2010-11-25 WikiLeaks in today's media [Update 1]

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."
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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."
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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'."
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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
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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

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."
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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."
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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.
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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.
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2010-11-24 WikiLeaks in today's media [Update 2]

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 “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.
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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."
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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."
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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.
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2010-11-24 Updates in Sweden appeal case [Update 3]

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.

2010-11-18 WikiLeaks staff editorial: Why our editor-in-chief is busy and needs to be defended

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 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.

2010-11-23 WikiLeaks in today's media

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.
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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."
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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."
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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)

2010-11-22 Media watch: Why source verification matters

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.

2010-11-22 History in the making

"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:

  • @wikileaks
    The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined. Keep us strong:
  • @wikileaks
    Next release is 7x the size of the Iraq War Logs. intense pressure over it for months. Keep us strong:

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
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”

2010-11-22 Further updates in Swedish case [Update 3]

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.

Reactions, continued:

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."
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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."
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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"."
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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."
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2010-11-21 RSN petition in support of Julian Assange

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:

Archive - 2010-09 (September 2010)

Archive - 2010-08 (August 2010)

Archive - 2010-07 (July 2010)

Archive - 2010-05 (May 2010)

Coverage and web record in May:

Archive - 2010-06 (June 2010)

Coverage in June:

Archive - 2010-04 (April 2010)

Coverage in April:

2010-11-20 WikiLeaks in today's media [Update 1]

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."
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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."
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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."
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2010-11-20 The persecution of Julian Assange: reactions, Part 2

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”.
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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."
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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.
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2010-11-20 Updates in Swedish case

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."
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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."

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2010-11-19 Julian Assange to appeal Swedish arrest ruling [Update 4]

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."
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Svenska Dagbladet

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.
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"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."
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Prosecution update:

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.

Le Monde

Björn Hurtig tells AFP he has filed an appeal against the warrant. An appelate court will be expected to make a decision relatively quickly.
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