WikiLeaks supremo Julian Assange was granted bail on appeal by a London court this afternoon. After six days in jail he will be released with conditions, including a £240,000 surety. The next hearing in Sweden's attempt to extradite him in relation to alleged sex crimes against two women was scheduled for 11 January. However, …
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"How can anyone consider him a flight risk - it would be professional and reputational suicide and probably massively damage Wikileaks."
Flight risk: he's not a UK citizen. I don't know the ins and outs of extradition treaties of Austrailia, UK, and Sweden, but not letting someone (especially a foreign national) leave the jurisdiction if there's a pending legal hearing seems pretty standard to me.
As for reputation, a lot of people would toss anything under a bus if it meant not going to prison. And with the clout this guy has, there'd be plenty of people that agreed. "He HAD to flee, otherwise the big, bad, USA was going to get him!"
Re: Flight Risk - me arse
"How can anyone consider him a flight risk - it would be professional and reputational suicide and probably massively damage Wikileaks.
By running it would effectly allow opponents and critics of Wikileaks to take the high ground."
Professional suicide? A professional what? Fencer of stolen informational/security/diplomatic secrets? High ground? What high ground is there for a self appointed trader in state secrets? He occupies a position midway between a number of categories; fence, thief, spy, warring state/organisation.
There is absolutely no high ground for him and, given that he has published state secrets of a number of states, he can expect only a good slapping, as can they all.
He is self appointed over the heads of the world community, don't forget that. He's asked for no authority whatever and, as is the case with ideologues, he is dangerous. Marx was an ideologue, he wanted only the best, ditto Jesus, ditto Muhammed, and so on. All ideologues do is turn their views into religions, which are then inflicted on millions in the form of death, starvation, maiming, torture and so on.
Putting aside the big objections to Tony Blair's war in Iraq (there were no WMD, there was no evidence to support the claim and some 7 years later we have found none), what he and Bush did by invading Iraq was to release Iran from the leash. In so doing we see a local superpower emerging, funded by the power of oil, rapidly developing a sophisticated arms industry with a capacity to launch weapons at and hit European countries and a nascent nuclear arms industry.
That's the law of unforeseen consequences, though it doesn't take an Einstein to work it out.
What is happening now is that various sources (including one placed close to the leadership of the People's Republic of China/PRC) are slowly being tracked down by a process of elimination. These sources will be punished, possibly by death, and this will discourage others. So the unofficial system of conflict regulation, namely knowledge of intentions and capabilities, is at risk because a group of soft pricks, schooled only in IT, having pretensions to journalism (which fig leaf claim here is akin to the claim 'satirical' in libellous US and UK magazines) feel they own the data, in the same way that the Pirate Bay feel they own MP3 data.
Later, they will themselves be owned, and moaning will not help.
Professional suicide? Is there a profession here? Espionage? Theft? Fencing? This is not so very much better than trading in arms.
I don't know...
if the (Sweedish) charges against him hold any water, they do seem flimsy to me.
But as long as he has not been found guilty of any crime, what legal right is there to hold him? If I were a UK judge I would be very wary of the chance that this is just to get him extradited to the US. Nice to see the beak at least trying to be impartial...
Enough with this "he's not been found guilty of anything" nonsense. If a court determines that there is sufficient evidence for someone to be tried and that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they might abscond before trial then they can be remanded in custody. There are currently about 15,000 people being held in UK prisons on this basis (roughly 20% of the prison population).
A similar process applies to extradition cases such as Assange. The fact that he (initially, at least) could not or would not give a permanent address in the UK hardly helps his cause.
I've no idea how strong the Swedish case is, neither I suspect do any of those posting here. But I see nothing upon which to build a mad conspiracy theory involving CIA black helicopters.
the charges are strange
Glen Beck has the best explanation of the charges I have seen.
Flame, because so many people on this site hate Glen Beck. You are going to hate yourself even more for agreeing with him.
Re: I don't know...
"if the (Sweedish) charges against him hold any water, they do seem flimsy to me."
Really? Have you done a search on them?
"She told the court the first complainant, identified only as Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of August 14 this year in Stockholm.
The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.
The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.
The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on August 18 "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".
The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home."
It appears that there is a consistent theme in both allegations, inasmuch that Assange is alleged, in different places, on different times, to have committed the same offence, namely having sex without a condom with a woman, on one occasion against her will, on another occasion without consulting the woman. That is not flimsy. You might want to say that these two women are in cahoots, but this dewy eyed defence is very often the sort of thing put up by people who can see no wrong in an individual, no matter how much evidence is produced to the contrary. Need I dig into the history box and show you some examples? Would you like some show and tell? Would you like some examples from forensic psychology on categories of offence, offender types and profiling? It's very specific, the failure to use condoms either lacking consent or being denied consent Will you deny point blank? I suspect from what I have read here that you and others will. I am far more cynical.
Sexual health and hygiene is particularly important in Scandinavian countries, whose people collectively understood the need to use condoms long before the advent of HIV, YMLT remember that as you read about events in the next few days.
What is needed is a proper trial, in the jurisdiction, where the evidence is, not the nay saying of a lot of people rooked by the thought of 'infowars' to change the world, because they feel that state secrets have the same status as MP3s and any other data they care to illicitly access and pirate.
Elsewhere another Reg poster claimed that, because the women are anarchists, they can't be trusted. This is a classic form of argumentum ad hominem, namely arguing against the person rather than the facts, plus it is a smear. In addition to this, no one has paid attention to the fact that rape victims rarely come forward and, when they do, they are very reluctant and feel extremely humiliated. It is most easy to deter them from going any further.
I've seen little sign if any of the pro leaking lobby sticking to facts, though I've seen a lot to suggest they believe they have a right and as self appointed protectors of several billion people I can see this becoming more than a little farcical. It's childish, ill thought out, lacking in a coherent supporting argument, beginning with initial premisses founded on empirical facts, running there from through an unbroken logical/theoretical chain of a priori justification and ending with some truth.
It will end in tears, I'm sure of that.
It's Sweden I'm dissapointed in.
We all know the UK is two-bit dictatorship which adores bending over and being the US's bitch -- but I had hoped that other countries in Europe weren't so corrupt and pathetic.
"two-bit dictatorship which adores bending over and being the US's bitch "
It was for 12 years but we got rid of that bunch back in the spring. The current lot are under the microscope right now, we wait with interest to see if there's a spine in whitehall now.
Signs are good IMO, McKinnon was all but strapped in and selecting his in flight meal but that seems to have stopped. Best sign is that the merkins don't like Cameron, they sure as hell liked their grinning glove puppet.
>>"Look at the TPB show trial with a judge that is heavily involved in music industry groups getting to decide the ruling despite the prosecutions case having been ripped to shreds by expert witnesses."
So he and the three laymen erred in law, and the appeals court covered it all up, it's not simply that they didn't come to the verdict you wanted?
And most legal experts were confidently predicting an acquittal on the basis of the evidence?
And you got all that from an unbiased report on the Internet?
>>"I wonder if they realise the damage it's doing their country too? I always wanted to visit Sweden but refuse to now, I'm sure I'm not alone, it's going to got them a fortune in terms of lost tourism revenue."
Maybe they reckon that losing the possibility of some entitlement junkies maybe visiting them who'd never got around to it before is a price worth paying.
Especially since looking at descriptions of their economy, 'tourism' isn't exactly a big player.
>>"Counries like the US and Britain can get away with pissing the world off because it's such a large, strong economy regardless, but Sweden? "
I guess raw materials are *so* last millenium?
Now every nut will know where he'll be at 6pm everyday... This will not end well.
Innocent until proven executed?
"Stephens also claimed that Sweden will defer its molestation and rape investigation if the US brings such spying charges. ®"
So if someone else kills him we'll let the rape allegation slide, wow. Nothing fishy here move along sheeple.
Re: Innocent until proven executed?
Non sequitur argument.
My understanding of the extradition process is that Sweden has to give notice to Britain if it is going to further extradite him to the USA. Britain would then be forced to decline, as a conviction of espionage carries the death penalty in the US. It may not all be as bleak as we think.
RE: Maybe not
Puh-lease, go read up on the Espionage Act before you post any more twaddle! There is no automatic death penalty, in fact I cannot find a reference to anyone ever being sentenced to anything other than jail under that Act. You have to be guilty under Section 2b of the Act to even look at the death penalty (and then there is a thirty year sentence option), and for that you would have to be in proven communication with an enemy, secretly giving details of US forces' movements with the express intent of causing them harm. Sorry for you conspiracy lovers, but Wikileaks releasing diplomatic cables saying the Suadis hate Hezbollah isn't going to land Assange in the chair.
And even if it was, can you seriously see the Obumbler, a man obsessed with his standing in the World press, sending Assange to the chair? At worst, even if Assange is extradited, he'll get an opportunity for an ego-massaging trial, with his every pronouncement telegraphed to the World by an eager press, followed by a few years max to polish up his autobiography. Assange has already set up Manning as the real patsy, and the US administration will be much more interested in cutting a plea bargain with Assange in return for evidence on Manning so they can slam him as hard as possible, because they will want to discourage any other leakers.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
This is correct.
Soering v the United Kingdom is the case that established this with the European Court of Human Rights. Sweden would be in breach of the Convention if they extradited him to the USA if there's the possibility he would face the death penalty also.
There's a decision that *really* pissed off the Americans ;)
do some better research
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed under the act.
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
Do these names ring a bell? Sentenced to death and executed on espionage charges.
Re: Maybe not
However, if the US is wise and waits for our Jules to land on Swedish soil before applying for extradition, there is nothing the UK can do about it. Jules will know about this sort of thing if he's been reading the diplomatic cables in the possession of his organisation, thus putting him and it in a position that makes them a blend of thief, spy, terrorist and warlike state.
Oh he'll pay alright. It's impossible for any state to simply sit there and allow this to happen. The whole thing will be taken down at some point, and probably with an extent of international co-operation that Jules will deprecate.
Despite 'obtaining guarantees' (yeah right) from the septic government that he'd never face the death penalty, then as long as it's on their statute books for punishments I'd guess it would certainly fulfill a 'possibility' so he couldn't be extradited on those charges.
Of course, he could get charged with (C) or something totally different and get extradited on that and meet with a black helicopter on a dark night...
Well f**k me sideways and call me Susan!
I really did not expect this. UK Judge shows some sense and doesn't bend over and hand a pot of KY to the politicians and yanks standing behind him.
Merry Christmas Julian, and I hope a happy new year!
That's one judge that had better not be hoping for any cushy appointments for the rest of his career.
Re: @ Susan
No judge should, nor should there be any such thing. The days of well paid sinecures ought to be over.
>>"That's one judge that had better not be hoping for any cushy appointments for the rest of his career."
Why should it affect their career?
Even if, as some people seem to think, the entire assault allegation thing is fake, the point is supposedly [at least at the moment] just too keep Assange in the country until the US manages to eventually sort out an extradition request.
Whether he's in jail or not doesn't make any difference to that.
Though I guess for the real conspiracy junkies, if anything happens to Assange while on bail, it'll have been obvious all along that granting the bail was part of some Evil Plan, and the judge was a Baddie rather than a Goodie.
Paying for his bail
Do they take VISA?
I'd still be careful crossing the road though... "They know where you live (and what time you'll be there)" !!
" His lawyer Mark Stephens said in an interview with David Frost over the weekend that a grand jury in Virginia has been secretly considering indicting Assange under the US Espionage Act."
Not that secretly then.
@"ASSANGE GRANTED... house arrest
Its not really bail, its basically house arrest. Some potential murders have got far less bail conditions than he has been given.
It is basically house arrest. e.g.
"obey a curfew at an address in Suffolk"
"wear an electronic tag"
"report to a local police station every evening"
"cash guarantees of £240000"
Plus you can also bet his phone conversations will all be monitored.
At least he is out of jail, but its no victory.
I suppose there is William Tell, Robin Hood (no, to USA cousins that is not robbing hood - a different thing altogether), ... Hughie Green (ok, just kidding :-) )...
And I further suppose that someone ought to whisper to USA authorities something like: Look, you can win a battle and by doing so lose a war? Or maybe: look by winning a war you may make a valedictory look like the far better option?
And that sometimes winning means losing and to the other parties losing means winning (this is the bit the US seems to misunderstand the most).
For such a large nation with wonderful resources, brilliant minds and leaders in technological advances, ... they really do seem to be experts at shooting themselves in the foot (as the expression goes).
When will they ever learn? (Vietnam = No! Afghanistan = No! Iran = No! Iraq = No! ... Assange = No!)
The matter is complexified when official documents lead to actions to castrate Assange and at the same time turn a blind eye to other illegal actions perped by establishment figures?
It seems so sad, very very sad
Maybe this is going a bit too far...
.. but why all this conspiracy theory stuff? His Lawyer's job is to get him out of prison (and out of these charges) any way possible; and unless there's been an official statement from the US government, how is any of this more than speculation?
