Feeds

Police mistake reveals plan for Assange's Embassy capture

That policeman's lot is not a happy one

Boost IT visibility and business value

A fairly basic security slip has showed just how far the British police are preparing to go to make sure Julian Assange doesn't leaving the UK without getting his collar felt.

Photo of police plan

Police plan caught by snapper (click to enlarge) Credit: PA

"Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances," reads a handwritten briefing note photographed in the hands of one of the officers surrounding the Ecuadorian embassy. The note says Assange is to be arrested if he leaves the embassy in the company of another diplomat or if the Ecuadorians try and smuggle him out in the diplomatic bag.

The police briefing note also warns that there may be an attempt at disruption to aid Assange's escape, possibly by the protestors who are at the embassy. The note references SS10, which may be a misspelling of SO10, the Metropolitan Police's covert operations group, and SS20, the forces' counter-terrorism protective security command.

Checking the diplomatic bag to the embassy might seem nonsensical, summoning up images of Assange contorting himself into a piece of luggage, but diplomatically protected luggage can be anything up to and including a shipping container and they've carried people before.

In 1985 relations between the Nigerian government and the British were strained when the former Nigerian transport minister Umaru Dikko was abducted in London, drugged and found in diplomatic freight by police. In that case the authorities were able to inspect the crate Dikko had been stuffed into because the diplomatic paperwork on the flight had been incorrectly filed.

When it comes to its own diplomatic materials, however, the British government takes a harder line. It issued a strong protest when the sanctity of its own diplomatic bag was violated by Zimbabwean authorities in 2000.

The Ecuadorian government has also had its own problems in this area. In February the Italian authorities found 40kg of cocaine in diplomatic mail. The Ecuadorians allowed the search that discovered the drugs and announced a full investigation.

So for the moment the stand-off continues. Assange seems safe from extradition within the embassy grounds and has a long time to go before he becomes a long-standing occupant. The all-time winner of the embassy house-guest award is still held by Catholic cardinal József Mindszenty, who lived at the US Embassy in Budapest from 1956 to 1971. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.