. The unauthorized release of this information, including the recent release of approximately 250,000 State Department documents, is a serious breach of national security and could be used to severely harm the United States and its worldwide interests.

On Saturday, before the latest disclosures by WikiLeaks, the State Department’s legal adviser, Harold Koh, wrote Mr. Assange telling him that if he were “genuinely interested in seeking to stop the damage” from his actions he should: (1) ensure WikiLeaks ceases publishing any and all such materials; (2) ensure WikiLeaks returns any and all classified U.S. Government material in its possession; and (3) remove and destroy all records of this material from WikiLeaks' databases. As we know, Mr. Assange failed to take these actions, and instead proceeded to release these documents to the world at large.

We appreciate your statement earlier this week that DOJ has an “active, ongoing, criminal investigation” with regard to the WikiLeaks matter. We also understand that Private First Class Bradley E. Manning – who may have been involved in disclosing the most recent set of documents provided to WikiLeaks – has already been charged in military court with eight violations of federal criminal law, including unauthorized computer access and transmitting classified information to an unauthorized third party in violation of a section of the Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. 793(e).

Section 793(e) of the Espionage Act states:

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it … Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Courts have interpreted “information relating to the national defense” to include classified and unclassified material. We believe that Mr. Assange’s conduct is espionage and that his actions fall under the elements of this section of law. Therefore, we urge that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

If Mr. Assange and his possible accomplices cannot be charged under the Espionage Act (or any other applicable statute), please know that we stand ready and willing to support your efforts to “close those gaps” in the law, as you also mentioned this week. Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.


Dianne Feinstein Christopher S. Bond
Chairman Vice Chairman



Peter Lemkin
08-15-2012, 02:52 PM
Great summary of the legal teams and efforts. The 'Decision' is expected as early as today or tomorrow...the trick is going to be a way to negotiate Assange out of the UK, as the UK will not play fair and try to take him by force - any force necessary - if he tries to leave the country - even after being granted asylum. I wonder if there are size limits on diplomatic pouches?!:pirate:

Magda Hassan
08-15-2012, 10:33 PM
Clearly, this is not about broken condoms....never in the history of diplomacy have they ever lifted a finger for a woman who was done bad. I doubt they will start now. There are police all around the embassy I was shown photos. Which I will try to post. There is a call out to any in London to go to the embassy to support the embassy and Assange.
Julian Assange: UK issues 'threat' to arrest Wikileaks founder

The UK has issued a "threat" to enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest Julian Assange, Ecuador's foreign minister has said.Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19259623#story_continues_1)Related Stories

Ecuador to make Assange decision (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19251943)
Assange 'declines' police order (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18648922)
Assange dismisses police summons (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18629911)

Ricardo Patino also said a decision on the Wikileaks founder's asylum request would be made public on Thursday.
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
The Foreign Office says the UK has a legal obligation to extradite him.
At a news conference in Quito on Wednesday night, Mr Patino said: "Today we received from the United Kingdom an express threat, in writing, that they might storm our Embassy in London if we don't hand over Julian Assange.
"Ecuador rejects in the most emphatic terms the explicit threat of the British official communication."
'Hostile act'He said such a threat was "improper of a democratic, civilized and rule abiding country".

"We are not a British colony"."If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond," he said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said the UK remained "determined" to fulfil its obligation to extradite Mr Assange.
"Throughout this process have we have drawn the Ecuadorians' attention to relevant provisions of our law, whether, for example, the extensive human rights safeguards in our extradition procedures, or to the legal status of diplomatic premises in the UK," the spokesman said.
"We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution."
The law which Britain is threatening to invoke in the Assange case is theDiplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/46)
UK 'frustrated'It allows the UK to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on UK soil, which would potentially allow police to enter the building to arrest Mr Assange.
The BBC's deputy political editor James Landale says the British government has been in long negotiations with Ecuador over the issue and has reminded it of the act.
But he added that while the UK has been frustrated at the lack of a decision it is not about to raid the embassy.
Even if Mr Assange is granted asylum, he will have to cross British territory and could be arrested, our correspondent said.
On Monday, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said a decision would be made this week after he held a meeting with his advisers.
Mr Patino told reporters the decision had been made and an announcement would issued on Thursday morning, at 07:00 Ecuadorian time (13:00 BST).
Final appealMr Assange's Wikileaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments, particularly the US, in 2010.

Mr Assange claims the sex was consensual and the allegations are politically motivated.In 2010, two female ex-Wikileaks volunteers alleged that Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, had attacked them while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.
The 41-year-old says he fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, he may be sent later to the US and could face espionage charges.
In June, judges at the UK's Supreme Court dismissed his final appeal against extradition to Sweden.
An offer to the Swedish authorities by Ecuador for investigators to interview Mr Assange inside the embassy, in Knightsbridge, was rejected.

Magda Hassan
08-15-2012, 10:37 PM
Short translation: the UK is threatening to revoke the diplomatic status of the embassy to enter and seize Assange.

Google Translation of letter set from UK to Ecuadorian Chancellor regarding Julian Assange's asylum.
Original: http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/images/eltelegrafo/banners/2012/carta-de-las-autoridades-inglesas-entregada-a-la-cancilleria-ecuador.pdf

Aide Memoire

• We are aware of and surprised by, the reports in the media over the last 24 hours, compared to that Ecuador would reach a decision and intends to grant asylum to Mr. Assange.

• The reports quoted official sources.

• We note that the President has not yet made a decision.

• We are concerned, should be true of. this will undermine our efforts to agree a joint text setting out the positions of both countries, allowing Mr. Assange leave the Embassy.

• As we have stated previously, we meet our legal obligations under the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant and Extradition Act 2003 (Extradition Act 2003), to arrest and extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden. We remain committed to working with you to resolve this matter amicably. But we must be absolutely clear that this means that if you receive a request for safe passage for Mr. Assange, after granting asylum, it will be rejected, in line with our legal obligations.

• From this perspective, and given the statements of the last 24 hours, we hope that you are prepared to continue to carry out the current diplomatic discussions. We continue to believe that a solution is possible based on jointly agreed text, that would play with the departure of Mr. Assange of the Embassy, ​​leading to his extradition.

• We have another meeting (video conference) scheduled for Thursday August 16. Given the statements made yesterday in Quito, about an imminent decision, should we assume that this meeting will be the last to agree a joint text?

• We reiterate that we consider the continued use of diplomatic facilities in this manner inconsistent with the Vienna Convention and unsustainable, and that we have made clear the serious implications for our diplomatic relations.

• They must be aware that there is a basis in the UK - the law on diplomatic and consular facilities in 1987 (Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987) - that would allow us to take action to arrest Mr. Assange in current facilities Embassy.

• We sincerely hope not to have to get to this point, but if you can not resolve the issue of the presence of Mr. Assange in its facilities, this route is open to us.

• You understand the importance of the issues raised by Mr. Assange, and strong public pressure in Ecuador. But anyway we have to solve the situation on the ground here in the UK, in line with our legal obligations. We have strived to develop a joint text, to help meet their needs and concerns of presentation to the public.

• We continue to believe that a joint text and a voluntary surrender by Mr. Assange is the best solution.

Magda Hassan
08-15-2012, 10:39 PM
Press conference at the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, live stream now. We have no confirmation of the subject matter. http://www.mmrree.gob.ec/

Magda Hassan
08-15-2012, 10:45 PM
Mulitple police vehicle arriving at Ecuador embassy in London NOW! Can this be confirmed? http://via.me/-437oxa2

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 01:47 AM
More live feed of events at the embassy here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupynewsnetwork

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 04:38 AM
Under US pressure or 'solidarity' the UK is going to try something illegal - thst could start a war on UK citizens around the world and certainly point out the double-standards the UK and US and their gang work on. How about the bind Chinese dissident who was in the US Embassy. Would the US have tolerated the Chinese breading in or arresting him upon leaving?

I just heard an international law professor say all the UK had to do was 'relocate' the Ecuadorian Embassy - which would force those inside to move to the new location - giving them the opportunity to arrest any inside they wanted. They could also start a fire or declare the building unfit for human habitation etc.

All is quiet now at the Embassy and I expect it will until after Ecuador announces they have given Assange asylum. That's the easy part. After that, getting him out now seems an impossible task. Ordinarily the host nation will grant 'safe passage'; but you can bet your bippie in this case unless Ecuador had something to trade [I fear they do not] the UK will do no such thing and the enhanced presence of 50+ Police in and out of three police vans around the Embassy [and no doubt others hidden and waiting nearby] shows thug UK's intentions. Any such move, however, would forever end all nation's ability to grant asylum - a tradition that dates back centuries and has saved many lives and served much justice.

I'm with you Magda, and find it a bit upsetting that there are not more people surrounding the Embassy...a public outcry from UK citizens is likely the ONLY way he'll ever make it to Ecuador...or some extraordinary vote in the UN General Assembly

Now ther are two British Police ON the steps of the Embassy - not in front, as they should be. The tension seems to be building. Also the police are not the special Diplomatic Police of the UK, but criminal officers - that handle crime cases. Now there are starting to be a few people there...but few is the operative word. The camerman for Ustream just asked a police officer what his orders were, to which the policeman gave a glib reply of 'keeping the peace'. The streamer just gave a summary in Portuguese, but I can't discern if he is from Portugal or Brazil.

A Diplomatic Police van just arrived and is talking to the two officers on the steps of the Embassy. And thank goodness a small group is starting to form at 4:30am London time...I hope it grows to hundreds or even thousands by day's end and remains! Tahrir around the Ecuadorian Embassy. Not only is Assange imporant in and of himself; but symbolically, this is crucial to if the 'West' becomes a Police State or not. IMHO.

The livestreamers seem to be associated with the Occupy Movement. The Portugese or Brazilian just left to recharge his batteries and now a woman with strong London accent is livestreaming. Of course, the MSM is NOT there at all.

Three persons on the top of the Harrads nearby....not sure if citizens or Police snipers.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:15 AM
I stand corrected, the BBC is there, but not live. Anyway, citizen journalism and livestreaming is the only way we'll get someting approximating the truth of the events of today, which I think could be heavy! More and more police walking by and an occasional police van [plus the three parked with 12+ police inside each]. The police went INSIDE the Embassy a half hour ago [just before I started watching]!....which I feel is totally illegal. They came back out without Assange. There are rumors that Assange is not in the Embassy. I can think of one way he could have been exfiltrated, but will not mention yet, in case it is not yet so, but might become so. Ask me later, when this is 'over'...if it ever is. One person had to remain in a US embassy for 19 years, I believe, as the host nation wouldn't grant him safe passage. Now, I'm furious that the Public Order Police of the UK went into a sovereign Embassy...under what law or right - NONE! In fact there are longstanding International Treaties specifically disallowing that!

One good thing - this Ustream feed has had over 57,000 views from around the World!...and one can expect that to grow much larger as the day progresses! The Ustreamer just went up to the door of the Embassy and asked the two 'Bobbies' if there was a doorbell she could ring and ask for a comment. They said nothing. She walked past them, found the bells, but did not ring. It is, after all, before 5am.

Just a very nasty verbal exchange between the livestreamer and a motorcycle policeman! Things are heating [hotting] up.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:50 AM
8.46am: Wikileaks has just tweeted that diplomatic police have just arrived at the Ecuadorian embassy. You can watch a live video stream here.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Britain had earlier in the day issued “a written threat that it could assault our embassy” if Assange is not handed over. After Patino’s brief appearance before reporters, Britain’s Foreign Office issued a statement citing a 1987 British law it says permits the revocation of diplomatic status of a building if the foreign power occupying it “ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post.”

Patino said Ecuador “rejects in the most energetic terms the explicit threat of the official British communication.”

The Foreign Office statement did not elaborate on Britain’s intentions if Assange were to be granted political asylum by Ecuador whose president, Rafael Correa, has expressed sympathy for the Wikileaks founder.

“We have an obligation to extradite Mr. Assange and it is only right that we give Ecuador (the) full picture,” the statement said, before adding: “We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.”

Under international law, diplomatic posts are considered the territory of the foreign nation.

8.40am: There have been protests in both Ecuador and the UK, over the UK’s “threat” to the Ecuadorian embassy over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. In Quito, about 30 people yelling “England, what part don’t you understand, we are sovereign!” protested outside the British Embassy, and briefly trampled a British flag.

In London, a small group of Assange supporters were gathered outside the Ecuadorean embassy late Wednesday, according to live footage broadcast by a citizen journalist on the scene. The embassy was dark, although occasionally the curtains appeared to move.

British officials have vowed not grant Assange safe passage out of their country if Ecuador grants asylum. They say they will arrest him the moment he steps foot outside the embassy.

But they had not publicly suggested they might strip the embassy of its diplomatic inviolability.

However a British Foreign Office spokesperson says, “Under British law we can give them a week’s notice before entering the premises and the embassy will no longer have diplomatic protection. But that decision has not yet been taken. We are not going to do this overnight. We want to stress that we want a diplomatically agreeable solution.”

8.30am: The Ecuadorean government will announce its decision on Julian Assange’s appeal for political asylum at 10 o’clock tonight, Eastern Australian time.
However, contrary to media and Twitter speculation, British police have not raided Ecuador’s London embassy to arrest Assange to facilitate his extradition to Sweden.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/tensions-mount-ahead-of-assange-asylum-decision-20120816-24a8a.html#ixzz23ftdG1Sb

8.10am: Wikileaks has just released a press release on the Ecuador and Assange situation, condemning the situation and calling it an attempt to “bully Ecuador into a decision that is agreeable to the United Kingdom and its allies.”

The statement added that “a threat of this nature is a hostile and extreme act, which is not proportionate to the circumstances, and an unprecedented assault on the rights of asylum seekers worldwide.”

Reiterating that Assange had not been charged with any crime in any country, and called for the immediate resignation of UK Secretary of state William Hague, who is believed to have taken this decision in the absence of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:51 AM
I'v lost any live feed; though I'm sure there is one. Anyone have the url?

Carsten Wiethoff
08-16-2012, 05:55 AM
works for me

BTW, Peter, time in London currently is 6:55am.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:57 AM
works for me

BTW, Peter, time in London currently is 6:55am.

This is a few hours old and I watched it a few hours ago. In the upper-right it shows 4 hours ago, which is about right. Is there not a live feed now?!?! Even OccupyLSX who are usually where the action is are now streaming one of Assange's RT shows. What's going on?!?!?!? I think it was a case of the livestreamer having to replace their battery...but not sure.

OK, now it is live again with a 1000 watching and growing fast - up to 1200 in five minutes -and even better there are people starting to assemble - on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupynewsnetwork


Carsten Wiethoff
08-16-2012, 06:03 AM
seems to be live, more or less, but it is not continuous...

Now the other strem is live again as well.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 06:15 AM
Its live and OK now, thanks....what worries me is that 10 Police entered just before it went live again and are INSIDE NOW. The Diplomatic police just arrived! Sadly, there are NOT the numbers to try to stop the police if they try to remove Assange or try anything else at this point. As I write this 1500 are watching, but only about 30 people are there - along with about 50+ police. In Quito there is a demonstration outside the UK Embassy! The official message from Quite on asylum is supposed to be about 1pm GMT. The police are still in the building......apparently there are two embassies in the same building and the police may be trying to stop a shuttling of Assange from one to the other....or they could be presenting an arrest warrant.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 07:40 AM
I just thought of a second way to exfiltrate Assange from the Embassy...and I can only hope they thought of it and have already done it....it would be totally legal [certainly not illegal]...if a bit of 'slight of hand'. More Diplomatic Police arriving now. 8:43am GMT ; 2500 viewers on the channel I'm watching [there are others now]. 17,000 total views.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 07:59 AM
Police presence getting slightly more intense - turning away cars from in front of Embassy. Four recently were taxis, called by unknown persons to take 'Said' and a party of nine to Heathrow....:nono: One was for Julian Assange. But the Police acted as if the taxis could be bombs and quickly told them to leave in a gruff manner. The MSM are out in surprising force now, but not recording anything yet. One came over to ask those holding vigil why they were there supporting Assange. Top Police 'Brass' slowly coming....they expect a big day, I presume. Barriers are ready to be assembled, if needed, but not many if a large crowd.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 08:10 AM
Ayatollah Cameron Threatens to invade Ecuador Embassy re: Assange (or, Whitewashing Iran for the US National Security State)

Posted on 08/16/2012 by Juan

The British government’s menacing of the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning, with its threat that its police might well come on to the embassy grounds to arrest wikileaks leader and fugitive Julian Assange, resembles nothing so much as the Iranian regime’s cavalier attitude to the supposed inviolability of embassies. To be sure, Assange does not himself have diplomatic immunity. But the ground on which the Ecuadorian embassy sits is considered in international law to be Ecuadorian territory, and breaching it is tantamount to an invasion.

There is no question in my mind that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have pressured British Prime Minister David Cameron into taking this step. The Obama administration’s reaction to the Wikileaks release of State Department cables with a relatively low level of classification has been astonishingly wrong-headed. The Pentagon Papers case in the 1970s established the principle that the US government had a right to try to keep its documents secret from us, but that if the documents were revealed, they could be freely published and cited by the public. In contrast, the current stance of the US government is that classified documents remain classified and US government property even if they have been published! And, State Department spokesmen have actually tried to threaten college students about talking about the documents on social media sites, since if they ever wanted to work for the US government, that sort of thing might be held against them. The Tomdispatch.com site has been banned on US government computers via filtering software because of its use of the Wikileaks cables. These measures are petty and ostrich-like. The cables have been released. Get over it.

The British threats do a great deal to absolve Iran of its bad behavior toward embassies. British Foreign Secretary William Hague fulminated (with some justification) in Novemeber, 2011, that the Iranian authorities had “committed a grave breach” of the Vienna convention in neglecting to protect the British embassy in Tehran from being invaded by angry crowds of protesters on November 29.

In the wake of the embassy invasion, then UK ambassador to Iran Dominick Chilcott told the Washington Post, “as a foreign diplomat, you can’t work in a country that does not respect the norms of the Vienna Convention.”

The incident did not lead to hostage-taking, as had a similar embassy invasion in 1979, when radical youth (including the Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK members) took the American embassy and kept 52 members of its staff hostage for 444 days.

Now, what is at stake here? What exactly does the [pdf] 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations say? Here is the relevant language:

Article 22
1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

There are many difficult issues around diplomatic asylum, the technical term for the status that Mr. Assange is seeking from Ecuador. There is a long tradition of diplomatic asylum in South America going back to the 19th century, codified in treaty. (Diplomatic asylum itself was known in early modern Europe, but its precise legal status was in dispute). South American diplomatic conventions condition Ecuador’s attitudes to this unfolding crisis.

But the United States has sometimes accepted the principle, and acted on it. Most famously, the US embassy in Budapest gave diplomatic asylum to Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty for 15 years, beginning during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Had Communist Hungary sent police onto the grounds of the US embassy and brought the cardinal out in handcuffs, I think we all know how that action would have been received in the United States.

And, ironically, the British embassy in Tehran gave diplomatic asylum to Iranian dissidents during the Constitutional Revolution in Iran in the early 20th century. Again, the Qajar Empire did not invade the embassy grounds to crush the dissidents and ensure absolute monarchy, and if it had, there would have been a war.

Another question is whether Julian Assange is a candidate for political asylum. Technically, a British court has ordered him to be extradited to Sweden for an inquiry as to whether he is guilty of sexual crimes peculiar to Sweden, not exactly rape but rough sex in one instance, and in the case of another woman, resisting, during passionate love-making, a request that he use a condom. (In both cases, the sex appears to have been consensual and so he could not have been charged with rape in the UK or the US). The statute under which he would be tried in Sweden does not exist in the same form in Britain.

Since he is Julian Assange of wikileaks, it cannot be ruled out that the UK judges were influenced in their decision to extradite him by their distaste for his release of government secrets, some of which embarrassed the British government. Many observers believe that if he is tried in Sweden, the US will request that he be extradited to the United States for trial on espionage charges of some sort, and could even be executed.

So a case could certainly be made that he is seeking political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, not just fleeing a criminal complaint.

But it seems to me that the asylum issue is anyway a red herring. Because the Vienna Convention strictly forbids the invasion of the embassy grounds, and the UK can’t arrest Assange on those grounds without violating Ecuadorian sovereignty.

The British argument that the Vienna Convention does not apply if the embassy is used for non-diplomatic, criminal purposes is a slippery slope. Cardinal Mindszenty probably did break Hungarian law, after all, and whether laws are legitimate or not is a matter of opinion. Further, everyone knows that governments routinely place intelligence agents in embassies with a diplomatic cover. Spying is not a legitimate embassy function, and is moreover illegal in the host nation, so that you could argue that all embassies can always be invaded in search of the fruits of their espionage there. In fact, that is precisely the Iranian justification for the invasion of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979– that it was a “spy’s nest” not an embassy at all. This assertion is outrageous, but there almost certainly were CIA analysts and operatives based in the embassy. Likewise, Iran arrested UK embassy staff in 2009 on charges that they were playing domestic Iranian politics and not restricting themselves to diplomacy. Once embassies can be violated for ‘criminal’ activity that is so open to interpretation, then that seems a slippery slope.

Finally, Assange did not commit a crime in the UK, and what he is accused of in Sweden isn’t even a crime in Britain. Violating an embassy merely to support an extradition request by a third party is excessive any way you look at it.

The Ecuadorian government, which will make a decision on diplomatic asylum later on Thursday, denounced the British threat to invade the embassy grounds as unacceptable, and called a meeting of the Organization of American States to seek support. The government of President Rafael Correa thundered, “We are not a British colony!” The Ecuadorian embassy described the British threats as “unacceptable and a menace to all the countries of the world.”

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 08:23 AM
Technically Cameron is invading Ecuador for Sweden (proxy for the US)

Just heard one of the live feed guys say that it is change over time for the police and that they had worked very very hard sitting in the vans eating doughnuts all night.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 08:26 AM
Interesting to contrast that the UK never even entered the Libyan embassy when policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was shot by some one from inside that embassy. They surrounded the embassy for 11 days and then granted every one safe passage to leave the country before severing diplomatic relations with Libya.

"We draw attention to the fact that the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously declared in Resolution 2312 (1967) that

"the grant of asylum. . . is a peaceful and humanitarian act and that, as such, it cannot be regarded as unfriendly by any other State."

Pursuant to this resolution, a decision to grant asylum cannot be construed by another State as an unfriendly act. Neither can there be diplomatic consequences for granting asylum.

We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country."

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 08:40 AM
BBC is reporting that cell phone communications in the neighborhood around the embassy are completely down. Could be blocking the live feeds. Criminals don't like to be seen doing their crimes.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 08:46 AM
BBC is reporting that cell phone communications in the neighborhood around the embassy are completely down. Could be blocking the live feeds. Criminals don't like to be seen doing their crimes.

That would explain the lack of a live feed. There must be a work-around, but likely not in time...less than two hours. Cowards. They plan something dirty. That would block all MSM not using satellites too!

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 08:49 AM
BBC is reporting that cell phone communications in the neighborhood around the embassy are completely down. Could be blocking the live feeds. Criminals don't like to be seen doing their crimes.

That would explain the lack of a live feed. There must be a work-around, but likely not in time...less than two hours. Cowards. They plan something dirty. That would block all MSM not using satellites too!
Local businesses are screaming.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 09:11 AM
Apparently live video with NO sound here. (http://reuters.livestation.com/demo/) It comes from Reuters - they seem to have wanted to eliminate the citizen journalists....and have!

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Live feed back up here : http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupynewsnetwork

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Live again http://www.ustream.tv/channel/occupynewsnetwork

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 09:46 AM
First arrests coming shortly....

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 11:03 AM
Met Police Website reportedly hacked and still down.......maybe other UK Govt. sites, as well.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 12:15 PM
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister press conference on live now. http://rt.com/on-air/

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 12:23 PM
U.K. threatens to revoke Ecuador’s status if Assange granted asylum

Mohammed Abbas and Alessandra Prentice

LONDON — Reuters

Published Thursday, Aug. 16 2012, 7:55 AM EDT

Last updated Thursday, Aug. 16 2012, 7:58 AM EDT

Britain said on Thursday that any decision by Ecuador to give Julian Assange political asylum wouldn’t change a thing and that it might still revoke the diplomatic status of Quito’s embassy in London to allow the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder.

The high-profile Australian former hacker has been holed up inside the red-brick embassy in central London for eight weeks since he lost a legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations.

Britain’s tough talk on the issue takes what has become an international soap opera to new heights since Mr. Assange angered the United States by publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables on his WikiLeaks website. It may also raise difficult questions for London about the sanctity of embassies’ diplomatic status.

The Ecuadorean government, which said it would announce whether it had granted Mr. Assange’s asylum request on Thursday at 7 a.m., has said any attempt by Britain to remove the diplomatic status of its embassy would be a “hostile and intolerable act”.

“It is too early to say when or if Britain will revoke the Ecuadorean embassy’s diplomatic status,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “Giving asylum doesn’t fundamentally change anything.”

“We have a legal duty to extradite Mr. Assange. There is a law that says we have to extradite him to Sweden. We are going to have to fulfill that law.”

Outside the embassy, British police tussled with protesters chanting slogans in support of Mr. Assange and at least three supporters were detained.

Quito bristled at Britain’s warning.

“We want to be very clear, we’re not a British colony. The colonial times are over,” Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an angry statement after a meeting with President Rafael Correa.

Britain’s threat to withdraw diplomatic status from the Ecuadorean embassy drew criticism from some former diplomats who said it could lead to similar moves against British embassies.

“I think the Foreign Office have slightly overreached themselves here,” Britain’s former ambassador to Moscow, Tony Brenton, told the BBC.

“If we live in a world where governments can arbitrarily revoke immunity and go into embassies then the life of our diplomats and their ability to conduct normal business in places like Moscow where I was and North Korea becomes close to impossible.”


Ecuador’s embassy, near London’s famed Harrods department store, has been under tight surveillance, with police officers manning the entrance and patrolling its perimeter.

A group of pro-Assange protesters gathered outside the building overnight in response to a rallying call by his supporters on social media websites.

Wearing trademark Guy Fawkes masks - to evoke the spirit of the 17th century English plotter - they held banners and blasted out songs by punk group The Jam from a portable speaker.

A Reuters reporter saw at least three protesters being dragged away by police. About 20 officers were outside the embassy trying to push away the crowd of about 15 supporters.

“I am upset that the British government is willing to go in there and take him by force,” said Liliana Calle, 24, an Ecuadorean student waving her country’s flag outside the embassy. “It makes me think they don’t believe in human rights.”

In what appeared to be prank, taxis lined up outside the embassy asking for Julian Assange.

“I’ve lived, worked and travelled in places with proper dictatorships and nowhere have I seen violations of the Vienna convention to this extent,” said Farhan Rasheed, 42, a historian wearing an “I love Occupy” badge, outside the embassy.

“Here we have a government which claims to be a government of law and justice, stretching and possibly about to break a serious binding international agreement.”

Swedish prosecutors have not yet charged Mr. Assange, but they believe they have a case to take to trial.

Mr. Assange fears Sweden could send him on to the United States, where he believes authorities want to punish him for publishing thousands of diplomatic cables in a major embarrassment for Washington.

Even if he were granted asylum, Mr. Assange has little chance of leaving the Ecuadorean embassy in London without being arrested.

There has been speculation he could travel to an airport in a diplomatic car, be smuggled out in a diplomatic bag, or even be appointed an Ecuadorean diplomat to give him immunity.

But lawyers and diplomats see those scenarios as practically unworkable.

Ecuador’s leader Mr. Correa is a self-declared enemy of “corrupt” media and U.S. “imperialism”, and apparently hit it off with Mr. Assange during a TV interview the Australian did with him in May. Mr. Correa joked then with Mr. Assange that he had joined “the club of the persecuted”.

The Ecuadorean government has said it wants to avoid Mr. Assange’s extradition to Sweden, but if it did decide to grant him asylum it would offer no legal protection in Britain where police will arrest him as soon as they get a chance.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 12:32 PM

Carsten Wiethoff
08-16-2012, 12:38 PM
Assange just got political asylum.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 12:46 PM
Brilliant speech by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister. The asylum request is totally supported by international law. The US could not guarantee that they did not want to extradite him. The UK were 'unhelpful' in their dealing with Ecuador. His birth country was not to be relied upon. Ecuador did the right and decent thing.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-16-2012, 12:50 PM
It is basically a shame for Australia. They should be protecting their own citizens. But alas...

Go, Go, Go Equador!

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 12:55 PM
Yes, Australia has acted shamefully through out the whole affair. Thank god there are some places still that are sane and abide by the law.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 01:05 PM
Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian AssangeEl 19 de junio de 2012, el ciudadano de nacionalidad australiana Julian Assange, se presentó en el local de la Embajada del Ecuador en Londres, a fin de solicitar la protección diplomática del Estado ecuatoriano, acogiéndose a las normas sobre Asilo Diplomático vigentes. El requirente ha basado su pedido en el temor que le produce la eventual persecución política que podría sufrir en un tercer Estado, el mismo que podría valerse de su extradición al Reino de Suecia para obtener a su vez la extradición ulterior a aquel país.
El Gobierno del Ecuador, fiel al procedimiento del Asilo, y atribuyendo la máxima seriedad a este caso, ha examinado y evaluado todos los aspectos implicados en el mismo, particularmente los argumentos presentados por el señor Assange para respaldar el temor que siente ante una situación que esta persona percibe como un peligro para su vida, su seguridad personal y su libertad.
Es importante señalar que el señor Assange ha tomado la decisión de solicitar el asilo y protección del Ecuador por las acusaciones que, según manifiesta, le han sido formuladas por supuesto “espionaje y traición”, con lo cual este ciudadano expone el temor que le infunde la posibilidad de ser entregado a las autoridades de los Estados Unidos de América por las autoridades británicas, suecas o australianas, pues aquel es un país, señala el señor Assange, que lo persigue debido a la desclasificación de información comprometedora para el Gobierno estadounidense. Manifiesta, asimismo, el solicitante, que “es víctima de una persecución en distintos países, la cual deriva no solo de sus ideas y sus acciones, sino de su trabajo al publicar información que compromete a los poderosos, de publicar la verdad y, con ello, desenmascarar la corrupción y graves abusos a los derechos humanos de ciudadanos alrededor del mundo”.
Por lo tanto, para el solicitante, la imputación de delitos de carácter político es lo que fundamenta su pedido de asilo, pues en su criterio, se encuentra ante una situación que supone para él un peligro inminente que no puede resistir. A fin de explicar el temor que le infunde una posible persecución política, y que esta posibilidad termine convirtiéndose en una situación de menoscabo y violación de sus derechos, con riesgo para su integridad y seguridad personal, y su libertad, el Gobierno del Ecuador consideró lo siguiente:

Que Julian Assange es un profesional de la comunicación galardonado internacionalmente por su lucha a favor de la libertad de expresión, la libertad de prensa y de los derechos humanos en general;
Que el señor Assange compartió con el público global información documental privilegiada que fue generada por diversas fuentes, y que afectó a funcionarios, países y organizaciones;
Que existen serios indicios de retaliación por parte del país o los países que produjeron la información divulgada por el señor Assange, represalia que puede poner en riesgo su seguridad, integridad, e incluso su vida;
Que, a pesar de las gestiones diplomáticas realizadas por el Estado ecuatoriano, los países de los cuales se han requerido garantías suficientes para proteger la seguridad y la vida del señor Assange, se han negado a facilitarlas;
Que, existe la certeza de las autoridades ecuatorianas de que es factible la extradición del señor Assange a un tercer país fuera de la Unión Europea sin las debidas garantías para su seguridad e integridad personal;
Que la evidencia jurídica muestra claramente que, de darse una extradición a los Estados Unidos de América, el señor Assange no tendría un juicio justo, podría ser juzgado por tribunales especiales o militares, y no es inverosímil que se le aplique un trato cruel y degradante, y se le condene a cadena perpetua o a la pena capital, con lo cual no serían respetados sus derechos humanos;
Que, si bien el señor Assange debe responder por la investigación abierta en Suecia, el Ecuador está consciente que la fiscalía sueca ha tenido una actitud contradictoria que impidió al señor Assange el total ejercicio del legítimo derecho a la defensa;
Que el Ecuador está convencido de que se han menoscabado los derechos procesales del señor Assange durante dicha investigación;
Que el Ecuador ha constatado que el señor Assange se encuentra sin la debida protección y auxilio que debía recibir de parte del Estado del cual es ciudadano;
Que, al tenor de varias declaraciones públicas y comunicaciones diplomáticas realizadas por funcionarios de Gran Bretaña, Suecia y Estados Unidos de América, se infiere que dichos gobiernos no respetarían las convenciones y tratados internacionales, y darían prioridad a leyes internas de jerarquía secundaria, contraviniendo normas expresas de aplicación universal; y,
Que, si el señor Assange es reducido a prisión preventiva en Suecia (tal y como es costumbre en este país), se iniciaría una cadena de sucesos que impediría que se tomen medidas de protección ulterior para evitar la posible extradición a un tercer país.

De esta forma, el Gobierno del Ecuador considera que estos argumentos dan sustento a los temores de Julian Assange, en tanto este puede ser víctima de una persecución política, como consecuencia de su defensa decidida a favor de la libertad de expresión y de la libertad de prensa, así como de su posición de repudio a los abusos en que suele incurrir el poder en determinados países, aspectos que hacen pensar al señor Assange que, en cualquier momento, puede presentarse una situación susceptible de poner en peligro su vida, seguridad o integridad personal. Este temor le ha conminado a ejercer su derecho humano de buscar y recibir asilo en la Embajada del Ecuador en el Reino Unido.
El Artículo 41 de la Constitución de la República del Ecuador define claramente el derecho de asilar. En virtud de esta disposición, en el Ecuador están plenamente reconocidos los derechos de asilo y refugio, de acuerdo con la ley y los instrumentos internacionales de derechos humanos. Según dicha norma constitucional:
“las personas que se encuentran en situación de asilo y refugio gozarán de protección especial que garantice el pleno ejercicio de sus derechos. El Estado respetará y garantizará el principio de no devolución, además de la asistencia humanitaria y jurídica de emergencia”.
Asimismo, el derecho de asilo se encuentra reconocido en el Artículo 4.7 de la Ley Orgánica del Servicio Exterior de 2006, que determina la facultad del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración del Ecuador para conocer los casos de asilo diplomático, de acuerdo con las leyes, los tratados, el derecho y la práctica internacional.
Cabe subrayar que nuestro país se ha destacado en los últimos años por acoger a un gran número de personas que han solicitado asilo territorial o refugio, habiendo respetado irrestrictamente el principio de no devolución y de no discriminación, al tiempo que ha adoptado medidas encaminadas a otorgar el estatuto de refugiado de una manera expedita, teniendo en cuenta las circunstancias de los solicitantes, en su gran mayoría colombianos que huyen del conflicto armado en su país. El Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados ha elogiado la política de refugio del Ecuador, y ha resaltado el hecho significativo de que en el país no se haya confinado en campamentos a estas personas, sino que han sido integradas a la sociedad, en pleno goce de sus derechos humanos y garantías.
El Ecuador sitúa el derecho de asilo en el catálogo universal de los derechos humanos y cree, por tanto, que la aplicación efectiva de este derecho requiere de la cooperación internacional que puedan prestarse nuestros países, sin la cual resultaría infructuoso su enunciado, y la institución sería del todo ineficaz. Por estos motivos, y recordando la obligación que han asumido todos los Estados para colaborar en la protección y promoción de los Derechos Humanos, tal como lo dispone la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, invita al Gobierno británico a brindar su contingente para alcanzar este propósito.
Para estos efectos, el Ecuador ha podido constatar, en el transcurso del análisis de las instituciones jurídicas vinculadas al asilo, que a la conformación de este derecho concurren principios fundamentales del derecho internacional general, los mismos que por su importancia tienen valor y alcance universal, por cuanto guardan consonancia con el interés general de la comunidad internacional en su conjunto, y cuentan con el pleno reconocimiento por parte de todos los Estados. Dichos principios, que se encuentran contemplados en diversos instrumentos internacionales, son los siguientes:

a) El asilo, en todas sus modalidades, es un derecho humano fundamental que crea obligacioneserga omnes, es decir, “para todos” los Estados.
b) El asilo diplomático, el refugio (o asilo territorial), y los derechos a no ser extraditado, expulsado, entregado o transferido, son derechos humanos equiparables, ya que se basan en los mismos principios de protección humana: no devolución y no discriminación sin ninguna distinción de carácter desfavorable por motivos de raza, color, sexo, idioma, religión o creencia, opiniones políticas o de otra índole, origen nacional o social, fortuna, nacimiento u otra condición o cualquier otro criterio análogo.
c) Todas estas formas de protección están regidas por los principios pro homine (es decir, más favorable a la persona humana), igualdad, universalidad, indivisibilidad, complementariedad e interdependencia.
d) La protección se produce cuando el Estado asilante, de refugio o requerido, o la potencia protectora, consideran que existe el riesgo o el temor de que la persona protegida pueda ser víctima de persecución política, o se le imputan delitos políticos.
e) Corresponde al Estado asilante calificar las causas del asilo, y en caso de extradición, valorar las pruebas.
f) Sin importar en cuál de sus modalidades o formas se presente, el asilo tiene siempre la misma causa y el mismo objeto lícitos, es decir, la persecución política, que es su causa lícita; y salvaguardar la vida, seguridad personal y libertad de la persona protegida, que es el objeto lícito.
g) El derecho de asilo es un derecho humano fundamental, por tanto, pertenece al ius cogens, es decir, al sistema de normas imperativas de derecho reconocidas por la comunidad internacional en su conjunto, que no admiten acuerdo en contrario, siendo nulos los tratados y disposiciones del derecho internacional que se les opongan.
h) En los casos no previstos en el derecho vigente, la persona humana queda bajo la salvaguardia de los principios de humanidad y de las exigencias de la conciencia pública, o están bajo la protección y el imperio de los principios del derecho de gentes derivados de los usos establecidos, de los principios de humanidad y de los dictados de la conciencia pública.
i) La falta de convención internacional o de legislación interna de los Estados no puede alegarse legítimamente para limitar, menoscabar o denegar el derecho al asilo.
j) Las normas y principios que rigen los derechos de asilo, refugio, no extradición, no entrega, no expulsión y no transferencia son convergentes, en la medida que sea necesario para perfeccionar la protección y dotarle de la máxima eficiencia. En este sentido, son complementarios el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos, el derecho de asilo y de los refugiados, y el derecho humanitario.
k) Los derechos de protección de la persona humana se basan en principios y valores éticos universalmente admitidos y, por tanto, tienen un carácter humanístico, social, solidario, asistencial, pacífico y humanitario.
l) Todos los Estados tienen el deber de promover el desarrollo progresivo del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos mediante acciones nacionales e internacionales efectivas.
El Ecuador considera que el derecho aplicable al caso de asilo del señor Julian Assange está integrado por todo el conjunto de principios, normas, mecanismos y procedimientos previstos en los instrumentos internacionales de derechos humanos (sean de carácter regional o universal), que contemplan entre sus disposiciones el derecho de buscar, recibir y disfrutar del asilo por motivos políticos; las Convenciones que regulan el derecho de asilo y el derecho de los refugiados, y que reconocen el derecho a no ser entregado, devuelto, o expulsado cuando hay fundados temores de persecución política; las Convenciones que regulan el derecho de extradición y que reconocen el derecho a no ser extraditado cuando esta medida pueda encubrir persecución política; y las Convenciones que regulan el derecho humanitario, y que reconocen el derecho a no ser transferido cuando exista riesgo de persecución política. Todas estas modalidades de asilo y de protección internacional están justificadas por la necesidad de proteger a esta persona de una eventual persecución política, o de una posible imputación de delitos políticos y/o delitos conexos a estos últimos, lo cual, a juicio del Ecuador, no solamente pondría en peligro al señor Assange, sino que además representaría una grave injusticia cometida en su contra.
Es innegable que los Estados, al haber contraído en tan numerosos y sustantivos instrumentos internacionales -muchos de ellos jurídicamente vinculantes- la obligación de brindar protección o asilo a las personas perseguidas por motivos políticos, han expresado su voluntad de establecer una institución jurídica de protección de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales, fundada en una práctica generalmente aceptada como derecho, lo que atribuye a dichas obligaciones un carácter imperativo, erga omnes que, por estar vinculadas al respeto, protección y desarrollo progresivo de los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales, forman parte del ius cogens. Algunos de dichos instrumentos se mencionan a continuación:

a) Carta de las Naciones Unidas de 1945, Propósitos y Principios de las Naciones Unidas: obligación de todos los miembros de cooperar en la promoción y protección de los derechos humanos;
b) Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos de 1948: derecho de buscar y disfrutar del asilo en cualquier país, por motivos políticos (Artículo 14);
c) Declaración Americana de Derechos y Deberes del Hombre de 1948: derecho de buscar y recibir asilo, por motivos políticos (Artículo 27);
d) Convenio de Ginebra de 12 de agosto de 1949, relativo a la Protección Debida a las Personas Civiles en Tiempos de Guerra: en ningún caso se puede transferir a la persona protegida a un país donde pueda temer persecuciones a causa de sus opiniones políticas (Artículo 45);
e) Convención sobre el Estatuto de los Refugiados de 1951, y su Protocolo de Nueva York de 1967: prohíbe devolver o expulsar a los refugiados a países donde su vida y libertad peligren (Artículo. 33.1);
f) Convención sobre Asilo Diplomático de 1954: el Estado tiene derecho de conceder asilo y calificar la naturaleza del delito o de los motivos de la persecución (Artículo 4);
g) Convención sobre Asilo Territorial de 1954: el Estado tiene derecho a admitir en su territorio a las personas que juzgue conveniente (Artículo 1), cuando sean perseguidas por sus creencias, opiniones o filiación política, o por actos que puedan considerarse delitos políticos (Artículo 2), no pudiendo el Estado asilante devolver o expulsar al asilado que es perseguido por motivos o delitos políticos (Artículo 3); asimismo, la extradición no procede cuando se trata de personas que, según el Estado requerido, sean perseguidas por delitos políticos, o por delitos comunes cometidos con fines políticos, ni cuando la extradición se solicita obedeciendo a móviles políticos (Artículo 4);
h) Convenio Europeo de Extradición de 1957: prohíbe la extradición si la Parte requerida considera que el delito imputado es de carácter político (Artículo 3.1);
i) Declaración 2312 sobre Asilo Territorial de 1967: establece la concesión de asilo a las personas que tengan ese derecho en virtud del Artículo 14 de la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos, incluidas las personas que luchan contra el colonialismo (Artículo 1.1). Se prohíbe la negativa de admisión, la expulsión y devolución a cualquier Estado donde pueda ser objeto de persecución (Artículo 3.1);
j) Convención de Viena sobre Derecho de los Tratados de 1969: establece que las normas y principios imperativos de derecho internacional general no admiten acuerdo en contrario, siendo nulo el tratado que al momento de su conclusión entra en conflicto con una de estas normas (Artículo 53), y si surge una nueva norma perentoria de este mismo carácter, todo tratado existente que entre en conflicto con dicha norma es nulo y se da por terminado (Artículo 64). En cuanto a la aplicación de estos artículos, la Convención autoriza a los Estados a demandar su cumplimiento ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia, sin que se requiera la conformidad del Estado demandado, aceptando la jurisdicción del tribunal (Artículo 66.b). Los derechos humanos son normas del ius cogens.
k) Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos de 1969: derecho de buscar y recibir asilo, por motivos políticos (Artículo 22.7);
l) Convenio Europeo para la Represión del Terrorismo de 1977: el Estado requerido está facultado para negar la extradición cuando existan el peligro de que la persona sea perseguida o castigada por sus opiniones políticas (Artículo 5);
m) Convención Interamericana sobre Extradición de 1981: la extradición no es procedente cuando el reclamado haya sido juzgado o condenado, o vaya a ser juzgado ante un tribunal de excepción o ad hoc en el Estado requirente (Artículo 4.3); cuando, con arreglo a la calificación del Estado requerido, se trate de delitos políticos, o de delitos conexos o de delitos comunes perseguidos con una finalidad política; cuando, de las circunstancias del caso, pueda inferirse que media propósito persecutorio por consideraciones de raza, religión o nacionalidad, o que la situación de la persona corra el riesgo de verse agravada por alguno de tales motivos (Artículo 4.5). El Artículo 6 dispone, en referencia al Derecho de Asilo, que “nada de lo dispuesto en la presente Convención podrá ser interpretado como limitación del derecho de asilo, cuando éste proceda”.
n) Carta Africana de Derechos del Hombre y de los Pueblos de 1981: derecho del individuo perseguido a buscar y obtener asilo en otros países (Artículo 12.3);
o) Declaración de Cartagena de 1984: reconoce el derecho a refugiarse, a no ser rechazado en frontera y a no ser devuelto.
p) Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea de 2000: establece el derecho de protección diplomática y consular. Todo ciudadano de la Unión podrá acogerse, en el territorio de un tercer país en el que no esté representado el Estado miembro del que sea nacional, a la protección de las autoridades diplomáticas y consulares de cualquier Estado miembro, en las mismas condiciones que los nacionales de este Estado (Artículo 46).
El Gobierno del Ecuador considera importante destacar que las normas y principios reconocidos en los instrumentos internacionales citados, y en otros acuerdos multilaterales, tienen preeminencia sobre el derecho interno de los Estados, pues dichos tratados se basan en una normativa universalizadora orientada por principios intangibles, de lo cual se deriva un mayor respeto, garantía y protección de los derechos humanos en contra de actitudes unilaterales de los mismos Estados. Esto restaría eficacia al derecho internacional, el cual debe más bien ser fortalecido, de tal manera que el respeto de los derechos fundamentales se consolide en función de su integración y carácter ecuménico.
Por otro lado, desde que Julian Assange solicitó asilo político al Ecuador, se han mantenido diálogos de alto nivel diplomático, con Reino Unido, Suecia y Estados Unidos.

En el trascurso de estas conversaciones, nuestro país ha apelado a obtener de Reino Unido las garantías más estrictas para que Julian Assange enfrente, sin obstáculos, el proceso jurídico abierto en Suecia. Dichas garantías incluyen que, una vez ventiladas sus responsabilidades legales en Suecia, no sea extraditado a un tercer país; esto es, la garantía de que no se aplique la figura de la especialidad. Por desgracia, y a pesar de los repetidos intercambios de textos, el Reino Unido en ningún momento dio muestras de querer alcanzar compromisos políticos, limitándose a repetir el contenido de los textos legales.
Los abogados de Julian Assange solicitaron a la justicia sueca que tome las declaraciones de Julian Assange en el local de la Embajada de Ecuador en Londres. El Ecuador trasladó oficialmente a las autoridades suecas su voluntad de facilitar esta entrevista con la intención de no interferir ni obstaculizar el proceso jurídico que se sigue en Suecia. Esta medida es perfecta y legalmente posible. Suecia no lo aceptó.
Por otro lado, el Ecuador auscultó la posibilidad de que el Gobierno sueco estableciera garantías para que no se extraditara en secuencia a Assange a los Estados Unidos. De nuevo, el Gobierno sueco rechazó cualquier compromiso en este sentido.
Finalmente, el Ecuador dirigió una comunicación al Gobierno de Estados Unidos para conocer oficialmente su posición sobre el caso Assange. Las consultas se referían a lo siguiente:

Si existe un proceso legal en curso o la intención de llevar a cabo tal proceso en contra de Julian Assange y/o los fundadores de la organización Wikileaks;
En caso de ser cierto lo anterior, qué tipo de legislación, en qué condiciones y bajo qué penas máximas estarían sujetas tales personas;
Si existe la intención de solicitar la extradición de Julian Assange a los Estados Unidos.
La respuesta de los Estados Unidos ha consistido en que no puede ofrecer información al respecto del caso Assange, alegando que es un asunto bilateral entre Ecuador y Reino Unido.
Con estos antecedentes, el Gobierno del Ecuador, fiel a su tradición de proteger a quienes buscan amparo en su territorio o en los locales de sus misiones diplomáticas, ha decidido conceder asilo diplomático al ciudadano Julian Assange, en base a la solicitud presentada al señor Presidente de la República, mediante comunicación escrita, fechada en Londres, el 19 de junio de 2012, y complementada mediante comunicación fechada en Londres, el 25 de junio de 2012, para lo cual el Gobierno ecuatoriano, tras realizar una justa y objetiva valoración de la situación expuesta por el señor Assange, atendiendo a sus propios dichos y argumentaciones, hace suyos los temores del recurrente, y asume que existen indicios que permiten presumir que puede haber persecución política, o podría producirse tal persecución si no se toman las medidas oportunas y necesarias para evitarla.
El Gobierno del Ecuador tiene la certeza de que el Gobierno Británico sabrá valorar la justicia y rectitud de la posición ecuatoriana, y en consonancia con estos argumentos, confía en que el Reino Unido ofrecerá lo antes posible las garantías o el salvoconducto necesarios y pertinentes a la situación del asilado, de tal manera que sus Gobiernos puedan honrar con sus actos la fidelidad que le deben al derecho y a las instituciones internacionales que ambas naciones han contribuido a forjar a lo largo de su historia común.
También confía en mantener inalterables los excelentes lazos de amistad y respeto mutuo que unen al Ecuador y al Reino Unido y a sus respectivos pueblos, empeñados como están en la promoción y defensa de los mismos principios y valores, y por cuanto comparten similares preocupaciones acerca de la democracia, la paz, el Buen Vivir, que sólo son posibles si se respetan los derechos fundamentales de todos.


Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 01:59 PM
I agree with all your enthusiasm and high regard for how Ecuador has acted...but there is a dark side yet to be dealt with...perhaps as soon as late tonight!...

Last updated Thursday, Aug. 16 2012, 7:58 AM EDT
Britain said on Thursday that any decision by Ecuador to give Julian Assange political asylum wouldn’t change a thing and that it might still revoke the diplomatic status of Quito’s embassy in London to allow the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder.:spy:

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 02:11 PM
Julian Assange asylum: Ecuador is right to stand up to the US

The United States would paint itself as a promoter of human rights, but any right to make that claim is long gone

Mark Weisbrot
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 16 August 2012 14.03 BST

Ecuador's president Rafael Correa: 'Correa made this decision because it was the only ethical thing to do'. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Ecuador has now made its decision: to grant political asylum to Julian Assange. This comes in the wake of an incident that should dispel remaining doubts about the motives behind the UK/Swedish attempts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On Wednesday, the UK government made an unprecedented threat to invade Ecuador's embassy if Assange is not handed over. Such an assault would be so extreme in violating international law and diplomatic conventions that it is difficult to even find an example of a democratic government even making such a threat, let alone carrying it out.

When Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, in an angry and defiant response, released the written threats to the public, the UK government tried to backtrack and say it wasn't a threat to invade the embassy (which is another country's sovereign territory). But what else can we possibly make of this wording from a letter delivered by a British official?

"You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy. We sincerely hope that we do not reach that point, but if you are not capable of resolving this matter of Mr Assange's presence in your premises, this is an open option for us."

Is there anyone in their right mind who believes that the UK government would make such an unprecedented threat if this were just about an ordinary foreign citizen wanted for questioning – not criminal charges or a trial – by a foreign government?

Ecuador's decision to grant political asylum to Assange was both predictable and reasonable. But it is also a ground-breaking case that has considerable historic significance.

First, the merits of the case: Assange clearly has a well-founded fear of persecution if he were to be extradited to Sweden. It is pretty much acknowledged that he would be immediately thrown in jail. Since he is not charged with any crime, and the Swedish government has no legitimate reason to bring him to Sweden, this by itself is a form of persecution.

We can infer that the Swedes have no legitimate reason for the extradition, since they were repeatedly offered the opportunity to question him in the UK, but rejected it, and have also refused to even put forth a reason for this refusal. A few weeks ago the Ecuadorian government offered to allow Assange to be questioned in its London embassy, where Assange has been residing since 19 June, but the Swedish government refused – again without offering a reason. This was an act of bad faith in the negotiating process that has taken place between governments to resolve the situation.

Former Stockholm chief district prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem also made it clear that the Swedish government had no legitimate reason to seek Assange's extradition when he testified that the decision of the Swedish government to extradite Assange is "unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate", because he could be easily questioned in the UK.

But, most importantly, the government of Ecuador agreed with Assange that he had a reasonable fear of a second extradition to the United States, and persecution here for his activities as a journalist. The evidence for this was strong. Some examples: an ongoing investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks in the US; evidence that an indictment had already been prepared; statements by important public officials such as Democratic senator Diane Feinstein that he should be prosecuted for espionage, which carries a potential death penalty or life imprisonment.

Why is this case so significant? It is probably the first time that a citizen fleeing political persecution by the US has been granted political asylum by a democratic government seeking to uphold international human rights conventions. This is a pretty big deal, because for more than 60 years the US has portrayed itself as a proponent of human rights internationally – especially during the cold war. And many people have sought and received asylum in the US.

The idea of the US government as a human rights defender, which was believed mostly in the US and allied countries, was premised on a disregard for the human rights of the victims of US wars and foreign policy, such as the 3 million Vietnamese or more than one million Iraqis who were killed, and millions of others displaced, wounded, or abused because of US actions. That idea – that the US should be judged only on what it does within its borders – is losing support as the world grows more multipolar economically and politically, Washington loses power and influence, and its wars, invasions, and occupations are seen by fewer people as legitimate.

At the same time, over the past decade, the US's own human rights situation has deteriorated. Of course prior to the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, millions of African-Americans in the southern states didn't have the right to vote, and lacked other civil rights – and the consequent international embarrassment was part of what allowed the civil rights movement to succeed. But at least by the end of that decade, the US could be seen as a positive example internally in terms of the rule of law, due process and the protection of civil rights and liberties.

Today, the US claims the legal right to indefinitely detain its citizens; the president can order the assassination of a citizen without so much as even a hearing; the government can spy on its citizens without a court order; and its officials are immune from prosecution for war crimes. It doesn't help that the US has less than 5% of the world's population but almost a quarter of its prison inmates, many of them victims of a "war on drugs" that is rapidly losing legitimacy in the rest of the world. Assange's successful pursuit of asylum from the US is another blow to Washington's international reputation. At the same time, it shows how important it is to have democratic governments that are independent of the US and – unlike Sweden and the UK – will not collaborate in the persecution of a journalist for the sake of expediency. Hopefully other governments will let the UK know that threats to invade another country's embassy put them outside the bounds of law-abiding nations.

It is interesting to watch pro-Washington journalists and their sources look for self-serving reasons that they can attribute to the government of Ecuador for granting asylum. Correa wants to portray himself as a champion of free speech, they say; or he wants to strike a blow to the US, or put himself forward as an international leader. But this is ridiculous.

Correa didn't want this mess and it has been a lose-lose situation for him from the beginning. He has suffered increased tension with three countries that are diplomatically important to Ecuador – the US, UK and Sweden. The US is Ecuador's largest trading partner and has several times threatened to cut off trade preferences that support thousands of Ecuadorian jobs. And since most of the major international media has been hostile to Assange from the beginning, they have used the asylum request to attack Ecuador, accusing the government of a "crackdown" on the media at home. As I have noted elsewhere, this is a gross exaggeration and misrepresentation of Ecuador, which has an uncensored media that is mostly opposed to the government. And for most of the world, these misleading news reports are all that they will hear or read about Ecuador for a long time.

Correa made this decision because it was the only ethical thing to do. And any of the independent, democratic governments of South America would have done the same. If only the world's biggest media organisations had the same ethics and commitment to freedom of speech and the press.

Now we will see if the UK government will respect international law and human rights conventions and allow Assange safe passage to Ecuador.

[My note: The other thread on the Swedish connections to Gladio and NATO is very apt at this juncture! Most on this Forum know where the real powers behind the USA and UK 'stand' on 'things'; but might be naive on Sweden.]

Carsten Wiethoff
08-16-2012, 02:14 PM
Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador (http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/08/americas-vassal-acts-decisively-and-illegally/) thinks that the UK cannot enter the Equadorian Embassy without breaking the Vienna Convention, regardless what national laws may or may not allow. If they go this step, no British embassy in any country can claim protection under the Vienna Convention any more.

I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.
This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.
The provisions of the Vienna Convention (http://untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/conventions/9_1_1961.pdf) on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.
Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17877005). Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.
The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.
The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.
I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.
There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 02:19 PM
Craig Murray is correct. And he is rightly horrified by the can of worms this will open up for the UK down the road too.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 04:55 PM
I try to remain optimistic.....but under the current US and UK Regimes, find it difficult. They will be cooking up some scenario that they feel doesn't [I]quite violate the Vienna Convention, yet either gets Assange, or keeps forever locked in the Embassy in London (or silened in other ways). Security forces in Quito also better be on their guard. America plays dirty and for keeps. The UK pretends to play by the rules, but hasn't since I can remember. This is far from over and resolved..........

Magda, I'd love to see some reactions from OZ on the analysis by Quito re: Australia's abandonment of Assange.....

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:35 PM
Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.

It cited fears that Mr Assange's human rights might be violated.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK would not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the country.

Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest Mr Assange, an Australian national.

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino: "We believe that his fears are legitimate"

Mr Assange said being granted political asylum by Ecuador was a "significant victory" and thanked staff in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

However, as the Foreign Office insisted the decision would not affect the UK's legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden, Mr Assange warned: "Things will get more stressful now."

"It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation," said Mr Assange, who watched the announcement with embassy staff in a live link to a press conference in Quito.

"While today is a historic victory, our struggles have just begun. The unprecedented US investigation against Wikileaks must be stopped.

Political asylum is not available to anyone facing a serious non-political crime - such as the allegations levelled against Mr Assange.

But does his new status mean he can now leave his Swedish problems behind? No. Asylum does not equal immunity from prosecution - and Julian Assange needs safe passage through UK territory that he won't get.

Mr Assange knows he can't leave without risking arrest by officers waiting outside. The police can't enter the embassy unless the government revokes its status.

Embassy vehicles are protected by law from police searches - but how could he get into an Ecuadorean car without being apprehended? And what happens after he's in the car? At some point he will have to get out again. Stranger things have happened.

In 1984 there was an attempt to smuggle a Nigerian man from the UK in a so-called "diplomatic bag" protected from inspection. The bag was in fact a large crate - and customs officers successfully intercepted it at the airport.
Read more from Dominic

"While today much of the focus will be on the decision of the Ecuadorean government, it is just as important that we remember Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for over 800 days," he said, referring to the former US soldier accused of leaking government material to Wikileaks.
'Legal obligation'

Announcing Ecuador's decision, Mr Patino launched a strong attack on the UK for what he said was an "explicit type of blackmail".

The UK Foreign Office had warned, in a note, that it could lift the embassy's diplomatic status to fulfil a "legal obligation" to extradite the 41-year-old by using the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987.

That allows the UK to revoke the diplomatic status of an embassy on UK soil, which would potentially allow police to enter the building to arrest Mr Assange for breaching the terms of his bail.

Mr Hague said it was a "matter of regret" that the Ecuadorean government decided to grant Mr Assange political asylum but warned that it "does not change the fundamentals" of the case.

He also warned that it could drag on for some "considerable" time.

Scuffles broke out outside the Ecuadorean embassy

"We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so," he said.

Mr Hague said there was "no threat" to storm the embassy.

"We are talking about an Act of Parliament in this country which stresses that it must be used in full conformity with international law," he said.

Mr Patino said Ecuador believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate" and said his country was being loyal to its tradition of protecting those who were vulnerable.

The Foreign Office said it was "disappointed" by the Ecuador statement and said it remained committed to reaching a "negotiated solution" that would allow it to carry out its "obligations under the Extradition Act". This means Mr Assange's arrest would still be sought if he left the embassy.
Sweden summons ambassador

The Swedish government reacted angrily to Mr Patino's suggestion that Mr Assange would not be treated fairly by its justice system, summoning Ecuador's ambassador to explain.

"The accusations... are serious, and it is unacceptable that Ecuador would want to halt the Swedish judicial process and European judicial co-operation," said Anders Joerle, spokesman for the Swedish foreign ministry.

Peter Lemkin
08-16-2012, 05:39 PM
Assange to appeal if Britain blocks exit
From: AAP August 17, 2012 3:27AM

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange will appeal to the International Court of Justice if Britain blocks his exit to Ecuador, renowned Spanish rights lawyer Baltasar Garzon says.

Garzon, who is helping Assange's defence, told Spanish newspaper El Pais that Britain had a legal obligation to allow his client to leave the country once Ecuador granted him diplomatic asylum.

"What the United Kingdom must do is apply the diplomatic obligations of the Refugee Convention and let him leave, giving him safe conduct," the former judge said.

"Otherwise, we will go to the International Court of Justice."

Garzon, best known for trying to extradite Chile's Augusto Pinochet from London to Madrid on human rights charges in 1998, criticised Britain's threat to arrest Assange at Ecuador's London embassy, where he has taken refuge.

Garzon said this was a threat of "invasion".

Britain is obliged to abide by the Refugee Convention and to respect the "risk being run by a person who is a victim of political persecution", he said, according to the paper's online edition.

Garzon was speaking from the Dominican Republic, where he was to attend the swearing-in of incoming president Danilo Medina, El Pais said.

The former judge, who was barred from the judiciary in Spain in February for exceeding his authority in probing a corruption case, held a long conversation with Assange, 41, on Wednesday evening, the paper said.

"He was very confident that they would give him asylum, as they did. He seemed very calm and in good spirits. He knows he is in the right," Garzon was quoted as saying.

Garzon earlier this month told El Pais he was convinced the attempted extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in a sexual assault case, was a ploy.

The Spanish lawyer said he believed it was a way of allowing the United States to exact "political revenge" by extraditing Assange and trying him for leaks that affected US government institutions, published on his whistleblowing site WikiLeaks.

Garzon reportedly said he believed Assange's life was in danger because there were people who wanted to stop him releasing further sensitive information.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 09:16 PM
The English translation of the speech by the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister on the decision to give asylum to Julian Assange. The original Spanish version previously posted.

Declaration by the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on Julian Assange’s asylum application
http://wikileaks-press.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/EmbassyLondon1-300x223.jpg (http://wikileaks-press.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/EmbassyLondon1.jpg)Ecuadorian nationals show their support for Assange outside of the Embassy of Ecuador in London.

On June 19, 2012, the Australian national Mr. Julian Assange appeared at the premises of theEcuadorian Embassy in London to request that the Ecuadorean State provide him with diplomatic protection, thus invoking the existing Diplomatic Asylum rules. The applicant had made his asylum request based on his fear of eventual political persecution by a third country, the same country whom could use his extradition to the Kingdom of Sweden to enable an expedited subsequent extradition.

The Government of Ecuador, faithful to the asylum procedures and with the utmost attention to this case, has reviewed and evaluated all aspects of this case, particularly the arguments presented by Mr. Assange to support the fear he feels regarding this situation as a threat to his life, personal safety and freedoms.

It is important to note that Mr. Assange has taken the decision to seek asylum and protection of Ecuador over alleged allegations of “espionage and treason,” which “instigate fear of the possibility of being handed over to the United States of America by British, Swedish or Australian authorities,“ said Mr. Assange, since the USA ischasing him for releasing compromising information sensitive to the U.S. Government. The applicant mentionsthat he “is a victim of persecution in various countries, which is deduced not only from their ideas and actions, but of his work of publishing information which compromises the powerful, uncovers the truth and therefore exposes corruption and abuses of human rights of citizens around the world.”

Therefore, according to the applicant, the indictment for crimes of a political nature is the basis for his asylumrequest, because in his judgement he is facing a situation involving an imminent danger which he cannotescape. In order to assess his fear of possible political persecution, and that this persecution could end up becoming a situation which curtails and violates his rights, integrity, and could become a risk to his personal safety and freedom, the Government of Ecuador has considered the following:

Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally known for his strugglesfor freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
Mr. Assange shared privileged documents and information generated by various sources that affected employees, countries and organizations with a global audience;
That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger his safety, integrity, and even his life;
That, despite Ecuador’s diplomatic efforts, countries which have been asked togive adequate safeguardsfor the protection and safety for the life of Mr. Assange have refused to facilitate them;
That Ecuadorian authorities are certain of the possibility that Mr. Assange could be extradited to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, it would be unlikely for Mr. Assange to receive a fair trial, and likely that he would be judged by special or militarycourts, where there is a high probability of suffering cruel and degrading treatment, and be sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would violate his human rights;
That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;
Ecuador is convinced that the procedural rights of Mr. Assange have been infringed upon during the investigation;
Ecuador has observed that Mr. Assange lacks the protection and assistance that should be received from the State of which he is a citizen;
That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and the USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect international conventions and treaties, and would give priority to domestic law, in violation of explicit rules of universal application and,
That, if Mr. Assange is remanded to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), a chain of eventswould begin that would prevent further protective measures from being taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.
Thus, the Government of Ecuador believes that these arguments lend support to the fears of Julian Assange, and it believes that he may become a victim of political persecution, as a result of his dedicated defense of freedom of expression and freedom of press as well as his repudiation of the abuses of power in certain countries, and that these facts suggest that Mr. Assange could at any moment find himself in a situation likely to endanger life, safety or personal integrity. This fear has driven him to exercise the right to seek and receive asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in the UK.

Article 41 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador clearly defines the right of asylum. Under this provision, the rights of asylum and refugee status are fully recognized in Ecuador in accordance with international law andinstruments of human rights. According to this constitutional provision:

“Persons who find themselves in a situation of asylum and refuge shall enjoy special protection to ensure the full exercise of their rights. The State shall respect and ensure the principle of non-refoulement[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement], and shall provide emergency legal and humanitarian assistance.”

Similarly, the right to asylum is enshrined in Article 4.7 of the Foreign Service Act of 2006 (Ley Orgánica del Servicio Exterior), which establishes the ability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration of Ecuador to hear cases of diplomatic asylum, in accordance with laws, treaties, and international norms and laws.

It should be stressed that our country has stood out in recent years to accommodate a large number of people who have applied for territorial asylum or refugee status, having unconditionally respected the principle of non-refoulement and non-discrimination, while it has taken steps to provide refugee status in an expeditious manner, taking into account the circumstances of applicants, mostly Colombians fleeing armed conflicts in their owncountry. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has praised Ecuador’s refugee policy, and highlighted theimportant fact that the country has not confined these people to camps, but has integrated them into Ecuadoriansociety, with full enjoyment of their human and natural rights.

Ecuador places the right of asylum in the category of universal human rights and beliefs, therefore, that the effective implementation of this right requires international cooperation that our countries can provide, without which it would be fruitless, and the institution would be totally ineffective. For these reasons, and recalling the obligation of all States to assist in the protection and promotion of human rights as provided by the United Nations Charter, we invite the British Government to lend its assistance in achieving this purpose.

To that effect, the state of Ecuador can confirm, following analysis of the legal institutions related to asylum, that the foundation of these rights has set out fundamental principles of general international law, the same as for itsuniversal scope and importance, because of its consistance with the general interest of the entire international community, and full recognition by all states. These principles, which are set forth in various international instruments are as follows:

a) Asylum in all its forms is a fundamental human right creating obligations erga omnes, ie “for all” states.
b) Diplomatic asylum, refuge (or territorial asylum), and the right not to be extradited, expelled, delivered or transferred, are comparable human rights, since they are based on the same principles of human protection: non-refoulement and non-discrimination without any adverse distinction based on race, color, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status or any other similar criteria.
c) All these forms of protection are governed by the principles pro person (i.e. more favorable to the individual), equality, universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence.
d) The protection occurs when the State granting asylum, required refuge, or powers of protection, consider that there is a risk or fear that the protected person may be a victim of political persecution, or is charged with political offenses.
e) The State granting asylum qualifies the causes of asylum and extradition case, weigh the evidence.
f) No matter which of its forms or modality, asylum always has the same cause and lawful object, i.e. political persecution, which makes it permissible, and to safeguard the life, personal safety and freedom of the protected person, which is its legitimately intended purpose.
g) The right of asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, i.e. the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, for which no derogation is permitted, making null all treaties and provisions of international law which oppose it.
h) In cases not covered by existing law, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, or are under the protection and rules of the principles of jus gentium [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_gentium] derived from established customs, the principles of humanity and from dictates of public conscience [http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/full/470?opendocument].
i) The lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States cannot legitimately be invoked to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.
j) The rules and principles governing the rights to asylum or refuge, no extradition, no handing over, no expulsion and no transfer are convergent, to the extent necessary to enhance the protection and provide it with maximum efficiency. In this sense, they are complementary to the international human rights law, the right of asylum andrefugee law, and humanitarian law.
k) The rights of protection of the human being are based on ethical principles and universally accepted valuesand therefore have a humanistic, social, solidaric, peaceful and humanitarian character.
l) All States have a duty to promote the progressive development of international human rights through effective national and international action.

Ecuador has judged that the laws applicable to the asylum case of Mr. Julian Assange comprise the entire set of principles, standards, mechanisms and procedures provided for international human rights instruments (whether regional or universal), which include among their provisions the right to seek, receive and enjoy asylum for political reasons, the conventions governing the right of asylum and refugee law, and which recognize the right not to be delivered, returned, or expelled when credible fear of political persecution exists; conventions governing extradition law recognize the right not to be extradited when this measure covers political persecution, and conventions governing humanitarian law, recognize the right not to be transferred when there is a risk ofpolitical persecution. All these forms of asylum and international protection are justified by the need to protect this person from possible political persecution, or a possible accusation of political crimes and / or crimes related to the latter, which in the opinion of Ecuador, not only endanger Mr. Assange, but also pose a serious injustice committed against him.

It is undeniable that states, having agreed to numerous and substantive international instruments (many of them legally-binding), have the obligation to provide protection or asylum to persons persecuted for political reasonsand have expressed their desire to establish a legal institution to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms based on a general practice accepted as law, which confers on such obligations a mandatory nature, erga omnes [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erga_omnes], linked to the respect, protection and progressive development of human rights and fundamental freedoms that are part of jus cogens[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peremptory_norm]. Some of these instruments are mentioned below:

a) United Nations Charter of 1945, Purposes and Principles of the United Nations: the obligation of all members to cooperate in the promotion and protection of human rights;

b) Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948: right to seek and enjoy asylum in any country, for political reasons (Article 14);

c) Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, 1948: right to seek and enjoy asylum for political reasons (Article 27);

d) Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War: the protected person should in no case be transferred to a country where they fear persecution for his political views ( Article 45);

e) Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951 and Protocol of New York, 1967: prohibits returning or expelling refugees to countries where their lives and freedom would be threatened (Art. 33.1);

f) Convention on Diplomatic Asylum, 1954: The State has the right to grant asylum and classify the nature of the offense or the motives of persecution (Article 4);

g) Convention on Territorial Asylum of 1954: the State is entitled to admit to its territory such persons as it considers necessary (Article 1), when they are persecuted for their beliefs, political opinions or affiliation, or acts that may be considered political offenses ( Article 2), the State granting asylum may not return or expel a refugee who is persecuted for political reasons or offenses (Article 3); also, extradition is not appropriate when dealing with people who, according to the requested State, be prosecuted for political crimes , or common crimes committed for political purposes, or when extradition is requested obeying political motives (Article 4);

h) European Convention on Extradition of 1957, prohibits extradition if the requested Party considers that the offense is a political charge (Article 3.1);

i) 2312 Declaration on Territorial Asylum of 1967 provides for the granting of asylum to persons who have that right under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including persons struggling against colonialism (Article 1.1). It prohibits the refusal of admission, expulsion and return to any State where he may be subject to persecution (Article 3.1);

j) Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969, provides that the rules and principles of general international law imperatives do not support a contrary agreement, the treaty is void upon conflicts with one of these rules (Article 53), and if there arises a new peremptory norm of this nature, any existing treaty which conflicts with that provision is void and is terminated (Article 64). As regards the application of these Articles, the Convention allows States to claim compliance with the International Court of Justice, without requiring the agreement of the respondent State, accepting the court’s jurisdiction (Article 66.b). Human rights are norms ofjus cogens.

k) American Convention on Human Rights, 1969: right to seek and enjoy asylum for political reasons (Article 22.7);

l) European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism of 1977, the requested State is entitled to refuse extradition when there is a danger that the person is prosecuted or punished for their political opinions (Article 5);

m) Inter-American Convention on Extradition of 1981, the extradition is not applicable when the person has been tried or convicted, or is to be tried in a court of special or ad hoc in the requesting State (Article 4.3), when, under the classification of the requested State, whether political crimes or related crimes or crimes with a political aim pursued, and when, the circumstances of the case, can be inferred that persecution for reasons of race, religion or nationality; that the situation of the person sought may be prejudiced for any of these reasons (Article 4.5). Article 6 provides, in reference to the right of asylum, that “nothing in this Convention shall be construed as limiting the right of asylum, when appropriate.”

n) African Charter on Human and Peoples of 1981, pursued individual’s right to seek and obtain asylum in other countries (Article 12.3);

o) Cartagena Declaration of 1984, recognizes the right to seek refuge, not to be rejected at the border and not to be returned. [http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b36ec.html]

p) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2000: establishes the right of diplomatic and consular protection. Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country not represented by the Member State of nationality, have the protection of diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State, under the same conditions as nationals of that State (Article 46).

The Government of Ecuador believes it is important to note that the rules and principles recognized in theinternational instruments mentioned above and in other multilateral agreements take precedence over domestic law of States, because these treaties are based on universal rules guided by intangible principles, whereof deriving greater respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights against unilateral attitudes of such States. This would compromise international law, which should instead be strengthened in order to consolidate therespect of fundamental rights in terms of integration and ecumenical character.

Furthermore, since Assange applied for asylum in Ecuador, we have maintained high-level diplomatic talks with the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States.

In the course of these conversations, our country has sought to obtain strict guarantees from the UK government that Assange would face, without hindrance, an open legal process in Sweden. These safeguards include thatafter facing his legal responsibilities in Sweden, that he would not be extradited to a third country; that is, ensuring that the Specialty Rule [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/st030114/am/30114s01.htm] is not waived. Unfortunately, despite repeated exchanges of messages, the UK at no time showed signs of wanting to reach apolitical compromise, and merely repeated the content of legal texts.

Assange’s lawyers invited Swedish authorities to take Assange statements in the premises of the Embassy of Ecuador in London. Ecuador officially conveyed to Swedish authorities its willingness to host this interview without interference or impediment to the legal processes followed in Sweden. This measure is absolutely legally possible. Sweden did not accept.

On the other hand, Ecuador raised the possibility that the Swedish government establish guarantees to notsubsequently extradite Assange to the United States. Again, the Swedish government rejected any compromise in this regard.

Finally, Ecuador wrote to the U.S. government to officially reveal its position on Assange’s case. Inquiries related to the following:

If there is an ongoing legal process or intent to carry out such processes against Julian Assange and/or the founders of the WikiLeaks organization;
Should the above be true, then under what kind of legislation, and how and under what conditions would such persons be subject to under maximum penalties;
Whether there is an intention to request the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.
The U.S. response has been that it cannot provide information about the Assange case, claiming that it is a bilateral matter between Ecuador and the United Kingdom.

With this background, the Government of Ecuador, true to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or on the premises of its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr. Assange, based on the application submitted to the President of the Republic, transmitted in writing in London, dated June 19, 2012, and supplemented by letter written in London dated June 25, 2012, for which the Government of Ecuador, after a fair and objective assessment of the situation described by Mr. Assange, according to his own words and arguments, endorsed the fears of the appellant, and accepts that there are indications which lead to the conclusion that he may face political persecution, or that such persecution could occur if timely and necessary measures are not taken to avoid it.

The Government of Ecuador is certain that the British Government knows how to assess the justice and righteousness of the Ecuadorian position, and consistent with these arguments, it is confident that the UK will offer safe passage guarantees necessary and relevant to the asylum, so that their governments can honor with action the fidelity owed to law and international institutions that both nations have helped shape along their common history.

It also hopes to maintain unchanged the excellent ties of friendship and mutual respect which bind Ecuador and the United Kingdom and their people, as they are also engaged in promoting and defending the same principles and values, and because they share similar concerns about democracy, peace, and well being, which are only possible if the fundamental rights of everyone are respected.

Magda Hassan
08-16-2012, 09:24 PM
The Assange Witch HuntPosted on August 16, 2012 (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2012/08/the-assange-witch-hunt.html) Post navigation← Previous (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2012/07/the-olympics-welcome-to-the-machine.html)
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A storm of dip*lo*matic sound and fury has broken over Ecuador’s decision to grant polit*ical asylum to Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. The UK gov*ern*ment has threatened to breach all dip*lo*matic pro*tocol and inter*na*tional law and go into the embassy to arrest Assange.
http://anniemachon.ch/wp-content/uploads/YvonneFletcher-150x150.jpg (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2012/08/the-assange-witch-hunt.html/yvonnefletcher)The UK jus*ti*fies this by cit*ing the 1987 Dip*lo*matic and Con*su*lar Premises Act, a law (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/46/section/2)appar*ently put in place fol*low*ing the 1984 shoot*ing of WPC Yvonne Fletcher (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Yvonne_Fletcher) from the Libyan Embassy in Lon*don. The murder res*ul*ted in an 11-day siege, and the embassy staff even*tu*ally being expelled from the coun*try. Nobody has yet been brought to justice for this murder.
It is hard to equate the grav*ity of the crime that brought about the 1987 legis*la*tion — the murder of a police*wo*man — with Assange’s situ*ation. Des*pite the scream*ing head*lines, let us not for*get that he is merely wanted for ques*tion*ing in Sweden. Nev*er*the*less, the UKis pre*pared to over*turn all dip*lo*matic pro*tocol and cre*ate a dan*ger*ous inter*na*tional pre*ced*ent to “get their man”, des*pite there being a clear lack of jus*ti*fic*a*tion (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-diplomatic-status-ecuador-embassy) under the terms of the ’87 Act.
Many people in the west*ern media remain puzzled about Assange’s fear of being held cap*tive in the Swedish legal sys*tem. But can we really trust Swedish justice when it has been flag*rantly (http://wlcentral.org/node/1418) politi*cised and manip*u*lated (http://notesonwikileaks.tumblr.com/post/15251907983/assange-extradition-fact-sheet) in the Assange case, as has been repeatedly (http://www.journal-online.co.uk/article/8184-my-friend-is-not-a-rapist) well (http://www.thenation.com/article/161844/trials-julian-assange-view-sweden?page=0,0) doc*u*mented (http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,04.shtml). Indeed, the Swedish justice sys*tem has the highest rate per cap*ita of cases (http://justice4assange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html)taken to the ECtHR for flout*ing Art*icle 6 — the right to a fair trial.
If Assange were extra*dited merely for ques*tion*ing by police — he has yet to be even charged with any crime in Sweden — there is a strong risk (http://www.truth-out.org/assange-case-means-we-are-all-suspects-now/1328132122) that the Swedes will just shove him straight on the next plane (http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=29449) to the US under the legal terms of a “tem*por*ary sur*render (http://justice4assange.com/US-Extradition.html)”. And in the US, a secret Grand Jury has been con*vened (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/20/julian-assange-right-asylum) in Vir*ginia to find a law — any law — with which to pro*sec*ute Assange. Hell, if the Yanks can’t find an exist*ing law, they will prob*ably write a new one just for him.
So why all the sound and fury? What is this really all about?
Wikileaks is a ground-breaking new form of high-tech, award-winning (http://www.salon.com/2011/11/27/wikileaks_wins_major_journalism_award_in_australia/) journ*al*ism that has exposed cor*rupt prac*tices across the world over the years. And cru*cially, in this war-torn, weary and fin*an*cially broken world, it offers a secure con*duit to whis*tleblowers who want to expose insti*tu*tional crime and cor*rup*tion for the pub*lic good.
Whis*tleblowers want to get their inform*a*tion out there, they want to make a dif*fer*ence, they want a fair hear*ing, and they don’t want to pay too high a per*sonal price for doing so. Is that too much to ask?
By going pub*lic about ser*i*ous con*cerns they have about their work*place, they are jeop*ard*ising their whole way of life: not just their pro*fes*sional repu*ta*tion and career, but all that goes with it, such as the abil*ity to pay the mort*gage, their social circle, their fam*ily life, their rela*tion*ship… Plus, the whis*tleblower can poten*tially risk prison or worse.
http://anniemachon.ch/wp-content/uploads/whistle1.jpeg (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2012/08/the-assange-witch-hunt.html/whistle-2)So, with these risks in mind, they are cer*tainly look*ing for an avenue to blow the whistle that will offer a degree of pro*tec*tion and allow them to retain a degree of con*trol over their own lives. In the old days, this meant try*ing to identify an hon*our*able, cam*paign*ing journ*al*ist and a media organ*isa*tion that had the clout to pro*tect its source. While not impossible, that could cer*tainly be dif*fi*cult, and becomes increas*ingly so in this era of endemic elec*tronic sur*veil*lance (http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/11/30/analysis-the-slide-into-a-surveillance-state/).
Today the other option is a secure, high-tech pub*lish*ing con*duit such as Wikileaks. This provides anonym*ity and a cer*tain degree of con*trol to the mod*ern whis*tleblower, plus it allows their inform*a*tion to reach a wide audi*ence without either being filtered by the media or blocked by gov*ern*ment or cor*por*ate injunctions.
As someone who has a nod*ding acquaint*ance with the reper*cus*sions of blow*ing the whistle on a secret gov*ern*ment agency, I have long seen the value of the Wikileaks model (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2010/03/wikileaks.html) — and I also under*stand quite why gov*ern*ments feel so threatened by it. After all, no gov*ern*ment or mega-corporation wants free*dom of inform*a*tion and trans*par*ency forced upon it, nor an informed cit*izenry ques*tion*ing its actions.
Our gov*ern*ments like to spout the phrase “if you have done noth*ing wrong, you have noth*ing to hide (http://anniemachon.ch/annie_machon/2011/04/if-youve-done-nothing-wrong-you-have-nothing-to-hide.html)” as they roll out yet another intrus*ive sur*veil*lance measure.
Wikileaks has turned that right back at them — hence this modern-day witch-hunt.


Peter Lemkin
08-17-2012, 04:45 AM
From the research I've done, there seems to be no maximum size of a diplomatic pouch, as long as it can be carried by one or two Embassy persons....hint, hint, hint. The European Court of Justice would be a good way to go, but it will take a LOOOOONG time, at best. The more time the UK has, the more dirty tricks they can think of [fire in the area; bomb threats, etc. to clear the building] - or if they dare - taking away the status of an Embassy from the Ecuadorians [political suicide - as every British diplomat and Embassy everywhere would then be fair game! - as would a total breakdown in the sanctity of Embassies of all Nations.]. Broken condoms I think this is not about.....its about American revenge for whistleblowers exposing the rising tide of lies, wars, misdeeds, etc. Sweden should be very ashamed of itself...for it could end this all by visiting London and asking the oh-so-vital questions of Assange.

Magda Hassan
08-17-2012, 05:18 AM
While the UK debates whether to revoke diplomatic status of the Ecuadorian Embassy over Julian Assange, let us consider this recent story of note.

"The 43-year-old Sullivan, described by the media in the U.K. and Ireland as “one of America
’s most-wanted pedophiles,” is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl and sexually molesting two 11-year-olds in Minnesota in the 1990s. As prosecutors were preparing to file charges against him, Sullivan fled to Ireland where he holds dual citizenship. While there, he was convicted of sexually assaulting two 12-year-old Irish girls, and received a suspended sentence."


Carsten Wiethoff
08-17-2012, 06:09 AM
From the research I've done, there seems to be no maximum size of a diplomatic pouch, as long as it can be carried by one or two Embassy persons....hint, hint, hint. The European Court of Justice would be a good way to go, but it will take a LOOOOONG time, at best. The more time the UK has, the more dirty tricks they can think of [fire in the area; bomb threats, etc. to clear the building] - or if they dare - taking away the status of an Embassy from the Ecuadorians [political suicide - as every British diplomat and Embassy everywhere would then be fair game! - as would a total breakdown in the sanctity of Embassies of all Nations.]. Broken condoms I think this is not about.....its about American revenge for whistleblowers exposing the rising tide of lies, wars, misdeeds, etc. Sweden should be very ashamed of itself...for it could end this all by visiting London and asking the oh-so-vital questions of Assange.
Technically the Equadorian Embassador could declare Julian Assange a diplomatic courier (Article 27 Vienna Convention):

5.The diplomatic courier, who shall be provided with an official document indicating his statusand the number of packages constituting the diplomatic bag, shall be protected by the receiving State inthe performance of his functions. He shall enjoy person inviolability and shall not be liable to any formof arrest or detention.6.The sending State or the mission may designate diplomatic couriers ad hoc. In such cases theprovisions of paragraph 5 of this article shall also apply, except that the immunities therein mentionedshall cease to apply when such a courier has delivered to the consignee the diplomatic bag in his charge.

Just give him the necessary papers and a message to deliver to President Correa, and he will be out.

Yesterday I would have been very proud to be an Equadorian. But all the time and especially after reading about the Equadorian efforts to establish guarantees for Assange I would be very worried to be Swedish. There must be hundreds of cases in Sweden, in which someone is wanted for questioning, in which no European Arrest Warrant has ever been written. There also must be hundreds or thousands of cases in which someone CONVICTED for rape has been sentenced to less than one and a half year of house arrest. There must also be cases in which someone was questioned outside Sweden. How can any Swede live in this country and not be worried to death about the deep corruption in the judicial system that becomes obvious to anyone with eyes to see?
I perfectly know that if it can happen in Sweden, it can happen anywhere, and it has. Not a reason to be less worried.

Peter Lemkin
08-17-2012, 06:42 AM
5.The diplomatic courier, who shall be provided with an official document indicating his statusand the number of packages constituting the diplomatic bag, shall be protected by the receiving State inthe performance of his functions. He shall enjoy person inviolability and shall not be liable to any formof arrest or detention.6.The sending State or the mission may designate diplomatic couriers ad hoc. In such cases the provisions of paragraph 5 of this article shall also apply, except that the immunities therein mentioned shall cease to apply when such a courier has delivered to the consignee the diplomatic bag in his charge.

Brilliant! Send it to the Embassy in London....although I'm sure they have considered it. I'm not sure the UK would honor this unless Assange was also given Ecuadorian citizenship or some special status...but do not know. The US via the UK and Sweden want Assange dead or alive...He'd also have to be surrounded, I think, by a large group of well-known diplomats from several nations, tons of Media, and a few international 'heavies' to pull this off, even if the international law is straight forward. International law on renditions, torture, wars of aggression are also, and the US and UK have been engaging in them serially of late.

Peter Lemkin
08-17-2012, 07:01 AM
Activist Post – Paul Craig Roberts – Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo
Posted on August 17, 2012 by lucas2012infos

A coward dies many deaths; a brave man dies but once.

The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground.

“We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political asylum. (Source)

The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive. Pushed by their Washington overlords, the Brits have resorted to the tactics of a pariah state. Maybe we should be worried about British nuclear weapons.

Let’s be clear, Assange is not a fugitive from justice. He has not been charged with any crime in any country. He has not raped any women. There are no indictments pending in any court, and as no charges have been brought against him, there is no validity to the Swedish extradition request. It is not normal for people to be extradited for questioning, especially when, as in Assange’s case, he expressed his complete cooperation with being questioned a second time by Swedish officials in London.

What is this all about? First, according to news reports, Assange was picked up by two celebrity-hunting Swedish women who took him home to their beds. Later for reasons unknown, one complained that he had not used a condom, and the other complained that she had offered one helping, but he had taken two. A Swedish prosecutor looked into the case, found that there was nothing to it, and dismissed the case.

Assange left for England. Then another Swedish prosecutor, a woman, claiming what authority I do not know, reopened the case and issued an extradition order for Assange. This is such an unusual procedure that it worked its way through the entire British court system to the Supreme Court and then back to the Supreme Court on appeal. In the end British “justice” did what the Washington overlord ordered and came down on the side of the strange extradition request.

Assange, realizing that the Swedish government was going to turn him over to Washington to be held in indefinite detention, tortured, and framed as a spy, sought protection from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. As corrupt as the British are, the UK government was unwilling to release Assange directly to Washington. By turning him over to Sweden, the British could feel that their hands were clean.

Sweden, formerly an honorable country like Canada once was where American war resisters could seek asylum, has been suborned and brought under Washington’s thumb. Recently, Swedish diplomats were expelled from Belarus where they seem to have been involved in helping Washington orchestrate a “color revolution” as Washington keeps attempting to extend its bases and puppet states deeper into traditional Russia.

The entire world, including Washington’s servile puppet states, understands that once Assange is in Swedish hands, Washington will deliver an extradition order, with which Sweden, unlike the British, would comply.

Regardless, Ecuador understands this. The Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador granted Assange asylum because “there are indications to presume that there could be political persecution.” In the US, Patino acknowledged, Assange would not get a fair trial and could face the death penalty in a trumped up case.

The US Puppet State of Great (sic) Britain announced that Assange would not be permitted to leave Britain. So much for the British government’s defense of law and human rights. If the British do not invade the Ecuadorean Embassy and drag Assange out dead or in chains, the British position is that Assange will live out his life inside the London Embassy of Ecuador. According to the New York Times, Assange’s asylum leaves him “with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory (which includes the embassy). To leave the embassy for Ecuador, he would need cooperation that Britain has said it will not offer.” When it comes to Washington’s money or behaving honorably in accordance with international law, the British government comes down on the side of money.

The Anglo-American world, which pretends to be the moral face of humanity has now revealed for all to see that under the mask is the face of the Gestapo.

www.activistpost.com link to original article

Magda Hassan
08-17-2012, 02:01 PM
Don't the credentials of the embassy staff have to be accepted by the host nation? I need to check that. But even when things fall foul they just name them 'persona non grata' and allow them to leave the country under diplomatic protection. That seems to be the case with all the spies.

When a person supposedly shot and murdered a UK policewoman from the Libyan embassy they were all allowed to leave the country all under diplomatic protection. And Assange has committed no crimes at all in the UK. Extradition law is of lower precedence than international law in the matter of asylum.

Magda Hassan
08-17-2012, 03:42 PM
Yesterday I would have been very proud to be an Equadorian. Me too Carsten! I was certainly not proud to be an Australian knowing the government has acted so badly towards him and is a craven lapdog to the US and UK.

But all the time and especially after reading about the Equadorian efforts to establish guarantees for Assange I would be very worried to be Swedish. There must be hundreds of cases in Sweden, in which someone is wanted for questioning, in which no European Arrest Warrant has ever been written. There also must be hundreds or thousands of cases in which someone CONVICTED for rape has been sentenced to less than one and a half year of house arrest. There must also be cases in which someone was questioned outside Sweden.
Yes indeed. It is my understanding that even if guilty of the said behaviour he would like not do jail and just be fined about $500. If jail, no more than 3 months.

How can any Swede live in this country and not be worried to death about the deep corruption in the judicial system that becomes obvious to anyone with eyes to see?
Sweden isn't what it used to be but no one has told the Swedes yet. The media there is very anti Assange and anti Wikileaks. And very supportive of the women. I have been having a long drawn out discussion tonight with a Swede and he just refuses to accept Assange is any thing other than a rapist and cannot understand why we allow these women to be abused. Assange has his supporters there even amongst the feminists but it is a minority and for some reason it is mostly non native born Swedes which are able to see the other side to this story that is not being talked about in the Swedish media.

Jan Klimkowski
08-17-2012, 04:51 PM
Wait until Putin's secret police enter the British Embassy in Moscow to arrest a UK diplomat wanted for questioning and then see how MSM cries "Foul Calumny!" and "The End of Civilized Diplomacy".

Peter Lemkin
08-17-2012, 05:03 PM
Sweden isn't what it used to be but no one has told the Swedes yet. The media there is very anti Assange and anti Wikileaks. And very supportive of the women. I have been having a long drawn out discussion tonight with a Swede and he just refuses to accept Assange is any thing other than a rapist and cannot understand why we allow these women to be abused. Assange has his supporters there even amongst the feminists but it is a minority and for some reason it is mostly non native born Swedes which are able to see the other side to this story that is not being talked about in the Swedish media.

I am NOT Swedish, but I DID live in Stockholm, and was very involved with the political and social milleau in Sweden for many years...so I think I can speak with some authority [with deference, naturally, to the Swedes, themselves]. Sverige [Sweden] I once knew has changed - for the worse, and toward the Far Reich kind of thinking in many ways - [not all], IMHO. The extremely high standard of living for most native Swedes [though not all, by all means] is a part of this, as is the MSM, there, as well as the military/police which once under the umbrella/comraderee of the Reich [during WW2] are 'enchanted' with NATO now [nice to be cozy with who the Oligarchy among the Swedes think will be the 'winners', isnt' it?].

Yes, only the MOST progressive Swedes are aware of the issues afoot here, let alone the political import and machinations. Most Swedes have yet to ask who killed three of their political leaders [after the war, and one =Wallenburg= at the end of WW2], let alone be concerned with the real politike of the Assange affaire. Affluence and other factors have IMO caused them to look away....lest they see bad tnings in the 'mirror' and have to deal with reality...although they are NOT alone in this idle.

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 12:21 AM
Wait until Putin's secret police enter the British Embassy in Moscow to arrest a UK diplomat wanted for questioning and then see how MSM cries "Foul Calumny!" and "The End of Civilized Diplomacy".
Oh, you bet! That's exactly right. What the UK is doing is throwing away centuries of diplomatic convention which has worked well for everyone until now. Now I can't wait to see if they like it when it is used against them like in your above scenario.

Adele Edisen
08-18-2012, 02:32 AM
By Paul Craig Roberts

A coward dies many deaths; a brave man dies but once.

The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground. “We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political asylum. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/americas/ecuador-to-let-assange-stay-in-its-embassy.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=na

The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive. Pushed by their Washington overlords, the Brits have resorted to the tactics of a pariah state. Maybe we should be worried about British nuclear weapons.

Let’s be clear, Assange is not a fugitive from justice. He has not been charged with any crime in any country. He has not raped any women. There are no indictments pending in any court, and as no charges have been brought against him, there is no validity to the Swedish extradition request. It is not normal for people to be extradited for questioning, especially when, as in Assange’s case, he expressed his complete cooperation with being questioned a second time by Swedish officials in London.

What is this all about? First, according to news reports, Assange was picked up by two celebrity-hunting Swedish women who took him home to their beds. Later for reasons unknown, one complained that he had not used a condom, and the other complained that she had offered one helping, but he had taken two. A Swedish prosecutor looked into the case, found that there was nothing to it, and dismissed the case.

Assange left for England. Then another Swedish prosecutor, a woman, claiming what authority I do not know, reopened the case and issued an extradition order for Assange. This is such an unusual procedure that it worked its way through the entire British court system to the Supreme Court and then back to the Supreme Court on appeal. In the end British “justice” did what the Washington overlord ordered and came down on the side of the strange extradition request.

Assange, realizing that the Swedish government was going to turn him over to Washington to be held in indefinite detention, tortured, and framed as a spy, sought protection from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. As corrupt as the British are, the UK government was unwilling to release Assange directly to Washington. By turning him over to Sweden, the British could feel that their hands were clean.

Sweden, formerly an honorable country like Canada once was where American war resisters could seek asylum, has been suborned and brought under Washington’s thumb. Recently, Swedish diplomats were expelled from Belarus where they seem to have been involved in helping Washington orchestrate a “color revolution” as Washington keeps attempting to extend its bases and puppet states deeper into traditional Russia.

The entire world, including Washington’s servile puppet states, understands that once Assange is in Swedish hands, Washington will deliver an extradition order, with which Sweden, unlike the British, would comply. Regardless, Ecuador understands this. The Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador granted Assange asylum because “there are indications to presume that there could be political persecution.” In the US, Patino acknowledged, Assange would not get a fair trial and could face the death penalty in a trumped up case.

The US Puppet State of Great (sic) Britain announced that Assange would not be permitted to leave Britain. So much for the British government’s defense of law and human rights. If the British do not invade the Ecuadorean Embassy and drag Assange out dead or in chains, the British position is that Assange will live out his life inside the London Embassy of Ecuador. According to the New York Times, Assange’s asylum leaves him “with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory (which includes the embassy). To leave the embassy for Ecuador, he would need cooperation that Britain has said it will not offer.” When it comes to Washington’s money or behaving honorably in accordance with international law, the British government comes down on the side of money.

