News / USA

London Court Denies WikiLeaks Founder Bail

Founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, speaks during a press conference in London, 23 Oct 2010
Founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, speaks during a press conference in London, 23 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Jennifer Glasse

The founder of the website WikiLeaks is in jail in London after being arrested on a European warrant in connection with a rape case in Sweden.

A British judge denied Julian Assange bail Tuesday. The founder of WikiLeaks surrendered to police and was arrested on behalf of Swedish authorities in connection with a rape case in Sweden.

The Swedish prosecutor has said the case is not connected to WikiLeaks, but Mark Stephens, one of Assange's London lawyers believes the Swedish warrant is connected to the release of U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks.

Related video report by Laurel Bowman:

"The timing of this has got to be related to the cables. We have to remember that the Swedes dropped any allegations of sexual misconduct against Julian Assange as long ago as September of this year."

Stephens says his client tried to meet with the prosecutor before he left Sweden earlier this year but she refused.  

Last week Interpol made public a red notice or an international wanted persons alert for Assange. Stephens has called the actions of the Swedish prosecutor persecution.

"She has been running away from him and has sent out stop notices, which are usually secret, and these warrants, all in the week that WikiLeaks is suffering cyber attacks and is also releasing the cables. And one has to, as a lawyer for Julian Assange, just think very carefully about the fact that Sweden was just one of those countries where a lot of extraordinary rendition flights went through."

Stephens was referring to the clandestine transfers of suspected terrorists the United States conducted with the help of a handful of countries.

Wikileaks has been under pressure since it began releasing 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables last week. U.S. officials claim the action has put national security at risk.

Assange is an Australian citizen and while the country's attorney general said Assange has a right to consular support, Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, says the country is investigating whether a crime was committed in Australia.

"The foundation stone of it is an illegal act. Information was taken and that was illegal. So, let's not try and put any glosses on this. It would not happen, information would not be on WikiLeaks, if there had not been an illegal act undertaken."

British journalist John Pilger is one of several prominent figures who vouched for Assange in court and offered to put up bail. He condemned the Australian prime minister's accusations.

"Julie Gillard had no right to say, to comment as she did, that what WikiLeaks has done was illegal. There is nothing illegal about what WikiLeaks has done, there is nothing illegal about what Julian Assange has done. He deserves the support of his government at his very least."

The U.S. State Department spokesman says his country is looking into whether Assange broke any U.S. laws and would not comment on whether America would seek extradition.

David Banisar is the senior legal counsel for the freedom of speech organization Article 19 here in London. He says he does not believe American Espionage law applies to Assange.

"There's no laws in the U.S. that would really apply to him in this case. Obviously his sources could be prosecuted under their obligations as government employees to not release classified secret information, but as a journalist-type recipient, no he can't be prosecuted."

A number of companies have abandoned WikiLeaks, including American Internet service providers, and online payment company PayPal and credit card companies Visa and MasterCard, main financial conduits for donations to WikiLeaks. Banisar says those practices are troubling.

"These kinds of companies are the middlemen to the Internet and if it turns out that the middlemen aren't very supportive of free speech, it really does undermine the right of free speech."

Lawyer Mark Stephens says Assange's detention will not affect the Internet site.

"I am advised that WikiLeaks can continue to exist, that a number of their operatives, they have many thousands of journalists in a virtual journalistic community around the world and they will continue. We are only [at] cable 301 today, we will see the rest of those 250,000 cables coming out so that full information is available."

Stephens says he plans to reapply for bail for Assange who is scheduled to appear in court again December 14.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More