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Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the this-will-never-end dept.

Crime 298

An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is likely to be detained for questioning over his alleged connection to a rape case. The Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has requested the District Court of Stockholm to detain Assange, claiming that they have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations. 'I request the district court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion,' Ny said in a statement."

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298 comments

Assange's got his own personal "issues" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267172)

The way he's driven off other Wikileaks contributors sure supports the case that's Assange's an arrogant asswipe.

Re:Assange's got his own personal "issues" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267472)

He could have done everything he's done, without anyone in the world ever connecting it to the name Assange. The fact that he chose to sign his name to Wikileaks is all I need to make the case that he's an arrogant asswipe.

Re:Assange's got his own personal "issues" (2, Funny)

tumutbound (549414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267506)

Hey! he's Australian so that arsewipe thank you very much!

Re:Assange's got his own personal "issues" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267548)

Or it could simply be that he feels safer if everyone knows his name. Otherwise he could just be rubbed out and noone would be the wiser.

[frost pisst] (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267178)

"I request the district court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion," Ny said in a statement."

Assange allegedly replied, "[citation needed]"

Re:[frost pisst] (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267280)

Assange allegedly replied, "[citation needed]"

"But officer... she said she loved every minute of it!" -- Julian Assange

It isn't rape if it's consenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267708)

It isn't rape if it's consenting (unless one of the people involved cannot give consent because, for example, being under age).

Or does it not work like that if you don't like the work someone does?

Re:[frost pisst] (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267768)

I wonder if "[citation needed]" is the encryption key to the "insurance" file....

This whole media circus will be over in a second if all the media looks at the contents of that instead of this.

I dunno man (-1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267184)

Rape? Sexual Molestation? "Unlawful" Coercion (as opposed to lawful coercion?) Sounds like the kind of thing usually slung around as an excuse to pick someone up. I highly doubt that someone in the public eye as much as Assange (not to mention someone who is under a microscope already) would have something to do with rape.

I could be wrong, but still...

Re:I dunno man (4, Funny)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267208)

[...] (as opposed to lawful coercion?)

I think that's usually referred to as "dating".

Re:I dunno man (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267234)

[sarcasm]Nobody in the spotlight/limelight/under a microscope has ever committed a serious crime such as this, before![/sarcasm]

Re:I dunno man (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267418)

Everybody knows about the Iraq war, and has at least heard about improper stuff having happened there, even if they never visited wikileaks.

Filesystems, on the other hand, is something most people wouldn't even know how to spell...

Re:I dunno man (5, Informative)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267242)

"Lawful coercion" does exist: it's called "arrest" or "detainment".

Re:I dunno man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267292)

Was this modded down just because of his name?

After all, this poster is quite correct.

Re:I dunno man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268078)

It wasn't modded down, it's his default score based on karma level.

Re:I dunno man (2, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267362)

"Lawful coercion" does exist: it's called "arrest" or "detainment".

Yes, also taxes, jury duty, mandatory school attendance, eminent domain...

Re:I dunno man (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267246)

I highly doubt that someone in the public eye as much as Assange (not to mention someone who is under a microscope already) would have something to do with rape.

Yeah, public figures who do bad thing, that could never [bilderberg.org] happen [huffingtonpost.com] ...

Re:I dunno man (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267564)

Oh come on, how can you have a post of famous dudes doing bad stuff on a nerd website and not include Everyone's favourite journaling File System author! [wikipedia.org]

he's innocent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267654)

Hans Reiser is an innocent man.

Re:he's innocent (3, Funny)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267806)

He's so innocent that he fooled the police with a false confession and led them to a fake body he constructed from pork skins and clown makeup.

"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267272)

I highly doubt that someone in the public eye as much as Assange (not to mention someone who is under a microscope already) would have something to do with rape.

So you get a free pass with the law because you're a celebrity?

Justice is blind. Try not to forget that.

Hell, I would argue that people in power are often egomaniacs who think they can get away with murder, rape, fraud, cheating, mistresses, etc. If you are a popular football player or billionaire or web sensation, you're probably doing whatever you want. I think the opposite logic is more applicable than yours. But, again, justice is blind so I don't think that should even be taken into account. If the accuser is a shill, the court and lawyers should be able to figure that out. If the accuser is not a shill, however, you would basically be protecting a rapist because he runs a site you like. Let justice run its course and just try to have faith in the Swedish Justice system.

As someone who is not popular, I'm not too keen on your line of reasoning regardless of how much I like or dislike Julian Assange.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267448)

"Justice is blind"?

If you think that, you've never seen "justice" in action, neither in Sweden nor any place else. Or maybe you're just trying to tell us that courts have nothing to do with "justice"?

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267512)

Justice is blind. But Justice can still hear the jingling sound of a purse full of coins.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267618)

Lifetime judges may be blind but DA's are often elected political creatures.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267908)

In Sweden, neither judges or public prosecutors are elected on popular vote.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (-1, Troll)

DES (13846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267912)

DA's are often elected political creatures.

In the US perhaps, not in the civilized world.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (2, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267938)

When you're blind, you're easy to push around. Which I suspect is what's happening here.

Not that I'm saying that Assange isn't an egotistical narcissist, just that he also happens to have pissed off some powerful people, that I fully expect to be willing to push justice around like that, just to get even with him.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267794)

So you get a free pass with the law because you're a celebrity?

No, but you get bonus doubt when you pissed off the Pentagon and are depicted as a "dangerous individual" by an organization that has used and still uses a vast network of agents and has billions of funds (trillions ?) and has an exclusive de fact right to do things that would be illegal for anyone else to do (like killing people it doesn't like, sorry, "people that threathen US interest")

Justice is blind, sure, but don't forget that blind justice is also just a theory that we are trying to implement on imperfect human societies and that some people are actively trying to gain from the glitches of its implementations.

If justice is blind, it will hear Donald Rumsfeld in an international court of law in the same time as Assange is judged in Sweden. In the meantime, I am more worried about the suspected war criminal being not brought in front of a tribunal than about a borderline rapist (none of the victims actually charged him but in Sweden, a rape accusation automatically launches a legal procedure) that happens to be a very needed journalist in the present world.

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34268082)

What I don't understand is why Assange will not step down as the head of Wikileaks.

All of these shadowy governmental organizations are out to destroy Assange so why doesn't he step down severing all the links between himself and Wikileaks? That would derail all of the complicated machinations of the world wide shadow government to topple somebody of Assange's importance. Wouldn't that be the right thing for the head of such an important organization to do?

Re:"Because You're Popular, You Get a Free Pass!" (1, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267968)

This is a set up and Julian needs more than a little bit of help to survive. Various American agencies seek to bury the man alive and apparently those agencies have some power inside of Sweden. To start with Julian has to have known that an intense spotlight was focused upon him by American military intelligence. Under that kind of scrutiny only a total fool would commit a serious crime. Next we come to charges that were already dismissed somehow springing back to life. And the frosting on the cake is the supposed excuse to hold him for the purpose of interrogation. I know nothing of Swedish law but I would think that a man would simply choose to remain silent rather than allow interrogations. Does that mean that Sweden would retain him in custody forever? I doubt it. It all comes down to a powerful nation trying to squash a man who helped expose some really rotten behavior by a government.

Re:I dunno man (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267274)

Given Assange's choice of professions, I find it highly likely that government would start making up crap about him just to detain him. I don't like crying conspiracy, but given how much he's ticked officials off in the past...

Re:I dunno man (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267288)

> (as opposed to lawful coercion?)

Ah, come on, baby, please, I need it. You know it won't take long...

Re:I dunno man (2, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267300)

Sexual crimes seems to be a big thing in Sweden recently, since they're at the core of some popular Stieg Larsson books / movies that have grown in the public eye there and internationally over the past few years:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Trilogy [wikipedia.org]

We saw the first two movies at indy theaters / Netflix lately. Whee vengeance!

Re:I dunno man (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267350)

From what I hear, "rape" in Sweden isn't necessarily what we'd think of as rape. Even in the US, rape isn't always "rape rape". Get a guy and a girl drunk, let them have sex, and if the girl regrets it in the morning it's "rape". I would assume it's some such bullshit until proven otherwise.

Re:I dunno man (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267424)

To back this up a bit, check out this abstract [springerlink.com] claiming that the rape rate in Sweden is 3x the rest of Europe. At least 2/3s of those people are considered rapists in Sweden, when they would not be in any other country. It sounds like Sweden is going through some sort of moral panic [wikipedia.org] concerning rape. So I'm disinclined to believe any rape claims coming out of Sweden.

Re:I dunno man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267706)

It strikes me as strange for a country where, right up until the current generation, one of the main traditions was everybody playing together naked from childhood through adulthood. As that tradition fades, we suddenly see a correlation with increased sex crimes?

Re:I dunno man (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267378)

You mean like Phil Spector?
On the other hand this case has been considered of such low importance that they are still trying to decide whether it is worth questioning the suspect for the first time. That should put this case nicely in perspective because rape is normally taken very seriously.

Re:I dunno man (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267844)

"I could be wrong, but still..."
Still what?
Really if he is rapist he is a rapist.
And this is in Sweden. I don't believe that the US government is out to get Assange because it is so not worth the risk. And what? Do you think President Obama is after him or are you going to blame Bush? Or maybe some shadow government that is even more powerful then the President?
Or maybe it is the Masons.
Or the Illuminati.
I think it is is the Shriners. Never trust a man in a Fez on a small motorcycle!

Really folks you don't even trust the Swedish courts to give this guy a fair shake? Or maybe you think he should be above all laws?

 

This will never end department is right (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267236)

The powers that be want Assange captured and made an example of. So if he's not done in by these charges, they'll find something else to go after him with, and keep trying until he's in prison, killed, or the world hates him. And that's not to say these charges aren't legit. It's just awfully suspicious, especially since the first time they went after him for this another prosecutor stepped in and had the matter dropped.

I think we can also safely give Assange the title of International Man of Mystery.

Re:This will never end department is right (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267412)

You play in the mud, expect to get dirty.

I'm sure Assange knew all that before embarking on this selfless and valiant act. Right? Or did he expect to be greeted like some world super hero and win the Nobel Peace Prize unscathed?

Re:This will never end department is right (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267534)

While the government (Be it swedish or american) could just make up charges against him, I don't see why they would need to for most people. Everyone has done *something* illegal, somewhere, sometime. Getting rid of an inconvenient person is as simple as investigating their life until you stumble across some useful dirt you can charge them for.

Re:This will never end department is right (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267950)

Why do you need to find something "he did" to charge him?

I'm sure if "they" wanted to, "they" could toss him in a maximum security prison under a false name with a false conviction for something unsavory, like raping toddlers, with a complete faked background (criminal record, trial transcripts, etc).

What's he gonna do? Call the media and say he's in prison under false charges? And they'd believe him or even begin to prove otherwise?

And I'm sure for the smallest of considerations the word could be put out to prison gangs that this guy has a price on his head. And then a few weeks later, he's another guy killed in prison who fades into anonymity faster than they can stick his body into a Potter's Field.

Making Powerful Enemies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267786)

You know how it goes...

Piss of the russkies and you get to taste polonium
Piss of the yankees and ... they name you "assangel"

Just wait (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267268)

He'll get a conviction too.

I said it from the very beginning; courts here are _extremely_ political - when just plain old prestige isn't the deciding factor - and with the current right leaning crypto-facist government headed by one of the more glaring psychopaths leaders in a "democratic" state, it was a big mistake to come here. Something like this was bound to happen.

well obviously (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267276)

Clearly Julian Assange has committed a crime of raping the US intelligence and military, which is punishable by every means possible. He needs to be taken care of, he is clearly a sexual deviant, coercing the innocent intelligence and military structures into an uncomfortable position with him in a room in Stockholm.

Re:well obviously (4, Insightful)

dnahelicase (1594971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267318)

Clearly Julian Assange has committed a crime of raping the US intelligence and military, which is punishable by every means possible. He needs to be taken care of, he is clearly a sexual deviant, coercing the innocent intelligence and military structures into an uncomfortable position with him in a room in Stockholm.

I believe the safe word was "9-11!". I think the military would have just needed to say that and I'm sure he would have stopped..."

TSA (1, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267396)

Well, looks like the US intelligence and military actually LIKED the action, but now, that the details came out, they are too embarrassed to admit to the moments of joy they have received there.

Now they are desperately trying to replay the entire incident backwards, looking for the right positions and reenacting it for their own pleasure, but doing so through the TSA in the airports. You see, the entire TSA thing, with junk groping and the naked pictures, it's just a masqueraded way for the intelligence and the military structures to get the memories and experiences repeated over and over. Their top bras has a lot of air miles after all.

Re:TSA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267566)

Their top bras has a lot of air miles after all.

Top bras are the only ones I've ever seen. I'm willing to accept the possibility that such a thing as a bottom bra exists, but I will have to ask you to cite.

Thank you.

Innocent (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267278)

Personally I don't believe he did it, and this is just an elaborate set up by some twisted organisation to silence him.

If only there was a website that could out the truth on this whole matter.

Re:Innocent (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267444)

I believe it's an elaborate setup by assange himself so people will believe twisted organizations are after him

Re:Innocent (2, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267502)

It seems like a pretty flaky way to ruin the guy, considering how much difficulty victims have in securing a conviction where there has been a rape (either because it's difficult to collect evidence or because a lot of the time it comes down to one person's word against another). If there were shady government-funded agencies at work here, couldn't they have come up with something that left no shadow of doubt as to guilt to ensure a conviction, an acquaintance stabbed and a bloody knife found in his car, or indecent images planted on his computer or something? It seems like subjecting him to a craps shoot where there's a reasonable chance he'll come out of it looking better than he went in isn't the best way to ruin him (of course, it could be a double bluff because they know they'll get a conviction, but it's a lot riskier rigging a trial than planting some evidence).

Re:Innocent (4, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267686)

I think this isn't about a conviction, but rather casting doubt at the person. Wikileaks is already being associated as 'that rapist club' by people who only casually follow the news. Some see this latest news and ask 'is that creep still out raping those lovely women?'. You analyzed right, but doubt isn't a problem here, it's what they need most to discredit him and his organization.

Re:Innocent (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267714)

I think someone beat you to the Punch [wikileakileaks.org] .

Argghhh (4, Insightful)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267290)

For fucks sake, they say they want to charge him, and then they let him go. Then they say they want to charge him, and yet again they say he can go. Now this. I mean come on, either you want him or not. Either you stand in the face of the bullies who are asking you to do this, or you bend all the way, there is no I am half-way bent.

Re:Argghhh (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267332)

For fucks sake, they say they want to charge him, and then they let him go.

They never actually brought him in or even asked him to turn up last time. This is the first time he's actually been called in for questioning - but wait - they haven't actually called him in yet! We've got a huge beatup about something that isn't even a story yet. This ridiculous amount of trial by media makes it look very much like a bluff where they have nothing that will stick to the point where he can be deported but they just want to harass him out of the country.

Defense attourney's letter in English (4, Informative)

grimJester (890090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267848)

click [twitlonger.com]

It's a nice way to ruin someone's reputation... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267510)

If you keep repeating an accusation, the public will only remember his face and the word "rape".

As is so often the case these days, your being detained implies reasonable suspicion of your having committed something, and since a lot of people are never formally suspected of any wrongdoing, surely a person who's been detained based on reasonable suspicion on several occasions is guilty at least of something, and cannot be trusted...

Re:It's a nice way to ruin someone's reputation... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267870)

I think you mean "potential jury", if they have those in Sweden.

Re:It's a nice way to ruin someone's reputation... (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267898)

That's an 2 edged sword. If people heard this: This man who helped uncover dirty secrets, was blamed for raped immediately after he released the documents that uncovered the atrocities committed by this faction. This person will be even more trusted. It's a PR game, and I would put my bet on him. Because as long as governments(like the US) are certifying that these leaked documents are true, the second story will always prevail.

Smear campaign (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267324)

This is an attempt to discredit the Wikileaks website in the minds of the EU and US public, by smearing the owner as a "rapist"
.

Re:Smear campaign (0, Offtopic)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267594)

If NFL stars can kill dogs and rape women and still have amazing fanbases, why can't some dude in a foreign country release information to the public about their governments and rape and molest some women and still have people standing up for him?

They should have planted kiddie porn on his computer instead. That would have silenced him in the eyes of the US public for sure.

Re:Smear campaign (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267694)

Maybe he has a reasonably secure computer running Linux instead of Windows? Without the backdoors, windows update and trucksized security issues Windows has its pretty darn hard breaking into a computer that connects to random places all over the world, especially if it runs an updated linux distribution. Im not sure its possible even with unlimited resources.

Re:Smear campaign (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268098)

This is an attempt to discredit the Wikileaks website

Wikileaks has discredited themselves quite well all on their own. It started out as a site for people in oppressed countries to leak out information that their rulers would rather keep under wraps. It evolved into a site that would accept leaks from anyone. It then turned into a site whose primary propose seems to be to embarrass the United States Government.

Mind you, my Government deserves to be embarassed at times but this war that Assange is waging is hardly compatible with the lofty ideas that got Wikileaks started. Some of Wikileaks own people have said as much.

Wikileaks needs to expose this conspiracy (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267336)

I mean, what else are they there for?

Stockholm DA's daily planner (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267344)

10:00 - Arrest Assange for sexual assault

10:05 - Release Assange

11:15 - Arrest Assange for racketeering

11:17 - Release Assange

13:07- Arrest Assange for littering, release him then book him right back for excessive use of cusswords

13:19 - Release Assange, change mind, grab him by the collar as he leaves the precinct

14:03 - Have Kevin Spacey explain to me how Assange is really Keyzer Soze, let him go, then run after him after finding his whole story on Wikileaks is fabricated from fragments of my post-it board

Re:Stockholm DA's daily planner (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267458)

the "leaks" part was from the bottom of the cracked coffee cup that the investigator was drinking from that was well ...leaking.

Wouldn't it be Sozestrom or something? And he'd end all of his sentences with "bort. bort. bort. bort."?

Nov 18th? (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267364)

When I saw this article I thought "Oh look, I must have gotten the main page cached or something"

Seriously, why hasn't this whole fiasco/media circus died already?

Re:Nov 18th? (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267814)

Precisely because the people behind it don't want it to die. They want to keep it in the public mindset that "Assange is a rapist", not "Assange was the media figure who helped expose US military abuse, incompetence, and murder".

Anonymous Coward (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267368)

I smell a setup to send him in the US when he'll be in custody...

Legal response (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267372)

(If you're not from Sweden this might be hard to understand, but yes, it's seen as culturally ok to claim rape several days after the fact - even if it was consentual at the time)

Press release by counsel for Julian Assange

LONDON, 2pm Thursday November 18, 2010

Mark Stephens of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent said today, “On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.

However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported “the basis for the rape charge” purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.

The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no “reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The so called “rape” story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.

Eva Finne’s decision to drop the “rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media. Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must e informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. The actions by the Swedish authorities constitute a blatant and deliberate disregard for his rights under the Convention.

We are now concerned that prosecutor Marianne Ny intends to apply for an arrest warrant in an effort to have Mr. Assange forcibly taken to Sweden for preliminary questioning. Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden before he left, and then subsequently in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit. All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate. Pursuing a warrant in this circumstance is entirely unnecessary and disproportionate. This action is in contravention both of European Conventions and makes a mockery of arrangements between Sweden and the United Kingdom designed to deal with just such situations. This behavior is not a prosecution, but a persecution. Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he did.

Our client has always maintained his innocence. The allegations against him are false and without basis. As a result of these false allegations and bizarre legal interpretations our client now has his name and reputation besmirched. Thousands of news articles and 3.6million web pages now contain his name and the word “rape”. Indeed, three out of four web-pages that mention Mr. Assange’s name also now mention the word “rape”—a direct result of incompetent and malicious behavior by Swedish government prosecutors. My client is now in the extraordinary position that, despite his innocence, and despite never having been charged, and despite never receiving a single piece of paper about the allegations against him, one in ten Internet references to the word “rape” also include his name. Every day that this flawed investigation continues the damages to his reputation are compounded.”

-ENDS-
Mark Stephens is contactable on 0207 344 7661 or his cell 07831 115000

Finers Stephens Innocent http://www.fsilaw.com/ [fsilaw.com]

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71lsqt [twitlonger.com]

Re:Legal response (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267498)

Followup from his Swedish counsel:

(Fellow Swedes on Slashdot, make your voices heard if you feel ashamed)

Letter from Swedish Counsel Bjorn Hurtig to English co-Counsel for Julian Assange.

Note Neither Mr. Assange nor Counsel, nor WikiLeaks have ever received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against our editor.

From: Björn Hurtig
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:43 PM
To: Jennifer
Subject: SV: Our client

Dear Jennifer,

Enclosed You will find a copy of the documents that I have would like to send to the prosecutor. I have not been able to have the document translated in detail, but I will now tell You the most important things in it.

First of all I comment the ongoing investigation and tell the prosecutor that I have asked her several times that they should hear my client so that we can be aware of the accusations. They have said no to this initially (and by this I mean for several weeks). Furthermore I remind her that I several times have asked her to give me the evidence in the case. She has said no to this also. I then tell her that I have asked my questions informally and in writing and tell her about a formal request that I made 14 of September 2010. This formal request has not yet been formally answered, which I find to be a breach of Swedish law (23:18 Rättegångsbalken). I also tell her that Sweden has not followed art 6:3 of The European Convention of the 4 november 1950, because Julian has not been informed of the accusation in detail and in his own language. Neither has he been informed of the documents in the case in his own language. This is an incorrect behavior.

I then tell her that Julian is indeed willing to participate in a hearing. But I remind her that I asked her in writing (14 of September) if he was free to leave Sweden for doing buissines in other countries and that she called me and said that he was free to leave. This is important because it means that Julian has not left Sweden in trying to escape the Swedish justice. Then I reminds her that Julian and I several times have tried to give them dates when he could come to Sweden and participate in a hearing, for example I spoke to the second prosecutor Erika Leijnefors during week nr 40 and told her that Julian could participate in a hearing the 10 of October (a Sunday) or some day the following week. The prosecutor in charge (Marianne Ny) said no to this. Other times Marianne Ny has said no to our proposals due to that one of her policeofficers were sick or because the time did not suit her. This is also important because it shows that Julian has tried but Marianne Ny has said no. I go on remembering her that Julian has suggested that he could participate over a phone line and from an Australian Embassy. She has said not to this also. Then I tell her that Julian is willing to participate through a videoconference or to make a written statement over the accusation and the questions they may have. This is of utmost importance, since it shows his willingness to participate. I remind her of a ruling from our Highest Court; NJA 2007 s.337, in which the court did not put a man in custody although he was abroad and did not come to Sweden to participate in a hearing. It was not proportional to do such a thing, since he left Sweden rightfully (just like Julian) and thus did not try to escape the Swedish justice, he was willing to participate via phone or in writing and so forth.

In the second last section of the letter I tell the prosecutor that she should think of the damage that Sweden already has done to Julian by letting his name in public. I tell her that I have heard that there is a policeinvestigation going on about the first prosecutor who let Julians name out In public, which shows that it is a serious matter. If the prosecutor now goes forward with a request of Julian being put in custody it is my opinion that the damage could be enormous; whatever the outcome of the trial may be. Therefore I urge her to come back to me with a proposal of when and where we could have this hearing instead of her dragging Julian in to court.

In the last section I tell her that if she proceeds with her plans of a custodytrial, I want all documents. This I say because I don not trust them to give me everything.

So Jennifer, this is the main things in my letter. I hope You understand what I am writing. If not, please call me. I will not be able to take Your calls today though, since I will be busy the rest of the day. If You do not call med, please let me know a s a p if I can send the letter to the prosecutor. I would like to send it first thing tomorrow morning. You may tell med by mail.

Best regards

Björn Hurtig

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71m62q [twitlonger.com]

Re:Legal response (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267554)

Retroactive rape? "I consented, but if I'd known then what I know now I wouldn't have, therefore knowing what I know now allows me to reverse my decision of the past, therefore I didn't consent, thus it was rape." Twisted, but... lawyers. Same in every country.

Re:Legal response (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267776)

It could happen actually,

If you sleep with a person who didn't tell you s/he had HIV (while they knew) - then you could pretty much say that.

This of course has naught to do with the current case - which appears to be about him failing to "Phone her in the Morning"

Re:Legal response (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267900)

Nope, that's a different charge. Rape is rape over here in the US.

Re:Legal response (2, Informative)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268106)

It sounds like the retroactive rape charge is in relation to the guy sleeping with two girls who know each other. They only went to the police after they found out about the other encounter. That would mean the charges are less about the AIDS and more about the cooties.

While I don't claim to be an expert in these matters, what I do know a thing or two about is the power of whisper campaigns. You can quickly dismantle someone's authority by just saying bad things about them and getting others to make jokes. The affect of the Assange affair, from what I have seen, is that he is getting smeared very effectively and a lot of people are in on it. If this was a political campaign and I was attempting to delegitimize a superior opponent, this is exactly how I would go about it.

I guess what I am saying is I have all the sympathy in the world for the victims and look forward to learning what brought these charges to the level of rape. I would not be surprised to learn the details failed to meet the high standards most people would recognize as sexual assault. I would be utterly stunned if a single one of these jackals attacking Assange takes back anything they said if he's eventually proven innocent.

Re:Legal response (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268118)

That's not rape, that's assault with a deadly weapon. Some guy was just convicted of that out in Texas.

Re:Legal response (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267822)

(If you're not from Sweden this might be hard to understand, but yes, it's seen as culturally ok to claim rape several days after the fact - even if it was consentual at the time )

I'm sorry, but that's wrong (in a moral sense, I have no idea of its accuracy in a truth sense). Does that extend to other "crimes"?

  • If I buy something and the store puts it on sale two days later, can I claim they stole the difference from me?
  • If I compete in boxing, can I later accuse my opponent of assault and battery?
  • If I am born, can I later charge my mother with sexual abuse because she made me crawl through her vagina (unless I was delivered via C-section)?

Re:Legal response (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267922)

1. You paid a premium for the privilege of having it two days early.

2. Participation in a boxing match constitutes consent to be hit, and thus there is no assault.

3. Given the mechanics involved in childbirth I would say that any sexual abuse would be overruled by the involuntary nature of giving birth.

Wikileaks (2, Insightful)

falldeaf (968657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267374)

The problem with Wikileaks is that only half of the participants are anonymous. For it to work over a long period of time the people helping to disseminate the information need to be anonymous, too. I'm not sure if that's technically possible, though.

Key question (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267382)

I think the key question in the short term is going to be "what are court reporting restrictions like in Sweden". I have no idea whether Mr. Assange has committed the crimes he is accused of. If he has, then regardless of his notoriety, he should be punished appropriately. If he hasn't, then regardless of his notoriety, he should not be punished for them (and if there has been an attempt to pervert the course of justice, those responsible should be put on trial).

But with a case as charged as this, controversy will inevitably surround any court proceedings that may result. I would argue that it is of vital importance that the world outside the courtroom be able to see the evidence presented, so as to deter against any possible injustice towards either Mr. Assange or the reputation of the United States.

Here in the UK, we still have pretty heavy court reporting restrictions. In the US, of course, proceedings tend to be far more open (to the extent of televised trials). Does anybody know where Sweden falls on the spectrum?

Re:Key question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267666)

In this U.S. its up to Judges. I've been in courts where I was forbidden from having any device capable of recording including cell phones, laptops, etc.

Re:Key question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267906)

Unless one of the parties in the case specify "closed doors", trials in Sweden are public and audio may be broadcast (even live like in the Pirate Bay case). Recording and/or broadcasting of video inside the courtroom is not allowed.

Well... (2, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267388)

Julian Assange is _special_, so little niceties like laws, rules and regulations don't apply to him.

By all means, question him (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267446)

"Nobody is above the law" is the principle Wikileaks seems to be standing for. Assange should not be exempt from the laws either. By all means, if there is sufficient evidence to warrant some questions, question him.

I personally have no opinion as to whether these charges are true or not - there just isn't enough data to support any conclusion. It could be an attempt to discredit the organization, or it could be true. So, then, go get the data, and examine the evidence, and see if there's even enough to warrant a trial.

Re:By all means, question him (1)

bkmoore (1910118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267490)

Thank you for your post. You are the only person here so far with an open mind around here. Let's wait to see how the evidence plays out before jumping to conclusions. Sad that everyone else already has made up their minds.

Re:By all means, question him (3, Insightful)

DES (13846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267834)

I think you both missed the part where the prosecutor has repeatedly refused to interview Assange or to inform his attorney in writing of the exact charges, and the multiple violations of Swedish law and legal precedent and of the European Convention on Human Rights by both the police and the prosecution. TL;DNR perhaps?

Re:By all means, question him (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267892)

They can't inform him of his charges if he hasn't actually been charged for anything. I'm not a lawyer, and my legal knowledge is US, not Swedish, but if they're still investigating the matter, they can't charge you with anything. I'm also going to ask for an independent (read: not aligned with either side) source for "multiple violations of Swedish and international law. Just because I think, had there actually been a clear violation, Assange would be suing Sweden for everything it owns.

Re:By all means, question him (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267982)

The fact that for the past several months abosolutely no proof of anything has been put forth, either publicly or by leaking the information. This should, in any sensible person, raise red flags, alarms and klaxons galore. The whole "jumping to conclusions" bit was said and done with in the Summer.

Re:By all means, question him (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268004)

Back in August - Assange was in Sweden when this first hit the media.
The charges were dropped back then and he was allowed to leave the country after they said they didn't want to talk to him.

From the quotes back in August and those now, it seems that Assange has tried to help the Swedish police with their enquiries as much as possible.

http://www.newser.com/story/98624/sweden-cancels-warrant-for-wikileaks-assange.html [newser.com]
http://www.mediaite.com/online/report-sweden-withdraws-arrest-warrant-for-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange/ [mediaite.com]
http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/08/21/1138240/Julian-Assange-Faces-Rape-Investigation-In-Sweden-mdash-Updated [slashdot.org]

Re:By all means, question him (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268086)

Assange should not be exempt from the laws either. By all means, if there is sufficient evidence to warrant some questions, question him.

