"The DA Notice system is a voluntary code that provides guidance to the British media on the publication or broadcasting of national security information," says the official DA-N website, http://www.dnotice.org.uk/.
DA-Notices however are not binding. According to the official website, "The system is voluntary, it has no legal authority and the final responsibility for deciding whether or not to publish rests solely with the editor or publisher concerned."
Update 1: Andrew Vallance, Secretary of The Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee has confirmed the DA-Notice issuance to NRK.
Update 2: Alan Rusbridger, Editor in Chief of The Guardian, posted his reaction on Twitter: "Puzzled by DA Notice re #wikileaks. Overwhelming majority of t stuff not covered. "Safety + security of Brits" nothing to do w DNotice"
Update 3: Index on Censorship reacts to the DA-Notice issuance: UK issues DA-notices as US briefs allies on fresh leak.
Update 4: Guido Fawkes has published the content of the DA-Notice here.
Update 5: The Guardian's political editor Patrick Wintour on the DA-Notice: Expected WikiLeaks disclosures prompt Downing Street warning for editors. The article also quotes Alan Rusbridger as saying, "I appreciate why the DA notice might make people anxious. But, from my reading of the WikiLeaks material, only a tiny part of it is covered or relevant."
Update 6: The international media is picking up on the DA-Notice story. Die Zeit titled its report British government asks media to self-censor. CBC noted that U.K. government wants WikiLeaks media briefing.
Radio Free Europe: WikiLeaks And Its Brave New World
"The imminent new WikiLeaks expose promises to be especially revelatory because, simply put, the Americans have dirt on everyone. Assange and company's logic is as elegant as it's unsettling: by revealing the secrets of the world's leading superpower, the secrets of the world -- namely, the all-too-often dirty web of interconnections between governments, corporations, intelligence and media agencies, and key personalities -- are also revealed.
There are potential lessons here, some likely old, some hopefully new, and all doubtlessly very unhappy, about the nature of power and what it really means to be an "international community." So, it's noteworthy that WikiLeaks recently tweeted, "In the coming months we will see a new world, where global history is redefined." Perhaps this isn't just hyperbole after all."
JTurn: Next Up: The “War on Journalism”?
Jonathan Lundqvist writes an analysis of war in the 21st century, the relationship between the media and the military, the internet as a new domain for warfare and the role of WikiLeaks and the free press:
"Pentagon, with its newly founded US Cyber Command, is going all-in against an undefined enemy, with fear-mongers on the sidelines crying for blood. The state of the world being as it is, the question is if WikiLeaks is going to be the first victim of this new offensive force.[...]
WikiLeaks crushed, with a few swift blows, the information monopoly of the military. “Truth”, says Julian Assange, the site’s founder and iconic spokesperson, “is the first casualty of war”, repeating a truism that is rarely backed up with hard evidence. Going through the material, the cliché was proven. Not only did the documents show many things that were never reported, but it also showed outright lies and distortions.
With a very broad definition of security, the free press will be at stake. It goes without saying that exposing certain truths about how we wage wars; on the justifications or actions of troops, is a security problem for the military – and the long run, also for society. But, wait, why if so, do democracies have a free press?"
Bloomberg: Italy Says WikiLeaks Reports on U.S. May Harm Nation
"Italy’s government said “classified reports” on U.S. foreign relations expected to be published by the website Wikileaks.org may harm the country as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi fights for his political survival.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said during a Cabinet meeting in Rome today that the documents may have “negative repercussions” on Italy, according to an e-mailed statement from Berlusconi’s office."
The Age: Tensions rise as WikiLeaks release nears
"Speculation last night that WikiLeaks may reveal clandestine US support for terrorism had US embassies across the globe scrambling to limit damage ahead of the latest threatened release of US government documents by the whistleblowing website.
According to the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat, several documents show that the US had in turn been providing assistance to Turkey's Kurdish separatist movement, the PKK."
AFP: US slams WikiLeaks ahead of latest release
"Washington's envoy to Iraq condemned WikiLeaks as 'absolutely awful' Friday as world capitals braced for the looming release of some three million sensitive diplomatic cables by the whistleblower website.
The latest tranche of documents, the third since WikiLeaks published 77,000 classified US files on the Afghan conflict in July, have spurred Washington to warn both Turkey and Israel of the embarrassment they could cause, and American diplomats have also briefed officials in London, Oslo and Copenhagen."
IOL: WikiLeaks docs may hurt US-Russia ties
"The documents include recordings of US diplomats' conversations with Russian politicians, assessments of Russia's most notable events, and analyses of what is happening in the country and in its domestic and foreign politics," according to Kommersant.
Aftonbladet: Sverige varnat inför WikiLeaksavslöjanden
"The United States has warned Sweden to WikiLeaks future revelations. 'Yes, we can confirm that discussions have occurred,' said Henrik Knobe from the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
It remains unclear what the documents that WikiLeaks will release contain, but the U.S. is currently trying to minimize the damage by contacting countries around the world."
De Volksrant: VS waarschuwt Nederland om inhoud WikiLeaks
"The United States has warned the Netherlands that new documents are to be published on the whistleblower website WikiLeaks in the coming days, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal (VVD) on Friday."
Die Zeit: USA kontaktieren vorsorglich ihre Bündnispartner
"The German Foreign Ministry would not confirm or deny such contact on Friday. Andreas Peschke, spokesman at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, responded to journalists: 'I will not single out aspects of the wide-ranging discussions with our American partners.'"
AFP: US contacts Turkey over WikiLeaks files: diplomat
"The United States has been in contact with Turkey over new files to be released on the Internet by WikiLeaks, Turkish officials said Friday, stressing Ankara's commitment to fighting terrorism."
World Dawn: WikiLeaks plans to release 94 papers about Pakistan
"WikiLeaks is expected to put 94 documents about Pakistan on its website this weekend, diplomatic sources told Dawn. The documents mainly contain telegrams sent by the US Embassy in Islamabad to the State Department in Washington.
Some of these papers relate to US observations about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan, the debate within Pakistan on the war against terror, Islamabad’s cooperation with Washington and other military and intelligence matters."
The Telegraph: WikiLeaks: US diplomats predicted Coalition would fail
"Sources revealed that the documents include commentary on the likely fate of the Coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Transmitted in the early days of the Coalition, the messages are understood to predict that the Government was likely to prove ineffective and short-lived, ultimately doomed by tensions between Tories and Lib Dems.
Earlier messages about the previous Government could prove at least as embarrassing for Mr Brown."
AP: Clinton talks to China about WikiLeaks release
"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday spoke with the Chinese government about the expected release of classified cables by the WikiLeaks website.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed Friday evening that Clinton spoke by phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. He did not provide details."
Reuters: WikiLeaks must stop "dangerous" leaks: military
"I would hope that those who are responsible for this would, at some point in time, think about the responsibility that they have for lives that they're exposing and the potential that's there and stop leaking this information," Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS due to air Sunday.
This is not the first time Adm. Mullen has made this claim. The allegation that "WikiLeaks has blood on its hands" has been made both at the time of the Afghanistan war diaries release, and the Iraq war logs release. It has been disproven by facts both times, and the military top brass finally admitted it. Please see our article on the topic: Debunked: "WikiLeaks Has Blood on Its Hands".
The United States has been briefing foreign governments on the content of an expected upcoming WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables, in an apparent attempt at preemptive damage control:
Sydney Morning Herald: US briefs Canberra on secret files
"Australia has been briefed by the US on the imminent release by WikiLeaks of a huge tranche of diplomatic cables that sources say contain allegations of corruption and embarrassing behaviour by politicians worldwide."
The Globe and Mail: U.S. warns Ottawa about fallout from pending WikiLeaks release
"The U.S. government has notified Ottawa that the WikiLeaks website is preparing to release sensitive U.S. diplomatic files that could damage American relations with allies around the world.
U.S. officials say the documents may contain accounts of compromising conversations with political dissidents and friendly politicians as well as activities that could result in the expulsion of U.S. diplomats from foreign postings."
Sky News: Washington Braced For Millions Of Leaks
"US embassies around the world are contacting allies, as Washington braces itself for the leak of millions of diplomatic documents.[...] Sky News understands the US ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman, has been seen going into Downing Street and the Foreign Office for what one source called 'contingency planning'."
NRK: USA advarer om nytt WikiLeaks-slipp fredag
"We have received today a general briefing from the American embassy to the effect that WikiLeaks has announced that they will post new documents tomorrow," writes Martin Lerberg Kopstad, spokesman at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an e-mail to nrk.no.
