Assange – A Fundamental Vindication 150


Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise. States including Iran, Burma and Russia have released prisoners following determination by this UN panel, which consists not of politicians or diplomats but of some of the world’s most respected lawyers, who are not representing their national governments.

Countries who have ignored rulings by this UN panel are rare. No democracy has ever done so. Recent examples are Egypt and Uzbekistan. The UK is putting itself in pretty company.

It would be an act of extraordinary dereliction by the UK and Swedish governments to accept the authority of the tribunal, participate fully in the process, and then refuse to accept the outcome.

It is worth noting that the UN judgement vindicates precisely the arguments advanced by Assange’s lawyers before the UK supreme court, that there was no genuine judicial process in train against Assange in Sweden. I cannot express this better than John Pilger:

The Assange case has never been primarily about allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden – where the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape”, and one of the women involved accused the police of fabricating evidence and “railroading” her, protesting she “did not want to accuse JA of anything” – and a second prosecutor mysteriously re-opened the case after political intervention, then stalled it.

The British mainstream media has never fairly reported the ludicrous nature of the allegations against Assange. The establishment is very keen that the public do not know. It is worth noting that the only notice this blog has ever received from Google, that an article has been removed from search results, referred to the article in which I detailed and demolished the allegations against Assange. The UK mainstream media today are reporting with astonishment the UN decision and still refuse to report the details of the allegations against him, or the fact that they were dismissed by Sweden’s most senior prosecutor before being taken up (as Swedish law permits) by an openly politically motivated prosecutor from another region.

It is absolutely normal procedure, all around the world, for regime opponents to be charged with trumped up criminal charges rather than with political dissent. And not just in China or Russia. They tried it on me when I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, with eighteen formal allegations against me, several of them criminal. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the most senior woman in the US Army, testified that Donald Rumsfeld personally approved the torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and the very next day she was “caught shoplifting”. Scott Ritter, US Marine officer and WMD inspector in Iraq, was convicted of engaging, just after going public on absence of WMD, in online paedophile activity. We don’t know for certain what they did to David Kelly.

Anybody who believes the neo-con countries do not persecute dissidents is naïve in the extreme. The indignation at the UN calling them on it is both hilarious and chilling.


150 thoughts on “Assange – A Fundamental Vindication

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  • Republicofscotland

    “Russia Today will be giving an impartial live report which I shall be watching.”

    ________________

    John Goss, RT, is the Russian equivalent of the BBC, it can’t be trusted to report on important matters with impartiality, neither can the BBC.

    Don’t leave yourself open to ridicule from the establishment mouthpieces in here, by using the words RT and impartial, or for that matter BBC and impartial.

  • Mark Golding

    Sent to PM Cameron:

    Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

    The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise.

    It would be an act of extraordinary dereliction by the UK and Swedish governments to accept the authority of the tribunal, participate fully in the process, and then refuse to accept the outcome.

    Thank you for your message. Please confirm the message by clicking on the following link: https://email.number10.gov.uk/VerifyMessage.aspx?id=e40b68b8-f624-419e-9b46-72de24577348

    By confirming this e-mail, you give permission for this office to forward your e-mail to the appropriate Government Department.

    Please note – this is an automated e-mail. Please do not reply to this e-mail address as your message will not be read.

  • Martinned

    the action against Assange is misuse of law (…) no element of public interest involved

    And that’s a submission Assange is perfectly entitled to make if and when he’s actually prosecuted for anything. That’s the normal way normal people argue about whether they should be prosecuted: in court, in front of a judge.

    Only one accusation remains against him, and the woman concerned has stated that she wanted no such action taken

    I have no idea whether that is right, but it is hardly dispositive. I imagine that in Sweden, like in most of the world, prosecutors don’t need permission from the victim to bring a prosecution.

  • Martinned

    His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010.