The Anglo-American world, which pretends to be the moral face of humanity has now revealed for all to see that under the mask is the face of the Gestapo.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. paulcraigroberts.org/


Peter Lemkin
08-18-2012, 05:11 AM
Madga, you're probably correct that they can't appoint Assange as a diplomat there, as he has to be approved by the British, but there is nothing to stop them from appointing him [if only temporarily] the Ecuadorian ambassador or other diplomat to someplace else and sending him there, even in Quito etc. There should be work-arounds - IF the UK will play by the rules. Big IF! I'm a bit surprised there is not a greater 'shouting' of the UKs threat to invade the Embassy - as it would affect ALL nations negatively. Sweden could end this whole thing...simply send people to interview Assange in the Embassy, then withdraw the transfer request. Shame on Sweden for playing this game for the US. Same for the UK, but that was totally expected.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-18-2012, 05:49 AM
And so much for the Australians:

AUSTRALIAN diplomats have no doubt the United States is intent on pursuing Julian Assange, Foreign Affairs and Trade Department documents obtained by the Herald show.
This is at odds with comments by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, who has dismissed suggestions the US plans to eventually extradite Assange on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.
The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months.

The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information legislation, show Australia's ambassador, the former Labor leader Kim Beazley, has made high level representations to the US government asking for advance warning of any moves to prosecute Assange.

Briefings for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Senator Carr also suggest the Australian government has no in-principle objection to extradition.

Peter Lemkin
08-18-2012, 06:05 AM
And so much for the Australians:

AUSTRALIAN diplomats have no doubt the United States is intent on pursuing Julian Assange, Foreign Affairs and Trade Department documents obtained by the Herald show.
Briefings for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Senator Carr also suggest the Australian government has no in-principle objection to extradition.

Lovely.....and I thought Australia was a democracy that believed in freedom of speech and innocent until proven guilty - not to mention protecting its own citizens from harm or illegal actions - internally and externally. Guess I wrong on all points.

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 06:13 AM
And so much for the Australians:

AUSTRALIAN diplomats have no doubt the United States is intent on pursuing Julian Assange, Foreign Affairs and Trade Department documents obtained by the Herald show.
This is at odds with comments by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, who has dismissed suggestions the US plans to eventually extradite Assange on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.
The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months.

The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information legislation, show Australia's ambassador, the former Labor leader Kim Beazley, has made high level representations to the US government asking for advance warning of any moves to prosecute Assange.

Briefings for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Senator Carr also suggest the Australian government has no in-principle objection to extradition.

The Australian government is playing a totally duplicious game. Assange is right not to trust them. They are spineless and will wilt at the first sign of displeasure from the US. I'm pleased Ecuador called them for what they are. Bob Carr is a useless FM. He has a well known love of thing US. When he was out of politics he was against foreign intervention in Libya. Now he is back in politics he has been given his new script and he follows that to the letter. When ever way the wind blows.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-18-2012, 06:19 AM
It is also instructive to read the judgement around the question, whether the European Arrest Warrant issued by Sweden was valid and legal, or not.
The judge finds, it is (just barely), but there are prominent Swedish judges who disagree.
What I find most interesting is that there was an offer from Assanges defense to have a hearing in October 2010, but it was denied because it was too far away from the initial date 27th of September, but after that it was deemed necessary to write the Arrest Warrant. It is in no way logical.

Reason for editing: Confusion about the dates. The mentioned events happened in 2010, not in 2011 (as falsely claimed in Der Spiegel, www.spiegel.de (http://www.spiegel.de), Assange timeline)

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 08:05 AM
And when the next Mafia criminal goes into the British embassy in Moscow for any business what will Russia do and what will the UK say about what they do?

Birgitta Jonsdottir made a good point too that the UK threats are far more damaging than all of cable-gate to diplomacy.

Russia issues warning to Britain over Assange
AFP - Russia on Friday warned Britain against violating fundamental diplomatic principles after London suggested it could arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside Ecuador's embassy.
"What is happening gives grounds to contemplate the observance of the spirit and the letter of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and in particular the Article 22 spelling out the inviolability of diplomatic premises," the Russian foreign ministry said.
Ecuador on Thursday granted asylum to Assange -- whose website enraged the United States by publishing a vast cache of confidential government files -- but Britain has vowed not to grant him safe passage out of the country.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said his government was obliged under its own law to extradite the Australian national to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes.
Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke a domestic law allowing it to breach the usual rules and go in to arrest Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London mission since June.
This would challenge a fundamental principle of the diplomatic system, and the threat has left Britain in unchartered legal waters.
At the same time, Moscow warned Britain against interpreting the law selectively, stressing that London has given refuge to "dozens of people suspected of committing grave crimes" who are wanted in other countries.
"What to do with a right to refuge for Julian Assange when London turns the observance of this right for this category of people into an absolute principle?" the Russian foreign ministry asked, referring to a number of high-profile figures granted asylum in Britain.

Russia has for years sought the extradition of top Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky as well as several other figures. http://www.france24.com/en/20120817-russia-issues-warning-britain-over-assange?ns_campaign=editorial&ns_source=twitter&ns_mchannel=reseaux_sociaux&ns_fee=0&ns_linkname=20120817_russia_issues_warning_britain _over_assange

Peter Lemkin
08-18-2012, 11:00 AM
While the United States did not sign or ratify the 1954 convention on diplomatic asylum, it has often used the safety of its embassies to protect activists in authoritarian countries. "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognise the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the State Department said in a statement.

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 11:04 AM
While the United States did not sign or ratify the 1954 convention on diplomatic asylum, it has often used the safety of its embassies to protect activists in authoritarian countries. "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognise the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the State Department said in a statement.
They had some priest living in their embassy in Hungary for years.

Jan Klimkowski
08-18-2012, 11:32 AM
While the United States did not sign or ratify the 1954 convention on diplomatic asylum, it has often used the safety of its embassies to protect activists in authoritarian countries. "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognise the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the State Department said in a statement.

Yeah, well, just like the International Criminal Court, which Amerika refuses to recognise.

To adapt Leona Hemsley, the US attitude is that "treaties are for little people"....

Jan Klimkowski
08-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Wait until Putin's secret police enter the British Embassy in Moscow to arrest a UK diplomat wanted for questioning and then see how MSM cries "Foul Calumny!" and "The End of Civilized Diplomacy".
Oh, you bet! That's exactly right. What the UK is doing is throwing away centuries of diplomatic convention which has worked well for everyone until now. Now I can't wait to see if they like it when it is used against them like in your above scenario.

And let's compare the alleged crimes of Assange with the crimes of the fascist butcher General Pinochet, friend of Thatcher and the Bush family, facilitator of Colonia Dignidad (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2128-Colonia-Dignidad-Chile-s-Nazi-colony&highlight=colonia+dignidad)and Condor.

Arrest in London

In 1998, Pinochet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indictment_and_arrest_of_Augusto_Pinochet), who still had much influence in Chile, travelled to the United Kingdom for medical treatment — allegations have been made that he was also there to negotiate arms contracts.[4] While there, he was arrested on 17 October 1998 under an international arrest warrant issued by judge Baltasar Garzón of Spain,[5] and was placed under house arrest: initially in the clinic where he had just undergone back surgery, and later in a rented house. The charges included 94 counts of torture of Spanish citizens, the 1975 assassination of Spanish diplomat Carmelo Soria, and one count of conspiracy to commit torture — allegations of abuses had been made numerous times before his arrest, including since the beginning of his rule, but never acted upon.


There was a hard-fought 16-month legal battle in the House of Lords, the then highest court of the United Kingdom.[6] Pinochet claimed immunity from prosecution as a former head of state under the State Immunity Act 1978. This was rejected, as the Lords decreed that some international crimes, such as torture, could not be protected by former head-of-state immunity.[7] The Lords, however, decided in March 1999 that Pinochet could only be prosecuted for crimes committed after 1988, the date during which the United Kingdom implemented legislation for the United Nations Convention Against Torture in the Criminal Justice Act 1988.[7][8] This invalidated most, but not all, of the charges against him; but the outcome was that extradition could proceed. In April 1999, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former US President George H. W. Bush called upon the British government to release Pinochet.[9][10] They urged that Pinochet be allowed to return to his homeland rather than be forced to go to Spain. On the other hand, United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, Mary Robinson, hailed the Lords' ruling, declaring that it was a clear endorsement that torture is an international crime subject to universal jurisdiction.[8] Furthermore, Amnesty International and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture demanded his extradition to Spain.[11] Finally, in protest against Spain's action, Chile withdrew for a time its ambassador from Madrid.[12]

There were then questions about Pinochet's allegedly fragile health. After medical tests, the Home Secretary Jack Straw ruled in January 2000 that he should not be extradited. This triggered protests from human rights NGOs, and led in January 2000 the Belgian government, along with six human rights groups (including Amnesty International), to depose a complaint against Straw's decision before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).[13] Belgium, as well as France and Switzerland, had deposed extradition requests in the wake of Spain's demand.[13] Despite the protests of legal and medical experts from several countries, Straw finally ruled, in March 2000, to set free Pinochet and authorize his free return to Chile.[14] Henceforth, on 3 March 2000, Pinochet returned to Chile.

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 12:13 PM
As Birgitta Jonsdottir says UK threats are doing more damage to diplomacy than the entire cablegate leaks ever did.

Magda Hassan
08-18-2012, 12:31 PM
Yes, we've been talking here today with others about Pinochet and the UK and asylum etc. Yes, the Labor party with Tony Blair showed their true colours with this one. They seemed mortified that their honoured guest and arms buyer was treated in such a egalitarian manner as to answer for his crimes against humanity like some common criminal. While he languished in luxurious surroundings in his house arrest during proceedings the mandarins and corporate interests wondered who on earth are they going to sell their weapons to if they can't use them? And the establishment gave Pinochet a get out of jail free card and a face saving excuse for the government not to deal with it at all.

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 02:52 AM
FOI reference numberDate of access1FOI request2Information published in the disclosure log3Other information12/825616 August 20121. Ministerial briefings provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob Carr, that relate to WikiLeaks, Julian Paul Assange and/or Bradley E Manning.
2. All cable traffic from the Australian Embassy to the United States of America, Washington DC, to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, sent between 1 February 2012 and 30 April 2012 inclusive, that relates to Wikileaks, Julian Paul Assange and/or Bradley E Manning.
Ministerial briefings provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob Carr, that relate to WikiLeaks, Julian Paul Assange and/or Bradley E Manning, and All cable traffic from the Australian Embassy to the United States of America, Washington DC, to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, sent between 1 February 2012 and 30 April 2012 inclusive, that relates to Wikileaks, Julian Paul Assange and/or Bradley E Manning [PDF 2.24 MB] (http://www.dfat.gov.au/foi/disclosure-log.html)

Lauren Johnson
08-19-2012, 03:00 AM
While the United States did not sign or ratify the 1954 convention on diplomatic asylum, it has often used the safety of its embassies to protect activists in authoritarian countries. "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognise the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law," the State Department said in a statement.
They had some priest living in their embassy in Hungary for years.

Archbishop József Mindszenty

He supported Church freedom. He was an opponent of communism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism) and the Stalinist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalinist) persecution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution) in his country. As a result, he was tortured (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture) and given a life sentence in a 1949 show trial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_trial) that generated worldwide condemnation, including a United Nations resolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_resolution). Freed in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Revolution_of_1956), he was granted political asylum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_asylum) and lived in the U.S. embassy in Budapest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest) for 15 years. He was finally allowed to leave the country in 1971. He died in exile in 1975 in Vienna, Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna,_Austria).

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 03:28 AM
Archbishop József Mindszenty

He supported Church freedom. He was an opponent of communism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism) and the Stalinist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalinist) persecution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution) in his country. As a result, he was tortured (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torture) and given a life sentence in a 1949 show trial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_trial) that generated worldwide condemnation, including a United Nations resolution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_resolution). Freed in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_Revolution_of_1956), he was granted political asylum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_asylum) and lived in the U.S. embassy in Budapest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest) for 15 years. He was finally allowed to leave the country in 1971. He died in exile in 1975 in Vienna, Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna,_Austria).
Yes, that's the one.

Adele Edisen
08-19-2012, 03:29 AM
Sunday 19 August 2012

Wikileaks: Julian Assange will take Britain to the 'World Court'

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will take Britain to the United Nation's International Court of Justice if it refuses to grant him safe passage to Ecuador, his lawyer said.
By Richard Alleyne

11:55AM BST 17 Aug 2012

The threat to appeal to the so-called "World Court" followed William Hague's promise to arrest Mr Assange if he tries to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Mr Assange has taken refuge in the Knightsbridge embassy near Harrods department store for the last two months to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault.

Britain had threatened it would use a rarely cited law to revoke the embassy's diplomatic protection, and would barge into the embassy if Ecuador did not hand over Mr Assange.

Ecuador condemned the threat as a "complete intimidation".

"We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday.

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says a host country may not enter the premises of an embassy without the represented country's permission.

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as the United Kingdom's ambassador to Russia between 2004 and 2008, said "arbitrarily" overturning the status of the building where Mr Assange has taken shelter to avoid extradition, would make life "impossible" for British diplomats overseas.

But embassies are not fully exempt from the jurisdiction of the countries they're in and are not sovereign territory of the represented state.

The FCO wrote to the embassy saying "You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the Embassy.

"We sincerely hope that we do not reach that point, but if you are not capable of resolving this matter of Mr Assange's presence in your premises, this is an open option for us."

Baltasar Garzon, Mr Assange's lawyer who came to international attention in 1998 when he indicted Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet, said Britain was acting far beyond its authority because Mr Assange was a political refugee accepted for asylum by a sovereign nation and Britain was obligated to honour that.

"They have to comply with diplomatic and legal obligations under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and respect the sovereignty of a country that has granted asylum," he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The refugee convention defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.

It provides for special travel arrangements for refugees granted asylum under the convention.

He said: "If Britain doesn't comply with its obligations, we will go before International Court of Justice to demand that Britain complies with its obligations because there is a person who runs the risk of being persecuted politically."

Mr Assange has argued, and Ecuador agreed the evidence was strong, that the extradition to Sweden was a pretext for him to be sent to the US, where authorities were incensed by WikiLeaks' 2010 release of 391,832 secret US documents on the Iraqi war and 77,000 classified Pentagon documents on the Afghan conflict.

The whistle-blowing web site also made available about 250,000 confidential diplomatic cables between the U.S. State Department and more than 270 U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world.

Unconfirmed reports cited by The New York Times indicate a secret grand jury hearing in Alexandria, Va., was considering a U.S. Justice Department bid to charge Assange with espionage.

Leaked emails from Strategic Forecasting Inc., a global intelligence company, suggest a sealed indictment is ready to be made public when US officials determine the legal proceedings against Mr Assange in Britain and Sweden have come to a close.

Mr Assange claims Washington may want to execute him for "political crimes" associated with exposing government secrets.

He denies 2010 allegations of sexual molestation, coercion and rape made by two women in Stockholm, where he was promoting his website.

He is wanted for questioning on one count of unlawful coercion, two of sexual molestation and one of rape.

Swedish prosecutors say they have solid case against Assange, but have not charged him with a crime.

WikiLeaks said Mr Assange, 41, would give a "live" media statement "in front of" the Ecuadorean Embassy Sunday, when he will have been at the facility for two months.

He could be seized if Britain deems he has stepped outside the building's normally diplomatically protected zone.

British authorities intensified a police presence around the embassy.

About three dozen elite and other police units surrounded the embassy early Friday.

The Union of South American Nations, modelled on the European Union, said it would convene an "extraordinary meeting" in Ecuador Sunday to discuss the embassy crisis.


Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 04:50 AM
He's not so stupid as to step out front of the building. If he's doing so, it will be via a large LCD screen - or more likely interview from inside, broadcast. The UK are acting like total thugs through all of this. I sure hope they quickly go to the Court, as the UK might try to pull something before they do. I'm sure they have that Embassy well and fully bugged by now...so there are few secrets inside unless passed hand to hand on paper...if then.

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 07:41 AM
I don't think this has been posted before.
The European Arrest Warrant

10 March 2012: Annie Machon - The Extradition Farce - why the delay in reform? (http://www.anniemachon.com/annie_machon/2012/03/the-extradition-farce-why-the-delay-in-reform.html): "[The UK Extradition Act] was rushed through Parliament in the midst of the post-9/11 terrorism flap. And, of course, this is the very act that is currently being used and abused to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden merely for police questioning (he has not even been charged with any crime), whence he can be "temporarily surrendered" to the delights of the US judicial process. Hmm, could this possibly be the reason for the delay in reforming the Act?"
5 March 2012: FTI issues statement Three months on and still no extradition reform in sight (http://www.fairtrials.net/press/article/three-months-on-and-still-no-extradition-reform-in-sight)
5 December 2011: The UK Parliament unanimously votes that the UK Extradition Act 2003 requires ’urgent reform’
The Week: European Arrest Warrants: unjust and ripe for reform? (http://www.theweek.co.uk/law/assange-extradition/35917/european-arrest-warrants-unjust-and-ripe-reform) (2 November 2011):
"European Arrest Warrants are once again in the news after WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange lost an appeal against extradition to Sweden and MPs failed in a bid to have the issue debate in the House of Commons. EAWs will now be debated on November 24 at Westminster Hall, but there will be no vote - and MPs and campaigners are baffled." Read the article (http://www.theweek.co.uk/law/assange-extradition/35917/european-arrest-warrants-unjust-and-ripe-reform).
The EAW and Julian AssangeThe European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for Julian Assange has a number of problems which are being challenged in UK courts on narrow, technical grounds and substantive grounds - namely that he has not been charged for any offence. Beyond the irregularities of Julian Assange’s EAW, this high profile case has brought attention to the flaws and abuses of the EAW system itself.
The EAW has led to more challenges before European Courts than any other EU law. On average, about 1000 EAWs are issued in the EU every month, the overwhelming majority for minor crimes. Between 2005 and 2009 54,689 EAWs were issued in the EU.


Problems with the EAW for Julian AssangeThe EAW for Julian Assange has been challenged on three grounds: Firstly, technical grounds (such as the wording in the EAW, who issued it, and for what purpose); secondly, on grounds that theProsecution (http://justice4assange.com/Prosecution.html) was acting in abuse of process; and thirdly, on the grounds that the EAW conflicts with UK and European Human Rights legislation. While in the February Hearing (http://justice4assange.com/February-Hearing.html), Julian Assange’s legal team focussed on all three aspects, in the High Court Ruling (http://justice4assange.com/High-Court-Ruling.html) the new legal team narrowed the challenge to the EAW to three points relating to the first of these grounds. For the legal arguments, visit February Hearing (http://justice4assange.com/February-Hearing.html) and High Court Ruling (http://justice4assange.com/High-Court-Ruling.html).
In general, the problems with Julian Assange’s EAW come down to:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif No charge
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Facts do not meet the alleged conduct specified in Sexual Offences (http://justice4assange.com/Sexual-Offences.html).
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The Allegations (http://justice4assange.com/Allegations.html) of Sexual Offences (http://justice4assange.com/Sexual-Offences.html), even if true, amount to conduct that would be legal in the UK.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Timing: EAW & INTERPOL Red Notice (http://justice4assange.com/Timing-EAW-INTERPOL-Red-Notice.html)
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The EAW is based on an Investigation (http://justice4assange.com/Investigation.html) that has been carried out improperly.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The EAW has been issued in abuse of process. The Prosecution (http://justice4assange.com/Prosecution.html) issued the EAW for questioning, not prosecution. The Prosecution (http://justice4assange.com/Prosecution.html) has not provided Assange with evidence in English. The Prosecution (http://justice4assange.com/Prosecution.html)fails to disclose evidence that demonstrates abuse of process. The Prosecution (http://justice4assange.com/Prosecution.html) has denied Julian Assange his right to confidentiality and increased the risk of facing an unfair trial given that the Swedish media has already labeled him as a ’double rapist’.
For a summary of the irregularities of Julian Assange’s EAW, go to the Controversies tab, and readthis summary (http://www.dsm.nu/JA_arrest_UK-1.pdf), published in the Swedish publication DSM (in English).
EAW Conflicts with UK and European Human Rights LawUK Parliament: EAW violates UK and European Human Rights legislation
June 2011: the House of Lords/House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights released its evaluation of UK extradition policy. It looked specifically at the EAW system. It urged the government to reform the EU Framework Decision. While renegotiation at the EU-level is more complex than amending UK legislation, the government has stated that "if the level of dissatisfaction with this piece of legislation is very great indeed, it would be right to try to do something about it (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtrights/156/15604.htm#n19)." The June 2011 report calls for changes in the Framework decision, which would require renegotiation at the EU level. Highlights from the report that are relevant to the consideration of the Julian Assange EAW:
Abuse of process - Use of EAW for the purposes of an investigation
The Committee states (paragraph 168):

an EAW should not be used for the purposes of investigation... a Member State ’cannot just have a fishing expedition’.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif As it does appear that requests are being made merely for the purposes of investigation, we urge the Government to ensure that other Member States do not use the European Arrest Warrant for purposes of investigation, if necessary by amendment to the Framework Decision.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif We recommend that, where there are doubts as to the stage of proceedings reached in the requesting state, the facility for further information provided by the Framework Decision and the Extradition Act 2003 should be used. The requesting state should be asked to provide information on the indictment process under their national law, the stage of proceedings reached, the date set for the first hearing and an assurance that the individual will not be interrogated on arrival.
Problems with ’mutual recognition’ - double criminality
The EAW Framework Decision removes the double criminality requirement for 32 serious offences (in article 2.2), including rape, murder, drugs trafficking and terrorism. The Parliamentary committee stated:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "The exclusion of the 32 offences from the double criminality requirement raises some difficult questions. The Government and the Extradition Review may wish to review the list of 32 offences for which double criminality is not considered, with a view to whether certain conduct should be excluded from the definitions of these offences" and suggests that the issue be renegotiated at the EU level (paragraph 165).
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif One organisation which informed the committee, the Freedom Association, argued that the EAW’s abolishment of the double criminality requirement had "created a situation where laws voted in by elected officials in the UK Parliament have become null and void, due to the fact that UK citizens can be extradited for something that is not a crime in the UK." It concluded that "the European Arrest Warrant either needs to change so that double criminality requirements and the requirement for prima facie evidence are re-introduced or that the UK needs to remove itself from the European Arrest Warrant system." (paragraph 162).


http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The organisations Liberty and JUSTICE raised concerns in relation to the definition of the offences - Liberty described these as "extremely broad to the point of being meaningless." Belgium has addressed the problem of the definition in offences that do not require double criminality by introducing legislation which excluded abortion and euthanasia from the category of "murder and grievous bodily harm". This allowed Belgium to not be under an obligation to extradite a person for the act of abortion under the definition of the offence of murder. This measure was criticised by the European Commission, because it went against the principle of mutual trust.
Problems with ’mutual recognition’ - proportionality
The Parliamentary committee stated:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "We note the increasing number of European Arrest Warrant requests received by the UK. We have serious concerns about the disproportionate impact of extradition where it is requested for a relatively minor offence."
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The UK Government should work with the European Commission and "other Member States to implement a proportionality principle in the Framework Decision, both for operational reasons and to ensure that the human rights implications of extradition are not disproportionate to the alleged crime."
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "We are not convinced that informal guidelines, bilateral discussions with the authorities of other Member States or a public interest test operated by the authorities in the requested country would be operationally practical or successful in the long-term." (paragraphs 158 and 159).
Human Rights guarantees
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Fair Trials International’s submission to the Committee: the human rights test of the EAW made it "almost impossible" to challenge successfully extradition on Article 6 grounds: "The mere theoretical availability of a legal remedy in the issuing state should not absolve the executing state of the duty to conduct a proper legal review of the risk of infringement raised by the requested extradition and to provide the protection necessary to safeguard those rights, including where necessary by refusing to extradite." (FTI, paragraph 53).
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "The defendant should have a realistic opportunity to rebut the presumption that their human rights will be respected if extradited to a country which is a signatory to the ECHR or with which the UK has good relations" (paragraph 71).
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "The effectiveness of human rights protection would be improved if judges in extradition cases took a more active role in the extradition process, through the implementation of safeguards and the use of the human rights bar to ensure that the role of a judge in an extradition case is more than only ’rubber stamping’ extradition requests" (paragraph 78).
European Commission: EAW is regularly used disproportionately
April 2011: the European Commission report (COM (2011) 175) on the operation of the European Arrest Warrant made a number of observations and recommendations:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif There "must be adoption of the measures in the [EU] roadmap on procedural rights [...] to ensure that fundamental rights and freedoms are protected."
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "confidence in the application of the EAW has been undermined by the systematic issue of EAWs for the surrender of persons sought in respect of often very minor offences."
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Recourse to the European Court of Human Rights is not sufficient given that it is only a remedy after the breach has occurred. This is not an effective means of safeguarding individuals rights nor of ensuring that signatories comply with the Convention’s standards.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif "Before issuing an arrest warrant, Member State judicial authorities should consider the seriousness of the offence, length of sentence and the costs and benefits of executing an arrest warrant. The principle of proportionality needs to be carefully respected when implementing the warrant."
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Member States must ensure that "judicial practitioners, such as prosecutors" do not abuse the EAW system to issue arrest warrant for minor offences, including in those countries where prosecution is mandatory.
Council of Europe - Human Rights Commissioner
March 2011: Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human rights, described the overuse of EAWs as a threat to human rights (http://human-rights-convention.org/2011/03/15/overuse-of-european-arrest-warrant-is-a-threat-to-human-rights-says-thomas-hammarberg/):
There has been "repeated criticism of the manner in which the EAW has functioned in a number of concrete cases. This criticism must be taken seriously. Human rights organisations have expressed concerns about the imprisonment of innocent persons, disproportionate arrests, violations of procedural rights and the impossibility in some countries for an innocent person to appeal against a decision to be surrendered. The problems appear to have worsened with the increase of the number of EAWs... The EAW has been used in cases for which it was not intended, sometimes with harsh consequences on the lives of the persons concerned. It is thus high time to reform a system that affects thousands of persons every year."
Traditional safeguards in extradition agreements
<strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; ">

Customary international law imposes no obligation on states to extradite. A number of important procedural safeguards and rules to protect individuals from extradition in unfair circumstances has developed in international law over time. These safeguards include:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The requirement of dual criminality.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The presence of prima facie evidence
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The possibility of a fair trial
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The protection of the individual against possible persecution at the hands of the requesting state.
Even before the UK Extradition Act was adopted, the UK Parliament European Scrutiny Committee (HC Paper 152) raised the same concerns that the committee raised in 2011:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The absence of any explicit reference to the European Convention on Human Rights.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The abandonment of dual criminality.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The lack of definition of the offences for which this safeguard is being abandoned (Article 2.2 offences, which include rape).
The EAW strips courts of their powers and individuals of their rightsThe Framework Decision created a bureaucratic channel for EU courts to fast-track the extradition process. But it severely limited the individual’s right to challenge the EAW order.


None of the traditional conditions for allowing extradition are present in the EAW system. The safeguards that existed in each of the EU countries were abolished and replaced by this new fast-track system. Underlying this overhaul was the unfounded assumption that since every EU member-state is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, such protections are not required.

The existence of domestic laws and accession to international treaties guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights in principle are not in themselves sufficient to ensure adequate protection against the risk of ill-treatment. - MSS v Belgium and Greece.
The fact that the EAW stripped the courts of their powers and individuals of their protections led the German Constitutional Court to reject the equivalent of the 2003 Extradition Act on the grounds that the court was being asked to consent to an extradition blind-folded, when the court’s duty to individuals was to ensure their fundamental rights were respected. The latter fundamental obligation took precedence, and the Constitutional Court decided that it could not execute the EAWs based on a system of trust.
How could Julian Assange challenge extradition under the traditional safeguards?
Julian Assange can only challenge the EAW on narrow technical grounds. Challenging the EAW on fundamental problems - proportionality, the real risk of an unfair trial, abuse of process by the police investigators and the prosecutor - is very difficult, even when these are flagrant. (See FTI’s report on Gary Mann’s extradition (http://www.fairtrials.net/publications/article/european_arrest_warrant_cases_of_injustice) to an ’unfair’ trial in Portugal, where he is currently serving a two-year prison sentence).
The Framework Decision:
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif prevents Julian Assange from demanding that Sweden show the merits of the alleged conducts (no prima facie requirement)
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif thwarts attempts to challenge the extradition order (’surrender’) on the grounds that fundamental rights will be breached given that all EU members are signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights and therefore would not violate basic human rights.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif removes double criminality as a requirement because it assumes that offences that are listed under article 2.2. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:EN:NOT) do not require a definition. This leads to serious miscarriages of justice given the varying definitions of offences - such as rape (consensual sex in Sweden) murder (abortion) and so on.
The EAW issued for Julian Assange ticks the "rape" box, despite the fact that the leading authority on sexual offences in the UK, the Oxford Professor Andrew Ashworth, argues that the conduct would not fall under rape in the UK given that the acts were consensual, and there is no allegation of criminal intent in Julian Assange’s conduct according to the police report.
The EAWThe European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is a fast-track system for extraditions within the EU. Sweden has issued an EAW for Julian Assange.
Basic EAW Facts
The EAW is sent between judicial authorities, without involvement of an intermediary, removing the executive from the process. In the case against Julian Assange the EAW was issued by a prosecutor, not a judge, which is one of the grounds for challenging its validity.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The EAW process reduces and removes many of the traditional bars to extradition. Refusal to execute a valid warrant is only permitted in limited circumstances contained in sections 12-19 of the 2003 UK Extradition Act.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif An EAW may be issued for an offence punishable by the law of the issuing state by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed, for sentences of at least four months.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The EAW includes a list of 32 serious offences (Article 2.2) which, if punishable by a custodial sentence of at least three years, can result in extradition "without verification of the double criminality of the act". (This includes the ’rape’ offence.)
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif The EAW only applies within the EU. Onward extradition to a country outside the EU requires agreement with the Member State which authorised the initial surrender.
What happens when an EAW is issued?
The process of extradition from the UK to EU countries follows the following steps (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtrights/156/15604.htm#a5) (section numbers in brackets refer to the UK Extradition Act 2003):
* When an EAW is received by the United Kingdom, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) certifies the warrant.
* Following the certification, the person is arrested and is brought before a judge to determine whether the person is that who is specified in the EAW; the judge may detain or bail the person. A date is set for an extradition hearing within 21 days unless the person consents to be extradited.
* At this hearing, the judge considers whether the offence is an extradition offence (s 10), any potential bars to extradition (s 11), whether the person was convicted in their absence (s 20) and human rights considerations (s 21).
* Once the decision is made, the requested person and the requesting judicial authority can appeal to the High Court and apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against a decision of the High Court
* If the decision is made to extradite the requested person, surrender of the person must take place within 10 days of the decision being made final.
Why was it established?
The EAW was established in 2002 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:EN:HTML) by the European Council - the political section of the EU - along with other counter-terrorism legislation after 11 September 2001. Extradition procedures are simplified to standardised forms listing offences for which one can be extradited. The EAW has created a streamlined system in the EU, but it is unfair. At Assange’s February Hearing, Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens described the EAW as ’tickbox justice’ - ticking a box sets into motion cases of serious injustice. This has even been acknowledged by David Blunkett, the UK Home Secretary who agreed to the establishment of the EAW (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/dec/14/julian-assange-european-arrest-warrant).
Where are the safeguards?
Although the preamble of the Framework Decision (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:EN:HTML) affirms fundamental rights, it provides no concrete measures for the courts to implement these. The EAW was a teaser of an EU policy package that was meant to establish common standards in criminal justice procedures across the EU. But for almost a decade the EAW has stood on its own. The legislation that is meant to ensure that the system carries with it certain safeguards has not been agreed on (http://ec.europa.eu/justice/doc_centre/criminal/procedural/doc/com328_28042004_en.pdf). The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, has described the current system as ’a threat to human rights’.
Can the courts still decide?
The Framework Decision (http://justice4assange.com/2002/584/JHA-%3Ehttp://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:EN:HTML), which established the EAW, imposed a duty on the courts to extradite with certain narrow exceptions. The Council forced the courts to take a leap of faith: courts are obliged to operate under the principle of mutual recognition, where the court of one EU country has very limited power to call into question the decision of another’s.
Can an EAW be issued for questioning?
Julian Assange’s defence team challenges the validity of the EAW on both substantive and technical grounds. The substantive grounds are that DPP Marianne Ny acted disproportionately and in abuse of process by issuing the EAW. The EAW is disproportionate because Julian Assange is sought for questioning and not prosecution, given that he has not been charged for any offence. The UK Extradition Act of 2003, which incorporated the Framework Decision into UK legislation, states that for an EAW to be valid it must be issued for the purpose of being prosecuted:
"the [EAW] is issued with a view to his arrest and extradition to the category 1 territory for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence." (Sec. 2(3b) UK Extradition Act 2003)
How is the EAW different from ’traditional’ extradition?
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif Extradition is called ’surrender’
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif EAWs are only decided by the courts of the two EU countries involved - the issuing (or requesting) state - in this case Sweden - and the executing state - the UK.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif In theory, the extradition should take place within ten days after the executing court consenting to the EAW.
http://justice4assange.com/squelettes/puce.gif There are some exceptions to the duty to surrender, but their scope is limited.
How did EAW change the way the UK decided on extradition?
The UK’s body of extradition law was repealed in 2003. The 2003 Extradition Act stripped the UK courts of most of their powers in extradition cases, making their role bureaucratic. For many of the offences, including rape, the 2003 Extradition Act abolished one of the key principles of extradition proceedings: the principle of dual criminality (this simply means that the offence that a person is being extradited for must also be an offence according to the extraditing country’s laws). Under the previous legislation, there had also been room for political consideration after the courts had decided on extradition. The Secretary of State’s power to reject the extradition was weakened after 2003. The previous legislation also excluded political offences from offences that could lead to extradition, but the 2003 Extradition Act eliminated it because the Framework Decision does not contemplate political offences in the EU context.

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 08:25 AM
Its obviously a bad law...and very suspicious that it is not being amended..... As far as some powerful forces are concerned, Assange is a marked man and will be 'gotten' one way or another..... The Global state of Justice is fast on the decline, IMO.

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 10:13 AM
I was apparently wrong.....Assange is going to come out on the balcony and speak at 13GMT. Garzon is going to speak within the next half hour, from where I know not. While the balcony is still technically part of the Embassy, there is a very heavy Police presence and I'd not say there is zero chance of some special forces attempt to snatch Assange from the balcony - but rule it highly unlikely. The longer this goes on the more foolish the UK look, IMO.

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 10:20 AM
.....Assange is going to come out on the balcony and speak....
Very Evita Peronesque :cheer:

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 11:14 AM

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 12:47 PM

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 01:47 PM

one of several places to watch entire speech http://www.livestream.com/occupylsx

Magda Hassan
08-19-2012, 02:23 PM

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 04:41 PM

Very good. True as it gets....! [we are all 'Julian Assange']

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Peter Lemkin
08-19-2012, 05:15 PM
I know there are some who think Assange is a stooge of the CIA/NSA/MI5-6....et al. I don't. They have all tried to use him, as they always do to spin a story they don't like. I personally think Julian is pretty much 'what you see, is what you get'....and will go down in her/his-tory as a major figure to challenge AUTHORITY and OLIGARCHY. He is not a very dynamic speaker; however, his speech today spoke truth to power and said all the right things. I feel it was genuine and spoken from the heart. I think he'll eventually find a way out of London to Quito...but I fear assassination disguised as an accident or something else......If only every person had done as much as JA, we would not be in this situation we are...... He's no 'god' to worship, and has faults as all humans do, but he has passed, IMHO, the acid test [both kinds of acid!]. One need only look at his adversaries to know which side of 'things' he is on.......

Peter Lemkin
08-20-2012, 05:19 AM
Text of Julian Assange’s statement.

I am here because I cannot be closer to you.

Thank you for being here.

Thank you for your resolve, and your generosity of spirit.

On Wendsday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy, and the police descended on the building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it, and you brought the words’s eyes with you.

Inside the embassy,after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through the internal fire escape.

But I knew that there would be witnesses.

And that is because of you.

If the UK did not throw the Vienna Conventions the other night, that is because world is watching.

And the world was watching because you were watching.

The next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador, and how in the morning the sun came up on a different world, and a courageous Latin America nations took a stand of justice.

And so, to those brave people.

I thank President Correa for the courage he has shown in considering and granting me political asylum.

And so I thank the government, and the Foreign Minister, Richard Patino, who have upheld the ecuatorian Constitution and its notion of universal rights, in their consideration of my case.

And to the ecuadorian people for supporting and defending this constitution.

And I have a debt of gratitude to the staff of this embassy, whose families live in London and who have me shown hospitality and kindness despite the threats that they received.

This Friday there will be an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of Latin America in Washington DC, to address this situation.

And so I am grateful to the people and governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Agintina, Peru, Chile, Argintina, Venezuala, Colombia and to all the other Latina American countries who have come to defend the right to asylum.

To the people of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia, who have supported me in strength, even when their governments have not. And tho those wiser heads in government who are still fighting for justice. Your day will come.

To the staff, supporters and sources of WikiLeaks, whose courage and commitment and loyalty has seen no equal.

To my family and to my children who have been denied their father. Forgive me. We will be remitted soon.

As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression, and the health of our societies.

We must use this moment to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.

Will it return to and reaffirm the values it was founded on?

Or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive wordl, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution, and citizens must whisper in the dark?

I say that it must turn back.

I ask President Obama to do the right thing.

The United States must renounce its wicho-hunt against Wikileaks.

Te United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.

The United States must vow that it will not seek to persecute our staff, or our supporters.

The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.

There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organization, be it WikiLeaks or the New York Times.

The US administrations war on whistleblowers must end.

Thomas Drake, and William Binnery, and John Kirakou and the other heroic US whistleblower must – they must – be pardoned and compensated for the hardships they have endured as servants of the public record.

And the Army Private who remain in a military prison in Fort Leavenworh Kansas, who was found by the UN to have endured monte of torturous detention in Quantico Virginia, and who has yet – after two years in prision – to see a trial, must be released.

And if Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all, and one of the word l’s foremost political prisoners.

Bradley Manning must be released.

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.

On Thursday, my friend, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to 3 years for a tweet.

On Friday, a Russian band were sentenced to 2 years in jail for a political performance.

There is unity in the oppression.

There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-20-2012, 08:30 AM
Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekhistan, whom I quoted before in this thread, has also made a speech just before Assange.
It can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dlt_IiQvjNo

His history is also interesting, from wikipedia:

Discipline charges In July 2003 some of the embassy staff were sacked while Murray was away on holiday. They were reinstated after he expressed his outrage to the FCO (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Foreign_and_Commonwealth_Office). Later during the same holiday he was recalled to London for disciplinary reasons. On 21 August 2003 he was confronted with 18 charges. These included "hiring dolly birds [pretty young women] for above the usual rate" for the visa (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Visa_(document)) department, though he claims that the department had an all-male staff, and granting UK visas in exchange for sex. Most of the charges were not supported by any evidence and others were petty. The FCO gave him a week to resign and told him that discussing the charges would be a violation of the Official Secrets Act 1989 (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Official_Secrets_Act_1989).[11] (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/#cite_note-PARTY-10)
He collapsed during a medical check in Tashkent on 2 September 2003 and was airlifted (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Medevac) to St Thomas Hospital (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/St_Thomas_Hospital) in London. After an FCO internal inquiry conducted by Tony Crombie, Head of the FCO's Overseas Territories (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/British_overseas_territory) Department, all but two of the charges (being drunk at work and misusing the embassy's Range Rover (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Land_Rover_Range_Rover)) were dropped. The charges were leaked to the press in October 2003.[17] (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/#cite_note-LEAKED-16) Immediately upon his return to work in November 2003, he suffered a near-fatal pulmonary embolism (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/wiki/Pulmonary_embolism) and was again flown back to London for medical treatment. The FCO exonerated him of all 18 charges in January 2004 after a four month investigation but reprimanded him for speaking about them.

He also has a history with the Guardian, also read his article here (after listening to his speech):

Peter Lemkin
08-20-2012, 11:05 AM
The complete talks of yesterday by several persons before the Ecuadorian Embassy HERE. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr8d8BLBymI)

Jan Klimkowski
08-20-2012, 07:22 PM
Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekhistan, whom I quoted before in this thread, has also made a speech just before Assange.

Carsten - Craig Murray was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan and decided, rather naively, that a President who considers it normal to boil to death political opponents should be, ahem, spoken to about human rights abuses.

He then went further:

Murray was removed from his post in October 2004, shortly after a leaked report in the Financial Times quoted him as claiming that MI6 used intelligence provided by Uzbek authorities through torture.[18] The FCO denied there was any direct connection and stated that Murray had been removed for "operational" reasons. It claimed that he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues. The following day, in an interview on the Today Programme, the BBC's flagship political radio show, Murray countered that he was a "victim of conscience", and in this and other interviews was critical of the FCO.[19] A few days later he was charged with "gross misconduct" by the FCO for making these media appearances.[20] Murray agreed to resign from the FCO in February 2005.

In his 2007 book Murder in Samarkand, Murray speculates that his anti-torture memos caused two problems for the US & UK governments. First, the CIA's extraordinary rendition program was secretly using Uzbekistan as a country to which to fly people to be tortured. Second, the transcripts of the torture sessions were then shared with Britain's MI6 because of the UK-US intelligence sharing agreements of WWII. By objecting to the UK's acceptance of CIA torture-obtained information, he was interfering with the secret rendition program as well as threatening the MI6's relationship with the CIA.

As for then Prime Minister Blair, the now global consultant:

"is paid (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/8999847/Blair-Inc-How-Tony-Blair-makes-his-fortune.html) in the region of £3 million a year to advise both JP Morgan, the US investment bank, and also Zurich International, the global insurer based in Switzerland. On top of that he runs his own consultancy firm - Tony Blair Associates - which advises the oil and gas rich governments of Kuwait and Kazakhstan."

Carsten Wiethoff
08-20-2012, 07:37 PM
Jan, by coincidence I just finished listening to http://soundcloud.com/craig-murray/murder-in-samarkand
which is the Version of the book aired on the BBC4 radio in 2010.
It is this kind of experience which at one time is colourful and funny and on the other hand at the same time makes you choke.

Jan Klimkowski
08-20-2012, 07:41 PM
Jan, by coincidence I just finished listening to http://soundcloud.com/craig-murray/murder-in-samarkand
which is the Version of the book aired on the BBC4 radio in 2010.
It is this kind of experience which at one time is colourful and funny and on the other hand at the same time makes you choke.


Ambassador Murray was naive.

He failed to imbibe and absorb the mantra of the British civil service and apparatchik politicians which is:

If the Uzbeki President is someone wth whom We Can Do Business, then he can boil to death anyone he likes...

Peter Lemkin
08-20-2012, 08:03 PM
Massacre in Uzbekistan

by craig on July 24, 2012 4:16 pm in Uncategorized

This is a trailer for an extremely important documentary by Michael Andersen. The complicity of NATO and EU governments with the Karimov regime is one of the clearest glimpses of the evil motives that lurk behind the reasonable image that western politicians strive to portray. The complicity of the mainstream media in ignoring these facts is terrifying.

As NATO intensifies its logistical transit through Uzbekistan, as Britain increases training for the Uzbek military and secret services and looks to further arms sales, please bring this documentary to the attention of everyone you can, in any way that you can.

The appearance in the trailer of Pierre Morel, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, is noteworthy. He really is one of the nastiest men in Europe, with not even the slightest pretence of any concern for human rights except as a bureaucratic box to be ticked. What is the real interest of this arch European powercrat? You will hardly be surprised to hear it is Central Asia’s oil and gas.

One of the most important diplomatic developments in the last year – not mentioned anywhere in the lamestream media – has been the westward shift of the Government of Azerbaijan. Under hereditary President Aliev, son of Putin’s ex boss and mentor in the KGB, they had seemed the closest of Russia’s allies. But I noted a few months ago that remarkably on Syria they were voting with the U.S. and against Russia at the UN Security Council. Now they have agreed that an EU hydrocarbon pipeline can pass through their waters in the Caspian – thus negating Putin’s blocking move when he effectively annexed part of Georgia.

Germany now sees the eventual transit of Turkmenistan’s and Uzbekistan’s gas through Ukraine and Poland and into the Nordstream project, while bypassing Russia, as a tantalisingly close prospect. The furious courting of Central Asian dictators is therefore viewed as an unbounded success, and mangled corpses and tortured women an irrelevancy – along with the probable extinction of the sturgeon and other inconveniences. No wonder Morel looks self-satisfied.

I do hope the Central Asians who suffer grinding poverty and terrible repression will one day understand all this, and once they have their freedom will not forgive.

Magda Hassan
08-21-2012, 04:18 AM
This is how Australia looks after its citizens in danger.

Australia 'preparing' for Assange extradition to USAFP – Sat, Aug 18, 2012

Australia confirmed Saturday that its diplomatic post inWashington had been preparing for Julian Assange's possibleextradition to the US but played it down as "contingency planning".
Trade Minister Craig Emerson said the Australian embassy in Washington had been "getting prepared for the possibility of an extradition" but stressed that there was nothing unusual in diplomats bracing for all eventualities.
"The embassy is doing its job, just to be in a position to advise the government if it believed that an extradition effort was imminent. There is no evidence of such an extradition effort," Emerson told ABC television.
"All that was happening is that the post in Washington was doing some contingency planning in the event that such an eventuality arose."
The remarks follow media reports Saturday that Australian diplomats believe Washington is targeting Assange for possible prosecution on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to his WikiLeaks whistleblowing site.
Citing diplomatic cables from Australian officials obtained under freedom of information laws, The Age newspaper said Canberra's post in Washington was taking seriously the possible extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the US.
According to The Age the cables showed that Australia had no objection to Assange's potential extradition and had requested early advice from the US on any decision to indict the former hacker or have him sent to the US.
It claimed that both the prime minister and foreign minister had been briefed on the matter.
Emerson confirmed that the Washington embassy had been exploring the extradition of Assange, an Australian national, as a potential scenario but he stressed that there was no evidence that the US was preparing to do so.
"You would want, as an embassy, to be in a position that if this were to arise hypothetically in the future, you wouldn't be standing flat-footed and unable to provide advice back to the government in Canberra," he said.
"I wouldn't read too much into it. People can attach their own probabilities or possibilities as to what the United States may or may not do in the future, but the fact is that there's no evidence, no evidence that the United States is seeking to extradite Julian Assange."
The trade minister noted that the US could have sought Assange's extradition from Britain rather than waiting for him to arrive in Sweden and "obviously they haven't done that".
He wouldn't comment on the claim that Australia would not oppose Assange's extradition to the US, saying only that they would abide by "normal processes" and continue providing consular assistance.
Emerson also repeated that there was little the Australian government could do for Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questions over sex assault claims.
Assange fears Stockholm will turn him over to the US, and was granted political asylum by Ecuador on Thursday.
"Remember that this issue about Mr Assange between the UK and Sweden is not in relation to WikiLeaks, it's in relation to allegations of something that he may or may not have done in Sweden itself and that's up to the legal authorities in those countries," Emerson said.

"The legal processes have been followed, and... there's no particular role for Australia beyond ensuring that Mr Assange has reasonable consular assistance and that's what we're offering." http://news.yahoo.com/australia-preparing-assange-extradition-us-084514562.html

Peter Lemkin
08-21-2012, 05:16 AM
This is how Australia looks after its citizens in danger.