Politiken: USA advarer Danmark om ny WikiLeaks-læk
"'The Foreign Ministry has been contacted by the United States on WikiLeaks' forthcoming publication. We can not go into details on the content of the conversation,' the Foreign Ministry told politiken.dk.
The reason that Denmark is briefed by the Americans is that the next leak can be very embarrassing not only for the U.S. but also the Danish and many other governments around the world."
Ha'aretz: Israel, U.S. tense as WikiLeaks sets to release classified bilateral communiqués
"The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv has informed the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks was planning on releasing hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic cables, some of which might deal with Israel-America relations."
CBC: WikiLeaks: Should sensitive diplomatic files be released?
CBC put the question to a reader vote. Over 85% voted "yes" as of the time of this update.
Politiken: Enhedslisten: WikiLeaks-stifter skal bo i København
In other news, Denmark's Unity alliance would like to extend Julian Assange an invitation to live in Copenhagen, reports Politiken: "WikiLeaks is fighting a brave fight for freedom of expression. And they are under immense pressure from the world's warring nations. If we are serious about being a Refuge Network, sending an invitation to Julian Assange would be an obvious step." Copenhagen's Refuge Network System has as its objective to protect persecuted writers.
Bloomberg: Pentagon Warns House, Senate Defense Panels of More WikiLeaks Documents
Tony Capaccio writes that "The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website WikiLeaks.org “intends to release several hundred thousand” classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26," in conjunction with The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel.
More on the same topic:
Wired: WikiLeaks Diplomatic Cable Dump Reportedly Imminent
Reuters: Exclusive: Corruption charges to feature in WikiLeaks release
BBC: WikiLeaks release a 'risk to lives and US security'
The Guardian: Congress warned of harm from WikiLeaks release
International Zeitschrift: Casualties of War: Including Civilians, Truth, and the Rule of Law
University of British Columbia law professor Ian Townsend-Gault writes a remarkable analysis piece on the political underpinnings of the Iraq invasion, the WikiLeaks revelations, and the folly of nations at war. "While conflict-weariness is understandable, and indeed continues through the engagement in Afghanistan, there is a risk of some of the important lessons arising from the debacle being lost. More than this: these lessons are not new, not one of them. They have been learnt painfully before, and then apparently forgotten. [...] In the final analysis, I have no sympathy for those who decry the leaking of documents because they show "our boys" in a bad light. If people in uniform have behaved less than well, and manifestly contrary to their own human instincts, then society must ponder the reasons why they are where they are, and the collective responsibility it bears for this."
Menos 25: Lluís Bassets: “El periodismo en papel, como negocio a gran escala, dentro de diez años no existirá”
Lluís Bassets, deputy director of El País, thinks that WikiLeaks is "a phenomenon that, to me, overall, is positive. I want to say that at the start. I think it is great news for journalism that, in a time when there have been great difficulties in journalism, and strong instincts of self-censorship and censorship, such a phenomenon appears that bursts the seams. This is very good. What concerns me is that I can not know as much about WikiLeaks as WikiLeaks knows of everything else. What WikiLeaks is proposing is another revolution that affects not only journalism, but it affects classified and secret information, the secret services, military information... Now, for those responsible for this information, which is the military, this is very troubling, and raises security problems. [...] As a journalist, it is a great event of enormous value, which widens the margins of transparency and freedom, and that is good."
Uptown Almanac: More WikiLeaks Street Art Going Up on Valencia
Kevin Montgomery reports that the street artist known as "Sandwich" created a new display from "Collateral Murder" video stills and an overlaid Halo 2 interface (photos included below). This follows a previous street poster featuring Julian Assange and Notorious B.I.G.'s "If you don't know, now you know" lyrics.
The Svea Court of Appeals requested prosecutor Marianne Ny to provide additional information today. There has been no announcement yet as to whether a decision will be made today in the appeal case.
Update 1: Expressen reports that the court has reached a decision at 15:00 local time, but it will need to be written and published.
Update 2: Svea Court of Appeals decided to uphold the warrant issued by the Stockholm District Court. However, the charges have been downgraded.
Update 3: Björn Hurtig tells Aftonbladet that he will take the case to the Supreme Court.
In further reactions to the case, Marcus Fridholm at Sagor från livbåten argues that the Sweden justice system needs significant reform in an article highly critical of the "legal circus" around the case.
Expressen has obtained part of the declassified legal brief filed for the appeal.
The Sweden justice system has failed, again, to provide actual justice. Now more than ever, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks need our support. This fight is not over.
The Telegraph: WikiLeaks release: Timeline of the key WikiLeaks revelations
The Telegraph's John Swaine looks at nine WikiLeaks releases, including the Guantanamo Bay operating procedures, the BNP membership list, the Trafigura report, 'Climategate' emails, war logs and more.
El Mundo: El destape en periodismo
Hernan Mira on investigative journalism and why WikiLeaks provides a much needed service: "The indignation at the [Iraq] leaks is not the most relevant issue, points out journalist Enrique Valiente, with whom I agree. What is absurd is to minimize the facts revealed. The kind of journalism that makes public the behavior of governments is very important. Access to information and transparency are essential to a free society. It is as if people had allowed torture and murder to "put on a form of suicide, which is the suicide of one's values," said Valiente."
The Voice of Russia: WikiLeaks, Part 2: Extracts of GI reports
Ignat Kulagin's second installment looking at cases from the Iraq War Logs delves into civilian death incidents. "It’s not hard to hide information about civilian losses during wartime. It is enough just to lay blame on insurgents. In fact, this gets two birds with one stone: you reaffirm the righteous path of the war machine, both with the local civilians and the world community, all the while “cleaning up” the statistics, since soldiers are penalized for civilian casualties."
Upcoming release coverage
The international press has picked up quickly on the WikiLeaks statements on Twitter about their upcoming release, prompting massive speculation about the nature and subject of the release, and sometimes making assumptions presented as fact. While we have listed a few articles on the topic in previous posts here and here, please find below some additional references:
USA Today: WikiLeaks says next release will be 7 times larger than Iraq war logs
TIME: WikiLeaks: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
CTV: WikiLeaks says next leak 7 times size of Iraq files
Sydney Morning Herald: WikiLeaks to drop another bombshell
Antiwar News: WikiLeaks Promises ‘Seven Times Bigger’ Leak
Truthdig: WikiLeaks Promises Biggest-Ever Leak
Nouvel Observateur: WikiLeaks annonce la publication "dans les prochains mois" de nouveaux documents
France 24: WikiLeaks promet de nouvelles révélations fracassantes
El País: WikiLeaks anuncia que publicará nuevos documentos en los próximos meses
El Universal: WikiLeaks advierte que próxima filtración será siete veces mayor que la de Irak
La Tercera: WikiLeaks anuncia nueva difusión masiva de documentos secretos
Netzwoche: WikiLeaks will die Geschichte neu schreiben
Netzwelt: WikiLeaks: Veröffentlichung von 2,8 Millionen Dokumenten geplant (Update)
While yesterday the Swedish press publicised a DN story erroneously reporting that WikiLeaks had moved all its servers out of Sweden (much to the surprise of WL's current Swedish ISP, Bahnhof), and then had to recant it (e.g.: Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet), WikiLeaks' Twitter announcement earlier today of its upcoming release prompted another round of conjecture:
The Daily Mail titled its report WikiLeaks set to release new Iraq war logs 'seven times bigger than the first', while CNN stated in its article that "WikiLeaks indicated Monday that it is preparing to release a new batch of previously classified U.S. military documents." The Telegraph titled its report WikiLeaks to release three million secret US documents.
The WikiLeaks statements in no way indicated that the new release is related to either Iraq or US classified military documents. You can verify this directly here and here. While it is not impossible that the release may be related to those subjects, this is all the information currently available. We would like to remind the reader to check the sources whenever possible.
"There is nothing new in this world other than the history that you don't know yet," Julian Assange once said. In the coming months, significant parts of this missing history are set to come to light.
Earlier today, WikiLeaks released the following two statements on Twitter:
There is a time to stay on the sidelines, and a time to get involved. There is a time to watch history being made, and a time to be a part of it. Please support WikiLeaks financially, or consider some other ways to help.
