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Why I will not be standing in “solidarity” with Julian Assange

This morning, an email arrived in my inbox concerning a demonstration of “solidarity” with Julian Assange. The email indicated support for Assange’s cause of a number of left-wing and anti-war organisations.

Let me start this by saying that I have serious issues with the European Arrest Warrant. When it was transposed into Irish law the Human Rights Commission warned of the dangers of imposing by fiat mutual recognition of EU member states’ legal systems, when not all member states have equivalent human rights protections. This remains a legitimate concern and an argument against Assange’s extradition under that procedure, although it was also an argument against the extradition of a Holocaust denier a few years ago and I don’t remember the anti-war left lining up to stand in solidarity with him.

Assange’s defenders have presented the case against him as if the allegations were either completely concocted or an example of “political correctness gone mad” (christ, I hate that phrase). So let’s look at what his own lawyer has conceded [ETA – see comments]:

He described Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes…

In the other incident, in which Assange is alleged to have held a woman down against her will during a sexual encounter, Emmerson offered this summary: “[The complainant] was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … [she] felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom…”

What Assange’s defenders argue makes these clear (if accurate) cases of rape and attempted rape into not-rape is that the women subsequently decided they were ok with his actions. That this sort of retrospective consent does not exonerate him from the charges is presented as an example of Swedish law being bonkers.

Now I’m the first to acknowledge that Swedish law is bonkers in a lot of respects. But this isn’t one of them. In fact, it is quite possible that a charge of rape for what Assange allegedly did – at least in the first case – could be sustained under the common law, the basis of the legal systems in England and most of its former colonies, including Ireland.

Legally there are two elements required for an offence to be committed – the actus reus (physical manifestation of an act) and mens rea (the mental element). The mens rea for rape is either knowledge that the person was not consenting, or recklessness as to whether they were consenting. Rape is considered a “continuing act”, so the actus reus begins with penetration and ends with withdrawal.

As a general rule, there is a requirement that the actus reus and mens rea coincide in order for the offence to be committed. Crucially, it was held by the Privy Council in Kaitamaki v R that in a continuing act such as rape, the two only need to coincide for part of the act – it is not necessary that the mens rea be present the entire time that the act is being committed. So what Assange allegedly did to this woman was rape right up until the moment she decided to give consent. There is no retrospectivity in the law. (The facts of Kaitamaki are different, in that there the accused initially believed the woman was consenting but refused to withdraw after realising she was not, but the principle is the same – if at any time while having sex with her he realised she was not consenting, the offence is committed.)

Of course, people are free to believe that this is a bonkers law too if they wish. But even if the law was overturned, it would not change this simple fact: if what his own lawyer says is the allegations are true, then Julian Assange is a man who considers it perfectly ok to have condomless sex with a sleeping woman who had already refused to agree to this while awake. Perfectly ok to hold a woman’s arms down and try to force his penis inside her while she is clearly trying to prevent this from happening. That makes him a violent, misogynist sexual predator, irrespective of how these women later responded to him. It can reasonably be considered likely that he has done the same to other women. Who may not have later responded as these two did.

I don’t accept the argument that we should nonetheless defend Assange because of the alleged political undertones of this prosecution. That would be giving leftists, anarchists and other radicals a licence to rape. It may well be that if he was Joe Schmoe instead of Julian Assange these charges would not be pursued – but to even make that argument is to acknowledge the horrendous degree of underprosecution of sexual crimes. It is an argument for going after more sexual predators, not for excusing some of them because of another status they may have. I have seen it argued that if Assange is convicted it will serve as a precedent for targeting other enemies of the establishment. To this, I reply: if they are committing violent crimes against people more vulnerable than they are, they should be fucking targeted for those crimes. Why should they get a pass?

My concerns about the EAW notwithstanding, the bottom line here is that the police and the judicial system are doing exactly what they are supposed to do: prosecute a man who his own lawyer concedes is alleged to have committed violent acts against two women, attacks that can reasonably be suspected of meeting the legal definition of rape and/or attempted rape (of course this will ultimately have to be proven in a court of law). The left need not show solidarity with these particular women if they genuinely believe their decision to press charges was malicious, but that does not excuse them for failing to show solidarity with all the other women who have been victimised by men who believe themselves entitled to do the things that Assange allegedly did. And all the other women who potentially could be. Which is all of us.

Women are 50% of the 99%. It’s time for the left to remember this.

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About Wendy Lyon

Fighting a lonely battle for evidence-based policy and the proper use of apostrophes.

105 responses »

  1. Your entire article is based on basic misreport. Assange’s lawyer was summarizing what the prosecution’s allegation was against his client *at its strongest*-not agreeing with it! This is because the EAW does not permit the defense to table any evidence. All that can be done is to point out that the EAW and the prosecutions allegations are not compatible.

    Many feminists have been manipulated by the worst of the worst.

    You can read what is really said here: http://SwedenVersusAssange.com/

    Reply
    • Thanks for the link, but the entire post is not based on that report. I felt the same way before I ever read that report. Even if Assange’s lawyer is merely repeating and not conceding the allegations (I’ve edited the post to reflect this), the allegations are still there – and allegations of this nature should be treated with the seriousness that the Swedish prosecutors are treating them with. Yet some sections of the left have reacted to them by trivialising them and deeming it more important to protect Assange because of what he has done with Wikileaks.

      Reply
      • Incidentally, these bits are worth quoting from the summary of the High Court judgment:

        The Court rejected Mr Assange’s contention that under the law of England and Wales consent to sexual intercourse on condition a condom was used was remained consent to sexual intercourse even if a condom was not used or removed…

        “It is quite clear that the gravamen of the offence described is that Mr Assange had sexual intercourse with her without a condom and that she had only been prepared to consent to sexual intercourse with a condom. The description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse when she was asleep and that she had insisted upon him wearing a condom. …… it is difficult to see how a person could reasonably have believed in consent if the complaint alleges a state of sleep or half sleep, and secondly it avers that consent would not have been given without a condom. There is nothing in the statement from which it could be inferred that he reasonably expected that she would have consented to sex without a condom…

        “It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did.”

        The defence case clearly amounts to “Even if he did do it, it wasn’t a crime.” That’s about what you can expect from a defence lawyer – it’s his job. I expect more from the left.

        Reply
    • Indeed. That was also pointed out in the Guardian live blog.

      http://m.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/12/julian-assange-extradition-live-coverage?cat=media&type=article

      I missed that. So did Angus Johnston.

      Reply
  2. Regarding the Assange Attorney’s  statement, the second statement you quote above, you are taking that from Angus Johnston’s blog. He, in turn, picked up the statement from the Guardian blog which was covering the Assange appeal live at the time.

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/12/julian-assange-extradition-live-coverage?cat=media&type=article

    Except he edited it.

    From the Guardian blog, we get a fuller statement from the Assange Defense Attorney:
    _________________

    The appellant [Assange]’s physical advances were initially welcomed but then it felt awkward since he was “rough and impatient” … They lay down in bed. AA was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … AA felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … She did not articulate this. Instead she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … AA tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. AA says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.

    But crucially, Emmerson said, there was no lack of consent sufficient for the unlawful coercion allegation, because “after a while Assange asked what AA was doing and why she was squeezing her legs together. AA told him that she wanted him to put a condom on before he entered her. Assange let go of AA’s arms and put on a condom which AA found her.”

    _______

    Angus Johnston left out the beginning. He left out a bit in the middle “she did not articulate this” and he left out the end where we learn Julian Assange finally agreed to put on a condom.

    I haven’t really being following the Julian Assange case closely. I think the European Arrest Warrant is being abused in this case. I understand the European Arrest Warrant was introduced post 9/11 to extradite terrorists. Julian Assange is not a terrorist. 

    Also, he hasn’t even been charged with any offense by the Swedish authorities. Also the allegations against him were originally dismissed and then reopened.

    Also regarding these two sexual encounters between Julian Assange and the two separate women, they had both consented to lie naked beside him. I don’t mean to imply that that gives Julian Assange a license to rape but that has to be taken into account as part of the bigger picture.

