back to article Ecuador shreds Julian Assange's citizenship

Former couch-surfing world record contender Julian Assange has had his Ecuadorian citizenship revoked. An administrative court in Quito, Ecuador cited irregularities in the naturalization process – including the use of different signatures, potential document alterations, failure to pay fees, and a failure to reside in the …

  1. B83
    Coat

    Resist, resist

    I can remember him getting taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy shouting resist resist.

    If you know his alledged history I wonder if they tried to do that!!!!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      You mean resist punching him in the face ?

      Most probably.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Journalist prosecution

    The article started by reporting on new development from Ecuador, but then summarized whole saga and omitted most key facts of the saga. Just a few of them: rape case was so weak that Sweden wanted to drop the case long time ago but was pressured by UK (probably on US account) to keep the case open (turned out later that the rape case was just a placeholder until US builds a spy case, as Assange said from the start), CIA spied on Assange in Ecuador Embassy, UK judge justified it by citing debunked CNN report based on CIA spying, US blocked loans to Ecuador unless they deliver Assange, main witness against Assange in the US case admitted he lied... and many more. US simply wants him for revealing true information, many embarrassing things about US politics, no lies were ever found in Wikileaks reporting. In other words, US and UK prosecuting a journalist for publishing truth.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Journalist prosecution

      Some more facts for you:

      If the rape case was so weak, he would've done better by turning up and explaining why he did what he did. If it was as weak as you claim (it wasn't), he could've dealt with it before they could file any extradition paperwork. Running away just makes you look guilty.

      Sweden dropped the case because their statute of limitations expired.

      If he wanted to avoid a hypothetical extradition process, he would've been better staying in Sweden than fleeing to a country which has a famously generous extradition arrangement with the US. Or he could've gone to pretty much any other country and had less chance of being extradited. No, he chose to flee to the country most likely to hand him over to the US.

      1. Solviva

        Re: Journalist prosecution

        Mr Assange offered to be interviewed by video link. That I think was not allowed under Swedish law, and they wouldn't make any special arrangements for this. In the end the prosecutor Fru Ny was going to interview Assange at the embassy.... until she pulled out at the last minute. Why?

        Whilst he was still in Sweden for a few weeks after the event (August), they had plenty of time to bring him in for questioning, but didn't. Why? He asked if he was allowed to leave Sweden (as part of his original schedule), and was told no problem, so he did.

        Once he left Sweden, something changed (Novemberish) that resulted in a European arrest warrant. Surely it would have been much easier to issue an arrest warrant while he was still in Sweden, and/or deny his request to leave. Why the delay? It's not like the interview suites were booked up for the next 3 months.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          Swedish law apparently requires you to be interviewed before you can be charged. You're then charged at that interview. He was clearly not considered a flight risk by the Swedes - as they texted his lawyer the night he fled the country - to come in for a charge interview the next morning. The lawyer denied this in one of the UK hearings and then was forced to produce his phone and show the text message still on there.

          At which point they issued the European arrest warrant.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          "until she pulled out at the last minute."

          Unlike Assange, allegedly.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          "He asked if he was allowed to leave Sweden (as part of his original schedule), and was told no problem, so he did."

          FWIW, he was told that by his lawyer, who has since admitted to that and had to answer for it.

      2. Mart68

        Re: Journalist prosecution

        Assange was prepared to give evidence from London - the UK and Swedish gov blocked that option. The rape claim - that he removed his condom during consensual sex - was escalated to an international arrest warrant for a very simple political purpose: to get him to Sweden from where lax extradition treaty with US would allow for Assange's fast extradition to the US.

        There are plenty of records of Assange and his lawyers offering alternatives to help with the rape investigation, including records of the woman who made the accusation wanting to drop the matter but not being allowed to. Indeed, records also exist of the Swedes wanting to drop the case but being told not to by the UK's Department of Public Prosecution's office under the charge of Keir Starmer (now the centre-right leader of the Labour Party).

        Equally, it is also not true that the Swedes dropped the case due to the statue of limitation having expired. Here is the Swede's prosecutors explanation for dropping the case:

        The deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, said the complainant’s evidence was deemed credible and reliable, but that after nearly a decade, witnesses’ memories had faded.

        “After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” Persson said. An appeal against the decision could be made to the office of Sweden’s attorney general, she added.

        No appeal was made by the woman who made the original accusation or Swedish authorities. So much for a case that became an international affair and kept Assange confined to a room for 7 years.

        1. heyrick Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          "Equally, it is also not true that the Swedes dropped the case due to [...]"