Breaking news coverage:
AFP: WikiLeaks says next leak 7 times larger than Iraq logs
Computer World: WikiLeaks promises release 7 times bigger than Iraq War Logs
Mashable: WikiLeaks Announces Release 7x the Size of the Iraq War Logs
THINQ: WikiLeaks: next leak seven times bigger than Iraq. Promises to redefine global history
Express: WikiLeaks promet une publication sept fois plus volumineuse que sur l'Irak
La Dernière Heure: WikiLeaks sort la grosse artillerie
OWNI: [Live] WikiLeaks annonce une nouvelle fuite et un “monde nouveau”
Court set to decide on warrant appeal today [Delayed]
Realtid and Expressen report that the Svea Court of Appeals will rule today on the appeal filed by Julian Assange's lawyers against the arrest warrant issued by the Stockhold District Court. The decision is expected to be made public in the afternoon.
Attorney Mark Stephens told Expressen that even if the warrant is upheld, it will take at least five working days, and up to fifteen, until the warrant is communicated to local authorities, at which point its validity will be determined.
Update: No decision was reached today in the appeal case. The Svea Appeals Court said it needed more evidence, and called the prosecution to testify on Wednesday, according to Svenska Dagbladet. Attorney Björn Hurtig called it an unusual development, but noted that he interpreted it as a positive sign.
Financial Times: Warrant for WikiLeaks founder condemned
"Mark Stephens, a UK-based lawyer for Mr Assange, accused Swedish prosecutors of an “ambush” after ignoring his client’s offers to co-operate. “I’ve worked with third world countries and authoritarian regimes where there has been more of an attempt at a fair process,” he told the Financial Times."
LA Progressive: Swedish Justice on Trial in WikiLeaks Case
Tom Hayden, author and former California state senator, writes: "The silencing of WikiLeaks will deny people around the world, including the American people, vital information about secret operations by US forces, which have resulted in higher civilian casualties than previously reported. [...]
A network of whistleblowers in the US, including Daniel Ellsberg, and noted civil liberties firms, are exploring ways to defend Assange against extradition. But the first line of defense will likely be in Sweden, where the state’s core identity could be on trial."
Tercera Informacion: Continúa la persecución contra el fundador de WikiLeaks
"De hecho el caso fue cerrado hace unas semanas por la falta de fundamento y las contradicciones en las declaraciones de las mujeres, además de que no existen pruebas que demuestren los cargos de los que se le acusa al australiano.
Sin embargo, coincidiendo con la nueva filtración de WikiLeaks, un grupo de fiscales suecos reabrieron el caso y ahora el Tribunal de Justicia del Distrito de Estocolmo ha emitido una orden de búsqueda y captura contra Julian Assange, conocido como el "Che Guevara de internet"."
Pravda: Aussie man Assange and Swedish sex scandal
"Here is a question: Did the Australian really commit unlawful acts, or was it a setup of the U.S. intelligence services? Harassment by the CIA is quite possible. The creator of WikiLeaks caused the United States too much trouble, and the image of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that was tarnished already, became even worse. The Americans did have the grounds for revenge. Assange could have been purposely sent well trained girls recruited by the CIA, who then slandered him."
Reader Supported News is hosting a new petition in support of Julian Assange, reading as follows:
"We here undersigned express our support for the work and integrity of Julian Assange. We express concern that the charges against the WikiLeaks founder appear too convenient both in terms of timing and the novelty of their nature.
We call for this modern media innovator, and fighter for human rights extraordinaire, to be afforded the same rights to defend himself before Swedish justice that all others similarly charged might expect, and that his liberty not be compromised as a courtesy to those governments whose truths he has revealed have embarrassed.
In earnest support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange:"
Please join us in signing the petition here: http://www.readersupportednews.org/julian-assange-petition
Financial Express: In Search of Truth
Shamsher Chowdhury writes in the FE editorial: "Since the beginning of the modern-day civilization one of the most frequently made statements by politicians and civil society members alike has been, "Truth shall prevail". But to be truthful, for decades now, truth has been a major victim in all societies of the East and the West, including that of Bangladesh. But in recent years the lone superpower exceeded them all. Recall the extensive lies and twisting of facts that it resorted to prior to the invasion of Iraq. One might, however, say now that the truth has finally prevailed with the exposition of the facts from the originally recorded US files on Iraq by WikiLeaks."
The Voice of Russia: WikiLeaks, Part 1. Full-blown protection
Ignat Kulagin looks at one of the cases disclosed in the Iraq War Logs: "As part of its propaganda campaign, the Pentagon frequently showed images of surrendering insurgents on Iraqi TV. The spin was thus – they come to us and say: “I want to give my country freedom, but terrorists just get in the way of the establishment of an Iraqi democracy, so I’m going to be on the side of the US”. Yet the reported instances, where insurgents are ready to lay down their guns but are still shot at, don’t get any news coverage."
