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Interpol Hunts Wikileaks Founder Assange Most Wanted List After Rape Charges

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

Interpol hunts Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, missing and now added to the European police "Most Wanted" list in allegations of sex crimes and rape -- the current arrest warrant following recent release and "leaks" online of 250,000 secret cables between U.S. diplomats.

Assange’s lawyer now argues that because Swedish authorities issued an incorrect European arrest warrant: "The [Interpol] arrest warrant has been issued in circumstances where [Julian] Assange has an outstanding appeal [currently] in Sweden," the Wikileaks founder’s attorney Stephens told the Times media outlet. There’s also claims that a police source stated that Assange's arrest warrant was "not a properly certified warrant so we [police] can't act on it."

Assange’s lawyer, Stephens, argues that despite the fact that his client was originally wanted on a charge of rape, charges had been thrown out after a partially successful appeal – and that, essentially, his client can’t be tried twice for the same crime with that appeal. The attorney says Swedish law does not provide or allow for another arrest warrant, for current allegations.

Sex charges against the Wikileaks founder seem less than coincidental -- following this week’s release, by the Wikileaks site, of more than 250,000 secret "cables" between United States diplomats. That release of “cables” between U.S. diplomats has been on the horizon, with the planned release of the information known to be stirring controversy even before its actual occurrence.

Two weeks ago, Swedish authorities ordered the arrest of Assange for suspected rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) of Europe has now released a “Red Notice” which calls for Assange's immediate arrest for rape. Interpol claims that the “Red Notice” is not an arrest warrant – providing hazy definition of the type of notice, and calling it a request "to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition."

Whatever Interpol calls it, it’s bad news and spells big trouble for the Wikileaks founder. The November 2010 legal troubles follow a previous “rape” charge against Assange that Interpol was originally following only months ago in August – the current rape allegations a second go-around for Assange and European police.

Interpol claims that the incidents allegedly occurred in August 2010 – “coincidentally” those initial rape allegations involve a timeframe surrounding several weeks after Assange’s Wikileaks site first released approximately 75,000 documents which detailed United States military actions in Afghanistan. Head of prosecution in Sweden, Marianne Ny, says: "The background is that he [Julian Assange ] has to be heard in this [rape] investigation and we haven't been able to get a hold of him to question him."

Reports that Julian Assange was considered a suspect in rape later in August, when he described the criminal rape allegations as part of a "smear campaign" against Wikileaks. Assange, in August, said "the [rape] charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing." A statement posted on Wikileaks' website after the charges were announced defended Assange. "We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We the people behind WikiLeaks think highly of Julian and he has our full support. While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations."

Apparently those “regular operations” again went a bit too far in the eyes of the European government: Assange apparently didn’t take his ‘get out of jail free card’ seriously back in August, after Wikileaks released the first batch of documents that served as the source of so much ire. This second batch of released information has apparently sent things over the edge – and retribution appears to be single-edged sword.

Assange may also have been smarter than to inspire the anger of not just one woman, but two: rape allegations against the Wikileaks founder have been filed after the two women – whom Assange is alleged to have raped – found out that he had been in a relationship with the other. Unfortunately for Assange, his “relationship” seems to have been a bit more “open” than the woman apparently perceived – Assange allegedly in a relationship with both at the same time. Vengeance strikes deep: "Only after the women became aware of each other's relationships with Mr. Assange,” says the Wikileaks founder’s lawyer Stephens, did they [the two women] make their [rape] allegations against him.”

The Wikileaks founder’s attorney also adds that he had not "received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against [Assange] our client," that only media reports actually referred to the criminal case. The attorney argues, of the rape charges and instance: "[This is] a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.”

Assange’s real issue may be behind what he recently told Forbes in a magazine interview: the Wikileaks founder made reference to supposedly obtaining documents which he says show evidence of corruption within a major American bank.

Reports say that Assange has been paying in cash and with friends' credit cards. Apparently, ticking off a large bank doesn’t seem to be the way toward constant credit.

In reference to the most recent, November 2010, Wikileaks information releases regarding “cables”: Assange told ABC news outlet that "US officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave."

Interestingly, Ecuador -- a country which critically opposes US policies -- has now offered Assange residency. Things aren’t exactly ‘looking up’, when one of your only friends across the globe is Ecuador.

Rape charges may be among the least of Julian Assange’s problems: the Wikileaks founder is not so popular within the United States government after the leak of the secret cables – some calling for Assange’s prosecution in relation to the recently-released cables’ information and content.

Hillary Clinton had openly condemned the publishing of the secret cables and files by Wikileaks – the information suspected of being leaked by Bradley Manning, a former intelligence analyist with the U.S. Army before his arrest. Hillary Clinton has released statement: "It is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations, that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity. There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people, and there is nothing brave about sabotaging peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends."

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