Court rejects petition from WikiLeaks, Julian Assange

January 12, 2012

Politico on January 11, 2012 released the following:

“By JOSH GERSTEIN

The U.S. military’s highest appeals court has rejected a petition by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange to give their lawyers guaranteed access to the Army’s legal proceedings against the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables, Pfc. Bradley Manning.

WikiLeaks and Assange argued they deserved a permanent seat at the recent investigative hearing in Manning’s case because of an ongoing criminal investigation targeting Assange and his global transparency website. They also made the unusual request to have a lawyer with security clearance sit on classified sessions the public is excluded from.

However, in an order Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied the petition without comment. The only further review would be at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The WikiLeaks/Assange plea was previously rejected by the officer overseeing Manning’s hearing and by an intermediate appeals court, the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Military prosecutors said there was no basis for according special status just because Assange might be charged in the future. In addition, they noted that in practice the lawyers for Assange and his outfit had been able to gain access to general public seating in the courtroom at Fort Meade, Md.

Manning’s weeklong preliminary hearing, known as an Article 32 session, wrapped up last month, so it could be that the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces considered the issue moot. However, the court didn’t say the petition was denied as moot. In any event, the same issues could arise again if, as expected, Manning’s case is sent to a full, formal court martial.

“We are disappointed by the ruling, but like much of the Manning proceedings themselves, this decision is inscrutable,” said Baher Azmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brough the petition for Assange and WikiLeaks. “The court offers no analysis whatsoever for its ruling, so as much as we strongly disagree with the judgment, we literally cannot understand — or respond to — the reason(s) apparently underlying it.””

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Manning trial a prelude to Assange’s extradition to US?

December 21, 2011

RT on December 21, 2011 released the following:

“Military officials have introduced evidence into the pre-trial hearing against alleged WikiLeaks contributor Bradley Manning with the whistleblower site’s mastermind Julian Assange.

While a tie between the two would allow the prosecution to pursue Private First Class Manning’s alleged suspected involvement in sending Assange top-secret military files, it could finally give the US a reason to extradite the WikiLeaks’s runner to the States.

American authorities have long attempted to tackle Assange for his role in WikiLeaks, a website that the US government insists has aided the enemy by publishing files that would otherwise be left for only a few Army intelligence personnel to see. According to America, any involvement Manning had with WikiLeaks could have caused great harm to the nation and a military tribunal is currently questioning witnesses to see if the case should continue before a jury. By formally introducing Assange into the equation, however, the government could be finally getting its chance to go after the WikiLeaks leader.

Currently under house arrest in England, Australia-born Assange is facing extradition to Sweden where he is wanted on charges stemming from allegations of a sexual assault against two former WikiLeaks volunteers. Currently the UK’s legal system is keeping Assange safe from extradition to America, but should Assange end up on trial, Sweden might be quick to send the whistleblower to America so he could stand trial in the Manning case — and perhaps much more.

“People think that because Sweden is a Western country that they have a legal system the same as ours, that’s completely untrue,” Assange’s mother told AAP last month. “From the time he hits Sweden, he is going to be lost to any kind of observation from anybody to understand if his human rights are being breached.”

“He’s been crucified for doing what he was brought up to do,” added Christine Assange.

American officials critical of WikiLeaks have hunted for Assange since before he aided in the release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables earlier this year that they say compromised American security and intelligence — former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee even went as far as to wage the death penalty against Assange. As evidence in the Manning case ties the soldier with Assange, those charges could come sooner than Assange would like to see.

A former Obama administration official speaking under condition of anonymity tells Reuters that the US has long sought Assange, but could not go after him without going after the slew of newspapers that he leaked documents to as well. “The government is very serious about wanting to prosecute him. But they have never been able to find a way to do it. How do you prosecute Julian Assange and not the New York Times?” asks the official.

During Manning’s trial on Monday, the prosecution against the alleged whistleblower introduced computer logs which they say show that the soldier had contact information with Assange and had instructions on how to upload files to WikiLeaks. On Tuesday, Adrian Lamo, the hacker that turned Manning in to the government, also drew connections between the two.

In speaking of his own relationship with Manning, Lamo told the courtroom, “I believe that he was reaching out for affirmation and for a like-minded individual that would act as a similar figure in their life as Julian Assange.” When Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow was asked about Assange, however, he admitted to the court that he had no idea who the man was. Given that searches of Assange’s named were carried out on a computer owned by Sgt. Bigelow, the denial does little to help the case of the Manning — nor does it show how up-to-snuff US military intelligence has been.

Manning is facing life in prison for nearly two dozen charges related to his alleged works with WikiLeaks. On Tuesday, Daniel Ellsberg, the former DoD insider that leaked the Pentagon Papers towards the end of the Vietnam War, called Manning a personal “hero” of his to RT.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Rudd urged to protect Assange

December 19, 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald on December 19, 2011 released the following:

Dan Oakes

“THE former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and dozens of public figures have called on the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, to ensure the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is protected from ”rendition” to the US.

They warn that if Assange is extradited from Britain to Sweden, where he may face rape and sexual assault charges, he could then be handed over to the US, where prosecutors are considering criminal charges against him following the release of confidential cables.

”The chances of Mr Assange receiving a fair trial in the United States appear remote. A number of prominent political figures have called for him to be assassinated, and the Vice-President has called him a ‘high-tech terrorist’,” their open letter reads.

”Given the atmosphere of hostility in relation to Mr Assange, we hold serious concerns about his safety once in US custody. We note that Mr Assange is an Australian citizen, whose journalistic activities were undertaken entirely outside of US territory.”

Assange has been on bail in Britain for almost a year as he fights extradition to Sweden, where two women have alleged he committed sexual offences against them. He has denied the claims, and last week won the right to appeal against the extradition.

The signatories to the letter – who also include the – American academic Noam Chomsky, Julian Burnside, QC, and the Greens leader Bob Brown – warn that Sweden could hand Assange over to the US without the ”appropriate legal processes that accompany normal extradition cases”.

Private Bradley Manning, who leaked the thousands of secret cables, faced the first day of a preliminary hearing on Friday to determine whether he should be court-martialled over the leaks.

Private Manning’s lawyer told the court that the government wanted the 24-year-old soldier to agree to plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence so he could be used as a witness against Assange and WikiLeaks. Lawyers for Assange were in the courtroom during the first day of the pre-trial hearing, and have asked for access to the court for the duration of the proceedings.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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WikiLeaks Julian Assange U.S. Extradition Involving Sweden- Guess What I Found

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Assange extradition case goes to Supreme Court

December 16, 2011

BBC on December 16, 2011 released the following:

The UK Supreme Court has said it will consider an appeal by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange against his extradition to Sweden.

Britain’s highest court said seven judges would hear the case in February.

Mr Assange, who remains on conditional bail in the UK, is wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.

The 40-year-old Australian denies the allegations and claims they are politically motivated.

The High Court previously approved his extradition, a decision that Mr Assange argues was unlawful.

The Swedish authorities are seeking to put him on trial on accusations of raping one woman and “sexually molesting and coercing” another in Stockholm in August 2010.

Mr Assange’s Wikileaks website published a mass of material from leaked diplomatic cables embarrassing several governments.

The US Army analyst suspected of leaking the documents appeared in an American military court on Friday, where he faces 22 charges of obtaining and distributing government secrets.

Bradley Manning made his first appearance in a courthouse in Maryland. He faces a court martial next year and, if convicted, could face life in prison.

The US government has already said it will not seek the death penalty, which is the maximum sentence for “aiding the enemy”, one of the charges faced by Mr Manning.

‘Great importance’

Earlier this month in the UK, two High Court judges, Sir John Thomas and Mr Justice Ouseley, decided that Mr Assange had raised a question on extradition law “of general public importance” and gave him 14 days to ask the Supreme Court for a final UK ruling.

On Friday, a Supreme Court spokesman said its justices had agreed to hear the case “given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority”.

He said: “A panel of three Supreme Court Justices – Lord Hope, Lord Mance and Lord Dyson – has considered the written submissions of the parties; this is the court’s usual practice for considering applications for permission to appeal.

“The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal and a hearing has been scheduled for two days, beginning on 1 February 2012.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “If, after the Supreme Court has heard the case, it dismisses Mr Assange’s appeal, then his only further remedy is to apply immediately to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which will respond within 14 days.

“If it confirms that it does not agree to take the case then that is an end of the matter.”

The CPS said if the court in Strasbourg did decline to take the case then Mr Assange would be extradited to Sweden as soon as practicable.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Wikileaks Assange to quit extradition fight?

November 15, 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hired a Swedish public relations company in an indication that he is ready to abandon his appeal against his extradition to Sweden to face sexual misconduct allegations.

In a statement on his website, Harald Ullman confirmed he had been taken on by Assange, but there was no indication as to when – if at all – the WikiLeaks founder might travel to Sweden.

“After researching the case it is clear to me that JA is innocent of the rape allegations,” the Independent quoted the statement, as saying.

“Many wonder why he just doesn’t go to Sweden. The reason why is that he is scared that he will be extradited to the US,” it added.

The United States is yet to file charges against Assange, although a grand jury has been tasked with deciding whether he or WikiLeaks broke any US laws through their leaks.

Legal experts say any extradition to the US from Sweden would have to be approved by Britain first, under the terms of the European arrest warrant that he is sought on.

Assange had earlier this month lost his London High Court appeal against extradition to Sweden.

Assange, an Australian, had decided to fight the case at London’s High Court after a judge at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court ruled in February that the WikiLeaks head should be extradited.

The 40-year-old has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with sexual misconduct allegations related to separate incidents in August 2010.

Assange has been denying the accusations.

This article was published by ZeeNews on November 14, 2011.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Sweden here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Why Julian Assange Might Be Better Off In Sweden

November 2, 2011

Forbes on November 2, 2011 released the following:

By: Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

“Throughout the 11-month legal process to determine whether Julian Assange will be extradited from the United Kingdom to Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes, Assange’s lawyers have argued that a trip across the North Sea would be the first leg in a journey that ends in an American prison.

But as a second London court denied the WikiLeaks’ founder’s appeal against extradition to Stockholm Wednesday and brought the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a trip to Stockholm, the effect may not be so clear. (See the judge’s full ruling against that appeal here.) In fact, lawyers I’ve spoken to say the real result of sending Assange to Sweden may be to put the decision of whether to allow him to be prosecuted in the U.S. into the hands of unpredictable Swedish leaders rather than leaving it to Britain’s U.S.-friendly laws, a situation that may represent another barrier to the U.S. Justice Department’s barely secret ambitions to indict him.

Assange’s relocation to Sweden for trial could end up complicating the process of charging him with crimes in the U.S., says Douglas McNabb, a lawyer with the firm of McNabb [Associates] who specializes in cases of international criminal law and extradition. “If Assange is going to be extradited, he’d much rather be extradited to Sweden than to the U.S.,” says McNabb. “In fact, the U.S. would get him much more quickly from the U.K. than from Sweden.”

McNabb points to Britain’s Extradition Act of 2003, a controversial law passed in the wake of 9/11 that gives the United States special privileges in seeking the extradition of prisoners in the United Kingdom. He argues the act’s “accelerated extradition process” means Britain would likely pose little resistance to American prosecutors seeking Assange’s extradition. That same law is currently being used to extradite hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States despite his British citizenship, and a U.K. judicial review upheld the statute in October.

Frank Rubino, an international defense lawyer who has represented Panamanian general Manuel Noriega and Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, calls Assange’s argument that Sweden is more likely to extradite him to the U.S. than Britain “ridiculous.” “Short of Iran, they could move to extradite him from pretty much anywhere,” says Rubino, “From London as much as from Stockholm. But if Sweden doesn’t recognize whatever the U.S. charges him with as a violation of Swedish law, they might not extradite him at all.”

Extradition from Sweden, after all, requires determining “dual criminality”–that whatever Assange has been charged with in the United States is also a crime in Sweden. The grand jury that has convened in Alexandria, Virginia to decide whether Assange will be indicted in the U.S. has yet to make public any charges against him, but some have speculated on and called for his indictment under the same Espionage Act once used to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for leaking the Pentagon Papers.

If Assange is in Sweden and the U.S. presses charges, it might need the cooperation of both the United Kingdom and Sweden to achieve its own extradition on top of Sweden’s, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal activist Trevor Timm has pointed out. The judge in the original February decision on the extradition case wrote:

“If Mr Assange is surrendered to Sweden and a request is made to Sweden for his extradition to the United States of America, then…In such an event the consent of the Secretary of State in this country will be required, in accordance with section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Sweden can order Mr Assange’s extradition to a third State. The Secretary of State is required to give notice to Mr Assange unless it is impracticable to do so. Mr Assange would have the protection of the courts in Sweden and, as the Secretary of State’s decision can be reviewed, he would have the protection of the English courts also.”

Sweden, it’s important to note, be able to circumvent those restrictions on traditional extradition. The Assange support site SwedenVersusAssange.com argues that Sweden will use a clause in its extradition treaty with the United States that allows a “temporary surrender” of a prisoner to the U.S. by “mutual agreement.” That clause, Assange’s backers fear, means Assange could be passed on to the U.S. without either the usual extradition hearing under Swedish law or the consent of the U.K. government.

But McNabb argues that even in spite of that potential loophole, Assange has a better shot of staying out of American hands in Sweden than he would have in the United Kingdom, where the Extradition Act practically pre-ordains his trip to America. “It would be almost certain in the UK,” says McNabb. “In Sweden, it’s a toss-up.”

Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, WikiLeaks’ Twitter feed was full of descriptions of Sweden as America’s lapdog, calling it “the Israel of the north” and writing that its “ subservience to the US [is] now on naked display.”

But setting Assange’s sex crime charges aside, Sweden has yet to apply the same political pressure to WikiLeaks that U.S. leaders have to American WikiLeaks partners. Even as Senator Joe Lieberman successfully influenced American companies like Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, and Western Union to cut their services to the secret-spilling group in early 2011, Swedish hosting companies PRQ and Bahnhof have both continued to serve WikiLeaks at the height of its controversy without threats from the Swedish government.

Whether that government will provide the same haven for WikiLeaks’ leader as it has for WikiLeaks’ data may soon be put to the test.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Judgment due next week in Assange extradition case

October 27, 2011
Wikileaks' Julian Assange
© Jillian Edelstein For Forbes

Associated Press (AP) on October 27, 2011 released the following:

“By DAVID STRINGER

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will learn next week of the verdict in his fight against his extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual misconduct, the organization said Thursday.

WikiLeaks staffer Joseph Farrell said that Britain’s High Court had informed Assange it will deliver judgment on his appeal on Nov. 2,

“The court told us. We have no further details,” Farrell said in a text message.

In February, a judge ruled that Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual molestation against two women. Lawyers for Assange filed an appeal at the High Court, and insist the activist would not receive a fair trial.

Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice could not immediately be reached to confirm details of next week’s hearing.

Allegations against Assange date back to a visit to Sweden in August 2010, shortly after the activist’s organization had released secret U.S. files on the war in Afghanistan. Assange became involved with two women — one of whom later accused him of coercion and molestation, another of whom alleged that he had had sex with her as she slept.

