back to article Police mistake reveals plan for Assange's Embassy capture

A fairly basic security slip has showed just how far the British police are preparing to go to make sure Julian Assange doesn't leaving the UK without getting his collar felt. Photo of police plan Police plan caught by snapper (click to enlarge) Credit: PA "Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances …

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  1. Steve Knox
    Trollface

    Cue Dame Stella Rimington

    “If it is all such sensitive stuff why was it available to a young police officer?"

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

      Because he is one of the officers assigned to the task?

      1. BillG
        Alert

        Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

        Because this was intentionally leaked? To let Assange know how far the U.K. will go to capture him?

    2. CmdrX3
      WTF?

      Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

      Compartmentalized security. Assange needs to be captured, he is one of the officers assigned to catch him, therefore he has a need to know. As to WHY Assange needs to be captured at all costs he is unlikely to have access to, as he does not have a need to know.

      It's the same reason that the US president or British PM for example don't know every secret. They can certainly request the information, and will likely be granted access to it, if they have a need to know.

      I'm not a huge lover of Assange myself but for what should effectively be a simple extradition they seem to be going to an awful lot of trouble to make sure he gets captured and extradited. Covert Operations... Counter Terrorist Unit, stationed police officers with a capture at all costs note and all for a withdrawal of consent so you raped me charge and extradition. I believe we did go to the moon, that LHO was the lone gunman, AQ bombed the towers, and that Marilyn Munroe overdosed... so I'm not exactly a conspiracy nut, but something really really stinks about what is really going on here and I honestly think this is all a back route to get him back to the US.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

        for what should effectively be a simple extradition they seem to be going to an awful lot of trouble to make sure he gets captured and extradited

        No need for conspiracy theories here, just examine the amount of diplomatic shit the UK lands in if it doesn't fulfil its extradition obligations, or the kind of legal problems that will emerge if Assange gets away with this.

        Let's keep in mind that the only thing he is positively guilty of is breaching his bail, I'm parking the Swedish thing as "prior to interrogation". The UK has received a legitimate request for extradition, and as the subject of this request has failed every conceivable challenge in law (thus making it in the process the most ever examined extradition ever, thus making it watertight from a legal perspective), the UK has no choice under the treaties but to ship his ass - or find itself in breach of what it signed up to.

        In addition, an embassy has an agreement with a host country not to interfere with local matters. I know his ego and press releases pretend otherwise, but Assange is a local matter, and by accepting him under asylum conditions, Ecuador is in breach of its obligations. They may get away with not paying congestion charges and speeding tickets, but this is too public to shove under the mat of diplomacy, and it will have consequences of its own for Ecuador (not because it's Assange but because it breaks the rules of diplomacy in too many ways to be acceptable).

        The next problem is one of law. Assange supporters seem to have lost sight of the fact that people that have been raped have rights too (some of the comments I have seen have been plain shocking, and I hope for these people their girlfriends/wives never find out what they managed to write). Even if Assange has not been GUILTY of rape, he has been ACCUSED of it, and the only way to clear that is to collaborate. Running away is (a) not exactly making him look that innocent and (b) blocks any opportunity to clear his name. Given the circumstances that make this affair escalate into rape it is evident that Assange had many opportunities to prevent the escalation. Given the request, if Assange had himself tested for STDs as requested (which, I note he could have done in the UK) and sent over that data, the process in Sweden would have stopped before it hit the "rape" threshold.

        If the UK allows someone who has now migrated himself into criminal status in the UK (by skipping bail) to avoid justice by hopping into the nearest embassy, it will signal every burglar, wife beater and drug dealer what to do as soon as the heat is on, making a complete mockery of a system that is not ideal as it is.

        Ergo, Assange has given the UK no choice. He knows that, and is milking for all its worth. He knows that all he has done has caught up with him, and if he sets one foot outside the embassy it's over. Because there is not a single positive message to be had from him escaping other than for Assange himself.

        It means the anarchist have finally taken over the asylum..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

          @ Anonymous Coward just above

          "If the UK allows someone who has now migrated himself into criminal status in the UK (by skipping bail) to avoid justice by hopping into the nearest embassy, it will signal every burglar, wife beater and drug dealer what to do as soon as the heat is on, making a complete mockery of a system that is not ideal as it is."

          Not quite, because that embassy would kick the person out to the authorities quicker than you can say "Salir!"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

            > Not quite, because that embassy would kick the person out to the authorities quicker than you can say "Salir!"

            Like they did in this case?

            How about if its a local girlfriend/boyfriend/acquaintance of a diplomat?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

              > Like they did in this case?

              This case is fairly exceptional - this guy isn't any old burglar, wife beater or drug dealer.

              > How about if its a local girlfriend/boyfriend/acquaintance of a diplomat?

              Yes, good point, because every burglar, wife beater and drug dealer in this country is acquainted to a diplomat.

        2. Petrossa
          FAIL

          Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

          The UK should never have accepted the extradition order since:

          An EAW can only be issued for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution (not merely an investigation), or enforcing a custodial sentence. It can only be issued for offences carrying a maximum penalty of 12 months or more. Where sentence has already been passed an EAW can only be issued if the prison term to be enforced is at least four months long.

          In this case Assange has complaints filed against him for continuing having consensual sex after a condom broke, and another for having sex whilst the person was asleep.

          There is no proof, just the statements of 2 feminist activists.

          So te Swedes have no case against him, they didn't charge Assange with anything. They want him 'to assist the police with their inquiries"

          No EAW can be given for that, the UK acts illegally for enforcing it. Having a kangaroo court allowing it to go true says something about justice in the UK nothing about Assange.

          This case stinks so hard it is becoming ludicrous.

        3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Not exactly stymied

          My down vote for this clearly professional and remarkably knowledgeable insight was stymied.

          I downvoted it because it is obviously the work of the ruling class or the minions of the elite.

          Assange is in trouble in Sweden despite his efforts to do the right thing there. No court in any civilised country would be able to find him guilty if charged as his word is as good as each one of his accusers in any fair hearing. In other wqords, all he has to say is that he didn't do what they said they did.

          Rumour has it they were on friendly terms after the fact in both cases, that the women wanted to tertact their statements and that Assange was expressly given freedom to leave Sweden by the relevent authorities.

          And now the above letter of the law is making him look bad for jumping to the conclusion he is being set up. Which he bloody obviously is. So Sweden may or may not try him, he most probably will get off scot free if tried.

          The USA may or may not try him. But on what evidence based on what happened to Bradely manning?

          Also the USA has a recent history of being criminal politically. V#can a civilised country expell him to that place wheere he can be disappeared, quasi legally?

          I don't think so.

          So no matter what sensible arguments the letter of the law publish in its defence of the hounding going on in this case, this poster would vote no bloody way if I was on any jury -no matter how well the prosecution stated their argument.

          I for one couldn't co-operate with the doing of wrong.

          Which is after all what Wikileaks is all about:

          Shouting from the mountaintops what is whispered in secrets.

          So **** you and **** the authority you came in on.

          1. sisk

            Re: Not exactly stymied

            I have my doubts that the US will touch him. Doing so would be stupid in the extreme. If Assange were to disappear the whole world would know what happened to him. The damage he can do is already done, but making him vanish would be a PR nightmare for an already unpopular government given the following that Assange has.

            As for the rape charges, they sound bogus to me but I'd rather see that proven in a court of law.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

        "I'm not a huge lover of Assange myself but for what should effectively be a simple extradition they seem to be going to an awful lot of trouble to make sure he gets captured and extradited."

        Well, he's not above the law, you know. Just like the trouble they took to make sure Pinochet did not slip away, even though the latter was only being accused of a fairly common fault amongst his brethren (crimes against humanity, could have happened to anyone).

        (He *didn't* get away now, did he? Or is my memory failing me? Maybe one should ask the Foreign Office what is their recollection regarding that matter. Surely there is only one law for everyone, friends or otherwise?).

    3. jaycee331
      Stop

      Re: Cue Dame Stella Rimington

      "“If it is all such sensitive stuff why was it available to a young police officer?""

      .. eh?

      It was pretty clear to me she was referring indirectly to Bradley Manning and questioning why it was so easy for a young US army officer to burn a CDROM from a diplomatic cable database in the first place. Nothing to do with the UK copper's clipboard? Where did that quote come from?

  2. mego
    Trollface

    Yes...

    I believe I noted this was the likely case, on oh about twelve occasions between El Reg and other forums. "Never, he's scumbag criminal" "Oh no, we won the war, UZA for teh winz!!", etc etc ad nausum.

