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Extradition ruling 'gang rape': Assange's mother

AFP/The Local · 24 Feb 2011, 13:43

Published: 24 Feb 2011 13:43 GMT+01:00

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A British judge ruled Thursday that the 39-year-old Australian can be extradited to face rape and sexual assault claims, dismissing arguments that he would face an unfair trial.

"I would say that what we're looking at here is political and legal gang rape of my son," AAP quoted Christine Assange as saying.

"It's a real David and Goliath situation," she said.

"You've got misuse of the European arrest warrant, first time ever that it's been used this way."

Former computer hacker Assange says the claims against him, made by two women he met during a seminar organised by his whistleblowing website in August last year, are politically motivated because of the work of WikiLeaks.

Assange rocked the world's diplomatic institutions and infuriated Washington last year when WikiLeaks began releasing more than 250,000 secret diplomatic cables sent by US embassy staff.

"What Julian through his site is proving (is) the need for WikiLeaks," his mother said. "I'm, obviously, scared for him as a mother but the world ought to be scared for its democracies."

She said that she had expected the extradition order, and that her son felt abandoned by the Australian government.

Story continues below…

"The greatest fear I have is that the Western world in its effort to shut up someone who's telling the truth to the people of their countries will breach every piece of legislation in order to get him and will co-operate across borders to do so."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:10 February 24, 2011 by big5
Wow, she's just as much of a nutjob as her son.
14:25 February 24, 2011 by Luckystrike

You need a hug?
14:35 February 24, 2011 by taffiosi
Ahhh, the old "I have been asked to talk to the police and answer for a possible crime, so I'll blame the CIA, the FBI, M16, the world, the conspirators at some secret organisation, the Pope, some bloke from a pub in Stockholm, the two women I shagged AND then get my Mum to beat up anyone who disagrees with me" ploy......it's a classic isn't it.
14:38 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen
So now Assange's mother is saying her son was raped? That's funny. His mommy begged the Brits last week to let her baby boy go. I'm glad his mommy will still stand up for her little man! He certainly won't be a man and stand up for himself.
14:38 February 24, 2011 by tes85
she really is a nut job! There are two separate issues... but somewhere this conspiracy continues to plague peoples' minds that 'rape' is a cover for the US to nab him.... If this were the case, why/how would sweden benefit from extraditing him to the US?
14:45 February 24, 2011 by big5
Assange's mom's comment is an insult to rape victims. I guess it runs in the family, and among his supporters.
15:06 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen
@ big5, taffiosi, and tes85

Thank you! ALL of you, for making some sane comments instead of the usual US/Sweden/UK conspiracy bull.
15:16 February 24, 2011 by Luckystrike

You need a hug too?
15:19 February 24, 2011 by big5
Assange's supporters have banded together in a latter day witch-hunt mentality. I'll bet a good number of the people in Assange's camp also believe the outlandish conspiracy theory that says Amanda Knox killed Meredith Kercher. (it's mind bogglingly stupid, but most Brits seem to think so)
15:30 February 24, 2011 by Swedesmith
@ lucky: I might need one. What do you look like?
16:05 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen
@ Luckystrike

LS/MFT. Are you old enough to know what that means? Yeah, I could use a hug. My wife gets off work at six today. I'll be ok after thah but I'll have to get off here and pay some attention to her.
16:13 February 24, 2011 by Liquidmonkey

why is assange a nutjob?

there is OBVIOUS political and legal abuse here people.

16:19 February 24, 2011 by big5
Beacuse of his conspiracy theories, like thinking the USA is pulling the strings in order to extradite him from Sweden and execute him. Which is not only paranoid bullshit but doesn't even reflect how European law works. (The EU only extradites with assurances that capital punishment will not be used, and besides, even if Sweden wanted to extradite, Britain would still have to approve it. So the detour via Sweden accomplishes nothing).
16:23 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen


Then why is he so scared of coming to Sweden??
16:47 February 24, 2011 by Hen3ry
Hold the front page. Freedom of information campaigner develops messianic tendencies, attracts worshippers. Thousands proclaim him as being without sin.

I'm reminded of a mother's quote from a well-known film: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy".
16:56 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen
@ Hen3ry

