|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 8, 2010 08:45 AM EST||
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London Tuesday morning and appeared in Magistrates Court in the City of Westminster near Parliament around lunchtime where he said he would fight extradition to Sweden.
Judge Howard Riddle denied the vagabond troublemaker bail reportedly telling him he had "substantial grounds" to believe the 39-year-old Australian wouldn't turn up for subsequent proceedings.
Assange will be held in custody until December 14 and an extradition hearing determines what to do with him.
He is wanted for questioning on charges of rape stemming from complaints made by two Swedish women after two separate encounters in Sweden in August.
The Wall Street Journal says the charges read in court allege that Assange forcibly held one woman's arms and legs, preventing her from moving, and had sex with her without using a condom, as she wanted. The other women claims Assange had sex with her "while she was asleep, again failing to wear a condom despite knowing she required it."
Meanwhile, both the AP and the BBC report that Visa has joined MasterCard, PayPal, the Swiss Post bank and the British payments company Moneybookers, which acted on its own in October, in shutting down the donations WikiLeaks needs to survive and pay Assange's legal bills.
Visa has reportedly suspended payments pending an investigation of the rogue web site.
The Telegraph lays the reason the financial giants are acting in lockstep to Assange's "fatal mistake" of threatening to bring down a major US bank with New Year's revelations supposedly akin to Enron. Speculation pointed at Bank of America.
The paper figures such a thing cuts a little too close to home for all of them especially in the middle of a recession.
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