Swede charged following US child porn bust

A 38-year-old Swedish man has been charged with child pornography crimes after a probe in the United States uncovered thousands of images that were traced to the man's home in southern Sweden.

Swede charged following US child porn bust

Following a tip from investigators in the United States who had successfully broken up a child porn ring in 2008, police in Sweden raided the man’s home in Österlen, uncovering 35,000 pictures and 725 videos featuring child pornography stored on CDs and DVDs.

Over 2,000 of the images and 222 of the films were of an “especially ruthless nature,” according to the local Sydsvenskan newspaper.

During questioning by police, the man admitted that he had been a collector of child pornography since the internet was at its infancy.

However, he claimed he was only collecting the material because he despised child pornography, and was trying himself to track down others partaking in such crimes.

The self-proclaimed computer expert was able to use his skills to avoid detection for nearly 20 years.

But after US investigators succeeded in breaking up a child porn ring in Tennessee in 2008, they were able to trace more than 1,000 images sent to a person caught in the sting back to the 38-year-old in Sweden.

On Tuesday, more than three years after Swedish police originally raided the man’s home, he was charged with serious child pornography crimes, which could be punished with up to six years in prison.

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Assange stays mum over Swedish sex crime case

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Wednesday that he would not be addressing the Swedish sexual assault and rape allegations against him in his run for office in Australia, as "Australian men don't like to talk about their private lives".

Assange stays mum over Swedish sex crime case

Assange, standing for election to the upper house in September 7 national polls, also said Australian men did not bad-mouth their lovers, when asked whether he would explain himself to voters on the sex crime claims that have seen him holed up in London’s Ecuadoran embassy for more than a year.

“Unfortunately, to a degree, I am an Australian and therefore Australian men don’t like talking about their private lives,” the former computer hacker said in an online election forum published by Fairfax Media on Thursday.

“They don’t like saying bad things about their lovers. I’m not going to do that.”

Assange has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy since June 2012 as he fights extradition from Britain to Sweden, where authorities want to question him over alleged sex crimes.

The activist has voiced fears that he will be sent on to the United States to be tried over huge leaks of sensitive diplomatic correspondence and material on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

He told the Fairfax forum, conducted Wednesday, he had “nothing to hide” on the Sweden allegations and there was “extensive information about the case” available at the site

“I have not been charged. It’s an extraordinary situation that someone could be detained for three years without charge. That’s part of the abuses in this case,” he said.

Assange acknowledged that he is not a typical politician, with questions over whether he will even be able to assume his Senate seat if he wins given his status in the embassy, but said he still felt that he could connect with voters.

“As an individual I haven’t just been an activist… I understand what it’s like to be a father, to start small businesses, to have problems of many different kinds,” he said.

“I think Australians can relate to that sort of character. Even though I’m in a very unusual position for sure, I’ve also had the life experiences that many Australians have had.”

Assange is one of seven candidates running for election to the Senate for his WikiLeaks Party, which has vowed to be an “independent scrutineer of government activity” on a range of issues including tax reform, asylum-seekers and climate change policy.

The Australian whistle blower believes he stands a good chance of winning his seat, saying this week that polling numbers are positive.

AFP/The Local/og

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