So to avoid prosecution here in Sweden, maybe he should flee to Africa with all his supporters and start another Jonestown.
17:05 February 24, 2011 by Steve911
Have you ever heard of anyone outside of Sweden being accused of rape because their condom broke or because their partner was sleeping (not including drink / drug cases)? Pleassssse give me a break, I wasn't born yesterday. This case is costing Swedish & UK taxpayers millions. There is no justification for the authorities pursing this case if it was just about crime, there is a political dimension. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. I'm not normally into conspiracy theories but I think if JA ends up being locked up incommunicado for a year or so in Sweden awaiting trial, it will be job done for the American, Swedish & UK political establishment, as Wikileaks will have all blown over by then. As for the 2 women involved, their political principles seemed to evaporate fast as soon as hard cash was dangled in front of them.
17:11 February 24, 2011 by big5
Sure there is a political dimension but it fits into a long-standing Swedish pattern of going it's own way when it comes to dealing with sex cases. Believe me, Steve911, if you'd lived in Sweden a while you wouldn't see this as strange in the slightest. The only conspiracy is among politicians and activists who want to see a prior consent requirement. Every sexual action must be proceed by explicitly granted consent otherwise the man (and in a small number of token cases, the woman) can be charged with rape. Even if you've been married 20 years, you have to ask your wife "may I touch your breast" and so on for every escalation of foreplay, every time you go to bed. Also, in cases where the only evidence is the testimony of the accuser and the accused, they want the accusing (woman's) testimony to weigh more strongly. If it's word against word, the woman wins. No other evidence necessary.

This is the goal towards which current Swedish rape law and trial praxis are moving. Assange just got unlucky. It could've been anyone. He's been caught up in a high-profile case with which Ny and Borgström and their allies wish to push their boundaries forward.

All the USA-is-behind-it stuff is bollocks.
17:15 February 24, 2011 by Hen3ry

"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck."

You said it. This is no conspiracy. It's the clearest case that I have ever seen of someone coming to believe he is powerful and untouchable - to the extent that he can do, and treat other people, as he wishes.

As it happens, I'm pretty much in favour of Wikileaks. But I have no time at all for arrogant, nasty men who treat other people as a means to their own ends. Talk about being hoist by your own petard.

This is not about geopolitical machination, much as Assange would like us to believe. It is about grubby self-interest, proclaiming itself as martyrdom.
18:26 February 24, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
@UScitizen #14

although i agree with your logic, the real question, why SHOULD he spend HIS money to come back to sweden?

like i said earlier, he has NOT been charged with anything.

and JA does not really care about the sexual questions, his concern is more with the americans taking him at some point during transit.

why do u continue to ignore that he has not been charged with anything and that interpol is being taken advantage of?
18:32 February 24, 2011 by Frans46
Big5, your description of the direction Swedish sex laws are going sounds like a joke. Can what you are saying be true "If it's word against word, the woman wins. No other evidence necessary."?

If your answer is yes then the Swedish legal system is nutty.
18:57 February 24, 2011 by Steve911

I quite agree with you that there are forces (mainly on the left) trying to push the boundaries of sex cases in Sweden. But if it was some ordinary unknown guy who found himself in the same position as JA, do you think the Swedish state would pursue it with such vigour? It doesn't have to be a vast conspiracy but several independent groups find they have a common purpose on some matter, just like a coalition government. For example a right wing newspaper looking to bring down Assange anyway it can could fund the 2 women to make the allegations which have common purpose with a left wing group trying to extend rape laws. No need worry about wider conspiracy's involving rendition to the USA etc at this stage, although USA and Sweden do have form on this matter, so it shouldn't be ruled out 100%
19:07 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen

He wouldn't be spending his money, the court would have to bring him back. and if he IS so innocent, it seems like he would want to clear his name, not be on the run. Common sense....... use it.
19:12 February 24, 2011 by WikidEva
@Hen3ry #19 and #15

#19: Thanx, you pretty much summond up my opinions up about this whole messy ordeal and this: I've been trying to/am trying to make people/friends to understand exactly, just this fact to wade through all the b- that is being fanned out before them, but still: people just want to see what they want to. Thinking of the allegory of Plato's "Cave"

#15: just plain funny and RIGHT to the point! LOL
19:13 February 24, 2011 by Steve911

I don't claim JA is a saint or even a nice person. He got the job done on Wikileaks and brought a lot of important material into the public domain, exposing a lot of hypocrisy, corruption and illegal activities and making a lot of enemies in the process. For that he should be applauded. The sex case is a trifle and an unnecessary distraction from the big picture.
19:43 February 24, 2011 by WikidEva
@taffiosi #3

Right on... and under, above and on all sides! :)
21:41 February 24, 2011 by Hen3ry

"The sex case is a trifle"

Good to know where you stand.

Exactly the same words we have heard from Assange himself. He is apparently above the law, and incapable of crime - especially THIS type of crime - because of all the good things he does. Everyone knows that's just trivial, isn't it - especially when you are a demi-god, like him... it's your right to do what you like, with whom you like, surely? Isn't that what we are supposed to believe?

It's not about being nice or not. But it's also not about anything else you may have achieved. It's about behaving with LAWFUL respect for others.

