More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange


3:02 pm - December 8th 2010

by Unity    


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With the beginning of the extradition proceedings against Julian Assange, we finally get to see exactly what the allegations against him are.

Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations.

1. Miss A said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of 14 August in Stockholm. The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

2. She alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

3. She claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on 18 August “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”.

4. She accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

These allegations match up with the comments of Miss A’s lawyer, Claes Borgström on 25th August, where he told the newspaper that:

I want to stress that there are significant details missing in this report, details I base my accusations of rape on, but I am prevented from revealing what these details are.

It would hurt the investigation to make the information public at this stage. It’s my opinion [Finné] was in error. I believe Assange will be accused of sex crimes.

None of the public statements issued by Assange or his lawyer, prior to today, seem to indicate that either were aware of this allegation before today’s hearing. This unfortunately means the new allegations are likely to interpreted by some of Assange’s supporters as concrete ‘evidence’ that Assange is the victim of stitch-up and that he has been subjected to manifestly unfair treatment by Sweden’s prosecuting authorities.

Under English law, both the coercion allegation and the allegation of sex without a condom while Miss W was asleep would, at the very least, be investigated as rape allegations.

So it is clear there are legitimate grounds for Assange to be questioned and face a trial. These allegations cannot be taken lightly.

But there are complications. To give one example of what I mean, Miss A is reported in the media, including our own Guardian newspaper, as indicating she did not regard herself as having been raped:

It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent, and I do not feel threatened by him.

The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who had attitude problems with women.

I’ve managed to track down the original article from which those quotes were taken and discovered another statement attributed to Miss A, which add:

The woman in her 30s said that she, for its part [excuse the machine translation] claims to be the victim of a sexual assault or molestation, but not a rape.

For reasons that are entirely unclear but I suspect come down to nothing more than the press pulling its information from a piece of wire copy, that last quote doesn’t appear to have found its way into the English language coverage of the story. But it does represent an important qualification of Miss A’s widely cited comments on the subject of whether she had been raped.

Yesterday, Reuters reported:

…a lawyer representing the Swedish government laid out for a British judge four specific charges of sexual misconduct, three related to Miss A and one related to Miss W. The word “rape” was not part of the charges but “unlawful coercion” and Assange’s alleged reluctance to use condoms was.

* * * * * * * * *

Not many people seems to be asking, in relation to the allegations against Assange, why he visited Sweden back in August.

Assange visited the country in order to cut a deal with Sweden’s Pirate Party which would allow Wikileaks to move its servers over to their ISP, which also (since May 2010) hosts the Pirate Bay torrent site that has, so far, managed to successfully resist all legal attempts to take it offline.

But he also cut a deal with AftonBladet under which he would write a monthly column for them. This would then allow him to apply for full source protection under Sweden’s strong press freedom laws, giving Wikileaks an additional layer or two of legal cover for its activities.

This is the same newspaper whose incomplete account of the police investigation into Assange’s behaviour during this trip has led just about everyone a merry dance for the last four months, leaving them barking up the wrong ‘broken condom’ tree when, based on yesterday’s charges, there is a bona fide rape allegation on the table [at least as far the definition of rape in English law is concerned].

Some will, no doubt, see this information as further evidence in favour of some of the wilder conspiracy theories that are currently doing the rounds.

* * * * * * * * *

It’s not clear how all this will play out in the Swedish legal system.

But given Amnesty International’s concerns about how rape victims are treated by the legal system in Nordic countries, there is real cause for concern.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


1. Bill Kristol-Balls

Just a thought. Not sure that allegation 1 would count as rape, there’s no statement that sex took place as part of that incident, just that he held woman A down ‘in a sexual manner’. That could mean a variety of things including some pretty unpleasant behaviour but including this as an allegation of rape seems to be reading something that isn’t there.

Not that that will help him much if allegation 4 turns out to be proven, if factually correct that’s a pretty clear case of rape. As is allegation 2 although that’s described as ‘molestation’ for some reason.

Btw, I’m not an ‘Assange apologist’, I’ve always thought that he’s a bit of a winker. But I am a fan of Wikileaks.

The fact (if it is) that Miss A might not regard what happened to her as rape doesn’t to my mind mean that Assange shouldn’t be charged with rape if prosecutors think that this is the right charge.

Some people have made the mistake of uncritically believing the defence’s point of view in this matter. Whether or not they were encouraged by the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet or other publications, it was wrong to assume that the prosecution lacked any evidence.

The whole language used to talk about the case has been grossly prejudicial against the women. There was an interesting piece on the French site rue89 today. Some of you may have heard of the supposed Swedish “sex by surprise” law of which Assange was in breach. Rue89 says, “This obscure charge is the translation of a Swedish slang word ‘överraskningssex’ used to joke about rape or to deny it. Thanks notably to an article on the American site Slate which has popularised the concept, it was reported that in Sweden one could commit a crime called ‘sex by surprise’ which was different from rape. A sort of sub-rape of some kind.” As Rue89 points out, it has now emerged that the actual charges against Assange are of sexual constraint, sexual aggression, aggression, and rape.
http://www.rue89.com/2010/12/08/julian-assange-arrete-cest-quoi-le-sexe-par-surprise-179729

Wow, I guess I have been raped…a lot…but I didn’t know because if a man presses his body heavily against me, tsk, doesn’t he know that women just like to hold hands and be stroked like a cat?

In fact I could tell quiet a few stories of situations when I bloke was out of his skull and some girls-unfortunately I knew them-messed about with him for a laugh. Ha!

Another time, one of my male mates were sleeping and this girl who was dying to get in his pants after stalking him all night, went into his bedroom, got underneath the covers and well….etc etc

I’ve actually seen more women be sexually agressive to men, then the other way round.

Just the other day I heard some lads-no more then sixteen-he were laughing about how one of them slept with his mums friend he was in her 30’s. Nice.

This article does nothing if not to make these women sound as dubious, as they are.

When Jordan 5 months pregnant and in her late twenties famously slept with Gareth Gates who was then an 18 year old stuttering virgin who came 2nd in pop idol, if Jordan born with grit under her finger nails accused him of rape, I have funny people a lot of people-men&women-on these blogs would call her victim despite the evidence on the contrary.

@comment 1, video at 1:35, hearing Glenn Beck say ‘ooh I don’t have any pants on’ in a coquettish falsetto is really quite upsetting.

Larry,

Thanks – just the image made me feel very ill…

Irene @4 – I don’t think that’s very helpful. Most of the blame for muddying the waters is down to the media reporting, and the shambolic way the Swedish authorities have handled the case.

I don’t know the facts of the case (none bar Assange and the alleged victims know the full truth, let’s wait for the court case etc.), but my main concern is the possibility of double standards. A lot of the “backlash” against Wikileaks has come in the form of the authorities choosing to enforce laws that are not always stringently enforced, or leaning on other authorities to adopt harsh interpretations of rules/laws. Hence Paypal/Mastercard/etc. blocking Wikileaks whilst allowing donations to the BNP, KKK and so on. Given this pattern, it’s not entirely unreasonable to wonder if the same is happening in respect of the allegations against Assange personally.

This is pretty tricky ground when it comes to sex crimes allegations though, because any allegation of “unfairly harsh enforcement of rules”, however true it might be, is a pretty unpalatable defence. A liberal might argue that if we allow the BNP to receive donations we should allow the same for Wikileaks, but it’s impossible to make any argument that we should ignore the accusations against Assange because sex crimes are often poorly prosecuted. The two are completely different things, and the pattern of backlash against Wikileaks can’t really apply as a defence of Assange personally.

Basically, so long as he receives a fair trial in Sweden, we have to keep separate the question of Assange’s guilt or innocence from our approval or disapproval of Wikileaks.

9. the a&e charge nurse

[8] “we have to keep separate the question of Assange’s guilt or innocence from our approval or disapproval of Wikileaks” – given the stridency of America’s antipathy toward Assange, not to mention Britain’s refusal to sanction £180k’s worth of bail, I think that is extremely unlikely.

Given the international furore surrounding these x2 one-night-stands it is hard to imagine that any of the protagonists will walk away from it without being dragged through the mud first?

9: I should have added a further condition to “fair trial in Sweden” to include “fair treatment by the British legal system”. Even if he’s later proven guilty of the accusations, he deserves fair treatment, and it’s legitimate to complain if he doesn’t get it. And given other events, it’s reasonable to fear that he will be treated unfairly (viz. differently from how others are treated in his position).

@Bill Kristol-Balls (1)

My word! Is Glenn Beck actually defending Julian Assange in that clip, or does his misogyny take precedence in this case! ;)

@Andy (2)

With regards to charge (2), previous reports have stated that the complainant Miss A had consensual sex with the accused Julian Assange on the condition that a condom was used. These earlier reports state that Assange did indeed use a condom from the outset, but at some point it malfunctioned and Miss A protested, whereupon Assange persuaded Miss A to continue having sex. If we are to assume that the word ‘persuasion’ is used in reference to charge (1) then that is rape.

With regards to charge (4), surely what determines whether this is rape (and rape is a rather emotive word so I tend to use it sparingly, regardless of how UK or Swedish law defines it) is whether or not Miss W protested once awake. Previous reports have suggested that she consented once awake, but I don’t know how reliable these previous reports are. Of course that would lead to a rather ambiguous situation with regards post facto consent; the best solution to which would be to gain prior consent, but I guess that escapes certain peoples minds.

Also, I am not a apologists for Julian Assange any more than I am an apologist for The Pope, and I really do hate the pope. I do however have a tendency to play devils advocate so interpret the above with that in mind please.

