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John Cuthber

Assange Criminal Charges Discussion

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Some sources I've read indicate that the two women in fact met afterwards and decided together to go to police, several days after their encounters with Assange. I do not know how reliable these reports are.

 

Some searching dug up this:

http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/sex-by-surprise-at-heart-of-julian-assange-criminal-probe/19741444

 

True, one of Assange's accusers sounds tailor-made for those who think Assange is being set up in Sweden by dark CIA-backed operatives who want him smeared or silenced for his document dumping with WikiLeaks. She's a 31-year-old blond academic and member of the Social Democratic Party who's known for her radical feminist views, once wrote a treatise on how to take revenge against men and was once thrown out of Cuba for subversive activities.
According to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, the photographer contacted the other woman two days after her assignation with Assange, and the two apparently had a conversation in which it became clear they had both had sex with Assange. The photographer was worried about having had unprotected sex and decided she wanted to go to the police.

 

The other woman accompanied her to the police station on Aug. 20 just to support her but then told the investigating officer on duty that she, too, had had sex with Assange, Aftonbladet reported.

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Fair enough on the above two posts, IMO. We'll have to see how this plays out.

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The Mirror claims that Assange hasn't been arrested because the Swedes provided a faulty warrant yet again, this time because a prosecutor was on vacation and couldn't sign it:

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/12/05/wikileaks-chief-julian-assange-free-as-holiday-halts-arrest-for-rape-115875-22763514/

 

Assange's lawyer now says they fight extradition because it may end up with him being extradited to the US, where many have called for his execution:

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/assange-will-fight-return-to-sweden-says-lawyer-2152170.html

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Hm, so far I find it just as plausible that the charges are hard-ball politics as that there is a real case to answer.

 

"It is quite bizarre, because the chief prosecutor in Sweden dropped the entire case against him, saying there was absolutely nothing for him to find back in September.

And then a few weeks later on – after the intervention of a Swedish politician – a new prosecutor, not in Stockholm where Julian and these women had been, but in Gothenburg, began a new case which has resulted in these warrants and the Interpol red notice being put out. It does seem to be a political stunt."

 

seems to be a very good point, intervention by a politician.

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A pledge to fight any extradition charge and a threat to reveal data without redaction if arrested.

 

I understand that those things have different interpretations, but it is a valid opinion in answer to your question, and right now this is all about opinions.

 

Fighting extradition is perfectly legal, and also perfectly moral given the circumstances, so in no way is evidence of holding themselves above the law. I don't see how it is possible that he'd be found guilty of rape without some sort of evidence, or his admission, so what is more dubious here is not the fighting extradition but the insistence of holding a (possibly illegal or unfair) trial. Just to be clear about this: if a woman from Sweden claims you raped her, with no evidence other than her testimony, and the judge threw out the case, would you go to Sweden to stand trial to show how innocent you are? Little bias here?

 

Fact is, there's a reason we have rules to protect people from illegal prosecution, why we require arrest warrants to be based on evidence, etc -- otherwise there could be no justice, someone could just keep having you arrested without cause, finding you innocent, and repeating.

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Assange's lawyer now says they fight extradition because it may end up with him being extradited to the US, where many have called for his execution:

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/assange-will-fight-return-to-sweden-says-lawyer-2152170.html

 

Gotta love that message. Do anything you want, so long as the United States wants you for leaking secrets. Murder? Bank robbery? No problem. Just be a good little boy and keep releasing secrets!

 

And it'll play well with the anti-American side of European politics, I'm sure.

 

 

Just to be clear about this: if a woman from Sweden claims you raped her, with no evidence other than her testimony, and the judge threw out the case, would you go to Sweden to stand trial to show how innocent you are? Little bias here?

 

No, but then I've never been to Sweden so there wouldn't even be reasonable grounds for a case. There is reasonable grounds for a case here. Whether there's sufficient evidence for a conviction is another question, I agree, but it's not one you or I can answer. And I'm not the one drawing conclusions. By stating he should fight extradition, you're calling the charges baseless. I'm not saying he's guilty, but you're saying he's innocent. That's more than you know.

 

And I also wouldn't threaten bodily harm to other human beings if I get extradited, either.

 

But it's not about me, I'm not the one putting myself out there as an advocate for ethical behavior. If you can single out conservative politicians for scorn when they get caught committing adultery because they take a "family values" position, then you should be willing to hold Julian Assange accountable for ethical behavior.

 

Here's a question for Assange supporters here: If the rape charge is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, will you continue to claim conspiracy and innocence?

 

And if you're willing at that point to condemn the man for rape, would you then also remove support for his efforts? I'm not saying withdraw support for Wikileaks, that's another matter, I'm saying would you withdraw your support for Assange in general? The reason I ask is that in the example I gave above, people frequently call for the general condemnation of any conservative politician who (for example) commits adultery. But just because they're an adulterer doesn't mean they're wrong about the importance of family life and, for example, male role models in the African-American community.

 

So I'm watching. And I'm waiting to see how that plays out, and if he's convicted and you continue to support him I'm going to stick that in my pocket and wait for a rainy day. I have faith in conservative politicians -- I'm sure I won't have to wait long! :)

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Countries will only extradite people if they are charged in the foreign jurisdiction for a crime which has an equivalent in the country where the people being sought are residing. Since the definitions and treatment of rape now vary widely because of all the transformations of rape laws over the past 20 years, where Mr. Wikileaks is now hiding may not be able legally to extradite him to Sweden because of incompatibility between the two jurisdictions' rape statutes.

 

On an aside, the quote above from the Ewanchuk case was misleading, since it only describes why a review court could substitute a guilty verdict and has nothing to do with the case per se. If the Supreme Court had not itself been able to substitute a guilty verdict because of the technical nature of the court processes prior to its ruling, it would simply have referred the matter to the court of original jurisdiction with instructions to bring its decision into line with the Supreme Court's ruling. From now on, with the Ewanchuk rules in place, unless you can read the woman's mind successfully she can make you guilty of rape by just saying that she was thinking 'no' while saying 'yes' with her actions. Your only defense, as Justice L'Heureux-Dube said, would be if you could prove that you vigorously enquired at every step and stage whether consent was really present or not.

 

The bottom line: If you have sex with a woman in Canada, better have your lawyer coaching you from the closet with a tape recorder running. As Andrea Dworkin says, "All sex in a patriarchal society is rape."

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Here's a question for Assange supporters here: If the rape charge is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, will you continue to claim conspiracy and innocence?

 

And if you're willing at that point to condemn the man for rape, would you then also remove support for his efforts? I'm not saying withdraw support for Wikileaks, that's another matter, I'm saying would you withdraw your support for Assange in general? The reason I ask is that in the example I gave above, people frequently call for the general condemnation of any conservative politician who (for example) commits adultery. But just because they're an adulterer doesn't mean they're wrong about the importance of family life and, for example, male role models in the African-American community.

 

So I'm watching. And I'm waiting to see how that plays out, and if he's convicted and you continue to support him I'm going to stick that in my pocket and wait for a rainy day. I have faith in conservative politicians -- I'm sure I won't have to wait long! :)

 

Of course not. I'd advocate for him to go to jail and wikileaks to replace him. I'd still applaud his previous work though, but I would not want him in charge of choosing what documents are safe or not to release anymore.

 

And just to note, you said "proven beyond reasonable doubt" rather than "proven in court". Those are not necessarily the same thing, and unless there is evidence that is very unlikely and that I don't know about, there won't be enough evidence to prove "beyond reasonable doubt". Nothing more than one witness per crime, for two crimes, doesn't seem like "beyond reasonable doubt", whether a court says it is or not. What I'm saying is, there has to be some evidence.

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There is reasonable grounds for a case here. Whether there's sufficient evidence for a conviction is another question

 

no it isn't. If there's zero likelyhood of a conviction, then there's not reasonable grounds for a case.

 

Let's say he's in the UK. If he couldn't be convicted in the UK, then he's a right, under UK law, to expect to not be extradited to another country; especially so to another country where he might expect 'cruel or unusual punishment', which, in the UK, would include death.

 

And I also wouldn't threaten bodily harm to other human beings if I get extradited, either.

 

where did JA do this please?

 

The reason I ask is that in the example I gave above, people frequently call for the general condemnation of any conservative politician who (for example) commits adultery. But just because they're an adulterer doesn't mean they're wrong about the importance of family life and, for example, male role models in the African-American community.

 

if you say you're pro-family-values, it's taken that you're anti-adultery, unless you specifically point out otherwize. A politician who allows people to believe he's anti-adultery, and who then commits adultery, is hypocritical and (if 'anti-adultary' was a campaigning platform) cynical; not what you want in a politician.

 

JA hasn't adopted an anti-rape stance. So, even if he's guilty, it'd be a different situation. it'd make him a cock, but not really do anything to his anti-gov-secrecy work; unwarranted secrecy on his/WL's part would, for example.

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Apparently, British police have finally received a correctly-filled-out arrest warrant, and may arrest Assange soon:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11930488

 

One wonders, though. It's taken two or three tries for the British to accept the arrest warrant. Either (a) the Brits are sticklers for detail or (b ) they're not very enthusiastic about extraditing him. I guess we'll see; it's pretty late in the afternoon now in the UK, but they might pick him up tonight or tomorrow.

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Some people have theorized that governments are afraid of arresting and/or prosecuting him, because they fear a backlash from a public who regards him as a kind of folk hero for opening up government secrecy so that those who are supposed to be in democratic control of their governments can actually know what the people they are in theory supposed to be controlling are doing.

 

But I think it was foolish of him and counterproductive to his efforts not to have ensured that his own behavior was impeccable before releasing the Wikileaks information. He must have anticipated that anything he had ever done wrong in his life would be used by governments to discredit him or to distract people from the significance of the information he was releasing, so he should have made sure that the public face of the Wikileaks movement was clean. If he already had skeletons in his closet, then he should have had someone else be the public face of Wikileaks.

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"Either (a) the Brits are sticklers for detail or (b ) they're not very enthusiastic about extraditing him."

Or they are not stupid and don't want to be arrested themselves for false imprisonment etc.

This makes a lot more sense to me than a or b , particularly since the guy has a good lawyer.

 

Incidentally,

Imagine that Mr Assange is totally innocent.

It is in his interests to make sure that all the paperwork is in order and so on.

If it is then he will go to trial and, for the reasons I gave earlier, he will be exonerated.

If, on the other hand, the paperwork is cock-eyed then he might find that the judge dismisses the case before he gets to prove his innocence. People may afterwards say "Sure- he got off- but it was a technicality" and he will still look guilty.

 

It is, when it comes down to it, rather complicated.

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no it isn't. If there's zero likelyhood of a conviction, then there's not reasonable grounds for a case.

 

That's not up to you, it's up to Swedish prosecutors. If the two ladies are in collusion, fine, but we can't make that determination via news reporting and public opinion. It has to be made via a legal process.

 

 

where did JA do this please?

 

In threatening to release unredacted documents if "something happens" to him.

 

 

JA hasn't adopted an anti-rape stance. So, even if he's guilty, it'd be a different situation.

 

Sorry, no dice. Conservative politicians who cheat on their wives get hammered as hypocrits over gay marriage, for example. It's a broad brush, not a fine-toothed comb. Assange's entire motivation and purpose is ethical behavior, and he's all over the map about what constitutes unethical behavior, ranging from governments to corporations and I believe even individuals.

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This argument is moot, considering that he's agreed to meet with the police rather than continuing to hide. I think he's reckoned they'd arrest him anyway, so it's best he meet them on his own terms.

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Assange's attorney has said, the British Police have known where he was all along has asked for a meeting and will fight any effort for extradition to Sweden. The said court appearance for Tuesday is to post bail (hopefully I suppose). I'd suggest they are not concerned with the "Rape" charge, rather with possible extradition to the US.

 

 

Pangloss, Assange has been in trouble before and for hacking himself, in addition to some domestic problems;

 

In response to the hacking, the Australian Federal Police raided his Melbourne home in 1991.[20] He was reported to have accessed computers belonging to an Australian university, the Canadian telecommunications company Nortel,[18] and other organisations, via modem.[21] In 1992, he pleaded guilty to 24 charges of hacking and was released on bond for good conduct after being fined AU$2100.[18][22] The prosecutor said "there is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to—what's the expression—surf through these various computers".[18][/Quote]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange

 

However he is an activist (1993), basically on Freedom of Speech/Press and the use of a new tool, the Computer/Internet. I don't see anything from his history or current life, indicating he is a sexual offender or any kind of a anarchist. In fact, if anything I'd suggest he has been and is now, just a little ahead of his time, maybe setting precedence for what should of will be the future.

 

He makes irregular public appearances to speak about freedom of the press, censorship, and investigative reporting; he has also won three journalism awards for his work with WikiLeaks.[/Quote]

Same link....

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That's not up to you, it's up to Swedish prosecutors. If the two ladies are in collusion, fine, but we can't make that determination via news reporting and public opinion. It has to be made via a legal process.

 

No, it's up to a British Extradition Panel. And they've no business extraditing someone if there's insufficient evidence, by the requesting country's own standards, to expect a conviction.

 

I mean, if nothing else what would be the point?

 

In threatening to release unredacted documents if "something happens" to him.

 

How does that count as threatening bodily harm?

 

Sorry, no dice. Conservative politicians who cheat on their wives get hammered as hypocrits over gay marriage, for example. It's a broad brush, not a fine-toothed comb.

 

If they've been campaigning on 'the sanctity of marriage' and are anti-gay-marriage because it 'ruins the sanctity of marriage' and then they get caught with their nob up some hookers arse, then that's kinda hypocritical (if they're married). If they're anti-gay-marraige because they just don't like poofs, then it's not hypocritical to cheat on their wifes (unless it's with a man, obviously).

 

If, in america, you'd get hammered for your anti-gay-marriage stance for cheating on your wife even if you've never justified your anti-gay-marriage stance in terms of sanctity of marriage, then i'd agree with you that that's wrong; but this isn't about being equally unfair to JA just to 'make it even', is it?

 

Assange's entire motivation and purpose is ethical behavior, and he's all over the map about what constitutes unethical behavior, ranging from governments to corporations and I believe even individuals.

 

His stance is anti-government/corporation-corruption, and openness as a means towards forcing that end, whether said governments/corporations agree or not. Rape isn't corruption.

 

Hey, if he embezzled WL's funds, i'd totally be agreeing with you.

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No, it's up to a British Extradition Panel. And they've no business extraditing someone if there's insufficient evidence, by the requesting country's own standards, to expect a conviction.

 

Yes, it's up to whatever authorities there are, who will presumably take a look at the evidence, as opposed to reading an article online, fawning over the importance of "transparency", and deciding that he simply MUST be innocent.

 

BTW, it's fascinating to me that "extradition" is still required within the so-called "European Union". Europe can't even agree on a single definition of rape, but has no problem giving the US a hard time for not submitting to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

 

 

How does that count as threatening bodily harm?

 

Non-redacted names of Iraqi informants may result in their death.

 

 

this isn't about being equally unfair to JA just to 'make it even', is it?

 

What that particular point is about is that hypocrisy is either a valid issue in political discussion, or it is not.

 

 

His stance is anti-government/corporation-corruption, and openness as a means towards forcing that end, whether said governments/corporations agree or not.

 

Well that's your opinion and more power to you. If you work it a little more you might find an even narrower definition that lets you avoid any comparisons at all.

 

 

Rape isn't corruption.

 

Nope. But it sure is unethical.

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BTW, it's fascinating to me that "extradition" is still required within the so-called "European Union". Europe can't even agree on a single definition of rape, but has no problem giving the US a hard time for not submitting to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

This simply ludicrous. As has been already mentioned on this thread the US does not have a single definition of rape. The law varies between states, in most US states Assange's alleged actions were legal. Different sovereign countries having differences in their legal systems, how can this be a surprise?

The US also requires extradition between its internal states, so why is it a surprise that the sovereign countries that make up the EU require extradition?

It is the US that is famous for its legal isolationism. US armed forces that kill their allies in friendly fire incidents are not allowed to testify at the inquests of the dead soldiers. The US military never gives full cooperation to such inquests and deliberately withholds relevant information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/190th_Fighter_Squadron,_Blues_and_Royals_friendly_fire_incident

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1520260.ece

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1180631/American-pilot-friendly-blunder-killed-British-Royal-Marine-evidence-inquest-Pentagon-policy.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/feb/04/iraq.military

This attitude has lead to much friction between the US and its allies. UK servicemen have many jokes about how how it is safer to not have the US on your side.

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Screw the whole rape story. This is a political arrest, made by the world's free democracies, and it's a disgrace.

 

It tells people that it's ok to have a democracy, but not all the facts. It tells us that it's important that your government can lie to you, and you never find out. It tells us it's bad to be a good journalist, and try to find out stuff that politicians don't want you to know. It tells us that democratic opposition doesn't need all the facts to be a good opposition because it can do that with only half the story. That's the message we must get. The rape story is just a bogus reason to arrest the guy. If they hadn't found this rape story, Interpol would have been involved in its first ever arrest for illegal parking.

