21 August 2010

WikiLeaks founder charged with rape, molestation in Sweden

UPDATE: Charges withdrawn.

This appears to be the "perfect defense" from the hard-core extremes of the spectrum. Claim the government is setting you up every time you get caught violating the rights of others. See the recent revelations about Bill Ayres, or the Peruvian adventures of Van der Sloot, for a less political version.

In this case, WikiLeaks got a little in front with their "defense": We were warned to expect "dirty tricks". Now we have the first one:http://bit.ly/bv5ku9

Next, make an attack on the page format of the news source breaking the story: Expressen is a tabloid; No one here has been contacted by Swedish police. Needless to say this will prove hugely distracting.

See the most recent tweet from them (as of this post time) below.

Time will tell on this one.

WikiLeaks founder charged with rape, molestation in Sweden - CNN.com:
"Stockholm, Sweden (CNN) -- The founder and editor of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been charged in Sweden with rape and molestation, a spokeswoman for the Swedish prosecutor's office told CNN Saturday. 
Spokeswoman Karin Rosander said the charges were filed Friday night, but she didn't have further details. 
Assange denied the charges in a posting Saturday on the WikiLeaks Twitter page, saying, 'The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.'
Assange was in Sweden last weekend, but Rosander said it's not clear whether he is still in the country. She said police have been unable so far to make contact with Assange."
From the WikiLeaks Twitter Page: Julian Assange: the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.

Slashdot coverage:
mpawlo was one of many readers who have sent news that a warrant has been issued in Stockholm, Sweden for WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange. The investigation apparently involves "one report of rape and one report of harassment." The story was broken bySwedish tabloid Expressen (original in Swedish), and later picked up by more reputable sourceslike CNN and the BBC, who say the warrant has been confirmed by Swedish authorities. The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has commented three times about the charges so far, first saying they were warned of 'dirty tricks,' then that theyhadn't been contacted by Swedish police, and then a statement from Assange saying the charges are without basis.
Update: Slashdot has updated their story:
Update: 08/21 15:58 GMT by S : Multiple sources are now reporting that the warrant for Assange's arrest has been withdrawn. Aftonbladet has coverage in Swedish. Chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

For the most part, the Slashdot bunch takes to defending Assange in humorous ways, from the Whoopi-esque "it wasn't rape, rape" versions, because of the broadness of Sweden's laws, to the USA is making a bigger effort in this case than they are for bin Laden.  At least one directly notices the Roman Polanski parallel.

Now for something really funny. If you thought the Slashdotters knee-jerk accusations that the victims are part of a US plot was good, CNN has a new blog story and all of their primary sources are bloggers and media speculators.

Series tie-in: Criminal law abroad is not addressed in the books.

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