    Well.. how do you like them apples?

    1. Bumpy Cat
      Happy

      Re: Yes...

      ... what?

      Too many Friday night pints?

  3. FozzyBear

    the police

    Can only.keep this level of security for so long. Sooner or later the budget will demand that police levels are.either reduced or removed completely. Crims in the surrounding areas must be having a field day with the reduce police presence in their areas.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: the police

      Ecuadorian & attached embassies probably saving a mint on their Insurance policies too.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: the police

        You'd think that, but you have to remember most of these criminals will be targeting ordinary people like you and me. Politicians and the oh so honourable members of ACPO are unlikely to give much of a toss because a few 'small' crimes won't cost them their jobs. Assange doing a runner and causing and embarrassing international incident on the other hand...

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: the police

        "Ecuadorian & attached embassies probably saving a mint on their Insurance policies too."

        I'm not so sure. The risk of a fire starting in one of the other apartments, necessitating an evacuation of the entire building must be quite likely now.

    2. Mikel

      Re: the police

      Let me remind you that despite our "war on drugs" not only can the US not prevent its citizenry from acquiring prohibited substances from the far reaches of the world, we can't even keep them out of our most controlled spaces: our prisons. If we can't keep heroin, Meth and Marijuana out of a prison, what hope have we of keeping it out of a Middle School, Junior High, or High school? None.

      I don't care for any of these substances myself, but I know stupid when I see it.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. asdf
    FAIL

    sovereignty only important for your country

    Funny how quiet the UK side will be on this now their government is being as assnine as the Yank's government that they love to comment on. Assange is a douche bag of the first order but the UK government is almost making him a sympathetic figure at this point.

    1. Ed Vim

      Re: sovereignty only important for your country

      I hold Assange in much higher regard. I'm assuming you consider him to be a 'douche bag' either because of some character trait you find objectionable and/or because you have conservative beliefs on how governments should operate completely separated from the commons. But generations from now, historical documentation tends to filter out a lot of the bias and subjectivity every current society gets mired in, and information exposed by sources like Wikileaks will be a part of that.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: sovereignty only important for your country

        No, he's a douche because he's a self-publicising arrogant twit who would step over his own dead grandmother for a pot of tea if he thought it would get him an advantage and more publicity. He's skipped bail on very serious charges, refuses to defend himself, claims he's being persecuted by foreign governments and all the while pushing himself forward as the saviour of mankind, whilst those who did the actual work are languishing in jail or go completely unacknowledged.

        He is an arsewipe of the highest order and he deserves not a single iota of respect from anyone. EVER.

        1. Mikel
          Gimp

          He's a douche

          But he's a useful douche.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He's a douche

            Exactly, many famous historic characters weren't very nice. Florence Nightingale for instance.

            1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

              Talking of douches

              If you ar an unelected fat drunk who gave half of Europe to Stalin you get honoured -even offered a Dukedom (Duchy.)

              Said fat drunk killed more British troops than Georing, Rommel and Donitz until the US stopped him, then he promoted Harris and Montgomery over better men. (Threw Dowding out on his ear.) **** the lot of them.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Talking of douches

                that's British "and commonwealth troops". The "fat drunk" might have given Australia a different definition of 'retrench', but he was subsequently elected.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He's a douche

            Can I just complain briefly, on behalf of my Gallic friends, about the blatant misuse of the word "douche". I mean, it's not even as if the Limeys will really understand why the Septics use this word anyway ;)

            I presume no-one markets douche-gelee in the USA then? Or if they do it might get misused ;)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          @Graham

          I tend to agree with you on a few personality points but then again; point of the matter is also that most people know Assange based on what the media tells us. And hopefully we've all come to one realization: the media more than often doesn't give the full story.

          But wrt. wikileaks and people going unnoticed. I think there's more to that story than what you're sharing here. If people are indeed in jail because of what they alledgidly did on wikileaks I think the least they'd want is recognition from wikileaks for their work.

          Quite frankly I think most people who sent material to wikileaks would prefer to remain anonymous because in most cases messengers of malpractices will be shot. Here in Holland we now have a small riot over the 'VUMC' hospital where an international recognized lung specialist came forward and put some mal practices in the open, mal practices which could be - proven - and which showed that some doctors would actually put more priority on other interests than over the lives of their patients.

          What do you think happened to this lung specialist, even though the things he showed could be proven and weren't even that much denied?

          At this point he's at home and from the looks of it he won't invited back to this hospital. Even his whole staff is behind him and refuses to cooperate with some investigations.

          So well... With examples such as these, and numerous available everywhere, I can fully understand why wikileaks wouldn't publicly give credit to the people providing the information. In 9 out of 10 cases that would work heavily against them.

          1. DF118
            Meh

            Re: @Graham

            All well and good, but it doesn't quite address the issue of why Assange himself decided to go down the road of maximum publicity, fluff pieces from some oddly mesmerised thralls in the liberal press (who he then mostly turned on when they began to question his erratic behaviour), maximum personal fundraising and a circus of high flying lawyers. Perhaps if he wasn't a giant arsewipe and kept his head below the parapet in the first place then the stories would still be about the leaks and not about his douchey behaviour.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: @Graham

            So, ShellUser, did your lung specialist put his whistleblowing info behind a pay wall? Did he then threaten to sue media partners that published "his information" without first getting his permission and his express permission? I think you are confusing a real whistleblower (the lung specialist) with a conman out to make a fast buck and satisfy his desire to "stick it to the man".

        3. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Re: sovereignty only important for your country

          I don't care for him personally, but he's only wanted for questioning and that can be done anywhere. He would be charged and a proper international arrest warrant issued if there was a chance of conviction.

          But getting him extradited to Sweden is just a way for the UK to get him sent to the US without the UK getting the blame for it.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: sovereignty only important for your country

            OMG you are really several weeks behind! Only the most blinkered of the Faithful are still repeating that male bovine manure. Complete and utter fail.

          2. Mage Silver badge

            Re: sovereignty only important for your country

            Let me see UK & Sweden:

            Which one is more likely to extradite to US?

            Which one hosts Wikileak servers?

            It's complete nonsense to suggest Sweden is more likely to extradite him to US.

          3. peter_dtm
            FAIL

            Giles Jones Posted Saturday 25th August 2012 11:35 GMT

            um a proper arrest warrant HAS been issued

            A Swedish Arrest Warrant has been issued; and according to the UK courts; it has been :

            1.filled in properly

            2. by a properly authorised person

            3. acting on behalf of a properly constituted EUROPEAN entity.

            Therefore - according to the European Extradition Treat - his extradition to Sweden is mandatory by ANY European Community country. Note there is no requirement for anything else to exist (especially not any concept of breaking a UK law; which has been deliberately and with malice afore thought been removed from the EU Extradition treaty terms)

            Extraditing him to Sweden is a duty required by the EU.

            Where does extradition to the US come into this ? The US has not issued an International Arrest Warrant for Assange; and they have indicated that they do not intend to do so; nor will they apparently attempt to extradite him from Sweden. Which Extradition would have a far higher hurdle to clear than an extradition under the EU Extradition treaty. Lets see; Assange gave his word to a British Court that he would NOT run away. He broke his word. Do I trust anything he says ? No more than I'd trust any other political activist's

            1. Homer 1
              Big Brother

              Re: "a proper arrest warrant HAS been issued"

              Quoting an unjust law doesn't magically justify it.

              "At present a warrant can be issued by any member state of the EU, with the receiving country not able to challenge the warrant’s basis or to demand evidence be provided to substantiate the allegations being made. This leads to a serious risk that individuals are held without charge while investigations are conducted, in some cases for many months. Furthermore, the report argues that British citizens should be able to choose to be tried in a UK court, rather than be extradited to less judicially-rigorous nations."

              There's nothing "proper" about that.

              "Where does extradition to the US come into this?"

              It comes into it when a man who exposed US military atrocities and government corruption suddenly finds himself the subject of a European Arrest Warrant based on trumped-up charges.

        4. Edentifier1
          Pint

          Re: sovereignty only important for your country

          Have a pint on me Graham. A sound point well made.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: sovereignty only important for your country

            Man the shills are getting lazy. How about a comment from Edentifier2 or Edentifer3? Hell, just start using id{1,2,3,4,5,6}

        5. Homer 1
          Big Brother

          Re: "very serious charges"?

          What "charges"?

          There are no "charges". There are unsubstantiated allegations of "rape" from two women (one of whom seems to have mysteriously disappeared) who willingly and without a struggle or protest had sex with Assange, then later decided that it was "rape" ... because he didn't use a condom.

          Right now the only thing Assange is wanted for is questioning, something the Swedish police authorities had ample opportunity to do, both in Sweden and later in the UK, but they chose not to, until it suddenly and suspiciously became very important for them to extradite Assange to Sweden, for reasons they haven't adequately explained, but which seem clearly linked to the US government.

          I find it very odd that the UK government would make such a fuss, waste so much of the taxpayer's money, and risk a diplomatic incident over something that ostensibly amounts to nothing more than a case of sexual remorse. I find it even stranger that people would call Assange a "douche", while blatantly ignoring the US military atrocities and government corruption this "douche" exposed to the world.

          1. Joseph Lord
            Holmes

            Re: "very serious charges"?

            @homer

            "What charges?"

            Breach of bail conditions. I would hope that after Sweden is finished with him (whatever the verdict) he will be brought back for a spell behind bars. Remand pending trial is important as innocent people can avoid having their lives ruined before trial. The more people skip bail the less it will be available so I hope he is properly punished for that as a detterant to others.

            I'm not usually one of the lock'em up brigade but I think that this is a serious offence.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Remand

              I knew someone who hung himself on remand.

              1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

                Re: Remand

                No you didn't. You know someone who died in suspicious circumstances.

                They used to let you out of prison if you shared a cell with a suicide. Lot's of people started killing themselves to assist this. (Not sure how that would work in a prison that you were sent to until proven innocent.)

            2. Homer 1
              FAIL

              Re: "very serious charges"?

              Yes, a breach of bail conditions that were imposed due to nothing more than unproven and extremely weak allegations of something that isn't even a "crime" in any other country, where the Swedish authorities had ample opportunity to question Assange to determine the validity of those accusations, both in Sweden and in the UK, but chose not to.

              Then, having let Assange go, the Swedish authorities mysteriously found it urgently necessary to issue a European Arrest Warrant and have him extradited. But this had nothing to do with the US authorities. Honest.

              The fact that this breach of bail conditions is a crime is therefore merely a circular defence of a greater injustice: imposing bail conditions on someone who has not even been charged with a crime in the first place, with the clandestine agenda of extraditing him to a country where he will be executed for the heinous "crime" of exposing US military atrocities and government corruption.

              Perhaps that's the "very serious charge" you're alluding to.

            3. Goat Jam
              Facepalm

              "Breach of bail conditions"

              Circular argument much?

              What you are essentially saying he is wanted for extradition for breaking bail over his extradition.

              1. Homer 1
                WTF?

                Re: "Breach of bail conditions"

                @Goat Jam

                Exactly.

          2. Francis Vaughan

            Re: "very serious charges"?

            "What charges?"

            You can't be charged unless it is done in person. The entire point of extraditing him to Sweden is to allow charges to be laid. So long as he stays out he cannot be legally charged. He knows this. The European Arrest Warrant was issued by Sweden in order to get him back there to allow him to be charged. Arguing that because he hasn't been charged he must be innocent is simple ignorance about the manner in which the process happens.

            The way Swedish law works is different to the UK. Once he is charged he is required to face trial within two weeks. This is one reason why the charging process happens later than you might be used to. In Sweden, the process requires a "second interview" during which charges are laid. It is for this interview that Assange's arrest warrant was issued. There is a lot of misinformation about the process, which seems to be wilful ignoring the nature of the legal process in Sweden and trying to re-interpret the names used for the stages (which will be in Swedish) in a manner that suggests a far less serious level of intent.

            Everything that all the Assange supporters complain about hinges on one wild assertion. That that bastion of conservative politics, the well know lapdog of US imperialism, Sweden, has already agreed with the US to ship him over to the US once he lands in Sweden. This isn't credible. If you drop that one assertion, the rest falls apart.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "very serious charges"?

            There are no "charges". There are unsubstantiated allegations of "rape" from two women (one of whom seems to have mysteriously disappeared) who willingly and without a struggle or protest had sex with Assange, then later decided that it was "rape" ... because he didn't use a condom.

            Given that UK courts have gone over the arguments numerous times and have found the argument for the rape case to be so substantive that the charges could be equated to rape under UK justice, I think the word "unsubstantiated" is well and truly negated. Secondly, indeed, the charges did not start as rape but escalated into rape because Assange chose not to do the right thing. Now, given that he's married with kids I guess he has no problem with staying away from home for now..

            In addition, let us not forget that Assange was only the last step to expose information - the risk was taken by others. Assange just takes the "glory" and plays God with it. To me, the final straw was Assange's supporters threatening to "reveal all" if something happened to Assange - at that point they finally and completely turned from potentially misguided idealists into information terrorists - the entertaining question is now, for instance, what would happen if Wikileaks got fed compromising data from Ecuador - I am willing to bet it'll disappear of be "quality checked" forever until the Ecuadorian ambassador has had enough time to discover the first impressions may not always be correct and boots him out.

            There is no evidence that there is a plot in the background. Indeed, hard evidence suggests Assange is fully capable of getting himself deep into trouble without any external help. Note I said hard evidence - because the facts are out there. I found it telling that Assange broke off with the Guardian because they published the Swedish documents which somewhat inconveniently disproved his version of events.. If Assange's version had been somewhere near truthful I would have had some time for him, but the guys lives several miles outside reality.

            Maybe he should go to a mental institution instead..

            1. Homer 1
              Big Brother

              Re: "UK courts have gone over the arguments"

              The only thing the UK courts have "gone over" is the UK's "special" relationship with the country that staged this diversionary farce in the first place.

          4. Thorne

            Re: "very serious charges"?

            "I find it even stranger that people would call Assange a "douche", while blatantly ignoring the US military atrocities and government corruption this "douche" exposed to the world."

            Assange is a douche bag but in the role he plays, a douche bag is perfect. His arrogance is perfect as he won't bend to threats or bullying and he will publish what he gets and doesn't edit it to make third parties look better.

            If Wikileaks folded due to American/corperate pressure the stuff will never get published. As far as Assange is concerned, publishing this stuff is his God given right and no damn government will stop him. He thinks he's smarter than them and enjoys the publicity. It's just a game to him and he's winning.

            Trouble is the US government is dumb. The only way to beat him is to ignore him. Drop the charges and pretend he doesn't exist. That will hurt his ego far more than martyring him.

          5. Edentifier1
            Facepalm

            Re: "very serious charges"?

            @Homer 1

            They cannot charge him, until they have first questioned him.

            I really despair that Assangists still use this argument - as if they would be happier with charges being made, before he had been interviewed about them - the Swedish want to hear his side of the story, and by law he needs to be arrested on Swedish territory as part of their legal process. Arrest does not mean charging, and charging does not mean guilt. Assange supporters really need to wake up.

            The Swedish are following the same legal process as just about any democracy (people with tin foil hats on need not reply).

            They Swedish police informed his lawyer they were going to arrest him so they could question him about the more serious of the charges (the ones concerning the Swedish definition of rape). Assange skipped the country - while he was still applying for residency there, as he admired the Swedish legal system and its support for freedom of speech... oh the irony...

            Now he turns to that beacon of free speech - Ecuador.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: sovereignty only important for your country

          "No, he's a douche because he's a self-publicising arrogant twit who would step over his own dead grandmother for a pot of tea if he thought it would get him an advantage and more publicity."

          True

          "He's skipped bail on very serious charges,"

          True

          "refuses to defend himself,"

          False

          "claims he's being persecuted by foreign governments"

          Well, he is.

          "and all the while pushing himself forward as the saviour of mankind, whilst those who did the actual work are languishing in jail or go completely unacknowledged."

          Mostly true.

          "He is an arsewipe of the highest order and he deserves not a single iota of respect from anyone. EVER."

          50-50.

          Pass, well done but see me after.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: sovereignty only important for your country

          Graham,

          "No, he's a douche because [....]"

          Do you or do you not know Mr. Assange on a personal level? If you do not, why all the acrimony?

          One may agree or not with people's public actions, and either fervently support or thoroughly criticise those actions, with as much force and passion as one deems appropriate. But on the other hand, making a character assessment of someone one has never met in one's life... I would stay well clear of that, least it's taken as an indication of my own defects.

    2. Circadian
      WTF?

      Re: sovereignty only important for your country

      @asdf

      you can't visit El Reg very often if you think people here are quiet about taking the piss out of Britain. However, we are equal-opportunity piss-takers, and will happily pour a golden shower of comments on any country/person/entity/company that deserves it (or doesn't move fast enough to get out of the way).

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge
    FAIL

    It's no suprise that the met has screwed up and let the plans be published, from my dealing with the met they are useless.

    I practically gave them all the evidence for a fraud that had taken place, had names, addresses, telephone numbers and dates etc and they couldn't even be bothered to send someone round to knock on the door to do you know some police work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed

      The Met are useless and corrupt too! Had a similar experience.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Agreed

        And USAniis think our policemen are wonderful?

        Feeck!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    so10

    so10 and several vans full of plod are prepared to camp out for years to extradite a guy to sweden for questioning over a relatively minor offence?

    If it wasn't for the indisputable honesty and integrity of the UK government you might almost suspect there is something else about this Assange fellow that warrants such attention.

    1. Chronigan
      Facepalm

      Re: so10

      Yes. As long as it's not legitimate rape, it's a minor offense.

      1. Spiny_Norman
        WTF?

        Re: so10

        "Legitimate Rape" - new concept to me not sure I understand what it is - please explain

      2. Goat Jam
        WTF?

        Re: so10

        Well, yes, or are you suggesting that an illegitimate rape accusation is a serious offence?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: so10

      "....you might almost suspect there is something else about this Assange fellow that warrants such attention." Yes, like the fact he jumped bail, a crime here in the UK, regardless of his other alleged crimes in Sweden.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: so10

        Doubtless by putting himself out of the reach of the police he can be considered to have jumped bail.

        But he hasn't actually left the country, has he ? I wonder if the bail conditions cover this eventuality ..

        1. Anonymous John

          Re: so10

          One of the conditions was that he was supposed to be at a named bail address between 10pm and 8am, Which he's failed to meet every day since entering the embassy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Holmes

            Re: so10

            There are hundreds of European arrest warrants issued every year in the UK. There is a team in London that deals with them. People wanted for murders, serious assaults, bank robberies. Serious stuff. There was a documentary about it a year or two back on the Beeb. Some people have even committed the uber-crime of not sticking to their bail conditions.

            I don't recall so10 or van loads of rozzas turning out after them. From what I remember, it was a couple of guys in plain clothes out knocking on a few doors and occasionally getting lucky. Even for murderers.

            The US operates torture gulags outside of any legal jurisdiction where suspects are held and tortured for years without trial or legal representation. This is indisputable fact. Senior US officials, including Hilary Clinton have said Assange's actions in releasing US secrets are 'terrorism'. So it seems plausible that they'll want to put him in an orange jumpsuit and waterboard him for an indefinite period without trial, because that is what the US does to foreigners it designates as suspected terrorists. They might then finish it off with a kangaroo military court and an execution, because the US does that too.

            Of course, perhaps all of this is paranoid thinking, and there is no chance whatsoever that Assange would be sought by the US from Sweden, or that Sweden would consider such a request, and this is just Assange trying to dodge sex allegations. In which case, just give the assurance and this whole thing will be over. His 'conspiracy' defence would be torpedoed, and Ecuador would have no justification for continuing to protect him.

            Until such assurances are given, and until Assange stops being given rather more police and political attention than the sex allegations would justify, it looks rather like he has a point.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              RE: Re: so10

              "....Until such assurance..." Fail! Such an assurance CAN'T be given by politicians, it would require an extradition request to be made and THEN a Swedish court to consider the extradition. To issue such an assurance now cannot happen in Sweden unless it lowers itself to the level of legal manipulation common in quasi-dictatorships like Ecuador.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Re: so10

          "....But he hasn't actually left the country....." Technically, embassy property is the over country's sovereign territory, so he has effectively left the country.

          1. Julian Bradfield

            Re: so10

            Er, no, embassies remain the sovereign territory of the host country. Go read the Vienna Convention (or the implementing law).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: so10

              Umm I don't think Matt Bryant can read. He usually just mouths off randomly with a fail icon. We don't like to say anything though as he is here under our equal opportunities troll programme.

    3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: so10

      What the Ecuador ambassador needs to do is arrange for Cardiff to play Stoke at Milwall one dark night.

      Sorted.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had the police contact me about an assault I was a witness to. I told the female detective that the perps might be on my development's CCTV. She disagreed with me! She didn't think the cameras would cover the area. I checked it and confirmed they were caught. I told her this and she actually wanted me to do the copying of the video on to DVD for her. I told her I had no idea how the CCTV equipment worked and that she needed to come and do it herself in the next 3 days or it would be wiped. Cue much tutting. Needless to say she didn't bother.

    Make a vaguely threatening tweet on Twitter though and they're around in 5.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Even if your CCTV was useful, which in all probablility it wasn't, it needs to be written to DVD and backed up with a statement by the CCTV operator to be usable as evidence.

      As for the 3 days, it's possible that the officer, or her boss, felt that one of the 50 other cases on her books was more deserving of her time (maybe they were trying to explain to the 8 year old why she was being taken into care and would never see her parents or siblings again, or maybe picking up pieces of the motorbiker scattered along the local roads). Or even that she may have been on leave or on a night shift - you know police officers do have to take time off occasionally and some even have to sleep. I note you didn't care enough to prevent it being wiped.

      1. MonkeyBot

        @ Adam 52

        Before you start on the "oh what a difficult job they do speech" try and remember that he was talking about catching the perpetrators of an assault. That is one of those serious crimes that you think they should be dealing with.

        I know a guy who can top ACs story though. He was attacked by a group of 6 guys and only escaped by running through traffic on a dual carriageway. He called the police straight away and told them that he could still see the gang hanging around the place he was attacked. They actually had the nerve to tell him that it "wasn't a priority" and came around to his house 4 days later to get a statement.

        Explaining care proceedings to an 8yr old is a social workers job and the motorcyclist isn't getting any deader. Violent street crimes should be their priority - that's what "keeping the streets safe" means.

        1. Circadian
          FAIL

          Re: @ Adam 52

          Wow - 2 upvotes for Adam 52 and 2 downvotes for anyone criticising him (at the time of this post YMMV). Must be 2 members of the Met perusing El Reg - surprising as I didn't think there were that many literate Met members.

          1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: @ Adam 52

            There are but in this case it's just the one. The one who knows about bots.

            Police, computer, Action!

            OOH!

            IT angle.

            Sadly no icon until we get a Thatcher "get out of Britain Free Card for Pinochet" cheesy grin icon.

        2. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: @ Adam 52

          Let me try to put this in geek terms. There are five of you running a helpdesk for 200,000 users. You are getting aroubd 200 calls per hour. One user's copy of Word has crashed but they won't use the document recovery feature, they insist on you coming down in person to clone their hard drive (which won't help restore the file).

          Meanwhile one of the net connections has died, and whilst you do have a backup it's overloaded and thousands of users are getting partial network access.

          Do you come in on your day off to help the first user?

          To address the points raised:

          1. You don't know the priorities. It only takes one vulnerable 90 year old to go missing to divert an entire shift. Vulnerable people go missng a lot (think about your grandparents if you're old enough) and if out overnight they almost invariably die. That's just one example.

          Your friend was safe, he'd escaped. He is no longer a priority. Catching criminals is lower priority than preventing deaths or injury.

          2. Assault is not a particularly serious crime. It usually isn't even prosecuted, so why waste time. You can argue the government, CPS and court priorities are wrong, but that's not a police issue.

          3. CCTV, other than very expensive town centre style operator controlled CCTV is usually next to useless at identifying criminals. And it *has* to be backed up with a statement or it is useless in court. If you want to prosecute you need evidence.

          4. Unfortunately social workers work 10 to 4, and don't do potentially violent situations or confrontation; taking a child into care is confrontational.

          5. Society doesn't accept closed roads for long periods of time. It also doesn't like decomposing body parts scattered around.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Adam 52

            Former copper PC Stuart Davison (now with the RCMP) in his ‘Wasting Police Time’ documented the very situation Adam52 has described.

