Assange sex crimes accuser fires her lawyer
Published: 28 Mar 2013 14:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2013 14:28 GMT+01:00
One of the two women in the Swedish Assange case has dropped her high-profile lawyer, reportedly for speaking too much to the press.
- Assange Swedish fears 'sheer fantasy': Australia (26 Feb 13)
- Assange backer defends Swedish women’s rights (07 Feb 13)
- Swedish envoy bashes Aussie press on Assange (26 Nov 12)
Australian media reported on Thursday that the woman was not happy with how her lawyer Claes Borgström had handled the case when speaking with the media.
While her application to a Swedish court to change lawyer is not available to the public, Borgström addressed the report in a statement.
"It has been impossible to avoid contact with the media in this case. When I have been in contact with the media it has been with the approval of my client, sometimes she has asked me to do so," he wrote.
Borgström, Sweden's former equality ombudsman (Jämställdhetsombudsmannen), is no stranger to taking on controversial cases.
His former client has reportedly asked that lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz take over.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. He fought extradition to Sweden, from which he fears extradition to the US, in the British court system.
His appeals were struck down. Assange is currently residing at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which local police cannot enter.
In Sweden, meanwhile, Borgström said the sheer size of media coverage of the case made it even more important for his client to feel comfortable with her legal representative.
"In any sexual offence case it is particularly important that the plaintiff feels confident in the lawyer representing her," he wrote in a statement.
"This is even more true when we take into consideration the attention this case has attracted."
Australian media reports also said that chief prosecutor Marianne Ny had quit the case, which was declined by the country's Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) on Thursday when contacted by Swedish press.
"Ny still heads the investigation and is responsible for the case," spokeswoman Britta von Schoultz told the Expressen newspaper.