back to article UK Supreme Court snubs Assange anti-extradition bid

Julian Assange has all but lost his fight against extradition from Britain to America after the UK Supreme Court said his case "did not raise an arguable point of law." The former WikiLeaks chief's future now rests in the tender hands of British Home Secretary Priti Patel, who must formally decide whether or not to extradite …

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    were still calling communications "cables" ?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Well, to be fair, most of them probably travel over cables, either copper or fibre, at least some of the way. They still have "wire fraud" in the US too.

      1. quxinot

        There's a big pile of terms that don't really refer to what they used to mean, or their root meanings don't translate right anymore. Not just in law, but in anything that's been around a long time and updated through the years, be it law, medicine, astronomy, even IT.

        Being melancholic doesn't mean having too much black bile and thus an imbalance of your humors anymore, for example.

        Why do we call them SSD's? Solid state disk. Disk generally doesn't mean a rectangular thing full of smaller rectangular things, it means something round and flat.

        There's an argument that language evolves, but a better argument that language doesn't evolve fast enough to keep up with what the meanings of the words are using to represent!

  2. Trigun

    Well that's probably that, then

    If this is in Priti Patels hands then I think Julian had best start packing his bags right now. She is not known to have much of a soft side and I think that the UK just wants rid of him now.

    1. Anon

      Re: Well that's probably that, then

      Well yes, but isn't there precedent for England sending supposed criminals to Australia, the native land of the accused in this case? (Sorry, if you don't want him either, Australia. Maybe there's some foundation that could pay the internment costs.)

      1. murrby

        Re: Well that's probably that, then

        Under the current Australian government he wouldn't get the the airport terminal. It'd be off the arriving plane and straight onto the US government one. Maybe not even touch the ground!

        1. sreynolds Silver badge

          Re: Well that's probably that, then

          Naah they'd probably divert the plane to Christmas Island and send him off to detention to some Island in the Pacific, like say Nauru for processing, then they'd deport him.

  3. msobkow Silver badge

    It is amazing how much hassle it is to get someone to show up in court and face justice. The decades of excuses and BS "legal arguments" are astounding, not to mention hiding out in an embassy for years on end.

    Not exactly the actions of a brave man...

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Facepalm

      And if he'd gone to sweden, he'd more than likely been cleared and deported back to Aus, or at worse had a 5 yr jail term followed by being deported back to Aus......

      Instead hes in belmarsh clink..... 12 yrs after all this began....

      1. murrby

        And if he'd just kept his dick in his pants . . .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Nothing wrong with that, by itself.

          Funny thing is that how Swedish prosecutors invented rape charges a day after US Foreign MInister had visited and had a 'discussion' with Swedish Minister of internal affairs, i.e. head of the Police.

          Before that, nothing. Also it was funny how Swedes promised to give him to US authorities, i.e. CIA, even before any court case.

          Also it's funny how remote court case wasn't possible at all in Sweden. As if they *wanted* him there to be given to CIA. Political move, all the way. See: Putin, Castro.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And if he'd gone to sweden, he'd more than likely been cleared and deported back to Aus,"

        No, Into US. Swedes already announced that they'll 'give' him to US authorities.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          That isn't how extradition works. And history should demonstrate that if America wanted to extradite Assange they'd have been better off doing it from the UK.

          Anyway he chose very, very poorly. Skipping bail wasn't smart. Constantly aggravating the US and other Western powers while hiding out in an embassy wasn't smart. If the US was on the fence about extraditing him before, then turning into a willing mouthpiece for Russia and US electoral interference surely made their minds up.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Obviously you have no idea how the Federal justice system works.

      Federal law in the US is characterized by innumerable vague concepts that are routinely used as 'gotchas' for people caught in their net. For example, most non-citizens are unaware of the legal jeopardy that they face just filling in a visa application (or exemption) or landing card, for example. Obviously the law is applied selectively -- Joe Tourist is rarely, if ever, bothered -- but "lying on a Federal form" carries severe penalties which, as many people of Chinese origin have learned over the last few years can mean just about anything the Feds define it to mean.

      Forget legal technicalities. Assange is screwed.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        They can always ask him on [ forced ] entry in the old way: 'Are you in favour of subverting the government of the United States by force ?', as famously with Chesterton.

        Then whichever way he answers, they can give him 150 years, either for saying yes or saying no, which they can interpret as a lie.

        .

        .

        I have stood on the other side of Jordan, in the land ruled by a rude Arab chief, where the police looked so like brigands that one wondered what the brigands looked like. But they did not ask me whether I had come to subvert the power of the Shereef; and they did not exhibit the faintest curiosity about my personal views on the ethical basis of civil authority. These ministers of ancient Moslem despotism did not care about whether I was an anarchist; and naturally would not have minded if I had been a polygamist. The Arab chief was probably a polygamist himself. These slaves of Asiatic autocracy were content, in the old liberal fashion, to judge me by my actions; they did not inquire into my thoughts. They held their power as limited to the limitation of practice; they did not forbid me to hold a theory.

        GKC

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It is amazing how much hassle it is to get someone to show up in court and face justice. "

      False. He did show in court, in UK. If CIA gets him, he won't ever see any court, except *possibly* FISA.

      If you believe otherwise, you're moron. Sorry about that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The inevitable US appeal overturned that, based on promises of humane treatment. "

    This is a joke of the year. He'll be moved into Guantanamo without any kind of trial and kept there for ever. Anyone who believes otherwise is a moron.

    US police murders coloured people daily on the streets, that's their opinion on 'humane'.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      More likely he'll be sent to a supermax and sent there forever. America is really funny about people committing espionage against them. Who knew?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Funny???

        Except that journalism is not generally considered espionage. I assume that will be his main line of defence.

        1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

          Re: Funny???

          Whether it's journalism or spying depends on how inconvenient the results are to the powers that be. Publishing evidence of war crimes clearly makes it spying.

          Not my opinion, but based on their actions.

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Funny???

          Assange was NOT doing journalism.

        3. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Funny???

          Yeah but espionage is considered espionage. Crazy I know.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: America is really funny about people committing espionage against them

        I await the arrest of Tucker Carlson with interest. He's clearly an agent of Putin and would no doubt be welcomed with open arms should he decide to flee from Merika. After all, 'he only asks questions'...

        and twists everything to fit his handlers agenda.

        Time for Tuckums to leave. What were your LSAT scores then Tucker?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "US police murders coloured people daily on the streets, that's their opinion on 'humane'."

      US Police forces have a whole host of problems but this is a VAST over-exaggeration. The rest of your post bears ignoring completely because unlike faceless "terrorists" no-one ever heard from you can't put a person like Assange into Guantanamo and expect the rest of the world to just be fine with that. The shitstorm that would ensue would be way way too big. IF the US actually want's Assange gone, he'll be given "the opportunity to kill himself" pre-trial like Epstein OR he'll be given a trial (most of it behind closed doors because "secrecy") and send to a super-max prison. Probably they'd keep rotating him between prisons to make it hard or impossible for anyone to actually come visit him. And THEN he'll get Epsteined.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't it Facebook what won it for Trump?

    and Cambridge Analytica? If that's the case then WikiLeaks would have played a small part at best. There is also a difference between "providing a platform that happened to be used by Russia" and "colluding with Russia", at least I hope so because I haven't checked who does what with all that free software I put up for download

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Wasn't it Facebook what won it for Trump?

      The argument is that the information was stolen by Russia and put on Wikileaks so that the various Facebook operators could refer to it. In addition, Wikileaks isn't free software that people can use on their own, it's a platform over which a few people have control whether they choose to use it or not. You can decide whether you care about either distinction.

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    the tender hands of British Home Secretary Priti Patel

    icon -->

  7. Intractable Potsherd

    I have difficulty with this situation. I definitely don't think that there was any "espionage" - Assange and Wikileaks were acting as journalists uncovering acts that were in the public interest. The rape accusations (innocent unless proved guilty) appear coincidentally beneficial to the USA, and there are some apparently strange aspects to it. However, JA's actions regarding those accusations do not make any objective sense at all. He placed himself in harm's way by remaining in the UK, clearly broke the law by skipping bail, and pissed everybody off by staying in the Ecuadorian embassy, losing a lot of sympathy he might otherwise have had. I really don't think he should be extradited to the US "justice" system - there is as much chance of getting a fair trial as there is of gravity reversing - but he is the architect of his own downfall.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      I believe the American position is that Assange actively encouraged US citizens to break the law in order to provide the information subsequently published.

      That's basically conspiracy to whatever, which may or may not be espionage, but also goes beyond the bounds of reasonable journalism.

      "I have this information, would you like to publish it" is very different from "Please break the law to access information you shouldn't and share it when you shouldn't".

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I'd really like that downfall to be done with and not hear about this asshole any more.

    3. NonSSL-Login

      He probably thought he would be more likely to end up the US if he got airborne anywhere.

      Look at how the US diverted the Bolivian presidents plane with political pressure when they thought Snowden was on it.

      He was right not to trust the US to use dirty tricks to get him but if he was right overall in the path he took the last few years will be subject to debate once things pan out for him in the next couple of years...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's interesting to look back at the stories from when Assange was resisting the Swedish sex offence investigation, and see how many commenters dismissed the idea that the US might want to scoop him up as tin-foil-hattery.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really - the original charges were made in the Obama Presidency, and at the time the US didn't want him. There was no actual extradition request, either to the UK or Sweden.

      Yes there were a few US politicians howling for him, but you have politicians mouthing off in this country as well. It shouldn't be assumed that politicians mouthing off == actual policy.

      The extradition request didn't come until (a) the Trump administration, and (b) until Mr Assange was back in prison having spent around *seven years* jumping bail.

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    He is an unpleasant individual

    .. but it was journalism / whistleblowing

    Its very much US wanting to dissuade anyone else from accepting and publishing leaks of US war crimes by fabricating baseless hacking / espionage accusations.

    Given UK (& most countries that have allied with the US in various "wars") probably cannot claim a 100% war crime free combat history then UK will be happy to support anti whistleblower activities even if it means an individual (repugnant but innocent) is made a huge scapegoat & their life further ruined.

  10. Azamino
    Mushroom

    Horror optional

    Everyone’s watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine and screaming into their hands, yet after 100 days the Russian’s have butchered barely a quarter of those killed in the invasion of Iraq in the same time frame. Like it or not, Assange exposed those illegal deaths in Iraq and the UK and US want to punish him for doing so. In no way does that condone the criminal actions of Putin and his cronies in Ukraine, two wrongs do not make a right.

    I have posted here before and had folk question the accuracy of the allegations and take solace from the assurances of others that Wikileaks were wrong. Yet these assurances have never been tested in a court of law which is the very, very, least that anyone could ask for.

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