According to The Guardian, Julian Assange is set to appear in a British court today to discuss the Interpol arrest warrant issued by Sweden.
If you think about it, this is unbelievable. When ever does someone accused of relatively minor sexual misconduct come on an international Interpol arrest list?
Only when that person angers U.S. and European governments, of course.
- BREAKING: Julian Assange has been arrested.
- Update: WikiLeaks will continue releasing cables today:
Today’s actions against our editor-in-chief Julian Assange won’t affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal
- Update 2: Mooi: XS4ALL, de oude internetprovider van hacker en internetactivist Rop Gonggrijp (was ook betrokken bij de publicatie door WikiLeaks van de Collateral Damage-video), neemt samen met de Amsterdamse hoster Byte WikiLeaks.nl over.
- Update 3: New shit has come to light: Assange has told the City of Westminster Magistrates Court that he will fight extradition to Sweden. Also, credit card company Visa has suspended all payments to Wikileaks. More on Huffpost.
- Update 4: De VPRO heeft ook een mirror van WikiLeaks online! Dat maakt twee Nederlandse publieke omroepen. Screw you, CDA.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is expected to appear in a UK court today after his lawyers said he would meet police to discuss a European arrest warrant from Sweden relating to alleged sexual assaults.
As the legal net continued to close around the whistleblowers’ website and the US attorney general, Eric Holder, said he had authorised “a number of things to be done” to combat the organisation, Assange appeared to be reconciling himself to a lengthy personal court battle to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Jennifer Robinson, a solicitor with Finers Stephens Innocent, which represents the Australian freedom of information campaigner, told the Guardian: “We have a received an arrest warrant [related to claims in Sweden]. We are negotiating a meeting with police.”
Another lawyer representing Assange, Mark Stephens, added: “He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the police by consent, in order to facilitate the taking of that question and answer that is needed. It’s about time we got to the end of the day and we got some truth, justice and rule of law.”
Stephens explained that the interview would happen in the “foreseeable future” but he could not give a precise time. According to other sources, it is thought that Assange would appear before a court to negotiate bail .
Assange is seeking supporters to put up surety and bail for him. He said he expected to have to post bail of between £100,000 and £200,000 and would require up to six people offering surety, or risked being held on remand.
In recent days, Assange, 39, has told friends he is increasingly convinced the US is behind Swedish prosecutors’ attempts to extradite him for questioning on the assault allegations.
He has said the original allegations against him were motivated by “personal issues” but that Sweden had subsequently behaved as “a cipher” for the US.
Assange has also said that he declined to return to Sweden to face prosecutors because he feared he would not receive a fair trial, and prosecutors had requested that he be held in solitary confinement and incommunicado.
This weekend Assange said he was exhausted by the effort of running his defence against the allegations in Sweden and the release of the US embassy cables at the same time, as well as running WikiLeaks itself, which has split since some supporters became disaffected over Assange’s handling of the Afghanistan war logs. Once he turns himself in to the police, he will have to appear before a magistrates’ court within 24 hours, where he will seek release on bail. A full hearing of his extradition case would have to be heard within 28 days.
In the past, Assange has dismissed the allegations, stating on Twitter: “The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.”
Last week Stephens added: “This appears to be a persecution and a prosecution. It is highly irregular and unusual for the Swedish authorities to issue [an Interpol] red notice in the teeth of the undisputed fact that Mr Assange has agreed to meet voluntarily to answer the prosecutor’s questions.”