    Reply
    • I read the full statement and I don’t think it changes anything. Non-consent does not have to be communicated verbally; the fact that she is using her own body to prevent intercourse ought to be sufficient.

      The fact that he did, eventually, put on a condom in this particular case is also not the issue. There is also no retrospectivity in the law in regard to attempts to commit a crime. In fact, it’s hard to see how “attempt” could ever be prosecuted if there was.

      Also, he hasn’t even been charged with any offense by the Swedish authorities.

      It’s not unheard of for people to be extradited for questioning and to determine whether formal charges should be filed. It is a controversial practice and I would not have any problem with Assange’s extradition being opposed on that basis. But that’s not the basis on which most of his defenders are opposing it.

      Also the allegations against him were originally dismissed and then reopened.

      Only part of the original investigation was dropped, and it was reopened within a fortnight following a review of the decision to drop it. Again, there is nothing particularly unusual about this.

      they had both consented to lie naked beside him. I don’t mean to imply that that gives Julian Assange a license to rape but that has to be taken into account as part of the bigger picture.

      Like all circumstances, it has to be taken into account into determining whether he had the mens rea for the offence. If the facts as outlined by the prosecution are accepted then undoubtedly it will be taken into account. But there is no legal pass for having intercourse with someone against their communicated wishes, or attempting to, simply because of their consent to get in the bed naked. And even if there was, it still wouldn’t make him any less of a sexual predator unworthy of the left’s “solidarity”.

      Reply
      • Well, it appears that Julian Assange hasn’t even been given an opportunity to give his side of the story. As Lotte Svensson points out, the European Arrest Warrant doesn’t permit Julian Assange’s defense team to present evidence. Presumably this applied both to the High Court hearing and the Magistrates Court hearing before that.

        Even if Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden, it still may not go to court. In that case, we may never hear Julian Assange’s side of the story on this.

        In the meantime, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

        Reply
    • Also regarding these two sexual encounters between Julian Assange and the two separate women, they had both consented to lie naked beside him. I don’t mean to imply that that gives Julian Assange a license to rape but that has to be taken into account as part of the bigger picture.

      If you don’t mean to imply that it gives him a licence to rape, why exactly do you bring it up here? It reads like victim-blaming and rape apologism to me unless you can explain where you’re going with this beyond “has to be taken into account”.

      Reply
  3. it appears that Julian Assange hasn’t even been given an opportunity to give his side of the story.

    Which is all the more reason that the left shouldn’t be simply assuming that he couldn’t possibly have a case to answer. Why are they trying to shut down the investigation without even knowing what he may say about the incidents?

    In the meantime, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Giving him the benefit of the doubt is fine. Trying to prevent serious allegations against him from being properly investigated simply because of who he is – and smearing the women making those allegations – is not, and that is what is happening.

    Reply
    • Why couldn’t the Swedish police and prosecutors go to London to interview Julian Assange? They could have interviewed him there to their satisfaction and then the prosecution could make a decision on whether to bring charges. A more foolproof european arrest warrant could then be issued on foot of an actual charge or charges.

      He’s not a fugitive of the law. The Swedish police issued an arrest warrant for suspected rape on, I think, August 20th last year after two women who had separately had sexual intercourse with him, applied to the police to have Julian Assange  submit to a HIV/AIDS test. This arrest warrant was withdrawn within 24 hours after it became clear to the police that there was not enough evidence to charge him of rape.

      However, on August 30th, Julian Assange was interviewed by the police presumably on foot of the other less serious allegation –  molestation.

      The next day, the Swedish Director of Public Prosecution decided to resume the preliminary investigation based on all the original allegations including rape.

      Julian Assange remained in Sweden until September 27th.

      Anyway, I don’t think he has obstructed the course of justice.

      There is a thing called innocent until proven guilty. I am sure the Swedish justice system also submits to that principle. Julian Assange hasn’t even been charged with any offence but, even if he was, he’s still innocent until proven guilty.

      You write about the reputations of Julian Assange’s accusers. What about Julian Assange’s reputation? It was trashed to kingdom come by the Swedish authorities even before they issued their arrest warrant last November.

      Reply
      • As I’ve said, I have no issue with opposition to the extradition based on the use of the EAW. I have an issue with the assumptions that he couldn’t possibly be guilty – or that even if he is guilty he shouldn’t be pursued for his crimes – because he is Julian Assange. That is how many leftists are approaching this case. I also have an issue with the refusal of them to recognise or acknowledge concerns about these allegations, as in London when he was invited to address Occupy LSX with no thought given as to how this might (and in fact did) alienate many women activists.

        I don’t think he has obstructed the course of justice.

        You seem to be arguing with a straw man.

        There is a thing called innocent until proven guilty. I am sure the Swedish justice system also submits to that principle. Julian Assange hasn’t even been charged with any offence but, even if he was, he’s still innocent until proven guilty.

        And the purpose of what the Swedish are doing now is trying to determine if he can be proven guilty, while his defenders are trying to stop them from doing this. I really don’t get what about this you don’t understand. They have allegations to investigate, they are trying to investigate them, his defenders want them to stop investigating him because they have already decided that either he isn’t guilty (despite, as you put it, not actually having heard his side of the story) or that even if he is he shouldn’t be investigated.

        What about Julian Assange’s reputation? It was trashed to kingdom come by the Swedish authorities even before they issued their arrest warrant last November.

        Two wrongs etc.

        Reply
        • After Julian Assange moved to the UK, his attorneys offered to make Julian Assange available to the Swedish police and prosecutors for questioning by means of skype or phone or some other means. Why do the Swedish authorities insist that he has to be physically present in Sweden for them to complete their investigation before possibly laying any charges?

          Who are these leftists who assume that Julian Assange is innocent? I’m certainly not one of them.

          Julian Assange is worried that he won’t get a fair trial in Sweden. I think he has reasonable grounds to be worried.

          Almost all rape trials in Sweden are held in secret. That’s not just in relation to the victim’s testimony but the entire procedure. That offends the basic notion of open justice. It’s like a star chamber. 

          Furthermore, Sweden has less than a stellar record on international human rights. Sweden has violated the Convention Against Torture by rendering War on Terror suspects to Egypt to be tortured. Sweden has been condemned by the Human Rights Committee and the United Nations Committee against Torture.

          It is possible after Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden that the US may then apply for his extradition to the US.  

          Julian Assange is right to be apprehensive about that too. 

          Consider the fate of Bradley Manning, a US soldier who was accused of leaking confidential information to wikileaks, and who was kept in solitary confinement for months on end as a result, as have thousands of other war on terror suspects.

          Consider that top US politicians have called Julia Assange a terrorist and top US media figures have called for his assassination.

          Julian Assange feels he would be safer in the UK than in Sweden.

  4. Paul, I really don’t know why you feel the need to keep arguing that Assange shouldn’t be extradited because of issues around the EAW and human rights when I’ve already said repeatedly, including in the original post itself, that I accept that these are reasons to oppose his extradition. Seriously, I’m sure you could find more worthwhile things to do with your time.

    Who are these leftists who assume that Julian Assange is innocent?

    Wow. Have you really missed all the accusations that he was set up for political reasons?

    Reply
    • I think Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, was set up for political reasons.

      In 2010,  Wikileaks caused a great deal of pain to the US government.

      First in April 2010, video footage was released which showed  US Apache helicopters kill at least 12 civilians in Baghdad. 

      Then in July the Afghan War Diary was released.  These 76,900 documents revealed the failing war in Afghanistan as well as how coalition troops killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents and much else besides.  

      Then in October the almost 400,000 documents of the Iraq war logs were released in cooperation with major global media organizations. Among other things, that release resulted in an additional 15,000 civilian deaths being added to the Iraq body count. 

      Then in November, again with the cooperation of major global media organizations, came the US state department diplomatic cables. Among many other things, these cables reveal that British and US diplomats spied on the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the run up to the 2003 Iraq war in violation of international treaties prohibiting spying at the UN. 

      That release caused the US government to lash out particularly vehemently. Within days, 5 financial institutions, Bank of America, Western Union, Paypal, Visa and MasterCard  were instructed to cease all business with Wikileaks. Visa and MasterCard control 97% of global credit card business. As a result, Wikileaks has lost 95% of its revenue.

      The Guantanamo bay files  were published this April. Among other things, these document how 150 innocent Afghan and Pakistani drivers, farmers and chefs were held for years without trial including an 89 year old man and a 14 uear old boy of fragile physical and mental state. 

      Since then, Wikileaks has been forced because of the financial blockade to cease all publishing in order to focus on securing its financial survival.

      Reply
      • November 5, 2011: “Who are these leftists who assume that Julian Assange is innocent? I’m certainly not one of them.”

        November 6, 2011: “I think Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, was set up for political reasons.”

        Says it all really.

        Reply
        • Rape and sexual assault are very serious crimes. Any allegations of rape and sexual assault must be thoroughly investigated. The alleged victims and their allegations must be taken seriously. If found guilty, the accused person must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

          Regarding the allegations against Julian Assange, I have concerns about the process.

          Why couldn’t the Swedish police and prosecutors complete their investigation by just picking up the phone to talk to Julian Assange or interview him via Skype? Why couldn’t they go to the UK to interview him personally? It seems to me that there was nothing to stop the Swedish police and prosecutors completing their investigation to their satisfaction before making an informed decision on whether to prosecute without Julian Assange returning to Sweden first. 

          Then a european arrest warrant, based on actual charges, could be issued.

          The two accusers initially went to the police to apply for Julian Assange to undergo a HIV/AIDS test, not to accuse him of rape or sexual assault. How come that was transformed into an investigation into 2 counts of sexual molestation, one count of unlawful coercion and one count of rape? How come the first prosecutor dropped the rape investigation only for the Director of  Public Prosecution to pick it up again 10 days or so later?

          I have concerns that Julian Assange will not get an open and fair trial in Sweden. I read that evidence for the trial will be heard in private, though the arguments will be made in public. Does that mean that we, the public, can finally get everyone’s side of the story?

          It looks like Julian Assange is going to be extradited now. I hope he gets a fair trial.

  5. The two accusers initially went to the police to apply for Julian Assange to undergo a HIV/AIDS test, not to accuse him of rape or sexual assault. How come that was transformed into an investigation into 2 counts of sexual molestation, one count of unlawful coercion and one count of rape?

    This isn’t even the slightest bit unusual, particularly in the context of (alleged) sex crimes. The women might not even have known that what he did was potentially criminal. This whole experience has shown how little understanding the public at large has about the criminal law in the area of sexual offences. Or they may have thought there was no prospect of a prosecution anyway.

    How come the first prosecutor dropped the rape investigation only for the Director of Public Prosecution to pick it up again 10 days or so later?

    The prosecutors were asked to reconsider the decision to drop the rape investigation and having done so, decided to reinstate it. These things happen sometimes and there is not necessarily anything suspicious about it. Sometimes they discover an element that was missed the first time around, sometimes it’s just a matter of difference of opinion over whether there are sufficient grounds to pursue a case. Prosecutors are human beings, not thinkalike borgs, and they do have disagreements sometimes. Maybe the error was in the original decision to drop the investigation – hasn’t that possibility crossed your mind?

    I hope he gets a fair trial.

    So do I, if it ends up going to trial.

    Reply
    • Maybe the Swedish Director of Public Prosecution decided to reinstate the rape count in the investigation because of political pressure. Maybe the US Department of State and the US Embassy had a quiet word with the Swedish government which, in turn, leaned on the Director of Public Prosecution to reinstate the rape count in the investigation.

      Just a few weeks previously, Wikileaks released the Afghan War Diaries which revealed how coalition troops killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents and much else besides. The US government was undoubtedly uncomfortable about that and saw Julian Assange, as the head of Wikileaks, as a threat.

      We can speculate ’til the cows come home.

      Reply
      • Yes, we can. But dropping the investigation on the basis of such speculation would be giving enemies of the US government a licence to commit sex crimes.

        Reply
        • I don’t know who these guys are who want the investigation dropped. Julian Assange broke no law. He legally left Sweden on September 27th 2010. He’s not a fugitive of the law. He’s legally entitled to appeal his extradition. Obviously, he needed and needs a good deal of money to do that.

  6. I don’t know who these guys are who want the investigation dropped.

    The people who are saying all over the internet, or at demonstrations in London, that he’s innocent, he was “honey trapped”, he’s being stitched up.

    Reply
    • Julian Assange is not going anywhere. He’s been fitted with an electronic tag. Either the British authorities release him or he will be sent to Sweden. In Sweden, the Swedish authorities will deal with him as they see fit. He may be released. He may be put on trial. He may be convicted.
       
      At any stage, the US government may apply for Mr Assange’s extradition to the USA. The US Department of Justice has already assembled a grand jury to look into possible charges to be brought against Mr Assange and Wikileaks including conspiracy, breaching the Espionage Act and actively encouraging US soldier Bradley Manning to download classified information to pass on to Wikileaks.

      In the event of an extradition request being made, Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, may pull an Irish Government and ask the US government to spare Mr Assange the death penalty. That way Mr Reinfeldt can feel good about himself that he is looking out for Julian Assange’s human rights. Barack Obama the Good will reply “We won’t execute him”. Then the Swedish government will extradite him.

      In the meantime, Julian Assange is innocent of rape, sexual assault, conspiracy, espionage or any other possible charge until proven guilty. 

      Therefore, I don’t see any controversy in inviting Julian Assange to address Occupy LSX. I understand though that Wikileaks is sitting on a big stockpile of documents to do with a big US bank. This includes internal memos and the like that reveal the ecosystem of corruption that pervades in this bank. This may well be released in redacted form if Wikileaks can overcome its present US government sponsored financial blockade.

      Reply
      • Julian Assange is innocent of rape, sexual assault, conspiracy, espionage or any other possible charge until proven guilty.

        Therefore, I don’t see any controversy in inviting Julian Assange to address Occupy LSX.

        “Innocent until proven guilty” is a legal principle, not the be-all and end-all of everything to do with that person. If my next-door neighbour was accused of child abuse I wouldn’t say he should be locked up immediately without trial but I sure as hell wouldn’t let him babysit my kid. Would you?

        The fact that you don’t even see why there should be a controversy over this is depressing but not really surprising. It’s hardly the first time that I’ve been told as a woman that my concerns don’t really matter.

        Reply
        • He hasn’t even been charged with rape or sexual assault! And the two women who originally went to the police did so to apply for Julian Assange to undertake a HIV/AIDS test and not to accuse him of rape or sexual assault.

      • You’re repeating arguments I’ve already addressed.

        Reply
  7. What about the interminable interviews Julian Assange has been granted by international news organizations and talk show hosts since the Swedish government filed its extradition request. Are they all controversial too?

    Reply
    • Giving someone an interview is not the same as openly decreeing their innocence. Or deeming them a suitable person to address a left-wing event.

      Reply
      • I don’t think the organizers of the Occupy London Exchange demonstration who invited Julian Assange to speak were openly decreeing Julian Assange’s innocence but, anyway, let’s put that aside.

        According to Ben Emmerson QC, acting for Julian Assange, during his High Court appeal against extradition in July, the first alleged victim, AA, “did not even say she had been exposed to abuse; she didn’t even want to go to the police”.

        As for the other alleged victim, SW, in her statement she said she woke up after Julian Assange penetrated her. She then agreed to condomless sex after Julian Assange assured her that he didn’t have HIV. We don’t have the advantage of knowing what Julian Assange’s version of events is. He has not been permitted to submit his version of events during the extradition hearings held. However, I can take a guess. What apparently happened was what we men with a dick call..poking, not necessarily penetration. 

        Here’s what I find disturbing about these allegations that the Swedish Prosecutor wants to investigate. The Swedish Prosecutor is not investigating whether SW was forced to go to Julian Assange’s bedroom. The Swedish Prosecutor is not investigating whether SW was forced by Julian Assange to take off her clothes and then lie beside him in bed in a state of undress or perhaps completely naked.

        As Ben Emmerson noted during the second day of the High Court extradition hearing, the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.

        Don’t you find this disturbing?

        Perhaps, Sweden will introduce a new mad law soon. It shall be mandatory for the man in the matrimonial bed, or any other bed, to wear his pyjamas but there shall be no corresponding obligation on the woman in the same bed to wear anything because it’s culturally assumed that she’ll be wearing a nightie anyway.

