WikiLeaks founder hires star lawyer over Swedish claims

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WikiLeaks founder hires star lawyer over Swedish claims

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:24 pm

WikiLeaks founder hires star lawyer over Swedish claims
(AFP) – 6 hours ago
STOCKHOLM — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hired one of Sweden's top defence lawyers ahead of a looming decision by prosecutors about whether he will face molestation charges, reports said Tuesday.
Leif Silbersky, a high-profile attorney and co-author of a long line of crime novels, has been hired to represent the 39-year-old Australian, the Aftonbladet daily reported on its website.
"I can confirm that I will represent him," Silbersky told the paper.
Swedish prosecutors on Friday night issued an arrest warrant for Assange over an allegation of rape but then abruptly withdrew it on Saturday.
Authorities are still, however, investigating a separate claim of molestation against the former hacker.
Assange has said the claims are part of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting his whistleblowing website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon over the release of secret US documents about the war in Afghanistan.
The Swedish chief prosecutor in charge of the case, Eva Finne, said on Tuesday that she would not reach a decision before Wednesday on whether to formally press charges against Assange.
Silbersky said Tuesday his client did not know what charges, if any, he would face and had sought representation to help navigate the Swedish legal system.
"There have been a number of legal twists and turns, with rape (allegations) boiling down to something different, and we don't know where this will end," Silbersky told the TT news agency.
A lawyer representing the two women aged 25 to 35 who originally made the claims against Assange denied that the allegations were part of a plot to harm WikiLeaks, as the website's founder had said.
"This is not a smear campaign," Claes Borgstroem told AFP. "This has nothing to do with WikiLeaks or the CIA."
Borgstroem added that the two women had gone to police separately over different alleged incidents and had no links to anyone who would be interested in discrediting the website.
Swedish prosecutors have faced heavy criticism at home for their handling of the case, especially for the decision on Friday evening to confirm media reports that the initial allegation involved Assange.
A judicial watchdog on Tuesday reported the duty prosecutor who made the call for breaching rules regarding preliminary investigation confidentiality.

Wikileaks, Sex and Afghanistan: What Matters Now
By: fairleft Tuesday August 24, 2010 11:50 am


SEX! criminal charges have a way of drowning out substance and dominating the mainstream media take on a ‘story’. And, so, Julian Assange being briefly charged over the weekend with rape and still facing allegations of sexual harassment (‘molestation’ is a misleading translation) can’t be particularly good for making the ‘Wikileaks story’ about the routine killing of large numbers of Afghanistan civilians by the U.S. and NATO (continuing as we speak), or for bringing widespread attention to that aspect of the story.

Certain important things, however, are now fairly clear about the ‘Assange charges’ story (the best account of which is now here):

1. The facts we know point away from a conspiracy of intelligence operatives generating the initial and quickly dropped rape charge or the now being investigated ‘sexual harassment’ (or ‘unwanted sexual contact’) charge. The rape charge looks like it was just a mistake made by a "late hours special prosecutor’ not familiar enough with the charges and/or applied Swedish law. However, no one inexpert in the facts and relevant Swedish law should rush to drag the apparently mistaken prosecutor through the mud just yet.

2. The sexual harassment charges are based on testimony from two apparently independent alleged victims, neither of whom seems likely to have been a CIA, Pentagon, or Interpol dupe.

3. Especially for media-outgunned causes, credibility matters and conspiracy mongering damages that; sensitivity to potential victims of sexual harassment also matters. So neither Assange, nor prominent pundits such as Glenn Greenwald, nor leftist media critics such as Gavin MacFadyen should have immediately asserted the charges were probably part of some CIA or Pentagon smear. Even, yeah, when there was a ‘perfect’ conspiracy feel to the way things ‘went down’.

4. If Assange is guilty, from what I gather the crime appears have been insisting on and then having unprotected sex with the two women, despite their refusals. To clarify: the women are charging that although the sex began as consensual it became non-consensual to some extent (to what extent I do not know) when Assange refused to wear a condom. In other Western countries, perhaps in Assange’s home country of Australia, this may or may not be a crime, but that doesn’t matter. He was in Sweden, both alleged victims are Swedish, and they have a right to be protected by their country’s laws.

5. This affair likely will not go away for awhile, despite antiwar activists’ wishes. So it may matter that antiwar activists figure out how to use the Wikileaks revelations to focus on civilians and the war ‘despite’ a sex-hung-up media’s desires.

6. But let’s face it: the ‘Wikileaks story’ was already largely disappeared from mainstream (though not ‘alternative’) news by the time of the charges against Assange. The antiwar movement needs to stay reality-based, and one aspect of that is that the Pentagon and the news ‘masters’ didn’t ‘need’ this incident/story.

7. Wikileaking will not stop the war in Afghanistan; truth telling and punditeering can play only an antiwar support role. They are supposed to support a robust antiwar movement, by a citizenry angry about its young men and women getting killed for no reason, angry about killing Afghanistan civilians for no good reason, angry about wasting half a trillion dollars a year on military imperialism when that money needs to be spent at home, and then expressing that anger massively and in ways that cannot be ignored.

8. What matters about Afghanistan in ‘The West’ is that there is virtually no antiwar movement in the world headquarters of imperialism, the United States. Please, college students, as you come back to school over the next several weeks, wake up from Obamaism and apathy and change that!
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
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Re: WikiLeaks founder hires star lawyer over Swedish claims

Postby anothershamus » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:44 am

2. The sexual harassment charges are based on testimony from two apparently independent alleged victims, neither of whom seems likely to have been a CIA, Pentagon, or Interpol dupe.

How can this even be said this way. Isn't it the job of the CIA, Pentagon, and Interpol, to get people to do stuff like this so that it seems legit?
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Re: WikiLeaks founder hires star lawyer over Swedish claims

Postby Nordic » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:45 am

But what's really important: how does Assange stand on the 'terror mosque?
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