Pirate Bay lawyer to take over Assange defence
Published: 18 Nov 2011 10:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2011 10:12 GMT+01:00
Julian Assange has dumped his Swedish lawyer in favour of a new defence team which includes an attorney involved in the Pirate Bay trial, as the WikiLeaks founder continues to fight his extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sex crimes accusations.
- Assange files Sweden extradition appeal (16 Nov 11)
- Assange 'won't get a fair trial' in Sweden: lawyer (03 Nov 11)
- Pirate Bay founders start 'legal' filesharing site (30 Aug 11)
In a petition filed with the Stockholm District Court on Thursday, Assange said he wanted to work with attorneys Per E. Samuelson and Thomas Olsson rather than Björn Hurtig, who has representated Assange since September 2010.
Olsson told the TT news agency that he's only had contact with Assange for a short period of time.
“He'll have to explain his motivation behind changing defenders,” said Olsson.
Olsson has now begun reviewing Assange's case, including the details of the sex crimes allegations against him – and plans to provide his view on the case at the beginning of next week.
He refused to speculate, however, on whether the decision to changes attorneys had any connection to plans Assange may have to come to Sweden.
On Tuesday, Assange applied for Britain's Supreme Court to hear his appeal against a decision by the High Court in London ruling that the 40-year-old Australian could be sent to Sweden to face questioning over claims of rape and sexual assault made by two women.
Hurtig said that there is “absolutely no” conflict between him and Assange that lies behind the decision to change lawyers.
“You'll have to ask him why he's decided to change. But it's not unusual that someone change lawyers and he's chosen two superb new representatives. I wish him the best of luck,” Hurtig told TT.
Hurtig was also unaware as to whether the change of attorneys had anything do to with the possibility that Assange may be coming to Sweden before the expected December 5th decision by the Supreme Court in Britain about whether or not it will take up Assange's case.
Hurtig took over the Assange case in September 2010 after the WikiLeaks founder dropped Leif Silbersky due to difficulties staying in contact with the attorney.
Olsson has previously represented Thomas Quick, a convicted Swedish serial killer currently serving a life term in a psychiatric institution after being convicted of eight murders committed between 1976 and 1988.
However, after withdrawing his confessions in 2008 he has been granted several retrials and been acquitted of two of the killings.