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Assange readies for extradition court battle

AFP/The Local · 6 Feb 2011, 13:23

Published: 06 Feb 2011 13:23 GMT+01:00

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The two-day hearing at a high security London court will examine a Swedish arrest warrant for the 39-year-old Australian, who won worldwide notoriety for his website's release of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

Celebrity backers including socialite Jemima Khan will also lead rallies in London on Monday for Assange, who insists that sex assault claims made against the former computer hacker by two Swedish women are politically motivated.

The judge is expected to defer his decision in the case at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south London. If the ruling goes against Assange he will be able to appeal the decision all the way to England's supreme court.

His lawyers argue that if Assange is extradited to Sweden, he runs the risk of extradition or even illegal rendition to the United States where they say he could face the death penalty.

Assange was released on bail a week after his arrest on December 7 and has since been staying at a friend's country mansion, under strict conditions including that he obey a curfew, wear an electronic ankle tag and report to police daily.

At the last hearing in January, the judge relaxed the conditions for Sunday and Monday, meaning Assange will be allowed to sleep on those nights at the Frontline media club in London while he attends court.

Swedish authorities say they want to question Assange over sex assault claims by the two women.

Swedish police reports filled with graphic details of the allegations leaked onto the Internet last week.

The police documents, viewed by AFP, contain the statement of the alleged rape victim alleging that Assange forced himself on her, without wearing a condom, while she was asleep.

The woman, identified only as Miss W, said she had had consensual sex with Assange earlier in the evening and had then fallen asleep with him, only "to wake up because he has forced himself inside of her," the report said.

"'She asked immediately: are you wearing anything?' and he answered 'you'," it added. "She told him 'You better not have HIV,' and he answered 'Of course not.'"

After that, Miss W. allowed the intercourse to continue.

The faxed documents also include a forensic report on the condom used during a sexual encounter with Assange's other alleged victim, Miss A, who accused him of having deliberately broken the prophylactic.

The report says the condom had not been cut with scissors or a knife.

In a video message to a rally in Melbourne on Friday, Assange appealed to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to help return him to his native land.

"Julia Gillard should be taking active steps to bring me home and protectour people," he said.

After releasing hundreds of thousands of confidential US documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan last year, WikiLeaks has in recent months been slowly publishing more than 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables.

Story continues below…

Assange now faces a widening criminal probe in the United States and has made powerful enemies in Washington.

Bradley Manning, a US soldier suspected of leaking the information to WikiLeaks, is in detention in the United States.

Assange has, meanwhile, stepped up a war of words with two leading newspapers that previously collaborated on the leaks but have now published accounts of their troubled dealings with him.

WikiLeaks recently threatened to sue The Guardian over its serialisation of "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy", a book by the British newspaper's journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.

Extracts said Assange disguised himself as an old woman in order to evade US spies who he believed were following him. They also detailed how Assange eventually fell out with the paper.

Assange has also turned his fire on The New York Times after it too published a long piece detailing how their relationship crumbled.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:03 February 6, 2011 by UScitizen
Come on everyone... let's get it going!!!
15:17 February 6, 2011 by Frobobbles
Once more, the Local repeats the same error. There are no words even remotely meaning 'forced' in the original, yet the reporter uses expression like "Assange forced himself".
15:52 February 6, 2011 by UScitizen
Funny how he turns on his former allies when they published the truth about what type of person he really is. He wants to expose everyone's secrets and flaws except his own.

And talk about being paronoid! US spies are following him? If they were, they would have made him "disappear" long ago. What a joke this guy is.
16:54 February 6, 2011 by Puge Henis
1. Governments and public institutions are supposed to be open and accountable to the public, private citizens are not.

2. He might be a total jerk towards women, but thats not against the law.

3. Making someone disappear brings up too many questions and poses the threat of making him a martyr - a good smear campaign is much more desirable.

4. "Rape"??!!

I pity the victims of actual rape who read this "alleged rape" because it lowers the horrible experience they went through.
17:46 February 6, 2011 by Nemesis
So the entertainment continues.
18:28 February 6, 2011 by GLO
ASSange is a criminal, needs to go thru the system. Time will catch him, he is a war time criminal and enemy of free men.
18:39 February 6, 2011 by Hedley

1-Please read the document relased on ASSange case and opine.

2-I am 134% against war: In a war collateral damage is done by both sides. If revealing documents on it and try to stop BS bloodletting.

3-Are you trolling?
18:52 February 6, 2011 by Puge Henis

First rule of the internet:

Don't feed the trolls

19:05 February 6, 2011 by UScitizen
@Puge Henis

For once, I agree with you. I feel for the women who have really been raped and have gotten no justice. This sham is a shame.
19:50 February 6, 2011 by Hedley
@UScitizen please read the leaked document and opine!

Accordingly to radical feminists, men should not deserve to be burn!

however, FALSE RAPE accusation are never punished, specially here in Sweden.
20:05 February 6, 2011 by RobinHood
The English branch of Women Against Rape has already condemned these allegations against Assange as an abuse against him, and all real victims of rape - in the proper meaning of the word. And that was before the "evidence" was leaked. They must be really upset now they can read how weak the whole case really is.

