Julian Assange - updates August 2012
compiled by Wiseup for Bradley Manning and Julian Assange
‘Mr Patino has said that Ecuador will respond to Mr Assange's request on August 12, after the London Olympics.’
‘Judge hits out at US over Assange’
The Washington Post:
‘Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country is doing “everything possible to protect the life of Mr. Assange.”
“For that reason we are engaged in conversation with the Swedish and government and also with Great Britain before speaking to the United States,” he added.
Patino did not confirm that but echoed the concern expressed by Assange’s mother that the WikiLeaks founder would be mistreated if sent to the United States.
“We have received very sensitive information about torture that Australian citizens have received at the (U.S.) Guantanamo base, American citizens, too, and of a possible trial that a grand jury in Virginia is preparing against Julian Assange,” he told reporters after meeting with her.
The reference was to terror suspects that the U.S. has kept at Guantanamo and unconfirmed claims by Julian Assange’s supporters that U.S. officials plan to indict him, as occurred with U.S. serviceman Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks. ‘
‘Two officials at the Ecuadorean embassy said it had been seeking assurances from both the UK and Sweden that Assange would not be eventually sent to the US, but had received no answer. They said Ecuador would now formally ask the US if there were any legal proceedings against Assange or "an investigation which has identified him as a target and which may result in a later extradition request".
The senior legal adviser said: "In legal terms … the evil that Ecuador wishes to prevent is the extradition [of Assange] to the US. Now if there are ways and means of that being tied down, I think that would be a just solution."
The two officials estimated there had been more than 20 meetings – including video conferences – with the UK Foreign Office. There had also been around 10 meetings arranged between Ecuadorean and Swedish diplomats, they said.
The Ecuadoreans said discussions had focused on what was likely to happen to Assange once legal proceedings in Sweden were completed.
The senior legal adviser said that under extradition law, the concept of "specialty" ensures an individual can only be extradited to one country – in the case of Assange, Sweden. Once legal proceedings in that country have been completed, the individual is given a 45-day leave, during which they are free to go where they want.
Assange should, therefore, be free to travel to any other state – including the UK, Ecuador or Australia – once legal proceedings against him are completed in Sweden.
However, specialty can be waived by the country granting the initial extradition request – in this case the UK – thereby allowing an individual to be extradited to a third country.
The senior legal adviser to the Ecuadoreans said that the home secretary, Theresa May, would need to waive specialty under section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Assange could be extradited from Sweden to the US.
Despite repeated requests from Ecuador, the Foreign Office has not said whether or not May intends to exercise her powers to allow for any potential future extradition to the US.
"The concerns that Ecuador has in relation to that whole process is that some states – not least of which the US – have been known to hold back on their extradition requests, to a timely moment, when they can serve the process with greatest impact," the senior legal adviser said. "And so the concern would be that the US has in mind a request for extradition on the basis of WikiLeaks charges."