Finally!

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, March 15th, 2015 - 500 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

So Swedish authorities are doing the right thing and interviewing Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Not that they’re doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. No. Apparently there’s a statute of limitations on the potential charges he faces.

500 comments on “Finally!”

  1. Yes, how very dare they make concessions in order to try and get justice for the women he’s allegedly sexually assaulted. Is there no end to Sweden’s diabolical plot to extradite him to the US? Thank God for the fine, freedom-of-speech-loving government of Ecuador, sheltering the People’s Leaker in this troubled time. 🙄

    (Please note: I am well aware this comment will result in an avalanche of anti-feminist, victim-blaming, rape-culture-enabling, defending-Assange-at-all-costs crap. So I will not engage further in this thread, but did feel the need to make it clear that, as with all other posts, this one represents only the attitude of its author, and not of all Standard authors.)

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Are you saying he sexually assaulted them ?

      “Assange is wanted for questioning over one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of lesser-degree rape (mindre grov våldtäkt)] alleged to have been committed against two women during a visit to Sweden in August 2010.
      The allegations are of “non-consensual behaviour within consensual sexual encounters.”

      One of the allegations is that, during consensual intercourse, Assange ejaculated inside of one of the women against her wishes”

      Wikipedia

      • Chooky 1.1.1

        ..and one of them was a CIA agent….weird that…honey traps?…and I dont think they laid charges…investigation setup to harrass?… and thereby render him and wikileaks politically de- activated?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          🙄

          Yeah, because it’s perfectly ok to sexually assault people who work for the CIA, eh.

          • Chooky 1.1.1.1.1

            …well….at least she could have given him a karate chop or a kick in the goolies…he isnt very big…and apparently it was consensual and the women concerned boasted about their conquest….doesnt that make you suspicious?!.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1.1

              apparently…

              so if we like the accused we colour everything to do with alleged victims?

              • miravox

                “so if we like the accused we colour everything to do with alleged victims?”

                Or is it a person who does a great thing can’t do a bad thing as well? (also the reverse as well, I suspect) – despite history being full of people who do just that.

                fwiw I am pleased that finally Swedish prosecutors are attempting to end this expensive stand-off even if it’s not a usual legal approach.

                • weka

                  I think it’s very hard for people who hold someone in high esteem to take in that they might also be a sex offender. It’s because we think sex offenders are the evil other person over there separate from society rather than them being men we know and care about. But in reality sexual abuse of women and children is generally done by someone close to the woman/child and we are in great denial about that because it means we have to look at our brothers, fathers, mates, colleagues, families, men in positions of responsibility in our comunity etc. That people have needed to deny the possibility of Assange being a rapist right from the start is not surprising. It’s our community writ large.

                • Tracey

                  I agree and would like to see him held to account in Sweden if the Swedes consider there is a case to pursue.

                  Some here are suggesting that the women are lying as a one reason not to pursue this… THAT is the part I am objecting to.

                  • miravox

                    Yes, I also strongly object to dismissing the need for an investigation into Assange’s actions based on speculation that the women might be lying. Making an accusation such as this irrelevant in the argument over whether he faces his Swedish investigators. Uncovering the truth is surely what the investigation is for.

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1.1.2

            You dick, if that particular on the margins conspiracy theory is true (that one of the women was CIA) then it’s Assange who was the one sexually assaulted with no ability to give true consent to someone who was professionally and deliberately mis-representing themselves.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Such compelling arguments deserve to be tested in court. Extradite the fucker.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                You would think the Swedes could charge him FIRST with a crime.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Such a compelling argument. You would think his lawyer would have raised it in the UK supreme court. Or possibly that your understanding of the law of extradition as it applies in this circumstance is flawed.

                  That second one seems more likely.

              • Macro

                Extradite the fucker.

                To the States? Land of “Freedom” and “Justice” for all?
                And what the Ghost says at 3.2 and what CR says at 1.2.1

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Nope. To Sweden, where there is a warrant for his arrest. But you knew that.

                  PS: if you have to rely on CR’s arguments you really are desperate.

                  • Macro

                    Nope you are the one grasping at straws here. You know perfectly well that Sweden has not given any assurances that he would not be extradited to the States forthwith despite repeated requests for such an assurance. That is the substance of the matter. If you can’t, or refuse to see that, then you are not only naive but a fool to boot.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yawn. The Pete George clones are out in force today.

                      As I said years ago, I think Assange should take that risk.

                    • Macro

                      Yawn. The Pete George clones are out in force today.

                      Such a persuasive argument!

                      So you think he should take the risk?

                      I see you have little regard for the lives of others then. Whether or not he has committed sexual abuse, exposing him to torture and the death penalty for alerting the world to the corruption of the US government is not an appropriate sentence.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Torture and death, yeah really. Dribble on.

                      My opinion that Assange should take the risk equals I’m forcing him into it does it? Dribble dribble.

            • Chooky 1.1.1.1.2.2

              +100 CR

          • rational thinker 1.1.1.1.3

            steph as one anon bloke

          • KJT 1.1.1.1.4

            Some one who worked for the CIA would have no career motivations for a setup, of course? Just saying.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.4.1

              Just saying what? That people who work for the CIA get paid? That blowing your cover means an automatic desk job in Langley?

              • KJT

                It is called a honey trap.

                Just saying, some one employed by the CIA is unlikely to get close to a ‘Traitor’, unless they have been ordered to do it.

                Best decided in Swedish court. With a guarantee that Assuange will not be rendered to the USA for trumped up charges.

                The treatment of Bradley Manning and Snowden shows how the USA treats whistleblowers who expose their illegal spying.

                If he committed rape, then justice will be addressed for the victims.

                If it is a stitch, up then the court can decide.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I suspect Assange has some pretty good arguments for the defence, and yes, I agree: he should get them tested in court.

      • weka 1.1.2

        “Are you saying he sexually assaulted them ?”

        Are you saying he didn’t? (and no, Stephanie didn’t say that).

        “One of the allegations is that, during consensual intercourse, Assange ejaculated inside of one of the women against her wishes”

        Interestingly that particular phrase yields exactly 3 hits on google, all less than a day old.

        When I take out the quotation marks, the 4th hit I get is this,

        In R (on the application of F) v The DPP [2013] EWHC 945 (Admin), the High Court examined an application for judicial review of the refusal of the DPP to initiate a prosecution for rape and/or sexual assault of the complainant by her former partner. “Choice” and the “freedom” to make any particular choice must, the Court said, be approached in “a broad commonsense way”.

        Against what the Court described as the “essential background” of the complainant’s partner’s “sexual dominance” and the complainant’s “unenthusiastic acquiescence to his demands”, the Court considered a specific incident when the claimant consented to sexual intercourse only on the clear understanding that her partner would not ejaculate inside her vagina. She believed that he intended and agreed to withdraw before ejaculation, and he knew and understood that this was the only basis on which she was prepared to have sexual intercourse with him. When he deliberately ejaculated inside the complainant, the result, the Court stated was:

        “She was deprived of choice relating to the crucial feature on which her original consent to sexual intercourse was based. Accordingly her consent was negated. Contrary to her wishes, and knowing that she would not have consented, and did not consent to penetration or the continuation of penetration if she had any inkling of his intention, he deliberately ejaculated within her vagina. In law, this combination of circumstances falls within the statutory definition of rape”.

        http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/rape_and_sexual_offences/consent/

        • Molly 1.1.2.1

          The Guardian had an article recently on this scenario.

          Even the writing of it from the woman’s perspective outlines a situation that is confusing for her, and from comments is only clear to those on the outside.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2.2

          Without taking anything away from the women who has claimed she was violated, the legal argument seems to be more about boundaries during intercourse.

          • weka 1.1.2.2.1

            To me it looks boundary issues too, but boundaries to do with consent, respect, entitlement etc, rather than negotiations about sex.

            The law says that women (or anyone for that matter) get to decide what happens with their bodies during sex. So if there is a clear agreement that x will happen and y won’t, and then the man does y, that’s a violation of consent.

            Some men struggle with this, but the solution is pretty clear IMO. Give up a sense of entitlement and focus on mutuality. In the story told above, it’s pretty clear that entitlement and lack of mutuality are a big part of the picture.

      • greywarshark 1.1.3

        Unprotected sex if one person is aid/hiv positive is a definite no-no, and chancy with any stray encounter. And applies to men and women.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      For a while I thought Stephanie was overstating the case, and then the avalanche started. Sickening.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.1

        Frankly, both Assange and his alleged victims deserve their day in a Swedish court of law. But justice will not be served to any of the parties if the US gets his hands on him and whisks him away to face secret indictments under the Espionage Act.

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          Does that mean he would definitely be extradicted before the rape trial?

          • Macro 1.2.1.1.1

            Whatever the outcome of a trial – were Assange to fall into Swedish hands he would be assured of a plane trip to the States.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Was just trying to determine if that affects justice for all vis a vis CV’s statement. If Assange were extradicted before the rape trial (assuming it went ahead) that might be true, but it’s not an issue if the extradiction happens after the trial is it?

              • Macro

                He only has to step outside the Equadorian Embassy and he is on his way to the States:
                http://www.newstalk.com/Police-in-UK-reviewing-Julian-Assange-guard-and-surveillance-policy
                13 million Euro spent so far by Britain waiting to arrest his for extradition.

                • McFlock

                  No, he’d be on his way to Sweden.

                  Because that’s where the extradition warrant is for.

                  The US is his excuse for avoiding a rape arrest.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Argumentum ad nauseam.

                  If the US wanted him, and the UK is complicit, why isn’t he already there (in the US)? The ‘official’ reason is that the US hasn’t requested it, and in any case the Swedish arrest warrant takes precedence (I think).

                  What’s the secret reason?

                • weka

                  That article doesn’t say what you claim. It says the UK will extradite him to Sweden to face sexual assualt charges. If you have evidence that Sweden would hand him over the to US before the rape trial, then please present it.

                  Just imagining now how far 13M Euro would go on rape prevention.

                  • Macro

                    It is more than that expended by the UK on investigating it’s involvement in the Iraq war which cost hundreds of thousands their lives.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    If you have evidence that Sweden would hand him over the to US before the rape trial, then please present it.

                    That’s an utterly ridiculous requirement. How is anyone supposed to know that, let alone “present evidence” of it who is outside of the circles of the Washington DC and Swedish power elite? That’s exactly why the Obama administration has been clamping down on whistleblowers like Assange: to stop leaks!

                    All we have to go on is statements from US Senators and the US Department of Justice regarding Assange and Wikileaks.

                    How about a few other scenarios:

                    What if Sweden hands him over at the end of the rape trial?

                    Or he goes missing during his sentence?

                    Or he is rendered on the first day of release out of the Swedish prison?

                    Does the fact that the Left should be defending a courageous whistleblower from facing unjust espionage charges even cross your mind?

                    • weka

                      Huh? The left is defending Assange as a whistleblower. I don’t have a problem with that.

                      “How is anyone supposed to know that, let alone “present evidence” of it who is outside of the circles of the Washington DC and Swedish power elite?”

                      That’s fine, all I’m saying is don’t state things as a fact when you don’t know. It actually diminishes your argument.

                      The truth appears to be that Assange fears he will be extradited straight to the US if he steps on UK or Swedish soil, many people share that fear for him, others think it’s unlikely, but no-one really knows. Macro asserted an opinion as fact, so of course I am going to ask for evidence.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      yeah, let’s just demand absolutely certainty where there is none eh, but I guess this US administration which has prosecuted more whistleblowers than every other US administration in history put together is just maybe going to decide to take it easy on Assange. Get real.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    In fact weka it reminds of a typical US govt tactic in court. For years Chris Hedges and others would accuse the US Govt of unconstitutional activities including mass surveillance and illegal wiretaps. And for years the US government would use the defence: the complainants have no evidence of this, it is purely nonsense and speculation on their part, they have no standing in front of the court.

                    And then Snowden proved that the complainants were right all along.

                    • weka

                      Please stop making shit up about me and what I think (yes, we are at the part of the conversation). You’ve taken the view that I am against Assange on the whistleblower thing, whereas in fact I’m just uninformed. So when I come across people making statements of fact I’d like to know if they are true. That is completely reasonable.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      384 comments later, at this point I’m not really interested in convincing or educating you about anything to do with the Assange case.

                    • McFlock

                      you’re not interested in learning a damned thing other than spin you already agree with, either.

      • weka 1.2.2

        “For a while I thought Stephanie was overstating the case, and then the avalanche started. Sickening.”

        I thought her commment was fairly provocative, but I also know that she’s seen it all before. She could have waited until the avalance started without her I guess, but why bother?

    • aerobubble 1.3

      Assauge willnot get a fair trial, so he believes, in the US if he were to hand himself over. He however can clear his name by helping authorities eliminate him, which if he were guilty would be pretty stupid if there was a stat limit about to be hit.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.3.1

        +1
        This. Very little that’s sensible ever gets written about Assange. Congratulations for managing something.

        • aerobubble 1.3.1.1

          Sweden must have asked the US to waiver extradition from Sweden, and not got a response, so justice would dictate Assuage atleast be given the opportunity to hang or clear himself. As the truth is the goal, victims or vexatious, both need the truth.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1.1

            A specialist in international law says you’re flat wrong.

            First, Sweden (as the UK) is party to the European Convention of Human Rights…prohibited from extraditing a person who may face the death penalty…[or]… in danger of being subjected to torture (which includes inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).

            Second… if the US wants Assange extradited from Sweden he will have the protection of both the Swedish and British legal systems. It would appear easier to have him extradited directly from the UK.

            Third, the Swedish extradition agreements with the US does not allow extradition when the offence is purely military or if the offence is a political offence…

            • Murray Rawshark 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Tell us again why the quaint notion of unlawful enemy combatants was invented.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If you’ve got something to say, drop the passive aggressive sneering and say it.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  OK. You’re an authoritarian creep who can’t answer simple questions, but launches into abuse at every opportunity. Your first instinct is always to side with the powerful. No bloody wonder you stay anonymous.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Do you honestly think you’re asking “simple” questions, abusive Murray the hypocrite?

                    Who are the powerful in this situation? Two previously anonymous women?

                    Are you seriously arguing that Sweden (or the UK for that matter) will entertain a request for Assange’s extradition as an “enemy combatant”?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    PS: why do you suppose I think Assange should face the potential for extradition to the US? Cluebat: it’s about power.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      PS: why do you suppose I think Assange should face the potential for extradition to the US? Cluebat: it’s about power.

                      Thanks for coming clean on that. These rapists deserve everything that’s coming to them.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Jump in and misinterpret as quickly as you can.

                      Specifically, Assange’s power, ie: he’ll increase it by doing so. David & Goliath etc.

                    • weka

                      Do you mean his personal power over his own situation, or his power as a whistleblower etc?

                      I wish people would say what the mean, really what’s the point of being clever dicks now? (looking at both of you Murray and OAB). I’m here to learn something, but sometimes it’s like pulling teeth.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Do you mean his personal power over his own situation, or his power as a whistleblower etc?

                      Both. Best case scenario he gets to walk away the victor, worst case scenario his cause celebre status is enhanced, massive international pressure on the US, and so forth.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Yeah, he should line up to be martyred. He’d be really powerful. The defining of him as an unlawful enemy combatant once he arrives in a Federal Pen would help his case, no doubt. He fits their definition exactly. He’s not fighting on behalf of any state, but for an ideology. Wow.

                      I know if I were in his position, I wouldn’t go. In my position, I think he’s made the right decision.

                      And the reason why the category of “unlawful enemy combat” was invented is rather simple. So the seppos could ignore the Geneva Convention while still holding onto a faked moral superiority. I wouldn’t stake my life on them not doing it again. I wouldn’t even stake Assange’s or yours on it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If they were that keen to embrace fascism they’d have murdered him years ago.

                      Oh, and I don’t need you to explain why “the seppos” (ever notice how the first thing fascists do is make up dehumanising names for the people they wish harm upon?) perform their extra-legal contortions.

                      “If I was one of those people, I would hesitate before making any travel arrangements,” Michael Bochenek.

                      “…stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.” Senator John McCain.

                      The perpetrators may yet face prosecution. That debate is not over, not even in the USA.

                      I think Assange liked being powerful. I think he enjoyed the doors it opened for him, never mind the legs.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Yeah, now I’m a fascist and you’re jealous because Assange gets laid more than you. That’s about all I take from your comment.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re certainly better at misogynist abuse than I am.

                  • the pigman

                    +1

                    And OAB, rejecting all the logic-free arguments so lacking in persuasive force derides all other contributors disagreeing with him as “Pete George clones”.

                    With arguments that persuasive, I don’t see any reason to engage with him directly.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The beige brigade: passive aggressive strawmen to a fault, and yet my response to Aerobubble leaves you mute.

                      Run along.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      +1
                      I don’t either. He seldom says anything worth reading. But one last time, just for him. Where’s the misogynist abuse?

                      I see passive aggressive in your post on the reality show, when you bring up some bullshit about people wanting to ignore anything Assange may have done. As always, it’s something you throw at other people but don’t recognise it in yourself.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      1. You have your fascists mixed up: TRP mentions Assange on the Xfactor post. I just made a few people laugh about Mills & Boon.

                      2. I think treating “getting laid” as some sort of competition is inherently misogynist.

                      3. Yes, I’m not the perfect man of legend, and can often be found calling the kettle black. One of the reasons I engage here is because I appreciate substantive criticism. However, you have your own little bag of insults laid out for all to see, so perhaps you might try it too.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  You’re the one calling people fascist, and you’re the one who mentioned Assange getting laid because he’s famous. You’re as good as FJK at transferring your faults to other people. Take responsibility for your own words for once.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    …yes, and you’re the one running your mouth about enemy combatants when the DoJ explicitly abandoned the term five years ago, so go pack a sad, Murray, you’ve got nothing to offer.

                    PS: that power is an aphrodisiac is a relatively uncontroversial statement. You’re the one feebly attempting to connect that to me, tanty boy. Plus, see my point 3 above.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I am ashamed of this comment. Murray frequently has something to offer, whatever the merits of this particular argument.

                      Sorry Murray.

            • Colonial Rawshark 1.3.1.1.1.2

              Oh so a piece of cake for Sweden to assure Assange that they won’t extradite him to the USA? Except despite your very reassuring legal quotation, Sweden has refused to give Assange any such categorical assurance for years. So my bet is, that pretty quotation isn’t worth shit.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Which is why he’s a professor of international law and you’re, um, you 😆

                • McFlock

                  Oh but all opinions are equal, OAB: Someone with an agenda and access to google is just as credible as someone who’s studied the field for 30 years…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s a true fact.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And yet, despite your ongoing moral superiority and naivity, Sweden has continued to refuse to give Assange any such assurance – and the behaviour of the USA and its allies around whistleblowers and journalists that they do not like shows a routine disregard for normal legal norms. For instance, their use of a planned programmed perjury policy within the US own own criminal justice system.

                      TL:DR recent history matches my viewpoint more closely than your pretty academic quotation and your lefty institutional loyalism.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Haven’t you grasped that I have a healthy degree of skepticism about the US legal system yet? Obviously not.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’d say Assange, Snowden, etc feel the same way about the US legal system.

            • Tracey 1.3.1.1.1.3

              Thanks for that OAB.

              I am trying to get my head around the certaintiy with which some are stating Sweden will just hand him over. Of course I accept it is a possibility but a certainty?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I think you can judge the quality of the ‘argument’ by the way anyone who questions it is in for a character assassination session.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  WIthout being too pointed, how many “rape apologist pig fucker” stickers are you having printed up?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yes, you often employ loaded questions, and yes, I often draw attention to that fact. Criticising your behaviour is not an attack upon you personally. Learn the distinction.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Thanks for the teachable moment. I hadn’t appreciated that although you call me out on pig fucking behaviour, you’ve never repeatedly called me an actual pig fucker, personally. Or have you.

                      Anyway. I’m quite sure we’ll have another round of Assange debate once the Swedish prosecutor makes her call on whether or not to press charges against him.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s a metaphor. Weka called you out for it as recently as yesterday.

                    • Chooky

                      +100 CR…these people who are so keen to put other people down on this site as “rape apologists” are deeply sus imo…as well as being deeply offensive and slanderous…a pity they dont show as much concern about the multiple rapes , torture, sexual abuse and murder at Abu Ghraib….wikileaks did a lot to leak the real hypocrisy going on

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

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Great. More loaded smears.

                      What Weka said.

                    • weka

                      Chooky, try looking at the actual reasons people are saying there is rape apology here, and then try and respond to those points. To me you look like you are just reacting against someone calling you out on your behaviour because you think the name of that behaviour is reprehensible and only done by bad people and so couldn’t possibly apply to you. I’m assuming this is why you think the point of naming rape apology is to ‘put you down’, but it’s not. It’s to address the politics of the situation and how they affect women. You’ve not actually addressed the concerns raised, you’ve just gone straight to denial and pretty much avoided any conversation about what rape culture is.

                      That you’ve promoted rape myths in this conversation is bad enough. But to now try and make out that people with an analysis of rape culture are politically suspect and are compassionless for other victims of rape is bizarre. Pretty much everyone that’s taken part in this conversation in an indepth way so far is demonstrably concerned about the plight of people who suffer and is obviously left wing (apart from maybe Psycho Milt, I never know where he stands politically).

                      We know this because we are all regular commenters on ts. Trying to smear our reputations is weird.

            • aerobubble 1.3.1.1.1.4

              Wrong. Assuage is not facing the death penalty, and the US cant extradite him until he is in Sweden, and finally US allegations are more serious and would take precedent, so Assuage is correct to argue that the moment he gets off the plane in Stockholm he’d be on the next plane to the US.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

                I think Mark Klamberg (link at 1.3.1.1.) knows something about these issues. You?

              • lprent

                Someone (McFlock) was trying to argue that wouldn’t happen the other day because of the principle of specifity in extraditions. Essentially that is a doctrine that says that people extradited can only be trialed for the charges for which they were extradited for and not for other charges prior to the extradition. Unless permission was gained from the country they were extradited from.

                I realized after I’d written my reply on that, that probably only applied to new charges inside the country that they were being extradited to. God knows how it would be applied to a 3rd country. Bearing in mind that the Swedish government and courts haven’t been prepared to offer any guarantees against further extradition (not that Britain has asked for any)

                • Bill

                  From ‘The Intercept

                  The U.S. attempt to pressure other nations to prosecute Assange is recounted in a file that the intelligence community calls its “Manhunting Timeline.”

                  (…)

                  An entry from August 2010 – headlined “United States, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Iceland” – states: “The United States on August 10 urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan, including Australia, United Kingdom, and Germany, to consider filing criminal charges against Julian Assange.”

                  And from the same article

                  In November 2013, The Washington Post, citing anonymous officials, reported that the Justice Department strongly considered prosecuting Assange, but concluded it “could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists” who had partnered with WikiLeaks to publish the documents. According to the Post, officials “realized that they have what they described as a ‘New York Times problem’” – namely, that any theory used to bring charges against Assange would also result in criminal liability for the Times, The Guardian, and other papers which also published secret documents provided to WikiLeaks.

                  The fact that he’s been banged up these past 4 years and his reputation is in tatters regardless of any eventual outcomes from any possible court findings in Sweden might well be considered ‘mission accomplished’? Maybe he could have come out of the embassy after-all , but has been hoisted by his own perfectly understandable paranoia. Who knows?

                  Meanwhile, I’ve been wondering if the Espionage Act can only be levied against US citizens…I dunno. Too many questions.

                • tracey

                  A former Minister of Justice in Sweden stated he didn’t think Sweden would extradite him before or after any possible hearing (But I don’t know if the guy is credible).

                  http://today.law.harvard.edu/former-swedish-justice-minister-offers-a-view-of-the-assange-case-and-the-relevant-laws/

                  I spent an hour or two zooming around english-swedish media and can say that I was not too impressed by their attitude toward women and sexual crimes against women – in other news items.

                  It might be useful for some in this discussion to do the same thing and try and get a handle on what the Swedish themselves think to try and ascertain what is and isn’t within the realms of “likely”.

                  But to simply say Sweden should say they won’t extradite him is also churlish. There is a treaty (presumably) to which they have signed up. Picking and choosing would render the Treaty pointless. i dont know what repercussions pulling out of the Treaty would have for sweden, but if it is an EU commitment it is problematic.

                  • tracey

                    from my article posted to Bill above…

                    “The government has the last word on these matters! The Swedish government rejected the October 4, 2007 a ​​request for the extradition of a Russian national who was suspected of having taken part in a kidnapping in Chechnya. The Supreme Court had previously found that there was no obstacle to extradition.

                    • Bill

                      Don’t have time to read through those links right now, but will. Thanks.

                      The ‘instant coffee’ response, just going from what’s in your comment…

                      I don’t know about treaties per se. I’ve really only known the absence of one to be used as an excuse not to extradite (US refusing the hand over of Bin Laden from Afghanistan pre 2001, UK and Pinochet)

                      Then there’s the problem associated with ‘official’ enemies and the likelihood of extradition in those cases (Sweden/Russia, US/Cuba etc) and the whole thing being down (apparently) to the whims of the government of the day.

                    • tracey

                      No worries. The article, and the quote from it suggest, indeed, that not only can Sweden assure Assange they won’t extradite him, they have a precedent for refusing an extradition before.

                      In the turmoil of the debate a couple of days ago, this is the kind of info i was trying to elicit from folks..

                      It takes time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

                    • Bill

                      That link above is to a piece about Thomas Bodström, rather than a piece by him. When I cut and pasted your quote into google, I got a piece by Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Prof. Anders Römesjö, and Dr. Leif Elinder.

                      Was this the link you intended to provide?

                      http://professorsblogg.com/2014/11/01/a-political-solution-to-the-legal-stalemate-in-the-case-assange-government-guarantees-against-extradition/

                      edit = Oops. Just realised you’d pasted two links. My bad.

    • Once was Tim 1.4

      The passion with which you post is understandable. There’s only one thing worse than rape and murder to my mind – and that’s falsely accusing someone of it. Let’s hope JA gets to stand trial in an impartial environment where both sides are able to offer evidence. Thankfully fake accusers seem to be few and far between, but they do occur and they always have an agenda

    • Bill 1.5

      Christ on a bike Stephanie!

      What you’re referring to as a ‘concession’ just isn’t a unique move on the part of Swedish courts. And since neither we, nor the Swedish authorities know whether the accusations against Assange stack up, and so whether charges should be laid, the move should have been made years ago.

      You know, it is possible that due to genuine fears of ‘rendition’, that an innocent man has had to go to ground for four years. It’s also possible a guilty man has successfully holed up for four years. Now, I have no idea which of those two scanarios is true, but the fact that Swedish authorities could have moved on the whole affair years ago, but didn’t, casts somewhat of a shadow on those authorities, no?

      So my ‘attitude’, expressed in the post, is that authorities should have used the possibilities at their disposal to at least begin to get to the bottom of things. That they finally are, is a good thing. That they are apparently doing so, for less than laudible reasons isn’t so good, but hey, at least they’re moving.

      • weka 1.5.1

        Is there an informed rebuttal of the prosecutor’s claim that interviewing Assange in the UK lessens the strength of the case?

    • KJT 1.6

      Why did the prosecution wait so long then?

      They could have interviewed him at any time in the UK, and proceeded with getting fast justice for the women, as Swedish prosecutors have done before..

      I make no comment in defence of Assuage, because I don’t know if he is guilty or not, and neither do you.

      Whether he is guilty or not guilty the whole thing stinks.

      If he is guilty the women, and Assuange, have been denied justice by the delays and politics.

      The treatment of Snowden and other whistle-blowers shows that Assuange has much to fear.

      • McFlock 1.6.1

        Because the window for some of the charges is closing, so the prosecutor has decided to bow to assange’s demands for an inadeuate investigative interview, rather than let the process lapse for lack of an interview at all:

        “My attitude has been that the forms for a hearing with him at the embassy in London are such that the quality of the interrogation would be inadequate and that he needs to be present in Sweden at a trial. That assessment remains,” Ny said in a statement.

        • weka 1.6.1.1

          It would help if Ny was more forthcoming on what that means eg does that mean the embassy will insist on recording the interview, or having someone present? Or we assume the embassy is bugged?

          • McFlock 1.6.1.1.1

            The justification has been up for a few years now. Seems pretty similar to the last time there was this argument.

            It doesn’t lend itself to simultaneous investigation of other factors in the case, and is pointless if the investigation yields enough evidence to justify an arrest.

            Whether he wants to webcast it as well is another matter entirely.

            • weka 1.6.1.1.1.1

              Well that’s pretty clear. It’s essentially a stale mate (if one accepts both sides of the argument), rather than the Swedish authorities not doing their job properly.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.6.2

        Why did the prosecution wait so long then?

        Basically, the prosecutor is bowing to increasing local and international pressure on her:

        Oct 29, 2014:

        The UK Foreign Office said it would “actively welcome” a request by the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, to question Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London…

        Swedish activist and politician Lars Christian Engstrom said there are two reasons [for the prosecution not lifting the warrant]: “One is the prestige on account of the prosecutor, the second one is almost certainly that the US administration is making it known to Swedish authorities that they would like it very much if they kept Mr Assange where he is and leave it as it is,” Engstrom told RT…

        Anne Ramberg, head of the Swedish Bar Association, told the British daily on Tuesday: “Many voices in Sweden take a view along the same lines [as the Foreign Office]. It is time for this longstanding matter to be brought to a fair and proportionate end.”

        http://rt.com/uk/200463-assange-sweden-london-court/

        Lars Christian Engström is a member of the Pirate Party and an MEP.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Engstr%C3%B6m

  2. weka 2

    The Swedish prosecutor says that there has been little point in interviewing Assange abroad if he’s not going to be available for trial in Sweden.

    “My attitude has been that the forms for a hearing with him at the embassy in London are such that the quality of the interrogation would be inadequate and that he needs to be present in Sweden at a trial. That assessment remains,” Ny said in a statement.

    “Now time is running out and I therefore believe that I have to accept a loss of quality in the investigation and take the risk that the hearing will not take the investigation forward, because no other option is available as long as Assange does not make himself available in Sweden,” she said.

    • adam 2.1

      Don’t you think if after an interview – They then felt they should prosecute Assange – then Ecuador would have felt eminence pressure to drop Assange, and see a trial happen?

      it’s been over a 1000 days – I think the investigation should have moved forward, one way or another.

      Politics is the elephant in the room.

      • weka 2.1.1

        I have no idea what Ecuador would do in that situation. Do you?

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1

          Ecuador has always said that if Sweden guarantees that Assange would indeed stand trial in Sweden on the sexual assault charges without the process being used as a pretext to extradite him to the USA to face espionage charges in America, they would expel him from their embassy immediately.

          Sweden has always refused to give such an undertaking.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but what does that have to do with adam’s suggestion that if they’d done the interview earlier Ecuador would have handed Assange over to the Swedes for trial (or however it happens)?

            • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Ecuador won’t eject Assange from the embassy until they are assured of his safety and that he will not be facing the death penalty, torture or life imprisonment on unrelated matters.

              • weka

                ok, so you are saying that adam is probably wrong, that Ecuador won’t hand over Assange just because he’s been interviewed and Sweden has decided to prosecute.

              • Tracey

                CV can you post links to sources for your last two statements. Thanks.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  It was a comment that Glenn Greenwald made in one of the presentations that he gave on the state of media and the journalism vis a vis US aggressive pursuit of whistleblowers. I don’t have a link for it on hand, though.

  3. Matthew Hooton 3

    The alleged rapist has been able to answer the allegations all along by returning to Sweden. He chose not to because, well, those fascist Swedes are known to be mere pawns of the U.S. and want to send him to Gitmo. Or something.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      Assange’s extended stay at the Ecuadorean embassy seemed wise because the Swedes have a history of extraditing people to torture states (eg Egypt). His legal team wanted an assurance that this would not happen in his case, Sweden was unwilling to do this.

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        And yet he was happy to go through the legal process in England, which has an even worse record of cooperation in renditions and torture.

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          Yep. And in the end its clear that he no longer considered himself safe there either hence seeking asylum in the Ecuador embassy.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            Whereas if he were politically afraid of sweden, he would have fled to russia before going to the UK.

            • Pasupial 3.1.1.1.1.1

              McFlock

              Assange was a commonwealth citizen resident in the UK when the arrest warrant was issued – he did not go there in response to the Swedish allegations.

              He presumably thought that the UK would consider him innocent until proven guilty. Realizing his mistake, he seems to have taken sanctuary where he could until such time as his legal counsel could be assured of a fair trial.

              • McFlock

                he did not go there in response to the Swedish allegations.

                Really? So he didn’t fly out of Sweden shortly after the prosecutor indicated to his lawyer that charges were likely?

                Charges that according to the British courts would have been laid formally much earlier in the British criminal system rather than the relatively late stage of the Swedish system?

                If he was afraid of rendition, going to the UK was a much sillier move than staying in Sweden, which cooperated with the yanks once just days after 9/11. And got in trouble with its own judiciary because of it.

                • Bill

                  So if legal authorities flip flop and just flat refuse to conduct interviews in a manner it has done on other occasions, and if the possible sentence, if charged and found guilty is (say) ten years, but there is a reasonable fear that by being interviewed in person (even if no charges are then laid) that extradition and a natural life behind bars will occur….?

