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WikiLeaks founder: I'm going to sue Sweden

WikiLeaks founder: I'm going to sue Sweden

Published: 03 Nov 2010 13:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Nov 2010 13:46 GMT+01:00

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange has said that he intends to sue the Swedish state over the handling of rape allegations against him by the Swedish Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten).

"I plan to sue, several different lawyers have advised me to sue," Assange told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) daily.

Assange told the newspaper that he plans to sue for damages for what he considers to be "legal mistakes" directed against him.

"I am very disappointed at the Swedish authorities," the Australian told SvD.

While visiting Sweden in August, Assange was the subject of rape and molestation allegations from two women.

An arrest warrant was issued for his arrest on August 20th and prompted a media frenzy when the Expressen newspaper reported on the case the following morning.

Another prosecutor however abruptly withdrew the warrant later on the Saturday and cancelled the rape charges a few days later, only to see her decision appealed and the rape case reopened by yet another prosecutor.

The 39-year-old activist journalist has since admitted that he had met both women in question, who according to their lawyer are both Swedish and aged between 25 and 35, saying "they were both at my press conference."

He has since insisted that he has never had non-consensual sex with anyone, and refused to discuss whether he had sexual relations with the women in question, saying it was a "private matter".

Assange has also questioned the timing of the rape allegations, inferring that the Pentagon may be behind them to try to smear WikiLeaks ahead of plans to publish a slew of classified documents pertaining to the war in Iraq.

Julian Assange is still under investigation in Sweden, but the probe has not prevented from leaving the country.

Prior to the rape allegations Assange had submitted an application for a residency permit in Sweden, seeking to benefit from protection under Swedish publishing laws. His application was rejected by the Swedish Migration Board in October.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:06 November 3, 2010 by byke
Maybe the state could run a server called citizenleaks.
14:07 November 3, 2010 by bollard
Is this a leak by any other name or ?
14:32 November 3, 2010 by Sam1
No smoke without fire
14:37 November 3, 2010 by Rizwan Rahim
julians next choice is Iran, which has no binding on Dublin regulations and eurodag systems but will be given PR within 24 hours and some almond nuts......

what d u think @byke and @bollard ?

this is why i say "hitha honda geni hemadama badin"
14:43 November 3, 2010 by Luckystrike
Good for him! I'd do the same
15:10 November 3, 2010 by Tanskalainen
Good luck sissy boy.
15:50 November 3, 2010 by Great Scott
I am going to sue God for making this idiot.
15:56 November 3, 2010 by maxbrando
This person is a blatantly crass and crude criminal. Why does he think a country can be forced to take him in? Just so he can protect himself and/or have the state do it for him? For goodness sake Sweden, deny him residency. He commits a crime and want you folks to save him. Throw him out immediately.
16:30 November 3, 2010 by Swedesmith
Are you sure he didn't say he was going to "get" Sue?
16:36 November 3, 2010 by locaxy
Good for him! There was nothing transparent about the way this case was handled by the prosecution.
16:47 November 3, 2010 by ppaf
The guy is a political refugee... this is a special and unique case which requires special attention. Whatever is decided in this case will be the hallmark for future cases to come.

In that sense Sweden is the perfect country for this to happen. A fairly reasonable justice system, criticized by all the political spectrum for being too much on the other side of the spectrum (which I believe it's always a good thing). And Sweden is used to pioneering different aspects of political and social life in a reasonable manner, so it is the perfect place for Assange to be protected and tried.

Also, come on... the guy as never been convicted or accused of any such crimes, and all of a sudden, just as the US is looking for him, he commits rape??? Of course you have to look into all the claims, but anyone can see the resemblance between these and historical political repression tactics...
17:29 November 3, 2010 by asian123
i am also going to sue his mother.
17:46 November 3, 2010 by jangel
The most idiotic comment in this comments section so far belongs to the person who said "there's no fire without smoke," as if all the allegations every made in the world were true without need to prove them.
17:54 November 3, 2010 by Nomark
Let him sue. If he has a case I hope he wins. Furthermore, I hope that the innocent Afghans and Iraqis whose lives he endangered then proceed to sue him and take the money off him.

There is something distasteful about someone who has a cavalier attitude to the lives of others worrying about his own reputation.
17:58 November 3, 2010 by Great Scott
@jangel

The most idiotic comment in this comments section so far belongs to the person who said "there's no fire without smoke,"

Then that's good that there are no idiotic comments here.

"no fire without smoke," Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm never heard of that one before, must be something new.

"no fire without smoke," Hmmmmmmmmmmmm full stop before the close quotation.
18:12 November 3, 2010 by NickM
@Nomark, Do you think Afghans and Iraqis should sue the US government for launching an illegal war?

PS Even NATO have confirmed that there have been no reprisals in Afghanistan after the first WikiLeaks leak.
18:51 November 3, 2010 by mojofat
@ppaf

The US has never been "looking" for him to my knowledge, and there's no warrant for him. Can you cite something specific? If not, then you're just making something up out of thin air to support a paranoid conspiracy theory.
21:06 November 3, 2010 by Nomark
NickM - please careful about using rhetorical questions. To be effective they need to be logically consistent. If Afghans feel aggrieved by the US actions they should try to take legal action against that state if that route is open. Similarly, if an Afghan's life has been endangered by JA they are just as entitled to feel aggrieved by that person especially if JA ignored warnings about endangering local civilians by his actions.

Also, you mention that NATO have confirmed that there have been no reprisals after the first wikileak. This is another weak argument. How does NATO know that there have been no reprisals ? Afghanistan has long been in a state of chaos (long before the US involvement) and little is known about what really is going on there. Also, the leaks were recent and the documentation dense. It takes a long time to read through the leaked reports. The fact that NATO hasn't heard of any reprisals doesn't mean that there weren't any or that future reprisals won't take place. Also, why do you even believe that NATO is telling the truth. After all, were it to admit that reprisals had taken place it would act as a huge deterrent to the local populace engaging with them. Do you regard NATO as an organisation which always tells the truth ?
01:41 November 4, 2010 by grantike
"I plan to sue, several different lawyers have advised me to sue

same people should advice you to go away already and disappear immediately

where is JES please one of the reasonable contributor here .
08:30 November 4, 2010 by pjtaipale
NickM: "Do you think Afghans and Iraqis should sue the US government for launching an illegal war?"

Afghans definitely should not, because there's no war that would be more legal than the Western intervention in Afghanistan. It is a rare case in the category of wars, covered by UN resolutions and international law (like http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N01/708/55/PDF/N0170855.pdf?OpenElement and many others since)

Of course, the whole concept of "launching" a war in Afghanistan is a pretty moot point considering that the country has been in an constant state of (civil) war for the past 30 years.

Calling the UN-backed intervention "illegal" is not a statement of juridical facts, it is a statement for your preference to support bronze-age barbarism that the Taleban represents.

It is equally folly to say that if Western armed forces withdraw from the country, it would somehow "end" the war. No, the war might just take some other targets (for instance, people whose names were exposed by Julian Assange).

The idea that a war in Afghanistan or Iraq would end when the US forces leave is in my opinion very, very wrong, and perhaps "colonialist" would be a good characterization.

It is another matter whether the intervention in Afghanistan will achieve its long-term goals; some short-term goals have been achieved (after all, there are now probably tens or hundreds of thousands of girls who have been allowed to go to school and learn to read, for instance).
09:13 November 4, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
Agree with Nomark that future reprisals against informants identified by JA's leaks are possible, and/or that NATO may not be aware of these, and it is (to me) difficult to understand why JA should not have removed these names from the material he released.

NATO however may have reasonable confidence that the informants have not or will not be harmed (I think the number is approximately 300), if (and only if) all of these informants and their families have already been whisked away under a witness protection program (expensive, but not insanely expensive in light of the countless billions of dollars poured into the wars). Having said that, the extended families (cousins, uncles, etc..) would presumably remain at risk.

As for the trial, a lawsuit over legal bureaucracy errors would be uninteresting, but fascinating if US covert action was exposed. If the rape part of the story becomes the focus of this trial then I would welcome a publication ban (if these exist for trials involving adults in Sweden, which not even wikileaks would violate, for the simple reason that its founder would presumably continue to choose keep the intimate information private), so that the women involved feel that they can speak freely about all the assault or rape charges to the judge.
10:34 November 4, 2010 by Lars J
pjtaipale: That UN resolution came after U.S. used UN article 51 which gives US right to get help from UN to protect it's territory. It should be clear to everyone that Afghanistan poses no threat to US territory so the Afghanistan war is illegal according to article 51 and that UN resolution should never have passed the security council.

Now the resolution actually passed the security council after political armtwisting from the U.S. but the basic facts remain. U.S. currently has the most powerful military the world has ever seen. They do not need the help of UN to protect their territory from bearded men living in caves. Period.
15:10 November 4, 2010 by amirhosein
Viva Wikileaks, for what they have been doing.

False allegations are soon to be cleared, and the shame remains for irresponsible authorities.
15:20 November 4, 2010 by Nomark
Amirhosein - how would you explain to an innocent person whose life has been put at risk via the leaks that it was worth it ? Do you think they would agree that we should all cry "Viva Wikileaks" ?

Also, how do you know the allegations against JA are false ?

It seems to be the case that JA's supporters are the wrong people to talk about the necessity of free information since they prefer to ignore evidence which may contradict their viewpoints.
21:02 November 4, 2010 by NickM
@pjtaipale, "Calling the UN-backed intervention "illegal" is not a statement of juridical facts, it is a statement for your preference to support bronze-age barbarism that the Taleban represents."

Good point - invasion of Afghanistan was not illegal under international law (unlike Iraq) - but it was immoral. If you remember, in 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan not because it wanted to rid it of the Taliban, but because Afghans refused to hand over Bin Laden because it said the US had no evidence. Aid agencies such as Red Cross said Afghanistan had 5 million on the verge of starvation and that a US led bombing campaign would make the situation a humanitarian catastrophe and add potentially another 2 million to the list. The Americans went ahead regardless and fortunately, the bombing didn't push as many into starvation as feared. But on those grounds, I'd argue it was immoral as I'm sure many starving Afghans would. PS I don't support the Taliban (that the US supported and created along with Bin Laden in the 1970s) as you suggest.
12:57 November 5, 2010 by Tutu
I think he should sue. Whenever the feminist Sweden hears about rape, she acts without thinking. A former friend of mine spent 21 days in jail for false rape allegation. It allegation was found to be completely false, but the guy spent 21 days in the slammer for that. Go Julian
09:21 November 19, 2010 by olllidjiri
"I am going to sue God for making this idiot!", said GreatScott, looking at himself in the mirror.
15:57 November 20, 2010 by bira
Defend yourself in court first, then when we know you're innocent it may be appropriate to sue the state. I guess he thinks he's scaring "Sweden" to not move forward buy his threat? LOL!
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