The Cable Guy Julian Assange Becomes US's Public Enemy No. 1

REUTERS

By and

Part 3: Parallel Affairs in Stockholm


The Stockholm affair began in mid-August with an event held by an organization tied to the Swedish Social Democrats. Anna A., the organization's spokeswoman, had invited Assange, who stayed at her apartment in Stockholm. It is undisputed that Assange and Anna A. had sex with each other on the evening before the event.

The next day, Assange gave a talk about the preceding Afghanistan leaks at the headquarters of the Swedish trade union association. A young artist from a town near Stockholm named Sofia W., who had obtained accreditation for the event as a photographer and worshipped Assange, was in the audience. It is also undisputed that Assange and Sofia W. had sex that night and again the following morning, before Assange disappeared.

A short time later, the two women found out about the parallel affairs, discussed their experiences and decided to go to the police together. Anna A. later went on record as saying that she had only intended to accompany the younger Sofia as a witness. Assange, she said, was not violent but had a strange attitude toward women and refused to accept "no" for an answer.

Arguments over Condoms

The statements by the two women marked the beginning of a case rarely seen in Swedish legal history. The public prosecutor assigned to the case applied for an arrest warrant on charges that included rape. She also confirmed the name of the accused when asked by the tabloid newspaper Expressen. Within less than 24 hours, the public prosecutor's office withdrew the arrest warrant and the rape charge, but not a charge of sexual harassment.

Weeks later, the attorney for the two women managed to convince the prosecution to reopen its investigation of the rape allegation. A new arrest warrant was issued in November and the Swedes began the search for Assange. But the European arrest warrant contained a technical error. A revised version now exists.

It is now up to the courts to determine what exactly happened in those two nights. Both women testified that they initially had consensual sex with Assange. But they claim that this changed later on, when arguments erupted over the use of condoms.

Swedish legal practice in relation to sex offenses is more rigid than German practice. Under the Swedish criminal code, a person who threatens to perform sexual acts is to be convicted of rape and sentenced to a minimum of two years and a maximum of six years in prison. Moderately severe cases are punishable with up to four years in prison.

Questionable Approach

What is questionable, however, is the approach taken by the Swedish investigating authorities. Assange made himself available for questioning in Sweden for four weeks, then left the country with the permission of the public prosecutor's office and told Scotland Yard in Great Britain that he could be reached through her law firm, says Jennifer Robinson, Assange's attorney. He also offered to be questioned at the Swedish Embassy in London or directly at Scotland Yard, she said.

Speaking ahead of Assange's arrest on Tuesday, Robinson denied the rumors that her client had disappeared and was on the run. Because of the latest death threats after the publication of the embassy cables, Assange, Robinson said, was merely keeping himself "in the background." The Swedish prosecutor assigned to the case was unavailable for comment. Robinson had already announced that she would take action against the arrest warrant and a possible extradition.

The publication of the diplomatic cables is Assange's biggest leak by far -- and one that gives even him food for thought. "The effects are at such a scale, it eclipses our ability to survey them," he said.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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Naturhuf 12/07/2010
1. Witch Hunt
maybe he did something, but this sure feels like modern witch hunt at its best and I am surprised that Sweeden is playing along........just sad
mae 12/08/2010
2. transparency and hypocrisy at Wikkileaks
For someone like Assange who loudly proclaims himself to the be the champion of transparency, he refuses to be transparent about his own legal troubles in Sweden. Prehaps Mr.Assange should practise what he preaches and publish on Wikkileaks the testimony of the women who have bought charges against him in Sweden. Surely if the Swedish authorities have issued an arrest warrent this is serious. How I wish someone would give Assange a dose of his own medicine and publish all the details of the women's testimony - then we get to know the real Assange, not the fame seeking meglomanic masquerading as a freedom of speech advocate. Assange knows releasing leaks from Burma or North Korea will not get the same worldwide media attention.
robertlaity 12/08/2010
3. Obama is America;s "Number One" enemy.
Obama is a Usurper: http://www.thepostemail.com/2010/08/17/there-is-no-president-obama/
mae 12/09/2010
4. What if German diplomatic cables were released - more shady and immoral ? Possible
It will be interesting what Der Spiegel's reaction would have been if WikkiLeaks had released German diplomatic cables ? Imagine reading about how German goverment turned a blind eye to greedy German companies selling WMD capability to Saddam, and building chemical factories for Saddam in the 1980's. Imagine reading about how now the German government is sponsering business fairs in Sudan in the name of the German export machine while the USA has laws against doing business with the genocidal dictatorship in Sudan and US companies can sell only humanitarian items such as food to Sudan. Imagine reading how Germany has no such laws and and German companies can sell anyting to genocidal regime in Sudan? Furthermore the German goverment is strongly pushing for stronger buisness ties with Sudan's despots in the name of German corporate greed? Worse of all imagine how Der Spiegel would look if it didn't fullfil its responsiblities as a free press to uncover and report the German goverment's shady and immoral conduct in Sudan in the name of exports? But then again Der Speigel didn't uncover the German government's shameful behavior when German companies did brisk business building chemical factories for a brutal dictator like Saddam who already had a well known reputation for using poison gas during the Iran/Iraq war. It was the New York times that broke the story. Shame on the German media that a foreign media broke the news of German government's misdeeds. Doubtful though that Der Speigel will feel any shame over that though. Der Speigel should look at its own hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to goverment transparency. Apparently transparency is well and good for the USA and only for the USA, not for Germany especially if it puts at risk German corporate profits - therefore we will never see any articles in Der Spiegel about the morally repugant behaviour of the German government in Sudan.
BTraven 12/09/2010
5.
Zitat von Naturhufmaybe he did something, but this sure feels like modern witch hunt at its best and I am surprised that Sweeden is playing along........just sad
I think it is wrong to mix up the two cases he is alleged to have done – the two women who felt they were sexual abused by him went to the police before the latest documents (cables) have been published. The only indication that Sweden's request for extraction could have something to do with his work is that the accusation was temporarily abandoned for reasons I do not know. I am not a lawyer but I think his chances to come out of the case unharmed are not bad since it should be no problem for his defenders to accuse the two women that they want to take revenge so everything is made up by them. I think it would be a very nasty trial. It's a pity that both parties had not find a way to avoid a scenario where the whole world will learn of what happened. It's disgusting.
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