        Perhaps in 10 years time or so, Sweden will introduce the male chastity belt. But Sweden is not that “progressive” yet.

        Reply
  8. I don’t think the organizers of the Occupy London Exchange demonstration who invited Julian Assange to speak were openly decreeing Julian Assange’s innocence

    They were decreeing that they didn’t consider relevant the fact of him having outstanding allegations of sexual violence against women. I, and many other women, find that appalling and dismissive.

    the first alleged victim, AA, “did not even say she had been exposed to abuse; she didn’t even want to go to the police”.

    Dealt with that issue already.

    However, I can take a guess. What apparently happened was what we men with a dick call..poking, not necessarily penetration.

    How on earth do you draw that conclusion from her saying it was penetration and him not saying anything?

    As Ben Emmerson noted during the second day of the High Court extradition hearing, the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.

    Don’t you find this disturbing?

    What I find disturbing is the suggestion that it’s ever ok to knowingly have non-consensual sex with another person.

    Reply
    • Regarding ‘poking’, alleged victim, SW, has already given her witness statement to the police and prosecutors. Julian Assange hasn’t had an opportunity to give his version of events. 

      Do you have a dick?

      Consider this scenario. SW is lying naked in bed asleep, lying on her side. Julian Assange, lying naked in bed beside her, decides to snuggle up behind her closely. Julian Assange’s erect penis lodges up between SW’s ass cheeks. Penetration? I don’t think so. Poking? Yes. This scenario is possible based on the reports I have read of SW’s witness statement.

      My information is that the possible rape charge is in relation to this incident with SW. The other 3 possible charges relate to AA, 2 counts of sexual molestation and one count of unlawful coercion.  My guess is that the possible charge of rape is the most serious offense that Julian Assange can be charged with. A rape charge carries a possible jail sentence of up to 4 years.

      According the Guardian report on the second day of the hearing of Assange’s High Court appeal against his extradition, Ben Emmerson, Assange’s barrister, said that one complainant felt “railroaded” by police and colleagues and only wanted Assange to get a blood test, not to press charges. This is clearly a reference to SW as Emmerson said later that AA didn’t even want to go to the police.

      Regarding the rape allegation against SW, we have SW’s own witness statement. In addition to that, during the second day of the hearing of Assange’s High Court appeal against extradition, Clare Montgomery QC, acting for the Swedish authorities, said that SW told a friend that Assange “wanted to impregnate women” and “preferred virgins because he would be the first to impregnate them”.

      This cries out “trumped up” to me. What about you?  

      Reply
      • Penetration? I don’t think so. Poking? Yes. This scenario is possible based on the reports I have read of SW’s witness statement.

        Except that what her statement says is that she was “woken up by his penetration”. Even his lawyer says “the description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse without a condom”. If you think she’s lying in her statement, then just say so, don’t try to twist it so that it says something it clearly doesn’t say.

        Ben Emmerson, Assange’s barrister, said that one complainant felt “railroaded” by police and colleagues and only wanted Assange to get a blood test, not to press charges. This is clearly a reference to SW as Emmerson said later that AA didn’t even want to go to the police.

        Many, many, many women who are sexually assaulted do not want to go to the police or to press charges. This may seem strange to you as a man. I can guarantee you it would not seem strange to most women.

        during the second day of the hearing of Assange’s High Court appeal against extradition, Clare Montgomery QC, acting for the Swedish authorities, said that SW told a friend that Assange “wanted to impregnate women” and “preferred virgins because he would be the first to impregnate them”.

        What about this do you think is significant?

        Reply
    • Good Heavens, Wendy, it perfectly clear that these possible charges of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion couldn’t possibly stand up in court.

      Read this Daily Mail article.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1336291/Wikileaks-Julian-Assanges-2-night-stands-spark-worldwide-hunt.html

      It gives a clear account of Julian Assange’s activities between arriving in Sweden on August 11th and August 20th, when the two women went to the police.

      It is based on a leaked Swedish police report. The Guardian also reported on it.

      Reply
      • It doesn’t add anything to what we already know. As to whether the charges could stand up in court, the prosecutors haven’t even concluded their investigation yet, so how could you possibly know that?

        Reply
    • Sweden has the highest rate of reported rapes in Europe but the lowest conviction rate in Europe. It is just 10%. This is interesting. Like in other areas of social policy, it appears the Swedish authorities are getting it wrong when it comes to dealing with rape.

      I think Naomi Wolf is onto something when she says that rape accusers should not be given anonymity. Rape is a serious offense. Therefore the rape accusers should not be treated like children but rather they should be named. The crime of rape should not be shrouded in mystery as it is but instead rape accusers should be named and therefore treated as serious moral adult citizens. The rate of false accusations of rape is as high as that of other offenses such as fraud, assault and embezzlement. 

      Sweden, of course, is going the other way with secretive Star Chamber style rape trials the norm where the entire procedure and not just the victim’s testimony is shrouded in mystery.

      Reply
      • Firstly, Naomi Wolf hasn’t been “on to anything” for about 20 years. Secondly, you know what I was just saying about rape victims not wanting to go to police? Take away their anonymity and see if there’s ever a rape prosecution again.

        Reply
  9. You write that Assange’s lawyer said, “the description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse without a condom”. You mean before SW woke up? What’s your source for this? Do you have a link? What does consummate mean in the above statement anyway? Is it another word for penetration? Or is it the point when the man ejaculates?

    According to the police statement of their interview with SW that was leaked in January.

    http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml

    SW said this:

    “They sat on the bed and talked and he took off her clothes again. They had sex again and she discovered he’d put the condom only over the head of his penis but she let it be. They fell asleep and she woke by feeling him penetrate her. She immediately asked ‘are you wearing anything’ and he answered ‘you’. She told him ‘you better not have HIV’ and he replied ‘of course not’. She felt it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She couldn’t be bothered telling him again. She’d been nagging about condoms all night long. She’s never had unprotected sex. He said he wanted to come inside her, he didn’t say when he’d done it but he did it. There was a lot running out of her afterwards.”

    All of the above relates to the potential rape charge that Julian Assange is being investigated for.

    I was not suggesting that SW is lying. I think everyone has a tendency to put a spin on the truth. What she calls “penetration”, perhaps a man would call poking.

    To be sure, I am speculating. As Lotte Swensson pointed out in the first comment, Julian Assange hasn’t had an opportunity to present his version of events or respond to the sexual assault/rape allegatIons during the extradition hearings.

    My sense is that the allegations of SW and AA are broadly true. However, I do think the actual truth may be a little softer around the edges than the way they have presented it in their police reports.

    AA told the Swedish newspaper Expressen on August 21st that there was consent in both her sexual activity with Julian Assange as well as that between Julian Assange and SW. However, in Sweden, it appears that one can still commit rape even if there is consent. That strikes me as very bizarre.

    It doesn’t add anything to what we already know. As to whether the charges could stand up in court, the prosecutors haven’t even concluded their investigation yet, so how could you possibly know that?

    I’d be very surprised if there were any new possible charges. I don’t think there will be another violated woman who will be stepping forward at this stage. Both SW and AA have given comprehensive statements and I don’t think the Swedish prosecutor can draw any more potential charges from them. I have read however that Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Huttig told the magistrates court in February this year that he was shown about 100 text messages by a Swedish police officer. One message referred to one of the women being “half asleep” whilst having sex with Assange as opposed to fully asleep . In other words, she was half awake. This could be a reference to SW and her alleged rape.

    Firstly, Naomi Wolf hasn’t been “on to anything” for about 20 years. Secondly, you know what I was just saying about rape victims not wanting to go to police? Take away their anonymity and see if there’s ever a rape prosecution again.

    If you take away their anonymity, those who would falsely accuse may be deterred.

    Reply
    • You write that Assange’s lawyer said, “the description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse without a condom”. You mean before SW woke up? What’s your source for this? Do you have a link? What does consummate mean in the above statement anyway? Is it another word for penetration? Or is it the point when the man ejaculates?

