Your mid-morning update on the latest plot twists in the ongoing real-life thriller starring Interpol enemy #1, Julian Assange:
>> Assange, “understood to be lying low in Britain,” could be “arrested by Scotland Yard officers as early as tomorrow,” the paper reports.
>> According to Assange’s attorney (via NBC News), a place and time are being negotiated for a meeting with Scotland Yard.
>> The London Telegraph reports that a "fresh European arrest warrant" has been issued by authorities in Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in an alleged sexual assault case. (Assange has denied any wrongdoing, and says the claims are part of a coordinated smear campaign.) Assange's lawyer said that he would fight any extradition, but the "fresh warrant" means "there is no longer any legal impediment" for British police to holding him.
>> According to a Daily Mail report, the wanted founder of WikiLeaks distributed “an encrypted 'poison pill' of damaging secrets, thought to include details on BP and Guantanamo Bay,” and warned that if he is arrested or killed, he has authorized “fellow hackers” to leak them. (Not sure how much “insurance” that threat buys Assange, as withholding leaks from the public to appease governments fundamentally goes against WikiLeaks’ D.N.A.) But that was before news of a negotiation between Assange and Scotland Yard.
>> Meanwhile, the Associated Press and BBC are reporting that authorities in Switzerland have frozen a bank account set up by Assange because the Australian citizen provided them with a false Geneva address. Lawyers for Assange said the Swiss account had 31,000 euro ($41,200) when it was shut down.
"One of the most fascinating aspects of the Cablegate exposure is how it is throwing into relief the power dynamics between supposedly independent states like Switzerland, Sweden and Australia," Assange’s legal team noted. "The technicality used to seize the defense fund was that Mr. Assange, as a homeless refugee attempting to gain residency in Switzerland, had used his lawyer's address in Geneva for the bank's correspondence.
As I’ve said before, the story of Assange and WikiLeaks is equal parts “The International,” “The Fugitive,” “Bourne Identity,” “Green Zone” and a sprinkle of “Girls Gone Wild: Stockholm.”