[WIKILEAKS] WikiLeaks under threat: Assange extradition judgement tomorrow (fwd)

J.A. Terranson measl at mfn.org
Tue May 29 17:45:00 PDT 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 12:08:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Wikileaks Press Office <press-office at wikileaks.org>
Reply-To: wl at riseup.net
To: wl-press at lists.riseup.net
Subject: [WIKILEAKS] WikiLeaks under threat: Assange extradition judgement


State of play of attacks against WikiLeaks to date
Tuesday May 29, 2012 20:30 GMT 



* WikiLeaks is under attack. The United States is seeking to charge Julian
Assange - a journalist and publisher - with espionage.

* The US Grand Jury reportedly possesses a sealed indictment, which could be
used to extradite Assange to the United States.

* Secret subpoenas have been served on ISPs and online services for the private
data of WikiLeaks staff and supporters.

* Special task-forces have been setup by various various US intelligence
agencies, including the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, and the US State Department.

* Associates of WikiLeaks have been detained and interrogated at US and UK 
airports, their equipment confiscated, and attempts have been made to turn them
into informants.

* If the indictment is unsealed upon Assange's extradition to Sweden he faces
further removal from Sweden to the United States.

* Meanwhile, an unprecedented extralegal denial of service by Visa and
Mastercard has cut off funding to WikiLeaks, almost shutting down WikiLeaks'
publishing activity.


* If the extradition to Sweden is quashed in the outcome of the court
judgement, he faces extradition from the United Kingdom.

* Both Swedish and UK governments have been coordinating with the US, taking
steps to facilitate a US extradition request in either eventuality. Assange
cannot take steps to avoid either risk. For 539 days he has been detained
without charge in the UK under house arrest.

* Under US pressure the Australian government has relaxed its own extradition
law, smoothing any possible extradition from Assange's home country. The
Gillard government has also amended legislation to give Australian intelligence
agencies powers of surveillance over WikiLeaks supporters.

Full Brief

WikiLeaks is under serious threat. The US, UK, Swedish and Australian
governments are engaging in a coordinated effort to extradite its
editor-in-chief Julian Assange to the United States, to face espionage charges
for journalistic activities.


For twenty-one months a Grand Jury sitting in the Washington DC area has been
meeting on a monthly basis, seeking to prosecute Julian Assange for espionage.

No judge or defense counsel is present at these proceedings. According to the
global intelligence firm Stratfor, a sealed indictment against Assange was
issued 18 months ago, in January 2011. <a
More]</a> <a

In connection with the case, individuals have been legally compelled to give
evidence to the Grand Jury. <a
href="http://www.salon.com/2011/04/27/wikileaks_26/">[Read More]</a> 

Google, Twitter, and other internet service providers have been issued secret
court orders to divulge private information about WikiLeaks staff, volunteers
and supporters. <a

Friends and supporters of WikiLeaks have been detained, searched and
interrogated at airports, and attempts have been made to turn them into
informants. <a

Please consult Alexa O'Brien's <a
of US vs. Manning, Assange, WikiLeaks and the Press</a> for comprehensive
information on the Grand Jury and associated matters.


Australia quietly changed its extradition law three months ago. An amendment
passed in February makes it possible for someone to be extradited for minor
offenses. This amendment weakens the security of all Australians, and
facilitates Assange's extradition from his home country, despite popular
support for him there. There was no media reportage on the passage of this
amendment. <a

Declassified Australian diplomatic cables reveal that Australian diplomats have
raised no concerns over the possible extradition of Julian Assange to the
United States. The Australian government asks only that it be forewarned, so as
to coordinate a media response.  <a
More]</a> <a

The Australian government also passed the 'WikiLeaks Amendment' in July 2011,
broadening the powers of Australia's ASIO intelligence agency to spy on
Australian citizens and anyone associated with WikiLeaks. <a

At the behest of the US government, Prime Minister Julia Gillard instigated a
federal investigation into whether criminal charges could be brought against
Assange. Before it had been concluded that Assange has broken no laws, Gillard
had already publicly called Assange's actions illegal and stated that his
passport may be cancelled. <a
More]</a> <a

The Australian government has repeatedly delayed, censored and blocked Freedom
of Information (FOI) requests for material that would reveal its internal legal
deliberations over Assange's extradition to the US and has refused to answer
parliamentary questions about the extent of its co-operation. <a
More]</a> <a

It has given only cursory assistance regarding a highly irregular and
politicized Swedish extradition request for Julian Assange under the European
Arrest Warrant (EAW) system. <a
href="http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42368.html">[Read More]</a> <a

Please see SwedenVersusAssange's <a
href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Australia.html">Australia page</a> for
more comprehensive information on Australian complicity.


Assange has been detained under house arrest without charge for 539 days. If
his May 30 Supreme Court challenge is successful, he is at risk of extradition
to the US under the terms of a one-sided UK/US extradition treaty. <a
href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17553860">[Read More]</a> 

Long-promised reform of the UK's extradition arrangements continue to be
delayed, and this is despite the findings of two Parliamentary Select
Committees that reform is urgent. <a

The US government is directly involved. A February FOI request revealed the
involvement of Attorney General Eric Holder and other US officials in the Baker
Review on UK extradition reform. The UK government has refused to publish the
evidence on which the Baker Review based its findings. Other FOI requests
specific to Julian Assange have been denied. <a

US Ambassador Louis Susman confirmed that the US would wait to see how
things work out in the British courts." <a
href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdbiAI3dQ0Y">[Watch]</a> Mr Susman has
been granted extraordinary access to directly address the UK Parliament and its
Select Committees, arguing that reform of the UK/US extradition treaty is
unnecessary. <a


On 8 December 2010 the Independent newspaper in the UK cited diplomatic
sources confirming informal talks between Sweden and the US about
extraditing Julian Assange. <a

The US/Sweden bilateral treaty has a temporary surrender clause which can
be used for onward transfer to the US, circumventing the safeguards of a formal
extradition. <a

Sweden was condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture in 2005  for its role
in the extraordinary rendition of refugees to CIA black sites.<a
href="http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/decisions/233-2003.html">[Read More]</a>
Sweden has not refused a US request for extradition since 2000. <a

The Swedish Prime Minister's chief political adviser is Karl Rove, infamous for
coordinating smear campaigns while he was George Bush's adviser. <a
More]</a> Rove is an old associate of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who
was revealed as a US informant in a 2007 State Department cable published by
WikiLeaks. <A

Senior Swedish political figures have made false and/or misleading public
statements highly prejudicial to a fair trial for Julian Assange. These include
Minister Reinfeldt</a>, Swedish <a
Minister Carl Bildt</a>, Sweden's <A href="<A
Anders Perklev</a>, investigating prosecutor <a
href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Prosecution.html#QUES">Marianne Ny</a>
and <A
Minister Beatrice Ask</a>. 

Justice Minister Ask <A
US Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington on 27 February 2012 but no
statements outlining what was discussed have been issued.


There are numerous concerns regarding the merits and lawfulness of the Swedish
case against Assange, including:

 the two complainants to the case went to the police for advice about HIV
tests. They did not wish to file a complaint. One complainant has stated she
felt railroaded by police. On hearing that police were seeking Julian
Assange for rape, she became upset and did not sign her statement;

 there have been unlawful and prejudicial disclosures to the media by police
and the prosecution regarding the investigation. These have generated over 4
million websearch results linking 'Assange' and 'rape', irreparably harming his
reputation and diminishing public support for WikiLeaks; 

 after reviewing the police file, Senior Prosecutor Eva Finne found the rape
allegation to be false: I consider there are no grounds for suspecting he
has committed rape;

 there have been breaches of police procedures in the investigation of the
allegations, in particular: complainant witness statements were not recorded
and were later revised;

 the failure to disclose details of the allegations and the evidence in

 the apparent failure of the Prosecutor to consider exculpatory evidence,
and the withholding of exculpatory evidence from the defense and the UK courts;

 the disproportionate behavior of the Prosecutor Marianne Ny in refusing
voluntary offers for co-operation and refusing to make use of the normal
methods of Mutual Legal Assistance for interviewing Assange  insisting
instead on an international warrant which unduly restricts his liberty. The EAW
and a public Interpol Red Notice were issued two days prior to WikiLeaks'
Cablegate publication;

 the pre-trial detention conditions  incommunicado in solitary
confinement  sought by the Prosecutor prior to any decision whether to
prosecute, and their lack of a time limit; and

 the prospect of a secret trial, which is customary under Swedish law.

Please consult SwedenVersusAssange's "Prosecution page for comprehensive
information on the irregularities in the Swedish case. <a
href="http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Prosecution.html">[Click Here]</a>

Under the EAW system UK courts are unable to take any of the above into
account. Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime. The Swedish
extradition is for questioning as part of the preliminary investigation.
Neither the UK Extradition Act 2003 nor the EU Framework Directive intended
EAWs to be used in this manner. Julian Assange's extradition under such
circumstances will set dangerous precedents affecting basic justice across
Europe, whereby extradition is possible from the UK without charge, without
evidence, at the behest of any prosecutor anywhere in Europe and without proper
judicial oversight. 


Other related acts of aggression against WikiLeaks include:

 Leading active US politicians have called for the extrajudicial
assassination of Julian Assange, including by drone strike. US senators have
labelled our editor-in-chief a high-tech terrorist and enemy
combatant engaged in cyber warfare. <a

 The setting up of a 120-strong US Pentagon team dedicated to taking
action against WikiLeaks ahead of WikiLeaks' release of the Iraq War Logs
and Cablegate. Similar publicly declared FBI, CIA and US State Department Task
Forces are also still in operation. <a

 Requests from US government figures that American banking corporations
Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Western Union and Bank of America impose an illegal
financial blockade against the organization, blocking the ability of members of
the public to make donations, thereby shutting off 95% of WikiLeaks' funding.
In December 2010 Paypal also froze 60,000 euros of WikiLeaks donations held by
the Wau Holland charitable foundation. Two days later Swiss bank PostFinance
froze Julian Assange's account, containing 31,000 euros, used for WikiLeaks
Staff Defence Funds. The WikiLeaks blockade has been condemned by both the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion
and Expression. In July 2011 WikiLeaks lodged a complaint about the financial
blockade with the European Commission for infringement of EU Anti-Trust laws.
We are still awaiting an answer, due by August 2012. <a
href="http://www.wikileaks.org/Banking-Blockade.html">[Read More]</a>

 The US government has also pressured internet providers to cease services
to WikiLeaks.org. On 1 December 2010 Amazon removed WikiLeaks from their
storage servers, and on 2 December the DNS service pointing to the
Wikileaks.org domain was disrupted. <a

 WikiLeaks' volunteers and associates have endured constant harassment,
being detained at US border points, having their electronic devices seized and
secret so-called 2703(d) orders issued for their Twitter records. The latter
only came to light when Twitter challenged the injunction against letting
individuals know their records were being turned over to federal authorities.
It is not yet known how many other internet service providers received similar
2703(d) orders relating to WikiLeaks  so far, only Google and ISP Sonic.net
have been confirmed. <a
More]</a> <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/01/08/twitter_2/">[See Also]</a>

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