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Assange voluntarily goes to British court on extradition

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 8th, 2010 - 49 comments
Categories: australian politics, interweb, Media, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

Now that the Swedish prosecutors have finally given the British police a document that they can work with, Assange turned himself in, and has gone before a British court on the extradition request from Sweden. The court has remanded him without bail. I have already commented on exactly what I think of the charges – politically motivated (probably after pressure from the US), unlikely to be sustained, and making an arse of Swedish law.

There is a article in The Australian by Julian Assange this morning that is worth reading. He quite rightly points out that the other publishers of the leaked information, The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais, and Der Spiegel have not been targeted by the USA using its extra-legal means in trying to punish them for publishing leaked information. He also has unkind words about Australian prime minister Gillard, which is hardly surprising bearing in mind her gaffe a few days ago equating the publishing of leaked information with the illegal act of actually leaking the information.

One claim that Assange makes is that

Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

If this is substantiated then it could go a long way to explaining the political interference in resurrecting the ‘unrelated’ charges against him. I won’t bother going into some of the links between at least one of the complainants against Assange in the Swedish case and both the Swedish military and the alleged CIA backed anti-cuban fronts. But I’d anticipate a ripe field for conspiracy theorists.

The hysterical over reaction by US politicians reminds me of the similar political over reactions by the muslim world on Salman Rushdies book. It appears that rather than look at the issue of trying to maintain secrecy in a wired world, which is going to be steadily less possible over the coming decades, they’d prefer to just attack the messenger.  Their ostensible rationale is that publishing such raw information is likely to cost lives. To date on previous leaks from WikiLeaks, by the US’s own admissions, this has not proved to be the case. As Assange points out

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn’t find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

Of course if you want to look at hysterics in America, you don’t have to go past the fools at Fox ‘News’. When you read through all of their blustering which looks increasingly like publicity statements for the ravings of Sarah Palin, you find that they only point to two consequences of the current round of leaks via WikiLeaks. That there are some US diplomats will have to be moved and the sources to those diplomats are becoming less free in what they are telling them. The latter is hardly surprising. For instance, a prominent German political staffer has resigned because amongst other things he’d been telling US diplomats about the proceedings of closed coalition meetings while forming a new government in Germany. I’d say that he shouldn’t have been reporting those sensitive talks to a foreign government. Now that has been exposed he is facing the consequences of the risk that he took.

But what is becoming quite clear is that US politicians across the political divides are frustrated with the limitations of rulings on freedom of the press and the first amendment. They have been taking extra-legal action against the publishers. For instance Joe Leiberman has been actively involved in pressuring organisations like Amazon and other suppliers of services to the Internet to drop services to WikiLeaks. This is less worrying than his recent call to trump up some charges against the New York Times for publishing parts of the leaked information.

In this context it becomes quite ironic that there was an announcement by the US State Department “The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011 in Washington, D.C.“. As Joe Lieberman and his other fellow McCarthyism cronies attempt to shut down the freedom on the press in the US, they will follow the great traditions of Stalin and pretend that it never happened.

Like many, I am skeptical about what WikiLeaks is attempting to achieve as it is difficult to see how negotiation can operate completely in the open. But that is a subject for dialogue and the rules of law across international boundaries, very little of which has happened.

However the rogue elements in the US political system and elsewhere have made this a direct attack on the freedom of the net. As a consequence these terrorists need to be treated as the obstructions that they are to the dialogue of the net. WikiLeaks gets my support.

I couldn’t get the unanimity required for us to set up a WikiLeaks mirror server. However I’d note that in the 500 odd mirror sites set up in the 3 days (as of 2am yesterday) there are two .nz sites.

49 comments on “Assange voluntarily goes to British court on extradition”

  1. ianmac 1

    The British lawyer for Assange said this morning that so far they have no information on the specifics of the charges against him and welcome the Court ruling that next week there will be a proper hearing so that the judge and Assange can find out! The Brit prosecutors said that he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”

    I imagine if one was negotiating to gain an engagement to be married, the details of that negotiation being made public would be unhelpful, especially if she said No!

    • lprent 1.1

      One of the issues that didn’t show up in the news reports is that the swedish request to Interpol (the red notice) specified that Assange should be held incommunicado including specifically from his lawyers. I haven’t seen if the judge enforced that requirement because (to say the least) it sounds very unusual and more like a political arrest by secret police than a normal remand.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      “The Brit prosecutors said that he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”
      I have not heard that, which is a pity… all the Beeb has been saying all day (night for them) is that he Assange has been ‘denied bail, because he is a flight risk and has many rich supporters who could help him escape’. WTF?
      Deb

      • ianmac 1.2.1

        I heard that this morning on Morning Report but cannot remember the timing of the item as there were several between 7 and 9. Was from one of the Brit lawyers for Assange. I haven’t seen it in print sorry.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    he should be held in remand for his own safety as there are “some unbalanced people out there who want to harm him”

    Hmmmm that’s no way to refer to the US Government!

    Wikileaks is pretty screwed now. Not only have paypal cut him off, but the Swiss have closed his bank account and confiscated all his money, and wikileaks has lost its domain name which means it is far harder for ordinary surfers to find now.

    The “Bourne Identity” has nothing on real life. Watch and learn peeps, watch and learn.

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=20337

    Now the DNS Company, the web listing organization which provided Wikileaks with the right to use the domain name “wikileaks.org”, has terminated its affiliation with the site. That means that attempts to reach the site by domain name no longer succeed.

    The site also lost another hosting service — EveryDNS.net — and has jumped to a mix of Swiss and French hosting at the present. But France’s government is already moving to ban the site from its nations servers.

    I hope Assange has robust contingency plans in place, for his site and for himself.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Hmmmm that’s no way to refer to the US Government!

      If the shoe fits…

      Sounds more and more like the governments working to de-power everyone else.

  3. john 3

    The Arrest of Julian Assange
    Truth in Chains

    Reminds me of the arrest of Jesus by the powerbrokers of the day: The Jewish priesthood and their Roman allies. The Swedish thing could well have been a Venus Fly Trap sprung on him. Shame on Sweden and the United States of War Crimes!
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/

    Refer link:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27021.htm

    • john 3.1

      “And so Julian Assange is now being hounded — perhaps to his eventual death — not for revealing war crimes and atrocities, but for showing us a glimpse of our leaders as they really are: stupid, vain, petty and savage.”

      Chris Floyd

    • john 3.2

      Re: Venus Fly Trap
      ” It’s a complete fit up. The original prosecuter dismissed the allegations. Suddenly one in Gothenberg decided to take up the case. Both women pursued Assange, slept with him and spent the next day with him perfectly amicably. The trouble only seems to have started when they found out about each other. Then 6 days later they filed their allegations TOGETHER????? Sound like rape? Don’t think so.

      And don’t forget this happened days after the Iraq/Afghan leaks which infuriated the yanks.”

      • john 3.2.1

        One of the accusers of Julian Assanger has CIA connections: As I thought a sticky beak trap, shame on Sweden.Now he’s accused of sex by surprise not rape for god’s sake what a farce and stitch up.How can you have sex by surprise when chemistry must happen first?:Ludicrous!!!

        Refer link

        http://www.countercurrents.org/edward071210.htm

        • john 3.2.1.1

          ” Assage, you should have used a condom. You can’t scew a CIA operative and get away clean, my boy!”

    • john 3.3

      View this video John Pilger perhaps the greatest truth teller, on par with Chomsky, defends Julian Assange. Refer link:

      http://maxkeiser.com/2010/12/07/john-pilger-slams-the-lies-about-war-calls-on-australians-to-defend-julian-assange/

  4. freedom 4

    http://wikileaks.ch/
    still works

    i liked how the judge said that he had “substantial grounds” to believe that the 39-year-old would disappear and not attend any further legal hearings.

    who would do the dissapearing is the question?

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    I disagree with wikileaks choosing to publish a list of critical infrastructure targets crucial to the US. No justification for it IMO – looks like wikileaks is being pushed into a desperate corner and is not staying cool. Not good for anyone.

    Pollies and officials doing underhanded deals and then telling the public fairy tales – fine, that needs to be exposed. But this is not needed and wikileaks has hurt its own credibility now.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      There is nothing particulalry surprising in that list.

      If I were a terrorist I could think of any number of targets, most would not be on that list, because terrorists don’t go after those sort of targets. Any government inclined to go after those sorts of targets would already know what they want to hit.

      The point of that cable was that the host governments, and by extension the citizens of those host nations, were not to be let in on the fact that the US deemed certain things in their territory to be vital to the US.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Ah yes I see. Clever move by wikileaks then, to let govts around the world know that wikileaks can help them.

        Interesting the intense media spin and how I was caught out by it momentarily. Scary stuff.

  6. A 6

    [Deleted at A’s request — r0b]

  7. A 7

    The mask is falling at pace.

    edit: The press release for World Press Freedom Day reads:

    “The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals’ right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information.”

    Ha ha.

  8. joe90 8

    He’s in custody now and I hope I’m wrong but I reckon he’ll be the 21st centuries Rudolf Hess.

  9. lprent 9

    My weekends post on Marianne Ny is suddenly getting a lot of traffic. This morning there was nothing, but now it has suddenly gotten 1400 odd international page views and a lot of twitter links.

    I’ve been watching googles realtime feed on wikileaks and there is a lot of interesting info flowing by (much of it repetitious).

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    daily mash sez:

    “Sir Paul dismissed claims that the arrest was political but admitted international warrants were controversial and that it would have been more efficient to use the British system of pretending Mr Assange is a Brazilian electrician.

    Meanwhile governments across the world were celebrating Mr Assange’s arrest and imminent escape, stressing that history proves if you focus all your efforts on stopping one man then the thing you don’t like will just go away”

  11. A Nonny Moose 11

    Disappointed LPrent. Others around the blogosphere have expressed this sentiment, but I’ll reiterate it again: it is possible that a guy who has done good things for democracy is also a rapist, AND the charges are being made politically expedient.

    I will not tolerate people the “Good Guy (TM)” defence as rape apology. If he is innocent of the charges, let justice discover that.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      “If he is innocent of the charges, let justice discover that.”
      Do you really think “justice” has a snowball’s chance? Whatever he is, he’s not a rapist – as someone said on the Ny thread – at most, a selfish lover.
      Deb

    • lprent 11.2

      I’ll reiterate for your benefit.

      The charges are not for rape in any legal sense. That particular charge was put up by the prosecutor and thrown out in favor of a much lesser charge in September by an appeal court in Sweden.

      The worst charge is a strange one of “sex by surprise” which carries maximum penalty of USD700 odd and no jail time. My question is why was this very low charge deemed to be worthy of a Interpol red notice that is used for the worst offenses – which always carry at least some jail time.

      I’m very disappointed in you not actually reading the post. My evidence for this is that you do not appear to know the actual charges and their penalties. If you’d read the post then you’d know that.

      • ianmac 11.2.1

        Well said Iprent!

      • john 11.2.2

        Some further comments from the British public:

        It is obviously the case that the British legal authorities are being lent upon by the United States and that the plan is to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden, who have probably already agreed at a political level to extradite him to America, where he will face political charges totally unconnected to the the alleged sexual offence that he is currently being held under. Once in the United States he can expect to receive the same level of justice and treatment that Alexandr Solzhenitsyn received in the Soviet Union.
        How amusing that the supposedly free judiciary in two Western countries is being so openly manipulated by political forces over what is essentially an issue of press freedom. Assange’s case in Sweden is about a condom breaking during sex, hardly the stuff of international arrest warrants and refusal of bail. I am shocked that Sweden has allowed itself to be mused in this manner. So much for the moral high ground that the West claims to have when dealing with the rest of the world. First it was the War on Terror that allowed governments to stamp on human rights and torture at will. Now it’s the War on the Press.Is this the end of free conversation? Lord help us all.

        ———————————
        Could this really be any more transparent?

        He is accused of a sexual crime, where, guess what, the victims, essentially the accusers, have anonymity. How convenient. So they can accept whatever money the USA is giving them and nobody will ever be any the wiser.

        Oh, you think that’s too far fetched? America is a country whose idea of interrogation during the Vietnam war was to throw Vietcong soldiers out of helicopters to encourage the others to talk.

        That crowd over the other side of the Atlantic, and I daresay this one here too, will do absolutely whatever they need to to keep in power with all the benefits that brings.

        For those of you in the UK, remember that we knew nothing of the milking of taxpayers by MPs in their expenses claims until the details were leaked.

        Julian Assange and the whole Wikileaks organisation are heroes.

        ———————————

        Compare Assange’s treatment to that of Agusto Pinochet.

        Pinochet was only wanted by Spain for the murder of some of it’s citizens, not important enought for a British judge to remand him though.

        As for the flight risk, Assange had assurances from three leading Brtitish people and hadn’t tried to run anyway, but Pinochet who was guaranteed to run and only had help to pull off his ‘flight’ from the UK with the aid of the British home secretary with the entire home office and foreign and commonwealth office to make sure it went smoothly for him.

        The last time I remember being even remotely proud to be British was during the Pinochet arrest warrant saga. Only because we had detained him and it looked like it was air tight that he’d be sent to Spain, as usual the pride turned to shame soon enough, today it’s simply turned to a mixture of dispair and disgust.
        ———————————
        The story appears to proceed as follows: Miss A, having invited Assange to speak to a leftwing campaign group in the town of Enkoping, suggested he stay in her flat, although the two had not met. Both agree that they slept together on the night before the event, during which the condom split.

        The following day, the woman attended and helped facilitate the event, at which Miss W was also present. According to her police interview, Miss W accompanied the Australian and some male guests to lunch at which he flirted with her; afterwards the pair went to the cinema, where she told police she had performed oral sex on him. They slept together that night, using a condom, and again the following morning, when both parties appear to agree that a condom was not used, after which Assange left.

        This is what the rape allegation is about. Not sex with an unconscious woman, not anything any sane person would refer to as rape.

        You’re going to post on here that this is worth an Interpol red alert? That this is worth extradition? That this is the same as any other western European country?

        Take the bullshit back to your CIA paymasters .

      • A Nonny Moose 11.2.3

        I read your post, and your subsequent comments and you are a) factually incorrect b) using common rape apologist myths. I have also read a lot of other articles about this issue around the internet, but I hesitate to post them because you’d probably throw out accusations of “hysterical woman” at me.

        If you are incapable of looking beyond victim blaming and common rape myths into the layers of this mess, you may come across as a bit more than an enemy of women, especially women arguing rape. As I said, the charges have been made politically expedient, and it’s disappointing that a woman’s rights issue which has been argued for generations is being made politically expedient when it suits men to make a point.

        Just how important does rape have to be for it to be a “real” problem? If one women does not matter to you, how many raped women do? How many women have to be raped by one man before he’s brought to justice.

        Rape vicitms are not numbers. They are real people who deserve justice.

        But carry on the bullshit apologist bingo, because we know how very very hard it is for “nice guys ™” to see one of their own taken down. In fighting for him (Assange) you are fighting for the good name of good men every where, right? And nice guys don’t rape, right?

        • RedLogix 11.2.3.1

          The charges bought by the Swedish prosecutor are not rape, they are something quite different.

          So why do you keep calling them that?

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    DoJ seems to have realised that bringing charges under the Espionage Act could be more trouble than it would be worth, starts fishing in other Acts…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/world/08leak.html?hp

    …while the inde has some unnamed ‘diplomatic sources’ saying that the US is talking to Sweden re extradition…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-could-face-espionage-trial-in-us-2154107.html

    I dunno how much weight to give that though. I’m leaning toward ‘not much’.

  13. Bill 13

    “I am skeptical about what WikiLeaks is attempting to achieve as it is difficult to see how negotiation can operate completely in the open”

    It’s not about negotiations per se though. It’s about governments telling their populace lies and cloaking everything in veils of secrecy so that they can engage in illegal behaviours.

    If the US is in negotiations with x, y or z, then that’s fine. And all wikileaks would be releasing would be a fairly straight forward historical record of those negotiations.

    But if the US is supplying arms to x, y or z and denying that’s the case, then that’s another matter. And if the US is engaging in illegal activities, all the while denying that’s the case, then that is also another matter.

  14. Me 14

    Does anyone know how the media and public and politicians in Sweden are reacting to all of this?

  15. john 15

    Assange Case: Evidence Destroyed Over And Over Again
    By Göran Rudling
    This article by a Swede shows convincing evidence as to Assange’s innocence.
    Refer link:

    http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm

    • john 15.1

      Very good 12 minute audio interview with John Pilger who offered $32000 as surety if Assange was given bail.

