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Crime The Courts Politics

Sweden Makes Another Request To Ecuador For Permission To Question Assange (thelocal.se) 133

cold fjord writes: Thelocal.se reports that Sweden's state prosecutor's office said today that it has formally asked Ecuador in writing for permission to interrogate Julian Assange. They don't know when Ecuador will reply. The request follows the signing of an agreement in December on general legal cooperation between the two countries. Ecuador required the agreement before it would consent to an interview of Assange. The Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange regarding rape allegations that have a statute of limitations that run till 2020. The statue of limitations for other sex crimes Assange has been accused of have expired while Assange has been in hiding. Sweden had previously asked to question Assange in the embassy, but Ecuador declined permission. In another peculiar twist to the case, RTE.ie is reporting that Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has stated that the exact procedures that will be used are not known, but that Ecuadorian prosecutors will be the ones actually questioning Assange although Swedish officials can be present. Sweden's view on this is unclear.
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Sweden Makes Another Request To Ecuador For Permission To Question Assange

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  • Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has stated that the exact procedures that will be used are not known

    I like the Scottish flavor of that use of the word "exact".

    I wonder what would be the answer if a journalist raises the question "precisely how exact are we talking here?"

    • "We've decided that the only logical recourse is to hand him over to a neutral third-party for questioning," said Ecuador and Sweden.

      "Ooh, ooh, me, me! Right here!" responded the U.S.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 14, 2016 @09:31AM (#51299385) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if the legal framework between the two countries prevents third-party extradition (which could be used as a mechanism for future problem-solving). Curious that it hasn't been leaked.

    • I believe it doesn't - from what I read (don't have a link atm) Assange said he'd only go to Sweden voluntarily if they promised not to extradite him anywhere after that. However, they can't promise not to extradite someone - if they get a valid request, they have to comply.
  • There exists some influential political motivation to extradite Assange, and any hearing he received in the US or England would be tainted by that.

    Ecuador is relishing its role as thorn in the side of the Americans.

    Assange could still be guilty of the sexual assaults.

    • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

      There exists some influential political motivation to extradite Assange, and any hearing he received in the US or England would be tainted by that.

      The idea that Sweden is doing this just so he could be extradited to the US does NOT in any way pass the smell test--if that was the end goal, the UK (who seems to have a "Sure, America, we'll do whatever the fuck you want" attitude) would have done so before he fled to the embassy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        There were hints that there was some political pushback from the UK. The U.S. policies have come under a lot of public fire there and their Prime Ministers are already seen as pathetic U.S. lapdogs. It's likely that deporting him to the U.S. from the UK would be political suicide.

      • The idea that Sweden is doing this just so he could be extradited to the US does NOT in any way pass the smell test

        They've illegally extradited people to us just because we wanted them before, so there's plenty of reason to believe they would do this again.

        if that was the end goal, the UK (who seems to have a "Sure, America, we'll do whatever the fuck you want" attitude) would have done so before he fled to the embassy.

        The UK has laws about how extradition works that would make it even more obvious what is really going on, and they don't want to get involved to that degree.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Careful there the rape in question was not an assault but a very disingenuous attempt to enable conception when empty mutual masturbation was the only intent. Something covered in Swedish law as rape but that can not be considered as sexual assault. There are the additional considerations of increased risk of sexually transmitted disease but as neither pregnancy nor infection resulted from those two particular bouts of voluntary non reproductive mutual masturbation (not choosing to define methods, possible

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Thursday January 14, 2016 @09:44AM (#51299437)

    This is actually the first legitimate request.

    Ecuador did not have an agreement in place with Sweden to act as a framework within which such a request could be allowed to go forward on Ecuadoran soil, which is what the embassy is. Until that agreement was reached, it was in fact a requirement that refuse Swedish extraterritorial interrogation requests.

    Ironically, it would have been perfectly legitimate for Interpol to request on behalf of Sweden, and send Interpol investigators (some of whom could have been Swedish) to perform the questioning, since Ecuador is a signatory to treaties and agreements which require cooperation with Interpol.

    The issue, however, has always been that what Sweden is asking is not for what they want, but a pretext for what they actually want, which is extradition. This has, naturally, been a sticking point for Ecuador.

    Really, the request should not be big news, since it was inevitable that this would be asked. The real news is the Sweden-Ecuador agreement that allowed the question to be asked; but that type of thing rarely hits the front page, unlike anything directly dealing with Assange.

  • Fiasco continues (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I will patiently wait for the sanctimonious shills to come out and shit the place up like all articles of the nature.

    Assange is a serial rapist who escape prosecution!
    Manning's leaks cost 'murican soldier's lives!
    Snowden sold 'murica's secrets to the Russians!

    Pathetic...

    • I once spoke with an NSA worker who said he "knew" Snowden was a traitor...because we "can't see what he sees."

      Unfortunately we have to choose between regarding all Arguments from Secret Intelligence as fallacious, and treating all intelligence workers as omniscient gods who know truths not meant for us mere mortals.

  • There will be enough U.S. favor for BOTH of you when you hand him over.

  • Strange (Score:1, Insightful)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 )

    I thought Statute Of Limitation only applied to undiscovered crimes. The idea that a known suspect can hide for a certain period of time to avoid prosecution seems quite absurd to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem may be that he is not charged with anything yet.

    • Doesn't "discovery" imply that they're reasonably sure he did it? I'm not sure the language supports "we discovered that something may have happened."

      Especially in this case. If they had DNA evidence against him, sure--discovered. But isn't it just the word of these two women against his?

      If we accept that postulate then the distinction you're making evaporates.

      • just point to the Patrick Kane case and say that the women is BS

      • Sigh. Discovery is a feature of civil law in the US. If Assange were charged here, it wouldn't apply. It does not involve any prejudging. For criminal matters, we have investigations. The police can, within limits, investigate anything with no particular reason. They can't do some things without a warrant, which is issued on probable cause, not certainty. Moreover, I don't know what applies in Sweden. I'm not an international lawyer, and what I do know is that Swedish and US law are very different.

        • I'm not sure whether EzInKy was using "discovery" in the vernacular or legal sense. In any case I was using the common English definition of the word. I blame OP for trying to draw a distinction in an insufficiently clear context ;)

          As you and the other guy said, it's not a question of whether they had sex, but whether it was consensual. I was trying to make a distinction between "hard evidence" and "he said/she said" and it appears my mentioning of DNA spectacularly failed to convey that :P

          Captain Pedant (m

    • Statutes of Limitation, in the US, usually put a time limit starting from when the crime was committed. The recognition that some crimes against children may not be known until long after the time has run out has prompted some such laws that apply to when the crime was discovered, by some criterion or other.

      The problem with allowing trials long after the crime is that it's likely to be hard to determine what happened, as witnesses will die, move away, or get forgetful, and physical evidence is unlikely

    • It depends on the country. In Brazil, where I'm from, you can hide to avoid prosecution, for most crimes (exceptions are racism and armed groups acting against constitutional order). There is a table for the applicable limitation times, but for most cases it is between 1,5 to 2 times the maximum jail time you could do for the crime. E.g.: for a crime that can land you 2-4 years of jail time, the state has 8 years to charge you, then another 8 to give a final verdict, and then the time you actually got (eg 3

  • by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Thursday January 14, 2016 @10:07AM (#51299557)
    ...and you're still bothering Assange.

    Tell us again how you are not a lap dog for the US gevernment.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Scandinavian countries have the reputation of upholding freedom and being independent but afterall they still lack the backbone to standup to US.
  • I initially read the headline as Snowden Makes Another Request...To Question Assange
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday January 14, 2016 @01:16PM (#51301049)

    ... Bill Cosby was spotted entering the Ecuadorian embassy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    hey sweden, how about you deal with the hundreds or thousands of muslim "refugee" gang rapes going on in your country rather than pretending to care about rape you FUCKING ASSHOLES?

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