      Sorry, it wasn’t Assange’s lawyer who said that but the High Court in upholding Assange’s extradition. The full text is as follows:

      We do not consider that the offence was not fairly and accurately described. It is quite clear that the gravamen of the offence described is that Mr Assange had sexual intercourse with her without a condom and that she had only been prepared to consent to sexual intercourse with a condom. The description of the conduct makes clear that he consummated sexual intercourse with her when she was asleep and that she had insisted on him wearing a condom. “Consummated” refers to having intercourse, not to ejaculation.

      What she calls “penetration”, perhaps a man would call poking.

      For fuck’s sake, do you really think that a woman can’t tell the difference between being penetrated and being poked? The straws you’re grasping at here are unbelievable.

      AA told the Swedish newspaper Expressen on August 21st that there was consent in both her sexual activity with Julian Assange as well as that between Julian Assange and SW. However, in Sweden, it appears that one can still commit rape even if there is consent. That strikes me as very bizarre.

      What she told Expressen was that in the beginning it was consensual but that it became abuse. There is nothing bizarrely Swedish about that being deemed rape. As I pointed out in the original post, the common law requires consent to be present at all times too.

      One message referred to one of the women being “half asleep” whilst having sex with Assange as opposed to fully asleep . In other words, she was half awake.

      Read the High Court decision, it dealt with that issue too. There is no legal definition of “half asleep” but if the person is incapable of rational thought they are most likely incapable of consenting to sex. And few of us are capable of rational thought when we’re half asleep.

      If you take away their anonymity, those who would falsely accuse may be deterred.

      The rate of rape accusations shown to be false is actually quite low according to most research. The Irish DPP recently put it at around one in 10 and that’s actually a relatively high estimate. This rate does not justify taking away victims’ anonymity since to do so would almost certainly stop them from coming forward. That would essentially create a rapists’ free-for-all. False accusations should be deterred but better to do so by penalties after the fact than by deterring people from making accusations at all.

      Reply
  10. According to SW’s own testimony to the police, she already had sexual intercourse 2 or 3 times with Julian Assange on the morning of Tuesday, August 11th 2011 before the penetration which is alleged to be rape.The reason I write 2 or 3 times is because she is not sure.

    According to her own testimony, “They fell asleep and when they woke up they could have had sex again, she’s not really sure”

    From: http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml

    Then, after the sexual intercourse that is alleged is rape, Julian Assange and SW continued to have a friendly conversation according to SW’s own testimony. A subsequent Daily Mail article suggests they went out together that Tuesday morning to get breakfast. According to her own testimony, they rode her bike back to Enkoping train station where she bought Julian Assange a ticket for a train back to Stockholm. Julian Assange didn’t want to use his credit card ( he feared he would be tracked by the CIA).

    So what about all those subsequent details? Stockholm syndrome? Why did she not make a break for it as they cycled to the train station? Why didn’t she march to the police station that very morning in broad daylight so that she could complain of rape? Why did she wait another 3 days before finally going to the police with AA on Friday, August 20th? We know the answer already. She didn’t want to complain about rape. She wanted to see if she could force Julian Assange to do a HIV/AIDS test because she was worried that she might have caught something from him.

    As Ben Emmerson QC for Assange put it during the extradition appeal hearing in July “the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.”

    To be clear, SW phoned Julian Assange on Monday, August 16th to ask if they wanted to meet up. Julian Assange agreed and they arranged to go to her home town of Enkoping, outside Stockholm and for them to stay overnight at her flat. They had first met after a public talk Julian Assange gave on Saturday morning, August 14th.

    As for AA, she helped organize the event that Julian Assange attended that Saturday morning. She invited Julian Assange to stay at her flat after he first arrived in Sweden on Wednesday, August 11th. She had given him the keys. She was away at the time and returned to Stockholm on Friday August 13th. According to Julian Assange’s testimony, she invited him to stay in her bed, her single bed, with her sleeping on it too.

    Two of the offenses that AA alleges, unlawful coercion and sexual molestation, took place that night and the morning of August 14th. Yet, the next evening, AA threw a crayfish party in Julian Assange’s honour. Yet, she continued to allow him stay in her flat, indeed in her bed, until the morning of August 20th, the very day she and SW went to the police. So what was happening there? Stockholm syndrome? Why didn’t she go straight to the police after the alleged offenses on the night of August 13th and the morning of August 14th?

    Again, Ben Emmerson’s observation is apt. “the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.”

    AA sent a tweet on the morning of August 15th at the crayfish party in which she said, “’Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. She subsequently deleted this tweet. AA allegedly took a picture of Julian Assange lying on her bed and posted it on facebook. She deleted that too.. According to the Daily Mail, earlier in 2010, she took feminist ire to new heights when she posted a tweet entitled “7-step guide to taking legal revenge against your boyfriend”.. Step 7 said: ‘Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did. ” She deleted that tweet also. Göran Rudling, who uncovered this, argues that complainant AA is criminally liable for obstructing evidence:

    Reply
    • We know the answer already. She didn’t want to complain about rape…Why didn’t she go straight to the police after the alleged offenses on the night of August 13th and the morning of August 14th?

      I’m getting a bit tired of having to point out that their behaviour, in this regard, is not atypical of victims of sexual assault. You really need to do some reading about this because you clearly aren’t comprehending it. Ironically, it’s precisely because of the tendency of other people to react in the way that you’re reacting that sexual assault victims frequently try to minimise what happened to them, or to blame themselves.

      The deleted Tweets don’t seem to me to indicate anything other than she was really pissed off. There’s no indication in them that she was making anything up.

      As Ben Emmerson QC for Assange put it during the extradition appeal hearing in July “the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.”

      Ben Emmerson may feel that it’s perfectly ok to have sex with another person without their consent in these circumstances, but that doesn’t make it the law, fortunately. And it certainly doesn’t make it morally acceptable.

      Reply
  11. From: http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html

    If Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden, he can be detained indefinitely, possibly for up to a year. He will be refused bail. He will be held in solitary confinement. The subsequent rape trial will be held in secret. There is no jury. His fate will be decided by 4 judges. 3 of them are lay judges who are political appointees and have no formal legal training.

    Of all the signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, Sweden has the highest per capita rate of cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights relating to article 6.1 (right to a fair trial). It also has the highest rate of adverse rulings when it comes to the fair trial.

    From: http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Sexual-Offences.html

    Under Swedish law, consensual sex can be classified as ’rape’. What matters is not whether the complainant said ’no’ (or implied it) but whether the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force, or he takes advantage of the victim’s helpless state.

    If there is no proof of force or threat of force, the judges will consider the intent of the perpetrator. In practice this leads to many cases of ’word against word’ in which the man will have to prove his innocence. This reverses the burden of proof that is basic to criminal trials in Western legal systems, in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”

    The Swedish Public Prosecutor of Julian Assange’s case, Marianne Ny is helping draw up new reform proposals. “The more controversial of the new reform proposals is the mandatory expression of consent prior to intercourse – the test of how consent is given has not been defined, although verbal and even written consent have been discussed as possibilities.”.

    It’s not just on issues to do with prostitution and drugs that the Swedish government has its head buried in the sand.

    Reply
    • Whoever wrote that quote is quite mistaken to think that Swedish law is somehow unique in this regard. There is no need for force or threat of force in the common law; it all comes down to consent and whether the accused was aware (or should have been aware) that it was lacking.

      When it comes down to he said/she said, the law still places the burden of proof on the accuser. Maybe “in practice” Swedish adjudicators give more weight to the accuser, although the very low conviction rate (acknowledged by you yourself) tends to suggest the contrary.

      Reply
  12. Rape is endemic in western societies, it seems to me. I read yesterday that the British government thinks that only 5% of rape victims actually go to the police in the first place. And even after they do, the conviction rate is still between 6 and 7%. I have to ask why that is.

    There was the shocking Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland report from 2002 which showed that 35% of all Irish men and women, one in three,had experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. 13% of all Irish women and men, one in eight, had been raped at some point in their lifetime. 19.5% of all women and men, one in five, have been subject to an attempted rape at some point in their lifetime.

