Times, Guardian Vow to Back Assange in Court

If he's ever prosecuted for his WikiLeaking ways
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2011 1:49 PM CST
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, listens to a reporter's question during a joint news conference with Rudolf Elmer, not seen, at the Frontline Club in London, Monday Jan. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – If the US ever tries to prosecute Julian Assange for his various information leaks, the editors of the Guardian and the New York Times say they’d have his back. “If, God forbid, ever this came to court, I would be completely side-by-side with him,” said Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger at a panel discussion last night, according to Yahoo. “Completely shoulder to shoulder.”

Bill Keller of the New York Times agreed, if more reluctantly. “In terms of his right to be protected for publishing secrets, I think we do stand by him,” he said, adding that “it would be very difficult to come up with a prosecution of Assange in a way that wouldn’t be applicable to us.” (Click for Keller's earlier, less-than-flattering assessment of Assange.) At the same panel discussion, a Bush-era assistant attorney general said that he expected Assange to be prosecuted, because “the political pressure ... is enormous.”

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