Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wikileaks Founder Fears US Arrest as "Material Witness" in Manning Case

Julian Assange fears the US government, reports London's Daily Telegraph:
Mr Assange says despite this he still fears he is at risk of being forcefully detained by the US government as a material witness in the prosecution of US intelligence analyst Bradley Manning.

Mr Manning, 22, was arrested in Baghdad in May and charged earlier this month with multiple counts of mishandling and leaking classified data, after a computer hacker turned him in.
In the United States an authority has the right to detain and hold a material witness for an indefinite period to ensure they give their testimony in a criminal investigation.

The Wikileaks founder said: "Today the White House put out a private briefing to reporters about Wikileaks and me and it quoted a section from an interview with me in Der Spiegel saying that I enjoy crushing -------- [bastards].

"Somehow the White House finds that offensive.

"In terms of returning to the United States I don't know. Our sources advise from inside the US government that there were thoughts of whether I could be charged as a co-conspirator to espionage, which is serious.

"That doesn't seem to be the thinking within the United States any more however there is the other possibility of being detained as a material witness and being kept either in confinement or not being allowed to leave the country until the Manning case is concluded."

He also claimed that Bradley Manning is being held in a secluded facility in Kuwait which he says is like "a second Guantanamo Bay".

He also accused the US government of doing this to "hide" Mr Manning from effective civil representation.