back to article UK Home Sec kick-starts US request to extradite ex-WikiLeaker Assange

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed this morning that he has signed papers to have Julian Assange extradited to the US. Speaking on BBC radio earlier today, Javid said: "There's an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will …

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  1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Is this actually a news story? I'm no expert on the legal process, but it doesn't look like the Home Sec has actually made a decision at all. He's just OK'ed the case to proceed to court. His final decision is after the court case and inevitable appeals have finished.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      You gotta love a legal system where one politician makes the law.

      1. Saruman the White Silver badge

        He is not making the law up. He is following the procedures laid down by the law as it currently exists.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        teknopaul,

        No politician makes the law here. Other than the MPs who voted for it 15 years ago. Extradition has a political element. Which is basically allowing politicians to block extradition if there's a reason to - the Home Secretary doesn't have the power to make anything happen or cause anybody to go to prison, but they do have the power to stop the whole process. Which is a good thing in my opinion - and in both the cases of the US extradition treaty and the European Arrest warrant system - I woulld argue that we've taken too much power out of the hands of politicians to stop foreign courts from gaining access to our citizens.

        Also, in these cases, the Home Secretary is acting in a quasi-judicial role, which means that their decision is subject to lots of legal process that they, and the civil servants advising them, have to strictly follow - or their decision will be subject to judicial review.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Presumably if he weren't okay with this then he could save everyone time and money and reject it now.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Thats not the way politics works. We have to been seen by the Yanks to following due process.

        Besides given Javiid is cut from the usual Home Sec cloth (ie he's had the raving authoritarian fascist implant installed just like his predecessors), there is no certainty he would reject the request at *any* point.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Is it where they install that implant that causes the ridiculous power pose on the first day?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            .. and the squeaky voice to offset it, just to demonstrate that karma has a sense of humour.

            :)

        2. Ian Michael Gumby
          Boffin

          @Gordon10 It would be due process.

          Yes he could reject the extradition outright.

          That would be a 'due process' outcome.

          The only issue is why would he do that?

          There's evidence that he did commit the criminal act. Then there's his antics that cost the British Government millions in overtime for police monitoring the embassy.

          So forcing this to go through the appeals process is the right thing. It will not be a show trial but one where the US will show their cards.

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        At this point it's a point of law, not the Home Secretaries opinion. If he refused now there would likely be an appeal and he would lose.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      But surely he could of rejected it and said no. Sweden first. Or is he just bending over backwards for Trump.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        You can say many things about Javie, but one thing he is not is a fan of Trump.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        It seems the Swedes have backed out if you read TFA. He should have stayed there in the first place if he really wanted to avoid the US. Maybe he just wanted to avoid doing time in Sweden.

      3. dizwell

        Have. He could *have*. He could not "of rejected" anything.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hey a pedant.

          Nobody cares mate but you and anyone else who knows it's a mistake.

          The rest of us don't care whether you care - we know what he meant.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            Headmaster

            The thing is mate, that most people here work in IT, where getting so much as the wrong case for a single letter in a command can cause problems, so yes, we're all pedants here. So much so that there's an icon for when one is being pedantic >>>>>>>>

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              You miss the point. In this case, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

              Unless you're arguing for people digging their heels in over trivia, for no other reason than to claim they're right and everyone else is wrong. Which would be pathetic.

              But these days, with all the suppressed hate, not surprising :(

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Hey AC,

                Quit with "the rest of us" and "nobody".

                You speak only for yourself.

                The GCSE examiners care, teachers care, and when this prevailing influence finds its way onto English exam papers it costs. So some people do care.

                I understand that it's fashionable to be dumb and thick is the new clever innit mandem, but it's not all about you.

      4. Ian Michael Gumby
        Boffin

        The interesting thing is that Sweden could argue that they get first bite at him.

        The law gets a bit murky on this because there is a single count of rape that they can charge him. Does that take priority over the US? Maybe. So then what happens? Even if the US loses in the UK (doubtful) they will get additional bites at him in Australia where he would have less of a chance to win an appeal.

        And this isn't bending over for Trump.

        The indictment against him was during Obama.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          There's no real difference in substance between Trump and Obama.

          There are cosmetic differences in style. And the grovelling fawning to Obama by all the press was replaced by utter hatred towards Trump to stop him implementing anything; not even because of their distaste for Trump, but because of that deep burning hatred of the American Peeple who chose Trump disobeying the direct orders the Press gave to these inbred ingrates, the American Media has. Also, compared to Big Chief Sit-On-Hands, Trump's policies, however base and vile, are crafted to stand, whereas Obama's name was writ in water.

