back to article Assange extradition case goes to UK Home Secretary as High Court rules he can be sent to US for trial

Julian Assange will be sent stateside for trial on criminal charges after the US government won an appeal against an earlier court order that released him from the threat of extradition. The former WikiLeaks editor-in-chief lost the latest stage of his attempt to avoid being sent to the US after the Lord Chief Justice and Lord …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thou

    shall not whistle blow... against your Big Brother.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: thou

      Especially when your case will end up on Priti Patel’s desk,

      “Extradition approved. Sorry about the bloodstains on the folder.”

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: thou

      I think Assange's alleged problem is that he didn't act as a journalist receiving information, he was allegedly active in obtaining the information (providing information on how to extract the information and possibly being active in the hacking?).

      That is, at least as I understand it, the main reason the US was trying to prosecute him.

      If he was a journalist and he had accepted information from a whistleblower, he would have been in the clear, but he isn't a journalist (not accredited in any country, AFAIK) and he allegedly helped extract the information.

      I think the whole case is overblown and the US should probably let it rest, but it is probably now being done on principal.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: thou

        "I think the whole case is overblown and the US should probably let it rest, but it is probably now being done on principal."

        It won't be let go with Biden at the helm. He's quite the hawk and also directly responsible for the Mega case in New Zealand (still grinding away slowly to everyone's irritation)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: thou

        The lead witness for supporting that interpretation has been discredited.

        It's being pursued on the principle that you cannot expose war crimes of The Good Guys and get away with it.

      3. CTOS4EVER

        Re: thou

        Agree on the whole. Assange ruffled the feathers of politically connected elitists who don't take kindly to being questioned on methods, motives or intentions.

        As far as "accredited" goes, that doesn't mean a lot when our US "journalists" willingly participate in libels, slanders and outright misinformation (read: lies). Can't speak for news outside the US sphere.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two sides

    I don't care for the man or the way he treats others, but this feels wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two sides

      few people on this forum are exactly enthusiastic about his character, to say the least, and at the same time, probably feel this ruling is seriously wrong. Yeah, the ruling... disappoingly unsurprising, I'd say.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two sides

        There doesn't seem anything wrong in the ruling as a point of law

        But that is separate from the reasons and alleged crimes for which the US want him extradited being wrong (or not).

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Two sides

          That's the key differentiator for me.

          Extradition is wrong, but the actions of the UK courts have been right, based on the law.

          However, as always: Did Assange break the law of the country he was in at the time of the alleged offences? If so, charge him there, if not, no case to answer. Absolutely no justification for extradition to the US unless he was present there at the time of the alleged offences.

          1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

            Re: Two sides

            Did Assange break the law of the country he was in at the time of the alleged offences?

            That argument REALLY depends on the offence.

            * For something like a motoring offence the crime can only be committed in person.

            * For something like hacking, the internet gives any of us the possibility to log into any computer connected to the internet. I do not have to be physically present like a motoring offence.

            I haven't kept fully up to date on this one but I believe the charge is that Assange coerced and/or provided instruction on how to exfiltrate the documents.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: Two sides

              I don't care what the nature of the offence was.

              Either he broke the law of the country he was in or he didn't.

              I can make statements that would get me stoned to death in Pakistan, or that would get me caned in Singapore, or that would get me imprisoned in Thailand, and I can make those statements online and/or to people in those countries.

              None of which breaks UK law, and so no, none of those countries can extradite me. A world in which everybody must obey every country's laws would be inherently broken, so how about we tell the US to back off and behave.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Two sides

                You seem to have misunderstood the subordinate role of the UK and the nature of its extradition treaty with the U.S. of A. Just do as you're told. You have no say in such matters.

      2. BebopWeBop

        Re: Two sides

        Hmm - the US State Department seem to have been in early.

      3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Two sides

        His "crimes" were mostly just documenting the American military crimes.

        1. Outski Silver badge

          Re: Two sides

          And skipping bail, plus possibly rape, on the investigation of which he ran out the clock

          1. Snowy Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Two sides

            None of them are what they want to try him in the US for.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Two sides

            He has done his time for skipping bail.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Two sides

              "He has done his time for skipping bail."

              True, but under the current circumstances, he'd be out on bail now if he'd not skipped bail in the first place.

