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  (Source: WAFF-48)

Julian Assange, convicted computer criminal and founder of the controversial website Wikileaks, was briefly charged with rape by Swedish authorities. The charges have since been dropped, but he's still under investigation on allegations of molestation.  (Source: AP)

Assange's packed trip also allowed him to sign a partnership between Sweden's Pirate Party and Wikileaks. Assange says that the two organizations "share many values ".  (Source: Torrent Freak)
Wikileaks inks serving deal with Pirate Party, known for its support of illegal downloads

It's been a wild weekend for Sweden and the site Wikileaks.

On Friday Swedish authorities issued an arrest warrant for Julian Assange, founder and commander in chief of Wikileaks.  According to Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, Mr. Assange had been arrested in absentia and faced raped charges on two separate instances.

Then on Saturday Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne posted an official statement on a government website stating that Mr. Assange is "no longer wanted" and "is not suspected of rape."  However, the statement indicates that Mr. Assange is still under investigation on molestation charges.

In Sweden molestation is a sex crime that can apply to nonconsensual sexual contact among adults, as well as with minors (unlike in the U.S., where it typically refers to inappropriate contact with minors).  Also, unlike the U.S., the offense is not punishable by prison time.

Sources in the Swedish media said the investigation stems from Mr. Assange's trip to Sweden last week.  During that active trip Mr. Assange reportedly had sexual encounters with two women -- aged 20 and 30.  Reportedly both encounters were consensual, but Mr. Assange then allegedly engaged in nonconsensual sexual violence.  After the women connected and shared their stories, they decided to approach Swedish police.  Ironically, Aftonbladet, the tabloid that Mr. Assange recently signed a deal to report for, was the first to publish the 30-year-old's account of the situation.

Mr. Assange on Saturday called the allegations a "dirty" trick.  He also appears to have posted on a Wikileaks-affiliated Twitter account, "The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing."

While Mr. Assange now seems out of serious legal danger, the allegations are certainly embarrassing for Australian native who now finds himself a hot topic in the Swedish tabloid he recently launched a career with.  Mr. Assange has had his share of legal troubles over the years, being a convicted computer criminal in his home country.

Besides signing on to write for Aftonbladet, which may help Wikileaks obtain Swedish journalistic protections, Mr. Assange also found time in his apparently packed trip to sign a pact with Sweden's Pirate Party.  The Pirate Party, known for its promotion of currently illegal music, film, and video game piracy, will offer hosting service for Wikileaks.

Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge comments, "I’m delighted that we’re able to help WikiLeaks.  I love opportunities to demonstrate that one of the biggest differences between us and the other parties is that we positively leap at any and all changes to take real responsibility for changing the world, rather than just commission reports and avoiding blame like the archetypal politician."

Mr. Assange says that his organization shares much with the Pirate Party.  He states, "We welcome the help provided by the Pirate Party.  Our organizations share many values and I am looking forward to future ways we can help each other improve the world."

Wikileaks also hopes the Pirate Party will push for more protections for it in Sweden's Parliament.  Mr. Assange states, "We hope that the new Parliament will give serious consideration to further strengthening Sweden’s press protection legislation. Western democracies are not always as free as one might think, and freedom of the press needs constant vigilance.  In particular, we would welcome Sweden copying Iceland’s Modern Media Initiative, something that the Pirate Party also desires."

Currently based in Iceland, Mr. Assange has been the subject of harsh criticism from the Obama administration and U.S. military leadership, which claim that his site's massive leak of U.S. military field memos from Afghanistan may result in bloodshed.  Afghanistan's insurgency, the Taliban, claims that the first round of leaks allowed them to track down and kill a tribal leader who was aiding the U.S.  The Taliban is known for its terrorist tactics.

Mr. Assange, though, claims that the only solution to eliminating government corruption is complete transparency.  He is currently preparing to release more documents, even as the U.S. government reportedly scrambles to protect its Afghani informants from the potentially deadly cost of exposure.


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RE: So tell me, Mick...
By clovell on 8/23/2010 12:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
> Reportedly both encounters were consensual, but Mr. Assange then engaged in nonconsensual sexual violence.

What part of the word "reportedly" do you not understand in this context? It is synonymous with "allegedly". Try learning English a little better - I know it's not your first language.

Wanna know how I know? Jason's Wikileaks articles recieve praise from about 16:00 - 0:00 GMT. After that, all the international nutjobs who think Assange is some sort of journalistic saint come here and BS the ratings.

Anybody who's read enough of Jason can feel the restraint bleeding through each of his sentences in this article.

> Wait a minute, doesn't that sound just a little implausible to you? I mean, allegedly Assange had "nonconsensual violent sexual encounters" with two unrelated women on two separate occasions, and yet somehow they managed to run into each other and strike up a conversation about how they were both assaulted by Assange? Neither one went to the police independently? That doesn't seem just a little worthy of investigation to you? I mean, did they know each other beforehand? If not, how did they find each other? And if they weren't going to independently tell the police what had happened, why in the hell would either one tell a strange woman that they had just met?

Could be that it was a 3-way that ended in a 2-way. Who cares? You rail against Mick for "interjecting opinion & bias" and now you're pissed at him for not offering commentary??? What's you're problem, dude? Because it sounds like you got a hard-on for Mick & Assange.

> No, you claim that. You never provided any evidence of the Taliban making that claim. As the very first comment on the article that you link to points out, you provide no evidence whatsoever that the murder is in any way related to the leaked documents.

Your stupidity knows no bounds. Newsweek made the claim, and it's been accepted as credible, that - at the very least - the Taliban is using the leak to CLAIM that they were able to kill a tribal leader. Again - reading comprehension, and English - you're proving my point here, dude.

So, as for your accusations of bias - strawmen - all of them. You've managed to misread the entire article, even as you quote it. Until you can comprehend an arguement, try not to be such a self-righteous pr!ck about it.


RE: So tell me, Mick...
By Howard on 8/23/2010 7:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not know what the word "but" means?


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