            Panorama broadcast a programme about the problems police face in 2007, which included considerable input from PC Davison, transcript here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/7002977.stm

            Articles by or about PC Davison (pseudonym ‘David Copperfield’; he now has a follow up, ‘Wasting More Police Time’):

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3642760/When-Bobbies-are-beating-it-were-in-trouble.html

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/7908488/Free-the-police-and-save-billions.html

            (interview with) http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/BLOWING-WHISTLE.htm

            (extracts from ‘WPT’) http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/Burglars-had-to-wait.htm

            Another former copper worth reading is Michael Pinkstone, author of ‘This Victorian Playground, Part 1: Policing a victim culture in Britain’ (extract: http://www.theftprotect.co.uk/library/articles/This%20Victorian%20Playground%20Part%201%20Extract.pdf), ‘This Victorian Playground Part 2; Arriving in the van’ and ‘Tales from Area 51’.

          2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: @ Adam 52

            Let me try to put this in monetary value:

            There are five of you running an expensive Windows helpdesk for 200,000 users.

            You are getting around 200 calls per hour from Sweden and Ecuador.

            One user's copy of Word has crashed but they won't use the document recovery feature, they insist on you coming down in person to clone their hard drive (Police Scene Of Death.)

            The METnet was installed by thieves.

            IncompetenceRus have a backup overloaded and thousands of users are getting partial network access.

            Do you come in on your day off to help the first user or go to watch Milwall at home?

            To address the points raised:

            1. You don't know the priorities. It only takes one vulnerable Australian to go missing to divert an entirepolice farce.

            Vulnerable people go missng a lot (think about Paisley Airport) and if out at night they almost invariably disappear. That's just standard.

            Your friend was probably brown. He is no longer a priority. Catching criminals is lower priority than wasting police time.

            2. Assault is not a particularly serious crime. It usually isn't even prosecuted outside of Sweden and the Ecuador Embassy.

            3. CCTV, other than very expensive town centre style operator controlled CCTV is usually next to useless at identifying criminals. And it *has* to be backed up with a statement or it is useless in court. If you want to prosecute you need to look at the feeckal evidence.

            4. Unfortunately social workers work 10 to 4, and don't do potentially violent situations or confrontation; taking a child into care is confrontational outside Sunderland. Putting a bunch of Quakers on remand in Scotland is doable though.

            5. Society doesn't accept closed roads for long periods of time. It also doesn't like decomposing body parts scattered around. So the sooner they deal with police road/pedestrian kill and kettling, the better?

    2. David 45

      Similar

      Somebody I know was side-swiped by another vehicle whilst driving. His car was badly damaged. The other car drove off and he didn't manage to get the number. He suggested to police that it might be on the street CCTV but they said they couldn't spare an officer to look at the footage. Er.......isn't this their job - to actually do these sort of things in order to catch criminals and protect the public? This is what proper police work is, not assigning stacks of manpower on some USA-alleged miscreant, harassing photographers or hiding up on roads with speed-traps, creating revenue.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So the images are on your CCTV equipment and you have no idea how to use it? What is the point of having CCTV if you are clueless about using it?

      What makes you think that the detective will be able to operate your CCTV? Do you think using a CCTV is part of all police training?

      Perhaps you thought the CCTV equipment was so simple any idiot could use it, but since you are unable to what does that make you?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharp shooters need some practice

    This should be good sport. Whack the rapist and get free beer for a day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

      bellend much?

      1. Circadian
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

        Point of enquiry - have the police "firearm experts" actually shot anyone who needed shooting, or have they only ever hit unarmed civvies? Genuine enquiry, as obviously the mistakes get well-publicised, but I would also expect that successful firearm operations to get some pretty significant publicity.

        (Paris, only because it's got a question mark - not that I am blonde or anything)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

          In reply to your question, Circadian:

          ‘Two men shot dead by police as they robbed a security guard outside a bank … Nunes was shot first when he aimed a 9mm pistol at the guard … Markland then ran over and picked up Nunes’s gun …’

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-15651530

          ‘In the past 10 years 25 people have been shot dead in Britain by armed police … Guns are fired in the capital by police only once in every 3,300 operations in which weapons are loaded and ready for use. The vast majority of the 14,000 ARV callouts end with no armed action. (By way of comparison, 400 people are shot dead each year by US cops.)’

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3662933/Called-to-arms.html

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

          A few more, Circadian:

          ‘A mother-of-two has described how police marksmen … shot a neighbour threatening to go on a gun rampage. The shooting victim … was described as recovering from “serious” but non-life-threatening injuries … “It seemed like he wanted to kill people – he fired one shot. Then there were three shots from the police. …” ’ (http://www.thecnj.com/islington/2009/100909/inews100909_01.html & http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2010/may/gunman-who-slipped-safety-check-richard-hiorns-firearm-charges-dad-hits-out-mental-hea)

          ‘Armed police abseiled down a building to foil an armed robbery just as the thieves were breaking into a bank. … Police said no shots were fired during Thursday morning’s operation …’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6131592.stm)

          ‘Haines was shot and then electrocuted with a high-voltage Taser after refusing to drop a sawn-off shotgun on the orders of the tactical squad. Haines, 43, had stolen £105,000 from a branch of the Nationwide in October 2006.’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6998796/Learner-driver-stalls-as-armed-police-stop-building-society-robbery.html)

          ‘The six men were arrested after taking computer equipment … They had entered the premises on 31 January with semi-automatic weapons and held 10 members of staff at gunpoint … But police had been given a tip-off about the robbery, and members of the Met’s Central Task Force (West) and SO19, the specialist firearms unit, moved in, disabling the truck’s tyres.’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3945789.stm)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

            He's probably only seen the controversial cases in the meeeeejuh and makes a judgement on that basis.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: meeeeejuh (Was: Sharp shooters need some practice)

              "He's probably only seen the controversial cases in the meeeeejuh and makes a judgement on that basis."

              That would be a case of very selective reading then. What struck me about the replies here was the fact that they all had links to fairly prominent media outlets. I think the message here is that the media are not particularly selective. If an armed policeman kills someone, it makes the news whether they were right or wrong. In all probability, we read the reports and if we were asked a few days later we'd be able to recall the details. Six months down the line, though, we don't remember any details but probably know whether it was an innocent bystander who got shot.

              Humans have a cognitive bias for bad news. It's probably evolutionary. Forgetting good news just leaves you depressed. Forgetting the bad stuff might leave you dead (the next time the situation arises).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

          More:

          ‘A former security guard who went on a shooting rampage across west London has been given nine life sentences. … He was eventually cornered by crack marksmen from Scotland Yard’s SO19 unit at his ground floor flat in Feltham, where he held several people hostage.’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/697378.stm)

          ‘A man emerged from a property and threw a petrol bomb at officers, police said. … A 43-year-old man was later arrested after armed police surrounded a house.’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-19175180)

          ‘A man has been detained by police after armed officers surrounded a taxi on a busy North Lanarkshire road. … He is accused of failing to comply with his bail conditions. He was originally arrested on 28 March in connection with a series of offences including kidnap, blackmail, firearm possession and aggravated burglary.’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-19112994)

          Armed police officers seem to show remarkable restraint in the overwhelming majority of incidents, and dealing with actual ‘bad guys’ appears to be their main occupation.

          1. Circadian

            Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

            @NFI thank you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sharp shooters need some practice

              Had the armed police turn up when I were a teen, we were bunking off school and had been shooting at pigeons in the back garden with BB guns. A neighbour (turned out they were his racing pigeons!) called the old bill and told them we were shooting guns in the back-garden!

              Was quite a shock when they arrived, but they were quite nice about it once they realised that we weren't some crazed teenage nightmares. They were even polite enough to avoid the words "shouldn't you be at school?"

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Local Group
    Thumb Down

    "The brains are going out all over England. We shall not see them go back on again in our time."

    Either this leaked document is supposed to demonstrate how serious Cameron is about never, ever signing a 'safe passage' when England and Ecuador sit down to talk of many things. Or it exists simply to change the subject from Hague's threat to fly in some Israeli bulldozer operators and rescue gorillas to: "We shall go on to the end... We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never let Julian Assange - arch-douche bag - out of the Ecuadorian Embassy."

    And calling it a police mistake is unworthy disinformation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The brains are going out all over England. We shall not see them go back on again in our time."

      Cameron don't tell the cops what to do. It's different in the Yuke to the Yuse, eejit.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: "The brains are going out all over England. We shall not see them go back on again in our time."

        That's right. In the UK, it is the Home Secretary's job to tell the police what to do.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assanges house arrest

    And locked up in hiding, will probably end up longer that the time we would have served....

  11. Mikel
    Stop

    I'm not sure about you

    But this whole episode makes me more comfy with Ecuador acquiring nuclear weapons.

  12. JimC

    Lack of imagination here guys...

    Bearing in mind the number of conspiracy theories around the whole busines of the sainted one, what on earth makes you think this isn't a police disinformation exercise. They aren't that bright I hear you say? Oh come on, how bright do you need to be to know there will be photogs around with long lenses.

    Admittedly I favour cockup over conspiracy, but then I'm not generally a believer in conspiracy theories. But this does seem so obvious a way to leak something...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy

    I have always been a bit dubious about these papers getting photographed by journalists. Unless the plod really are stupid (it is the Metropolitan police), then why do they carry information without anything to cover the writing? If I go to town with an important and private document, I always make sure it is inside an envelope or something like that.

    I have a feeling that the plod wanted it to be photographed. It's the same with politicians with briefing documents in front of 10 Downing Street. Surely they could have gone to WHSmiths and bought a wallet file?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy

      Yeah, sure, but what about all the laptops and thumbdrives with highly confidential info left on trains and car seats by members of our various security agencies? Hard to see how they were intentional.

  14. Cliff

    Assange != Wikileaks

    Actually, on balance, the guy did something potentially valuable with wikileaks, holding people to account and providing a safe channel for concerned citizen whistleblowers. Can't argue with that.

    However, Wikileaks as an organisation should be ditching all association with Assange now - forget whether or not the Swedish charge will be upheld or not, he sought protection in our country then jumped bail here. Then, calling his still host nation where he is facing serious (is bail-jumping contempt of court?) names and demanding that senior politicians resign in the name of Assange FFS. He's a liability to Wikileaks now. They really should throw him under a metaphorical bus and assure the public that WL donations, resources, lawyers are not going into Assange's crusade, otherwise why donate?

    But standing on a chair in the middle of a room full of pissed-off lions, and waving your cock at them, well, it's just not smart. Britain was tolerant enough whilst the extradition trials were going on at our expense, just to be pissed on by Assange when he didn't get the answer he wanted. It makes people think poorly of you. If you're going to speak big, back it up with your actions - Gandhi did, for instance. Live by your convictions. Make a martyr of Bradley Manning if you need a martyr, Assange is not a hero, he's a twunt.

  15. JohnG Silver badge

    Security checks and diplomatic bags

    I was wondering: Are diplomatic bags subject to security checks before being allowed onto a flight, similar to those used for other baggage? If they are, then anyone smuggled in a diplomatic bag would risk irradiation and discovery when such checks are carried out.

    IMO, the best outcome for Britain would be if Assange did manage to escape to Ecuador. It would allow the police and others involved to get on with something more productive and Assange would have effectively exiled himself from Europe, North America, Australia, ....

    1. Mystic Megabyte
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Security checks and diplomatic bags

      >>IMO, the best outcome for Britain would be if Assange did manage to escape to Ecuador. It would allow the >>police and others involved to get on with something more productive and Assange would have effectively >>exiled himself from Europe, North America, Australia, ....

      I agree but I still would not like to be in his shoes. I reckon there's a high chance that he will be shanghaied or bumped off.

    2. Francis Vaughan

      Re: Security checks and diplomatic bags

      Diplomatic bags are exempt from any search. X-Raying them probably comes under this. What is a bit more interesting is that the treaty is explicit in that the bags contain documents. A literal reading would suggest that if, for some reason it was obvious, without search, that the container contained a person, that that container was, by definition, not a diplomatic bag.

      Personally I would simply load the "documents only" bag into the unpressurised hold of the next plane to Ecuador.

      1. S4qFBxkFFg
        Go

        Re: Security checks and diplomatic bags

        "the treaty is explicit in that the bags contain documents"

        OK, so Assange can just curl up in a big suitcase with two sheets of A4, one of which has "This is a document." printed on it, and the other has "This is another document."; bag contains documents, job done.

        However, if the treaty specifies the bags can contain *only* documents, then your point would stand.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Jay Holmes

      Re: Security checks and diplomatic bags

      As a general rule the bags are not security checked, however they can be requested to be searched if the security forces believe there is a very good reason to search them.

      The best outcome would be for Assange to be handed over to the police then handed over for extradition. He is stupid if he thinks he will get to Ecuador and survive, lets face it South America isnt exactly a safe place for someone who believes the Americans are out to get him.

    4. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: Security checks and diplomatic bags

      > Assange would have effectively exiled himself from Europe, North America, Australia..

      Australia?

      Have you ever followed The Register or are you seagulling from the MET?

  16. The Axe

    Faked?

    Is it a real doc? Could easily be faked.

  17. Dick Emery
    Gimp

    It should be so easy to get him out

    Just make a latex mask of one of the diplomats with similar height and build to Assange. He walks out without anyone realizing it. Boards plane to Ecuador. Embassy later announces Assange is no loner in the building.

    Simples.

    What? Don't you watch Mission Impossible?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It should be so easy to get him out

      Now you know why they invented gait analysis..

  18. Jay Holmes
    Coat

    Get him out!

    Assange broke the law and as with all law breakers he should be brought to justice. The fact that there is so many police on this case instead of solving other crimes in London is due to the amount of publicity surrounding this case.

    Whether he is guilty of the rape or not, doesnt detract from the fact that he has broken the law and his defence is looking increasingly thinner by the second since he wont defend himself and is hiding in a foreign embasy.

    As he is in a foreign embassy (claiming poitical asylum at a guess) he has for all intense purposes left the country, if they try to smuggle him out in the diplomatic bag he knows he wont be safe as they can be searched.

    I dont care what he has done on Wiki Leaks unless the information he leaks can cause harm or potential danger to anybody whether that be man on the street or member of the forces serving overseas, I just want him arrested, deported for trial and out of the UK so our police can go back to doing what they are supposed to be doing!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get him out!

      Simple solution though. If the rape allegations genuinely aren't an attempt to extradite him to the US then Sweden just needs to give that assurance that he won't be.

      But why won't they? If they want justice for the two women, and there is no prospect of Assange being extradited for his wikileaks activities, are they really just refusing to give the assurances on principle? Somehow I doubt it.....

      1. Francis Vaughan

        Re: Get him out!

        Probably a number of reasons.

        The Swedes cannot provide a blanket exemption against extradition. It is illegal for them to do so. A lot of people forget that in most countries there is an explicit divide between the government and law enforcement. It is not possible for the government of either Sweden or the UK to step into the legal process and pervert it. This is for very good reason. Neither the Swedish or UK governments (as in the elected governments) are involved in the Assange legal process. The law courts are, but the whole point of the law courts standing is that they are not under the influence of the elected government. They enforce the law.

        The Swedes could make a statement that there is currently no warrant or request for extradition from the US for Assange. Doing so of course would be worthless. No-one who believes the conspiracy theory would believe them. To make a statement that the Swedish government would ignore any such extradition request from the US - before it had been made - would probably put them in breach of a number of treaties.

        If any such extradition was requested by the US from Sweden, the UK must also give permission. So any idea that this is some weird conspiracy to allow the UK government to claim clean hands on the deal doesn't wash. Since the UK must give permission anyway, the obvious point is simply this: why didn't the US simply ask the UK to hand him over? If you wanted pick the country in Europe most likely to kow tow to some notional US imperialist line, and ship Assange over, you would put the UK at the head of the list, and Sweden pretty close to the back.

        The entire furore is over a total minnow in the grand scheme of things. It certainly feeds Assange's ego. He clearly is someone of international importance, a man who can bring entire superpowers to their knees. He isn't. He is a footnote. People forget. It wasn't him who leaked anything. He simply provided a forum for leaks. And he didn't do it alone, without him Wikileaks continues anyway. Assange has a very heightened idea of his own importance, and seems to act on this ego.

        The most likely answer is that he will eventually get shipped back to Sweden, where the charges will either be dropped, or fail in court, probably because the women that complained get cold feet due to the publicity. He will then go free. End of story. Now that probably strikes more fear into Assange's heart than anything else. For it will prove that he actually isn't important enough.

        1. Local Group
          FAIL

          Overhauls of extradition treaties are less rare than willy waving by royal princes

          <<"The Swedes cannot provide a blanket exemption against extradition. It is illegal for them to do so.">>

          If the Swedes have a parliament, and they do, they can make whatever changes to treaties they want to. If they are willing to pay the price. "An example of statutes that are not typically codified is a "private law" that may originate as a private bill, a law affecting only one person or a small group of persons." IOW, governments can create laws that affect one individual person.

          "Will the Conservatives amend unfair extradition treaty to save Gary McKinnon?" (Telegraph January 13, 2010)

          So far Chris Grayling, the shadow Home secretary, has been scrupulously and sensibly careful about not commenting on the McKinnon case, just in case he has to rule on it in office.

          His shadow Cabinet colleague shadow Justice secretary Dominic Grieve has not been so cautious, calling for an overhaul of the extradition treaty being used to send Mr McKinnon to America from the podium at the Conservative party conference."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Francis

          "If any such extradition was requested by the US from Sweden, the UK must also give permission. So any idea that this is some weird conspiracy to allow the UK government to claim clean hands on the deal doesn't wash."

          You miss the point there a little. Because the conspiracy theory is build around the US getting their hands on Assange /outside/ official channels.

        3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get him out!

        Swedish government has no principles. The collaborated with the Nazi's and they'll collaborate with the US. Whoever is in power.

        1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          In all fairness...

          The Swedes are neighbours of Finland and percieved Russia to be more dangerous than Nazi Germany. It was only the Germans who were willing to help Finland. Even so they tried to maintian neutrality. (Fat lot of good it did Holland.) And were they so different from France?

  19. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Big Brother

    SS20?

    Is it just me, or is than not the most sensible way to codename a police unit?

    I trust it does not stand for Schutz-Staffel 20, but it is a codename like that is bound to cause comment, post WW-II, and certainly in these times when people accuse the government of setting up a police state.

    Just my 2p

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SS20?

      It’s actually ‘SO20’: http://content.met.police.uk/Site/counterterrorismprotectivesecurity

      From Met site: ‘SO20 Counter Terrorism Protective Security Command aims to help make London a safe place for the public and a hostile environment for terrorists by strengthening London’s protection.’

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

          Re: SS20?

          >Can you take photos these days?

          But not underground and none of electricians.

  20. lotus49
    Thumb Down

    Porridge

    The rapist can serve his porridge in Sweden or he can do it in the Ecuadorian embassy. Either way is good.

    Assange is a total arse who thinks he can get away with whatever he likes by crying "freedom of speech". Bollocks to him, I'll happily see him rot on his airbed.

    By the way, the Ecuadorian Ambassador has said she will not help him escape. He'll be caught sooner or later and I shall look forward to his getting what he deserves (subject to due process in Sweden and I have few doubts about the fairness of the Swedish legal system).

  21. fearnothing
    Stop

    People seem to be misunderstanding the reason that there is such a large police presence. It's not because he's a bail-skipper or because of the seriousness of the charges he's facing; any other criminal would still have police time devoted but not nearly to this extent. It's because not ONLY has he skipped bail, he's done so in a way that has created diplomatic tension, and that's pissed off the people the police answer to - the politicians. This bumps him up the priority list several notches.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    So the moral of this is

    So the moral of this is that we will arrest you for leaking confidential information as we can do it ourselfs without you.

    Though I do fear it may eventualy be an offence to have a camera even near a policeman soon, let alone take a picture of one.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so10

    Aren't they co10 now?

  24. guvna
    Thumb Up

    Houdini

    I'd love to him to all of a sudden appear on ecuador television while everyone thinks he's inside the embassy still.

    Slipped out, got on a jet and buggered off there right under their noses.

  25. Benjamin 4
    Black Helicopters

    Anti-Terrorism Laws??? Limits should apply!

    There should be a law that says laws and police departments etc can only be used as intended. For example local councils would be banned from using surveillance under RIPA etc and an anti-terrorism police department could not be used to help collar Assange.

    1. Jay Holmes

      Re: Anti-Terrorism Laws??? Limits should apply!

      By your justification then the Armed Forces shouldnt of been used to bail out the Fire Strikes or help sort out the foot and mouth problems out or any number of the jobs that they do that they didnt sign up to.

      Just because the police unit in question "specialise" in Anti-Terror operations it doesnt mean they are not police any more and are incapable of doing a police job. Local councils are banned from using surveillance under RIPA unless there is a justifiable reason, if they use it without a justifiable reason then why hasnt anybody taken them to court over it???

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  28. httpss

    Is it just me,

    am I alone in sensating the presence in this thread, of transmissions from members of the security and or police or even persons of military backgrounds? Just on account of the use of language and of the apparent confident precision when discussing precise legal nicities, you understand. Plus some of the pottymouth expressions as well.

    cheers..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it just me,

      Yup. As ennyfulekno peeps with potty moufs who kno wot they talkin' bout muss be polis or securideeeeee.

    2. Jay Holmes
      WTF?

      Re: Is it just me,

      No you seem to be sensating just fine. I don't see what the problem is if there are people from the police or armed forces are commenting on this thread or any other on el Reg. What would you prefer a group of people bleating on and on about a subject they know nothing about or people commenting using background information and knowledge that they have built up working in the police or armed forces. You will probably find that the pottymouth expressions are given by those that have no connection to the poice or armed forces.

      Paranoid that you are being watched????

  29. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Thought that was a telephone booth in the Ecuadorian embassy lobby? Turns out it was a TARDIS.

    Assange just stepped out to make a phone call the last time we saw him .....

    1. Local Group
      Childcatcher

      Turns out it was a TARDIS

      Assange was heading to the Middle Kingdom in Egypt to bring back Potiphar's wife to explain to the Swedish Court how easy it is to make false accusations of rape. You must remember her from Sunday School.

      "Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph, a slave in her husband's household in Egypt. Joseph refused her, and she took her revenge by accusing him of attempted rape." (Genesis 39:1-20)

  30. IGnatius T Foobar Bronze badge

    wrong criminal

    Forget about Assange. The world should be more concerned with capturing the Kenyan war criminal who is holed up in the White House here in the USA.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Headed for a prison cell

    His time is running out. He can pontificate from prison for the media who have nothing better to report.

    1. Local Group
      Unhappy

      Re: "His time is running out."

      In that respect he's just like everybody else, isn't he?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "His time is running out."

        Now, the people who were saying "he can't just stay in the embassy" what now? You going to stamp your feet? :P

  32. cnapan
    Pint

    When liberals stop being liberals

    The Assange myth causes people to lose all sense.

    So let me get this straight. In the New World Order, Sweden of all countries can't be trusted (whilst a quasi dictatorship in South America can, it seems).

    In this new world order, allegations of rape should be brushed under the carpet, not faced.

    In this new world order, bail conditions are just some silly nonsense, and the courts should be more relaxed about people doing a runner.

    This Must All Be, apparently because the Great White Satan is trying to get its evil hands on Saint Julian.

    Well, I'm a proper liberal. I have no fears about Sweden. I think that rape allegations need to be faced. I think skipping bail conditions is a punishable offence. And the police? Well, despite their flaws, the country is better off with them than without them.

    The law and international treaties ought to be applied to all, not selectively. Selective application of said laws and treaties is what irritates real liberals like me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: When liberals stop being liberals

      Well said.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When liberals stop being liberals

        When they're Lib-Dems maybe or SDP? And what's with this "progressive" bull, all you lot suddenly all anti-ELP or Yes over the other side of tthe Pond? You don't like noodly 25-minute guitar solos? ;)

    2. Local Group
      Big Brother

      Re: "In the New World Order,"

      New == as in never been seen before

      World == as in the 'World's only superpower'

      Order == as in STFU and do what I tole you.

  33. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    He's a douche but still...

    "No, he's a douche because he's a self-publicising arrogant twit who would step over his own dead grandmother for a pot of tea if he thought it would get him an advantage and more publicity."

    In fact I do get the distinct impression he's a douche. Sorry (for everyone else) but whether he's doing important work or not, I do simply get this distinct impression off him.

    "He's skipped bail on very serious charges"

    He left when he was told he was allowed to, then didn't respond to an improper extradition request.

    "refuses to defend himself"

    He's defended himself. I mean, I hope you don't mean in court, because there are no charges against him, just vague accusations (reportedly, the accusers themselves requested any potential charges to be dropped, and were refused.) There's been a smear campaign against him, of course the television media is not going to give him a chance to defend himself in the so-called court of public opinion.

    "claims he's being persecuted by foreign governments"

    Umm, yes, he's not just some guy. Government officials have talked about how worried they are about wikileaks, how it should come down, talking about espionage charges and so on. He IS being persecuted by foreign governments!

    It's standard procedure for the US (and some other governments I'm sure) when they don't like somebody: 1) Try to pick them up. 2) Didn't work? Smear campaign. (I think this is where things went wrong this time -- clearly the plan was to make Assange out as a rapist. A lot of people believe it. But, enough people now do not just believe what the nice talking head on the news says, but verify their news, that this was not fully effective.) 3) Try to pick them up again -- people are less likely to help a dirtbag hide. 4) Try to use legal procedure like extradition, either using "information" from the smear campaign or a just plain fabricated charge.

    "and all the while pushing himself forward as the saviour of mankind, whilst those who did the actual work are languishing in jail or go completely unacknowledged."

    Well, firstly, there's an attempt to extradite him (and at that point probably either disappear him or spring the REAL charges on him and toss him in jail). But secondly, yeah, really what you say is quite true, he's at least a bit of a douche for talking wikileaks up like it's 100% him when without his contributors (some of whom are in jail) there'd be nothing there.

    1. Jay Holmes
      FAIL

      Re: He's a douche but still...

      Why was the extradition request "improper"?? He has failed to appear in court after being summoned to do so, he has then left the country. If he is not guilty of the rape then yes he should defend himself and yes I do mean in court or in police interview. There is no smear campaign against him its just one man, who is avoiding the lawful authority in an alleged rape case, I use the word alleged as nothing has been proved one way or another and until it is he is innocent until proven guilty.

      I believe Governement oficials have a genuine reason to be worried about what he could be leaking next and yes it could be classed as espionage and if so he would be in breach of some very serious laws and could be put to death! So no it isn't persecution it is various Governments trying to protect themselves and their countries from potential problems. The reasons for classifying a document are numerous and it ranges from simply trying to hide the truth from the population to protecting the population. What happened following the leaks of these documents, specifically the ones referring to the civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq?? The insurgents stepped up there attacks on both the civilian population they are supposedly fighting for and on the armed forces that are there. Thereforce causing even more loss of life. I am not a big fan with the way the US forces deal with things "if they moves they're VC, if they don't move they're well disciplined VC" mentality which causes so many problems and I genuinely believe that they should be held accountable for what they have done. I don't think Assange is the person who should be doing the accounting and leaking this information during the middle of a conflict isn't going to save lives it is just pouring more fuel on the fire.

      Lastly he is not some all seeing messiah who has come to save us (despite what he acts like in interviews!) He is just another in a long line of people who shout loudest get heard first!!!

  34. swschrad

    we already knew this from media statements

    the bobbies long telegraphed that they would stop at nothing if Ass Angie stepped out of the embassy to put him in cuffs. there is nothing new here at all. it's a stalemate, and it's not going to end until Assange walks out the door. at least the hotheads who wanted to destroy the concept of envoy immunity got read the law in time.

  35. Trainee grumpy old ****
    Big Brother

    Stop the doublethink

    Many of those who would normally be most vocally castigating the police and the courts for not dealing more swiftly and more severely with rape suspects are strangely silent on the topic in this case or even worse are supporting Assange.

    You cannot have it both ways.

    You cannot be critical of right wing American politicians talking about "legitimate rape" and simultaneously claim that what Assange did was "not really rape".

    You cannot claim to support a free press and yet not be critical Ecuador's recent record on the topic.

  36. Local Group
    FAIL

    The Guardian reports today...

    "US and European government sources say the United States has issued no criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder and has made no attempt to extradite him."

    What The Guardian doesn't report is that the United States reserves the right to issue criminal charges and attempt to extradite Assange as soon as they have him trapped.

  37. silentwater
    Black Helicopters

    Drone Murders and Bad Dates

    World gone mad. Assange released video of drones killing innocent people on the streets of Iraq. This is murder. Where is the prosecution of this crime? There is none, instead efforts are spent on secret grand juries and convincing Assange groupies to prosecute because he was a shitty date.

    1. Jay Holmes
      Alien

      Re: Drone Murders and Bad Dates

      No he never released a video of drones killing innocent people on the streets of Iraq. What he release was a document that stated the US engaged a target with a drone that killed upto 150 enemy insurgents in a compound. This was later claimed by locals to contain not 150 enemy insurgents, but 300 locals. In Afghanistan not Iraq.

      Since there is no proof either way civilian or insurgent, who is going to prosecute??

      Which secret grand jurie??? There is no secret grand jurie, there is just Sweden trying to extradite him to face allegations of rape. As for the groupies being convinced to prosecute, it is possible that this could be a set up or it could even be these groupies have made a false accusation to try and get money (it does happen!), but surely the best kind of defense in this case would be some kind of defense not just hide away hoping the problem goes away!!

      I suggest you get down to the doctors, remove your tin foil hat and start taking your paranoia meds!!!

  38. regadpellagru
    Unhappy

    Appaling parallel

    Just to make a parallel, the UK took their time to extradite Ramda. 10 years.

    But of course, it was nowhere near the gravity of the Assange case, it was suspicion of complicity in the 1995 Paris Bombing (10 deaths, 200 injured).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/1504576/Terrorism-suspect-extradited-to-France.html

    Appaling.

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  40. Local Group

    "They clepe us douchbagists, and with swinish phrase soil our addition..."

    "The Mail on Sunday has published a photo of a beaming woman, pictured with Assange and three other people, who would later tell police that 48 hours before the picture was taken, the WikiLeaks founder pinned her down in her flat and sexually assaulted her."

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/julian-assange-hopeful-a-photo-could-help-clear-him-of-sexual-assault-allegations/story-fnbzs1v0-1226458736578

    Sweden will have to vitiate its extradition order. The English legal system will have to find a way to return Assange's bail money to its rightful owners and quash Assange's arrest order.

    The Wheels of Justice grind exceedingly fine.

    Word.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  41. Eduard Coli
    Gimp

    Much too much

    This is a lesson to those who would fu*k with the connected.

    That is, it is meant to be so.

  42. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    One solution ...

    ... would be for Assange to negotiate a 'no extradition' agreement with the Swedish courts. Submit to an investigation, trial and possibly a penalty for the rape allegations. Sure, he could spend a few years in a Swedish prison if all goes badly. But he could be stuck in that Ecuadorian embassy for just as long. Then, obtain an agreement (before stepping out of the embassy) that Sweden and Britain are to ensure his security en route to Sweden and from there to a secure location afterwards. Far too many people are watching this circus for the US to step in and try anything funny. Handcuff Assange to a well known reporter (volunteer) for the journey, if necessary.

    Perhaps its time for him to accept a small dose of martyrdom for 'the cause'. In fact, he's already there, having to sleep on sofas in offices. And if, as he claims, the rape charges are groundless, he will only be inconvenienced to a small degree compared to the status quo.

    The US is winning this conflict by default in demonstrating that they can inconvenience anyone anywhere in the world through extralegal means and threats. The biggest F* You one can give to such bullies is to go on about your business as if they aren't a bother.

  43. Miek
    Big Brother

    "Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances, " -- no conspiracies here, nothing to see, move along.

  44. MikeOxlong
    Trollface

    Its all a fanastic game play by the CIA... Put your paranoid hat on and grab the popcorn.

    Contrary to to popular belief, the Americans are not stupid. They can be meticulous in their planning when required (look at NASA). Perhaps they want Assange so badly they have gone for the long, slow and subversive methodology.

    The CIA will have already been briefed on the required outcome the US government expects, "at all costs".

    Maybe they did create these "trumped up charges" (Maybe Assange dropped himself in it and it was great timing for the US/CIA) to force him from his safe haven, whilst not denying that they will put out an extradition treaty on him if he is sent back. (They won't, but that's not what they want you to think.)

    They don't put in an extradition treaty to the UK, their bestest buddies which would be a far simpler legal course of action for them, which strengthens peoples thoughts about the leverage through sweden as the expected course of action.

    This is all that most people have been focused on.

    He can't go back to Australia (burnt that bridge already, they've disowned him).

    Once he's made his choice of next safe haven to jump to, (Equador in this case) the CIA are in a position to get their local agents in position, grease the palms of those in power, bribe and coerce those with influence.

    They want a long drawn out process in England. it takes the focus off the clandestine Equadorial CIA staff movements. It gives them the time to set things up the other end.

    And wait.

    Wait.

    Once Assange legs it to Equador, there will be massive amounts of media in the UK and descending on Equador for several months.

    The heat will die down, the media will grow bored and move on...

    And then there will be a swift extradition notice to the Equadorian government and he will be whilsted off, all legal and above board.

    So many icons to choose from! The helicopters, the big brother, the joke alert.. I think the choice was right though

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    Action required

    British Police to be given English lessons

    ...

    "Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances"

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