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Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange 298

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-will-never-end dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is likely to be detained for questioning over his alleged connection to a rape case. The Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has requested the District Court of Stockholm to detain Assange, claiming that they have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations. 'I request the district court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion,' Ny said in a statement."
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Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange

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  • Re:I dunno man (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:55AM (#34267234)

    [sarcasm]Nobody in the spotlight/limelight/under a microscope has ever committed a serious crime such as this, before![/sarcasm]

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:56AM (#34267236) Homepage

    The powers that be want Assange captured and made an example of. So if he's not done in by these charges, they'll find something else to go after him with, and keep trying until he's in prison, killed, or the world hates him. And that's not to say these charges aren't legit. It's just awfully suspicious, especially since the first time they went after him for this another prosecutor stepped in and had the matter dropped.

    I think we can also safely give Assange the title of International Man of Mystery.

  • Re:I dunno man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:56AM (#34267246)

    I highly doubt that someone in the public eye as much as Assange (not to mention someone who is under a microscope already) would have something to do with rape.

    Yeah, public figures who do bad thing, that could never [bilderberg.org] happen [huffingtonpost.com]...

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:59AM (#34267272) Journal

    I highly doubt that someone in the public eye as much as Assange (not to mention someone who is under a microscope already) would have something to do with rape.

    So you get a free pass with the law because you're a celebrity?

    Justice is blind. Try not to forget that.

    Hell, I would argue that people in power are often egomaniacs who think they can get away with murder, rape, fraud, cheating, mistresses, etc. If you are a popular football player or billionaire or web sensation, you're probably doing whatever you want. I think the opposite logic is more applicable than yours. But, again, justice is blind so I don't think that should even be taken into account. If the accuser is a shill, the court and lawyers should be able to figure that out. If the accuser is not a shill, however, you would basically be protecting a rapist because he runs a site you like. Let justice run its course and just try to have faith in the Swedish Justice system.

    As someone who is not popular, I'm not too keen on your line of reasoning regardless of how much I like or dislike Julian Assange.

  • Re:I dunno man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:59AM (#34267274)

    Given Assange's choice of professions, I find it highly likely that government would start making up crap about him just to detain him. I don't like crying conspiracy, but given how much he's ticked officials off in the past...

  • Argghhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:00AM (#34267290)
    For fucks sake, they say they want to charge him, and then they let him go. Then they say they want to charge him, and yet again they say he can go. Now this. I mean come on, either you want him or not. Either you stand in the face of the bullies who are asking you to do this, or you bend all the way, there is no I am half-way bent.
  • Re:well obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dnahelicase (1594971) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:06AM (#34267318)

    Clearly Julian Assange has committed a crime of raping the US intelligence and military, which is punishable by every means possible. He needs to be taken care of, he is clearly a sexual deviant, coercing the innocent intelligence and military structures into an uncomfortable position with him in a room in Stockholm.

    I believe the safe word was "9-11!". I think the military would have just needed to say that and I'm sure he would have stopped..."

  • Re:I dunno man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by srussia (884021) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:11AM (#34267362)

    "Lawful coercion" does exist: it's called "arrest" or "detainment".

    Yes, also taxes, jury duty, mandatory school attendance, eminent domain...

  • Nov 18th? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:11AM (#34267364)
    When I saw this article I thought "Oh look, I must have gotten the main page cached or something"

    Seriously, why hasn't this whole fiasco/media circus died already?
  • Wikileaks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by falldeaf (968657) <falldeaf@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:13AM (#34267374) Homepage
    The problem with Wikileaks is that only half of the participants are anonymous. For it to work over a long period of time the people helping to disseminate the information need to be anonymous, too. I'm not sure if that's technically possible, though.
  • Re:I dunno man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:13AM (#34267378)
    You mean like Phil Spector?
    On the other hand this case has been considered of such low importance that they are still trying to decide whether it is worth questioning the suspect for the first time. That should put this case nicely in perspective because rape is normally taken very seriously.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:16AM (#34267412) Homepage

    You play in the mud, expect to get dirty.

    I'm sure Assange knew all that before embarking on this selfless and valiant act. Right? Or did he expect to be greeted like some world super hero and win the Nobel Peace Prize unscathed?

