back to article Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

"Mr Assange is not present at court today," said the judge who denied the cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker's latest bid to make legal proceedings against him go away. The judgment, handed down this afternoon by the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, confirmed that the arrest warrant issued in 2012 against Assange for skipping …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My knowledge of British law is a bit hazy but I'm pretty sure you can't commute a sentence with time served couch surfing in the Ecuadorian embassy. I don't even think it's a sentencing option for Judges.

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      Indeed, regardless of guilt or otherwise in the Swedish case, it was his choice to run, his decision.

      From the article: Assange, reason 4. Spending 5½ years at the embassy is “adequate, if not severe, punishment” for the actions he took.

      By this argument, people are allowed to choose where they spend their custodial sentences. I don't see that being allowed to become legal precedent. However if it does, then when I finally decide to take action against those who piss me off on a daily basis, I choose to spend the entirety of my sentence in a 5-star hotel in the Caribbean with a staffed BlackJack table and on-site brothel facilities. And a pool.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        Boffin

        @Remeses

        Great, as long as you can pay for their services and the endless supply of condoms...

        Yeah the argument is flawed.

        The underlying argument is "how would you like this to go away and the tosser to leave and to never be allowed to come back in to the country?"

        Assange is destined to lose. He out hid the charges against him in Sweden, but I don't know if there's a statute for jumping bail.

        He could just turn himself in and actually get better accommodations. Note: It would be a down grade except that he'll now have access to an outside yard and free medical benefits.

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: @Remeses

          It would be a down grade except that he'll now have access to an outside yard and free medical benefits.

          What is more he could engage in some much needed personal hygiene. ;-) (Good to see you in action again.)

        2. Mike Richards Silver badge

          Re: @Remeses

          ' I don't know if there's a statute for jumping bail.'

          Nope. It has an indefinite duration.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Divided by Riches

        That sentence sounds like a Harvey Weinstein gig, Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

        1. Spacedinvader
          Happy

          Re: Divided by Riches

          Sounds like Red Dwarf to me...

        2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

          Re: Divided by Riches

          @ amanfromMars 1

          It was more a thinly veiled reference to the old Futurama meme along the lines of "Fine, I'l start my own prison system. With BlackJack! And Hookers! In Fact, forget the prison system!" but may have lost something in translation.

      3. Scorchio!!

        "By this argument, people are allowed to choose where they spend their custodial sentences."

        Indeed, but you must remember that, in Assange land, one is not only allowed to choose how and where a sentence is served, but also the medium in which case police interviews and court cases are conducted!

      4. streaky

        By this argument, people are allowed to choose where they spend their custodial sentences. I don't see that being allowed to become legal precedent.

        Precisely. He isn't being held in an actual prison then he isn't being held is the legal standard; being on the lamb in South America doesn't count else Ronnie Biggs would have never served time when he landed back in the UK; it doesn't count as time served and arguing it does is completely absurd. Sooner Assange realises this the sooner he'll be out of prison and deported to Australia so he can be deported to the US. If you're gonna fuck with legal systems at least learn how to do it right, be in a non-extradition country before you do it.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

    "it is for the accused to prove he has reasonable cause for his failure to surrender... Mr Assange failed to surrender to custody." ..... Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, the Chief Magistrate

    Surely the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts, is grounds enough for reasonable cause that justice has not and is not being served and servered by judges?

    1. ArrZarr
      Thumb Down

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      He skipped bail. Now that the Swedish case has been closed, he is only wanted in the UK for skipping bail. What would you suggest? The evidence on him skipping bail is distinctly one sided so he would still need to serve his time.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        Assange might need some kind of pardon to avoid prosecution for "failure to appear". Yeah, not very likely.

        I'm still rather thankful to what he did back in October of 2016, though.

    2. JimC

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      In other news, campaigners are protesting about the injustices to the late Ronald Arthur Biggs, forced to live in Australia and Brazil for 36 years.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      He was named in a European Arrest Warrant. He was duly arrested, and bailed. He skipped bail. Skipping bail is a crime. He doesn't dispute any of those facts.

      The underlying prosecution in Sweden has been paused as not a meaningful use of time while he's hiding away in his little cupboard. It hasn't been withdrawn or hit any sort of statute of limitations.

      So no disputed facts have been withdrawn at any level, and he doesn't dispute having committed a crime.

    4. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      That's a circular argument though, so he can't use it.

      He's currently being pursued because he jumped bail. He needs to show that he had reasonable cause to jump bail, you can't then point at the result of you jumping bail as 'proof'.

      Irregardless, I don't think that line of argument is likely to fly anyway. Even if an extradition request to the US were then to appear, he'd have had a right to challenge it, so the other side will argue that jumping bail still wasn't reasonable.

      So he'd need to show a reasonable likelihood of a 'dodgy' removal to the US, which he's probably not going to be able to do. Even the rumours of the sealed indictment would ordinarily result in a formal extradition request rather than a snatch.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        Big Brother

        @ Ben ... Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        Just a nit... being a grammar Nazi... the word is regardless not irregardless. ;-)

        But I digress.

        If the US wants him, they will nail him in Australia and not in the UK. The Aussies will gladly hand him over without the red tape.

        Assange will then be forced to talk about what he knows about the DNC hack and who his source really was in exchange for a lighter sentence over his alleged involvement in the Manning hack. (Why did you think he was afraid of the US in the first place? ) [See Manning's Article 32 hearing transcripts. ]

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          "Assange will then be forced to talk about what he knows about the DNC hack and who his source really was in exchange for a lighter sentence over his alleged involvement in the Manning hack."

          The Australian judge who convicted him on 25 counts did warn him that next time he would serve a custodial sentence. Failure to talk could result in an even worse sentence too. One of those 'Max' prisons I hear so much about. He could even share a landing with that Muslim terrorist we sent over there; 'the hook', who apparently would far rather serve time in Belmarsh, which the civil rights mob here thing is so 'nathty'.

        2. Adam 1

          Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          > Just a nit... being a grammar Nazi... the word is regardless not irregardless. ;-)

          > But I digress

          Please. Know apologies necessary. Its nonacceptable for they're post their too contain sew many errors. If your just going to let it slide, its going to be dog's living with cat's.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          I've always seen it play out one of two ways, Asange goes back to Sweden and nothing happens or he gets deported to Oz and the Aussies hands him over on platter.

          I'm not sure these is any circumstances that Sweden would hand assange over to the US.

          I base this off the fact of a US airman that went awol and illegally entered Sweden and Sweden to this day refuse hand him over.

          1. Andrew Norton

            Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

            "I'm not sure these is any circumstances that Sweden would hand assange over to the US.

            I base this off the fact of a US airman that went awol and illegally entered Sweden and Sweden to this day refuse hand him over."

            Sweden does not extradite to the US for 'political crimes'. That includes espionage, going AWOL, etc.

            Sweden was the second most common destination after Canada for those dodging the Vietnam draft (after canada because of its proximity) because of this.

            In 1992 the *ONLY* CIA officer to defect to the USSR was arrested in Sweden and the US requested extradition. Sweden refused and let him go, because espionage is a 'political crime'. Do note that the President at the Time - Bush Senior - was Vice president at the time of the defection (85) and was a former CIA director. To say Bush had an interest in the case was an understatement.

            And Assange knows this. In fact in his press conference to announce he was applying for Swedish residency in the summer of 2010 (just days before the first alleged sexual assault) he specifically mentioned that the inability of the US to extradite him from Sweden for 'political crimes' was a major factor in his decision to move there.

            Funny how he conveniently forgot that bit on his website touting his Swedish extradition to the US fantasies...

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          " the word is regardless not irregardless"

          one of the many common grammar screwups, like using "alot" instead of "a lot", or "could care less" instead of "couldn't care less". Irregardless. heh.

        5. streaky

          Re: @ Ben ... A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          Just a nit... being a grammar Nazi... the word is regardless not irregardless. ;-)

          Trouble with grammar Nazis is they're almost always wrong. Irregardless is a valid word in English, whilst being strange at a technical level it is completely legitimate to use.

          Also there's no such thing as Standard English which is precisely why English is such a great language, it evolves; in contrast to for example French. Hell, English is born of evolution.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. The People
        Alert

        Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        Very suspect how 98% of the comments on here originate by the same IP address.

        As most people know, quite simply Assange went into exile due to the threats to his life made by an administration rife with corruption and whom know no bounds. It would not be right for Assange to have gambled his life by submitting to a bail condition where there was the possibility of risk to life. Active threats to his life were made by key figureheads within the US administration, this was not mere speculation.

        Given the current Nunes upheaval only adding further weight to the nightmare that is the US justice system, it is undeniable that Assange had a justified basis to fear them. Given the conduct of the incarceration he has thus far endured and all the phases the process has traversed, it is Res ipsa loquitur that the UK have at best, played fast and loose with the rules without regard for the welfare of Assange or recognition that the evidence of the originating claim has been proven bogus.

        Instead, the synthetic commentary hopes to divert us to the simple fact that due to a proposed bail offence, the basis of which being unlawful, therefore he deserves it, one would be forgiven for thinking the comments system is ran by the Clinton foundation. The facts of the matter seem to be, most of the comments show knee jerk reactionaries with zero knowledge of the whole affair. This is nothing less than a damning indictment of UK law enforcement and CPS conduct.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          @The People

          Very suspect how 98% of the comments on here originate by the same IP address.

          What utter bollocks. Where would you get that information from?

          As most people know, quite simply Assange went into exile due to the threats to his life made by an administration rife with corruption and whom know no bounds. It would not be right for Assange to have gambled his life by submitting to a bail condition where there was the possibility of risk to life. Active threats to his life were made by key figureheads within the US administration, this was not mere speculation.

          Even more bollocks. At the time that Assange chose to break UK law and skip bail, there were no threats against him from the US administration.

          This is nothing less than a damning indictment of UK law enforcement and CPS conduct.

          And finally, BOLLOCKS!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          Crackpot conspiracy theory by you, The People. And accusing your fellow commentards of being some kind of Russian Twitter-bot is, frankly, disrepectful.

        3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          > Very suspect how 98% of the comments on here originate by the same IP address.

          Start your comment with a crock, that'll help establish your credibility.....

          Others have already pointed out just how broken and wrong the rest of your comment is, so I won't repeat it

    5. Ian Michael Gumby

      @amanfrom Mars Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      Still not taking your meds? ;-)

      The law is that if someone posts bond, you do a runner, you're guilty of jumping bail and they forfeit the bail money.

      You get caught, you're going straight to jail and do your time for jumping bail, regardless if everything else pans out.

      Assange created his own mess. Now he has to live with it.

      1. Winkypop Silver badge

        Re: Ian Michael Gumby A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        Re: "Assange created his own mess. Now he has to live with it."

        Should have worn that condom.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Thumb Up

          @Winky Re: Ian Michael Gumby A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          Touche!

          And it gets to the heart of the matter.

          Had to upvote you for that.

    6. macjules Silver badge

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      Surely the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts, is grounds enough for reasonable cause that justice has not and is not being served and servered by judges?

      1) Would that be a Linux or Windows server?

      2) They have not actually dropped the charges against him. To quote the Swedish prosecutor "“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately.”. Thus once he is winkled out of his broom cupboard the UK could then notify Swedish authorities (or US ones, according to your taste in conspiracy theories), and say "Here he is, would you like him gift-wrapped?".

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        "(or US ones, according to your taste in conspiracy theories)"

        Just to make sure no one gets the wrong idea; it's been made abundantly clear that under the terms of the EAW prisoners cannot be extradited to a third party, e.g. the USA. However, and as we have both said over years now, in fleeing to the UK (after his counsel advised him that the Swedish police intended to interview and charge him, per Swedish due process) Assange in fleeing to the UK placed himself in greater risk, simply because one T Blair signed an agreement with G Bush that technically allows for swift extradition... ...tho' with offenders who have a diagnosis of ASD (Aspergers variant) this seems not to happen. Perhaps Julie could say he has Aspergers syndrome? Hur.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby

          @Scorchio! Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          Long time no see. :-)

          There are two things.

          If Assange surrenders for jumping bail, it gives Sweden time to see if they still want him. Assuming that they don't, then the UK will toss him back to Australia. Technically they can send him anywhere but because he's been a tool and cost the UK $$$$$ in police hours... They'll most likely toss him back to Australia.

          What happens next is going to be interesting.

          1) Will Australia let him out?

          Australia can take his Aussie passport away.

          2) Will they allow him to leave using his Ecuador passport?

          If he does, could the Aussies bar him from returning? He's no longer traveling on an Aussie passport ...

          3) Does the US really want him?

          So far nothing has popped up, but that doesn't matter.

          If the US wants him... they'll nail him in Australia when he lands. No chance to clear customs and jump a flight to Ecuador ...

          1. kain preacher

            Re: @Scorchio! A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

            Actually the UK can't send him any were. The country must except him

            1. Ian Michael Gumby

              @Kain ... Re: @Scorchio! A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

              I think that was implied. The point was that the UK could say get out and leave never to come back. Or they could say... you came to us on an Aussie passport, so back to Australia you go.

              Most likely they'll send him back to Australia who has to take him...

      2. Ian Michael Gumby
        Boffin

        @macjules Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        If memory serves, two of the charges have past their statute of limitations. If only Sweden allowed to be charged in abstentia... then all would be right in the world.

        The third charge had a longer statute of limitations so he could theoretically be on the hook for that. However as time goes on... the victims will want to put this behind them if they haven't already and move on.

        So the likelihood of Sweden grabbing him? Less and Less each day. Assange knows this. His bet is that if he can get the UK to drop the jumping bail charges, he can scurry out of the Embassy to Ecuador before anyone is the wiser and laugh at everyone. If he goes to the UK for jumping bail... it gives time for the Swedes to consider their options.

        The US won't touch him in the UK. They will wait until he's back in Australia. You can bet the UK won't let him choose where he goes when he gets the boot. He's going back to mama.