          New user for two posts in this thread. Obvious sock puppet is obvious sock puppet.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          I don't give a flying fuck what Assange was "prepared" to do. The law states that he should have stayed in Sweden to face and charge and arrest. He ran. He got caught in the UK under a European Arrest Warrant. He got his day in court, he lost. He got an appeal. He lost. He appealed again, which was allowed as I think it was the first big test case of the new EAW system. He lost. The court ruled that he was accused of rape and that this was equivalent to the crime in the UK and that he'd have been extradited under the old system too.

          He ran away again. This time to spend 7 years in an embassy. Now he's done the time for his bail jumping and is still there because of running twice before. Had he stuck to his bail conditions he'd be out on bail now too. In this case awaiting the US appeal, because they can't extradite him. As he's had about 5 appeals in this country, he's no right to complain if other litigants have a go too...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          That condom nonsense is a quite stubborn bit of misinformation. Also one that doesn't pass the basic logic test.

          1) The word "condom" does not appear in Brottsbalken, the Swedish criminal code. Here is a handy English translation of the entire criminal code. It's a formal translation, though obviously only the original in the Swedish language can be used in court. Here is the original Swedish language version. It does not contain the word "kondom".

          2) The charge is rape because one of the accusers woke up with him inside him. That means no consent was given and the act can therefore legally be considered rape in all relevant jurisdictions here, Sweden and UK. Whether penetration during sleep is legal in Russia or Swaziland is irrelevant.

          3) Wearing a condom during penetration does not replace a requirement for consent. Otherwise predatory rapists could just always wear a condom before they rape someone and get off scot free.

          4) The Swedish legal system considered there was enough evidence to charge Julian Assange. He exhausted every single UK legal avenue before he went on the run and every single UK court ruled that enough evidence was available for an extradition to Sweden as the accusation would amount to a crime in the UK too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Journalist prosecution

            His companion consented to sex IF he wore a condom. At some point she realised that he had penetrated her without a condom, so her consent was implicitly revoked. That's what made it rape.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Journalist prosecution

              And just to confirm, that action is also classed as rape in UK law too.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          Since when do fugitives from justice set the conditions under which they wish to be interrogated?

          Furthermore, considering Assange fled from Sweden (a country that under EAW rules could not extradite Assange outside the EU without approval, giving Assange an additional court to make his case), to the UK (a country with a famously one-sided US extradition treaty that would extradite the Queen if the US left as much as a voicemail demanding her extradition) suggests that Assange knew he had more to fear from Sweden than from the US.

          He would probably be safer from the US justice system in Canada than in the UK. And yet he flew to the UK.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          > Assange was prepared to give evidence from London

          How nice of him *rollseyes*

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Journalist prosecution

          "kept Assange confined to a room for 7 years."

          That was his own choice. He was free to walk out and face justice at any time during that 7 year stint in the broom cupboard.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Journalist prosecution

      I thought the UK prosecuted him because he skipped bail?

    3. JohnG

      Re: Journalist prosecution

      "Just a few of them: rape case was so weak that Sweden wanted to drop the case long time ago but was pressured by UK"

      BS. Assange fled Sweden during a rape investigation and the prosecutors subsequently submitted an EAW to the UK for his arrest and extradition to Sweden. A UK court placed Assange on bail while considering Sweden's AEW and Assange chose to breach his bail conditions, which is an offence in the UK. At this time, the US government had not displayed any interest nor submitted any extradition requests to either Sweden or the UK. When asked about Assange, President Obama stated that, as far as he understood it, Assange had not broken any US laws. Assange could have gone to Sweden, had his Swedish lawyers pull the case apart, which would likely have never gone to court - and he could have gone his merry way. Instead, he stayed in the Ecuadorian embassy until the arrival of a US administration that was interested in his extradition.

    4. Floydian Slip
      Big Brother

      Re: Journalist prosecution

      Be OK if Assange were a journalist, but he's not.He's nothing more than a editor and publisher

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Journalist prosecution

        Be OK if Assange were a journalist, but he's not.He's nothing more than a editor and publisher

        Add to that a bit.... "attention whore" and maybe "wannabee martyr".

        Everything has consequences. Some are good and some are bad. Seems he thinks he's above consequences.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Journalist prosecution

        Journalism encompasses editing and publishing. Stenography as well, in the case of contemporary major media outlets.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge

    use of different signatures

    My signature is different every time these days. My penmanship was never good, and working in IT doesn't give much opportunity to hand write stuff for other people to read... which is good because they probably couldn't read it.

    Back to our story, seems Ecuador might be smelling the week old fish that is JA.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: use of different signatures

      Seems very odd. There can't be any doubt of his identity - he was in their embassy for 7 bloody years. You'd have thought the people processing it might just recognise him by that point...

      However, who'd be surprised if he'd lied about some documents - which is a nice excuse to reverse an embarassing mistake they made. Seems a bit harsh though to blame him for not living in Ecuador in order to keep his citizenship. It's not like he's had much choice of accommodation, since they kicked him out of the embassy.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: use of different signatures

        Actually just on that point, IANAL but I thought I remembered reading somewhere that Embassy Grounds count as territory of the Embassy's country. So 7 years living in the Ecudorian Embassies broom cupboard would count as 7 years on Embassy territory, no?

        Although maybe he didnt register with the proper authorities as living at that particular address at the time? ;)

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: use of different signatures

          Nope. Embassies are not sovereign territory.

          They are treaty-mandated protected areas inside other countries. In this case the Vienna Conventions. Once an embassy is granted the host country can only enter with the permission of the ambassador or their government.

          1. lglethal Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: use of different signatures

            OK thanks for clarifying. I wasnt aware of the distinction.

            Always good to learn something new, isnt it?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
              Happy

              Re: use of different signatures

              Every day's a school day. And this is usually a good site for learning odd stuff.

        2. Irongut Silver badge

          Re: use of different signatures

          A common Hollywood fallacy but it isn't true.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: use of different signatures

        "Seems a bit harsh"

        Sounds like they are interpreting the citizenship rules in the most literal way possible in order to be rid of him, so whatever the next stage of this weird pantomime is, it won't be their problem.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Ok, who was it...

    ...who nicked the bribe out of the document bundle before it got to the court?

  5. Mart68

    This is an incredibly nasty piece of reporting. Is revealing innocent Iraqi's being murdered by US soldiers make Assange contender for "couch-surfing world record"? Is being forced to live in a room for 7 years due to bogus charges, charges that Sweden wished to withdraw but was not allowed to due to pressure from the UK and US, something to make fun off and mock? Will you start mocking his continued solitary confident for up to 23hours a day at Belmarsh Prison despite having won his case. Will you be making fun of other journalists imprisoned or killed for exposing the lies and crimes of the powerful?

    1. BigSLitleP

      "Is being forced to live in a room for 7 years due to bogus charges, charges that Sweden wished to withdraw but was not allowed to due to pressure from the UK and US, something to make fun off and mock?"

      I'm always amazed at how Assange fans seem to want to try to re-write history........

      1. Solviva

        Which bit(s) of the history mentioned here are you contending?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Let's see...

          "Is being forced to live in a room for 7 years due to bogus charges" - entirely self-inflicted and nothing to do with the Sweden charges or (at the time) mythical US charges because he jumped bail in this country - under bail conditions that he requested and agreed to.

          "Will you start mocking his continued solitary confident for up to 23hours a day at Belmarsh Prison despite having won his case." - What case? He is being held after his prison sentence for skipping bail because he has proven to be a flight risk.

          "Will you be making fun of other journalists imprisoned or killed for exposing the lies and crimes of the powerful?" - No, but that isn't the case here.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I'm always amazed at how Assange fans seem to want to try to re-write history........

        Not just Assange fans. Look what a certain party and former President here in the States have been doing lately.

    2. Shades
      Gimp

      He's not going to shag you.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Mart68

      Another first time poster, posting almost exactly the same arguments in very similar phrasing to our earlier first time poster.

      Twice might be a coincidence. Will I I find a third as read further down?

  6. Chris G Silver badge

    I suspect this has more to do with Ecuador moving to the US dollar than actually caring about JA's status as a citizen.

    1. Allonymous Coward

      I was in Ecuador in 2005, and they already had the USD as currency back then.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I apologise unreservedly …

    but…. He’s Australian. Send him back there.

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: I apologise unreservedly …

      Thought we stopped sending criminals to Australia years ago ?

    2. FozzyBear

      Re: I apologise unreservedly …

      Julian Assange is just like Fosters beer & ford vehicles.

      We export the crap we don't want to the rest of the world. We certainly don't want him dumped back on our front step

    3. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
      Windows

      Re: I apologise unreservedly …

      We don't fucking want him either, thanks.

  8. Azamino
    FAIL

    Time flies

    Hard to believe that it was more than ten years ago that wikileaks released the footage of the Americans killing those Reuters journalists in cold blood.

    Far too easy to acknowledge that the no one has seen the inside of a courtroom for those offences.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Time flies

      You mean the footage that Assange edited, to hide the fact that the people with the journalists had RPGs? That footage? That he called "Collatoeral Murder"? The one where the helicopter gunner screams out RPG (which sadly was actuallly the camera pointing round the side of the building) and then engages it? I mean he might have been a really good actor - except that both of them came across as gung-ho idiots. The one where the helicopter was flank guard for a convoy that was under attack at the time.

      Because if you do, the reason nobody went to prison is that no crime was committed. They engaged armed people, in a combat zone, believing they were under attack.

      They may well have used excessive force. There's a bit (that Assange also cut out) at the end where they fire into a building after some armed guys have gone inside it. But not knowing who (or what) else was in there - they probably shouldn't have. That might be a breach of their rules of engagement - and I've even seen a US academic lawyer argue that that might actually come close to a war crime, but the bit at the beginning of the video was just a fuck-up in a combat zone. And as much the cameraman's fault as the helicopter crew's.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Time flies

        "which sadly was actually the camera pointing round the side of the building"

        Almost happened to me in Armagh during the troubles, early seventies. A bunch of us are outside one of the cathedrals there (the protestants and catholics have one each, fair dinkum) and a British Army chopper zooms down for a closer look. One colleague has this massive telephoto-lens member on his testiclescamera and swings it up to shoot the other chopper. He focuses in on the machine gun pointing at his head and, thankfully, is immediately overcome by a bad case of the droops. We all felt that squaddie deserved a medal for not pulling the trigger. Icon for you, buddy.

  9. Bartholomew Bronze badge

    (ref: https://www.imf.org/external/np/fin/tad/extarr2.aspx?memberKey1=270&date1key=2021-06-30 )

    2019-03-11 3,035 million dollar loan arranged for Ecuador

    2019-04-11 (exactly 1 month later) UK police invited into the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Assange.

    No connection whatsoever between those two events.

  10. achillesneil

    skipping bail

    It is highly unusual in the UK to spend so much in prison for voiding bail terms, unless you are a total psycho.

    I've been out on bail before for a long time. With hindsight, he could have relied on the useless and ineffective probation service not to do their jobs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: skipping bail

      He has not spent a "highly unusual" amount of time in prison for voiding bail terms. When he was convicted of failing to answer bail, he got a typical sentence (fully in-line with the guidelines judges are required to follow) as noted by many at the time.

      He served his sentence. He is still in prison as he is currently remanded in custody while the case over his extradition is heard. He was denied bail for this case, as the courts deemed him to be a flight risk, based on his previous history. Again, this is in-line with typical procedure.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: skipping bail

        Will the US authorities take into account the time he has been on remand in the UK prison as time already served on his sentence should he be extradited and found guilty?

        As that would be how it would be dealt with by a UK court, if you were held on remand for 6 months until the court hearing and then the judge gave you a 1 year sentence, you would automatically get 6 months of that sentence knocked off so would only have 6 months left before you sentence was up. And actually due to the way the UK sentences work you would actually walk free from the court on that date. Short sentences such as 1 or 2 years are only 50% served in custody and 50% on probation supervision in the community.

        As if the US do not take the time already spent in prison awaiting extradition off any potential sentence then he WOULD be doing a extremely long sentence for what amounts to a usually low sentence crime of breaching bail conditions.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: skipping bail

          "As if the US do not take the time already spent in prison awaiting extradition off any potential sentence then he WOULD be doing a extremely long sentence for what amounts to a usually low sentence crime of breaching bail conditions."

          It's the Brits who have him for breaching bail conditions, that's nothing to do with the US. If the Americans are going to toss him in the joint, it'll be for something completely different.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: skipping bail

            No you are incorrect he is held in a UK prison by request of the US authorities for the crimes they want to charge him with in the states.

            He has already completed his sentence from the UK courts for skipping bail and if it wasn't for the potential extradition he would have been released now. So he is actually imprisoned for the crimes the US want to charge him with in the US courts so should he be be extradited and sentenced in the states they should take into account the time he has already been in prison in the UK awaiting extradition.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: skipping bail

          "As if the US do not take the time already spent in prison awaiting extradition off any potential sentence then he WOULD be doing a extremely long sentence for what amounts to a usually low sentence crime of breaching bail conditions."

          Again, it's of his own making. Most people in his position would have been out on bail. But to repeat again, he's a proven flight risk. If he want's to keep appealing, then he stays inside until the extradition is either granted or refused. At which point, he gets kicked out of the country either on a flight to the US or somewhere of his (limited) choosing, most likely somewhere he has proven citizenship.

  11. skeptical i

    But what about the cat?

    Did Embassy Cat get his (or her) own Ecuadorian "kit-izenship"?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  12. Danny 2 Silver badge

    "Former couch-surfing world record contender" jibe

    Whatever you feel about Assange that is pejorative and inaccurate.

    For a start he'd been to court, seduced and impregnated a new woman, and he'd presumably have done more if granted the freedom.

    I haven't, and wouldn't. I've sat here and posted here since he went into the embassy. That's about it. A wee bit of porn, an old computer game but those are couch stuff. I wouldn't even call what I do as couch surfing, more of a dead-man's float.

    I've brushed my teeth twice this year. And I bet £5 I'm not the laziest poster here.

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