• Sweden's news in English

Accusers 'relieved' over Assange ruling: lawyer

AFP/The Local · 2 Nov 2011, 18:28

Published: 02 Nov 2011 14:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2011 18:28 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"They feel a certain degree of relief," lawyer Claes Borgström told the TT news agency shortly after Assange lost a bitter legal battle to block his extradition to Sweden.

"It has been very trying for them to live with this uncertainty, especially since they themselves have found themselves attacked," he said, referring to allegations spread especially on social media that the women's accusations were motivated by secret agendas aimed at bringing down WikiLeaks.

Two judges at the High Court in London rejected Wednesday arguments by the 40-year-old Australian, whose anti-secrecy website has enraged governments around the world, that his extradition would be unlawful.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange on suspicion of two counts of sexual molestation and an accusation of rape made by Borgström's clients in August 2010.

"He has really been grabbing at every straw, and frankly I don't understand why he is acting like this. Maybe he has had bad advisors," Borgström suggested of Assange's refusal until now to return to Sweden for questioning.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig meanwhile said he was not surprised by Wednesday's verdict.

"This was not unexpected, but it was of course bad news for Assange," he told TT, adding he did not yet know if his client would appeal the verdict to Britain's Supreme Court.

Assange has 14 days to decide whether he will try to take the case to the highest legal authority in Britain.

Hurtig meanwhile insisted that Assange had never been unwilling to travel to Sweden, but that "he doesn't want to be taken into custody."

He also brushed aside vocal criticism since the case came to light of the Swedish judicial system, insisting it "generally holds a very high standard."

Petter Asp, a professor of criminal law at Stockholm University, agreed that most criticism of the Swedish legal system was based on a "misunderstanding" adding that Assange would "definitely" receive a fair trail should charges be filed.

Story continues below…

"Lots of the discussion about Sweden's legal system has been based on misleading information," he told The Local in reference to claims made by Assange supporters that the criminal probe is simply a result of overly broad sex crime statutes in Sweden.

"We do have a concept of rape which is perhaps wider than the label applied in other countries," he said.

"But it's not a question of criminality. The offence would simply be called something else, be it assault, molestation or some other classification."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:47 November 2, 2011 by SeanK
I think it's time he stops appealing. If his point was to delay and shout about his potential extradition to the U.S., that point has been made. In truth there would be a public outcry if this eventuated.

All these appeals are fruitless now - he's only costing himself more (unnecessary) legal fees by continuing. http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-summary.pdf
15:57 November 2, 2011 by Online Personality
How much Swedish tax money has been spent on this? How much tax money is spent on other rape allegations? Why do Swedish people tolerate this?
16:15 November 2, 2011 by truthgate777
When you Read Sweden thats mean Scandal.

I miss old Sweden.
16:57 November 2, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
this decision shows what a sham the legal systems are and how easily they can b bought.


a) why was there an interpol arrest?

b) why has he been under house arrest FOR A YEAR?!?!!?

17:39 November 2, 2011 by babychuma
Why fight it if he has nothing to hide?
18:08 November 2, 2011 by K.Venugopal
Julian Assange concedes that the court has acceded to the request for his extradition on purely technical grounds. The court itself has said that it was not concerned with the strength of the evidence against him for impermissible sexual behaviour. Julian is thereby conceding that there has not been a proper trail against him. Why does he not make himself available for a proper trial wherever it is to take place? Even if he feels he would be extradited eventually to USA, why does he fear it? Surely he at no stage would have to face any kangaroo court. While the case about sexual charges would only concern him, the charges against him on Wikileaks would set precedence and on trial would be many values, including the freedom of press value. Therefore, it is important that he clears himself as early as possible in his personal case and faces the Wikileaks charges so that very vital issues are put on trial at once and resolved.
18:24 November 2, 2011 by SeanK
@K.Venugopal - The issue regarding extradition to the U.S. is that he would face charges relating to terrorism, and as such none of the proceedings would be public information. He would be also likely to be facing the same treatment of solitary confinement - 23 hours / day in a cell and limited access to a legal team - as Bradley Manning.

@liquid - Having read through the U.K. judgement, it seems as though the problem is that due to European cooperation, they basically have to hand him over. I agree with you on the house-arrest issue though - truly crazy.
19:36 November 2, 2011 by Abe L
@babychuma: Simply because Sweden has broken laws when it comes to rape.

You can have unprotected consensual sex with someone and they can decide it was rape the day after. Absolutely ridiculous.

I also have no understanding as to why the UK would extradite him or why Interpol was involved.

I hope 100% that he appeals to the high-court.
19:36 November 2, 2011 by skatty
"Misunderstanding of Swedish legal system", mentioned by Asp.

A "misunderstanding" legal system either is legally weak, or not a practical legal system!
20:15 November 2, 2011 by swedejane
I don't necessarily agree with many of J.A.'s tactics, but I've read the reports from the alleged "victims" in this case and it's clear he is being railroaded. The description of what happened clearly does not constitute rape in any other western nation.
20:51 November 2, 2011 by Gabin
La Libertad for Julian.
02:49 November 3, 2011 by Ranger
Don't be fooled by the rhetoric. The Swedish judicial system is a phony Kangaroo Court run by a bunch of incompetent bums that take bribes, falsify documents and misrepresent the trust of the Swedish people. Sweden would be smart to dump the entire antiquated system and hire honest competent employees to practice English common law, which is the accepted standard used thruout the Western world.
05:20 November 3, 2011 by sleeplesssweden
swedish woman says i need u man

man says lets get down to it babes

swedish woman tells man...oh i love how u do me

man says thanks babes

after the whole scenario,swedish woman sobers up and tells man..what did u do to me..uhhh u hurt me!!! i must call the police..

so patheti...most od dem swedish women must get a life.u can not eat ya cake and have it..lucky how i escaped dem whimpers
16:05 November 3, 2011 by philster61
Ranger: I couldnt've put it better myself.... Sweden has the weirdest legal system in the entire world.....Some third world countries have it better......
00:07 November 10, 2011 by Ranger
There is no misunderstanding here. The fact of the matter is the Swedish court is corrupt and the people that work at them are criminals. Sweden will be better place soon as the bums are run out of the country.
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available