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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London 1060

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-didn't-take-long dept.
CuteSteveJobs writes "The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by London police on behalf of Swedish authorities on allegation of rape. Assange has admitted that he is exhausted by the ongoing battle against authorities. The Swiss Government has confiscated $37K in his Swiss Bank account. PayPal and Mastercard have frozen Wikileak's accounts, hampering Wikileaks from raising any more funds."
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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London

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  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:59AM (#34472080)

    ...just two starstruck women sympathetic to WikiLeaks' cause — one of whom was a longtime activist and even a part of an organization that arranged one of his talks, and thus obviously not a CIA "sparrow".

    All the sordid details here. [dailymail.co.uk] It's a must-read for people who think US intelligence agencies are somehow behind this.

    Would this have been able to happen without Sweden's strange "rape" laws? No, probably not. Would the case have received as much attention from authorities if it was an ordinary person? Again, perhaps not, but that's the price of fame and notoriety: famous and well-known people often get different treatment — and what treatment they do get garners massive news coverage.

  • by dropadrop (1057046) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:01AM (#34472098)
    There have been no charges for rape in Sweden as far as I'm aware, but still that's what all newspapers are touting. I guess it's possible that they used that for the interpol request as it was the closest available option though...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:01AM (#34472104)

    Here's a just published Register article that discusses the strong criticism of Wikileaks by John Young of Cryptome:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/07/cryptome_on_wikileaks/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • Re:Hahaha, what (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sven-Erik (177541) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:05AM (#34472126)
    Actually, he is of Australian nationality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:07AM (#34472142)
    I'm guessing you're not from the U.K. because the Daily Mail is probably the least reputable news source in the known universe.
  • by Uthic (931553) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:08AM (#34472164)
    "The Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit confirmed at 10.30am London time (2030 AEDT) that the 39-year-old Australian had been arrested “by appointment” on a European Arrest Warrant an hour earlier." Seems that he turned himself in, so not sure the insurance file key would be released. Mind you his threat to do that if he was arrested (I don't think he specified for a particular reason) seemed a bit off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:10AM (#34472178)

    From the provided link:

    Earlier this year, Sarah is reported to have posted a telling entry on her website, which she has since removed. But a copy has been retrieved and widely circulated on the internet.
    Entitled ‘7 Steps to Legal Revenge’, it explains how women can use courts to get their own back on unfaithful lovers.
    Step 7 says: ‘Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did.’ (The highlighting of text is Sarah’s own.)

  • by just_another_sean (919159) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:13AM (#34472196) Homepage Journal

    He's not dead yet.

  • Google - thanks! (Score:4, Informative)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:14AM (#34472200)
    Lets not forget (in the future) that searching for "Wikileaks" on Google takes you to 213.251.145.96 Google is US company, just like eBay/PayPal or Amazon. So, no excuse any more for those "low-abiding" dickheads.
  • They are behind it (Score:1, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:17AM (#34472228) Homepage Journal
    Chief prosecutor dropped the case, saying there was nothing to make a case about. two girls also did not make any accusations or allegations.

    but then, a swedish politician intervened. after the intervention of that dipshit, the case was reopened, and a MORONIC interpretation of the law was made, saying that 'not stopping after a condom broke is rape'.

    the asswipes, INVENTED a new law, right on the spot.

    and you are saying that cia was not involved. speaking of which, i have a bridge to sell you.
  • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:18AM (#34472236) Homepage Journal

    Read the story that OP posted. It agrees with the other stories I just read. It's not rape at all, what a bunch of BS. Every time I heard it before I was wondering if either it was the CIA or whoever trying to get him, or him taking advantage of his position, but it just sounds like he's a womaniser. He had consensual sex with 2 women, who are now complaining he didn't use a condom, which is apparently illegal in Sweden, but it's hardy rape by most people's definition. The charges have obviously been used as an excuse to try to catch the guy though, it's all very dodgy and basically wouldn't have happened to anyone else.

  • by floydman (179924) <floydman@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#34472312)

    "Today's actions against our editor-in-chief Julian Assange won't affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal"

    http://www.justiceforassange.com/ [justiceforassange.com]

    PROTEST Today Westminster Magistarte’s Court meet 13:30[GMT]

    Can someone correct me if I am wrong, but didn't he mention that he will release all the documents if he gets arrested?!

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:28AM (#34472318)
    I know many have stated this below, but I'm going to say it one more time because it needs to be rammed home in no uncertain terms.

    The Daily Mail is a right wing propaganda machine. It is not to be trusted as a source of unbiased information.

    If you want the flip side of the coin, go read The Guardian articles. They are predominantly left wing, and you should be able to extrapolate a happy middle ground. Either way, citing The Daily M^HFail as a credible source just makes you look like an idiot to any and all of the reasonable British public.
  • He had consensual sex with 2 women, who are now complaining he didn't use a condom, which is apparently illegal in Sweden, but it's hardy rape by most people's definition.

    Actually, according to an editorial penned by Assange's lawyer last week, he started having sex with each woman with a condom on, with their consent. At some point, the condom either came off or broke. The women then withdrew consent, appealing to him to stop. Assange did not stop.

    Assange's lawyer doesn't think that it counts as rape, even though the women told him to stop and he didn't stop, because there wasn't any violence. However, he readily admits that the women withdrew consent. He just doesn't consider nonconsensual sex to be rape.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:41AM (#34472514)

    7 Steps to Legal Revenge by Anna Ardin

    Step 1

    Consider very carefully if you really must take revenge.
    It is almost always better to forgive than to avenge . . .

    Step 2
    Think about why you want revenge. You need to be clear about who to take revenge on, as well as why. Revenge is never directed against only one person, but also the actions of the person.

    Step 3
    The principle of proportionality.
    Remember that revenge will not only match the deed in size but also in nature.
    A good revenge is linked to what has been done against you.

    For example if you want revenge on someone who cheated or who dumped you, you should use a punishment with dating/sex/fidelity involved.

    Step 4
    Do a brainstorm of appropriate measures for the category of revenge you’re after. To continue the example above, you can sabotage your victim’s current relationship, such as getting his new partner to be unfaithful or ensure that he gets a madman after him.

    Use your imagination!

    Step 5
    Figure out how you can systematically take revenge.
    Send your victim a series of letters and photographs that make your victim’s new partner believe that you are still together which is better than to tell just one big lie on one single occasion

    Step 6
    Rank your systematic revenge schemes from low to high in terms of likely success, required input from you, and degree of satisfaction when you succeed.
    The ideal, of course, is a revenge as strong as possible but this requires a lot of hard work and effort for it to turn out exactly as you want it to.

    Step 7
    Get to work.
    And remember what your goals are while you are operating, ensure that your victim will suffer the same way as he made you suffer.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:46AM (#34472558) Homepage

    The "crime" is not RAPE. It is something else. Call it what it is or you are perpetuating the problem.

    The Swiss account was CLOSED but the money in it is NOT confiscated.

    Assange TURNED HIMSELF IN. To say he was arrested is technically accurate but does not depict the reality of the situation.

    The media is strangely against Assange. He stands for everything the media is supposed to stand for. So not only has the media forgotten itself, it seems to actually combat its own principles.

    Some might say that these are merely inaccuracies. When repeated in this way, it becomes lies. This stuff has got to stop.

  • Yes, I recall when Wikileaks was being touted how John Young wrote that the whole thing must be a scam [cryptome.org].

    Everything John Young has ever said about Wikileaks, he's changed his mind the next thing he writes. It's a concentric series of retcons and "I didn't say that."

  • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:10AM (#34472818) Homepage Journal

    From what I can tell, the charges are (not exactly, because of legal definitions not translating exactly):

    2 counts of sexual misconduct (deception, harassment, demeaning, endangerment)
    1 count of rape
    1 count of sexual assault

    And yes, it's rape in Sweden if a women withdraws her consent and the man doesn't stop.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens once the details become known to the general international public, about the "broken" condom (which according to one of the women had a lot of help from Assange's fingernail to break) followed by an alleged attempt to or success in continuing without consent. Will more women step forward, either corroborating the Swedish women's stories or his character?
    I.e. is this smoke with fire, or a smokescreen?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:10AM (#34472824)

    I arrived as a foreigner in Switzerland well before 9/11, and was not permitted to open any bank account, nor sign any lease agreement, without first providing proof of a legitimate work or residency permit. The Swiss have had these requirements for a long time. Of course, the "private" banks have all manner of tricks of concealing sources of funds and owners, but that's not your average joe, nor your average bank balance, and at the time Julian opened his account, he certainly was still an average joe.
    The comments below about the UBS/US kerfuffle are another matter altogether, nothing to do with a Post Office bank account, which was, unless Julian was a resident, an illegal action on his part. The gummint haven't taken his money - the Post Office have merely closed the account from any and all transactions, and will reimburse him every centime any time he asks for it.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:13AM (#34472860) Homepage Journal

    Hah. That's nothing. Here in the US, it never snows anymore. It's always called a SNOW STORM, no matter what the wind speed and precipitation is.
    No, I'm not kidding. Sensationalism has made it into the common language.

