2010-12-07 Julian Assange arrested on Swedish warrant [Update 9]

The London Metropolitan Police has confirmed that Julian Assange was arrested this morning on behalf of the Swedish authorities, reports The Guardian: "Julian Assange, 39, was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant by appointment at a London police station at 9.30am."

The statement notes that he is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court today.

"As of last night Assange had still not been told of the full allegations against him, his lawyer Jennifer Robinson explained in a Guardian video to be released soon," notes The Guardian.

WL Central would like to ask all of our readers to support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. You can donate to WikiLeaks to help with legal costs, speak up in support, contact your elected representatives and ask them to uphold Julian Assange's rights, join a protest.

If Julian Assange can be silenced, so can every one of us. Stand up, speak up: for him, for yourself, for all of us. Before it's too late.

Update 1: Jennifer Robinson's video statement is now available on the Guardian site.

Update 2: Kristinn Hrafnsson told the Associated Press that Julian Assange's arrest is an attack on media freedom and that it won't prevent the organization from spilling secrets on the web.

The ITV's Keir Simmons said on Twitter that Julian Assange will appear in court at 2pm London time according to a court source.

Update 3: Supporters are planning a protest in front of the Westminster Magistrates' Court at 13:30: http://www.justiceforassange.com/ .Flashmob calls are going out on Twitter. Court address: Horseferry Road, SW1

Update 4: Mike Hitchen reported on Twitter that "Sydney Morning Herald human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson QC, has cut short his annual summer holiday in Sydney to represent Mr Assange."

Update 5: The Guardian reports that US Defense Secretary Gates, on a visit to Afghanistan, "smirked on hearing the news. 'I hadn't heard that, but that sounds like good news to me,' he said."

Update 6: Julian Assange will not consent to extradition to Sweden. From the court proceedings, Sky News' Neal Mann and The Guardian report that John Pilger, Ken Loach and Jemima Khan were all present to offer surety if Julian Assange is granted bail.

Update 7: The court has denied bail. Julian Assange will be remanded in custody till 14 December, according to reports from the court proceedings. "Surprising ruling coming after judge waxed long on lack of evidence," noted Heather Brooke on Twitter. The Times' Sean O'Neill tweeted that "Assange refused bail because of nomadic life, refusal to give address and no record of his entry to the UK"

Update 8: Crikey reports on Twitter that the three "sexual integrity" charges are "one unsafe sex, one sex while sleeping, one uninvited tackle rub." (Emphasis ours. Please do read that again.) "The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner," reported the Press Association (via The Guardian), referring to statements by Gemma Lindfield on behalf of the Swedish authorities.

John Pilger made a few statements to the media present at the court. AFP reports: "Mr Pilger says the rape allegations against Assange are 'absurd' and if Assange goes to Sweden he will enter a 'chaotic legal system'. "Anyone who looks thorugh the details of the case in Sweden will see that this is an innocent man ... and he has done some extraordinary journalism on behalf of all of us," Mr Pilger said."

Update 9: The Guardian reports: "We are in the rather exotic position of not seeing any of the evidence against him [Assange]," the WikiLeaks founder's lawyer, Mark Stephens, has said. "This is going to go viral," he added. Many people believe these charges are politically motivated, he said.

Assange could have been safely released today, Stephens told reporters. These allegations are very thin indeed, he said. He confirmed that further bail applications will be made. Stephens claimed that Assange will be vindicated."

Mark Stephens added that a renewed bail application will be made: "We have heard the judge today say that he wishes to see the evidence himself. He was impressed by the fact that a number of people were prepared to stand up on behalf of Mr Assange. In those circumstances I think we will see another bail application."

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