Assange's Case

Peter Fairbrother peter at
Wed Aug 11 06:35:52 PDT 2021

On 11/08/2021 04:31, jim bell wrote:
> To:   Stephan Simanowit     Amnesty International  press at
> From:  Jim Bell
> I am an American with great interest in Julian Assange's case, and 
> probably engaged in discussions with him about 1995 (although at the 
> time he was under a pseudonyn) on the Cypherpunks email list.
> However, I happen to have learned Federal law, although I have never 
> been a lawyer or paralegal:  I spent probably 15,000 hours in various 
> law libraries learning many areas of American Federal law.
> Over the last few years, I realized that Assange has some 
> issues(defenses) that I am not aware were being discussed in the news 
> media.   However, I haven't read the actual legal filings from the UK 
> case, so I didn't learn if they have been used.   However, I did send 
> some of this material to Barrister Jennifer Robinson, who is Assange's 
> barrister.   I didn't get an answer, although I didn't expect to receive 
> one.
> A very brief description, gone into much greater detail below.
> 1.    In virtually every issue against Assange, there appears to be no 
> "extraterritoriality jurisdiction" present in American Federal law.  
> This means that American courts have ruled that in order to apply 
> American law to crimes committed in areas physically outside America, 

However if the effect of a crime committed by person who is outside 
america is against eg a computer or other thing or person inside 
america, then in american law that crime was committed within the bounds 
of the unitedstates, notwithstanding that the criminal was not in 
america. So issues of extraterritoriality do not apply.

Applies also to some US forces when they are abroad, their bases and 
assets are sometimes regarded as being inside the unitedstates.

As an aside, for the purposes of the UK extradition hearing, whether the 
US courts have jurisdiction is a question of UK law, not US law.

It is just possible (though unlikely) that assange might be correctly 
extradited under UK law then a US court might decide not to continue on 
US law extraterritoriality grounds.

Peter Fairbrother

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