We would like to hear from you.
Yesterday, Alan McIntosh blogged on the complexities of the Julian Assange asylum conundrum. Today, he suggests a solution.
Julian Assange states he is prepared to face his accusers, but will not return to Sweden until he gets assurances he won’t be extradited to the USA. Advocate Niall McCluskey points out that Sweden cannot give such assurances, as they still don’t even have an extradition request. The USA for their part cannot serve an extradition request until he is at least there (assuming they don’t want to serve it on him in the UK).
So we have a standoff: Assange seeking diplomatic asylum and a growing diplomatic row.
However, there could be a solution: If Assange leaves the Ecuadorean Embassy then he is likely to be arrested for breaking his bail conditions. This would provide the UK Government with two options: first they postpone the surrender of Assange to the Swedish authorities until he is prosecuted for breach of bail; or alternatively they surrender him but enter an agreement with the Swedish authorities that once proceedings are complete (which would include the serving of any sentence) Assange will be returned to the UK for trial.
This is permitted under Article 24(2) of the European Council Framework Decision on European Arrest Warrants. The UK could then give assurances that it would refuse consent to any application to remove Assange from Sweden as that would breach the agreement and the UK’s consent is required under Article 28 (4).
If the UK Government is to believed, it is only extraditing Assange as it has a legal obligation to; if the Swedish Government is believed it wants to investigate the allegations that have been made; and if Assange is to be believed he is prepared to go back, but doesn’t want a bag over his head and to be wearing an orange jumpsuit whilst tied to a gurney.
So that’s that.
Image Credit: Paramount