Funny how these stories sometimes come up in tandem, isn’t it? Julian Assange has just been arrested for skipping bail and on the very same day we get told that Jack Savage – the speedboat killer – has been sentenced to 6 months for skipping bail.
Which is just an interesting little confluence of stories, isn’t it?
Guardian reporter Simon Murphy has been at Westminster magistrates court, where Julian Assange was found guilty of skipping bail after spending nearly seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. Justice Michael Snow described Assange as a narcissist. Snow told the court: “His assertion that he has had not had a fair hearing is laughable. And his behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get past his own self-interest.” Assange, who pleaded not guilty, has been remanded in custody due to face sentencing at Southwark crown court at a date yet to be set.
It’s not that difficult to find him guilty of skipping bail of course. He was on bail, didn’t turn up for court, he skipped bail. Rather open and shut. And to the other case:
Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has been sentenced to six months in prison for going on the run after being convicted of the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown.
There’s something else to look out for there. This:
The United States has requested the extradition of Assange and charged him with involvement in computer hacking with Chelsea Manning. The Metropolitan police said the arrest was made on behalf of the US authorities.
The US justice department said Assange faces up to five years in jail if convicted. It said extradition request is being handled by its office of international affairs.
Now it’s necessary to think back a bit about this. For recall what the general justification for Assange skipping bail was. He was wanted in Sweden to answer rape charges – or at least for questioning over. The argument then became, well, if he were extradited to Sweden then he might then get sent on further to the US. Who wanted to put him in a SuperMax for life or summat over Wikileaks.
To which the general answer was if the US wants to extradite him they can do it from the UK. So, why not go to Sweden to answer those rape charges? The answer there always descended into a welter of because, reasons.
Now we’re here. The US is trying to extradite Assange from the UK. No need to do it through Sweden, as we realists always said. Meaning, obviously enough, that not going to Sweden didn’t save from US extradition requests. So, you know, why didn’t Julian go answer those rape questions?
Even, since answering those charges now won’t change the US extradition thing one tiny bit, why not answer those Swedish rape charges?