News / Europe

Wikileaks Publisher Julian Assange Released from Jail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after his release on bail, 16 Dec 2010
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after his release on bail, 16 Dec 2010

A London court  granted Julian Assange bail Thursday and he walked out of jail a free man.  For now.  Assange is still under house arrest and faces an extradition hearing in Janurary.  Our correspondent explains what's next for Assange and any U.S. charges against him.

Julian Assange walked out of jail on Thursday, his first freedom in nine days.

"Well it's great to smell the fresh air of London again," said Assange.

Assange turned himself in on December 7 after an international warrant was issued for his arrest.  Swedish authorities want to question him about allegations of rape.

"I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal, as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations," he said.

Assange is free after he posted more than $300,000 in cash.  He must wear a monitoring device and check in with police daily.  

Wikileaks is in the process of releasing a quarter of a million secret U.S. diplomatic cables, angering governments worldwide.

On Capitol Hill, the  U.S. House Judiciary Committee is looking into the legal issues surrounding WikiLeaks.  Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte:

"I would say, first of all, that the lack of security safeguards for protecting classified material is stunningly poor and this problem is enhanced by the use of modern technology," said Goodlatte.

Democratic Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts wants Congress to look at what information is being stamped classified.

"There is far too much secrecy and overclassification within the executive branch and I think it puts American democracy at risk," said Delahunt.

There's a move in Congress to update the Espionage Act written in 1917 - a time when immediate
media transmition was unimaginable.

Abbe Lowell represents Americans charged under the act.  He says the changes should clarify the violations for government workers, average Americans, and especially journalists with their first amendment rights.

"We must distinguish between disclosures of classified information done with an intent to injure the U.S. and
those where a person is not acting with that criminal intent," said Lowell.

Committee chairman, Michigan Democratic Congressman John Conyers encouraged a slow, deliberate analysis of the
law prior to any changes.  In appearing to support Assange, Conyers breaks from most on Capitol Hill and in the
administration.

"Many feel their publication was offensive," said Conyers. "But unpopularity is not a crime and publishing offensive
information isn't either."

So far, Assange is not facing charges related to WikiLeaks.  A hearing on Sweden's extradition request will be held next month.  For now, Assange is required to stay at a friend's 10-bedroom mansion, where he is free to use the internet.  


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid