In a fitting resolution to the world’s most high-profile housing dispute, Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested in London this morning. Tough luck for the hacktivist and his supporters…but could it help Roger Stone?
The Australian programmer, sporting a Karl Marx-esque beard, was frogmarched by police out of the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had been residing since 2012 to dodge a sexual assault charge in Sweden.
Assange was found guilty of failing to surrender to the court by a UK judge, which could result in a sentence of up to a year in prison. This is perhaps the least of his worries however: the British government may decide to extradite him to the United States to face federal charges for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. Conviction could result in five years behind bars.
The fall from grace must be deeply humbling for the hacker. But his downfall could stand to benefit another white-haired defendant: Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who stands accused of witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements.
Were Assange extradited to the US, he could be available to testify in Stone’s trial regarding correspondence between the two in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Stone has maintained his innocence for months. If that’s the case, surely his legal team would relish the opportunity to clear up the confusion about what was said and when between their client and the Wikileaks co-founder.
Relations between Assange and his Ecuadorian hosts had grown testy over the past year: his internet access was cut off in March 2018 due to his ‘interfering in other countries’ affairs’, while in October embassy staff issued their tenant with a series of house rules, insisting that he stop skateboarding in the halls and take better care of his pet cat or risk its confiscation. Assange freed the cat from the embassy a month later. The beast remains at large.
At least one of Assange’s celebrity buddies isn’t taking the news well: activist and model Pamela Anderson, who tweeted ‘How could you UK? Of course – you are America’s bitch and you need a diversion from your idiotic Brexit bullshit.’
I am in shock..
I couldn’t hear clearly what he said?
He looks very bad.
How could you Equador ?
(Because he exposed you).
How could you UK. ?
Of course – you are America’s bitch and
you need a diversion from your idiotic Brexit bullshit.
— Pamela Anderson (@pamfoundation) April 11, 2019
Not even a Los Angeles County lifeguard could pull off this rescue.