Well now, the bulk of the UK’s population probably don’t even recognise the name of Julian Assange, or even if they do, they nevertheless still wouldn’t know what he might or might not have done wrong, would they?
To start with, it is important to be acquainted with the reason this man has come into the public gaze in the first place, as that is in fact the essential backdrop to important events that have occurred since, and which indeed has led to the exposure of the ongoing frailty of the English justice system, hasn’t it?
This guy is in many eyes an obnoxious Aussie fellow, seemingly an ex-computer programmer, indeed a criminally convicted computer hacker, who a decade ago set-up an organisation called WikiLeaks, apparently with the precise intention of irresponsibly, and illegally obtaining, then leaking secret, confidential, and private information and images. He, for some perverse reason of his own, believes that ALL information, however sensitive and damaging, however much endangering lives, should be in the public domain, doesn’t he?
His organisation came to major prominence something over half dozen years ago when it obtained and published classified American documents obtained from a traitorous soldier (Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst in Iraq, who is now renamed Chelsea Manning, following gender transition while in prison for his offences), who was originally sentenced to 35 years but has just lately been released early, after only 7 years confinement (another crass decision by ex-President Barrack Obama?).
[Assange’s crap organisation should not be confused of course with the renowned Wiki (short for Wikipedia) institution which is an internet online encyclopaedia, available around the world for free (run by volunteers), and which also provides other projects such as Wikidata, based on that root name].
Understandably, the Yanks would like to do him for any part he might have played in releasing their classified information (700 thousand documents) to a worldwide audience, but they have as yet not made any known-of moves internationally to apprehend him for questioning-as part of their criminal investigation into WikiLeaks itself, but nevertheless he persistently claims that he is shit-scared they will? [IF he is really NOT guilty of breaking the United States’ law, he should answer any allegations there and not spirit himself away, surely?].
However, back in 2010 when Assange was visiting Stockholm for ten days, he was accused of the sexual assault of one woman and the rape of another there. He was understandably questioned by the Swedish police about the allegations, but (like an innocent man?) he then fled to England, and did not return for a scheduled interview with the prosecutor (as he ‘had decided to stay away’?) – whereupon the Swedes sought his extradition on an international warrant for questioning about the said offences he was being accused of. The UK Supreme Court had decreed that he ‘should’ be extradited to Sweden
Consequently, on that warrant, he was held by our Metropolitan police for over a week, before he then unacceptably (?) managed to get bail, despite surely the glaring possibility that he was a potential absconder? You see, in this Country our soft justice system imposed by the do-gooders, allows all kinds of criminals to escape due justice by giving them bail, when of course they regularly make off and often go on to commit further crimes (even murder like Jonathan Vass, who murdered his ex-girlfriend in Blackpool while on bail for her rape; TOO LATE, he was then jailed for a minimum of 30 years.), don’t they?
Well sure enough, Assange broke his bail conditions, absconded, and didn’t return to court as legally agreed to try to retain his freedom and defeat the warrant. He did it nevertheless, not by physically fleeing the Country, as people like him often do, but by fleeing it ‘in kind’ by moving into a foreign EMBASSY in London, which ‘technically’ is a different country, isn’t it? Yep, and our authorities aren’t even allowed to enter those, which are out-of-bounds diplomatic buildings – so it was safe haven from justice for Mr Assange, wasn’t it? [Not only that but he has cost the UK at least £13 million dodging justice].
A very clever move certainly, but that doesn’t make him ‘guilty’ of anything of course, though it raises questions about his honesty, reliability, and personal commitment to the normally accepted Western justice systems, doesn’t it? Well, Assange’s announced excuse for his unacceptable manipulations to dodge due process, his unwillingness to return (voluntarily or otherwise) to Sweden to defend himself, was because he speculated he MIGHT be subsequently extradited to the United States to face charges there, although as yet it would seem, that there no charges laid, eh?
Was he afraid because he was guilty of offences in both Sweden AND the USA, or in one country, or neither? Who knows, but his actions show that he was simply employing the often-used criminal technique of answering “no comment” in police questioning, wouldn’t you say? Well, our ‘absented’ Assange certainly seems to have escaped any kind of justice for now, hasn’t he? Yes, after holing-up since 2012, untouchable in the very midst of British embassy land and a couple of miles from the Royal Courts of Justice, when unfortunately, the Swedes finally gave-up their long quest of 5 years to have him back and due to lack of progress cancelled their warrant.
What that news did to his alleged victims, we can only speculate, but he himself was cock-a-hoop, as he celebrated his disgusting achievement from a balcony of his safe haven, and reiterated his claim of his innocence of rape –just a pity that he won’t do so from the dock of a court as, all others accused of such a despicable crime would have to do, don’t you think?
We are constantly faced with examples, particularly of sexual criminals, many often prominent or famous personalities who thought they were immune from prosecution [like say Australian children entertainer Rolf Harris (jailed for 5¾ years for 12 indecent assaults on 4 young girls), English international footballer Adam Johnson (jailed for 6 years for grooming and sexually assaulting a 15 year old schoolgirl), It’s a Knockout presenter Stuart Hall (pleaded guilty at trial so jailed for just 2½ years for indecently assaulting 13 girls aged between nine and 17, then another 2½ years for admitted indecently assaulting an underage girl), celebrity publicist Max Clifford (jailed for 8 years for 8 counts of indecent assaults against teenage girls and young women, one against a 15year old – some considered rapes really), or former singer and pop star Gary Glitter jailed for a total of 16 years for attempted rape, 4 indecent assaults and a count of having sex with a 13 years old girl), who all have resolutely and vehemently publically pronounced their innocent of the crimes, only to be blatantly exposed in court, so sent down for lengthy sentences when the juries clearly saw through the massive web of lies offered in their defence by expensive smart-arsed lawyers, eh? They always (like Assange) claim that in the case of alleged rape, the sex was consensual, don’t they?
Now, Assange may well be the exception, but we will now can’t know, if he never faces the established justice process, will we? However, it is crystal clear that he is certainly guilty of one major offence, isn’t he? Yes, and that is the one of skipping bail and failing to surrender to court, and he will certainly be arrested for that by the Metropolitan Police, the moment he sets foot onto the streets of London outside the embassy. It would best serve the course of justice in this Country, if the courts made an example of him to deter all bail jumpers and bang him-up in prison for the maximum of a year and hopefully then extradite him to the US after serving his sentence, to finally face due process there, don’t you think?
Some fourteen thousand suspected or convicted criminals have skipped court bail and gone on the run when charged with serious crimes including murder, child sex offences, rape, violent assaults, grievous bodily harm, firearms offences, indecency, fraud, and the like – sometimes going back up to a decade, with the oldest outstanding arrest warrant nearly forty-years old, indeed? The highest known number of warrants is nigh-on two thousand (Met Police) but a number of other forces are chasing a thousand or more absconders. Why, why, oh why, do the courts still bend over backwards to give bail to all manner of suspects, including those who regularly fail to turn-up – all of which results in substantial costs to our society and total disruption of the legal process. Many criminals get convicted but then are released from custody only to disappear BEFORE sentencing, aren’t they?
[All that is in addition of course to the estimated four hundred thousand people a year, who are out on ‘pre-charge’ police bail, while enquiries continue about their alleged offences].
Does that really represent a fair and ‘fit-for-purpose’ criminal justice system, or sound to you like justice for the victims of crime to help them recover from offences committed against them, eh?
[Julian Assange is still holed-up in the Ecuadorian embassy (exactly why they have taken him in, is anyone’s guess, isn’t it?), and that has lasted 4 years and 357 days so far – a self-imposed exile from society, when he might have been much better off even in actual prison, don’t you think?]
Many can be released on bail at the police station after they’ve been charged, and are allowed home until their court hearing. Sometimes they have to agree to conditions like where they live, who they can contact, passport withdrawal, reporting to police station. At court, they might be given bail until their trial begins, but might not depending on the seriousness of the offences charged, past serious crime convictions, past absconding (or suspected this time), potential commitment of crimes while out on bail.
The problem is that the system is far too lax in applying these criteria, simply because of chronic prison overcrowding so despite thirty-thousand ‘prosecuted’ bail-jumpers most will avoid a custodial sentence – it is said that there are currently thirty-seven thousand bail-jumpers at large with a tenth of them dangerous violent offenders.
Nearly 40 criminals were found guilty of killing a member of the public while still at large in 2011, with 436 murders over the previous dozen years being committed by someone on bail.