Good news for Jeremy Corbyn might be good news for Assange

I wrote the other day how Brexit was imploding the Tories. It turns out that the Tory collapse is picking up speed, all to the benefit of UK Labour.
Selection_002_10.png

Labour could capitalise on the Brexit delay to sweep into power, with the Tories set to lose 59 seats in the event of a general election, according to Electoral Calculus research for The Sunday Telegraph.

The analysis is the latest in a clutch of surveys which point to a collapse in the Conservative vote, with two other polls this weekend putting support for the party at its lowest in at least five years.

The Electoral Calculus poll of polls carried out between 2 and 11 April indicated Labour would become the largest party in the Commons, with 296 seats against the Conservatives’ 259.

I pointed out that Assange had a slim ray of hope based on certain things lining up, and Corbyn becoming PM was the most important of those things.

The good news here is that a general election happening this year is almost baked into the cake.
The bad news is that PM May got a Brexit extension through October. Assange's extradition hearing is in June, although that could drag out if Sweden decides that they want Assange.

Even if Sweden doesn't ask for Assange, the extradition process may just give Corbyn enough time.

The UK is pursuing Assange’s extradition on behalf of the US government, but extradition cases between the two countries are complex affairs. Assuming the defendant doesn’t agree to surrender and contests the removal, there are not only multiple levels for appeals, but multiple forums, too. Defendants have spent years in custody as they fought extradition — one terrorism suspect, Babar Ahmad, who eventually pleaded guilty, was arrested in the UK in 2004 and held for eight years before he was extradited to the US in 2012.

There’s a good chance that however long it takes, Assange will remain behind bars.

It's not good that he'll spend years in prison in the UK, but that's still better than the show trial and black hole he'll face in the U.S.

Share
up
24 users have voted.

Comments

dkmich's picture

time served in the Embassy? Even if the US gets their mitts on him, hopefully a President Bernie could pardon Assange, Snowden and Manning. This is why it is so important for Bernie to say something.

up
14 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Bollox Ref's picture

@dkmich

But has he actually been sentenced for anything?

Pardon power in the UK is a royal prerogative, not usually done willy-nilly, so Corbyn couldn't just declare things void. There's a whole process involved. Corbyn couldn't do what Bill Clinton did for Marc Rich.

(Edited)

up
8 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

lotlizard's picture

@Bollox Ref

up
4 users have voted.

@dkmich
have a written constitution, so there is no hard and fast set of rules about what Corbyn "can" or "cannot" do. However, the currently applicable convention is that the PM can request that the Queen issue a Royal Pardon; but only the monarch herself has the power to pardon.

Should the Queen attempt to pardon someone against the wishes of the PM, or should the Queen refuse to pardon someone at the request/recommendation of the PM, a "Constitutional Crisis" would ensue. That's what they call it in the UK, when one or another party to the political structure tries to color outside the understood lines. (In the US, of course, coloring outside the lines while staying inside the constraints set by the language of the Constitution is called "hardball politics". It's an impractical and epistemologically indefensible approach.)

These "pardons" -- they're more like commutations, often -- are VERY rare, and almost always are used either in the case of someone who is understood to have been wrongfully convicted, but for whom there is no remaining legal recourse; or to reduce a sentence that is perceived to be excessive (once upon a time, to reduce a death sentence to a life sentence, but they don't have the death penalty anymore ...).

There is a concept of "statutory pardon", but I think this generally refers to pardoning a class of people for something that is no longer considered a crime. 99% of all references I can find with google deal with "Turing's Law", which pardoned people (most of them long dead) who had been convicted of "gross indecency", i.e., homosexual acts.

There's also apparently some kind of pardon carried out by an "Act in Council", but I can't find any more info on that.

up
10 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

@dkmich
Anyway, it turns out that the UK/US extradition treaty is controversial, and not universally admired within the British establishment. It also appears that its implementation is significantly subject to oversight by the executive, rather than the judiciary. Wikipedia says:

Gary McKinnon – extradition blocked on 16 October 2012 by order of Home Secretary Theresa May, on the grounds that "Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights."

Presumably, any Home Secretary declining to block an extradition at the behest of the PM would be compelled to resign, and would be replaced with someone more congenial to the PM's policy.

up
7 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Centaurea's picture

@dkmich
Assange would even need to be in US custody for POTUS to pardon him. Trump could do it today if he wanted to. Not just for the specific charges in the current indictment, either, but for anything Assange may have done.

up
3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

a bunch of files Assange could release if things got too bad for him.

or maybe if he was assassinated

nothing has come out so far

maybe a bad strategy when so much power is against you and better to see how the legal challenge evolves

and how public opinion responds

up
8 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@DonMidwest set to be triggered upon something happening to Assange.

After Assange was arrested last week, Wikileaks tweeted a link to a huge document dump, but it doesn't look like the poison pill. Many of the docs had apparently been released previously.

Interestingly, the dump contained documents dating back to 1984. Speculation is that this particular dump was symbolic, Wikileaks sending a message.

up
6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone