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Tag Archive: WikiLeak


Date  March 29, 2013

Philip Dorling

The  Sydney Morning  Herald

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Julian AssangeTurmoil surrounding case in Sweden: Julian Assange. Photo: AP

The top Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault charges against Julian Assange has abruptly left the case and one of Mr Assange’s accusers has sacked her lawyer.

The turmoil in the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s effort to extradite Mr Assange comes as another leading Swedish judge prepares to deliver an unprecedented public lecture in Australia next week on the WikiLeaks publisher’s case.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority wants to extradite Mr Assange to have him questioned in Stockholm in relation to sexual assault allegations by two women.

Anna ArdinAlleged victim: Political activist Anna Ardin.

Fairfax Media has obtained Swedish court documents that reveal high-profile Swedish prosecutor Marianne Nye has unexpectedly left Mr Assange’s case from Wednesday, and has been replaced by a less-experienced prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren. The reasons for the change have not been disclosed yet.

Read Full Article Here

 

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Assange legal shakeup: Prosecutor walks, Supreme Court judge to speak out on case

RT

Published time: March 28, 2013 14:43
Edited time: March 28, 2013 15:38

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

The lead Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is no longer handling the case, media reports revealed. Her departure comes as a top Swedish judge is set to speak publicly on the ‘Assange affair.’

Recent court documents have revealed that starting Wednesday, high-profile Swedish prosecutor Marianne Nye will no longer be at the helm of the case against Assange, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Nye will be replaced by her far less experienced colleague Ingrid Isgren; the reasons for her departure have not been disclosed.

However, according to a Swedish newspaper report, Nye “has not quit the Assange case formally rather that there is a new ‘investigator,'” WikiLeaks tweeted on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Anna Ardin, one of two women who accused Julian Assange of sex crimes, also moved to fire her controversial lawyer Claes Borgstrom late last month after she lost faith in his ability to represent her.

Ardin charged that Borgstrom was more interested in being in the media spotlight than providing her legal counsel, and has often referred her inquiries to his secretary or assistant. The court has approved Ardin’s new lawyer, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Borgstrom reportedly supported his former client’s decision, saying that “in cases concerning sexual offenses, it is particularly important that the plaintiff has confidence in the lawyer representing her,” Swedish tabloid Expressen quoted him as saying.

News of the legal shakeup in the Assange case comes less than a week before Swedish Supreme Court judge Stefan Lindskog’s lecture at the University of Adelaide on the “Assange affair, and freedom of speech, from the Swedish perspective.”

Assange blasted Justice Lindskog – who is chair of the Supreme Court of Sweden, the country’s highest court of appeal – for his decision to publicly discuss the case.

“If an Australian High Court judge came out and spoke on a case the court expected or was likely to judge, it would be regarded as absolutely outrageous,” he told Fairfax media.

 

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Ecuador raises Julian Assange case with Labour

Diplomat brings up subject of WikiLeaks founder taking refuge in embassy at meeting with Kerry McCarthy MP

Julian Assange Ecuador embassy

Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy since June 2012. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Ecuadorean diplomats have raised the case of Julian Assange with the Labour party as part of attempts to lay the groundwork for a resolution of the diplomatic standoff between Britain and the South American state over the WikiLeaks’ founder.

As part of its continuing search for an end to the impasse, Ecuador has been seeking a commitment from the coalition that it would not support Assange’s onward extradition to the US should he choose to go to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

In an indication that the Ecuadoreans are now also setting their sights on a possible change of government after the 2015 election, Ecuador’s ambassador, Ana Alban, raised Assange’s case during a meeting with the shadow foreign minister, Kerry McCarthy.

The meeting had been requested by Ecuador to discuss environmental issues and bilateral trade, and the Labour side were taken by surprise when the Australian’s case was raised by the Ecuadoreans towards the end of the meeting.

A Labour source was eager to distance the party from the issue, saying: “The meeting was on the basis of a discussion about other issues and was one part of a series of regular contact meetings with foreign governments in London.

 

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JourneymanVOD

Published on Jul 16, 2012

Second only to Julian Assange, Bradley Manning is the most important figure in the Wikileaks controversy; his is alleged to have handed over hundreds of thousands of secret US war files and diplomatic cables. But, while the world watches Assange’s trial with baited breath, Manning is already wasting away in solitary confinement; this is the story of his daring intelligence heist. We hear the only recording of Bradley Manning’s voice and we listen to the logs of alleged conversations with the man who ultimately betrayed him. Brought to you by Journeyman Pictures: http://www.youtube.com/user/JourneymanVOD?feature=mhee

___________________________________________________________
>>> Anonymous: Project Mayhem 2012 // Call to Action – Code TYLER! <<<
        Dear fellows…
        We have grown fast along this world at rebellion.
        With freedom in one hand and fistful of truths at the other.
        Imagine we all evolve to make it exponential in order to a true planetary revolution.
        This can be as real as you decide it to be.
        We are all Anonymous.
        You are anonymous.
        We are all painting our world with colorful screams.
        We are all making Titans, that make us dream and give us strength to leave the cave.
        But imagine we all finally find the courage needed.
        to become the real change we wish to see in the World.
        Imagine we conquer Freedom by beginning to be Free.
        Imagine we conquer Justice by beginning to do fair.
        Imagine we conquer Truth by beginning to do and be True to ourselves.
        Imagine we re invent and reverse Reality.
        Imagine we finish corrupt banksters.
        Imagine we finish corrupt governments.
        Imagine we finish corrupt Corporations.
        Imagine war is over.
        Imagine no more of Fear.
        In this system built upon lies…
        Information equals Power.
        Imagine we start a Fight Club.
        Imagine we purchase an USB drive.
        Imagine we take it to our workplaces and pretend we have to work late hours.
        Imagine we accumulate all sort of evidences about illegal deeds.
        Imagine Conscientious insiders worldwide begin to expose all lies,
        inevitable and immortally, because no one can kill the messenger.
        Imagine we code an extremely simple interface so that anyone can do it.
        Imagine we all synchronize our clocks to act at the same Time,
        on the Winter solstice, The 21st of December 2012 at eleven minutes past eleven local time.
        On the 5th of November 2012 TYLER will be out of beta testing.
        TYLER is a massively distributed and decentralized
        Wikipedia style p2p cipher-space structure impregnable to censorship.
        This is a call to action to all top hacktivists, coders, cryptoanarchists, cypherpunks,
        Non-violent Civil Rights activists, free artists, Internet Censorship
        and Freedom of Speech activists everywhere to collaborate
        to jointly BRAINSTORM IDEAS to develop and improve TYLER,
        with the lessons learned from Wikileaks, Freenet, TOR, G-N-U net, e-Mule,
        BitTorrent, I2P, Tribler and many other projects.
        From the 12th of December 2012, to the 21st of December 2012,
        people all over the world upload the evidence of illegality corruption
        and fraud They have gathered To TYLER.
        Imagine.
        Imagine We leak all.
        And you know it, because Tyler knows it.
        We are Anonymous.
        We do not forgive.
        We do not forget.
        Expect us.
### “I see the strongest and the smartest men who have ever lived… and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables.” Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 19 ###
Project Mayhem 2012 ‘Dangerous Ideas #1 and #2’:
Project Mayhem 2012 Tyler:
TYLER forum discussion:
TYLER pad discussion:
(Don’t BEE afraid to start your OWN seKret TYLER)
Project Mayhem 2012.
Game OVer.

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

10/27/12

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 694 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for691 days. 
 – 131 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bradley Manning has been in jail without trial for 888 days.  
Jeremy Hammond has been in prison without trial for 238 days. 
A secret Grand Jury on WikiLeaks has been active for 774 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks released five more Detainee Policies which focus on Camp Bucca.
  • The Pentagon has warned WikiLeaks against releasing information about their military prisons, saying it threatens national security and undermines relationships.
  • WikiLeaks released all emails to and from the Syrian Industrial Bank, the Syrian Petroleum Company, as well as a couple letters from Fidel Castro.
    It is a threat to our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,” said a Defense Department spokesman who spoke on condition of anonymity to EF
    It is a threat to our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems,” said a Defense Department spokesman who spoke on condition of anonymity to EF
  • WACA put out a press release detailing the U.S. Consulate sit-in in Melbourne supporting WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning. Consulate officials refused to talk to the protestors and ordered the police to remove them. Video is also available.
  • A recorded livestream is available of the “Enemies of the State” WikiLeaks support action held in New York City.
  • An article in Darker Net discusses the NDAA and who it targets, including supporters of WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange News:

  • Ecuadorian Ambassador Ana Alban stated that Julian Assange is currently in good health and spirits, and being regularly visited by a doctor. She also said he was recently visited by Yoko Ono and John Cusack.
  • A new e-book is available entitled “Julian Assange in Sweden – What really happened”.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Bradley Manning’s October 30 pretrial hearing has been delayed until November 7 due to a hurricane. The November 1 Fort Meade protest has been cancelled, and the October 30 London vigil has been postponed.
  • Cryptocat developer Nadim Kobeissi tweeted the following: “Just spoke with Eric Holder regarding Bradley Manning; he said he had not heard of many facts I related to him, said will investigate.”
  • An article in AlterNet discusses a recent performance by Crosby, Stills, & Nash and how they voice support for Bradley Manning during performances.

 

 

10/28/12

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 695 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for692 days. 
 – 132 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bradley Manning has been in jail without trial for 889 days.  
Jeremy Hammond has been in prison without trial for 239 days. 
A secret Grand Jury on WikiLeaks has been active for 775 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks’ finance report for January to June 2012 shows that they spent €246,619.70, while receiving €32,838.11 in donations, only 13% of the expenditures.
  • WikiLeaks linked to one of their archived articles which discusses how the Mormon Church attempted to gag WikiLeaks from publishing their secret bible.
  • WikiLeaks released all emails to and from the Syrian Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments).
  • Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola hosted a Q&A with Andy Greenberg about his new book, “This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists are Freeing the World’s Information”.

Julian Assange News:

  • Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa stated that he stands by his decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange and that the entire situation could have been avoided were Sweden to agree to question Mr Assange in the UK.
  • Designer Vivienne Westwood commented on her visit with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy saying he seems well, but needs fresh produce. She called Mr Assange a “real hero”, “very brave”, and “a noble adventure figure like Robin Hood”.
  • In an interview from last month, Julian Assange discusses why he believes Americans should vote for Mitt Romney, saying that it would ‘make the Democrats get serious about civil liberties’.
  • Actor/writer John Cusack put out the following tweet: “Yes its true i Met with Julian assange in London -had a great long substantive talk – more on that –and more from him soon –“.
  • An article in The Guardian compares the villain in new James Bond film “Skyfall” with Julian Assange, mentioning similarities as to the leak of classified information and the light colored hair.
  • DVD of  Australian telemovie “Underground: The Julian Assange Story” will be available on November 7.

Bradley Manning News:

  • An article in PressTV discusses how the U.S. will also be on trial during Bradley Manning’s trial for its horrendous treatment of the alleged whistleblower and the crimes which were exposed through WikiLeaks.
  • Photos are available of the Bradley Manning information booth which was set up on the backside of the American Embassy in Berlin.

 

 

10/29/12

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 696 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for693 days. 
 – 133 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bradley Manning has been in jail without trial for 890 days.  
Jeremy Hammond has been in prison without trial for 240 days. 
A secret Grand Jury on WikiLeaks has been active for 776 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks released 5 more Detainee Policieswhich cover Camp Bucca, including policy for detainee medical care and military working dogs.
    • The Justice Campaign tweeted their findings in some of the earlier Camp Bucca releases.
  • U.S. firm Blue Coat Systems Inc. acknowledged the use of its technologies by the Syrian Government in order to censor internet activity. These technologies were detailed in the Spy Files, and the use of such by Syria was detailed in the Syria Files.
  • WikiLeaks released all emails to and from the Syrian General Authority for the Book.
  • A panel at Från Internetdagarna 2012 in Stolkholm discussed the international implications of freedom of speech in relation to WikiLeaks and the U.S. The panelists were Media & Communications Professor Christian Christensen, Jillian C. York of the EFF, writer Afrah Nasser, and Swedish political advisor Olof Ehrenkrona, with moderator Hans Rosén of Dagens Nyheter.
  • WACA posted an open letter to President Obama regarding WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning.

Julian Assange News:

  • CNN released more of their recent interview with Julian Assange in which he discusses how the Obama Administration was ‘corrupted’. He also discusses alleged WikiLeaks sources Bradley Manning and Jeremy Hammond, and well as The Pirate Bay co-founder anakata.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Michael Ratner discussed the latest in Bradley Manning’s pretrial hearings, including the continued battle for public access to his court records.

Jeremy Hammond News:

  • The Rolling Stone published an in-depth profile on Jeremy Hammond, detailing his life from childhood all the way up until his arrest for allegedly hacking into Stratfor. 
  • In response to the above article, former Anonymous member Peter Fein detailed his personal encounter with Jeremy Hammond.

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics  : Government – Fiscal irresponsibility – Whistle Blowers

Police stakeout bill for Assange tops £1m as it costs £11,000 a DAY to ensure he doesn’t flee Ecuadorian Embassy

  • At least four Met officers stand guard around the clock
  • William Hague admits there is ‘no sign of breakthrough’

By Chris Greenwood, Crime Reporter

 

 

The police bill for staking out the embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is evading justice has already reached more than £1million.

Scotland Yard confirmed it is costing £11,000 every day to ensure the Australian does not flee his bolthole at the Ecuadorean Embassy.

The final bill could be much more as the 41-year-old continues to defy extradition to Sweden where he is suspected of sexually assaulting two women.

Hefty bill: A phalanx of Scotland Yard police officers surrounds the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge as he evades sex assault allegationsHefty bill: A phalanx of Scotland Yard police officers surrounds the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge as he evades sex assault allegations

Officers have been watching the property in Knightsbridge, west London, since Mr Assange breached his bail and claimed asylum in June. They have been told to arrest him if he puts ‘one toe’ outside.

Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Pinto has warned Mr Assange he could be in the embassy for a decade if he is not allowed to leave Britain.

Critics have called on the Metropolitan Police to end the costly stakeout.

Last week, Foreign Secretary William Hague admitted there is ‘no sign of any breakthrough’ after meeting Mr Pinto at the United Nations in New York.

The comments came after the hacking activist accused the U.S. of persecuting WikiLeaks and torturing Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified documents.

24/7 surveillance: Officers have been watching the property in Knightsbridge since Assange (pictured) breached his bail and claimed asylum in June24/7 surveillance: Officers have been watching the property in Knightsbridge since Assange (pictured) breached his bail and claimed asylum in June

At least four Met officers guard the embassy, on the second floor of a block of flats behind Harrods in Knightsbridge, West London, around the clock.

They have set up a £250,000 mobile command station on the doorstep of the building and occupy positions outside and in surrounding properties.

Officers from every London borough, specialist police units and undercover squads have been brought in to join the open-ended stake out.

One colleague said: ‘The officers are being moved around every three or four days to stop the boredom setting in.

‘There are certainly plenty of other things these officers could be doing than standing there around the clock.’

Time well spent? At least four Met officers guard the embassy, on the second floor of a block of flats behind Harrods, around the clockTime well spent? At least four Met officers guard the embassy, on the second floor of a block of flats behind Harrods, around the clock

London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed the policing bill between June 20 and September 10 was £905,000.

If the costs continued at the average of £11,000 a day the total would now be over £1.1million.

Critics called on the Met to end the stand-off but sources said the force cannot step back from its responsibilities to arrest Mr Assange for breaching his bail.

Jenny Jones, a Green politician in the capital who sits on a committee that oversees the Met’s work, called for the officers to go back on the beat.

She said: ‘It is ridiculous at a time when the Met is stretched as never before that so many officers are waiting around the Ecuadorian Embassy for Assange to attempt an escape.’

Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, who also sits on the London Assembly, added: ‘For 100 days Assange has been evading an arrest warrant for the alleged offense of rape and trying to escape the fair judicial process of Sweden.

‘At a time when police counters are closing across London his actions are a gross waste of valuable resources.’

 

 

 

More…

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics – World News   :   Government Corruption – Government Overreach – Whistle Blowers

Julian Assange to UN: ‘US trying to erect national secrecy regime’ (Full version)

Published on Sep 27, 2012 by

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called on the United States to move from words to actions, and put an end to its persecution of WikiLeaks, its people and its sources – READ MORE http://on.rt.com/f3jgtl

Julian Assange appeals to US to stop ‘persecution’ of WikiLeaks

During a teleconference with the United Nations in New York, Julian Assange calls on the US government to cease its investigation of WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who entered the Ecuadorian embassy in London 100 days ago, described himself as a “free man” during the conference call on Wednesday.

“Despite having been detained for 659 days without charge, I am free in the most basic and important sense. I am free to speak my mind,” Mr Assange said.

“This freedom exists because the nation of Ecuador has granted me political asylum and other nations have rallied to support its decision.”

Ecuador granted political asylum to Assange on August 16, a day after it said Britain had threatened to raid the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest the former hacker.

Britain was determined to extradite him to Sweden, where he is accused of rape and sexual assault. Mr Assange fears he will ultimately be sent to the US which is furious that his WikiLeaks website has leaked hundreds of thousands of secret US diplomatic and military cables.

In the teleconference, Mr Assange accused the US administration of creating a “national regime of secrecy,” and said that President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was used to prop up his political campaign, when the President cited instances of US support for global democracy, particularly with regard to the Arab Spring movement.

“There are times for words and there are times for action. The time for words has run out,” Mr Assange said.

“It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people and to cease its persecution of our alleged sources. It is time for President Obama to do the right thing and join the forces of change – not in fine words, but in fine deeds.”

Media reports say the UK and Ecuadorian ministers will meet on Thursday to determine the fate of Mr Assange.

 

 

 

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Government Overreach : Whistle Blowers

Why the US is Out to Get Julian Assange

Seumas Milne
The Guardian
flag gag

© Oli Scarff/Getty

Considering he made his name with the biggest leak of secret government documents in history, you might imagine there would be at least some residual concern for Julian Assange among those trading in the freedom of information business. But the virulence of British media hostility towards the WikiLeaks founder is now unrelenting.

This is a man, after all, who has yet to be charged, let alone convicted, of anything. But as far as the bulk of the press is concerned, Assange is nothing but a “monstrous narcissist”, a bail-jumping “sex pest” and an exhibitionist maniac. After Ecuador granted him political asylum and Assange delivered a “tirade” from its London embassy’s balcony, fire was turned on the country’s progressive president, Rafael Correa, ludicrously branded a corrupt “dictator” with an “iron grip” on a benighted land.

The ostensible reason for this venom is of course Assange’s attempt to resist extradition to Sweden (and onward extradition to the US) over sexual assault allegations – including from newspapers whose record on covering rape and violence against women is shaky, to put it politely. But as the row over his embassy refuge has escalated into a major diplomatic stand-off, with the whole of South America piling in behind Ecuador, such posturing looks increasingly specious.

Can anyone seriously believe the dispute would have gone global, or that the British government would have made its asinine threat to suspend the Ecuadorean embassy’s diplomatic status and enter it by force, or that scores of police would have surrounded the building, swarming up and down the fire escape and guarding every window, if it was all about one man wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations in Stockholm?

To get a grip on what is actually going on, rewind to WikiLeaks’ explosive release of secret US military reports and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables two years ago. They disgorged devastating evidence of US war crimes and collusion with death squads in Iraq on an industrial scale, the machinations and lies of America’s wars and allies, its illegal US spying on UN officials – as well as a compendium of official corruption and deceit across the world.

WikiLeaks provided fuel for the Arab uprisings. It didn’t just deliver information for citizens to hold governments everywhere to account, but crucially opened up the exercise of US global power to democratic scrutiny. Not surprisingly, the US government made clear it regarded WikiLeaks as a serious threat to its interests from the start, denouncing the release of confidential US cables as a “criminal act”.

Vice-president Joe Biden has compared Assange to a “hi-tech terrorist”. Shock jocks and neocons have called for him to be hunted down and killed. Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old soldier accused of passing the largest trove of US documents to WikiLeaks, who has been held in conditions described as “cruel and inhuman” by the UN special rapporteur on torture, faces up to 52 years in prison.

The US administration yesterday claimed the WikiLeaks founder was trying to deflect attention from his Swedish case by making “wild allegations” about US intentions. But the idea that the threat of US extradition is some paranoid WikiLeaks fantasy is absurd.

A grand jury in Virginia has been preparing a case against Assange and WikiLeaks for espionage, a leak earlier this year suggested that the US government has already issued a secret sealed indictment against Assange, while Australian diplomats have reported that the WikiLeaks founder is the target of an investigation that is “unprecedented both in its scale and its nature”.

The US interest in deterring others from following the WikiLeaks path is obvious. And it would be bizarre to expect a state which over the past decade has kidnapped, tortured and illegally incarcerated its enemies, real or imagined, on a global scale – and continues to do so under President Barack Obama – to walk away from what Hillary Clinton described as an “attack on the international community”. In the meantime, the US authorities are presumably banking on seeing Assange further discredited in Sweden.

None of that should detract from the seriousness of the rape allegations made against Assange, for which he should clearly answer and, if charges are brought, stand trial. The question is how to achieve justice for the women involved while protecting Assange (and other whistleblowers) from punitive extradition to a legal system that could potentially land him in a US prison cell for decades.

The politicisation of the Swedish case was clear from the initial leak of the allegations to the prosecutor’s decision to seek Assange’s extradition for questioning – described by a former Stockholm prosecutor as “unreasonable, unfair and disproportionate” – when the authorities have been happy to interview suspects abroad in more serious cases.

And given the context, it’s also hardly surprising that sceptics have raised the links with US-funded anti-Cuban opposition groups of one of those making the accusations – or that campaigners such as the London-based Women Against Rape have expressed scepticism at the “unusual zeal” with which rape allegations were pursued against Assange in a country where rape convictions have fallen. The danger, of course, is that the murk around this case plays into a misogynist culture in which rape victims aren’t believed.

But why, Assange’s critics charge, would he be more likely to be extradited to the US from Sweden than from Britain, Washington’s patsy, notorious for its one-sided extradition arrangements. There are specific risks in Sweden – for example, its fast-track “temporary surrender” extradition agreement it has with the US. But the real point is that Assange is in danger of extradition in both countries – which is why Ecuador was right to offer him protection.

The solution is obvious. It’s the one that Ecuador is proposing – and that London and Stockholm are resisting. If the Swedish government pledged to block the extradition of Assange to the US for any WikiLeaks-related offence (which it has the power to do) – and Britain agreed not to sanction extradition to a third country once Swedish proceedings are over – then justice could be served. But with loyalty to the US on the line, Assange shouldn’t expect to leave the embassy any time soon.

WikiLeaks Donations by Visa, MasterCard May Resume, Court Rules

By Loek Essers, IDG-News-Service:Amsterdam-Bureau

Icelandic payments processor Valitor must reopen a gateway handling Visa and MasterCard donations to Wikileaks, a judge ruled Thursday. However, the gateway will probably remain closed while Valitor appeals the case, an attorney for DataCell, the Icelandic company hosting WikiLeaks’ donations website, said on Friday.

The court ruled that Valitor must resume processing payments for Wikileaks’ partner DataCell within two weeks, according to the ruling. If Valitor doesn’t, then it must pay a fine of 800,000 Icelandic kronur (USD$6,200) per day until the company complies with the ruling, the Reykjavik district court ruled.

MasterCard, Visa, Western Union, Bank of America, and PayPal stopped processing payments for WikiLeaks after it began releasing some 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables in November 2010, making it hard for it to raise funds. The blockade reduced donations to WikiLeaks by 95 percent and cost the organization over $20 million, the organization said in a news release.

WikiLeaks hailed the Icelandic court’s ruling as a significant victory against Washington’s attempt to silence the whistle-blowing website.

DataCell CEO Andreas Fink said the court had dismissed Visa’s argument that DataCell should not be allowed to process donations for third parties.

“The verdict is an important one as the court had to rule on the conditions of the contracts we had with a payment processor which indirectly imposes Visa general rules on us,” said Fink.

Valitor failed to establish that WikiLeaks is an illegal organization, so the court confirmed indirectly that WikiLeaks is a organization as any other and should not be treated differently, he said.

According to Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, DataCell’s attorney, the judge concluded that Valitor was quite aware DataCell set up the payment gateway to collect donations for WikiLeaks. “That is logical because on the payment gateway (website) WikiLeaks’ name and logo is all over. This is really quite obvious,” he said via email.

The ruling also showed that Valitor had no problem with DataCell and WikiLeaks in the first place but in fact turned DataCell down only after receiving calls from Visa international, according to Fink. Valitor argued that Visa did not order it to block services to DataCell, but that “is very hard to believe”, Fink said.

The court ruled almost completely in favor of DataCell, he said. Only DataCell’s demand to impose daily fines of 1 million kronur per day was lowered to 800,000 kronur, Fink said. Valitor was also ordered to pay 1.5 million kronur to cover DataCell’s litigation costs.

Valitor did not respond to a request for comment, but Sveinsson said Valitor has indicated its intention to appeal the judgement to the Supreme Court of Iceland, postponing enforcement of Thursday’s ruling.

Sveinsson hopes the ruling will help WikiLeaks in a similar case against Teller in Denmark and support a complaint that DataCell filed with the European Commission about the affair.

A decision from the European Commission on whether to pursue the financial services companies involved in the blockade is expected before the end of August, WikiLeaks said.

Published on Jun 14, 2012 by

Britain’s Sreme Court has rejected a request to reopen the extradition case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. It brings him one step closer to being sent to Sweden, where he’s wanted for questioning on sex crime allegations. Assange denies all accusations against him, saying they’re politically motivated. There are fears his extradition could eventually see him being handed over to the US. For more on the developments in the Assange case RT talks to Afshin Rattansi, an author and award-winning journalist based in London.