                  The link below is very, very long and detailed with numerous linked sources. I have no opinion on it and am just leaving it here before taking no further part in a debate that I see as a sad and emotive conflation of entirely seperate issues…

                  https://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html

                  • “… before taking no further part in a debate …”

                    Well, that’s surprisingly gutless, Bill. It’s your post after all.

                    • Bill

                      Well no, I’m not being gutless. (Strange assertion for you to make btw). I don’t always comment on posts I put up. In this case I’m just saddened by the amount of unintelligent vitriol and bullshit. It seems, trp, that some people have taken it upon themselves to be some kind of prutitanical judge, jury and executioner. Whatever…(shrug)

                    • It’s not strange at all, Bill. I’ve put up posts that haven’t been entirely popular and I’ve copped everything thrown at me and I’ve argued my corner without flinching. Mind you, I’ve never tried to suggest avoiding a rape investigation was in some way noble, so if you’re feeling a tad embarrassed, by all means do one.

                    • Bill

                      See that shit you just wrote?

                      That’s exactly the reason I want fuck all to do with this particular thread. Now, how’s about you show me exactly where I suggested that avoidance of a rape investigation was noble or where I said that, that was happening?

                    • Check the title of the post, Bill. Triumphalist or what?

                  • McFlock

                    it’s the “reasonable fear” thing that I find odd – if he’d fled the UK to Sweden, maybe. But the other way around is running into the lion’s den.

                  • Tracey

                    Re-read you post Bill. If you think it contained no emotive language (how many times did you write “right thing” which is a very subjective premise) or judge jury connotations then you will remain bewildered at the responses it got for along time.

                    You, to me, are definitely being judge and jury on how sweden has conducted itself to date using their most recent behaviour as your sledgehammer.

                    • Bill

                      Is it not the correct, right or proper thing for authorities to allow the accused to speak to the allegations that have been made?

                      Maybe I should have said it was the wrong thing?!

                      As for questioing the (in)action of authority and their motivations, well….fuck. My bad.

                      Meanwhile, trp has claimed I was suggesting that an avoidance of a rape investigation was noble. Now, which way you guys want to go on this?

                      Am I wrong for saying it’s the right thing for the authorities to agree to move things forward and meet? In other words, should I be advocating that the authorities not meet and so be effectively endorsing avoidance? Would that be preferable in your mind?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Bill: it’s hardly ‘final’, considering it relates only to the lesser allegations.

                      The concession to meet on Assange’s terms heightens the potential for avoidance, not lessens it.

                    • Bill

                      Finally. At last. After all this time. Etc. You get how that has nothing to do with conclusions, yes?

                    • weka

                      I disagree with TRP on this, and I’ve probably disgreed on at least one thing with pretty much every person that’s post a number of times in this thread. Please don’t buy into the temption that there is a hive mind here.

                      I think your post was fine, but it didn’t strike me as neutral. Even in that very short post you appeared to express some opinion in there that presents some problems for the wider debate. Not a problem IMO, but I can understand that there’s been reaction too.

                      I disagree with your interpretation of the events, and I’d still like see an informed rebuttal of the prosecutor’s assertion that interviewing Assange in the UK weakens the case (but I probably don’t care enough to go do the research myself). It seems to me that there is interpretation of the prosecutor’s actions this week, but not much in the way of analysis backed up by anything (yes, I read the Guardian link).

                      As an aside, It was inevitable that this would become a discussion about the rape case. Given how ts has been lately it seems inevitable that there would also be some unintelligent vitriol and bullshit, but I’ve been surprised that there hasn’t been more vitriol.

                    • weka

                      “Finally. At last. After all this time. Etc. You get how that has nothing to do with conclusions, yes?”

                      I took your OP to be a criticism of the Swedish authorities/prosecutor for taking so long, and a ‘conclusion’ by you that the only reason they had done this was the statute of limitations thing, the clear implication being that they were playing games instead of doing what was right.

                      I may well be wrong in my reading of the post, but that’s what I’ve been working off since it went up.

                    • Tracey

                      Are you saying you were not making any judgment in your post? Cos you complained of

                      “some people have taken it upon themselves to be some kind of prutitanical judge, jury and executioner.”

                      My comment was that you were indulging in a form of judge jury and executioner yourself, but your target was Swedish authorities.

                    • Tracey

                      Weka @ 12:21 that is exactly how I read it also which is why my surprise at Bill criticising people for reacting with emotion and accusing them of being puritanical judge jury and executioner as he brings his moral ax down on Swedish authoritative.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Hooten , you do know that those ‘facist’ Canadians were complicit in the rendering of one of their own ( innocent) citizens to the US, being such ‘pawns of America.’

      Maher Arar would say look at me in regard to your claim everythings lovely, no problems here

      • Matthew Hooton 3.2.1

        Canada is a very close US ally.
        Sweden is Sweden – a long-standing neutral.

        • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.1

          Sweden is Sweden – a long-standing neutral.

          Your willingness to bet someone else’s life on this holding true for his case is inspiring. If only Julian Assange had your unshakable ethical integrity…

        • Macro 3.2.1.2

          You and I know, and practically the whole world knows – but you seem to want to overlook the fact, that Sweden has been requested to give assurances that Assange would not be extradited to the States forthwith were he to fall into their hands. No assurance has been given He would be a fool to co-operate with Sweden until such an assurance is given.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.2.1

            Yeah, that’s probably on account of the fact that Sweden isn’t answerable to Julian Assange, no matter how big his head grows.

            • Macro 3.2.1.2.1.1

              This is not about how big or not Assanges head is! Just imagine if you were in a similar situation (if you can). Would you cooperate with an inquiry (which has all the hallmarks of being specious) and risk the very real likelihood that you would be sent off to the abusive “justice” of the States. Would you?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                1. What you describe as “a very real likelihood” is in fact nothing but conjecture and assumption.

                2. If the allegations are so specious, he’ll have little trouble defending them.

                3. If found guilty in Sweden, Assange would face a maximum of four years, which given their parole system he would be unlikely to serve in full.

                4. Yes, I would.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  1. What you describe as “a very real likelihood” is in fact nothing but conjecture and assumption.

                  And seems likely to be true, given the focus Assange (and Wikileaks) has received at the very top levels of the US DoJ.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Read the link at 1.3.1.1.1. There are significant barriers to any potential extradition to the USA.

        • Once was Tim 3.2.1.3

          Sweden – a longstanding neutral. You are really either bloody naive Matty, or as usual you’re being entirely disingenuous – but then I guess its what pays the mortgage huh?
          You’re 30 years out of date for a start, and you choose to romanticise on what once was in order to prop up your spin meistering.
          If I cared, you’d be a real worry.
          Never mind though eh? You’ll be able to exercise your ego tomorrow on NinetoNoon and keep some sort of credibility going that’ll service the next payment or two – shame about RNZ’s ratings tho’.

    • geoff 3.3

      (pg. 42….)
      Hooton ended the email by saying: ‘We are going to be an outstanding success. I just hope you… don’t think I am a populist. I’m not. I’m a right wing academic neocon ultra. I just believe in winning too’

      I fucking love Nicky Hagar.

    • Tracey 3.4

      Like Collins chose not to hand over stuff from her computer (and deleted it instead) cos those fascists at the Inquiry are known to be pawns of the totalitarian NZ state who wouldn’t treat her fairly… despite being part of a Government (and Minister of Justice) that chants “nothing to fear nothing to hide”.

  4. xanthe 4

    Stephanie it is interesting that you did not read the article linked as source in the post i would have thought that was a prerequsite.

    • weka 4.1

      what makes you think she hasn’t read the article?

    • Actually, Xanthe, the post misses a vital point, which is made in the Guardian article. The statute of limitations only affects some of the charges. The more serious ones are not affected. Sweden still has the option of charging Assange with rape, no matter what happens in the interview, if it actually goes ahead.

      This is not ‘final’ in any sense and if Assange wants to avoid facing justice, he may be holed up for many, many years to come.

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        I’d be a bit surprised if he didn’t also have charges to face in England for skipping bail.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1.1

          hes NOt facing charges in Sweden. No indictments have been laid. Its more of facing an investigation as to whether charges will be laid

          • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1

            His lawyers tried that line in the UK courts.
            It was so successful, he ended up in the embassy.

            • Colonial Rawshark 4.2.1.1.1.1

              No charges have been laid. Frankly, if you were at all interested in justice for the women complainants, you’d be questioning why Sweden has been holding up the process until now.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

              • Chooky

                +100…the crucial point is that “No charges have been laid” by two obviously mature and sexually experienced women who invited Assange to have sex …and women who boasted about their sexual encounters with Assange.

                • McFlock

                  They should have known what to expect. They didn’t react [allegedly] the way you would have. They were totally asking for it, then. 🙄

                  • Chooky

                    That is your twisted argument …not mine!….I never said or meant they were asking for rape…you are insinuating I said/meant that ( nothing could be further from the truth….no one deserves rape!…or do you think they do?)

                    …given that these women have never laid charges of rape….is Assange guilty of rape?…

                    • McFlock

                      two out of three ain’t bad, apologist 🙄

                    • weka

                      @ Chooky,

                      The events as described by the women fit the legal definition of rape in Sweden. That they also may have had consensual sex with Assange and boasted about it doesn’t change that. You are arguing rape myths – once a woman has consented, she’s always consented. If a woman doesn’t behave like a proper rape victim afterwards she’s lying or it wasn’t really rape. Talking about their mature age and sexual experience as if that has anything to do with legal definitions of rape.

                      That you are arguing those lines on a left wing political blog is why you’ve been named a rape apologist. They’re exactly the same shit that women who have been raped have to deal with all the time. They damage women and they promote rape culture.

                    • Tracey

                      If it weren’t Assange, but John Key, do you think your arguments would be the same Chooky?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Ahhh the left, loves its little shaming sneering labels, “rape apologist” etc, hoping it will shut down legitimate debate which doesn’t suit it. Sad and pathetic.

                      Fact of the matter is, and putting aside the little matter of ‘presumption of innocence, whether Assange is an actual rapist or just conveniently framed up as a rapist in a game of Spy 101, the whole process has been a godsend for the governmental powers who see JA as a whistleblowing enemy and has allowed them to keep him holed up and discredited for years.

                      The point of the post is clear – the prosecutor has finally bowed to domestic and international pressure to do the right thing and progress the case. Like she could have done 2 years ago if she was actually acting in good faith for the complainants instead of stonewalling.

                      Of course, lefties seem more than eager to give the stonewalling prosecutor a total pass and lump everything on Assange and his defenders, even as they profess to be so keen on getting justice for the alleged victims.

                    • McFlock

                      If he did it, it’s his gift to the US.

                      If he didn’t, then he has better odds iin Sweden than in the UK. When he finally decides to face the accusations properly.

                • Tracey

                  do you know that in NZ victims don’t get to lay charges? It may be the same in Sweden. So, for example, the victims of the Roastbusters didnt get to lay charges, they have to rely on whether the Crown wants to do it.

                  “No charges have been laid” by two obviously mature and sexually experienced women ” my emphasis

                  Can you post the source for the boasting about their encounters?

              • McFlock

                Like I said, Assange’s lawyers tried to hide behind “no charges have been laid”. It didn’t work, so he skipped bail and chose to sequester himself in the ecuadorian embassy.

              • KJT

                When they do not for other cases.

                The prosecutor has already been criticised for not proceeding with the case in a timely manner.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1.1.1.2

              fat chance the UK courts havent looked into the niceties of the case, they only go on whether an arrest warrant is valid.
              You do know thats whats happened here with Dotcom as well.

        • te reo putake 4.2.1.2

          Not to mention having to face all those friends he ripped off when he absconded. But I imagine the British authorities will hang fire on a prosecution if Sweden go ahead with a trial. No point delaying the bigger trial just to fine him for running away.

    • veutoviper 4.3

      I have to confess that I did not read the Guardian article until seeing your comment – and would recommend that anyone who comments on this post also do so. I came away from reading the article with a very changed perspective on the whole situation. (I am not sure whether Stephanie did or did not read the article, but she has made her position clear including that she will not be commenting further.)

      The article sets out in detail the procedures that have been followed to date and the fact that the Swedish prosecutor could have interviewed Assange in London from day one. Assange and his lawyers had been seeking this all the time; as had the Ecuador Embassy.

      The article also suggests that many Swedish legal experts also consider that the prosecutor should have done so much earlier, as there are no legal impediments to this course of action.

      It also cites an earlier precedence for this :
      “Questioning the prosecutor’s reluctance to travel to London, several Swedish legal figures have pointed to the occasion in 2012 when the entire Stockholm district court moved to Kigali for several weeks to interview witnesses to the Rwandan genocide, with more witnesses heard in Stockholm by video link from Kigali.”

      • weka 4.3.1

        “The article sets out in detail the procedures that have been followed to date and the fact that the Swedish prosecutor could have interviewed Assange in London from day one. Assange and his lawyers had been seeking this all the time; as had the Ecuador Embassy.”

        It also explains why she didn’t (see my comment at 2).

        I was of the understanding that the legals in Sweden initially supported the prosecutor and more recently changed their minds i.e. the ones being talked about in the article weren’t talking about from day one.

        Ny has objected that interrogating Assange abroad would be complicated and largely pointless because – should sufficient grounds emerge – he would still have to travel to Sweden for trial. However, she is obliged to drop the case against him unless she believes there are reasonable grounds for suspicion of his guilt.

        The prosecutor’s apparent U-turn on Friday came just days after a supreme court judge in Stockholm wrote to the prosecutor general, directing him to give his opinion concerning Assange’s appeal, “especially regarding the investigatory procedure and the principle of proportionality”.

        Further pressure on the prosecutor came in November when the appeal court, while rejecting Assange’s arguments, nonetheless directed sharp criticism at Ny for failing in her obligation to move the case forward.

        Swedish legal opinion at a senior level has swung against the prosecutor’s position. Anne Ramberg, the head of Sweden’s Bar Association, welcomed the decision to go to London, but added: “It should have been taken long before.”

        • veutoviper 4.3.1.1

          As I said at 4.3, I did not read the article until I saw zanthe’s comment at 4. Thus I initially took the comments here at that time (including your comment at 2) at face value.

          Having read the article in full , I got a better perspective on the situation.

          I am pleased to see that you have now quoted more from the article that provides a much wider perspective than that provided in your original comment at 2 which only quoted Swedish Prosecutor Ny’s comments.

          • weka 4.3.1.1.1

            Yeah, Bill should just have posted the whole article 😉

            Seriously though, it’s a loaded topic and everyone will put their spin on it. My comment at 2 was in response to Bill’s post I guess because it looked to me like the statute of limitations things was only part of the story.

  5. Penny Bright 5

    Speaking as a woman, what I do know, is that there are ALWAYS at least two sides to the story.

    I have seen for myself cases where women have not told the truth, or the full story when sexual offending is alleged.

    In saying that – I am not trying to minimise the offence, or the effect on the victim, but just making the point that sometimes it is the male who is the victim, if/when the allegations are NOT true.

    I understand that what I am saying may not make me popular with some people.

    So be it.

    Truth is truth and facts are facts.

    Here I am making a generalised comment.

    Penny Bright

    • veutoviper 5.1

      Thank you, Penny.

      I agree and support what you say above – as a woman and one who experienced rape twice before my 14th birthday in an era when there was no Rape Crisis, Victim Support, counselling etc. My friends and acquaintances include a number of people (doctors, psychologists etc) who work in the area of sexual abuse, rape assessment, subsequent counselling etc. They tell me that the only way they can do their jobs properly (and retain their own sanity and professional credibility) is to remember there are always two sides to the story, while giving the person concerned the support needed at the time the person is under their care.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        I wish we cared as much about the appalling unreported rate and the the low charge rate and the appalling conviction rate as we do about the very small number who falsely accuse…

        I am NOT denying your post veutoviper or your experiences (they are bloody valid and thanks for sharing them).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2

      To me its more about the US hand in the Swedish glove behind these circumstances, but Stephanie jumped in the deep end over the sexual misconduct side.

      It does seem that doing a proper investigation to see if charges could be laid has come second to getting him back on Swedish soil.

      • Why should the accused set the terms of the investigation? That’s not acceptable in any country that adheres to the rule of the law. Mind you, Assange has always had the option of co-operating with the investigation. Weird that he wouldn’t, it’s almost like he feels guilty or summat.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1

          Why should the accused set the terms of the investigation?

          When there is a real and present danger that the official investigation is merely a pretext for extradition to the US to face sealed indictments from a secret grand jury.

          • te reo putake 5.2.1.1.1

            But there ain’t no danger. It’s Sweden, of the world’s most liberal counties.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh but that’s all a CIA front.