  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:34AM (#34473158) Homepage

    He did ask permission from the Swedish prosecutor to leave the country - and that permission was granted.

    (heard it from his lawyer on a bbc interview)

  • by Tom (822) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:40AM (#34473252) Homepage Journal

    The story certainly is more complicated than that. Especially with the women continuing a positive relation with him for several days, and the alleged tweets that happened after the fact.

    But it gets more tricky. Sweden reports four times as many rapes (per capita) as other european countries. This is not because they actually happen, but because of the way the law treats and counts those. Basically, swedish rape laws are weird. You can be charged for raping someone who explicitly and repeatedly said "yes" and never once "no", due to a construct of "power difference" that voids their consent. That is one of the attack angles the prosecution is using in this case. Another example is that the girl can call in the next day and call it rape if she was really drunk. She can claim she was too drunk to know what she was doing, again voiding the consent even if it was explicitly given (and let's face it, how often does that occur? In most ONS you never really ask the question, or if you do you don't record the answer, it just happens if both parties want it). So a voided consent means no consent and sex without consent equals rape. Whoops. You fucked a girl who went with you all the way, enjoyed it a ton, even encouraged you - and the next day you're a rapist because she had a few drinks and now regrets it.

    Don't get me wrong, rapists are right up there with child molesters, torturers and priests in my personal list of highly despicable people. But there is a huge difference between a guy who grabs a woman from the street, rips off her clothes and forces his dick into her while she's struggling for her life - and a guy who doesn't notice that the woman has had a few too many and may think differently in the morning.

    And a law that doesn't acknowledge that difference is an unjust law.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:45AM (#34473300)
    So speaking of agendas, what's yours?

    To call the person to whom I replied (who is saying that he was arrested because a broken condom equals rape) incorrect. Because regardless of the variations in the reporting, nobody has made that contention, and it's certainly not an aspect of Swedish law. I replied to someone who is just making stuff up.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:46AM (#34473320)
    That's bullshit and whoever it was that modded you up is an idiot.

    He did deal with the charges when he was still in Sweden. He offered on multiple occasions to come in for interrogation and asked if he was free to leave the country before he left.

    Shy of confessing to questionable accusations, I'm not really sure how much more he could've done.
  • by AVee (557523) <slashdotNO@SPAMavee.org> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:58AM (#34473454) Homepage
    Interpol didn't give him the highest possible priority, the just put him on their wanted list. He is by no means on top of that list, he is just there amongst ~160 others. That list is publicly available [interpol.int]. That what interpol does when a participation police force sends a request, nothing more, nothing less. The media made him the number one person on the list. He also isn't convicted, just wanted. And as the interpol site states he "should be considered innocent until proven guilty." [interpol.int]

    Assange also went to Scotland Yard himself, so it's not like they went on a big hunt to track him down. It's again only a big show in the media, not anywhere else.
    The next thing will be for the UK to decide whether they will send him to Sweden, before they do they will check whether the charges against him make sense and whether he can expect a decent trial. Once they've done that he will be send to Sweden and be heard by the policy first. After hearing both parties in the case they might still decide not to pursue it any further, but even when they do he will get a proper trial in Sweden and if he didn't do anything wrong he doesn't have much to fear.
  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:03AM (#34473506)

    Or if you want a less biased approach, go read the Independent, because right wingers who read something in it they don't like call it left wing, and left wingers who read something in it they don't like call it right wing, which means it probably is in fact quite Independent as it's name suggests although it's generally referred to as centre-left so probably does have somewhat of a left wing slant to be fair. It does have the advantage at least of being able to lay claim as the only paper to have not backed any political party last election though.

    That said, it's probably a bit unfair to class The Guardian as an opposite to the Daily Mail, on the right wing/left wing scale the Daily Mail is about 100 miles right, and The Guardian about 10cm left in comparison. So although The Guardian is certainly left wing, it's not far enough along the scale that you can't get sense out of it most the time, which of course can't be said for The Daily Mail, which is almost always wrong. If you try and extrapolate the middle ground from those two, due to The Daily Mails extreme right wing swing, your opinion will probably still end up predominantly right wing. If you want a true equal and opposite counter to the Daily Mail then the Daily Mirror is your best bet (which makes it's name quite apt).

