back to article US offers Julian Assange time in Australian prison instead of American supermax if he loses London extradition fight

Julian Assange will remain in a British prison for now after the US government won permission to appeal against a January court ruling that freed him from extradition to America. News of the appeal came as the US Department of Justice offered Assange a deal that would keep him out of the notoriously cruel US supermax prisons, …

  1. Danny 14 Silver badge

    while assange is an asshat, the us justuce system is even more so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. while assange is an asshat, the us justuce system is even more so.

      this only works in combination with the 'superpower / empire' status. Nobody gives a flying monkey f... about asshat justice system in Russia, or some Funnystan. Unless you happen to live there. Irritate the US of A, on the other hand...

    2. _LC_ Silver badge
      Stop

      Not again

      Standard propaganda practice:

      “It's really awful that she got raped, BUT YOU GOTTA AGREE THAT SHE IS SUCH A BITCH!”.

      Hint: one part of that sentence is completely made up and only kept alive by constant repetition.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge
        WTF?

        Let me get this right...

        The US prison system is so reprehensible that it's now being used as a big stick bargaining tactic by US prosecutors.

        If the USA sees New Year 2035 I'll be staggered.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      While I wouldn't dare call the US courts a 'justice system" I will say corrupt officials hate being exposed. But its so bad that even caught red handed they focus on the snitch and avoided prosecution completely. I am ashamed of my government.

      1. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

        The US doesn't have a justice system. It has a vengeance system.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          It certainly looks that way from the outside. After all, what has Assange done to justify a "supermax" prison. Surely that's where they put the violently dangerous people and/or those who have attempted to escape. I don't see Assange in either of those categories (bail jumping notwithstanding, that's not the same thing)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of the loop here

    He skipped bail because he claimed the Swedish sex case was just a front to get him to America.

    The UK puts him in British-Guantanamo indefinitely for skipping the Swedish sex case which is now shown to be a scam to get him to America and when he is released he will be sent to America ?

    All this for publishing true things about government lies from the war on terror ?

    1. Youngone

      Re: Out of the loop here

      Yes.

      Remember when we were young and the Soviet Union were the bad guys? It turns out "our team" are not much better.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Out of the loop here

        there are no "good guys" and "bad guys". Merely "bad guys" on both sides who believe they are the "good guys" (or justify it by being on the side of the "good guys")

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Out of the loop here

      "the Swedish sex case which is now shown to be a scam to get him to America"

      Alleged by him, certainly.

      Shown? By whom?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Out of the loop here

        "Shown? By whom?"

        Sweden makes it extremely easy to frame a dude with 2kE bills given to 2 prostitutes.

        Like was possibly the case. BTW, the "victims" were never to be heard before, probably vanished.

        Basically, prosecutors only need to prove sex, then later say there was no consent.

        There, you're framed dude, since you'll never been able to prove otherwise.

        There's not even need to have traces of violence.

        If I was to frame anyone, I'll do it in Sweden. And 2kE is 0 the CIA.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Out of the loop here

          The women have spoken publicly and Assange's coworkers have even said they now believe the women who were not prostitutes. They accused Assange of Stealthing and initially tried to deal with it privately asking for an STI test to be done on Assange. He refused, and the only way to compel one in Sweden is to charge with rape. Stealthing is rape.

        2. CRConrad

          Re: "Prostitutes"???

          Where do you get this shit from?

          One of them was a lefty political activist who hosted Assange in her home, and the other IIRC a friend or acquaintance of hers. Or perhaps another lefty political activist, from another town? Memory gets blurry... Anyway, one of them is now a minister or vicar or however Swedish prelates translate into English, and the other AFAIK still in politics. Possibly in the Riksdag (=Parliament), otherwise perhaps local city council or something; probably still for the Social Democrats.

          One of them testified she woke up from him penetrating her. She could hardly have given consent in her sleep, could she? And apparently he has the same no-condom fixation as so many Anglophones, so of course he wasn't using one. She definitely hadn't consented to _that,_ not even the evening before when she had consented to sex (_then,_ not prospectively for the day after).

          That anonymous cowards need to make up shit about "prostitutes" says pretty much all that needs to be said about how strong a case he had against the rape / sexual assault charges.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Out of the loop here

          "Like was possibly the case. "

          You made an assertion and were asked "Shown? By whom?"

          You not only have not answered, the nearest you came was to say "Like was possibly the case. " and made some hand wavy assertions that it's easy to frame someone for rape in Sweden.

          No wonder you are afraid to post under your handle and opted to be an anonymous coward

    3. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Out of the loop here

      He skipped bail.

      That is a crime regardless of the case against him. As he slipped bail, he immediately became a flight risk, so this so called "British-Guantanamo" (which it is nothing like) is entirely his own fault.

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: Out of the loop here

        He has already more than served the maximum sentence for this offense. Therefore, this cannot be the cause.

        1. CRConrad

          He hasn't "served" shit.

          Hiding in an embassy was all his own private hobby, nobody sentenced him to that. He'll have served his sentence when he's actually received one and then sat in prison for however many years he gets.

      2. Zolko Bronze badge

        Re: Out of the loop here

        He skipped bail.

        yes ... and then, what's the sentence to skipping bail : forever imprisonment ? Heck, is he even tried for skipping bail ? All we ever hear is that the USA are forcing the UK to keep an Australian guy in prison for warcrimes that the USA ha done in Irak. Doesn't make any sense to me.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Out of the loop here

          Heck, is he even tried for skipping bail ?

