back to article London's Metropolitan Police arrest Julian Assange

Julian Assange has been arrested by London cops at the Ecuadorian Embassy after the nation revoked the asylum it had given him for nearly seven years. BREAKING: #Assange removed from embassy - video pic.twitter.com/qsHy7ZVPg5 — Ruptly (@Ruptly) April 11, 2019 The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) issued a statement this …

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    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn time!

      According to latest news reports; the Met arrested him in relation with a US extradition request.

      I think we'll need a lot of popcorn.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Popcorn time!

      Jay 2,

      They've stopped pursuing the case. It was considered "disproportionate" given they had no chance of winkling him out of the embassy. Plus they couldn't agree to host the pre-charge interview in the embassy.

      They've got until the statute of limitation ends next year on the 2 rape investigations to re-open the case. At the time they suspended it, their prosecutor said that's what she'd do if circumstances changed - but then that was 2-3 years ago.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Killing Time

        Re: Popcorn time!

        But we do know the facts -

        Fact - He was released on bail by a UK court and chose of his own volition not to appear in court to answer the charges.

        Fact - He chose of his own volition to reside in the Ecuadorean embassy for seven years and by his general behaviour alienate his hosts to the extent that they withdrew their offer of citizenship and asylum.

        What isn't a fact or a reasonable assumption is that he wouldn't get a fair trial. If that was a reasonable assumption then every criminal brought before the court would have an infallible defence.

        It's the courts role to decide which actions or beliefs are reasonable and which are not.

        Assange understands that even if you don't, he jumped bail as he knows deep down that defence might work in the court of general opinion, those with little concept of the fundamentals of the justice system, those who are easily led and convinced of grand conspiracy or even those who were just to dumb to question why he felt he was so special, but it wouldn't work in front of educated, legally trained professionals.

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Popcorn time!

        "The USA says he is a traitor"

        No it doesn't. The US accuses him of conspiracy to commit a crime, which he almost certainly did, having discussed the leak with Bradley Manning BEFORE it took place.

      3. CRConrad

        Wrong, it's hilarious.

        "ah umaway" claims:

        What a horrible thing to say without knowing the facts. If he is innocent, there is nothing fun about what he suffered through the last seven years.
        What he's "suffered" -- and, much more, made others suffer -- was all totally of his own making, so the delicious Schadenfreude we're all enjoying now is not "horrible" at all but well-deserved. Nobody ordered him to hole up in that embassy, and nobody certainly ordered him to behave like a fucking skunk while in there. It's all on him.

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Popcorn time!

        "The USA says he is a traitor:"

        When did he become a US citizen? Enquiring gnomes wish to mine.

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Interesting timing ....

    A few weeks ago the Attorney Generals plane spent a few days at Luton ... just before the Mueller report.

    Given Assange has been linked to Trumps Russia connections and Farage in the UK, he might have a very interesting tale to tell while he's a guest.

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: Interesting timing ....

      "the Attorney Generals plane spent a few days at Luton"

      If Assange were to be forced to spend a few days at Luton that would be ruled out of order as a cruel and unusual punishment.

      (I had to spend the first 14 years of my life in Luton).

      1. macjules

        Re: Interesting timing ....

        Agreed. 1 day in Luton departures should be regarded as the equivalent of 2 months waterboarding at Gitmo. Worst airport on the planet without any other to come close. Imagine an airport where departing planes have to taxi uphill to get to the runway.

        1. Stratman

          Re: Interesting timing ....

          Worst airport on the planet without any other to come close.

          You've not been to Chambery then...

          1. Joe 37

            Re: Interesting timing ....

            Really, really don't try Jan Smuts, Bulawayo, Harare, Lusaka or especially Charles de Gaulle then. The worst of those by a long way was CdeG.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Interesting timing ....

              CdeG

              I remember my first time flying into there - my first thought on entering Arrivals was "what *is* that smell"?.

              Having a somewhat sensitive nose[1] can be a pain at times and the Arrivals hall at CdeG was one of those. None of the other airports/train stations near Paris smell anywhere near as bad.

              [1] Really bad eyesight, really good hearing and sense of smell.

            2. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: Interesting timing ....

              Upvoted for CdeG. With the EU fast track restricted to French and Benelux citizens only.

        2. Stoneshop
          Coat

          Re: Interesting timing ....

          Imagine an airport where departing planes have to taxi uphill t

          ... both ways, with just a handful of cold, poisonous gravel for fuel, etc.

      2. Jemma

        Re: Interesting timing ....

        3 years for me, working in Hatfield - that really is cruel and unusual punishment - ah the memories. ShITenet - the lowest common denominator would have been a step up.

        It's the UK version of LV426.

        1. Alien8n

          Re: Interesting timing ....

          "It's the UK version of LV426."

          It's not that bad.... (LV426 I mean)

        2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Interesting timing ....

          At least on LV426 there isn't a gravel car park half a mile from the terminal with little walkways placed in random places to make it harder to reach. And in the main building itself there aren't surly operatives telling you to queue here, queue there, then wait to be called. You know where you on LV426. You do need to know where your flame-thrower is though.

          1. macjules

            Re: Interesting timing ....

            At least on LV426 you do not have to pay £1 for the privilege of bagging any liquids into a clear plastic bag. No other airport does that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Russia connections

      You don't think that if Assange had anything juicy to tell there he wouldn't have spilled his guts long ago? Any leverage he had ended the moment he was taken into custody.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        You're mistaken - Assange has no guts to spill

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Interesting timing ....

      "Assange has been linked to Trumps Russia connections"

      you mean the NON-EXISTENT connections, right? The existence of both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny has more credibility...

      (fake news)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting timing ....

        Hold your horses there Trumpbot!

        The many and varied Russian connections of all sorts of people surrounding Trump have been well documented, as have the constant lies they told to conceal them. Mueller didn't indict anyone on conspiracy charges for working with Russians, but he did not say the Russian connections don't exist! He detailed two separate Russian efforts to help Trump's campaign.

        Amazing how the bar was lowered from "no contact with Russians" all the way down to "no collusion", and when no charges for collusion have been made you're trying to back the train up all the way to "no connections" which is total unadulterated bullshit. There are tons of connections with Russians, and may be more in the full Mueller report that haven't been reported yet in the "fake news".

        The fact that Trump's lackey AG won't release Mueller's report without heavy redaction - including some made up category about "people who haven't been charged" meaning every mention of Trump or his children will probably be erased - shows there's plenty Trump wants to hide, even if it doesn't rise the level of criminality. If it really was "full exoneration" we'd see a nearly complete report put out, with only very minor redactions involving ongoing litigation or intelligence sources/methods.

        Remember what you guys all said about Hillary, that the fact the FBI didn't charge her didn't mean he was innocent of the charges, only that they didn't think they had enough to convict her. The same may be true for Trump, but rather than having the head of the FBI scolding him for behavior that doesn't rise to the level of indictment he's planning to cover up all mention of everyone who wasn't charged.

        1. holmegm

          Re: Interesting timing ....

          The problem is that "perfectly legal contacts with Russians" isn't justification for letting your political opponents use the FBI to investigate every inch of your life and then dump everything they dug up on the public, when even the supposed crime justifying it all (and which the aptly named "probe" wasn't limited to) didn't ever happen.

          But to hell with fairness and justice and terrible precedents, because must-hate-Trump.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Interesting timing ....

            "Your political opponents"? I guess you believe Trump's lies about "13 angry democrats"? Mueller is a lifelong republican, appointed as head of the FBI by a republican president.

            Your statement could apply equally to Bill Clinton, where congressional republicans appointed a highly partisan special counsel to investigate a money losing investment called Whitewater, and the only thing they could get him on was lying about a blowjob. If that was fair game, then surely Mueller's investigation that has resulted in dozens in indictments and has a half dozen people going to jail with potentially more on the way was as well.

            The investigation was determine IF there was collusion since there was plenty of evidence showing that Russian was helping Trump's campaign and there were multiple contacts between the campaign and Russians. If nothing was criminal then it doesn't mean "oh the investigation should never have happened". If a cop drives by a house and hears a gunshot, should he not investigate, even if it turns out a guy was cleaning his gun and it accidentally discharged?

            The Russia probe had ample grounds for starting, and if it had partisan motives then Obama would have made sure it became publicly known BEFORE the election, to dampen Trump's story about how she was the criminal and implying he's clean. He may not have colluded, and while he certainly obstructed they don't have enough evidence to get him on that. They will have enough evidence to get him for tax fraud, that's why Trump has always been worried about having investigators digging in to him. NY investigators are already looking at his state taxes, he may have an indictment waiting on him the minute he leaves office (and then he won't be able to illegally block congress from getting their hands on his federal returns)

  2. AIBailey
    Coat

    I would play a tune on my violin for him...

    ... but it's so small I lost it in my coat pocket. -->

  3. caffeine addict

    How exactly is it illegal for the Ecuadorian govt to remove asylum status from someone? Isn't it their gift to treat or rescind at will?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      You're forgetting that what St Julian says is law.

      1. Danny 2

        Julian H Cope copyrighted Saint Julian in 1987.

        You row out to meet me, I was chained

        That current's strong I guess

        And Christian spy plane overhead

        But I would not confess

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because refugee status is governed by international treaties. In general you have to be able to demonstrate that the person offered asylum either no longer needs it, got it through misrepresentation, or has committed a serious crime. The "no longer needs it" bit is very general, and can include things like applying for citizenship of a country other than the one giving you asylum.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        I guess now we find out how much paranoia was justified.

        So UK has first dibs over Assange for his bail jumping, which may involve a spot in jail & being deprived of pussy. And then.. Possibly Sweden, who may decide they have no interest. Which then might mean Assange being PNG'd and put on a plane bound for Australia.

        Or the US may decide they care, and ask for extradition, which presumably would mean longer jail time here given his previous flight risk, and a lengthy bit of court drama whilst any extradition request gets challenged, appealed, and then results in Assange being put on a plane to the US or Australia. Or somewhere else, depending on where he's a citizen of today.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Boffin

          @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

          No, Sweden has first dibs.

          (If they want him still)

          Then the UK for bail jumping.

          Then he's off to Australia.

          After that... who know?

          1) US could extradite. Going back to Manning's Article 32 hearing... The US had made a claim that Assange assisted Manning during the theft. This never came up during the Court Martial, Manning plead guilty to those charges which actually shielded the evidence from coming up.

          2) Australia could rescind Assange's passport. Meaning he can't legally leave the country. (Unless under arrest and extradited.

          Or something else along those lines. Maybe the Russians invite him over for some tea?

          I'm sure he's pissed Putin off.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

            No, Sweden has first dibs.

            (If they want him still)

            Then the UK for bail jumping.

            I'm thinking possession is kinda the law, but something of a political hot potato as well. And isn't he an Ecuadorian citizen now?

            Also assuming due to said bail jumping, he'll be held in jail here until all that gets sorted out.. Although if the Swedish arrest warrant is still in force, he may have already exhausted all the options to delay extradition there unless he can come up with something fresh.

            (Rumors of extra Ferrero Rocher deliveries to the Ecuadorian embassy are unfounded.)

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

              "I'm thinking possession is kinda the law, but something of a political hot potato as well. And isn't he an Ecuadorian citizen now?"

              I suppose it's up to the Home Office to decide how to handle the queue. I wonder how many people will get copied in on their emails. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47855428 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47888214

            2. Kiwi
              Trollface

              Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

              (Rumors of extra Ferrero Rocher deliveries to the Ecuadorian embassy are unfounded.)

              Pretty sure if they were sending those things to the Emabssy, JA's welcome not only would've been improved, but Ecuador would've called in every favour to go to war against the scoundrel who dared send that garbage their way.

              Much like sending someone Cadbury products these days. Only do it to those you wish to truly offend!

          2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

            The US had made a claim that Assange assisted Manning during the theft.

            But Manning has since been pardoned. so is there still a legal theft for Wikileaks to have assisted with?

            1. jmch Silver badge

              Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

              "But Manning has since been pardoned. so is there still a legal theft for Wikileaks to have assisted with?"

              Legally speaking, it's the person who is pardoned, it's not a blanket pardon for the whole crime. So the theft still happened (ie it hasn't been legally whitewashed), and a pardon to one person accused / convicted of a crime does not automatically apply to any other suspect or convict. So it could be argued as a precedent, but it's certainly not automatic.

              1. Ben Tasker

                Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

                I think if you look at what they said about Snowden when they pardon'ed Manning, it gives an idea of the view that'd be taken (although there's been a change to a more hardline administration, that's only going to harshen not weaken the view)

                “Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” he said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

              2. steward
                Black Helicopters

                Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

                Legally speaking, she wasn't pardoned anyway. Her sentence was commuted.

                1. CRConrad

                  Interestingly, back in 2017...

                  ...Assange tweeted that he'd go to the USA if Manning was "granted clemency".

                  Clemency is a wider concept, which encompasses two other things: Pardon and commutation. So, Obama commuting Manning's sentence was clemency... But did Asshat hop on the next plane to DC? Like fuck he did, the weasel.

