Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in UK and Jailed Without Bail

The founder of online whistleblower site WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, was arrested on Tuesday by British police authorities.

MSNBC reported that Assange, who has been running from an extradition order by Sweden, voluntarily turned himself over to Scotland Yard. He then went to present himself over to the London court accompanied by his British lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Mark Stephens.
During the hour-long court hearing, Assange was presented with all the details of the alleged sex offense filed against him in Sweden. All of the allegations he straightforwardly denied. The WikiLeaks founder said that he is going to fight the extradition order of Sweden. One moment during the court hearing, Assange was asked by the judge if he will agree to be extradited. The 39-year old Australian said, "I do not consent."

Judge Howard Riddle believed that Assange may not show up on the next scheduled hearing. He then ruled and denied the petition for bail of Assange as he was deemed a flight risk. This despite of the efforts of some Australian journalists to give the court the assurance that they will make sure that Assange will not flee out of the country.

With his petition for bail denied by the British court, he is to be under the custody of the British police authorities. They did not reveal though where Julian Assange will be particularly jailed for the time being.

The case against Julian Assange stemmed from the complaints of two Swedish women in August. They accused Assange of sexually molesting them without using a condom and without their consent.

According to Daily Mail, American authorities welcomed the arrest and detention of Assange. Pat Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, was elated by the news by saying, "That sounds like good news to me."

The US government is purportedly preparing cases of espionage and some others against Assange in connection with the WikiLeaks posting on its website confidential and sensitive US diplomatic cables.

Assange’s arrest is said to come as big blow to the WikiLeaks organization after it has suffered many financial and technical problems due to the confidential documents it has released online. But WikiLeaks is not bucking down, saying that it still has on its custody some of the most damaging and sensitive US cable documents that will be released in due time.

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