      “Mr Pilger goes further, describing the case against Mr Assange as a ‘political stunt’, noting, “the chief prosecutor in Sweden abandoned this case, threw it away, saw no worth in it.”
      He mentions the case was only resurrected at the instigation of a right wing politician.

      http://www.zcommunications.org/support-for-julian-assange-by-john-pilger

  16. john 16

    WikiLeaks founder jailed in London on bogus charges
    By Patrick Martin

    US officials applauded the arrest and noted that Washington has had an extradition treaty with Sweden for the past 50 years, a signal that once in Swedish custody Assange would face the danger of being shipped off to an American detention facility like Guantanamo Bay or a CIA “black site” prison.

    Such comments underscore the basic political reality in the Assange case: the WikiLeaks leader has been targeted, not because of his private conduct in Sweden, but in retaliation for the devastating worldwide impact of the WikiLeaks exposures of US military atrocities and diplomatic skullduggery.Refer link:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/assa-d08.shtml

    American establishment clown,but very well paid clown, Jon Stewart makes fun of Wikileaks

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/dec2010/stew-d07.shtml

  17. LizR 17

    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

    PS I trust the inference doesn’t need to be spelled out!

  18. Craig Ranapia 18

    LPrent: Thanks for displaying your utter ignorance of Swedish law and standard practice. Also particularly charming seeing an allegedly “progressive”blog let stand a string of comments trashing two complainants who’ve alleged that Julian Assange did sexually assault then in Sweeden, as defined under the progressive woman-friendly laws you denegrate as an “ass”. Disturbingly similar to the character assassination dealt out to Louise Nicholas by the Kiwibog sewer.

    A good day’s work, mate. Buy yourself a drink,

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Thanks for displaying your utter ignorance of Swedish law and standard practice.

      Ah, you’ve got me wondering now how many Interpol high alerts Sweden has sent out for similar charges in the last 12 months? I’d be interested in whether or not this is indeed standard practice.

      IMO nothing about this ‘feels’ like it is standard practice – but then I am not a Swedish trained lawyer.

    • lprent 18.2

      The question in the post was why Interpol received and acted on a request for a red notice on what appears to be a minor charge under Swedish law. I guess that you didn’t read the post… Too much work? Or was it that you might have to think?

      But if you want to get hung up on instinctive ideological bigotry and don’t want to look at that question – then that is your problem.

      However I notice you did not bother to bring any further information to the discussion. At a guess that is because you don’t have any? That IMHO is your trope. Being good at sarcastic bullshit but without having the ability to contribute any substance to a debate. Of course it goes with your other trope, that of being critical but incapable of working on solutions.

  19. LizR 19

    After seeing governments reacting to these leaks in ways that could well do them more damage than the leaks themselves, I am now wondering whether Stieg Larsson really died of natural causes…

  20. john 20

    Good link discussing the current Arrest of Assange as part of a much bigger picture
    http://www.counterpunch.org/walberg12082010.html

    Julian Quixote
    The trumped-up cases involve consensual relations, one an obvious “honey trap” by a CIA plant and the other a spurned Lewinsky-like groupie.

    Assange is nothing short of a legend after a year of leaks, especially an April video taken from a US helicopter in Iraq in 2007 showing GIs shooting at least 12 innocent Iraqis like rabbits.

    The 39-year-old Assange is an Australian citizen, though his Prime Minister Julia Gillard has threatened to cancel his passport.

    There is no doubt that Gillard, the Swedish prosecutor, PayPal, etc are all being pressured by the US government to help snuff out this ray of light exposing its many crimes. Only French Internet service provider OVH said it had no plans to end the service it provides to Wikileaks, and a judge threw out Industry Minister Eric Besson’s case to force it to.

    • ianmac 20.1

      I think that Gillard has retracted some of her rhetoric in the face of public disapproval. Heard that on National Radio today Thursday, but not sure what time.

      • lprent 20.1.1

        Yeah, has been showing up in the media all of yesterday. Rapid change from wikileaks being ‘illegal’ to her being uncomfortable. Rudd as FM asking questions about how the US leaked the info.

  21. john 21

    An open letter to Gillard to respect and protect Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen :refer link:
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46371

    Open letter to Julia Gillard re: Julian Assange
    Dear Prime Minister,

    We note with concern the increasingly violent rhetoric directed towards Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

    “We should treat Mr Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him,” writes conservative columnist Jeffrey T Kuhner in the Washington Times.

    William Kristol, former chief of staff to vice president Dan Quayle, asks, “Why can’t we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?”

    “Why isn’t Julian Assange dead?” writes the prominent US pundit Jonah Goldberg.

    “The CIA should have already killed Julian Assange,” says John Hawkins on the Right Wing News site.

    Sarah Palin, a likely presidential candidate, compares Assange to an Al Qaeda leader; Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator and potential presidential contender, accuses Assange of “terrorism”.

    And so on and so forth.

    • john 21.1

      More comments from round the World on this situation!

      Is there a precedent in Swedish law for prosecuting someone for having sex without a condom? If so the girls should be charged also, since they obviously consented and then changed their minds, and if this is the standard for rape in Sweden, then half the world are rapists, There is definitely skulduggery going on here. I wonder how the Swedes feel about their taxes being spent in this way? Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

      It seems that Zweden has gone totally bonkers. How can a man be accused for rape for the simple fact of having unprotected sex?? In most European countries rape is a very serious allegation but is seems not in Zweden. It seems that any woman who has regret about sex ‘the day after’ can file allegations for rape. This has nothing to do with justice!

      SASHA NZ wrote:
      Shame on you Sweden for this witch hunt and Travesty of Justice on a man who´s only crime was to print the truth. SHAME SHAME SHAME.

      So what is rape in your stupid country a condom breaks and that´s rape you´ve lost Your minds. He has sex with the other girl Without a condom and that´s rape your all nuts. Both woman agreed to it. Consenual means consent. So woman in your country know what there doing but when sex is involved there all of a sudden stupid and victims? Preposterous I´ll never visit.

      Wow, what an embarrassment for Sweden. So much for the UK being the USA´s number 1 lapdog. Sweden is rapidly taking that job as its own

      It is being reported in the American press that one of the women has a brother who is employed in Swedish Intelligence and has connections with the CIA. Furthermore it is alleged that she worked as an intern for Swedish Intelligence and later worked with an anti-Cuban CIA front group. This does not bode well for the integrity of the charges she has made.

      Do you Swedes have any idea how embarrassing this is for your country. These women are viewed as pawns in a dirty political game your government is playing at the behest of the United Corporations of America.

      My point of view is Assange doesn’t look strong enough to rape any woman, If you like he comes across as wimpish.Personally I am sure these able and capable women could easily have told him where to get off, but they didn’t! and only complained later,that can’t be right to my mind!

  22. john 22

    Swedish State revealed as willing participants in the criminal rendition of suspects for torturous interrogation by the USA. Will Assange suffer a similar fate?

    London – The founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks will fight charges of sexual offences, with his lawyer saying Sunday that the
    accusations are a “political stunt” being orchestrated by officials in Sweden, possibly at the behest of Washington.

    “It doesn’t escape my attention that Sweden was one of those lickspittle states which used its resources and its facilities for rendition flights,” the lawyer, Mark Stephens, told BBC television.

    He was referring to the rendition of terrorism suspects who were flown to other countries where they were tortured.

    Stephen says the charges against Assange were dropped in September, but were brought back “after the intervention of a Swedish politician.”

    “It does seem to be a political stunt,” Stephen said, adding later that “I’m really rather worried by the political motivations that appear to be behind this.”
    “We have seen a number of suggestions that he should be assassinated, again from credible sources around the world,” said Stephen.

    “People as high up the American tree as Sarah Palin have called for him to be hunted down by American special forces and assassinated.”

  23. john 23

    Reference to Sarah Palin above : God help you if you’re the Moose!

    However Russian Establishment believe Assange should be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be nominated for a Nobel prize, a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

    “Non-governmental and governmental organizations should think of ways to help him. Perhaps he could be awarded a Nobel prize,” the source said.

    The founder of the controversial whistleblowing website was arrested in London on Tuesday. He was wanted by Sweden on sex assault charges.

    An arrest warrant for Assange was issued by Swedish prosecutors last week just days after his website published the first batch of over 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.

    World leaders and diplomats have downplayed the impact of the information leak on international relations but many have questioned the benefit of the project, alleging that some of the leaks could “threaten lives.”

    The 39-year-old Australian currently tops an online poll for Time Person of the Year. The choice will be made by the editors next Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS, December 8 (RIA Novosti)

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  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 hours ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 hours ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    5 hours ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    6 hours ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    1 day ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    1 day ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    1 day ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    1 day ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    2 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    3 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    6 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago

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