The Rest

Dec 8, 2010

Rundle: ringside for Assange’s court appearance, in all its gory detail

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is in custody in the UK tonight, after failing to win bail on a European arrest warrant issued to extradite him to Sweden.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange is in custody in the UK tonight, after failing to win bail on a European arrest warrant issued to extradite him to Sweden. Assange went voluntarily to a London police station on Tuesday morning, having been in contact with UK police over the past several weeks. His barrister John Jones told the court that Assange would agree to a range of conditions including daily reporting and electronic tagging, if granted bail, and sureties were offered by six high-profile people including journalist John Pilger, director Ken Loach, and Jemima Khan. However, the judge ruled that the combination of the seriousness of the charges, Assange's nomadic lifestyle, and the fact that his UK residency (which is merely the six-month visa free entry granted to any Australian) might expire before the service of the warrant had been concluded. However he intimated that the prosecution had been remiss in its failure to bring forth any of the evidence supporting the charges in the Swedish warrant, on which the warrant is based. A first hearing on the substance of the European arrest warrant has been scheduled for December 14.


A double page spread in yesterday's Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's highest circulation morning newspaper

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21 thoughts on “Rundle: ringside for Assange’s court appearance, in all its gory detail

  1. j-boy57

    Always wear a non slip condom or a wikileak can occur.
    The main cause of this is men thinking their wick is larger than it is.
    The consequences can ironically be larger than you think.

  2. Mort

    I think pandagon addresses this issue very well.

    “Interpol is using a rape accusation that resembles this one to put Julian Assange on their most-wanted list. As Lindsay points out, this is just silly. Sex crimes are never actually taken this seriously—we feminists wish!—and I’m annoyed to see rape used in this way, considering that rape apologists are already eager to suggest that rape accusations are about some evil bitch with ulterior motives.”


    “We can be grown-ups here. We can entertain the idea that Wikileaks is performing a valuable service while acknowledging the strong possibility that Julian Assange is himself an asshole who treats women like they’re objects”

  3. David

    The whole fiasco appears to be a beat up, stinks to high heaven and I smell the USA as the predominent odour.

  4. Greg Angelo

    As is becoming abundantly clear, one’s suspicions about lies and misrepresentation peddled by politicians worldwide are now been confirmed by of the Wikileaks publication of secret documents. Unfortunately, Julian Assange has to paraphrase a well-known book title, “kicked the hornet’s nest”.

    Elements of that bastion of freedom and democracy and free speech, America, have been calling for Julian’s assassination. Our own Prime Minister is little better.

    Does Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s expressed contempt for Julian Assange’s “grossly irresponsible” actions extend to the editors of newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the UK Daily Telegraph, The Australian, and The Age to nominate some of the well-known media outlets that have published the leaked cables.

    What would her attitude be if a Chinese dissident leaked 250,000 diplomatic cables from China underscoring the duplicity of the Chinese government. Would she be sucking up to China by claiming that this was “grossly irresponsible”? Would the American rednecks be calling for this hypothetical Chinese dissident to be murdered?

    Whether one likes it or not, what is being challenged hereis the the freedom of the press, and lapdogs like Gillard are cosying up to the likes of Sarah Palin in the US, rather than defending the right to free speech, however unpleasant that freedom might be. It is becoming abundantly clear that due process in in Sweden has been manipulated for political reasons probably under pressure from the US.

    I for one find it refreshing to hear the truth about the lies and misrepresentation peddled by politicians of all persuasions. This includes candid evaluations of ex-prime minister Rudd bringing Australia into disrepute in the eyes of its strongest ally the United States.

    Whilst I understand the grief that US authorities may have in relation to their candid assessments being made public, the Wikileaks disclosures have provided a valuable resource with which to test and evaluate the duplicity of the political process. Our troops are fighting and dying in Afghanistan while corrupt Afghan officials are stealing billions of dollars of aid, with the full knowledge of their American supporters as identified by Wikileaks publications. Whilst the press have generally surmised this situation, the Wikileaks cables prove it. We must defend the right to free speech and freedom of information.

  5. Norman Hanscombe

    When True Believers of ANY kind suddenly realise two or more of their core beliefs clash, they must either go through a painful re-appraisal or simply turn a blind eye to the embarrassing contradictions. I recall Australian ‘feminists’ welcoming the Ayatollah’s victory in Iran because the Shah “wasn’t good” re women. For a long time there was also a refusal to condemn female genital mutilation because of reluctance to cross the noble ‘multicultural’ line.

    It seems that on this occasion, however, much of the comment on the Assange issue by ‘progressive’ forces indicates they’ve moved far more smoothly to mounting a united front struggle.

  6. Lucy

    I don’t know. I think we are being peddled something of a false dilemma here. Can’t we acknowledge that, however much an individual actor may be doing to expose the (frequently patriarchal) systems we despise, it may nevertheless be just to hold him to account for transgressions of his own?

    I happen to agree with you that, on the balance of probabilities, it’s looking like a beat-up of great proportions – and given the political context, it’s almost impossible to view this incident as a pure question of criminality, or to distinguish the charges relating to his personal conduct from the crusade against Wikileaks in general and Assange in particular. I get why certain powers would opportunistically use these charges to bring Assange into the system on other, more explicitly political grounds. And that is something we should struggle against, independently of what, exactly, Assange did with those two women in August.

    But what if Charge 1 had substance? Should we nevertheless be hoping he gets off scot-free, and accept that the victim is collateral damage in the grander war on the System? I don’t think so. Meanwhile there is something frankly creepy about the certitude with which Pilger, Loach et al assert Assange’s innocence. Were they there, or what?

  7. David

    Prime Minister Gillard is doing herself and Labor no favours. …21000 responses up to this morning on a poll do you support Julian Assange and Wikileaks or not? 90% responded yes. That is one hellava response to a snap 3 day poll on the first day, regardless of having no scientific application.
    Interesting to hear the PM today say she would not comment on the cables. Change of heart from JG ? or perhaps realised she had gone too far the first time she responded?
    Frankly I find her handling of the whole matter very disappointing and as much as I despise Abbott and his cronies they must be looking forward to a wonderful Christmas/ New Year, as the Govt continue to flounder around. NBN report delayed, medical clinics delayed, schools website delayed, Murray/Darling, who knows?….not a good look.

  8. CML

    @ GREG ANGELO – Re your remarks on Kevin Rudd. I am happy to be corrected, but aren’t these comments coming from the embassy when the previous US Ambassador to Australia, appointed by George Bush, was still there? If this is correct, then that puts an entirely different slant on the whole “candid evaluation”, doesn’t it? After all, Rudd had just knocked off the yanks favourite lap dog – John Howard – so you would hardly expect the remarks to be favourable.

    More generally – I have always admired the British judicial system, and if, as has been suggested, Assange’s extradition to Sweden is but a “stop-over” on his eventual arrival in the US, surely no judge in that system would have any part of it. At least one would hope not. There have already been many calls from various prominent Americans for Assange’s execution. I would be devastated if the British condoned even the possibility that this might happen. Remember Lee Harvey Oswald (and others)!

  9. David

    That poll was in the SMH, sorry didn’t say earlier.

  10. nicolino

    The U.S. doesn’t like the truth coming out in any shape or form. Julian Assange is an easy target for the land of free speech. If they’re hosting a Freedom of the Press binge next year then they’re hypocracy is there for all to see. What good does any protestation do when we know they’ll do exactly what they like. They have all those nuclear armaments after all and a massive military to keep us in order. Talk of Imperial Rome.

    The next time I hear of a politician talking of noble ideals of freedom of speech I’ll get my air sick bag out, use it and throw it in his/her direction. Tokenism.

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