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tv   British Home Secretary Delivers Statement on Arrest of Wikileaks Founder...  CSPAN  April 12, 2019 10:02am-10:29am EDT

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no government money support c-span, its nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded as a public service by your cable or satellite provider. c-span is your unfiltered view of government, so you can make up your own mind. following the arrest of wikileaks that -- founder, julie misonix, a statement was delivered to members of the house of commons, he outlined the next steps for dealing with julian assange, as his temporary asylum was revoked before arrest. you.ank order. statements, the secretary of state of the home department. permission i would like to make a statement on the
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record of julian assad's. this morning, after nearly seven years inside the ecuadorian embassies, he was arrested for failing to surrender in relation to his extradition proceedings. he was later also soon after was a warrant for provisional arrest. pending receipt of extradition to stand trial in the united states on charges relating to computer offenses. his arrest follows a decision by the ecuadorian government to bring to an end his presence inside the embassy in london. i am pleased that the president has taken this decision and i extend the uk's thanks to him for resolving the situation. ecuador's actions recognized that the u.k. criminal justice system is one in which rights are protected and he and his interests will be protected. this also reflects the improvements to the u.k. relationship with ecuador.
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these are a credit to the leadership of the minister of state for americans. and so the ongoing hard work of foreign office officials both here in london and key help. -- and quito. this response was informed of the decision by the ecuadorian ambassador this morning shortly before 10:00 a.m. the police entered the embassy for the purpose of arresting and removing him. all of the police's activities were carried out pursuant to a formal written invitation signed by the ecuadorian ambassador and in accordance with the vienna convention. i would like to take this opportunity to also thank the metropolitan police for their professionalism that they have shown in dealing with the immediate situation and during the last several years. both the u.k. government and the ecuadorian government have been
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-- have become increasingly concerned with the state of julian assange's health. the action of the police following the arrest was to have him medically arrested. they have made the best efforts to have doctors with access inside the embassy. while he remains in the custody of the u.k., we are in a position to ensure access to all necessary medical facilities. proceedings will now begin according to the court timetable. under u.k. law, the four extradition papers must be received by the judge within 65 days. and extradition request would have to be certified by the home office before being submitted to the court, after which proceedings will begin. at this point, the decision as to whether any apply would be for the u.k. court to determine. i will go no further in discussing the details of the
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accusations against mr. assange either in the uk's criminal justice system or in the u.s.. i am pleased that the situation in the ecuadorian embassy has finally been brought to an end. mr. assange will now have the opportunity to contest the charge against him in open court and to have any extradition request considered by the judiciary. it is right that we implement the judicial process fairly and consistently. i commend the statement to the house. >> thank you. i would like to thank the home secretary for his account. we are glad that julian assange will be able to access medical care and treatment and facilities because there have been worrying reports about his ill health. at this point, this is all a matter for the courts. on this side of the house, we want to make the point that the
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reason we are debating julian assange this afternoon -- even though the only charge he may face in this country is in relation to his bail hearing. the reason we are debating this this afternoon is entirely to do with whistleblowing activities. it is this activity that such -- has put julian assange in the crosshairs of the u.s. administration. it is for this reason that they have once more issued a next - and extradition -- an extradition warrant against mr. assange. the home secretary will note that he complained to the u.n. that he was being unlawfully detained because he could not leave the embassy without being arrested. in 2016, the u.n. panel ruled in his favor stating that he had
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been arbitrarily detained and should be allowed to walk free. and compensated for this loss of liberty. the foreign officers responded by saying, this ruling changes nothing. it was the foreign officer who responded, not the home office or the minister of justice. it is of course interested in relations with allies and others. we have precedent in this country relation to requests for extradition to the u.s. when the u.s. authorities have issues of hacking and national security. i would remind the house of a case in october 2012. when the current prime minister was home secretary. an extradition request very similar to this one was refused
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and we should recall what wikileaks actually did. who could forget the pentagon footage of a missile attack in 2007 which killed 18 civilians in iraq and two journalists. it takes a monumental amount of leaks in a variety of theaters, none of which have produced an outcome for the occupants of those countries. julian assange is being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by u.s. administrations and their military forces. we only have to look at the treatment to see what awaits him if he is extradited to the u.s.. ms. manning has already been incarcerated. she was originally sentenced to 35 years or indefinite detention
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, because she chooses to participate in partial disclosure. her human rights as a chance -- transgender woman have been completely ignored. rights as a transgender woman have been completely ignored. i would help members on the others to the house will take that seriously. and what it has to do with julian assange. this could be the type of treatment that he could expect if he is extradited to the u.s.. in this country, we have protections for whistleblowers. even if some of us feel these protections should be more robust. the premise that there should be protection afforded to those who take personal risk to disclose
