Coffee House

Galloway and Murray’s smears ignore how simple the Assange case is

22 August 2012

22 August 2012

The remorseless smears of the alleged victims of serious sexual assault by George Galloway MP and Craig Murray, our former ambassador to Uzbekistan will have serious consequences for the victims of sexual assault on British shores. Both men are guilty of some of the most callous behaviour of modern political times in their intemperate outbursts, which are about much more than Julian Assange.

The victims of these crimes in this country already suffer from a unique combination of trauma and stigma. It is no surprise that rape and associated crimes are perennially underreported.

An authoritative study commissioned by the Home Office in 2007 found that ‘between 75 and 95 per cent of rape crimes are never reported to the police’. The real significance comes from the explanation of why this figure is so high:

Studies show that the decision not to report is often based on a combination of factors and that many of these are connected to the notion of ‘real rape’ – that is, committed by a stranger, in a public place or in the context of a break-in, and involving force and injury.

This is, of course, a highly tapered definition of rape but it explains a popular misconception which my colleague Isabel examined in greater depth yesterday.

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But the pitiless tirade of abuse that Galloway and Murray have aimed at the alleged victims of Julian Assange has only reinforced that narrow view of rape. It will undoubtedly discourage more victims of sexual assault from coming forward.

Galloway used an online chat show to discredit and demonise Assange’s accusers:

‘The allegations made against him [Assange] by the two women – and I’m not even going into their political connections, I’m going to leave that for others and for another day. I’m going to leave the fact that one, maybe both, of his accusers have the strangest of links to the strangest of people, organisations and states, I’m going to leave that entirely aside.

‘Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape. At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it.’

The unspoken corollary is clear and hugely damaging. If it happened then it wasn’t ‘real rape’, but why even believe the little molls anyway? Didn’t you know they have ‘political connections’ with ‘the strangest of people, organisations and states?’

It is hard to think of a similar case where the alleged victims of a serious assault have been publicly maligned in such a way. To make it worse, Galloway and Murray are both men who are intimately familiar with the political system.

This is really a very simple case, much more so than Assange’s supporters would have you believe. A crime has been alleged. The police are investigating. They have questions they would like Assange to answer. Instead, his supporters are so fixated with the myth of ‘American imperialism’ and its supposedly creeping tentacles that they would rather we subvert the rule of law.

That is the principle on which this whole impasse currently stands: due process. One might have expected Galloway and Murray to appreciate this, but in their ceaseless quest to defend anyone perceived to be striking a blow against the American Colossus they are happy to sacrifice not just the very system to which they owe their careers but, worse, the present and future victims of serious sexual assault.


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Show comments
  • http://twitter.com/ianwalkeruk Ian Walker

    I love the deluded way that some commenters assume that Assange would ever make it to Sweden.

    The CIA don’t do subtlety, and America doesn’t give a damn about sovereignty when it wants to get it’s man, Western style. If the US wants Assange in Virginia, then that is where he will end up sooner or later.

  • David Lindsay

    I wonder if, as a Commonwealth citizen, Julian Assange might be eligible to contest the parliamentary seat that is being vacated by Louise Mensch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iain-Hill/100000917822376 Iain Hill

    Remove the US threat, then let Assange face the charges in Sweden. It is a fair bet that they will fade away!

  • victor67

    I suggest all those concerned about persuing this alledged “sex offender watch the journeyman documentary Sex.Lies and Jullian Assange

  • victor67

    “Serious sexual assault” So why did one of the women text her friend the night after they had sex boasting just spent the night with one of the coolest, smartest dudes on the planet. Sounds kind of strange language from someone who has just been raped.
    Also why did the Swedish government inact a red notice to interpol for his arrest. This is usually reserved for International terrorists.
    Its simple Sweeden state they will not extradite him to a 3rd party for political offences and the US state they do not intend to charge him with spying and Assange will go back to Sweeden.
    They won’t because there is currently a grand jury sitting in Virginia preparing a case.

    • Andy

      Most of what you say is proper for the trial. That is where the evidence will be tested and Assange’s guilt or innocence established, not here.

      Sweden cannot give an assurance that they will not extradite Assange to another country. An extradition request is a legal process and is dealt with on its merits. In this particular case Sweden could not extradite Assange to another country without the consent of the United Kingdom. Such consent would be considered by and given by the Home Secretary and would be subject to Judicial Review in our Courts.

      • Nicholas

        Interesting that you believe all allegations should go to trial. Investigations are supposed to determine whether an offence has been committed as well as identify the offender(s). Once again you seem eager to fast track the process to a court regardless of the quality of evidence or whether it has been first tested by objective investigation.

        • Andy

          I suggest you actually take the time and trouble to read the judgement given in the High Court and the Supreme Court. Such study would show how silly your comments are.

          • Nicholas

            I have read the judgements. They give me no confidence in the system of justice in this socialist satellite of the EU.

            • Radford_NG

              23 Aug. c.4.20am.BST…………British magistrates and judges are no-longer independent.Before being sworn-in they have to take what I call a brain-washing course in ‘p.c.’.If they make non-p.c. statements from the bench they are suspended and ordered to go and be re-brain-washed.//………//This is a long-way from the Judge a 100yrs. ago who told the jury to ask themselves:”….what the man going home to his family on top of the Clapham tram would think about the matter”.

              • Nicholas

                Agreed. And the development of this thread as well as the heading article demonstrates just how far we have shifted from those staples of English law and how sinister is the complicit ignorance displayed here of what has been lost – or more correctly subverted.

        • Andy

          I suggest you actually take the time and trouble to read the judgement given in the High Court and the Supreme Court. Such study would show how silly your comments are.

  • David Ossitt

    “An authoritative study commissioned
    by the Home Office in 2007 found that ‘between 75 and 95 per cent of
    rape crimes are never reported to the police’.”

    What a load of codswallop how on earth can those figures be
    justified, if we stupidly take them as fact then what you are saying is that at
    worst as few as 5% of rapes are reported to the police and at best 25%.

    How can anyone know
    how many have not been reported, it is an unknown number.

  • David Ossitt

    “An authoritative study commissioned
    by the Home Office in 2007 found that ‘between 75 and 95 per cent of
    rape crimes are never reported to the police’.”

    What a load of codswallop how on earth can those figures be
    justified, if we stupidly take them as fact then what you are saying is that at
    worst as few as 5% of rapes are reported to the police and at best 25%.

    How can anyone know
    how many have not been reported, it is an unknown number.

    • tele_machus

      You sir are either blind or daft
      Surveys from umpteen sources involving women both anonymously and some n he record show this.
      Is Galloway a friend of yours?

      • David Ossitt

        How can anyone say that between “75 and 95 per cent of
        rape crimes are never reported to the police”?

        If they are not reported there is no record to be counted and to make such an assesment from.

    • tele_machus

      You sir are either blind or daft
      Surveys from umpteen sources involving women both anonymously and some n he record show this.
      Is Galloway a friend of yours?

  • Daniel Maris

    The Assange case is at least amusing since everyone ends up in a confused heap embracing people they never meant to…

    Galloway ends up opposing the socialist-feminists. Americans, with the most liberal free speech laws in the world, seek to stop free speech. Assange who claims to support free speech seeks the protection of a Latin American El Presidente with a familiar approach to journalists back home. Sweden, home of European Social Democracy ends up friend of America and the CIA. Hague, oft praised for his sure hand in foreign affairs, ends up making a complete prat of himself by threatening to storm an Embassy. The Guardian is having a near nervous breakdown trying to work out what the bien pensants should think.

    It’s a right laugh!

    • rosie

      Hague didn’t threaten to storm the embassy. He reminded them we have a law which enables us to rescind the diplomatic status of an embassy which has abused the principles of diplomatic immunity. Very different from threatening to go in. It just reminded people that if they abuse diplomatic immunity there may be consequences. Diplomatically embarrassing ones, not violent military ones.
      Otherwise I agree with you. Especially on the feminists at the Guardian. Goodness, it has taken them a long time to work out whose side they are on! Zoe Williams has even got round now to sticking up for Hague herself !

      • Andy

        Correct !! The law was brought in after the old Cambodian embassy was squatted for 15 years ! Ecuador are really abusing the embassy by granting Assange asylum. Problem for them is that Assange cannot leave the embassy, which incidentally is not the building merely a 3 bed flat ! The communal areas are British territory. So eventually he will have to surrender himself to the Police.

        I don’t read the Guardian, which is nothing better than a fascist rag. But it is very amusing that all the ‘lefties’ are tying themselves up in knots over it all. And a group of them have lost £240000 which should give us all a great deal of pleasure ! Serves them right. Of course Assange seems to fall out with most people – he did with the hacks on the Guardian.

        • rosie

          The feminists at the Guardian must have found it all the more difficult to know which furrow to plough now that their erstwhile Sisters at the BBC are coming over all Islamist, and therefore presumably as coldy unsympathetic to date-rape victims as both sets of Brothers.

    • Austin Barry

      It is amusing. An alleged albino Australian rapist is hoisted on to an anti-American cross by some suddenly anti-feminist lefties one of whom is a mad Scottish, cat-suited Islamist MP. I can’t wait to see the panto.

      • Adrian Drummond

        What a stupid unsubstantiated comment.

  • Augustus

    The problem with all modern leftists is they operate outside any genuine ethical tradition. They are essentially lawless people who believe just because they have “The Answer,” they may flout every principle of democracy and order to install their “Facts.” Since people like Assange have found “The Truth;” they answer to no one. Therefore, leftists consider themselves above any law, beholden to no one, and often willing to destroy the entire world for some perverse philosophical goal. Assange’s activism is not directed at revealing the secrets of the United
    Nations or of journalistic organizations. It is guided by antipathy for America.
    The United States, in Assange’s view, is an “authoritarian conspiracy” that
    should be crippled by disrupting its flow of information. It doesn’t matter if American methods are martial or diplomatic, since its
    purposes are inherently imperialistic and colonial. Assange is just a nasty upstart whose hacker anarchism is more of a pose than a principle.

    • Nicholas

      But that applies equally to those who have decided he is guilty of rape, many of whom are also leftists. What a conundrum for them!

    • tele_machus

      Yes Assange is a nasty upstart but he has nothing to do with the left who all hate him and his methods
      There are honourable ways to skin chickens

      • Austin Barry

        Surely, Assange is the darling of the left simply by reason of being anti-American, which, to them, trumps alleged rape.

      • Austin Barry

        Surely, Assange is the darling of the left simply by reason of being anti-American, which, to them, trumps alleged rape.

  • DisqustheDiscus

    Setting
    aside the (massive) factor that Assange is utterly in thrall to his own fantasy
    of ‘American Imperialism’, why doesn’t he just go to Sweden? The accommodation will be just as good! If there is a trial then,
    given the attention, it’s going to have to be one of the fairest ever. If the
    case against him is all as politically motivated (of course Assange and his
    supporters are in no way ever politically motivated!) and weak as is claimed,
    then the chances must be that he will be found innocent. This would be a huge
    triumph; he would be strengthened and vindicated – a proven warrior for truth
    and justice! Immune also, probably, with public opinion behind him. How happy
    the chippy Ecuadorians would be! Comrade Julian would be free to join them, a
    revolutionary hero! (He would actually want to go, wouldn’t he?? Yes…???) If (and it is
    a huge IF) the American government applies for extradition and if (seldom have
    so many people stood on pavements for so many ifs…) this is approved by
    Sweden (and if then by the UK and then presumably the Euro Court(s) and if by the
    UN and if by the Martians and who knows who else) and he goes to the US – well
    – great! What a platform! Pro bono lawyers lining up to fight his case and take
    on the ‘evil’ US government
    (the assumption that if Assange were ever extradited to the US he could
    just rot away without due trial in a blaze of publicity is just comic). The politics of sitting in the Ecuadorian
    Embassy are nuts, fuelled by irrational paranoid nonsense, not objectivity. What can be keeping Assange there apart from cowardice, guilt and hypocrisy? (everyone
    else’s actions need to be made transparent, exposed to the searchlight of
    ‘truth’… except dear Juilan’s… strange, that.) But then many self-proclaimed fighters for justice would rather spend time making hectoring speeches in London and providing political cover for illiberal Latin American politicians than actually taking a tiny bit of personal risk.

    • tele_machus

      Assange is probably in fact and fairness truly frightened of the US given his comments Sunday.
      Among other things, he talked about the case of Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of leaking state secrets to him. “If Bradley Manning did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to all of us and one of the world’s foremost political prisoners,” Assange said.
      And there is a grain of truth:-
      Bradley, 24, has now spent more than 800 days behind bars without trial in military prison. For much of the time he has been in solitary confinement for 23 to 24 hours a day and denied clothes and blankets at night.
      “You can hear Bradley coming from a long way away because of the chains,” David House, a friend who visits him, has said. “His feet have chains on them, they go to a leather belt around his waist,” he adds. “His hands go into them and he has no free movement of his hands.”
      There are 22 charges against Manning, including “aiding the enemy”. This is what Dear Julian thinks the US state wants to do to him
      *
      This does not however excuse rape and if he were sent to the States it would be just deserts

  • zooter11

    The fact that he was interviewed and released, does not indicate guilt or innocence. Suspects are routinely released and re arrested in all countries,including the U.K. Its called an investigation, that is carried out to obtain evidence. When sufficient evidence as been obtained he may well be charged.
    Of course the four items set out in the warrant are offences. They will be offences under the Swedish Criminal Code. Just as Rape is an offence in this country and a person will be arrested on suspicion of committing this offence. They will still be offences once he is charged.

    • Nicholas

      No, arresting people is not an investigation. Under the old, late and lamented “Judges Rules” investigations could be carried out without an arrest up to the point of a decision to charge. Today’s prosecutors and police are so ignorant of our common law and so poorly trained that they seem to believe arrest must precede investigation. And they are considerably better at depriving people of liberty (and smashing down their doors) than they are of investigating crime. The old caution has been manipulated accordingly to provide for a coercive intimidation of those in custody to answer questions. See Augustus below – he gets it. You don’t.

      As for “offences”. Yes, the warrant might set out offences but there has been no completion of an investigation to determine whether any offences have actually been committed. You say that someone can be arrested on suspicion. No! There must be reasonable grounds for that suspicion. Are there reasonable grounds in this case? Where are the independent witnesses?

      • tele_machus

        Again like Galloway you rubbish the charges given only the type of charge.
        Maybe a retinue of my fine long nailed lady friends need to visit some othose spouting opinions here

        • Nicholas

          There are no charges so they cannot be rubbished. There are only allegations. And all you can do when faced with dissent is resort to smears, abuse and threats of mob violence. You are a bit pathetic aren’t you? A bit sad and wee and twee. But I love the fact that you represent the barmy left in a way no parody ever could.

  • ScaryBiscuits

    This is how the left works: having created literally hundreds of silly new laws, usually with no mandate from voters, such as the EU arrest warrant, they then insist that this is ‘due process’ that must now be followed without thinking.
    They fail to understand that it is not Assange that most of us are supporting. Neither are most of us ‘smearing’ the complainants. It is the perverted and disproportionate legal process and its apologists that we find so objectionable.
    Most people would not describe the charges (that have not actually yet been laid against Assange) as ‘serious assault’. Serious assault usually means causing actual bodily harm. Slapping somebody in the face but doing no physical damage may humiliate the victim but is not traditionally regarded as ‘serious’ anymore than a verbal assault would be no matter how hurtful to the victim. Equally there is rape and rape. To insist that they are all the same – that there is one ‘due process’ for them all – is as stupid as saying all assaults are the same.
    Finally, the people who suffer most from this are not people like Assange or his alleged victims. They are the women who have been raped in a very bad way and who are fearful of reporting a serious crime, not because of the people who support Assange but because of the people like Shiraz who insist that all rapes are the same. By saying everything is serious they are effectively saying nothing is. And that really is bad for women.

    • tele_machus

      So rape is not a serious assault
      If you are truly such a misogynist what say you the rape of a teenage boy in shop toilets in Manchester reported yesterday was

      • http://twitter.com/danieljohnson85 Daniel Johnson

        That proves his point if anything – compare that incident to what Assange is accused of.

  • Archimedes

    I think you may be overstating, just slightly, the impact that George Galloway has on society. This article is also quite PC.

    These victims are being publicly maligned because you, and other factions of the media, are polarising the debate in a way that it does not need to be polarised.

  • PGarner

    One thing about the whole ‘He will be sent to the US from Sweden’ theory is, why bother to get him to Sweden first ? It seems our courts are more than happy to send anyone to the mercy of the US judicial system at the drop of a hat, so why no apply for his extradition straight from the UK ?

    • tele_machus

      No no no
      This issue is the wanton disregard of the Equadoreans of his serious sexual Assault and the need to get him to Sweden to face justice
      (And of course the heinous behaviour of Galloway and also a few apologists on this thread)

      • Nicholas

        “his serious sexual Assault” has not been proven. You are no better than a kangaroo court. NO surprise since you admire Stalin.

      • PGarner

        There are lots of issues here, but my serious question was about his supporters saying he shouldn’t be sent to Sweden because he will be extradited to the US. Why is it easier for the US to extradite him from Sweden than the UK ? If the US want him, they could have applied for his extradition from the UK. If they don’t want him, then his argument against being sent to Sweden is undermined.
        As for the granting of asylum, my understanding is that this should not have happened. Asylum is not there to allow escape from criminal charges.

  • In2minds

    Like George Galloway Ken Clarke is an expert on rape.

  • Nicholas

    There is a lot of emotion in this. The allegations are just that – allegations. But the circumstances, however the anti-Assange, pro-EU law, anti-rape, pro-feminist lobby might try to spin them are decidedly peculiar. When concerns are raised about the case those raising them are subject to various forms of abuse – a trend in modern politics where non-conformist points of view are subject to intimidation if they do not fit a certain politically correct narrative. There are no victims yet – only complainants and/or witnesses because the degree of harm has not yet been established. There can only be a victim once a crime has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. What you are doing is pre-judging as much as anyone else. Stop referring to Assange as though he is a convicted offender. That is just as bad as decrying the allegations.

    • tele_machus

      Guilty as sin Nicholas
      We can be as unreasonable as your second line shows you are

      • Nicholas

        I’m not being unreasonable. There are agendas at work and they seldom bother about justice or truth in their rush to exercise control over those who don’t think as they do. I am guilty of nothing but disagreeing which of course in your lefto-fascist world is a great crime.

