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Assange lawyer under investigation in Sweden

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Assange lawyer under investigation in Sweden
11:52 CET+01:00
Julian Assange's Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig is under investigation by the Swedish Bar Association (Advokatsamfundet) following accusations made by a British judge during the WikiLeaks founder's extradition trial.

In releasing his ruling last week that Assange should be extradited to Sweden, District Judge Howard Riddle, accused Hurtig of deliberately misleading the court, calling him "unreliable".

Riddle also claimed that Hurtig, who was called to testify at the trial by his client's British legal team, had purposefully given faulty information about how many times Swedish prosecutors tried to contact him.

Speaking with The Local following the announcement of the verdict, Hurtig rejected the British judge's criticism.

"I'm a reliable person; I'm a reliable witness," he said.

Following the criticism, the Swedish Bar Association has decided to demand Hurtig provide an explanation of his actions.

"We sent Hurtig a letter last week and asked him to explain himself," Bar Association secretary general Anne Ramberg told the TT news agency.

She described Judge Riddle's statements as a "extremely serious critique" of the Swedish lawyer.

"If I'm not satisfied with Hurtig's explanation, I may go to the bar association's governing board, and after that the disciplinary committee, which has the final say on any possible consequences," she said.

The most common complaints about Swedish attorneys come from outside the legal system, usually clients. But sometimes Ramberg takes the initiative herself to take up a suspected case of professional misconduct mentioned by a court, prosecutors, or by the media.

Hurtig has until March 14th to provide answers to the Bar Association's inquiry.

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