Saturday, August 21, 2010

[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW] WIKILEAKS' Julian Assange the subject of a search warrant by Sweden's justice? He is wanted for two different reasons, one of them rape, and the other is not specified at this point. Unsurprisingly, Wikileaks issued a denial of the accusations, not the warrant, on its Twitter page.

It was first reported by Swedish tabloid Expressen, which is not exactly the most reliable source (then again, neither is the National Enquirer, eh, John Edwards?) and it comes on the heels of the announcement that Wikileaks was going to release another batch of Afghanistan leaks. Which makes it easy for Assange to say it's dirty tricks, which he's indeed saying. On the other hand, it's not something that allegedly took place some time ago and just surfaced now, which would look much odder; it's something that apparently happened last weekend. One would think that if the shady powers going after him were really trying to frame him they'd find a less obvious way to do it (what's left of "make it look like an accident"?). Or maybe they're so evil that they make the framing look obvious so that people things "no way, it's too obvious!". Or maybe -- sorry, head spinning.

What an odd development. Stay tuned.

UPDATE. Let me clarify something: what I meant is that if you want to frame someone, you make an old rape accusation 20 years ago in Mexico magically surface. But something that happened a few days ago, with possible DNA remains and in Sweden? I'm not saying it can't be, but it doesn't seem that likely, no?

UPDATE II. More at Hot Air.

UPDATE III. Just in @ BBC: "Swedish authorities have cancelled an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on accusations of rape and molestation.The Swedish Prosecution Authority website said the chief prosecutor had come to the decision that Mr Assange was not suspected of rape."

UPDATE IV. NBC says the molestation charges remain, though:
"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape," chief prosecutor Eva Finne said, in announcing the withdrawal of the warrant. She did not address the status of the molestation case, a less serious charge that would not lead to an arrest warrant.

But Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told NBC News that the allegation of molestation remains. However, Rosander said that after a new prosecutor looked at the allegations, the arrest warrant was withdrawn because the severity of the case does not require an arrest at this stage.
More at Sweden's TheLocal.