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wrongdoing when that disclosure serves the public interest. julian assange is at risk of extradition to the u.s. precisely because on this side of the house, we believe he has disclose material in the utmost public interest. this is now in the hands of the british law court. we have the utmost confidence in the british legal system but we would say on this side of the house, we would be very concerned that on the basis of what we know julian assange was extradited to the u.s.. >> thanks for that response. mr. speaker, the whole country will be astounded by the tone
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she has taken. she started talking about the reason for mr. assange is arrest and try to come up with all sorts of justifications which have nothing to do with the reason. the reason he has been arrested is because he failed to surrender to a u.k. court. that is why he is being arrested. there was a provisional arrest warrant which is subject to extradition proceedings. that is the usual procedures under u.k. law. there is no one in this country that is above the law. we should remember what the home secretary is suggesting. that we should not apply the rule of law to an individual. that is why she is disagreeing from her position. she is implying quite clearly that mr. assange is not subject u.k. law. that is something that should worry any british citizen should
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she ever become home secretary. she can intervene later if this as this is allowed to her. i wish to finish my comments in response to hers. she also talked about the u.n. as though the u.n. has some opinion on this. i'm sure it's not intentional. she would be at risk of not giving correct information. the u.n. has no view on the assange case. what she was actually referring to was the view of a group of independent persons that have decided to look at this case. they do not speak for the u.n. in any way whatsoever. it's a small group of individuals who came up with the deeply flawed opinion suggesting that somehow mr. assange was indefinitely detained in the u.k. by the british authorities. in fact, the only person responsible for mr. assange's detention is himself. it was entirely self-inflicted. it's astonishing that the lady
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should even bring up that report and suggest somehow that it was a u.n. view or u.n. report. then the right honorable lady talked about the u.s. request for extradition. it is a matter for the court. should the court deem it correct and necessary, to send it to me, i will consider it appropriate under our laws. mr. speaker, i note that the shadow home secretary both today and in the past and indeed the leader of the opposition has defended assange and wikileaks from efforts of attack for their illegal activity. they could've clarified that today for the british public. she didn't. why is it that whenever someone has a track record of undermining u.k. and our allies in the values we stand for, you can almost guarantee that the leadership of the party opposite will support those who intend to do us harm? you can always guarantee that
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from the party opposite. >> how much has the police operation cost? is there any prospect of recovering any of this money, perhaps from mr. assange's celebrity backers? >> it's an interesting suggestion of cost recovery. i can tell him, up to 2015, the figures i have are up to 2015. the police operation has cost an estimated 13.2 million pounds. >> i also think the home secretary for the statement. sure the right actions have not been lost on the audience. it's right that nobody is above the law and in many ways these actions, at least one deadlock has been broken.
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at the same time, human rights under the law are in viable in -- and the treatment that mr. assange received must take place with appropriate due process and with respect to the protection of his rights. can we confirm that nobody should be extradited to the -- from the united kingdom if they expect an unfair trial and cruel and unusual punishment? can he also wish arrest that any judicial process here in the united kingdom will be carried out with this much transparency as possible and with all appropriate opportunity for review and appeal as necessary? >> i'm actually very happy to agree with the honorable gentleman. this country has a long and proud tradition of human rights. when it comes to extradition requests, it is right that the court and the government consider an individual's human rights. >> and so this story moves to
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its conclusion having cost the british taxpayer millions of pounds. having ruined relations during that time between ecuador and the united kingdom. i very much hope that those relations can now be sustained and nurtured. we shouldt say, too, not let him to get away with the idea that he was arbitrarily detained would just are looking -- ridiculous. secondly the fact that he had no charges to answer originally in sweden because the swedish prosecutor would've needed to interview him personally, something he never allowed her to do. those two facts need to be right in the middle of this ridiculous story. >> my honorable friend has made a number of important points. he also refers to our relationship with ecuador, which is very good. i think today's outcome shows
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that. as i said, thanks to the hard-working efforts of the minister of state, those relations are very strong today. when it comes to mr. assange's detention, my friend is right to remind the house that this is a self-inflicted detention. it was a decision to lock himself up for seven years. >> i'm pleased that the gentleman mentioned sweden. the home secretary didn't mention sweden and the fact that the proceedings in sweden which led to the warrants being issued originally, is it the case that the swedish proceedings will be continuing? is there any competitive aspect between the swedish prosecution and the united states prosecution? how will that be resolved? >> i can tell the honorable
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gentleman that the original extradition request was a swedish extradition request. but then at a later date, the swedish authorities chose to withdraw their request. whether there is an existing or new swedish request i cannot confirm or deny. should there be for any individual more than one of -- extradition request, that will be dealt in the usual way , by the courts. >> the speaker understands the extradition to the u.s. is in relation to the half-million leaked documents in the chelsea manning case. would you agree there is a more serious and disturbing cases against julian assange for his role in the kremlin's 2016 attempt to interfere and manipulate the u.s. presidential election? wikileaks was used by russian military intelligence as the primary vehicle to disseminate the stolen documents stolen from the democratic party.
