He was hoping for a happy ending. He was signaling on social media Monday that the end of his days in exile were soon to be over.
Yeah. Maybe not.
For over five years, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange has huddled inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he fled after being charged with rape in Sweden.
The rape charges have been dropped, so his lawyers maintain that should free up Assange to continue on, as if nothing ever happened.
To be clear, he’s not wanted on the rape charges. He’s wanted because he jumped bail and fled in 2012, rather than stay and face his accusers.
For further clarification: The reason the rape charges were dropped is because while in exile, the Swedish prosecutors saw no way to retrieve him and bring him to justice.
No, the two women who charged him with rape and sexual assault in 2010 did not change their minds.
So why flee, if you have a good case?
That’s a question for another day, but for this day, a UK judge, Judge Emma Arbuthnot, has rejected his lawyers’ argument that because those rape charges were eventually dropped, his jumping bail and fleeing wasn’t really jumping bail and fleeing.
Yeah. He was just taking a spur-of-the-moment vacation.
“I am not persuaded the warrant should be withdrawn,” Arbuthnot told lawyers, journalists and Assange supporters gathered at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Arbuthnot said in her ruling that “the administration of justice can be undermined by defendants who fail to attend” court while free on bail.
“Mr. Assange is not present in court today,” she noted.
The judge went on to say that had Assange bothered to show up, he’d at least be able to make his case and give cause for breaching his bail conditions.
He’s not getting a lot of help, and of course, he blames the U.S. – his constant target – for working behind the scenes to punish him because of leaking classified U.S. documents. He feels there’s a secret U.S. indictment against him, and that U.S. authorities are seeking his extradition.
Maybe Sean Hannity can help him out.
Ecuador also asked Britain to grant him diplomatic status. Britain refused, saying “the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”
And then this:
British prosecutors had opposed the removal of the warrant, saying Assange shouldn’t be immune from the law simply because he has managed to evade justice for a long time.
Rebecca Niblock, an extradition attorney out of Kingsley Napley noted that his hopes of walking away from the charges against him were pretty slim.
“Failing to surrender to bail is like insulting the court’s authority” and unlikely to go down well with the court, she said.
I guess his work with the Kremlin, the Trumps, and Sean Hannity has made him feel a bit “above the law.”
That trip back to earth must have been a real shocker.