Wikileaks: Assange bail hearing in UK today, statement from jail

(PHOTO contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr pool by BB reader Mark Burban, aka pixelwhip.)

Lawyers for Julian Assange will today attempt to gain bail for the Wikileaks founder, who is currently being held in a UK prison on sex crime charges.

• Anonymous may target UK websites if bail is denied.

Assange issued a statement from jail by way of his mother, which said in part, "We now know that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are instruments of US foreign policy. It's not something we knew before."

Assange's attorney Mark Stephens: "We have heard from the Swedish authorities that there has been a secretly impaneled grand jury in Alexandria (Virginia)." By the way, Mark Stephens is on Twitter.


  1. Shouldn’t you point out that he’s not in jail because of Wikileaks (like you’re making it seem), but because he’s a rape suspect?

    1. Meh. This is a brief, short-form post. The reasons for Assange being in jail have been exhaustively covered here on BB by me and others. There is no cover-up or smeary implication at work in this blog post. That said, the post might benefit from adding the phrase “on sex crime charges,” so those words have been added.

      1. The edit is appreciated. Don’t mean to come off as snippy, I just think it’s important to keep in mind that there are two separate stories here.

        1. I just think it’s important to keep in mind that there are two separate stories here.

          I agree that Assange’s situation is complicated and we should
          try not to over-generalize (i.e. adding why he’s in jail in the
          header is a good call). I think it is extremely naive to think the
          two stories are separate. For good and ill, they are intertwined.

  2. I can see Alexandria from my house!

    Well, not really, but its only about 30 minutes away.

    Sadly, if such a jury is there: I don’t really know what to do about it. My dreams of flying in on a rope, Robin hood style, and berating said jury until they break into tears will likely remain unfulfilled.

    I find it suspicious that a sex crimes case would require a secret jury.

    None of my friends or family members who have been victim of any sort of sexual crime have seemed to get one.

    But its secret, so how would I know?

  3. Strange that a south african murder suspect in uk was given bail after less than 24 hours while assange has been kept in for 4 days wanted as a witness to a ‘minor’ crime. (minor because the swedish prosecutor dropped the original prosecution on the grounds that the charge wasn’t serious enough!)

  4. Grand juries, by their nature, are secret. There’s no such thing, at least in the USA, of a public grand jury. They simply interpret whether there’s enough evidence for a trial to take place; in other systems, a judge would examine the evidence to see if, if everything the prosecution says is true, the defendant *could* be found guilty. In the USA, a secret group of citizens makes that decision: if they find a “true bill”, then Assange can be charged, but if they don’t, then Assange can’t be charged.

    In other words, if some of the grand jury are awesome and like a free press, Assange may not get charged at all. But the bar is so low that it’s pretty unlikely the grand jury wouldn’t charge him…

  5. Quoted: Assange issued a statement from jail by way of his mother, which said in part, “We now know that Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are instruments of US foreign policy. It’s not something we knew before.”

    What’s the over-under on how long before that relationship morphs into its reverse?

    1. I think the better question is for how long has the relationship been the reverse? For how long has the US military been used to protect corporate interests and not so much the people’s interests?

  6. Any news on how many people closed down their Paypal accounts? I heard a lot of folks in here saying they would (and I closed mine down)

  7. Assange has not been charged with anything yet. He is wanted for questioning only.

    Let me quote from the Guardian here:

    Lady Ludford MEP, the Liberal Democrat European justice and human rights spokeswoman, claimed the arrest warrant system, which she said she supported, was being used by Sweden to carry out a fishing expedition. Sweden had yet to formally charge Assange with any offence.

    1. Wait no… see he is under “strong suspicion”(bad tra) (which is the highest degree in suspicion) for rape and sexual assault. Hes charged with it and also “apprehended in abscence” (if there are any other swedes out there who are good at translating swedish legal jargon to english now would be the time to step on up) so the warrant should be correct.

      The problems lies in the differences between legal systems within the EU I guess.

      @Zikman: I doubt it. Maybe he’ll get “slap on the wrist”-time for sexual assault but after that its almost impossible for him to be extradited to the US. Thats the beauty of it. The process of having anyone extradited from Sweden to the US after some other EU country have sent him here is extremely lengthy and there are just too many hurdles to get over for it to pass. The best shot the US have is to kill him in prison, which is difficult since the level of effectiveness of that in a swedish prison is minimal.

  8. I can see people walking up to her and asking her about the free samples of “assange” she is advertising. “I am interested in the ‘free assange’ you are offering, is it some kind of spice?”

  9. Wikileaks stands for holding a democracy to its own impartial legal system.

    Anonymous will punish the UK if the legal system does not do as it’s told.

    The logic! It burns!

  10. Anonymous seems to be like the kid from that Twilight Zone episode that can make people disappear, so everyone has to tiptoe around.

Comments are closed.