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Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange 298

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-will-never-end dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is likely to be detained for questioning over his alleged connection to a rape case. The Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny, has requested the District Court of Stockholm to detain Assange, claiming that they have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations. 'I request the district court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion,' Ny said in a statement."
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Swedish Court Orders Detention of Wikileaks Founder Assange

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  • Just wait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @08:58AM (#34267268)

    He'll get a conviction too.

    I said it from the very beginning; courts here are _extremely_ political - when just plain old prestige isn't the deciding factor - and with the current right leaning crypto-facist government headed by one of the more glaring psychopaths leaders in a "democratic" state, it was a big mistake to come here. Something like this was bound to happen.

  • Re:I dunno man (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:01AM (#34267300) Homepage Journal

    Sexual crimes seems to be a big thing in Sweden recently, since they're at the core of some popular Stieg Larsson books / movies that have grown in the public eye there and internationally over the past few years:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Trilogy [wikipedia.org]

    We saw the first two movies at indy theaters / Netflix lately. Whee vengeance!

  • Smear campaign (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:07AM (#34267324) Journal

    This is an attempt to discredit the Wikileaks website in the minds of the EU and US public, by smearing the owner as a "rapist"
    .

  • Anonymous Coward (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:11AM (#34267368)

    I smell a setup to send him in the US when he'll be in custody...

  • Legal response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:12AM (#34267372)

    (If you're not from Sweden this might be hard to understand, but yes, it's seen as culturally ok to claim rape several days after the fact - even if it was consentual at the time)

    Press release by counsel for Julian Assange

    LONDON, 2pm Thursday November 18, 2010

    Mark Stephens of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent said today, “On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.

    However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported “the basis for the rape charge” purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.

    The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no “reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The so called “rape” story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.

    Eva Finne’s decision to drop the “rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

    The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media. Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must e informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. The actions by the Swedish authorities constitute a blatant and deliberate disregard for his rights under the Convention.

    We are now concerned that prosecutor Marianne Ny intends to apply for an arrest warrant in an effort to have Mr. Assange forcibly taken to Sweden for preliminary questioning. Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden before he left, and then subsequently in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit. All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate. Pursuing a warrant in this circumstance is entirely unnecessary and disproportionate. This action is in contravention both of European Conventions and makes a mockery of arrangements between Sweden and the United Kingdom designed to deal with just such situations. This behavior is not a prosecution, but a persecution. Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he

  • Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:14AM (#34267388)

    Julian Assange is _special_, so little niceties like laws, rules and regulations don't apply to him.

  • Re:Innocent (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:19AM (#34267444)

    I believe it's an elaborate setup by assange himself so people will believe twisted organizations are after him

  • Re:Legal response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:25AM (#34267498)

    Followup from his Swedish counsel:

    (Fellow Swedes on Slashdot, make your voices heard if you feel ashamed)

    Letter from Swedish Counsel Bjorn Hurtig to English co-Counsel for Julian Assange.

    Note Neither Mr. Assange nor Counsel, nor WikiLeaks have ever received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against our editor.

    From: Björn Hurtig
    Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:43 PM
    To: Jennifer
    Subject: SV: Our client

    Dear Jennifer,

    Enclosed You will find a copy of the documents that I have would like to send to the prosecutor. I have not been able to have the document translated in detail, but I will now tell You the most important things in it.

    First of all I comment the ongoing investigation and tell the prosecutor that I have asked her several times that they should hear my client so that we can be aware of the accusations. They have said no to this initially (and by this I mean for several weeks). Furthermore I remind her that I several times have asked her to give me the evidence in the case. She has said no to this also. I then tell her that I have asked my questions informally and in writing and tell her about a formal request that I made 14 of September 2010. This formal request has not yet been formally answered, which I find to be a breach of Swedish law (23:18 Rättegångsbalken). I also tell her that Sweden has not followed art 6:3 of The European Convention of the 4 november 1950, because Julian has not been informed of the accusation in detail and in his own language. Neither has he been informed of the documents in the case in his own language. This is an incorrect behavior.

    I then tell her that Julian is indeed willing to participate in a hearing. But I remind her that I asked her in writing (14 of September) if he was free to leave Sweden for doing buissines in other countries and that she called me and said that he was free to leave. This is important because it means that Julian has not left Sweden in trying to escape the Swedish justice. Then I reminds her that Julian and I several times have tried to give them dates when he could come to Sweden and participate in a hearing, for example I spoke to the second prosecutor Erika Leijnefors during week nr 40 and told her that Julian could participate in a hearing the 10 of October (a Sunday) or some day the following week. The prosecutor in charge (Marianne Ny) said no to this. Other times Marianne Ny has said no to our proposals due to that one of her policeofficers were sick or because the time did not suit her. This is also important because it shows that Julian has tried but Marianne Ny has said no. I go on remembering her that Julian has suggested that he could participate over a phone line and from an Australian Embassy. She has said not to this also. Then I tell her that Julian is willing to participate through a videoconference or to make a written statement over the accusation and the questions they may have. This is of utmost importance, since it shows his willingness to participate. I remind her of a ruling from our Highest Court; NJA 2007 s.337, in which the court did not put a man in custody although he was abroad and did not come to Sweden to participate in a hearing. It was not proportional to do such a thing, since he left Sweden rightfully (just like Julian) and thus did not try to escape the Swedish justice, he was willing to participate via phone or in writing and so forth.

    In the second last section of the letter I tell the prosecutor that she should think of the damage that Sweden already has done to Julian by letting his name in public. I tell her that I have heard that there is a policeinvestigation going on about the first prosecutor who let Julians name out In public, which shows that it is a serious matter. If the prosecutor now goes forward with a request of Julian being put in custody it is my opinion that the damage could be enormous; whate

  • Re:Legal response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:32AM (#34267554)
    Retroactive rape? "I consented, but if I'd known then what I know now I wouldn't have, therefore knowing what I know now allows me to reverse my decision of the past, therefore I didn't consent, thus it was rape." Twisted, but... lawyers. Same in every country.
  • set up (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:38AM (#34267636) Journal

    The Assange case makes a good study in how the violent right goes about dealing with threats; we first saw serious suggestions that he is some sort of 'sex pest' being inserted into the media earlier this year; for instance a BBC profile piece on him contained 'hints' of this, shadow actors started adding entries to his wikipedia article, all pro-establishment media now uses a standard 'looks greasy and sleezy' stock photo of him, etc..

    Then later on; he failed to resist some of the loose women who suddenly started attaching themselves to him at every opportunity; and behold; they turned out to be shills; whoring themselves for publicity and (being underhandedly encouraged by the warmongers Assuange threatens).

    And now we enter the first endgame. Lets be quite clear; the decision to arrest was not really made by Swedish legal types; it was made by pro-violence media manipulators working to support the arms industry; the authorities in Sweeden are just doing as they are told.

    The only crime Assuange has made against me was to not tell these whores to fuck off when they draped themselves over him.

  • Re:Nov 18th? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xest (935314) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @09:53AM (#34267814)

    Precisely because the people behind it don't want it to die. They want to keep it in the public mindset that "Assange is a rapist", not "Assange was the media figure who helped expose US military abuse, incompetence, and murder".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:01AM (#34267908)

    In Sweden, neither judges or public prosecutors are elected on popular vote.

  • by lixee (863589) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:25AM (#34268210)
    Look...I'm in Sweden and I don't trust the Swedish Justice system on this matter. It may sound like what a conspiracy-theory nut would say, but the justice system around here breaks when the US is involved. Moreover, rape is absurdly loose in this country. You can have consensual sex with a girl, but she can still change her mind the next day and claim you "got her drunk" or "talked her into it". Personal responsibility pretty much goes flying out the door in such cases (precedents abound). Moreover, the fact that Assange was denied a residency permit (uppehaltillstand) a few weeks back hints to some heavy bias on the part of the government. Both women admitted to having consensual sex with Julian. But he allegedly had an "attitude problem" with women. That's not rape in my book. I don't care what the law says, it is simply immoral to prosecute a man for rape on such bullshit. In many regards, Sweden leads the world in democracy, transparency, social justice, etc. but some of the laws are simply ridiculous.
  • Re:[frost pisst] (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:57AM (#34268696)

    "I request the district court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion," Ny said in a statement."

    Assange allegedly replied, "[citation needed]"

    citation is needed because the statement was NOT in English.

    He is not accused of what we English-speakers consider 'molestation'. The proper translation (as opposed to a transliteration) would be "sexual harassment". And 'rape' under their law includes any unwanted contact of a sexual nature, so for example if you grope a chick's breasts at the bar, it's "rape".

    taco, please either spend some time studying language, or at least stop parroting what you see on TV. Thanks.

    Is Assange a cock-faced asshole? From what I gather, yes, yes he is. But that's no reason to accuse him of molestation.

  • Lifetime judges? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @11:48AM (#34269580) Homepage Journal

    Lifetime judges may be blind but DA's are often elected political creatures.

    "Lifetime judges" are human, and are thus just as prone to arrogance, corruption, deceit, and bias as any elected DA or judge. I simply do not understand the reliance by some on the theory of impartiality of judges with life tenures. The idea that life tenure makes them impartial doesn't even work in theory when you think about it. All it does is make them unaccountable. The fact is that there ARE no perfect judges, because there are no perfect people. This is why lifetime tenure for SCOTUS justices was one of the few really bad ideas of the Founders. Limit their terms on the bench. Otherwise, you've basically got a collection of unaccountable kings.

  • by Zerth (26112) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @12:52PM (#34270700)

    That might save his hide(probably not, though), but the person that becomes the head of Wikileaks after him will be targeted, too.

    He may look like an attention hungry egotist for not stepping aside, but jumping ship to let the next person get smeared would be cowardly.

  • Allegations detailed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swm (171547) <swmcd@world.std.com> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:09PM (#34272006) Homepage
    Today's NY Times gives the first account I have seen of the actual circumstances and allegations

    The two women who accused him were volunteers who had offered to assist WikiLeaks and met him in his first days in Sweden.

    According to accounts the women gave to the police and friends, Swedish officials have said, they had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One woman said that Mr. Assange had ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other woman said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use.

    The existence of the allegations is a fact.
    We have two competing hypotheses to account for that fact

    • Assange committed sexual assault
    • Assange was set up by someone who doesn't like WikiLeaks

    Having read the allegations, I find it very difficult to discount the second hypothesis.

  • by guspasho (941623) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:12PM (#34272046)

    If your goal is to prosecute a guy for a crime, you bring charges and you prosecute. If your goal is to assassinate his character, you draw out the process as long as possible, using innuendo in the media, without actually involving the courts.

    This reeks of the latter.

    "We're thinking of getting an arrest warrant to detain Assange for questioning involving these charges that we keep bringing against him and then dropping, but we haven't actually done it yet. We're just putting it out there in the media that we're thinking of doing it. We'll tell you more when we maybe do it next week, or decide not to, so we can keep getting media attention."

  • Re:Legal response (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:22PM (#34272178)

    (I'm the GP)

    I'm Swedish, yes it is. It's even happened to myself. Luckily for me she didn't go through with the charges though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:35PM (#34272402)

    How about we turn the tables then. You have a quickie with a woman because you think she looks very hot and has large bosoms but eventually you learn that it was all makeup and padded pushup bras.

    Can you claim rape ? You clearly would not have done it with her in her natural condition.

  • Re:Legal response (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:41PM (#34272506)

    The saying in Sweden nowadays is that you need to get the consent in writing if you want to be really sure you're not going to end up with a conviction later.

    Our minister of justice recently proposed that everyone suspected (not convicted, suspected!) of sexual crimes should have letters with brightly colored envelopes sent to them so that all the neighbors could see what they were suspected of. The shame, she thought, would apparently lead to fewer sex related crimes.

    Really.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

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