            2. the spectacularly refined chap

              Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

              But Manning has since been pardoned. so is there still a legal theft for Wikileaks to have assisted with?

              Manning's sentence was commuted, there was no pardon.

          3. Kiwi

            Re: @Jellied Eel Kinda Sorta

            2) Australia could rescind Assange's passport. Meaning he can't legally leave the country. (Unless under arrest and extradited.

            Not the case last time I had any interest in this sort of thing. With the passport revoked he'd have a hard time staying in the UK (if they didn't want him), but sending him home is quite a normal practice. Nothing would prevent him leaving the country (perhaps with a little more "assistance" than planned), otherwise anyone who managed to flee the homeward authorities who did not have a valid passport would not be able to be returned to their country of origin.

            I'm pretty sure it's a lot harder to flee from your local authorities than just hiring/stealing a boat (or plane) and setting off for greener pastures.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        or has committed a serious crime

        Assange has been wanted in connection with the Trump-Russia connection, and (now he's on UK soil) has questions to answer about Farage and Russian money and a lot of financial irregularities in the Leave campaign. I'm hearing the Ecuadorians were monitoring his communications and he broke the terms of his asylum. Interfering in foreign affairs ....

        The timing could not come at a worse time for the entire Brexit process (if you are a Brexiteer). The UK is still in the EU (I know, who'd have thought ?????) and won't be leaving anytime soon. Meantime, with the Leave campaign already on the hook for illegal spending (Boris, Gove and Gisela Stuart desperately hoping the cuff stay off) it's now becoming "OK" to question THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE openly.

        How much will Assange blab for a shorter sentence, and the UK to square not sending him to Trump land with Sweden ?????

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Boffin

          @AC Re: or has committed a serious crime

          I guess you don't pay attention to the news in the US. (Maybe CNN didn't cover it?)

          The Muller probe concluded a few weeks ago.

          USAG Barr was just before Congress supposedly to talk about the DoJ/FBI budget request, instead got an earful from Congress why he released only a four page report and not yet the full Mueller report unredacted. (Which would be illegal BTW because it contains things like Grand Jury testimony which he can't release)

          Mueller found no evidence of collusion w Russia on the part of Trump or his staff, although there is evidence that Russia tried.

          Now the latest bombshell. Barr believes that the FBI spied and is investigating it.

          (This is going to be interesting because they did spy. )

          It all goes back the the FISA warrant request and what led up to it.

          Things got interesting because Barr is the only grownup in the room. He's trying to correct the wrongs and clean up the DoJ and FBI.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

            Things got interesting because Barr is the only grownup in the room. He's trying to correct the wrongs and clean up the DoJ and FBI.

            And then there's Clinton, and those emails. So Barr may want Assange as a witness and/or felon in that matter.. especially as that may or may not have involved classified information on the Clinton's systems.

            It's gonna take a lot of pop corn. Shame about the US Mid-west and corn futures though.

          2. midcapwarrior

            Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

            "Mueller found no evidence of collusion w Russia on the part of Trump or his staff, although there is evidence that Russia tried."

            Incorrect, Barr found no evidence in his review.

            Mueller did not submit a finding either way.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

            > He's trying to correct the wrongs and clean up the DoJ and FBI.

            Alternatively, perhaps he's a stooge placed in that position by the current US president, and not even slightly impartial?

          4. Robert 22

            Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

            There was difficulty getting even a simple statement from Barr concerning the length of the Mueller report.

            It is pretty clear that, acting as a recent Trump appointee, he is trying to downplay the report. The fact that Trump and so many others having connections to his administration find it necessary to lie and or stonewall speaks volumes. If you are not guilty, stop acting guilty.

            1. Kiwi
              Trollface

              Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

              The fact that Trump and so many others having connections to his administration find it necessary to lie and or stonewall speaks volumes.

              I always find it fun watching this common sequence of events :

              Chump : "I have full faith in [whoever]. He is a totally honourable man, absolutely trustworthy, and one of my closest friends. I appointed [whoever] to his role because of his knowledge and experience".

              Advisor : "Er, Mr Chump, [whoever] has just been arrested on serious charges".

              Chump : "[whoever] was obviously a criminal, someone you could never trust. I never liked him, and his appointment was done by the previous administration who clearly liked to appoint criminals to high places. I always knew he was a an untrustworthy criminal and have been working hard to have him brought to justice".

            2. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: @AC or has committed a serious crime

              If he was guilty, the articles of impeachment would have been issued by now.

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