Lawyer Cites Visa, MasterCard as Assange’s Release Delayed

Lawyer Cites Visa, MasterCard as Assange’s Release Delayed | Supporters forces to pay bail in cash, not credit cards

British Judge Howard Riddle may have approved Julian Assange’s release on bail, but the WikiLeaks founder remains held for at least another 48 hours over a pair of rows with the Swedish government and America’s major credit card providers Visa and MasterCard.

The Swedish government has appealed Assange’s release on grounds that he poses a flight risk. The judge’s terms of release would require him to submit to a curfew, electronic tagging, and to report to the police every evening.

But perhaps the bigger problem is that the assorted supporters of Assange who are putting up the 240,000 pounds in bail are being told that they have to put up the entire amount in cash, because Visa and MasterCard have barred contributions to WikiLeaks.

According to Assange’s lawyer, who insists that the detention is turning into a show trial, he was told credit cards could not be used for the bail. Visa and MasterCard denied having put any bar on making payments to the British court system.

The 48 hour delay in Assange’s release for the appeal appears to be little more than a formality, as Judge Riddle has expressed annoyance at Swedish lawyers’ refusal to produce any evidence against Assange in their extradition request. The struggle to come up with all that money in cash might take a bit longer.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Eve Primm

    The Swedes (at the behest or insistence of america, no doubt), have appealed the Court's decision to grant Mr. Assange bail. This, of course, will keep Mr. Assange incarcerated until the Court makes a ruling on the Swedes' appeal – scheduled to occur no more than forty-eight hours after being lodged.

    This is where the fun begins. The Swedish prosecutors are being made fools of by their american co-conspirators. If the Judge (or Magistrate) had initially granted bail, the Swede's would appear to have a position from which to argue. However, the Court denied bail. It is important to note that the Swedish prosecutors were present – in Court – when this decision was made. Accordingly, it can be surmised that the Swedes have had a chance to extol their full list of concerns – the very list of concerns which the Court relied upon in rendering its decision (denial). Also at issue is the Court's order that the Swedes provide further detail, evidence, and an exact description of the criminal charges against Mr. Assange.

    Since that date, however, the Court has received none of the further information / detail it required of the Swedes. The Court's decision to grant bail s based in part on Sweden's failure to provide the required information and, importantly, upon Mr. Assange's affirmative acts regarding providing the Court with a physical address (in the u.k.), contact information, his passport, his agreement to wear a location monitoring device, and his promise to comply with the Court imposed curfew. The Court has received no such cooperation from the Swedes.

    At the next hearing (the Swedes' appeal hearing), the world will get great laughs when the Swedish prosecutors attempt to convince the Court that Mr. Assange should not be granted bail. Since the Swedes have already played all their cards at the initial hearing and, either refused or were unable, to produce the detail the Court required of them, they are essentially left with arguing that the Court is wrong. Normally, this is an option. In cases where bail was set based solely on the charges (there are none against Mr. Assange), the opposition routinely argues later that there are extenuating circumstances and that the subject presents a flight risk. In the present case, however, the Swedes have already had their opportunity and, initially 'con'vinced the Court to deny bail. In cases where bail is initially denied, but granted at a later date and after the Court has considered all the (absent) evidence and whether a flight risk exists, things are much more difficult to reverse. Moreover, america's puppets – the Swedes, refused to avail themselves to the Court's generous offer of more time to provide the details. The Court has already considered whether Mr. Assange presents a flight risk and made its determination to grant bail based on all the information available to it along with the aforementioned conditions and assurances.

    The Swedes will be put on the spot for either continuing their 'vague and ambiguous' strategy or (funnier yet) presenting some new (manufactured) "evidence" at their appeal hearing. Either way, they are destined to fail. They can't present evidence now without incurring the Court's presumption that it existed earlier, but was intentionally withheld. Such a situation could, conceivably, result in the Swedish prosecutors being charged with contempt.

    Likewise, they cannot show up empty-handed without looking like the fools that they are. Doing so would reduce their position to arguing that the Judge simply is wrong. This, without being able to articulate why is never a good position to take at this stage of the proceedings. After all; the Judge has given them every advantage thus far and only granted bail after implementing a comprehensive array of precautions and preconditions – all of which have been met and / or agreed to by Mr. Assange. This may well be a very entertaining hearing.

  • guests

    The stupidity of the Swedish attorneys or for that matter companies is nothing new.., they been cheating their people out right for over 40 years and the government of all kind is OK with the process…, for example if you have paid more then you owe to a company.., the company will repay you but charges you 60% of the total for repaying your money.., that is how the Swedish system of capitalism works. Now is time for the attorneys who don’t have a case to show that they are really stupid wanting to charge the system the 60% over time.

  • Ozymandias

    Anyone got a clue why Swedish prosecutor is behaving in such a peculiar manner in appealing Assnage bail decision? – what I mean is if one t for a moment takes out the proposition that Sweden is acting as a cat's paw for the US – is there any rational reason for behaving in this manner and refusing even to provide the court with information about whether they want to charge him or simply question him. If to charge why not say what the charges are – and if to question him why the dogged pursuit? Who benefits – certainly not Sweden or it's justice system which has become a manifest laughing stock

    Sadly the only rational conclusion to draw is there is substance to the concerns re the US – why else would they behave as they do? One can understand the US government behaving like this – they are vengeful and do it all the time – just look at Gary McKinnon – but what does Sweden get out of this fiasco apart from the plaudits of US retards?

  • Hacklheber

    Well it's not really big amount of cash, just ask any bailed out bank sitting on containers of paper. Still, this is truly bizarre, because what does WikiLeaks have to do with any of this at all? And then the transfer should go to the court's notary-managed account or something…

    Next: Bail cannot be granted because British Airways personnel threaten strike. After this…

  • theothercanada

    Traditions of Uncle Joe and Mr.Adolf live on, wrapped up in the veneer of Western "democracy" of course.

  • Albert Bakker

    Indeed an explanation for this kind of behaviour could be the old autocratic impulse of putting up examples of individuals, preferably with high public profiles, to showcase the regime's power to ignore it's own laws. This effectively puts out the message to the public that whoever you are, if you mess with us, you do not have any rights or legal protections of any kind. You are delivered to our mercy and that we value this commodity way too much to just give it away for free.

    The fact that the Swedes have no case might therefore not be seen as a weakness per se. This proposition is corroborated I think, by the fact that they don't seem to be particularly bothered by this situation, don't really try to construct one, however tenuous, or even bribe their case into existence.

  • Andrew

    One thing that could compromise Mr Assange would be him ‘taking flight’.

    It would be relatively simple for State Actors to kidnap him and release him in some foreign country. He could even be provided with a fake passport and crude disguise (wig / hair dye)

    For all our sakes, I do hope he keeps witnesses with him at all times.

  • MichaelKenny

    In practice, Assange is safer in prision than out on the street (remember what happened to Litvinenko!). And he will be safer in Sweden than in Britain, so the sooner he gets there, the better. There's every sign that the Swedish prosecution is falling apart (unsurprisngly) but the best for Assange would be to be taken to Sweden and then have the charges dismissed. If he could then remain in Sweden, he would be fairly safe.

  • Kay

    Cash is king… I wonder what are the swedish want to hide, they caved up to US too easily… There are rumors that the main prosecutor has a past of colorfull sex life and other rumors that some of his partners where of questionable age… boys.
    I read that several commenta on a swedish article, several were in swedish and other coments were in german and some in dutch… so what ever that guy did in the past or now… it is a regional thing.