The Swedish branch of Women Against Rape has been strangely silent on the issue. Women Against Rape's duty is to defend everyone violated by rape, including those who are falsely persecuted. It is time for them to do their duty in the same way their English sisters have already done. Or they too will be dragged into the "conspiracy" theories if no charges are laid, or if Assange is found innocent, or if he is extradited to the US.
20:08 February 6, 2011 by sgt_doom
The troll, US Citizen, claims"

"And talk about being paronoid! US spies are following him? If they were, they would have made him "disappear" long ago."

What a colossally hilarious comment. US intel is primarily concerned with financial intelligence to further their wealth (the plutocrats and their US-based multinationals, that is, not America in general) and assassination has only been effective when directed at people working within the US governmental community: witness those intel analysts who mysteriously were thrown off (fell???) the tops of buildings during the Bush administration, and the Delta team members who tipped off New Yorker reporter, Seymour Hersh, about their orders to allow Osama bin Laden, at Tora Bora, to get away, only to be later --- as reported in the Corporate McNews --- to "murder" their wives or girlfriends then commit "suicide" --- when the powers-that-be can follow and direct your every move, it's relatively simply to assassinate.

Many failed assassination attempts by US intel contractors overseas, and the details of the CIA's high-living partiers when they were involved in those illegal extreme renditions puts the lie to any professionalism or compentency.
20:15 February 6, 2011 by UScitizen
I honestly don't believe the US want's this guy. That would only make him a hero. As Puge Henis said, a good smear campaign is much more desirable.

@Hedley brush up on your English. "men should not deserve to be burn!" That doesn't make much sense. True, I have opined without reading the leaked document. I don't believe there was any real rape, the guy's just a crude, uncaring user of people, especially women. He deserves what he's getting.
20:33 February 6, 2011 by sgt_doom
Major thanks to arbed12 for their highly intelligent and informed comments.

Is Carl Bildt still the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sweden?

Isn't he still on the board of Hakluyt & Company, the British international business intel firms, who have spied for Enron and on Greenpeace?


Just curious?
21:06 February 6, 2011 by UScitizen

I'm glad i gave you a big laugh. I'm here to entertain! :O)) I'm amazed at the following I've developed during the past few days. It must be the name UScitizen. I can understand that. Admiration and envy.... I thrive on it.

One poster this morning mentioned joining for the soul purpose of commenting on something I said. Me, me, me! I guess it's all about me for some of you. Thanks for your support. I'll try to keep up the good work. Think I'll give it up for the night. I have to get started on the big Superbowl Party. But I'll be back..... that's a promise!!
21:10 February 6, 2011 by mcwin1
Thank you Swedish Local and commentators. I enjoy the varying perspectives presented in this format versus the "McNews" we here in the US (NPR not included)recieve. I am a little sensitive to some blanket writings that all US citizens,the military,and our entire government is is a bunch of demonic facists bent on taking over the world. We as a people and a nation have made a hell of alot of mistakes,but we have made some equally progressive strides toward immigrant assimilation,civil rights, economic growth,etc. Ok,I digress.

As a former Marine(3rd ANGLICO),I cannot understand why Bradley Manning was given a top secret password with State Department access. As a lowly sergeant, all I needed was the cryptic daily passwords to scramble our radio communication so in an ambush we could call for airsupport to cover our asses.As a vet, I think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were totally unnecessary, but I think we have known that for years.
21:36 February 6, 2011 by johnny 2011
This whole situation makes no sense what so ever. However you twist and turn it re the rape allegations it still does not come up right. Having repeated sex and eating meals together and then because he did not bother to wear protection after all the goings on and it becomes rape??? There simply must be other things involved that we do not know about yet......it is to be hoped that the real reason will be leaked very soon
22:44 February 6, 2011 by Puge Henis
By this moronic definition of rape, I admit, I... and a few billion other men like me through the ages have committed rape.

If all it takes is to slip it into your partner without a condom... I repeat the above - and quite a few billion men ended up marrying they partner because of said "rape".

Other than this stupid situation with Assange, the other point to take note of is:

Don't get stupid feminists (are there any other kind?) in high seats of power or you are going to have the same moronic laws as Sweden.
05:50 February 7, 2011 by UScitizen

Thanks for your comments. I suppose those blanket comments about the US and her citizens is what irritates me the most. I don't judge any nation or it's people because of what their government may or may not have done.

I have a date tattooed on my arm: 31MAY69. That's the day my best friend was killed near Giang La. He was 18 1/2 years old. War is such a waste. Scott's name in on Panel 23 West, Line 32. Semper Fi, and never forget.....
09:16 February 7, 2011 by beam_me_up
The way I understand it, he is accused of breaking his agreement to use a condom (or damaging the one he had). By breaking that agreement, he compromised her well-being by exposing her to the possibility of either becoming pregnant or being exposed to STDs. I have no problem with that line of thinking. But, I'm curious. If a woman, in the passion of sex, removes his condom, shouldn't she also be accused of a crime? There are women

who want to trap a man by becoming pregnant, or punish him by exposing him to STDs. Equal is equal.
09:44 February 7, 2011 by zooeden
11:39 February 7, 2011 by johnny 2011
I do pray that this "silly" situation will be over with in the next few days and we can remove our concerns to something more important.
18:51 February 20, 2011 by dan_sparrow
this is amazing in malmö an 18 year old got 3 month in jail for pimpin a 14 y old girl with some mental proplem and sweden still want to take JA to the court to be judged for unclear accusations, with no witnesses....

http://www.thelocal.se/32134/20110218/ read there and freak out!
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