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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court


Not a UN Special Commission, but a Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. This is not a body of law in any jurisdiction and it does not make rulings or judgements that are in any way binding on anyone. From the working group's summary, they find that his initial detention in isolation followed by 550 days under house arrest were a continuous deprivation of liberty which was arbitrary, in part "because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange". It further "requests" that the UK and Sweden assess the situation with a view to restoring his liberty and "considers" that he should be afforded compensation. The initial detention and lengthy house arrest may have been arbitrary, though it obviously was lengthened by fighting the extradition order and exhausting all avenues of appeal. However, it is odd to conclude that a self imposed exile to a foreign embassy is a form of detention in itself. One of the working group members disagreed that this constitutes detention. Assange is, and has always been, free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. In doing so he would trade a self imposed limit on his free movement with an arrest and prosecution for the crimes he has committed in the UK, including defying a court's bail conditions. Having amply demonstrated that he is a flight risk, he would certainly be denied bail, not that anyone would volunteer now as surety.

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