This morning’s no-surprise news: Corzine and Assange
posted at 12:05 pm on August 16, 2012 by Fausta Wertz
As expected, Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain
Ecuador announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London awaiting the decision.
The move leaves Mr. Assange with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory, meaning he could only leave the embassy for Ecuador with British cooperation.
Huffing and puffing,
Just before the announcement by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!” The night before, Mr. Patiño said that the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, to which he responded: “We are not a British colony.”
Reading from a government communiqué, Mr. Patiño said: “The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange.”
He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and that Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.
Mr. Patiño said he hoped Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy in London for Ecuador — a request Britain has rejected, saying it has a binding, legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.
The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden called the decision “unacceptable” and summoned Ecuador’s ambassador, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”
Particularly if it serves a propaganda purpose. The Mex Files is expecting the masses to rise,
While war is the extension of diplomacy by other means, that doesn’t mean a shootin’ war, by any means, but the British are likely to pay a very high price for these intemperate claims: I would expect at a minimum that British Embassies throughout Latin America are going to be besieged and quite a few windows broken, and various Latin American (and probably other) states enacting policies and procedures designed to make life difficult for British passport holders (amazing what Immigration and Customs service types can come up with when they want) and I fully expect British-owned businesses (some of which — like HSBC — are already seen as “dodgy” to use Brit-speak ) might be in a zealous application of existing regulatory and oversight functions.
I’m too cynical to get a rise over Assange. Perhaps that’s why The Mex Files refers to my blog as “The far right-wing Latin American website.”
Speaking of cynicism, No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global, surprise, surprise!
In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.
Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Imagine that: Prosecutors can’t build a case against a guy who simply doesn’t know where $1.2 billion of his clients money is, but who also managed to raise $500,000 for Obama.
Ed Morrisey‘s asking,
Ahem. What kind of “porous risk controls” allowed MF Global to bet money that wasn’t theirs on Euro-zone debt?
But, fret not,
Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans.
Can’t wait to see what he calls it!
Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog, “The far right-wing Latin American website.”