          For once just read the article, he was tried and sentenced (11 month Belmarsh) for skipping bail.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Out of the loop here

            ...and meanwhile, with a court case still pending, he can be held "on remand" because he's a proven flight-risk. Time spent "on-remand" is almost always subtracted from any eventual custodial sentence as "time served", which can and does mean it's possible to be given a custodial sentence and then immediately released.

        2. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Out of the loop here

          I'd suggest listening to other more accurate sources.

          The timeline of events was actually summarised very well in the article, and accurately. However, in case you didn't want to read it:

          - Person in Sweden makes a criminal complaint against Assange

          - Swedish prosecutor rules there's no case to answer and doesn't pursue it

          - Assange leaves Sweden and comes to the UK

          - Swedish prosecutor curiously changes their mind and demands Assange attend

          - Assange politely declines

          - Sweden issue European Arrest Warrant

          - UK tell Assange that the arrest warrant is actionable and that they will be arresting him and handing him to the Swedish authorities

          - UK release Assange on bail

          - Assange appeals to prevent being extradited

          - Legal stuff happens, following which a court rules that the crime as described would be a crime in the UK, that there's thus no defence against conforming with the arrest warrant, and that Assange will be sent to Sweden

          - Assange skips bail, seeking refuge in the embassy of a foreign power

          - Time passes, during which the foreign power enjoy a change in their domestic circumstances and don't enjoy the alleged decoration by Assange to their embassy

          - Foreign power invites UK police to arrest Assange for the crime of breaching his bail conditions

          - Assange is arrested, incarcerated, tried in court and sentenced for breach of bail

          - As the sentence completes, the US, who have been bleating throughout that they don't want Assange at all, no, really, ignore the US politicians suggesting he's drone striked, no don't listen to the US politicians that want him executed in the US, no just the lovely cuddly Americans who wish no harm on him whatsoever issue an extradition request to the British Government

          - A court rules that as he has a history of breaching bail conditions Assange can't be trusted to appear at an extradition hearing and must thus be remanded in custody

          - At the extradition hearing the court agrees that the lovely cuddly Americans who wish no harm on him whatsoever will in fact kill the poor sod if he's handed over, and that's against British law, so he's not handed over

          - The US indicate their intent to appeal the decision so the court remands Assange in custody again pending the appeal

          - A further hearing in court is reported here; see the article for details, although note that even the lovely cuddly Americans who wish no harm on him whatsoever now agree that he wouldn't be safe in the US, in the custody of those lovely etc.

          Basically Sweden, the US and Assange have all acted suspiciously, Assange's fear of being given a suppository, put in a nappy, tied into the back of a cargo aircraft and flown to a site where people will torture him is well founded (because Sweden have let the Americans do that to people before, and the US clearly mean him harm) but he broke UK law. He was punished for that, and he's being generously assisted in obeying the law by keeping him in a safe secure location from which he can't accidentally fall into a passing embassy.

          Sorry, maybe I should tldr and just answer your questions.

          > what's the sentence to skipping bail : forever imprisonment ?

          It varies by case, but on this occasion it was 50 weeks imprisonment.

          > is he even tried for skipping bail ?

          He's been tried, convicted and served his sentence.

          > the USA are forcing the UK to keep an Australian guy in prison

          The USA are not forcing the UK to keep Assange in prison. He has been remanded in custody due to being assessed a 'flight risk', on account of previously breaching bail conditions and spending several years evading arrest. He's not being imprisoned for an offence, he's been held available for a future court hearing. This is standard in the UK and has nothing to do with the Americans, or indeed the Australians.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Out of the loop here

            This is a reasonable summary of the UK events, but the bit about Sweden is not quite as good.

            The events occurred on Aug 20, 2010. On Aug 25, the Swedish prosecutor dropped the _rape_ investigation (but continued the _sexual assault_ part of it).

            On 27 August, the lawyer representing the victims requested a review of that decision to drop the rape review. [ Yes, kids, the victims are actual victims and not prostitutes -- not that that would be relevant -- or agents provocateurs. ]

            On 1 September, the Swedish equivalent of the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to resume the investigate (that had been suspended on August 25).

            On 27 September, Assange leaves Sweden. Swedish prosecutors inform his lawyer that an arrest warrant would be issued.

            On 18 November, the arrest warrant is issued by the District court, and appealed. The Court of Appeal upholds the warrant, but reduces the number and degree of the charges. On December 1st, Assange appeals to the Supreme Court of Sweden, which declined to hear the appeal.

            As to Sweden's involvement in dodgy extradition: while it is true that Sweden deported two Egyptians seeking asylum to Egypt where they were subsequently tortured contrary to undertakings made (by Egypt), Sweden has also refused to extradite an actual CIA officer who was a Soviet double agent to the USA.

            Finally, it isn't exactly correct to say the British court blocked Assange's extradition to the USA because the USA would kill him. The court actually blocked it because they believed that Assange would kill himself. It's also perhaps worth noting that the high-profile Epstein suicide is a very different set of circumstances: there is enough evidence (from his previous conviction) that Epstein wasn't going to get out. Assange (having shown himself to be a flight risk) would obviously be remanded pending trial, but also has a pretty reasonable chance of an acquittal on any one of multiple unrelated grounds.

