detention without charge

2011-08-14 Reports: Rudolf Elmer released from custody

Swiss online portal reports that Rudolf Elmer has been released from custody, quoting Swiss weekly Der Sonntag and Corinne Bouvard, the spokesperson of Zürich prosecutor's office, as sources. He is said to have left Winterthur prison on the 25th of July and to be on vacation in Greece. Bouvard refused to comment on whether the investigation was continuing.

Elmer had been held on remand without charge since the 19th of January, which grossly exceeds the average detention period of 56 days. He was arrested upon return from a London press conference, where he handed two CDs to Wikileaks' Julian Assange, claiming they contain evidence of tax evasion. In mid July, Elmer changed his story, stating these CDs were in fact empty. His detention was extended nonetheless.

Yesterday, German daily newspaper Süddeutsche published an article on an essay by Rudolf Elmer, which it had recently obtained. It was written over the past months, and Elmer was prevented from passing it on to others by the prosecutor. Elmer's lawyer refused to comment on whether Elmer was still in jail when the essay reached the newspaper.

In the essay, Elmer criticizes a new agreement between Germany and Switzerland on tax evaders, stating that it would only punish the middle and lower classes. The agreement, which is currently being ratified, is in effect an amnesty for Germans with Swiss bank accounts not declared to the German tax authorities.

2011-07-29 Lulzsec's Topiary and the Shetland Islands [Update]

On Wednesday the 27th of July the Metropolitan Police issued a press release stating that an 18 year old man had been arrested at a residential address on the Shetland Islands. The reason for his arrest is described as follows:

"He is believed to be linked to a continuing international investigation into the criminal activity of the so-called "hacktivist" groups Anonymous and LulzSec, and allegedly uses the online nickname "Topiary" which is presented as the spokesperson for the groups."

The release was quickly picked up by the international press, and various news outlets questioned whether the arrested person was indeed Topiary. Some even linked to a webpage containing a photograph and personal details of another person, who had been identified as Topiary by a rival hacker group. [WLCentral is not going to link to this page as it might contain defamatory information.]

The arrest was confirmed by Twitter user AnonymouSabu, an associate of Topiary, a short time later.

At the time of publication, the arrested person has not been charged, and is apparently still kept in custody at a London police station. This unusually long period of detention without charge prompted us to look deeper into the details surrounding his arrest.

From what has been publicly known, the only circumstantial evidence that the arrested person is indeed Topiary is that the last Tweet on the Lulzsec account appeared around the time of the arrest.

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