WikiLeaks founder shows no remorse while on bail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange celebrates as he emerges to speak to the media on the steps of the High Court, in London December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has declared that he is the victim of a smear campaign after being freed on bail over rape allegations and sent to spend Christmas at an English country house.

The 39-year-old Australian computer expert said that curbs on him, which he described as “hi-tech house arrest,” would not halt the release of official secrets.

Assange walked free from a London court Thursday, freed on 200,000 pound ($312,500) bail after nine days in London’s largest jail. Sweden wants to extradite him for questioning over alleged sexual assaults on two WikiLeaks’ volunteers.

“This has been a very successful smear campaign and a very wrong one,” Assange told the BBC after arriving late Thursday at the country house in Suffolk, eastern England where he will spend Christmas and the New Year.

He said he expected further attempted smears from the Swedish authorities but did not elaborate.

Assange angered the U.S. authorities after his organization began releasing some of the 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables it had obtained, teaming up with newspapers around the world to amplify their impact.

Assange said his opponents had seized on the accusations against him to attack WikiLeaks.

“One only needs to look at the sneering smile of Defense Secretary (Robert) Gates upon hearing of my arrest… to understand the value to opponents of this organization,” Assange said. Gates last week described Assange’s arrest as good news.

Assange is accused of having unprotected sex with one woman, and sex with another while she was asleep.

“HI-TECH HOUSE ARREST

As part of his bail conditions, Assange must stay at the sprawling house owned by former British army officer Vaughan Smith, situated close to the city of Norwich, around three hours’ drive from London.

Smith has said that the Internet connection at the house is not good. Assange, who must report to police daily, abide by a curfew and wear an electronic tag, said the conditions were “a gross impediment to my work” but would not stop him.

“Now that I am back to assist directing of our ship, our work will proceed in a faster manner. But as we have seen with my absence, things are well set up to proceed even without my direct involvement.”

Assange told reporters soon after his release that he was more concerned the United States might try to extradite him than he was about being extradited to Sweden.

Assange and his lawyers have voiced fears that U.S. prosecutors might be preparing to indict him for espionage over WikiLeaks’ publication of the documents.

Australian police said WikiLeaks was not committing any criminal offence in Assange’s home country by releasing the U.S. cables.

Celebrities such as journalist John Pilger, film director Ken Loach and socialite Jemima Khan are backing Assange.

Janice Game, 63, who lives opposite the Georgian house said she had come out to see reporters waiting in the snow for Assange to drive through the gates of the 650 acre estate.

“I do not think that Vaughan would have him at the house unless he believed completely that he was innocent,” she said.

Copyright © 2010 Reuters

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8 Responses to "WikiLeaks founder shows no remorse while on bail"

  1. woody188  December 17, 2010 at 11:44 am

    How bad do you have to be in bed to have someone sleep through it? :)

    Smells like an intelligence operation, building Assange’s street credibility by creating charges against him so we’ll think government agencies like the CIA and Israel’s Mossad wouldn’t associate with him. It’s not working.

    • woody188  December 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      The real hero is tortured while this buffoon, Assange, travels the world living in luxury lapping up the limelight. They say after 6 months in solitary you no longer are sane. Manning has been in solitary for 7 months.

      • Carl Nemo  December 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

        The scariest thing about the material in the provided link “the real hero is tortured” is that our now rogue government can do this to anyone. I’m sure rendition is still in place and there are no honorable men or women left at the top of this nation’s structure. All- enveloping evil and madness seems to be the order of the day.

        Carl Nemo **==

        • woody188  December 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

          What’s worse, Assange and Wikileaks promised to provide defense for Manning and have not contributed a dime to his defense.

  2. D Bonson  December 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Does Manning have a defence fund set up to accept donations? If anyone knows, please add a link.

  3. DejaVuAllOver  December 18, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Does any realize how sinister and / or moronic the byline of this piece, is? Why would an innocent man show remorse when freed on bail? Guilty until proven innocent? Sure. if that’s what your editor tells you. Reuters should be “rendered” to Hell.

  4. Carl Nemo  December 19, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Hi D Bonson…

    I did some research on this and I feel the best place to donate is to the main site dedicated to Pvt Manning. There are others, but after donating who knows where the money will go whereas money donated to the main site has a far better chance of being used effectively. I hope this helps, not only you, but other folks that may care to donate.

    http://www.bradleymanning.org/

    The prisoners at GITMO are getting better care than Manning. Hard to believe but true. I personally believe SOD Gates is a vengeful, hateful, lil’ bugger and really wants to get these two guys. It’s become personal to him and no doubt other mattoids that are now in power.

    Jonathan Pollard a USN SIGINT specialist turned over the contents of the NSA’s “holy bible” of signal intelligence; ie, the RASIN to his controllers in Israel. The compromise was mind-boggling to say the least and totally eclipses the Manning-Assange leak. Israel works relentlessly to get Pollard released. He’s considered a hero by the Israeli state. The good life is waiting for him in the event he is released.

    No Virginia…Israel is not a friend and stalwart ally of the U.S. They simply exploit us and use us for their national ends. They’re smart and still have sense of nation. It’s Israel first and to hell with the rest of the world. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • D Bonson  December 20, 2010 at 12:03 am

      Thank you for the link.

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