Sweden aims to extradite Assanage to US: lawyer

Julian Assange’s lawyer in Britain has accused Swedish authorities of secretly planning to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States, in an interview with a German newspaper to appear tomorrow.

 

Julian Paul Assange

Attorney Mark Stephens told the weekly Die Zeit that he believed Swedish officials were cooperating with US authorities with an eye to extraditing Assange as soon as the Americans have built a criminal case against him.

“We are hearing that the Swedish are prepared to drop the rape charges against Julian as soon as the Americans demand his extradition,” he said, citing sources in Washington and Stockholm.

Stephens called the Swedish charges against his client a “holding case” to buy time until the United States can prosecute him themselves over WikiLeaks’ mass release of classified US documents.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange granted bail, set free

The founder of the whistle blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has been granted bail and was set free, pending an extradition hearing. Justice Duncan Ouseley granted Assange “conditional bail,” upholding the previous ruling which was made earlier in the week. He ruled against a Swedish appeal filed just two days ago. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden for alleged molestation and rape.

Julian Paul Assange

On Tuesday, Assange was granted bail with the help of former British army officer and journalist Vaughan Smith, who told the court that Assange could stay at his mansion in Suffolk. Defense barrister Geoffrey Robertson said that Smith would keep Assange “if not under house arrest, at least under mansion arrest.” Assange’s lawyers say that Assange is only wanted for questioning, and has not been charged with any crimes. However the lawyers representing Sweden countered by saying “The court has already found that Mr. Assange is a flight risk. Nothing has changed in this regard. [If the alleged offences took place in Britain] it undoubtedly would have been a charge of rape in this jurisdiction.” Robertson did not agree.

Bail was set at £200,000, with two additional guarantees of £20,000. Assange would also have to surrender his passport and submit to electronic monitoring. Pending further court hearings, Assange will be residing in a manor owned by Smith, which is located near the Norfolk–Suffolk border in England. Assange would also have to spend at least four hours at Smith’s mansion in the day and four at night. He will also have to check in with police every day between 6–8 pm local time. After the magistrate outlined the conditions Assange said, emotionlessly, on Tuesday, “I understand.” Bail conditions remained the same, with small changes that included where he is allowed to travel, changes to his curfew and times in which he must report to authorities. Assange has yet to be formally charged with any crime.

Assange believes the sex offense accusation against him are politically motivated to take attention away from material that Wikileaks is publishing, including the release of over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks chief ‘a high-tech terrorist’: McConnell

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is calling the founder of the online site WikiLeaks a “high-tech terrorist” for releasing classified material from the US government.

Julian Paul Assange

McConnell says that the online release of secret diplomat exchanges has done “enormous damage” to the country and to its relationship with its allies.

McConnell tells NBC television’s “Meet the Press” that he hopes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be prosecuted for the disclosures. And he says that if it’s found that Assange hasn’t violated the law, then the law should be changed.

Of Assange, McConnell says, “I think the man is a high-tech terrorist.

Wikileaks website attacked; millions of files to be released tonight

Wikileaks’ website is reportedly under attack as it prepares to release up to 2.7 million documents, described as “diplomatic dynamite”, detailing communication between United States embassies. “We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” the organisation said on its Twitter feed. The website, run by Julian Assange, retaliated by saying that even if their website goes down, several newspapers will publish the leaked files this evening.

Julian Paul Assange

The Obama administration wrote to Assange yesterday to warn him that “countless” lives would be put at risk should the documents be published. “We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US government classified materials,” the letter stated. Wikinews reported on Saturday that officials in Washington were contacting embassies around the world to warn diplomats of the leak.

President Barack Obama

Assange told reporters on Sunday: “The material that we are about to release covers essentially every major issue in every country in the world.” Wikileaks confirmed that El Pais, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, The Guardian and The New York Times will be publishing the documents this evening. “The greatest anxiety is that these leaks will reveal remarks [by U.S. diplomats] of a hostile nature towards various Islamic leaders and Islamic state policies,” political analyst Peter Spencer said. Analysts have said that the letter to Obama reflects the U.S. administration’s concern over possible publication of the files, which may contain American diplomats’ opinions of other politicians, some of which may be candid and embarrassing.

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