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posted by martyb on Tuesday May 14 2019, @11:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-you-don't-see-it,-now-you-do? dept.

Swedish prosecutor reopens Assange rape investigation, will seek extradition

Sweden's state prosecutor said on Monday she would reopen an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and seek his extradition from Britain.

Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference she would continue and conclude a preliminary investigation that was dropped in 2017 without charges being brought as Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

[...] The Swedish prosecutor's office said it would shortly request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that it would issue a European arrest warrant - the process under which his extradition would be sought.

Please extradite me to Sweden and not the U.S.?

Also at BBC:

Wikileaks said the reopening of the rape case would give Assange "a chance to clear his name". "There has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case," its editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Assange told Swedish broadcaster SVT that the decision was "embarrassing for Sweden", adding that his client wanted to resolve the case but feared being extradited to the US.


Original Submission

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Julian Assange Charged with U.S. Espionage Act Violations 47 comments

Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, has been indicted on 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in publishing classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010, the Justice Department announced on Thursday — a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.

The new charges were part of a superseding indictment obtained by the Trump administration that significantly expanded the legal case against Mr. Assange, who is already fighting extradition proceedings in London based on an earlier hacking-related count brought by federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia.

[...] On its face, the Espionage Act could also be used to prosecute reporters who publish government secrets. But many legal scholars believe that prosecuting people for acts related to receiving and publishing information would violate the First Amendment.

That notion has never been tested in court, however, because until now the government has never brought such charges. The closest it came was indicting two lobbyists for a pro-Israel group in 2005 who received classified information about American policy toward Iran and passed it on. But that case fell apart after several skeptical pretrial rulings by a judge, and the charges were dropped.

Though he is not a conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and publish information that officials want to be secret, including classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the confidentiality of sources.

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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @11:44AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @11:44AM (#843358)

    So all those claims that Sweden's pursuit of Assange were just to catch him for the US were false? Imagine that. Let's not forget that Assange has been using the media to try to control the narrative about his bad acts since the beginning. Always claiming to be falsely accused, claiming he's the victim, etc, etc. Sounds a lot like a certain occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Popcorn please!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mrchew1982 on Tuesday May 14 2019, @11:56AM (5 children)

      by mrchew1982 (3565) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @11:56AM (#843365)

      More likely that the UK is going to stand by their principles and won't extradite him to the US directly, so they have to go with plan B and send him to Sweden first.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by canopic jug on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:09PM

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:09PM (#843369) Journal

        I figure he'll arrive in Stockholm and go straight from the plane head first into a sack and across the tarmac to another plane standing by with the engines running.

        The Swedes have had this case open three times now over, what, nine years already. Neither woman was interested in pressing charges, the whole investigation is made up by the second prosecutor. So the main goal of this case may just be ongoing harrassment and fodder to keep Wikileaks and its successes out of the day's press and thus out of collective memory. You see a lot of tools around on social control media using those inaccurate articles to further smear him and build up quite a narrative of falsehoods.

        Assuming on the other hand that he does not go into a sack, it might be possible to put the whole Swedish mess behind him [craigmurray.org.uk] and the press can move on.

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday May 14 2019, @01:41PM (3 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @01:41PM (#843403) Homepage Journal

        Extradition treaties are important. It's possible that if the UK agrees to extradition straight to the US, there will be conditions attached, that the US doesn't want to accept. And, probably Sweden won't attach those conditions. And, yes, your idea as well - it allows the UK to claim the moral high ground. "But, WE didn't give Assange to the Americans! WE are concerned about every person's human rights - even those we don't consider human!"

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by ledow on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:01PM (2 children)

          by ledow (5567) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:01PM (#843430) Homepage

          Sweden has to ask UK permission to further extradite him, and they are bound by substantially the same laws as the UK are.

          It's almost like the whole "EU is one big place" laws actually benefit in this instance (and 99.99% of all other instances, but who's counting).

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday May 14 2019, @07:22PM

            by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @07:22PM (#843545) Journal

            It may be something as simple as the prosecutor legitimately wants to take him back and complete the rape charge investigation. That's possible.

            Anything past that, though, is something neither you nor I are likely to fully understand the machinations of unless you have specialist knowledge in international politics and jurisprudence.

            Perhaps because of EU policy it might be easier to get him over to Sweden where he might be detained longer and/or it gives a card to play if the US attempt stalls - it only has so long before Assange's sentence expires on the bail jumping. Perhaps Sweden's laws on conspiracy are more favorable to proving what Assange is alleged to have done is a crime there (an essential element of extradition - proof that the alleged law broken is a crime in the extraditing country as well).

            Maybe the US wants him extradited to Sweden so they can pull an extraterritorial interception and just take him - the US has tried that before [wikipedia.org], and has become more expert at it [wikipedia.org] since the botched first attempt. Things get ever so much dicier once a vessel (air or sea) is in international territory.

            --
            This sig for rent.
          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:30PM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:30PM (#843598) Journal

            So what you are saying is that Brexit has to happen before the UK can join the US in violating international human rights laws?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:39PM (#843422)

      Barry’s gone, son.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:39PM

      by Bot (3902) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:39PM (#843503) Journal

      The problem is twofold.
      You can frame basically anybody if you a partner can revoke sexual consent in any moment and it is always considered criminal rape. Revoking consent keeps being a reasonable right, BTW.
      You can claim you have been framed for whatever crime, committed or not, if you are in a government's baddies list.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:16PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:16PM (#843371)

    My understanding is this allegation is not rape at all. It is having consensual sex with two women without wearing a condom, when they happened to meet they became worried he could spread stds... or something like that for which there is no equivalent in most countries.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:32PM (#843379)

      It is having consensual sex with two women without wearing a condom, when they happened to meet

      they happened to meet and were pissed off he "cheated" on them.. that was the problem. nothing to do with anything else. so they "withdrew consent after the fact"

      "rape" like that.

      It's defining the law in broad swath like that that really fucks over the individuals that suffer "legitimate rape" (like what 95+% of people's definition). You know, where there is no consent.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @04:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @04:16PM (#843459)

      Hey, in California knowingly giving someone AIDS and stealing fifty bucks from someone's desk have similar penalties.

      They take that kind of thing seriously.

    • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Wednesday May 15 2019, @02:55AM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Wednesday May 15 2019, @02:55AM (#843679) Journal

      She consented to have sex with him, but made it extremely clear that she wouldn't willingly have unprotected sex, and refused to do anything until he put a condom on. She then woke up the next day to find him actively screwing her bareback in direct violation of her wishes, i.e. without her consent, which qualifies as rape in most first-world countries.

  • (Score: 1) by Rupert Pupnick on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:36PM (1 child)

    by Rupert Pupnick (7277) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:36PM (#843381) Journal

    I thought the investigation was already completed, and that as a result, Swedish prosecutors had made the decision to bring rape charges years ago.

    Were the charges somehow dropped? If so, why? After all, there have been no changes in terms of the facts of the case. Do prosecutors normally drop cases because they have no way to get the defendant in court? This is certainly not how US prosecutors handle Chinese cyber-espionage cases. Perhaps witnesses no longer cooperating after all this time?

    Something stinks.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by canopic jug on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:41PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:41PM (#843423) Journal

      Something stinks.

      There were never any charges. He was wanted for questioning. He answered the questions. The prosecutor decided there was nothing to pursue and gave him permission to leave Sweden. So he did. Then hours later another prosecutor in another part of the country picked up the case, reopened it and issued an emergency type of alert after him. He offered to be questioned in person or over the phone, as is accepted and even somewhat frequent practice in Sweden. The new prosecutor refused for many years. He even offered to go back to Sweden on the guarantee that they would not extradite him to the US. Sweden refused to make that guarantee and to even question him in the UK, all the while making misleading and disingenuous statements against him in the press.

      Yes, the whole thing stinks. And it is meant to distract from the excellent and important work that Wikileaks did years ago in publishing exposés war crimes. "They" keep pounding the rape drum and many in the public now associate him with charges that never existed for a crime he was never accused of.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Entropy on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:39PM (2 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @12:39PM (#843384)

    So the alleged victim allowed him to stay at her flat for a week after the "rape". And then threw a party for him before his departure? Allegedly this revolves around a condom ripping, not really the sex.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by ledow on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:06PM (1 child)

      by ledow (5567) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:06PM (#843435) Homepage

      Sounds like an open-and-shut case, then. Would be easy for the cheapest of lawyers to resolve, especially in front of the world's press, in an EU-bound court.

      It's almost like it's actually more complex than that, and Assange is deliberately avoiding it, isn't it?

