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The Snowman
Premium
join:2007-05-20
kudos:4

Assange makes 1st public appearance in 2 months

LONDON - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called on U.S. President Barack Obama to end a so-called "witch hunt" against his secret-spilling website, appearing in public Sunday for the first time since he took refuge two months ago inside Ecuador's Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crimes allegations.

The 41-year-old Australian, who has fought for two years against efforts to send him to Sweden for questioning over alleged sexual misconduct against two women there, addressed a crowd of more than 200 supporters, reporters and dozens of British police, as he spoke from the balcony of Ecuador's mission.

Ecuador on Thursday granted Assange asylum and he remains out of reach of British authorities while he is inside the country's small embassy. Britain insists that if he steps outside, he will be detained and sent to Sweden.

Assange and his supporters claim the Swedish case is merely the opening gambit in a Washington-orchestrated plot to make him stand trial in the U.S. over his work with WikiLeaks , something disputed by both Swedish authorities and the women involved.

"I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks," Assange said as he read aloud a written statement. "The Unites States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters."

On Saturday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Obama administration considers Assange a matter for the governments of Britain, Sweden and Ecuador to resolve.

A Virginia grand jury is studying evidence that might link Assange to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who has been charged with aiding the enemy by passing the secret files to WikiLeaks and is awaiting trial. No action against Assange has yet been taken.

Assange also urged the U.S. to release Manning, but said: "If Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all, and one of the world's foremost political prisoners."

The WikiLeaks founder did not refer in his statement to the Swedish allegations against him, or indicate how he believes the standoff over his future may be resolved.

Assange attempted to draw parallels between himself and the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, three of whose members were convicted and jailed this week for a performance denouncing President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.

"There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response," Assange said.

He shot to international prominence in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website began publishing a huge trove of American diplomatic and military secrets , including 250,000 U.S. embassy cables that highlight the sensitive, candid and often embarrassing backroom dealings of U.S. diplomats.

As he toured the globe to highlight the disclosures, two women accused him of sex offenses during a trip to Sweden.

»www.philly.com/philly/news/natio···ths.html


lordpuffer
RIP lil
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IMO, Assange is the biggest baby (I can think of a better word, but I'll skip it for now) in the world. He does certain acts, then hides from the consequences of his actions with this asylum bull.
--
Obama in 2012 - There's No Tea Left In The Bag.
Expand your moderator at work

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
reply to lordpuffer

Re: Assange makes 1st public appearance in 2 months

said by lordpuffer:

IMO, Assange is the biggest baby (I can think of a better word, but I'll skip it for now) in the world. He does certain acts, then hides from the consequences of his actions with this asylum bull.

»in.news.yahoo.com/ecuador-seeks-···408.html

Ecuador is quite willing to allow Assange to answer for the allegations in Sweden. However, Ecuador wants guarantees from Sweden and Great Britain that Assange won't subsequently be extradited to some third country.

I think Sweden and Great Britain should issue those guarantees, and then the matter in Sweden can be straightened out.


lordpuffer
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The third country would be the U.S., if he is indicted. If he is, there shouldn't be anything to prevent Assange from being extradited to the U.S. to face the music.

I hope that no deal is made that prevents his extradition if indicted.
--
Obama in 2012 - There's No Tea Left In The Bag.

PrntRhd
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reply to Frodo
Equador is misguided.
They can provide asylum to protect someone who is being sent to a country where the individual would not survive or would be tortured. It is Equador's right to protect a refugee against those types of human rights abuses. The same right Sweden has.
That is not the case when the extradition is for a sexual assault case, a charge that would be handled the same way in Sweden, the UK, and most of the developed world. No one is saying Sweden would torture or kill Assange, so the extradition should be allowed as all levels of the UK courts have already ruled.
Assange is not a political prisoner in the UK, he is a person accused of a crime in a third country that was detained in the UK.
If Assange wants to hide in the Equador embassy in Sweden after justice is done, so be it.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
reply to lordpuffer
said by lordpuffer:

The third country would be the U.S., if he is indicted. If he is, there shouldn't be anything to prevent Assange from being extradited to the U.S. to face the music.

I hope that no deal is made that prevents his extradition if indicted.

I hope otherwise. I think Assange can deal with the matter in Sweden, and then subsequently be returned to the Ecuador embassy in London, whereupon, if a new matter has arisen in the meantime, it can be negotiated.

According the the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum, which Ecuador is a party to:
"It is not lawful to grant asylum to persons who, at the time of requesting it, are under Indictment or on trial for common offenses or have been convicted by competent regular courts and have not served the respective sentence, nor to deserters from land, sea, and air forces, save when the acts giving rise to the request for asylum, whatever the case may be, are clearly of a political nature."