    • tele_machus

      Guilty as sin Nicholas
      We can be as unreasonable as your second line shows you are

  • Corvinus


    That is the principle on which this whole impasse currently stands: due process”

    Perhaps you could give some thought as to whether “due process” as in fact been followed – from charges being developed by the Swedish prosecution service that apparently go beyond the grounds of the womens’ original complaints, to the leaking of Assange’s arrest to the media and his arrest “in absentia”, through to the very extra-ordinary lengths the UK government is going to to get him sent back to Sweden when they make little or no effort to deport convicted criminals.

    It’s a “process” but one should not be surprised if some think if falls short of a “due” one

    • tele_machus

      How can anyone but decry what Assange did and what evil Galloway commented
      Assange is accused of having sex with a woman while she was asleep and a separate incident of forcing a woman to have sex without a condom.
      Galloway in addition to the calumnies reprted by Shiraz said not everybody needed to be asked “prior to each insertion” and that once you’ve had sex with someone once “you’re already in the sex game with them.
      “It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again?’ It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”
      The good folk of Bradford should rise up and dump him
      Or perhaps deal with him as the Milanese partisans dealt with Mussolini

      • Corvinas

        We are neck deep in comments here decrying what Assange is alleged to have done and what the pantomime villain Galloway has said. But the issue raised in this post is that all of this is irrelevant – the issue is one of due process. Well having raised the question Shiraz Maher totally fails to address it. – Very strange!

      • Nicholas

        “What Assange did” is alleged not established. Galloway might be evil but he is entitled to his views and to express them, however distasteful.

        However it can be established without doubt that what you did here is to incite mob violence towards Galloway. However much I detest him I would not wish that fate on any human being. And it sickens me quite a lot that you, the self-boasting model of reasonableness, of phrases which are not evil and comments which are not crazy, can do so. But then I suppose, for an admirer of Stalin the prospect of someone being shot, kicked and spat at, hung from a meathook by the ankles and then stoned and mutilated is no big deal.

    • John_Page

      the very extra-ordinary lengths the UK government is going to to get him
      sent back to Sweden when they make little or no effort to deport
      convicted criminals.

      This is – I assume deliberately misleading – tripe. Our woeful performance in deporting criminals who’ve served a sentence here has no connection with enforcement of a legally binding European Arrest Warrant.

      • Corvinus

        Do they not both fall under the responsibility of our respected Home Secretary? We could have told Sweden “sorry he’s holed up in the Ecuador embassy – can’t do any more. Besides – has has a pet cat so deporting him back to Sweden would violate his right to family life”. But we didn’t we surrounded the place and threatened to storm it in violation of various international treaties. Very strange!

      • Nicholas

        “Our woeful performance in deporting criminals who’ve served a sentence here has no connection with enforcement of a legally binding European Arrest Warrant.”

        It’s an odd paradox though, eh? On the one hand so simple and legally binding on the other hand so difficult and the legal bindings so easily challenged.

    • Andy

      You are talking complete and utter twaddle. This case has had extensive ‘due process’ before our Courts. You talk of ‘the very extra-ordinary lengths the UK government is going to get him sent back to Sweden. . ‘ All that has happened in the UK is that the Law has taken its course. At every single juncture Assange has tried to frustrate the process and has lost. His arguments, like yours, are nonsense.

      It might enlighten you to read this -:
      http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.html

      If you read this judgement you will notice that Assange left Sweden after an Arrest Warrant had been issued for him. The Swedish Authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant on 20/11/2010. This set out four offences -:
      1. Unlawful coercion.
      2. Sexual molestation.
      3 Sexual molestation.
      4. Rape.

      Assange appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court and their Lordships delivered judgement on 30th May 2012. Read it -: http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/docs/UKSC_2011_0264_Judgment.pdf
      Or you can read the Press summary -: http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/docs/UKSC_2011_0264_ps.pdf

      • Adrian Drummond

        You conveniently forgot to mention that:

        “On 30 August 2010 Mr Assange, who had voluntarily remained in Sweden to co-operate with the investigation, was interviewed. Mr Assange subsequently left Sweden on or about 27 September 2010 in ignorance of the fact that an arrest warrant had been issued”

        If you examine other information, there are many peculiarities concerning Swedish justice and US involvement.

        • Andy

          I’m not interested in your ‘peculiarities’. I’m interested in the Law and its proper application. That is why I have posted the two links to the judgement of the High Court and to that of the Supreme Court. Everything the UK has done has been inaccord with the Law. So Assange (and you for that matter) can create as much smoke as he wishes, but his extradition is lawful and proper. He has a case to answer. Let him answer it.

          • Nicholas

            What’s your view on the judgement of the Volksgerichtshof against the July plotters? Was that not “lawful and proper” too, according to those, like you, who supported the status quo?

            And try to answer without the childish personal abuse this time.

            • Andy

              You are being silly. To compare, as you are doing, the English Legal system with that of Nazi German is bloody offensive.

              Go and read the Judgements of the High Court and the Supreme Court instead of smearing all and sundry.

              • Nicholas

                I am not comparing it. I am merely making the point that just because it is the law that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. It is not that long ago that homosexuals were criminalised here and that was “the law” too.

              • Daniel Maris

                The retiring Head of the Supreme Court, the Lord Chief Justice, recently stated that in the event that legislation introduced by parliament might provoke “social revolution”, judges would be entitled to strike down the legislation.

                That is an abrogation of democratic procedures, because the Supreme Court has not been given any such power by the people to strike down legislation. We are not that far away from the dismantling of democracy.

          • Adrian Drummond

            You are missing the point. It is the due process in Sweden that is the problem, not the UK’s due process.

            I’m also suggesting you should be more circumspect in how you consider matters. The fact you draw attention to the small detail of a spelling mistake suggests – to me at least – that you do not see the bigger picture.

            And contrary to your assertion, I think it is the UK press that is creating smoke, not me. I’m only a foot-soldier in the fight for truth.

            • Andy

              In what way ‘is the due process in Sweden that is the problem’ ?? Have you read the judgement of the High Court and the Supreme Court ? In this ‘bigger picture’ does Justice for the two woman figure at all ? Or is it all anti-American bullshit ? You say you are ‘only a foot-soldier in the fight for truth’, so how about the truth of what Julian Assange did or did not do in Sweden.

