back to article Stratfor leak: US 'has secret indictment' of Julian Assange

US prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a leaked internal email extracted from private US intelligence firm Stratfor and obtained by the whistleblower site. WikiLeaks began releasing the first tranche of more than five million Stratfor emails on Monday in a bid to show …

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  1. Chad H.

    One thing I dont get

    Why is this all this worry about being extradited from sweeden, when other active cases at the moment suggest the US can pluck anyone they like from the UK without any real bother?

    I should think he's probably safer there, than here.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Steve Knox
      Meh

      Re: One thing I dont get

      There's no real worry -- his lawyers are just using the tried-and-true legal strategy of throwing out anything they think anyone might believe in an attempt to muddy the waters.

      The rest of this article is equally uninformative:

      I would expect any government which suffered a data breach to attempt to indict those responsible for the breach, and it's not uncommon for intelligence-related indictments to be kept under wraps at least until such time as there is a reasonable chance of apprehending the subject.

      I wouldn't expect WikiLeaks to come out with anything other than data supporting their position that the US is after them. A great deal of their cachet comes from convincing others that their paranoia is justified.

      And OF COURSE Stratfor is going to make as vague a claim as possible regarding the accuracy of the leaked e-mails. The more public uncertainty about them the better for Stratfor, even if they are fake.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: One thing I dont get

        "I would expect any government which suffered a data breach to attempt to indict those responsible for the breach"

        They've already got the person responsible; Bradley Manning. Julian Assange is a foreign national who had no part in the "data breach", but received the data as a third party.

        The data wasn't "intelligence-related", in the sense that it didn't really contain anything of direct military value. But it was politically embarrassing for the US government.

        Treating the publishers of information from whistle-blowers as terrorists makes about as much sense as extraditing people for shipping batteries at the behest of the FBI.

        1. Chad H.

          Re: Re: Re: One thing I dont get

          "I would expect any government which suffered a data breach to attempt to indict those responsible for the breach"

          ---

          Great, lets start with the guy who thinks its a good idea to send a mentally usnstable man on the fast track to a discharge because of his behaviour into a position where he gets to handle sensitive information.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Re: Re: One thing I dont get

          ".....They've already got the person responsible; Bradley Manning. Julian Assange is a foreign national who had no part in the "data breach"...." You are swallowing the Wikileaks version of events, that A$$nut and Co in no way encouraged or prompted the theft, and simply were the unsuspecting recipients of an anonymous data dump. And if you believe that, I have some real estate in the Everglades you might be interested in.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Pint

            @Chad

            My guess is that he may be a little worried that the charges of ‘rape’ might actually be upheld by a court in Sweden.

  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The "truth" courtesy of A$$nut?

    Yeah, right! If he told me it was sunny outside I'd immediately get an umbrella.

    1. Goat Jam

      Re: The "truth" courtesy of A$$nut?

      Matt, do you honestly think you do the vapid right-wing nut case cause any good with your inane posts?

      Honestly, sometimes I think you are a lefty troll trying to make neo-nazi fascists look even worse than they already do.

      But then I think you might be a right wing shill trying to make other right wingers with incredibly narrow "USA USA Rah Rah" world views look moderate by comparison.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Re: The "truth" courtesy of A$$nut?

        GJ, I take your upset as reassurance that I am indeed sane and capable of independent thought. Maybe you should try the latter some time? In the meantime, please feel free to post something - anything! - relevant to the actual thread. Maybe you'd like to account for why you consider the word of a convicted hacker as gospel?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: The "truth" courtesy of A$$nut?

          "Maybe you'd like to account for why you consider the word of a convicted hacker as gospel?"

          While he's thinking about that could you account for why you consider the word of the politico's and uncivil servants in the US government and the members of the US security services as gospel?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: The "truth" courtesy of A$$nut?

            "....could you account for why you consider the word of the politico's and uncivil servants in the US government and the members of the US security services as gospel?" I don't, but unlike many of the Anonsheep here I actually check a number of sources before making an opinion, I don't just follow the trendy thought-du-jour as they do.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like America can pluck pretty much anyone from anywhere for anything they feel like, scum sucking fuckers!

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Devil

      @AC

      No, not anyone. There are limits.

      Assange should be thankful he didn't piss off former KGB agents.

      Don't worry about extradition. Just worry about living.

      American's look like amateurs when it comes to the world of espionage and dirty tricks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC

        "American's look like amateurs when it comes to the world of espionage and dirty tricks."

