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Asylum

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Asylum

Leaving aside which side of the fence you are on, am I alone in finding the political and diplomatic activities surrounding Julian Assange quite fascinating. I wonder what we're not being told, perhaps he might tell us eventually'
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Asylum

Ignoring fence sitting - on the grounds that it gives you a pain in the bum - I think that the FO has made a total boo boo and didn't advise the rest of the cabinet before doing it.
Just imaging if another country did that because they objected to someone claiming asylum in the UK Embassy
The obvious analogy is the case of Chen Guangcheng in the US Embassy in China
alanf
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Re: Asylum

I don't see why it is Britain's problem. If he sets foot outside of the embassy he can be arrested for breaching his bail conditions and extradited. If he stays where he is in "foreign territory" then it should be up to Sweden to negotiate with Ecuador.
As was said by a newspaper reviewer last night, why was Assange worrying about being extradited from Sweden to the US? If the US wanted him it was just as likely to be able to extradite him from the UK.
As Assange is only wanted in Sweden for questioning in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct why can he not be questioned (if he consents) wherever he is in the World and THEN decide whether or not to charge him?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Asylum

At some point he will have to come out of the embassy and I'm sure we will arrest him eventually.
At his bail hearing some well known people agreed to stand bail for him.  This has already been called in.  can't imagine they are too happy about his actions.
Quote
I think that the FO has made a total boo boo and didn't advise the rest of the cabinet before doing it.
Just imaging if another country did that because they objected to someone claiming asylum in the UK Embassy

Jim, what action should have been reported to the cabinet?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Asylum

The sending of a letter to the embassy warning them that we were considering removing their diplomatic status
Quote
So are Britain's hands tied?
The Foreign Office claims not. Ecuador has revealed that British officials threatened to use the little-known Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to revoke the diplomatic status of the Embassy, thus allowing the police to enter and arrest Assange.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/9479711/QandA-Julian-Assange-Ecuadorean-embassy-dispute.html
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Asylum

Thanks for the clarification Jim.  Not a wise move to consider.  Where would that end?
GrahamC
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Re: Asylum

As it is being portrayed, for someone who is only alleged to have committed an offence in Sweden with a maximum penalty of approx $750 if charged and convicted, it does seem to be way OTT with a £240,000 bail charge, European Arrest Warrant, Interpol Red Notice and now this Ecuador and UK diplomatic standoff, you have to wonder what is behind it.
Differences in extradition treaties may explain some of the shenanigans going on. If the US tried to extradite Assange from the UK, it could end up in the courts for years, unlike the US-Sweden Extradition Treaty which incorporates something called Temporary Surrender.
David_W
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Asylum

Wikileaks is hosted in Sweden (moved to Sweden that is for protection under Swedish law) and is under the wing of the Swedish Pirate Party, in other words Wikileaks enjoys fantastic support and protection in Sweden.  The question about "why not question him in the embassy?" is also a non-starter, they could question him there but then what?  If they think that yes, he needs to be arrested then they are out of luck so he has to be questioned in a place where (if required) he can be arrested on the spot (you are also questioned under caution, the "right to remain silent" thing, which basically means you are under a form of arrest for the questioning - something that cannnot be done in an embassy).
JA wants everything his own way, on his own terms and he's pretty paranoid.  The reason it's gone this far is because he is such an high profile target so you have all his supporters claiming it's politically motivated when really it's nothing more than the basic principle of justice being seen to be done but because he is such a high profile target it's being seen on a larger scale because it pretty much has to be on a larger scale (especially when you get celebrities standing in his corner waving their flag).
You also have to take into account that the people who are making the claims are wikileaks volunteers so their political affiliation is the same as JA's but they are the ones that are constantly ignored in this entire thing, it's all about JA so the question is why is he trying his hardest to avoid facing the charges?  Maybe it's because if he is guilty and is found guilty he'll forever be listed as a sexual offender and a criminal so countries will refuse to issue him a visa or maybe it's because having a sexual offender as the figurehead of wikileaks won't reflect very well on them.
If the US wanted him, they couldn't take him, especially as he fears the death penalty, no EU country would send a person to a country where they face the death penalty, it's enshrined in EU law so for the US to take him from Sweden they would need permission from the UK, Sweden and the EU so there is no reason to not send him over there, he doesn't face anything other than the embarrassment of the Swedish government releasing him either as an innocent man or a guilty man, all without being shipped to the US.  He actually has a greater chance of being sent to the US from Ecuador than the EU simply by the US threatening to cut all trade links with the country (the US is responsible for 1/3rd of it's export market).
Community Veteran
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Re: Asylum

As I understand it he faces charges in Sweden regarding claimed sexual assaults on two women.
He is either guilty or innocent of these charges so I would have thought he would be willing to go to Sweden and allow the case to be tried in court.
He would be found innocent or Guilty, if guilty then the Law would deal with it in the usual manner, if innocent then some other country (?USA) might wish to extradite him on some charge but that would be a matter for Sweden to deal with and nothing to do with us.
It seems to me he has given little thought to his main backers who stand to lose, or may have already lost their bail money and he does not seem bothered by all the trouble he is causing at present along with the cost to this country either financially or politically.
If he had be arrested and extradited as soon as he arrived here this problem would never have arisen.
I Do however admit there is more to this case than what we are aware of but whatever happens to him he has got worldwide publicity so the authorities would have to be careful of any sentence he might get if extradited to America.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Asylum

Quote
A number of friends and high-profile supporters posted £240,000 bail for Mr Assange, including film firector Ken Loach, filmaker Michael Moore, investigative journalist John Pilger and Jemima Khan, who could now lose their money.

Also Vaughan Smith put up £20k bail for him. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Asylum

Quote from: gleneagles
As I understand it he faces charges in Sweden regarding claimed sexual assaults on two women.

Don't think so, they just want to question him at this stage.
Presumably following Swedish processes which differ somewhat from ours.
As an aside I understand that the embassy is just a flat in a multi-occupancy block.
Given the "interest" in having JA out of there I don't give the fire alarm system long......  Roll eyes
nadger
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Asylum

I like the fire alarm thought  Cheesy
Definitely a mistake to threaten embassy status as it leaves all our embassies vulnerable.
Personally I don't think Assange should be allowed to use this process to avoid being questioned about alleged sexual offences.
If the fire alarm trick doesn't work leave him there to rot.
Community Veteran
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Re: Asylum

Whatever happens to him he's pretty much given himself a sentence to imprisonment anyway. He can't leave the embassy or he'll be arrested and probably jailed yet he can't stay there or he has no freedom.
I personally think he'll cave in at some point and decide to fight rather than stay holed up for years on end in an embassy that will get sick of hosting him.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Asylum

Tongue in cheek but he makes some good points:
Assange
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Re: Asylum

You can tell the Olympics have finished, BBC has run out of News to Broadcast,
Combination of Assange and some female Russian pop group (of whom I'd never heard) are the headlines