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One Year Since Assange Took Refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the crawling-up-the-walls dept.

Politics 541

Daniel_Stuckey writes with an article marking the one year anniversary of Julian Assange seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. From the article: "Uninterested in facing U.S. justice, Assange said he's prepared to spend five years living there. If he goes out for a walk, he'll be extradited to Sweden to answer rape accusations —after which he has no promise from Sweden to deny further extradition efforts to America, where a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks awaits. This also means that London's Metropolitan Police have been devoting their resources to keeping tabs on Assange for a year. Yesterday, a spokesperson explained the updated costs of guarding the embassy over the phone: 'From July 2012 through May 2013, the full cost has been £3.8 million ($5,963,340),' he said. '£700,000 ($1,099,560) of which are additional, or overtime costs.' Julian has a treadmill, a SAD lamp, and a connection to the Internet, through which he's been publishing small leaks and conducting interviews. The indoor lifestyle has taken its toll on Julian, and it led to his contracting a chronic lung condition last fall."

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seems like a waste of money (1)

shaitand (626655) | about a year ago | (#44049979)

Why bother guarding the embassy?

Re:seems like a waste of money (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44050027)

Why bother guarding the embassy?

In this case I think that is a very good question. If they put up a reward for a tenth of what they've paid on guarding him, send posters round the area, then he would not get far if he got out. Its not like he's a Muslim terrorist who will exit in a burka and plant bombs when he gets out.

Re:seems like a waste of money (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44050321)

No it's worse than that, he posted some text on the internet!

That isn't what they want. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050341)

That would be admitting that they are criminal and in the wrong, therefore going to open assasination to gain their ends.

The reason why they are still guarding the embassy is because they want everyone to know that they WILL get you and it is hopeless to resist the pre-eminent force of our time.

Handing that force out to some random civilian shows that they are NOT the pre-eminent force of our time, but need "our" help.

Re:seems like a waste of money (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#44050391)

"Its not like he's a Muslim terrorist"

Or, you know, any other bomb-wielding terrorist?

Re:seems like a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050529)

IRA? Wait no... They disarmed and the troubles are over.

Re:seems like a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050639)

You'll have to excuse Chrisq, he regularly spouts his hatred for muslims here and parrots EDL (English Defence League) propaganda, they're our current most prominent neo-nazi far right organisation.

He posted what he did for this reason, his focus on Islam was because he's part of what is genuinely the far right and muslims are their current rallying cry just as Jews were in the 30s.

Unfortunately this time it was subtle enough that the mods didn't notice and so they upvoted him like gullable fools.

Re:seems like a waste of money (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44050459)

But whoever is doing the guarding would have to have arrest powers so that he's not in the air on his way to Ecuador by the time they can notify the police and get someone out there.

Re:seems like a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050489)

Maybe he'll go out and take a leak.

Re:seems like a waste of money (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44050081)

It's only the UK taxpayers money so whoever is pushing this stupid little game of trap the leaker from the USA is not footing the bill and doesn't care.

Re:seems like a waste of money (1)

hippo (107522) | about a year ago | (#44050297)

Well since most, if not all, of the taxpayers money is going in to the wage slips of the police guarding him it's not really a waste. It's not great but at least the money isn't going to some corporate tax haven.

The police cannot just let him go, there's an extradition request from Sweden, and those things are taken seriously mostly because of the quid pro quo.

Re:seems like a waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050651)

I just love how people automagically give government higher praise than corporations. Governments never do no wrong ever.

Oh wait, we're talking about Assange, right? The guy who's fearful for his life because of leaking what some other guy releasesed. This other guy who is now confined in conditions that other first world govenrments would consider cruel and unusual and who could face death by the hands of the same government, legally speaking.

Let's see who's behind this... Big Oil? No. Big Pharma? No. Big Banks? No.....

Oh, that's right. It's Big Government. Well praise the Gods that tax payer funds are going to a police state instead of a corporate tax haven! Why would we want it any other way?

Run along now, hippo. It's time to graze in the fields with the other sheep waiting for the butcher's blade.

Re:seems like a waste of money (3, Insightful)

nhat11 (1608159) | about a year ago | (#44050337)

They're getting paid anyways, the question is where they could be used better resource wise is the issue.

Consider the alternative. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050223)

If Assange comes out, he'll be arrested and jailed. He won't be in general population, so the cost of guarding him will not be $28k per year. He'll be isolated and placed on suicide watch, increasing the cost considerably. His lung condition will have to be treated.

  The current situation suits "The Government" very well: he's isolated, he's got little access to specialized medical treatment and the cost of keeping him in there is equal, if not smaller that having him go to jail and on trial.

Re:seems like a waste of money (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44050449)

How much additional money is actually being spent? Is this much more expensive than the costs associated with incarcerating Assange for up to 5 years?

Seems much quicker and cheaper to let Assange impose his own 5 year sentence.

Why doesnt Google do anything? (0)

butitsme (2955215) | about a year ago | (#44049991)

Google could house him in one of their data centers and provide him with a fast internet connection. Why doesn't Google do this? Don't they care about how good the world is?

Re:Why doesnt Google do anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050563)

Google could house him in one of their data centers and provide him with a fast internet connection. Why doesn't Google do this? Don't they care about how good the world is?

I'm simply hoping this is satire on the subject of how people on Slashdot have started painting Google as "evil" using increasingly-absurd arguments in the form of "if they REALLY cared about [the world|freedom|America|the internet], why aren't they doing exactly what I instruct them to do?!??!?". Because if it is, that's actually pretty funny to the rest of us.

quite appropriate (-1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44049999)

Julian has..... a SAD lamp,

A SAD lamp for a sad lump.

Re:quite appropriate (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050445)

Julian has..... a SAD lamp,

A SAD lamp for a sad lump.

Fuck you, you piece of shit.

I hope your get terminal cancer this year and that it hurts a lot
before you die.

Re:quite appropriate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050539)

Assange is that you?

Can't they get him out (0)

pellik (193063) | about a year ago | (#44050013)

I thought they'd be able to fly him to Ecuador by now. The inside of their limo's are also considered part of their embassy aren't they?

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050073)

IIRC It's a very small embassy, I don't believe they have their own garage so he would have to cross the threshold to enter a vehicle.

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050115)

so get as close to the door as possible and jump in? use a ladder between the steps and the car door so you're not touching the ground?

Re:Can't they get him out (5, Funny)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#44050193)

use a ladder between the steps and the car door so you're not touching the ground?

Couldn't they then claim he was violating their airspace and shoot him down?

Re:Can't they get him out (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#44050597)

Getting into a limo would be possible. What would he do after that? If they see him go in, and he leaves the embasy, the Brittish can pull over the limo. Even if they don't he has to leave the country somehow, and they control all the exits

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050083)

I'm pretty sure the limos are not considered part of the embassy. However, the diplomats themselves usually have diplomatic immunity. They could try to smuggle him out, but constant survelance makes that difficult.

Re:Can't they get him out (1, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#44050351)

I'm pretty sure the limos are not considered part of the embassy. However, the diplomats themselves usually have diplomatic immunity. They could try to smuggle him out, but constant survelance makes that difficult.

Why can't they just appoint Assange a diplomat, travel to the host country, then strip him of diplomatic status?

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050561)

Flagrant abuse of the international good faith agreements that protect diplomats is considered poor form.

Re:Can't they get him out (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44050111)

No. The standard embassy deal covers only embassy ground and certain agreed-upon diplomatic staff (ie, if war breaks out, both sides agree to let the ambassadors for the other go home safely). Assange is not diplomatic staff, and thus cannot be transported. Even if he was, good luck getting clearance to fly. Right now the situation is stalemate: Assange cannot leave, and the UK government cannot enter.

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Mal-2 (675116) | about a year ago | (#44050167)

What could the UK authorities do if Ecuador declared Assange to be an ambassador? It's unlikely NOW (being a non-citizen and all) but if time in the embassy counts as time in the country, he may eventually be eligible to become a citizen of Ecuador, and by extension, an ambassador.

Re:Can't they get him out (4, Informative)

Alranor (472986) | about a year ago | (#44050189)

In order to qualify for diplomatic immunity, you have to present your credentials to the host country and have them accepted.

I expect the British government would absolutely love for Assange to try that, as he'd have to come out the embassy to do it.

Re:Can't they get him out (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44050359)

Sure but if status of an ambassador is refused or revoked the normal etiquette is to send them back to the country from which they were supposedly an ambassador, not arrest them.

Re:Can't they get him out (1)

Alranor (472986) | about a year ago | (#44050479)

Perhaps, but as he would have to leave the embassy and make it to Buckingham Palace to present those credentials, and he'll be arrested the moment he sets foot on the pavement, it won't ever reach the point where his credentials are refused.

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050485)

So they send him back to the embassy...

The fact is it was a really stupid move.

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050537)

outsanding warrants probably changes that

Re:Can't they get him out (4, Funny)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year ago | (#44050263)

What could the UK authorities do if Ecuador declared Assange to be an ambassador?

I think Assange would be the last person on earth they'd trust with state secrets.

Re:Can't they get him out (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#44050605)

The larger problem for Assange is a change in government in Ecuador. Ecuador has not had a stable presidency for some time. Correa is liked right now, but if that changes, he could find himself in the embassy of a US-friendly government. Go back 10 years and Ecuador would have handed him over in a heartbeat.

Re:Can't they get him out (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44050433)

According to international law he has the right as someone who has been granted asylum to be given free passage to Ecuador.

The problem is that for some reason our government seems to be placing law on bail conditions and Swedish law right up above fundamental globally established law on human rights and asylum that we've both signed up to and implemented.

God forbid someone desperate goes to the British embassy in a country where their life is genuinely in danger and is granted asylum because we've now created a precedent where they have absolutely no hope of getting out safely even if asylum granted. The same applies if say a British citizen finds themselves stuck in a nation that falls into chaos or similar for whatever reason and goes for asylum at a friendly embassy - why should that nation give safe free passage back home to a British citizen now given that we've flouted international law that we signed up to and implemented? We no longer have international credibility on issues like diplomatic protection and asylum because of this.

Re:Can't they get him out (1, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about a year ago | (#44050587)

Which international law would that be? Ahh right, it wouldn't be because it doesn't actually exist.

Country A granting someone asylum does not obligate country B to do anything at all, including ignoring domestic law and allowing someone with a valid arrest warrant to leave the country. The ony place in which country A's asylum status means anything is in country A.

Re:Can't they get him out (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44050121)

Various quite public threats were made about what would happen if that was tried by people in UK politics, sometime around day one.

Re:Can't they get him out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050143)

The equatorian embassy is small and has no internal garage.

and still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050039)

nobody cares

But he's a rapist, like Dominique Strauss Kahn!! (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44050047)

Lots of people turn to raping after making speeches [guardian.co.uk] criticizing the primacy of the U.S. dollar, or revealing U.S. top secret documents. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if Edward Snowden weren't considering raping some poor women right now, or molesting kids, or selling secrets to the Chinese, or kicking puppies.

More likely a condition of living in London (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050055)

Without the option of moving out to breathe some air without a carbon content higher than some school pencils, it's more likely his condition is caused by being stuck in London's air.

rat scurry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050059)

People hide in Embassies because they don't want to face charges; he's a fugitive from justice.

Re:rat scurry (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44050185)

Fugitive, yes. But remember that every oppressive dictatorship in history has carried out their purges and atrocities in the name of 'justice.' It is a very flexible concept. What one country considered justice, another may well consider crimes against humanity - and often the same is true with the roles reversed. He isn't hiding from the rape accusation* - he he hiding from the US (He believes Sweden to be acting as their proxy), and given their treatment of other people involved in high-profile leaks** it could certainly be argued that any paranoia he feels is justified.

If I believed the US were trying to extradite me in connection with a major leak, I'd be packing my bags and buying a train ticket as far as I could go by cash.

*It isn't rape exactly, but there is no precise equivilent in UK or US law, so 'rape' is close enough. A better translation might be 'sex by deception.'

**Manning, kept in solitary confinement for years without trial, then being tried at a secret court in which he isn't permitted to see the evidence presented against him.

Re:rat scurry (-1, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#44050259)

Oh right, so now every liberals poster boy country - sweden - is an oppressive dictatorship is it? Funny how right-on liberal opinions can just do a 180 without even seeing the irony.

"it could certainly be argued that any paranoia he feels is justified."

No, it couldn't, not really. Not unless you're as paranoid as him. FWIW the UK is FAR more likely to extradite him to the USA than fluffy cuddly sweden. But they didn't.

Re:rat scurry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050419)

I doubt they call us liberals. Maybe you can sort of call us socialist, but not really.
We have the same laws as in most other western countries, but we take slightly better care of each other.

Re:rat scurry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050583)

Why do you assume that I give a crap about Sweden? Politics is politics no matter where you go.

Re:rat scurry (0)

Alranor (472986) | about a year ago | (#44050299)

Yes, it was rape, unless you believe that consenting once to having protected sex means that you've automatically consented to having unprotected sex in the future.

Re:rat scurry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050399)

Yes, it was rape, unless you believe that consenting once to having protected sex means that you've automatically consented to having unprotected sex in the future.

Jeez, we also know it isn't rape on Tuesday!

Re:rat scurry (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#44050551)

Yes, it was rape, unless you believe that consenting once to having protected sex means that you've automatically consented to having unprotected sex in the future.

Protected or unprotected is completely orthogonal to rape. If he forced himself on her, it's rape. If he didn't, it's not.

Re:rat scurry (4, Insightful)

Alranor (472986) | about a year ago | (#44050627)

That allegation, as I understand it, is that after having had protected sex with the lady the evening before, she woke up in the morning to discover him having unprotected sex with her.

Unless you believe that the consent to protected sex from the night before includes consent to unprotected sex the next morning, he was having sex with her without her consent. Therefore it would be rape.

Is he really a geek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050077)

The indoor lifestyle has taken its toll on Julian, and it led to his contracting a chronic lung condition last fall

Is he really the geek we all assumed? A year in an embassy should be a cakewalk after 18 years in your mom's basement..

Re:Is he really a geek? (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#44050365)

The indoor lifestyle has taken its toll on Julian, and it led to his contracting a chronic lung condition last fall

Is he really the geek we all assumed? A year in an embassy should be a cakewalk after 18 years in your mom's basement..

Well, he's actually gotten laid before so it's easy to see why he'd miss it.

Re:Is he really a geek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050505)

He's accused of rape. Rape involves sex. You do the math.

HI JULIAN (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050091)

We know you read Slashdot. You're a geek who can't go outside, so you've gotta be here. Come on and say hi to us already.

Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (-1, Troll)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44050109)

"Uninterested in facing U.S. justice..."

I do want to point out that Assange is not facing U.S. justice. What he is "uninterested in facing" is a return to Sweden to be questioned on rape charges.

He says that if he's sent to Sweden, Sweden will extradite him to the U.S.. There's no actual evidence for that, and no real reason to believe it.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (5, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | about a year ago | (#44050171)

Last I checked he was willing to go to sweden for the questioning (no charges have been put forward at all to my knowledge yet) so long as he had a guarantee to not be extradited to the US while there.

Sweden refused.

If I were him I'd take that as intent to ship him off after he gets there.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050251)

Sweden refused to have the workings of their legal system dictated to them by a fugitive?

I can't thing of many countries where that would wash.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050475)

many cases like this also end up as a political football, and it doesn't help that the girls who raised the allegations have previous history with the CIA.

something stinks, but nobody wants to talk about the smell.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050545)

Fugitive implies guilt. He hasn't been tried, no evidence has been presented, nothing. All we have is an accusation of rape, and half the leaders of the "free world" wanting him to answer for making them look back

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (4, Interesting)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#44050555)

Sweden refused to have the workings of their legal system dictated to them by a fugitive?

I can't thing of many countries where that would wash.

"Wanted for questioning" and "fugitive" are not the same thing. Further, what he's "wanted for questioning" about isn't a crime in the United Kingdom (no, he's not been accused of "rape" in the traditional sense, he's been accused of continuing consensual intercourse after a condom broke after having agreeing to use one,) nor the US, nor most other countries on earth. And it gets better: A male is still liable for this "crime" even if neither party notices the break and neither party withdraws consent! The female can retroactively withdraw consent if she notices later the condom broke! 100% of all risk relating to consensual sex in Sweden is conferred onto the male by law, apparently.

It is too cute, by half, to suggest he's a "fugitive." An INTERPOL warrant was issued on a basis that has, historically never even once been used in the history of INTERPOL: That Assange is wanted for questioning over a misdemeanor crime. That he hasn't even been charged with.

That Sweden won't guarantee him safe passage (i.e. "We won't extradite you to the USA") you can surmise that extradition to the United States is the sole purpose of getting him to Sweden in the first place. If it wasn't, they'd have long since agreed just to end this stain on their reputation: Already most Europeans see them as a tool of the Americans. Ditto the UK. I mean, most people saw them that way before this, but this has only cemented that image in their minds.

And no, it isn't remotely uncommon for attorneys to set conditions for voluntary interviews with police. Or even involuntary ones... (i.e. "My client won't answer any questions unless he's unshackled and given some water to drink.")

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (4, Informative)

Squapper (787068) | about a year ago | (#44050409)

Sweden CANNOT guarantee that there will be no extradiction, as it would mean overriding the whole legal system in a way that a non-corrupt country shouldnt.

Sweden CAN guarantee that. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050549)

Extradition has to be OK'd by the foreign minister (in the case of foreign nationals in the country). And they have questioned putative murderers by going there and asking them questions. Yet in this case, they say they can't ask him questions unless they have him on their soverein ground.

Why the sudden inability?

THAT is why his worries are NOT paranoia: they are blatantly out to get him, by hook or by crook.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050195)

I think that's the biggest issue I have with it all. He was reasonably bailed and took the piss out of us by not answering bail.

It's not like the list of opressive regimes is Iran, Syria, North Korea........Sweden is it?

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#44050567)

I think that's the biggest issue I have with it all. He was reasonably bailed and took the piss out of us by not answering bail.

It's not like the list of opressive regimes is Iran, Syria, North Korea........Sweden is it?

Perhaps it should be added: They're clearly functioning as an instrument of a government interested in punishing somebody over free speech that they don't like.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050201)

It looks like they extradite if they would face at least a year in prison in Sweden. The real question is do the politicians in Sweden want to gain favor with the US. http://www.government.se/sb/d/2710/a/15435 [government.se]

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050213)

Except for the bit where the US has expressed interest in getting him in front of a US court and the other bit where Sweden has an extradition treaty with the US and is willing to honor it.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050225)

I though the woman that accused him of rape, after the wikileaks thing blew up, was a known CIA operative. The theory being that if they could get him pinned down by the local authorities on other charges, it could be used as leverage.

Yep, just googled it, and she was CIA.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050423)

Yep, just googled it, and she was CIA.

If Google says it, then it must be true.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050523)

Yep, just googled it...

Then clearly it must be true; that's the law.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050247)

"Uninterested in facing U.S. justice..."

I do want to point out that Assange is not facing U.S. justice. What he is "uninterested in facing" is a return to Sweden to be questioned on rape charges.

He says that if he's sent to Sweden, Sweden will extradite him to the U.S.. There's no actual evidence for that, and no real reason to believe it.

I wonder what the statue of limitations are for the crime he is being charged in the US?

Meaning, can he just wait it out at the embassy for a couple of years and then walk out a free man?

Same with the rape in Sweden.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050363)

There are usually exceptions, i.e. the case of being a fugitive. But in this case, as far as I know, Assange has never been charged with anything. I think in the US they have 5 years from the crime being brought to light to being able to legally charge you.

Then there are other exceptions where the limit doesn't apply. Murder is one of them, and treason/espionage may be the same (not really sure).

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (1)

jbssm (961115) | about a year ago | (#44050261)

He says that if he's sent to Sweden, Sweden will extradite him to the U.S.. There's no actual evidence for that, and no real reason to believe it.

Assange stated repeated times that we would face the justice in Sweden in case Sweden let clear that Assange wouldn't be extradited to the USA. Sweden refused to grant that.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050289)

There's no real evidence that requires him to be extradited to Sweden. This was all hashed out last year. There's no evidence and noone is pressing charges. There were no charges pending when he left Sweden, long after the alleged incident happened. A prosecuter decided to open a closed case with no new evidence and no victim and demanded Assange show up in person for questioning.

If he wasn't wanted in the US, there's no reason for Sweden or Great Britain to go to the lengths they've gone to or to spend the money they've spent.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (2)

Atrox666 (957601) | about a year ago | (#44050301)

Except if you have your head out of your ass in any way, shape or form.

There are no "rape" charges. They did reopen a previously closed case where he was accused of sexual impropriety involving the use of a condom.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#44050389)

"Uninterested in facing U.S. justice..."

I do want to point out that Assange is not facing U.S. justice. What he is "uninterested in facing" is a return to Sweden to be questioned on rape charges.

He says that if he's sent to Sweden, Sweden will extradite him to the U.S.. There's no actual evidence for that, and no real reason to believe it.

Considering the rape charges magically appeared after he was identified as a US VIP (Very Interrogate-able Person), the writing on the wall certainly indicates his stay in Sweden would be rather short indeed.

Re:Sweden is not, in fact, the US. (4, Informative)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#44050457)

He says that if he's sent to Sweden, Sweden will extradite him to the U.S.. There's no actual evidence for that, and no real reason to believe it.

Sweden has handed over suspects to the CIA for torture before.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery [wikipedia.org]

I blame the brits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050119)

They are the tax payer, what are they doing about it? Nothing, so that basically shows that they support the police wasting their money.

Just like the yanks, lazy and dumb.

That figure seems awfully high (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050127)

Even if you were paying 8 policemen (which seems like an awful lot of policemen) to do nothing but take turns guarding the embassy 24/7, those policemen would be making nearly 800,000/yr for the 6,000,000 total to work out. In reality those policemen are probably making closer to 30-40k a year. I would love to see the break down in expenditures and how they justify spending it on a man who isn't even wanted for anything in their country and who is wanted on only the most tenuous of charges in Sweden.

Hopefully they are invoicing the US Government monthly for doing their dirty work for them. I would love to hear the justification put forth when the London police force asks for more money from their government to patrol the streets because all their manpower is tied up guarding a guy in an embassy.

This is stupid (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#44050139)

Even in prison you are actually allowed to go outside. Presumably he prefers an internet connection to being able to see the sun? What he's got now is hardly better than it he was extradited to the USA and thrown in jail, except he doesn't get to be a martyr or fight a decent trial this way.

Re:This is stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050309)

Even in prison you are actually allowed to go outside.

...and maybe even get raped. It sounds like a win-win.

Re:This is stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050431)

If the U.S. considers Assange a threat to security, then all bets are off. My guess is that he will probably be placed in a warmer climate, in or around the Caribbean and then never be seen again.

Personally, I wouldn't trust the USA Government for nothing, and I'm a citizen. The politicians in charge have shown that they're secretive, weak and fearful. Probably the worst combination you can have. Add paranoid and you have the makings of a police state. I'm embarrassed that the U.S.A. has become a big ole fraddy cat in the "war on terror."

Re:This is stupid (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44050463)

except he doesn't get to be a martyr

I hear that's overrated. :p

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050507)

Martha Steward agrees!

Well, unless he ends up in Guantánamo Bay, which is what will really happen.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050157)

...is he better off continuing to get publicity to keep him in the mind of people or better off trying to fade into obscurity so people don't remember him and he's less of a target?

Can hardly see any Police outside of London (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050161)

Disgusting how couple politicians treat Police as private force and we, tax payers pay for their inflated egos.
At the same time, outside of London you can wait couple hours for Police to show up if crime is reported.

There is no accountability anymore and those going overboard with guarding the embassy are laughing in our faces.

Let him stay there , no one really cares (-1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#44050169)

Eventually the self aggrandising narcissist will find that all his teenage and early 20 something fanboys and conspiracy theorists have either grown up or found a new "messiah" with whom they vicariously stick it to the man. Then he'll just be a sad little man stuck in a building which he can't leave. A bit like prison really.

Ironically , by the time he does eventually leave he'll have probably spent more time in self imposed prison that he ever would have done in sweden for rape.

Re:Let him stay there , no one really cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050245)

Hopefully the arrogant snot will croak in the embassy (soon).

Chronic Lung Condition?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050221)

sounds like an allergy or sensitivity to mold or the like.

Re:Chronic Lung Condition?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050267)

Or tubercolisis unfortunately. I hope it isn't something serious.

The Real Standard of Living Question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050265)

Can he still order hookers to service him in the embassy?

He won't need to wait 5 years (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44050349)

One of two bad things will happen:

1. The US's influence over the world will implode
2. The US's influence over the world will be "something something something 'DarkSide' something something something 'Complete!'"

What happens next should be obvious. Personally, I hope US influence implodes -- we need freedom and democracy again.

They got him already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050355)

"chronic lung condition"

From being indoors? Yep. totally believable.. for sure.

They killed him. Just gotta wait for him to drop. Take another year or two.

at what point do we stop kidding ourselves. (5, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44050375)

hes lived in a room in an embassy for an entire year, but its just questioning
hes prepared to live 5 more years in the embassy, but its just questioning
£200,000 bail was required to get him out of the klink, where he was awaiting extradition for questioning
swedish prosecutors have been given access to assange in jail, in the embassy, and during his house arrest on bail to which they declined
the british government has committed £3.8 million to playing what amounts to a very childish game of whack-a-mole with no end in sight...just to process an extradition for questioning about a possible rape.
The case is hillariously frought with inconsistency. There are more consistent rape and assault allegations on an episode of Jerry Springer, but for some reason the swedish criminal justice system cant seem to get this one even remotely credible.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Allegations_of_sexual_assault_and_political_refugee [wikipedia.org]
the US denies any "witch-hunt" is being undertaken but this is coming from a country that practices rendition, operates torture camps, and executes its own citizens without trial. So its safe to say the opinion of the government targeted by Assanges leaks is wholly unqualified to comment upon their response.

Assange knows what we all refuse to admit: Sweden might be his country of extradition, but his final destination is the cuban resort with the lemon-pepper fish and waterboard wednesdays.

wait, what? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44050407)

I basically never go outside and my lungs are just fine, lol. I don't see the cause and effect there. When I do go outside (summer at least) boom, allergy meltdown. Now that's a lung condition.

The more important question is... (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44050417)

How much is this costing Ecuador and how long are they willing to host Assange?

Cold war style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44050487)

I've read that during the cold war embassies smuggled interesting things in/out of countries in creative ways. For example, putting a person in a diplomatic mail bag. I wonder what the British would do if Assange was shipped out of the country in a manner that tested diplomatic protocol?

Where do I sign up to become a UK cop? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#44050641)

However I look at these numbers, it appears that UK cops have got to be the highest-paid in the world.

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