BBC: “Julian Assange speaks of ‘leaving’ Ecuador embassy”

August 18, 2014

BBC on August 18, 2014 released the following:

“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving London’s Ecuadorean embassy “soon”.

He said he understood from Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson he would be “leaving the embassy” after two years’ refuge but gave no more details.

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning over alleged sex assaults in Sweden and faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Mr Hrafnsson later said the plan “as always” was for Mr Assange to depart when the UK “calls off the siege”.

“The world is not coming to an end,” Mr Hrafnsson told reporters inside the embassy.

The plan, as always, is to leave as soon as the UK government decides to honour its obligations in relation to international agreements”

Mr Assange, 43, faces questioning by prosecutors in Stockholm over claims made by two women in 2010. He denies the allegations and sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in June 2012 shortly after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his efforts to block his extradition.

Since then police have maintained a round-the-clock presence outside the building, in London’s Knightsbridge, at a cost of £6.4m.

Clive Coleman, the BBC’s legal correspondent, said that nothing had changed since 2012 and Mr Assange would be arrested and extradited if he left the embassy.

Speaking at the news conference, Mr Assange said: “I understand that Kristinn Hrafnsson has said that he can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon”.

But he added it was not because he needed medical treatment, as had been reported in some of the UK press.

This was certainly a news conference of mixed messages. Expectations of a news-making announcement were high as a group of a dozen journalists filed into the Ecuadorean embassy.

They were further fuelled by the fact that we were asked to hand over our mobile phones before entering the embassy, something which had not been the case during a similar news conference held in June to mark the two-year anniversary since Julian Assange first sought refuge.

Mr Assange used this occasion to dispel “misinformation” and to make the point that he has never been charged with any offence either here or in Sweden.

But challenged by journalists to confirm or deny rumours he would leave the embassy soon, he gave a cryptic answer, quoting Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Asked by journalists to clarify his answer, he just said: “I think I’ve said enough”.

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on the other hand seemed to suggest Mr Assange would be in the embassy for a long time. He asked how long the Swedish judiciary could allow this situation to continue: “Five more years? Ten more years?” and lamented that there had been “no movement” since Mr Assange entered the embassy in June 2012.

Bound to fail’

Mr Assange says he fears he could eventually be handed over to the US because Wikileaks published classified US military documents on the Afghan and Iraq wars.

But UK courts have repeatedly ruled that he should be sent to Sweden to face questioning.

The UK first ordered his extradition in February 2011. Mr Assange launched a number of appeals, which culminated in the Supreme Court saying the extradition was lawful in 2012.

After that decision, Mr Assange, who had been on conditional bail, sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy.

He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and the country’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino said he would continue to be offered “protection”.

Sitting next to Mr Patino at a news conference on Monday, Mr Assange said his health had suffered during his time inside the embassy.

Reports in UK newspapers at the weekend said Mr Assange had developed a heart defect and a chronic lung condition during his confinement.

The Australian said the reasons for him leaving were not those “reported by the Murdoch press” – but did not elaborate further.

Our correspondent added that any argument Mr Assange could not be extradited because of his health was “almost certainly bound to fail” because Sweden has a good healthcare system.

Better climate’

Mr Patino said the Ecuadorean government would attempt to meet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss the case.

He said changes to the UK’s extradition laws had created a better climate for reaching a deal over Mr Assange.

“It is time to free Julian Assange. It is time for his human rights to be finally respected,” Mr Patino added.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman called on the Ecuadorean government to help “bring this difficult and costly situation to an end”.

“We remain as committed as ever to reaching a diplomatic solution to this situation.

“We are clear that our laws must be followed and Mr Assange should be extradited to Sweden,” the spokesman added.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“Did US flub Snowden extradition request? Hong Kong cites legal problems, Russia cites neutral zone”

June 24, 2013

ABA Journal on June 24, 2013 released the following:

By Debra Cassens Weiss

“American University law professor Steve Vladeck offers his take on why Edward Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong this weekend.

“The Hong Kong authorities used the murkiness of extradition law to make what was a political decision,” he told the Washington Post. Snowden has been charged with espionage for revealing the data collection program by the National Security Agency.

Hong Kong allowed Snowden to board a flight to Russia on Sunday though the U.S. had requested his extradition. He then booked a flight from Russia to Cuba, but he was not on board the plane, the Associated Press reports. He has requested asylum in Ecuador, and he was expected to travel to Cuba on his way there.

Hong Kong authorities said they couldn’t prevent Snowden from leaving their country because the United States “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” Russia does not have an extradition agreement with the United States, and its officials said they have no legal authority to detain Snowden, the Washington Post reports. As long as Snowden is in a secure transit zone in the airport, he is not on Russian soil, according to Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman.

The New York Times reports that the United States may have flubbed Snowden’s case when it failed to revoke his passport. Former federal prosecutor David Laufman told the newspaper that the passport should have been revoked after charges were filed against Snowden on June 14. The United States did revoke Snowden’s passport on Saturday, but it was unclear if Hong Kong authorities were aware of the move or if it mattered because Snowden reportedly had special refugee travel documents from Ecuador arranged by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Attorney General Eric Holder had placed a call to his counterpart in Hong Kong on June 19 to stress the importance of extradition, and the United States had asked whether any additional documents were needed two days before, the Washington Post reports. Hong Kong requested more information on Friday, and U.S. officials were preparing the response when Snowden left for Russia.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, warned of “consequences” if Russia allows Snowden to board a plane out of the country. Kerry said the United States has extradited seven Russian prisoners in the last two years, and “reciprocity is pretty important.” The fact that Snowden did not get on the plane to Cuba raised the possibility Russia detained Snowden, either to send him to the United States or to question him for its own purposes, the Times says.

Ecuador does have an extradition treaty with the United States, but it has an exception for “crimes or offenses of a political character,” Bloomberg News reports. U.S. prosecutors may have tried to avoid the political crimes exception by also charging Snowden with theft of government property, New York lawyer Douglas Burns told the wire service.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Ecuador, extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba, extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“Report: Snowden took job to gather NSA cyber evidence”

June 24, 2013

USA Today on June 24, 2013 released the following:

Zach Coleman, Kevin Johnson and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

“Snowden revealed an NSA program that collected telephone records for millions of Americans.

HONG KONG — NSA leaker Edward Snowden says he took his job with the National Security Agency for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence on Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Postreported Monday.

Snowden, who was in Hong Kong before fleeing to Moscow this weekend, told the newspaper that he sought a position as an analyst with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the NSA’s secret surveillance program ahead of planned leaks to the media.

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he told the Post in a June 12 interview that was published Monday. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”

In his interview with the Post, Snowden divulged information that he claimed showed hacking by the NSA into computers in Hong Kong and mainland China.

“I did not release them earlier because I don’t want to simply dump huge amounts of documents without regard to their content,” he said. “I have to screen everything before releasing it to journalists.”

Asked by the Post if he specifically went to Booz Allen Hamilton as computer systems administrator to gather evidence of surveillance, he replied: “Correct on Booz.”

His intention was to collect information about the NSA hacking into “the whole world” and “not specifically Hong Kong and China.”

The documents he divulged to the Post were obtained during his tenure at Booz Allen Hamilton in April, he said.

He also signalled his intention to leak more of those documents at a later date.

“If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of U.S. network operations against their people should be published.”

Snowden’ current whereabouts are a mystery after he failed to show up for a Moscow-Cuba flight to Cuba on Monday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is assisting Snowden’s run from U.S. authorities, told reporters Monday that Snowden is “healthy and safe” in an undisclosed location awaiting word on his request for asylum by Ecuador.

Although Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuador embassy in Britain to avoid extradition to Sweden, he spoke to reporters Monday to offer the latest on the twists and turns of the 30-year-old analyst who has been charged in U.S. federal court with espionage after acknowledging that he was the source of materials detailing surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Snowden revealed an NSA program that collected telephone records for millions of Americans and a separate operation that targeted the Internet communications of non-citizens abroad who were suspected of terrorist connections.

He initially fled to Hong Kong, then flew to Russia on Sunday in an apparent roundabout trip to Ecuador.

The Russian news site RT reported that Aeroflot had earlier confirmed that two seats had been booked in Snowden’s name for Monday’s flight to Cuba. But an Aeroflot representative who wouldn’t give her name told The Associated Press that Snowden was not on flight SU150 to Havana. AP reporters on the flight also didn’t see him.

“Snowden has gone through registration, but did not physically board the plane and has remained in the transit zone,” RIA Novosti quoted a source at Sheremetyevo airport as saying.

Assange would not be specific on Snowden’s location, but said he is “unlikely to return” to the U.S., at least under the current administration.

“We are aware of where Mr. Snowden is,” Assange told reporters. “He is in a safe place and his spirits are high. Due to the bellicose threats from the U.S. administration … we cannot reveal what country he is in at this time.”

Assange declined to say whether he has spoken personally with the former defense analyst. At the same time, he said Snowden has “expressed no regret in his decision to reveal this important information to the public.”

Assange also said that Russian officials did not have advance notice of Snowden’s arrival in Moscow and claimed that Snowden had not been debriefed by Russian security officials

Assange, also the subject a U.S. investigation into the disclosure of secret American diplomatic cables, said the charges against Snowden are “an attempt to intimidate any country to stand up for his rights to tell the truth.”

Russia is under increasing pressure from the United States to block Snowden from further travel.

Snowden, whose U.S. passport has been revoked, fled Hong Kong apparently to avoid a U.S. extradition request and to get asylum eventually in Ecuador. In June 2012. Ecuador gave refuge at its embassy in London to Assange, who is wanted in Sweden for questioning in connection with a sexual assault investigation.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has confirmed that Snowden had requested asylum in his country, and pledged that his request would be considered in the shortest time possible, according to televised remarks carried by the Latin-American channel Telesur.

RIA Novosti reported at about 2 a.m. Monday morning that Ecuador’s Ambassador to Russia, Patricio Alberto Chavez Zavala, was seen leaving Sheremetyevo’s transit zone, with several people getting into his car.

Interfax reported that Snowden has not been able to leave the airport because he does not have a Russian visa. He was accompanied by WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison, a British citizen who does have a Russian visa, according to Interfax.

Earlier the White House urged Russia to consider “all options available,” according to National Security Council Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

A Russian security source indicated on Monday that Moscow had no basis to extradite Snowden.

“Snowden has not committed any unlawful act on Russian territory,” RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed security source as saying on Monday morning. “Russian law enforcement has no order to detain him, so there is no basis to do so.”

A Kremlin spokesperson said Monday that the Russian government had no advance knowledge that Snowden was traveling to Moscow, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told the Journal that Russia wouldn’t intervene in the Snowden matter by holding him or returning him to the U.S. to face charges.

“It is not a question for us,” Peskov told the newspaper. “We don’t know what his plans are and we were unaware he was coming here.”

The South China Morning Post meanwhile reported that Snowden had provided information to show that the NSA had hacked into the Hong Kong system of Pacnet, which runs undersea telecommunications cables around the Pacific, and into 63 computers and servers at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most elite schools.

“The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal all of your SMS data,” Snowden told the newspaper.

Snowden, who was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton as an NSA systems analyst in Hawaii, fled to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong last month with top-secret documents and court orders on government surveillance operations.

Under Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the city is allowed a high degree of autonomy from mainland Chinese authorities until 2047. It also has its own legal and financial system, a holdover from the British colonial rule that ended in 1997.

Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong just hours after Obama administration officials announced they filed a formal petition with Chinese authorities seeking Snowden’s arrest and return to the United States.

A Russian lawmaker commented on Monday that the Snowden affair would have little effect on Russia-U.S. relations.

“It won’t improve these relations, but it won’t harm them,” RIA Novosti quoted Leonid Kalashnikov, first deputy head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee as saying. Kalashnikov added that Russia should give Snowden citizenship and asylum. “Why should he fly to Ecuador? This isn’t about a political refugee, but about a humanitarian one.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said the U.S. government must exhaust all legal options to get Snowden back.

“Every one of those nations is hostile to the United States,” Rogers, R-Mich., said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

In New Delhi, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the U.S. had put several countries on notice that Snowden is wanted by the U.S. legal system on on three felony counts.

He also took a jab at China and Russia, where Snowden fled to avoid arrest.

“I wonder if Mr. Snowden chose China and Russia as assistance in his flight from justice because they are such powerful bastions of Internet freedom,” Kerry told reporters. “And I wonder if, while he was in either of those countries, did he raise the questions of Internet freedom, since that seems to be what he champions.”

China’s Foreign Ministry distanced itself from any role in Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong, saying Monday the territory had the right to make its own decision.

In a routine briefing with reporters, the spokeswoman said Beijing has “always respected” Hong Kong’s ability to deal with such matters through its legal system.

She also raised Beijing’s concerns about cybersecurity in light of Snowden’s allegations, saying that the Chinese government has brought the issue up directly with Washington.

“We are seriously concerned about the cyberattacks that the relevant U.S. government agencies carried out on China as have been recently reported,” she said. “This demonstrates again that China is a victim of cyberattacks.”

Hong Kong lawmaker and lawyer Albert Ho, whose firm had been representing Snowden in an effort to clarify his legal situation with the government, said he suspects authorities in Beijing were calling the shots.

Ho said an intermediary who claimed to represent the government relayed a message to Snowden saying he was free to leave and should do so.

Ho said he didn’t know the identity of the intermediary and wasn’t sure whether the person was acting on Hong Kong’s or Beijing’s behalf.

“The entire decision was probably made in Beijing and Beijing decided to act on its best interests,” Ho told reporters. “However, Beijing would not want to be seen on stage because it would affect Sino-U.S. relations. That’s why China has somebody acting in the background.””

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Ecuador, extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba, extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“‘Not a crime to make known crime of a state’: Senior Swedish judge backs Assange”

April 4, 2013

RT on April 3, 2013 released the following:

“A top Swedish judge has defended the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, pointing out the case against Assange has turned into a legal “mess.”

“It should never be a crime to make known crime of a state,” Stefan Lindskog told the audience at a public lecture he gave at Adelaide University, according to Australian Associated Press.

The judge, who is one of the 16 justices working for the Supreme Court of Sweden, revealed an extraordinary amount of detail on Assange’s sexual assault case, despite not sitting on it.

The official also indicated that the courts may rule against sending the WikiLeaks founder to the US due to some conditions of the existing extradition treaty between the two countries.

“Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes [are] military or political in nature,” Lindskog stressed.

Moreover, according to the judge, it was debatable whether Assange would have committed a crime under Swedish law.

“What is classified under US law is probably not classified under Swedish law, and enemies to the US may not be enemies to Sweden,” AAP quoted the official as saying.

Lindskog added that extensive media coverage of the case has entailed the public distrust in the legal system.

“I think it is a mess,” he said.

Finally, the judge supported the American soldier Bradley Manning, who provided some of the classified information to WikiLeaks. Lindskog said he hoped Manning would go through a fair trial, saying that the release of classified information was for the benefit of mankind.

Prior to the speech, Assange condemned Lindskog’s decision to speak in Australia, calling it “absolutely outrageous.”

The 41-year-old whistleblower, an Australian citizen, has spent nine months in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, after claiming asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault allegations.

Assange fears that once in Sweden, he could be extradited to America where, according to his lawyers, he is most likely to face trial and possibly even the death penalty for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables, some of them about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Sweden here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


WIKILEAKS’ ASSANGE TO ADDRESS UN ON ASYLUM BID

September 25, 2012

The Associated Press on September 25, 2012 released the following:

“UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ecuador says it has invited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to address a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly via a videolink from his refuge in the country’s London embassy.

Assange will speak Wednesday alongside Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino at a specially convened event to discuss his asylum case.

The Australian activist is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sex crimes allegations and has been sheltered inside Ecuador’s embassy in London — beyond the reach of British police — since June 19.

Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, but he will be arrested if he steps foot outside its mission.

British Foreign Secretary Wiliam Hague said Tuesday that talks are continuing about Assange’s fate, but that there is “no sign of any breakthrough.””

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Julian Assange will be granted asylum, says official

August 14, 2012

The Guardian on August 14, 2012 released the following:

“Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has agreed to give the WikiLeaks founder asylum, according to an official in Quito

[By] Irene Caselli in Quito

Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has agreed to give Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador’s government have said.

The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador’s London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum.

“Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange,” said an official in the Ecuadorean capital Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.

On Monday, Correa told state-run ECTV that he would decide this week whether to grant asylum to Assange. Correa said a large amount of material about international law had to be examined to make a responsible informed decision.

Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patiño indicated that the president would reveal his answer once the Olympic Games were over. But it remains unclear if giving Assange asylum will allow him to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture. At the moment he faces the prospect of arrest as soon as he leaves the embassy for breaching his bail conditions.

“For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British [government]. Will that be possible? That’s an issue we have to take into account,” Patino told Reuters on Tuesday.

Government sources in Quito confirmed that despite the outstanding legal issues Correa would grant Assange asylum – a move which would annoy Britain, the US and Sweden. They added that the offer was made to Assange several months ago, well before he sought refuge in the embassy, and following confidential negotiations with senior London embassy staff.

The official with knowledge of the discussions said the embassy had discussed Assange’s asylum request. The British government, however, “discouraged the idea,” the offical said. The Swedish government was also “not very collaborative”, the official said.

The official added: “We see Assange’s request as a humanitarian issue. The contact between the Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks goes back to May 2011, when we became the first country to see the leaked US embassy cables completely declassified … It is clear that when Julian entered the embassy there was already some sort of deal. We see in his work a parallel with our struggle for national sovereignty and the democratisation of international relations.”

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct. He is said to be living in one room of the diplomatic building, where he has a high-speed internet connection.

Ecuadorean diplomats believe Assange is at risk of being extradited from Sweden to the US, where he could face the death penalty. Assange’s supporters claim the US has already secretly indicted him following WikiLeaks’ release in 2010 of US diplomatic cables, as well as classified Afghan and Iraq war logs.

Correa and Patiño have both said that Ecuador will take a sovereign decision regarding Assange. They say they view his case as a humanitarian act, and are seeking to protect Assange’s right to life and freedom. On Monday the state-run newspaper El Telégrafo confirmed a decision had been made, although the paper did not specify what that decision was. It said that senior officials had been meeting in the past few days to iron out the last legal details.

Two weeks ago Assange’s mother Christine Assange paid Ecuador an official visit, following an invitation by Ecuador’s foreign affairs ministry. She met with Correa and Patiño, as well as with other top politicians, including Fernando Cordero, head of Ecuador’s legislature. Both Patiño and Ms Assange appeared visibly touched during a press conference, which had to be briefly suspended when Ms Assange started crying.

Ms Assange also held several public meetings in government buildings, and in one case she was accompanied by the head of Assange’s defence team, Baltasar Garzón, the former Spanish judge who ordered the London arrest of Chile’s General Pinochet.

Other top political figures in Ecuador have been vocal about the government’s support of Assange’s bid. “Our comrade the president, who leads our international policy, will grant Julian Assange asylum,” said María Augusta Calle, a congresswoman of the president’s party, and former head of the Sovereignty, Foreign Affairs and Latin American Integration Commission during the 2008 Constitutional Assembly, during a meeting with Ms Assange.

Over the past year and a half, Assange has remained in touch with Ecuador’s embassy in London. In April, he interviewed President Correa for his TV show on Russia Today, the English-language channel funded by the Russian government. The interview, which lasted 75 minutes, included a pally exchange in which Assange and Correa bonded over freedom of speech and the negative role of the US in Latin America. At one point Correa joked: “Are you having a lot of fun with the interview, Julian?” Assange replied: “I’m enjoying your jokes a great deal, yes.”

Correa has made international headlines this year for what critics have called a government crackdown on private media. Analysts say that granting the WikiLeaks founder asylum could be a way for him to depict himself as a champion of freedom of speech ahead of the February 2013 presidential elections, in which he is expected to run again.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Ecuador says WikiLeakers founder Assange is seeking asylum

June 19, 2012

CNN on June 19, 2012 released the following:

“By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and has formally requested asylum, Ecuador’s foreign minister said Tuesday.

Ricardo Patino read a statement to reporters at a news conference in Quito. He took no questions.

Assange has been fighting for a year and a half against being sent to Sweden for questioning about accusations of sexual abuse. Two women accused him in August 2010 of sexually assaulting them during a visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents.

Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of “unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape,” according to a Supreme Court document.

Assange has been under house arrest in Britain since December 2010. He has maintained his innocence and claims the allegations against him are politically motivated. He fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, authorities there could hand him over to the United States, where he then could be prosecuted for his role in the leaking of classified documents.

WikiLeaks, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, has published some 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, causing embarrassment to the government and others. It also has published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents relating to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: