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Assange voluntarily goes to British court on extradition

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, December 8th, 2010 - 50 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.

50 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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  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
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    16 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
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    18 hours ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
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    1 day ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
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    2 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
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    2 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
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    2 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
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    2 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
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    3 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
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    3 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
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    4 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
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    4 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
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    4 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
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    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
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    6 days ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
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    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    1 week ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    1 week ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    2 weeks ago