              • Yep. If it was John Key being investigated, you can only imagine the howls of indignation. But because it’s Saint Julian, no worries. What’s a little light raping anyway? The victims were asleep, so what do they care?

            • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1.2

              There’s no danger to you, sure. Assange presumably puts a higher premium on his not falling into the hands of governments he doesn’t trust than you do, but then it’s a bit more personal for him. Perhaps, should you one day become a person the US government would love to get its hands on, you’d review your own faith in the automatic goodwill of foreign governments, but until then you’re not really in a position to realistically assess how you’d regard that danger.

              • Good assessment of the situation, PM. Makes you wonder why Assange didn’t possess enough situational awareness to avoid being in circumstances where he could be accused of rape.

                • “Circumstances where you could be accused of rape” could involve any instance in which you fuck a woman without independent witnesses present, which in my case at least approaches 100% of all copulation events. Assuming he did the stuff he’s accused of, yes that was certainly pretty stupid, but if he’s unwilling to risk permanent incarceration for what would ordinarily be considered a pretty low level of offending, I’m not in a position to look down on him for it.

                  • Nice that you think rape is a “pretty low level of offending”. Some sort of property crime, dya reckon?

                  • You might usefully consider the idea that inflexibility isn’t a virtue when it comes to thinking. Rape covers a lot of territory. Do you think Assange would likely be looking at a fat prison sentence if he were to be convicted by the Swedish courts with the certainty you’ve convicted him in the court of your own personal opinion?

                    • I haven’t convicted him of anything, PM. But unlike you, and so I’m led to believe, Julian Assange, I don’t think sexual assault is a minor matter. He should, ahem, man up. So should you.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Assange shouldn’t do a single thing except co-operate with the Swedish prosecutor now that she has finished stonewalling the case and agreed to question him.

                    • Yes, CV, in bizarro world, it’s the Swedish prosecutor who has run away and holed up in an embassy. But in the real world, it’s Julian Assange.

                      btw, just to repeat what was left out of the post, it’s only the lesser accusations that Assange may be questioned about (assuming he doesn’t continue to stall the investigation). The big stuff doesn’t rely on his cooperation.

                    • weka

                      Is there an informed rebuttal of the prosecutor’s claim that interviewing Assange in the UK lessens the strength of the case?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Waiting around for years letting the evidence grow cold weakens the case, don’t you think. It also denies timely justice to the alleged victims.

                      Even Swedish legal organisations have been pressuring the Swedish prosecutor to give up her stonewalling of the case.

                    • “Waiting around for years letting the evidence grow cold weakens the case, don’t you think. It also denies timely justice to the alleged victims.”

                      Yep, that’s one of the reasons Assange ran away. Good that the penny is finally dropping for you, CV.

                    • weka

                      I’ll take that as a no then CV.

                    • I haven’t convicted him of anything, PM.

                      Multiple comments on this thread suggest otherwise.

                      But unlike you, and so I’m led to believe, Julian Assange, I don’t think sexual assault is a minor matter.

                      You’ve a nice line in passive-aggressive bullshit, I’ll give you that.

                    • I’m not the one who used the phrase “a pretty low level of offending”. But I can understand why you wouldn’t want to be reminded of what you wrote.

                    • I’m aware of what I wrote, memory aids are unnecessary. Do you have some actual dispute with the content and the ability to declare in plain language what it is, or are snide implications the extent of your repertoire?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Four years max.

                      The so-called “threat” from the US will not go away, ever. If it exists, that is. If it involves the death penalty he certainly won’t be sent there from Sweden.

                    • If it exists, that is.

                      Indeed. It’s possible that Assange is either reading too much into the prosecutor’s refusal to interview him in Britain and her government’s refusal to guarantee he won’t be rendered to the USA, or that he’s faking his concern about that in an attempt to evade justice. Speculating on possibilities is pointless, however. Whether we personally believe he’s genuine or not counts for shit. The Swedes aren’t going to get their hands on him unless they meet his conditions, so they should either meet them or drop the thing. Outrage about him setting conditions likewise counts for shit.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If it exists, the only way to be free of it is to walk into the trap. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

                    • Advice that falls into the category of “easy for you to say.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I can’t see how spending the rest of his natch in the Ecuadorian embassy is a better alternative.

            • Macro 5.2.1.1.1.3

              BULLSHIT! Assurances have been sought from Sweden that he would not be extradited to the States. No such assurance has been given.

              • So what? Don’t rape people and there won’t be an issue. Sweden actually will not extradite if the charges carry the death penalty. But of course, there are no charges pending in the States, so any rape defence on those grounds is entirely hypothetical.

                • Macro

                  I don’t think you really understand what is at stake here.

                  ps it has nothing to do with alleged sexual abuse.

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    Tell us.

                    • Macro

                      Oh you are a trusting young fellow! I suppose you would sign the TPPA without reading it as well!

                    • Macro doesn’t know what’s at stake, Matthew. But the important thing is that people accused of rape should not be challenged on it if they’re really, really cool.

                    • Macro

                      Well TRP I’ll let you know – seeing as how you are so naive! There is every likelihood that Assange would find himself on a plane to the States whether or not he committed any abusive sexual act or not. If you think not then you and Hooten are fools. Yes Sweden is a liberal country – but it is also very much a part of the Western World – and Western governments are very upset that their naughty little tricks have been exposed.

                    • I’m not naive, macro. But then I don’t fuck people without their consent, either, so maybe I am out of touch. Blurred lines and all that.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Usual sneering smears from TRP. Ever heard of the presumption of innocence? You lefties really are authoritarians when you get all self righteous.

                    • Ever heard of the judicial system, CV?

                    • Macro

                      Of course we have all heard of the judicial system TRP – pity it is almost non-existent in the US wrt acts perceived by the state as Espionage.

                • les

                  so the jury is ‘in’ on the rape charges then!

              • Matthew Hooton

                Sovereign states usually don’t give unconditional assurances about hypothetical scenarios to people they are trying to extradite on rape charges. Accusing Sweden of being a sock puppet of the U.S. is absurd.

              • McFlock

                The demand that Sweden should pre-judge any and all extradition requests re:Assange from the US, before any have been made, is farcical.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  It is to challenge Sweden’s sovereignty, neutrality and general reputation to even make such a request.

                  • Macro

                    Nevertheless such a request has been made. Were Assange to give himself into Swedish hands and then find himself on a plane to the States what then? What sort of “justice” do you think he would find waiting for him?

                    • One based on the rule of law (unless you think the dastardly plot involves sending him to Gitmo) albeit with tough penalties.

                      But you might as well ask him whether after “giving himself into Swedish hands” he might then “find himself on a plane” to Timbuktu for all the likelihood of the neutral Swedes behaving the way he and you suggest.

                      I think he just wants to avoid the embarrassment, shame and potential penalties of the alleged rape charges.

                      And Sweden is hardly a puritanical nation with a draconian legal system and punitive penalties. If he believes the complaints, which the authorise have taken seriously, are in fact without merit he shouldn’t have too much trouble defending himself.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      One based on the rule of law (unless you think the dastardly plot involves sending him to Gitmo) albeit with tough penalties.

                      Assange has looked at how Kiriaku, Snowden, Rosen, Manning Binney, Drake and others have been treated by the US justice system and decided you are full of shit. Rule of law, what a joke.

                      Especially given what Bill Binney calls the Planned Programme Perjury Policy run by the US FBI/FDA/IRS/ATF and NSA.

                    • lprent

                      And Sweden is hardly a puritanical nation with a draconian legal system and punitive penalties.

                      Huh? Perhaps you should have a closer look at Sweden social history over the last 50 or so years some time. That is pretty much exactly how I would describe a lot of their systems from some of the material I have read over the years.

                      It has a different twist to NZ’s legal conservatism post war, but they have the same kinds of issues in a more local political form and persisting for a much longer time.

                      Their localised prosecutorial system with all of the political implications is a direct reflection of that.

                  • tricledrown

                    Sweden has a right wing govt

                • Macro

                  The same goes you! I suppose you would sign the TPPA without reading it as well. Only in this case you life might be in danger.

                  • no, now back to the alleged rapist.

                    • Macro

                      This matter has nothing to do with whether of not Assange committed an act of sexual abuse. It has everything to do with the fact that he is responsible for alerting the World to a great deal of naughty shenanigans by the governments of the Western World and in particular the US. If you do not believe that the US would do everything in their power to get their hands on him then you are very much mistaken.
                      I have worked in an environment and have been subject to the NZ Official Secrets Act. Positively Vetted by the SIS etc.
                      The first lecture we ever had on how foreign governments obtain information is by sexual means. (i.e. don’t get yourself into situations that might be embarrassing later!) In other words – this is the first trick in the book.

                • The demand that Sweden should pre-judge any and all extradition requests re:Assange from the US, before any have been made, is farcical.

                  In the abstract, for people whose involvement extends only so far as blathering about it on blog comments threads, yes. However, for Assange, it isn’t at all abstract. It’s entirely possible he’s a sexual predator and someone with a genuine fear of being extradited to the USA.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That fear will be present whether or not he faces charges in Sweden. In fact, if he doesn’t face charges in Sweden, a potential extradition would be much simpler.

                    As per the link at 1.3.1.1.1

                    • What we think he ought to do or ought to think is irrelevant. What he actually is doing is not coming out of that embassy until he gets certain conditions met. The prosecutors can continue to play “we don’t negotiate with alleged offenders” and leave the complainants hanging, or they can face facts and meet the fucking conditions already – at which point, Assange doesn’t have a leg to stand on with his asylumn request, and if that means he gets charged and found guilty for sex offences and gets a custodial sentence, gee that’s too bad. Until that point, why would he go anywhere?

            • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.1.1.1.4

              But there ain’t no danger. It’s Sweden, of the world’s most liberal counties.

              Unlike uninformed commentators like you TRP, Assange is fully aware of Sweden’s recent history in illegally co-operating with the US extraordinary rendition/black site programme.

              • Yeah, that’s why he chose to live in the UK, where they have no history of that sort of thing. 🙄

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  That doesn’t excuse your ignorance of Sweden’s recent history in co-operating with the US extradordinary rendition programme.

                  Ecuador accepted Assange’s asylum request as they agreed with him that he was in imminent danger of political persecution inside the UK.

                  • Fascinating. And that’s a defence against accusations of rape how?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      There are no charges of rape to be defended against.

                      Perhaps by this time next month the Swedish prosecutor will finally have stopped stonewalling and gotten around to laying some.

                  • “imminent danger of political persecution inside the UK”

                    I thought it was Sweden who was going after him for rape?

                    The US and UK did nothing about the Wikileaks stuff when he was living in London.

                    • Macro

                      The US and UK did nothing about the Wikileaks stuff when he was living in London.

                      Why do you think he sort asylum in the Equadorian Embassy?

                    • McFlock

                      Personally, I think he sought asylum because he was a paranoid egoist who couldn’t believe that such an awesome chap as he could be brought down by something as simple as sticking his dick in someone.

                      Funnily enough, I think he’d be this paranoid regardless about whether he did it according to the facts on record, or not. In fact, after all this time he probably genuinely believes in his innocence, even if he did it.

                      But I certainly think that he can’t believe that such run of the mill criminal charges would be laid without a global conspiracy behind it.

                  • McFlock

                    1: What is Sweden’s “recent history in co-operating with the US extradordinary rendition programme”?

                    2: Now, what is England’s “recent history in co-operating with the US extradordinary rendition programme”?

                    • Macro

                      Sweden was a stopover for flights carrying prisoners to rendition.
                      http://newsjunkiepost.com/2012/12/19/how-sweden-collaborated-with-cia-on-renditions-and-framing-of-assange/
                      They knew about it. Therefore complicit. As for Germany. Britain etc. They were all in on it, and did nothing about it. Of course if you are cool with torture it’s ok.

                    • McFlock

                      So why didn’t assange go somewhere else after his lawyer was told an arrest was likely?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And Sweden wasn’t just a “stop over” for those flights. Sweden actually handed over Egyptian asylum seekers to the CIA rendition programme.

                      http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-ban-cia-rendition

                    • McFlock

                      🙄
                      See hooten’s comment immediately below.

                      You guys are now just repeating spin that’s already been refuted.

                      You’re referring to one case just after 911, yet ignore the UK’s ongoing complicity over the years since then.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      One case? 2 Egyptian asylum seekers were handed over to the CIA in 2001. After that point Sweden acted as a stop over for extraordinary rendition flights on any number of occasions, only finally stopping – apparently – in 2006.

                    • McFlock

                      now put those amazing research skills towards UK complicity in rendition.

                      Makes Sweden look like a safe haven.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Exactly. When he felt that he was in extreme danger and could no longer trust the British legal system, Assange finally sought asylum with Ecuador.

                    • McFlock

                      But why did he even go to the uk in the first place, if he was genuinely worried about extradition to the us?

                      It doesn’t compute. But skipping sweden before mainstream criminal charges can be laid – the uk’s as good as anywhere in Europe.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The real life human dimensions of this have sailed right by you, don’t worry about them now, let’s just see what the prosecutor comes up with OK and see if JA gets charged after all this mucking around.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, now you want to leave it up to the process, as long as Assange dictates what that process will be….

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      LOL, the Swedish Bar Association agrees that the prosecution has waited far too long to get off its ass and take a 65 minute plane flight to London to question Assange. Assange isn’t dictating squat. He’s the one under house arrest surrounded by armed police.

                    • McFlock

                      He’s the one who chose to seek asylum outside of the jurisdiction of the investigators.
                      Fixed it for you.
                      He’s not under house arrest.
                      He chose to go there rather than get the issue sorted two years ago.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Assange has always been within reach of the investigators. Both the Ecuadorian embassy and the UK government have been actively welcoming the investigators to question Assange. Who has been, under effective house arrest ringed by armed police with sub machine guns.

                      I agree with the Swedish Bar Association. The prosecutor has unnecessarily dragged this whole process out, preventing justice for the alleged victims, and preventing justice for Assange.

                      It is good that the prosecutor has finally got off her ass to do what she could have done years ago – take a 65 minute plane flight to question Assange and decide whether or not charges should be laid or the case dropped.

                    • McFlock

                      No matter how much spin you put on it, he’s the one who fled the country. He’s the one who skipped bail. He’s the one who will only be interviewed in a place where he can’t be arrested if the interview doesn’t go his way.

                      And I suspect you have no idea what the Swedish Bar Association’s position is, except for a soundbite you choose to hear whichever way you want.

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    You’re talking about one incident that caused a political scandal in Sweden and led to a complete ruling out of further co-operation.

        • les 5.2.1.2

          because the accussed is always assumed to be innocent,according to western law…didn’t you know that?

          • McFlock 5.2.1.2.1

            Why should the accused set the terms of the investigation?

            because the accussed is always assumed to be innocent

            That doesn’t even make sense.

            • les 5.2.1.2.1.1

              accused…happy now.

              • weka

                still doesn’t make sense.

                • les

                  does presumption of innocence until proven guilty ,make sense…probably not ,to you.

                  • weka

                    You’re missing the bit about the accused setting the terms of the investigation.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      and because you refuse to recognise that Assange has legitimate and real concerns, you’re always going to dismiss the fact that it has always been in the prosecutor’s capabilities to take a 65 minute plane flight, question him in London and progress the investigation.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yet another strawman (again).

                      Weka explicitly acknowleges the “US persecution context” at least once on this page.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      So the delay in proceeding with the case hasn’t been about Assange “setting the terms of the investigation.”

                      It is about a Swedish prosecutor who stonewalled, who refused to acknowledge Assange’s real and rational concerns, and who refused to take actions which were well within her powers to ameliorate those concerns while simultaneously progressing the investigation.

                      But what would I know, all this probably sounds like pig fucking to you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, you’ve expressed your personal opinion ad nauseam. It’s no more compelling on the nth iteration than it was on the first.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      oink oink

                    • McFlock

                      “oink oink”
                      … that’s the most intelligent contribution you’ve made to the debate.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Again with Mr. Strawman.

                    Show me one (just one) statement by Weka that even comes close to assuming Assange’s guilt.

                    • les

                      how about this one…’The events as described by the women fit the legal definition of rape in Sweden. That they also may have had consensual sex with Assange and boasted about it doesn’t change that. You are arguing rape myths – once a woman has consented, she’s always consented. If a woman doesn’t behave like a proper rape victim afterwards she’s lying or it wasn’t really rape. Talking about their mature age and sexual experience as if that has anything to do with legal definitions of rape.’

                      as you can see he has taken sides.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, I can’t see that she has done anything of the sort: “as described by”.

                    • weka

                      That the statements made by the women fit the legal definition of rape in Sweden is a fact. Look it up if you don’t believe me. That doesn’t mean that Assange is guilty, so you might want to ask yourself why you think it does.

                      The rest of my comment is a selection of rape myths presented to the debate by Chooky. My comment is about Chooky not Assange’s guilt/innocence.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1

        Rapists the world over take note: join a protest group and you’ll have a ready made supply of apologists.

        • Chooky 5.3.1.1

          obviously spoken by a male and not a feminist

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1.1.1

            🙄

          • weka 5.3.1.1.2

            Rapists the world over take note: join a protest group and you’ll have a ready made supply of apologists.

            • KJT 5.3.1.1.2.1

              Not an apologist.

              I think Assaunge should be tried for rape.

              I don’t think he should be exposed to the rather dubious justice of the US.

              Just see some thing really fishy when a prosecutor decides there is no case to answer, then another re-opens the case after blatent political pressure.

              If we are listening to the women, apparently they did not want Assuange to be charged with rape, at least initially, but simply to have an HIV test.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                What’s the legal basis for any jurisdiction the US claims over Assange in the first place? If he has committed crimes against the US, their opening of mail and tapping of phones is worse.

                • KJT

                  How many people in Gitmo, have a legal basis for being there?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I think the answer is “none”, given the DoJ’s abandonment of Bush’s “enemy combatant” facade.

                    It’s irrelevant to Assange’s situation though: if charges are laid, they’ll be laid in a civilian court, not a republican fantasy world.

              • McFlock

                Actually, if Assange went to Sweden it would be more difficult to sent him to the US than just from the UK.

                • lprent

                  Looks to me like it would be exactly as difficult if the doctrine of specialty is invoked assuming the most liberal view of it and allowing that the individual so treated was able to use it.

                  I understand it is like the following…

                  Doctrine of Specialty is a principle of International law that is included in most extradition treaties, whereby a person who is extradited to a country to stand trial for certain criminal offenses may be tried only for those offenses and not for any other pre-extradition offenses. Once the asylum state extradites an individual to the requesting state under the terms of an extradition treaty, that person can be prosecuted only for crimes specified in the extradition request. This doctrine allows a nation to require the requesting nation to limit prosecution to declared offenses.

                  However at this point there are no charges at all because the Swedish prosecutor hasn’t made any. But I think it’d be damn unusual to have such a doctrine embedded in legislation for a prosecutor questioning to find a charge. What exactly would the principle be binding to? The whole point about the Napoleonic system is that the prosecutors are trying to find what charge that are taking to trial.

                  I don’t know the British law on extradition, however as far as I am aware it isn’t common for the principle to be embedded in legislation or treaty in commonwealth states. It would have to be in the treaty that governs extradition between the UK and Sweden for extracting someone for questioning rather than the general principle, and you’d want to read that wording very closely (I can’t see that anywhere).

                  But anyway the question would rise about who has the ability to raise that principle in court in practice anyway. Most of the time it would only be relevant if the UK objected to an extradition.

                  Umm… Try this.. http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1862&context=lsfp for an outline of the issues.

                  Some courts hold that only the surrendering state can object
                  to violations of the doctrine of specialty: the individual lacks the
                  power to raise the issue on her own. Others have contended that
                  individuals can assert the doctrine as long as the surrendering
                  state does not expressly waive its right to object to the charges. A
                  third possible approach suggests that individuals should always
                  have the right to assert the doctrine, even if the surrendering
                  state expressly consents to its violation. The conflict among these
                  approaches fundamentally rests on a theoretical disagreement
                  about the position of individuals in international law.

                  In short, as an individual, I’d want the UK government to at least state in writing the limits that Ny could question or charge on before I’d want to rely on such a vague international legal principle.

                  Good luck with that…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    a person who has been surrendered pursuant to a European arrest warrant shall not be extradited to a third State without the consent of the competent authority of the Member State which surrendered the person. Such consent shall be given in accordance with the Conventions by which that Member State is bound, as well as with its domestic law.

                    The competent authority being the judiciary, not the government, no?

                    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:en:HTML

          • tinfoilhat 5.3.1.1.3

            minus 100

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.3.1.2

          I figured you authoritarian lefties have a real problem with the concept of presumption of innocence, especially when it comes to your push button issues.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1.2.1

            I figured you rape apologists apologise for rapists.

            • Chooky 5.3.1.2.1.1

              I am NOT a rape apologist!…as a feminist who has walked on ‘Take Back the Night’ protests for women to walk safely at night (and learned a martial art so I could walk safely) …. I take rape very very seriously!…but I also take justice seriously ….and in this case it looks like a setup of a male ( a politically high profile male) ….and not rape….charges have not even been laid !…yet Assange has been tried the world over by the media and forced into house arrest for years….who has been hard done by here?

              • weka

                Deciding a woman who claims she has been raped is lying before you’ve seen the evidence fits the definition of rape apology. Even if the trial had happened, it would be extremely difficult to tell from this distance. Making the judgement you have in the context you have is rape apology IMO.

                Being supportive of changing rape culture in other ways doesn’t mean one can never be a rape apologist.

            • weka 5.3.1.2.1.2

              much of the political context resistance to changing rape culture strikes me as authoritarian (shut up about your woman issues while the real politics are being done etc).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                ^ this

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You can talk about rape culture all you want but today I am pleased that under immense and building pressure from her own justice and legal system, the Swedish prosecutor is no longer stalling the Assange investigation.

                At least the alleged victims are going to see more than years of stonewalling from Swedish authorities now.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It takes a particularly twisted form of ‘logic’ to claim that Sweden is holding things up. Positively Rovian.

                • weka

                  I don’t know enough about the Swedish legal system to know if this serves the women complainants or not. I suspect there is too much heat on all sides to have a clear perspective.

                  Be happy for Assange in the US persecution context by all means, the other context is way less clear.

                • Chooky

                  +100 CR….and we will see what sort of case they have….because on the face of it …given all the circumstantial evidence both leaked and put up deliberately by the accusers …..it looks like Assange has been done an injustice….and kept under lengthy house confinement without charges having been laid

                  • grumpy

                    -1000……Assange done an “injustice”??? WTF. It was him that ran to the Ecudorian embassy. He could easily have returned to Sweden and faced his accusers. The spin that Sweden, that most liberal of countries, would rendite him to the US is rubbish. Last time a US aircraft stopped there to refuel, it caused a huge scandal and a pledge never to have anything to do with US rendition again. Looks like your politics trumps your feminism.

            • les 5.3.1.2.1.3

              who is the rapist ?Consensual sex with a list of conditions seems a very tenuous arguement.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                An argument that Assange could easily instruct his lawyers to pursue, if he weren’t hiding from justice.

                PS: the alleged behaviour wasn’t consensual.

                • les

                  I guess technically consent can be withdrawn…just like debentures ..at any time.We need to protect our women…but we also need to apply common sense.

                  • felix

                    What do you mean “technically”? Consent can be withdrawn at any time, that’s not a technicality.

                    • les

                      so a woman agrees to have sex with you …just as you are about to climax…she says get off ..now..whats that?

                    • felix

                      Um, I don’t know what you call that, but if someone doesn’t want your dick inside their body you have to take it out.

                      It’s not that complicated. Basic good manners.

                    • les

                      have you ever had sex …with a woman?

                    • Have you ever had sex… with a woman who got a say in what you were up to?

                    • felix

                      Have you ever had sex… with a woman… who wanted to have sex with you?

                    • greywarshark

                      Has a consent document ever been drawn up that can be accessed on the internet and printed off and carried around in a little pouch along with the condom? I feel that this would bring some practical result to all this hooha which is bloody boring.

                    • felix

                      What might it say in this document that would be of any interest to people who don’t seem to know what consent is?

                    • weka

                      @ grey. I agree. I’d like all the men who think they can have sex with a woman while she is asleep to get written permission from said woman that they can have sex with her asleep anytime they like.

                  • I guess technically consent can be withdrawn…just like debentures ..at any time.We need to protect our women…but we also need to apply common sense.

                    Sure, as long as we’re not defining “common sense” as constituting acceptance of “well, she shouldn’t have got her gear off if she didn’t want me to do whatever shit I felt like doing” – which is the meaning you seem to be giving it here.

                    • les

                      in this instance ,it appears that the ‘deal’ was coitus interruptus’..withdraw before ejaculation,but pre cum that can result in pregnancy is fine.

                    • felix

                      If that was the deal, then that was the deal, les.

                      You may well think it’s a silly deal, but it’s not your vagina, so meh.

                    • weka

                      It’s been a while since I read up on this, but from what I remember there are issues around having sex with one of the women while she was asleep (that’s rape unless you have consent), and of having sex without a condom (illegal if the woman has said no to that). Something like that. You can look it up if you want.

                      But the point is that the events as decribed by the women do fit the legal definitions of rape in Sweden. Quite a few men seem to not realise this. It’s also true in NZ (eg having sex with a woman while she is asleep or too drunk to know what is going on).

                      “withdraw before ejaculation,but pre cum that can result in pregnancy is fine.”

                      Women get to decide what happens with their bodies, not you or whoever is having sex with them. The law supports this.

          • weka 5.3.1.2.2

            “I figured you authoritarian lefties have a real problem with the concept of presumption of innocence, especially when it comes to your push button issues.”

            Please link to the people in this thread who have said that Assange is guilty.

    • weka 5.4

      Speaking as a woman, what I do know, is that there are ALWAYS at least two sides to the story.

      I have seen for myself cases where women have not told the truth, or the full story when sexual offending is alleged.

      In saying that – I am not trying to minimise the offence, or the effect on the victim, but just making the point that sometimes it is the male who is the victim, if/when the allegations are NOT true.

      Yeah, like that really needed to be pointed out. Because people working to end rape culture really don’t know already. /sarc

      Talking about two sides to the story in this context is a political act. The big problem with the Assange debate is the inability of the broader left to talk about the US extradiction issue without engaging in rape apology or outright denial of the possibility that Assange is a rapist. So here we are a number of years down the track and still people feel a need to make political statements that have an undermining effect on efforts to end rape culture.

      If you want to say there are two sides to every story and not align yourself with the rape apologists, then also say something about how lying about rape is rare, and about the very real prejudices and damage that women who report rape face just for speaking up.

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.4.1

        Frankly the anti-Assange crowd were exactly that: anti-Assange. They weren’t interested in seeing justice done for the alleged women victims in Sweden. Or if they were, they certainly didn’t push for the Swedish prosecutors to move ahead with the case for years so that the alleged victims could at least get their day in court. Instead they spent their time and energy energetically villifying Assange.

        Which makes me think that’s what the whole process was all about.

        • weka 5.4.1.1

          Who are the anti-Assange crowd? I’ve really only taken part in coversations here on ts, and those fitted the description I give above about the left i.e. the inability to talk about the extradition issues without engaging in rape apology. Most of the feminist perspectives on this have been about that too (really just trying to point out that the rape apology was unnecessary). I really haven’t followed the whole extradiction, US out to get Assange debate.

        • Chooky 5.4.1.2

          +100 CR

        • Anne 5.4.1.3

          Thanks CR. Regrettably that is certainly how it is starting to look to me.

        • Tracey 5.4.1.4

          And in this thread alone there seems to be a pro Assange crowd who have decided the women are liars being manipulated by the US and therefore dismiss their version of events and have no interest in seeing justice done for the alleged women victims in Sweden and have placed the alleged rapists rights above theirs.

          • Colonial Rawshark 5.4.1.4.1

            Nope. The alleged victims claims are serious and Assange needs to answer to them in a Swedish court IF the Swedish prosecutor decides to stop stone walling and actually lay charges. If found guilty in a Swedish court of law, he should be punished via the Swedish correctional system.

            However, the alleged victims will NOT get justice, if Assange is instead whisked away to the US to face other irrelevant charges, and where their own claims get turned into mere pretexts for doing so.

            Anyone who is serious and sincere about making sure that the alleged Swedish victims get justice should be very concerned to ensure that doesn’t happen. Instead of being motivated to see Assange done over for being a bad man, doesn’t really matter how.

            • Tracey 5.4.1.4.1.1

              The alleged victims claims are serious and Alleged offender Assange needs to answer to them in a Swedish court. If found guilty in a Swedish court of law, he should be punished via the Swedish correctional system.

              FIFY

              Yes, we agree.

              Can you post the link to where the USA wants to extradite him before any trial in Sweden?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Or before he has served any required sentence in Sweden.

                • Tracey

                  yup, both thanks. Alot has been said about a presumption he will be extradicted to the US before Sweden does its thing, I am just asking those offering this view to save me the time of searching for that source.

              • weka

                +1

                I’d also still like to see an informed analysis of the prosecutor’s claim that interviewing Assange in the UK weakens the case. A whole lot of people are saying she is wrong but not saying why other than that delay is wrong.

                “My attitude has been that the forms for a hearing with him at the embassy in London are such that the quality of the interrogation would be inadequate and that he needs to be present in Sweden at a trial. That assessment remains,” Ny said in a statement.

                “Now time is running out and I therefore believe that I have to accept a loss of quality in the investigation and take the risk that the hearing will not take the investigation forward, because no other option is available as long as Assange does not make himself available in Sweden,” she said.

                • Hi weka,

                  I think your (repeated) question is a very good one.

                  However, I’d also like to hear the Prosecutor’s assertion supported with an equally clear analysis and argument.

                  At present it is mere assertion that the “forms for a hearing” would not lead to a quality interrogation and that it “would be complicated and largely pointless because – should sufficient grounds emerge – he would still have to travel to Sweden for trial“.

                  No explanation of the ‘complications’ is given and the fact that “he would still have to travel to Sweden for trial” may well make it “pointless” but that is not an argument for the reduced quality of an interrogation at the embassy.

                  There is no case made by the prosecutor, so far as I can see, that identifies what aspect of those ‘forms’ is inadequate to a quality investigation.

                  Has the embassy (or Assange) stipulated some (previously) unacceptable conditions beyond the interrogation needing to occur in the embassy? If so, what are they?

                  If not, why should interrogating him in the embassy be in itself such a problem that it would jeopardise the quality of the investigation? (I’m assuming, but do not know, that Ecuador and Sweden are on perfectly functional diplomatic terms and so would accept each others’ assurances about process.)

                  We can speculate as to what the Prosecutor might have in mind in support of her claim but speculation is all it would be. Those reasons have not been made explicit – in this article at least (if she clarifies her concerns elsewhere I’d be interested to read any other links).

                  That means that I – and presumably anyone else – have no better sense of the basis of her assertion than I do of what an analysis leading to a ‘rebuttal’ of her claim would look like.

                  In fact, I’m not sure how a ‘rebuttal’ could be launched given the lack of a publicly articulated case by the Prosecutor for her own claims about the quality of the investigation. It would amount to boxing at shadows – a kind of ‘Yes it is’, ‘No it isn’t’ debate which would make us none the wiser.

                  My own view on the broader issue is straightforward.

                  Assange should be investigated, interviewed and, if determined appropriate, brought to trial. The allegations are serious and he is not above the law.

                  Of course the problem is that he has made use of the widely tolerated practice of asking for sanctuary in an embassy. If it were not recognised and accepted (and in that broad sense ‘legal’ or at least conventional) practice the United Kingdom police would presumably have already entered the embassy and re-arrested him.

                  It may not be to everyone’s liking that sanctuary in embassies is an internationally accepted practice but it is – largely as a consequence of their ‘inviolability’.

                  The inviolability of embassies is part of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and so forms part of what amounts to an international legal framework around these matters.

                  of course, there’s no guarantee in requests for sanctuary. Ecuador could have refused his request if they considered it to be specious and purely self-serving. And at any time they could terminate it.

                  Ecuador can of course be criticised for its decision to grant him sanctuary. But it cannot be said that seeking sanctuary in and of itself is unacceptable, given the convention upon which it is possible is accepted by most states.

                  At least it could not be said to be unacceptable any more than Sweden – were it to eventuate – refusing to extradite Assange to the US despite the charges he faces there. Would that, too, be unacceptable and would Sweden be aiding Assange to thwart the rule of law?

                  I also assume that Ecuador, as a sovereign country, has made its own assessment of the risks to Assange’s safety arising from not granting him sanctuary in the same way that Sweden, as a sovereign country, would make its own assessment of his safety if they had possession of him and been requested to extradite him to the US.

                  The one difference I can see between these two cases is that Sweden has codified laws surrounding extradition (which specify criteria) whereas the granting of sanctuary in an embassy presumably is not based directly in statute (because of its rarity and varied nature) but is a decision made by an executive (I don’t know if this is true or not for Ecuador but I assume it is).

                  I also assume that Ecuador does not have an open door policy at its embassies for anyone and everyone wishing to avoid criminal charges being laid against them or for avoiding extradition processes.

                  Therefore, if we accept that Sweden generally acts in good faith and would exercise due diligence in extradition decisions then why would we also not accord Ecuador the same ‘benefit of the doubt’ when it comes to its decisions over granting sanctuary?

