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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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  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    2 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    3 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    4 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    5 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    5 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    6 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Ron Mark: “NZDF focused on protecting troops in Iraq from retaliation”
    As tensions in the Middle East continue to grow after the assassination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the New Zealand Defence Force is focusing on the protection of Kiwi troops deployed in Iraq. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says that "recent attacks on coalition bases and embassies constitute unacceptable ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
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    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
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    2 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    3 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
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    3 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    4 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    4 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    5 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    5 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    5 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    7 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago