Dec 222010
 

“When it comes to Assange rape case, the Swedes are making it up as they
go along”

Crickey.com (Australia) Thursday, 2 December 2010

by Melbourne Barrister James D. Catlin, who acted for Julian Assange in
London in October.




Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is
punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape.
That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks
figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its
justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage
its reputation as a model of modernity.

Swedens Public Prosecutors Office was embarrassed in August this year
when it leaked to the media that it was seeking to arrest Assange for
rape, then on the same day withdrew the arrest warrant because in its
own words there was no evidence. The damage to Assanges reputation is
incalculable. More than three quarters of internet references to his
name refer to rape. Now, three months on and three prosecutors later,
the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex
that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was
not consensual.

For three months Assange had been waiting in vain to hear whether media
statements by and for the two female victims that there was no fear or
violence were going to be embellished so the charges might be carried
forward due to greater seriousness. Such statements would stop a rape
charge in any Western country dead in its tracks. Rape is a crime of
violence, duress or deception. You can rape someone by deluding them
into thinking you are someone else or by drugging them or by reason of
their young age but essentially its a crime of violence.

The women here are near to and over 30 and have international
experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is
no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women
boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that
they would now see him destroyed for.

That further evidence hasnt been confected to make the charges less
absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The
phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones
constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against
Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets
by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilin boasting of their respective
conquests after the crimes.

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in
Assanges honour at her flat after the crime and tweeted to her
followers that she is with the the worlds coolest smartest people,
its amazing!. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has
sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public
record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on
the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever
graver. The exact content of Wilins mobile phone texts is not yet known
but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by
Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilins nor Ardins texts complain of rape.

But then neither Arden nor Wilin complained to the police but rather
sought advice, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just
punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together,
having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each others evidence
beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the
Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage
to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a
public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilin
on the YouTube video of the event even now.

Of course, their celebrity lawyer Claes Borgstrvm was questioned as to
how the women themselves could be essentially contradicting the legal
characterisation of Swedish prosecutors; a crime of non-consent by
consent. Borgstrvms answer is emblematic of how divorced from reality
this matter is. They (the women) are not jurists. You need a law
degree to know whether you have been r-ped or not in Sweden. In the
context of such double think, the question of how the Swedish
authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as
such nor acted as such is easily answered: Youre not a Swedish lawyer
so you wouldnt understand anyway. The consent of both women to sex with
Assange has been confirmed by prosecutors.

Proposed reforms of Swedish rape laws would introduce a test of whether
the unequal power relations between the parties might void the sincerely
expressed consent of one party. In this case, presumably, the
politically active Ardin, with experience fielding gender equity
complaints as a gender equity officer at Uppsala University, had her
will suborned by Assanges celebrity. The prosecutor coming as she does
from a prosecution Development Unit could achieve this broadening of
the law during Assanges trial so he can be convicted of a crime that
didnt exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to.
There is no precedent for it. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.

A great deal more damning evidence is yet to be revealed about what
passes for legal process in Sweden, such as Assanges lawyers having not
received a single official document until November 18, 2010 (and then in
Swedish language contrary to European Law) and having to learn about the
status of investigations through prosecution media announcements but
make no mistake: it is not Julian Assange that is on trial here but
Sweden and its reputation as a modern and model country with rules of law.

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