Assange gets bail in UK

posted at 12:15 pm on December 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The British courts have reconsidered Julian Assange’s bail request and will free him on $310,000 bond after spending the last week in jail, as early as later today or tomorrow morning.  The court has restricted his movements and ordered him to spend each night in the club where he initially hid from authorities seeking his arrest on a warrant in Sweden for inquiry into potential rape charges:

After a week in detention facing possible extradition, Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks antisecrecy group, was ordered released on $310,000 bail by a court on Tuesday as he challenges a Swedish prosecutor’s demand for his extradition to face questioning about alleged sex offenses.

Judge Howard Riddle ordered that Mr. Assange appear again in court on Jan. 11. He also said that between then and now he must reside at Ellingham Hall, a Georgian mansion in Bungay, eastern England, owned by Vaughan Smith, the founder of the Frontline Club, which is used mainly by journalists. Mr. Assange must spend every night at the mansion and will be electronically tagged so the police can track his movements, the judge said.

Additionally, Mr. Assange will be under curfew every day from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be required to report daily to the police from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. His passport is already with the police and, under the terms of his bail, he is not permitted to try to travel abroad.

A British lawyer acting for Swedish authorities who had opposed bail said nothing had changed since it was denied a week ago. The Swedish government said it would appeal against Mr. Assange’s release, but one of this lawyers said he probably would not be released until Wednesday morning.

I have no particular love for Assange and believe the US should seek extradition on charges of espionage, if the statutes here apply to what Assange has done (which The Corner has debated for the last several days).  That said, refusing bail on an arrest warrant when no actual charges have been filed in Sweden appears to be punitive rather than a measured approach.  Assange did turn himself into authorities and appear in court willingly, at least nominally.

Furthermore, the investigation into Assange for rape relies on some questionable legal definitions — which is probably why Sweden hasn’t actually charged Assange with anything yet.  That isn’t the purview of British courts, of course, but it should have been considered when Assange applied for bail.  It’s difficult to know whether the claims of the two women about differing levels of consensual approval will be treated as a criminal offense by the courts at all, or whether prosecutors will even bother to come to court in the first place.  If Sweden just wants Assange in custody for questioning, then all that needs to happen is to ensure that Assange and his lawyers can be found for investigators to travel to the UK to interrogate him.  That doesn’t require imprisonment.

This differs greatly from the case of Roman Polanski, who was convicted of rape and fled before sentencing.  Assange has not been convicted, not been charged, and hasn’t jumped bail, either.  Polanski, on the other hand, not only did all of those, but has continued to defy prosecution with the assistance of American allies who refuse to meet their obligations for extradition.

Let’s stick to the law and to the real violations Assange has committed.  Bail is appropriate in this case, and should have been granted immediately.

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And fatso Michael Moore throws in $20,000 to help the cause

***face palm***

Knucklehead on December 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Assange is just the conduit…Pvt. Manning needs to be SHOT.

Assange recieved the stolen goods…Manning stole them.

As long as Manning continues to breathe other morons like hhim will steal ever more important material.

Justrand on December 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Let me know when he’s dead or in our custody.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Not ending well.

Speakup on December 14, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Let’s stick to the law and to the real violations Assange has committed.

It’s difficult, but I have to agree.

Toodle-loo, Julie.

petefrt on December 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

All this story is now is a media soap opera. At some point the paparazzi will follow him around and sensationalize his exploits in the tabloids.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Assange recieved the stolen goods…Manning stole them.

Justrand on December 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM


Congressman Calls for Execution of Wikileaks Whistleblower

Yes, and who else has been stealing secret info and/or enabling the theivery?

petefrt on December 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM

It’s difficult, but I have to agree.

petefrt on December 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

And reluctantly I concur.

fourdeucer on December 14, 2010 at 12:29 PM

The British courts have reconsidered Julian Assange’s bail request and will free him on $310,000 bond after spending the last week in jail…

And what were they doing in jail? ;)

Tzetzes on December 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Congressman Calls for Execution of Wikileaks Whistleblower

I assume this will be Holder’s decision? He’ll give him a wink and a slap on the wrist.

KeepOhioRed on December 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Michael Moore’s ringing support isn’t a good sign to me.

Still, at one level it does seem that the New York Times editorial board and anybody else who distributed the materials is equally as guilty as Assange is of whatever it is he’s guilty of regarding the Wikileaks.

As to those other leaks, James Taranto or somebody suggested the Swedes seem to be accusing him of breaking and entering, just not in that order.

Drained Brain on December 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Justrand on December 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM

agree

cmsinaz on December 14, 2010 at 12:35 PM

In addition to following the law and paying attention to the facts, can we all stop calling for murdering the man as well?

j_galt on December 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Assange has become an anti-American folk hero. If anything happens to him all of the America haters in the world will rally behind his name and blame us. That gives an enormous incentive to our enemies to martyr him at some point, but they’re in no hurry. The more popular Assange gets, the more harm he does to us and our interests, the more valuable his eventual demise will be to our enemies.

Assange had better make sure he can provide our enemies with a constant stream of anti-American activities to look forward to because if the leaks end he’ll be more useful to them dead.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Congressman Calls for Execution of Wikileaks Whistleblower

petefrt on December 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I really wish the media would stop calling Manning a ‘whistleblower.’ He’s a thief, a freelance spy, and a traitor. He didn’t do anything to qualify for whistleblower protection.

James on December 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

He could use a visit from KEYSER SOZE!

faol on December 14, 2010 at 12:50 PM

And fatso Michael Moore throws in $20,000 to help the cause

***face palm***

Knucklehead on December 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM

So other than the publicity that he always craves, what the heck is Tubby-Gut Moore doing getting involved with something like this?

And do you think Sweden is going to go after his fat a$$ for doing so?

pilamaye on December 14, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Ron paul praised this idiot on house floor other day.

jp on December 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Can Assange really be extradited to the US to face charges? Is there any precedent for this sort of thing? I’m only thinking that he’s not a US citizen, and didn’t steal the info himself or was a part of it’s theft.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000124FV2/ref=pe_113430_17943340_pd_recs_email_dt_t2

Flight risk?? Considering the fact the man was hiding from authorities prior to his arranged arrest, I’d say the risk of flight is great. That’s why all of the conditions are tacked on right now. Nope, I can’t agree with “immediate bail” unless it was about 25 million cash.

GoldenEagle4444 on December 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

That’s some messed up quote right there, EM!

GoldenEagle4444 on December 14, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Flight risk?? Considering the fact the man was hiding from authorities prior to his arranged arrest, I’d say the risk of flight is great.

He won’t get very far without his passport.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

and didn’t steal the info himself or was a part of it’s theft.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

By that logic, the Soviet Union is innocent of espionage during the Cold Warm, since they didn’t actually steal the information themselves.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Correction: Cold War

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

By that logic, the Soviet Union is innocent of espionage during the Cold Warm, since they didn’t actually steal the information themselves.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

You’re right. The ‘Soviet Union’ is innocent, b/c the Soviet Union isn’t a person.

j_galt on December 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Can Assange really be extradited to the US to face charges? Is there any precedent for this sort of thing? I’m only thinking that he’s not a US citizen, and didn’t steal the info himself or was a part of it’s theft.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Saw a report that a US Grand Jury has convened in Virginia re. the Assange case. Stay tuned.

BTW, C-BS Radio “News” just reported that British prosecutors are strongly objecting to the Activist Judge’s decision to release Assmange. Stay tuned.

Del Dolemonte on December 14, 2010 at 1:03 PM

In strange ways he’s doing some good, not even his intended kind. He’s also hurting his very ‘loves’ in politics and ideology.

However, may the ants still eat him, dead or alive.

Schadenfreude on December 14, 2010 at 1:04 PM

He won’t get very far without his passport.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Now that’s a laugh and a half. Do you think his “crowd” isn’t capable of whisking him out of the country on forged documents and an appropriate disguise? These guys are geeks; capable of almost anything. A forged passport would be a piece of cake.

GoldenEagle4444 on December 14, 2010 at 1:05 PM

By that logic, the Soviet Union is innocent of espionage during the Cold Warm, since they didn’t actually steal the information themselves.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Yes but if you follow your logic and charge anyone who revealed info as a criminal you would have to include every paper that published them. Also at that point do you arrest the entire staffs of said papers janitors and all or do you only charge owners? Managers? Editors? What?

snoopicus on December 14, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Assange had better make sure he can provide our enemies with a constant stream of anti-American activities to look forward to because if the leaks end he’ll be more useful to them dead.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM

This is good analysis. Way to think beyond the first level. It sucks to contemplate, but it really does make his position stronger (in the short term, anyway.)

That said, the last words he should hear are (in an discernibly accented voice – was it American? Israeli? Russian?) “You have something that belongs to me.”

Hannibal Smith on December 14, 2010 at 1:13 PM

…because skipping international bail is a bigger deal than not wearing a condom.

lexhamfox on December 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Once again laws the founders passed like alien and seditions act showing where they would be useful.

jp on December 14, 2010 at 1:19 PM

I really wish the media would stop calling Manning a ‘whistleblower.’ He’s a thief, a freelance spy, and a traitor. He didn’t do anything to qualify for whistleblower protection.

James on December 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I agree. Big difference between traitor and whistleblower. I’m tired of the spin in the press, trying to imply he’s some kind of hero who exposes wrongdoing. He just exposes classified material.

mbs on December 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM

You’re right. The ‘Soviet Union’ is innocent, b/c the Soviet Union isn’t a person.

j_galt on December 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

The Soviet Union was an organization. Wikileaks is an organization. They don’t have to hold land to be an enemy.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 1:22 PM

He was safer inside.

Hope he uses this opportunity to wash his hair,

Wander on December 14, 2010 at 1:27 PM

By providing this information to our enemies, Wikileaks is acting as an agent. It doesn’t matter if Wikileaks itself is a sovereign nation, what matters is that they are assisting sovereign nations that mean us harm, and they’re doing it because they themselves mean us harm.

FloatingRock on December 14, 2010 at 1:31 PM

I would say that deliberately tearing a condom constitutes sexual assault if the consensus for sex was associated with wearing one. I would further say that agreeing to sex with a condom and then having the male penetrate without wearing one is also sexual assault. It becomes rape in the moment the woman says no and the male continues.

If you read with Assange did, he deliberately turned protected sex into unprotected sex against the wishes of both accusers. Neither of these “ladies” are righties — in fact, both are pretty far left, and apparently in full agreement with Assange’s politics, to the point that one of them allowed Assange to stay in her apartment without her presence. The situation definitely goes from being a setup to certainly being sexual assault.

unclesmrgol on December 14, 2010 at 2:04 PM

How about our military contacting the UK and telling them that Mr. Assange has violated his position of Neutral citizen via the publication of such materials, which is an act against a belligerent in the field of war and partisan in its nature? That is a violation of the Hague Conventions of 1899, 1907 and 1929, the Geneva Convention of 1949, and the US Lieber Code of 1863. All can be found at the ICRC site.

Espionage is more than just gathering information, it is dissemination as seen under those conventions, and the Hague 1929 concerning wireless telegraphy would cover the mixed-mode internet and give cause for us to ask the Neutral country hosting such materials to shut down the site and delver their materials to the DoD… unless it wanted to take part against the US in Afghanistan, of course, and declare its belligerent status to us. Really, that would be most helpful, no?

We keep on getting told to do things by the military conventions for terrorists, which we won’t do via their prosecution under the 1949 GC. So why can’t we cite those back to those complainers and point out that human rights are limited in warfare and when you disseminate wartime information during an active war you are taking part in that war by your act? Can’t we be civilized and do the right thing?

You know, the Laws of War that we sign up to and all that fun stuff?

Because his actions are those of a partisan during wartime against a belligerent power. That is not a Neutral stance. That is taking a side and taking part in the conflict. Can we start to realize that the civil laws are not meant to cover wartime activity and stop beind decadent by thinking that we can over-rule the laws we have created? That when your ‘civil rights’ become that of a partisan in an active conflict you actually become a hostile element in that conflict? He did have the right to do the right thing and go through DoD before releasing the information… that, too, is covered under the Geneva Conventions about information garnered from theaters of conflict.

ajacksonian on December 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM

I wonder if Moore arranged the bail contribution from the fat farm he is at? Michael Moore Checked into Luxury Weight-Loss Spa

When a judge accepts bail, does he consider where the money is coming from, and that the contributors might consider it lost money?

slickwillie2001 on December 14, 2010 at 3:11 PM

That said, refusing bail on an arrest warrant when no actual charges have been filed in Sweden appears to be punitive rather than a measured approach.

Wasn’t it you who wrote earlier about how logical it was to deny him bail as he is considered a flight risk?

Actually, you wrote this:

“Substantial grounds”? You mean, like going into hiding and then using extortion to keep authorities from pursuing him? You don’t say.

What’s changed since then?

Esthier on December 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM

He won’t get very far without his passport.

JetBoy on December 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

How can you be so sure? The Christmas wannabe bomber was able to fly from Holland to America without one.

Esthier on December 14, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Noriega should have just stuck to espionage against the US. Apparently, he’d still be running Panama if he had.

Our freak show, anti-American disgrace of an administration should be extraditing this clown. I guess it’s too much to ask to have traitors like Holder and Obama take action against those engaged in espionage against the United States.

Django on December 14, 2010 at 3:43 PM

I have no particular love for Assange and believe the US should seek extradition on charges of espionage, if the statutes here apply to what Assange has done…

This is the administration that declared General Motors to be a “financial institution”, so finding espionage laws to apply to Assange would be a walk in the park.

If they were actually concerned with national security, that is.

Socratease on December 14, 2010 at 6:07 PM

I agree that Manning is the real culprit and it is also not clear, legally , what if any, charges the US can pin on Assange. (Knowingly receiving stolen goods? Certainly not espionage.)

The rape charges in Sweden seem murky and there are rumors that one of the rape victims may have been a CIA agent. If so, this smells of Hillary Clinton setup involvement.

This is NOT a defense of this little twerp whom I personally would like to ram my fist down his throat. And the best defense against future Assange’s is to execute Manning as an object lesson and from now on to better vet people with access to classified documents and also to better supervise and to continuously monitor the activities of those who do have such access.

MaiDee on December 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM

FoxNews.com Headline:

WIKI WALK? BRITISH COURT SET TO RELEASE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS HACKER, UNLESS….

Oh Fox News, you are so dependably f*cking moronic.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2010 at 9:04 PM

What a shame Assange was killed in that freakish accident!

Headline in waiting…

profitsbeard on December 14, 2010 at 10:00 PM