ABC (Paraguay): WikiLeaks: ¿qué importa al periodismo?
"WikiLeaks has been enshrined as one of the sites with the most relevant documents internationally. Among its contents are confidential information about the war in Iraq and others that the United States would have preferred not to come to light. Today, the site, which does not even need advertising to survive, is a great source for the media.[...]
Paraguayan journalist Eduardo Quintana, from the international desk of ABC Color, said: "The phenomenon is WikiLeaks is for journalism a bucket of cold water and a challenge at the same time. The portal should serve as an example for journalism because, thanks to their findings, not only can international politics be laid bare, but they affect several governments as well. They also demonstrate that there is still news to tell the world (...) They help us to rethink, as journalists, politicians and citizens, the line between freedom of expression and security."
Arab News: A Different War
"Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, is being framed with multiple charges with the motive of silencing him. [...] There is an all out war going on against this fearless whistleblower by the affected parties and the question is who will come to his rescue and how powerful the pressure is? We have heard of “war on terror” but this is “war on one who exposes crimes”.
The Voice of Russia: WikiLeaks case – state interests or democratic values?
According to Alexander Perendzhiyev, Deputy Chairman of the Association of military political analysts, it is unlikely that the charges against Assange are coincidence. Before the scandalous publication [of the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs] there had been no accusations against the journalist.
"I am confident that the US administration is making pressure on the founder of the website. In this case even the great American democracy shows that the interests of the state are placed above the proclaimed common democratic values. The publication and the prosecution are definitely linked. He was not accused of anything before the publication. Secondly, there had been statements already that the actions of Assange threaten the national security of the US."
IT Wire: Assange pokes tiger, tiger pokes back
Julian Assange has done a lot to annoy authorities through his website WikiLeaks. Aside from all the commercial information that a variety of companies would have preferred wasn't released, there was the "Collateral Murder" and the more recent "Iraq War Logs".
All of this way well be seen as 'tiger poking' by many authorities. With the latest news, it seems the tigers are starting to poke back.
Channel 4: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to fight order for arrest
Channel 4 has an interview with Julian Assange's British counsel Mark Stephens. He called the arrest warrant "bizarre and exotic" and C4 noted that "the prosecutor has not yet given Mr Assange details of the allegations against him, nor the evidence. He said Mr Assange has repeatedly asked to meet her and face police questioning.": "It makes it nigh on impossible to answer her. It is highly irregular. I have never seen this happen before. [...] She is deliberately poisoning the media well."
"Mr Stephens, a partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, said Ms Ny's "cynical ploy" is in breach of Swedish laws. "The co-counsel was not even told what the allegations were until they stood up in court yesterday," he added."
OWNI: L’avocat d’Assange dénonce une procédure “illégale”
The OWNI team are live-blogging the events and are following up on their own research. On contacting the Interpol today, they were told that: "We cannot provide more details, as the Swedish Interpol division did not give the General Secretariat the green light to make public the notice in question. Also, Interpol Sweden will not be able to provide this authorization unless the prosecutor general authorizes such an initiative."
They have also spoken with Mark Stephens, who said (translated from French): "The prosecutor is in complete breach of Swedish laws, European laws, international laws and even British laws: she has completely failed in her duties. Until now, she has not given my client a single document, and he had no knowledge of the plaintiffs' names until yesterday, when the complaint was presented to the court. The prosecutor had not informed us. The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights obligates her however to communicate to my client, in a language he understands, the nature of the accusations and evidence against him."
OWNI has also contacted the Pentagon, whose spokesperson Maj. Christopher Perrine declared: "I don't think it would appropriate for us to comment on a decision of the Swedish justice system, internal by nature."
OWNI remarked on Twitter that while Julian Assange is sought as a private person, the Interpol is looking for "the founder of WikiLeaks."
Attorney Mark Stephens tells AFP that Julian Assange intends to challenge the Swedish ruling, Björn Hurtig files appeal in Sweden, and the prosecution is up to more shenanigans:
AFP / ABC News:
"Stephens told AFP the decision by the court in Stockholm was "still a little premature because the Swedish process hasn't finished its course -- there are still appeals (to be made) in Sweden." [...] Stephens blasted the Swedish prosecutor, saying that Thursday's hearing was the first time Assange's lawyers had heard the full details of the charges since the allegations were made public in August."