    That claim might be more persuasive if it wasn’t for the fact that every English court seized of the matter, up to and including the Supreme Court, has held the opposite. It’s not like Mr. Assange hasn’t had his day in court.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    If Assange gets out, I suggest he goes through the same Treatment. I haven’t used this one before and it says do not worry – it will darken in time. Well I am worried…its either going to be pure white or orange. I’ve given up on Baby Blonde – cos everyone used to call me Jimmy (Saville).

    Assange will need to change his appearance – probably the most anonymous is to shave the lot off. Nearly every bloke his age is bald now. I only did that once, when I got my result…Managed to get them to pay me lots of money to make made redundant. (coming out as a 9/11 Truther caused me lots of grief). I went back to work after lunch break almost completely bald with a big smile on my face. It was down my back before lunch.

    Is he O.K. by the way? The poor bloke has probably gone off his head by now. I know the feeling.

    Tony

  • Bena

    Having read the letter from Google, the blocking of a search entry seems to relate to data protection law in general (though no section or source is cited) rather than the “right to be forgotten” which would, of course, be a logical nonsense in this on-going case.

    The page might not be displayed in searches, not because of anything you wrote,but on account of one of the comments beneath your article. One also assumes that it is the name Anna Ardin and something attributed to her which is the issue, but this also may not be the case.

    The issue is worth exploring.

  • Clark

    If this country spent seven million quid on policing each time someone allegedly misused a condom, I think the UK would be bankrupt pretty damn quick.

    So what’s so special about Assange, as if we didn’t know?

  • Republicofscotland

    Thanks Craig for the Pilger link, to think the Australian PM Turnbull, was/is in London meeting Cameron’s government (a short distance from Assange) yet he refused to help his fellow countryman, preferring to obey his US masters, is nothing short of disgraceful.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Martinned
    05/02/2016

    “But it is relevant to the question whether he will ever be extradited without guarantees about no death penalty (Soering), no inhuman or degrading treatment (ditto), fair trial (Othman), etc.”

    But that is nonetheless irrelevant to the statement I made, which is that Assange is refusing to go to Sweden without a guarantee that he will not be extradited to the United States (or, as you have compelled me to be more precise, that the Swedish state will not attempt to have him extradited to the United States).

    “Beyond that, I’m not sure why you think Assange is entitled to a general guarantee that he won’t be extradited.”

    I did not say that I thought he was entitled to it. I said that that was his reason for not emerging from asylum and agreeing to questioning. As a matter of fact, in his place I would certainly do the same thing. The US administration wants Assange, and wants to administer the severest punishment it can find. Given its powers, Assange has no reason to suppose that he will be safe either in Sweden or the UK. He’s doing what he can to resist the US getting hold of him, and who can blame him?

    “There is simply no guarantee that he has any right to, other than the guarantees that he already has and that he can enforce via art. 28(4) EAW.”

    I am not a lawyer, and if you are then I will struggle to argue with you, but my understanding is (my source is Justice4Assange) that the decision on whether or not to extradite ultimately rests not with the courts but with the Swedish government. Justice4Assange quotes from the Government Offices of Sweden website:

    “Any state that desires the extradition of a person must make a request for extradition to the Central Authority, enclosing the report of the investigation on which the application request is based.

    The Central Authority scrutinises the request to see if there is obvious reason why it should not be approved; if this is the case, the Government shall reject the request without delay. Otherwise the request is forwarded to the Office of the Prosecutor-General, which is required to determine whether the conditions for extradition laid down by law are met in this particular case. The actual investigation of the case follows the rules for preliminary investigations and is conducted by the regional or local public prosecution office in which district the person who is sought for extradition lives. If the person whose extradition is requested opposes extradition, it falls to the Supreme Court to examine whether extradition can be legally granted under the conditions laid down by law. The Supreme Court then delivers its opinion to the Government for use in its examination of the case. If the person involved does not oppose to extradition, the report from the investigation is instead delivered directly from the Prosecutor-General to the Government, which then makes its decision. If the request is approved, a date is set by which the person must be surrendered to the requesting state. With the assistance of Interpol, the police authority concerned determines a time and place for surrendering the person to the other state.