Swedish prosecutors have not charged Assange with any crime, but have demanded that he returns to Scandinavia to face questions about the case.

Assange, who was briefly detained in prison custody, has been living under curfew at a supporter’s rural mansion in eastern England while he has contested the demand for his extradition.

The activist has been made the subject of an overnight curfew, must wear an electronic tag and report to police daily.

Assange has claimed the Swedish case is being politically manipulated following his organization’s disclosure of classified U.S. documents.

At an appeal hearing in July, Assange’s lawyer Ben Emmerson said that the women involved in the case may have found sex with his client “disrespectful, discourteous or disturbing,” but added that it had been entirely consensual.

Emmerson told that hearing that Assange’s actions wouldn’t be illegal in the context of English law. “The conduct that is complained of would not constitute a crime in this jurisdiction,” he said.

Assange had previously vowed to take his case to Britain’s Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights if his appeal is rejected by the High Court.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


WikiLeaks is Not About to Dry Up, Assange Warns

October 20, 2011

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday told Latin American media that his organization was far from financially endangered despite sanctions slapped on it by the United States.

Purportedly “our biggest problem is an economic problem related due to that US banking and financial embargo. But we’re not taking this lying down,” Assange told the general assembly of the Inter-American Press Association by teleconference.

“We have been presently in a strong enough cash position to survive entirely on our cash reserves for the past 11 months, and there are not many staff organizations that are in such a strong cash position,” Assange stressed from London where he is living until a court rules on his potential extradition to Sweden.

In a 50-minute speech, he said whistleblowing website WikiLeaks was nowhere near financial Armageddon because “we have thousands of pending disclosures for publications, we have signed contracts with more than 50 media organizations around the world.”

Assange is currently living under stringent bail conditions in Britain, fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault. Assange supporters argue that the United States may seek extradition of Assange once he if he is extradited to Sweden.

This article was published by 9 News on October 18, 2011.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Sweden here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Teenager Questioned Over Links to International Hacking Ring Faces Extradition to US

July 25, 2011

Police believe the teenager is connected to hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec.

The teenager was arrested in south London amid a new wave of internet attacks. He remained in custody overnight but is currently out on bail.

Police believe he is connected to the notorious hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec which have been blamed for a string of attacks on organizations including the CIA, the US Senate and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

The teenager, who was held under the Computer Misuse Act, reportedly goes by the online user-name Tflow. Tflow is allegedly a high ranking member of the online hacking group Lulzsec. However, there is some speculation whether or not the teen is in fact Tflow. Members of the hacking group Anonymous contest that it was Tflow who was arrested, while Fox News confirms that it was Tflow.

Scotland Yard’s specialist cyber-crime unit acted in cooperation with the FBI, which arrested 14 people for allegedly mounting a cyber-attack on PayPal’s website. Dutch police also made four arrests.

Anonymous targeted the online payment specialist in retaliation for withdrawing its services from WikiLeaks after it released thousands of classified US State Department cables last November. Members bombarded the website with traffic in an attempt to overwhelm its servers and force it offline.

The FBI arrests are the first in the United States since the international investigation of the group of so called “hacktivists” was launched last year.

The probe has since widened to cover LulzSec, a smaller and less overtly political group that splintered from Anonymous in April and embarked on a two-month spree of cyber-attacks.

The 14, including 11 men and two women aged between 20 and 42, were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio. The court withheld the identity of one individual. There were two further cyber-crime arrests in the US, unrelated to PayPal.

Last month, Ryan Cleary, 19, from Essex, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to hack into the website of SOCA. He was charged with a string of cyber-attacks on UK-based sites before being released on conditional bail.

The teenager, who has since been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, is also wanted for questioning in the US over a cyber-attack on the Facebook website and could face extradition even if tried and convicted of crimes in the UK.

He is being represented by Karen Todner, the solicitor for Gary McKinnon, a hacker who has been fighting extradition to the US for six years, who said that she hopes the Foreign Office will have “learned lessons” from her client’s case, and that Mr. Cleary will be dealt with in the UK.

After Mr Cleary’s arrest, LulzSec announced it would disband. But the group re-emerged this week to claim credit for hacking the website of The Sun newspaper and publishing a spoof story that claimed Rupert Murdoch was dead.

Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacks against corporate and government websites all over the world.

The group also claims to have disrupted the websites of Visa and MasterCard in December when the credit card companies stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

More than 60 people allegedly linked to either or both groups have now been arrested worldwide, including eight in Britain. Scotland Yard’s Police Central e-Crime Unit previously arrested five in January, one in April and one in June.

The 16-year-old who is allegedly Tflow could face extradition to the United States.

The majority of this article was written by Victoria Ward and Christopher Williams and published by The Telegraph on July 21, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Judge Doubts Effect of WikiLeaks Cables’ on Viktor Bout’s Case

July 25, 2011

WikiLeaks cables that allegedly show U.S. diplomats pressured Thailand to extradite suspected international arms smuggler Viktor Bout are not likely to influence his trial for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, a federal judge said at a hearing.

Bout’s exploits loosely formed the basis for Nicholas Cage’s character in the film “Lord of War,” and were the subject of investigative journalist Douglas Farah’s book, “The Merchant of Death.”

Speaking of Farrah’s work, Bout allegedly told a Drug Enforcement Administration agent: “The book is bullshit.”

Thai authorities arrested Bout in Bangkok in an international sting operation on March 6, 2008. Bout was suspected of conspiring with Andrew Smulian to sell millions of dollars of weapons to DEA agents posing as members of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a designated terrorist organization.

A grand jury indicted Bout a month later on charges of conspiring to kill United States nationals; to kill officers and employees of the United States; to acquire, transfer, and use antiaircraft missiles; and to provide material support to terrorism.

Smulian pleaded guilty to identical charges in a cooperation agreement with the government.

Bout was extradited to the United States on Nov. 16, 2010 and arraigned in New York’s Southern District the next day. He sought dismissal of the charges in two motions, most recently in May.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin denied his first request on July 12.

On Thursday, the parties met to discuss Bout’s challenges to his indictment, including claims of vindictive prosecution and unlawful extradition.

Although she reserved judgment on the motion, Judge Scheindlin did not appear persuaded by Bout’s lawyers, who claimed his arrest was politically motivated.

Two WikiLeaks cables submitted as evidence purportedly show that U.S. diplomats pressured the Thai judiciary into granting Bout’s extradition.

One cable indicates that diplomats argued that denying extradition might compromise Thailand’s efforts to get fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra back in their custody, a defense motion states.

Ousted in 2006, Shinawatra was convicted of graft.

A Thai court declined to extradite Bout, but an appellate court overturned that, in a move that Bout alleges was tainted by diplomatic pressure.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan McGuire blasted Bout’s lawyers’ “sensational claims,” adding that Shinawatra is not in U.S. custody.

The British newspaper The Independent recently interviewed Shinawatra at his luxury villa in Dubai.

Scheindlin said that “even if the WikiLeak documents were authentic,” there is nothing unusual about diplomatic pressure in extradition, and treaties show that U.S. courts cannot investigate the decisions of another country’s judicial system.

Bout’s attorney Albert Dayan said the arms dealer acted as a businessman rather than a terror-enabler when he allegedly tried to sell weapons to the FARC. Dayan says the government must prove Bout acted with “malice aforethought” for two of its counts.

Prosecutors say they can prove his FARC sympathies and willingness to kill Americans with forensic evidence from Bout’s computer and his own statements during the sting operation. Bout allegedly told the undercover agents: “Your fight is my fight.”

Dayan countered: “That could be a salesman pitch.”

The controversy will be decided by a jury, at a trial set for Oct. 11.

This article was written by Adam Klasfield and published by Courthouse News Service on July 22, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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