    I think what we need is a new model of justice, a model of justice based on restorative justice principles which focuses on the needs of the victims, the offenders as well as the involved community, seeking to restore community and society equilibrium, rather than retributive justice which focuses on offenses against the mores of the state that we have at present in most countries. That’s why the Swedish government is getting it wrong on sexual offenses and rape. They’re working within the retributive justice paradigm. If we had a restorative justice model, many more rape victims will be encouraged to go to the police to seek redress and justice.

    I think the idea that a rape victim should be granted anonymity but the accused is known to all and sundry is not justice, that’s show-trial. The Government and the courts are letting us know that they have no interest in solving the structural societal problem of rape and sexual violence.The accused rapist is named and slimed in the (tabloid) media and is proclaimed guilty by the media before the courts have had their say. Some facts are reported but this is mixed in with fantasy in order to get the public’s blood boiling.

    Reply
    • I read yesterday that the British government thinks that only 5% of rape victims actually go to the police in the first place. And even after they do, the conviction rate is still between 6 and 7%. I have to ask why that is.

      Erm, I would guess that the fact that people who don’t want to believe the accused is guilty will try everything they can do to discredit the accuser has something to do with it.

      If we had a restorative justice model, many more rape victims will be encouraged to go to the police to seek redress and justice.

      Perhaps they would, and it is certainly something I would be in favour of trying. However, removing rape victims’ anonymity should not come before the introduction (and demonstrable success) of a system that encourages reporting without the need for anonymity. That system needs to be in place first.

      Reply
      • I am no more guilty of trying to discredit the accusers as you are of the accused. In your original post, you incorrectly stated that Assange’s lawyer conceded that his client was violent.

        9 witness testimonies have been published/leaked in January as well as that of the accused and the two accusers. It is inevitable that the Assange case will be discussed as it is being discussed by thousands of people around the world. Even if these testimonies weren’t in the public domain this case would be discussed. There are also wider issues involved such as Assange’s potential extradition to the USA from Sweden (or even from Britain), as well as of Wikileaks that Assange founded.

        I read http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Fair-Trial-for-Julian-Assange.html and http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Sexual-Offences.html from top to bottom. Nowhere does it say that Sweden is unique when it comes investigating and prosecuting sexual offenses. I think secret rape trials are unusual though for a democratic state. Secret trials are the stuff of an authoritarian state not a democracy.

        Reply
      • I am no more guilty of trying to discredit the accusers as you are of the accused. In your original post, you incorrectly stated that Assange’s lawyer conceded that his client was violent.

        FFS, not even in the same ballpark. I clearly referenced a source for that statement and amended it as soon as that source was shown to be incorrect. And I have said that my views of the accused are predicated on the allegations being true. While you can’t seem to decide whether the allegations are or aren’t true but in either case the women are in the wrong.

        I think secret rape trials are unusual though for a democratic state.

        Rape cases are heard in camera in Ireland, too.

        Reply
        • You took a misreport by Angus Johnston (that Julian Assange’s lawyer was agreeing with the testimony of the two alleged victims) and on the basis of that misreport you embarked on a rant against Julian Assange, a man not even charged with any offense never mind convicted, in which you wrote the following:

          If what Julian Assange’s lawyer says is true “Julian Assange is a man who considers it perfectly ok to have condomless sex with a sleeping woman who had already refused to agree to this while awake. Perfectly ok to hold a woman’s arms down and try to force his penis inside her while she is clearly trying to prevent this from happening. That makes him a violent, misogynist sexual predator, irrespective of how these women later responded to him. It can reasonably be considered likely that he has done the same to other women. Who may not have later responded as these two did.”

          Any Joe or Jane Schmoe would have come along, read what you wrote, and would have assumed “Oh since Julian Assange’s lawyer says it’s true, then Julian Assange himself must believe it to be true too.”

          In effect you were responsible for spreading a false and negative statement about Julian Assange.

          I find your argument that you are not responsible for this because you were just copying the mistake of another unconvincing. Why couldn’t you read Angus Johnston’s source, which was the Guardian report on the first day of his July appeal hearing? He clearly linked to it. That’s a more reliable source. In that source, it would have been clear that Julian Assange’s lawyer was merely reading out the allegations of the alleged victims and he wasn’t saying that Julian Assange was agreeing with them. In fact, Julian Assange’s legal team were barred from offering Julian Assange’s version of events during the extradition hearings both in February and July and were instead focusing on the difference between the allegations outlined in the European Arrest Warrant and the original allegations that the alleged victims gave to the police  in order to argue that any discrepancy there would render the EAW invalid.

          Why couldn’t you read the original Guardian report Angus Johnston linked to? Why couldn’t you research more widely on the Internet to find pro-Assange perspectives such as the swedenversusassange website that Lotta Svensson linked to or neutral websites which also reported on Assange’s appeal against extradition at the time? Angus Johnston is neither pro-Assange nor neutral. He is an opinion cruncher. He is a propagandist. He is a subverter of the truth. 

          In a previous comment, you alleged that the 95% of rape victims that do not go forward to the police to report rape (according to the British government) did so because of people like me casting doubt on the testimony and motivations of alleged rape victims. If that is so, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and delete all my comments as well as bar me from ever posting again to your wordpress blog for good measure? That way, those rape victims would be none the wiser as to my statements casting doubt on the testimony and motivations of the two alleged victims of sexual assault or rape. That way, those many British rape victims can go to the police confident that they will receive justice for the rapes they have suffered and survived without feeling victimized from reading comments from the likes of me.

          If your argument is true, then surely that also applies to smearing the accused too. Clearly you smeared the accused, Julian Assange, in your original post. 

          So go ahead and block me, Wendy. That way, there’ll be one less person to call you out if you embark on excessive feminist ire.

          Now what did I do? I speculated regarding whether SW was poked or penetrated regarding the point in time when SW was asleep or half asleep.  I speculated that maybe she was poked and not penetrated before SW woke up. I speculated because we don’t have Julian Assange’s version of events. We only have SW’s version. I may be wrong in my speculation but I am still entitled to speculate.

          According to SW’s own testimony she had sexual intercourse 2 or 3 times with Julian Assange (that is, she was penetrated) before the penetration by Julian Assange that is leading to a possible rape charge. SW is unsure whether she was penetrated 2 or 3 times according to her own testimony.

          From her testimony at:

          http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml

          “They fell asleep and when they woke up they could have had sex again, she’s not really sure. ”

          Later the police interviewer ended the interview because SW got upset after she informed her that Julian Assange had been arrested. SW didn’t review and approve the police interview as is protocol. So the interview I’ve linked to is incomplete.

          I’ve already stated that I think the testimonies of AA and SW are broadly true. I also stated that maybe the actual truth is a little softer around the edges than the way SW and AA presented it in their police complaints.

          Regarding their motivations, I think it is clear as far as SW is concerned. She wanted Assange to get a blood test for STDs because she was worried that she may have caught something from him (because they had unprotected sex). On the second day of the Extradition appeal in July, Julian Assange’s QC, Ben Emmerson, stated that one of the complainants felt “railroaded” by police and colleagues and only wanted Julian Assange to get a blood test and not to press charges. This is clearly a reference to SW as AA didn’t even want to go to the police as Ben Emmerson says later.

          Regarding the motivation of AA, I think there are question marks. There are the tweets I mentioned in my previous comment. She subsequently deleted those tweets after she went to the police on August 20th. One tweet was titled “7-step guide to taking legal revenge against your boyfriend”. This tweet indicates to me that AA has some knowledge of the law.

          My information is that SW contacted AA on the morning of Friday, August 20th. She may have tried to contact Julian Assange before this but without success. I think it is possible that AA tricked SW to go to the police. She accompanied SW to the police station. SW may have thought that the police could force Julian Assange to undertake a blood test. In fact, the police ordinarily have no such powers. SW then gave a statement to the police and thereupon the trap was sprung. Once she had given her statement, I fear she couldn’t be able to withdraw it later. The Swedish state could now step in and interpret it as they saw fit. The next day, AA gave an interview to Expressen in which she said that Julian Assange had a warped view of women.

          I think secret rape trials are unusual though for a democratic state.

          Rape cases are heard in camera in Ireland, too.

          From http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1990/en/act/pub/0032/index.html

          According to the Criminal Law (rape) (amendment) act of 1990, the Press are allowed to report rape trials in the Republic of Ireland. 

          According to Geoffrey Robertson QC, legal advisor to Julian Assange,  no Press will be allowed in for Assange’s trial in Sweden.

          He says: “Here the allegations against him has been blasted around the world and the world won’t see how he refutes them.”

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-02/geoffrey-robertson-discusses-extradition-decision/3616110

          So I have my concerns.

          One final thing: I think Julian Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in opening up governments.

      • Why couldn’t you read Angus Johnston’s source, which was the Guardian report on the first day of his July appeal hearing?

        Yup, you’re right, I should have gone back to my source’s source. But you should do the same. You relied on what a pro-Assange site said about the Expressen story without looking up the Expressen story itself, which paints a very different picture of what AA said. So you’re in no place to claim moral high ground.

        why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and delete all my comments as well as bar me from ever posting again to your wordpress blog for good measure?

        Methinks you have an exaggerated sense of how influential your own comments are.

        According to Geoffrey Robertson QC, legal advisor to Julian Assange, no Press will be allowed in for Assange’s trial in Sweden.

        But as you acknowledged earlier, the arguments will be made public. I agree it’s not an ideal way to conduct a trial but given Sweden’s very low rape conviction rate (again, according to your own admission) it is hard to sustain an argument that accused rapists can’t get a fair trial under this system.

        I think Julian Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in opening up governments.

        And you don’t think that might be colouring your views on this case just a little bit?

        Reply
  13. Yup, you’re right, I should have gone back to my source’s source. But you should do the same. You relied on what a pro-Assange site said about the Expressen story without looking up the Expressen story itself, which paints a very different picture of what AA said. So you’re in no place to claim moral high ground.

    AA said in that Expressen article that both she and SW had voluntary sex but that this then led to abuse. This is not borne out by the information we have. The potential charge of unlawful coercion against AA and the potential charge of sexual molestation against AA supposedly happened in the early morning of Saturday, August 14th. Why didn’t AA then kick Julian Assange out of her apartment? Why didn’t she go to the police then, instead of the following Friday, like she did? Instead, she threw a crayfish party in honour of Julian Assange on Saturday evening, August 14th and she let him continue to sleep on her single bed right up to the morning of Friday, August 20th. It doesn’t make sense.

    Methinks you have an exaggerated sense of how influential your own comments are.

    First you wrote that I and others like me who cast doubt on the motivations and testimony of rape accusers serve to deter the 95% of rape victims in the UK that the British government reports do not even go forward to the police to make a complaint. In other words, you wrote that I have a bad influence. In response, I suggested you remove all my comments as a logical consequence of my bad influence and also bar me from posting to your wordpress blog, to be on the safe side, and thus ensure that I won’t write any more blasphemous things against rape victims or alleged rape victims. Now, you reply to say I have no influence so it doesn’t matter.

    So, I’m Arrogant Paul. What does that make you? Flip Flop Wendy?

    But as you acknowledged earlier, the arguments will be made public. I agree it’s not an ideal way to conduct a trial but given Sweden’s very low rape conviction rate (again, according to your own admission) it is hard to sustain an argument that accused rapists can’t get a fair trial under this system.

    In your original (amended) post, you contended that a rape conviction could be sustained against Julian Assange under our common law jurisdiction if what AA and SW said was found to be true. Thing is though, Sweden isn’t a common law jurisdiction. It’s a civil law jurisdiction and, as far as rape is concerned, it’s got pretty unusual procedures in place.

    The principle of consent is not incorporated into Swedish law.

    From:http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Sexual-Offences.html

    What matters is not whether the complainant said ’no’ (or implied it) but whether the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force, or he takes advantage of the victim’s helpless state.

    If there is no proof of force or threat of force, the judges will consider the intent of the perpetrator. In practice this leads to many cases of ’word against word’ in which the man will have to prove his innocence. This reverses the burden of proof that is basic to criminal trials in Western legal systems, in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

    Julian Assange faces a potential charge of what the Swedes call “minor rape”, that’s not minor as in a child, but rather minor as in the opposite of major. According to Bjorn Hurtig, Assange’s Swedish lawyer, a charge of minor rape implies “almost no violence or threats or injury where consensual sex is followed by sex without withdrawal of that consent but where the complainant is asleep or unconscious.”

    In 2005, Sweden introduced a new Sexual Offences Act which broadened the definition of rape. As a result of this new act, Sweden’s conviction rate for rape per 100,000 people nearly trebled in one year from 1.7 rape convictions per 100,000 people in 2004 to 4.9 rape convictions per 100,000 people the following year. As of 2006, Sweden now had the 3rd highest per capita conviction rate for rape in the Council of Europe, behind only Russia and Lithuania. The 2006 stats puts Sweden at 4.7 rape convictions per 100,000 people. The median for the Council of Europe is 1.6 rape convictions per 100,000 people.

    AS a result of this new Sexual Offences law, a greater amount of criminal acts will be classified as ‘rape’. The threshold of what constitutes coercion is lowered. When someone has sex with a person that is in a helpless state because of unconsciousness, sleep or being under the influence of drugs, it be considered to fall under ‘rape’.

    I think that extension is problematic.

    Sweden’s reported rape versus conviction rate ratio has continued to deteriorate. It has been criticized in two reports by Amnesty International and the European Commission for the lack of transparency in their investigation of rape cases, the subjective nature of the decision on whether to prosecute for rape or not, a lack of training and knowledge on the part of the police in interrogating witnesses and suspects and so on.

    From: http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Rule-of-Law.html

    In 2006, fifteen lawyers signed an open letter to the then Minister for Justice. The letter condemned the fact that in Sweden many men are convicted for sex crimes they have not committed in word-against-word trials.

    They wrote: “Over the past 20 years many innocent men have been convicted to long prison sentences and permanent dishonour….”.

    I also think it is of concern that there will be 3 politically appointed lay judges in addition to the professional judge who will decide on Julian Assange’s guilt or innocence in the event of a trial.

    I am also concerned that he can be detained incommunicado in prison before his trial for a long indefinite period of time. There is no bail in Sweden.

    I think Julian Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in opening up governments.

    And you don’t think that might be colouring your views on this case just a little bit?

    You’re hardly in a position to lecture me or anyone else on impartiality with regard to Julian Assange’s guilt or innocence given that in your very first post you effectively wrote that you thought Julian Assange was a violent, misogynist sexual predator.

    Reply
    • AA said in that Expressen article that both she and SW had voluntary sex but that this then led to abuse. This is not borne out by the information we have.

      So you do think she’s lying. You denied previously that you thought that.

      In other words, you wrote that I have a bad influence.

      I never said that you, Paul Carr, have any influence whatsoever. Sorry if that bruises your ego.

      Thing is though, Sweden isn’t a common law jurisdiction.

      Eh? Where on earth did you ever get the idea that I was suggesting it was? What I said was that the common law might also deem the accused guilty of rape in these circumstances.

      You’re hardly in a position to lecture me or anyone else on impartiality with regard to Julian Assange’s guilt or innocence given that in your very first post you effectively wrote that you thought Julian Assange was a violent, misogynist sexual predator.

      Forming an opinion of someone as a sexual predator based on reports that they are a sexual predator is quite different from forming an opinion of someone that they are not a sexual predator because they happen to have done some good work in exposing government misdeeds. It’s yet another apples-and-oranges comparison on your part.

      Reply
  14. AA said in that Expressen article that both she and SW had voluntary sex but that this then led to abuse. This is not borne out by the information we have.

    So you do think she’s lying.

    No. I wrote that her testimony, in terms of the facts she presented, as well as those of SW, were broadly true though the actual truth may have been a little softer around the edges. AA is offering a subjective evaluation that she was abused. That does not tally with the facts, some of which she offered herself. On the night of August 13th and the morning of August 14th, she claims that she was abused. In that case, why didn’t she kick Julian Assange out of her apartment that morning? Why didn’t she go to the police on the morning of August 14th instead of 6 days later? Instead, she let him stay in her single bed until Friday, August 20th. Instead, she arranged for her and Julian Assange to go to a crayfish party on the evening of August 14th. It doesn’t make sense.