              • Adrian Drummond

                Examine the due process in Sweden with the same fanaticism you appear to show for the process here and then get back to me. I can’t help you if you keep only looking for your information at one source. Further, you can’t reliable talk about justice for two women when it is currently no more than an allegation.

                • Nicholas

                  That is exactly the problem. People like Andy are accelerating the process and disregarding safeguards on the basis of assumptions. Assumptions that the complainants are being truthful, assumptions that Assange is guilty and assumptions that the law and its mechanisms are infallible.

                • Andy

                  No process created by Man is ever infallible. And you again lie about my position: I am not ‘accelerating the process’ nor am I ‘disregarding safeguards on the basis of assumptions’. Quite the opposite actually.

                  It is what you are doing that is disregarding legitimate allegations, declaring those who accuse as liars etc, on no basis whatsoever, and not allowing the matter to be tested in court. You are doing this on the basis of what you think and not on any evidence. I have referred you to judgements in both the High Court and the Supreme Court which gives you actually facts rather than nonsense and yet you wont even bother to look at it. Oh well. . . .

                • Nicholas

                  I have never once stated that those who accuse are liars. I don’t know whether they are or not. But the circumstances are odd. There is no such thing as a “legitimate allegation” until it has been tested by investigation. I can see no evidence of proper investigation here. The way to test the matter in court is to bring charges if there is sufficient evidence, not to seek to deprive an accused of liberty in order to interrogate him to determine if there is sufficient evidence to charge him. The process is twisted because common law has been subverted for ideological and political ends and in favour of the bureaucratic state rather than the free individual.

                • Andy

                  ‘I can see no evidence of proper investigation here. The way to test the matter in court is to bring charges if there is sufficient evidence, not to seek to deprive an accused of liberty in order to interrogate him to determine if there is sufficient evidence to charge him.’

                  You state there was ‘no evidence of proper investigation here’. Wrong. There is ample that there was and is a proper investigation.

                  You go on ‘the way to test the matter in court is to bring charges. . .’ Correct, but what you fail to understand is that the Swedish system is, as are most Continental systems, completely different to our own.

                  Here is Paragraph 142 from the High Court Judgement -:
                  Mr Assange contended prior to the hearing before the Senior District Judge that the warrant had been issued for the purpose of questioning Mr Assange rather than prosecuting him and that he was not accused of an offence. In response to that contention, shortly before that hearing, Mrs Ny provided a signed statement dated 11 February 2011 on behalf of the Prosecutor:”6. A domestic warrant for [Julian Assange’s] arrest was upheld [on] 24 November 2010 by the Court of Appeal, Sweden. An arrest warrant was issued on the basis that Julian Assange is accused with probable cause of the offences outlined on the EAW.7. According to Swedish law, a formal decision to indict may not be taken at the stage that the criminal process is currently at. Julian Assange’s case is currently at the stage of “preliminary investigation”. It will only be concluded when Julian Assange is surrendered to Sweden and has been interrogated.8. The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to investigate the crime. provide underlying material on which to base a decision concerning prosecution and prepare the case so that all evidence can be presented at trial. Once a decision to indict has been made, an indictment is filed with the court. In the case of a person in pre-trial detention, the trial must commence within 2 weeks. Once started, the trial may not be adjourned. It can, therefore be seen that the formal decision to indict is made at an advanced stage of the criminal proceedings. There is no easy analogy to be drawn with the English criminal procedure. I issued the EAW because I was satisfied that there was substantial and probable cause to accuse Julian Assange of the offences.9. It is submitted on Julian Assange’s behalf that it would be possible for me to interview him by way of Mutual Legal Assistance. This is not an appropriate course in Assange’s case. The preliminary investigation is at an advanced stage and I consider that is necessary to interrogate Assange, in person, regarding the evidence in respect of the serious allegations made against him.10. Once the interrogation is complete. it may be that further questions need to be put to witnesses or the forensic scientists. Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be lodged with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries.”

                  Paragraph 144 goes on -:
                  Mr Assange’s contention was that he had not been accused of an offence in Sweden. For that to happen a decision to prosecute had to be made and none had been. Criminal proceedings had not commenced. Lord Steyn, in Ismail in the passage at page 327 (which we have highlighted in italics at paragraph 133 above), had approved the approach of the Divisional Court in asking in that case whether the authorities had taken a step which could fairly be described as the commencement of proceedings. Reliance was placed on the following by Mr Assange:i) The Senior District Judge, who had heard evidence of Swedish law, had found on the evidence before him that the proceedings were at the preliminary investigation stage; that the preliminary investigation did not come to an end until the evidence was served on Mr Assange or his lawyer and there had been an interrogation of him with the opportunity for further enquiries. Thereafter there would be a decision to charge; if charged, it was likely that the trial would take place shortly thereafter.ii) There were numerous statements by Ms Ny that the proceedings were still at the investigative stage. She had said on 19 November 2010; “We have come to a point in the investigation where we cannot go further without speaking to Julian Assange.” She had written to the Australian Ambassador in December 2010 making it clear that she was engaged in an “on going investigation”. In a conversation with the Ambassador on 16 December 2010, she had confirmed that no decision had been made to prosecute Mr Assange. It was only when such a decision was made that Mr Assange would be granted access to all the documents in the case.iii) In the Prosecutor’s submission to the Svea Court of Appeal when it was considering the appeal of Mr Assange against the decision to issue a warrant for his arrest (to which we have referred at paragraph 51 above), the Prosecutor had stated that the reason for the arrest of Mr Assange was “in order to enable implementation of the preliminary investigation and possible prosecution”. In rejecting the appeal the Court had stated in its reasons that Mr Assange was “suspected with probable cause of’ the four offences to which we referred at paragraph 3.iv) The translation of the EAW was wrong; the word translated as “criminal prosecution” was in Swedish “for lagforing”. This was a general term relating to the entire process; it meant “legal proceedings”. There were more precise words that should have been used such as åtala or åklaga which meant prosecute or indict.

                • Nicholas

                  I understand perfectly that the Swedish system “is as are most Continental systems, completely different to our own.” That is rather my point since Assange is in England and looks to English law to protect him from foreign interventions. Common law which was unique to England in safeguarding citizens from state-sponsored injustice has been subverted by the nascent European state. The onus has been shifted to extend the power of the state at the expense of the citizen. There are many articles about this and the EAW. The evidence for its misuse is empirical.