        Well, until you remember various confirmed beyond any kind of doubt whatsoever CIA activities, like supporting right-wing terrorist groups in South America to overthrow elected governments, and MK Ultra.

        As for the guy just extradited for the Batteries-to-Iran affair, what struck me a few days ago was 'so how much time did Ollie North do, again? And is he still a hero to who I feel fairly confident are the same types behind the extradition?'

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          Mushroom

          Re: Re: @AC

          Justin,

          Kind of mashing a couple of things up.

          But lets put things in perspective.

          Ollie North got caught.

          Watergate, Nixon got caught.

          What about something more recent? CIA types getting caught in Italy?

          Then contrast that against the assassination of the Russian from exposure to nuke material. (Rumor has it that it was KGB yet no one has been charged.)

          Also look at the latest assassination of an Iranian Nuke Guy who was blown up by a bomb attached to his car by some people on a motorcycle as he was driving to work. Iran claims Mossad (Israel) did this. No one caught.

          My point? We've lost our edge in covert ops that are outside the scope of military action.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Re: @AC

            Okay, well if that's your point, how do you know what covert ops the CIA, or whoever, has done successfully? Surely the definition of success is you don't know about it - or, if its something that will be roundly condemned, you think someone else is responsible. While the failures would need to be put into perspective, i.e. weighed against the successes.

            Anyway, I didn't mention being reminded of Ollie North as any sort of rebuttal; just an observation of the hypocrisy of the extradition justification PR.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: @AC

            "....We've lost our edge in covert ops that are outside the scope of military action." IMG, you forget that the best covert action not only never makes the public eye but also goes undetected by the enemy. As an example, as proof of the Nork involvement in building the Syrian reactor bombed at Kibar in 2007, the CIA and Mossad mounted a joint operation that even went as far as stealling digital pictures the Nork scientists had taken of each other in Syria! It was largely the CIA that unmasked the illegal nuke weapons technology network of Pakistani Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, forcing the Pakistani government to confront him in 2004 (and anyone that wants to maintain that neither the Pakistani government or the SIS knew what Khan was up to really needs a reality check). Don't assume a lack of headlines means a lack of success.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: @AC

        Indeed, as the case of one Alexander Litvinenko indicates, Anna Politkovskaya and hundreds (yes) of other journalists throughout the former Soviet Union. Assassination has been given official blessing in Russia as an instrument of policy; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 1916

      "Seems like America can pluck pretty much anyone from anywhere for anything they feel like, scum sucking fuckers!"

      Actually, if you look around for 5 minutes, you will find that the Decider-in-Chief can have anyone, anywhere, killed for anything he feels like (or nothing). That now includes US citizens in the USA.

      The President and his executive staff can do anything they like to any person in the world, and no law court has the slightest say in the matter.

      So all this stuff about prosecutions and grand juries is just window dressing.

  4. P. Lee
    Terminator

    Most damaging of all

    > Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation that anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them.

    Geopolitical analysis doesn't stretch to understanding smtp or echelon.

    Liars all!

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Most damaging of all

      Yeah, but at the end of the day an email like this really should be written with an eye to how it might look in court. Stratfor only had to say that an indictment was likely, and handling of any relevant information should keep that possibility in mind. It didn't need to suggest they had their own, possibly illicit, contacts within the US Government.

      This one is obviously of potential interest to the lawyers, not like, "Jack, can we do lunch tomorrow?"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I look forward to his extradition and trial in the US.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      You are going to have to wait for that..

      Assange has a date in Swedish court first.

      Then he's going to face a civil lawsuit over the latest gift from Anon.

      The US can take their time...

  6. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    So... it has come to this.

    http://xkcd.com/1022/

  7. Phil Endecott

    > Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give

    > Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange

    > for money.

    Reminds me a bit of Levenson this week: "A network of corrupt officials" in the "police, military, health and government" who would pass on information in exchange for large amounts of money.

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Mushroom

    A "secret indictment", huh?

    Break out the SS regalia. Reanimate Judge Freisler. Open the star chamber.

    Then again, what would one expect from the a nation in which the president arrogates himself the absolute freedom[tm] to terminate random citizens (which would thus be anti-citizens, I guess) if a case can be made in a secret legal document that he can, in fact, do so?

    The US is currently shit tier and heading deeper into the brown bog. It doesn't need to be this way. Things can be changed with judicious application of crowbars.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby
      Mushroom

      Re: A "secret indictment", huh?

      Clearly. You know nothing of US Law.

      Secret Grand Juries happen. It was already reported that there was a federal grand jury investigating Assange. No reports as to the outcome in the media. Nothing shocking there.