Also, while it's unclear what really happened in Sweden (none of us were there), how does any of this get linked to some massive conspiracy? I mean, if the scary boogeymen wanted to 'remove' him from the picture, I'm sure they would've already, in a quieter and less obvious way.
Lets just wait and see. Maybe Emperor Assange is being trolled by the Swedes, but to jump from there to a worldwide conspiracy is a bit much.
"but why all this conspiracy theory stuff?"
For the usual reasons.
Some people like to feel they're in on a Great Secret, or that they're the only ones who can see the Truth, when in fact many other people see the *possibility* of a conspiracy without finding any deep emotional need to believe one is happening before there's decent evidence.
killing him may martyrise him in many ways and of course reinforce the entire conspiracy thing as well as confirm that americaland goes around doing what it pleases
whereas a drawn out charade of charges > no charges > charges again (you can bring old charges back you dropped in Sweden?) > no charges if you want him for spying soon makes the public bored and in the meantime you plot how to publicly discredit him so historically he becomes nothing more than a cartoon character instead of a martyred hero of free speech.
Then kill him years down the line because you're a big, powerful spiteful country with grudges and because you can and everyone has forgotten about him.
And never so much as a peep...
...about Bradley Manning.
Well, at least now...
..if the Us tries its "special rendition" on him, the ankle cuff will get triggered, and we'll all know about it before Eric Holder does.
It was £200k
according to Heather Brooke, a journo in the courtroom at the time and the said person who was tweeting the extradition hearing.
Not so fast
Sweden objects to bail - as they should. If Assange is allowed to be out on bail he's as good as gone with all his money. There's a reason he is fighting extradition to Sweden. If he's all about truth then he should go to Sweden and prove his innocence.
Good as far as it goes, however, Sweden has indicated that When the US finally manages to trawl up some charges, They will drop it like a stone and send him off to the US.
Re: Not so fast
Correct. Someone earlier suggested that the British police would determine guilt or innocence, but this cannot be so because a) they are finders not triers of fact b) the alleged offence was committed in another country, under that country's laws, and c) the evidence and evidentiary process is exclusively in Sweden, not in Paddington Green/whatever plod house.
@Not so fast
>>"If Assange is allowed to be out on bail he's as good as gone with all his money."
In which case, why didn't go earlier, while he was supposedly in discussions (or attempting to be) in discussions with the Swedish authorities, since that would indicate he knew they hadn't lost all interest.
If he has some better place lined up free from any fear of extradition, what was he doing staying in the UK, if he's so suspicious and cautious?
Was he waiting until the very last minute to leave just for the thrill?
Though of course, that equally applies to people suggesting that the warrant/arrest is obviously just a way of keeping him here until the Americans can be bothered to ask for him.
If he was happy to stay here even when he was trying to negotiate with the Swedes, presumably he'd have been no less happy, and maybe even happier, staying here if they'd said that they'd concluded there wasn't a realistic prospect of a trial.
Then the Yanks could have sprung a surprise charge on him whenever they wanted.
> Lawyers for the 39-year-old Australian said he would wear an electronic tag
Many criminals get to wear the tag *as their punishment after conviction*. So why does he have to wear the tag again?
Re: Electronic tag
"Many criminals get to wear the tag *as their punishment after conviction*. So why does he have to wear the tag again?"
"Many"? "Again"? Has he slept in a Bubbery before?
>>"Many criminals get to wear the tag *as their punishment after conviction*"
Which is entirely irrelevant to its use for people on bail.
What is relevant is that many people on bail can get to wear tags, if they're considered a potential flight risk, or to enforce a court curfew, and that can apply to teenagers accused of street crime.
If it has been argued in court that Assange is a potential flight risk, if there was no kind of monitoring and he did do a runner, some people would have serious egg on their faces, and fitting a tag can simply be a way of covering themselves.
You can have bail, but we want £240,000 *IN CASH*!
WTF? That's really a great idea, let's just go down to the bank and draw out almost a quarter of a million pounds in cash, jump in a taxi and tootle down to the court with it in a suitcase!
Re: You can have bail, but we want £240,000 *IN CASH*!
It's usual for bail to be put up in the form of cash, especially for controversial cases. What else did you expect? Charity? For everything else there's master card?
Let's just look at some of the names who have been offering to contribute to his bail: Ken Loach, Tariq Ali, John Pilger, Jemima Khan.
This isn't "Yes, M'Lud, the defendant's Uncle Fred and his brother in law Honest Charlie are willing to write a cheque post-dated for next Tuesday"...