The authorities should also not be exempt from the laws. And if you knew anything about the case, you'd know the authorities are not following the law, and are not following due process.

Several mod5 comments above can educate you on this matter in more detail.

Statement by Julian Assange's counsel Mark Stephen (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267562)

WikiLeaks

On Thursday 18th November 2010, @wikileaks said:

Statement by Julian Assange's counsel Mark Stephens

Finers Stephens Innocent http://www.fsilaw.com/ [fsilaw.com]

LONDON, 1pm Thursday November 18, 2010

On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of "rape" involving two Swedish women.

However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported "the basis for the rape charge" purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other's relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.

The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no "reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The "rape" story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.

Eva Finne's decision to drop the "rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must "be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him". The actions by the Swedish authorities constitute a blatant and deliberate disregard for his rights under the Convention.

We are now concerned that prosecutor Marianne Ny intends to apply for an arrest warrant in an effort to have Mr. Assange forcibly taken to Sweden for preliminary questioning. Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden, and then in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit. All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate. Pursuing a warrant in this circumstance is entirely unnecessary and disproportionate. This action is in contravention both of European Conventions and makes a mockery of arrangements between Sweden and the United Kingdom designed to deal with just such situations. This behavior is not a prosecution, but a persecution. Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he did.

Our client has always maintained his innocence. The allegations against him are false and without basis. As a result of these false allegations and bizarre legal interpretations our client now has his name and reputation besmirched. Thousands of news articles and 3.6million web pages now contain his name and the word "rape". Indeed, three out of four webpages that mention Mr. Assange's name also now mention the word "rape"--a direct result of incompetent and malicious behavior by Swedish government prosecutors. My client is now in the extraordinary position that, despite his innocence, and despite never having been charged, and despite never receiving a single piece of paper about the allegations against him, one in ten Internet references to the word "rape" also include his name. Every day that this flawed investigation continues the damages to his reputation are compounded.

Mark Stephens

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/71l2t1# [twitlonger.com]

set up (2, Interesting)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267636)

The Assange case makes a good study in how the violent right goes about dealing with threats; we first saw serious suggestions that he is some sort of 'sex pest' being inserted into the media earlier this year; for instance a BBC profile piece on him contained 'hints' of this, shadow actors started adding entries to his wikipedia article, all pro-establishment media now uses a standard 'looks greasy and sleezy' stock photo of him, etc..

Then later on; he failed to resist some of the loose women who suddenly started attaching themselves to him at every opportunity; and behold; they turned out to be shills; whoring themselves for publicity and (being underhandedly encouraged by the warmongers Assuange threatens).

And now we enter the first endgame. Lets be quite clear; the decision to arrest was not really made by Swedish legal types; it was made by pro-violence media manipulators working to support the arms industry; the authorities in Sweeden are just doing as they are told.

The only crime Assuange has made against me was to not tell these whores to fuck off when they draped themselves over him.

Character assassination (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267646)

That's what this is. When he gets arrested, the news won't say "The swedish authorities have finally captured wikileaks founder Julian Assagne, using 'rape' and 'molestation' to get an arrest order".

They'll say: "Wikileaks founder Julian Assagne has been convicted for rape. " Then they'll make a story of how corrupted wikileaks is and how its founders are a bunch of criminals. Of course, I'm sure Fox News will add some spice to please the masses.

Good dog, Sweden, gooood boyyyyy! (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267670)

This has CIA character assassination written all over it with a huge marker. Nice to see that Swedish courts are either lapdogs or dupes (or both). This is exactly what I expected [slashdot.org] the CIA to do to.

Based on the charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267810)

They'll likely find him working for the TSA.

Detention? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34267896)

I was given detention at school. So does Julian have to stay behind and write "I must not leak Government secrets" 500 times on the blackboard/whiteboard?

Conspiracy (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34267902)

From: CIA
To: Woman dating Assange

We will pay out $xxx,xxx for the successful arrest of Assange in Sweeden.


From Woman dating Assange
To: Swedish Authorities

I was raped.

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34268030)

they *aren't* out to get you.

He smacked the elite squarely in the nose. They won't let such an affront go unpunished.

It's a matter of principal now. Peasants must not rise above their station.

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