Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wikileaks Head Julian Assange Arrested by Brits, Denied Bail

December 7, 2010 - England - Julian Assange, 39, is the evil genius and man of mystery behind Wikileaks, a so-called "whistler blower" web site. Assange, an Australian national, was arrested today in England (United Kingdom) on charges of sexual crimes. Assange had been hiding out in London, but police knew his whereabouts. They did not arrest him for days because of legal technicalities involving a Swedish warrant for his arrest for sex crimes. After speculation last night that Assange might surrender to police, he did turn himself in this morning at 9:30 a.m (local time) and appeared before Westminster Magistrate's Court. Many speculate that the Swedish sex crimes charges were trumped up in an effort to capture Assange and further prevent him from releasing more U.S. state secrets on the Wikileaks website. Gangster Al Capone, remember, was finally done in by charges of income tax evasion. The BBC reports today that Assange "has been refused bail by a court in London but vowed to fight extradition to Sweden. Mr Assange denies sexually assaulting two women in Sweden. He was remanded in custody pending a hearing next week. A judge at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court refused bail because of the risk of the 39-year-old fleeing." Assange has published many confidential documents on his Wikileaks, without regard for the damage his actions could bring to international diplomatic relations or even for lives that such releases may have endangered. Tensions are rising between NATO and Russia, reports CBS News, because of today's "Wikileaks' revelation of secret NATO plans to defend the Baltic states and Poland in the event of a Russian attack, the former communist country's envoy to the alliance says his country will demand NATO drop the plans..." The Telegraph (UK) reported on November 28, Assange "denies he has committed any crime, was believed to have recently spent time in London but his whereabouts....were unknown. He had been under investigation in Sweden since August over rape allegations." Wikileaks has been a thorn in the side of the United States for many months, but the last straw was the most recent Wikileaks release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents, called embarrassing by some and dangerous by others. He was hunted by Interpol, which acted on an arrest warrant from the International Public Prosecution Office in Gothenburg, Sweden. That's where the sexual assault charges were formalized. The arrest of Assange will probably not have much effect on the operation of Wikileaks. Fox News reports today a WikiLeaks spokesman "said the flow of secret U.S. diplomatic cables would not be affected by Assange's legal troubles, nor by the group's increasingly rocky finances as both Visa and MasterCard cut off key funding methods" and that "WikiLeaks released a dozen new diplomatic cables, its first publication in more than 24 hours, including the details of a NATO defense plan for Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that prompted an indignant response from the Russian envoy to the alliance." RELATED: Arrested WikiLeaks chief denied bail in UK (video) YouTube British Police Arrest WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange (BBC video) YouTube Julian Assange Arrest (France24 video) YouTube WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is refused bail The Telegraph British Judge Denies WikiLeaks Founder Assange Bail Fox News Interpol's Online Wanted Poster for Julian Assange Profile: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange The Telegraph Who is Pfc. Bradley Manning? Fox News Pfc. Bradley Manning, Lady Gaga And How 250000 Top Secret Documents Were Leaked Weasel Zippers US says leaks are a crime, threatens prosecution Associated Press