 

It surprises me that the majority of the replies here are about the suspected rape / misbehaviour against women. It's besides the point. Perhaps the guy is guilty, perhaps not. Interpol doesn't have to be involved... it hardly ever gets involved in such simple cases. Doesn't it sound ridiculous to anyone that Interpol, in cooperation with police forces around the world are involved in a case of rape? Interpol, in 2008 was involved in only 718 arrests. Let's just look at statistics: In the US, the amount of rapes is 0.3 per 1000 in 2004. That's 90,000 cases every year. Worldwide, there must be millions. But this guy, who happens to scare the living hell out of all the world's governments is suddenly a target for Interpol, not because he scared the living hell out of all the governments, but because he possibly continued to have sex too long? Makes no sense to me.

 

The hidden message here is that it's bad not to blindly trust your government. And that stinks. Most of the governments of people on this forum are not evil... but they're not exactly saintly either... and it's our right, and our duty, to check on the governments.

 

Especially on this forum, a place where scientists gather (people who dedicate their lives to uncover the truth), we overlook the important part. I'm quite disappointed.

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Assange has turned himself in and has now been remanded in custody:

 

The prosecution, representing the Swedish authorities, objected to bail on two grounds: that Assange failed to surrender and that he should stay in custody for his own protection, Rozenberg reported.

 

Wikileaks has responded by saying that releases will continue.

 

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Yes, it's up to whatever authorities there are, who will presumably take a look at the evidence, as opposed to reading an article online, fawning over the importance of "transparency", and deciding that he simply MUST be innocent.

 

No-one here is doing that.

 

And, to be clear, on paper "whatever authroities there are" is the UNITED KINGDOM authorities, as that's where he is and Sweden have ABSOLUTELY NO JURISDICTION here.

 

BTW, it's fascinating to me that "extradition" is still required within the so-called "European Union". Europe can't even agree on a single definition of rape, but has no problem giving the US a hard time for not submitting to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

 

Aside: the European union is (by design) not the United States of Europe. Each country has sovereignty. So, yeah, they have to ask for extradition, and yeah we can have different laws on rape.

 

I don't see how this is comparable to the US's approach to the international criminal court?

 

/Aside

 

Non-redacted names of Iraqi informants may result in their death.

 

At the very least, 'threatening bodily harm' is an over-exaggeration.

 

I'd be interested: is the threat of imprisoning JA for years -- using reasonable force to achieve this if necessary -- a threat of bodily harm?

 

What that particular point is about is that hypocrisy is either a valid issue in political discussion, or it is not.

 

[...]

 

Well that's your opinion and more power to you. If you work it a little more you might find an even narrower definition that lets you avoid any comparisons at all.

 

[...]

 

 

Nope. But it sure is unethical.

 

This is pretty much what the argument comes down to.

 

Yes, hypocrisy is relevant. Not to the point where being a hypocrite necessarily means what you say is wrong, but it's certainly not a good sign.

 

But, i'm sorry, trying to label what he's doing as 'ethical' and then say that he has to act ethically in every single way or he's somehow 'wrong' is far too broad. I mean, by that stance rapists can't object to child molestation, paedophiles can't object to genocide, adulterors can't object to gay marriage for any reason, and (assuming he's guilty) rapists can't object to government corruption.

 

I have thought of something tho: if JA has a threat of unredacted releases -- something presumably designed to allow him to be a spokesman for wikileaks without fear of reprisal -- and he actually committed rape and is now trying to get away with it by hiding behind that threat, then that'd surely be a misuse of position, no? So, in a round-about kinda way, it would be slightly hypocritical to get immunity from the law to do a job and misuse that immunity to 'rape' people, when that job is to fight organized corruption.

 

Even that point's slightly less valid as he's turned himself in, tho.

Edited by Dak
the Nederlands --> Sweden (whoops)

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Incidentally, the fact that two women have complained about him isn't legally important either. Unless they were both present at the same time and corroborate one another's stories.

Being accused by one party is not evidence of guilt of a crime against a second party.

If anything this publicity means that Asange cannot expect a fair trial- the jury who try him for the alleged actions against miss A will have heard in the press that he was accused of broadly similar actions against miss B.

This will prejudice them (legally) against him.

His lawyer can reasonably demand that he is tried in the first case by a jury who are not aware of the allegations of the second case.

 

 

And, BTW

re. "Yes, it's up to whatever authorities there are, who will presumably take a look at the evidence, as opposed to reading an article online, fawning over the importance of "transparency", and deciding that he simply MUST be innocent. "

Their decision has nothing to do with whether they think he is guilty or not.

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On the extradition issue, it is worth noting that you have to extradite criminals from one U.S. state to another if they are guilty of state rather than federal crimes. So the European Union is not that bad for having to resort to the same sort of clumsy legal procedure that the U.S. often has to use domestically.

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