        1. Chris 155

          Re: @macjules A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          Th US won't touch him anyway.

          They'd like to, but there's too much risk for too little payoff. Even in the post Trump era of "fake news", the press still has the power to make life distinctly uncomfortable for politicians and even if they all hate him, letting Assange go down for receiving the Manning files would be massively against their interests.

          An extradition from Australia or the UK would have political fallout for closely allied governments. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but when the chances of conviction are slim to none it's a big price to pay.

          Mr Assange should probably assume his travel plans can't include any US destinations for the forseeable future, but unless he's done something other than what we know and he thinks the US can prove it, he's got zero chance of getting extradited.

          Julian Assange's biggest worry is that the US won't extradite him and he'll be rendered even more irrelevant.

        2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: @macjules A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          If memory serves, two of the charges have past their statute of limitations. If only Sweden allowed to be charged in abstentia... then all would be right in the world.

          For those readers from the US or other jurisdictions

          In the UK limitations on criminal acts are very limited (and to magistrates courts)

          a magistrates’ court shall not try an information or hear a complaint unless the information was laid, or the complaint made, within 6 months from the time when the offence was committed, or the matter of complaint arose.

          Unless the prosecution made a very big blunder, which does not appear to have happened here, there is no apparent limitation. In addition, the director of public prosecutions can override a time bar on any offence. And limiting bail in this way would be a 'get out of jail free' sticker for too many crims.

        3. gnasher729 Silver badge

          Re: @macjules A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

          "If memory serves, two of the charges have past their statute of limitations. If only Sweden allowed to be charged in abstentia... then all would be right in the world."

          Can't find Swedish rules. In California, for example, the clock for "statute of limitations" stops running in many cases when you leave the country. So it is quite likely that statute of limitations doesn't apply to Assange.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: @macjules A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

            "In California, for example, the clock for "statute of limitations" stops running in many cases when you leave the country."

            It also stops if you end up incarcerated anywhere. An episode of Dragnet had this very fact as a legal issue in the case for that episode (1970 season, involved someone about to be paroled and whether or not to extradite the person to California for 14-year-old offenses where the statute of limitations was postponed due to the previous imprisonment).

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      "Surely the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts, is grounds enough for reasonable cause that justice has not and is not being served and servered by judges?"

      Skipping bail is an offence in its own right. The magistrate lays out the law quite clearly in the judgement.

    8. Scorchio!!

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      Surely the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts, is grounds enough for reasonable cause that justice has not and is not being served and servered by judges?

      When did you stop beating your husband?

      No; he has not been prosecuted, and he cannot be excused, else every bail jumper in the UK will cite him as precedent. This cannot be allowed, but thank you for playing and using Assange logic.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

        It'ds the Assange variant of Mornington Crescent

    9. Velv
      Boffin

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts

      In what universe is he still being persecuted/prosecuted after removal of the facts? The ONLY case currently against him is that he jumped bail, a fact which remains entirely true and is not disputed in any way.

    10. streaky

      Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

      Surely the fact that he is still being persecuted/prosecuted long after removal of disputed facts, is grounds enough for reasonable cause that justice has not and is not being served and servered by judges?

      That he's a bail skipper isn't a disputed fact, and that's what he's wanted for - at least today - and that's all that matters. If people are allowed to hide until everybody forgets about them it brings the entire legal system into disrepute. Given the people who put up his bail were let off for being simpletons it's fairly important that he not get away with it for that and because explicitly he's high profile, which is to say it passes the test of being in the public interest to prosecute him for that alone.

  3. JimmyPage
    Stop

    He needs to show that he had reasonable cause to jump bail

    Does he ?

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: He needs to show that he had reasonable cause to jump bail

      If he wants to negate the arrest warrant issued for him under Section 6 of the Bail Act 1976, then yes he does.

      1. JimmyPage
        Thumb Up

        @ThomH

        Thanks for a quick explanation.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      @Jimmy Page Re: He needs to show that he had reasonable cause to jump bail

      Did he?

      Sure. He wanted to avoid going to Sweden to face Rape Charges. If found guilty... he'd pretty much have been banned from most of Europe. (That and for being a prat)

      But that's not enough to get the bail jumping tossed.

      Note: He went to court 3 times to get the EAW rejected. He lost 0-3.

      He then jumped bail.

      Now he's going to face time in the UK prison system and then sent packing to Australia.

      Note: While he has an Ecuadorian passport, he entered the UK as a Aussie so that's where he's going to be sent packing. (BTW, that's where his dear old mum resides and she plead to the Brits to allow her son to come home...)

      The best thing for Assange is to get the Ecuadorian Staff to help sneak him out and on to a private flight out of the country. But most likely someone would snitch and he'd be caught. (No longer an Ecuadorian issue...) ;-)

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