  • Re:I dunno man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:17AM (#34267424) Journal

    To back this up a bit, check out this abstract [springerlink.com] claiming that the rape rate in Sweden is 3x the rest of Europe. At least 2/3s of those people are considered rapists in Sweden, when they would not be in any other country. It sounds like Sweden is going through some sort of moral panic [wikipedia.org] concerning rape. So I'm disinclined to believe any rape claims coming out of Sweden.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:19AM (#34267446)
    "Nobody is above the law" is the principle Wikileaks seems to be standing for. Assange should not be exempt from the laws either. By all means, if there is sufficient evidence to warrant some questions, question him.

    I personally have no opinion as to whether these charges are true or not - there just isn't enough data to support any conclusion. It could be an attempt to discredit the organization, or it could be true. So, then, go get the data, and examine the evidence, and see if there's even enough to warrant a trial.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:19AM (#34267448)

    "Justice is blind"?

    If you think that, you've never seen "justice" in action, neither in Sweden nor any place else. Or maybe you're just trying to tell us that courts have nothing to do with "justice"?

  • Re:Innocent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:26AM (#34267502)

    It seems like a pretty flaky way to ruin the guy, considering how much difficulty victims have in securing a conviction where there has been a rape (either because it's difficult to collect evidence or because a lot of the time it comes down to one person's word against another). If there were shady government-funded agencies at work here, couldn't they have come up with something that left no shadow of doubt as to guilt to ensure a conviction, an acquaintance stabbed and a bloody knife found in his car, or indecent images planted on his computer or something? It seems like subjecting him to a craps shoot where there's a reasonable chance he'll come out of it looking better than he went in isn't the best way to ruin him (of course, it could be a double bluff because they know they'll get a conviction, but it's a lot riskier rigging a trial than planting some evidence).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:26AM (#34267510)

    If you keep repeating an accusation, the public will only remember his face and the word "rape".

    As is so often the case these days, your being detained implies reasonable suspicion of your having committed something, and since a lot of people are never formally suspected of any wrongdoing, surely a person who's been detained based on reasonable suspicion on several occasions is guilty at least of something, and cannot be trusted...

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:26AM (#34267512)
    Justice is blind. But Justice can still hear the jingling sound of a purse full of coins.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:29AM (#34267534)
    While the government (Be it swedish or american) could just make up charges against him, I don't see why they would need to for most people. Everyone has done *something* illegal, somewhere, sometime. Getting rid of an inconvenient person is as simple as investigating their life until you stumble across some useful dirt you can charge them for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:32AM (#34267548)
    Or it could simply be that he feels safer if everyone knows his name. Otherwise he could just be rubbed out and noone would be the wiser.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:42AM (#34267670)

    This has CIA character assassination written all over it with a huge marker. Nice to see that Swedish courts are either lapdogs or dupes (or both). This is exactly what I expected [slashdot.org] the CIA to do to.

  • Re:Innocent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thijsh (910751) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:44AM (#34267686) Journal
    I think this isn't about a conviction, but rather casting doubt at the person. Wikileaks is already being associated as 'that rapist club' by people who only casually follow the news. Some see this latest news and ask 'is that creep still out raping those lovely women?'. You analyzed right, but doubt isn't a problem here, it's what they need most to discredit him and his organization.
  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:52AM (#34267794) Journal

    So you get a free pass with the law because you're a celebrity?

    No, but you get bonus doubt when you pissed off the Pentagon and are depicted as a "dangerous individual" by an organization that has used and still uses a vast network of agents and has billions of funds (trillions ?) and has an exclusive de fact right to do things that would be illegal for anyone else to do (like killing people it doesn't like, sorry, "people that threathen US interest")

    Justice is blind, sure, but don't forget that blind justice is also just a theory that we are trying to implement on imperfect human societies and that some people are actively trying to gain from the glitches of its implementations.

    If justice is blind, it will hear Donald Rumsfeld in an international court of law in the same time as Assange is judged in Sweden. In the meantime, I am more worried about the suspected war criminal being not brought in front of a tribunal than about a borderline rapist (none of the victims actually charged him but in Sweden, a rape accusation automatically launches a legal procedure) that happens to be a very needed journalist in the present world.

  • by DES (13846) * <des@des.no> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:55AM (#34267834) Homepage

    I think you both missed the part where the prosecutor has repeatedly refused to interview Assange or to inform his attorney in writing of the exact charges, and the multiple violations of Swedish law and legal precedent and of the European Convention on Human Rights by both the police and the prosecution. TL;DNR perhaps?

  • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:05AM (#34267938)

    When you're blind, you're easy to push around. Which I suspect is what's happening here.

    Not that I'm saying that Assange isn't an egotistical narcissist, just that he also happens to have pissed off some powerful people, that I fully expect to be willing to push justice around like that, just to get even with him.