Australia 'preparing' for Assange extradition to US

AFP – Sat, Aug 18, 2012

Australia confirmed Saturday that its diplomatic post inWashington had been preparing for Julian Assange's possibleextradition to the US but played it down as "contingency planning".
Trade Minister Craig Emerson said the Australian embassy in Washington had been "getting prepared for the possibility of an extradition" but stressed that there was nothing unusual in diplomats bracing for all eventualities.
"The embassy is doing its job, just to be in a position to advise the government if it believed that an extradition effort was imminent. There is no evidence of such an extradition effort," Emerson told ABC television.
"All that was happening is that the post in Washington was doing some contingency planning in the event that such an eventuality arose."
The remarks follow media reports Saturday that Australian diplomats believe Washington is targeting Assange for possible prosecution on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to his WikiLeaks whistleblowing site.
Citing diplomatic cables from Australian officials obtained under freedom of information laws, The Age newspaper said Canberra's post in Washington was taking seriously the possible extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the US.
According to The Age the cables showed that Australia had no objection to Assange's potential extradition and had requested early advice from the US on any decision to indict the former hacker or have him sent to the US.
It claimed that both the prime minister and foreign minister had been briefed on the matter.
Emerson confirmed that the Washington embassy had been exploring the extradition of Assange, an Australian national, as a potential scenario but he stressed that there was no evidence that the US was preparing to do so.
"You would want, as an embassy, to be in a position that if this were to arise hypothetically in the future, you wouldn't be standing flat-footed and unable to provide advice back to the government in Canberra," he said.
"I wouldn't read too much into it. People can attach their own probabilities or possibilities as to what the United States may or may not do in the future, but the fact is that there's no evidence, no evidence that the United States is seeking to extradite Julian Assange."
The trade minister noted that the US could have sought Assange's extradition from Britain rather than waiting for him to arrive in Sweden and "obviously they haven't done that".
He wouldn't comment on the claim that Australia would not oppose Assange's extradition to the US, saying only that they would abide by "normal processes" and continue providing consular assistance.
Emerson also repeated that there was little the Australian government could do for Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questions over sex assault claims.
Assange fears Stockholm will turn him over to the US, and was granted political asylum by Ecuador on Thursday.
"Remember that this issue about Mr Assange between the UK and Sweden is not in relation to WikiLeaks, it's in relation to allegations of something that he may or may not have done in Sweden itself and that's up to the legal authorities in those countries," Emerson said.

"The legal processes have been followed, and... there's no particular role for Australia beyond ensuring that Mr Assange has reasonable consular assistance and that's what we're offering." http://news.yahoo.com/australia-preparing-assange-extradition-us-084514562.html

Good Grief Magda, What do they do to non-citizens....oh, yeah...I was just watching them watch them drown on TV as they tried to get there.... It is shameful, but Australia is not the only one. Of the larger countries, I can't think of a single one that has stood up and said, 'Wait a moment, what we do to any person, we do to all persons - the law is to be applied equally.' - or anything of that type. Nor have I heard much in the way of recriminations as Oz's apparent 'interest' in Assange is only a 'betting one'...or worse, an illegal favor for a 'friend'. As history has shown, it may happen to those who think they can't be touched. Yet.

Adele Edisen
08-21-2012, 02:00 PM
The New York Times
August 20, 2012

WikiLeaks and Free Speech

WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador’s action more than the British government’s threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange.

Since WikiLeaks’ founding, it has revealed the “Collateral Murder” footage that shows the seemingly indiscriminate killing of Baghdad civilians by a United States Apache attack helicopter; further fine-grained detail about the true face of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; United States collusion with Yemen’s dictatorship to conceal our responsibility for bombing strikes there; the Obama administration’s pressure on other nations not to prosecute Bush-era officials for torture; and much more.

Predictably, the response from those who would prefer that Americans remain in the dark has been ferocious. Top elected leaders from both parties have called Mr. Assange a “high-tech terrorist.” And Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has demanded that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Most Americans, Britons and Swedes are unaware that Sweden has not formally charged Mr. Assange with any crime. Rather, it has issued a warrant for his arrest to question him about allegations of sexual assault in 2010.

All such allegations must be thoroughly investigated before Mr. Assange moves to a country that might put him beyond the reach of the Swedish justice system. But it is the British and Swedish governments that stand in the way of an investigation, not Mr. Assange.

Swedish authorities have traveled to other countries to conduct interrogations when needed, and the WikiLeaks founder has made clear his willingness to be questioned in London. Moreover, the Ecuadorean government made a direct offer to Sweden to allow Mr. Assange to be interviewed within Ecuador’s embassy. In both instances, Sweden refused.

Mr. Assange has also committed to traveling to Sweden immediately if the Swedish government pledges that it will not extradite him to the United States. Swedish officials have shown no interest in exploring this proposal, and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt recently told a legal adviser to Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks unequivocally that Sweden would not make such a pledge. The British government would also have the right under the relevant treaty to prevent Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States from Sweden, and has also refused to pledge that it would use this power. Ecuador’s attempts to facilitate that arrangement with both governments were rejected.

Taken together, the British and Swedish governments’ actions suggest to us that their real agenda is to get Mr. Assange to Sweden. Because of treaty and other considerations, he probably could be more easily extradited from there to the United States to face charges. Mr. Assange has every reason to fear such an outcome.The Justice Department recently confirmed that it was continuing to investigate WikiLeaks, and just-disclosed Australian government documents from this past February state that “the U.S. investigation into possible criminal conduct by Mr. Assange has been ongoing for more than a year.” WikiLeaks itself has published e-mails from Stratfor, a private intelligence corporation, which state that a grand jury has already returned a sealed indictment of Mr. Assange. And history indicates Sweden would buckle to any pressure from the United States to hand over Mr. Assange. In 2001 the Swedish government delivered two Egyptians seeking asylum to the C.I.A., which rendered them to the Mubarak regime, which tortured them.

If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws. The setting of such a precedent should deeply concern everyone, admirers of WikiLeaks or not.

We urge the people of Britain and Sweden to demand that their governments answer some basic questions: Why do the Swedish authorities refuse to question Mr. Assange in London? And why can neither government promise that Mr. Assange will not be extradited to the United States? The citizens of Britain and Sweden have a rare opportunity to make a stand for free speech on behalf of the entire globe.

Michael Moore and Oliver Stone are Academy Award-winning filmmakers.


Peter Lemkin
08-21-2012, 02:06 PM
Good Op-Ed [I presume]. I think the answers they ask will be answered with the silence of Deep Politics. Sadly. IMHO, the UK has NO reputation to preserve. Sweden, however, does - even if I'm very aware it is a false one....they have missed EVERY opportunity to revive it. The Gladio in Sweden thread now is MOST relevant...ditto the Palme, Hammarskjold and even Wallenburg threads...the Swedish man who hired the theft of the Auschwitz sign recently is also relevant. Sweden needs to look at itself in the mirror. Fast!

Ashley Bishop
08-21-2012, 10:31 PM
Yes Galddio is still alive an kicking, the assasination of Palme was the result of scadal concerning covert arms shipments to Iraq, add to this Andre Cools and Gerald Bull.

The darkness beneath politics is something they will do anything to stop being revealed and they will silence anyone who might expose them.

Magda Hassan
08-21-2012, 10:59 PM
Yes Galddio is still alive an kicking, the assasination of Palme was the result of scadal concerning covert arms shipments to Iraq, add to this Andre Cools and Gerald Bull.

The darkness beneath politics is something they will do anything to stop being revealed and they will silence anyone who might expose them.
Welcome Ashley! We have some posts here about Olaf Palme (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?2187-Olof-Palme&highlight=olaf) here and Gerald Bull (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?4920-Defence-manufacturer-Chairman-tells-it-as-it-really-is&highlight=bull) here And Gladio here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?1141-Operation-Gladio&highlight=Gladio) and here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?7079-Vieil-État-Major-and-de-Gaulle-assassination-attempt&highlight=Gladio) and here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?8237-Gladio-to-911-Ganser&highlight=Gladio) and here (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?9894-The-Belgian-%E2%80%98Years-of-Lead%E2%80%99-return-with-a-vengeance-Gladio-rides-again&highlight=Gladio) Some on Ergenekon here: http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/for...ight=Ergenekon (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1148&highlight=Ergenekon)

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/for...ight=Ergenekon (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1158&highlight=Ergenekon)

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/for...ight=Ergenekon (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1160&highlight=Ergenekon)


A (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1141&highlight=Ergenekon)nd the Grey Wolves here https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?1156-Grey-Wolves (https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?1156-Grey-Wolves&highlight=wolves)

Peter Lemkin
08-22-2012, 05:43 AM
Australia won't lift a finger to help Assange...yet....
By Dan Goldberg and Ofer Aderet

Haaretz, August 15, 2012

The Australian government will not surrender alleged Nazi war criminal Karoly (Charles) Zentai to his native Hungary on a war crime charge following a High Court ruling that has been slammed by Jewish officials, Holocaust survivors and Israel’s leading Nazi hunter.

The long-awaited ruling, handed down in Canberra on Wednesday, dismissed an appeal by the federal government into an earlier Federal Court judgment that Zentai could not be extradited because war crimes was not an offense in Hungary on November 8, 1944 – the date Zentai is accused of helping murder Peter Balazs in Budapest.

Zentai, who was a cadet sergeant in the pro-Nazi Hungarian army, has vehemently denied he helped murder the 18-year-old Jew for not wearing the mandatory yellow Star of David before dumping his body in the River Danube. The 90-year-old Perth pensioner, who was first arrested by Australian Federal Police in 2005, claimed he left Budapest the day prior to Balazs’s murder.

2788174540 Australian Court Bars Extradition of 90 Year Old Accused of Killing Jewish Teenager in WWIICharles Zentai’s Australian landing card

In their 5-1 verdict, the judges argued that the extradition could not be approved because the Hungarian authorities had requested Zentai’s surrender for war crimes, which was not an offense under Hungarian law at the time.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” Zentai told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Perth. “I’ve been so stressed, the last few days in particular.”

But the judgment was met by a chorus of condemnation.

Michael Danby, a Jewish legislator of the governing Labor Party, slammed the verdict as “appalling.”

In a speech to be delivered in parliament in Canberra tonight, Danby said Hungary enacted laws in 1945 to retrospectively make war crimes an offense.

“Now when a country seeks to pursue and even investigate the crimes of former Nazis like Zentai they will be prevented from doing so by a blockheaded majority of High Court judges,” he said. “Those who voted for it shall live in infamy.”

Danby said he had already approached the Hungarian ambassador to ask whether officials in Budapest will seek Zentai’s extradition for murder.

Israel’s chief Nazi hunter, Dr Efraim Zuroff, who has pursued this case since 2005 when the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Operation Last Chance helped flush out Zentai’s whereabouts, said the decision was “a travesty of justice.”

“I’m fuming, I’m fuming. It’s simply awful, a total failure on Australia’s part. They live on a different planet. The decision not to extradite him is simply a scandal,” said Zuroff. “The last Nazi hunter.”

“Australia totally failed in terms of extraditing Nazi criminals – as opposed to other English-speaking countries, like Canada and the U.S,” he said. Zuroff also staunchly criticized the reasons stated for the failure to extradite, saying “There are a ton of legal precedents in which people were tried for crimes that weren’t in the law books when they were committed. The Nuremberg Trials were based on that.”

“It’s a very sad day for Australia, a very sad day for justice and a very sad day for the victims of the Holocaust, their relatives and anyone who has any sense of empathy with the victims of the Holocaust,” Zuroff said from Jerusalem. “Today my thoughts are with the Balazs family.”

But he said the decision was “not a reflection of Zentai’s guilt or innocence.”

Australia has “totally failed” on the issue of Nazi war criminals, he said. “It pains me to criticize Australia. But it has officially confirmed its status as the worst of the Anglo countries which sought to take legal action against Nazi war criminals.”

He noted that in 1987 Australia’s government opened a Special Investigations Unit and investigated 841 suspects but it closed five years later without a single conviction.

“That was a disaster and we’re paying the price to this day,” Zuroff said. “The only people who benefitted were the Nazi war criminals whose haven in Australia proved to be the right choice.”

But he vowed the fight for justice is not over, even if Zentai – believed to be Australia’s last Nazi war crimes suspect – will not be extradited. “Last month we caught a big Nazi criminal,” he said referring to Laszlo Csatary. “It may be over in Australia but it ain’t over elsewhere.”

Marika Weinberger, 84, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor whose mother and two grandmothers perished at Auschwitz, said: “It does not come as a surprise. Yes, I am disappointed. Yes, I am sad. But I am not surprised.”

She said although she was a “proud Australian” governments on both sides of politics had “never spoken up hard enough.

“We remain the only country who could have and should have” convicted Nazi war criminals. “This is why it hurts. I can’t understand it.

“I would have liked to live long enough that at least one would be convicted so that we would show the world we care. But we didn’t.”

Anna Berger, the president of the Australian Association of Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, described the decision as “regrettable.” But she said as Australian citizens “we are loyal and grateful to this country for the shelter it gave us and we respect the laws of the land even if we don’t like the decision.”

Dr Danny Lamm, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, said in a statement: “The decision of the High Court will of course be respected and adhered to even though to many people it will seem like the triumph of narrow formal legalism over substantive justice. It will be distressing to many that Zentai will now live out his final days untroubled by any prospect of having to account for his past actions.”

The federal government approved Zentai’s extradition to Hungary in 2009 but the decision was overturned on appeal in the Federal Court in 2011. The government then sought the ruling of the justices of nation’s highest court, who reserved their decision in March before dismissing the appeal today.

Zentai is not the first alleged Nazi war criminal to avoid facing his accusers. Konrads Kalejs, an alleged leader of Latvia’s notorious Arajs Kommando unit, accused of murdering thousands of Jews and gypsies in Riga in 1942-43, died in Australia in 2001 while awaiting a court decision of whether he should be extradited to his native Latvia.


Ashley Bishop
08-22-2012, 10:36 AM
After the second world war the nazi ideology survived through its intelligence systems, scientists, SS and Gestopo officers.

Gehlen went on to form the CIA the BND and the Egyption intelligence services this inteliigence organistaion went on o become an international organisation simply called "the Organisation" which functions within the structure of Western Governments and has total control of less sofisticated governments through being able to place in power their own chosen people.

Following the fall of Germany Russia, America and Britain divided uop amonst themselves the Nazi scientists.

As they say it is all in the history.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-22-2012, 01:59 PM
Triggered by curiosity why, according to a "mole" in the BBC, BBC reporters are not allowed to mention the name of Irmeli Krans (besides Anna Ardin), I found this little piece:

It turns out that Irmely Krans is the police interrogator who took testimony from Sofia Wilen on 20 August, 2010. Sofia Wilen refused to sign it.
It also turns out that Irmely Krans is a friend of Anna Ardin. Sofia Wilen was also a friend of Anna Ardin, don't know if she still is.

It is a small world indeed.

And why, again, is it not allowed to mention that on the BBC?

See also http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/08/banned-names/

Magda Hassan
08-22-2012, 02:06 PM
Yes, it is a curious thing isn't it? Some times while a court case is in process there are some media restrictions on certain identifying things but this would only be the case if the trial was in the UK. This would not happen for any Swedish court case or that of any other country. Nor is Assange a UK citizen. Just stuck there due to circumstances beyond his control. Nothing about this whole thing is according to normal procedure.

Magda Hassan
08-22-2012, 02:37 PM
More irregularities in the conduct of the 'rape' investigation against Assange. Naomi Wolf is a prominent feminist activist in the US.
Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange
by Naomi Wolf
Exclusive to News from Underground
Now that Andrew Kreig, of the Justice Integrity Project, has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden.
Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care.
Based on my 23 years of reporting on global rape law, and my five years of supporting women at rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters, I can say with certainty that this case is not being treated as a normal rape or sexual assault case. New details from the Swedish police make this quite clear. Their transcript of the complaints against Assange is strikingly unlike the dozens of such transcripts that I have read throughout the years as an advocate for victims of sex crimes.
Specifically, there are eight ways in which this transcript is unusual:
1) Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent.
Ask Sweden to produce ANY other police report in which any action was taken in a situation in which there is no stated lack of consent or threat of force. Police simply won’t act on a complaint if there is no indication of a lack of consent, or of consent in the face of violence. The Assange transcripts, in contrast to any typical sex crime report, are a set of transcripts in which neither of the women has indicated a lack of consent. (There is one point at which Miss W asserts she was asleep – in which case it would indeed have been illegal to have sex with her – but her deleted tweets show that she was not asleep, and subsequent discussion indicates consent.)
The Assange transcript is therefore anomalous, as it does not suggest in any way that either woman was unconsenting, or felt threatened. On this basis alone, therefore, the Assange transcript is completely aberrant.
2) Police do not let two women report an accusation about one man together.
The transcripts seem to indicate that the police processed the two accusers’ complaints together.
This is completely unheard-of in sex crime procedures; and the burden should be on Clare Mongomery, QC, or Marianne Ny, to produce a single other example of this being permitted.
Never will two victims be allowed by police to come in and tell their stories together–even, or especially, if the stories are about one man.
Indeed, this is a great frustration to those who advocate for rape victims. You can have seven alleged victims all accusing the same guy — and none will be permitted to tell their stories together.
It doesn’t matter if they coordinated in advance as the Assange accusers did, or if they are close friends and came in together: the police simply will not take their complaints together or even in the same room. No matter how much they may wish to file a report together, their wishes won’t matter: the women will be separated, given separate interview times and even locations, and their cases will be processed completely separately.
The prosecutor, rather than being able to draw on both women’s testimony, will actually have to struggle to get the judge to allow a second or additional accusation or evidence from another case.
Usually other such evidence will NOT be allowed. Miss A would have her case processed and then Miss W — with absolutely no ability for the prosecutor to draw form one set of testimony to the next.
The reason for this is sound: it is to keep testimony from contaminating separate trials–a source of great frustration to prosecutors and rape victim advocates.
Thus the dual testimonies taken in this case are utterly atypical and against all Western and especially Swedish rape law practice and policy.
3) Police never take testimony from former boyfriends.
There’s another remarkable aberration in this transcript: the report of a former boyfriend of “Miss A,” testifying that she’d always used a condom in their relationship.
Now, as one who has supported many rape victims through the reporting process, I have to say that the inclusion of this utterly atypical–and, in fact, illegal–note will make anyone who has counselled rape victims through the legal process’ feel as though her head might explode.
There’s a rape shield law in Sweden (as there is throughout Europe) that prevents anyone not involved in the case to say anything to the police, whether it be positive or negative, about the prior sexual habits of the complainant. No matter how much a former or current boyfriend may want to testify about his girlfriends’ sex practices — even if that woman wants him to — the courts will, rightly, refused to hear it, or record it, or otherwise allow it in the record.
4) Prosecutors never let two alleged victims have the same lawyer.
Both women are being advised by the same high-powered, politically connected lawyer. That would never happen under normal circumstances because the prosecutor would not permit the risk of losing the case because of contamination of evidence and the risk of the judge objecting to possible coaching or shared testimony in the context of a shared attorney.
So why would the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, allow such a thing in this case? Perhaps — bearing in mind the threat that Assange will be extradited to the US once he is in Sweden — because she does not expect to have a trial, let alone have to try to win one.
5) A lawyer never typically takes on two alleged rape victims as clients.
No attorney–and certainly no high-powered attorney– would want to represent two women claiming to have been victimized by the same man, for the reasons above: the second woman’s testimony could be weaker than the other one’s, thus lessening the lawyer’s chances of success.
There also is a danger that the judge may well object to the potential cross-contamination of the women’s stories.
Again, the only reason why a lawyer would thus weaken his own clients’ cases us that s/he does not expect the case to come to trial.
6) A rape victim never uses a corporate attorney.
Typically, if a woman needs a lawyer in addition to the prosecutor who is pursuing her case (as in the Swedish system) she will be advised by rape victim advocates, the prosecutor and the police to use a criminal attorney — someone who handles rape cases or other kinds of assault, who is familiar with the judges and the courts in these cases. She will never hire a high-powered corporate attorney who does not specialize in these cases or work with the local court that would be hearing her sex crime case if it ever got to trial. Given that a law firm such as this one charges about four hundred euros an hour, and a typical rape case takes eight months to a year to get through the courts – given that legal advice will cost tens of thousands of euros, which young women victims usually do not have access to – it is reasonable to ask: who is paying the legal bills?
7) A rape victim is never encouraged to make any kind of contact with her assailant and she may never use police to compel her alleged assailant to take medical tests.
The two women went to police to ask if they could get Assange to take an HIV test.
Sources close to the investigation confirm that indeed Assange was asked by police to take an HIV test, which came back negative. This is utterly unheard of and against standard sex crime policy. The Police do not act as medical mediators for STD testing, since rapists are dangerous and vindictive. A victim is NEVER advised to manage, even with police guidance, any further communication with her assailant that is not through formal judicial channels. Under ordinary procedures, the women’s wishes for the alleged assailant to take medical tests would be discouraged by rape victim advocates and deterred and disregarded by police.
First, the State normally has no power to compel a man who has not been convicted, let alone formally charged, to take any medical tests whatsoever. Secondly, rape victims usually fear STD’s or AIDS infection, naturally enough, and the normal police and prosecutorial guidance is for them to take their own battery of tests – you don’t need the man’s test results to know if you have contracted a disease. Normal rape kit processing–in Sweden as elsewhere–includes such tests for the alleged victim as a matter of course, partly to help prevent any contact between the victim and the assailant outside legal channels.
8) Police and prosecutors never leak police transcripts during an active investigation because they face punishment for doing so.
The full transcripts of the women’s complaints have been leaked to the US media. The only people who have access to those documents are police, prosecutors and the attorneys. Often, frustratingly, rape victims themselves cannot get their own full set of records related to their cases. In normal circumstances, the leaking of those transcripts would be grounds for an immediate investigation of the police and prosecutors who had access to them. Any official who leaks such confidential papers faces serious penalties; lawyers who do so can be disbarred. And yet no one in this case is being investigated or facing any consequences. It seems quite likely that the Assange documents were leaked by the police or prosecutors because they got a signal from higher-ups that they could do so with impunity.
Indeed, these are all major aberrations–suggesting that somebody at the top has interfered.
And who is at the very top in Sweden? Players working with Karl Rove, who was a party to the Swedish government’s collusion in the Bush regime’s rendition/torture program. As Britain holds its hearings into Julian Assange’s fate, we must take careful note of that connection.

Peter Lemkin
08-22-2012, 03:55 PM
Great summary by Wolf, from a few months back...but just as true today. Who IS paying the legal bills of the two women.....would be very interesting to know! That these points do NOT make it into the US MSM [let alone UK or even much into the Swedish] says a lot about controlling the parameters of the discussion - i.e. the propaganda/PR line.

Carsten Wiethoff
08-23-2012, 10:32 AM
At least some Swedes see the deeply troubling state of the judicial system and the actions of prosecutor Marianne Ny, and do something about it:

The Assange Case goes to JO,the Swedish Ombudsmen for Justice

To The Swedish Ombudsmen for Justice (JO)

Gothenburg and Stockholm August, 2, 2012

We most urgent requires that the ombudsmen for justice investigates the Swedish handling of the case of Julian Assange, by the prosecutor Marianne Ny, Director of the Public Prosecution Authority Development Center in Gothenburg.
1. Mr. Assange could have been investigated by the Swedish police before he left the country on September 27, 2010, and with the knowledge of the prosecutor Marianne Ny. At that date Mr. Assange had been available for an interwiev during five weeks.
2. Since Mr. Assange arrived in London, he has on several occasions offered to give his own version of what happened in Stockholm in August 2010, at the Swedish embassy, or being questioned by video link.
3. In late July, Mr. Assange offered to talk to the Swedish prosecutor, now at the embassy of Ecuador, where he has asked for asylum.
The prosecutor, Ms. Ny has at all different occasions neglected or rejected Mr. Assanges proposals.
Between August 13, and August 16 Mr. Assange had consensual sex with two different women.
On August 20, 2010, the two women went to a local police station in Stockholm in order to urge Mr. Assange to undergo an HIV-test. At that point the police choosed to start an investigation about rape, without the consent of the two women.
On the same day a prosecutor decided to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Assange. At the time the newspaper Expressen, headlined a front page article “Assange accused of rape”.
The next day another prosecutor decided that there was no reason for the warrant.
On August 30, interrogates Julian Assange for the first time by the Swedish police, and denies all allegations.
The day after the lawyer of the two women, Mr. Claes Borgström, who also was a former Swedish Ombudsman for equality, requested that the case should be reopened by the prosecutor in Gothenburg, Marianne Ny.
Julian Assange is now again accused of rape, molest, and sexual harassment.
Mr. Assange stayed in Sweden until September 27 for further questioning.
We are, like his lawyer, Mr. Baltasar Garzón, serious concerned, regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency with which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing.
The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behavior of the Swedish governmental authorities.
This has implied that Mr. Assanges civil rights, and his rights according to the European Convention have been violated.
Helene Bergman, journalist
0707 31 23 33

Anders Carlgren, journalist
072 32 33 102

Carsten Wiethoff
08-23-2012, 10:42 AM
As a reminder: The letter of Assanges barrister James Catlin:

Assange Case: Ny Knows the Girls Made it Up but Doesn't CareRevelations by Assange's Australian barrister James Catlin.

STOCKHOLM/MELBOURNE (Rixstep) — The charges against Julian Assange were indeed trumped up. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén planned it all. They went to the police station asking for advice, knowing the police would turn it into an accusation of rape. They're also the ones who leaked the story to the tabloid Expressen.

This was revealed in a letter written by Assange's Australian barrister to the website Crikey (http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/02/when-it-comes-to-assange-r-pe-case-the-swedes-are-making-it-up-as-they-go-along/).
RecapA bit of a recap first.

Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén approached the Klara police station in Stockholm on the afternoon of Friday 20 August 2010 to ask questions of the police, purportedly about forcing someone to submit to STD/HIV tests.

The policemen on duty rang up prosecutor on duty Maria Kjellstrand even before the formal interrogation had begun. Kjellstrand - working with no paperwork at all at this point - issued an 'APB' for Assange and had the police search the Stureplan district of Stockholm for Assange, ostensibly to bring him in for questioning (and a tour of Swedish isolation cells).

The formal interrogation of Sofia Wilén was only concluded hours later and the interrogation of Anna Ardin didn't take place until the day after - by telephone.

As seen from Anna Ardin's SMS history, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén made the whole thing up - and even decided to leak the story to notorious Swedish tabloid Expressen. The story reached Niklas Svensson and others at Expressen at 19:52.

A colleague of Svensson's rang up Maria Kjellstrand to find out if the story was true - and Kjellstrand, violating the rules of her office, told the reporter that it was.

All of which closely follows Anna Ardin's notorious 'seven step plan for revenge' and is based directly on it.

A lot of the above has been inferred by pundits and researchers but it is only now that people finally learn the truth.
Case DismissedExpressen did their damnedest - all three of the reporters working overtime on Twitter from the wee hours of Saturday morning - to give the story legs. They truly didn't have much of a story: all they had was the leak by Ardin and Wilén that charges would be filed.

This is something Ardin and Wilén couldn't even have known at the time: they purported to ask the police questions only and it's the prosecutors and not the police who file charges and decide what the crime (if any) is to be - and Kjellstrand still hadn't seen any paperwork at all.

The case caused such a furore that Eva Finné was asked by her boss to look into it. Finné was at the time out in her sommarstuga for the weekend and had the case documents sent to her by messenger. Finné quickly concluded there was no rape charge there whatsover and essentially dismissed the whole thing.
Enter Claes BorgströmBut Claes Borgström knew better. He and his friend and colleague Marianne Ny had been working on expanding the legal concept of rape in Sweden. They were interested in two sweeping changes to current legislation, whereof the most important one is that people themselves no longer decide when they've been raped - their governments do.

The other second change is relatively unimportant - but perhaps more shattering worldwide: almost anything can be considered rape - even and especially nonviolent and consensual acts.

Consensual sex can be rape, according to Borgström and Ny - but the alleged victims don't decide - they do.

The new laws which establish these 'precedents' are not yet on the books - but it's Marianne Ny's intention to make the Assange affair into a test case for that purpose.

In other words: Marianne Ny wants to try Julian Assange for a something that wasn't a crime when it took place.
SMS & TwitterThe designs of Ardin and Wilén were revealed by their SMS traffic (of which Catlin seems to only have seen those on Ardin's phone) and by Ardin's tweets after the supposed 'rape'. Most likely on advice from Claes Borgström, Ardin tried to remove all those tweets but didn't succeed all too well (http://rixstep.com/1/20101001,01.shtml).

Not that it matters to Marianne Ny and Claes Borgström who've both seen the same evidence and are fully aware the girls made the whole thing up.

But as Borgström already said of Ardin (somewhat incorrectly): 'she's not a jurist'. Borgström and Marianne Ny can namely find rape where there is none. And for this nonsense there's today an international red notice out in 188 countries.

The mind boggles.

But then neither Ardin nor Wilén complained to the police but rather 'sought advice', a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other's evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange.
- James Catlin
RamificationsThe above doesn't affect the Assange case at all. Ardin and Wilén could both be convicted for bringing false accusations - all the evidence needed is already there - but that's not likely to happen. Women who make up rape charges get sent to prison in Britain but the feminist sisters usually protect their own in Sweden - their crime in this case carries a sentence of two years in prison but Wilén's been swallowed up by the earth and Ardin's in the middle east.

Julian Assange is being harassed for slighting the feelings of two groupies who worshipped him before and after the alleged rapes and he's being hunted for something that's definitely not rape and not even a crime yet.

Something that probably didn't even happen as the girls are known to have made the whole thing up.

But don't expect such trivialities to affect Marianne Ny, Claes Borgström, the Swedish courts, or the Swedish feminists.

The prosecutor could achieve this broadening of the law during Assange's trial so he can be convicted of a crime that didn't exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to. There is no precedent for this. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.
- James Catlin
Julian Assange will surely learn that considering what WikiLeaks has published, he's got a few enemies in the Pentagon, the CIA, and the White House. Sweden began an investigation into rape which was later dismissed. Assange was even denied residence in Sweden. One can only speculate to what extent the security agencies of the US were involved. And considering the obvious interest of the US to silence WikiLeaks, is it likely Assange will have an accident of the 'Boston brakes' kind in the coming years? Or will he be snared with compromising information of the 'honey trap' kind?
- 'Drozd' at Flashback 23 October 2010

Magda Hassan
08-23-2012, 11:01 AM
I am so pleased to hear that some Swedes are taking the judicial system to task over their appalling management of this whole event and makes a mockery of all women who have been raped. Helene Bergman has been great and a real feminist alternative to what has been projected in the media. Thre is a ton of interesting stuff on the Flash back forum. Now running a couple of thousand pages on the Assange thread. :read:

Carsten Wiethoff
08-23-2012, 11:21 AM
Ah, by the way, if you want to see a famous swedish rapist, look here:

The article talks in its second half also about Olof Palme. Not that I share the Guardian's view in this case...

Magda Hassan
08-23-2012, 09:27 PM
I found this quite insightful of the Swedish situation not just in regards to the Assange matter.

But Gunnar Pettersson, a Swedish writer and commentator who lives in London, had a different take on the problem Lindberg represents. "Sweden has two elites," he told me. "The political elite is internationalist and neutralist in outlook, whereas the other elite, the military-industrial, is essentially nationalist and west-supporting. The two have left each other alone very largely, especially throughout the 20th century when the Swedish model was built up. The thing about Lindberg is that he adopted the rhetoric of the political elite but he belonged by nature and biology to the military-industrial elite, where these things are just horseshit. You just say it to get on in your career."

Magda Hassan
08-24-2012, 03:04 PM
Googlish translation from Spanish.
I don't know for sure but expect it is the transcripts of the text messages between the Swedish women. I have heard they are very revealing and not in a way that supports the prosecutions case.

Garzón announces key facts about the accusations against Assange in Sweden(AFP) - 1 hour ago
SYDNEY - The lawyer for the founder of the page WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Spanish Baltasar Garzon, said Thursday it has key information on allegations in Sweden of rape against his client to cause surprise when they are revealed.
Garzon, who met for hours with Assange on Sunday to establish a legal strategy, said the defense has requested that a Swedish prosecutor moves to London to take statements WikiLeaks founder.
"I think it will be a very good option," said Garzon, quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Australian, 41, fled to Ecuador's embassy in London for two months, is accused in Sweden of rape and sexual assault, which he denies and sees in this an excuse extradition request to be sent to America to trial for distributing hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables.
Garzon, known worldwide for trying to sit on the bench in 1998 to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, said the defense has some key elements about the charges, which will cause "a big surprise" when they are revealed.
"We can not disclose it immediately, but prosecutors have requested to make a statement that Assange" Garzon said UNCA press conference in Brisbane.
The lawyer criticized Australia, saying that Canberra has ignored requests for Assange to have diplomatic support, including a letter sent 15 days ago.
He said the Australian Government's response has been "completely negative".
"At no time consular officials have visited Assange. And I have understood that it is an obligation for every citizen with Australian," Garzon said.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5irxmgLaXTqIGMGl6yuELR9F2jDHQ?docId=CNG.285e6 fbbf9733400b4b0cf7ae442e169.41

Magda Hassan
08-24-2012, 03:30 PM
This is very interesting legally. Basically, the EAW are no longer valid because he has left the UK and is now on Ecuadorian territory. More Spanglish and googlish.

Assange Swedish lawyer: "When granted asylum, the European arrest warrant can not be done"

According to T Per Samuelson, Ecuadorian decision marks the end of the Swedish extradition request from British territory.

by DPA - 16/08/2012 - 10:36

Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is the end of the extradition request from British territory of Sweden for questioning over allegations of a sexual nature, said today in Stockholm Swedish lawyer Per Samuelson T.

Samuelson said that Assange is not afraid to answer outstanding questions in Sweden, but sought asylum because "If you fear that if you come here end in imprisonment in the United States." "Not afraid of Sweden, but of what might happen in the United States. Not opposed to research in Sweden," Samuelson said.

"The prosecution (Swedish) will have to accept the new situation and question Assange in Ecuador's embassy in London," he added. Samuelson, one of two lawyers for Assange in Sweden, said that previously requested that the Swedish prosecutors interviewed him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but she refused. Ecuador had consented.

"Now the investigation is entering a new phase. Could not be extradited here," he said. "When granted political asylum, the European arrest warrant can not be done."

Hence, affected women are interested also be questioned Assange in London as soon as possible so that the Swedish police to advance research. Samuelson spoke a few days ago with Assange and maintains regular contact with him by email and phone. "We'll have to wait and see what happens," he added.

A spokesman said the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny attorney general would not comment for now, but said Ny had already rejected a previous offer to interview Assange in London.


Peter Lemkin
08-24-2012, 03:53 PM
Google translations DO have their problems!.....but it is usually possible to wade through them to find the approximate meaning of the original. In short, IMO, the Swedes fucked-up royally legally and don't have a leg [first, second or third] to 'stand upon'. But this is not a legal matter now - it is political and highly political within each jurisdiction and between them. Klein outlined only SOME of the many 'irregularities' of the case, legally. I have private information about back-channel PR/intel work to 'get' Assange at any cost. It is not secret, but I have to ask permission to post it. It has been in oblique form, but what I got was stronger and made more direct connections between certain forces in the USA and those who are pursuing Assange in Sweden. It includes the usual suspects of so MANY ongoing black ops. I can't get enough information in the above that Garzon has the same information, but it seems that he likely does; and if he doesn't, I'll send what I have to him. It comes from an impeccable source.
The most egregious part, IMO, is Australia's total abandonment of Assange...not even going through the motions. English speakers certainly seem at great risk of neo-fascist governments at this time.. Things change and yet they don't.

Magda Hassan
08-24-2012, 04:13 PM
Secret doc shows police to arrest Assange even if "dip immunity, in dip bag, as a dip bag, in dip vehicle - ARRESTED"

Peter Lemkin
08-24-2012, 04:24 PM
Secret doc shows police to arrest Assange even if "dip immunity, in dip bag, as a dip bag, in dip vehicle - ARRESTED"

Well, don't keep it obscured from our vision!

It would not the least surprise me, given all of the sanctioned abductions, renditions, 'terminations with extreme prejudice', and black ops and lies - that such a document or 'order' stands in place.

Sadly, however, once Assange is in U SS A hands, he is finished and nothing can save him.

It is such a lawless and immoral World these days....yet hidden by PR firms and Propaganda as 'everything is just OK'....


Magda Hassan
08-24-2012, 04:33 PM
Statement on U.K. intentions and pressures prior to Ecuadorian embassy siegeThursday 24th August, 01:00 BSTFormal statement by Craig Murray former U.K. Ambassador and career diplomat, August 23, 2012, on the Ecuadorian embassy siege in London.
My name is Craig John Murray. I am a retired British diplomat. I was a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service for over 20 years, and a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over six years.
As anybody who works a long time in any one organisation, I have a great many friends there, some of whom are now very senior officials. And as is natural, they sometimes discuss matters with their old colleague.
I arrived in the UK from a trip abroad on 15 August 2012 and was immediately contacted by a very senior official within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who was very concerned. He had knowledge that an attempt by the British authorities to force entry to the Embassy of Ecuador was possibly imminent. I suggested that this must be impossible, and he said that unfortunately it was not. He said that he had been party to formal discussions over a three week period between different British government departments on the legality of such a move. It had concluded that the provisions of the Diplomatic Premises Act of 1987 gave the authorities the domestic power to do this, in spite of the Vienna Convention of 1961.
My ex-colleague went on to say that he understood the government intended to act quickly to pre-empt any grant of political asylum to Mr Assange by the government of Ecuador. If there were any formal international recognition of Mr Assange as a political refugee, it might complicate matters.
He also said there was tremendous discomfort at this development within the British diplomatic service because of the potential exposure of British embassies and diplomats abroad to similar action.
I asked how on earth such an illegal decision could have been reached. My ex-colleague said that political pressure exerted by the administration of the United States of America on Mr William Hague and Mr David Cameron had outweighed the views of British diplomats.
I published a brief account of this conversation on my blog the following morning, in an effort to add to the pressures which might avert the government from such an illegal act.
About Craig Murray: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/about-craig-murray/

Jan Klimkowski
08-24-2012, 07:39 PM
I arrived in the UK from a trip abroad on 15 August 2012 and was immediately contacted by a very senior official within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who was very concerned. He had knowledge that an attempt by the British authorities to force entry to the Embassy of Ecuador was possibly imminent. I suggested that this must be impossible, and he said that unfortunately it was not. He said that he had been party to formal discussions over a three week period between different British government departments on the legality of such a move. It had concluded that the provisions of the Diplomatic Premises Act of 1987 gave the authorities the domestic power to do this, in spite of the Vienna Convention of 1961.
My ex-colleague went on to say that he understood the government intended to act quickly to pre-empt any grant of political asylum to Mr Assange by the government of Ecuador. If there were any formal international recognition of Mr Assange as a political refugee, it might complicate matters.
He also said there was tremendous discomfort at this development within the British diplomatic service because of the potential exposure of British embassies and diplomats abroad to similar action.
I asked how on earth such an illegal decision could have been reached. My ex-colleague said that political pressure exerted by the administration of the United States of America on Mr William Hague and Mr David Cameron had outweighed the views of British diplomats.

All very well, and Craig Murray generally seems a man of integrity.

However, what I'm hearing from Murray's diplomatic mates is pure self-interest. They're worried that they may become vulnerable to other states using any British action to seize Assange from an embassy as a legal precedent.

In other words, they care about their sorry asses.

Not about principles.

Magda Hassan
08-28-2012, 01:23 PM
The following anonymous essay has been posted as a comment on numerous websites about the WikiLeaks matter:
A WikiLeaks Primer
Originally, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange fled Iceland as he was under surveillance by business-suited strangers, plus he was tipped off by the bank where the WikiLeaks’ account was located that they had been approached by US government personnel.

In Sweden, Assange was immediately approached by a Bonnier family publication for exclusive rights in publishing WikiLeaked documents.

Assange declined their offer, both against the principle of exclusivity, and because he’d been advised that the publication was similar to Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloids; not necessarily respectable.

It is important to understand that the Bonnier family is a major European media family (Bonnier AB is one of the 10 largest media companies in the world), who’s ownership extends to American publications such as Sports Illustrated, Popular Science, Time, etc.
[See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group (http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FBon nier_Group&h=iAQEyEAnu&s=1) and alsohttp://www.bonnier.com/about-us/ (http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bonnier.com%2Fabout-us%2F&h=JAQHeaglg&s=1)]
The woman who first approached Assange for consensual sex, Anna Ardin, worked for one of the Bonnier family publications, and while her present source of income is difficult to determine, she appears to be surviving nicely. Ardin would later approach the second young lady, Sofia Wilen (who also had consensual sex with Assange), to accompany her to the police.
The law firm which volunteered to represent the two women is comprised of two law partners, Claes Borgstrom, who has two sisters who work for Bonnier family companies, and Thomas Bodstrom, who publishes through the Bonnier family media company (he writes legal fiction).

Bodstrom was also the Swedish Minister of Justice who had OK’ed the CIA’s illegal kidnapping of several Swedish citizens of Arabic origin --- also called extreme rendition --- who were transported to Egypt for torture (and what could have led to murder), but were eventually released and sued the Swedish government in Swedish courts, winning a financial judgment against them.

Sweden claims it would never allow extradition to any country with a legalized death penalty, yet by allowing extreme renditions to such countries, we know this to be a lie.

Originally when the women approached the police, a junior prosecutor on duty ordered Assange to remain in Sweden, but the Swedish Prosecution Authority shortly dropped all charges as they had no merit.

Later, after allowing Assange to leave Sweden, and due to political pressure from the highest levels of government, the Swedish Prosecution Authority resumed the case without merit, seeking Assange’s extradition, solely for questioning, in violation of both existing Swedish law, and the regulations pertaining to issuing European Union arrest warrants (two very important points!).

During those early events in Sweden, Anna Ardin had chat message traffic with reporters for a Bonnier family tabloid, Expressen, which indicated criminal conspiracy and malfeasance on her part, and while her attorney, Claes Borgstrom, illegally directed her to delete this evidence, she forgot to delete the copy from her blog site, later downloaded by an enterprising Australian journalist.

Unfortunately, this has received scant attention or reportage in the corporate media.

Later, the other law partner and former Justice Minister, Thomas Bodstrom, went on a book tour in America, where he routinely spread disinformation about the WikiLeaks/Assange case. Much of the time Bodstrom stayed at a residence in Virginia, a short drive from the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

A curious coincidence, or logistical necessity?

The present Justice Minister, Beatrice Ask, who resurrected the extradition case against Assange, was originally appointed to her cabinet positions by Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister who is presently the Swedish foreign minister.

Carl Bildt appears unfavorably mentioned in several WikiLeaked cables, and was a director at Lundin Petroleum during their involvement in massacres of Sudanese living on oil-rich land in that African country.

Later, in America, a relatively unknown author named Jaclyn Friedman, would attempt to publicize the consensual sex case against Assange as rape charges. Friedman’s web site, at that time, displays her boasting of enjoying sex with multiple male partners in a given week’s time, although at times Ms. Friedman claims to be an avowed lesbian?

Perhaps more troubling is that Ms. Friedman was published through Perseus Books, which at that time was owned by the private equity firm, Perseus LLC, which was also listed as the business address, for tax purposes, for the American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc., whose directors are listed as David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle.

The business contact for that group at Perseus LLC and either the firm’s CEO or a senior executive, was James Johnson, a major character featured in a recent book by NY Times financial reporter, Gretchen Morgenstern, cited as playing a major governmental role in the subprime mortgage meltdown.

A Bonnier family member, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, was and still may be the Swedish ambassador to Israel.

Quite a bunch of improbable connections pertaining to a strange case of consensual sex?

Bonnier Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a1/Bonnier_group_logo.svg/200px-Bonnier_group_logo.svg.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnier_group_logo.svg)

Private (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_company)

Media group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_conglomerate)

1804 in Copenhagen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen), Denmark

Stockholm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm), Sweden

Carl-Johan Bonnier (chairman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chairman))[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_note-board-0)
Jonas Bonnier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Bonnier) (CEO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEO))[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_note-management-1)

Newspapers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper), books (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book),magazines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magazine), television (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television),cinemas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film), film production (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_production), radio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/11px-Increase2.svg.png US$ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar) 4.24 billion (2010)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/11px-Increase2.svg.png US$ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar) 211.25 million (2010)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Increase2.svg/11px-Increase2.svg.png US$ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_dollar) 138.79 million (2010)

10,820 (2011)

bonnier.com (http://bonnier.com/)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0e/Bonnierskrapan_Stockholm.jpg/225px-Bonnierskrapan_Stockholm.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnierskrapan_Stockholm.jpg)
http://bits.wikimedia.org/static-1.20wmf9/skins/common/images/magnify-clip.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bonnierskrapan_Stockholm.jpg)
The Bonnier Tower in Stockholm

Bonnier AB (also the Bonnier Group) is a privately held (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privately_held_company) Swedish media group (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_conglomerate) of 175 companies operating in 17 countries. It is controlled by the Bonnier family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_family).
The company was started in 1804 by the German Gerhard Bonnier in Copenhagen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen), Denmark, when Bonnier published his first book, Underfulde og sandfærdige kriminalhistorier. Gerhard's sons later moved to Sweden. The Bonnier book publishing companies in Sweden that are part of book publishing house Bonnierförlagen now includeAlbert Bonniers förlag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bonniers_förlag), Wahlström & Widstrand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahlström_%26_Widstrand), Forum (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Forum_(Swedish_publisher)&action=edit&redlink=1), and Bonnier Carlsen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Carlsen), as well as several other book publishers and imprints in Sweden. Bonnier Tidskrifter publishes magazines, including Veckans Affärer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veckans_Affärer), Damernas Värld (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Damernas_Värld&action=edit&redlink=1), Amelia, Sköna Hem, Teknikens Värld (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teknikens_Värld), Resume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resume), nearly a dozen crossword (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossword) magazines,[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_note-2) and the tablet magazine C Mode, among many others. Other subsidiaries include Sweden's commercial TV network TV4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TV4_(Sweden)) andC More Entertainment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_More_Entertainment); movie theater chain SF Bio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SF_Bio) and film production companies Svensk Filmindustri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svensk_Filmindustri) and Sonet Films (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sonet_Films&action=edit&redlink=1); daily newspapers Dagens Nyheter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagens_Nyheter), Expressen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressen), andSydsvenskan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydsvenskan); business daily Dagens Industri (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagens_Industri); and medical journal Dagens Medicin (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dagens_Medicin&action=edit&redlink=1).
In Denmark, operations include magazine publisher Bonnier Publications (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bonnier_Publications&action=edit&redlink=1), which has subsidiaries in Norway, Finland and Russia; business daily Dagbladet Børsen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagbladet_Børsen); and film distributors SF Film (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SF_Film&action=edit&redlink=1) and film producers SF Film Production (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=SF_Film_Production&action=edit&redlink=1).
Finnish operations include MTV Media Oy (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MTV_Media_Oy&action=edit&redlink=1), which owns commercial channels MTV3 and Sub, among others; radio channel Radio Nova (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Radio_Nova_(Sweden)&action=edit&redlink=1); book publishers Tammi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammi_(publishing_company)) and WSOY; plus magazines from Bonnier Publications and film productions by FS Film (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=FS_Film&action=edit&redlink=1).
In Germany, Bonnier Media Deutschland includes Ullstein Buchverlage (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ullstein_Buchverlage&action=edit&redlink=1), Piper Verlag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Verlag),Thienemann Verlag (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thienemann_Verlag&action=edit&redlink=1) and Carlsen Verlag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsen_Verlag), among others.
In Norway, along with magazines from Bonnier Media and the movie chain SF Kino and film distribution company SF Norge, subsidiaries include book publisher Cappelen Damm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappelen_Damm).
In the U.S., Bonnier Corporation owns over 40 magazines, including Popular Science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Science),Saveur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saveur), Parenting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenting_(magazine)), Field & Stream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_%26_Stream), Outdoor Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_Life) and Popular Photography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Photography), a range of action sport magazines including many published by TransWorld Media, as well as a number of niche travel and lifestyle titles. Book publisher Weldon Owen and film production company Warren Miller Entertainment are also part of the company.
Bonnier Publishing book publishing operations are also established with headquarters in the UK, including Autumn Publishing, Hot Key Books, Templar Publishing and Weldon Owen (which is separate from the U.S. book publisher); Piccolia in France; and Five Mile Press in Australia. Bonnier owns as well business newspapers in Russia, Estonia (Äripäev (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Äripäev)), Lithuania (Verslo žinios (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verslo_žinios)), Poland (Puls Biznesu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puls_Biznesu)) and Slovenia (Finance Business Daily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finance_Business_Daily)), as well as medical journals in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, and Slovenia.
Bonnier is also behind several digital startups, including the tablet publishing platform Mag+ and children's toy app producer Toca Boca.
Bonnier is controlled by around 75 family members, including some seventh-generation heirs.
Time Inc. magazines acquisition

In January 2007, the Bonnier Magazine Group agreed to acquire 18 magazines that Time Inc. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Inc.) was divesting. The estimated price was US$ 225 million in cash and the assumption of about US$ 42 million in unfulfilled subscription liabilities (subscriptions already paid but not yet delivered.) The magazines in the package employed 550 people and included Outdoor Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_Life), Popular Science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Science), Field & Stream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_%26_Stream),Ski, Yachting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yachting_(magazine)), and Transworld Snowboarding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transworld_Snowboarding), as well as 11 other titles that were part of Time Inc.'s Time4 Media Group. Also included were Parenting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenting_(magazine)), and Babytalk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babytalk), which were part of the Parenting Group. That price was believed to be a multiple of about 11 times cash flow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_flow) for a group that had net income (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_income) of around US$ 20 million and revenue of around $230 million.
"We think we did a good deal, and we think Time did as well," said Jonas Bonnier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Bonnier), head of Bonnier Magazine Group. Bonnier already had a small footprint in the US through a 50 percent stake in Winter Park, Florida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Park,_Florida)-based World Publications, which owned the titles Islands and Spa, Saveur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saveur), Water Skiing (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Water_Skiing_(magazine)&action=edit&redlink=1), and Caribbean Travel & Life.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_note-nypost-3)

^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_ref-board_0-0) "Board of Directors" (http://bonnier.com/en/content/board-directors). Bonnier AB. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_ref-management_1-0) "Top Management" (http://bonnier.com/en/content/top-management). Bonnier AB. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_ref-2) "Bonnier Korsord – Om oss." (http://krysset.se/Corpbiz/Page_About) Krysset.se. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group#cite_ref-nypost_3-0) Kelly, Keith J. (26 January 2007). "Bonnier Coughed Up $225M to Time" (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/item_WDBZcO5kkTzvzPKRMN0QQP;jsessionid=9EBE6253D23 ACA8C317CFD5EF763532A). New York Post (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Post). Retrieved 31 December 2011.
External links

Official website (http://bonnier.com/)

Journalists 'probing Lundin Oil': report

Published: 13 Sep 11 12:57 CET | Double click on a word to get a translation (http://www.thelocal.se/15662/20081113/)

The two Swedish reporters jailed in Ethiopia were in the country investigating Lundin Petroleum, a Swedish oil and mining company, at the time of their arrest, according to reports in the Swedish media.

