I can’t imagine the late Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson would have dared have Lisbeth Salander kick a hornet’s nest as hard as Julian Assange has with his death-defying (so far) revelations of the U.S. government’s foreign “diplomacy.” Neither can I imagine Larsson coming up with such a ridiculous plot element as Assange’s arrest for failure to use a condom. This is definitely in the “truth is stranger than fiction” category, and it has captured the world’s attention just as The Millennium Trilogy did. The latest from the Guardian, which seems to have become the leading authority on all things WikiLeaks:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was today refused bail and remanded in custody until 14 December over claims he committed sex offences in Sweden.
Assange told City of Westminster magistrates court today that he intended to fight his extradition, setting up what could be a long legal battle.
The 39-year-old Australian turned himself in to Scotland Yard this morning to face a Swedish arrest warrant.
He was asked by the court whether he understood that he could consent to be extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of rape, molestation and unlawful coercion, involving two women.
Assange said: “I understand that and I do not consent.”
Assange denies the allegations, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August. He and his lawyers claim the accusations stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex”, and have said the case has taken on political overtones.
Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has rejected those claims.
Journalist John Pilger, filmmaker Ken Loach, and socialite Jemima Khan were among six people in court willing to offer surety.
They all offered at least £20,000 each. An anonymous individual offered £60,000.
But District Judge Howard Riddle refused the WikiLeaks founder bail on the grounds that he had access to financial means and might fail to surrender.
The judge said these were “serious allegations against someone who has comparatively weak community ties in this country and the means and ability to abscond”…
[continues in the Guardian]
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