                  Is Ecuador less trustworthy than Sweden in international affairs? Perhaps it is, but that argument needs to be made. Is it seduced by Assange’s fame? Perhaps it is but, once again, that argument needs to be made.

                  But to emphasise the main point once more: The absolutely primary aim should be to have a proper investigation carried out into the allegations and for that to happen as swiftly as possible.

                  To that aim, and in the circumstances as they are at present, it seems to me that it is up to the governments of Ecuador, Sweden and the United Kingdom to find a diplomatic solution to ensure that this investigation happens (unless Assange changes his mind about seeking sanctuary in the embassy). That seems to be happening at present, though obviously the prosecutor still has qualms about the process.

                  If such a way forward can’t be found then the alleged victims, Assange and all of us will have to live with that fact and all of its generally negative consequences.

                  It’s interesting to remember the one incident (in the UK) of an embassy being stormed. That was the Iranian embassy in 1980 (post-Islamic revolution in Iran).

                  It was stormed because terrorists had occupied it and held its occupants hostage. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time. Most of the hostages were Iranian embassy staff. The hostage takers were “an Iranian Arab group campaigning for Arab national sovereignty in the southern region of Khūzestān Province“.

                  It’s interesting because, since deposing the Shah in 1979, the Iranian government had itself demanded the Shah be returned from the US, which had granted him asylum, to face charges of crimes against the Iranian people.

                  That led, indirectly, to the US Embassy hostage crisis which, as Wikipedia puts it,was seen as an egregious violation of the principles of international law which granted diplomats immunity from arrest and diplomatic compounds’ inviolability.

                  It was a messy geopolitical web woven by a series of events ripe with contradiction when it came to matters of principle (e.g., asylum within countries and embassy inviolability).

                  The current episode is a similar mess that’s held together by the highly politicised interface between law, international conventions and politics.

                  As ever, the right of the women involved to see justice done is ‘collateral damage’ of other processes that are largely insensitive to their needs. That will come as no surprise to any woman who has been through similar processes (even if not on this ‘grand’ geopolitical scale).

                  For that matter it will be no surprise to anyone caught up in processes dominated by competing powerful interests that have little regard for the less powerful individuals involved – i.e., much of the political, commercial and legal systems.

                  The ‘machine’ continues to eat people.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    In the context of Ecuadorian – US relations, in 2011, Wikileaks’ release of US diplomatic cables led to the expulsion of the US ambassador.

                    • That’s a good reminder, One Anonymous Bloke.

                      It could mean either that Ecuador is doing an indirect – and completely inappropriate – ‘tit for tat’ with the U.S. or that, from ‘personal’ experience, has genuine concerns over the capacity of secretive processes to undermine more manifest ones.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Or both, although I fear McFlock’s comment about bargaining chips is on the money. Groan: no pun intended.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    Thanks for a thoughtful post, Puddleglum. I almost abbreviated your name to PG, but caught myself in time. The US and A currently protect quite a few people fleeing justice in their own countries. One well known case is a scumbag who blew up a plane full of innocent people, but seeing it was Cuban….

                  • McFlock

                    Lots to read, most of it pretty good.

                    A couple of points:

                    Is Ecuador less trustworthy than Sweden in international affairs?

                    No, but that’s not saying much.

                    To some degree, Assange is now a bargaining chip for Ecuador’s foreign policy, like Carlos the Jackal was for Sudan or the Lockerbie agents were for Libya: credit chips when you need to buy back good relations.

                    I’m not saying that’s the sole or primary reason for Ecuador granting asylum, but even in NZ we’ve seen how diplomats are happy for alleged sex offenders to escape justice. Different priorities in the different branches of government.

                    As an aside, that different priorities approach also goes for the single example of Swedish rendition, where the Swedish intelligence service denied the victims access to lawyers and handed them over to the CIA before the victims’ lawyers could act. Big scandal.

                    At least it could not be said to be unacceptable any more than Sweden – were it to eventuate – refusing to extradite Assange to the US despite the charges he faces there. Would that, too, be unacceptable and would Sweden be aiding Assange to thwart the rule of law?

                    Extradition generally involves the offence being illegal in both jurisdictions and the requesting country not having a disproportionate punishment for that offence, e.g. the death penalty. As well as defences against political prosecution.

                    Asylum is a purely political decision.

                    • Thanks McFlock, those are good points.

                      Granting asylum is often political – e.g., the Shah. Extradition (both compliance with and refusal to) can be like that sometimes as well but, as I acknowledged, the process tends to at least be guided by explicit principles and criteria.

                      I guess my point was that asylum/sanctuary is ‘accepted’ or ‘tolerated’ in the greater scheme of things so, in that sense, has legitimacy (it’s usually better to respect embassy inviolability despite the possibility of politically motivated decisions over asylum).

                      Thanks again.

                  • weka

                    Thanks Puddleglum, that’s a great comment and I appreciate you taking the time to lay out some things so thoughtfully. Am also appreciating your comment near the end about women in general.

                    • Thank you weka.

                      I’ve also appreciated your role in this thread and others.

                      None of us are here to agree all the time but I hope we are usually here to discuss and think.

                      On your last point, I have never needed convincing over how women are generally treated. I see and hear it all of the time. (Humans have exquisitely refined ways of harming others, intentionally and otherwise – that then gets built into social structures and institutions, intentionally and otherwise.)

                      I think if I were a woman I’d be permanently incandescent with rage – in a sublimated and focused way, of course, because that’s just me 🙂

                      Then again, I experience that state quite a lot anyway.

                    • weka

                      god knows there is plenty to be incandescent about in the world.

                      It would be interesting to see what would happen if your comment was put up as a post (not that I would wish that on you currently 😉 ). Whether the considered tone would change the tone of the debate.

      • Psycho Milt 5.4.2

        The big problem with the Assange debate is the inability of the broader left to talk about the US extradiction issue without engaging in rape apology or outright denial of the possibility that Assange is a rapist.

        Which is kind of weird when you read these threads. It’s entirely possible that yes he did do those things he’s accused of, and yes he does believe the Swedish government refuses to interview him in London because it wants to hand him over to the US government. If it was me in the circumstance in which both those things were true (which it wouldn’t be because if you tell me where you don’t want to find any of my bodily excretions, I’ll take some trouble to make sure I don’t put any there – it seems only polite. Oh, and also because I haven’t been a huge embarrassment to the US government), I wouldn’t want to go either, regardless of whether the Swedes had a case or not.

      • Tracey 5.4.3

        PLus fucking 1

    • Tracey 5.5

      What does you being a woman have to do with there being two sides to every story?

      I am glad you understand there are two sides to every story. Now, if you could pass that knowledge on to folks like Grace Haden, you may avoid some unnecessary harm to innocent folks during her and others often blinkered approach to things she just “knows” is true.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Yes Weka – in my view – what I said DID need to be spelled out.

    Because I have had arguments with some ‘feminists’ – who are of the view that the alleged female victim of an alleged sexual offence should be believed – effectively ‘end of story’.

    That’s not my view.

    Again – there ARE, at least two sides to the story, and sometimes alleged female victims DON’T always tell the truth.

    Sorry if this is an ‘inconvenient truth’.

    Penny Bright

    • weka 6.1

      Doesn’t matter why you did it (although your rationale would make more sense if this thread had people in it claiming that women never lie). What matters is that you are on a left wing political blog aligning yourself with rape apologists in one of the biggest global debates about rape culture that we have seen. Like I said, there were ways to talk about the issue without doing that (and that’s the whole point about the politics of the Assange issue).

    • Chooky 6.2

      +100 Penny

    • Sorry if this is an ‘inconvenient truth’.

      It’s not an ‘inconvenient truth,’ it’s a statement of the obvious that needed saying on this thread about as much as any other statement of the obvious needs saying. Do you have any contribution that rises above the level of “buses have wheels?”

    • Tracey 6.4

      Apply the same premise to your own actions and those you affiliate with Penny and your statement will have greater credibility. I am aware of people, such as Grace Haden, who do not apply the two sides to every story mantra and have wrecked innocent lives along the way.

      And could you learn to use the bloody reply button… or is it all just a bit beneath you?

  7. Penny Bright 7

    So Weka – what is deciding an alleged rape victim is ‘telling the truth’ – before hearing the evidence?

    Penny Bright

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Since no-one has done so that’s a moot point.

      • weka 7.1.1

        +1

      • marty mars 7.1.2

        yep true – bloody hell I though Stephanie was being pessimistic with her first post but it was called correctly and now this has turned into… this… and this is just shit imo – fuck this shit I’m taking the kid down the skatepark…

    • Tracey 7.2

      WHEN YOU READ A COMMENT BY SOMEONE, AT THE BOTTOM RIGHT YOU WILL SEE A REPLY BUTTON. PRESS THIS BUTTON AND YOUR “REPLY” TOT HAT PERSON WILLBE SHOWN AS A “REPLY” TO THEM. THIS ALLOW THE “CONVERSATION” FLOWS AND EVERYONE CAN FOLLOW IT. HOWEVER IF YOU WANT IT TO JUST BE ALL ABOUT YOU, KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

      • weka 7.2.1

        I think she’s on a phone. However you can switch the phone to the main website instead of the mobile view (bottom of page) and get the reply buttons back, which would be the polite thing to do in a long conversation like this.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    I’ll call it as I see it.

    Situation normal – you don’t have to like it.

    Penny Bright

  9. Pasupial 9

    Justice for an accused rapist does not deny justice for his accusers. But in this case justice is being denied both to accusers and accused.

    The judicial process has been corrupted. On the one hand, the names of the women have been circulated on the internet; they have been trashed, accused of setting a “honey trap”, and seen their allegations dismissed as “not real rape”. On the other hand, Assange is dealt with by much of the media as if he were guilty, though he has not even been charged. It is not for us to decide whether or not the allegations are true and whether what happened amounts to rape or sexual violence – we don’t have all the facts and what has been said so far has not been tested. But we do know that rape victims’ right to anonymity and defendants’ right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty are both crucial to a just judicial process.
    Advertisement

    Swedish and British courts are responsible for how the women’s allegations have been handled. As with every rape case, the women are not in charge of the case, the state is.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange

    • Chooky 9.1

      thanks for that link :

      ‘ We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited ‘

      – ‘ For decades we have campaigned to get rapists caught, charged and convicted. But the pursuit of Assange is political’

      “When Julian Assange was first arrested, we were struck by the unusual zeal with which he was being pursued for rape allegations.

      It seems even clearer now, that the allegations against him are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction.

      Justice for an accused rapist does not deny justice for his accusers. But in this case justice is being denied both to accusers and accused”…

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange

      …(and these woman are asking for justice…they are NOT rape apologists)

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1

        +100

        the socially liberal left loves calling those who seek a fair trial for Assange and his alleged victims “rape apologists” as some kind of sneering put down.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          🙄

          Who needs Pete George?

        • Chooky 9.1.1.2

          @CR….and sometimes i wonder if they really are on the Left

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.2.1

            That must be it! Everyone who thinks you’re a rape apologist is in the CIA.

            • Chooky 9.1.1.2.1.1

              think maybe you got that around the wrong way

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

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I think maybe you missed the criminal indictments resulting from those human rights abuses.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  So a few of the many thousands of US human rights abuses in Iraq get put in front of a court. Impressive indeed.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  You sound a lot like the hasbara apologists who point out that once every ten years, a maniac settler gets fined for machine gunning Palestinians harvesting their olives. They use different words though.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Yeah, when your whole ‘argument’ (feeble drivel) relies on impugning my character, it’s not surprising you miss the point so spectacularly.

                    No, I’m not going to spell it out for you.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      My whole argument? Hardly. Just a comment on how you come across, as a great defender of some imaginary version of the US and A and the rule of law.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, that’s not it. Try harder.

          • Tracey 9.1.1.2.2

            yeah chooky, anyone who disagrees with your view on this is not a true left believer, we are fascists infiltrating the voice of the labour movement.

        • Tracey 9.1.1.3

          Cos you don’t have a history of disliking feminism on this blog…

        • weka 9.1.1.4

          “the socially liberal left loves calling those who seek a fair trial for Assange and his alleged victims “rape apologists” as some kind of sneering put down.”

          That is an outright lie CV. People get called a rape aplogist for making specific statemements regarding rape that are rape apologies, not for making statements about Assange’s safety re extradiction to the US. That even after all this time you can’t tell the difference is on you mate.

          • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1.4.1

            *Shrug*

            Anyone who is serious about seeing the alleged victims in Sweden get true justice should also be fighting against Assange being sent to the USA. I’ve never seen you or TRP make that very obvious point. Instead the anti-Assange disgusted with him crowd just want to see him done in, one way or another, coz the scum deserves it.

            Because once Assange has been extradited to the USA, the Swedish women will never get their day in court, will never get justice, and will have had their significant complaints turned into mere pretexts and tools for the US to use for its own national security purposes.

            Haven’t seen you or TRP make that obvious point either.

            • Tracey 9.1.1.4.1.1

              *shrug*

              People get called a rape aplogist for making specific statemements regarding rape that are rape apologies, not for making statements about Assange’s safety re extradiction to the US.

              That you shrug off the difference articulated by Weka is a shame. Neither Weka nor I have said we believe Assange should be extradicted to the US.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Neither have any of you said that Sweden should guarantee that they will not allow him to be taken to the USA.

                • weka

                  I haven’t followed that part of the case closely enough to have an opinion. I’m happy for people who have been following to make the arguments. That I don’t have an opinion about the exradiction in no way invalidates my arguments about rape culture and the failure of the broader left to not engage in rape apology. They’re separate things.

                  That you now insist that concern for the women getting justice is a high priority is disingenuous given your arguments in the past. That you insist that my lack of action re Assange’s potential extradiction somehow means that I don’t support justice for the women is worse. That you now want to conflate the two things as part of your political argument is pretty fucked up. I’ve said this to you before CV, just be honest and you will get far more respect even if I disagree with you.

                  “Because once Assange has been extradited to the USA, the Swedish women will never get their day in court,”

                  Yeah so you keep saying. Link now or it’s not true.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    just be honest and you will get far more respect even if I disagree with you.

                    ^this.

                  • just saying

                    It has been frustrating reading this debate because arguments made by Weta and others seem to repeatedly receive “straw man” arguments in response.
                    If people think that Weta really means something other than what she is actually saying, maybe they should just come out and say so.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’m commenting on a post about how and why the Swedish prosecutor has finally given in to international pressure, local pressure, and common sense, to take a 65 minute plane flight to London and actually push the investigation forward and question Assange as a prelude to laying charges.

                      weka’s point about the “broader left participating in rape apology” is the true straw man here, IMO.

                    • weka

                      that’s not the only thing you are commenting on.

                      “weka’s point about the “broader left participating in rape apology” is the true straw man here, IMO.”

                      So you assert, but give nothing to back up that assertion. I know you don’t like the idea I’ve presented, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    “Because once Assange has been extradited to the USA, the Swedish women will never get their day in court,”

                    Yeah so you keep saying. Link now or it’s not true.

                    ?

                    What are you talking about. You want me to link to a future event that hasn’t happened yet? Why? How about using logic.

                    What do you think is going to happen to the Swedish case after the US sentences Assange to 35 years in prison?

                    • weka

                      This has been dealt with above. People including yourself are stating opinion as fact. Don’t be surprised then if you are asked for evidence. You seem certain that Assange would go straight from the UK to the US. That’s fine, you are entitled to your opinion, and it’s possible it’s a well informed opinion, but please stop making shit up about it being fact.

                      “What are you talking about. You want me to link to a future event that hasn’t happened yet? Why? How about using logic”

                      No, I’m suggesting there are legal processes to be followed, which should be linkable, and if you believe the UK or Sweden instead is going to break the law, then you can express that opinion, but as you point out, no-one can link to a future event that hasn’t happened yet.

                    • Macro

                      The argument is that there is no reason to believe that Assange would be extradited to the States. The opposite could well be argued, and I believe is the stronger case, there is no reason to believe that he would not be. In support of the former is the premise that Sweden is a “liberal” country and would never do such a thing. Against that premise however is the fact that submissions have recently been made to the UN by a large number of legal organisations around the world concerned as to the issues regarding liberty, due process, and fair trial, with respect to the preliminary stages of investigations in Sweden.
                      On the other hand as John Pilger reports here:http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-siege-of-julian-assange-is-a-farce-a-special-investigation

                      The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange’s life and freedom from the United States – should he leave the embassy – is overwhelming. On May 14 this year, US court files revealed that a “multi subject investigation” against Assange was “active and ongoing”.

