Tuesday 7 December 2010

Guardian editor 'heavy-handed' to lock up Assange

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in a live online interview on the Huffington Post today described the decision to refuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange bail as "heavy-handed".

Rusbridger said: "The charges relate to alleged sex offences in Sweden and appear to have no bearing on the original leak of the US Embassy cables, or on the Guardian’s publication of the material. We’ve been told by WL that his arrest won’t affect plans for the publication of further cables. Personally, I think it’s extremely heavy-handed to lock him up, given that there were people offering up sureties for bail."

Asked which leak of the US embassy cables interested him the most, Rusbridger replied: "I found the Pakistan and Russian material most unsettling. Reading the private opinions of Arab leaders on Iran had an immediate fly-on-the-wall quality, even if we suspected these were their views. Prince Andrew was the best gossip. Reading about him swearing about Guardian reporters for having the nerve to write about corruption in the arms trade was quietly satisfying!"

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