Ecuador's concern is with any political related prosecution in the US. The case is clearly tainted. Currently there is no warrant for arrest or indictment of Assange in the US. However, the banking system, acting as the extrajudicial arm of the law crippled the financing of Wikileaks. The US may have tried to coerce the leaker, Manning to incriminate Assange by stating that Wikileaks actively participated in stealing the leaked material, and not simply acting as a drop box, which is essential to avoiding comparison to the Pentagon Papers case. There has been calls by US politicians for Assange's assassination. Without the assurances that the extradition to Sweden not include the possibility of extradition to the US for a political prosecution, Ecuador is entirely within the guidelines of the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum.


lordpuffer
RIP lil
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If Assange is indicted under U.S. Espionage statutes, then I do not believe that his asylum in Ecuador is "of a political nature." He would be facing criminal charges here in the U.S., like any other person charged with a crime.

When the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum speaks of "a political nature," I do not believe that they are talking about this type of matter.
--
Obama in 2012 - There's No Tea Left In The Bag.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
It's exactly this matter. If I leaked classified Iranian material, should I be extradited to Iran? If not, then why should this Australian be extradited to the US? If he was an American, it might be a different story.

I just don't see the duty of an Australian to not publish the classified information of a country he is not a citizen of. And I don't think he actively participated in the theft of the information, that is allegedly Manning.


ZZZZZZZ
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PARADISE
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1 recommendation

reply to The Snowman
Does anyone really believe that Sweden isn't kissing Yankee ass?

The U.S. is PO'ed at him for releasing that info and now is asserting it's bully tactics again...........like setting him up on the sex charges.

The Brits and Sweden should be ashamed.
--
~~Go Lions....back to back Cups!!~~


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
said by ZZZZZZZ:

Does anyone really believe that Sweden isn't kissing Yankee ass?

The U.S. is PO'ed at him for releasing that info and now is asserting it's bully tactics again...........like setting him up on the sex charges.

The Brits and Sweden should be ashamed.

Do you have any evidence of US involvement in the Sweden sex crime charges? Or that these charges were, in any way, a set-up? If so, perhaps the Swedish justice system would like a word with you. Or you might have submitted such things to the various courts in the UK that considered whether or not to extradite him. Neither you nor anyone else presented any such evidence.

What is interesting is that the former best friends and co-workers of Assange with Wikileaks hardly "circled the wagons" in his defense. Doesn't seem to me like they were even surprised by the allegations, and frankly would have preferred Assange to have removed himself from the process while dealing with his personal legal matters.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong


lordpuffer
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

It's exactly this matter. If I leaked classified Iranian material, should I be extradited to Iran? If not, then why should this Australian be extradited to the US? If he was an American, it might be a different story.

I just don't see the duty of an Australian to not publish the classified information of a country he is not a citizen of. And I don't think he actively participated in the theft of the information, that is allegedly Manning.

I agree with your Iranian hypothetical, for you would probably be tortured and killed in Iran for doing so. Most if not all developed nations would and should allow asylum for that.

However, if Assange is indicted and extradited to the U.S., he's just going to serve time if found guilty. No political reason not to extradite or to grant asylum. I haven't researched the penalties for Espionage, however even if death is one of them, I'm sure the U.S. would give assurances to Ecuador that they would not seek death as a penalty.
--
Obama in 2012 - There's No Tea Left In The Bag.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
reply to PrntRhd
said by PrntRhd:

Equador is misguided.

Ecuador agrees that Assange should answer for the allegations in Sweden. However Ecuador wants assurance that in allowing Assange to be extradited to Sweden, he is not subsequently extradited to a 3rd country with a kangaroo government, a country that fancies themselves as the world's policeman for a political prosecution.

So, if one truly wants these sexual assualt allegations to be resolved, then one would hope Sweden and Great Britian issue the guarantees.

PrntRhd
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Equador is asking for conditions on an extradition that is not to be decided by Equador.
Have we reached the point where every country in the world has veto power over court decisions in every other countries' courts? The UK has every right to be pissed at the interference.

As to Assaunge bringing a case to the World Court, he is not a country.. under what jurisdiction is he?

SafireDonkey
Premium
join:2006-10-29
89000
reply to The Snowman
OT: What has happened with the so-called millions of secret bank activity documents that should have been released ? Wikileaks mentioned that this public sharing would uproar the world about the how & why we face the biggest economical crisis since mankind ?

Who is holding them from bringing out these docs ?

EDIT: should have been posted in other topic, sorry.

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
reply to PrntRhd
said by PrntRhd:

The UK has every right to be pissed at the interference.

The UK can be pissed all they want to. But Assange is not an ordinary defendant. He is a person that politicians in a 3rd country, a corporate controlled and run banana republic that fancies themselves as the world policeman have called for his assassination. Therefore Ecuador is within its rights to requests guarantees that Assange not be extradited to such a banana republic.

Great Britain and Sweden maintain that the extradition is for the sexual assault allegations. Why not simply issue the guarantees that the extradition will be confined to dealing with these allegations, and then the matter can be resolved in Sweden.


Blackbird
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

It's exactly this matter. If I leaked classified Iranian material, should I be extradited to Iran? If not, then why should this Australian be extradited to the US? If he was an American, it might be a different story.

I just don't see the duty of an Australian to not publish the classified information of a country he is not a citizen of. And I don't think he actively participated in the theft of the information, that is allegedly Manning.

Extradition treaties exist among nation-states with regard to treaty-specified kinds of crimes committed within or against those nations or their citizens. If you leaked classified Iranian materials and if an extradition treaty between the US and Iran existed that applied to that crime, Iran could indeed apply to have you extradited. Depending on the terms of the treaty and a variety of interpretations/rulings by a US court, you might or might not be actually extradited to face such charges. The citizenship of an accused matters little in an extradition determination unless other, conflicting treaty constraints exist (such as a different treaty with the accused's own nation regarding how extradition of their citizens might be handled, regardless of where/why such extradition was proposed).

I'll leave it to others to determine whether or not Assange committed a crime against the US by publishing. But if one is persuasively alleged to have committed a crime against a citizen or agency of another nation, they are indeed subject to extradition for trial in that nation, if an applicable treaty exists and if courts in the sending nation agree.
--
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" -- P.Henry, 1775

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
said by Blackbird:

But if one is persuasively alleged to have committed a crime against a citizen or agency of another nation, they are indeed subject to extradition for trial in that nation, if an applicable treaty exists and if courts in the sending nation agree.

True. However he is under Ecuadorian jurisdiction at the moment. So, Ecuador does have a say. People may not like that Ecuador has a say, but that's tough luck. Now Britain and Sweden say that the matter involves allegations in Sweden. Confine the extradition of Assange to that matter only, and that resolves Ecuador's concern.

What I don't like hearing is that Assange is chicken to answer to the Swedish allegations when the real issue is that Assange doesn't want to answer for the Wikileaks publishing of the State Department papers.

I'd like to see the guarantees issued so that the Swedish matter could be resolved.


Ian
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ON
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1 recommendation

reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

Great Britain and Sweden maintain that the extradition is for the sexual assault allegations. Why not simply issue the guarantees that the extradition will be confined to dealing with these allegations, and then the matter can be resolved in Sweden.

Because that's not the way the legal systems, of ANY nation, actually work. Assange is not charged with any crime in the US, nor has the US asked for him to be extradited, from anywhere. They have been reported as "considering" charges. So what? Until there's an extraditable charge, and a request for extradition made, the UK or Sweden, have absolutely nothing to decide. Nobody is going to give anyone carte blanche immunity from extradition over some entirely hypothetical charge. Sorry, but for now, this looks like a guy trying to skip out on his rape charges, whatever else he may or may not have done aren't the current questions of the day...
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong

dave
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

Currently there is no warrant for arrest or indictment of Assange in the US.

I'm no expert on international law, but I'd opine that Sweden therefore cannot reasonably issue a "no extradition" guarantee.

Extradition to face charges cannot occur prior to charges being made, and (it seems to this amateur) Sweden cannot reasonably refuse extradition prior to it having considered those charges.


Blackbird
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

said by Blackbird:

But if one is persuasively alleged to have committed a crime against a citizen or agency of another nation, they are indeed subject to extradition for trial in that nation, if an applicable treaty exists and if courts in the sending nation agree.

True. However he is under Ecuadorian jurisdiction at the moment. So, Ecuador does have a say. People may not like that Ecuador has a say, but that's tough luck. Now Britain and Sweden say that the matter involves allegations in Sweden. Confine the extradition of Assange to that matter only, and that resolves Ecuador's concern.
...
I'd like to see the guarantees issued so that the Swedish matter could be resolved.

Yes, Ecuador indeed does have a say. But that say ends at the property line of the Ecuadorian embassy, since their sovereignty ends at that point in the UK. And Ecuador may not like that the UK has the ultimate say, but that's also tough luck... it's the UK's sovereign territory that Assange has to traverse if he ever leaves the embassy, and its the UK's extradition treaty with Sweden that the UK feels obligated to honor. Likewise, Sweden believes it has a sovereign obligation to honor whatever extradition treaty it may have with the US (or other nations), so it is unwilling to carte-blanche renounce those obligations to satisfy Ecuador or Assange. Now, whether Assange would ever be successfully extradited to the US by Sweden under terms of such a treaty is another issue entirely... most such treaties involve critical review by courts in the nation sending the accused - things like trial fairness, valid charges, political persecution, etc all can and generally are considered. But simply demanding the carte-blanch abbrogation of any extradition treaty between the US and Sweden is not normally considered an acceptable diplomatic solution to the kind of problem that now exists with Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy.
--
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" -- P.Henry, 1775


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

What I don't like hearing is that Assange is chicken to answer to the Swedish allegations when the real issue is that Assange doesn't want to answer for the Wikileaks publishing of the State Department papers.

Exactly!

Assange figured he could publish secret documents that embarrassed the US and some of it allies without consequences. He wanted to tour the world and show what a great guy he was after doing so. Now some of those allies want him for unrelated charges (trumped up or not). The bottom line is that, as you said, Assange doesn't want to face the music for the original act. I don't know whether the US can make a case against him stick or not but Assange is a chicken. He wanted to play with the big boys and now that he's under threat he wants to run and hide. He is, what is known in some parts, as a gutless wonder.
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
said by StuartMW:

He is, what is known in some parts, as a gutless wonder.

I don't think he's a gutless wonder. Why should he face US justice? If I published Iranian, Russian, Chinese, or Saudi Arabia classified information, I wouldn't want to extradited there either.

I don't think he committed a crime by publishing under the Pentagon Papers precident. It is treasonous like conduct however if he was an American. But he's not.

I think we're looking at this too much through an American lens. I wonder how this looks through the Ecuadorian lens?


StuartMW
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said by Frodo:

I don't think he's a gutless wonder.

Fair enough but I, for one, am not going to give Assange respect I don't think he's earned.

If an individual or group perceives a wrong they can fight for their cause (whether I agree with it or not) but they have to accept the consequences. In some cases that might mean losing their freedom. In others it may mean losing their lives. In either case they have the courage of their convictions and deserve (some) respect.

Who do you admire more Assange or a "freedom fighter" in Syria? Or an American Revolutionary?
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!


Ian
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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

said by StuartMW:

He is, what is known in some parts, as a gutless wonder.

I don't think he's a gutless wonder. Why should he face US justice? If I published Iranian, Russian, Chinese, or Saudi Arabia classified information, I wouldn't want to extradited there either.

Assange is charged with raping a couple women in Sweden, and is not currently on the run from US justice, rather Swedish justice. See the distinction?
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong

Frodo

join:2006-05-05
kudos:1
said by Ian:

Assange is charged with raping a couple women in Sweden, and is not currently on the run from US justice, rather Swedish justice. See the distinction?

I'm aware of the distinction. Have you been following the thread? Or read the position of the Ecuadorian president?

Nobody has a problem with Assange facing Swedish authorities, so long as it isn't a ruse to put Assange in a jurisdiction with a favorable extradition arrangement with the US.


Link Logger
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reply to ZZZZZZZ
said by ZZZZZZZ:

Does anyone really believe that Sweden isn't kissing Yankee ass?

Think for just one brief moment, who is a closer American ally, UK or Sweden, and then ask yourself this, did the Brits sneak him off to the US, so why would the Swedes?

Blake
--
Vendor: Author of Link Logger which is a traffic analysis and firewall logging tool

PrntRhd
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4 edits

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reply to Frodo
said by Frodo:

said by Ian:

Assange is charged with raping a couple women in Sweden, and is not currently on the run from US justice, rather Swedish justice. See the distinction?

I'm aware of the distinction. Have you been following the thread? Or read the position of the Ecuadorian president?

Nobody has a problem with Assange facing Swedish authorities, so long as it isn't a ruse to put Assange in a jurisdiction with a favorable extradition arrangement with the US.

If he did not commit a crime in Sweden, where extradition is possible, he would not be at risk now, so it is his own fault if he is in legal jeopardy now.
Again, as several already posted, he has not been charged with any offense in the US. If he is charged he would face extradition just like anyone else would and it would be up to the courts in the country where he was located after a trial (Sweden) to decide if the extradition would go forward or if he would be deported to his own country (Australia).

Assange would not face treason charges in the US in any case because he is a citizen of Australia.
Possession of stolen diplomatic cables, maybe espionage, but not treason. Australia would only consider treason if he published Australian military or diplomatic secrets.