  • by b4upoo (166390) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:07AM (#34267968)

    This is a set up and Julian needs more than a little bit of help to survive. Various American agencies seek to bury the man alive and apparently those agencies have some power inside of Sweden. To start with Julian has to have known that an intense spotlight was focused upon him by American military intelligence. Under that kind of scrutiny only a total fool would commit a serious crime. Next we come to charges that were already dismissed somehow springing back to life. And the frosting on the cake is the supposed excuse to hold him for the purpose of interrogation. I know nothing of Swedish law but I would think that a man would simply choose to remain silent rather than allow interrogations. Does that mean that Sweden would retain him in custody forever? I doubt it. It all comes down to a powerful nation trying to squash a man who helped expose some really rotten behavior by a government.

  • Re:Smear campaign (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:16AM (#34268098) Journal

    This is an attempt to discredit the Wikileaks website

    Wikileaks has discredited themselves quite well all on their own. It started out as a site for people in oppressed countries to leak out information that their rulers would rather keep under wraps. It evolved into a site that would accept leaks from anyone. It then turned into a site whose primary propose seems to be to embarrass the United States Government.

    Mind you, my Government deserves to be embarassed at times but this war that Assange is waging is hardly compatible with the lofty ideas that got Wikileaks started. Some of Wikileaks own people have said as much.

  • Re:Innocent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:36AM (#34268384)

    If there were shady government-funded agencies at work here, couldn't they have come up with something that left no shadow of doubt as to guilt to ensure a conviction, an acquaintance stabbed and a bloody knife found in his car, or indecent images planted on his computer or something?

    No, because the very fact that you can imagine said shady agencies doing this means there's always a shadow of doubt one did. That's why the bar is "reasonable doubt", not "any doubt".

    In any case, for purposes of character assasination, rape charges work much better than murder ones. The shadowy organizations simply want the words "Julian Assange" and "rape" to be repeated together often enough that the public starts associating them. Whether or not a court convicts him is irrelevant; it's sufficient that the court of public opinion does.

    Of course, all this does is increase the credibility of Wikileaks, since obviously someone powerful is scared of what they have to say.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:38AM (#34268418)
    Because it's easier if the paperwork is nice and tidy. The more they have to lie, the greater the chance of getting caught out.
  • by DES (13846) * <des@des.no> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:41AM (#34268468) Homepage

    Well, you can start with the fact that the Swedish police informed the press of the charges against him, and identified him by name, before they had even spoken to him - which they still haven't. That may be business as usual in the US, but it's not the way we do things in the civilized world. They've violated due process six ways to Sunday.

  • Re:Legal response (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:42AM (#34268482) Homepage

    Ex post facto is an important concept here. When you gave consent, you gave consent, which makes the sex not rape, by definition. That you might have been stupid to do so doesn't mean that you can retroactively revoke your consent. And this is an important issue with this particular crime, because there have been rape cases that have turned out to be simply a case of morning-after regrets.

    Which of course brings me to an important lesson: If you're going to sleep with someone, either wear a condom or demand they get tested for HIV.

  • by Idiomatick (976696) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:49AM (#34268558)
    Rape is publicly damning. If he got busted for jaywalking or filesharing or poor parking or something obscure like wearing pink on a wednesday in some stupid little town. Then that would put people on his side.
  • Re:I dunno man (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anzya (464805) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:49AM (#34268562)

    Yes of course there are some people who are wrongfully accused for rape and that sucks but that is probably not the case most of the time.
    In courts in Sweden the girls character is always in question. Was she drunk, has she had many boyfriends, is she a slut? Any of that could be reason not to convict. There has even been a case where the girl didn't have time to say no before the guy showed his pipe organ in her throat and at least one where the girl was too drunk to be able to speak where both guys where acquitted since the girls didn't protest enough
    This is hardly the signs of a country in moral panic (oh and your link goes nowhere).

    So why are there so many cases of rape in Sweden? There's a couple of reasons. The police most often don't laugh at the girls or kick them out again and we do take it serious when it comes to rape even if the courts sometimes fubar things. Another reason is that the spouse in Sweden can be convicted for rape of his wife. There are still, strangely enough, countries where the husband can't be convicted for raping his wife.
    Don't confuse higher numbers for larger amounts of rapists or moral panic, it might just be that we are doing more things right than you are.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:00PM (#34268738)
    He's done far less damage to the US war effort than Rumsfeld or even any of those contractors that are skimming taxpayers money off the top and not delivering what they were paid to do.
  • by tangent3 (449222) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:08PM (#34268874)

    I thought he was innocent too...

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:26PM (#34269168)

    The powers that be want Assange captured and made an example of.

    Then they're not going about it correctly.

    When all is said and done, the Swedish prosecutor wants to question Assange. Which is pretty much normal in any criminal investigation.

    Alas, Assange is not to be found. So he/she asks the Court to order him hauled in for questioning whenever and wherever he is found. Which is also pretty much normal in any criminal investigation.

    It's just awfully suspicious, especially since the first time they went after him for this another prosecutor stepped in and had the matter dropped.

    Of course, it's also possible that the prosecutor who had the matter dropped was the one with political motivations. Wonder why he's not busy telling his junior prosecutors to drop this now?

    In any case, noone is going to have a clue what the truth is till Assange turns himself in for questioning. Fleeing to another country tends to make one look more guilty rather than less, but answering questions with a lawyer present (which is the key here - don't talk to police or prosecutor without your lawyer present, guilty or innocent) won't do much to make you look more guilty unless, well, you're guilty....

  • Look...I'm in Sweden and I don't trust the Swedish Justice system on this matter. It may sound like what a conspiracy-theory nut would say, but the justice system around here breaks when the US is involved. Moreover, rape is absurdly loose in this country. You can have consensual sex with a girl, but she can still change her mind the next day and claim you "got her drunk" or "talked her into it". Personal responsibility pretty much goes flying out the door in such cases (precedents abound).

    To look at that another way, that's not "consensual sex," it's rape. And you're arguing for personal responsibility to go flying out the door, in that you're saying people shouldn't worry about making sure the other person is sober enough to consent or isn't intimidated or coerced.

    That's not rape in my book. I don't care what the law says, it is simply immoral to prosecute a man for rape on such bullshit.

    See? You believe that laws should be disregarded. No sense of personal responsibility.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @01:16PM (#34270030)

    "He talked her into it" is rape? How the hell are you not all extinct?

  • Re:set up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @01:20PM (#34270130) Journal

    Ah; and now for a classic manipulator trick;

    'You used a negative term for women about a particular woman.. that means you hate all women.'

    Yeah.. whatever. Fool

    That was actually quite a deliberate choice of words; it can be quite useful to use extreme language sometimes.. That is why expletives exist; to allow the free expression of strong emotion.

    'Been rejected by the prom queen' huh.. not everybody went through the US college education pantomime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:04PM (#34270908)

    "a site for people in oppressed countries to leak out information that their rulers would rather keep under wraps"

    That statement covers every country in the world. The people with money and power always have things to hide, as they fear loosing their money and power over others as others (just like them and really as ruthless as them) seek to take their money and power. (Ultimately because they want others to be less powerful than them). Also the act of seeking power over others is inherently the act of seeking to oppress others into following the wishes of the people in power. Therefore all their words are really to hide this core truth of their behavior, regardless of which political party they are in.

    Its why democracy partly works as it attempts to balance the competing sides against each other, preventing any one side from totally getting all their own way at the expense of everyone else. Unfortunately democracy totally fails when all the competing sides find some common ground ideas they share, where they all want the same thing. Which is exactly what we are getting with the moves towards ever more Police State levels of spying and control over us all, ultimately because everyone who seeks power over others, all wants the same thing, they all want power over others. Therefore they keep seeking more ways to gain power over others and they fear others like them getting these powers first.

    In such a world we need a way to monitor and feedback against governmental excesses which grow without limit, such as the increasing spying and control, so we need sites like Wikileaks to allow us all to see and so publically police the people in power to prevent them increasingly undermining democracy to create their increasingly totalitarian levels of control.

  • by guspasho (941623) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @03:16PM (#34272092)

    Also, the title is inaccurate. There is no court order, someone is just making a show of requesting one. Even Slashdot editors are useful tools.

  • by afabbro (33948) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @03:20PM (#34272142) Homepage

    Wow, the GP's wordplay joke just went right over your head, didn't it? You may wish to wipe the foam off your chin and reread.

  • Re:Smear campaign (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @04:06PM (#34272884)

    It evolved into a site that would accept leaks from anyone. It then turned into a site whose primary propose seems to be to embarrass the United States Government.

    Being what the united states government has been for the last 10 years, I'd be suspicious if wikileaks didn't have a whole section on it. The bush administration would baffle the people of nigeria for its corruption.

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