                      Furthermore

                      Sweden has drawn so close to Washington that it has allowed secret CIA “renditions” – including the illegal deportation of refugees. The rendition and subsequent torture of two Egyptian political refugees in 2001 was condemned by the UN Committee against Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; the complicity and duplicity of the Swedish state are documented in successful civil litigation and WikiLeaks cables. In the summer of 2010, Assange had been in Sweden to talk about WikiLeaks revelations of the war in Afghanistan – in which Sweden had forces under US command.

                      my bold.
                      In summary there are those who argue that he need not fear extradition to the states from Sweden – despite that fact that Sweden will give no such assurance. There is however much evidence to support the opposite contention, that Assange would be handed over to the States were he to go to Sweden.

                      According to documents released by Snowden, Assange is on a “Manhunt target list”. Washington’s bid to get him, say Australian diplomatic cables, is “unprecedented in scale and nature”. In Alexandria, Virginia, a secret grand jury has spent four years attempting to contrive a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted. This is not easy. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama lauded whistleblowers as “part of a healthy democracy [and they] must be protected from reprisal”. Under President Obama, more whistleblowers have been prosecuted than under all other US presidents combined.

                      With regards the allegations of rape….
                      There has been a great deal of hot air and not much knowledge written here by some commentators – all of whom see it as the bounded duty to hound anyone who does not agree with their point of view that accusations imply guilt.

                      One of the women’s messages makes clear that she did not want any charges brought against Assange, “but the police were keen on getting a hold on him”. She was “shocked” when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”. She “did not want to accuse JA of anything” and “it was the police who made up the charges”. (In a witness statement, she is quoted as saying that she had been “railroaded by police and others around her”.)

                      Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga worthy of Kafka.

                    • Pasupial

                      Macro

                      Thanks for that link; Pilger is a serious journalist – which is becoming an endangered creature these days. Particularly, thanks for the quote regarding the Swedish rendition of those refugees to Egypt.

                      As Jan M says below; there’s been a lot more heat than light generated on this comment thread.

                • Boring. Sweden won’t extradite if the death penalty is a possible outcome. You know this already.

                  But more importantly, the possibility of extradition to another country is not a defence against charges of rape, should they be laid. The best thing to do if you are worried about being extradited to the States is not break the laws of the country you are staying in. Assange is a significant public figure, but that doesn’t give him a free pass to assault people or commit other crimes.

                  Just for fun CV, can you give us a list of the other people you like who should never be investigated for crimes they are alleged to have committed because America?

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Hey TRP, are you siding with the imperial powers and being flippant about the 30 or 40 years prison Assange would face on multiple counts of the WWI Espionage Act?

                    What a surprise. I guess it’s not the death penalty, at least.

                    The best thing to do if you are worried about being extradited to the States is not break the laws of the country you are staying in. Assange is a significant public figure, but that doesn’t give him a free pass to assault people or commit other crimes.

                    Yet another authoritarian Lefty who hasn’t heard of the presumption of innocence. Look, why not just skip the show trial, go to the summary sentencing and get it over with?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.4.1.2

              Got any more specious false conditions that everyone else has to meet before you’ll stop fucking your pig?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Or just go with the summary sentencing and execution, whatever legal process suits you self righteous authoritarians the best.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Nice strawman. When you have an actual argument don’t be shy.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Any other bothersome “specious” legal processes you want done away with?

                    • weka

                      You seem to be doing away with the legal process for rape complaints in Sweden.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What Weka said.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You seem to be doing away with the legal process for rape complaints in Sweden.

                      LOL. Is that the best dishwater you have? Just weak.

                      The Swedish prosecutor has been stonewalling this case for years, and finally due to domestic and international pressure, is going to take action. Yet I haven’t seen you criticise her for delaying justice for the alleged victims for years simply because she didn’t want to take a 65 minute plane flight to London.

                      The Swedish Bar Association has called the prosecutors move well overdue, and I agree with them.

      • Good on them for wanting justice. They must be really pissed at Assange for avoiding it.

      • Tracey 9.1.3

        Just so you are clear. I do not want Assange extradicted until the allegations in Sweden are dealt with and any sentence (if any) is served.

        That is different however to running a kind of pseudo defence for him on the basis that women havent laid charges (which they cannot) and were expereicnes sexually and mature.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.2

      +1 Pasupial. I’m glad you’re back.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    +100 Chooky

    Penny Bright

  11. JanM 11

    Thanks for those contributions, Parsupial and Chooky – finally some sanity entering the debate!.
    There are two distinct issues here, and continuing to confuse the two engenders more heat than light.

  12. Murray Rawshark 12

    I would always have been suspicious about the motivation behind this case. The two women involved did not make complaints of rape. They wanted Assange tested for STDs. There was no case until the prosecutor Marianne Ny grabbed hold of it. Assange had been allowed to leave Sweden. He had repeatedly offered to be interviewed, either in England, or providing certain conditions were met, in Sweden. If justice were the only concern, I think the prosecutor would have taken him up on his offer.

    I have also always been suspicious about the authoritarian left.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      You’re a dirty rape apologist you are.

      • Murray Rawshark 12.1.1

        I had a serious think about that and I really don’t think so.

        • Chooky 12.1.1.1

          i agree….you are NOT a “rape apologist” and nor is CR….and nor am I….and nor is anyone who has serious reservations about how Assange has been treated and how the whole affair/setup has been conducted and by whom…this includes many feminist anti-rape activists in Britain

      • Tracey 12.1.2

        For whatever reason women’s rights seems to be a hot button for you.

      • Tracey 12.1.3

        And you are guilty of what you often accuse others of, including in this “debate”.

  13. Ecosse_Maidy 13

    Does this mean he will be able to pop out to Mcds? As it really must be doing his head in calling out for Dominoes.

  14. In reply to Marco at 8.13 pm …

    “This matter has nothing to do with whether of not Assange committed an act of sexual abuse.”

    Actually it has quite a lot to do with that. He wouldn’t be in the Ecuadorian were the Swedish authorities not trying to extradite him for that.

    “It has everything to do with the fact that he is responsible for alerting the World to a great deal of naughty shenanigans by the governments of the Western World and in particular the US.”

    Really? Didn’t he mostly release diplomatic cables? The “naughty shenanigans” don’t seem to have been very embarrassing for the US or any other country, except for the fact of the leak which was very embarrassing for the US.

    “If you do not believe that the US would do everything in their power to get their hands on him then you are very much mistaken.”

    I don’t believe that. They haven’t even sought his extradition, something that was easily within their power when he was running around in London, the capital city of the US’s closest ally (and the country that would have been most embarrassed by the information that Snowdon stole, if there was much embarrassing in it). It probably also would have been within the US’s power to kidnap him from London if that had been their intention, yet strangely they didn’t seem to care enough.

    “I have worked in an environment and have been subject to the NZ Official Secrets Act.”

    You must be very old. The Official Secrets Act was repealed in 1982.

    ” Positively Vetted by the SIS etc.”

    Same with every junior Beehive staffer.

    “The first lecture we ever had on how foreign governments obtain information is by sexual means. (i.e. don’t get yourself into situations that might be embarrassing later!) In other words – this is the first trick in the book.”

    That lecture must have been a very very long time ago, given you have been subject to the Official Secrets Act.

    • Macro 14.1

      That lecture must have been a very very long time ago, given you have been subject to the Official Secrets Act.

      Yes it was – 1974 in fact. and yes I know lots are PVed.

      Lt Cdr (Rtd)

    • Murray Rawshark 14.2

      @ Hooton
      Please try to remember that you are an apologist for the seppos, not their spokesman. What you say about their motivations is guesswork, led astray by a desire to please the powerful.

    • Tracey 14.3

      Are you aware if the US want to Extradite him? If they do, what for?

  15. Macro 15

    Really? Didn’t he mostly release diplomatic cables? The “naughty shenanigans” don’t seem to have been very embarrassing for the US or any other country, except for the fact of the leak which was very embarrassing for the US.

    You really need to keep up!
    https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Bundestag_on_German_CIA_blacksites_and_detainee_transfers,_31_Mar_2008
    https://wikileaks.org/aus-suppression-order/
    https://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Green_Dam_censorship_system_internal_brief_to_Chinese_government,_Jan_2008
    https://wikileaks.org/tpp-enviro/
    etc
    etc.
    And yes! The US really really want to get their dirty little hands on him.

    • Those are the embarrassing cables?

      And for the most powerful country in history, which you seem to believe is totally immoral or amoral, which you assert “really really” wants to get the alleged rapist in custody, the US has been pretty slow and inefficient.

      The Manning material gets posted on wikileaks in 2010, a criminal investigation begins the same year, Assange is in London from 2010 to mid 2012 yet the US doesn’t try to extradite or kidnap him, and still hasn’t sought to extradite him …

      But perhaps you and your mates are right.

      Perhaps the US decided it would be better to orchestrate the “rape” thing in Sweden, and then use the Swedish government to try to get him out of London and to the US via Stockholm (which would create extraordinary shame for Sweden and lead to the defeat of its govt at the next election) rather than talk to its close ally, the UK government about an extradition …

      I think the US certainly wants to get Snowden (and it has imprisoned Manning), but Assange not so much. He only obtained and published the information so going after him would also require them to go after everyone else who has published it since, included much of the US media.

      Far more plausible to me is that Assange is a rapist who wants to escape the consequences of that.

      • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.1

        Hooton thinks the Wikileaks cables and Assange’s role in releasing them are no big deal, but what would he know.

        Because in 2012 the head of the US Senate very powerful intelligence oversight committee, Dianne Feinstein, thinks otherwise: saying that Assange should be prosecuted under the US WWI era espionage act:

        THE head of the US Senate’s powerful intelligence oversight committee has renewed calls for Julian Assange to be prosecuted for espionage.

        The US Justice Department has also confirmed WikiLeaks remains the target of an ongoing criminal investigation, calling into question Australian government claims that the US has no interest in extraditing Mr Assange.

        ”I believe Mr Assange has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States,” the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein, said in a written statement provided to the Herald. ”He has caused serious harm to US national security, and he should be prosecuted accordingly.”

        http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-senator-calls-to-prosecute-assange-20120701-21b3n.html

      • Macro 15.1.2

        You know as well as I, that there is a raft of documents on the wikileaks site – I have provided just a quick few to show that it is not just the States that have been caused embarrassment by these documents. For instance the first relates to Germany’s role in the rendition of captured men. The second related to Australian censorship of Indonesian corruption to preserve “International Relations” , and the third relates to China’s suppression of criticism relating to the “Green Dam”. Showing that there are many nations who aren’t all that happy with Mr Assange.
        Maybe he is just the publisher, but I think you are well familiar with the phrase “Shoot the messenger”.
        As CV has pointed out as well – your saying that he is not under investigation, or your implication that the US have no desire to talk to him, is utter nonsense. The Espionage Act carries with it the death Penalty, and the US have no problem with killing people.

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.1.2.1

          Utah has just brought back the firing squad, due to a lack of lethal injection chems. Delightful little place.

      • Tracey 15.1.3

        How is your fight for Justice for the victims of Roastbusters going Matthew? I haven’t read anything from you for ages?

  16. Reply to CV at 9.10.

    “Assange has looked at how Kiriaku, Snowden, Rosen, Manning Binney, Drake and others have been treated by the US justice system and decided you are full of shit. Rule of law, what a joke.”

    Of them, isn’t Manning the only one in jail? (Kiraku is out after a brief time inside). And Manning was, after all, an intelligence officer for the army who pled guilty to stealing a massive amount of information.

    Assange is not in the same category as any of them. He runs a website that published the stuff, the best bits of which have since been published by much of the US media. He isn’t at much more risk than any of the others who have since published it.

    And the US hasn’t charged him with anything or sought his extradition, even when he was running around free in London, the capital city of the US’s closest ally.

    I think he’s exaggerating his own importance to the US as part of getting public sympathy to avoid facing up to the rape allegations which the Swedish authorities clearly take seriously.

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      And the US hasn’t charged him with anything or sought his extradition, even when he was running around free in London, the capital city of the US’s closest ally.

      The belief is that a secret grand jury has already drawn up indictments against Assange based on the WWI era Espionage Act. That is what Dianne Feinstein, head of the senate intelligence oversight committee, was pushing for.

      Charges drawn up by such a Grand Jury would not be public, and the US would never confirm their existence.

      • Yes I have read Wikipedia too about the “secret grand jury indictments” that the US denies but which, if the US is lying, it strangely failed to act on when Assange was free on bail in London. Strange too that it wants to keep its “believed” interest in charging Assange with spying offences when it hasn’t bothered to keep its interest in charging others, including Snowden, a secret.

        By no stretch of the imagination can the US be as interested – let alone more interested – in Assange than Snowden. So why on earth would they have bothered to set up the great honey trap and conspiracy – involving Sweden! – instead of just seeking his extradition (or kidnapping) through the UK when they had the chance?

        • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.1

          Sure, Assange and wikileaks is no big deal in the scheme of things. The US wasn’t that troubled over him. You must somehow know better than the head of the US Senate Intelligence oversight committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

          Do you have a later quote from her suggesting that Assange wasn’t such a bad guy to worry about, after all? The quote I found made it sound like she wanted him charged under the WWI Espionage Act.

        • In Vino 16.1.1.2

          Oh, come on Hooten. You are just one great big false rape accusation apologist.

          So much smoke from two smouldering sources. So many one-eyed people convinced that they have smoke-free vision.

          It appears to me that Assange did make his revelations as a stand on principles. I do not know the truth about the rape complaints, but I see the failure of the Swedes to promise he will not be whizzed off to the US (to face political charges instead of the rape ones) as a sound justification for Assange to stay right where he is.

          I sympathise with his whistle-blowing. But with both eyes open, I cannot see through the smoke as easily as many of you claim to.

        • Macro 16.1.1.3

          instead of just seeking his extradition (or kidnapping) through the UK when they had the chance?

          Assange has spent nearly 4 years in London under various forms of restrictions The current detention in the Equadorian Embassy has cost Britian over Euro 13 million in the UK alone, where a costly police detail watches the Embassy and all of Mr. Assange’s visitors around the clock.
          http://www.newstalk.com/Police-in-UK-reviewing-Julian-Assange-guard-and-surveillance-policy
          The moment he steps outside the door he will be arrested and sent to the States by UK. Seems a lot of money to invest in someone they are not interested in.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.3.1

            The moment he steps outside the door he will be arrested and sent to Sweden by UK. FIFY

          • Chooky 16.1.1.3.2

            +100 Macro …yes everything indicates that the USA is extremely interested in Assange…and the aim is to send him directly to USA ….via Sweden where he was set up on trumped up charges

            • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.3.2.1

              🙄

              The allegations (he has not been charged) must be false because America!

              Please refer to a dictionary for the definition of ‘directly’.

        • Tracey 16.1.1.4

          Did the US ever deny spying on Germany (post WWII) and to tapping their leader? I agree with you that we cannot just assume USA is always evil but you seem to suggest they are always beyond reproach…

          Hosking, Williams et all all rabbitted on about how spying on our friends is what spy agencies do…. but they left out friends and made it just about spying.. nice mislead of their audience…

          SPYING is expected, even by the evil Left, spying on everyone just cos they live in NZ or our friends, well that is a little different, don’t you agree? I mean think what that could do to Free trade!!!

          I haven;t heard the usual right wing commentators (two named above) even mention that spying on our friends might hurt their beloved Free trade? Dr Mapp seems very quiet on this given how important secrecy is to the TPP negotiations (and confidentiality) in his opinion.

          • Matthew Hooton 16.1.1.4.1

            They never denied spying on Germany because they were. Everyone spies in everyone except (theoretically) within five eyes but i hope, for example, we spied on AQIS over apple access before and during our WTO case against Australia. China can’t complian about us spying on them, especially given 14 Hill Street.

            • Tracey 16.1.1.4.1.1

              Angela merkel seemed quite surprised her closest allies tapped her phone but if they never made a public statement they were not tapping her phone it is all good o ate Matthew?

              And where do you think the “everyone knows we are spying on everyone” argument leaves the notion that the people of NZ cant know the details of the TPP because negotiating positions need to be kept confidential (when the spying suggests they are far from confidential – except from the people)?

              It is fascinating that the Right assume everyone knows everyone is spying on each other. I bet many kiwis had the quaint notion that we only spy on enemies… but obviously the Right cottoned on to the move to spy for corporate purposes long ago which is one reason you would accept everyone is doing it even to friends , you know, if you can get a financial advantage out of it.

          • felix 16.1.1.4.2

            “Hosking, Williams et all all rabbitted on about how spying on our friends is what spy agencies do…. but they left out friends and made it just about spying.. nice mislead of their audience…”

            The other big mislead from the media is that they fail to remind us that this is about governments spying on private citizens.

            The whole “of course spy agencies are spying” bit is toned to imply that we’re talking about bugging embassies and spies spying on each other.