    This said, whilst reading both The Daily Mail and The Daily Mirror should in theory allow you to extrapolate a middle ground, in practice reading these two publications will almost certainly kill your brain. The effect of reading these two papers could only I imagine turn you into a lazy layabout tramp who thinks the world owes him enough welfare to become a millionaire, whilst simultaneously blaming immigrants and gypsys and Europe for his current situation.

  • by Carewolf (581105) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:08AM (#34473588) Homepage

    You are right that Sweden is a bit different on rape-charges, but what you have explained here is as far as I known only the law in Norway. And even though it is the codified law, the supreme court in Norway has refused to convict anyone based on it, due to lack of evidence. Essential the court has set a sensible minimum amount of proof that makes the application of the "involuntary rape"-law impossible (the involuntary rape thing is intended to mirror involuntary manslaughter)

  • by adamchou (993073) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:10AM (#34473624)

    This [woai.com] is getting pretty damn close to blackmail if its not already...

    But Hrafnsson also said the group had no plans at the moment to release the key to a heavily encrypted version of some of its most important documents -- an "insurance" file that has been distributed to supporters in case of an emergency. Hrafnsson said that will only come into play if "grave matters" involving
    WikiLeaks staff occur -- but did not elaborate on what those would be.

  • Oh gee. (Score:3, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:19AM (#34473754) Homepage Journal
    i called them whores. i was wrong. they were professional prostitutes :

    http://www.google.com/search?q=wikileaks+accuser+linked+to+cia&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com]

    7 Dec 2010 ... Wikileaks Assange 'Rape' Accuser Linked To Notorious CIA Operative Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted ....

  • by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:42AM (#34474152) Homepage

    That certainly isn't in the referenced article - where do you find that she appealed to him to stop and he did not?

    Sweden Issues Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder [nytimes.com]
    By JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA
    Published: November 18, 2010

    The money quote:

    According to accounts the women gave to the police and friends, they each had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use.

    The big problem that I see is that there's some media right now whose "reporting" is basically repeating Assange's lawyers' statements at length [studentactivism.net].

  • by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:16PM (#34474662) Homepage

    When exactly did either woman say "Stop"? Where did you get your information?

    Sweden Issues Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder [nytimes.com] By JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA Published: November 18, 2010 "According to accounts the women gave to the police and friends, they each had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use."

    I ask because your interpretation doesn't square with the factual record.

    And the problem is that your "factual record" probably is sourced from Assange's lawyers, who are going around and bullshitting about this case.

    For example, Assange wasn't wearing a condom when he fucked Jessica, so how could Jessica withdraw consent because of a broken condom?

    That's not how the allegations go. It's more like this: (a) she sleeps with him first on the night, he uses a condom; (b) he is going to sleep with her again on the morning, doesn't put a condom on, she tells him not to do it without a condom, and he does it anyway.

    Everyone is interpreting the claims of the prosecution that consent had been withdrawn to mean that the women actually said "No", "Stop", or "Don't". That is the interpretation the prosecution would like us to have. Indeed, that would be rape. But I've never seen the prosecution actually claimed the women ever said "No." The claims of the prosecution have been very vague, and its sounding more and more like BS.

    Well, that's how prosecution claims tend to sound when your only source about them is what the defense says.

    In any case it's clear that the women were initially pleased with Assange and only reported the events to the Police immediately after they discovered that Assange had been sleeping around with other women. That doesn't sound like rape, that sounds like promiscuity.

    As I've said elsewhere [slashdot.org], real-life rape victims often act very strangely, in a way that's superficially inconsistent with having been raped.

  • by AVee (557523) <slashdotNO@SPAMavee.org> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:27PM (#34474860) Homepage
    Why is a red notice odd in this case? It simply means they want him extradited. There are two types of red notices, those for people already convicted and those for people wanted for a trail (possibly just as a witness). The notice for for Assange is of the latter type. It's a 'red' notice because they extradited to Sweden, the other colors are reserved for information requests and missing persons. The types of notices are publicly documented [interpol.int] as well.
  • Re:Outrage (Score:5, Informative)

    by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @12:49PM (#34475252) Homepage Journal

    He's still not been charged with anything

    That's an artifact of how Swedish law works. He's not "åtalad", but he's "häktad" in relation to the crimes of one count of rape, one count of sexual assault, and two counts of sexual misconduct.
    I.e. he's arrested, but not in the US TV show sense where you have to be charged with a crime before you can get arrested.
    "Investigative detainment for named crimes" would probably be the best translation.

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