          However, as with the comment above on Home Secretaries, eventually all new presidents go into the same mould, and end up pursuing the same ends as their handler's force them to.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Judicious Shenanigans .....

      If Julian is leading defence counsel, is not every shred of evidence in the prosecution required by law to be shared directly to him, in order to ensure a true defence against every form of attack?

      He then shares with supporting counsel.

      It would also give him something constructive/destructive to do. Another Chance to Defend Actions against Consequences for Benefits to the Greater Good.

      He is allowed such an accommodation surely? Anything less would be to call everything out as a sham with mickey mouse show trials in the pipeline. Not a great plan that one.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @A Man From Marse Re: Judicious Shenanigans .....

        If Julian is leading defence counsel, is not every shred of evidence in the prosecution required by law to be shared directly to him, in order to ensure a true defence against every form of attack?

        Huh?

        Not during the appeals hearing.

        The evidence is taken at face value.

        Also the US can claim some of the evidence to be classified.

        The UK courts may or may not agree and then there's a way of handling this.

        When you have classified material, IIRC there needs to be a special counsel for defense to see and handle the secure information.

    6. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      @Spartacus ...

      You are correct.

      The reason its a news story is that he could have blocked it rather than let it move forward.

      What many don't understand is that the US have to make all of their claims against Assange now. Even if they drop the charges when he is extradited. Some legal analysts here in the states wrongly concluded that the US overplayed their hand. This is typical of lawyers to sue everyone they can and let the case shake them out.

      This was a long time in the making.

      Assange hired a defense attorney to shadow Manning's trial. Now we know why.

      During Manning's Article 32 hearing, evidence came to light that Assange assisted in the theft. It never went to trial (court martial) because Manning plead guilty to those charges.

      So there is evidence if taken to be true is enough for the extradition.

      Because Manning didn't get the death penalty. Assange will be hard pressed to argue that point as a way to stop extradition. Manning will have his chance for appeals, but it will end up like his last one.

    7. opaque

      Some people think the process shouldn’t be happening atall. This is a story for those people to show they are wrong

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Sweden

    I'd like to seem him stand trial for the sexual assault charges in Sweden.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Sweden

      I would rather face charges of sexual assault in Sweden than any custodial charge in the US.

      1. _LC_ Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Sweden

        "I would rather face charges of sexual assault in Sweden than any custodial charge in the US."

        That could be funny.

        It is all about a broken condom. The woman claims he did it on purpose, while he says that it was an accident.

        Now here's where it becomes really interesting: The woman gave 'the broken condom' to the prosecution. They couldn't find her DNA, nor did they find his. That didn't stop them, however...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sweden

          Whenever the US decides somebody is an enemy, suddenly they all are sexual perverts.

          So highly suspicious.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: Sweden

            Whenever the US decides somebody is an enemy, suddenly they all are sexual perverts.

            So they found his stash of whips, chains, and fine leathers??

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: Sweden

              Of course, hidden at the back of Bolton’s closet. Apparently Assange stashed them there.

        2. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Sweden

          I'd like to know how you think they obtained a sample of his DNA to test if his DNA was on the items, as you've alleged.

          I can find no reputable link that mentions any nonsense like that. In fact, they *think* they found his DNA on one of the condoms from the other women - but they can't confirm without a DNA test. Hell, the other one could have just been the wrong one pulled out of the bin.

          If he's that innocent, it'll all come out in court, she'll be made a fool of, end of story. Hell, if it was *that* much a cover-up all that nonsense you spout wouldn't be out in the public domain, would it?

          P.S. DNA is far from infallible.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sweden

            P.S. DNA is far from infallible.

            Likewise for rape allegations by all accounts.

          2. _LC_ Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: Sweden

            "I'd like to know how you think they obtained a sample of his DNA to test if his DNA was on the items, as you've alleged.

            I can find no reputable link that mentions any nonsense like that. In fact, they *think* they found his DNA on one of the condoms from the other women - but they can't confirm without a DNA test."

            ------------

            You Sir are babbling out of your rectum. That is, unless you are trying to belittle "The Register", calling it a non-reputable source:

            https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/17/assange_case_police_report/

            "The case against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be on the brink of collapse following claims from the defence team that the central piece of evidence used in the case does not contain Assange’s DNA.

            According to details that have emerged in a 100-page police report submitted after witnesses were interviewed and forensic evidence had been examined, the condom submitted for evidence by one of the key alleged sexual assault victims does not contain Assange’s DNA.

            Assange’s legal team have alleged that the lack of conclusive DNA evidence suggests that fake evidence may have been submitted and is calling the entire process into question. ..."

            1. Nick Kew

              Citation Needed

              Whether the Reg is a reputable source is not relevant here. Just look at what it's reporting. It's not claiming what you say as facts, merely as claims. The purpose of a trial would be for a Court to test those claims against others that may contradict them. That's why a court hears from both sides before reaching a decision!

              1. _LC_ Silver badge
                Angel

                Re: Citation Needed

                You love to twist words, but aren't really that capable, I presume.

                "I can find no reputable link that mentions any nonsense like that."

                That was the claim. I responded. You made up some more horse s...

                1. Nick Kew

                  Re: Citation Needed

                  I'd've posted in response to your first wild assertion, but discussion seemed to have moved on from there before I saw it.

                  Whoever wrote the words you quote was pursuing a different line of argument, not relevant to my point: none of the claims on either side have been tested in court.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: Citation Needed

                    Broken condom was one incident.

                    Second one was him penetrating a sleeping woman whilst bareback, when her ex boyfriend stated that there is no way the woman would ever contemplate consenting to bareback, it was unthinkable to her.

        3. Brangdon

          Re: It is all about a broken condom.

          Not all. He's also accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Sweden

      Amusingly it's his refusal to make himself available to the Swedish authorities for interview that has prevented them from filing charges, and left the US with the priority claim. He truly is the author of his own misfortune.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Sweden

      I agree. He should have gone to Sweden, and I don't approve of their judicial system having let him get away with hiding. Which seems to me, admittedly as someone very ignorant of Swedish due process, to be what's happened. Their Supreme Court ruled that continuing to pursue him when in the embassy was "disproportionate", and so forced the prosecutor's office to reverse the EAW. Which looks to me like endorsing his tactic of running away.

      I also don't approve of statute of limitations on rape cases. On minor crimes, I'm fine with it. But I don't see why we should reward criminals who successfully evade prosecution for a few years by letting them off if they can wait long enough. Seems rather tough on the victims. Although I admit that evidence gets less reliable as it gets older, so I can understand the reason for it.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @Spartacus Re: Sweden

        Sorry mate, but only capital crimes don't have a statute of limitation.

        Unless of course there's a conspiracy of obstruction. Then the clock resets with each conspiracy act..

        I think the problem is that the Swedes can't try him in absentia.

    4. R3sistance

      Re: Sweden

      The whole reason Assange avoided the charges in Sweden to begin with is because Sweden will almost certainly hand him over to the US. The cases in Sweden were weak to begin with and are likely there as a method of the US to try to extradite him indirectly. Even if found guilty in Sweden, there is the likelihood that he would then be extradited to the US after.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Sweden

        The UK has always been more likely to hand him over to the US. This, together with the fact that there wasn't any extradition request in process when he painted himself into the corner of the embassy leads me to think it was just the Swedish charges he was avoiding.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Sweden

          I think the UK just wants him out of the country. They've spent a small fortune watching the embassy plus dealing with all the fallout.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sweden

            Re: "They've spent a small fortune watching the embassy"

            They've chosen to waste exorbitant amounts of tax payers money on police surveillance and then have the audacity to claim there's no money to tackle knife crime.

            When the budget is limited you have to cut your cloth accordingly. The overlords and masters have decided (on our behalf /s) that an enemy of the US is worth more than lots of knifed Londoners.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sweden

          I totally agree, the idea that he had to hide from UK authorities to dodge being extradited to Sweden to avoid being extradited to the US is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of!

          It would only make sense if the UK didn't have an extradition treaty with the US. Only an idiot would believe this excuse.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      A non emouse Re: Sweden

      Here! Here!

      I don't think that he's not going to be going to Sweden.

      I think the US will get him after Sweden.

      I mean he could be tried and sentenced in Sweden (Assuming he's found guilty) and then while serving his sentence, be hauled to the US. ) While in US custody, it would still count as time served for his Swedish sentence.

      Its a mess and its all of Assange's own making.

    6. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Sweden

      I'd like to seem him stand trial for the sexual assault charges in Sweden.

      I bet you would.

  3. mhenriday
    FAIL

    Oh, the irony !

    And in the meantime, large numbers of people in Hong Kong are protesting a bill on a restrictive extradition agreement between the local authority and (the rest of) China, while neglecting the fact that it does have such an agreement with the United States (Fugitive Offenders (USA) Order : Cap. 503 Laws of Hong Kong). Talk about the mote in one's neighbour's eye !...

    Henri

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