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Sex, Lies and Julian Assange

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Sunday July 29, 2012 12:35author by pat c Report this post to the editors

“Four Corners”, an Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affairs program, this week broadcast what amounted to an exposé of the frame-up of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange on allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. Assange remains inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seeking political asylum from the threat of being removed to Sweden, which would in turn facilitate extradition to the US.
Supporters of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange gather outside the Ecuador Embassy in central London (Reuters)
Supporters of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange gather outside the Ecuador Embassy in central London (Reuters)

When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won't receive justice if he's taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.

Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?

"I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court." Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén

Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.

"Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lapdog and it's not a matter we're particularly proud of." Assange supporter

"The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it's simply a matter between the UK and Sweden." Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia

Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" being made against Assange - which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange's supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI's attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.

"Sex, Lies and Julian Assange", reported by Andrew Fowler and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 23rd July at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th July at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm Saturday, ABC iview and at 4 Corners.


Transcript and full broadcast at: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19/35492...0.htm

There are links to separate vid interviews at the link above but they don't seem to be working at present.

Australian TV program exposes Assange frame-up

... The program provided substantial evidence that the allegations against him were false and politically motivated. The unproven accusations were used to blacken his name in Sweden and around the world, and counter the widespread public support that he and WikiLeaks had won for courageously exposing the crimes and machinations of the US and other powers.

Reported by Andrew Fowler, the program recounts that when Assange arrived in Sweden on August 11, he was offered accommodation at the apartment of Anna Ardin. She was meant to be away, but returned on the evening of August 13. That night she had consensual sex with Assange, who continued to stay in the apartment until August 18—five days after the occasion on which the Swedish authorities later alleged Assange had used force against her.

In fact, Ardin several times insisted that Assange stay, rejecting offers from others to have the WikiLeaks’ chief stay with them. On the two nights following the supposed assault, Ardin arranged a crayfish barbecue for Assange and attended a dinner party by his side. During the crayfish party, she had tweeted: “Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest, smartest people! It’s amazing!” Later she told a friend she had a “wild weekend” with him.

On August 16, with Ardin’s knowledge, Assange travelled out of town to spend a night with a second young woman, Sofia Wilen. The following day, the two women began exchanging emails. Ultimately, four days later, on August 20, Ardin and Wilen went to a Stockholm police station to see if they could compel Assange to take a sexual health test.

Instead, the police declared that Assange was to be arrested and questioned about possible rape and molestation. Wilen became so distraught at this that she refused to give any more testimony or sign what had been taken down.

That same night, a prosecutor issued a warrant for Assange’s arrest. The prosecutor’s office did not contact Assange. Instead, within hours, it leaked to the tabloid newspaper Expressen the statements made by the two women. The newspaper’s front page read: “Assange hunted for rape in Sweden.”

This was just the first evidence of high-level collusion, involving the police, the prosecutor’s office and the media, to destroy Assange’s reputation.

Within 24 hours of the arrest warrant, there was a further twist. A more senior prosecutor dismissed the rape allegations, leaving only the lesser accusation of molestation. Assange voluntarily went to the police on August 30 and made a statement. During the interview he expressed his fears that whatever he said would end up in the Expressen. The interviewing police officer said: “I’m not going to leak anything.” The interview was nevertheless leaked.

Assange was still not charged with any offence—a fact that remains to this day. Instead, he was assured by the prosecutor that he was free to leave the country while an inquiry continued, an assurance that was later dramatically reversed.

The only conclusion one can draw is that Assange was either deliberately set-up, or that the women later came under significant pressure to testify against him. The current allegations by the two women against Assange are unclear. Their lawyer, Claes Borgstrom, refused to disclose any details of their case. When “Four Corners” suggested to him: “It looks as though they are in fact setting him up,” he replied defensively: “I’m quite aware of that.” ...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jul2012/assa-j28.shtml

author by pat cpublication date Wed Aug 01, 2012 00:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Vid at link.

The Swedish government has rejected a request by Ecuadorian officials to interview Julian Assange in the UK “without any meaningful explanation,” WikiLeaks announced today on Twitter.
Senior Ecuadorian government sources had previously sent a formal request to Sweden to facilitate questioning between Assange and the Swedish prosecutor in his case at Ecuador’s London embassy, the UK’s Independent reported last week.
The government of Ecuador has sought legal guarantees from both the UK and Sweden that Assange will not be extradited to the United States.
“If Ecuador could be assured that the evil it wishes to prevent: The extradition to the USA of Julian Assange, could be [avoided], then that would be a just solution,”said a senior Ecuadorian legal advisor.
Two officials at the Ecuadorian embassy previously said they had yet to receive an answer from either the UK or Sweden concerning any such legal guarantees.
Ecuador has also sought clarification from the US government on the question of its extradition ambitions regarding Assange, though the advisor acknowledged they were unlikely to receive an answer.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London Embassy since June 19 after claiming asylum following a failed 18-month legal battle to prevent his extradition to Sweden.
Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault, though he has never been formally charged. The Wikileaks founder fears he will be extradited to the United States on charges of espionage upon being handed over to Swedish authorities.
Last Thursday, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said a decision on whether to grant Assange political asylum would be made after the Olympic Games.
Ecuador maintains that they hope to be an “honest broker,” and adhere to international obligations regarding Assange’s asylum request.

Related Link: http://www.rt.com/news/assange-sweden-interview-uk-512/
 
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