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:47PM (#843509)

        Which is more likely? Taking 9 years and two prosecutors and three countries to "open" a case or "shut" a case? I will give you a hint - it is in the title.

        Swedish Prosecutor to Reopen Julian Assange Investigation

        In the words of Andy Dufrense, "How can you be so obtuse?"

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @01:51PM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @01:51PM (#843405)

    The real criminal in this whole affair is feminism.
    Complete control of men is the goal, and in Sweden it seems like it has been achieved.
    This is a witchhunt where the witches are men:

    • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:14PM (#843439)

      Instead of downmodding me, you ought to explain why I am wrong.
      But you probably can't.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 14 2019, @04:58PM (7 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @04:58PM (#843475) Journal

      What does it matter to you? The first and last vagina you will ever get close to was your mother's back when you were born.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:21PM (#843492)

        You have not engaged the issue at all, as expected, because apparently you have nothing to counter it.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:24PM (4 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:24PM (#843493) Journal

        It's possible for MGTOW people to have a point, or Men's Rights people to have a point, without what you said being true.

        If we're going to have a real discussion about justice, equity, and rights as a global community, then let's hear folks out even if, and especially when, they say things that offend us. Let's please not substitute misandry for misogyny.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:29PM (3 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:29PM (#843497) Journal

          Why is attacking one man "misandry?" Don't be an idiot.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:40PM (#843504)

            So you agree that Hillary is a slut?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:27PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:27PM (#843595)

            Attacking a cowardly incel who is afraid to treat people equally is misandry? Hmmm. I say we hang 'em.

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:35PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:35PM (#843602)

              this brainwashed slave obviously went to college.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @08:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @08:55PM (#843585)

        Assuming that staying clear of the female made the male safe. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46235634 [bbc.com]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by LaminatorX on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:01PM (3 children)

    by LaminatorX (14) <{laminatorx} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday May 14 2019, @02:01PM (#843410)

    ...that every he-said/she-said date-rape allegation was pursued as vigorously as the one against Jullian Assange.

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:21PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:21PM (#843491) Journal

      LaminatorX ! Welcome back buddy - it has been several years. Hope that you are well.

    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:58PM (1 child)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 14 2019, @09:58PM (#843617) Journal

      LaminatorX!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope this finds you doing well and that this is but the first sign of a continued visit. Missed you *lots*!

      For those following along and have no idea what's happening, take a look at the parent comment's UID: 14. LamX was (IIRC) our first EditorInChief and was instrumental in getting our Editorial team going, setting up ground rules, arbitrating "discussions" and all the other attendant start-up issues when this site was just getting started, and for a long time after that, too.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @10:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14 2019, @10:21PM (#843626)

        yeah yeah .. some of us have been AC since this site was a page of text .. hell I think I would have been three digits on the green site ... that said, welcome everyone ... I'm really only reading for the discourse so the more the merrier.

  • (Score: 2) by radu on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:08PM (5 children)

    by radu (1919) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @03:08PM (#843438)

    Isn't this kind of old / already played out? Even James Bond (aka Daniel Craig) solved this... Swedish goth / kink / rape / actually global conspiracy... Blah... Trump is funding another moon landing... like the good ol' days with 'Nam and stuff... except this time it's... the 13465 billion trillion $$ spent each year by the US for bombing / spying on / some other part of the planet... for "defending" the never-ever-attacked piece of land on earth nobody actually cares about except they have the big bombs and stuff... and Hollywood (aka "Moving Pictures") and the MAFIIAA and the games of thrones...

    Anything new?

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:34PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday May 14 2019, @05:34PM (#843500) Journal

    This is the rock tumbler the 1% put their sharpest critics in to wear them down and punish them. The same fate awaits Snowden, unless some courageous person of conscience issues him a presidential pardon or something dramatically shifts in the global power dynamic.

    We've had a lot of recent examples of people who get thrown into the rock tumbler, and others in the good graces of the 1% who inexplicably escape it no matter how blatant their offenses. We can all see how far from real justice and democracy we are, and have been for a while.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15 2019, @12:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15 2019, @12:08PM (#843792)

      Well, it has been this way for a very long time.
      Back in Ye Olde days, if you threatened the king's power, you got drawn and quartered and your remains hung in a gibbet to warn everyone that you don't mess with the king.
      The same power dynamic exists today.

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