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Assange prosecutor cited for secrecy breach

The Local · 24 Aug 2010, 16:39

Published: 24 Aug 2010 16:39 GMT+02:00

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The prosecutor on duty, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, decided on Friday to issue a warrant to arrest Assange on suspicion of rape. She later confirmed to Expressen that there was a case and that Assange was charged in absentia. The warrant was withdrawn one day later.

Due process organisation Rättssäkerhetsorganisationen (RO), which had previously notified the prosecutor through the Ombudsmen of Justice (Justitieombudsmännen, JO) for her conduct in connection with the decision to issue the warrant, has now supplemented its notification, the report said.

According to the organisation, the prosecutor violated the confidentiality of preliminary investigations by giving the media information about this case, DJ reported.

"We believe that the matter has been handled extremely badly for all parties involved and we are highly critical of how quickly one has taken the decision to detain a person," RO Chairman Johan Binninge told DJ.

"From an investigative standpoint, it is a disaster to go out in public this way, which can only harm the investigation. A prosecutor must also take into consideration all parties involved, including the suspect, and consider the consequences of a particular intervention for the suspect, in this case, an internationally known person," he added.

The supplement submitted to Swedish Prosecution Service Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) information director Karin Rosander confirmed that the warrant decision includes the confidentiality of preliminary investigations. Rosander added that all decisions taken in the matter now be analysed, DJ reported.

Story continues below…

Several newspapers, including Svenska Dagbladet, have indicated that the confirmation from the prosecutor had a decisive influence on the editorial decisions that were made.

Rättssäkerhetsorganisationen (RO) is an independent network, including several lawyers, as well as people who consider themselves to be victims of miscarriages of justice, including Billy Butt, who was convicted of nine counts of rape in 1993.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:09 August 24, 2010 by Freebie
Someone please tell me this is some sort of sick satire!
17:13 August 24, 2010 by RobinHood
Prosecutor Maria was quick to attempt to incorrectly deprive JA of his reputation and freedom, and then illegally blabbed about it to the press. Now she has an opportunity to explain to us all what on earth she thought she was doing, and who, if anyone, put her up to it. This is all turning out to be very interesting; a first-class international scandal. Well done RO. I can't wait to hear what this silly woman has to say for herself.
17:19 August 24, 2010 by Vetinari
Is it just me or does this smear job seem to be extraordinarily clumsy?
17:37 August 24, 2010 by Nemesis
It is just me, or has this turned into a soap opera?
17:38 August 24, 2010 by eZee.se
Well done RO!

A couple of answers to some pretty important questions are needed.
17:39 August 24, 2010 by byke
It would appear on the surface this is a blundered character deformation attempt.

But either way, if the case did bear any truth .... this is a shambles and makes Sweden's judicial services look like a kangaroo court.
17:43 August 24, 2010 by Jan M
Doubt it's entirely a smear job. Given the particularly lenient sentences for sexual assault, harassment and rape in Sweden and given his status I'm sure he's quite capable of transgressing. After all not everyone has the chance to take the heat off by pointing a conspiracy finger at the US government. My impression is that their very keen to ensure future leaks don't occur, they're very keen to limit the damage associated with the documents but that in the midst of all of this Julian Assange isn't a top priority. It's the web for goodness sake. If he didn't offer a forum someone else would. It's not like he's a genius or indeed a hero for that matter.
17:49 August 24, 2010 by samala5793
What are two of the WORST things you can accuse a man of? Rape and child molestation. How convenient that the prosecutor has BOTH to charge Assange with. As soon as I heard about this, I knew it was a frame-up job. The US can't get him for Wikileaks so they need to find another way to shut him down.

This makes me ashamed to be from the US and ashamed of our government...not the first time and definately won't be the last time.
17:51 August 24, 2010 by eZee.se
"this is a shambles and makes Sweden's judicial services look like a kangaroo court. "

Thats already been done thanks to ThePirateBay trials.

"It's not like he's a genius or indeed a hero for that matter. "

But nobody did, nobody has, nobody stood up and nobody has the b@lls to make another site like WL - so yes, the man is a genius and a hero.

Search engines - dozens.

Torrent sites - hundreds/thousands.

Shopping sites - thousands/millions.

News sites - thousands.

Bid sites - hundreds


Whistle blower sites *like* WikiLeaks - one.
18:40 August 24, 2010 by redfish
Maybe if the prosecutor leaked the report to the press he wouldn't be having this problem.
19:34 August 24, 2010 by MicheleMoore-Happy1
If the intent of the hasty arrest warrant was to prevent Assange from fleeing prosecution, confirming its existence to a tabloid newspaper defeats that goal.

This link indicates one of the accusers worked for the tabloid Expressen


See 5 below about half way down:

5 - @Michele. It appears that the tabloid Expressen got the information about the arrest order directly from the person who is accusing Assange for molestation. She has worked for Expressen and if this is the sinister revenge action many believe the goal for all this is to smear Assange.

Posted by Editor At 07:41:15 AM On 08/23/2010 | - Website - |

Is this true?

If so, we have a tabloid employee giving the rape charge scoop to her employer who then calls the prosecutor's office to confirm its existence.

It certainly smells very strange.
22:09 August 24, 2010 by Vetinari
It is ironic that the person who got famous for posting leaked confidential information is now in legal trouble becasue someone posted leaked confidential information.
22:36 August 24, 2010 by wxman
The Internet is a forum for the free exchange of information, some true, some not, and it should stay free. It is however, as Vetinari points out, ironic (or perhaps hypocritical)that when the shoe is on the other foot, some abomination of the medium has occured.
02:42 August 25, 2010 by rabbemos
Perhaps JA can sue and use the proceeds to fund wikileaks courtesy of the Swedish government. Is'nt it ironic, don't you think?
03:23 August 25, 2010 by MarkinBoston
As another commenter already noted, it certainly is ironic that the world's most famous leaker is suffering the results of a leak. What's his motto? "Information wants to be free"? Sounds to me like he got a bit of his own medicine.
20:58 August 25, 2010 by Attestupa
There is a very significant difference between secrecy and privacy. The Wikileaks case concerns secrecy. The JA case concerns privacy.
23:48 August 25, 2010 by rayrising
Rumour has it that the White House press office is recommending the errant prosecutor for a Congressional Medal of Honour - by way of a reciprocally earned Nobel Peace Prize to Scandinavia.(unconfirmed story)
13:13 August 26, 2010 by Capey
Message for Julian: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Take care- with you all the way as far as WikiLeaks is concerned.
15:59 August 27, 2010 by Tom Dundee
It seems rather strange that a man who has became rich by posting other people's secrets expects privacy?
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