      Manning's article 32 hearing released some information tying Assange to the theft, so Assange can't claim clean hands.

      So yet again no shocker.

      But if you Google for news on Assange you may come across reports in Israel where he offered to do an interview under some bizarre terms and when the reporter got the docs through legal means, Assanage tied to claim that they were his 'intellectual' property. Seems another newspaper heard that one claim too.

      ( This begs the question as to why Assange felt the docs were his in the first place...)

      All of this is in the Press BTW...

      But what is interesting is that Assange is probing Swedish journalists.

      You can read the story here: http://www.thelocal.se/39374/20120228/

      Keep defending Assange. But at least know the man you follow...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: A "secret indictment", huh?

        Google. still not a verb.

        http://google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/

    2. Dave Bell

      Re: A "secret indictment", huh?

      We used to have something like Grand Juries in the British legal system. The French have judges in charge of police investigations. There are all sorts of different ways of organising these things.

      There are probably a good few meetings between the Police and the CPS which we never hear about. I'm not sure our system is all that much better than that which anyone else uses.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: A "secret indictment", huh?

      Aw, you mean you weren't one of the sheeple jumping up and down for joy when he replaced the "evil Bushitler", or trying to claim Obambi deserved his Nobel Prize? Bot, aren't the sheeple fickle nowadays!

  9. Dennis Wilson
    Unhappy

    Torrent

    I was going to pass an informed comment but unzipping 600gb of emails will take a while so you will have to wait

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BASTARDS!

    THEY ARE ALL BASTARDS! We have to be careful....they are out there...watching every single step you make.....

  11. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    US intelligence firm Stratfor

    So not actually very intelligent then.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assange is a psychopath

    All he wants is media attention and your money for his legal defense. He's creating his own problems and he can expect to be held accountable for his actions be it in Sweden and elsewhere.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Re: Assange is a psychopath

      We are responsible for our actions. After all if Stratfor gained private information that they knew was not meant for them then released that information to other third parties then the directors would soon be in prison...

      ... Oh no. wait

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Assange is a psychopath

        Nice one, Magnus!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A psychopath?

      Are sure you mean psychopath? Like an axe murderer? I haven't heard that accusation before.

      Around here, people who want media attention and your money are just called politicians.

      1. Scorchio!!
        Thumb Down

        Re: A psychopath?

        I suggest that you read the literature, which is replete with examples of successful psychopaths working in a business environment. Try reading the work of Robert Hare, who really has been blazing a trail for a very long time. There are many misconceptions about psychopathy, schizophrenia and so on. The press are very good at shaping opinions in this way.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assange is a psychopath

      No, that's not 'psychopath'. Possibly the guys in the US helicopter shooting the unarmed innocents in Iraq are though. And while most of the grunts doing the torturing in US military prisons are probably just like everyone else, easily led, I suspect there are one or two genuime psychopaths in the US military, judicial and political systems giving orders and making policy.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        Mushroom

        Re: Re: Assange is a psychopath

        @Justin.

        Seems you don't remember the facts.

        Lets see if we can clear up your misunderstanding.

        It appears you're referencing the edited footage Assange posted under a very prejudicial title.

        Remind me again the following...

        1) What were the RoE (Rules of Engagement) for which the US military was operating under?

        2) Did the US Chopper come under fire prior to the footage shown?

        3) Where were the journalists? Weren't they embedded with the enemy forces that were armed and did fire upon US ground troops?

        Kinda thing that makes you wonder if you understand what happened when you put things in to perspective.

        When a reporter embeds themselves in to a dangerous situation, you should expect bad things to happen.

        There's a recent report of a journalist who got killed during a mortar attack in Syria. Apparently she was trying to go back and get her shoes while they were shelling the building where they were staying.

        Funny, I don't see you calling for protests at the Syrian Embassy or calling Syria murders.

        Oh wait. Syria != USA.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Assange is a psychopath

          i. I saw the video.

          ii. Protests at the Syrian Embassy? That would be about as productive as protests at the US Embassy!

          iii. You don't see me calling Syria murderers? Lots of Syrias, are there?

          As I see it, everyone in the world knows the Assad regime are murderers - bar perhaps the more stupid of it's supporters. China and Russia know, but are just about as bad and so it goes on. Like watching Sarajevo and Rwanda all over again.

          iv. So, your brain really does hurt, doesn't it.

          1. Chad H.

            @ Justin

            No, Russia and China know whats going on.

            They just dont want the precedent set that we get to walk in and stop it when we catch them doing what Assad does.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Justin

              I thought that's what I said.

