UPDATE Tues Dev 7, 2010 2:11 Mountain Time. London judge refuses bail to Assange, saying that he has frail ties to British residency, has much money accessible, and is thereby too easily able to not re-appear in court. Mr. Assange has thus been sent to an undisclosed jail location (as is usual in London) until further hearing in a week or so. His charges were defended by his lawyer, re alledgedly raping a woman while she was asleep, not using condom, forcing another woman into a sex act and also not using a condom( this last is apparently covered by the charge of ‘sexual molestation’).
Several older movie stars and socialites, including a former girlfriend of Hugh Grant, and a film maker, and others, have defended Mr. Assange this day, and one of his supporters outside the court today, said to reporters… that Assange is a champion of human rights in the world.
That spin is countered by other legal minds who, as I read them across media… some believe in order to gather and release various documents Assange could be charged with breaking many aspects of Federal, State, National and International laws, while other legal minds say Assange seems to have the ‘blind spot’ that many nefarious characters bent on being famous have: thinking the laws do not apply to them, and thereby being caught in many ways… some of the most common are: holding forth untruthfully that one is a resident of various countries, violating national and international banking laws, scamming credit card companies to be carriers for a nefarious venture, and falling under the laws that are geared toward stopping racketeering, amongst many others.
In the meantime, Mr. Assange walked off a television interview last week when the female interviewer asked him directly about his motives for breaking into government files. But now are being released across internet, some unusual pictures Mr. Assange has posed for. One is above under Headline.
Yesterday: British coppers arrested Julian Assange, the Wikileaks fellow, on an arrest warrant from Sweden. According to several news outlets, just as in the days of Bond, James, Interpol recently placed Assange on their “most wanted list.”
In this particular arrest, Assange is accused by two different women of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of rape, all said to have been committed by him three months ago. The charges had been dropped initially, but apparently the case was reopened and an appeals decision in Sweden brought in the arrest warrant this week.
There is an outcry by some that Assange is innocent of this and all other matters. Coming back from the mountains tonight and stopping off at a truck stop for coffee, I’d say there are quite a few lumberjacks and mountain people who think Assange may or may not have raped women, but for sure, raped the world… under same guise used since time immemorial… find em, f em, forget em.
Some others I’ve overheard tonight think some of those who want to rumble-hack against Assange are doing something that sounds to me like ‘an old Zorro trick’ … that is: by many hackers and ‘creative counter-treasonists’, working to contaminate each report released by WikiLeaks, with thousands of like-kind bogus reports but only changing a few critical words here and there, adding and dropping sentences here and there… so that no one anywhere will know which report is real and unredacted, and which of the others are shams… for a long time to come.
Perhaps the old gent at the bar with a true eagle feather in his hat and his long braids wrapped in beaver pelt said it best… a man who betrays others, will be so despised that even his own horse will run away from him in disgust.
Assange asserts he is completely not guilty of rape and all other charges.
And the beat goes on.
UPDATE: Comments and stories are now pouring in.
WikiLeaks will continue releasing the leaked US embassy cables in spite of the arrest this morning of its founder, Julian Assange, over allegations in Sweden of sexual offences.
The whistleblowers’ website has made arrangements to continue publishing the classified documents, the airing of which has embarrassed the US government. The leaked cables have provided a daily flow of revelations about the superpower’s involvement in the most sensitive issues around the world, including those affecting Iran, Afghanistan and China.
The decision to press on will help allay fears among Assange’s supporters that his arrest would hobble the organisation’s work.
Assange has also pre-recorded a video message, which WikiLeaks is due to release today. But the Guardian understands the organisation has no plans to release the insurance file of the remaining cables, which number more than 200,000. It has sent copies of the encrypted file to supporters around the world. These can be accessed only by using a 256-digit code.
Assange and his lawyers, Mark Stephens and Jennifer Robinson, attended a London police station at 9.30am today, by appointment. The 39-year old Australian was arrested under a European arrest warrant. He is wanted by Swedish authorities to face one charge of unlawful coercion, two charges of sexual molestation and one charge of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.
Julian Assange’s arrest by police this morning will kickstart the fast-tracked extradition process, using the European Arrest Warrant system, to attempt to return him to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning regarding a rape charge.
Swedish criminal law experts said this morning that little was known about the allegations Assange is facing in the country, in line with legal requirements to protect anonymity and preserve confidentiality for sex crimes.
The activation of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) by UK police suggests Assange has been formally charged by Swedish prosecutors and could face a period of detention upon his return.
Assange’s legal team is determined to fight his extradition on grounds including the failure of authorities to provide details of the warrant issued by Sweden. They will also claim human rights reasons, including the arguments that the WikiLeaks founder may be unfairly deprived of his liberty in Sweden and that he risks not facing a fair trial.
The media attention surrounding Assange’s case is likely to complicate any future criminal proceedings, although the lack of a jury system in Sweden is likely to fuel arguments that he will be protected from public and media interest in the case.
Assange’s first appearance at Westminster magistrates’ court today will be primarily concerned with formalities, including establishing his identity and determining whether he consents to the extradition.