    If the Supreme Court finds that there is any legal impediment to extradition, the Government is not allowed to approve the request. The Government can, however, refuse extradition even if the Supreme Court has not declared against extradition, as the law states that if certain conditions are fulfilled, a person “may” be extradited – not “shall” be extradited.

    My italics.

    Given the extraordinary interest in Assange by the United States administration, it does not appear to me to be unreasonable for Assange to seek an assurance from the Government of Sweden that it will exercise its discretion not to extradite Assange. Even if he could not be extradited if he faced the death penalty in the US, once the US has got him, probably life imprisonment in a supermax jail is the best he can look forward to.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • Martinned

    So what’s so special about Assange, as if we didn’t know?

    He’s the only fugitive from justice currently known to be sitting in a house in the middle of London.

  • Martinned

    the decision on whether or not to extradite ultimately rests not with the courts but with the Swedish government

    Well, yes and no. As you say, if the Swedish courts say he can’t be extradited, he isn’t going to be extradited. That’s what rule of law means.

    —————-
    As an aside, I’m not sure what the evidence is for this one: “Given the extraordinary interest in Assange by the United States administration”. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of any interest by the United States administration, other than that there is a Grand Jury empanelled to look at it. Certainly no extradition request has been made to the UK or to Sweden.
    —————-

    Even if he could not be extradited if he faced the death penalty in the US, once the US has got him, probably life imprisonment in a supermax jail is the best he can look forward to.

    I doubt it, given that the European Court for Human Rights held, in Bamber v. United Kingdom (2013), that life without parole constitutes inhuman or degrading punishment, meaning that we can add it to the list of things that have to be guaranteed won’t happen before extradition can take place. (Although the ECtHR is yet to rule on the exact extradition-impact of its judgement. However, knowing Assange he wouldn’t mind taking that one on if he had to.)

  • Republicofscotland

    “He’s the only fugitive from justice currently known to be sitting in a house in the middle of London.”
    _________________

    Fugitive? Depends who you speak to, to some he’s the only real hero sitting in a house in London.

    Of course it’s common knowledge that US Vice-President, Joe Biden is desperate to get his sweaty palms on Assange.

  • John Goss

    RoS, I have found much more reasonable analysis on news programmes from RT. True, it has a bias, as might be expected by its name. However I see it champion human rights and question injustices. In preferring that to the BBC mouthpiece forever criticising Palestine, praising Netanyahu and the other mass-murderer, Poroshenko, failing to report on the Ukraine civil-war except with one story which it subsequently took down because it did not fit the narrative that people’s republic of Ukraine (rebels it calles them) shot down MH17. By all means watch the BBC. It’s a matter of choice. RT is a hundred times more credible.
    ——————————————————-

    “Subsequently, I noticed someone describe Mr. Assange as “brave”, which strikes me as the opposite of the most apt description of someone who flees justice and hides away in a foreign embassy for three years.”

    Wrong. He fleed the possibility of extradition. He never had any charges to answer. But the corrupt British legal supreme court under the chairmanship of Lord Nicholas Phillips (rewarded with a plum in the slave-state of Qatar) gave a misdirection which was later overturned. Similarly the so-called arrest warrent is also illegal. Funny how the establishment can come up with all kinds of dubious acts to target one individual – a good man.

    People like you Martinned, who suddenly appear from nowhere on one specific issue, remind me of Göran Rudling who infiltrated the Anna Ardin thread. Believe you me, he got short shrift from the majority here because, like you, he pretended that Assange was in the wrong without presenting evidence. You people, like our government, should abide by the decision of experts. You try to make the UN judgement sound like it came from a football panel. These were respectable lawyers from all over the world. Accept the decision. Let justice be seen to be done. Thanks. 😀

  • Duchy of Savile

    Haven’t bothered to look at the pathetic British glavlit. Here are the untainted facts.

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?LangID=E&NewsID=17012

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17013&LangID=E

    “The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate. The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.”

    The working group designates Britain’s dereliction as Category III, the most serious: “When the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character.” Arbitrary is a very strong word. It means Britain is not just failing to comply with law – the state is coming out and saying, ‘Fuck law, we’ll do what we want.’

    http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet26en.pdf

  • fedup

    every English court seized of the matter, up to and including the Supreme Court, has held the opposite

    Although these curious cases prove the opposite so far as justice is concerned;

    Millionaire found not guilty of rape

    Millionaire businessman has been found not guilty of rape after claiming he accidentally penetrated her when he tripped and fell…….. initially accused of forcing himself on the 18-year-old as she slept on a couch at his London flat after a night of drinking.

    The Saudi property developer said he had already had sex with the young woman’s 24-year-old friend and it was possible his penis may have been poking out of his underwear when he tripped.

    Then there is this case;

    Former Dragons’ Den star Doug Richard is cleared of child sex offences

    The 57-year-old – a former business adviser to David Cameron – arranged for two teenage schoolgirls to travel to London where he spanked and had sex with the younger one, who was just 13.
    .
    .
    When asked about the verdict, the mother of the 13-year-old girl who had sex with Richard said: ‘We are all devastated’.

    Speaking from her home in Norwich, she added: ‘I can’t talk to you about it because I don’t trust anyone now. It has been distressing.’

    Not forgetting the Janner case of Brittan of course, that were never investigated, and as and when belatedly there was any moves towards a prosecution DPP ruled against it and considered the case not in the interest of public or justice!

  • CE

    This is quite a kick in the teeth for those around the world genuinely suffering human rights abuses and persecution.

    As usual I’m afraid Craig is conflating his genuine mistreatment with Mr Assange’s naked attempts to defeat justice after exhausting all his legal options. The

  • Martinned

    Fugitive? Depends who you speak to, to some he’s the only real hero sitting in a house in London.

    Yes, and to some Donald Trump is the only person capable of Making America Great Again. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear…

    ———————-
    Wrong. He fleed the possibility of extradition.

    I never said otherwise. Extradition to, of all places, Sweden is part of the process of administering justice.

    But the corrupt British legal supreme court

    That was bound to happen sooner or later, someone calling all of the UK judiciary corrupt without any evidence whatsoever.

    a misdirection which was later overturned

    Now you’ve got my attention. Overturned where, by whom? Can I have a link please?

    Similarly the so-called arrest warrent is also illegal.

    Because you say so? Because every court that’s ever looked at it concluded the opposite.

    People like you Martinned, who suddenly appear from nowhere on one specific issue

    What can I say? The Guardian linked here this morning. (And I’m bored.)

    You people, like our government, should abide by the decision of experts.

    This is wrong on so many levels.
    1. No, the government should abide by the decisions of the courts. This working group is explicitly not a court.
    2. So the claim is that the government has to obey the rule of law but Mr. Assange can choose which decisions he is willing to obey? That’s not how the law works.

    You try to make the UN judgement sound like it came from a football panel.

    With all due respect, their opinion makes them sound like a football panel. (Not sure what that is, but OK.) Gary Lineker could have done a better job.

    Let justice be seen to be done.
    Amen!

  • Clark

    Martinned, this is your blog, I believe:

    http://martinned.blogspot.co.uk/

    Using various search facilities, it appears that despite a wide-ranging interest in European law, you have taken precisely NO interest in either Assange or Wikileaks – or, at least, you’ve never said a word about it if you have. Am I mistaken? Or what has suddenly piqued your interest?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    As an aside, I’m not sure what the evidence is for this one: “Given the extraordinary interest in Assange by the United States administration”. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of any interest by the United States administration, other than that there is a Grand Jury empanelled to look at it.

    But see –

    Plaintiff then requested assistance from the Office of Government Information Services, which provided further information on the denial and closed the case.
    The documents Plaintiff requests are part of a sensitive, ongoing law enforcement proceeding into the Wikileaks matter.

    (Filed Dec 15th, 2015)

    https://cryptome.org/2015/12/manning-011.pdf

  • Old Mark

    ‘To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of any interest by the United States administration, other than that there is a Grand Jury empanelled to look at it.’

    Yeah right ‘Martinned’- you should have added a Sally Bercowesqe ‘innocent face’ tag to that whopper.

    Have you commented here before ? Two of Craig’s regular antagonists, Habba & Kempe, appear to have held back from commenting on this thread so far; you appear to be the internet equivalent of their love child.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmannn? RESIGN!

    Martinned opined “I imagine that in Sweden, like in most of the world, prosecutors don’t need permission from the victim to bring a prosecution.”

    And I imagine that far more experienced lawyers have looked at the duplicity of this case vis a vis others in Sweden and found it outrageously unjustified to not interview him here.

    It is to be seen whether the European court of Justice now rescinds the EAW as inapplicable, as they have to react to this decision as well, they are the authority under which jurisdiction this warrant was launched and under which this warrant was not carried out, thoroughly bungled by Sweden.

    Sweden complied, the UK complied with the UN WGAD, so as a European court subject to a Human rights legislation that was born out of UN HR legislation I cannot see what else the Hague could say about party politicians playing bad football/ice hockey with their rules and legislation.

    And then this klopper a big grinning thank you for that
    “He’s the only fugitive from justice currently known to be sitting in a house in the middle of London.”

    Now, that’s surely a joke to cheer us all up, admit it. It is unsubstantiated rubbish, London is full of foreign detritus that has evaded justice for one or other kind. I have not got the time or inclination to prove you wrong, but some here might want to
    ‘make a list’.

    I suppose the question is where to start really, penthouse owners between Shoreditch and Uxbridge, St. Johns wood to Battersea, Arsenal shareholders, Chelsea majority shareholders, the City of London Corp., investment banks etc. etc. reckon you could fill the pages of the bible with people who have previous and live in London.

  • Martinned

    @Clark: I have, I just haven’t blogged about it.

    @Ba’al Zevul: Yes, that’s what a Grand Jury investigation is, an “ongoing law enforcement proceeding”.

  • nevermind, Lord Feldmannn? RESIGN!

    What does a public prosecutor do when she has made mistakes and runs out of option, she forgets about it, Inaction on a EAW, just like that.

    And there is not a single international lawyer who feels that this case has been bungled?
    No good piping up now that someone with authority has made a judgement the establishment does not like, after conforming for years with this farce.

  • Martinned

    And I imagine that far more experienced lawyers have looked at the duplicity of this case vis a vis others in Sweden and found it outrageously unjustified to not interview him here.

    The far more experienced lawyers have, to a man, concluded that this panel opinion is bizarre (or words to that effect). As for interviewing Assange in the UK, I don’t see how he could be heard under oath unless he at least comes out of the embassy, which he seems unwilling to do.

    It is to be seen whether the European court of Justice now [decides that] the EAW [is] inapplicable

    Which they might well do, now that they have the power to hear prejudicial questions on JHA matters from the UK, but they won’t have the opportunity to unless Assange comes out of the embassy first.

    a European court subject to a Human rights legislation that was born out of UN HR legislation

    ???

    I cannot see what else the Hague could say about party politicians playing [etc.]

    What’s in The Hague?

    London is full of foreign detritus that has evaded justice for one or other kind. I have not got the time or inclination to prove you wrong, but some here might want to ‘make a list’.

    And whoever does is welcome to send it to the police. If there is evidence to go with the list, I’m sure the police will be most interested.

  • Clark

    Martinned, really? You seem to blog very widely indeed on European legal matters. Why the silence about this one particular thing, right up until this critical moment? It seems most strange.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Yes, and to some Donald Trump is the only person capable of Making America Great Again. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear…”

    ________________

    Of course the only way you could’ve countered was to make comparisons, predicatble, disappointing but predictable.

  • Martinned

    @Clark: Ordinarily, everything that needs saying about the Assange case fits in a couple of Tweets, or at most in a response to someone else’s blog.

  • Martinned

    Of course the only way you could’ve countered was to make comparisons, predicatble, disappointing but predictable.

    How else am I to explain things to people who seem impervious to normal (legal) logic? Analogies are a very useful way to reason about things. The law wouldn’t function without them.

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