  13. Crisp

    Secret charges.

    Coming soon, secret trials, secret arrests, and secret sentences.

    I don't know why American just didn't do what they wanted to do in the first place and just pluck him from his bed in the dead of night.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Secret charges.

      Probably because the US authorities enjoy watching the twit destroy his own rep with his attacks on ex-Wikileakers, previous partners in the press, and his hilarious attempts to avoid a court date in Sweden.

      Besides, it's election year, and Obambi needs the moonbat vote, so don't expect any real action against A$$nut until after the election is done and dusted.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "stole a large number of company emails"?

    I'm pretty sure the definition of theft includes provision that the owner is deprived of possession.

    "Stratfor is not a government organization, not is it affiliated with any government. The emails are private property. Like all private emails, they were written casually, with no expectation that anyone other than the sender and recipient would ever see them."

    Is no exemption from the law, corporates don't get special treatment even if they are, for now, more powerful than most elected governments.

    "Friedman concludes by apologising for last year's breach and the inconvenience it has resulted in for the firm's subscribers and employees."

    I can't even continue, the arrogance of this man just defies all description.

  15. Bernard M. Orwell
    Big Brother

    How about....

    Some quotes from leaked Stratfor emails:

    "These assholes [Anonymous] should get the death sentence, along with their hero Julian Assange.”

    On 12/7/10 3:26 PM, Fred Burton wrote: "Founder needs to be water boarded until he gives us the code "

    #GIFiles: "If I thought I could switch this dickhead off without getting done I don't think I'd have too much of a problem."

    #GIFiles: "Not for Pub --We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect"

    So, when we were all shouting that the US were secretly planning nasty things for Assange/Anon/Wikileaks, and the jackboot brigade were calling us tinfoil hat wearers, they were wrong all the time. The so-called "crackpot conspiracy theories" turn out to be true.

    Remarkable.

    I'll keep reading and let you know if anymore quality, hypocritical quotes appear. I do love the way that a company that made its money by stealing secret information is outraged when someone else steals their secret information.

    Delicious.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: How about....

      Nope not too surprised that the US may be planning nasties for Assange, Anon or Wikileaks at the end of the day 'If you poke a snake with a stick, expect to get bitten'. I assume however that a secret indictment would allow the US to arrest Assange if he happened to end up in the US?

      Nor indeed surprised that 'private' email exchanges between intelligence officials contain suggestions of the worse nasties for Assange etc. they might like to see happen.

      But all you tin foil wearing conspiracy theorists may like to reflect for a moment on the fact that this hasn't happened. Just maybe the checks and balances within the Governments of the West work?

      1. Ian Michael Gumby
        Boffin

        Re: Re: How about....

        Titus,

        Yup. This is why I don't play with poisonous snakes and when I confront one in the field I tend to use a shot gun at a distance. ;-)

        But to your point about the secret indictment.

        If one exists, then the US could exercise their options of getting an arrest warrant at any time.

        The US is better off being patient.

        1) The statute of limitations isn't over. So they have time.

        2) Manning is currently being tried. (Court Martial).

        3) Assange is facing his third and final deportation hearing to Sweden.

        By waiting, Assange's claim of the trouble in Sweden is just a ruse to get him extradited to the US becomes paranoid nonsense. No indictment, or formal charges, there is no discussion w Sweden and its all in Assange's head.

        Now the EAW gets granted.

        Assange faces trial.

        Regardless of any jail time. After Sweden, he's on a plane to Australia.

        By this time, Manning's court martial will be over.

        Then the US can decide what to do.

        The Australian government could also decide to act as well.

        and then there's the new threat.

        Stratfor has the ability to now sue Assange personally and Wikileaks.

        I think the laws in the UK are actually tougher than the ones in the US but IANAL...

        Who knows what they will do because it opens them up to further scrutiny.

        People have to understand that Sweden is protecting their own rights and personal freedoms. Nothing more, nothing less. Had it been you, you would have already been tried in Sweden by now.

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

          Re: People have to understand (@IMG)

          "People have to understand that Sweden is protecting their own rights and personal freedoms. Nothing more, nothing less. Had it been you, you would have already been tried in Sweden by now."

          Ahem. The swedish prosecution team made very clear that they would NOT press any charge in Sweden if the US required extradition (pretty much a given now), so as to not slow down the extradition process. They even got public about that, did you miss the memo?