Swedes jailed in Ethiopia could get life: expert (http://www.thelocal.se/36036/20110909/) (9 Sep 11)
Swedes charged with terror crimes in Ethiopia (http://www.thelocal.se/36012/20110907/) (7 Sep 11)
Jailed Swedes to stay in Ethiopian custody (http://www.thelocal.se/35612/20110818/) (18 Aug 11)

Martin Schibbye, who has been held in Ethiopian prison with his colleague Johan Persson since the beginning of July, sent a letter dated mid-August to his old classmates from the journalism department of Stockholm University which may hold the key to what the two reporters were doing in the country when they were arrested.

”To understand what we were trying to achieve – read Kerstin Lundell's book that was published by Ordfront last year,” the letter read, according to Swedish newspaper ETC.

Kerstin Lundell's book, "Affärer i blod och olja. Lundin petroleum i Afrika" (Business in blood and oil. Lundin Petroleum in Africa), describes how the company has contributed to the encroachment of the civilian population while extracting natural gas in the Ogaden (http://www.thelocal.se/tag/Ogaden) province of Ethiopia, bordering on Somalia.

While writing the book, which won Lundell the Swedish investigative journalism award Guldspaden in 2010, Lundell decided not to travel to the area in fear of what might befall her there, ETC reports

But in the beginning of July 2011, Schibbye and Persson were arrested by Ethiopian police in the Ogaden province, which they had entered illegally with the help of ONLF guerilla soldiers.

In an email to a journalist friend at Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) Schibbye wrote that he was ”doing something on oil” prior to going to Ethiopia, reported the paper.

In June 2010 ECOS (http://www.thelocal.se/tag/ECOS) (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan), an umbrella group of European organisations, including about 50 NGOs, published a report called "Unpaid Debt", urging Sweden, Austria and Malaysia to probe whether Lundin Petroleum (then Lundin Oil), in consortium with Petronas and OMV, had broken international law between 1997 and 2003.

By launching oil exploration in such an unstable region, the consortium set the wheels in motion for a power struggle that had led to numerous crimes, including widespread "killing of civilians, rape of women, abduction of children, torture and forced displacements," the report claimed.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the board of directors of Lundin Petroleum at the time.

Following the publication of the ECOS report, Bildt defended Lundin in an interview with Swedish public radio, insisting the company's actions in Sudan had "opened the way for a peace deal" in the area.

According to ETC, the story that Schibbye and Persson were working on was supposed to be published in Swedish magazine Filter.

Although the magazine could not contribute to the reporters' expenses in Ethiopia, the editor-in-chief Mattias Göransson had promised the two journalists that if they came back with a story, the magazine would buy it, he told Swedish journalist trade union paper Journalisten last week.

However, the majority of Filter's articles have a domestic focus.

”I don't want to disclose anything about the nature of the article, but I can say that there is a very strong Swedish connection,” said Göransson to Journalisten.

Lundin Petroleum is involved in exploration and production of oil and natural gas and is active in Norway, Russia and Sudan, as well as Ethiopia and Somalia.

According to ETC, the company gas been criticised by the United Nations and human rights groups for its activities in southern Sudan.

In 2006, Lundin Petroleum began exploration activities in Ethiopia, despite concerns from human rights groups that Ethiopian authorities had forcibly removed residents to help the company establish operations.

In 2009, Lundin Petroleum, sold its subsidiary in east Africa to Africa Oil, which is jointly owned by Lukas Lundin and Lundin Petroleum. http://www.thelocal.se/36112/20110913/

In June 2010 ECOS (European Coalition on Oil in Sudan), an umbrella group of European organisations, including about 50 NGOs, published a report called "Unpaid Debt", urging Sweden, Austria and Malaysia to probe whether Lundin Petroleum (then Lundin Oil), in consortium with Petronas and OMV, had broken international law between 1997 and 2003.

By launching oil exploration in such an unstable region, the consortium set the wheels in motion for a power struggle that had led to numerous crimes, including widespread "killing of civilians, rape of women, abduction of children, torture and forced displacements," the report claimed.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was on the board of directors of Lundin Petroleum at the time.

Hat tip to Linda Minor.

Peter Lemkin
08-28-2012, 04:28 PM
VERY interesting, and I think IMPORTANT!......now we have some peek at the intermediary black operatives in this sordid matter! There are others, some I know of, some I'm sure exist but I have no knowledge of. Today Al Jazeera is running a fairly, if incomplete, story on how JA is being portrayed in Sweden. Of course it is all 'white ops'...no Black or Deep Political Ops.:pirate:

Magda Hassan
08-30-2012, 12:46 PM
Covert police unit with links to armed ops to infiltrate supporters outside Ecuador EmbassyPOSTED BY ANONYMOUS (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/author/melbourneone/) ⋅ AUGUST 25, 2012 ⋅ 12 COMMENTS (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/covert-police-unit-with-links-to-armed-ops-to-infiltrate-supporters-outside-ecuador-embassy/#comments)
FILED UNDER ASSANGE (http://darkernet.wordpress.com/tag/assange/)
http://darkernet.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/wpid-a1_2319498b-1.jpg?w=750Darker Net can confirm that officers specialising in infiltration and undercover operations and who liaise with armed units, may already be amongst those policing the Ecuador Embassy in London. A press photographer captured notes (see photo) held by a uniformed police officer on duty outside the embassy, revealing that SS10, otherwise known as Specialist Crime Directorate 10 and formerly SO10, are being deployed. The notes ominously refer to possible “risk of life”. The role of SS10 is Intelligence-gathering. SS10 were involved in the events that led to the murder of Brazilian national, Jean de Menezes, in south London and who had been wrongly identified as a terrorist. SS10 are also the branch that employed Mark Kennedy (aka Stone) who infiltrated several protest groups and who is now working for Densus, a private surveillance company in the USA. Below, we present some more background on these two infamous SS10-led operations.First… The notes carried by the police officer outside the embassy said that Julian Assange should be taken even if he emerges in a vehicle, under diplomatic immunity or in a diplomatic bag, which may involve “risk to life”. They add that there had been speculation that Mr. Assange could be smuggled out of the building in a parcel or given a post in the United Nations by Ecuador in an attempt to evade arrest. The operational guidance, marked “restricted”, also warned of the “possibility of distraction”, suggesting that Scotland Yard feared Mr Assange’s supporters could try to create a commotion outside the embassy, providing cover under which he could flee. Further details of the notes, which were obscured by the officer holding them, appeared to relate to the “everyday business” of the embassy and the possible need for “additional support” from SS10. Scotland Yard later said it did not know what this referred to. It’s interesting to note, too, S020, the Met’s counter-terrorism protective security command, is written near the bottom right-hand corner of the document.SS10 ops1. The killing of Jean Charles de MenezesIn 2005, police from SO10, now SS10, were involved in the surveillance operation of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian national, that led directly to his murder at Stockwell Underground station by officers of SO19, the Armed response Unit. It was a case of mistaken identity. Two officers from SO19 fired a total of eleven shots, according to the number of empty shell casings found on the floor of the train afterwards. Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder at close range, and died at the scene. An eyewitness later said that the eleven shots were fired over a thirty second period, at three second intervals. It is believed that at least one member of the elite Special Reconnaissance Regiment (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Reconnaissance_Regiment) was present at the shooting. Note: in the resulting inquiry into the murder, Gareth Peirce, who is the lawyer acting for Julian Assange, was one of two lawyers representing the Menezes family. For more, see here (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Jean_Charles_de_Menezes).2. Mark KennedyMark Kennedy worked for SO10 (now SS10) and was involved in several undercover ops, the most celebrated of which involved environmental activists who were opposed to coal-fired power stations. The activists had stopped a train conveying coal to the Drax power station in 2008. Kennedy had infiltrated the group and assisted them with reconnaissance and also drove them to a rendezvous. For more on what happened, see here (http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/s46Wrg42ECgKuj41C1_S3Xg/view.m?id=15&gid=uk/undercover-with-paul-lewis-and-rob-evans/2012/jul/16/mark-kennedy-spying-on-drax-activists&cat=environment). See here (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/03/mark-kennedy-activists-challenge-convictions) too for what happened eventually to the activists and how Kennedy and his operations were discredited. Note: Kennedy/Stone is now working for Densus (http://www.densusgroup.com/) in the USA, which is a surveillance company that spies on Occupy protesters and other protests groups.Posted from the darker net via Android.

Peter Lemkin
08-30-2012, 12:54 PM
Now we are entering interesting and dangerous territory, if the above is true!!!!

Magda Hassan
09-02-2012, 02:37 AM
Sweden’s Other Rape Suspects

Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)NEW YORK – It is difficult for me, as an advocate against rape and other forms of violence against women, to fathom the laziness and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the media coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. To report that we are simply witnessing Swedish justice at work, one must be committed to doing no research – not even the bare minimum of picking up a phone. In fact, we are witnessing a bizarre aberration in the context of Sweden’s treatment of sex crime – a case that exposes the grim reality of indifference, or worse, that victims there and elsewhere face.

If I were raped in Uppsala, where Assange is alleged to have committed his crime, I could not expect top prosecutors to lobby governments to arrest my assailant. On the contrary, “ordinary” Swedish rapists and abusers of women should assume that the police might not respond when called. When I tried the rape-crisis hotline at the government-run Crisis Center for Women in Stockholm, no one even picked up – and there was no answering machine.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Indeed, according to a study published in 2003 (http://www.rcne.com/downloads/RepsPubs/Attritn.pdf), and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)When I reached the Stockholm branch of Terrafem (http://www.terrafem.org/), a support organization for rape survivors, a volunteer told me that in her many years of experience, Sweden’s police, prosecutors, and magistrates had never mobilized in pursuit of any alleged perpetrator in ways remotely similar to their pursuit of Assange. The far more common scenario – in fact, the only reliable scenario – was that even cases accompanied by a significant amount of evidence were seldom prosecuted.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)This, she explained, was because most rapes in Uppsala, Stockholm, and other cities occur when young women meet young men online and go to an apartment, where, as in the allegations in the Assange case, what began as consensual sex turns nonconsensual. But she said that this is exactly the scenario that Swedish police typically refuse to prosecute. Just as everywhere else, Sweden’s male-dominated police, she explained, do not tend to see these victims as “innocent,” and thus do not bother building a case for arrest.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)She is right: According to a report by Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT77/001/2010/en/5ba7f635-f2c3-4b50-86ea-e6c3428cf179/act770012010eng.pdf), as of 2008, the number of reported rapes in Sweden had quadrupled in 20 years, but only 20% of cases were ever prosecuted. And, while the prosecution rate constituted a minimal improvement on previous years, when less than 15% of cases ended up in court, the conviction rate for reported rapes “is markedly lower today than it was in 1965.” As a result, “in practice, many perpetrators enjoy impunity.”
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)Until 2006, women in Uppsala faced a remarkable hurdle in seeking justice: the city’s chief of police, Göran Lindberg, was himself a serial rapist, convicted in July 2010 (http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/police-chief-jailed-for-sex-crimes-14894168.html) of more than a dozen charges, including “serious sexual offenses.” (http://www.thelocal.se/24944/20100212/) One victim testified that she was told her rapist was the police chief, and that she would be framed if she told anyone about his assaults. Lindberg also served as the Police Academy’s spokesman against sexual violence. The Uppsala police force that is now investigating Assange either failed to or refused to investigate effectively the sadistic rapist with whom they worked every day.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)In other words, the purported magical Swedish kingdom of female sexual equality, empowerment, and robust institutional support for rape victims – a land, conjured by Swedish prosecutors, that holds much of the global media in thrall – simply does not exist.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)In the Assange case, the Swedish police supported the accusers in legally unprecedented ways – for example, by allowing them to tell their stories together and by allowing testimony from a boyfriend.But other alleged victims of gender-based abuse, sometimes in life-threatening circumstances, typically receive very different treatment.In particular, according toWAVE (http://www.wave-network.org/images/doku/wave_countryreport_sweden_2405_final.pdf), a pan-European consortium of service providers for rape and sexual-abuse survivors, when migrants, who comprise 13.8% of Sweden’s population, report rape and abuse, they face high systemic hurdles in even telling their stories to police – including longstanding linguistic barriers in communicating with them at all.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)Likewise, Swedish intake centers for victims of male violence are woefully underfunded – like all support services for rape and abuse victims across Europe and North America – leaving many women who face threats to their safety and that of their children waiting for unavailable places in shelters. When I emailed the Rape Crisis support institute in Uppsala, listed by the global rape-crisis organization RAINN (http://www.rainn.org/get-help/sexual-assault-and-rape-international-resources), I received an automatic reply saying that the facility was temporarily closed.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)So, for most raped Swedish women, the shelters are full, the hotlines inactive, and the police selectively look the other way – that is, unless they are busy chasing down a globally famous suspect.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)We have been here before. Last year, when my left-wing colleagues were virtually unanimous in believing the New York Police Department’s narrative of a certain victim and a guilty-before-due-process rapist, I made the same call – to the local rape-crisis center. There, Harriet Lesser, who works every day with victims whose alleged attacker is not the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, confirmed that the official support shown for the victim – in advance of any investigation – was indeed unprecedented.
Comments (http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf#)Let me be clear: I am not saying that Assange, much less Dominique Strauss-Kahn, committed no crime against women. Rather, Assange’s case, as was true with Strauss-Kahn’s, is being handled so differently from how the authorities handle all other rape cases that a corrupted standard of justice clearly is being applied. These aberrations add insult to the injury of women, undefended and without justice, who have been raped in the “normal” course of events – by violent nobodies.

Peter Lemkin
09-02-2012, 04:55 AM
The above piece would be funny, if the matter at hand [JA wanted in USA for 'terrorism'] was not so serious and lethal. Will it make the MSM...no. In the current prison that is the World, the real criminals are the guards - in more cases than not.:mexican:

Magda Hassan
09-05-2012, 05:28 AM
If Assange is ever extradited to Sweden, the danger is that the evidence against him will be held entirely in secret. ALthough published in Sweden, the evidence so far has not been published in the UK except for some extremely selective quotes designed to damage Assange as much as possible.
This is (in translation) the full Swedish police statement (http://rixstep.com/1/20110204,02.shtml)arising from Ardin’s interrogation and approved by Anna Ardin. I gave it here without comment. Some further analysis of Ardin will follow in a later post, along with Sofia Wilen’s full statement.
I will however note here the fact that (https://wikispooks.com/w/images/5/5b/AssangeAndSweden.pdf), following this statement, Ardin did produce a condom split across the top to police as evidence. However forensic examination showed not only that there was none of Assange’s DNA on the condom, but that it had never been worn by anybody.
It is impossible to put on a condom and leave no microscopic traces of the fact.
That does not of itself make Ardin’s story untrue. This is her statement:

The chief interrogator rings claimant Anna Ardin (hereafter ‘Anna’) for the purpose of conducting an interrogation because of the event described above (‘rape or sexual molestation at Tjurbergsgatan 36 up to 2010-08-14 12:00′).
Anna says she’s worked as a press secretary and political secretary for Sweden’s christian social democrats – the brotherhood movement. Anna says she was involved in organising a seminar that was to take place on 14 August where Julian Assange had been invited in as a lecturer.
Because Anna would be out of town 11 – 14 August she lent her flat to Assange. But Anna returned to Stockholm already Friday 13 August because she had a lot of work to do for the seminar. Anna and Assange have never before met personally but only had contact via mail and the telephone.
The Friday in question Assange and Anna went out and ate dinner together. They’d agreed that Assange would go on living in Anna’s flat despite her coming home a day early. After their dinner on the town they went back to Anna’s flat and drank tea.
In answer to a question Anna says that neither she nor Assange drank alcohol that evening. When they sat and drank tea Assange began caressing her leg. In answer to a question Anna says Assange earlier in the evening had not made any physical approaches save now which Anna initially welcomed. But it felt ‘uncomfortable from the get-go’ as Assange was rough and impatient. According to Anna, ‘everything happened so fast’. He ripped off her clothes and in conjunction with this pulled at and broke her necklace. Anna tried to put some clothes back on again because things were going too fast and it felt uncomfortable but Assange immediately took her clothes off again. Anna says that she thought she actually didn’t want to go any further but it was too late to say ‘stop’ to Assange when she’d ‘gone along with it this far’. She thought she ‘could blame herself’. So she let Assange fully undress her.
Then they lay in the bed. Anna was on her back and Assange was on top of her. Anna thought Assange wanted to immediately put his penis in her vagina which she didn’t want as he didn’t have a condom on. So she tried to twist her hips to the side and squeeze her legs together to prevent a penetration. Anna tried several times to reach for a condom which Assange stopped her from doing by holding her arms and prying open her legs and trying nevertheless to penetrate her with his penis without a condom. Anna says that in the end she was ready to cry because she was pinned and couldn’t reach a condom and thought ‘this might not end well’. In answer to a question Anna says Assange must have known she was trying to reach for a condom and he was holding her arms to stop her.
Assange asked after a while what Anna was doing and why she was squeezing her legs together. Anna then told him she wanted him to put on a condom before he entered her. Assange released her arms and put on the condom Anna got for him. Anna felt a huge unexpressed reluctance from Assange to using a condom which led to her getting the feeling he didn’t put on the condom she’d given him. She therefore reached down with her hand to Assange’s penis to check if he’d really put the condom on. She could feel that the edge of the condom was where it should be at the root of Assange’s penis. Anna and Assange resumed having sex and Anna says she thought ‘hope it’s over soon’.
Anna notices after a while that Assange withdraws from her to fix the condom. Judging from the sound, it sounded to Anna like Assange took the condom off. He entered her again and continued the act. Anna again checked his penis with her hand and again felt the edge of the condom where it should be and so let the sex continue.
After a while Assange ejaculates inside her and thereafter withdraws. Anna saw that the condom didn’t have semen in it when Assange took it off. When Anna began moving her body she noticed how things were running out of her vagina. Anna understood rather quickly that it must be Assange’s semen. She pointed this out for Assange but he denied this and told her it was she who was wet with her own juices. Anna is convinced that Assange, when he withdrew from her the first time, deliberately broken the condom at the tip and thereafter continued the sex with the resulting ejaculation. In answer to a question Anna says she didn’t look closer at the condom, if it was broken as she thought, but she says she thinks she still has the condom at home and will look at it. She says that even the bed sheets used on that occasion are most likely still in her hamper.
After the above mentioned incident Anna says she and Assange didn’t have any more sex. Yet Assange went on living with her up to and including Friday 20 August. According to Anna Assange made sexual overtures every day after that evening when they’d had sex. For example by touching her breasts. Anna rebuffed Assange on all these occasions and Assange accepted it. On one occasion, Wednesday 18 August, he’d suddenly removed all his clothing on his lower body and thereafter rubbed his lower body and his erect penis against Anna. Anna says she thought this was strange behaviour and uncomfortable and had therefore moved down to a mattress on the floor and slept there instead of up in the bed with Assange. The next night Anna stayed with a friend because she didn’t want to be around Assange because of his strange behaviour. She even pointed out after Wednesday 18 August that she didn’t want Assange staying any longer in her flat which he didn’t respond to until Friday when he took his things and returned her flat key.
In answer to a question Anna says Assange lived with her but they hardly slept together because Assange was up at night working with his computer. She mostly got up in the morning about 07:00 when he went to sleep.
In answer to a question Anna says she knew of Sofia when she’d been in contact with Anna before the above mentioned seminar and been part of the audience. According to Anna Sofia had purchased electrical cables for Assange and been with Anna and Assange at the lunch after the seminar. Anna noticed Assange flirted with Sofia during the lunch and understood that they’d afterwards begun some sort of relationship when Assange rang Sofia later in the evening when he was at Anna’s at the crayfish party.
She received an email message from Sofia Friday 20 August where she wonders if she can reach Assange as she had something important to tell him. Anna understood immediately what it was about and contacted Sofia who then told her what had happened to her, that she and Assange had had sex and that he didn’t want to use a condom etc. Sofia wanted to follow this up with the police and Anna decided to follow along, foremost as support.
Anna says she already heard from several sources that Assange ‘chases all women who cross his path’. Considering Assange’s reputation Anna felt it very important that they used a condom the time they had sex, that is the day before the seminar.
Anna says she’s felt terrible after the occasion when she and Assange had sex. Foremost because of the worry she’d been infected by HIV or some other STD. Anna says she freely consented to have sex with Assange but she couldn’t have let it happen if she’d known he didn’t have a condom. Anna has been in contact with the health centre and been given a time for tests next week. Anna approves of the police having the results of these tests.
Anna does not want any help from the crime victims unit but will get back to us if she feels it’s necessary.
Interrogation read back and approved.

Magda Hassan
09-05-2012, 05:30 AM
The unfinished police statement of Sofia Wilén.

Friday 20 August 2010 I conducted an interrogation with Sofia Wilén in the case 0201-K246314-10 at the Klara police station. The interrogation began at 16:21 and was concluded before being completed or reviewed or approved at 18:40. It was logged into the word processing application DurTvå. The interrogation was to be copyedited the next work day, Monday 23 August 2010. This was not possible because I was denied access to the interrogation I'd conducted. After a few message exchanges I was given the directive by officer Mats Gehlin to instead create and sign a new interrogation in DurTvå which was carried out 26 August with the necessary modifications. Unfortunately that document was dated and time stamped with the date and time of the correction automatically by the DurTvå system.STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — Sofia Wilén and Anna Ardin arrived at the Klara police station in downtown Stockholm on Friday afternoon 20 August 2010. The interrogation of Sofia was conducted by criminal inspector Irmeli Krans that same day.

Krans and Wilén were informed during the interrogation that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia and that the police were hunting for him in the Stureplan nightclub area.

Krans, an acquaintance of Anna Ardin, notes that Wilén seemed to go to pieces on hearing the news and that she therefore decided to abort the interrogation without the protocol being read back to her or approved by her.

Krans and her superior Mats Gehlin began 'embellishing' the testimony once it became known the charges against Assange were to be dismissed, something not only forbidden by police regulations, but also technically impossible to achieve - for good reason - with the 'DurTvå (http://www.polis.umu.se/digitalAssets/16/16333_studieguide_polisens_datasystem_ht09.pdf)' document system in use.

A link to the details of these unauthorised changes is provided below as is correspondence between Krans and Gehlin. Attempts by Krans and Gehlin to remove/overwrite the conflicting first version from 20 August proved unsuccessful.

Krans was thereafter taken off the case, but the version presented to Assange's legal counsel is the 'doctored' version from 26 August and not the original from 20 August. It cannot be adequately stressed that if Sofia Wilén never had her original testimony read back to her and never approved it either, then that certainly holds double for the version Irmeli Krans and Mats Gehlin inserted into the system six days later.

Passages known to have been 'doctored' by Krans and Gehlin are hyperlinked to the explanatory article.

The interrogation is in the loosest possible form, a so-called 'conceptual interrogation' ('konceptförhör'). The interrogation therefore takes the form of a narrative.

Krans writes on 1 September as follows.
The Interrogation

Following is Krans' interrogation of Sofia Wilén 20 August 2010, subsequently modified by Krans 26 August 2010.

Sofia says she saw an interview a few weeks ago on TV with Julian Assange who is known to be behind the WikiLeaks publication of US military documents from Afghanistan. Sofia thought he was interesting, courageous, and admirable. For the next two weeks she watched the news carefully, she read a lot of articles, and saw interviews. One evening when she sat at home and Googled the name Julian Assange she discovered he was invited to Sweden to hold a lecture arranged by the social democrat brotherhood movement. She posted a message to the brotherhood press secretary Anna Ardin whose contact details she found on their website and asked if he would be coming to Sweden and if she in such case could attend his lecture. She offered to help out with practical details in return. Anna Ardin replied that she'd forward her message to those in charge.

But Sofia got no further reply and suddenly one day she saw an ad with the time and place for the lecture. The lecture was to be held in 'LO-borgen' at Norra Bantorget Saturday 14 August. She rang those in charge on Friday and asked if it was OK to attend. She was told she was one of the first to apply and it'd be OK. She took the day off from work and went to LO-borgen on Saturday. She saw a woman who she presumed was Anna Ardin standing outside LO-borgen and went up to her and introduced herself. Anna told Sofia that she was on the list so she was welcome to attend. At the same time the lecturer himself, Julian Assange, approached with a man in his 30s. She got the impression the man was Julian's press secretary or something similar. Julian looked at Sofia as if he was amused. She got the feeling he thought she didn't belong there in her shocking pink cashmere jumper amongst all the other gray journalists.

The Lecture

She sat at the far right front when she entered the venue, the lecturer would stand all the way to the left. The room seemed full of journalists. A half hour before the lecture was to begin, Anna approached Sofia and asked if she could help buy a cable for Julian's computer. They needed a cable and Sofia had offered to help out. Sofia went up to Julian to ask what type of cable he needed. He explained what he needed and then wrote it down on a small piece of paper. She took the paper and placed it immediately in her pocket. Julian looked contemptibly at her and said 'you didn't even look at the note'. She told him she didn't need to as he'd already explained what type of cable he needed.

She took a cab to the 'Webhallen' boutique on Sveavägen but they were closed. The time was 10:30 and the store would open first at 11:00. But that's also when the lecture was scheduled to begin, so Sofia started feeling stressed. The cabbie drove her instead to the Haymarket where she purchaed two types of cable for safety's sake. She got back in time, she had the right type of cable, but she wasn't thanked for her help by Julian. The lecture went well.

The Lunch

There were many journalists who wanted to interview Julian after the lecture. Sofia stayed around because she too wanted to speak with him. She asked Anna if this was possible and Anna said Julian would stand outside the entrance to LO-borgen to be accessible to the public in case anyone wanted to ask him questions. Sofia went out and sat in the shade and waited for the interviews to be over. There were more interviews outside. Sofia approached LO-borgen again and overheard that the brotherhood people were going to treat Julian to lunch. Sofia asked if she could come along too, after all she'd helped them with the cable. She was invited and went together with Anna, Julian and his entourage, and two members of the brotherhood to a restaurant on Drottninggatan across from the Central Bathhouse. She ended up next to Julian and started talking with him. He looked at her now and again during the lunch. On one occasion when he put cheese on his knäckebröd she asked him if it tasted good and then he reached over with his sandwich and fed her with it. Later during lunch he said he needed a charger for his laptop. She said she could get one for him, after all she'd got the cable for him earlier. He put his arm around her and said 'yes you gave me the cable'. Sofia thought this was flattering for it was obvious he was now flirting with her.

The others left after lunch, leaving only Sofia, Julian, and Julian's companion. They went off together to buy an electric cable for Julian's computer. 'Kjell & Co' didn't have the product, so they went on to Webhallen but it was closed again. They walked back on Sveavägen towards the Haymarket and talked about what they'd do next. Julian's companion asked him if he wanted to come along and help move furniture for his parents and Sofia offered Julian a visit at the natural history museum where she worked. It was decided Julian would accompany Sofia to the museum and his companion left them. Julian and Sofia went into the Haymarket subway station where she purchased a blue access card good for the day as he didn't have the monthly commuter card and no money either as he said. They took the train towards Mörby Centrum and stepped off at the university stop. A man in the subway recognised Julian and told him how much he admired him.

The Natural History Museum

On the way from the university subway station Julian stopped to pet a few dogs, which Sofia thought was charming. In the museum they went to the staff room where Julian sat down and starting surfing the net, he was looking for tweets about himself. They sat there waiting for a film that was to be shown at Cosmonova at 18:00.

They were let into the cinema by Sofia's colleague and Julian held Sofia's hand. In the darkness of the cinema he started kissing her. A few latecomers arrived and sat behind them and so they moved to a row at the back. Julian continued kissing her, touched her breasts under her jumper, undid her bra, unbuttoned her pants, caressed her buttocks, and sucked her nipples. He muttered about the armrest being in the way. She was sitting in his lap when the lights went on and he tried to put her bra back on. She thought it embarrassing to sit there in view of her colleagues who she knew could have seen it all.

They went out through the inner courtyard and she went to the toilet. When she came out, he was lying on his back on a picnic table resting, he said he was very tired. He was supposed to be at a crayfish party at 20:00 and wanted to sleep 20 minutes before leaving. They lay down together in the grass next to each other and he had his arm around her. He fell asleep and she woke him twenty minutes later. Then they promenaded over lawns, passed cows and Canadian geese, he held her hand, it was wonderful in all possible ways and he told her 'you're very attractive to me'. He'd also told her in the cinema she had pretty breasts. She asked him if they'd meet again. He said of course they would, they'd meet after the crayfish party.

She accompanied him to the Zinkensdamm subway station where he caught a cab back to Anna Ardin's where the party was to take place. He gave her a hug and said he didn't want to part from her and encouraged her to charge her cellphone. She went home to Enköping, arriving at home at 23:00. She had a voice message waiting from Julian from 22:55 when she'd recharged her phone, telling her to ring him when her phone was working again. She rang back at 23:15, realising he was still at the party. She'd developed a stomach cramp from a sandwich she'd eaten on the way home and told him she wanted to go to bed. He insinuated it wasn't about stomach cramps as much as a feeling of guilt.

On Monday

She rang Julian twice on Sunday but his phone was turned off. She told her colleagues at work on Monday what had happened at the weekend. They told her Julian felt dumped and therefore hadn't rung back so that the ball was in her court. She rang him and he answered. She asked if they should do something together. He said he'd be at a meeting which could take a long time up until 20:30 but he could ring her back later. He also asked about her stomach cramps. He insinuated she'd lied about her cramps and he used the third person to tell her. She promised to wait for him so after she finished work at 19:00 she went to Kungshallarna and had sushi. Afterwards she strolled about town and ended up in the old town where she rang him back at 21:00 when he still hadn't got back to her, asking what was going on. He said he was in a meeting in Hornsgatan and he wanted her to come there. She got the address and went there. She couldn't find the address when she arrived, rang Julian, and spoke with a man who spoke Swedish who explained she was to get in through a side entrance. She stood there and waited for him when he came out together with a another man, they said goodbye to one another and looked very happy.

Julian and Sofia walked up Hornsgatan towards Slussen and from there to the old town. They sat by the water at Munkbroleden and he commented on girls who sat there as 'lonely and abandoned' and who 'probably need saving'. They lay down and starting making out, heavily. Amongst other things he put his hands under her jumper and when they left the area she noticed people were looking at them. They decided to go home to her place. They went into the subway where his card was now invalid and she got him through by swiping her own card twice. They took the train to Enköping from the central station, she paid for the tickets, SEK 107 (~$10) each. He claimed he didn't want to use his credit card, he didn't want to be traced. They sat in the direction the train would move all the way back in the car. Julian connected his computer and started reading about himself on Twitter on the computer and on the phone. He devoted more attention to the computer than he did to her. She'd suggested they take in at a hotel but he said he wanted to see 'girls in their natural habitat'.

To Enköping

It was dark when they got off the train and they passed old industry buildings where he went off to pee. She also took a pee. When they arrived at her flat she went in before him into the bedroom to clean up a bit before he saw it. They took off their shoes and the relationship between them didn't feel warm anymore. The passion and excitement had disappeared. They made out in the bedroom but she wanted to brush her teeth. It was midnight, pitch black outside, and they brushed their teeth together - it felt banal and boring.

When they want back in the bedroom Julian stood in front of Sofia and grabbed her hips and pushed her demonstratively down on the bed, as if he were a real man (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml). He took off his clothes and they had foreplay on the bed. They were naked and he rubbed his penis against her nether regions without penetrating her but he got closer and closer to her slit. She squeezed her legs together because she didn't want sex with him without protection. They carried on for hours and Julian couldn't get a full erection. Julian had no interest in using a condom.

Suddenly Julian said he was going to go to sleep. She felt rejected and shocked. It came so suddenly, they'd had a really long foreplay and then nothing. She asked what was wrong, she didn't understand. He pulled the blanket over himself, turned away from her, and fell asleep. She went out and got her fleece blanket because she was cold. She lay awake a long time wondering what had happened and exchanged SMS messages with her friends. He lay beside her snoring. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml) She must have fallen asleep for later she woke up and they had sex. She'd earlier got the condoms and put them on the floor by the bed. He reluctantly agreed to use a condom even if he muttered something about preferring her to latex. He no longer had an erection problem. At one point when he mounted her from behind, she turned to look at him and smiled and he asked her why she was smiling, what she had to smile about. She didn't like the tone in his voice. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)

They fell asleep and when they woke up they could have had sex again, she's not really sure. He ordered her to get water and orange juice. She didn't like being ordered in her own home but thought 'whatever' and got the water and juice anyway. He wanted her to go out and buy more breakfast. She didn't want to leave him alone in the flat, she didn't know him well enough, but she did it anyway. When she left the flat he lay naked in her bed and was working with his phones. Before she left she said 'be good'. He replied 'don't worry, I'm always bad'. When she returned she served him oatmeal, milk, and juice. She'd already eaten before he woke up and spoken with a friend on the phone.

The Assault

They sat on the bed and talked and he took off her clothes again. They had sex again and she discovered he'd put the condom only over the head of his penis but she let it be. They fell asleep and she woke by feeling him penetrate her. She immediately asked 'are you wearing anything' and he answered 'you'. She told him 'you better not have HIV' and he replied 'of course not'. She felt it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She couldn't be bothered telling him again. She'd been nagging about condoms all night long. She's never had unprotected sex. He said he wanted to come inside her, he didn't say when he'd done it but he did it. There was a lot running out of her afterwards.

She told him what happens if she gets pregnant. He replied that Sweden was a good country for raising children. She told him jokingly that if she got pregnant then he'd have to pay her student loans. On the train to Enköping he'd told her he'd slept in Anna Ardin's bed after the crayfish party. She asked if he'd had sex with Anna but he said Anna liked girls, she was lesbian. But now she knows he did the same thing with Anna. She asked him how many times he'd had sex but he said he hadn't counted. He also said he'd had a HIV test three months earlier and he'd had sex with a girl afterwards and that girl had also taken a HIV test and wasn't infected. She said sarcastic things to him in a joking tone. She thinks she got the idea of taking the drama out of what had happened, he in turn didn't seem to care. When he found out how big her student loan was he said if he paid her so much money she'd have to give birth to the baby. They joked that they'd name the baby Afghanistan. He also said that he should always carry abortion pills that actually were sugar pills.

His phone rang and he had a meeting with Aftonbladet on Tuesday at noon. She explained to him that he'd not make the meeting on time and he pushed his entire schedule forward an hour. Then they rode her bicycle to the train station. She paid his ticket to Stockholm. Before they parted he told her to keep her phone on. She asked if he'd ring her and he said he would.


She rode her bicycle home, showered, and washed her bed sheets. Because she hadn't made it to work she called in sick and stayed home the whole day. She wanted to clean up and wash everything. There was semen on the bed sheets, she thought it was disgusting. She went to the chemist's and bought a 'morning after' pill.

When she talked with her friends afterwards she understood she was the victim of a crime. She went into Danderyd hospital and went from there to the Söder hospital. There she was examined and they even took samples with a so-called 'rape kit'.

Forensic Certificate

Sofia gives her permission for obtaining a forensic certificate.

Claimant Counsel

Sofia desires a claimant counsel she will identify later.


Julian says his name is Julian Paul Assange and was born 31 December 1971.

Interrogator's Comments

Sofia and I were notified during the interrogation that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia. Sofia had difficulty concentrating after that news, whereby I made the judgement it was best to terminate the interrogation. But Sofia had time anyway to explain that Assange was angry with her. I didn't have time to get any further details about why he was angry with her or how this manifested itself. And we didn't have time to get into what else happened afterwards. The interrogation was neither read back to Sofia nor reviewed for approval by her but Sofia was told she had the opportunity to do this later.
The Original Interrogation

Interrogator Irmeli Krans had difficulty transcribing her incomplete interrogation with Sofia. She was denied access by her superior Mats Gehlin. Following is correspondence between her (IK) Gehlin (MG) and Eva Finné (EF) in that regard.
2010-08-23 08:27 IK to MG
Hi, I hope I've done it right now and the document will get to you as it should. Please send an acknowledgement. About the verbal presentation for the prosecutor, I have no further information other than what's already been done by telephone by Linda Wassgren at some time during the interrogation. I don't know what was presented as Wassgren doesn't want to communicate with me. An opportunity to classify the crime with the prosecutor was not given me but I was told it would be classified as rape according to a directive by the prosecutor. Greetings, Irmeli Krans (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-24 09:33 MG to IK
Do like this. Paste this into your interrogation and sign it. It'd look funny if I signed it. I'm attaching the old interrogation. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-24 13:38 IK to MG
Hi, I might be thick but I don't really understand what you mean. Anders Ringkvist is trying to help me and we've tried contacting you without being able to resolve the issue. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-24 13:44 MG to IK
Create a new interrogation. Paste in the text and address the interrogation to the case. And sign the interrogation. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-24 16:35 IK to MG
OK but then there'll be two interrogations. But there's only been one formal interrogation, by me at any rate. Where does the other interrogation disappear to? If it's to be done right then I assume I have to make modifications in the original interrogation and sign it. With the risk of appearing difficult I do not want to have an unsigned document with my name circulating in DurTvå space. Particularly not now when the case has developed as it has. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-30 09:32 MG to EF
The case...
(Rest deleted - the subject line is 'The Case' (Ärendet). The body text was removed by the judicial authority at the behest of the chief prosecutor.) (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-30 09:33 EF to MG
The complaint about molestation isn't here. (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)
2010-08-30 09:35 MG to EF
(http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)OK I thought you wanted the case that had been dismissed. Delete what you received and you'll get a new one.

(http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)[/URL][URL]http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml (http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml)

Magda Hassan
09-05-2012, 05:34 AM

Magda Hassan
09-05-2012, 10:41 PM
A nice time line of the events with some very good information.

Carsten Wiethoff
09-10-2012, 07:32 AM
This is from an interview of Vladimir Putin given to RT (http://rt.com/news/vladimir-putin-exclusive-interview-481/)

Assange case a definite example of double standards

RT: While we’ve got you with us sir.. I’d like to get your thoughts on the ongoing Julian Assange (http://rt.com/news/assange-wikileaks-focus-whistleblowing-097/) case in Britain, his legal battle with Britain and with a number of other countries as well but equally his attempts to get asylum in Equador (http://rt.com/news/interview-correa-ecuador-assange-514/) which he’s now got and he’s holed-up in the Ecuadorean embassy. What’s your opinion on Britain’s stance, at one point they were talking about revoking the embassies diplomatic immunity so they could actually go in and get him. That sounds a bit odd when you think that Russia has a number of suspects it would like to talk to there, it’s a kind of topsy turvy situation, but they are given safe harbor in Britain.
Putin: This certainly is an unsettling factor in our relations with the UK. I used to tell my previous counterparts and friends in the British government – not those holding office at the moment – that Britain happens to be harboring certain individuals who have blood on their hands, having waged a real war on Russian territory and slaughtered people. I told them, “Just imagine what it would be like if Russia were to harbour militants from, say, the Irish Republican Army – not those negotiating and pursuing a compromise with the government these days (those are perfectly sane and sensible people), but those with a radical agenda.” You know what I was told in response? “But that’s exactly what the Soviet Union used to do, aiding people like that.”
First of all, I’m a former Soviet secret service operative myself. I don’t know whether the USSR used to aid this sort of people or not, simply because I never had anything to do with it. But even if we assume that it did, that was back in the Cold War era. There has been a cardinal change in the settings, the Soviet Union is history, and what we have today is a new Russia. How can we allow ourselves to be dominated by our old phobias and outdated perceptions of international relations and the kind of relations between our nations? Let them go at last.
We are constantly lectured on how independent Britain’s judiciary is. It makes its own decisions, and no one can influence that. What about Julian Assange (http://rt.com/news/assange-interview-transnational-totalitarianism-021/)? They have ruled to have him extradited. What is it if not an evident example of a double standard? I won’t make a definitive statement, but as far as I know, Ecuador has requested guarantees from the Swedish government that Sweden wouldn’t hand over Assange to the United States. No guarantees have so far been provided. At the very least, this suggests that we are looking at a politically motivated trial.

Carsten Wiethoff
09-27-2012, 06:35 AM
From http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-20120927-26m7s.html

THE US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency.
Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-20120927-26m7s.html#ixzz27eKC1SyV

Magda Hassan
10-23-2012, 08:24 AM
CIA Look to Swamp Correa (http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/10/cia-look-to-swamp-correa/)About a month ago I asked a former colleague in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office what Hague saw as the endgame in the Julian Assange asylum standoff, and where the room for negotiation lay. My friend was dismissive – the policy was simply to wait for the Presidential election in Ecuador in February. The United States and allies were confident that Correa will lose, and my friend and I having both been senior diplomats for many years we understood what the United States would be doing to ensure that result. With Correa replaced by a pro-USA President, Assange’s asylum will be withdrawn, the Metropolitan Police invited in to the Embassy of Ecuador to remove him, and Assange sent immediately to Sweden from where he could be extradited to the United States to face charges of espionage and aiding terrorism.
I have been struck by the naivety of those who ask why the United States could not simply request Assange’s extradition from the United Kingdom. The answer is simple – the coalition government. Extradition agreements are government to government international treaties, and the decision on their implementation is ultimately political and governmental – that is why it was Teresa May and not a judge who took the final and very different political decisions on Babar Ahmad and Gary Mackinnon.
CIA supporters in the UK have argued vociferously that it would be impossible for Sweden to give Assange the assurance he would not be extradited to the United States, with which he would be prepared to return to Sweden to see off the rather pathetic attempted fit-up there. In fact, as extradition agreements are governmental not judicial instruments, it would be perfectly possible for the Swedish government to give that assurance. Those who argue otherwise, like Gavin Essler and Joan Smith here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifBeuZUiJsk), are not being truthful – I suspect their very vehemence indicates that they know that.
Most Liberal Democrat MPs are happy to endorse the notion that Assange should be returned to Sweden to face sexual accusations. However even the repeatedly humiliated Lib Dem MPs would revolt at the idea that Assange should be sent to face life imprisonment in solitary confinement in the United States for the work of Wikileaks. That is why the United States has held off requesting extradition from the United Kingdom, to avoid the trouble this would cause Cameron. I am not speculating, there have been direct very senior diplomatic exchanges on this point between Washington and London.
There was confidence that the Correa problem would soon pass, but the State Department has since been shocked by the return of Hugo Chavez. Like Correa, senior US diplomats had convinced themselves – and convinced La Clinton – that Chavez was going to lose. The fury at Chavez’s return has led to a diktat that the same mistake must not be made in Ecuador.
CIA operations inside Ecuador are in any case much less disrupted than in Venezuela. I learn that the US budget, using mostly Pentagon funds, devoted to influencing the Ecuadorean election has, since the Venezuelan result, been almost tripled to US $87 million. This will find its way into opposition campaign coffers and be used to fund, bribe or blackmail media and officials. Expect a number of media scandals and corruption stings against Correa’s government in the next few weeks.
I do not have much background on Ecuadorean politics and I really do not know what Correa’s chances of re-election are. Neither do I know if any of the opposition parties are decent and not in the hands of the USA. But I do know that the USA very much want Correa to lose, were very confident that he was going to lose, and now are not. From their point of view, the danger is that in upping the ante, their efforts will become so obvious they will backfire in a nationalist reaction. My US source however is adamant that the Obama adminstration will not actually use the funds to incite another military coup attempt against Correa. That has apparently been ruled out. Assange being expelled into the arms of the CIA by a newly installed military dictatorship might be a difficult sell even for our appalling mainstream media.

Peter Lemkin
10-23-2012, 10:13 AM
Thanks for that Magda......'they' surely hate us for our morality, sense of justice, rule of law, and our freedoms......:hitler:

Peter Lemkin
10-28-2012, 04:18 PM
Ecuador 'very concerned about Assange's health'

(AFP) – Oct 24, 2012

MOSCOW — Ecuador is "very concerned" about the health of Julian Assange after the WikiLeaks founder lost a lot of weight while staying at the country's embassy in London, a foreign ministry official said while in Moscow.

The deputy foreign minister of Ecuador, Marco Albuja, expressed his concern for Assange as he gave a briefing to Russian press after wrapping up his delegation's visit to Russia.

"Assange has visibly lost weight, and we are very concerned for his health," he said, quoted by the Voice of Russia radio. "In case of his illness we will have to pick among two options: to treat Mr Assange at the embassy or to hospitalise him."

Ecuador has asked the British government for written assurances that Assange, who has been granted asylum by Quito and remains holed-up in the embassy building in London, will not be arrested in the event of hospitalisation.

"So far Britain has not agreed to this request but is thinking it over," Albuja said.

Britain's Foreign Office said it had not yet received a request.

"Ecuador had not told us that Mr Assange was ill. However were they to do so we would consider the matter," a Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.

The Ecuadoran embassy in Moscow said Wednesday that the delegation was in Moscow to meet with Russian foreign ministry officials and discuss bilateral affairs such as the flower trade.

Former computer hacker Assange, 41, walked into the London embassy on June 19 seeking asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault.

He was granted asylum on August 16 but Britain refuses to grant him safe passage out of the country, and he remains in the embassy, putting Ecuador in a diplomatic stalemate with Britain.

Assange said in an interview published September 30 that his health was "slowly deteriorating" in the embassy, adding that he had "a racking cough".

He said he was keeping fit by using a running machine, boxing and seeing a personal trainer -- reportedly an ex-soldier in Britain's elite SAS who is now a whistleblower -- every other day.

Assange denies the sex crimes allegations and claims he could eventually be passed from Sweden to the United States for prosecution over the WikiLeaks website's publication of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents.

WikiLeaks enraged Washington in 2010 by publishing a flood of secret military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a huge cache of diplomatic cables from US embassies across the world.