I would say the same about a sportsman, politician, actor.... however much I might respect their work, they should be answerable for their behaviour. The more he talks about this as if it is some kind of vendetta, the more he loses respect. And, right now, he and his disciples are trying to portray him as some kind of suffering messiah. It's frankly disgusting.
22:49 February 24, 2011 by Da Goat
Sweden is now between a rock and a hard place!

there is too much info leaked out now if they find him guilty the world will vilify Sweden and if they let him off they will look like idiots as well as the feministas will go off like a frog in an sock!

the Swedish legal game sure has shafted them selves this time!

yeah JA is a pig and needs a good spit roasting..... ON with the CIRCUS
09:53 February 25, 2011 by sweco1
Just more PR for another totally bogey
11:55 February 25, 2011 by Steve911
JA is a demi-god, the Messiah, a martyr, has thousands of worshippers? Don't start going all religious on me Hen3ry, I started off thinking you were sensible.

Whatever your personal opinions or emotional feelings about JA , let's stick to the facts:

(1) the 2 women contacted him, came on to him and wanted to get him into bed

(2) they make unprovable sex allegations against him, which even if taken at face value amount to nothing. The most serious allegation, he had sex with me when I was sleeping - any sexually active guy knows how ridiculous that one is.

(3) The whole sex case turns on the credibility of witnesses. The 2 women have indicated that they are seeking money and / or fame, they sold their story to the press, they are looking to damage JA and they have lied. JA doesn't appeared to have lied.

You may believe JA is a monster and the 2 Swedish women are innocent rape victims but the facts don't support you.
14:09 February 25, 2011 by Hen3ry
I guess, Steve911, it depends what you mean by "the facts". I had always understood that it was for the courts to decide these things, rather than amateur internet sleuths, or indeed the accused. I'm not even saying the guy is necessarily guilty of a serious crime - only that his response to the allegations is arrogant, cheap and nasty.

It's not I who is making this into a quasi-religious affair. Look at those worshippers who crowd his every appearance, saying "give me your babies, Jonathan". Listen to the language he and his followers use when they talk about how the dark powers of the world wants to make him a martyr to his cause.

I simply find it distasteful that a meglomaniac can be allowed to trample over other people in this way. Listen to his former colleague Domscheit-Berg and what he says about the organisation's "structural problems". I find it astonishing that so many people who support the goals of the Wikileaks process (and I count myself among them) are prepared to cover up its lack of transparency and accountability.
14:43 February 25, 2011 by Hen3ry
Ooops... Jonathan??

Surely some mistake. My apologies.

But I refuse to use "JA" - that's only for the true believers :-)
15:49 February 25, 2011 by Steve911

If this was a normal criminal case then it would be and should be the courts that decide 'the facts'.

Unfortunately I doubt the facts will be heard in a court room. I suspect the most likely outcomes are: (1) JA is extradited, held in a Swedish jail awaiting trial for 6 months or a year and the case is quietly dropped just before trial or (2) JA wins the extradition case and Sweden drops case after some time. Due to the 2 women and the prosecution leaking most of the details of the case, this is now trial by media.

All media personalities attract nutters and groupies, does that make them bad as well?

I haven't listened to all his comments on this case, can you give me some examples of arrogant, cheap and nasty responses to the allegations against him or discussions about dark powers?

As far as I have seen, he has not commented about his accusers but has said he is at risk of onward extradition to the USA.

I suspect you are just repeating negative comments made in the media campaign against him.

I'm no sycophant or hero worshipper but I do find it distasteful the lack of balance in this debate, where is your criticism of the 2 women who have behaved appallingly in this matter?
16:23 February 25, 2011 by Hen3ry
Rather than give you chapter and verse, I suggest you start with a web-search for links that include the terms "Assange" and "politically motivated". Perhaps you should also look for the references to "sexfalla" (honeytrap) in this case. These are not comment pieces, but the words of Assange and his supporters. You could also do worse than to look up some of the recordings of his own statements outside the courts during the last months.

I wasn't actually aware of any media campaign against Assange. Rather the opposite, in fact. I may be wrong, but the fact that you choose to use those terms yourself suggests to me that you have yourself been captured by the idea that this is some kind of "witch hunt". Not so long ago, many supporters (including his own lawyer in the UK) were suggesting - and taken seriously by the media - that the most likely outcome would be that he would be sent directly from Sweden to Guantanamo for torture and death. It is cheap and grubby to paint international conspiracy theories when accused of a sex crime.

If there is a conspiracy here, my bet would be that it's got a lot more to do with the dissatisfaction of former colleagues who became completely fed up with his autocratic and arrogant style than anything else. If so, that would be a pity - and I would not condone such behaviour. But I don't start with the prejudice that any women involved in outwardly flaky accusations about sexual crime are necessarily behaving "appallingly". Perhaps that just makes me a feminist.

Suspect what you will Steve911. I suggest a bit of wider information gathering might give you a less narrow perspective. Maybe you could start with the voices of former colleagues (not politicians, not feminist activists, not state prosecutors) that rather suggest meglomania is not a long way from the truth. These guys believe in the project too. But they don't think that it's an excuse to do what the hell you like.
19:30 February 25, 2011 by Steve911

I did the search you asked for and didn't find out anything I didn't know already, which confirms I already have a suitably wide perspective on the subject.