            We’re actually talking about intercepting and storing all of the private communications that ordinary people make every day.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1.1.5

          Didnt act while he was free in London ?

          You mean just snatch him off the street, An Australian citizen with legal residency in UK ?

    • tricledrown 16.2

      Hootton your an A grade idiot.
      What got manning upset enough to release the classified information was the gunning down of unarmed innocents including journalists.
      The gunner on the helicopter who murdered innocents still hasn’t been charged he should at least be tried.
      Machevelian Henchman you are a paid propagandist of the right wing hedgemony so you don’t have opinions you are a spin doctinater.
      Manning is one brave soul to stand up to all of the powerful vested interests who claim to be defending freedom.
      You must be really proud of yourself Matthew the mighty Minion .
      Your a gutless weazil.

    • the pigman 16.3

      “Assange is not in the same category as any of them. He runs a website that published the stuff, the best bits of which have since been published by much of the US media. He isn’t at much more risk than any of the others who have since published it.”

      You definitely wanna call the relevant cereal company from which you sourced your law degree and demand a refund. Take your misinformation elsewhere.

  17. greywarshark 17

    weka …15 March 2015 at 8:50 pm
    @ grey. I agree. I’d like all the men who think they can have sex with a woman while she is asleep to get written permission from said woman that they can have sex with her asleep anytime they like.

    Now that is just what is needed weka. The whole situation should be spelt out first and an agreement reached on protection and what is acceptable or not. If it is important to be done, it should be done right.

    It would be best not to have sex at all, it being a very messy, highly physical and emotional matter which has resulted in many problems and matches religion as one of the causes of sorrow, violence and brutality for humankind. But we are stuck with it and our damned fertility which will damn us all in the end, and religion helps that along. The religious and the autocratic set rules and restrictions beyond what is reasonable for humans, and are often confused and hypocritical, choosing to regard motherhood as spiritual yet congress as vile, yet their special words and gestures can turn sin into an inescapable sacred duty. Then there are the dainty feminists bringing their own censure to behaviour – they may be from the lesbian grouping – differing viewpoints showed up in the movement in NZ in the 1970s.

    • McFlock 17.1

      I don’t get what the big deal is.

      If someone says they don’t want something done to them, I don’t do it. If they want to do something that I want to do, we do it. Hell, at the very least I get an evening of pleasant company and conversation (or, at least, a mediocre movie my date fell asleep during, but as a geek I had fun deconstructing the algorithms used for the “amazing” CGI – cheap flocking shit barely evolved from the 1980s, all so small that the rendering could have been run on a pentium in an afternoon. And a waste of Charles Dance. But I jidress 🙂 ).

      Oh, and if they’re asleep or otherwise unconscious, I don’t assume they’ve changed their mind.

  18. the pigman 18

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

    A whole lot of “Oh if you suggest that any sexual assault complaint could be motivated by anything other than sexual assault, you are a rape apologist” (the implication being because no true feminist would really do that) and a lot of “You’re not truly Left if you’re criticising Assange” going on above.

    Some of it was delivered with self-satisfied sarcasm that usually amounted to no more than “nee-ner-i-know-you-are-but-what-am-i?”

    TL; DR down here for those who couldn’t resist the urge to skip. Discussion arising from Bill’s post got derailed from comment #1 onwards by opportunists who wanted to inflate their feminist credentials and others who wanted to out-Left-wing them. Arch opportunists like Hooton came in to fan the flames. All the women who spoke out in favour of Assange got slammed.

    • McFlock 18.1

      Hey, when I inflate my feminist credentials, does my parking coupon get validated?

  19. Macro 19

    If you think Assange fled Sweden because he committed rape you are very mistaken.
    http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-siege-of-julian-assange-is-a-farce-a-special-investigation

    For Assange, his only trial has been trial by media. On 20 August 2010, the Swedish police opened a “rape investigation” and immediately – and unlawfully – told the Stockholm tabloids that there was a warrant for Assange’s arrest for the “rape of two women”. This was the news that went round the world.

    In Washington, a smiling US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that the arrest “sounds like good news to me”. Twitter accounts associated with the Pentagon described Assange as a “rapist” and a “fugitive”.

    Less than 24 hours later, the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, took over the investigation. She wasted no time in cancelling the arrest warrant, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape.” Four days later, she dismissed the rape investigation altogether, saying, “There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever.” The file was closed.

    But there is more – much more – and every bit of it suggests collusion with the States by the Swedish Govt, with the intention of punishing him for embarrassment via Wikileaks.
    I suggest those who think a great sin has been perpetuated by Assange against the two women go and read the above link by a pulitzer prize winning journalist who details the case far more fully than anything else you might read.

    • weka 19.1

      The last time I read Pilger on this he was engaging in rape apologism. That’s not the only thing he was doing obviously, and it doesn’t invalidate those other things necessarily, but this just takes us back to the issue I and others have raised for a long time, which is that the broader left has had far too much trouble not using rape apology to support their pro-Assange arguments.

      It seems too hard for some men to get that you don’t have to perpetuate rape myths or rape apologies in order to address the whistleblower issues. It seems even harder for some men to understand that heroes can be rapists too and that otherwise good men can be rape apologists and that otherwise exceptionally politically intelligent men can fail so dismally at rape politics 101. Based on the last time I was critical of Pilger for this, I expect some people to be shocked or take umbrage at the assertion. But that’s just the point, we are still really bad at understanding rape culture and what it is and being able to address it when it’s ‘good’ people doing it.

      Until men on the left deal with this contradiction there is little hope of these conversations going anywhere useful. There are too many of us now who will not sit by and let rape apology be used as a tool for the left white male agenda. It’s damaging to women and to the left in general and it also undermines all the important things the left white male agenda is trying to achieve.

      I have no idea if Assange is guilty of rape or not. I actually don’t even care that much because in all these conversations I am constantly aware of all the women who have been raped since Assange left Sweden and how rape culture and rape apology has contributed to those women and their suffering. That includes the overwhelming numbers of women for whom a court case is not even an option. Assange is very visible, those women are pretty much completely invisible. Shame on the left for continuing to support the very mechanisms that cause them unnecessary suffering and treat them like shit.

    • Chooky 19.2

      +100 Macro…lets look at the broader picture until Assange has actually been accused , charged, tried and found guilty of rape

      ….thus far it looks more like a leaky condom and a setup….ironically with a CIA agent who boasted of her exploits….Assange should have been living like a celibate monk ….considering who was out to get him over Wikileaks…majorly exposing USA manipulations and hypocrisies

      ….Asssange through his stupidity has given an agenda for all the weirdest power and control freaks, right wing nutters and those with other agendas to shoot him, wikileaks and his supporters down

      …lets wait for the trial to see whether he is really guilty of rape and his supporters “rape apologists”

      • weka 19.2.1

        You seem to be completely missing the point that rape apology exists irrespective of whether Assange is a rapist or not, or whether he gets convicted or not. It’s not about Assange, it’s about some of the people supporting Assange.

        On the basis of your last sentence, I now think that you really have no idea what rape apology is.

        • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.1.1

          Does rape culture, rape apology and rape denial have to be central to every discussion related to Julian Assange. Do you think so? I don’t.

          The fact that a “honey trap” (or even an ‘involuntary’ honey trap where the alleged victims become nothing more than others pawns in the process of a smeaR campaign) is a type of intelligence operation which has been used I suppose since the beginning of time, isn’t even allowed to be acknowledged it seems.

          But all that is noise and not what this post is about. The Swedish prosecutor has finally gotten her A into G and is doing what the Swedish Bar Association said was long overdue – getting on a plane, going to London, questioning Julian Assange and deciding whether or not he should be formally charged.

          That’s a win for justice for Assange and it’s a win for justice for the alleged victims.

          • weka 19.2.1.1.1

            Paragraph 1, of course not. The only reason it becomes about rape culture is because people in the conversation promote rape myths/culture.

            2. It’s technically possible to talk about a honey trap, either version, without promoting rape culture. That you don’t know how to do this is on you.

          • Chooky 19.2.1.1.2

            +100 CR

            http://rt.com/op-edge/206903-assange-uk-persecution-embassy-wikileaks/

            “According to documents released by Snowden, Assange is on a “Manhunt target list”. Washington’s bid to get him, say Australian diplomatic cables, is “unprecedented in scale and nature”. In Alexandria, Virginia, a secret grand jury has spent four years attempting to contrive a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted. This is not easy. The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects publishers, journalists and whistleblowers. ”

            …”Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote: “The allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction… The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will. [Assange] has made it clear he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step in their investigation? What are they afraid of?”

            ….”This question remained unanswered as Ny deployed the European Arrest Warrant, a draconian product of the “war on terror” supposedly designed to catch terrorists and organized criminals. The EAW had abolished the obligation on a petitioning state to provide any evidence of a crime. More than a thousand EAWs are issued each month; only a few have anything to do with potential “terror” charges. Most are issued for trivial offences—such as overdue bank charges and fines. Many of those extradited face months in prison without charge. There have been a number of shocking miscarriages of justice, of which British judges have been highly critical.

            [On the alleged rape victims]…”One of the women’s messages makes clear that she did not want any charges brought against Assange, “but the police were keen on getting a hold on him”. She was “shocked” when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”. She “did not want to accuse JA of anything” and “it was the police who made up the charges”. (In a witness statement, she is quoted as saying that she had been “railroaded by police and others around her”.)

            ….”Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga worthy of Kafka.

            “For Assange, his only trial has been trial by media. On 20 August 2010, the Swedish police opened a “rape investigation” and immediately – and unlawfully – told the Stockholm tabloids that there was a warrant for Assange’s arrest for the “rape of two women”. This was the news that went round the world.”

            {…and anyone here who takes Assange’s side is called by some on this site “a rape apologist”…..draw your own conclusions as to their motivations }

            • Colonial Rawshark 19.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Chooky. I hadn’t been aware of Assange’s position on a “Manhunt target list” nor the surprise with which Australian officials saw the unprecedented voracious US pursuit of Assange.

              The naive fools who think that Assange’s life isn’t under any real threat from the USA can go away now. (BTW I consider Assange being locked up for 30+ years in a Federal penitentiary as depriving him of most of the rest of his natural life).

              • McFlock

                His life isn’t under any real threat from Sweden. Which is the country he will be returned to if Ecuador kicks him out of the embassy.

            • weka 19.2.1.1.2.2

              and anyone here who takes Assange’s side is called by some on this site “a rape apologist”…..draw your own conclusions as to their motivations

              That’s a complex statement that warrants unraveling. If by ‘takes Assange’s side’ you mean believes he is innocent, then unfortunately they are likely to be called a rape apologist, not for believing Assange but for using rape myths to support him. It’s not necessary to use rape myths to support Assange, but that’s what most have done.

              If you mean anyone that thinks Assange is in danger from the US gets called a rape apologist simply because they’re in disagreement about the danger from the US, then you are either lying or an idiot.

              I’ll just note that you still haven’t addressed the specific issues around your use of rape myths that have been brought to your attention in this thread. Since they’ve been outlined you’ve just repeatedly made out that some of us are suspect, working for the CIA, don’t care about people’s suffering etc and made obscure insinuations about our motivations (honestly I haven’t no idea what the insinuation is meant to be).

  20. weka 20

    And while I’m at it, I’m sick of the dualistic bullshit in this thread. CV, stop making assumptions about what I think or where I stand on various issues to do with Assange. My analyses are more complex than being just a reaction against yours. Stop trying to make out it’s us/them. TRP, OAB, McFlock, I get why you resort to smart arse, sometimes nasty punchlines but ultimately you are making women who have been raped invisible too. The lot of you seem to think there are two sides to this story. In fact there are many many sides and all of us here need to take a step back and look at why such an intelligent, thoughtful bunch of people are behaving like badly socialised kids fighting in a sandpit.

  21. Bill 21

    Assange is wanted by US authorities. He’s sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy these past 4 years or so. If he leaves the embassy he’ll, one way or another, likely be on his way to the US and a very, very long time in jail.

    Given the above was the whole story, I’m fairly sure he’d, like Snowden, be the recipient of huge levels of public support.

    Complication.

    Allegations have been made that may lead to charges being laid by Swedish authorities.

    If those allegations happened to relate to murder or unpaid fines, then I’m fairly sure he’d retain much of his public support as people considered the larger context/bigger picture and weighed everything up against concepts of their own internal notions of justice. I’m fairly sure that in the case of murder allegations or fines, many more people than at present, would be scratching their heads as to why Swedish authorities haven’t just ‘got on with things’ and asked him whatever relevant questions they need to ask without insisting he be in Sweden in person.

    If charges for (say) murder were laid and a case in the courts pursued, then I’m sure the Swedish legal system has either the ability to run a prosecution against a suspect in absentia and arrive at a verdict or that they could transfer the jurisdiction to another territory…vaguely recollecting the Lockerbie trial being held in the Netherlands but under Scottish law.

    If guilt was established, but over-riding consideration given to likelihood of the US asking for, or laying further charges relating to wikileaks then, in line with what has happened countless times for a range of crimes, arrangements could be made for Assange to serve his time in a place other than Sweden.

    Tell me again why, every time a discussion around Assange comes up, debate – if it can even be called that – descends into an embarrassing bucket of shite as illustrated by most of the 450 odd comments above?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      likely be on his way to the US and a very, very long time in jail.

      What makes it so likely that he’ll face jailtime? The USA has “never really successfully prosecuted a non-government official for taking documents that were classified,” says Michael Ratner.

      Also see the Rosen Weismann case, abandoned in 2009.

      • Bill 21.1.1

        So Snowden is stupid to be residing in Russia then. Hmm. What’s a “non-government official” by the way? I’m having problems figuring that one out. A reporter wouldn’t be a ‘non-government official’…neither would an editor…or a private contractor…or a private citizen in possession of material.

        Maybe you mis-quoted?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1

          I think Snowden’s fears are well grounded. He will have signed all sorts of confidentiality agreements during his time at the CIA, and had to get a security clearance from USIS before being employed on contract by Booz Allen Hamilton.

          If Ratner has been misquoted it wasn’t by me.

          • Bill 21.1.1.1.1

            Well, I’m non the wiser for figuring out what a ‘non-government official’ might be.

            I read the piece and wish things were dated. I’m guessing that piece was written before Snowden had the Espionage Act thrown at him…

            Charging Assange under the Espionage Act — a vaguely worded World War I-era law — would be a difficult challenge, as it requires the government to show the accused intended to harm the US government or aid a foreign power, analysts said.

            Not difficult if the Snowden example is anything to go by. And as pointed out by Snowden’s lawyers in ‘Citizenfour’, not something that can be defended against.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1.1.1

              And yet according to Pilger, as cited by Chooky above, “a secret grand jury has spent four years attempting to contrive a crime for which Assange can be prosecuted.”

              So obviously it isn’t as simple as all that. If Pilger hasn’t misquoted that is: I can find no reference to a “Manhunt list” at Wikileaks.

              Also see the failure of the Rosen and Weismann prosecution.

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.2

        What difference does that make?

        If charges are laid in the USA it will take Assange between US$1M and US$3M in legal fees and approximately 3 to 4 years to defend himself. Even IF Assange gets off the charges, he loses. There is no way of getting either that money or that time back from the US Federal Govt.

        And in the case of both Thomas Drake and Bill Binney, the US DoJ was more than willing to fabricate evidence to bring before the court.

      • KJT 21.1.3

        That is because they don’t bother to prosecute. They simply disappear some-one to another country where torture and confinement without trial can be kept hidden.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.3.1

          That’s certainly what the Bush crooks did. There’s been some water under the bridge since then.

    • just saying 21.2

      Genuinely don’t get what you are saying here with your comparision with murder/unpaid fines, Bill. I feel like you are thinking what you you are saying is so self-evident any idiot could see it, but I don’t. Is there something missing?

      • Bill 21.2.1

        I’m merely suggesting that the emotive and oft-times knee-jerk reactions to the actual potential charges that have essentially shut down or clouded any debate, would have been less likely, and that the substantive debate doesn’t change by substituting in other, (imaginary) allegations.

        • weka 21.2.1.1

          Rape is unique as a crime and not comparable to other serious crimes for very good reasons. Writing off responses to rape culture as highly emotive, knee jerk reactions is patronising and renders a whole body of important politics invisible.

          I get that you want to talk about an aspect of the Assange situation without talking about rape culture , but until pro Assange commenters stop using rape apologies to support their arguments, it’s never going to happen.

          As has been commented, the opening post seemed like it had an edge to it too, so it’s not like we started from a neutral point of view.

          I’m not sure that even the narrow topic of the post can be seen without looking at rape as a crime. Still very minimal information on the decisions being made by Ny, lots of assertion and assumption and opinion stated as fact.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago