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Assange rape claims not part of WikiLeaks: lawyer

AFP/The Local · 8 Dec 2010, 22:38

Published: 08 Dec 2010 14:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Dec 2010 22:38 GMT+01:00

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"There is absolutely no link between what those two women have been through and WikiLeaks, the CIA, or the American administration," Claes Borgström said.

The case "has nothing to do with WikiLeaks. I would like Julian Assange to come forward and say that himself. It would be a way of getting rid of all these rumours," Borgström told reporters in Stockholm.

Borgström criticised the 39-year-old Australian for "not only hinting, but saying that this case is a conspiracy."

"He knows this had nothing to do with WikiLeaks," the lawyer stressed.

Assange, whose website is currently publishing thousands of confidential US diplomatic cables, was denied bail and remanded in custody in Britain Tuesday following his arrest under a warrant issued by Swedish authorities.

The British court, which denied him bail, heard Assange is accused of unlawfully coercing and sexually molesting a woman on August 14th and deliberately molesting her on August 18th.

A fourth allegation claims Assange had sex with a second woman on August 17th while she was asleep at her Stockholm home and without using a condom.

During an interrogation with police in Stockholm in late August, the transcript of which was reviewed by the Expressen newspaper, Assange admitted to police that one of the women behind the rape allegations had rejected his overtures to have sex.

“Yes, sometimes, but not in a way which was meaningful. No, not something which would be out of the ordinary,” Assange told police when asked if the woman had rejected his sexual advances.

At the start of the interrogation, Assange was informed that he was suspected for molesting a woman in her apartment by having unprotected sex with her.

According to Expressen’s sources, the woman accused the WikiLeaks founder of consciously puncturing a condom and then having sex with her, something Assange flatly denied in the interrogation.

Assange was reluctant to leave his version of events, fearing it would be leaked to the press, but was eventually convinced by his attorney at the time, Leif Silbersky, to provide details to the police.

He admitted that he had sex “several times” with the woman during the night between August 13th and 14th, but claimed he used a condom.

However, some details of the interrogation remain confidential, but according to Expressen, the questions posed by police suggest that the woman saw something that made her believe that Assange may have nevertheless had unprotected sex with her.

Assange admitted that the woman had asked him about the incident.

“And we didn’t discuss it further at all, not at all,” Assange said.

Assange has nevertheless consistently denied the rape allegations, which his London-based lawyer Mark Stephens told journalists Tuesday were "politically motivated." He has also said the claims were part of a "smear campaign" to discredit his website.

Borgström said the elusive WikiLeaks publisher's arrest was "a positive development" for his clients.

"They are a little relieved that he is under arrest in England, but at the same time, it's a very frustrating situation, they have to wait much longer," he said.

The lawyer described his clients as "two ordinary, young Swedish women" who were interested in WikiLeaks' work and for that reason went to listen to Assange speak in Stockholm in August.

"They are very credible, they have given very detailed stories about what they have been through," Borgström said.

"This is like any other investigation. There is no difference because it's Assange. It's up to the prosecutor to decide which information would be released to the accused," he said.

The two women, he said, got in touch with each other after their contacts with Assange, and decided together to go to the police.

Story continues below…

"They informed the police of what had happened, asked for advice," he said, adding that at the time the two women were afraid they could have contacted HIV.

Bergström said the rape charge against Assange -- which was not an aggravated rape charge -- could land the WikiLeaks boss in jail for four years (an aggravated rape charge in Sweden comes with a longer sentence), sexual molestation could lead to fines and up to two years in jail, and a coercion charge could also lead to two years in jails and fines.

"That is what the charges look like today. They can change as the investigation goes on," he said.

"He says he is motivated by exposing the truth," the women's lawyer said of


"I think he should bring forth those principles in this case," he added.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:05 December 8, 2010 by charliedog
Er..as a UK national with a good knowledge of Sweden it does seem strange how vigorously the Swedish prosecutor has pursued Assange, particluarly when you look at the charges: sex without using a condom?, sex whilst the other party was asleep?