SvD carries a similar story referring to Mark Stephens's statement. It also quotes Julian Assange's Swedish attorney Björn Hurtig saying that "There is no right to detain someone just because you want to interview that person whenever you want," and that he had just now been given access to the dossier for the first time.
SvD also carries a surprising statement by prosecutor Marianne Ny that Julian Assange "had been charged in absentia since the end of September," but she has "no further comments." If the prosecution office's timing of their case updates was already highly suspect, this makes it rather clear that a plan had been in place all along.
"Ny refuses to explain why she didn't take Assange up on previous offers from the WikiLeaks founder, why she has such blatant disregard for international law, who is pulling her strings, or if it's accepted praxis in Sweden to invite people to meetings with international arrest orders when they've already tried to meet you and you're the one always refusing."
In the meantime, the prosecutor's office is playing games again, saying they "will not announce the exact date for the international arrest warrant for Julian Assange, nor which other measures will be taken." The statement was available here, but has in the meantime mysteriously disappeared. Cryptome has the screenshots. (Thanks to @_anachronisme for pointing that out.)
Marianne Ny was also interviewed by SVT, where she avoided answering whether there are any new facts in the case that prompted this action. Please see the English transcript here. Link to original video included in the post.
Björn Hurtig tells AFP he has filed an appeal against the warrant. An appelate court will be expected to make a decision relatively quickly.
Reactions are starting to come in with regards to the international arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange earlier today in Sweden:
Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship chief executive John Kampfner said: “While we cannot comment on the specifics of the case, we are extremely concerned at the apparent conduct of the investigators. Anyone concerned about free speech and human rights will be alarmed at any suggestion that the allegations against Mr Assange are being manipulated for political purposes.”
Death and Taxes: The Assassination of Julian Assange?
Alex Moore writes: "Will this “character assassination” once again stand in for actual assassination? If Assange is indeed convicted of rape, will we ever really know for sure that the evidence against him is credible? Every sovereign government clearly has a motive to silence Assange, which makes a fair trial a problematic proposition."
All Voices: Can Sweden Be Believed On WikiLeaks Assange Rape Accusations?
Robert Weller writes: "Now that it is known that the U.S. had advised Sweden of planned surveillance Stockholm recently claimed was conducted without their knowledge, it raises more questions about the handling of the WikiLeaks case. The same government is now saying it didn’t know Julian Assange had offered to be interviewed on allegations of rape and sexual molestation, even though the offers were made publicly and frequently immediately after the claims first were leaked nearly three months ago."
The Swedish prosecutor's office issued this morning a request for a court order to detain Julian Assange for questioning regarding the allegations made against him in August by two Swedish women. The hearing on the detention request will take place today at 2pm, Stockholm time.
Prosecutor's office statement (Swedish): http://www.aklagare.se/Media/Nyheter/Assange-begard-haktad-i-sin-franvaro/
English version: http://www.aklagare.se/In-English/
Anyone paying the slightest attention to this case will come to the same conclusions that we did: this is nothing but a dirty, underhanded smear campaign. Please read the reports linked above to see for yourself.
Those following the case will also have noticed that the Swedish prosecution authority has the uncanny ability to issue updates on the case to coincide with every significant event involving WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The fact that they decided to pick this timing to coincide with the upcoming EU-US Lisbon summit this week, where European Parliament members have announced they will raise the torture and abuse issues revealed by WikiLeaks in the Iraq War Logs, is one more in a string of highly unlikely "coincidences."
We at WL Central stand by Julian Assange and we ask you to do the same. Please spread the information we have collected and let the world know what the truth about this case really is. If you support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the time to show that support is now.
Update 1: Julian Assange's attorney, Björn Hurtig, tells SvD that he believes the request for the court order is disproportionate and that there is little evidence supporting a warrant. He called the prosecution's case "thin."
Update 2: Björn Hurtig tells VG Nett that Julian Assange has no immediate plans to return to Sweden.
Update 3: Statement by Julian Assange's counsel Mark Stephens, at 1pm: http://wlcentral.org/node/222
The reason stated by Marianne Ny for requesting the arrest warrant is that "we need to interrogate him. So far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations."
However, as those who have followed the case remember, and as Mark Stephens's statement notes, this is yet another falsehood: "Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he did."
Update 4: WikiLeaks issued a staff editorial under the title "Why our editor-in-chief is busy and needs to be defended", a Letter from Swedish Counsel Bjorn Hurtig to English co-Counsel for Julian Assange and a Press Release by Counsel for Julian Assange.
Update 5: SvD and Expressen confirm that an international arrest warrant will be issued by the Stockholm District Court. The Swedish prosecutor's office has also updated its statment: English, Swedish. Prosecutor Marianne Ny can be reached at +46 31-739-41-04.
From the prosecutor's office statement: "Due to the ongoing investigation and the parties involved, the prosecutor cannot at the moment give more information concerning the suspicions or which investigation matters have been conducted." So then on what basis, exactly, is an arrest warrant being issued?
Breaking news coverage:
SvD: Julian Assange begärs häktad
Aftonbladet: Julian Assange begärs häktad
SVT: WikiLeaks grundare begärs häktad
VG Nett: Vil etterlyse WikiLeaks-gründer internasjonalt
Helsingborgs Dagblad: Julian Assange begärs häktad
The Guardian: WikiLeaks founder faces Swedish detention
ABC News (Australia): Arrest ordered for WikiLeaks founder
SvD: Julian Assange kommer att efterlysas
Expressen: Assange häktad i sin utevaro
Deutsche Welle: Swedish court orders arrest of WikiLeaks founder
ORF: Staatsanwältin will Vernehmung
Nouvel Observateur: La justice suédoise va lancer un mandat d'arrêt international contre le fondateur de WikiLeaks
Note Neither Mr. Assange nor Counsel, nor WikiLeaks have ever received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against our editor.
From: Björn Hurtig
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:43 PM
Subject: SV: Our client
Enclosed You will find a copy of the documents that I have would like to send to the prosecutor. I have not been able to have the document translated in detail, but I will now tell You the most important things in it.
First of all I comment the ongoing investigation and tell the prosecutor that I have asked her several times that they should hear my client so that we can be aware of the accusations. They have said no to this initially (and by this I mean for several weeks). Furthermore I remind her that I several times have asked her to give me the evidence in the case. She has said no to this also. I then tell her that I have asked my questions informally and in writing and tell her about a formal request that I made 14 of September 2010. This formal request has not yet been formally answered, which I find to be a breach of Swedish law (23:18 Rättegångsbalken). I also tell her that Sweden has not followed art 6:3 of The European Convention of the 4 november 1950, because Julian has not been informed of the accusation in detail and in his own language. Neither has he been informed of the documents in the case in his own language. This is an incorrect behavior.
LONDON, 2pm Thursday November 18, 2010 (via @wikileaks)
Mark Stephens of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent said today, “On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.
Thursday November 18, 2010
STAFF EDITORIAL (via @wikileaks)
In October 2010 Julian Assange won the Sam Adams Award for Integrity. He has also been awarded the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award and the Economist Index on Censorship Award in 2008. It is important to remember that accolades such as these do not come without tremendous hard work.
The expose of the Afghan War Diaries was a moment of media history, orchestrated by Julian Assange. He brought together The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel, three of the world’s most reputable newspapers to collaborate with WikiLeaks on exposing more than 90 000 secret significant action reports by the United States relating to the war in Afghanistan. This involved a huge amount of administration in order to co-ordinate all four media partners’ publishing schedules and a lot of time to carefully construct the levels of trust needed to bring together three major newspapers who were also competitors.
Since 2007 Julian, WikiLeaks and the Sunshine Press have been behind international front page stories that have changed the world. However, every story exposing abuses by powerful organizations, whether they be from New York or Nairobi results in a counter attack. Such the importance and veracity of revelations must be defended. Immediately after the Afghan War Diaries he conducted seventy-six interviews in three days maximizing the impact of the disclosures. It is very important for WikiLeaks to create a global platform with which to reach all corners of the earth. This demonstrates to those who wish to expose wrongdoing and misconduct that there is a way to do so without putting themselves at risk. He remains a messenger who big governments and their agencies can, and constantly do, attack while all the time keeping the source of the information published safe.
Finers Stephens Innocent http://www.fsilaw.com
LONDON, 1pm Thursday November 18, 2010 (via @wikileaks)
On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.
However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported “the basis for the rape charge” purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.
The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no “reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The “rape” story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.
Eva Finne’s decision to drop the “rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.