  3. HatHatHatHatHat

    Already convicted without a trial..

    .. only question is where he will do the time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Already convicted without a trial..

      As far as I'm aware there have been plenty trials already, each of which he lost.

      1. HatHatHatHatHat

        Re: Already convicted without a trial..

        I ment the future trial.

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Even if he gets released...

    ... the UK will extradite his ass straight back to Australia and guaranteed they will put him under virtual house arrest. Which is unsurprising after all the crap he's done to undermine western powers. Either way, screw him.

    1. Outski Bronze badge

      Re: Even if he gets released...

      I think the word is deport, rather than extradite. If he does actually hold a UK visa or ILR, he may find it revoked on release from Belmarsh on the grounds of his presence in the UK being "not conducive to the public good", a catch all phrase that basically means,"we don't like you, but you've not committed any specific immigration offence, just kindly bugger off".

    2. adam 40 Silver badge
      Coat

      Transportation

      Well it's been a while, but yeah, let's revive the old ways of sending our convicts down to Australia...

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Transportation

        He's Australian. He'll be stuck on the first plane home. Australia is as pissed off with him as anyone else and will doubtless do what they can to make sure he stays put.

        It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up in Russia eventually. After all he's been their puppet for some time now.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Transportation

          Australia does whatever the USA tells it to, so they're highly likely to put Asshat on a passing US military transporter headed stateside

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So the US have said that he can serve whatever time in an Australian prison. Does that mean the trial to take place in a US court but the sentence to be carried out in a Aussie prison? I am not an expert on the Australian sentencing guidelines but I doubt they are the same as the US. The US justice system is often gives much longer sentences than you would get for the same crime in other countries. What happens if he were to be sentence to 15 years by a US court, yet the Aussie justice system has a maximum sentence of 10 years for the same crime. Which sentence does he do?

    1. murrby

      I assume this relies in the existing agreement to allow Oz citizens to be brought back to serve their sentence here. The sentence served would be that imposed by the US court. It's only a location swap not a jurisdiction swap. See David Hicks.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      In many countries, the sentence is converted to match the local legal system, so 15 years would become 10 years. I don't know if that would be the case.

      Technically once sent to Australia, he could apply for the royal prerogative of mercy. The US would have their cake and he could be freed.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So the US have said that he can serve whatever time in an Australian prison.

      outsourcing AD 2021

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: So the US have said that he can serve whatever time in an Australian prison.

        No, that's not that unusual. Citizens convicted in one country can apply to serve their sentence in their home country. Usually it's because of human rights issues, eg family can't visit in a foreign country, or at least not easily due to travel expense. Other times it's because they will be deported anyway on sentence completion or the home country agrees that they won't get reasonable treatment compared to the home country and is prepared to take on the cost of imprisonment back home. On other occasions, the host country might refuse the option to serve time in a different country if they feel the prisoner won't be suitably punished/rehabilitated in the prisoners home country, eg shorter time served.

    4. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

      17x15 or 17x10

      He's facing 17 charges and the US mindset is to get the maximum in each so really what's the difference if it's 10 years a piece or 15 years.

      If they demand the time to be services consequently they could be "lenient" and "only" ask for 3 years a pop and he'd still be behind bars for over 50 years.

      I'm just wondering when they will offer a video conference trial. Assange can stay in HMP Belmarsh and have a Zoom call into the trial. That way they can get all of this over with and it's just down to guilty or innocent and which country does he serve time in (if guilty)

      1. 418 I'm a teapot
        Facepalm

        Re: 17x15 or 17x10

        You seriously believe there's a possibility he'll be found innocent?

        When thinking of the US courts, the image of a hefty bouncing marsupial comes irresistably to mind.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    and it was

    "He skipped bail because he claimed the Swedish sex case was just a front to get him to America."

    And it was. The woman involved said she was not interested in charges, and shortly (within a year) after he was not extradited for these charges the charges were dropped.

    I'm not a big Assange fan but this charge was bunk, and I would not want to come to the US if I were him, the US prisons are nowhere close to international legal minimum standards (both by design and because the US loves long prison sentences but doesn't love spending money on the prisons to stick the prisoners in)... and the suggested sentence is excessive (13 years NOT for allegations of espionage, strictly for computer crimes acts violations, is pretty high.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: and it was

      The woman involved said she was not interested in charges

      Doesn't matter - what he did fell under criminal law, so the state took over.

      I suspect the reason they wanted him to get himself tested is because they all of a sudden had an STD, and his dirty lordship had the same adverse relationship with condoms as he was reputed to have with soap. Given how fans of the criminal were making life miserable for people who were more interested in dealing with reality I can well imagine that they didn't want to enter that circus, especially since they would be drowned by the avalanche of BS that was being produced by Wikileaks, a setup which since that affair was possibly named a bit too aptly.

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: and it was

        Doesn't matter - what he did fell under criminal law, so the state took over.

        Which, assuming "the state" being the state apparatus of Sweden, basically never does in any other rape case! There is some rationality to the Swedish feminists being so radicalised as they are: "The State" being absolutely lethargic in regards to enforcement on crimes against women ... Assange is a very noteworthy exception to the norm.

        1. Casca

          Re: and it was

          And you know this how?

          1. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: and it was

            Live there. For too long,

        2. CRConrad

          Do you know the first thing about Sweden?

          I doubt it.

    2. Malcolm Weir

      Re: and it was

      This is revisionist nonsense.

      Sweden issued a European Arrest Warrant for him because they wanted to question him, and he was declining to cooperate (and had left the country). Assange appealed and lost, and appealed to the Swedish Supreme Court and lost. The UK responded to the European Arrest Warrant by arresting him.

      At this point, Assange suddenly starts worrying that if extradited to Sweden he'd be extradited to the USA. This is total nonsense, because that's not how extradition works: if the USA wanted him, they'd apply to the UK (as they eventually did) and win an extradition order there.

      And if you wanted a country with an actual track record of not extraditing people to the USA, you'd start with SWEDEN (just ask Edward Lee Howard, who was wanted by the USA for espionage, and was not extradited because Sweden won't extradite for political crimes).

      And indeed Assange's appeals against the European Arrest Warrant (in the UK) also fail, at which point he weasels off to the Ecuadorian Embassy, breaching his bail conditions and committing his first (known) offence in the UK.

      But the real evidence that this "fear of extradition from Sweden to the USA" is garbage is that Assange _had applied for residency in Sweden_ two days before two women complained about him (leading to the investigation/charges/etc). So the thesis is that on August 18th 2010 Sweden was where he was actively trying to live (presumably because they won't extradite to the USA on political crimes), and on 27 September he's fleeing the country to avoid being questioned by prosecutors about an accusation of rape... and suddenly we're being asked to believe that Sweden would extradite him to the USA???

      Hmm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: and it was

        I'm afraid that arguing with logic and reasoning to a foaming-at-the-mouth base of abject morons won't work.

        I'm astonished and dismayed at how easily people are misled. Take Wikileaks - an organisation originally set up to legitimise Assenge's life of criminal hacking, and who totally lost whatever credibility they had acquired when they threatened to "release all" when Assange was captured. If I were a government I would have leaned into that threat because it's easier to deal with a large amount of fallout once than a drip-by-drip release of what is in essence stolen information.

        And then they started to play politics, erasing the last vestige of trust they could have mustered.

        Meanwhile, Blond Johnny F*ckwit suddenly finds himself actually having to really deal with the consequences of his own actions and decides to befould the asylum process instead, at great costs to people and those having to deal with this farce.

        He's just a foul piece of work, a criminal with fairly impressive delusions of adequacy with all the good he could have done erased and rendered impossible by his own actions, yet still desperately trying to blame others. What a loser.

        1. Malcolm Weir

          Re: and it was

          Aye. This is the sort of white male entitlement we saw with John McAfee and Michael Avenatti, to name just two from recent news: do something admirable _once_, and then expect a free pass from thereon out.

          When looking at public disclosures of otherwise confidential information, there seems to me to be two ways to do it: first is like with the Panama Papers or the Snowden releases, where a small group of journalists acted to protect those irrelevantly swept up in the documents and then releases the core. The other is Wikileaks, which just dumps everything out with no thought to the people whose lives they might be endangering for no good reason (e.g. the names of people who worked with the US in Iraq).

          But that's also the difference between journalism and, I don't know, being a source. There is stuff that really shouldn't be public (from the mundane, like individual's medical records, to the dramatic, like the identity of intelligence agents embedded in our adversary's hierarchy). A responsible human should make a decision as to whether disclosure is in the (legitimate, if not legal) public interest... and if you don't trust _a_ journalist, do what Snowden did: release to several different ones that can disagree with each other.

          But "responsible" is not Assange. Entitled twat, sure. But that's not the same thing.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: and it was

            "Aye. This is the sort of white male entitlement we saw with John McAfee and Michael Avenatti, to name just two from recent news: do something admirable _once_, and then expect a free pass from thereon out."

            Sorry, but that's got fuck all to do with "white entitlement". It goes on all over the world by people of all colours. Your parochialism is showing.

            Having said that, I upvoted for the rest of your post. :-)

            1. Malcolm Weir

              Re: and it was

              Well, "white male entitlement" doesn't go on all over the world by people of all colours, because WME is different from, say, BFE!

              However, if you'd prefer, I'll rephrase that as "the sort of entitlement of people in the dominant socio-economic demographic expect", which is the actual point, and the fact is that in most of the "western world" that means white, middle-or-better class and male.

              (Of course, there are many many individuals who exhibit the whole "but I'm rich/beautiful/not-like-them" thing, but I'm gonna hazard a guess that if Assange had been black, he'd have received less support for his refusal to answer charges...)

      2. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

        Re: and it was

        While your statements align with what I remember, you're missing a consideration.

        Assange _had applied for residency in Sweden_ two days before two women complained about him

        With a rape charge hanging over his head how likely would he be to receiving that residency. Assuming he didn't receive it and had to leave the country where would he go?

        The US were already starting their "Lets get Assange because he embarrassed us". It's unlikely that the UK would have allowed him back in. How true is that for other European countries? Would Russia have been a viable option or had he leaked a bunch of their documents as well?

        He couldn't exactly fly to Oz via USA, and various middle eastern states have history of people disappearing only to end up on aircraft destined for USA.

        Even if he did get to Oz there's a strong possibility that he would have been extradited to USA anyway.

        1. Malcolm Weir

          Re: and it was

          You're not up on what actually happened, are you, @DevOpsTimothyC?

          His residency was denied in October 2010, but was already in the UK, as he'd fled there in September. As an Australian without a criminal conviction (#insert joke here) he didn't need a visa for the UK, and indeed may have had some preferential rights (e.g. if a grandparent was British, etc etc).

          He could, of course, have returned to Australia via Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, etc. etc. etc, not to mention via Ecuador(!)

          His mistake was in not thinking that the Swedish prosecution would apply for a European Arrest Warrant; once that was issued, the whole point of the justice system throughout the "civilized" world (UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Canada, etc. etc.) is that you _have_ to face the process... even if you're 100% innocent and can prove it. That's the point: the system depends on a court aquitting you or a prosecution being dropped or a conviction. There's no "I don't wanna do that" option!

          Based on what happened to the case in the Sweden, I rather strongly suspect that had he been more cooperative, and a bit less of an Ass-ange, they'd have dropped the charges with a caution or whatever the Swedish equivalent of that is. It seems clear that they would have had a hard time obtaining a rape conviction without some involvement of the women, and they appear to have been unenthusiastic at the prospect. And from the beginning, all they said they wanted was an STI test...

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: and it was

        The USA hadn't issued an arrest warrant in Sweden.

        They don't need to: https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-ban-cia-rendition

        Sweden, track record of not extraditing people to the US? Maybe but they definitely have a track record of allowing people to be illegally kidnapped and tortured.

        1. Malcolm Weir

          Re: and it was

          This isn't the smoking gun that it implies!

          The Egyptian situation is seriously problematic, but not for the reasons you suggest. Sweden sought, and received, undertakings from Egypt that turned out not to be worth the paper they were written on.

          By contrast, whether you choose to accept it or not, the USA _will_ honor commitments it makes with regard to legal proceedings.

          Just ask Bill Cosby,.

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Example

    The powers just want to make an example that no one should dare to expose anything shady that they are up to.

    Probably that's why despite the corruption getting more apparent and reckless in front of our eyes, there is very little investigative journalism that could expose and give clearer picture of what's going on.

    Police or anti-corruption bodies don't even bother looking into those things. They keep their head down and focus on low hanging fruit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Example

      Even with the best of intentions (which presence I personally seriously doubt), he could not have done a worse job. He pretty much provided all the rope to hang himself with, to the point of also tying the noose at the end.

      The smartest thing authorities (and the US) have done in this whole affair was to leave him alone enough for him to take stupide decision after stupid decision in a manner that didn't exactly served to proclaim his innocence. Not that I would have bought it, but even the optics were all wrong - it merely demonstrated just how deluded his followers really were.

      Collectively, those made me think of the scene in Life Of Brian where he is desperate to get rid of his followeers who declared everything he did as miraculous.

      Unbelievably idiotic, but - unlike Life of Brian - utterly unfunny as well. Dangerous, even.

  8. Falmari Silver badge
    Pint

    Carlsberg

    @HatHatHatHatHat “where he will do the time”

    Probably the best prison in the world. With state-of-the-art medical care etc, if he has to serve 175 years. Do Carlsberg run a prison?

    Seriously where does the US come up with these sentences?

    Its almost like a North African Market where you have to haggle

  9. Trigun Bronze badge

    I think that Assange has probably been through enough (and this coming from someone who is very much not one of his fans), but the U.S. government won't see it that way. There is pride, embarassment and precedence setting involved here: They cannot afford to let it be known that causing such embarrassment will go unpunished.

    1. jgard

      My personal take is that as a consequence of his reckless and selfish actions - and a cowardly ongoing effort to avoid justice and any form of accountability - he certainly has been through a lot. But so what? He's a camera hogging coward, a professional leech who will take, take, take - and give absolutely nothing back.

      There is not a shred of evidence that he has ever acted out of altruism or moral conviction. And his personal quest for fame and notoriety has undoubtedly led to many decent people meeting a terrifying and gruesome end.

      On the other hand, there is copious evidence that he has colluded with or worked for the Russian government. His shenanigans probably had considerable impact on the 2016 election, resulting in that orange turd gaining office.

      To those that claim he has done good work bringing the US to account, I have to say that I find your views obtuse at best. I see no evidence of his work (i.e. a mix of self aggrandisement, abusing hospitality, evading the law and self-pity) effecting positive change for decent humanitarian governments or their citizens. But it is clear as day that the egregious, thuggish regime in Moscow has benefitted enormously.

      He knew about the potential legal and penal implications before he started, but he did it anyway. The old adage 'Don't do the crime if you can't do the time' is particularly appropriate here. The US ain't perfect by any means, their justice system is horrendous, but it's a fuck load more civilised than Russia. Moscow's regime is one of the most corrupt, bullying and dangerous on the planet.Yes, he faces prison in the US, and rightly so. However, it's a lot more civilised than some stranger rubbing Uncle Vladimir's Night Time Nerve Tonic all over your chops.

      I can't stand the wining, money leeching, windbag. He has cost this country a fortune while evading the law and abusing any good will or hospitality that has been afforded to him. Consequences are for others, not him; he's a knob head with a Jesus complex and serious, self-cultivated delusions of his own grandeur.

      Of course, this is just my opinion based on the evidence I have seen so far. I'd be interested to see any evidence of Assange acting altruistically, or of his actions generating a net positive outcome. I might even change my mind. Well, only a little bit. Anyway, I'm all ears.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And here we have one of those occasions where I really wished I had more upvotes to give.

      2. Trigun Bronze badge

        "I can't stand the wining, money leeching, windbag."

        Now that made me chuckle. Yes, he does come across that way a bit.

        I'm neutral on the guy as I don't know if he's guilty or the balance of good versus evil effects from his release of U.S. secrets, but I suspect that the U.S. courts are very unlikwly to find him not guilty even if he is the angel some say he is. That is really what I'm getting at. And no, I don't think the U.S. justice system is the same as the Russian one or anywhere near it.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @jgard

        With those accusations, I think you're getting confused with Boris Johnson.

        Unfortunately, like Blair, he'll get off scot free.

        :(

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I think that Assange has probably been through enough "

      I get where you are coming from, but he's been through very little in reality. House arrest in country mansion for a while and then some months in prison for jumping bail, an entirely justified punishment. Everything else he's been through over recent years was entirely of his own making, ie spending years in a Peruvian broom cupboard, running away from Sweden etc., none of which counts towards "what he's been through" in relation to a trial and possible sentence if convicted.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "a Peruvian broom cupboard"

        Oops. I did, of course, mean an Ecuadorian broom cupboard. I may have been distracted by a marmalade sandwich I was eating at the time.

  10. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I don't care where he goes to prison (if found guilty of any crime) he just needs to be tried in court for the rape allegation.

    1. Velv
      Headmaster

      Not sure why you're being downvoted, he should be tried for the alleged crime, and convicted or freed by a jury based on the evidence. As soon as you introduce excuses for not facing trial you've broken the justice system.

      What happens after the trial is a different problem, and cannot be used as an excuse not to face trial.

    2. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      he just needs to be tried in court for the rape allegation.

      The Swedish prosecutorial authority dropped its investigation of this allegation in Novermber 2019. Even if it hadn’t dropped its investigation, this allegation’s statute of limitation expired in August 2020.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: he just needs to be tried in court for the rape allegation.

        this allegation’s statute of limitation expired in August 2020

        Which he has been playing for all that time. Personally I don't think rape claims should expire - there are too many people playing the system to achieve just that to get of scot free.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: he just needs to be tried in court for the rape allegation.

          In this instance, the complainants didn't want it so the Swedish authorities would be hardpressed to make anything stick. I'd happily argue that stealthing is rape but it's their call in the end

          There are millions of other cases which are much more clear cut and where the offenders walk free. The vast majority of sexual offences occur between people who know and trust each other but virtually the only ones which actually get to court are the (rare by comparison) violent attacks on a stranger

          Something is terribly wrong with the system and society in general

  11. Quinch

    Pick your poison?

    It makes me wonder what the difference would be, given how much the powers that be want him gone. He can commit suicide in a maximum security US prison while miraculously nobody watches {that, or an unfortunate incident involving another inmate}, or an unscheduled and mysterious visit from one of Australia's fascinating lifeforms.

    Wouldn't be surprised, at least.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Pick your poison?

      But for Assange, a life of insignificance is a fate worse than death.

      If he dies in prison, his followers will hail him a martyr; if he rots away they'll simply forget about him and that will be torturous for poor St Julian.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pick your poison?

      "He can commit suicide in a maximum security US prison while miraculously nobody watches {that, or an unfortunate incident involving another inmate}, or an unscheduled and mysterious visit from one of Australia's fascinating lifeforms."

      I'd be him, I would commit suicide WAY before arriving at an US prison. That's probably his plan too.

      In a US prison, he'll be tortured, severely attached to his bed etc ... Just like Manning.

      1. Malcolm Weir

        Re: Pick your poison?

        Manning was persecuted particularly because she was (a) transitioning -- a not-easy time for anyone -- and (b) in a military prison where the establishment (i.e. the military) were the ones whose lives were made harder -- and possibly shorter -- by her actions.

        Neither of those things _should_ have resulted in worse treatment, and it's disgraceful that they did.

        But Assange isn't facing those consequences. Kinda by his own definition, he probably doesn't have any secrets left, so there's no need to segregate him in case he "tells all". He's told all (well, except for his dealings with Russia, etc, which we'd all _love_ to hear about...)

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  12. saskwatch

    Most of the comments I've seen on the Register revolve around the character or personality of Assange. Don't know the man myself but I do know

    most of the case against him in the media is based on denigrating him personally. As for his actual trial & what was said, it was buried in the MSM:

    https://www.medialens.org/2020/none-of-it-reported-how-corporate-media-buried-the-assange-trial/

    1. Malcolm Weir

      All of the cases in the COURTS are not based on denigrating him personally.

      He lost. Repeatedly.

      1. Zolko Bronze badge

        He lost. Repeatedly.

        as a general rule, you should read the article before commenting on it:

        a ruling by Westminster Magistrates' Court that Assange couldn't be extradited.

        It's the USA who lost, and are appealing against that, all the while forcing the UK to keep Julian Assange in prison for no apparent reason.

        1. CRConrad

          That's pretty much his first win,

          ...though, isn't it? And it's from a case that he wouldn't even be in if he hadn't repeatedly lost the ones arising from his previous bail skips and other bullshit.

          So yeah, he lost. Repeatedly. Only now he's won a single, tiny, and possibly only temporary victory. Before that (and possibly again in the future), he lost. Repeatedly.

        2. Malcolm Weir

          @Zolko...

          As a general rule, you should have a clue before spewing gibberish:

          Appeal to Svea Court of Appeal: Lost

          Appeal to Swedish Supreme Court: Cert Denied

          Extradition Hearing, Westminster, February 2011: Lost

          Appeal to High Court, Decided November 2011: Lost

          Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court: Denied by High Court

          Appeal to Supreme Court (once granted by that court), decided May 2012: Lost

          All those are about the sexual allegations. You'll see your bud Julian didn't do so well.

          Now: Conviction for breach of bail, obviously, was another "L".

          So, @Zolko, which part of "Lost. Repeatedly" are you disagreeing with?

          Now, it is true that the extradition-to-the-USA hearing (as opposed to extradition to Sweden hearings, which he lost consistently) is one in which he hasn't lost, yet.

          But the point of the article is that the reasons given for him not losing have (possibly) been addressed, so he can continue his losing streak!

    2. smalldot

      The US and UK may come to regret they didn't murder Assange. They could have poisoned him using some nerve agent, while tightening sanctions against Russia. Just to remind Putin who is the boss.

      Seriously though, the number of people who have publicly called Assange a rapist shows how well the propaganda machine works in the West. Another example was how the media claimed Assange was paranoid and crazy in his Embassy prison. That he believed the walls had ears and everyone was spying on him. Next thing we know a Spanish court detailed how the Americans had paid the security firm responsible of protecting the embassy. They installed cameras and microphones everywhere, even the toilets. Assange whole life in the embassy was livestreamed into the US. Including confidential discussions with his lawyers on the court case against him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So, in your view having sex with a woman while she is asleep is permissive? And not using a condom while being explicitly asked is OK too? Those are reported facts.

        The latter is, btw, possibly why this went from civil to criminal - if one of the girls tested positive for an STD, St Jules would kinda lose (a) his public halo and (b) his next shags. It is the only explanation I can find why the girls asked him to have himself tested (which, btw, he didn't do - unlike any decent man - which could suggest he already knew the outcome) and why it then was picked up by the state, because that is AFAIK not the norm.

        Hence the "Poor me, the martyr" tour. And no, not because of a guilty conscience - as far as I can tell he's a sociapath, and they don't come equippped with such. Just ask Trump.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Hence the "Poor me, the martyr" tour. And no, not because of a guilty conscience - as far as I can tell he's a sociapath, and they don't come equippped with such. Just ask Trump.

          I doubt Trump is a sociopath because he seems to want to be liked. Assange, on the other hand.. I think his PR team fsck'd up not long after Assange fsck'd a couple of co-workers. So the rape allegation. If I were Assange, I'd want to clear my name, and not forever be regarded as an alleged sex offender. That's the kind of mud that sticks, even if found not guilty.

          Instead, Assange went to fairly extraordinary lengths to avoid those charges. The suggestion that it was all just a pretext to get him into the US's clutches was BS, as his current whereabouts show. If the US wanted to extradite him, it'd be a lot easier from the UK than Sweden. To me, that just looks like a guilty man.

          Then there's the infamous 'Collateral Murder' movie. If Assange had simply released the raw footage, that would just be 'simple' leaking of classified info. But it might also show why the killing of Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh happened. Instead, Assange chose to editorialise. As he said-

          "Based upon visual evidence, I suspect there probably were AKs and an RPG, but I'm not sure that means anything"

          Footage showed the two Reuters journalists, but also other men carrying AKs and RPG. Which means something to a hovering helicopter, ie a threat. Helicopter relocated as the men neared a corner, saw something being pointed at them and the rest becomes history. Sadly, the Apache crew misidentified a crouching cameraman for a crouching RGP wielder.

          And then of course there's his other timing challenge. Like leaking all the Clinton stuff.. Again editorialising and drip-feeding for maximum publicity. But playing politics, and becoming the story. Sorting stuff out while a potentially favorable President was in the White House might have gone easier than under a Democrat. Plus there's still the question of how exactly Assange came into possession of the 'hacked' emails. Dems still seem convinced it was Russia, Assange may be able to clarify. Plus there's still the outstanding investigation into Seth Rich's murder, which has spawned a bunch of conspiracy theories. Assange has hinted a couple of times that he has info, but again seems more self-interested than potentially helping the murder investigation.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "most of the case against him in the media is based on denigrating him personally. As for his actual trial & what was said, it was buried in the MSM:"

      Which county are you in? The relevant court appearances got pretty good coverage here in the UK where the court appearances actually occurred. It may have been different in other countries where the outcome of court appearances in the UK might not have the same impact locally.

      I started reading the medialens article, but was already put off by the lack of byline. I'd barely got through the first paragraph before it was clear that the anonymous author is pretty much against everything. I think I managed 4 or 5 more paragraphs before giving up completely. If he had a point to make other that "MSM bad" and "secret ruling elite", I missed it because it was buried too deep in the dross.

      Anyway, if you choose your stories selectively, you can make any point you like. Personally, the stories I saw and read contained all the relevant facts as far as I can tell.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's stuffed

    Australia will not protect him as they bow and grovel to the US and don't want to rock the boat.

    The US won't maintain any deal they make with the UK court. As previous cases of extraditions and even their people collecting evidence overseas, once they leave the foreign jurisdiction they renege on everything. They've done this a number of time in the past with extraditions and the evidence in the Kim Dotcom case in NZ.

    Unlike their own citizen who actually leaked the data they were entrusted with, the US will make an example of Assange because he's a foreigner.

    Even if the UK release him, he'll never be able to leave because the US will grab him as soon as he crosses a border, or they will engineer another false charge or accusation.

    Basically, he's stuffed.

    1. Velv
      Headmaster

      Re: He's stuffed

      "Even if the UK release him, he'll never be able to leave because the US will grab him as soon as he crosses a border, or they will engineer another false charge or accusation."

      If/when the UK release him he will be ejected from the UK and put on a flight to Australia. Are you suggesting the US will do a Belarus and intercept and divert the flight?

      It is then up the the US to raise any charges in Australia and for the Australian Government and Courts to conduct due process.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: He's stuffed

        Are you suggesting the US will do a Belarus and intercept and divert the flight?

        As the UK will not put him on a direct flight (too expensive), the US will have a good chance of picking him up at an airport somewhere in SEA during a stopover.

        1. Malcolm Weir

          Re: He's stuffed

          If you want to fly from the UK to Australia, you don't go through the USA. The non-stop distance LHR-SYD is about 10,500 miles; stopping in Bangkok adds about 50 miles, or going through the USA adds about 2,400. Heathrow to Perth is a whisper over 9,000 miles, if all you want is to get your feet dry in Australia!

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: He's stuffed

            Read again: "at an airport in South East Asia"

            1. Malcolm Weir

              Re: He's stuffed

              SEA is Seattle, Washington, USA.

              But if "South East Asia" was what you meant, let me introduce you to Dubai, Moscow and Tokyo...

      2. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: He's stuffed

        @velv - "Are you suggesting the US will do a Belarus and intercept and divert the flight?"

        Um, they already did that to the Bolivian president to try to catch Snowden.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No mention that Icelandic newspaper Stundin is reporting that one of the key witnesses against Assange on the unauthorized access & distribution of secrets charges is admitting he made his entire story up?

    1. _LC_ Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Not only that

      Not only that. Just check out the “track record” of that Wiesel, which includes several convictions for sexual abuse of minors.

      Unlike the “rape accusations against Assange”, THIS IS REAL. This is who they partner with to frame him. Says it all …

      1. Malcolm Weir

        Re: Not only that

        Excellent. So you're saying that the witness can be impeached in court, the case will collapse, and Assange will be acquitted?

        Of course, all the weasel has to do is show up...

      2. CRConrad

        Wrong on pretty much every count.

        1) "Unlike"? The women's stories sound perfectly plausible. How do you know different?

        2) "who they partner with to frame him"? He put himself in the picture with that guy, didn't he; arms around shoulders and everything?

        3) But, hey, maybe he felt he had a lot in common with a guy who, according to your source, "has a documented history with sociopathy and has received several convictions for sexual abuse"...

        (Bonus: Auf Englisch schreibt sich das Tier "weasel". HTH!)

        1. _LC_ Silver badge

          Re: Wrong on pretty much every count.

          The very same women correct the - propagated - false versions. Wake up.

      3. aqk
        FAIL

        Re: Not only that

        re- ....“track record” of that Wiesel, ....

        Migod! You mean Eli Weisel?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read Craig Murray on Assange

    Before they cart him off to the Gulag as well.

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/.

    1. CRConrad

      Reading Craig Murray

      His latest post -- apparently not about Assange -- is titled "On Being A Bit Wrong".

      Fitting title: If he's been defending Assange, then that's what he's been himself.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Edward Snowden tweeted: "This is the end of the case against Julian Assange."

    https://stundin.is/grein/13627/key-witness-in-assange-case-admits-to-lies-in-indictment/

    1. _LC_ Silver badge

      Re: Edward Snowden tweeted: "This is the end of the case against Julian Assange."

      As if they ever had or even needed one.

  17. Tempest
    Thumb Down

    Punishment or Revenge?

    The judicial system ís that in name only.

    REVENGE is the only word that can describe what Assange, Chelsea Manning and many others have suffered at the hands, or direction, of the US Government. Their court process more resembles the CBS TV show "Let's Make a Deal".

    Added to this quagmire are US police - one only has to view First Amendment videos on YouTube to get a taste of where the problems start. And what of the Three Strikes law, sponsored by Biden in hís younger years, where a theft of a slice of pizza led to a homeless person being imprisoned for life?

    US "Supermax" along with Guantanamo, demonstrate the lengths to which the US will go to satiate their thirst for revenge. They don't even pretend to disguise what their intentions are.

    The UK should adopt the French "try them at home" (country) rather than the Blair/Blunkett scheme of handing accused using minimal evidence.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgusting

    The land of the free? yeah, of course... the US is a totalitarian regime that rules the entire world with coups, economic sanctions, invasions, war crimes, lies, lawfare, lobbies from its embassies, espionage, etc, etc... but Assange is the bad guy here, c'mon.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Disgusting

      The land of the free

      Sorry, that was just a spelling mistake.

      It's actually the land of the fee. HTH.

  19. henryd

    Harry Dunn

    Until Harry Dunn’s killer is extradited to the UK no-one should be sent the other way. The lopsided deal with the US needs to be addressed and this is a chance to do just that.

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