          It is thus very clear that the Sweden charges (which are for consensual sex without condom) are a direct proxy for extradition to the US where he will be tried for espionage which carries the death penalty. Mathematically reducing the equation, consensual sex without condom=death penalty.

          That sure sounds fine. Not.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Re: People have to understand (@IMG)

            Well, Shirley, the US could just have asked to extradite A$$nut from the UK then, with minimal trouble and no delay? Much easier than waiting for him to go to through the UK courts and off to Sweden first. Oh, but would admitting that blow a big hole in your conspiracy theory?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: How about....

      And your ability to validate the emails as original and authentic...? Well, that's about zero.

      1. Bernard M. Orwell
        FAIL

        Re: How about....

        ...About as good as your ability to evaluate the charges against Assange, his motivations, the true principles of Wikileaks, the origin of any data they hold, whether politico's are lying to you or telling the truth and so forth; all of which you seem to have expert knowledge off if we believed a word you say....

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Re: How about....

          Aw, Bernie's upset! Apparently, you mustn't actually look at newsreports from many sources, investigate the background of the people involved, and Heaven forbid that you should form your own opinion! I know I must look like an expert to Bernie as he seems to think original thought is quite beyond his capabilities.

          If the emails had been released by a reputable journalist they'd carry some weight, but the likelyhood is that the Anon skiddies will have edited or fabricated to feed their egos. What do you expect people to think of a bunch of skiddies, that their word is gospel? Oh, sorry,I forgot that for you only the Word of St Julain is gospel.

          1. Bernard M. Orwell
            Alien

            Re: How about....

            Not at all, old chap, I do indeed have my own opinion instead of regurgitating nonsense spewed out by the Daily Mail and the Fox Network, unlike your good self.

            Ooh, reputable journalist! Where did you find one of those these days? I prefer my information unfiltered rather than carefully edited by a so-called "newspaper".

            I don't doubt that you are well-researched, I just wish you'd accept that others do their own research and may reach different conclusions.

            I don't think that anyone's word is gospel (nor do I capitalise the word heaven, that says much about you), but it's an awful lot of effort to fake that much data, and, on the surface and with initial examination, it appears to be genuine; certainly more evidential than anything you've managed to bring to bear to support your fascist, knee-jerk reactionism.

            Oh, and on the subject of St. Julian, I will direct you to an earlier post of mine in which I denounce his self-publicity and hypocracy entirely; on this we are generally agreed - the man is clearly a tit of the first order.

            Where you and I differ (on this subject in particular, accepting that we differ in many ways beyond it), is that I believe that Wikileaks is a valuable resource and a powerful presence in modern politics and, even if it is flawed, provides a template for future activism against state censorship and secrecy.

            So, no, I am not an Assange fan, but I am a Wikileaks supporter and I will occasionally tip my hat to Anonymous for *some* of the things that are done in their name, but not all.

            Unlike yourself, I am not absolutist, and when presented with evidence (rather than rhetoric, ad hominem and straw-man arguments such as you present) I will look at it, evaluate it, and where appropriate adjust my opinions.

            So, all you have to do is convince me you're right.... Good luck with that while you spit bile and hate in every post.

            Alien, because such adaptive thinking will be to you.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Re: How about....

              "....instead of regurgitating nonsense spewed out by the Daily Mail and the Fox Network...." Hmmm, the rush to use such stereotypical pigeonholing, a constant amongst the bleatings of the lefties, only reinforces my belief that you don't use any sources other than the same ones the average sheeple thinks are "cool".

              "....Ooh, reputable journalist! Where did you find one of those these days?...." The difference between the Anonyputzs and a proper newspaper (even the Daily Mail which you seem to hold in such disregard) is that the newspapers have rules they must follow, and can be sued for libel if they print lies. The Anons can massage the Stratfor emails all they like, where is the accountability? In short, a reputable journalist offers some small form of guarantee through their legal accountability. Sorry, too many long words?

              The rest of your post is simply amusing, including the bit about accusations of facism (I'm sure you label anyone slightly to the right of Mao as "facist"). But I'm troubled by the line "....you spit bile and hate in every post...." I see that as well as a lack of worldy experience, objectivity, and plain nouse, you also simply don't get the fact that I take great glee in poking holes in the posts made by you and the rest of your herd. Such a shame, for you to be so naive and so bitter.

              Someone needs to buy Bernie a clue AND a sense of humour! ROFLMAO!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around

    ...usually comes around. Assange and Anon members will get their day in court.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ttitus Technophobe

    "if you poke a snake with a stick..."

    Well, you said it, Titus. You acknowledge that the US government is similar to a poisonous reptile.

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