I am afraid there is nothing to support your allegation that JA made arrogant, cheap and nasty responses to the allegations against him. His lawyers appear to have done most of the talking on his behalf, as officers of the court they are bound by professional ethics, so I can be confident they would not have said anything out of bounds. The main points you don't like, that his lawyers say are that:

(1) the sex case is politically motivated (there is ample evidence for this if you have been following the case).

(2) JA is at risk of onward extradition to the USA, where several high profile political figures have called for his execution.

This is a matter of public record.

As for the issue of disgruntled former employees you mention, this is well known. I'm afraid a lot of bosses behave in an autocratic and arrogant manner and have a sense of entitlement for the organisation they created. I'm afraid this is human nature, it doesn't make him a megalomaniac.

I don't buy your argument that your refusal to condemn the 2 women for their disgraceful behaviour in going to the press to sell the story, naming JA in public and making false rape allegations is about feminism. I suspect its petty nationalism, if the 2 women were Australian and JA was Swedish, would you be so vociferous in condemning him but remaining silent about the 2 women?
19:57 February 25, 2011 by big5

How many times do we have to repeat this...

1. The EU does not extradite without guarantees that capital punishment will not be used.

2. It's no easier to extradite from Sweden than from the UK. And if JA has been extradited to Sweden, if the USA wants him they still have to get permission from the UK.

So that whole bit about Assange being sent to Sweden to facilitate extradition, and the death penalty, is just a load of crock from the paranoid JA and his groupie lawyers who are acting like sectish yes-men.

The best thing Assange could have done was return to Sweden the same day Ny called for him. He'd probably already have been acquitted and free by now.
20:19 February 25, 2011 by Hen3ry

I have lost count of the number of times your sentences begin with "I suspect..."

It's a tired rhetorical device, designed to portray yourself as knowing and superior. You don't listen, you don't argue, you "suspect".

Well, here again you are wrong. I am neither Australian nor Swedish and have no petty nationalistic axe to grind. You, on the other hand, are displaying an immense amount of prejudice for one who claims to be well read and informed.

I agree with Big5. Your rhetoric is tired. Your arguments are tired. Every act of restistance to clearing up this nonsense - and not least his mother's words in the article that started this discussion - has painted Assange into a worse position. And you support him in that. Good luck.
20:32 February 25, 2011 by Steve911

I agree with your points 1 & 2., I was just repeating what JA lawyers were saying in my points (1) & (2)
21:07 February 25, 2011 by Steve911

In the Swedish media, there appears to be a campaign against JA with petty name calling, unsubstantiated allegations but hardly a word of criticism of the 2 Swedish women that started this fire storm. If you read the Australian media, its largely pro JA, except for a few right wing pro Americans who are looking to knock WikiLeaks through knocking JA. Clearly this is petty nationalism at work. I asked you to substantiate your allegations and names against JA, you failed to do so fully, together with your failure to criticise the 2 Swedish women makes you appear a pro Swedish nationalist. I am glad if you are not but your arguments sometimes appear unbalanced and judgemental.
11:20 February 26, 2011 by Rebel
@steve811, at the very least the Assange case has allowed the world to see that Sweden is as petty, corrupt and manipulative as any other banana republic of the United States.
16:19 February 26, 2011 by Elvine
Oh, his MOM said he didn't rape those women. Well, then, why have courts, lawyers or anything? Why not just ask the accused moms if their sons did it or not?
04:43 February 28, 2011 by emfrodo
the actions of sweden in the assange case amount to political repression. that such nonsense is considered actionable is beyond belief in the first case anyway. that this is being used in this fashion, is reprehensible. it reminds me of smear campaigns conducted by intelligence organizations in the old apartheid regime of south africa or east germany during their heyday. to suggest that there is no political component associated with this leaves this writer at a loss for words as to how ridiculous such a claim is. the nation of sweden should be ashamed, that i as an american say this beggars reality all things considered. what assange has done has taken great courage, what 2 swedish women have done and what the swedish government has allowed and furthers being done, is shameful, shame on you, i no longer will purchase anything swedish.
22:39 February 28, 2011 by Hen3ry
Well, it took me four days, and I could kick myself now for not seeing it sooner. You really had me fooled steve811, but I found you out.

It's obvious now that I see it all from the correct perspective. I suspect (sic) that you are in fact part of a carefully-organised CIA conspiracy to discredit Assange, trolling comment pages on news websites, with the goal of demonstrating to the world that he and his acolytes are a bunch of misogynist conspiracy theorists.

Well, your handlers will be very pleased with you, I'm sure. You've done a great job. Time to pack it in now.
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