                  How can there have been a proper investigation when the Swedish prosecutor herself states that the case is currently at the stage of “preliminary investigation”? That contradicts “probable cause” and any truly professional investigator would see that. Later she says this preliminary investigation is at an “advanced stage” and that it is necessary to interrogate Assange in person.

                  When Assange is “interrogated” all he can do is deny the allegations because there do not appear to be any witnesses and it appears unlikely that he will provide other evidence to establish his innocence. The case therefore rests one on one. The final parts of Para 142 are a complete nonsense from the perspective of English Common Law.

                  Para 144 seems to go to the crux of the matter as to whether this is an investigation or a criminal proceedings – a prosecution. And it seems that the Swedish prosecutor wants to argue it is both “in order to enable implementation of the preliminary investigation and possible prosecution”. That is nonsense.

                  Two elements of the old Judges Rules (now subverted by PACE) are pertinent here:-

                  “When a police officer is trying to discover whether, or by whom, an offence has been committed he is entitled to question any person, whether suspected or not, from whom he thinks that useful information may be obtained. This is so whether or not the person in question has been taken into custody so long as he has not been charged with the offence or informed that he may be prosecuted for it.”

                  “It is only in exceptional cases that questions relating to the offence should be put to the accused person after he has been charged or informed that he may be prosecuted. Such questions may be put where they are necessary for the purpose of preventing or minimising harm or loss to some other person or to the public or for clearing up an ambiguity in a previous answer or statement.”

                  You will argue that has nothing to do with current law or Swedish law. I will argue that is why the current law that allows Swedish law to exert a mutant form of “Habeas corpus ad deliberandum et recipiendum” is bad law. The fact that there are judgements in the High Court and “Supreme Court” to support it gives me no comfort whatsoever but rather confirms how far Common Law has been subverted here.

                • Nicholas

                  I forgot to add that this whole issue turns on the point of arrest. It is now routine for the British police to arrest before investigation where once it was not. This is a slovenly European practice and has been pushed into this country by way of the EU and the EAW. Those responsible for permitting this have not acted in the interests of safeguarding British citizens but in the interests of facilitating the extension of state bureaucracy for the convenience of its officials. They have gone further by facilitating easy and untested extradition by foreign powers to intervene here through the EAW. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves because they have subverted centuries of the English principle of the primacy of the free individual. “The air of England has long been too pure for a slave, and every man is free who breathes it” (Somersett Case 1722) or was, until the EU and the EAW came along.

                • Andy

                  As I have said before you are conflating two different issues. The first is the fate of Julian bloody Assange. You have not shown one shred of evidence to say that Assange has not had the benefit of Law. In the judgement of the High Court I would draw your attention to para 142, 6.

                  As it goes on to say at para 143 ‘The language of paragraph 6 of the statement in terms made clear he was “accused” of an offence; the remainder of the statement explained the procedure. The Senior District Judge then heard evidence; his findings on that evidence are summarised by us at paragraph 148 below’.

                  The contention that Assange is merely wanted for questioning is basically incorrect. Their Lordships went on at Para 148 –
                  ‘The Senior District Judge found on the basis of the extraneous evidence that the fact some further pre-trial evidential investigation might result in no trial taking place did not mean Mr Assange was suspected as opposed to accused; and the fact that under Swedish law a person had to be interrogated before a decision to charge was made was not determinative. Clear and specific allegations had been made against Mr Assange. Although he could not say when or what step had been taken which could fairly be described as the commencement of the prosecution, the boundary between suspicion and investigation and prosecution had been crossed. Looking at the matter in the round, Mr Assange passed the threshold of being wanted for prosecution.’
                  You are busily arguing the matter under English Law. Assange committed the offence in Sweden, and therefore as much as I would like the whole world to use English Law (I think it a better system than all continental systems) we must respect the rights of the Swedish people. The nub of the matter is quite simple: does Assange have a case to answer in Sweden. The answer is yes. Do we have an extradition agreement with Sweden ? Yes. And even under the old system Assange would have been extradited. And this is what should and will happen.
                  The rest of your rant about the EU and the EAW may or may not be quite right but your contension that we should disobey the Law because you don’t happen to like it is arrant nonsense.

                • Nicholas

                  I am not conflating two issues at all. But you are missing the implications for justice that connects them. I happen to think the Senior District Judge was wrong in determining that “the boundary between suspicion and investigation and prosecution had been crossed”. In fact it is bloody obvious because even the information of the Swedish prosecutor admitted that the preliminary investigation had not been completed. The argument put forward was that that was just a matter of bureaucratic formality (interrogating Assange) to be completed as part of the prosecution process. That might reassure you and the District Court Judge but it doesn’t reassure me. The whole thing stinks of being a state-sponsored bureaucratic process rather than a properly tested judicial one.

                  The relevance of English law is that Assange is here not in Sweden and therefore he should be entitled to the protection of English common law from wrongful arrest. And I have to wonder about your use of the phrase “Assange committed the offence in Sweden”, which appears to pre-judge the whole case in favour of the prosecution. He has not yet been proven beyond reasonable doubt to have committed any offence – it is alleged. But your phrase highlights the serious problem in this country with the enforcement of law and the way it is being reported. It is something I have alluded to many times – that in order to pursue a particular coded agenda the suspected become the guilty in the way that they are represented before any trial or test of evidence. Raising concerns about the evidence of the complainant(s) then becomes tantamount to denigrating the “victims” with all the usual clamour of faux outrage. That is real Volksgerichtshof – Kangaroo court stuff, where political prejudice takes precedence over a fair judicial process and justice. In this case the subject has become emotive because it is about rape and any concessions to Assange’s right as an individual to a fair trial and justice are overtaken by the idea that the “victims” must be assuaged and not denigrated. In other words the case has been pre-judged. This is connected to a general trend to raise those considered “national treasures” above any legitimate criticism and extends to leftist-coded “causes” or themes. It is the rule of the mob, it intimidates and suppresses free debate and it has been displayed here not just in the comments but more sadly in the article stimulating them.

                  And I am not ranting about the EU and EAW. I have genuine concerns about the way both those institutions operate and have undermined centuries of hard won English freedoms and protections. It is a great pity that I have to raise them in the comments section of a rag rather than that they are taken up by those elected to represent us. But it is even more of a pity that there are those, like you, only too ready to roll over and accept them because they are “the law”.

                • obert

                  Brilliantly put, thank you

                • Nicholas

                  “The rest of your rant about the EU and the EAW may or may not be quite right but your contension that we should disobey the Law because you don’t happen to like it is arrant nonsense.”

                  Leaving aside the question of ranting which I have dealt with, my contention is not that we should disobey the law, I have never suggested that. I have suggested that it should be challenged and questioned openly without those who do so being tainted as being “pro-rape”. Your argument is actually a little different. You are not arguing just in support of the law, despite the fact that you acknowledge concern about the EAW, but arguing more that those who disagree should shut up and let the law take its course because you are satisfied with both the information as presented and the process. I happen to think that argument is less democratically motivated than mine. But in any event there is a fine line here as to when disobedience of the law, in terms of civil disobedience and protest, becomes legitimate. It is rather an irony that a government that supports and funds that process in foreign countries and has facilitated it here in Northern Ireland should look askance at any indigenous movements to reject bad law. The current government, in practice an extension of the previous New Labour government, has a poor grasp of this because it has not learned that suppressing dissent and dissatisfaction in the hope that it will go away usually makes the resentment worse. Your argument is almost a microcosm of that rather arrogant government perspective. For me the Assange case, unfortunate though the character of the accused and the alleged offences are, highlights very well two important issues. The first is the bureaucratisation of justice in favour of the state rather than the people and secondly the tendency to pre-judge cases when they concern politically correct causes or themes.

                • Andy

                  I have asked you to substantiate what you say regarding the Swedish ‘due process’. You read Swedish and have looked at all the court proceedings in Sweden to draw your conculsions ? You will, of course, be able to explain the Swedish legal process and its complexities.

                  I have posted links to Assange’s case in the High Court and Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Could you draw our attention to the appropriate paragraphs in these judgements which substantiate your claims ??

          • Nicholas

            You have to protest against bad law, like the EAW. You have to challenge it, ridicule it and rail against it at every opportunity. For quite some time law and justice in this country have been moving steadily apart. And political correctness and ideology has been driving bad law, a lot of it from the undemocratic EU. It’s no good just sitting there, dumb and happy, and saying let the law take its course. Unless of course you have a vested interest in maintaining that line. You want us to shut up? I bet you do. We won’t.

            • Andy

              For your information I fought the European Arrest Warrant because I felt, and feel, it does not respect our traditions. I have a very high regard for English Law. Where I part company with you – busy as you are calling everyone who disagrees with you a Nazi – is that while it remains the Law the EAW must be upheld. Julian Assange is entitled to benefit of Law, just as you or I would be, but the Law must apply to him just as it would to you and to me. What you are busily saying is that the Law should not apply to Assange. It should until and unless Parliament decides otherwise.

              • Nicholas

                No, I’m not calling those who disagree with me a Nazi. I’m drawing a comparison between your acceptance of the law because it is “the” law and the fact that law can be bad and used by bad people to do bad things. That is why we had Magna Carta. If the barons had shrugged their shoulders and said “It’s the law” that would never have happened.

                • Andy

                  You are calling those who disagree with you Nazis and frankly that is bloody offensive. What you are also doing is mixing two issues: the case of Julian Assange, and the principle of the EAW. You should not conflate the two.

                  In the Assange case I have posted links to the judgement of the High Court and to that of the Supreme Court. I have also drawn your notice to two paragraphs in the original judgement. So why should the law not be applied to Assange just as it is to you or to me ? Why should the accusations of the two women not be tested in a Swedish Court ? Or do you think that those accusations (exact details of which I doubt you have) are utterly baseless and without foundation ? And why should you be busy deciding that and not a Swedish Court ? Question is why should the Law be set aside for Julian Assange and not for everyone else ? Either you have Law and the rule of Law or you do not.

                  The second issue is the principle of the EAW. Here you are on firmer ground. The system is badly flawed and I do not think it respects the principles of English Law. But that is typical of most things to do with the EU. It also seems to apply to the ECHR, one example is the votes for prisoners nonsense. Life sentences was yet another. But as I say this is a separate issue to Assange.

                • Nicholas

                  Er no, I’m not doing that and frankly it is offensive of you to misrepresent my point in that way. And the issue of the EAW is absolutely connected to the Assange case because the Assange case highlights some of the issues surrounding it. You very clearly cannot grasp the point I am making which is that the “rule of law” is not always just. There is always a presumption that current law is infallible whereas history determines otherwise. Those who blindly parrot the law as an entity unto itself without challenging it on the basis of injustices highlighted by it do progress no favours.

                  Since I live in England and vulnerable to misuse of the EAW as everyone is I think I am perfectly entitled to raise my concerns about the way it has been used by Sweden to attempt to deprive a person here of liberty – however much I dislike the man.

                • Andy

                  You are calling those who disagree with you Nazis and frankly that is bloody offensive. What you are also doing is mixing two issues: the case of Julian Assange, and the principle of the EAW. You should not conflate the two.

                  In the Assange case I have posted links to the judgement of the High Court and to that of the Supreme Court. I have also drawn your notice to two paragraphs in the original judgement. So why should the law not be applied to Assange just as it is to you or to me ? Why should the accusations of the two women not be tested in a Swedish Court ? Or do you think that those accusations (exact details of which I doubt you have) are utterly baseless and without foundation ? And why should you be busy deciding that and not a Swedish Court ? Question is why should the Law be set aside for Julian Assange and not for everyone else ? Either you have Law and the rule of Law or you do not.

                  The second issue is the principle of the EAW. Here you are on firmer ground. The system is badly flawed and I do not think it respects the principles of English Law. But that is typical of most things to do with the EU. It also seems to apply to the ECHR, one example is the votes for prisoners nonsense. Life sentences was yet another. But as I say this is a separate issue to Assange.

      • Nicholas

        No, it set out four allegations not four offences. He has not been charged or convicted. See scarybiscuits’ post above. He has you people absolutely nailed. I can’t make my mind up whether you are more like national socialists or more like Honecker’s East German regime in your capacity to put guilt before investigation or trial. But judging by the comments across the internet it looks like whichever it is will come crashing down around your heads just like those. And not before time.

        • Andy

          Have you read the Judgement of the High Court ? Please see paragraph 140. Further you should read paragraph 160. You are assuming that their legal system is the same as in England. It is not. Basically he is wanted for trial, so there is a case to answer.

          • tele_machus

            I am very afraid that the usual misogynist revanchists wish to use the case of the albino rapist to bolster their strongly held views that a woman’s view of consent is unimportant.
            It is sad that the said rapist gives them an opportunity to confuse the issue with high stakes issues of open government and small points of difference in the letter of the law in different European countries

            • Nicholas

              No, once again you are not just abusing those who disagree with you but misrepresenting them. Consent is absolutely important but the circumstances of this case, for the reasons many have assembled here, are not as straightforward as that. You really should, in the interests of reasonableness, drop that leftist tendency to denigrate dissent by misrepresenting it. We already know about your proclivity to whip up mob violence so we shall not labour that again.

              • tele_machus

                I am a pacifist
                I abhor violence and will fight tooth and nail to maintain peaceful protest

                • http://twitter.com/danieljohnson85 Daniel Johnson

                  In an earlier post you threatened to send “a retinue of my fine long nailed lady friends” to those disagreeing with you.

            • http://twitter.com/danieljohnson85 Daniel Johnson

              “the case of the albino rapist” “the said rapist”

              I didn’t understand much of what you wrote there, except that you’ve called an innocent man a rapist, before he’s been tried, and before he’s even be charged.

  • j7sue

    How’s that due process thing going for Bradley Manning?
    Assange is suspected or accused of rape, and that should certainly be investigated – why can’t he be questioned in the Ecuadorian embassy? I don’t think he’s actually been charged yet.
    He’s clearly worried that if he does travel to Sweden, he’ll end up, without due process, in some US hellhole, and get let out sometime next century. The US does have form on this sort of thing. Guantanamo bay, for example.

    • tele_machus

      I guess we all know he is as guilty as sin and he needs to be questioned where he can be banged up.
      There are no US charges against Assange so this cannot be an issue

      • Nicholas

        What a horrible presumptive little rabble rouser you are. “We all know” who is guilty and he is not, eh? No wonder you love Stalin.

        What a stain you are on this site.

        • tele_machus

          We have seen too much pussyfooting on this issue.
          He is charged with serious sexual crimes which may not be a crime in Ecuador but sure as hell are here.
          He needs to be sent back PDQ
          The could easily have yanked him from the balcony and winched him up, helicoptered him to Heathrow and put him on an SAS flight to Stockholm last Sunday
          And then perhaps Galloway would not have had a platform for his injudicious comments.
          As the originator of the feminazi Harpie comment I suggest you lie low.

          • Adrian Drummond

            He has not been charged with anything.

            He is wanted for questioning after he had already voluntarily been to see the Swedish police, when in Sweden. Was told he was free to go but then – oddly – the Swedish authorities changed their mind and want to question him again. .

          • RKing

            Innocent until proved guilty…..
            ……..if the Swedes have the evidence then why not charge him??

            I think a turkey at christmas will have less chance of being stuffed than Assange!!

          • Nicholas

            Limbaugh:- “I haven’t used that term (feminazi – an extreme or militant feminist) on this program in years. But it still gets to ’em, doesn’t it? And you know why? Because it’s right. Because it’s accurate.”

            Harpy – “The term is often used metaphorically to refer to a nasty or annoying woman”.

            • tele_machus

              Wriggling are we?
              You could retract and apologise

              • Nicholas

                And you could FO!

          • Nicholas

            And most of your lying is about as low as it gets.

        • tele_machus

          Stalin at least respected women and abrogated the Lenin free love abuse of women

          • Nicholas

            But murdered and tortured millions, including women and children. Your relativism is wonderful to behold as it so clearly demonstrates just what is wrong with leftists.

      • ScaryBiscuits

        “I guess we all know he is guilty”. You should be ashamed of yourself. Mob justice is a very ugly thing.

      • Andy

        We know no such thing.

        All we know is that there is a Swedish Arrest Warrant issued for him, and a valid European Arrest Warrant. That EAW has been tested in the English Courts and found to be correct, so he can and will be sent to Sweden. When he gets there the Swedish authorities cannot extradite him to the United States without the approval of the United Kingdom Government, and such an agreement would be subject to review in UK Courts. Oh and his leftie mates who stumped up bail are down £240000 !

    • Andy

      He cannot be interviewed in the Ecuadorian Embassy because the Swedish authorities wish to arrest him – there is an outstanding warrant for his arrest. This matter was covered in the judgement of the High Court on the 2/11/2011. The Swedish legal system is not the same as that in England.

      He cannot ‘end up, without due process in some US hellhole’ because the US authorities would have to issue an Extradition Warrant for him, and this they have not done. Whether they intend to do so is a matter for them, but such a warrant would have to be agreed to by the United Kingdom too, not just Sweden. And I would expect Assange to fight such a warrant in the UK courts, so it would take years and would require the consent of the Home Secretary.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Drivel

  • tele_machus

    Delighted by this item, Shiraz.
    Hopefully the backlash to Galloway and Todd Akin in Missouri will reverse some of the crazy comments we have seen since the Assange debacle
    We saw some positively evil phrases creeping into usually staid Speccie.
    Such comments as feminazi harpies should have led to instant deletion.

    • Nicholas

      Well, you should know all about crazy comments, evil phrases and creeping you nasty little lefto-fascist. Basically you think anything you disagree with should be deleted.

      • tele_machus

        Yes

        • Nicholas

          There you have it. Not that “we all” hadn’t guessed it already. Left = Fascists.

      • ScaryBiscuits

        Nicholas, I think he thinks we should all be arrested and shot. Telemachus wins the prize for evil comments (see above).

    • rosie

      Dear Tele_machus, if you read somthing you disagree with, why don’t you just disagree with it? Why do you want it suppressed?

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Not to mention a few on here, who only last week decried the allegations as a `put up job` when I had the temerity to mention the victims in all this..

    • tele_machus

      Wholeheartedly agree.
      This also underlines why we should support Hagues tough stand

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