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Go to Jail (Not)

Dilemma

6 years in Ecuador embassy to avoid arrest

6 months in Wandsworth Prison for skipping bail

Which would you choose?

Wandsworth Prison – institutional food, dodgy fellow prisoners, mail bags to sew, no view

6 years in Ecuador embassy – unlimited internet, balcony, chance to influence American elections, visits from that Bay Watch chick and George Galloway….

Wandsworth here we come.

As it happens, no.

Handing down her judgment at Westminster magistrates court, the senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot said she was not persuaded by the argument from Assange’s legal team that it was not in the public interest to pursue him for skipping bail…

Summers said that the years Assange has spent inside the embassy were “adequate, if not severe” punishment for his actions, and cited a report by a UN committee that said the Australian national was being arbitrarily detained.

But the judge said on Tuesday: “Firstly, he can leave the embassy whenever he wishes; secondly, he is free to receive, it would seem, an unlimited number of visitors and those visits are not supervised; thirdly, he can choose the food he eats, the time he sleeps and exercises.

“He can sit on the balcony (I accept probably observed by the police and his supporters) to take the air. He is not locked in at night.

“I suspect if one were to ask one of the men incarcerated in Wandsworth prison whether conditions in the Ecuadorian embassy were akin to a remand in custody, the prisoner would dispute the working group’s assertions.”