Magda Hassan
03-29-2013, 12:57 AM
The top Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault charges against Julian Assange has abruptly left the case and one of Mr Assange's accusers has sacked her lawyer.
The turmoil in the Swedish Prosecution Authority's effort to extradite Mr Assange comes as another leading Swedish judge prepares to deliver an unprecedented public lecture in Australia next week on the WikiLeaks publisher's case.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority wants to extradite Mr Assange to have him questioned in Stockholm in relation to sexual assault allegations by two women.

Alleged victim: Political activist Anna Ardin.

Fairfax Media has obtained Swedish court documents that reveal high-profile Swedish prosecutor Marianne Nye has unexpectedly left Mr Assange's case from Wednesday, and has been replaced by a less-experienced prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren. The reasons for the change have not been disclosed yet.
One of Mr Assange's two accusers, political activist Anna Ardin, also applied to the Swedish court on February 28 to replace her controversial lawyer, Claes Borgstrom. Ms Ardin said she found Mr Borgstrom spent much more time talking to the media than to her, referred her inquiries to his secretary or assistant, and that she had lost faith in him as her legal representative.
Ms Ardin's engagement of a new lawyer, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, has now been approved.
Swedish Supreme Court judge Stefan Lindskog will deliver a lecture on ''The Assange affair, and freedom of speech, from the Swedish perspective'' at the University of Adelaide on Wednesday.
Mr Assange condemned Judge Lindskog's planned discussion of his case.
''If an Australian High Court judge came out and spoke on a case the court expected or was likely to judge, it would be regarded as absolutely outrageous,'' he said.
Justice Lindskog is chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, the highest court of appeal. In announcing his forthcoming lecture, Adelaide University said that ''as one of Sweden's most eminent jurists, he is uniquely able to provide an authoritative view of the Assange affair''.
Mr Assange now lives in the embassy of Ecuador in London where he has been granted political asylum on the grounds he is at risk of extradition to the US to face conspiracy or other charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/top-swedish-prosecutor-leaves-assange-case-20130328-2gx9s.html#ixzz2OsySN91T

Magda Hassan
03-29-2013, 01:30 AM
However some are reporting that Marianne Ny has not quit.

Australian media reports also said that chief prosecutor Marianne Ny had quit the case, which was declined by the country's Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) on Thursday when contacted by Swedish press.

"Ny still heads the investigation and is responsible for the case," spokeswoman Britta von Schoultz told the Expressen newspaper.http://www.thelocal.se/47002/20130328/#.UVTuSjcriSo

While Wikileaks has tweeted
Nye "has not quit the Assange case formally rather that there is a new 'investigator,'"

Magda Hassan
04-04-2013, 11:33 AM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Swedish judge says allegations against Assange are 'a mess'

By Anne Sewell (http://www.digitaljournal.com/user/345171) Apr 3, 2013 - 15 hours ago in World (http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/World)
14 comments (http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347182)

Adelaide (http://maps.google.com/?q=Adelaide%2C+Australia&z=4) - A top Swedish judge has told the media that the case against Julian Assange is "a mess." He has further defended the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, saying "It should never be a crime to make known crime of a state."
According to the Australian Associated Press (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/03/swedish-judges-tells-australian-forum-sex-crime-allegations-against-wikileaks/), Stefan Lindskog was speaking to an audience at a public lecture at Adelaide University. Lindskog is one of 16 justices working for the Supreme Court in Sweden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_Sweden), and reportedly he listed legal obstacles to extraditing the 41-year-old Australian to the United States from Sweden. He said that the case in Sweden against Assange has turned into a legal “mess,” and was critical of the Swedish criminal investigation, saying that "Basically, I think there are some misunderstandings, especially when it comes to the issue of extradition." Lindskog also (http://www.theolympian.com/2013/04/03/2489310/swedish-judges-says-assange-allegations.html) indicated that the Swedish courts may rule against sending the WikiLeaks founder to the US, due to some conditions of an existing extradition treaty between Sweden and the USA. "Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes [are] military or political in nature," Lindskog said. Further, the judge said that it was debatable whether Assange has actually committed a crime under Swedish law. "What is classified under US law is probably not classified under Swedish law, and enemies to the US may not be enemies to Sweden," he was quoted by AAP as saying. Lindskog stressed that the extensive media coverage of the case has brought about public distrust in the legal system. "I think it is a mess," he said. Besides the support for Assange, Judge Lindskog apparently also supports Pfc. Bradley Manning (https://www.google.es/search?q=Digital+Journal+Bradley%2BManning&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb), who is facing a court martial for releasing classified information to WikiLeaks. He hopes that Manning will go through a fair trial. Lindskog (http://rt.com/news/assange-wikileaks-swedish-judge-278/) went on to praise Assange's public information campaign, saying, "He'll be thought of as a person who made public some pieces of classified information to the benefit of mankind." "It should never be a crime to make known (a) crime of a state," he added. WikiLeaks founder Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has stayed since applying for, and receiving, political asylum in that country last year. He is wanted for questioning on the sexual allegations in Sweden, but has avoided extradition to Sweden as it is feared that should he travel to Stockholm, he would then be sent on to the US on espionage charges and possibly even the death penalty for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables, some about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/347182#ixzz2PUeYIwg5

David Guyatt
04-04-2013, 12:11 PM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Personally, I don't think the US will ever take its foot off the pedal of revenge, so I'm concluding it's a "false sense" of security in order to draw him out...

Peter Lemkin
04-04-2013, 03:45 PM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Personally, I don't think the US will ever take its foot off the pedal of revenge, so I'm concluding it's a "false sense" of security in order to draw him out...

I agree with Dave, but to the first part, WHY would a Judge go to Australia to discuss his case, when prosecutors and all others refuse to go to the UK to interview, interrogate Assange himself??~!! I think the fix is in...and Assange is likely going to die in the Embassy ,however, its better than Gitmo!

David Guyatt
04-04-2013, 04:04 PM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Personally, I don't think the US will ever take its foot off the pedal of revenge, so I'm concluding it's a "false sense" of security in order to draw him out...

I agree with Dave, but to the first part, WHY would a Judge go to Australia to discuss his case, when prosecutors and all others refuse to go to the UK to interview, interrogate Assange himself??~!! I think the fix is in...and Assange is likely going to die in the Embassy ,however, its better than Gitmo!

Yep, the fix is in. The visit to Australia is to reach an agreement and coordinate matters to everyone's mutual satisfaction. Except Assange, of course.

Peter Lemkin
04-04-2013, 04:21 PM
Swedish judge says Assange allegations 'a mess'

April 3, 2013 10:10 AM EST |

ADELAIDE, Australia — A senior Swedish judge said Wednesday that the sex crime allegations in his country against fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are "a mess."

In a speech at Australia's University of Adelaide, Justice Stefan Lindskog, chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, listed legal obstacles to extraditing the 41-year-old Australian to the United States to face prosecution for exposing thousands of classified documents.

Assange has taken asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since last June to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

He is wanted in Sweden for questioning over criminal allegations made by two women. But Assange says the Swedish allegations are a ploy to get him to Sweden from where he would be extradited to the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating WikiLeaks since the secret-busting website began distributing hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents. But few details of that investigation have been made public.

Lindskog was critical of the Swedish criminal investigation.

"I think it is a mess," he said.

"Basically, I think there are some misunderstandings, especially when it comes to the issue of extradition," he added, without elaborating.

Lindskog suggested that Sweden's extradition treaty with the United States would not apply to Assange.

"Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes (are) military or political in nature," he said.

U.S. soldier Bradley Manning last month admitted sending Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables, other classified records and two battlefield video clips to WikiLeaks in 2009 and 2010. WikiLeaks posted some of the material, embarrassing the U.S. and its allies.

Assange has refused to say whether he had any dealings with Manning, but he called him a political prisoner and said his prosecution was part of an effort by the U.S. to clamp down on criticism of its military and foreign policy.

Lindskog praised Assange's public information campaign.

"He'll be thought of as a person who made public some pieces of classified information to the benefit of mankind," he said.

"It should never be a crime to make known (a) crime of a state," he added.

Magda Hassan
04-04-2013, 08:35 PM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Personally, I don't think the US will ever take its foot off the pedal of revenge, so I'm concluding it's a "false sense" of security in order to draw him out...

I agree with Dave, but to the first part, WHY would a Judge go to Australia to discuss his case, when prosecutors and all others refuse to go to the UK to interview, interrogate Assange himself??~!! I think the fix is in...and Assange is likely going to die in the Embassy ,however, its better than Gitmo!

Yep, the fix is in. The visit to Australia is to reach an agreement and coordinate matters to everyone's mutual satisfaction. Except Assange, of course.
And why travel all the way to Australia when they wont even travel to London to interview him?

Dawn Meredith
04-06-2013, 02:08 PM
Not yet sure what to make of this judge. Assange was rightly aghast that a Swedish appeals court judge would travel to Australia to discuss his case. It was noted by local legal beagles as 'highly unusual'. Is he sent by Sweden as a way to extricate themselves from an awkward situation they no longer wish to participate in? Is he sent by Sweden (and/or others) to create a false sense of security that the case is now in tatters and Assange really has nothing to worry about so that more pressure can be brought to bare on his extradition there to deal with a formality only to be rendered to the US for some secret grand jury trial? Will this change any thing?

Personally, I don't think the US will ever take its foot off the pedal of revenge, so I'm concluding it's a "false sense" of security in order to draw him out...

I totally agree. Look what is happening to Manning. I half expect Obama will arrange to have a drone find its way to Assange. No heart attack, an outright hit. In our faces is the preferred method employed by our Nazi government. I mean look at JFK. (Salandria said it best , quoted in Fonzi's Last Investigation).

Adele Edisen
05-03-2013, 08:51 PM
Fri, May 3, 2013 3:45:21 PMFw: Remember Juian Assange?

Wikileaks Juian Assange is still a prisoner.

Why the citizens of at least one country
believe he is a hero.

Hint: It's not the US where some "lawmakers"
publicly called for his assassination.

Video: 2:18 minutes long


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Magda Hassan
05-04-2013, 05:29 AM
Burnside says optimism in Assange case is premature1 May, 20130 (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/Wig-Chamber/News/Burnside-says-optimism-in-Assange-case-is-prematur#disqus_thread) comments (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/news/burnside-says-optimism-in-assange-case-is-prematur#comments)

High-profile barrister Julian Burnside QC has warned that a speech by Supreme Court Judge Stefan Lindskog, which attracted extensive media attention, “gives cause for optimism” when Julian Assange is still very much at risk of being extradited to the US.
Lindskog defended the leaking of classified information and described the case against Assange as “a mess” in a public lecture held at Adelaide University last month (3 April).
“[Assange] will be thought of as a person who made public some pieces of classified information to the benefit of mankind,” said Lindskog. “It should never be a crime to make known [a] crime of a state.”
Lindskog was joined in a panel discussion on freedom of speech in Australia by Burnside (pictured), who applauded the judge for raising questions over the legality of the US being able to extradite Assange via Sweden. Burnside warned, however, that Lindskog’s speech could “lull the Australian public into a sense of security”.
There are circumstances of “real concern”, said Burnside, including the fact that Assange has embarrassed the US government, prominent Americans have called for him to be assassinated or tried for espionage, and Sweden has a witness surrender agreement with the US.
Burnside also highlighted that the mainstream press, which republished secret US military documents released by WikiLeaks in 2010, gave the material much greater exposure.
“The freedom of the press, it seems, depends on whether the news outlet in question has the favour of the American government,” he added.
In 2011, Burnside wrote a letter to the Australian Attorney-General asking, among other questions, if Australia had enquired whether US authorities are investigating Assange and intend to seek to have Assange transferred from Sweden to the US.
The Attorney-General’s reply did not provide clear answers, said Burnside, which led him to believe that either Australia was aware of American plans from which Assange needed protection, or had suspicions about American plans and preferred to turn a blind eye.
“Neither of those conclusions is consistent with Australia’s obligations to one of its citizens ... it seems to me that the Gillard Government has abandoned Assange,” he added.
Another barrister and former head of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Greg Barns, revealed this month that he will run the WikiLeaks Party’s campaign (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/news/barrister-to-lead-assange-political-campaign) for a seat in the Victorian Senate.
He told Lawyers Weekly in April that if Assange wins a Senate seat, it may “force the Australian Government’s hand” to allow the controversial activist safe passage to Australia.
Lawyers Weekly’s attempts to contact Burnside prior to publication were unsuccessful.

Adele Edisen
05-07-2013, 03:42 AM
The Death of Truth
Chris Hedges Interviews Julian Assange
By Chris Hedges

The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism
is spreading rapidly over the earth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34844.htm [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001fH54pAS1td63Lw6ich1tC3xYIr66k9a8jx9l-bGXYI3c_7EzpFTqGKps7VXWHfpGl6YUeEbKG11oAKIvCXBiAxL-NRz1iNsTmzrKLIt-s0Eje3VzFmLtWd9pIGtyG-LMQ-xGM081LNmEhZ7N1bXRwPbMjWalXADxq8rtTquMAiM=]

Go to the URL for the full interview which is too long. Two audio clips at bottom of interview:

Audio clip one: Chris Hedges talks with Julian Assange about his opponents’ legal strategies.

Audio clip two: Julian Assange shares his thoughts on the Bradley Manning Case.

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.


Peter Lemkin
05-07-2013, 04:50 AM
"If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag."

"Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!" - Huey Long, assassinated in 1935 for his anti-fascist stance.

Magda Hassan
05-08-2013, 01:48 AM
Thanks so much for this Adele. Chris Hedges is so eleoquent and clear in his appraisals.

The Death of Truth
Chris Hedges Interviews Julian Assange
By Chris Hedges

The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism
is spreading rapidly over the earth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34844.htm [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001fH54pAS1td63Lw6ich1tC3xYIr66k9a8jx9l-bGXYI3c_7EzpFTqGKps7VXWHfpGl6YUeEbKG11oAKIvCXBiAxL-NRz1iNsTmzrKLIt-s0Eje3VzFmLtWd9pIGtyG-LMQ-xGM081LNmEhZ7N1bXRwPbMjWalXADxq8rtTquMAiM=]

Go to the URL for the full interview which is too long. Two audio clips at bottom of interview:

Audio clip one: Chris Hedges talks with Julian Assange about his opponents’ legal strategies.

Audio clip two: Julian Assange shares his thoughts on the Bradley Manning Case.

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.


Magda Hassan
05-08-2013, 01:56 AM
Some back ground on Julian Burnside for the non-Australians. He is a very conservative lawyer and purely dedicated to The Law. Privileged family back ground, private schools etc. For most of his working life he worked for the big end of town in commercial law. In more recent times he has become known for his advocacy work for refugees and humna rights matters. ‘Does anyone seriously think this is about a broken condom?’7 May, 2013Leanne Mezrani (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/author/Leanne%20Mezrani)0 (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/Wig-Chamber/News/%E2%80%98Does-anyone-seriously-think-this-is-about-a-broke#disqus_thread) comments (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/news/%E2%80%98does-anyone-seriously-think-this-is-about-a-broke#comments)
High-profile QC Julian Burnside has said the Swedish government has given away its true motivation for seeking to extradite Julian Assange.
Burnside told Lawyers Weekly that it is important to expose the illogical steps being taken by Sweden to get the WikiLeaks founder into custody.
“I do not believe that all of this fuss and bother is about an arguably broken condom ... it is impossible to believe ... the point of the whole exercise is to get Assange to America,” he said.
“An immense amount of trouble has been taken to get [Assange] to Sweden, ostensibly to ask him some questions about what is a low level offence ... when they could achieve their purpose by accepting his invitation to speak to him where he is.”
Burnside explained that the Swedish prosecutor visited England in December to obtain the European Arrest Warrant seeking Assange’s extradition to Sweden, but chose not to question him at that time, even though questioning was the sole purpose of the warrant.
The Australian Government should persuade Swedish authorities to question Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, said Burnside, claiming it is “a perfectly reasonable way to resolve the impasse ... you really have to wonder why they don’t do the sensible thing”.
But, he added, the Government has abandoned the WikiLeaks founder and described as “bullshit” claims by Foreign Minister Bob Carr that Australia is doing all it can to assist Assange.
“Australia needs to rouse itself out of its slumber and make a diplomatic effort,” he said. “They know it’s shameful, they know it’s a breach of their duty to him as an Australian citizen.”
Last year, Burnside wrote a letter to the then federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon asking, among other questions, if Australia had enquired whether US authorities are investigating Assange. It also detailed the reasons why Assange feared extradition to Sweden would result in his removal to America, including the fact that prominent Americans have called for Assange to be assassinated or tried for espionage, and Sweden has a witness surrender agreement with the US.
Burnside said he was “completely unsatisfied” with the Attorney-General’s response, which led him to believe that either Australia was aware of American plans from which Assange needed protection, or had suspicions about American plans and preferred to turn a blind eye.
He added that the law relating to treason is the counterpart of the Government’s obligation to protect its citizens, a duty it has blatantly failed to meet in Assange’s case.
Last month, Swedish Supreme Court Judge Stefan Lindskog described the case against Assange as “a mess” in a public lecture held at Adelaide University. The speech attracted extensive media attention, but Burnside warned it gave cause for optimism (http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/news/burnside-says-optimism-in-assange-case-is-prematur) when Assange is still very much at risk of being extradited to the US.


Magda Hassan
05-20-2013, 01:37 AM
Julian Assange reveals GCHQ messages discussing Swedish extradition WikiLeaks founder uses subject access request to access British agency chatter, which allegedly calls extradition 'a fit-up'

Giles Tremlett in Madrid and Ben Quinn[/URL]
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/benquinn), Monday 20 May 2013 01.05 BST
Julian Assange has obtained unclassified instant messages from GCHQ discussing his situation. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

Authorities at GCHQ, the government eavesdropping agency, are facing embarrassing revelations about internal correspondence in which Wikileaks (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/wikileaks) founder Julian Assange (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/julian-assange) is discussed, apparently including speculation that he is being framed by Swedish authorities seeking his extradition on rape allegations.
The records were revealed by Assange himself in a Sunday night interview with Spanish television programme Salvados (http://www.lasexta.com/videos/salvados/2013-mayo-19-2013051700039.html) in which he explained that an official request for information gave him access to instant messages that remained unclassified by GCHQ.
A message from September 2012, read out by Assange, apparently says: "They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ … It is definitely a fit-up… Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate."
The messages appear to contain speculation and chatter between GCHQ employees, but Assange gave little further explanation about exactly who they came from.
The WikiLeaks founder, who has spent the past 11 months in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/sweden), claimed GCHQ had been unaware that it might have anything on him that was not classified.
"It won't hand over any of the classified information," he said. "But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us."
"We have just received this. It is not public yet," he added.
A second instant message conversation from August last year between two unknown people saw them call Assange a fool for thinking Sweden would drop its attempt to extradite him.
The conversation, as read out by Assange, goes: "He reckons he will stay in the Ecuadorian embassy for six to 12 months when the charges against him will be dropped, but that is not really how it works now is it? He's a fool… Yeah … A highly optimistic fool."
"This is what the spies are discussing amongst themselves," Assange told the Spanish television presenter Jordi Evolé.
The Cheltenham-based agency said: "We can confirm that GCHQ responded formally to the subject who made the request. The disclosed material includes personal comments between some members of staff and do not reflect GCHQ's policies or views in any way.
GCHQ is exempt from the Freedom of Information (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/freedomofinformation) Act. However, it is understood that Assange's request was a subject access request, a mechanism under the Data Protection Act that can be used by individuals to obtain personal information that bodies hold about them.
On its website (http://gchq-careers.co.uk/about-gchq/about-gchq/), the agency says : "As one of the UK's intelligence and security agencies, we gather and analyse digital and electronic signals from many channels, from all corners of the world".
"Converting this information into intelligence material, we play a significant role in informing national security, military operations, police activity and foreign policy."

David Guyatt
05-20-2013, 04:59 PM
It's what many of us thought was the case anyway.

Wasn't it The Guardian who initially presented the Wikileaks stories as the UK exclusive and then backed off and became totally, utterly, silent when real pressure was exerted by the USA? Nice going if I remember this accurately? I always like to see courageous journalism in action.

Adele Edisen
05-22-2013, 12:06 PM
Julian Assange Says UK Government Messages Include Speculation He Was Framed

The messages, included discussions by the government eavesdropping agency that
speculated he was being framed by Swedish authorities seeking his extradition for
questioning on rape allegations.

[http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001W735K2eOjXA7fzm1AQW77jLE781Q3ub5eRZvW-dmbbate7vxGZeGy6v8rcAkaGdP2exVSf3e4I9YhFhJRqSCF7nP-wf4bD7a2ZFtH8543oDYkix9KcI-Z9UMD0II3lInIZcAIumM9AucJeYpH--kfuZP5zB3xnpyGvSCe4NdmhGQUOKnj1eWW_RLyeE2mxl3NTOgJ 9KZy0Yx9o3a8gVX33h9A2sh-3U8FeqDtwT8c60g5XN68KQYVCHmU1NhWP-tw0uylqzW3Sz16BexdPCu8oW4v27wAuV6Le4gZY_8EfVzGM0e8 oPHdoTqL2wugk5mRbSb7rNWc0Q-GKjwGPJca3T4GWZXReL266vUHvEljRI=]

Julian Assange Says UK Government Messages Include Speculation He Was Framed

May 21, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"UPI" - Julian Assange said messages he got from a British agency included speculation he was framed by Swedish officials seeking his extradition.

The messages from the Government Communications Headquarters, obtained through an official request for information, included discussions by the government eavesdropping agency that speculated he was being framed by Swedish authorities seeking his extradition for questioning on rape allegations, The Guardian reported Sunday.

Assange spoke about the messages Sunday night during an interview with the Spanish television program, "Salvados."

The instant messages to which Assange had access remained unclassified by GCHQ.

Assange has spent the past 11 months in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden. He has maintained his innocence and said he feared he would be extradited to the United States. WikiLeaks posted millions of sensitive military and diplomatic documents and communiques

A GCHQ message from September 2012, read by Assange, allegedly said: "They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ. ... It is definitely a fit-up. ... Their timings are too convenient."

Assange provided little explanation about exactly who wrote the messages, The Guardian said.

Assange said GCHQ was unaware it may have anything on him that wasn't classified, The Guardian said.

"It won't hand over any of the classified information," he said. "But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us."

Another instant message conversation, as read by Assange, from August 2012 called the WikiLeaks founder a "fool" if he thought he could wait out Sweden's attempt to extradite him.

The agency confirmed it "responded formally to the subject who made the request. The disclosed material includes personal comments between some members of staff and do not reflect GCHQ's policies or views in any way."


Peter Lemkin
05-29-2013, 06:51 PM
ssange: U.S. Probe of WikiLeaks & "Show Trial" of Bradley Manning Aims to Scare Whistleblowers

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of disclosing a trove of government documents and cables to WikiLeaks, is set to go on trial next week. Manning has already pleaded guilty to misusing classified material he felt "should become public," but has denied the top charge of aiding the enemy. Speaking from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange calls Manning’s case "a show trial ... to terrorize people from communicating with journalists and communicating with the public." Assange also discusses his own legal status as he continues to evade extradition to Sweden. Assange fears that returning to Sweden would result in him being sent to the United States, where he fears a grand jury has secretly indicted him for publishing the diplomatic cables leaked by Manning.

Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is Julian Assange for the hour. He is in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. If he steps foot outside, the British government says they’ll arrest him and extradite him to Sweden. If you could just for a moment, Julian, describe your situation right now, physically where you are—you’re standing in front of an image. Describe what that image is and, well, the fact of how long you have been inside that embassy.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Right now I am inside the embassy, as I have been for 11 months. Before that, I was under house arrest for approximately 590 days, and before that, I was in solitary confinement for 10 days. The image that you see behind you is a frame from "Collateral Murder," a famous release by WikiLeaks, which displays the murder of two Reuters staff and a number of others in Baghdad in 2007, which was then subsequently covered up by the U.S. military. Bradley Manning has been charged with supplying that video to us and has himself said that he did so. You will see a cannon shell through the front of the van and some dead bodies lying around. One of them is Namir Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh, the two Reuters staff. This video we had as a background frame for a talk that I did at Oxford, similar to the way I’m conducting this one now, beaming into the Oxford Union. And the Oxford Union redacted the whole background by hand. Even the little monitors that were in the audience, that the audience could see, footage of those monitors they redacted by hand and put that out on the Internet. You can google for "Assange censored Oxford." So, partly to pay tribute to the people who died in this incident, but also to Bradley Manning, and to take a stand against the censorship of Oxford, we have presented this background.
AMY GOODMAN: A quick question. Since we last spoke to you, again holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy, in November, Bradley Manning has pled guilty. Bradley Manning pled guilty to misusing classified material that he felt, quote, "should become public," but denied the top charge against him, aiding the enemy. He acknowledged he gave the classified documents, among them the video that you’re describing, what you’ve called "Collateral Murder," that shows the journalists and the men in New Baghdad blown up by an Apache helicopter, and it’s footage from the Apache helicopter, and then the subsequent exploding of the van that had two children in it. But he has pled guilty to doing this and to giving these documents to WikiLeaks, to you. You have always said you will not reveal your sources, but since he has pled guilty to this, can you talk about the significance of what Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks and what you published?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Bradley Manning is making his statements under duress, presently. He is facing a capital offense, which Barack Obama would have to sign, so politically there is possibly only a 3 percent, say, chance that Barack Obama would sign a death certificate or that the judge would decide to promote a death certificate. But if there was a 3 percent chance of you crossing the road, you wouldn’t do so.
He’s also facing a quite decent chance of life imprisonment. And the life imprisonment charge comes from a very new ambit claim of the Pentagon, that is—and the Department of Justice, that is, communicating with a journalist is communicating to the public, is communicating to al-Qaeda. And there’s no allegation that Bradley Manning intended to communicate to al-Qaeda. The only allegation is that he indirectly did so as a result of communicating with journalists, who communicated to the public. If that precedent is allowed to be erected, it will do two things. Firstly, it means it’s a potential death penalty for any person in the military speaking to a journalist about a sensitive matter. Secondly, it also embroils the journalist and the publication in that chain of communicating, they would say, to the enemy, and therefore making them susceptible, as well, to the Espionage Act, which also has capital offenses. And that is part of the U.S.—that latter part is part of the U.S. attack on WikiLeaks, including myself.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Julian Assange, there are about 150 witnesses who are set to testify against Manning at the trial. Among those witnesses, The Washington Post reports, is a person they have called a DOD operator, whose name they have not revealed, who is likely to say that Osama bin Laden received access to some of the WikiLeaks material through an associate because of what Manning revealed.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, the latest information I have is that there are, in fact, four of those people involved in the Osama bin Laden raid who will be testifying in one way or another. This is, of course, part of the show trial. The alleged actions here are a communication between a source and a journalist. There’s no allegation anyone else was present in the room. So, 141 prosecution witnesses, 31 of them are giving secret testimony, in part, or behind a screen or something like this. This is a show trial. The trial is meant to go for 14 to 16 weeks, And the prosecution, the Pentagon and possibly White House is hungry for this. This is their big Broadway musical moment, and they have their star divas, from the SEALs and elsewhere, that they intend to put up in order to terrorize people from communicating with journalists and communicating with the public.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Julian Assange, what do you think the significance is of the fact that over two dozen witnesses will partially testify in secret?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, it’s a furtherance of what we’ve been seeing, as this new political structure of centralized intelligence and military power continues to gain financial and political capital. It is advancing the frontiers to the degree where it is now conducting extensive secret trials. The same thing has been introduced here in the U.K. But we all know that without open justice, there is no justice at all. Justice must be seen to be done. Judges must themselves be on trial before the public as they conduct trials. We are all aware of the terrible abuses in the past that have come about as a result of secret star chambers. But nonetheless, the neo-military-industrial complex has gained enough political power where it is able to—or at least it thinks that it is able to go back to this earlier depraved time.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn to recent comments made by the Australian foreign minister, Bob Carr. He was speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and was asked specifically about the threat of your possible extradition to the U.S. in the event that you’re taken to Sweden.

BOB CARR: Julian Assange could have been the subject of extradition action by the United States any time in the last two years, when he’s been residing in the U.K. He wasn’t. To suggest that the Swedes are after him, as a CIA conspiracy, to get him to Stockholm and allowing—allowing him to be bundled off to Langley, Virginia, is sheer fantasy. The Swedes have won in the U.K. courts. It’s nothing to do with WikiLeaks. It’s about a criminal allegation made in Sweden. And that’s why he is in the Ecuadorean embassy. In this, Australia has precisely no status. We’ve got no standing in the courts on this in the United Kingdom. We’ve made representations to the Swedes about him being treated with due process. We’ve done that three times this month. We’ve made every effort—

TONY JONES: And, by the way, just on that score, have you got some sort of assurance from the Swedes he would never be—

BOB CARR: Oh, yes, yes. Well, the Swedes—

TONY JONES: —extradited to the United States?

BOB CARR: The Swedes say, "It is our policy, and it’s been our policy for decades, that we never extradite someone on a matter related to military or intelligence." They just don’t do it.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Julian Assange, that was Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr. Could you comment on what he said?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Bob Carr is a well-known liar in Australian politics. The man’s ignorance is only eclipsed by his arrogance. WikiLeaks published records showing how Bob Carr became a U.S. embassy informer way back in the 1970s, while he was in the unions, while he had no business whatsoever dealing with the U.S. embassy. At that time, he was giving sensitive political intelligence on the Australian prime minister, Gough Whitlam, and that Gough Whitlam was subsequently removed in 1975 in a political coup in Australia.
Look, let’s go through these points by Bob Carr. Bob Carr is a master of rhetoric. For example, he says that there’s no evidence of some CIA conspiracy designed to smuggle me off to Langley, Virginia. Quite right, that’s not the issue at stake here. That’s a straw man that is erected by Bob Carr. What there is is extensive evidence—in fact, the DOJ admits, as of March, which is subsequent, but has also made previous admissions, that the investigation, the criminal investigation against WikiLeaks, which Australian diplomats, in their own official correspondence, have said is of unprecedented scale and nature, continues. That is admitted by the DOJ. The subpoenas that have come out as a result of the grand jury always just have two names on them: Bradley Manning’s name and my name. Those are the only two people who were named in those subpoenas. In the Bradley Manning court case, government witnesses say, when cross-examined, under oath, that the targets of the grand jury investigation are the founders and managers of WikiLeaks, amongst some others.
Now, in relation to whether Sweden extradites, there’s a number of issues here. First of all, let’s look at timing. Bob Carr says the United States could have extradited any time that they liked. Well, just go and look at justice4assange, with the numeral 4, dot com, slash extraditing, dash assange, dot html. It’s justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html (http://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html). It is normal for grand juries to go for two to three years. That is absolutely normal. The DOJ admits that this grand jury, in relation to us, is still going. John Kiriakou’s grand jury went for a number of years. [Thomas] Drake’s grand jury went for a number of years. Furthermore, it is unlawful for any U.S. official to admit to the existence of a sealed indictment, even to other U.S. officials, except in carrying out the arrest. It’s only after the person has been arrested. So that is the situation I face in the U.K. if I walk outside. I could be arrested in relation to Sweden. I could be arrested in relation to the United States. What Bob Carr doesn’t say is that I have never been charged for an offense in Sweden. While there’s a decent chance of a secret indictment in the United States, and my lawyers say that they believe that there is a secret indictment, that records from Stratfor, allegedly obtained by Jeremy Hammond, reveal the existence of a secret indictment, there is no charge against me in relation to Sweden. The Ecuador—the Swedes refuse to provide a guarantee to me, to Ecuador, that I will not be re-extradited to the United States as soon as I hit Sweden. They also say, formally, and said so before I came into the embassy, that I would be imprisoned without charge in Sweden, initially said held incommunicado during the course of their preliminary investigation, is perfectly normal. And the head of the Swedish Supreme Court even has come out and said it is normal and correct for Swedish police, if they are investigating some allegation, to have a phone call with the person, to take a statement, to come to the country here. The Swedes refuse to do that. They refuse to explain why even that they are doing that. And this whole matter was investigated by the most senior prosecutor in Stockholm, Eva Finné, who the Swedes have now been appointed to head up investigation into their race riots, investigated by Eva Finné, and dropped. The case was dropped. It was resurrected subsequently by a politician, Claes Borgström, who went to a different city, Gothenburg, and to a particular prosecutor there and got that prosecutor to resurrect the matter.

Julian Assange on Meeting with Google, Responds to Anti-WikiLeaks Attacks from New Film to Finances

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy last year to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault and rape allegations. He fears that Sweden will agree to extradite him to the United States. On Tuesday, Ecuador’s foreign minister accused the British government of trampling on Assange’s rights by refusing to allow him to travel to Ecuador, which granted him political asylum almost a year ago. Joining us from the embassy, Assange addresses what he calls "attacks on all fronts against WikiLeaks," from a monetary embargo involving some of the world’s largest financial firms to a new Hollywood documentary on WikiLeaks, "We Steal Secrets." Assange also discusses a little-known meeting he held in June 2011 with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We air an excerpt of audio recording from that meeting. Check back soon for our extended interview with Assange.

Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are speaking today with Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, granted political asylum by Ecuador last year, sought refuge almost a year ago at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, because the British government promises to arrest him if he steps foot outside. Julian Assange is also author of Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet. I wanted to ask you quickly, Julian, about the Icelandic Supreme Court decision around Visa and the—and the whole issue of how the money supply to WikiLeaks has been cut off online, if you can explain this latest development.
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, Amy, first let me contextualize it. There’s attacks on all fronts against WikiLeaks—criminal, reputational, financial, in many different countries. There’s also counterattacks that we have been making. And in relation to this Visa blockade, back in—back in late 2010, U.S. right-wing politicians, like Senator Lieberman, contacted a number of different financial institutions in the United States and encouraged them to cut off WikiLeaks as a recipient of Visa donations, our donations but by Visa. Now, as a result, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Moneybookers, Western Union, Diners Club, Discover, JCB and the Bank of America and Swiss Post Finance—that’s 10 different financial organizations—as a result of that pressure, engaged in extrajudicial financial blockade against us and our donors, much the same as they do to Cuba, but without any legislative backing, without any administrative backing. Even the U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner investigated whether we should be formally added to a U.S. blacklist, and found that there was no legal basis to do so.
In response, WikiLeaks, for the past year and a half or so, has been engaged in litigating some of these giant financial services companies that are influenced by Washington power brokers. And we won in the lower courts in Iceland, and we have won in the Supreme Court in Iceland just a few weeks ago. Now, that victory in the Supreme Court stated that Visa must open up the gateway and its subcontractor Valitor in Iceland must open up the gateway. Visa has relented and has opened up the gateway. However, it has also activated what it says is another clause in the contract to shut it back down again on midnight June 30. So, between now and midnight June 30, people can donate directly to WikiLeaks; otherwise, they have to—come midnight June 30, they will have to engage in indirect mechanisms. But they are there. For example, Daniel Ellsberg, John Cusack, John Perry Barlow and some others set up the Free Press Foundation in the United States precisely to deal with some of these economic blockades. But if you go to WikiLeaks.org/donate (http://www.wikileaks.org/donate), you will see that there’s different ways that we have constructed to work around this economic blockade. Unfortunately, they’re all a little bit indirect, so it’s a little bit of an extra burden for donors and a reputational burden, because you don’t see that you are donating directly to WikiLeaks; you see that you’re donating to the Free Press Foundation or the Wau Holland Foundation in Germany or a number of others. But donations now to WikiLeaks via the Free Press Foundation in the United States are tax-deductible. We’ve also had a major victory in Europe in relation to the German tax authorities, which also were politically pressured, and that has come out and been admitted, to remove our tax deductibility in Europe. That’s now back. We’ve won against that. So, the position of my asylum here is such that we’ve been able to concentrate more of our resources on counterattack and have been successfully engaged in that battle.
AMY GOODMAN: We wanted to turn—switch gears right now. The CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, has come out with a new book called The New Digital Age. And we wanted to ask you about a meeting you had. On June 23rd, 2011, Julian Assange, you had a secret five-hour meeting with the Google CEO Eric Schmidt. At the time, you were under house arrest in rural England. Also in attendance Jared Cohen, former adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Scott Malcomson, director of speech writing for Ambassador Susan Rice at the State Department and current communications director of the International Crisis Group; and Lisa Shields, vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Schmidt and Cohen requested the meeting to discuss their ideas for this book that has just come out, The New Digital World. We want to go to a part of your conversation with Schmidt and Malcomson. This is a recording you made of that meeting, first time being played in a national broadcast, where you talk about the PATRIOT Act.

JULIAN ASSANGE: We wouldn’t mind a leak from Google, which would be, I think, probably all the PATRIOT Act requests.

ERIC SCHMIDT: Yeah, which would be illegal.

JULIAN ASSANGE: There’s no jurisdiction, da-da-da-da-da.

ERIC SCHMIDT: We are a U.S.—

JULIAN ASSANGE: There’s higher laws. There’s higher laws, First Amendment, you know.

ERIC SCHMIDT: No, no. I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time on this question, because I am—I am in great trouble because I have given a series of criticisms about PATRIOT I and PATRIOT II, because—


ERIC SCHMIDT: —which I think are—because they’re nontransparent, you know, because the judge’s orders are hidden, and so forth and so on. And the answer—the answer is that the laws are quite clear about Google in the U.S., that we couldn’t do it. It would be illegal.

JULIAN ASSANGE: We’re fighting this case now with Twitter, that we’ve done three court hearings now, trying to get the names of the other companies that fulfilled the subpoenas to the grand jury in the U.S. Twitter resisted, and so that’s how some of us became aware. They argued that we should be told that there was a subpoena. I wasn’t told, but—

ERIC SCHMIDT: And this is—and this is concerning you, concerning WikiLeaks?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah, me personally, yeah. But three other people were told, but we know it is at least four other companies.

ERIC SCHMIDT: I can certainly pass on your request to our general counsel.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Tell them to argue that we should be told.

ERIC SCHMIDT: So, your specific request is that Google argue legally—


ERIC SCHMIDT: —that WikiLeaks, as an organization, should be informed—

JULIAN ASSANGE: Or any of the individuals.

ERIC SCHMIDT: —or the individuals, if they are named in a FISA.




ERIC SCHMIDT: I will pass that along.
AMY GOODMAN: That is a part of this five-hour conversation that you had with the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, and Scott Malcomson, director of speech writing for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Can you talk about the circumstances of this meeting, how you made this recording, and then talk about the substance of what we just heard?
JULIAN ASSANGE: It’s quite interesting to speculate as to the surface excuse for the meeting being about a book versus was there another side to it, as well. If we look at the way that Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have been going to North Korea and meeting with some other thieves, and how that information very rapidly goes back to the State Department—we know that the results of that meeting with Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen went very, very quickly back to the top levels of the State Department—that they’re, in some ways, becoming informal, deniable foreign ministers for a section of U.S. power. That’s a very interesting thing to see Google resting so heavily on the U.S. State Department.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn to an excerpt from the book by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen called The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. In it, the authors suggest WikiLeaks has endangered lives. They write, quote, "Neither WikiLeaks nor groups like Anonymous are terrorist organizations, although some might claim that hackers who engage in activities like stealing and publishing personal and classified information online might as well be. The information released on WikiLeaks put lives at risk and inflicted serious diplomatic damage," end-quote. The authors don’t cite evidence for their claim, but they do put an asterisk next to the statement saying, quote, "At a minimum, platforms like WikiLeaks and hacker collectives that traffic in stolen classified material from governments enable or encourage espionage." Julian Assange, your comments on that quote taken from Eric Schmidt’s book?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, it’s absurd. States that engage in espionage want to keep the information that they gain to themselves in order to get competitive knowledge advantage over other states, and also simply to protect their sourcing operations. There’s a reason why that claim, like all such claims, remains uncited: because it is false. Not even the Pentagon, in fact, no government organization, claims that the activities of WikiLeaks have led even to the loss of life for a single person anywhere in the world. And if we want to speculate about speculative risks, as opposed to talk about the hundreds of thousands of cases of—hundreds and thousands of deaths that WikiLeaks documented, the U.S. military being involved in one way or the other, then we can go to a statement made by NATO in Kabul, reported by CNN, that NATO could not see a single case of an Afghan needing protection or needing to be moved as a result of our publication of the Afghan War Diaries, and that it was the Afghan War Diaries that led to all these rhetorical flourishes by the Pentagon and by the establishment media in the United Kingdom, led by Murdoch, and in the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me end with your response to Alex Gibney’s recently released documentary. We interviewed him at Sundance, the documentary called We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks. This is Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, or NSA.

MICHAEL HAYDEN: Everyone has secrets. Some of the activities that nation states conduct in order to keep their people safe and free need to be secret in order to be successful. If they are broadly known, you cannot accomplish your work. Now look, I’m going to be very candid, alright? We steal secrets. We steal other nations’ secrets. One cannot do that above board and be very successful for a very long period of time.
AMY GOODMAN: Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, or NSA, his statement, "We steal secrets," the one that Alex Gibney used for the title of his documentary. Your response, Julian Assange? And have you gotten to see this documentary?
JULIAN ASSANGE: at best. The claim in the title is simply false. It has spread everywhere, of course, because it’s in all the promotional literature. I assume very few people will go actually to see that film. That the promotion has been done by Universal. That’s a $2.5 million hit job on my reputation, the reputation of the organization. What’s the equivalent title? [I]I Make Fictitious, Fraudulent Films: The Story of Alex Gibney. In response, we have published the full transcript, ahead of public—ahead of the film’s release, with line-by-line detail showing exactly how Alex Gibney edited statements, stitched them together, etc., and didn’t engage in—didn’t engage, it seems, in any fact checking of the statements that the people he was interviewing. You know, for an example, I make some statement that begins with, "Well, what they say is," and then I quote it. Alex Gibney cuts off the "What they say," so in order to put someone else’s words into my mouth. And that’s present throughout the film. This is not a serious work.
AMY GOODMAN: We have just 10 seconds in this part of the interview, Julian.
JULIAN ASSANGE: This is not a serious work, and this is not a serious—not a serious filmmaker.

Magda Hassan
05-29-2013, 10:17 PM

Magda Hassan
06-07-2013, 02:46 AM
Assange no concern of ours, says Carr Date June 7, 2013 Philip Dorling

Foreign policy crisis?

Bob Carr says Hezbollah's involvement in Syria conflict is hugely significant, and also warns that the Coalition is on thin ice with Indonesia by promising to "turn back the boats" without a formal agreement.

The Australian government has washed its hands of Julian Assange as prosecutors at the trial of US soldier Bradley Manning have openly targeted the WikiLeaks publisher as a conspirator engaged in espionage.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr has told a Senate budget estimates committee that the government would make no more representations to the US on Assange's circumstances because his case “doesn't affect Australian interests”.
Senator Carr's declaration that he would not “over-service” Assange's consular needs came after US military prosecutors left no doubt that they regard the WikiLeaks chief not as a journalist dealing with sources but as a conspirator in the theft of classified information.

US prosecutors made repeated references to Assange this week, alleging at the opening of Private Manning's trial that the WikiLeaks publisher had directly encouraged and aided the soldier's massive leaks of classified documents.

The US has alleged that Assange conspired with Manning in the theft of classified information, including advising the soldier on "finding ways to browse SIPRNET [a secure database] anonymously”.
Fairfax Media has also learnt that Assange has been prevented by one of the largest banks in the US from making a donation to his own political party.

Julian Assange looks out from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy. Photo: AFP

The Bank of America blocked the transfer to the new WikiLeaks Party of a $25,000 prize awarded to Assange by the Japanese musician, artist and philanthropist Yoko Ono.
News of the funding block against the WikiLeaks Party comes as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade acknowledged to the Senate estimates hearing that WikiLeaks, and by implication Assange, continued to be under investigation by the US Justice Department.
However, when asked by Greens senator Scott Ludlam whether the Australian government would raise the question of Assange's free-speech protection as a journalist under the First Amendment to the US constitution, Senator Carr said that “it wouldn't be a matter of concern to Australia to make a case for him. No, why would we do that?”
http://images.theage.com.au/2013/06/06/4469990/art353-tandberg-7613-300x0.jpg Illustration: Ron Tandberg.

Asked whether the government would inquire whether a US grand jury investigation of Assange was ongoing, Senator Carr said no further inquiries would be made because “it doesn't affect Australian interests”.
“I'm not going to have resources allocated to it," he said. "There's been enough investment of [department] resources in looking after Mr Assange's interests. This is an over-servicing of a consular case.”
He added: “When information emerges from the American system it can be looked at with interest. It's not a focus of our diplomacy. Why would it be?”

Ms Ono honoured Assange with her annual Courage Award for the Arts in New York in February for his "courageous step" in "returning what belongs to the public domain".
Assange asked that the $25,000 award be sent to the WikiLeaks Party, a separate legal entity to WikiLeaks. However, in April Ms Ono's office said the Bank of America had refused to wire the money to the party's account. Her office then paid the award to the US-based Freedom of the Press Foundation, which in turn passed it on to WikiLeaks.
The Bank of America is one of a number of major financial institutions including Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Western Union that since December 2010 have refused to transfer funds to WikiLeaks. Transfers have been allowed to WikiLeaks-related entities, including Assange's legal defence fund.
WikiLeaks Party president John Shipton said the party had not experienced problems with other financial institutions.
Assange is subject to a Swedish extradition warrant concerning sexual assault allegations and has been granted diplomatic asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/assange-no-concern-of-ours-says-carr-20130606-2nt5t.html#ixzz2VUkYOOEP

David Guyatt
06-07-2013, 07:55 AM
Now we know the meaning of a news piece earlier in this thread that US prosecutors had travelled to Oz to speak to the government about Assange. They were putting the fix in.

Magda Hassan
06-07-2013, 08:11 AM
Now we know the meaning of a news piece earlier in this thread that US prosecutors had travelled to Oz to speak to the government about Assange. They were putting the fix in.

Carr is such a spineless door mat. Can't wait till he is gone. Wont be long because they'd rather lose the election that put the man in as leader who people will vote for and will let them win again. He had some cojones to stand up to the US which is one reason why he was removed.

Magda Hassan
02-03-2014, 11:56 PM
Amidst discussion in Sweden on dropping the “case” VS. Assange, US Justice Minister Eric Holder arriving to meet Swedish counterpart & lecture in Parliament artedenoli (http://professorsblogg.com/author/artedenoli/) / 2 days ago (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/02/holder2visitswe/)
In the middle of an interesting Swedish debate on the whereabouts of the case in London, with a growing questioning on the validity of the “case Assange” done by multiple personalities of the legal system, it is now announced that US Justice Minister Eric Holder is scheduled to visit Sweden. The visit, due to the 4 of February, corresponds to an arrangement by the Swedish Parliament and the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm. According to a brief dispatch in SvD (http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/usas-justitieminister-till-sverige_8948998.svd), it is assumed that Holder will also meet his Swedish counterpart Beatrice Ask. Other sources refer that Eric Holder shall be giving a lecture at a venue in the Swedish Parliament titled, “A More Just and Inclusive World: Confronting the Civil Rights Challenges of Our Time”. Justice Minister Holder will be surely informed by his Swedish hosts on the niceties of the Swedish Justice system. In the context, he will be reassured on the loyalty of Sweden regarding the requests from US Justice and other government agencies. After all, the Swedish parliament complied efficiently with the US requests of instituting a new surveillance/spy legislation (FRA lagen) aimed to serve the interests of NATO as well as US corporations’ interests. In the same fashion, the Swedish Ministry of Justice passed the legislation as requested by the American government to protect the commercial interests of the U.S. entertainment enterprises. At the expected meeting with PM Reinfeldt, Minister Holder will be reassured, as the PM has publicly stated specifically referring to their case against Assange, that this is a rättsstat, meaning a country with full respect for the law. But Minister Holder doesn’t need such reassurances. He has the facts with him about the unconditional Swedish “legal” collaborationist stance and praxis: Namely, Sweden has granted 100 per cent of the extradition cases requested by the US, provided that the persons are on Swedish territory. This is done by the Swedish authorities with or without “legal system”. This was the case of the “extraordinary renditions”, namely prisoners given directly by the Swedish police, total clandestinely, to the CIA team sent to pick them up in the airports at the heart of Stockholm. The rättsstat that Prime Minister Reindfelt will be talking about is, however, also a constellation of peculiarities in the judicial, police and legal systems. Here is a sample of the “irregularities” – viewed by international standards – concerning the administration of justice with particular relation to the Swedish case against Julian Assange. Other items of the legal (and political) context of the case are discussed in my book “Human Rights Issues in the Swedish Case VS. Julian Assange”. The book will be soon available on-line in Libertarianbooks.se (http://libertarianbooks.se)

Sweden has a judiciary system in which judges participating in the courts are appointed by the political parties (there is http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/human-rights-issues-in-the-swedish-case-vs-assange-by-marcello-ferrada-de-noli.png?w=300&h=391 (http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/human-rights-issues-in-the-swedish-case-vs-assange-by-marcello-ferrada-de-noli.png)no Jury system in Sweden, nor does the institution of Bail exist inSweden). See further down in the book, chapter “Shall Sweden’s Politically Appointed Judges Decide The Political Case Against The WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange?”
Sweden allows secret, “closed-doors” trials. Particularly with regard to sexual-offences trials, where secret trials are the most common form used in the Swedish justice system.
The appeal system in Sweden has been notably reduced after a 2008 law (the so-called EMR reform) devised to minimize the number of cases resulting in appeals to higher courts.
In the Swedish case against Assange, the police investigators conducted interrogations without video-recording, sound-tape recording, or other forms of transcription. This is an aggravating anomaly, which infringed the clear standard procedures advised by the Police Authority with regard to cases involved suspicion of rape.
The interrogation of one of the nominal accusers was performed by a police officer that was a friend of the other nominal accuser.
The interrogation of Julian Assange could have very well have been conducted in Sweden, but the prosecutor chose to issue an Interpol warrant, which made possible the fabrication of an extradition case.
The law-firm defending the accusers is co-owned by a politician, Mr. Thomas Bodström (former Minister of Justice), who at the time of the accusation was a member of the same political group within the Swedish Social Democratic Party as the accuser Ms. AA, who was the political secretary.
The actual lawyer appointed by the firm (the other co-owner of the law firm) was initially Mr. Claes Bogström, who – together with the prosecutor in the case, Ms. Marianne Ny, and the former Minister of Justice and chairman of the Justice Committee of the Swedish Parliament, Mr. Thomas Bodström – participated in the study of new legislation which radicalized the proceedings and penalties for sexual offences in Sweden.


Magda Hassan
02-03-2014, 11:58 PM
Prosecutor Ny “has chosen” not to have hearings with Assange in London artedenoli (http://professorsblogg.com/author/artedenoli/) / 1 day ago (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/02/prosecutorschoice/)
Prosecutor Ny “has chosen” not to have hearings with Assange in London
http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/prosecutor-on-agenda1.png?w=700&h=605 (http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/prosecutor-on-agenda1.png)
Professors blogg’s translation: “ÅKLAGAREN HAR VALT” = “THE PROSECUTOR HAS CHOSEN” Comment regarding this evening’s Program “Agenda”
2014-02-02 “The Television program Agenda is taking up the ongoing legal process against Julian Assange. The responsible prosecutor, or other representative of the prosecutor’s authority, has been invited to participate, but declined. The reasons for this are as follows. The investigation is headed by the chief prosecutor Marianne Ny . According to her, there is currently no further information to disclose on the matter, other than what was previously reported. The reasons why the prosecutor has chosen not to hold hearings with Assange in London has been previously communicated; it is available (in this link (http://www.aklagare.se/Media/Assangearendet/Varfor-kan-inte-aklagaren-forhora-Assange-i-Storbritannien/)). The text has been further suplemented, for clarification. The case is ongoing. The prosecution does not see any possibility for discussing in the media eventual future assessments or decisions that may be caused by developments in the case. This on behalf of both the suspect and the plaintiffs, and because the need of confidentiality in the preliminary investigation. Hence there is an overriding interest on that the prosecutor’s argumentation pursues in the legal process, and not primarily in the media. For the same reason, and because the acting prosecutor is the solely decision-maker on the case, is not possible for any other representative of the prosecutor’s authority to participate in a discussion about this specific case. As soon as a new decision has been taken on the case, or if there is new information, this will be reported by the prosecutor and published on this website.”

Magda Hassan
02-04-2014, 12:10 AM
Time to drop the “case” VS. Assange. Debunking Sweden’s political alibi artedenoli (http://professorsblogg.com/author/artedenoli/) / 4 hours ago (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/)
Against the backdrop of a drastic falling of Sweden’s international status, the Assange “Case” emerged as the Swedish rulers’ political alibi. Now when the plot has been debunked, it has come the time for the dropping of the “case”
But the Swedish Foreign Office is not the only Swedish political force profiting of the “case”. While Carl Bildt uses the Assange “case” as cover for the failure of the current Sweden’s geopolitics, “radical feminists” Claes Bodström, Marianne Ny, and Thomas Bordström are having a common ideological agenda: to enhance criminal meanings in the sexual behavior of the Swedish people. The “Assange Case” was declared “symbolic issue” .
by Marcello Ferrrada de Noli
Initiating a Series of four analyses introducing the book “Human-Rights Issues In The Swedish Case VS. Assange” From the book, Chapter “Duckpond in the Swedish Legal System, Page 152:http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/nys-govt-assignment.png?w=189&h=265 (http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/nys-govt-assignment.png) “Prosecutor Marianne Ny had – at the time of her initiative to reopen the case against Julian Assange in August 2010 – an assignment from the government. She was appointed expert in the Swedish Committee ensemble to propose a broadening of the criminal concept of rape in the context of hardening the legislation of sexual-offences. This is contained in a letter – see it in box- sent to the Ministry of Justice (Chefen för Justitiedepartementet) by judge (rådman) Nils Petter Ekdahl (http://www.domstol.se/Om-Sveriges-Domstolar/Pressrum/Bilder/Mediegruppen/Ekdahl-Nils-Petter/) : “The Government decided on the 17 of July 2008 to appoint a special investigator with the assignment of evaluating the applicability of the 2005 sexual-crimes legislation. . .” “To assist the investigation, Marianne Ny (named among the six appointed experts) was appointed (förordnade) from the 10 of September 2008 . . .” __________________________________________________ ____________________ http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/human-rights-issues-in-the-swedish-case-vs-assange-by-marcello-ferrada-de-noli.png?w=314&h=410 (http://professorsblogg.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/human-rights-issues-in-the-swedish-case-vs-assange-by-marcello-ferrada-de-noli.png)Although many knew of the charming Kingdom of Sweden for a variety of reasons, what has most drawn the world attention to this nation in recent years is the political case against Julian Assange. For instance, Google News searching for “Sweden” in association with “Assange” gives twice as many hits as its association with previous trademarks such as “Nobel Prize in Medicine”, or three times more than hits in association with “Abba”.[1] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn1) The official version given by the authorities and the media to the Swedish public, is that the international criticism on Sweden a) concerns only the legal system, and b) it was brought up, in PM Fredrik Reinfelft own words, “in conjunction with the court procedures on the extradition of Julian Assange”. [2] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn2) In further elaborations by government officials or by the media, it is asserted that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange himself directly author the said “discredit campaign”.[3] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn3) Neither of the above official versions is truthful. Nevertheless irregularities in the legal system do exist,[4] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn4) the core of the international criticism has to do a) partly with the abandonment of a sovereign foreign policy and other geopolitical behaviours that Swedish rulers have deployed in the years after the assassination in Stockholm of PM Olof Palme; and b) partly with multiple violations perpetrated by Swedish government officials – including ministers at the government – against Human Rights conventions of which the country is a signatory. These behaviours have comprised severe violations of the UN Absolute Ban On Torture, for which Sweden has been sanctioned by the UN organ for Human Rights [5] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn5) and other international committees. I find relevant to note in the context, that one of the ministers accused as main figure in the decision-making of the extraordinary renditions to the CIA that led to the above-mentioned UN and European sanctions, is the former Justice minister Thomas Bodström, co-owner of the law firm Bodström & Borgström. I develop on this aspect in some chapters in this book a cause of the important implication of these two politicians in the diathesis of the “Assange case”. For instance:

a) At the time of the accusation done nominally by Ms “A” against Assange, Bodström was member of the same internal political phalange (Brotherhood) [6] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn6) within the Swedish Social Democratic Party to which the accuser Ms. A belonged; while Bodström was a senior, top-ranked politician in the group, Ms A was the “political secretary”;

b) While Tomas Bodström himself has proclaimed that it is his (and Borgström’s) law firm the one “representing the plaintiffs”, Claes Borgström has acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that it was he who took the initiative for the reopening of the case upon the prosecutor office;

c) The actual prosecutor turned out being Ms Marianne Ny, who had previously participated together with either Bodström, or Borgström, or both, in committees set by the government to study the enhancement of the sexual-offences legislation. [7] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn7)

d) Interestingly, the new proposals in the legislation (under study) include precisely the type of “criminal behaviour” within “grey zones” which all along has been implied in the accusations against Julian Assange.

Reactions In recent developments, during an important voting at the Human-Rights organ of the United Nations in November 2012, Sweden obtained the lowest preference from the voting country-delegates. The election concerned Sweden’s own candidacy towards becoming a member of the United Nations Human Rights organization. Also in recent years and for the first time in modern history, the government of Sweden has been obliged to face the burning of Swedish flags by angry protesters in countries as far away as Pakistan. Motive for those actions were found in the reaction of normal, law-abiding citizens of various countries, which felt insulted by the permissive stance of the Swedish government and Swedish media around the “Muhammad drawings controversy” of 2007, provoked by the racist Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The native-Swedish cultural elites appealed to the “freedom of expression”. Which was used as a pretext to further reproduce the offensive material. This was done in conscious disregard towards the numerous groups of immigrants and refugees, which, in spite of being of diverse nationalities, share peacefully Islam as their religion or culture. The behaviours implemented by the Swedish political and cultural elites on the Vilks affair, added Sweden’s military occupation of Afghanistan were specifically given as reasons [8] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn8) by the suicide-bomber for his terrorist retaliation blast of Stockholm in December 2010. The straightforward SÄPO chief Anders Thornborg acknowledged that to the international media. [9] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn9) However, this was not publicized in Sweden, in spite it was the very first time that the centenaries-quiet streets of Stockholm witnessed a suicide-bomber action. Further, the Swedish government provided Vilks with National Security-police escort during his visit to New York on the 2 October 2012, where the racist cartoonist addressed anew an anti-Islam speech.[10] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn10) The irritation grew amidst the immigrants’ high-density marginalized areas of Stockholm. Some months after, the Guardian announced, with some stupefaction, the following headlines, “Swedish riots spark surprise and anger – As inequality and segregation start to rise”. Initiated in the “suburb” of Husby, mainly allocating social discriminated immigrants, the protested were triggered by the shooting of an older immigrant by a member of the National police, during an investigation proceeding. Hundreds of cars were burned in Stockholm and other major cities by the rioters. Again, the Swedish government and the Swedish Main Stream Media (for brevity, called henceforth MSM) neglected to connect the domestic reaction to their policies and deeds, in the same fashion as they neglected to connect the drastic fall of the international status of Sweden with their own turn in the geopolitical arena. There was no Swedish MSM-article whatsoever, nor government analysis, connecting those happenings with the actual deeds conducted by the Swedish government or institutions. Not even at the occasion of the surprising explosions in the centre of Stockholm – or at the above-mentioned race riots that debuted simultaneously in Stockholm and other major cities – did Swedish journalists made any reference to behaviours of the government, including cases of institutional discrimination against immigrant minorities. Or those for which Sweden have received sanctions by the United Nations, or with Sweden’s military occupation of Northern Afghanistan under U.S. command. In my late years I have been lecturing on Epidemiology under Swedish assignments in a variety of universities, including central Africa and Latin America. In Chile, on occasion of a lecturing at the School of Public Health, at the Medical Faculty of Chile University, I saw painted in walls at Providencia, not far from the Swedish Embassy, “OTAN Sueca fuera de Afganistan” (“Swedish NATO”, get out from Afghanistan). Diplomatic people from Latin-American or African countries that I have met in connection with those academic activities have confide: “no more business with Sweden in the first place, as it was before”. And the anti-Sweden sentiment abroad grows. Who to blame? The “case” as political alibi
Instead, the strategy of the MSM (which in Sweden it is subsidized by the State) and in conjunction with the State-owned “public-service” media has been to use the “case Assange” and WikiLeaks as a blunt alibi. And this is done with a not so subtle appealing to national chauvinistic sentiments. As mentioned above, already in 2011 PM Reindfelt was connecting in front of the public the international criticism on Sweden with the case Assange. Two months after, the State-owned TV broadcasted repeatedly over several days this headline: “How could the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange get the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility?” [11] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn11) The reader should note the emphasis SvT is doing on “WikiLeaks founder” (my cursives), a status that it should have nothing to do with a case, which as Sweden has repeated to the international forum, is against an individual and for his individual behaviour. In true, the case is ultimately about what WikiLeaks disclosed on Sweden and fundamentally on USA. And the Swedish Ministry of Defence goes farther in this line. On the 29 February 2012, the National Television of Sweden aired a long reportage program focused on WikLeaks and Assange during the main news program Aktuell. The reporter, a Military-Intelligence trainee then working as envoy for Swedish Television, interviewed Mike Winnerstig, a high-rank representative of FOA (a military-research institute under the Ministry of Defence). Winnerstig’s angle in the sending to the Swedish public was that WikiLeaks and Assange have an “agenda” consisting in targeting USA and allies (Sweden) but not Russia (Sweden’s “archenemy” state). Secondly, Winnerstig said expressly that Assange exercises blackmail against Sweden. He refers to the “disclosures” Sweden was expecting around Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. In other words, Assange is clearly presented in Sweden not as a “crime suspect individual” but as the enemy of Sweden; the agent that has caused “the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility”! Carl Bildt’s Office contradicts itself I am aware that this may be difficult for non-Swedes to understand this context, since the “Assange case” is presented outside Sweden as a “legal case”. But here is a further contradiction. If it were so, as Sweden’s rulers say, a) that the case VS. Assange is “only legal” and only pertinent to the judicial system, and b) that Assange is a figure in decay, isolated and deprived of influence, etc., one question is; How come that the case deserves (for the first time in the history of Sweden, to the best of my knowledge) special information pages in Swedish and English in the official websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well of the Prosecutor Authority? Why would the very Prime Minister of Sweden care interfering publicly in “the independent legal case” of an “insignificant Assange”? [12] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn12) During 2012 several demonstrations in main cities of Sweden started to call for Bildt’s resignation. This was an odd event in “consensus” Sweden, but the news about the fall of Sweden’s international prestige was reaching domestic dimensions. It was then when the MSM sat in motion “Plan Z – Saving Minister Bildt”. The government had an alibi, it was not Bildt’s wrong doings; it was WikiLeaks, particularly Julian Assange, characterized as Sweden’s No 1 enemy. But it was not any longer the version of Assange attacking Sweden, but of WikiLeaks and Assange “targeting” concretely Carl Bildt. Which of course it was demonstrated a blunt lie. How the “case” Assange was used with this purpose I describe in detail in “Plan Z: The anti-WikiLeaks campaigns in the Swedish media. – Saving Minister Bildt?” Further, the “radical feminist” organizations acting in public events with the Swedish politicians that pushed the reopening of the case, [13] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn13) refer unequivocally in public banderols or press releases to “the case against the WikiLeaks founder”, which also denotes anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks as being the real target behind the “legal” pretence. This, in its turn, leads us to the superpowers and satellite governments that have been exposed by Assange’s organization. I am not referring to the Swedish feminist movement in general, neither to all “radical feminists”. I personally now many of these cadres and for whom I praise trust and respect. I am only referring to the fascist-wise feminists, often right-wing, which in spite of characterizing themselves of being “radical”, do not have the focus on societal issues – including gender inequality. They are instead focused in a “gender war” against men as such. In fact, they are more motivated by gaining positions of hierarchy amidst the cultural, political and corporate elites. They are, in alliance with fundamentalist academics carrying extreme, irrational anti-men positions, main ideological pillars of Swedish State Feminism. I argue that: i. Behind the Swedish “legal case” against Assange, there is a political case. Although Sweden is acting against the backdrop of the known WikiLeaks disclosures on this government, in the main is following Sweden’s current geopolitical and military alignment with the US *– partly concretized in “secret Intelligence agreements of collaboration”.[14] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn14) According to facts, Sweden is not a “Neutral” country. ii. The political aim in the case goes even beyond the destruction of WikiLeaks; it also aims to counteract the whistleblowing movement, among other measures, by means of terrorizing ad hominem.[15] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn15) In this regard, the Swedish mainstream media and State-owned media apparatus have deployed a consistent campaign, what has constituted a “Trial by media” on Julian Assange. iii. Sweden has further used the case for ideological purposes within its foreign policy; for instance, as a vehicle to proselytise ideological claims of Sweden’s state-feminism. iv. The management of the Swedish case has comprised breaches in the human rights of Julian Assange. v. In the context of the above issues, the characteristics of the Swedish legal system would not guarantee per se a fair trial of Julian Assange. vi. At the contrary of what is stated by Swedish sources, it is the Swedish government – and not the judicial system – which ultimately can decide the issue of extradition to a third country. The government is fully entitled to issue guarantees of a non-extradition.
[1] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref1) Retrieved 24 Jan 2014
[2] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref2) Fredrik Reinfeldt’s declarations in: “Beklagar att kvinnors rätt och ställning väger så lätt. Statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt (M) om Assange-fallet”. Aftonbladet, 8 Feb 2011.

[3] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref3) See Part II, ”The Trial By Media”.

[4] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref4) See Part V, on the Swedish legal system.

[5] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref5) UN Committee Against Torture, CAT/C/34/D/233/2003, 24 May 2005

[6] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref6) ”Broderskap” (Brotherhood), nowadays renamed to ”Faith & Solidarity”, is a Christian phalange within the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

[7] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref7) For sources, see chapter Duckpond In Swedish Legal System, in Part V in this book.

[8] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref8) The rationale was given both in written message, and in videotape.

[9] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref9) See my post ”Afghanistan, Lars Vilks, bomb, Sweden”. Professors blogg, 13 Dec 2010.

[10] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref10) SvT, ” Lars Vilks – konstnär och provokatör eller rasist? Uppdrag granskning, 28 Sept 2012.

[11] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref11) Trailer of the anti-Assange documentary by the Swedish National Television, SvT-1. 7 Apr 2011.

[12] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref12) Fredrik Reinfeldt has publicly implied that the Assange case is about a) the right of the two women b) to make the world to respect the Swedish legislation on sexual-offences.

[13] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref13) Politician Claes Borgström, formerly Ombudsman for gender issues appointed by the Persson government. His partner in the law firm Bodström & Borgström is the former Justice Minister of the same government, later a resident if the U.S. at Virginia.
[14] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref14) Some of the secret agreements on the Intelligence collaboration of Sweden with the US – mainly disclosed by the WikiLeaks Dipolmatic Cables of 2010 and subsequently by Edward Snowden revelation of 2013 – have been analysed by Prof. Wilhem Agrell, e.g. “Det är samma gamla lik som trillar ur garderoberna” (DN, 7 Dec 2010); “FRA spionage mot Ryska civila mål” (SvD, 7 Dec 2013).

[15] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftnref15) After the Assange case initiated in 2010, attacks ad hominem have followed also suit, e.g. against Aaron Swartz, Jeremy Hammons, and Edward Snowden.

David Guyatt
02-04-2014, 09:46 AM
It took a long time getting there but the crux of this essay is this:

Behind the Swedish “legal case” against Assange, there is a political case. Although Sweden is acting against the backdrop of the known WikiLeaks disclosures on this government, in the main is following Sweden’s current geopolitical and military alignment with the US *– partly concretized in “secret Intelligence agreements of collaboration”.[14] (http://professorsblogg.com/2014/02/03/dropassangecase/#_ftn14)

Magda Hassan
02-04-2014, 11:08 PM
Text Messages from Victim of Alleged Rape, Molestation Prove Assange Innocent: Wikileak Affidavit
By Johnlee Varghese (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/archives/articles/reporters/johnlee-varghese/): Subscribe to Johnlee's RSS feed (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/rss/articles/reporters/johnlee-varghese.rss) | February 4, 2014 5:16 PM IST

Wikileaks Founder Assange waving last June from the window of Ecuador's London (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/913/london/) embassy/Reuters

Even as members of Sweden's parliament have been stepping up pressure on prosecutors to question Julian Assange on the sexual allegations he faces in the country, Assange in a Wikileaks affidavit has claimed that text messages between the two alleged victims prove his innocence.
In the affidavit, which has been published on the WikiLeaks website (http://wikileaks.org/IMG/pdf/Swedish_Unlawful_Seizure_Complaint2013.pdf), Assange tries to prove his innocence, citing the text message sent by the alleged victims.
Assange, the WikiLeaks (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/842/wikileaks/) founder, has been living at Ecuador's embassy in London (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/913/london/) since the Latin American country granted him political asylum in the summer of 2012. He was arrested in the UK in December 2010 on a European Union (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/373/european-union/)-wide warrant requested by Sweden, over the rape and molestation allegations.
The allegation is that Assange raped one woman and molested another, during a visit to Stockholm in 2010. However, the affidavit has one alleged victim saying in a text message that "it was the police who made up the charges". The text message further adds that she "did not want to put any charges on JA but that the police were keen on getting a grip on him".
Assange has long maintained that the Swedish investigation is politically motivated and backed by Washington for speeding up his extradition to the US, where he claims he would be charged for publishing thousands of classified US government documents. The affidavit (http://wikileaks.org/IMG/pdf/Swedish_Unlawful_Seizure_Complaint2013.pdf) notes that the victim texted that she was "chocked [sic] when they arrested JA because she only wanted him to take a [STD] test".
Further quoting from the 'Agreed Facts' filed to the UK Supreme Court (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/388/court/), the affidavit noted: "During his visit he [Assange] had sexual intercourse with two women [AA and SW]. After AA and SW spoke to each other and realised that they had both had intercourse with the Appellant during the currency of his visit in circumstances where respectively they had or might have been or become unprotected against disease or pregnancy, SW wanted the Appellant to get tested for disease. On 20th August 2010 SW went to the police to seek advice. AA accompanied her for support. The police treated their visit as the filing of formal reports for rape of SW and molestation of AA."
The affidavit also gives out screen-shot link to the Twitter (http://www.ibtimes.co.in/topics/detail/368/twitter/) page of AA, who claimed that Assange never raped her. The actual tweet post, however, has been deleted.
In the most recent move, the Swedish government, which is yet to formally charge Assange, is mulling over a proposal to send prosecutors to the UK, to follow-up on the sexual misconduct inquiry.

Magda Hassan
02-04-2014, 11:09 PM

Magda Hassan
02-04-2014, 11:26 PM
End the circus and speak to Assange, urge Swedish MPs

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00516/4534e990-8ddf-11e3-_516976c.jpg Julian Assange has spent the past 19 months Times photographer Mary Turner

David Charter (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/profile/David-Charter)
Published 1 minute ago

Swedish MPs are losing patience with the legal impasse over the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent the past 19 months in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
They have urged prosecutors investigating sexual assault allegations against him to travel to London and question him at the embassy. The MPs said investigators should accept that Mr Assange would not go to Sweden voluntarily. It is the first sign of political unrest in Sweden over the saga.
The stand-off between Mr Assange, 42, and Marianne Ny, the prosecutor, began in June 2012 when he took refuge at the embassy, claiming that

Paywalled after this...


Peter Lemkin
02-05-2014, 05:09 AM
The Circus MUST go on.....if the USA is ever to get Assange via their friends in Sweden...which I believe has been the plan all along. This is SO out of character for the Swedish legal system and must have a hidden purpose behind it...which the good professor has explained in spades.

Magda Hassan
06-18-2014, 01:18 PM
The Assange legal team are about to make another submission with new evidence in his case. Julian will be giving a press conference in about an hour.

Drew Phipps
06-18-2014, 01:24 PM
What's funny about this is that my Netflix order for the "Fifth Estate" just arrived last night. Timely!

Magda Hassan
06-18-2014, 02:16 PM
What's funny about this is that my Netflix order for the "Fifth Estate" just arrived last night. Timely!

*Spoiler alert. It is a stinker of movie in regards to authenticity re Assange and some other aspects. But watch it anyway because it is not all bad either. Some good movies are Underground (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2357453/?ref_=tt_rec_tti) and We are Legion (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2177843/?ref_=tt_rec_tt) and Wiki Rebels documentary (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/wikirebels/) and Mediastan (https://wikileaks.org/Watch-MEDIASTAN.html) and Sex, Lies and Julian Assange (http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/110378/Sex_Lies_and_Julian_Assange_Full_Documentary_2012/)

Drew Phipps
06-21-2014, 01:41 AM
Did his lawyers make the new submission or say anything of import in the press conference?

Magda Hassan
06-21-2014, 04:18 AM
Hi Drew, here are some Storified Tweets of the press conference:

And here is the Reddit Ask Me Anything that Julian held before his press conference with the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Patino: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/28js8v/i_am_julian_assange_publisher_of_wikileaks_ask_me/

Here is Patino's transcript of the joint press coference but it is in Spanish: http://www.scribd.com/doc/230511535/Discurso-Del-Ministro-de-Relaciones-Exteriores-y-Movilidad-Humana-Quito-19-de-junio-del-2014

Court filing to remove warrant, 24 June 2014 As a result of new information, on Tuesday 24th of June at 1pm CET, Julian Assange’s lawyers will file a request to Stockholm District Court for the removal of the extradition request and the detention without charge, which have kept him in different forms of deprivation of liberty since 7 December 2010 (3.5 years).
Julian Assange’s case is Sweden’s longest running case of pre-trial, pre-charge deprivation of liberty. Julian Assange is in a legal no-man’s-land: the investigation is at the ’preliminary’ stage. Julian Assange has not been inicted so he cannot formally defend himself. The Swedish prosecutor refuses to question him in London, where the UK keeps 24 hour surveillance on the embassy at a cost to date of over GBP 6 million (see: http://govwaste.co.uk).
Assange obtained political asylum in relation to the United States criminal investigation against WikiLeaks in 2012. The United Kingdom and Sweden have both refused to give a guarantee that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the United States for his WikiLeaks activities. Earlier this week, 59 international organizations submitted complaints about the investigation against Julian Assange to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Read the reports to the UN Human Rights Commission:
http://justice4assange.com/prive/vignettes/pdf.png (http://justice4assange.com/IMG/pdf/NGOs_UPR_Sweden_English_.pdf)English SubmissionJoint Submission for the 21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review of the Kingdom of Sweden http://justice4assange.com/prive/vignettes/pdf.png (http://justice4assange.com/IMG/pdf/NGOs_UPR_Sweden_Spanish_1-2.pdf)NGO Submission Spanish (1)Suecia: Examen Periodico Universal - Sesion 21 2014-2018 http://justice4assange.com/prive/vignettes/pdf.png (http://justice4assange.com/IMG/pdf/NGOs_UPR_Sweden_Spanish_2_.pdf)UPR NGO Submission 3 (in Spanish)Pedido de mediación ante el gobierno de Suecia para la liberación del Señor Assange

Peter Lemkin
06-21-2014, 04:31 AM
Will be interesting to see what the new information is. By the way, this also marks his being a 'prisoner' in the Embassy for two years.

Drew Phipps
06-21-2014, 01:17 PM
So, basically, nothing new. Too bad.

Peter Lemkin
06-26-2014, 06:11 PM
Assange lawyers demand end to arrest warrant, release of evidence

Original here (http://rt.com/news/168372-swedish-arrest-evidence-assange/)

Julian Assange
(image by (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth) (http://rt.com/news/168372-swedish-arrest-evidence-assange/))

Julian Assange's lawyers are demanding Swedish prosecutors reveal texts from the woman in the "rape" scandal, currently hanging over the WikiLeaks founder. Changes in the law allow this and the defense team is appealing to cancel the arrest warrant.

"There is now a law which says that prosecutors in Sweden must give an account of the material they are using to build their case, and we have not seen that material yet," Thomas Olsson and Per E. Samuelson, Assange's lawyers, told Sveriges Radio, as cited by The Local.
Legislation from June 1 says that a suspect has the right to be made aware of "all the circumstances that have influenced a court's decision," said Bengt Ivarsson, president of the Swedish Bar Association.
Olsson and Samuelson believe that it could help them gain access to text messages that were sent by the girls who were allegedly raped by the WikiLeaks founder.
"The messages strongly suggest that there is no basis for the arrest and they are thus vital, so that he [Assange] can effectively tackle the arrest warrant," the defense lawyers wrote in an official request on Tuesday.
According to Olsson, the arrest warrant should be rescinded as it cannot be enforced while Assange is in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and Sweden won't consider the possibility of questioning the WikiLeaks founder in the UK's capital.

"In light of the significant impact this has on Assange's ability to move freely and to live a normal life, we think that it is unreasonable to uphold the decision," he told Reuters. "As I see it, the arguments for the unreasonableness of the situation are very strong, so we have very strong hopes that the court will change the decision."

Julian Assange
(image by Thomson Reuters (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/internet/news/edward-snowden-not-welcome-in-us-loyalist-britain-says-assange-379876))

Samuelson believes that "the new law gives [the defendants] more power."

"In 2011, we were allowed to read them and memorize them, but we do not have the full messages," he added.
Assange, NY forum talk Orwellian future, internet as "suppression" tool (http://rt.com/news/164416-assange-surveillance-internet-generation/)
Assange has been trapped at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he received political asylum in 2012, after Swedish authorities issued a warrant for his extradition. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of the rape and sexual assault of two women. Assange has vehemently denied all the charges.
According to the WikiLeaks frontman, the accusations are politically motivated and Sweden will hand him over to the US if he is extradited.
Assange wrote in his affidavit (http://wikileaks.org/IMG/html/Affidavit_of_Julian_Assange.html) that one of the women did not intend to press charges against him.
"While the younger woman was at the police station on 20 August 2010, her phone records show that she wrote that she did not want to press any charges on JA [Julian Assange], but that the police were keen on getting a grip on him," says the statement from the affidavit.
The woman said she was "shocked when they arrested JA because she only wanted him to take a test" and later told a friend that she felt that she had been "railroaded by police and others around her."
According to the younger woman's phone records: "I did not want to accuse JA for anything" it was the police who made up the charges."
FBI has an active criminal case against WikiLeaks' Assange -- court documents (http://rt.com/news/160176-fbi-court-probe-assange/)
The US Department of Justice opened an investigation into the activities of WikiLeaks in 2010, after it published US military and diplomatic documents leaked by Chelsea Manning (formerly PFC Bradley Manning) in Iraq. Manning has since been charged under the Espionage Act and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Magda Hassan
07-16-2014, 11:40 PM
Here is a copy of the live coverage of the Assange trial which happened yesterday. It was something of a travesty with the public and media being kicked out at stages. Shorter judgement: Assange still to remain in detention in absentia. Real crime: Pissing of the US.

At 13:00 today July 16, hearings are held in the Stockholm District Court whether to lift the almost-four-year-old detention in absentia for Julian Assange. This is live reporting from the court hearings, which will be followed by a press conference at the Police at 16:00.
(This page updates automatically, no need to refresh.)
Jul 16 18:52 - According to Associated Press, Assange’s lawyers (Thomas Olsson and Per E Samuelsson) will appeal (http://news.yahoo.com/swedish-court-upholds-detention-order-assange-161509661.html) today’s verdict.

Jul 16 18:41 - The official verdict from the Stockholm District Court, in English, is here (http://domstol.se/Om-Sveriges-Domstolar/Sveriges-Domstolars-pressrum/Nyheter-och-pressmeddelanden/Beslut-i-fraga-om-haktning-i-utevaro--Decision-concering-a-detention-order/).

Jul 16 18:39 - (No more news from today’s hearing. Liveblog ends.)

Jul 16 18:14 - It would increasingly appear as though Julian Assange’s actual crime was “pissing off the United States”, just like the operators of The Pirate Bay. The Defense was walking all over the Prosecution in this hearing, literally quoting chapter and verse to show on the record that they are – and I am not exaggerating – criminally lazy on the job.

Jul 16 18:08 - VERDICT: Julian Assange is to REMAIN in detention in absentia. Just announced.

Jul 16 17:28 - According to side-channels from the Court to Swedish media, the verdict will probably be further delayed: “18:00 at earliest”. This is, of course, just a qualified guess.

Jul 16 17:20 - It’s also important to remember that a lifted detention in absentia does not, repeat not, mean a closed or dismissed case. It does, however, mean that the Prosecution will have to deal respectfully with Assange without being able to restrict his movement in the continued investigation. If there is any.

Jul 16 17:18 - The press conference has still not started, despite being announced to start at 17:00.

Jul 16 17:17 - It’s been my consistent impression that the Defense was just steamrolling all over the Prosecution in this hearing. But this is a political trial, and I’ve seen those before. In those, common sense don’t apply, and the victor can be predetermined and therefore spit gibberish in the hearings if they like, they’ll still win.

Jul 16 17:14 - Regardless of appeals, if this court lifts its previous detention in absentia, it’s undoubtedly a brighter picture even on appeal. Still waiting for a verdict.

Jul 16 17:12 - It’s unclear whether and how this verdict (continued or discontinued detention) can be appealed, considering the Stockholm District Court issued the detention in absentia in the first place. If the same court lifts its previous order, how can that be appealed, and what are the precise mechanisms? Unsure.

Jul 16 17:08 - Press conference in Stockholm District Court, announcing the verdict, is about to start.

Jul 16 16:48 - Hearings are over [as of about 16:20]. The court closes its doors for deliberations.

Jul 16 16:48 - Prosecution, final statement: “The European Arrest Warrant did in no way prevent Assange from coming to Sweden. Quite the opposite, it would have made sure he traveled to Sweden. While this may have been a question of form and comfort rather than actual destination, the EAW did not prevent Assange from traveling to Sweden as such.”

Jul 16 16:46 - Defense: “This case also breaks three other Swedish judicial principles. One, use of force must not only be necessary and in the public interest. Two, it must also be effective, and the use of force must cease when it is no longer effective. In this case, the rules say, the detention shall – shall – be lifted. There’s also the question whether a continued detention is even legal. The court approved a detention because of a flight risk, which was a legitimate reason. However, we know now that this is no longer valid. It cannot be effectuated. The only reason for the Prosecution to keep him detained at this point is to pressure him into abandoning his right to asylum – and this is not legal. Detention may never be used against a defendant to force them into admitting guilt or to make them surrender rights. Third, the proportionality principle: no matter what happens, a continued detention has no positive effects for the Swedish state nor for this case, but it has enormous negative effects for Assange.”

Jul 16 16:46 - Defense plays back clips from Fox News and other channels with political commentators stating Assange should be assassinated, calling him a terrorist, an enemy of the state, his organization a “weapon of mass destruction”, illustrating a clear and present danger to his person justifying political asylum. Defense argues that this shows clearly that Assange needs to exercise his political asylum, without that action being motivated by evading Swedish law.

Jul 16 16:46 - Defense: “I’d like to play back this clip.” / Court: “That’s not possible. There’s a sound cable missing. Defense didn’t inform they’d be playing sound, just video.” Court starts digging through drawers looking for a sound cable for several minutes.

Jul 16 16:45 - Defense: “In an excerpt from Ecuador’s granting of asylum … it becomes clear that Ecuador is protecting Assange from Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Australia, from persecution in the United States. This has absolutely nothing to do with a Swedish legal case. The conclusion is that the assertion from the Prosecution that Assange only has himself to blame is nonsense on a pure legal basis; there are good reasons for political asylum which Ecuador has listed.”

Jul 16 16:45 - Defense: “In the UN Declaration of Human Rights, it’s clear that political asylum is not just a right to apply for, but also a right to enjoy and exercise, once granted. It’s absolutely clear that Prosecution’s points are in complete violation with international law.”

Jul 16 16:45 - Defense: “Applying for political asylum – is this even something reasonably encompassed in the concept of flight risk? First, you have to separate the application for asylum, and it actually being granted. If somebody is actively evading the law on their own, that’s one thing, but this is not what’s happened here. Assange can’t give himself this asylum. Prosecution is plain wrong in saying Assange did this on his own. He applied for political asylum, but a sovereign country granted it to him. That’s a legitimate mechanism. Granting somebody asylum can’t with any reason be construed to aid and abet a fugitive, of being a flight risk in the legal sense. International law requires respect for the institution of political asylum.”

Jul 16 16:44 - Defense: “Then what legal relevance does it have where the fingers are pointed? Prosecution is pointing at Assange, who applied for political asylum. We’re pointing at the Prosecution. It’s the Prosecution who have a duty under law to be active in an investigation, and not the defendant.“

Jul 16 16:44 - Defense: “By staying in the embassy, Assange has evaded British police and prevented effecutation of the detention, claims the Prosecution. He has chosen to stay in the embassy, they say. I’m not yet at that point, at proportionality. Rather, does the Prosecution have a legal right to stay passive? The answer, legally, is no. Prosecution is breaking the law in their handling of this case.”

Jul 16 16:44 - Defense: “The prosecution is actively choosing to refrain from completing the investigation, with the justification that “Assange must come to Sweden for a trial or jail anyway” — this is a behavior that’s disgraceful for the Prosecution. This is not up the Prosecution. A sentence is communicated by a Court, and not by the Prosecution.”

Jul 16 16:44 - Defense: “Since Assange has been granted political asylum, force can no longer be applied. The Court must lift the detention, and thereby force the Prosecution to move ahead with the investigation as a case where the defendant has freedom to roam.”

Jul 16 16:43 - Defense: “What else? Well, this weakens the Defense, too. Björn Hurtig asked for hearings in London in fall 2010. We asked the same July 4 2012 in a mail, and repeated it in an in-person meeting. If the Prosecution had done what they were legally obliged to do all along, we [the Defense] would also be able to see the entire case by now. The behavior of the Prosecution is damaging the ability for Assange to mount a legal defense, which is his right. Passivity on the behalf of the Prosecution is not acceptable.”

Jul 16 16:43 - Defense: “Hearings must be held in a time and place which brings the least inconvenience to the heard, unless there is significant danger to the investigation. This is a hard and fast law, and it is no secret at all where Assange is located. Prosecution is choosing to break this law.”

Jul 16 16:43 - Defense: “This investigation is in the exact same state today, in 2014, as it was four years ago, in 2010. This can lead to one or more hearings. But it’s not a complex investigation. After this hearing, it’s time for the Prosecution to decide whether to press charges or not. The fact that this has not moved at all in four years is due to the facts that Attorney Olsson [the other defense attorney] just enumerated: detention for one and a half years, and a political asylum with deadlock for two years. We are at a de-facto deadlock. The only action Prosecution intends to take is to wait out the arrest warrant and wait for Assange to be brought to Sweden. My question to this court: is the Prosecution even formally allowed to just sit down and wait, doing nothing? The response is a clear and resounding NO: This kind of passiveness is not allowed beacuse of actions on behalf of the defendant, in particular not within their legal rights. What duty does the Proseuction have to drive the investigation forward, rather than staying passive, offering nothing but a continued deadlock? Who bears the responsibility? The Court must carry this responsibility, for the Prosecution has shown no intention whatsoever to execute anything but passiveness in this case. The basic fault in the thought process with the Prosecution is that they’re just pointing fingers and find it possible to sit down and do absolutely nothing, which is in violation of the right to a speedy trial ["skyndsamhetskrav"] in the law.”

Jul 16 16:43 - Court has resumed [at 15:20]. Because of connectivity issues in the courtroom, the timestamps won’t match – they’re spread out from 15:20 onward, in reality. They’re posted after recess because the courtroom prevented mobile phone signals.

Jul 16 14:59 - The court takes a twenty-minute break.

Jul 16 14:59 - Defense repeats earlier points that Prosecution must have understood that Assange can’t stay in Sweden forever, and that Assange can be hard to reach, and hammers home the point that absolutely nothing in this justifies the use of force that Prosecution has applied.

Jul 16 14:58 - Defense: “There’s a completely unreasonable dragging-out of time here, causing significant harm to Assange. It has been in everybody’s interest to just go there and hear him, but this hasn’t even been tried.”

Jul 16 14:57 - Defense accuses Prosecution of being plain lazy in not going to London to hear Assange. “It’s too much work.”

Jul 16 14:56 - Defense compares to a case where somebody was suspected of genocide, a much more serious crime, and had been detained for three years. This had been appealed to the European Court of Justice, and after three years, the case was dropped because the defendant had not had a speedy trial. This case has now dragged on for three and a half years. “If he hadn’t complained to the ECJ, he wouldn’t have been detained for three years, so it’s his own fault”, by the Prosecution’s logic. However, the Supreme Court is brutal in its verdict that a person exhausting their legal options cannot and must not be held against them.

Jul 16 14:52 - Defense: “Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador on August 16, 2012. There has been a clear and present danger in the form of threats from the United States, ranging from extradition to plain assassination and execution. The United Kingdom is bound to respect Ecuador’s asylum. Assange has been on the Ecuadorian embassy since June 19, 2012, which has cost the British [enormous amount] and which the British is starting to consider Sweden liable for. In all this time, Assange has not even been able to go outdoors, something normally considered a human right – even detainees in jail are given outdoors time. However, since Assange has shown no intention of surrendering his asylum, there is no purpose to continued detention: it serves no purpose and must therefore be lifted. Assange has a full legal right to maintain his political asylum, and therefore, the detention serves no further purpose. This has now dragged on for three years and six months. In this time, in all this time, Assange has been restrained in various ways, everything from jail to something resembling a permanent house arrest.”

Jul 16 14:47 - Defense: “During these one and a half years, Assange has not been able to maintain a normal life. This is not a British citizen but an Australian citizen. He has been unable to have an income, unable to keep in touch with his family. He has been trapped in a foreign country, unable to fulfill professional or social obligations. Prosecution has used very unusual force in locking Assange in London in this way.”

Jul 16 14:45 - Defense: “During these one and a half years, Assange’s freedom was severely restricted: he was unable to travel, unable to see his family, and unable to have an income, and this was solely use to Prosecution’s actions and use of force. It is clear to the Defense that the Prosecution has been obligated to go to London and hear him: Assange has been unable to travel to Sweden because of Prosecution’s very actions. Defense refers to a case where the prosecution says it’s “impractical” to hear a defendent abroad, coming across as plain lazy. This case was struck down by the Supreme Court for the specific reason that the defendant had repeatedly invited Prosecution to hear him on location. Defense draws clear and direct parallels to this case, except this case is much more serious with disproportionate effects.

Jul 16 14:41 - Defense: “On December 7, Assange was apprehended and detained in London. From December 16, he was electronically shackled with an obligation to report daily to a police station. He was in partial house arrest. He had had his passport rescinded, and had been ordered by a court to not acquire travel documents. So from December 7, 2010, until June 14, 2012, Assange had no practical possibility of coming to Sweden for a hearing. Prosecution’s argument that Julian could have let himself be arrested is nonsense; an accused always has a right to exhaust their legal options, and this must never be held against them.”

Jul 16 14:39 - Defense: “There has never ever been a statement from Assange to refuse a hearing.”

Jul 16 14:37 - Defense: “It’s easy to see, looking at the time frame leading up to September 27, that Assange has showed up to a hearing, has stayed in Sweden, has asked the prosecution whether there would be a problem leaving Sweden, and that Assange could not stay in Sweden indefinitely waiting for whatever the Prosecution was doing. Nowhere here is there anything constituting anything resembling a flight risk (in the legal sense). Also, there was nothing preventing Prosecution and Assange to agree on a date for a hearing, and there was a tentative date set in October. It’s correct that it was hard to reach Assange. But this was a PRACTICAL matter, which does never constitute a flight risk. Flight risk must be based on intent of flight, not practical difficulties.“

Jul 16 14:34 - Defense: “Assange leaving Sweden on September 27, 2010 was planned well in advance and was based on a planned keynote in Berlin, and was not related to this case or any imaginary flight risk.”

Jul 16 14:33 - Defense enumerates the threat situations against Assange, and shows an article from American media with the headline “Assassinate Assange”, with his face on a target. Defense argues that it’s beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a clear and present danger against Assange’s person, and that he has reason to fear being abducted to the United States and fear for his health, liberty, and even life. By reason of this, Defense argues, Assange has a good and valid reason to be careful to announce his whereabouts at all times, and that this had absolutely nothing to do with this case.

Jul 16 14:30 - Defense: “One can clearly see that when these charges were filed, including when the decision was made to re-open some dismissed charges, Assange was visiting Sweden. He’s an Australian citizen and well known; it comes to a surprise to no one that he does a lot of travel and works internationally. Therefore, it’s unreasonable to assume that Assange had no need whatsoever to leave the country to do ordinary work. Still, Assange deliberately chose to stay in Sweden and showed up to the first hearing on August 30 [2010]. He shows no flight tendencies whatsoever. After that point, Assange stayed in Sweden until September 27. There were a few contacts between Prosecution and Defense in this time frame, when Defense asked if there was anything preventing Assange from leaving the country. Therefore, Prosecution was well aware that Assange had an interest in international travel.”

Jul 16 14:27 - Defense: “Prosecution hasn’t taken any action that would indicate this is a matter of a serious nature. Even if there would be a public interest to theoretically move ahead with all charges ever filed, the nature of this case clearly shows that the ends can’t justify the means.”

Jul 16 14:25 - Defense: “As for how these allegations were originally filed, there are considerable irregularities. The intention of the original accusers were NOT to press charges but something completely different, and there is considerable doubt whether the alleged actions even constitute a criminal act.”

Jul 16 14:24 - Defense: “As for the flight risk: this may be acceptable as an argument in the general case. However, in this case specifically, there are several facts talking against a public interest of allowing any means imaginable to conduct this investigation, in particular the unacceptable time elapsed. First, the allegations are not one of the more serious crimes in the Swedish Law. We’re not talking about murder, genocide or terrorism. The Court must consider that the severity of the alleged crimes presented by the Prosecution is limited, and can’t justify any arbitrary use of force against a suspect.”

Jul 16 14:21 - Defense: “The third principle is the principle of expedience, saying that any accused has the right to a speedy trial. These three principles are pillars in a democratic state. Putting a suspect in detention during the entire investigation would be considered by many to be considerably more use of force than sentencing somebody to jail following a trial – and, importantly: detention is only allowed to be used as an exceptional tool. It is not allowed to be used to be used by Prosecution and Police as a general rule or to get less work.”

Jul 16 14:19 - Defense criticizes Prosecution that any unclarity must speak to the favor of the defendant, rather than in favor of use of more force.

Jul 16 14:18 - Defense criticizes Prosecution that they haven’t justified how a continued detention remains in the public interest (European Convention on Human Rights specifies that a restriction in freedom must be necessary, effective, and proportionate).

Jul 16 14:17 - Defense calls on European Convention on Human Rights point 5.3, the presumtion of innocence.

Jul 16 14:17 - Defense: “There are three principles here. The necessity and proportionality principles, being applicable on the detention themselves, but also on the effectuation of this detention. Defense argues that you can’t effecutate a detention by any means available [letting the ends justify the means] but must evaluate whether the means applied must be evaluated whether they are proportionate to the presumed gains.”

Jul 16 14:15 - Defense: “We claim this detention must be lifted. Is it reasonable to keep Assange detained given these circumstances? Prosecution brings up three issues, and in combination, Defense means they lead to unreasonable consequences. The first is the time passed. In Assange’s case, it’s the lack of progress in the case that has the real effect [and not an arbitrary day count in jail]. The second is the effects to Assange’s personal situation and the restrictions on his freedom, in real effect. The third is how the case has been handled by the Prosecution, and specificially, the Prosecution’s refusal to go to London to hear Assange.

Jul 16 14:12 - Defense opens.

Jul 16 14:12 - Prosecution compares to other cases which appear peripheral to the argumentation. Prosecution closes: “There are no reasons whatsoever to re-evaluate this detention. There is a clear and present flight risk and we don’t consider a continued detention disproportionate.”

Jul 16 14:11 - Prosecution: “We do not consider a continued detention disproportionate. Assange has not been formally detained more than ten days; he has chosen to restrict his own freedom over and above in Ecuador’s embassy in London, but we argue that the time detained should count as the ten days in British jail. His time in the embassy is not a restriction of freedom effected and under control of the State.”

Jul 16 14:09 - Prosecution: “We have tried the question of hearing Assange in London and dismissed the idea as not effective.”

Jul 16 14:08 - Prosecution: “We would not be able to conduct a secure and just investigation, were we to go to London to conduct the hearings.” Prosecution compares to a case where they did go abroad, which was a case concerning economic crime.

Jul 16 14:06 - Prosecution: “There are several reasons we haven’t made hearings in London. This kind of allegation don’t work well for leaving public defenders or prosecutors on foreign soil, and we can’t apply force for taking DNA samples and similar if we consider it necessary. Besides, we can’t hold a trial in London. We’ve re-evaluated this continuously.”

Jul 16 14:04 - Prosecution: “We have exhausted everything speaking in favor of the defendant. There’s nothing we’re withholding from his lawyers in that regard.”

Jul 16 14:02 - Prosecution appears trying to define political asylum as a “flight risk”.

Jul 16 14:02 - Prosecution: “We are arguing that Assange has deliberately refused to come to Sweden for this hearing … and have learned that Assange has no intention of coming to Sweden to such a hearing … which we consider to fill the definition of a flight risk.” Prosecution handwaves and tries to diminish a point of proportionality, which the defense will probably pounce on.

Jul 16 14:00 - Prosecution talks about the possibility of traveling to London to hear Julian Assange. “We didn’t know where he was until December. We also tried repeated attempts to contact Assange through his lawyer, Björn Hurtig. This led to prosecutor Marianne Ny detaining Assange in absentia on Sep 27 2010.” … “These statements that the Prosecution has failed trying to hear Assange are forcefully refuted.” … “Detaining in absentia appeared as the only way to proceed with the investigation.”

Jul 16 13:57 - Prosecution begins talking about “risk of flight”.

Jul 16 13:57 - “The negotiations are now public again.” We are let back into the room. Guards remind us that no recording of sound or video is permitted.

Jul 16 13:56 - It’s been over 30 minutes since the doors closed when the defense wanted to show something on-screen, after the first few minutes where the court just exchanged opening pleasantries. The effect of today’s proceedings remains uncertain: if the detention in absentia in Sweden is lifted, that’s one thing, but what’s keeping Julian Assange locked into a room in an Ecuadorian embassy is an Interpol Red Notice. In other words, the internation arrest warrant must be revoked, which is a separate step from lifting the Swedish detention. Will the Prosecution do that if they lose today’s proceedings? They would be supposed to.

Jul 16 13:55 - It’s been over 30 minutes since the doors closed when the defense wanted to show something on-screen, after the first few minutes where the court just exchanged opening pleasantries. The effect of today’s proceedings remains uncertain: if the detention in absentia in Sweden is lifted, that’s one thing, but what’s keeping Julian Assange locked into a room in an Ecuadorian embassy is an Interpol Red Notice. In other words, the internation arrest warrant must be revoked, which is a separate step from lifting the Swedish detention. Will the Prosecution do that if they lose today’s proceedings? They would be supposed to.

Jul 16 13:47 - Still waiting. More nothing.

Jul 16 13:39 - We’re still waiting outside of room 27. There are quite a few reporters here talking to members of the public, including from the large news agencies. They’re typing a lot on laptops, despite oxygen-starved standing room only.

Jul 16 13:30 - We’re still standing outside room 27 with no sign of what’s happening behind closed doors.

Jul 16 13:22 - We of the public are standing waiting outside room 27 in the Stockholm District Court.

Jul 16 13:20 - Network is painfully inadequate. (Testing.)

Jul 16 13:19 - Before the doors closed, prosecutor and defender presented their respective stances. No surprises there: Defense; “we call for the detention of Julian Assange to be lifted, effective immediately”. Prosecution: “We object to this motion and call for its dismissal.” After that, the defense wanted to “show something” on-screen, at which point the court closed its doors to the public. This is not unusual for sensitive parts of trials dealing with privacy-sensitive material.

Jul 16 13:14 - Parties greet each other. The court starts off by closing its doors and chasing everybody out, to resume public parts later.

Jul 16 13:10 - Call over the PA system: “Renewed-detention negotiations, Prosecutor v Assange. Parties and representatives are called to room 37″. Room 27 opens; we of the public pour in.

Jul 16 13:04 - It’s almost five past the hour, and the room has still not opened. Rumors in the audience here say that the press conference with the Police afterward won’t be open to the public and is by pre-announced presence only.

Jul 16 13:03 - Some people have asked me why I haven’t taken a clear stance on this issue. The explanation is simple: since I have first-hand observations of the events surrounding the allegations, if this should ever come to trial, I would be a defense witness (and I have left a deposition with the Police to that effect). Therefore, I have refrained from speculating on the case in the media, given that such speculation could burn my testimony, and I consider that to be more valuable than a random voice with opinions. When people have asked me about my opinions anyway, I have pointed to the fact that I’m slated to be a defense witness and asked them if they can draw any conclusions from that, refusing to elaborate further.

Jul 16 13:00 - The room (27) has not opened yet. Maybe 30 people of the public are gathered outside. I recognize many or most of them.

Jul 16 12:58 - Test

Jul 16 12:57 - Only people with media accreditation are being let into the room where the actual court proceedings are held (room 37 in the Stockholm District Court) – the public is only welcome to an audio feed of the proceedings, which is fed to a room on a different floor (room 27). This mirrors the mock trial of The Pirate Bay, which was done the same way, in this very court, actually.


David Guyatt
07-17-2014, 06:55 AM
So, let that be a lesson to anyone that judges aren't independent but do what they're told by the state. Law is politics under a different guise.

Magda Hassan
03-11-2015, 11:49 AM
Assange appeal to be heard by Supreme Court Published: 11 Mar 2015 10:27 GMT+01:00
(http://www.thelocal.se/20150311/assange-appeal-to-be-heard-by-supreme-court#) (http://www.thelocal.se/20150311/assange-appeal-to-be-heard-by-supreme-court#) (http://www.thelocal.se/20150311/assange-appeal-to-be-heard-by-supreme-court#)
Sweden's Supreme Court has agreed to hear Julian Assange's appeal to have the European arrest warrant against him lifted, as the Wikileaks founder continues to fight extradition to the Nordic nation following rape and sex assault allegations.

Julian Assange is wanted for questioning in Stockholm following sex allegations made by two different Swedish women in 2010, claims which he denies.

Sweden's Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it would consider the Australian's appeal against the decisions of two lower Swedish courts, which ruled that an arrest warrant against him should stand, paving the way for police to question him in Stockholm.

In a statement it said that it had reached the decision in the light of the "conduct of investigations and the principle of proportionality".

Last month, one of Assange's lawyers, Per Samuelson told The Local (http://www.thelocal.se/20150225/julian-assange-in-final-arrest-warrant-appeal) that his team's submission focussed on the contention that his freedoms had been unreasonably restricted since he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He has not left the embassy for two years and according to Samuelson "he has not taken one step outdoors. He has not even leaned out of the window".

Assange, 43, has long argued that extradition to Sweden could lead to him being transferred to the United States to face trial over Wikileaks' publication of classified US military and diplomatic documents. Last week a US court confirmed that a criminal investigation into his activities and those of Wikileaks was ongoing.


Magda Hassan
03-13-2015, 11:38 AM
This might be a game changer. Sweden seeking to interview Assange in London.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accepts Sweden's offer to question him in London
Published on Mar 13, 2015 6:12 PM
PRINT (http://www.straitstimes.com/st/print/3572802) EMAIL

Picture taken on Aug 18, 2014, shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gesturing during a press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange has been holed up for two years. Swedish prosecutors have asked for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's approval to question him in London where he is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, the prosecutors said on Friday. -- PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (Reuters/AFP) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will accept an offer by Swedish prosecutors to be questioned in London over rape allegations, his lawyer told AFP on Friday. “We are cooperating with the investigation,” Mr Per Samuelsson said. “He will accept,” he added, adding that his client welcomed the prosecutors’ move, which could lead to a breakthrough in the five-year case.
Swedish prosecutors had asked for Mr Assange's approval to question him over allegations of sexual assault in London, where he is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, the prosecutors said on Friday. The prosecutor is also asking to conduct a DNA test.
The Swedish lawyer also welcomed prosecutors’ request on Friday to interview him in London, but said the process could take some time. “We welcome and see it also as a big victory... for Julian Assange that what we have demanded is finally going to happen,” Mr Per Samuelson told Reuters..

He said, however, the request was accompanied by a number of formal requirements including that both Britain and Ecuador give their permission for the interview. “That means that could take time, despite the fact that we are in a hurry.”
Mr Assange has been stuck inside the South American country's London embassy since June 2012 to avoid a British extradition to Sweden. Sweden wants to question him on allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he denies. The Australian says he fears that if Britain extradited him to Sweden he would then be extradited to the United States, where he could be tried for one of the largest information leaks in US history.


David Guyatt
03-13-2015, 01:28 PM
That really is a major shift isn't it. I sense Assange is going to be able to be free soon.

Carsten Wiethoff
03-13-2015, 01:29 PM
From http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31867829

The lead Swedish prosecutor explained the change of strategy by saying some
potential charges against Mr Assange would expire under the statute of
limitations in August.

"My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the
Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview," Marianne
Ny said in a statement.

"Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to
accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that
the interview does not move the case forward."

Magda Hassan
03-13-2015, 02:19 PM
That really is a major shift isn't it. I sense Assange is going to be able to be free soon.

Maybe. Sort of. Not really. Even if Sweden drops all legal matters against him there is still a British warrant for his arrest because he didn't show up while he was under UK arrest for the European Arrest Warrant for extradition to Sweden which they might no longer pursue after they go to London instead of making him go to Sweden. If you follow me that is....

From http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31867829

The lead Swedish prosecutor explained the change of strategy by saying some
potential charges against Mr Assange would expire under the statute of
limitations in August.

"My view has always been that to perform an interview with him at the
Ecuadorean embassy in London would lower the quality of the interview," Marianne
Ny said in a statement.

"Now that time is of the essence, I have viewed it therefore necessary to
accept such deficiencies in the investigation and likewise take the risk that
the interview does not move the case forward."

What a gross abuse of the law Sweden has indulged in. They could have done this any time and JA hasn't seen sunshine for 4 years and may as well have been in a prison cell for all that matters. Not to mention the women they are using/abusing over all of this as well.

David Guyatt
03-14-2015, 08:59 AM

Magda Hassan
08-10-2015, 10:20 AM
Swedish prosecutors have been accused of "victimising" Julian Assange after it was revealed they had interviewed 44 people in the UK but were refusing to question the WikiLeaks founder in the London embassy where he is living.

Supporters said Mr Assange was being "singled out" after he agreed to be interviewed inside the Ecuador embassy over sex allegations in Sweden - which he denies.

The Australian has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but fears that if he goes to Sweden he will be taken to the United States for questioning about the activities of WikiLeaks.
A Freedom of Information request by the Hazel Press news organisation revealed that Sweden has been granted 44 requests to interview a witness or suspect in the UK since 2010.
Jen Robinson, a member of the Assange legal team, said important questions were now being raised.
She told the Press Association: "First, they refused to take his testimony while he remained in Sweden. Then they refused to hear it in the UK, saying it was illegal to come here. Five years later, after being rebuked by their own courts, they say they'll consider it.
"Now we find out that not only was it standard practice all along, but that 44 other people in the UK were interviewed by Sweden during this same time period.
"Instead of hearing what he had to say, the prosecutor chose to cast a shadow of suspicion over Julian by seeking his extradition. We offered his testimony from London before the arrest warrant was issued, and have continued to offer it since.
"The prosecutor could have - and should have - availed herself of this mechanism to progress the investigation. Denying him this possibility for five years is the original injustice that has enabled many more injustices in his case.
"Julian hasn't been charged, yet he is being punished."
Ms Robinson said the cost of the round-the-clock policing of the embassy in Knightsbridge was now more than £12 million.
"The situation could have been resolved five years ago, exactly as we said it could, by taking Julian's statement in the UK.
"Will the Cameron government spend another £12 million to detain a person who hasn't been charged, simply because Sweden refuses to make use of the mechanisms available to resolve Julian's case?"
Mr Assange has been living inside the embassy for over three years.
A statement by the Ecuador Embassy said: " The Embassy of Ecuador to the United Kingdom clarifies that on no occasion has any representative of the Kingdom of Sweden presented themselves at the embassy in relation to the Assange matter.
"The Republic of Ecuador already made the sovereign decision to grant the journalist Julian Assange asylum on 16 August 2012. At no point has the Republic of Ecuador asked the Kingdom of Sweden to grant Mr Assange asylum."
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Press Association: "The Swedish prosecutors are guilty of double standards and victimisation. They've interviewed 44 people in the UK since 2010. Why not Assange? They are making an exception of him. He's being singled out and treated differently.
"It is wrong to deny Assange the option to be interviewed in the UK, which has been extended to others and which he has been offering for five years.
"The Swedish authorities are not applying the law about overseas interviews consistently and fairly. They are acting in an exceptional and discriminatory way towards Assange.
"Julian Assange has been in various forms of detention for five years, without ever having been charged with any offence. This amounts to pre-trial punishment and is a gross abuse of his human rights and the legal system."

Peter Lemkin
08-13-2015, 02:37 PM
Two events today. Sweden said they are about to drop some of the charges against Assange. This is a mis-statement and twisting of the truth. These will expired their statue of limitations. However, the most egregious charge of rape remains.

Second, Britain is to make a "formal protest" to Ecuador over its harboring of Julian Assange. Maybe they are tired of paying the enormous costs of police surveillance 24-7-365 [more than 12 000 000 pounds]; but more likely just hoping to pressure Assange into stepping out so they can send him to his death in US hands (for telling truths the USA didn't want told).

Ah, Justice....something no longer afoot in the Western World when it comes to speaking truth to power.
Swedish prosecutors reportedly set to drop Assange sex crime charges

Statute of limitations looms in charges against WikiLeaks founder, who is holed up in Ecuadorean Embassy in London

August 12, 2015 1:28PM ET

Swedish officials said Wednesday they were making last-minute attempts (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/13/swedish-prosecutors-offer-to-question-julian-assange-in-london.html) to quiz WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over sex crimes allegations despite reports that prosecutors were resigned to dropping the investigation because of the statute of limitations.
Assange, an Australian who escaped a Swedish arrest warrant by taking refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2012, is wanted on two allegations of sexual molestation and one of unlawful coercion, which will fall under the statute of limitations on Aug. 18 unless he is formally charged. A fourth allegation of rape is valid until 2020.
With time running out, the BBC reported that prosecutors in Sweden were preparing to announce Thursday that they were dropping the investigation.

http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2015/4/28/swedens-top-court-says-will-hear-assange-appeal-over-arrest-warrant/jcr:content/image.adapt.480.high.assange_081814.1439407848470. jpg

Sweden’s top court will hear Assange appeal over arrest warrant

WikiLeaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, fearing extradition to Sweden


Assange, 44, has denied the allegations and said he has no intention of going to Sweden for fear of being extradited to the United States because of an ongoing investigation into WikiLeaks' dissemination of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents.
Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman at Sweden's prosecution authority, said that Assange and British authorities have agreed he be questioned in London but that prosecutors have not heard back from Ecuadorean Embassy officials despite attempts to contact them in March and June.
The Ecuadorean Embassy said in a statement Monday that "on no occasion has any representative of the kingdom of Sweden presented themselves at the embassy in relation to the Assange matter." The embassy didn't immediately respond to requests for further comment Wednesday.
"Even though the prosecutor is obliged to drop the [three] cases that will expire ... the rape [allegation] still stands," Rosander said. She did not want to speculate whether the prosecutor would abandon the prosecution.
One of Assange's Swedish defense lawyers, Thomas Olsson, said that if the three cases are dropped, "it will not change anything for Assange," since the arrest warrant remains in force. "I believe the case should have been closed long ago because the evidence is weak."
Justice Ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Riddselius said that Sweden and Ecuador have agreed to start talks on an agreement of mutual legal assistance but that it was unclear if it could open the possibility of questioning Assange at the embassy.
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press

Albert Doyle
08-13-2015, 07:04 PM
Get him to that great bastion of freedom, transparency of government, and the scared right to dissent, America where he'll be tortured in a CIA torture Gulag.

Peter Lemkin
08-13-2015, 07:23 PM
You'd think Seal Team 6 could find a way to get him out to bring him to the 'Promised Land' for some of that good 'ol Americanstylejustice!...they did such a nice job with OBL, after all...this would be a cinch compared to that.

Shame on Australia for abandoning their own citizen. Shame on Sweden for the obvious. Shame on Britain and Shame on the USA who have had an active several-year secret Grand Jury running on Assange. He'd have to stay there five more years to not have any outstanding Swedish charges against him. Sweden certainly doesn't seem to be acting on the 'offer' to interview Assange in London....no doubt with the connivance of Britain and more so the USA. So it goes.... Secret government rules and seeks to plug all leaks of truth - nothing is more dangerous to the Deep Political Class than the plebs knowing the truth of their dirty deeds!

Magda Hassan
08-14-2015, 04:47 AM
Even if all of the Swedish charges are dropped or expired he wont be able to leave the Embassy because the UK still has charges against him on the International Arrest Warrant on the now non existent Swedish charges. And in this Kaftaesque world I wouldn't out it past them to spring that on him if he stepped out the door of the embassy.

Peter Lemkin
08-14-2015, 09:26 AM
Even if all of the Swedish charges are dropped or expired he wont be able to leave the Embassy because the UK still has charges against him on the International Arrest Warrant on the now non existent Swedish charges. And in this Kaftaesque world I wouldn't out it past them to spring that on him if he stepped out the door of the embassy.

Most know that embassies and nations can send diplomatic pouches without their being searched or interfered with. What few people know is that a diplomatic pouch is only a term, not a literal pouch of any specific size of material. They can be small or they can be rather large. I am not aware that they can not contain a person, as they often have contained explosives, weapons, drugs and all sorts of other 'non-paper' items. Why not put Assange in one and send him to wherever. Of course, as the Brits and US have the Ecuadorian embassy bugged up the yazoo, nothing would be a secret, but would the UK dare to violate the International Conventions that apply to all diplomats?.....the answer could be yes...but we don't know.

Some international court or court with universal jurisdiction needs to be brought in....it might shame them into a compromise, if an outright win might not be secured. If Australia would only enter into the fray, I think a solution could be found...but they have abandoned their own.

Magda Hassan
08-14-2015, 12:00 PM
Of course, as the Brits and US have the Ecuadorian embassy bugged up the yazoo, nothing would be a secret, but would the UK dare to violate the International Conventions that apply to all diplomats?.....the answer could be yes...but we don't know.

Some international court or court with universal jurisdiction needs to be brought in....it might shame them into a compromise, if an outright win might not be secured. If Australia would only enter into the fray, I think a solution could be found...but they have abandoned their own.

I wouldn't put it past them at all. Ecuador is just some provincial back water in South America for them. Doesn't even produce any thing of value for them not even much cocaine. They almost raided the embassy the night he arrived there. The only thing I am holding out for is a Jeremy Corbyn win if he is leader of the Labour party and then he might even actually offer Assange asylum. It would be the sort of thing he might do.

If Australia would only enter into the fray, I think a solution could be found...but they have abandoned their own.

Not the first time they have done it. They abandoned David Hicks and Mamdoud Habib in Guantanamo for years and years with out charges. Different governments but working for the same man.

Lauren Johnson
08-14-2015, 02:24 PM
The only thing I am holding out for is a Jeremy Corbyn win if he is leader of the Labour party and then he might even actually offer Assange asylum. It would be the sort of thing he might do.

Corbyn has chosen an honorable, courageous, and personally dangerous path. May he live long and prosper, or I should say succeed.

Magda Hassan
10-19-2015, 12:33 PM
UK playing games with people's lives. Just pawns in their game that only they have the rules for. Rules they make up as they go along. God forbid if you don't play their rules though.

UK resisted Julian Assange’s offer to be questioned in London, emails reveal Documents show CPS told Swedish authorities it would ‘not be prudent’ to interview WikiLeaks founder inside Ecuadorian embassy

Press Association
Monday 19 October 2015 21.59 AEDT Last modified on Monday 19 October 2015 22.15 AEDT

Save for later (https://profile.theguardian.com/save-content?INTCMP=DOTCOM_ARTICLE_SFL&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fmedia %2F2015%2Foct%2F19%2Fuk-resisted-julian-assange-questioned-london-emails&shortUrl=/p/4ddkt&platform=web:Firefox:wide)

Julian Assange (http://www.theguardian.com/media/julian-assange) has expressed shock after new documents revealed fresh details about the involvement of UK authorities in the long-running saga that has seen the WikiLeaks founder live inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past three years.
He was granted political asylum after fighting extradition to Sweden where he faced sex allegations, which he has always denied. Assange fears that if he goes to Sweden he will be taken to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks (http://www.theguardian.com/media/wikileaks).
He has offered to be interviewed inside the embassy in London but attempts to set up a meeting have foundered.
Emails obtained by Italian news magazine L’Espresso under the Freedom of Information Act showed that Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service wrote to the Swedish authorities in 2011, saying it would “not be prudent” for them to interview Assange in the UK.
“Any attempt to interview him under strict Swedish law would invariably be fraught with problems,” said one email, dated 25 January 2011. Another email dated 13 January 2011 said: “Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request.”
Assange said: “This is astonishing. I have been on the phone with my lawyers all morning and they are as shocked as I am.”
More details soon . . .

Magda Hassan
10-19-2015, 01:19 PM
Emails can be viewed at the link below. Excellent work by Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi from L'Espresso.

Five years confined: New Foia documents shed light on the Julian Assange case The role of the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers in advising the Swedish prosecutors, their comments on the extradition case as not being handled as just another extradition request, the questioning in the embassy that never took place. Files obtained by l'Espresso under the Freedom of Information Act provide a five-year account of the Swedish case against the WikiLeaks founder

http://espresso.repubblica.it/polopoly_fs/1.235132.1445006424%21/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/articolo_648/image.jpg The Scotland Yard agents encircling the embassy and guarding Julian Assange night and day have been removed. But the police siege which is estimated to have cost 12 million pounds over the last three years is far from over, as the Metropolitan police admits in its press release: Scotland Yard «will make every effort to arrest him», deploying «a number of overt and covert tactics».

He has been confined in the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge since June 19th, 2012. Next December 7th will mark five years since the founder of WikiLeaks lost his freedom, ending up first under house arrest and then confined in the embassy in a roughly 20 square-meter room. «Despite the efforts of many people», wrote Scotland Yard last week, «there is no imminent prospect of a diplomatic or legal resolution to this issue». A clear admission that the judiciary case against Julian Assange has become a legal and diplomatic quagmire.

L'Espresso has filed two comprehensive Freedom of Information Act (Foia) requests in Sweden and Britain to access the Assange file and reconstruct the case. We have requested documents from the Swedish Prosecution Authority in Stockholm – which has been conducting a criminal investigation for the last five years on Assange, still in its preliminary phase - and from the "Crown Prosecution Service" in London, the principal prosecuting authority for England and Wales, which has provided support to the Swedish Prosecution Authority on the Assange case. While the British have rejected all of our Foia requests, the Swedish released 226 pages of documents to l'Espresso.

Whether these pages represent a major portion of the Assange file or only a small set of documents is hard to say. To our request on the exact number of pages held by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the Swedish replied that it was impossible to say, as many documents only exist as individual electronic documents, requiring too many resources to count all the pages. Instead the Crown Prosecution Service replied that the task was not possible for the opposite reason: the information is voluminous and mostly held in paper format, hence ascertaining the exact number of pages would be too time-consuming and expensive.

The documents on the Assange Case

The files obtained under Foia reveal that from the very beginning, the "Crown Prosecution Service" in London advised the Swedish prosecutors against the investigative strategy that could have led to a quick closure of the preliminary investigation: questioning Assange in London – as he has requested on many occasions - rather than extraditing him to Stockholm, as the Swedish prosecutors have always tried to do.

In January 2011, not even two months after Julian Assange had been arrested in London, a lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr. Paul Close, strongly advised the Swedish magistrates against questioning the WikiLeaks' founder in London. According to Close, the appropriate strategy was to interview him «only on his surrender to Sweden and in accordance with Swedish law». Writing to the Swedish prosecutors, Mr. Close sustains that «it is simply amazing how much work this case is generating. It sometimes seems like an industry. It is certainly non stop. Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request».

The documents also reveal that in April 2015 – a month after Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny had changed her mind and finally agreed, after almost five years of legal paralysis, to question Assange in London at the Ecuadorian embassy –WikiLeaks' founder promptly agreed to the questioning and to providing a DNA sample. The questioning was supposed to take place in London the 17th and 18th of June, as agreed upon by the parties, but the Swedish contacted the Ecuadorian authorities for permission and assistance only at the last minute, so the questioning, awaited by Assange and the Swedish prosecutors for years, was ultimately aborted.

Five months that shook the world
It all began in August 2010, less than a month after WikiLeaks had published the US secret documents on the Afghan War, infuriating the Pentagon and the US government. On August 20, 2010 the Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation on Julian Assange, requesting his arrest for the suspected rape and sexual molestation of two Swedish women. The case immediately collapsed, however: the Swedish prosecutor, Eva Finne, revoked the arrest and terminated the preliminary investigation on rape, whilst preserving the investigation on sexual molestation. Assange was questioned by the Swedish police about this episode the 31st of August. The next day a different prosecutor, Marianne Ny, reopened the rape investigation after Mr. Claes Borgström, the lawyer for the two women, asked Marianne Ny to review the case.

On September 27, Assange flew for Berlin to meet, among other journalists, l'Espresso. Two weeks before Assange left Sweden, his Swedish lawyer at that time, Björn Hurtig, had asked Marianne Ny whether there were any problems with Assange leaving Sweden. «By telephone», writes Ny in a document handed over to l'Espresso, «Mr. Hurtig was informed that there were some investigative measures still outstanding before a new interview with Julian Assange would be relevant and that there was no arrest warrant issued for him».

Since there was no hindrance, Assange left Sweden, flying to Berlin where he met l'Espresso the 27th of September, late in the evening. When he arrived at our appointment, he explained that his luggage had been lost in the direct flight from Stockholm: only his shoulder bag containing his laptop was left. As a matter of fact, he arrived at our appointment with only the shoulder bag, laptop and a clear plastic bag containing a t-shirt, a toothbrush, and some small bottles of soap, as l'Espresso immediately reported in an article (http://espresso.repubblica.it/internazionale/2010/10/14/news/il-nostro-incontro-col-fondatore-di-wikileaks-1.26213) . It was that 27th September that the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny ordered the arrest of Julian Assange in absentia.

The preliminary investigation conducted by Marianne Ny focused on three alleged crimes: rape (less serious crime), unlawful coercion and sexual molestation. In the documents released to l'Espresso, Ny reconstructs the difficulties in interviewing Assange in 2010, when in five short months Assange and his organization were publishing a deluge of secret US documents never seen before. While Ny reconstructs these difficulties, Björn Hurtig reminds prosecutor Ny that he had suggested various dates for the questioning of his client: «Neither the times we had then suggested nor another occasion suggested were acceptable to you; on some occasions, our proposed times were too far in the future (a few weeks time); another occasion, one of your investigator was ill», Hurtig writes, adding that it seems «strange that a hearing could not take place because an investigator was ill».

Marianne Ny forges ahead, ordering the detention of Julian Assange: «this measure is taken as it has been impossible to interview him during the investigation», writes the Swedish Prosecution Authority in its website. To execute the detention, Ny issues a European arrest warrant for Assange and on December 1st, 2010, an Interpol red notice makes him wanted all around the world. Six days later, Assange turns himself over to the police while in London, where he had just started publishing 251.287 cables of the US diplomacy in collaboration with the Guardian and with a team of international media. A few days after his arrest, Assange is granted bail, sent to Ellingham Hall under house arrest with an electronic bracelet tracking his every move. Since 2010, Julian Assange has always opposed the extradition to Sweden requested by Marianne Ny to perform an interview with him. Ny has always insisted that questioning him in the embassy «would lower the quality of the interview», whereas Assange has always fought extradition to Sweden, convinced that it paves the way to extradition to the US, where there is an ongoing investigation on the publication of the US secret documents by WikiLeaks.

A special extradition?

To put on paper that the extradition case of Julian Assange is not an ordinary extradition is a lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service in London: Mr. Paul Close. In an email to the Swedish prosecutors dated 13 January 2011, Close writes: «It is simply amazing how much work this case is generating. It sometimes seems like an industry. It is certainly no stop. Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request». What makes the Assange case special? Mr. Close does not explain this. However, in his email exchange with the Swedish, he seems pleased that two days earlier, the 11th of January 2011, the extradition hearing at the Belmarsh Magistrates' Court was not exactly an exciting event for journalists: «It was all rather boring and technical, which of course is precisely what I wanted to happen». 

Two weeks after these comments, January 25th 2011, Paul Close is even more straightforward with the Swedish prosecutors: «My earlier advice remains, that in my view it would not be prudent for the Swedish authorities to try to interview the defendant in the UK». «Any attempt to interview him under strict Swedish law”, Close continues, «would invariably be fraught with problems». He therefore concludes: «Thus I suggest you interview him only on his surrender to Sweden and in accordance with the Swedish law. As we have discussed your prosecution is well based on the existing evidence and is sufficient to proceed to trial, which is the prosecution's intention». The following couple of paragraphs of this email were censored and not released under the Foia.

Two things are interesting in this email exchange between the Crown Prosecution Service' lawyer and the Swedish prosecutors: Paul Close uses the word “defendant” in referring to Assange, a term which under English law indicates an individual who has already been charged with a crime, whereas in January 2011 the WikiLeaks' founder had not been charged, nor has he been charged with a crime in the last five years. In addition, Close claims that the Swedish prosecutors already intended to bring Julian Assange to trial, even before any questioning had taken place. It should be noted that just six days before this email, Marianne Ny had sent a letter to Mr. Paul Close explaining: «According to the Swedish law, a decision to prosecute may not be taken at the stage that the preliminary investigation is currently at. The decision concerning prosecution, i.e. legal proceedings, may not be made until the preliminary investigation has been concluded».

L'Espresso filed a comprehensive Foia request to the Crown Prosecution Service asking for access to the entire Assange file, including the full correspondence, if any, with the US Department of Justice and with the US State Department. Our Foia has been rejected in full. To our request to acquire any correspondence with the US authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service replied: «we neither confirm nor deny whether we hold any relevant information». Whereas the Swedish Prosecution Authority and the Swedish Ministry of Justice replied that «there has been no correspondence between Sweden and the US regarding the Assange case».

A diplomatic impasse that joins a judicial paralysis
From 2010 until March 2015, the Swedish investigation remained at a standstill: Stockholm prosecutors have always insisted on extradition as the only solution to question Assange and decide whether or not to charge him once and for all. Assange has always opposed extradition tooth and nail, fighting it in the UK and Swedish courts without success. When, in June 2012, he exhausted all his legal options to resist extradition, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Knightsbridge, where Ecuador granted him political asylum, as the Ecuadorian authorities judged that the risk of Assange being extradited to the US and prosecuted for his journalistic work is well-founded.

Since June 19, 2012, Assange is confined to the embassy in precarious conditions: he has no access to a garden or even to a small courtyard where he could enjoy a breath of fresh air and sunlight, so indispensable for his health. This turn of events has added a diplomatic impasse to the judicial paralysis, as the British authorities have always declared that under no conditions will they offer a safe passage to allow the WikiLeaks' founder to leave the embassy and enjoy asylum. Last week, Assange's lawyers and the Ecuadorian authorities denounced that the British are denying him safe passage to a hospital for an MRI scan to diagnose the causes of severe pain. As for Sweden, it has always rejected the idea that Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy because the risk of extradition to the US is real: Sweden considers his confinement in the embassy as a merely voluntary choice, which he could reverse any time.

This diplomatic impasse seems as intractable as the judicial paralysis. In November 2012, as revealed by a document released to l'Espresso under Foia, a British diplomat tried to meet Marianne Ny. «I have no idea why the Brit Vice-Ambassador wants to meet with you," writes the Crown Prosecution Service's lawyer, Paul Close, to Marianne Ny, who apparently had asked him about the diplomat: «I can but assume that as you mix in those social circles it is hardly surprising!».

The very long-awaited questioning
Only in March 2015, the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny agreed to question Assange in London, at the Ecuadorian embassy. What made Ny suddenly change her mind after almost five years? According to the Swedish Prosecution Authority, two facts made Ny accept this possibility: the incumbent statute of limitations for two of the alleged crimes – sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, due to expire in August 2015 – and the fact that in November 2014, the Stockholm Court of Appeal, while rejecting Assange's request to lift the arrest warrant, had criticized Marianne Ny for lack of progress in the criminal case, issuing a clear press release: «The Court of Appeal notes, however, that the investigation into the suspected crimes has come to a halt and considers that the failure of the prosecutors to examine alternative avenues is not in line with their obligation – in the interests of everyone concerned – to move the preliminary investigation forward».

Asked by the Swedish prosecutors whether he consented to questioning in the embassy on the 16th of April 2015, Julian Assange confirms, through his current Swedish lawyers, Thomas Olsson and Per Samuelsson, that he agreed to be questioned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and to provide a DNA sample. The parties agree that the questioning and the acquisition of DNA should take place the 17th and 18th of June. However, the documents released to us under Foia reveal that the Swedish authorities contacted the Ecuadorian ambassador in London, Juan Falconi Puig, at the very last minute to ask him for permission and assistance. The 12th of June, Marianne Ny realized that the Ecuadorian ambassador has not yet received «any communication from the Swedish authorities».

As a matter of fact, the long waited interrogation aborted. Assange's lawyer, Per Samuelsson, explains to l'Espresso what he thinks made the questioning collapse: «One prosecutor travelled to London together with a police-officer. When they were in London Marianne Ny, their boss, cancelled the whole thing due to the fact that Sweden had not gotten the permission from Ecuador. Sweden applied way too late». The documents obtained by l'Espresso confirm that the Swedish investigative team sent to London did not get access to the embassy because the Ecuadorian authorities had been contacted by Sweden too late. «I am sure you are informed that a diplomatic procedure has to be followed. At this point I have to inform you that I am being transferred to a new post as Ambassador», Juan Falconi writes to Ny the 19th of June, adding: «Therefore, as from July this affair will be handled by the new Ambassador, Mr. Carlos Abad Ortiz».

Last August, Marianne Ny discontinued the investigation on two of the alleged crimes: unlawful coercion and sexual molestation due to statute of limitations. On that occasion, the Swedish prosecutor declared: «Julian Assange, on his own accord, has evaded prosecution by seeking refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador», and adding: «Since the autumn of 2010, I have tried to gain permission to interview Julian Assange, but he has consistently refused to appear. When the statute of limitation approached, we chose to attempt to interview him in London. A request to interview him on the premises of the Embassy of Ecuador was submitted in the beginning of June, but a permission has yet to be received». No mention at all of the Swedish authorities’ tardiness in contacting Ecuador.

With the statute of limitations, both the two Swedish women and Julian Assange lost any opportunity to obtain justice for two of the three alleged crimes under investigation since 2010. Under Swedish law, a person under investigation cannot oppose the statute of limitations, as the Swedish Prosecution Authority confirmed to l'Espresso. So the WikiLeaks' founder cannot reject the statute of limitations in an attempt to prove his innocence and clear his name. The Swedish preliminary investigation on Julian Assange is proceeding with respect to what Swedish law considers the less serious category of rape: Assange allegedly had unprotected sex with one of the two Swedish women while she was asleep. Apparently, they had had sexual intercourse before that episode and she had expressed wish that a condom be used. The statute of limitations for this alleged crime will expire in August 2020. Will Assange ever be questioned?

Magda Hassan
10-20-2015, 08:49 AM
The emails between Sweden and UK about Assange

Carsten Wiethoff
06-22-2016, 01:34 PM

Ecuador has received a formal request from the Swedish authorities to interview Julian Assange (http://www.theguardian.com/media/julian-assange), inside its London embassy, in a potential breakthrough to the long-running saga.

The WikiLeaks founder, 44, is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation (http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/25/swedish-court-upholds-julian-assange-arrest-warrant-wikileaks) in Sweden, which he has always denied. He has been living inside Ecuador’s UK mission for four years in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, saying he fears he would then be transferred to the US to face political charges for orchestrating leaks of diplomatic cables (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cable-leak-diplomacy-crisis).
Ecuador (https://www.theguardian.com/world/ecuador) has been asking throughout Assange’s stay that he be interviewed inside the embassy, and said it welcomed the apparent Swedish “change of heart, and signs of a new political will”.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2016, 09:59 AM
About bloody time. But now what brought this on? Some one is having their arm twisted or there is an arms deal in here some where.

Carsten Wiethoff
06-23-2016, 11:04 AM
Hmmm, I just checked with Interpol http://www.interpol.int/notice/search/wanted and to the best of my abilities I could not find the red notice for Julian Assange. Possibly it has been cancelled (or timed out?).
Google is silent on this. Interesting.

Carsten Wiethoff
06-23-2016, 03:26 PM
About bloody time. But now what brought this on? Some one is having their arm twisted or there is an arms deal in here some where.

Could it have to do with this:

Whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks has released a fresh 88GB 'insurance file' to the web in anticipation of a mysterious upcoming announcement – but what could be lurking inside? While the content of the elusive torrent file remains unknown, speculation is rising it may be linked to the promised data on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2016, 10:21 PM
Hmmm, I just checked with Interpol http://www.interpol.int/notice/search/wanted and to the best of my abilities I could not find the red notice for Julian Assange. Possibly it has been cancelled (or timed out?).
Google is silent on this. Interesting.


It would seem to be the case but there has been no news from Interpol saying that there is no longer a Red Notice for his arrest. There are 2 media releases from them about it. One from 2010 when he was first issued the red notice and another in 2012 after he was granted asylum and Interpol were saying that the notice was still in place.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2016, 10:28 PM
About bloody time. But now what brought this on? Some one is having their arm twisted or there is an arms deal in here some where.

Could it have to do with this:

Whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks has released a fresh 88GB 'insurance file' to the web in anticipation of a mysterious upcoming announcement – but what could be lurking inside? While the content of the elusive torrent file remains unknown, speculation is rising it may be linked to the promised data on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Wow. 88 GB is a huge amount of data. Plus there are the 2 existing encrypted insurance dumps from when he was first arrested.

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2016, 03:51 AM
Wow. 88 GB is a huge amount of data. Plus there are the 2 existing encrypted insurance dumps from when he was first arrested.

Yes, that is a huge amount of data to add to an already huge amount of encrypted data! These must make the US Secrecy Establishment very nervous and doubly determined to 'get' Assange! The way the Assange matter has been handled legally [sic] is, from what little we know at this point, very poorly and in fact illegally and immorally - it is all political. Interestingly, the UK seems to be equally guilty in the matter as Sweden - despite both claiming to be lawfully neutral in the matter. I'll be surprised if the interview of Assange comes off in the near future and interested to see what Swedish prosecutors will do then...most likely keep their current stance that they need Assange in the flesh on Swedish soil [so they can then send him to the USA for incarceration and torture].

Magda Hassan
06-24-2016, 05:46 AM
Yes, that is a huge amount of data to add to an already huge amount of encrypted data! These must make the US Secrecy Establishment very nervous and doubly determined to 'get' Assange!

But if they 'get' Assange the insurance pays out because they keys will get released. There are hundreds and thousands of people who have it downloaded waiting for the keys to release it all. They definitely don't want that. They want to keep all their dirty secrets under wraps even more than they want Assange.

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2016, 06:15 AM
Yes, that is a huge amount of data to add to an already huge amount of encrypted data! These must make the US Secrecy Establishment very nervous and doubly determined to 'get' Assange!

But if they 'get' Assange the insurance pays out because they keys will get released. There are hundreds and thousands of people who have it downloaded waiting for the keys to release it all. They definitely don't want that. They want to keep all their dirty secrets under wraps even more than they want Assange.

Yes...But....I don't claim to be able to follow their thinking [nor morality], but they could well weight this against the prospect of future data exposees from Wikileaks that harm their secrecy fiefdom even further. Some of them may even dream of putting Assange in such jeopardy that in their mind he'd fear about releasing the keys for fear of his life or further torture - though I don't think that would work - I'm just trying to look into their evil minds and ways of thinking. They likely even have contingency plans to 'neutralize' Assange and all those with the ability to release the keys, if they feel it in their interest - and all kinds of other 'lovely' alternatives.

David Guyatt
06-24-2016, 07:13 AM
It seems pretty obvious to me that this locked Wkileaks dump is to do with Hillary and if so, then it might well be terminal for her, given Assange's comments on the Peston show last Sunday. Hillary and the US must know what's in the file and I dare say that the Swedish prosecutor's decision results from the Hillary camp (or the Neocon) camp trying to negotiate a release for him if he doesn't release the files. But given the history, I'd be astonished if Assange wouldn't stick his fingers up at such an offer.


Magda Hassan
06-24-2016, 09:06 AM
DNCHack: Did Kim Dotcom warn the world about the Democratic Party hacking?

DNCHack: Did Kim Dotcom warn the world about the Democratic Party hacking? Date June 24, 2016 - 7:34AM

11 reading now

http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/h/v/e/6/v/image.imgtype.thumbnail.90x90.png/1406511139050.jpg (http://www.smh.com.au/world/by/Chris-Zappone)
Chris Zappone (http://www.smh.com.au/world/by/Chris-Zappone) News editor, foreign desk

'Assange, Clinton'€™s worst nightmare': Kim Dotcom In a 2015 broad-reaching interview with Bloomberg, Kim Dotcom has alleged Julian Assange will target Hillary Clinton.

Did Kim Dotcom warn the world the Democratic Party hacking was coming?
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom said in 2015 that he knew of information that was going to create an obstacle for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential election bid.
Kim had tweeted that he would be Hillary's "worst nightmare in 2016". When pressed on the matter in a 2015 interview, he said WikiLeaks' Julian Assange would in fact prove a bigger thorn in the side of Hillary: "I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her."
http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/g/p/p/q/u/o/image.related.articleLeadwide.620x349.gpp15a.png/1466740262734.jpg Providing transparency: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom Photo: Peter Meecham

Assange "has access to information", Kim said, (http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/kim-dotcom-julian-assange-will-be-hillary-clintons-worst-nightmare-in-2016-20150514-gh23pp.html) without elaborating.
"If I can provide some transparency with these people," he said referring to Assange, "then I will be happy to do that."
Last week a hacker going by the name Guccifer 2.0 released what appears to be the Democratic Party's opposition research (http://www.smh.com.au/world/russian-spies-accessed-democrats-computer-network-stole-research-on-donald-trump-20160614-gpj3ri.html) on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump as well as financial reports and donors' personal data. It has since produced more reports purporting to be about the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's donors.
http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/g/m/n/7/i/h/image.related.articleLeadwide.620x349.gpp15a.png/1466740262734.jpg WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Photo: Getty Images

While data theft from US presidential campaigns have happened before, the prospect of hackers - especially ones backed by a foreign nation (http://www.smh.com.au/world/obama-warns-north-korea-over-sony-hack-20141220-12bi0m.html) - dumping US election-related data during the campaign for the global public's consumption is new.
Kim's warning suggested evidence of such an attack was available months before the event was revealed.
​ Guccifer 2.0 said his hacking effort was underway for almost a year. Based on the nature of the attack, independent researchers in the US concluded the hack was conducted by or for the Russian government.
And Assange, who now reportedly holds the rest of the DNC hack information, says more information will soon be released.
When contacted about future data releases, WikiLeaks replied only: "We have a very big publishing year ahead."
Asked this week via social media if the damning information Assange claims to have on Hillary's campaign comes from "Russian hacks", Kim replied: "No comment."
A Twitter account belonging to Guccifer 2.0 has been contacted for comment.
WikiLeaks is gearing up for more data drops. Earlier this month, Assange said his site would be leaking documents that would provide "enough evidence" to indict Hillary Clinton.
On June 18, WikiLeaks released a file for followers to download and retain as insurance (http://heavy.com/news/2016/06/wikileaks-insurance-file-hillary-clinton-emails-when-released-what/) to back up the organisation's future leaks. Calling it "WikiLeaks Insurance", the file is not viewable without a second encryption key which can be released if "anything happens to WikiLeaks".
Although Hillary Clinton is the subject of investigations over her handling of emails, even Assange admitted it was unlikely the US Justice Department would indict her based on whatever information he had.
Assange, who has lived at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 (http://www.smh.com.au/world/sweden-asks-to-interview-julian-assange-inside-ecuadors-london-embassy-20160620-gpnr7w.html) to avoid a series of extraditions that could see him tried in the US for his role in the Cablegate leak (http://www.smh.com.au/world/court-reveals-fbi-still-investigating-wikileaks-julian-assange-20150305-13vuwj.html), is seen as being friendly to Russian interests.
In 2013 his father travelled to Syria to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/wikileaks-party-defends-its-cup-of-tea-with-bashar-alassad-20131231-304ne.html), a Russian ally.
Not only does Assange's call for transparency appear to be focused overwhelmingly on Western countries, the hacker-turned-dissident tweets statements that tend to support Russian positions on a variety of issues. Assange also claims ot have helped ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden travel to Russia (http://www.smh.com.au/world/exclusive-edward-snowden-speaks-to-andrew-masterson-about-living-in-exile-20160301-gn76xs.html).
New Zealand-based Kim, meanwhile, is in a protracted legal battle with the United States Department of Justice, which accuses him of criminal copyright infringement through his now defunct Megaupload file hosting service. In 2012, police raided his home.
Fergus Hanson of the Sydney-based Lowy Institute and author of Internet Wars: The Struggle for Power in the 21st Century, says that although the Guccifer 2.0 attack is "just a short cut way for [Russian-backed hackers] to gather internal knowledge about Trump (hoovering up the pack that Clinton's team has already gathered)" the theft of the data is "not that surprising".
"If they use it to somehow help Trump against Clinton say, then that is totally different."
Nonetheless, Hanson doesn't see it as damaging as other major leaks including the Chinese government hack on the US Office of Personnel Management, which will "will have repercussions for decades."
The threat of further data dumps on the Clinton campaign comes as Russia has moved away from traditional diplomacy towards a variety of strategies for advancing its international political goals (http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/trumpputin-russias-information-war-meets-the-us-election-20160609-gpf4sm.html).
After the initial DNC hack was revealed, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign said: "What appears evident is that the Russian groups responsible for the DNC hack are intent on attempting to influence the outcome of this election."
Former US intelligence officer Fred Hoffman says there are scenarios in which Russians could try to influence the election.
"There's a number of very good reasons for the Russians to have hacked both the DNC and the Clinton Foundation computers (http://www.smh.com.au/world/us-election/russian-hackers-reportedly-access-clinton-foundation-20160622-gpowbq.html)," he said.
Hoffman noted that the Russians "have a vested interest in understanding who may become the next president" as well as having "dirt" on either candidate that "they could potentially use in a covert action to influence the outcome of the election".
Russian officials and media have made statements suggesting they prefer Trump over Clinton, Hoffman said.
"If they see the election as being close, and decide there is an opportunity to influence the outcome in their favour, they may well be tempted to exploit the information acquired via these hacks for that purpose."
"That would be a high risk/high reward operation, though," he said.


Peter Lemkin
06-24-2016, 10:55 AM
Ugh!....while I don't want Clinton, I want Trump even less....is there any hope Sanders will be chosen - he is the only person who can beat Clinton. I think the information to be released on Clinton could be the only thing that could make a Trump electable. It would be a disaster much worse than all the previous disasters as President!

Magda Hassan
08-22-2016, 09:50 AM
Mmmm...cat burglar at the Ecuadorian embassy in London? Late night visitor who lost their key? Hilary's cleaner? Swedish legal team discretely coming to interview Assange? Something more? Surely there are lots of cameras on this building given its tenant.

WikiLeaks ‏@wikileaks (https://twitter.com/wikileaks) 8h8 hours ago (https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/767543410936909824) 16 mins ago at 2:47am a "cat burgler" scaled the side wall+window of the Ecuadorian embassy in London; fled after being caught by security.