              1. Christoph

                Re: Two sides

                No, he'd be in a US jail - that is why he skipped bail.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Two sides

                  And yet, despite his shenanigans, here we are with a legal ruling in place, still no decision as yet to extradite him and a number of options or stages still available for him and his team to appeal. The wheels of justice are still rolling on, following correct procedure and points of law, despite the actions of the accused doing everything in his power to avoid or pervert the process. It looks to me, from the outside, as if the system is proceeding as intended, without a sense of malice or revenge.

                  Cue the supporters downvotes now for posting something they don't like and don't care if true or not.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Two sides

                    I'm sure there was a sense of malice and revenge in the Trump government's setting the extradition in motion. I think there was quite possibly a smarter and more punishing sense of malice and revenge in the Obama government's ignoring him.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Two sides

                      Not sure this can be blamed on Trump. Then again, it's a situation that's been festering for years. In a conspiracy sense, maybe the DoJ wanted to make this Trump's problem. Evil President locking up innocent journalists. If it can happen to Assange, it could happen to CNN's Cuomo & producer.

                      But there were a few criminal matters to resolve, but also bigger crimes. Like the Democrat's emails being drip fed during Trump v Clinton campaign. So maybe there would have been some leverage from dishing more DNC dirt in exchange. Now the Dems are in charge, Assange has fewer options.

                      Then again, Assange has also claimed to have a large file of dirt, just waiting to be unlocked. Which I guess is responsible journalism. And I'm sure the zip bomb won't burn any of his sources. Or that those wouldn't get burned anyway during plea bargaining.

                      But such is politics.

                2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Two sides

                  The bail he skipped was for extradition to Sweden. There was no extradition request in place from the US. His chances of getting extradited from Sweden are generally reckoned as less than from the UK. By skipping bail he effectively imprisoned himself giving the US several years to get round to attempting extradition. If he hadn't skipped he might or might not have gone to jail in Sweden. Where he'd have been now is impossible to determine. He might even have been ignored by the US and subsequently forgotten.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Two sides

                    Based on what's been published, it's more likely he'd have paid a fine in Sweden as the women concerned withdrew their complaints

                    The risk then is that Sweden would put him on a plane to Australia - and we've seen what the USA does to planes it thinks contain people it wants to get hold of

                3. katrinab Silver badge
                  Meh

                  Re: Two sides

                  No, he might have been in a Swedish jail, had he been found guilty of the charges he was wanted for.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    No two sides here.

                    Nope.

                    He'd never have a chance to go in court in Sweden as Swedes would have given him to US officials directly at airport. They already tried that once, but Assagne managed to escape.

                    Then it's a one-way ticket to Guantanamo. And you'll never see Mr. Assagne again.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Two sides

              "He has done his time for skipping bail."

              Agreed. And now, as a convicted felon and alien, he should be deported back to where he came from. I thought we'd take back control?

          3. Christoph

            Re: Two sides

            The rape charges were horribly flawed, and were only kept up due to the insistence of one prosecutor.

            The standard way for governments to discredit whistleblowers is to make charges of sexual offences against them.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Two sides

              All charges were invented months after actual sex happening, after Swedish state prosecutor personally "had a discussion" with said females. Basically threatened them with jail (as conspirators or other BS: Prosecutors can and do lie on everything) until they agreed it was a rape.

              Prosecutor ( female, btw, and the rest of the Cabinet) had met US Defence minister just a day earlier. The amount of money/other goods promised is still a secret, but obviously a lot as Sweden sprung into action immediately.

              Just connect the dots: All of the charges were created in order to move Assagne to US, with help from Swedish government.

              No more, no less.

              1. mark4155

                Re: Two sides

                Rubbish and you know it.

              2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Two sides

                Just connect the dots

                Ah yes - the favourite cry of every conspiracy theorist. It essentially means "I don't really have any credible facts to prove my case so I'll just assume that I've proved it"

                AKA - making stuff up.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two sides

          "WikiLeaks publishes full cache of unredacted cables"

          The Guardian, Sept 2, 2011

          WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger.

          The move has been strongly condemned by the five previous media partners – the Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde – who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.

          "We deplore the decision of WikiLeaks to publish the unredacted state department cables, which may put sources at risk," the organisations said in a joint statement.

          "Our previous dealings with WikiLeaks were on the clear basis that we would only publish cables which had been subjected to a thorough joint editing and clearance process. We will continue to defend our previous collaborative publishing endeavour. We cannot defend the needless publication of the complete data – indeed, we are united in condemning it.

          "The decision to publish by Julian Assange was his, and his alone."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Two sides

            Wasn't it someone connected to the Guardian who published the Crypto Keys that were required to access the plain text content from the cache, and without that the information would not have been readable?

    2. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

      Missing the point

      This trial was about whether there were grounds to extradite him, not whether he's guilty.

      Obviously it's in his favour to conflate the two, but he will get his day in court to answer the charges against him.

      It's not a threat to democracy that a journalist can face charges - as long as he gets a fair trial.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        And what on earth makes you think he will?

        1. Joe Gurman

          Re: Missing the point

          What on earth makes you think he will not?

          The only thing certain about these goings on is that quality barristers will be able to bill a lot of hours.

          1. Yes Me Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Missing the point

            "What on earth makes you think he will not [get a fair trial]?"

            Very few criminal defendants in the US get a fair trial. A large proportion accept a plea bargain instead: they plead guilty to a lesser crime than they are accused of, to receive a lesser sentence. Since sentences in the US tend to be very harsh, this is known to lead to many guilty pleas by innocent or probably innocent people, frightened of the harsh sentence they might otherwise receive.

            But even that doesn't work if the US government wants to make an example of you, which is clearly behind their vendetta against Assange for doing his job as a self-employed journalist. Other journalists have released whistleblower file dumps without a whisper of prosecution.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Missing the point

              Most defendants in US do not have access to sufficient funds to employ lawyers to fight a case adequately on their behalf.

              1. mark4155

                Re: Missing the point

                Really? The US legal system has legal aid for anyone who is charged with a high level of criminality. Sorry but you are wrong.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Missing the point

                  You are correct, legal aid exists. But in the context described, you are wrong.

                  He said "employ lawyers to fight a case adequately"

                  The odds of getting a decent lawyer under legal aid is very slim. And even if you do, the likelihood of them having the resources for a more serious or complex case approaches zero.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Missing the point

              @Yes Me

              Since when has the "bastard who shit on his mates therefore costing them a lot of money" been a journalist?

              All he does is PUBLISH stuff that other people (who take the actual risk of possible consequences if they get caught) give him.

              Journalist my arse. The man is a parasite.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Missing the point

                Yet here he is getting prosecuted for the acts that you claim he did not do.

                If he'd only published there would be no case, which is why the FBI recruited Thordarson to buttress the case they concocted.

                Please try to pay attention.

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Missing the point

            In the US its the deepest pockets that either win or drag it on for decades. And you can pretty much guarantee the government lawyers will manoeuvre to get parts of it held in secrecy. This is the country that executed Ethel Rosenberg even though they knew she was innocent ffs.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Missing the point

            Assagne will never appear in court in USA.

            That one. No barrister will ever see the case either: It's directly to Guantanamo and no court case.

            1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

              Re: Missing the point

              Assagne will never appear in court in USA.

              It's directly to Guantanamo and no court case.

              If that happens then America can effectively kiss their extradition treaties good bye as this would be used as sufficient defence for decades to come

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Missing the point

                Imagine the US laboring hard to maintain its sterling reputation for fairness and due process.

                Well, anyway, if that fails there is always rendition. I've heard of it.

        2. Snowy Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Missing the point

          What makes you think it will not be?

          1. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

            Re: Missing the point

            He is a foreign citizen charged in another countries local courts with what are styled as "treasonous" crimes.

            There is unlikely to be anywhere on earth you would expect that to well for you, and certainly not the US.

            1. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

              Re: Missing the point

              I don't like the guy either, he should have stood up to the Swedish charges really it would have put him on stronger moral ground for this inevitable show down.

              The US charges are however based on treachery, and one cannot betray a country whilst you are neither its citizen nor a guest of it. He has no moral duty to honour US secrecy.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Missing the point

                "I don't like the guy either, he should have stood up to the Swedish charges really it would have put him on stronger moral ground for this inevitable show down."

                Nice idea but once Swedes had him, it's goodbye for him. Charges existed solely to get him in Sweden: Standing up the charges in UK wasn't good enough for Swedes.

                You don't wonder why? You should.

                Because you can't give him to CIA if he's in London. That's why. The charges themselves were 100% bullshit, Swedes know it, no chance in hell they hold up in court.

                But that wasn't the point, the point was to get A. into Swedish airport.

                Zero chance of court in Sweden, Swedes put him into one of CIAs black planes directly from air field and then it's direct flight to Guantanamo.

                That's how it was agreed between US and Swedish government. Obviously.

                Members of US Cabinet are not flying to Sweden when Assagne is there just by accident.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Missing the point

                  @A/C

                  You seem to "know" a lot? May I ask how? Facebook maybe?

                  And therefore you should should know that Sweden is far less of a pushover when it comes to extradition than Amerca's U.K. PUPPETS.

                  Witness, an allegedly pissed wife of a U.S. diplomat kills a welsh teenager whilst driving on the wrong side of the road. Then fucks of back to the U.S. And no, she didn't take a normal scheduled flight. We want her back? The U.S. says no. "It's not appropriate. End of.

                  That being said, I say send him somewhere, anywhere just to get rid of him. And just who is paying all his legal bills? Hopefully you know the answer to that too. There will no doubt be an answer on Facebook for you to look up.

                2. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

                  Re: Missing the point

                  > "Nice idea but once Swedes had him..."

                  Yes, but he's got to that point anyway and now he's someone who goes into hiding rather than face his accusers in court.

                  He has given up the moral high ground which he will need when he faces charges in the US. In fact since then he has drifted into obscurity whilst hiding in a cupboard. Public support will now be thin on the ground.

                  I especially don't accept the idea that Swedish justice is weaker or less effective than British justice.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Missing the point

                    Sadly, he hasn't drifted into obscurity due to the actions of his PR team. So something that started as a few seconds of self-pleasure has turned into a very overextended version of "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here". Except the celebrity is an alleged rapist, and always will be, give or take any successful defamation actions. Which has always struck me as odd when other celebrities are defending him, rather than the usual cancellation.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Missing the point

                    Occupying some "moral high ground", whatever you imagine that to be, bears no relationship to the reality of his situation and the risks he faces - particularly since his adversary occupies no moral high ground that I can imagine.

              2. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: Missing the point

                The charges are not based on treachery. The charges he faces are that he conspired to illegally access US government computers.

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        >as long as he gets a fair trial.

        The notion of a "fair trail" is a bit iffy in the US, especially if it involves 'national security'. If you lived here you'd understand why Assange is screwed -- his fate is in the hands of people who have an agenda who treat his case as personal. They will expend whatever resources it takes because there's no downside for them -- they can just keep going until the defendant dies or it becomes political -- just look what happened to Meng Wanzhou, it effectively took the Chinese government taking hostages to get her back. (Obviously you'd claim that Meng was accused of a crime but as in this case the crime wasn't committed in Canada and wasn't even a violation of Canadian law. The hostages were also accused of a crimes, of course, but their violations were about as technical -- or synthetic -- as Meng's.)

        Personally, I think there's an issue of sovereignty here but the UK's effectively been a vassal state of the US since the 1940s so that's to be expected.

        1. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

          Re: Missing the point

          > "the UK's effectively been a vassal state of the US since the 1940s..."

          Then he should have gone to Sweden.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    missed opportunity

    they should have made this public at the summit for democracy, ending just about now, eh?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "[he will be] transferred to Australia to serve his sentence without the US objecting"

    I'm pretty sure the Ecuadorian ambassador totally subscribes to that part of the judgement.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: "[he will be] transferred to Australia to serve his sentence without the US objecting"

      Don't know anything about Australian prisons, but he will probably be in much better conditions than he was in Ecuador's embassy - he'll have more room to exercise, be able to go outside, etc. Probably won't let him have a cat though.

      It always seemed unlikely to me that even if convicted Assange would have been sent to a maximum security prison which is where the bad stuff happens. White collar criminals get sent to what is known in the US as "club Fed" prisons, which is basically like being stuck at Mar-A-Lago for a few years but without the weddings to crash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "[he will be] transferred to Australia to serve his sentence without the US objecting"

        Assagne would never be "in prison" in US.

        Nope, either silently executed and "disappeared" "after leaving Sweden" or, as silently, ending up in Guantanamo.

        No court case, no nothing. Just "disappeared"

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "[he will be] transferred to Australia to serve his sentence without the US objecting"

          "Assagne "

          Who? That's the seventh post with that same spelling mistake. Supporter or troll?

          Since I'd expect a real supporter to know how to spell the guys name, I'll go with troll.

    2. dogcatcher

      Re: "[he will be] transferred to Australia to serve his sentence without the US objecting"

      And to think, we used to send them out to America by the shipload until they started demanding independence, then we had to switch to paying for their transport to a holiday in Australia. Plus ça change.

  5. Forget It
    Big Brother

    Go whistle

    don't whistle blow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go whistle

      Don't rape people, don't nark on others and do not upset people who give you refuge from being dragged to court over raping people and narking on others...

      Sounds simple, yet Assange fails to grasp these basics...

      1. Christoph

        Re: Go whistle

        The rape charges were brought to discredit him. There were major flaws in them.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Go whistle

          They were valid in Sweden. The issue is that the women in question didn't want to press charges, they merely wanted him to take a STD test

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Go whistle

        Yeah, don't nark on war criminals. Indeed, practical advice.

  6. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Sense

    It makes sense, he was a thorn in the backside of Obama-Biden administration.

    They wanted revenge, although Biden probably at this point doesn't even remember what UK is.

    Perhaps Assange is just a gift, so that Biden (or rather his handlers) eases up on trade deal rhetoric.

    As we can read the US no longer sees Brexit as a factor relevant for the trade deal, where they said otherwise only few months earlier.

    1. BebopWeBop

      Re: Sense

      What the US does see as a problem is the NI protocol; - and probably will continue to do so, Republicans as well as Democrats.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Sense

        They don't see as a problem per se, it's just that it's an issue that can be used as a bargaining chip. I think they couldn't care less about NI if that it couldn't be used to get some advantages from the trade deal or other deals.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Re: Sense

          Not spent much time in the USA, then? The Irish-American (and Cuban-American) communities are extremely powerful lobbies. Prior to the Good Friday accords (orchestrated by the USA), people would openly solicit in "Irish" bars in Boston and Chicago and the like for funds to buy weapons to kill British troops.

          A trade deal with the UK is not high on anyone's priority list, sad to say.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sense

          Bargining chip = yes

          - however, you dont understand the Bostonian Irish culture - or the Democrat base that they control.

  7. Alex Stuart
    Stop

    Don't do it Priti

    Until the USA gives us Anne Sacoolas, why should we give them Assange ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Don't do it Priti

      "why should we give them Assange ?"

      She'll probably see him as an immigrant she can actually deport.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't do it Priti

      Because driving dangerously, mowing down some poor teenager then fleeing the country before his corpse is cold is a totally legitimate diplomatic action and is a perfect example of exactly what diplomatic immunity was intended to be used for.

    3. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Don't do it Priti

      "The United Kingdom and the USA have a long history of cooperation in extradition matters"

      Unless the UK wants justice for a slain citizen, and that involves extraditing the killer from the USA.

      So, yeah, until we get Sacoolas that statementis bunk.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Don't do it Priti

      Hot off the (BBC) press...

      She's going to be tried in the UK but by video link from the USA.

      Which begs the question, does she have diplomatic immunity? If so, then why agree to a video trial? If not, why not send her to the UK to do it properly?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Don't do it Priti

        She does have diplomatic immunity.

        In the case of diplomatic immunity, the government of the diplomat can wave it. So for example, we let the Libyans ship out their whole embassy staff after a member of their mission murdered a police woman with a sniper rifle from the embassy window. Because they wouldn't wave immunity.

        If the US government have finally chosen to in this case, it's probably that a deal has been struck that she can be tried from over there, and if convicted will serve any time in the US. Possibly some sort of deal has even been done on what any sentence might be, although that's a lot harder as it would be a lot more likely to go wrong, judges tending to be an independent lot.

  8. Skiron Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    I really don't know what the bloke done apart from create wikileaks etc., and years ago when all this started wondering who he was and his sort of 'internet/programming' history - then one day yonks ago when I was knocking up my for my own private use a word search/anagrammer/reverse dictionary thingy, I came across this - whether it's the same bloke or not I dunno:

    http://fatphil.org/words/an.html#author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if Assange had just been posting on Facebook instead of running his Wikileaks then Facebook would have been ignored by the right-wingers, Trump would have lost the election and Brexit would have only got about 30% of the votes.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      It's the same guy

      He has a bunch of historic minor hacking convictions in Australia too

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The chickens

    Are returning homeward to rest

    1. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

      Re: The chickens

      More being dragged by their feet to the chopping block...

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am still unsure how this whole trial in the US and serve his time in Australian prison works, should he be extradited at the end of all this

    Will he be sentenced under US or Australian sentences for the crimes if he is found guilty? As often US sentences are much harsher than other western countries, and have arrangements such as plea bargaining which don't exist in other jurisdictions.

    If he is sentences under US law I can see it being ground for an appeal in Australian appeals courts if the sentence was harsher than what he would have been given had the case been heard in Australian court.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      and serve his time in Australian prison

      Given that we invented it, I am sure Julian will be delivered with proper handouts how to ship him to Australia etc.

    2. Apprentice Human

      I believe the US government would make a formal request to the Oz government to have Assange serve his time in his home country. That doesn't mean Australia has to agree and that would leave the man of the hour in the tender care of the USA.

      It is possible for Australia to start the proceedings too, but I don't see why they would take the costs of caring for a second class hacker, should a custodial sentence be the final outcome... probably in 2026 or 2027 at this rate.

    3. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

      This is routine. Country "A" hands down a sentence, Country "B" agrees to allow the prisoner to serve his time for _that_ sentence, not some other sentence that some other country might impose.

      What's different is that things like compassionate release (etc) are determined by the "imprisoning" country.

      And although it's unpopular to think it, being tried for a crime potentially related to issues of free speech and a free press is probably far better in the USA (where we have a frickin' Amendment on the subject) rather than in the UK or Australia, where they don't.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Don't know if that is in every country, but some for sure convert sentence of country "A" to be compatible with their sentencing. For example, if country "B" does not have death penalty, but prisoner from country "A" has been sentenced to that, then that sentence is converted to life in prison. Basically maximum penalty for a given crime in country "B". If it is not a crime in country "B" then prisoner would be set free.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          There is no situation where someone facing the death penalty would be transferred to another country (or State in the USA). So your example is, err, fatally flawed. (You're probably thinking about extradition, which is totally different).

          The deal is that if your sentence is for 20 years, that's what you serve, not what some person thinks the sentence for an equivalent crime in a completely different jurisdiction might be. If you'd look at, say, 18 USC 4105 you'll discover the law regarding someone serving their sentence in the USA when convicted elsewhere:

          "Except as provided elsewhere in this section, an offender serving a sentence of imprisonment in a foreign country transferred to the custody of the Attorney General shall remain in the custody of the Attorney General under the same conditions and for the same period of time as an offender who had been committed to the custody of the Attorney General by a court of the United States for the period of time imposed by the sentencing court."

          As regards Australia, they helpfully publish their rules here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015C00486. Turns out that the Attorney General has the power to modify the sentence if he feels fit, but not the obligation. So before any transfer of prisoners occurs, both sides (in this case, the US and Australia) agree what the deal will be; there is nothing automatic about it. BUT the Australian AG has the power to decide parole, etc. despite what the US thinks about it.

          So if Assange is found guilty and is sentenced to the same term as Chelsea Manning got (35 years), that's what he would serve in Australia. Far more likely, though, is that he would get something substantially lower (63 months has been mentioned) because Manning was serving in the Army and actually stole the information... but all that's only if Assange was convicted, which is certainly not a slam dunk.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't he suggest that he'd kill himself if he were extradited? That would simplify the whole issue.

  11. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Why can't Julian use the new excuse: If Julian gets extradited to the US, he (Julian) might take his own life.

    If some people can use this excuse ...

  12. Christoph

    "on Home Secretary Priti Patel's desk awaiting her decision on whether to extradite."

    The chances of her missing an opportunity to bully someone are about the same as the chances of Boris stopping telling lies.

  13. Persona Silver badge

    Deport

    I think it's a shame we couldn't deport him back to Australia after he had served his sentence for jumping bail. The Australians could then handle the issue of if he should be extradited to the US to face the charges there. Either way he would be gone from the UK.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. jollyboyspecial

    Let's see if Patel follows her own policies. Assange wasn't born in the UK and she seems to think that anybody born outside there UK deserves to be chucked out without even bothering with a due process.

  16. Peter 39

    Quite aside from the present legal arguments, Assange is in his present situation because he *probably* (based on information available) took advantage of at least one of the women with whom he associated during his time in Sweden.

    Had he behaved differently he'd probably be a citizen of Sweden already.

    As the old saying goes, "This is the screwing you get for the screwing you got"

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    I’d be wikileaking myself too

    The US penal system is cruel and unusual.

    But then he probably knew this when he started his japes.

  18. fpx
    Angel

    This ruling is to be expected, as it was only about the extradition, not about guilt. The question to be answered was whether Assange would get a fair trial in the US. An allied western country is never going to go against the US, that would be a significant diplomatic affront.

    What Assange did is not so much different than the Pentagon Papers and would center on whether Assange qualifies as a journalist, and how much assistance he gave to whistleblowers. Assange might well win his case -- after a very long legal fight.

    My guess is that the US is not particularly interested in the case going to court either. This is mostly about sending a signal to other potential whistleblowers. Even if he wins, he would have lost 20+ years of his life -- counting from his escape to Ecuador to a Supreme Court appeal. The US government wants potential whistleblowers to take notice that your life will be ruined one way or the other.

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