WikiLeaks lawyers: Sweden ‘smeared’ Assange with police files release
In what may be an ironic turn of events, lawyers for Julian Assange are up in arms about a leak of sensitive information.
The WikiLeaks founder’s Swedish legal team is planning to file a complaint demanding that authorities investigate the leaking of police materials on the Assange investigation to a British newspaper. The Guardian published details of Swedish police and prosecutor statements on Saturday, saying it had obtained “unauthorized” access to the documents.
“I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing — trying to make Julian look bad,” Bjorn Hurtig, Assange’s lead lawyer, told the Australian.
“There has been a selective smear through the disclosure of material,” an unnamed WikiLeaks source told the newspaper. “The timing appears to have been cynically calculated to have the material published in the middle of the bail application and the appeal.”
The documents obtained by the Guardian allege that Assange held down “Miss A,” one of his accusers, not allowing her to reach for a condom as they were about to engage in intercourse. Assange eventually relented but “did something” to the condom to make it break, “Miss A” alleges.
“Miss A” has previously been identified as Anna Ardin, who is now reportedly volunteering with a Christian group in the Palestinian territories.
Ardin reportedly told a friend the night after the incident that “not only had it been the world’s worst screw, it had also been violent.”
None of the accusations against Assange have been proven in court. So far, Assange has not been charged with any crime.
“The two Swedish women behind the charges have been accused by his supporters of making malicious complaints or being ‘honeytraps’ in a wider conspiracy to discredit him,” the Guardian reports.
Supporters of Assange have suggested that the allegations made against him have been trumped up. They point to Tweets that Ardin sent in the days after her encounter with Assange, in which she appeared to be enjoying Assange’s company in public.
After the allegations against Assange went public, it appears the Tweets were deleted.
According to the leaked police documents, Assange’s other accuser, “Miss W” — previously identified as Sofia Wilen — woke up to find Assange having unprotected sex with her.
Assange has denied any wrongdoing with respect to Wilen. The Guardian reports:
In submissions to the Swedish courts, [Assange’s lawyers] have argued that Miss W took the initiative in contacting Assange, that on her own account she willingly engaged in sexual activity in a cinema and voluntarily took him to her flat where, she agrees, they had consensual sex. They say that she never indicated to Assange that she did not want to have sex with him. They also say that in a text message to a friend, she never suggested she had been raped and claimed only to have been “half asleep”.
Assange is out on bail as he awaits a hearing on extradition to Sweden. Interpol issued an arrest warrant for the WikiLeaks founder after Swedish prosecutors requested to speak to him in the investigation into Ardin and Wilen’s allegations.