Regards

@9
Assange being denied bail doesn’t seem so very odd. In 2008, only 40% of those proceeded against for rape or attempted rape at Crown court received bail, and only 23% at magistrate’s courts ( http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100615/text/100615w0013.htm ).

13. Red_Librarian

@Rantersparadise I don’t understand the relevance of your comments about female aggression and male victims in the context of this storey? Sexual assualt is utterly wrong, no matter the sex of the perpetrator or victim.

Also, your comment “Wow, I guess I have been raped…a lot…but I didn’t know because if a man presses his body heavily against me, tsk, doesn’t he know that women just like to hold hands and be stroked like a cat?” completely trivialises the issue here. Rather than making facetious comments maybe you chould count yourself lucky that you haven’t been forced by someone stronger and larger than you into having sex with with them.

@Richard P I agree, just because a person may not consider themselves as a victim of rape, doesn’t mean they haven/t been in the UK the law is very clear on what a rape is, but many victims are quite understandably in denial about what has taken place, and because of how rape is reported through the media and dealt with by criminal justice systems it’s not at all surprising that some people are conbfused as to the legality of what has happened to them.

14. the a&e charge nurse

[12] according to the OP Assange has not been charged with rape – given that he has nowhere to run, and in the light of his current situation is unlikely to be a threat to other women why has such a draconian line been taken by the British court.

Put another way – is his current stau in Wandsworth a sign of things to come?

Please note the follwing clarifications…

Rape Law 101

Under English Law…

If you have penetrative sex with a woman without her consent that is rape.

Under Swedish Law…

If you beat the living shit out of woman and then have penetrative sex with her without her consent that is rape.

If, however, you merely pin the woman bodily to the floor and have penetrative sex with her without her consent that is unlawful coercion

Swedish law is an ass.

Forget the broken condom story

That relates to an incident that allegedly took place on the night of the 13th August the first two charges against Assange relate to a previously unreported incident which allegedly took place on the 14th August

Assange does not face any charges in respect to the alleged broken condom incident.

Commenting on the case itself from what has already been disclosed I forsee this being a real mess if it ever ended up as a charge in court. Woman A doesnt sound consistant, and woman W’s behaviour of waiting to meet him to purposfully get an invite to dinner its the sort of thing the defence would most likely raise towards state of mind, infatuated with etc etc. I still dont have a firm opinion but the problem always is you have two people in a room no sign of violence, no witnesses and nothing that can say anything other than these two people had sex, it comes down to he said she said, if this was in the UK presumption of innocence, and having to convict beyond reasonable doubt I think would be hard under the circumstances, unless they have a smoking gun or 2 not released to the public. Would prior behaviour of JA be admittable in Swedish court and does he have any prior incidents.

I really cant say I am sure in this case, even JA himself says these women are not a plant and this is not politically motivated but a personal disagreement. I think this case is going to continue to be very messy and I don’t think people are going to be able to sure either way. Remember most people have public and private personas you do not know what he is like socially unless you can claim to be a good friend.

`Under English law, both the coercion allegation and the allegation of sex without a condom while Miss W was asleep would, at the very least, be investigated as rape allegations.

`So it is clear there are legitimate grounds for Assange to be questioned and face a trial. These allegations cannot be taken lightly.’

You’ve smuggle something in here between investigation and trial. All allegations should of course be investigated and the accused should be questioned if the accusations are not utterly bizare but the police then need to make a judgement as to whether a charge should be laid and a prosecution brought before the courts. Clearly from what we know there is no chance of these allegations being proved short of a confession. This was already decided by the most senior Swedish proescutor back in August. The decision by a lesser Swedish prosecutor some months later to now to charge Assange and issue an arrest warrant so that he can be tried can only be one of two things: politically motivated or fake i.e. the extradition request is designed to fail so that Assange never makes it to Sweden. He doesn’t get extradited but the threat of arrest means he can never go there. If the latter, they may have underestimated Britain’s own desire to extradite and be rid of Assange themselves which is why they seem to be taking what is clearly a ridiculous charge seriously. A charge based on a claim which if you entered a British police station to register would be summarily dismissed. Serious rape allegations with actual, and sometimes very substantial, evidence and witnesses are regularly dismissed by the British police so why this frivolous claim should be so enthusiastically pursued is odd and the denial of bail is vicious. If the former, i.e. the prosecutor is politically motivated and Assange’s extradition is being seriously sought and if the British courts go along with it that would be a big blow to the civil liberties of British citizens and those seeking sanctuary against persecution on this island.

18. the a&e charge nurse

[15] “Swedish law is an ass” – not least because the first prosecutor did not think there was a case to answer for?

Even allowing for the semantic differences between rape and sexual coercion how did the first prosecutor arrive at such a decision if there was any evidence to the contrary?

@ Unity 15,

“If, however, you merely pin the woman bodily to the floor and have penetrative sex with her without her consent that is unlawful coercion. Swedish law is an ass.”

Perhaps that is what the charge is in this case, as you say. However, Swedish law doesn’t necessarily require violence. The threat of force or illegal activity also makes it rape, as can certain other situations such as unconsciousness or other inability to withhold consent. ( http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexualbrott_i_Sverige#Svensk_lagstiftning )

This headline suggests that now we finally have the information we need to arrive at a fully informed view of the accusations against Julian Assange. But let us not forget that the information that has now come to light was not information that John B, writing on this site, felt that he needed in order to make the following claims, which we now know to be utterly false:

It’s become a prevalent meme across the western media – who, completely coincidentally, hate Wikileaks – that Julian Assange is currently being sought by the Swedish police on rape charges.

He isn’t. He’s sought on made-up-weird-charges that aren’t a crime in the UK, or anywhere else sensible.

Killer line:

The consent of both women to sex with Assange has been confirmed by prosecutors.

Assange is being prosecuted for having sex without a condom, with someone who didn’t mind the lack of condom at the time, but who subsequently was cross about the fact that he didn’t use a condom.

Caution is totally thrown to the wind by John B. He does not say, cautiously, for instance, ‘On the admittedly incomplete, often confusing evidence which has so far been revealed, it appears Assange has not been charged with rape, but with a much more dubious offence. If true, this is of considerable concern.’ He did not even acknowledge that there may be other facts out there, waiting to be unearthed.

John B went on to claim, unequivocally, that those who claimed that Assange was being accused of rape are liars. E.g.

So why do the non-Swedish press keep lying he’s accused of rape, rather than something which isn’t a crime (and so which isn’t extraditable) outside of Sweden?

And he even declared Assange *innocent* of the charge of rape, as though he had not only been given privileged access to the accusations against Assange, but was in a position to judge their veracity as well:

The fact that he isn’t actually guilty of anything that’s a crime here is also why, one might surmise, despite the UK police knowing his whereabouts, Mr Assange hasn’t been arrested…

John B, on this site, declared a man innocent of rape, on the basis of no facts. He. Was. Talking. Out. Of. His. Fucking. Arse. That he was given room to do so on Liberal Conspiracy was disappointing, since Liberal Conspiracy certainly aims for much better (and generally achieves it) where evidence and corroboration are concerned. But if it was disappointing to see the original piece appear, seeing Sunny defend as fair comment has been all the more a let down.

I do not believe, given the way this dispute has panned out, that enough has so far been done on LC to acknowledge and redress the errors of judgement that led to the piece’s publication, and the subsequent defence of it. This post, welcome as it is, does not do so. Scores of people saw John B’s original bullshit – I imagine it was one of the most popular posts of all time on this site, given the number of retweets it received. Far fewer will see this, and in any case, the present post adopts the position of a person who has reserved his judgement until now, and finally decided that it is appropriate to offer a (cautious and qualified) commentary. That has not been the approach of this site, however – it preempted the case, in the most arbitrary and damaging way.

I recognise that LC is, in many ways, a group effort. But it is not under no overall control. It would not be meaningless (indeed it would be highly appropriate) to have an apology, and formal acknowledgement of the errors that have taken place. Those include, of course, Sunny’s own, misjudged defence of John B’s post. I stress that I say all this as someone who has high regard for this site, and its editor, and who is grateful to have appeared in it in the past. I believe there are many who would regard a few words of regret from Sunny as a valuable, and welcome gesture, and an appropriate way to close this dispute.

Re no bail for Assange.

Given that he’s “of no fixed address” (not anywhere, as far as I know, let alone in the UK) then the refusal of bail sounds entirely normal.

When Gerard Toben (another non-resident) was held on a EAW for the much lesser crime of holocause denial (lesser in that the possible punishment is lesser….plus the fact that it’s not a crime in the UK) he was held on remand while the decision to extradite or not was made.

22. Luis Enrique

John B, on this site, declared a man innocent of rape, on the basis of no facts.

No. He. Fucking. Didn’t.

on the basis of information he had at the time, John wrote Assange had not been accused of rape and asked why media outlets were reporting it has if he had.

new information has since come to light, an unequivocal accusation of rape. See John here

Luis/22: The original John B article had the text “The fact that [Assange] isn’t actually guilty of anything that’s a crime here” and “to silence someone who is very clearly not a rapist, and very clearly not guilty of anything that’s illegal in the UK”

Those look like absolute declarations of innocence to me, not just declarations of the absence of charges.

@ 22: Yes he did. Just read it. He did not qualify anything he said with, ‘On the basis of the perhaps incomplete information was have access to right now, it appears…’ He was categorical. And he said, as I quoted, that it is a ‘fact’ that Assange ‘isn’t actually guilty of anything that’s a crime here’. *Isn’t guilty*. If you, and he, cannot be convinced that claiming, without qualification or reservation, that Assange isn’t guilty of any crime wasn’t a tad premature then we have very different ideas about the standards of proof needed in responsible blogging.

As for his retraction (of things he had said merely over the course of 10 hours, rather late on in the contrversy), it is not enough. It does not touch on the problems with what he claimed *originally*.

25. Luis Enrique

cim, soho

yes you’re right. “fact … isn’t guilty”.

to be honest, my memory was faulty (I didn’t remember that line) and I checked by searching his article for the word “innocent” rather than re-read it. my bad.

you’re right that claim wasn’t justified at the time. what should have been written was I guess more like “on basis of this information… not accused of rape”.

26. the a&e charge nurse

[20] “This headline suggests that now we finally have the information we need to arrive at a fully informed view of the accusations against Julian Assange” – yes, and no?

If you mean the final form of legalese on which charges are based, then yes, we do have that information, but if you mean information about what may or may not have transpired at a very senior political level then I think most of us are still in the dark about this (unless you believe the sabre rattling by the American right has had no influence on either the Swedish or British authorities.

We do now know that a British judge refused to accept a very substantial bail sum and that Assange is now banged up in Wandsworth prison (something far more worthy of an apology, in my opinion, than a bit of banter on the internet) – and we also know that a senior Swedish prosecutor has ALREADY taken the view that there was no case for Assange to answer for.

The finger wagging at John B would, no doubt, receive almost universal support had his piece been aimed at an alleged rape case involving x3 anonymous protagonists, but it is clearly the political backdrop to the story that has divided observers into a number of camps, such as;
*those who felt JB’s post was a further example of men disregarding rape claims. *those who believed that the details of the case (as reported) could only be construed as a mechanism to vindictively pursue Assange because of his role in Wikileaks (the camp JB aligned himself with).

a&e,

Can I play devil’s advocate here.

Firstly, the US right can wave sabres all day, and I doubt anyone will be concerned. Because their politicians, like ours, are bound by the rule of law (look at the difficulty the government there can get into in trying to assassinate people…).

Secondly, Tim W has pointed out a pretty convincing reason for rejection of bail.

Thirdly, we do not what caused the case to be reopened, but I doubt the Swedish legal establishment is really so much a puppet of their US brownshirt masters (copyright sally…) that they would put a high-profile case like this forward with no more evidence than led them to dismiss it in the first place. It may lead to a fair few questions if they did, which is not really the way this sort of supposed conspiracy should work – having people tracing things back to you because of stupid decisions is always a bad move in a conspiracy. My guess is new evidence came to light.

All equally convincing explanations really.

28. Luis Enrique

a&e

a weaker version of your second camp: simply that it was worth writing an article that pointed out and drew a connection between: 1. the political angle 2. that (based on information at time) the charges against him have been misreported by press.

[as evident above, I'd missed the strong claim of innocence in John's article. It's easy for me to say now that claim wasn't warranted, but I should have done at the time]

29. Shatterface

Defending Assange as innocent until proven guilty is one thing – calling his alleged victims liars and/or conspirators in league with the American government is another.

This is a site which has previously argued that the law should always be ballanced in favour of the alleged victim and that suspects should be named so that other victims might come forward. This is quite a u-turn. I hope this case makes those who have previously argued against the anonymity of rape suspects think again.

@ Red_Librarian

My purposefully provocative and flippant comments are based on the whole point of this case.

Now have I been in a situation where something could’ve gone wrong? Yes. Have I worked with women and continue to do who’ve really experienced abuse? Yes.

And have I been in situations where I have seen friends or acquaintances make stuff up about a guy because he wouldn’t go out with them or purposefully get pregnant but lying to the guy they had sex with? Yes.

This story stinks so badly, that it is impossible to take it seriously mainly because of the timing of how this has happened.

@ Sunny

The media had no choice in how this was reported because the Swedes have been making this up as they go along. This whole case has been in situation of what see what sticks.

Not everyone is the victim they pretend to be and this is one of the biggest reasons why the Left keeps on been duped-we think every person (race, sex etc) has the same moral compass as we do, when in fact they don’t.

Disclaimer-I was involved in a case with a woman who wasted my time, police time etc claiming she’d been attacked but it was found that she systematically went about doing this around the area. Of course I believed every word she said because when she entered that door seeking help, I saw a victim first and a human being next.

@ Unity

Forget the broken condom story

That relates to an incident that allegedly took place on the night of the 13th August the first two charges against Assange relate to a previously unreported incident which allegedly took place on the 14th August

Presumably the “unlawful coercion” is alleged to have occurred following the crayfish party?

And yet in the timeline you have written on MOT you say

Complainant A’s claim that she hadn’t been raped was put to her lawyer by Aftonbladet, to which the lawyer responded by stating that:

“Complainant A is not a jurist”

I think even the most hardened radical feminist would find the suggestion that Swedish women are only capable of deciding for themselves whether or not they’ve been raped if they have several years of legal training and practice behind them more than a little bit bizarre and rather patronising.

Personally, I think its a hell of reach to argue that Complainant A has been raped when she’s adamant that she hasn’t.

It is certainly difficult to reconcile her opinion that she “wasn’t raped” with the allegation that he “used his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner” however it does seem clear that, had the events happened in the UK, the CPS would have concluded that there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution.

Am I the only one who thinks these charges are all meaningless in the bigger game that is a foot?
I doubt he will stand trial in Sweden on any of them. He will disappear into the American secret state from which he will never return.

By the way is the owner and editor of the Guardian going to be sent for trial in the US? Will the CIA now arrest the owner of The New York Times who have also published documents?

I can’t get on to wikileaks site. Have not been able to do so for 24 hours.

33. Shatterface

‘[as evident above, I'd missed the strong claim of innocence in John's article. It's easy for me to say now that claim wasn't warranted, but I should have done at the time]‘

John didn’t just claim Assange was innocent – he said Assange wasn’t even *accused* of rape. He invented entirely fictional crimes – such as ‘unprotected sex’ – and claimed Assange was accused of those.

@ Watchman 27

That is wholly naive and I guess you believe more in the state/govt then I do, especially the amount of miscarriages of justice that exist.

What happen to the other net guy who we sent to the Americans to be put in jail like forever and all he did was crack a secuirity code? Fair.

And our law? What is law if its not so irrelevant, dated and unequal?

If you fail to pay your taxes you can see jail time for a huge amount of years but some men/people have been put in jail for abuse for much left.

But of course if you have a good lawyer-well, it can go either way because the beauty of Law is that if you don’t understand it, you’re doomed when you face it.

And yes, after reading the wikileaks-the Swedes are helping the US govt, like we’ve helped them so many illiberal times!

35. the a&e charge nurse

[27] “their politicians (American), like ours, are bound by the rule of law” – what about Guantanamo, extrordinary rendition and all the other dirty tricks they get up to (activities sanctioned by the high ups)?

“Tim W has pointed out a pretty convincing reason for rejection of bail” – Assange has committed no crime on English soil, the Swedish authorities are making conflicting decisions – and he has not been charged with rape (a semantic point admittedly) – as far as I know Assange and his lawyer have cooperated fully with our authorities – there is no good reason he should be locked up.

“we do not what caused the case to be reopened, but I doubt the Swedish legal establishment is really so much a puppet of their US brownshirt masters” – that is a matter of conjecture – what we do know is that certain American authorities are dead set against the sort of transparency that WikiLeaks embodies – they wouldn’t want the little people to know what was going on behind the scenes especially if it brings about a result that suits their agenda?

Incidentally I find the link highlighted at [31] as just one further reason why this is such a difficult case to make sense of?

rantersparadise,

That is wholly naive and I guess you believe more in the state/govt then I do, especially the amount of miscarriages of justice that exist.

That’s a first – me being accussed of trusting the state/government. I am fairly libertarian remember. I do trust people a lot though – they are far nicer and more personable than governments.

I was playing devil’s advocate to a&e’s points, as I don’t think they singly or together are significant enough to make up clear evidence for a consipiracy.

I am not denying the possibility of some sort of government consipiracy, but considering the interest in this case I doubt they would try anything stupid and against the rule of law (basically if you are opposing the forces of the internet, you’d have to be damn stupid to try and make up facts or subvert procedures, as all it takes is one crack and someone will exploit it). I suppose they could be relying on everyone getting so worked up that any justifiable cries of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice will be ignored, but wierdly the internet can be a pretty good truth sensor.

And to do anything illegal against Mr Assange would in this country unite most of the non-opposition front bench left, liberals, libertarians, anarchists, whiggish-conservatives, the legions of geek and God knows who else. Similiar coalitions would form elsewhere – and no-one who follows politics would doubt that. Put it this way – my father is a true Tory, who would hate these leaks. But if it came out that the US government was trying to attack Mr Assange because of his actually legal actions, then he would side with Mr Assange. Ignore the big mouths and the bigots, the majority on all sides value justice more than the state.

My original assumption was that there was political malice (nothing official, but insiders giving hints and pointing fingers) backing up these accusations, and I am sure there are plenty who somehow believe discrediting Mr Assange will undermine his project (OK – so maybe there are people who don’t understand the internet). But ultimately, there is a case to be answered, and the answering (the trial) will be observed acrose the world. It would take a very arrogant conspiracy or an incredibly stupid government to try and do anything than try the case.

I agree entirely with sally and also to some extent with rantersparadise.

This case is so obviously a non-starter. Like Sally, I am prepared to wager a hefty sum that this trial in Sweden will either never take place or will never be concluded.

The timing is so perfect that it’s almost too perfect to be true. But sadly, I think this is entirely a political charge, and focusing in on the minutiae of non-evidence surrounding it is to miss the big picture: A massive, global assault on freedom of speech and democracy as we know it.

An illuminating piece on the “bail” aspects from Carl Gardner:

http://www.headoflegal.com/2010/12/07/extradition-proceedings-against-julian-assange/

I’m expecting him to go to Sweden, on the basis that the EAW is – in addition to being a bit of a joke – an administrative process in legal clothing, and evaluation of the value of the case is explicitly excluded.

>@Sunny: Most of the blame for muddying the waters is down to the media reporting, and the shambolic way the Swedish authorities have handled the case.

Yes. One question not asked – what prejudicial impact will all the shenanigans (not least from the prosecutors) have on the case. Is a fair trial possible?

I have stayed out of the “rape” accusation aspects – as this is not relevant to the Wikileaks issue, except insofar as the US may be using it (and the Swedish politico-legal system – remember Pirate Bay) as a tool in any “take down Wikileaks” campaign.

BTW Sunny, will you be hosting a mirror :-). There are already more than 500.

a&e,

Tim’s point is that anyone of no fixed abode will not be granted bail because there is nowhere to look for them if they fail to turn up again. And a crime does not have to be identical to be extraditable, merely recognisable as a crime.

And it is not in any system the victim’s role to determine the charges (unless they are launching a private prosecution) – it is the prosecuters. So yes, it is hardly unheard of for a prosecuter to select a more serious crime than the victim themselves thought necessary.

I do agree there are some very unsavoury bits of the US government, and no doubt some of them would like to get back at Mr Assange for his revelations. But bluntly, if any of them try it it is obviously going to backfire. If Mr Assange happened to die in a car crash tomorrow (through no outside agency’s fault), can you imagine the problems the CIA etc would face? Conspirators are limited as to what they can do by publicity – which is kind of why Wikileaks is so important a point.

The reason that Ms A stated that she had not been raped, but asserted that she had instead been sexually assaulted is because under Swedish law, a conviction of rape requires the use of violenc. When violence is not specifically used but an element of physical or emotional coercion is used instead this constitues a sexual assault. I hope that this clears this up from a legal perspective.

People need to read the Patriot Act that was rammed through within weeks of 9/11.

It basically gives un precedent power to the executive branch of the US govt and turns America into a fascist state. On the Presidents say so anybody in the world can be branded a terrorist and then assassinated or captured and tortured and kept indefinitely without trial.

If it was passed in bongo, bongo land we would view that state as a banana republic. Blair tried to push aspects of it onto us.

People need to read the Patriot Act that was rammed through within weeks of 9/11.

It basically gives un precedent power to the executive branch of the US govt and turns America into a fascist state. On the Presidents say so anybody in the world can be branded a terrorist and then assassinated or captured and tortured and kept indefinitely without trial.

If it was passed in bongo, bongo land we would view that state as a banana republic.

@watchman

>Tim’s point is that anyone of no fixed abode will not be granted bail because there is nowhere to look for them if they fail to turn up again. And a crime does not have to be identical to be extraditable, merely recognisable as a crime.

Assanges lawyer should have caught that before the hearing. It’s especially weighty with non-EU citizens.

Not sure whether it would prejudice an address provided at a second hearing – e.g., Jon Pilger’s weekend cottage.

Unity – thanks for your posts on this case, and your comment above.

Shatterface – indeed, this case has made me think about arguments for anonymity.

Richard @19 – on one of the posts about this case a commenter says this is a lot like the Sabbar Kushur case in Israel, as in s/he thought it was all rubbish. Which is certainly what the Kushur case looked like at first sight. Afterwards Laurie Penny wrote an article on NS, when further information was available, that the charge was the only way to charge Kushar in a way that it would get a guilty verdict. http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2010/09/jewish-woman-chauvinism-rape

As I think you are saying above, the charges in this case have been brought in the same way. Whether that’s for good or bad, I have no way of knowing – which is what a trial is for.

Shatterface/29: I hope this case makes those who have previously argued against the anonymity of rape suspects think again.

I see why you say that, but no, it doesn’t make me reconsider. The conspiracy theories are bad enough already. If Assange had recently been arrested, apparently out of the blue, in London, and the press weren’t allowed to say why, just think what would be happening.

On the stronger “until conviction” anonymity suggestions, Assange could literally disappear for months with the press all knowing exactly where he was and why but being unable to legally say so. (And given that the apparent options in that case would be “rape charge” and “kidnapped by the CIA”, which do you think would be likely to be considered, given the reluctance of many to consider the possibility he might have committed rape now?)

I do think it makes a good case as to why allowing the state to arrest someone and then forbid the press from reporting on why they did it would be a bad idea, though!

46. the a&e charge nurse

[39] I seem to recall that Assange has ALREADY given his address in Australia – so it is not strictly true to say that he is NFA.

Secondly I have no doubt his lawyer or some other Brit sympathetic to Assange’s situation would vouche for his temporary residence at a UK address.

I might be wrong but I do not think ALL accused people must automatically be locked up if they are unlucky enough to be homeless when charges are brought.

Any sensible person can see that putting Asange in jail is entirely disproportionate, not least because it might be nterpreted as a sign of the sort of heavy handed tactics one must expected once American right wingers have been upset?

Julian Assange’s supporters have created a figment that he is being treated differently from others accused of a similar crime.

1. The timing of police investigations, statements and prosecution arrest warrants in Sweden is “politically convenient”. Cobblers. Everything is indicative of “lack of competence”. Or rather, that Assange is being treated as a normal suspect rather than one demanding international attention.

2. Assange has been “denied bail in the UK”. Absolutely true. Foreigners who have no fixed abode in the UK and who are known to have visited multiple foreign countries in a short period get banged up when an arrest warrant is issued. This is entirely normal.

I am interested in arguments about further extradition, however. Irrespective of bi-lateral or multi-lateral treaties, I cannot accept extradition to the USA or any country that treats prisoners worse than than the UK does. Stuff moral relativism and treaties.

@46 the a&e charge nurse: “I might be wrong but I do not think ALL accused people must automatically be locked up if they are unlucky enough to be homeless when charges are brought.”

If an accused person is a credible UK or Irish citizen, bail on the basis of identification and attending a police station at intervals suffices for small crimes. For the homeless without papers, this means that they turn up and show their faces. Ditto for EU citizens, but I believe that they have to be more credible (more paper evidence). A commonwealth citizen might be treated equally to an EU citizen, depending on paperwork.

Beyond that, I cannot see any obvious rules. For which we might be thankful. It means that those who are accused are considered case by case.

If a case is one that will be considered by a judge, all foreigners can assume that they will be banged up on remand unless they have established UK residency. Ditto for anyone facing a European warrant.

49. the a&e charge nurse

[48] “It means that those who are accused are considered case by case” – so given all of the circumstances surrounding this case what possible good was served by putting Assange behind bars (assuming there was room for legal discretion).

By now JA is one of the most famous men on the planet – so he is unlikely to be able to run away anywhere and given the allegations made against him I think it a remote possibility he will indulge in any further casual sexual encounters.

Meanwhile the Guardian are practically citing almost chapter and verse about the latest version of events?
“Miss A, having invited Assange to speak to a leftwing campaign group in the town of Enkoping, suggested he stay in her flat, although the two had not met. Both agree that they slept together on the night before the event, during which the condom split.
The following day, the woman attended and helped facilitate the event, at which Miss W was also present. According to her police interview, Miss W accompanied the Australian and some male guests to lunch at which he flirted with her; afterwards the pair went to the cinema, where she told police she had performed oral sex on him. They slept together that night, using a condom, and again the following morning, when both parties appear to agree that a condom was not used, after which Assange left.
What happened next will be the subject of any legal process, but according to her testimony Miss W, for some reason, got in touch with Miss A (they did not previously know each other); some days later the two went to a Stockholm police station where they said they were “seeking advice” on making a complaint against Assange. Miss A is understood to have told police that he had ripped the condom on purpose, while Miss W said the unprotected sex act had been without her consent. They were reportedly advised by the police officer that these allegations amounted to rape against Miss W and sexual molestation against Miss A.
The accusations leaked to the press two days later, shortly after which Miss A gave an interview to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. She said: “The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who had attitude problems with women.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/rape-claims-julian-assange

@49

Thanks for bringing at least me up-to-date with that link to the report in the Guardian.

@44

>As I think you are saying above, the charges in this case have been brought in the same way. Whether that’s for good or bad, I have no way of knowing – which is what a trial is for.

Has he actually been charged? I thought that the warrant was “for interview”.

Open to correction though.

Matt

@49
[blockquote]and given the allegations made against him I think it a remote possibility he will indulge in any further casual sexual encounters.[/blockquote]

Why do you think this is the case? Or are you putting yourself in Assange’s shoes? Seems to me that an awful lot of people are doing this and subsequently spouting crap.

@51 – You are of course right. Thanks for the correction.

54. the a&e charge nurse

[51] I’m sure there’ll be more to come Bob (no pun intended).

55. the a&e charge nurse

[52] “are you putting yourself in Assange’s shoes” – err, no, just taking a view on the likely risk (of sexual violence) JA poses to the public, which I think given the current set of circumstances is probably very low.

Perhaps we can all at least agree that perceived risk is an important variable before deciding to deprive somebody of their liberty?

@ 55 – I asked you how you could know this or come to this conclusion:

‘I think it a remote possibility he will indulge in any further casual sexual encounters’

You haven’t answered me.

Pagar:

The stuff you’ve quoted is from my first post at MoT, which was written before it became apparent that an unlawful coercion allegation had been put on the table and before I’d chased down the original Aftonbladet article from which ‘not raped’ quote was taken [out of context] in which I found that she had asserted that she had been subjected to a sexual assault.

I’ve no problem in admitting that position has evolved as more information has come to light – that’s just part and parcel of being a blogger who’s trying to run down a developing story.

And yes, the incident to which the unlawful coercion allegation relates does appear to have occurred after the crayfish party.

it does seem clear that, had the events happened in the UK, the CPS would have concluded that there was insufficient evidence to mount a prosecution.

I don’t think that there’s anything like enough information in the public domain to reliably second guess what our own CPS would make of this case.

I strongly suspect that it would be a difficult case to prosecute in UK but that’s equally true of a lot of rape cases where you have two conflicting accounts of an unwitnessed incident and – perhaps – little or no physical evidence to work with.

At this stage, we only know, in general terms, what the allegations are and have no idea what corroborating evidence, if any, the Swedish prosecutor may have gathered over the last three months, so it’s impossible to say what the odds are of this case ending in either a conviction or an acquittal.

Matt:

Yes. One question not asked – what prejudicial impact will all the shenanigans (not least from the prosecutors) have on the case. Is a fair trial possible?

That’s two questions to which the answers – in theory – are ‘none’ and ‘yes’.

Sweden has a civil law judicial system under which trials are conducted by a judge, not heard by a judge and jury.

Judge-only trials cannot, as a matter of legal principle, be prejudiced on the basis that judges are, in general, held to be above such things but will recuse themselves if they believe that their objectivity may have been compromised.

This is also true of English law where a case is referred to, for example, the Court of Appeal.

@47 Charlieman,

“I am interested in arguments about further extradition, however. Irrespective of bi-lateral or multi-lateral treaties, I cannot accept extradition to the USA or any country that treats prisoners worse than than the UK does.”

Extradition to the US is easier, and more probable, if Assange remains in the UK than if he goes to Sweden. The Swedes have said they don’t intend to extradite him to the US. That doesn’t constitute a formal guarantee, as far as I know. But what’s more important, I think, is that the law surrounding the European Arrest Warrant provides that someone who is shipped to one country via EAW can’t be extradited to a third country without the first country’s approval. Sweden couldn’t send Assange to the US without UK permission, even if it wanted to ( http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=4226109 ). If the US wants to get Assange extradited, it would be very strongly advised to try to get him extradited from the UK (not from Sweden).

Swedish prisoners are generally well treated, probably better than the UK in many respects, but as you say, the US is a different matter.

@47. Plus, the UK/US extradition treaty is significantly more favourable to the US side than the Sweden/US one is.

@32 Sally. You said, “I can’t get on to wikileaks site. Have not been able to do so for 24 hours.” Which URL are you trying? http://wikileaks.ch/ works OK for me. I don’t think the .org address will work for the foreseeable future (thanks to everyDNS/the US government).

@40 King. “The reason that Ms A stated that she had not been raped, but asserted that she had instead been sexually assaulted is because under Swedish law, a conviction of rape requires the use of violence.” As I understand it, that is an overgeneralisation. The threat of violence is usually sufficient, as is unconsciousness.

However, isn’t it the case that the charge of rape is in relation to W, anyway, not A?

Ultimately as JA’s leaks have shown its the UK government more than any other government in the world which just jumps up shouting “Yes sir! Yes sir! Three bags full sir! Would you like your shoes shining?” I think even without the limitations on EAW JA is prolly more at risk of unwarranted(and I mean this in the literal rather than legal sense) extradition to the US.

Unity,

Thanks, yet again, for the degree of depth you go into a subject. Frankly, I don’t know how you do it.

To be honest, even talking to a woman appears a risky endeavour these days. What with self aggrandisement being a no-no, jesus what man hasn’t presented himself in the best light possible? I tell you it is a minefield!

Could I ask you ré 58 above, have you a view of this, not ‘in theory’, but in practice?

Unity:

For clarity, why not add the Guy Rundle quote to charge 1 in the piece, to make clear that it’s rape? (it’s clear that early commenters in this thread have missed that point). His piece does a far better job of explaining the charges laid against Assange than the PA report that everyone else seems to have relied on.

More generally: the Swedish system for trying sexual offences seems to be the absolute worst of both worlds.

Actual rapes go punished as relatively minor offences – Count 1 is still not classed as “rape” in Sweden, because the levels of violence and threat are insufficient. But the only thing that escalates it to the charge that has been placed, with a maximum four year sentence, is the “using his body weight” thing (which is why such an odd charge appears in the court proceedings). If he were accused of raping (under English law) Miss A without using force or threats, then it wouldn’t even be considered *that* serious.

Meanwhile, consenting acts that are subsequently regretted are also classed as minor sexual offences. Effectively, they’ve taken consent out of the equation, which seems an utterly bizarre thing to do. I suppose as a JS Mill liberal, my view is that adults should be able to do whatever the hell they like to each other as long as it’s consensual at the time, whereas as a paternalist Lutheran state, Sweden believes in stopping Bad Things.

(this is also why I’ve equated Sweden to the Taliban elsewhere. Both seek to impose their ideas of sexual morality and don’t give a monkey’s about consent. The Swedish idea of sexual morality being imposed is less revolting than the Talibans, as are the means being used, but they’re both distinct from societies run under liberal principles in that way).

CIM/Sohopolitico/Luis:

If person X were to be accused of murder by a foreign government, and the facts of the prosecutions’ case (as leaked by the prosecution to its sympathetic press outlets and by the defence to its sympathetic press outlets, in accounts that matched up with each other) didn’t actually cover any acts which could be classed as murder in the UK [*], then I would say “person X is categorically not a murderer”.

If person X were subsequently accused of an entirely different murder that hadn’t been mentioned in any of the prior evidence, I don’t think I would have been wrong to write my original article, or to phrase it like that.

“Julian Assange is categorically not a rapist” in my first piece is used in exactly the same way.

The only other assertion that I could be making by using those words is “I have looked into Julian Assange’s soul and discovered him to be incapable of harming another human being”, or “My spies have been following Julian Assange every day since he reached puberty and their dossiers show that he has never raped anybody ever”. Neither of which is a claim that anyone could sanely make, so probably they’re not the ones I’m making, eh?

(and even the latter doesn’t allow for actions that could take place after I’d published my article…)

[*] yes, I know CIM disagrees with me on counts 2-4, but that debate isn’t going anywhere.

Richard J: no. Rundle:

Three charges are based on the allegations of “complainant a”, in whose apartment Assange was staying in mid-August. The first is one of rape — that Assange used his body weight to lie on her, pushed her legs open and forced sex.

The second charge is that Assange “assaulted her sexual integrity” by “having sex without a condom despite complainant’s earlier expressed unwillingness to do so”. Another sexual integrity assault is that Assange “pushed his erect penis into her back without permission, while sharing a bed”. The fourth charge is by the second complainant, “complainant b” which alleges “having sex with the complainant while she was asleep, without a condom”.

The Guardian piece that A&E Charge Nurse posts is based on the publicly aavailable understanding of events *before* the extradition hearing, before the explicit allegation of raping Miss A was known.

Douglas:

In practice, judges are human beings and, therefore, subject to the same foibles, cognitive biases and unconscious influences as everyone else, so one can never say, as a matter of absolute certainty, that judge’s views cannot be coloured by something they may have seen on TV or read in a newspaper or simple by their own long-held beliefs and attitudes

They are, however, trained to look beyond those things and focus squarely on the evidence before them and, of course, we have an appeals system to fall back if it believed that a bad judgement call has been made.

Its all about checks and balances – an indivdual judge could, perhaps, be prejudiced, but an appeal typically goes to a panel of three judges and if a case goes beyond that, to the Supreme Court, then anything from three to nine judges may be involved in the final ruling – although five is the usual number.

In the long run, what counts is how robust the system is, when looked as a whole.

Unity,

In practice, judges are human beings and, therefore, subject to the same foibles, cognitive biases and unconscious influences as everyone else, so one can never say, as a matter of absolute certainty, that judge’s views cannot be coloured by something they may have seen on TV or read in a newspaper or simple by their own long-held beliefs and attitudes

They are, however, trained to look beyond those things and focus squarely on the evidence before them and, of course, we have an appeals system to fall back if it believed that a bad judgement call has been made.

Its all about checks and balances – an indivdual judge could, perhaps, be prejudiced, but an appeal typically goes to a panel of three judges and if a case goes beyond that, to the Supreme Court, then anything from three to nine judges may be involved in the final ruling – although five is the usual number.

In the long run, what counts is how robust the system is, when looked as a whole.

Well, that wasn’t exactly what I meant by ‘in practice’.

(Just as an aside, who are all these idiotic twitter / blog folk that can’t actually leave a frigging comment and prefer their links to any sort of debate or discussion?)

My point is probably much as your own, though seen from a different angle. I agree with you about this:

In practice, judges are human beings and, therefore, subject to the same foibles, cognitive biases and unconscious influences as everyone else, so one can never say, as a matter of absolute certainty, that judge’s views cannot be coloured by something they may have seen on TV or read in a newspaper or simple by their own long-held beliefs and attitudes

They are, however, trained to look beyond those things and focus squarely on the evidence before them and, of course, we have an appeals system to fall back if it believed that a bad judgement call has been made.

Of course they are. But, I would submit, not when the state has a point of view.

If the state has a strongly held point of view. Then the judiciary crumbles. It always does, ré the Iraq advice and lots of other cases too.

We ignore free lawyers at our peril and listen to trapped lawyers at our risk.

Seems to me, Unity.

In the interest of further clarity, the main article cite the allegations against Assange as they were read out to the court and expressed in terms of Swedish law.

Using Guy Rundle’s description of each of the allegations, this is how things would look under English Law.

The first is one of rape — that Assange used his body weight to lie on her, pushed her legs open and forced sex.

This is a rape allegation under s1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003

The second charge is that Assange “assaulted her sexual integrity” by “having sex without a condom despite complainant’s earlier expressed unwillingness to do so”.

This is also a rape allegation under s1 SOA2003.

As a general principle in law, where conditional consent is given that consent only comes into effect if these conditions are met in full.

Another sexual integrity assault is that Assange “pushed his erect penis into her back without permission, while sharing a bed”.

This in an allegation of sexual assault under s3 SOA2003

The fourth charge is by the second complainant, “complainant b” which alleges “having sex with the complainant while she was asleep, without a condom”.

This is also a rape allegation under s1 SOA2003 provided that the complainant is alleging that Assange had not been given her consent at the point at which she was penetrated, even if she changed her mind and gave her consent while Assange was humping away.

This is the bit that quite a lot of people don’t appear to get. Without express consent an offence is committed, in law, at the point of penetration, even if the complaintant changes their mind after a few strokes and goes on to have a whale of a time.

Cases that hinge on this fine point of timing are, I believe, rarely seen in court but the precedent for this was set in 1978, so it is anything but a recent innovation.

So, under English law, we would have definitely have two alleged rapes, probably a third depending on precise account given by the complainant [sorry, can't be definitive without more info] and an alleged sexual assault.

[2] is also a rape allegation under s1 SOA2003. As a general principle in law, where conditional consent is given that consent only comes into effect if these conditions are met in full.

No, it isn’t. You’re right about the principle of law, but the allegation here is that *on a previous occasion*, Ms A insisted on a condom. This time, the allegation is that Ms A didn’t insist on a condom, and Assange didn’t use one, and she was annoyed afterwards that he hadn’t. That is not an offence under SOA2003 – it’s Swedish “treating women like children” nonsense.

[3] in an allegation of sexual assault under s3 SOA2003

No, it isn’t – see clauses c and d. Sexual touching is not prohibited if *either* A consents or B reasonably believes A consents. Here, A and B had an existing. consenting sexual relationship, were sharing a bed, and there is no suggestion that Assange continued to prod Miss A after she told him to stop. That is not an offence under SOA2003 – it’s Swedish “treating women like children” nonsense.

[4]: This is the bit that quite a lot of people don’t appear to get. Without express consent an offence is committed, in law, at the point of penetration

That’s interesting – I’d assumed (it’s unclear from the wording in SOA2003) that consent could be retrospective. So when I’ve been woken up by a blowjob from a partner with whom it hasn’t been specifically agreed in advance, I’ve been raped? I’m willing to take your word that this is true, but that reflects a stupid anomaly in English rape law, rather than anything that could sensibly be viewed as rape.

(worth noting here that the presence or absence of a condom, which is the reason B actually made the complaint, is completely irrelevant)

John:

You may well be right on [2] but there is also the possibility of some really gnarly legal arguments about the scope and duration of previously expressed consent and how this may, or may not play out in terms of a defence of reasonable belief.

On [3], the incident is alleged to have taken place on 18 August, the same day that A was contacted by B about her encounter with Assange, so its clear that the prior sexual relationship can be counted on for a claim of reasonable belief. If A’s last words before rolling over to go sleep were ‘don’t you dare touch me you bastard’ then we’re in a whole different ball game.

So when I’ve been woken up by a blowjob from a partner with whom it hasn’t been specifically agreed in advance, I’ve been raped?

Actually, it would be a section 4 offence of causing a person to engage in sexual activity so its only since 2003 that an unasked for BJ could prove problematic.

i think we’re slightly at cross purposes here. I’m working strictly in the realms of allegations without getting into any considerations of whether and where the reasonable belief defence, which is open on all three of these allegations, might come into play.

You seem to be a step ahead in considering the plausibilty of the allegations – you may be right that one, two or all three of these allegations might fold on the basis of reasonable belief, but that a consideration of material fact and a little ahead of where I was coming from.

I’m trying to work out whether there’s a case to bring charges in the UK, based on the evidence presented by Swedish prosecutors (assuming that everything they claim is true – *not* casting doubt on the witnesses’ veracity), since that’s what the English court has to decide. So “reasonable belief” comes into it IMO.

On that basis, I don’t think charges could be brought in England on 2. While you could make a very tenuous case that “because she asked him to use a condom on a previous occasion, it was unreasonable of him to assume that she wasn’t requiring him to use one now”, that doesn’t work if she’s conscious and consenting while aware that he’s not using one this time. This question might be relevant to charge 4, however.

On 3, in the absence of an explicit statement along the lines you suggest, I don’t think charges would ever be brought in England. If there is one, then they would be. The fact that Swedish law isn’t primarily based on consent makes it difficult to relate the two systems, but if I were the judge on this count I’d throw the case out unless I was presented with suitable testimony that nobody could reasonably infer consent.

On 4, good point – because the phrasing, penalties and guideline sentences are the same, I tend to forget that SOA2003 classes attacker’s-penis-into-victim’s-orifice differently from any of the other possible permutations. (digressionally, I do find that part of SOA2003 really bizarre. You could happily remove s1-3 for the law, apply s4 to all cases of non-consensual sexual activity, and end up with *exactly the same conditions applying and associated punishments* that we currently have. Which kind of makes me wonder what on earth s1-3 are for…)

Of course, the discussion is more or less moot, because there is definitely a case under count 1 that can only be countered by discrediting Miss A’s testimony, and that’s well outside a) the difference between English and Swedish law b) anything that I’ve been doing on any of the Assange threads.

The latest Rundle piece isn’t paywalled: get it here. It treads similar grounds to what we’ve been covering, although based on an Aussie understanding of sexual offences laws (which is basically English law pre-2003), and also suggests that Miss A may have stopped co-operating with prosecutors and fled Sweden…

rob chewitt – we have no interested in the crap about whether WikiLeaks is a CIA front or about what the women in question above posted on their blogs / Twitter accounts. Please take it elsewhere – it will be deleted from this site.

@John B, I don’t think Miss A leaving Sweden is something we can get too excited about. The trip may have been planned before this thing blew up. Given the way she is being treated – the smears and personal attacks from Mr A’s more fanatical supporters – I couldn’t blame her for wanting to get out of the country – though I suspect this might not be the reason. Under the circumstances I wouldn’t be surprised if such media pressure and web slurs etc caused her to want to drop charges – but again we have no evidence that this has happened. The women’s lawyer still currently states that he has the women’s support for prosecution.

You seem sure that you can speak authoritatively about whether Assange is guilty of 2 and 3. But surely, there could be evidence or arguments presented in court which will make the picture clearer.

Richard P,

I am having real difficulty in understanding in whose interests the prosecution case in being advanced in relation to Miss A. She doesn’t seem to think there is much of a case to answer if the released comments she is alleged to have made have any veracity. ( Given the nature of the internet they may not.)

There is a mistake in the Crikey article: it claims that Miss A is also known as “Bernardin”. Not so.

If you type in Miss A’s surname (with a capital letter) into google translate, “Bernardin” is the English translation. I don’t know why this is, but there we are.

@Douglas,

I am not sure how you reach the conclusion that Miss A feels there’s not much case to answer. She was quoted as saying that she didn’t consider what happened to her to be rape – this doesn’t mean she’s fine with it – and indeed, the charge in relation to Miss A isn’t rape under Swedish law (according to my best understanding from the information people have provided above); the Swedish rape charge seems to be in relation to Miss W.

The women’s lawyer says he has their support to prosecute the case. But put yourself in Miss A’s position and imagine the pressure she’d under from the media and from fanatical Assange supporters, and if they withdrew their support then it would be entirely understandable. This must be an awful time for them.

Ultimately as JA’s leaks have shown its the UK government more than any other government in the world which just jumps up shouting “Yes sir! Yes sir! Three bags full sir! Would you like your shoes shining?” I think even without the limitations on EAW JA is prolly more at risk of unwarranted(and I mean this in the literal rather than legal sense) extradition to the US.

Maybe – most of the Wikileaks material would apply to the previous government though, would it not? The current one is, on some measures (really don’t want to open this can of worms…) more liberal when it comes to this kind of thing.

Also, this government is actually historically quite pro-Wikileaks. When George Osborne was doing his “tell us about public sector waste” thing, the official website even suggested that public sector employees could pass information to Wikileaks if they were uncomfortable with passing it directly to Osborne’s department. I find it hard to believe that the UK government could punish someone for doing something that they encouraged their own employees to take part in.

So “reasonable belief” comes into it IMO.

That’s not my understanding of how EAW’s work, which is why they’re controversial.

Prior to EAW’s, Sweden would, I think, have had to provide prima facie evidence to back up their application for extradition sufficient to meet our own reasonable suspicion standard for proceeding with an arrest.

Under the EAW system, Sweden only has to show that its intends to pursue a criminal prosecution for an indictable offence with a maximum penalty in excess of 12 months imprisonment and we can refuse the request only in limited circumstances.

If this were a UK case, then I’d agree that 2 is very thin and would be unlikely to result in any charges, unless you’ve got a really ambitious prosecutor who fancies chancing their arm on a precedent setting case. I could easily be wrong, but I’m not aware of a rape case premised on conditional consent ever going allt he way to court in this country, so there’s no direct precedent for this scenario.

1 is, as you say, looks an arguable case and I think would be seen as being worth a punt as the 1978 precendent is sufficiently arcane that a good prosecutor would fancy their chances of drawing the defendent into a de facto admission of guilt on the stand and I think that 3 would stay on the table, at least to begin with, as the ‘cop to this and we’ll drop the rest’ option for trying to get something out the case with the minimum of time and effort.

Ultimately, I think we both agree that there are allegations to be answered here and due process must, therefore, be allowed to run its course.

Carl (Head of Legal) seems fairly confident that Assange will be swimming uphill in his attempt to avoid extradition and will need to produce some objective evidence to back up the suggestion that this is all politically motivated – a tough ask at the best of times – so I suspect he will be extradited before long.

Carl reckons early next year, which seems about right given the scope for appeals.

@John B:

If person X were to be accused of murder by a foreign government, and the facts of the prosecutions’ case (as leaked by the prosecution to its sympathetic press outlets and by the defence to its sympathetic press outlets, in accounts that matched up with each other) didn’t actually cover any acts which could be classed as murder in the UK [*], then I would say “person X is categorically not a murderer”.

If person X were subsequently accused of an entirely different murder that hadn’t been mentioned in any of the prior evidence, I don’t think I would have been wrong to write my original article, or to phrase it like that.

One of the most unedifying (and, frankly, insulting to the intelligence of readers) aspects of your behaviour over this is that you continually misstate the content of your original article, and the claims made therein. You did not, as you here imply, take in the evidence supplied by both sides, and note that they were a perfect fit. You drew your evidence entirely from one side – Assange’s lawyer. If you had cast your net further afield, you would have perhaps seen this, from Complainant A’s lawyer, on 25th August, as reported by Unity elsewhere:

‘I want to stress that there are significant details missing in this report, details I base my accusations of rape on, but I am prevented from revealing what these details are.’

‘It would hurt the investigation to make the information public at this stage. It’s my opinion [Finné] was in error. I believe Assange will be accused of sex crimes.’

In other words, if you had paid attention to other sources, you would have been alerted to the fact that existing reports may be crucially incomplete, and would never have been led to write the inaccurate post which you continue, astonishingly, to defend.

79. Luis Enrique

78 Soho

hold up – you’re saying that if John had had different information, he would have written a different post, but what he wrote was reasonable on the basis of the information he did have, but that he should have made more of an effort to cast his net wider so as not to miss any information and end up writing an inaccurate post? What a bastard. Remind me to pour vitriol on the next person I person I see making a the same mistake. And as for continuing to defend himself against the deluge of over the top accusations and insults, well again, what a bastard. I can see why you and others are so righteously furious.

oh no, hang on, I think everyone has gone a bit mad.

This article from an Australian website gives some background to the rape allegations

http://tinyurl.com/32lpvan

Timing is everything and the timing in this case was er, timely.

@ Unity

At this stage, we only know, in general terms, what the allegations are and have no idea what corroborating evidence, if any, the Swedish prosecutor may have gathered over the last three months, so it’s impossible to say what the odds are of this case ending in either a conviction or an acquittal.

Unless they have found a video link or a peeping tom there is no prospect of corroborating evidence- it can be no better than a he said/she said.

The CPS here routinely decline to prosecute in cases with much stronger evidence than seems to exist here and the fact of the matter is that Assange is currently in jail for something that, had it happened here, would never have seen the light of day.

PS

I’ve got £50 says it will not end in conviction……..

Unity/69: I could easily be wrong, but I’m not aware of a rape case premised on conditional consent ever going all the way to court in this country, so there’s no direct precedent for this scenario.

I think you could quite easily argue that every case where someone was raped by someone they’d previously consented to sex with was a “conditional consent” case (in the sense of “at time X but not at time Y”), and/or that the statute law in S76 explicitly – by its statements about “nature [...] of the relevant act” – implying the existence of conditional consent regarding “what” without the need for a precedent-setting case to make it explicit.

I can’t imagine a defence lawyer getting very far at all trying to argue that the ability to make consent conditional only applied to “when” and “who” and “why” but not “what”.

(I couldn’t at a quick look find reports of rape cases where conditional consent of the “act X but not act Y” form had reached trial, but most rape cases don’t make the news at all, so I’d be extremely surprised – even with my lack of faith in the general abilities of the legal system in rape cases – to find that there weren’t any at all over the last seven years)

Luis/79: The error of judgement that I believe John B made, is to either not be aware of or to temporarily forget that rape apologism doesn’t just use “women lie about rape” but also “women overreact and call things rape that weren’t”. So you have a situation where the reported evidence available to him suggests that charges are being brought based on things which aren’t and in his opinion shouldn’t be illegal. He, in his article and subsequent statements, makes it clear he doesn’t believe the women who reported the crimes to be lying.

[He's also, obviously, entirely right that the way the authorities are treating this case is highly unusual and cause for suspicion about something. If the authorities took every reported rape this seriously then there'd be a significant drop in the number of reported cases, and that would be great. Perhaps Wikileaks should sign up the entire world population in an "advisory" role and use their unpopularity for good?]

Now, my reaction to those apparent facts was “Hmm, those don’t seem like things women would go to the police about in the first place, given that women don’t go to the police even about rape with extra violence quite a lot of the time.” and concluded from that it was very unlikely we were getting the whole story about what the charges were (or indeed what was or wasn’t illegal under Swedish law). The “sex by surprise” was a big red flag, too, given how that’s pretty much a US rapist slogan, I found it difficult to believe it was really in the law anywhere (I’m not blaming John for not knowing about that slogan, by the way – I’ve not seen it come up in the UK)

My problem is that John came to a conclusion that matches very closely to a particular generic rape-apologist conclusion. That doesn’t automatically make it wrong – that “women lie about rape” is a generic rape-apologist conclusion doesn’t mean that no women lie about rape – but it does mean, I think, that there’s a responsibility when the apparent facts meet that conclusion in a particular case to be very suspicious about whether the facts are complete, and be very cautious about drawing that conclusion without caveats, to avoid giving – accidentally! – strength to a rape-apologist generic argument in a specific situation it doesn’t apply (and, on a topic, as we can see by some of the comments left, that attracts people who are rape apologists).

I don’t think John’s a bad person, and I don’t think he intended to support a particular branch of rape-apologism with his writing (after all, he spent a good couple of paragraphs of the original saying how bad a different branch of rape-apologism was).

But I do think that while John wrote the article he could based on the information he had at the time, he had a responsibility for those reasons to be more suspicious about the reliability and sources of the information he was getting, and to at the very least echo that suspicion in his own writing, and ideally try to independently verify or contradict as much of it as possible. It’s an ideal, we all fall short of it at times if we say anything, and I’m not expecting perfection off anyone – but we should also, as Soho Politico says, apologise for the times when this causes us to say something harmful (and take steps to prevent recurrence) because our mistakes have consequences.

I think you could quite easily argue that every case where someone was raped by someone they’d previously consented to sex with was a “conditional consent” case (in the sense of “at time X but not at time Y”),

In principle, I’d agree – what I was reflecting on was simply that I’m not aware of an instance in which the general principle of ‘conditional consent’, which is most often cited in respect to matters of civil law, particularly contracts, has been expressly applied in a rape case.

As such I can only say that principle appear applicable but not comment on the precise mode of application as this may differ from civil law depending on how its interpreted in concert with the defence of reasonable belief.

I think Cim is right: the original JB article ought to have specified that it was reliant on accounts that were likely to be biased or incomplete. This was a misjudgement. Some people actually seem to blame the prosecution for not giving clarity; but is it the rule, even in this country, that prosecutors are compelled to detail to the public what went on in a case before bringing it trial and before even bringing charges? It certainly does not surprise me that in Sweden the rules allow the prosecution to hold back some of these details until the case has reached a later stage. Now would be a good time for LC to retract the original article, in case it is still being linked to.

Cim: “He’s also, obviously, entirely right that the way the authorities are treating this case is highly unusual and cause for suspicion about something.”

How sure are we that the Swedes are treating it much different from how they treat other rape cases? (A prosecutor actually dropped charges and they were only reinstated when the women’s lawyer complained.) Do we know that much about Swedish practice? Is even the suspicious Interpol treatment that obviously clear-cut – i.e. do we have any figures on what proportion of suspected foreign sex offenders that have left Sweden get reported to Interpol by Swedish police? It’s not as though the media would normally publicise them (actually, I don’t think they’d normally be allowed to: the Swedish authorities gave permission this time – a joke at Assange’s expense? If so, a counterproductive one perhaps, and a possible instance of differential treatment).

Now would be a good time for LC to retract the original article, in case it is still being linked to.

Not at all.

If its felt that visitors are still feeding into John’s post and going away without picking up the other four posts here which deal, in different ways, with this issue then the correct response to simple to cross-link everything together so people can see clearly how the overall understanding of the situation, and the debates that have contributed to that, have evolved as new information has emerged.

Retracting John’s post would, given the amount of discussion on other posts, hang him out to dry by leaving behind a bunch of heated comments and no context for visitors to refer back to in order to understand what the debate has actually been about.

Richard P: As far as I can tell, Sweden has similar prevalence, reporting and conviction rates to England and Wales. (prevalence about the same at really high, reporting slightly higher in Sweden at not usually, report:conviction ratio marginally better in E&W at hardly any, rape:conviction ratio probably about the same at virtually none) I don’t know if the attrition curve between report and conviction is comparable. The anecdotal evidence I’m hearing from Sweden sounds pretty similar to E&W, too, though that’s obviously very difficult to quantify.

Based on that I don’t think we can say that Sweden in general takes rapes significantly more seriously than E&W in general. We also know – Stern Report, for instance, or the massive differentials between police areas – that lots of people in the E&W justice system don’t take rape seriously enough to follow the existing best practice guidance (and, indeed, actual rules) on the investigation and trial of rape cases, and there’s been various horrifying stories of police, prosecutors or judges making seriously misguided decisions in their handling of rape cases.

I think the evidence therefore is that this case is being treated with full proper seriousness, rather than something closer to the national averages. Whether that’s because it’s an extremely high profile and public case and you do not want to mess up in front of the world, or because various people are saying to the English and Swedish courts “You will take these allegations seriously, won’t you” to get Assange out of the way for a little bit, or because Bergstrom is a really good lawyer and knows who to call to get unfavourable decisions overturned and their clients’ interests represented, I have absolutely no idea.

90. the a&e charge nurse

[56] “I asked you how you could know this or come to this conclusion” – to the assertion – ‘I think it a remote possibility he will indulge in any further casual sexual encounters’. Then you say, “You haven’t answered me”.

True I don’t KNOW – hell, not even Assange, or anybody else for that matter knows for sure what they will or won’t do in the future.

Fortunately our legal system is not based on Mystic Meg type predictions but risk assessment, even accepting that these assessments will go wrong sometimes.

AFAIK Assange has no previous (pre-Sweden), and there have been no further allegations since moving on.

My opinion is that the British authorities should have allowed bail – it seems you are content that he is in jail (despite not having been convicted, but merely accused).
Perhaps you could share the reasons why this should be so – I mean should every person accused of a sexual offense in the UK be jailed?

“My opinion is that the British authorities should have allowed bail – it seems you are content that he is in jail (despite not having been convicted, but merely accused).
Perhaps you could share the reasons why this should be so – I mean should every person accused of a sexual offense in the UK be jailed?”

No….but as I’ve mentioned on one or another thread around here it’s entirely normal for people of no fixed abode to be remanded in custody when accused.

The Magistrate (over at the law west of ealing broadway) said that he wouldn’t have granted bail in these conditions. Bunch of very rich people offering to stand surety? Rich people who don’t know him at all, never met him, and wouldn’t miss the money if he did skip?

No, remand I’m afraid.

Just to emphasise: it’s not what he’s accused of which justifies remand. It’s that he’s got no roots, no home, here, and thus should be considered a flight risk.

92. Luis Enrique

cim

My problem is that John came to a conclusion that matches very closely to a particular generic rape-apologist conclusion.

your problem is that what John wrote resembles something else?

Luis: your problem is that what John wrote resembles something else?

Well, if you want to reduce it that much, yes, I suppose so, because none of this discussion is taking place in a vacuum but in a context where rape is in general the subject of common myths and institutional apathy, neither of which should be encouraged.

But to expand it slightly more than that reduction, my problem is that:
A – rape apologists regularly conclude X regardless of the facts and indeed without even looking at the facts
B – John having looked at the facts he had at hand concluded X in this case
C – given A, John should have been more suspicious of the accuracy of the facts he had for B because the consequences of saying X when it’s not true include benefiting rapists and rape apologists at the expense of rape victims. (And, had he been more suspicious, he probably wouldn’t have said X without caveats if at all)

>71. Sunny Hundal … we have no interested in … what the women in question above posted on their blogs / Twitter accounts. Please take it elsewhere – it will be deleted from this site.

As a matter of interest, why not ? In any trial won’t these facts become evidence about motive and credibility ? Unity mentioned some “complications”. Are these not further “complications” ?

My first reaction, and I suspect that of many, to hearing that there were charges against Julian Assange was simply to doubt their veracity and provenance.

The Americans have not been shy about throwing around wild accusations and threats in his direction. Their agencies, particularly the CIA, have a history of trying to discredit political opponents through the use of allegations of sexual crimes or deviancy. They even tried it with Salvador Allende. Refusing to believe a word they say usually saves time as the truth will come out years later.

However in this case the charges have grown in clarity as time has gone on, rather than gather obfuscation as is the norm, and Julian Assange needs to answer them.

His excellent work on WikiLeaks does not give him a Get Out of Jail Free Card (pardon the unintended pun) on other matters. I admire him and what he has done to shed light on the darkest corners of government activity, but worry that in this instance he did not listen to the better angels of his soul. I hope I’m wrong.

96. BALKDEAGLE 11

Fact, the Swedish State has lodged an allegation(s) which they claim requires the uncharged accused to be extradited to that Nation for further questioning. According to the extradition proceedings cited by Sweden, as previously published by the Swedish Bonnier political family Expressen newspaper, the two complaints to the sexual misconduct allegation are named as M/s Annie Arden and Sofia Wilen both mature political figures in Scandinavia, and all quotations about charge and supposed crimes is still just speculation! However, the apparently unrelated fact that the subject of all this speculative concern has been denied residential status in Sweden must be of some comfort for Mr B Obama and Mrs H Clinton of the USA who are undoubtly satisfied that WIKILEAKS cannot function in Sweden.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    More light finally on the allegations against Julian Assange http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  3. JazCummins

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  4. Broken OfBritain

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  6. Samira Shackle

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  7. Samira Shackle

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  8. Tim Ireland

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  9. Paul Chambers

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  12. Paul Kennedy

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  13. Racco

    So Julian Assange had sex with a woman (without a condom) while she was *asleep*!? !http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  14. Ron

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  15. Fabienne

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  16. DirtyThinkers

    You're Naughty! RT @racco So Julian Assange had sex with a woman (without a condom) while she was *asleep*!? !http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  17. Fabienne

    @sshrpe Not exactly http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ Been alot of claims and counter claims about the charges that have muddied the waters

  18. Charlie

    RT @libcon: More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  19. sunny hundal

    The charges pressed against Julian Assange clarified by @Unity_MoT here – http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  20. Leighton Cooke

    RT @sunny_hundal The charges pressed against Julian Assange clarified by @Unity_MoT here – http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

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    RT @sunny_hundal: @glinner more on the allegations against Julian Assange http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  64. L.K. Giesen

    Amnesty's assessment of Nordic record on sex crimes http://j.mp/gC79U4 via @libcon http://tinyurl.com/32n7vy8 (ping @robcorr)

  65. Ricardo Gladwell

    @JPBarlow accusations against assange look more serious. but you can't say so because it goes against the groupthink http://is.gd/iqVyp

  66. Si Spurrier

    Here we go: http://bit.ly/ftWA3R More detail. And yeah, that sounds a lot more like rape – legal and moral – to me. (link via @KennyEvil)

  67. Dewi

    A detailed, level review – http://bit.ly/if1hbJ Liberal Conspiracy: More light finally shed on allegations against Julian Assange #wikileaks

  68. Katie Jam

    RT @sispurrier: Here we go: http://bit.ly/ftWA3R More detail. And yeah, that sounds a lot more like rape – legal and moral – to me. (l …

  69. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange isn’t is now accused of rape – updated | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] Wikileaks’ Julian Assange isn’t is now accused of rape – updated by John B     December 2, 2010 at 3:41 pm [Update 9th December 2010 - The charges are now clarified and written about here.] [...]

  70. debaucherydean

    @boycottbgbizsoc @marmite_ pls share http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/08/more-light-finally-on-the-allegations-against-julian-assange/

  71. Boycott Procuts35

    RT @debaucherydean: @boycottbgbizsoc @marmite_ pls share http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/08/more-light-finally-on-the-allegations-a

  72. Fred Delshad

    RT @debaucherydean: @boycottbgbizsoc @marmite_ pls share http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/08/more-light-finally-on-the-allegations-a

  73. Real World News

    More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange

    [libconspiracy] http://j.mp/gPtBLu #Wikileaks #Cablegate #ImWikileaks ?

  74. A. Seda Demirel

    RT @marmite_news: More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange

    [libconspiracy] http://j.mp/gPtBLu #Wikileaks #Cab …

  75. mhairifish

    RT @debaucherydean: @boycottbgbizsoc @marmite_ pls share http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/08/more-light-finally-on-the-allegations-a

  76. sunny hundal

    @chicalolita cheers! and here's the link I referred to earlier http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  77. Chica Lolita

    More detail on what the Assange allegations really are RT @sunny_hundal: http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  78. sunny hundal

    @joannedj the allegations are by the women and they're serious http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  79. sunny hundal

    For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  80. feminister

    RT @sunny_hundal: For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  81. Jennifer C Krase

    RT @sunny_hundal: For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  82. Raji Chaggar

    RT @sunny_hundal: For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  83. Bethany W-Bradley

    RT @sunny_hundal: For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  84. nick terry

    RT @sunny_hundal: For avoidance of doubt, the allegations against Julian Assange are substantial http://bit.ly/i3dHcQ

  85. A year of campaigns and statistics – How 2010 shaped up for us | Liberal Conspiracy

    [...] Liddle also post these racist comments? Cameron’s anecdotal “black man” joined Navy at 10 18. More light finally shed on the allegations against Julian Assange – Unity 19.Even Daily Mail readers ‘angry’ with Nazi slur on Clegg 20. Why isn’t our [...]

  86. sunny hundal

    @toryhumour formal charges exist : http://t.co/GclQGCmo

  87. sunny hundal

    @austingmackell @jonamorem here are the allegations. They're not inconsequential http://t.co/GclM92de

  88. sunny hundal

    @pygmypanther you might want to brush up on the facts a bit http://t.co/GclM92de





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