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some see him as an information war hero, others see him as a useful stooge of the proletarian -- authoritarian state. >> i'm sure my honorable friend that it is been appropriate for me to refer to any accusations that may or may not be made against mr. assange. i understand that he has talked about this on a number of occasions including today. i'm sure that many people would have heard him. >> i think the home secretary for his statements. today's arrest is correct. looking ahead, will you confirm that any extradition request in the united states be considered by the home office including in that consideration that there will be a public interest test, consideration and a press freedom consideration? and indeed that any court hearing extradition cases would also be able to consider a public interest test?
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>> i thank the gentleman for his support. in relation to what happens next, that will be a matter for the courts. there will be, once a full request is received, my department will receive and determine whether it is certifiable or not. after that, it will go to the courts. the courts will have to make the initial decisions according to our law. >> thank you. julian assange says that his personal space has been violated which is a bit rich considering the number of people who've been put in extreme danger among our allies. >> it might be appropriate to draw attention to the state of today from the president of ecuador.
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he said the discourteous and aggressive behavior of mr. julian assange has led him to his actions. it does tell you something itself. >> i'm really concerned that a man suspected of rape, which actually happened, was able to do what he did several years to escape justice. i have seen media reports that the lawyers for the victims in sweden are taking steps to stop the proceedings against a i -- again. i wonder if the home secretary might be able to investigate that and let the house know. i'm sure there are many members of parliament who are anxious about this matter. >> i do understand very much the , concerns of the honorable lady. it would be inappropriate for me to talk about any accusations that have been made whether it's from sweden or elsewhere against mr. assange.
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themay want to reflect on words used in the past, in december 2010, the lady that is now the shadow home secretary was openly tweeting her support for mr. assange. she might want to touch on the leadership she is receiving from her own front bench. >> i know the home secretary is an advocate for home freedom. is it not the case that responsible journalists do not play fast and loose with the national interest and put out -- our people in danger when that should not be happening? >> my honorable friend, a distinguished former journalist himself, is absolutely right. press freedom in this country is sacrosanct. what we find is that people work in the press in this country are
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responsible. >> mr. speaker, i find it extraordinary that somebody this rich and powerful can just avoid an allegation of being a rapist in the way that julian assange has done for so many years. costing so much taxpayer money. can the home secretary tell us who is paying the bill for the 13.2 million pounds that julian assange has cost us? is it the people of london? does it come from essential budgets? >> again, i do understand very much the sentiment of the honorable gentleman. he speaks for many people across the house. the answer to who pays that bill, that comes from various sources. each one of those are the british taxpayers. that's why they would welcome the justice that is being done today.
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>> it is right and proper that we pay tribute to the state of europe and americas. it's proper to pay tribute to resilience ofand the british diplomatic service. >> i very much agree. in particular if i may, pick out the british ambassador in ecuador who has been absolutely brilliant in how she has pursued this, how she has worked with the ecuadorian ministers. and indeed the ministers in the foreign office. >> thank you very much. can i join my right honorable friend in saying our gratitude to president marino for his decision. does he agree with me that it's totally right that mr. assange will now face justice and that he will do so in the proper way, with the proper protections of the british legal system?
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>> absolutely i can give that assurance to my honorable friend. today is a very good day for justice. the british legal system, our defense of the rule of law and the fairness of our legal system is world-renowned. that is exactly what mr. assange will receive. >> thank you. i join honorable members and thanking our friend for his statement. i thank the metropolitan police for their action this morning. the ecuadorian president has indicated that julian assange repeatedly violated the conditions of his asylum in the embassy. do you have any further details of such violations? >> can i join my honorable friend in his thanks for the metropolitan police? they have done an outstanding job. today, certainly in making sure mr. assange was presented in front of the courts.
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he asked me about the ecuadorian government. i my his attention to the point statement that has been made today in a video message by president marino. he has talked about mr. assange , in the opinion of the president, has been discourteous and aggressive and made a number of accusations against mr. assange which is one of the reasons the president decided to remove what they called diplomatic asylum. >> we have more from the british house of commons in london in just a few moments, first we want to tell you about a news conference with house democratic leaders coming up at 11:15 this morning. they are attending a legislative retreat in leesburg, virginia. the news conference will be live here on c-span starting at 11:15. right now we will take you back
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to london, where prime minister theresa may reported to the house of commons about her meeting with the european leaders, the european union has given the united kingdom a six-month extension on brexit, allowing the country to remain in the e.u. until october 31. >> thank you. order. >> with permission i would like to make a statement on behalf of the european council. before i do, i'm sure the whole house would welcome the news this morning, that the melcher polity and police have arrested julian assange's. for breach of bail after nearly seven years in the ecuadorian embassy. also in relation to an tradition request from the united states, this is now a legal matter before the court.


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