In light of recent revelations on just how close Sweden has become to the USA, most people would be highly suspicious of the motivation to detain Mr Assange.
18:15 December 8, 2010 by unseen
if rape definition is going that far in Sweden! i have to find myself another place to live in, then peacefully have sex with my wife!!!

who knows whats gonna happen?
18:42 December 8, 2010 by don willer
19:15 December 8, 2010 by procrustes
There is an element of Swedish Feminism that has far more to do with male-hate than improving the lot of women. Sadly, these angry women do the just cause of free women grievous harm.

There is an opportunity is this. Real Feminist women should come out strongly against this abuse of the special protections Sweden has given to women. When serious charges are leveled frivolously it diminishes their usefulness.

What's going on here is absurd. I wonder what Olaf Palme would have to say about this. Sweden hasn't had a great leader since him--maybe it's time for someone to rise to the challenge.
19:51 December 8, 2010 by Toonie
@ procrustes "I wonder what Olaf Palme would have to say about this."

Good point. And the murder of Olof Palme resulted in a catastrophic mishandling of both the murder investigation and the case against the man Lisbeth Palme pointed out as his murderer. The visiting international press couldn't believe their ears or eyes as the Swedish justice system was made to look utterly foolish by some of its leading lights.

There is no way that this case could be brought to court in the UK. The defendants and the prosecutor have compromised the integrity of the prosecution case in the full glare of the media spotlight. But hard evidence and the challenging of dubious evidence doesn't seem to be that important in Swedish courts. Process evaluated by a judge is more important than evidence assessed by a jury. We even have Claes Borgström pontificating to the media on matters that are not, and cannot be, known to him.

I fear the worst of three worlds. That a Swedish court will produce another perverse verdict, flying in the face of evidence that would produce ridicule in UK or US courts; that Sweden's reputation will get hammered (though it may end up deserving this); and that the cause of genuine feminism will lose out again, thanks to vacuous grandstanding by a few.
19:52 December 8, 2010 by skatty
To talk about the "Rape"; actually, to use the word "rape" in the case of a female for political purposes has a long history and have been used in many different parts of the world.

In the old times to encourage the people of a country from invaders, the leaders increased the courage of the people by repeating over and over that the enemy wants to take our women away from us, or wants to" rape" and give bad name to us. As a matter of fact in the latest election, SD used the same method and concentrated on the rape of Swedish females by immigrants, if you remember they wanted to know how many percent of rapes have been done by immigrants.

The irony is that "rape" and stealing females had been a practical customs of Vikings.
20:09 December 8, 2010 by Jools33
There are so many inconsistencies with the prosecutions case here - how is it that the 2 women were acquanted with each other prior to these allegations being made to the prosecutor? That is more than slightly suspicious in my view. They met up, decided that they had both been raped - and then made the allegations. There may not be a CIA conspiracy here - I think its more a case of two women feeling poorly used after having found out that they were both one night stands for Assange within consecutive days of each other - and they have decided to gain revenge - and what a revenge. They become minor celebrities - and Assange could face live in a US jail - if the Swedish prosecutors take this to its ultimate conclusion.
20:14 December 8, 2010 by Swedish123
Perhapps the best cia plan to destroy somemone´s life.

Common!!! This guy is telling the truth about the american crap and sweden send two horns to screw him.
20:33 December 8, 2010 by hjoian
why was the first charge of rape or assault intially dropped back in August ? Obviously the US has got hold of someones nuts in the Riksdag and is gently squeezing......
20:35 December 8, 2010 by mojofat
"Assange was reluctant to leave his version of events, fearing it would be leaked to the press,"

HAhahahahahah...oh man, that's a good one!

Everything should be publicly available...ahhh, well...except the source of funding for wikileaks, J.A.'s statement to police about his rape charge, J.A.'s source of revenue...are we seeing a pattern here yet?
20:54 December 8, 2010 by mibrooks27
HOGWASH! The US and Swedish governments have been in discussions about Sweden handing over Assange when they get him from the British. Assange did nothing wrong under Swedish law and everyone knows that by now. This is all a carefully orchestrated move to cover up criminal activities by US government officials and big Wall Street banks with connection to Swedish businesses.
21:10 December 8, 2010 by fxrider
Here are the details on what really happened


Interesting quote in the blog

"people themselves no longer decide when they've been raped - their governments do.". By claes borgström
21:14 December 8, 2010 by Nemesis
Claes Borgström statement holds about as much water, as me claiming to be the easter bunny:)
22:30 December 8, 2010 by ghostof911
If the CIA (hooker?) agent Anna Arden has nothing to hide, why did she destroy evidence over and over again?


For anyone wondering about Sweden's close ties to the US, this might help to explain it.

Pentagon's New Global Military Partner: Sweden.

22:55 December 8, 2010 by duogrn
If what the web presence about Anna Arden (quoted by two above posters) are

true, then the moral of story for Julian Assange is not to sleep around.

On the other hand, we will see how the Swedish judicial system would handle this, given its quite unique set of rules especially in this big political backdrop.

( Recall the "uniqueness" of the Swedish law that disinherited Stieg Larsson's common-law wife. )
23:14 December 8, 2010 by jackx123
go for a ..... w a n k - it's called safe sex
23:16 December 8, 2010 by Jools33
This is the best summary I've seen of this case - unbelievable:

23:29 December 8, 2010 by masyed
can super power handle the freedom of expression and public right to access information ( at least about foreign policy of their country ) - when their own constitution guarantees that

looks like those who champion for justice and peace are also ( sadly ) bowing to super power to please him

where the world should go n learn the standards of morality ?
23:55 December 8, 2010 by philster61
Heres the Aussie biew.


This will turn Sweden into the laughing stock of the legal world...
01:16 December 9, 2010 by Tennin
"in jail for four years (an aggravated rape charge in Sweden comes with a longer sentence), sexual molestation could lead to fines and up to two years in jail,"

That's strange, how many convicted rapists in Sweden actually had to serve a long time. I know there have been some recent stories on TL about rapists receiving not that much time, where it amounted to less than a year per rape victim.
01:19 December 9, 2010 by Toonie
This will turn Sweden into the laughing stock of the legal world...

It should have done so already in the case of Tito Beltran where some of the principal figures are the same. Borgstrom and Bodstrom, for example. And there are plenty of lawyers in Sweden who say that the Beltran case was not at all unusual in raising emotional opinion above hard evidence. The Assange case is looking even worse. If serious investigative journalists start looking closely at how the Swedish justice system has worked in the past there may finally be an end to the lazy assumption that Sweden represents some sort of model in this area. Amazingly this myth persists in some quarters.
02:11 December 9, 2010 by zircon
9 December 2010- 2:10 Hours: the global burning Q. is what to do about Assange?
02:30 December 9, 2010 by 2394040
Considering the degree of "honesty" where the world's politicians are concerned, very few people believe that Assange is being hauled in just because of a rape charge. The Wikileaks have already proved what many have suspected for many years: politicians lie anytime they feel they can get away with it.
04:45 December 9, 2010 by Mr_Russian
I must admit I didn't know much about Sweden except for maybe typical sterotypes. Now I am absolutely shocked to learn that sex without a condom can constitute "rape" in Sweden. What a joke. My opinion about Sweden was only positive but not anymore.

I think Swedes have to rise and do something about this injustice unless they want their country's reputation to be tainted forever.
04:50 December 9, 2010 by Dewey Oxberger
Is Huckabee the Governor of Sweden?
07:47 December 9, 2010 by actuary
Another thing to thank Assange for? Inadvertently shining a light on these laws. Who drafted them? What an embarrassment. Are any children being born to Swedish parents? Rapid population decline awaits I'm afraid. Never mind, perhaps cloning will save the day.
08:12 December 9, 2010 by Jools33
One of Assange's accusers now revealed to have suspected CIA connections (via a cuban based feminist anti-castro group that she previously worked for in Cuba... ) see:

08:55 December 9, 2010 by RobinHood
"Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations … There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety." Katrin Axelsson (Women Against Rape UK).

When Women Against Rape defends an alleged rapist, things are getting really strange.

But don't worry, Prosecutor Ny says it's all "perfectly normal".
10:10 December 9, 2010 by Dewey Oxberger
DeweyOxberger wrote:Posted 2010/12/09

at 3:42 AM ETHot of the press the Americans have a mole high up in the Australian govt he was outed in a wiki leaks cable a few hours ago. Wonder how many operatives the Americans have on Parliament hill maybe this is what the CSIS warning was all about.


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2010/12/08/con-wikileaks-backlash.html#socialcomments#ixzz17bVQQgLu
14:11 December 9, 2010 by MJMI
As an Australian I am embarrassed by the attitudes of our Prime Minister and Attorney-General towards Julian Assange, an Australian citizen with no convictions.

What I cannot understand is the Swedish legal system. How come Assange was questioned by police in August, told there was no case to answer and allowed to leave Sweden? Now the week that the first US State Department documents are published on WikiLeaks, suddenly the whole case surfaces again with a European warrant issued for Assange's arrest.

Obviously the Swedish legal system differs from the Australian and British systems, which are similar. But how are they different? Why can the prosecution surface again. Who issues the warrant?

In general if given a choice between conspiracy and a stuff-up I will choose the latter. But this whole case looks suspicious to me.
18:45 December 9, 2010 by Clarabow
As coincidental as it looks, the Authorities have no choice but to investigate a felony if reported to them, even if it turns out to be false. And at the moment we don't really know what went on between Assange and these women - but anything is possible. I am afraid to say that if highly respected members of society can be found guilty of sex crimes against say - children - then you have to accept that not so highly thought of people - when it comes to sex - can do the "wrong thing" and even commit a crime. By linking the accusations to the WikiLeaks the Defence is being quite clever. And the Prosecution may well find friends in high places by pursuing claims that in the end might prove to be just a private affair gone wrong that should have stayed private. The truth with so much murk around will find it harder to see the light.
18:48 December 10, 2010 by Rebel
If all the Swedish kangaroo court folk need is to quesiton Assange then maybe someone can show them how to use Skype.

No, Reinfeldt wants Obama's autograph and approval. This is what this is all about. While Carl Bildt is merely a mid-sized poodle, Reinfeldt is just a chiwawa.
22:23 December 10, 2010 by Sarva
Mr Bergström is making Sweden looks ridiculous. He is an oportunist who is using two "stupid blond girls" to profile himself. Schweden its the only country in the world with such laws, wich are designed to "protect" women, not for chasing men. Whats next? If during the sexual act the man comes first, so what? Ten years jail? And if the woman wants to sleep with him and he doesnt? Twelf years jail?

And if a lawyer make false accusations ? No jail?
01:11 December 11, 2010 by frosti
The solution is simple and obvious: Assange must convert to Islam. It's well known that the Swedish government has zero interest in prosecuting Muslims who rape Swedish women. They'd almost certainly give him a medal instead, in recognition for his heroic efforts in promoting "diversity" in the sexual arena.
12:26 December 13, 2010 by munched
How can the US charge an Australian national with treason? Can the US charge me with treason for something someone has shown to me? I guess so as long as USA bitch Sweden helps them. Time to run and hide folks. Your country is run by traitors and theives.
20:09 December 14, 2010 by Sarva
Sweden authorities are playing a extremely shamful role. And Mr. Borgstrom cannot know the truth, because he was not there. He's using two gelous women to profile himself. The two women most probably decided to take revenge after they learned that Assange slept with both, one after the other, what can be not fine but is no crime.

The way Sweden authorities persecute the case show Sweden under a new light. They're misusing a law to to protect women for a man's chase. Where's the liberal Sweden gone? Can a bunch of radicalized feminists run the country? Not to talk about the impression of working for the americans who wants to kill Assange.

Trying to get the bail refused looks much more like persecution then justice.
19:20 December 28, 2010 by buckrogersday
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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