    I never said that you, Paul Carr, have any influence whatsoever. Sorry if that bruises your ego.

    On November 13th, you wrote the following: “I’m getting a bit tired of having to point out that their behaviour, in this regard, is not atypical of victims of sexual assault. You really need to do some reading about this because you clearly aren’t comprehending it. Ironically, it’s precisely because of the tendency of other people to react in the way that you’re reacting that sexual assault victims frequently try to minimise what happened to them, or to blame themselves.“.{my emphasis}

    5 minutes later, you wrote the following in response to my conclusion that we need a radical overhaul of our rape laws because only 5% of rape victims were going to the police in the first place according to the British government.

    “Erm, I would guess that the fact that people who don’t want to believe the accused is guilty will try everything they can do to discredit the accuser has something to do with it“.

    Clearly, you were including me as well as the others who are “discrediting the accuser”. That’s not my outsized ego talking. That’s reading plain English.

    Later, I suggested that you put your money where your mouth is and delete all my comments as well as ban me from ever posting again to your wordpress blog in order to ensure that I won’t be able to write any more blasphemous things casting doubt on the testimony and motivations of rape and sexual abuse accusers.

    You reply with this utilitarian statement.

    “Methinks you have an exaggerated sense of how influential your own comments are.”

    This statement can be broken down into two parts.

    1). You think that I have little or no influence.
    2). You think that I mistakenly think that I have more influence than I actually do.

    First of all, I couldn’t care less if I have influence or not. I couldn’t care less if you’re the only person who is reading my comments. I couldn’t care less that if other people are reading my comments, they’re going in one ear and out the other. I couldn’t care less, if other people are reading my comments, they’re only encouraging them to adopt your initial position namely that Julian Assange is, as you put it, “a violent, misogynist sexual predator”.

    As a matter of fact, I must thank you because all this comment to-ing and fro-ing has encouraged me to look more closely into the Julian Assange case which has reminded me of just how absurd and baseless these sexual assault and rape potential charges are, which raises the question of whether this prosecution is politically motivated. Also, I have been encouraged to look at the 2002 SAVI report which has reminded me of just how endemic rape and sexual violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse, both contact and non-contact, is in Irish society and of the necessity of a radical overhaul of our sexual abuse and rape laws in order to encourage more victims to come forward to the police in the first place.

    Secondly, it is sad that you have resorted at this stage to personal insult. This is generally indicative of someone who has lost the argument but won’t fess up.

    Thing is though, Sweden isn’t a common law jurisdiction.

    Eh? Where on earth did you ever get the idea that I was suggesting it was? What I said was that the common law might also deem the accused guilty of rape in these circumstances.

    I read your original amended article from top to bottom. Nowhere do you consider if Julian Assange would be found guilty under the rape laws and sexual assault laws of Sweden, which is a civil law jurisdiction. You focused on common law jurisdictions such as Ireland and England. You considered whether Julian Assange would be found guilty of rape if SW’s testimony was true under a common law jurisdiction such as Ireland and England where the concept of consent is incorporated into rape law (unlike in Sweden).

    Forming an opinion of someone as a sexual predator based on reports

    based on a misreport.

    that they are a sexual predator is quite different from forming an opinion of someone that they are not a sexual predator because they happen to have done some good work in exposing government misdeeds.

    I never wrote that.

    Clearly, Julian Assange is innocent based on sW and AA’s own testimony to the police. Take SW’s testimony:

    http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml

    After SW and Julian Assange arrived at SW’s apartment, they were playing around sexually for a few hours but Julian Assange couldn’t get his schlong up. He then went to sleep. At this point, SW was exchanging SMS messages with her friends. This hardly paints a picture of someone who is undergoing an ordeal. Later, they had sexual intercourse (in terms of Julian Assange penetrating her) 3 or 4 times. I say 3 or 4 times because SW isn’t sure.

    “They fell asleep and when they woke up they could have had sex again, she’s not really sure.”.

    After the final act of sexual intercourse, that the potential charge of rape is derived from, or, as I like to call it, “sex by surprise”, they continued to have a friendly chat that morning. Later, she escorted him back to the train station and bought his ticket back to Stockholm because he was reluctant to use his credit card as he feared he would be tracked by the CIA.

    I think the way the Swedish police and prosecutors have handled the case has been….shambolic. I read that the first prosecutor actually pressed charges on August 20th and an arrest warrant for Julian Assange was issued. The next day, the second prosecutor, Eva Finne, rescinded the warrant, cancelled the charges and dropped the count of rape from the investigation. Then, on September 1st, a senior prosecutor in Sweden, Marianne Ny, reinstituted the rape investigation. Since then we have been at the preliminary investigation phase. This is all very dodgy. It is not Julian Assange that is on trial. Sweden is.

    The policewoman who interviewed SW on the 20th of August, Irmeli Krans, has been disgracefully partisan. Go back to the link I gave before for the SW interview. Take note of the alterations that Irmeli Krans made to the narrative format of her interview of SW on August 20th. She amended it slightly on August 26th without consulting with SW first. This is utterly unprofessional behaviour. On her facebook page, on August 25th she wrote “OUTRAAAAGEOUS” when she learned that prosecutor Eva Finne had dropped the count of rape from the investigation. Later, she was even chastised by a police board of directors but she continued writing her vitriol against Julian Assange.

    http://rixstep.com/1/20110831,00.shtml

    What Sweden needs to do is go after real rapists. As Michael Moore points out in this excellent article, they’re getting away scot-free. 90% of all reported rapes in Sweden never even make it to court. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, it is now statistically more likely that someone in Sweden will be sexually assaulted than that they will be robbed.

    Instead a senior Swedish prosecutor is making herself into a laughing stock by pursuing Julian Assange without offering any real evidence that he has committed any crime. It is no secret that rape and sexual assault have been used to serve political agendas in the past. As Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape pointed out: “In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman”. It is plausible, in this case, that the Swedish authorities are seeking to please the US government in its efforts to shut down Wikileaks, that Julian Assange founded and leads.

    Reply
    • It doesn’t make sense.

      It doesn’t make sense to you. I have seen many comments from women who have experienced sexual assault that it makes sense to them. I’ve said this a few times and you simply refuse to acknowledge it, so I’m probably just wasting my time at this point.

      On November 13th, you wrote the following: … Ironically, it’s precisely because of the tendency of other people to react in the way that you’re reacting that sexual assault victims frequently try to minimise what happened to them, or to blame themselves.“

      What part of “other people” don’t you understand?

      it is sad that you have resorted at this stage to personal insult.

      I genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about.

      I read your original amended article from top to bottom. Nowhere do you consider if Julian Assange would be found guilty under the rape laws and sexual assault laws of Sweden, which is a civil law jurisdiction. You focused on common law jurisdictions such as Ireland and England.

      This is what I said:

      That this sort of retrospective consent does not exonerate him from the charges is presented as an example of Swedish law being bonkers.

      Now I’m the first to acknowledge that Swedish law is bonkers in a lot of respects. But this isn’t one of them. In fact, it is quite possible that a charge of rape for what Assange allegedly did – at least in the first case – could be sustained under the common law, the basis of the legal systems in England and most of its former colonies, including Ireland.

      Clearly, I was making the point that this is an area in which Swedish law and common law might agree – not saying that Swedish law is common law.

      I never wrote that.

      I know you didn’t. I’m asking whether that might be a subconscious motivation, since you clearly have a reason to want him to be innocent.

      Clearly, Julian Assange is innocent based on sW and AA’s own testimony to the police.

      Huh, well on November 5th you wrote:

      Who are these leftists who assume that Julian Assange is innocent? I’m certainly not one of them.

      Maybe it was only the “leftist” part you were denying then?

      Reply
  15. Why don`t you just correct your initial post or add that it wasn`t meant as a confession by his lawyer-which it was clearly NOT?

    PS: Your statement that women do not know when and if they were raped is insane at least in the absense of “rape” drugs! The accusers` lawyer claimed the same and justified it with the fact that they are no lawyers. So what? I bet if somebody raped Bergström he would INSTANTLY know what happened to him and would likely never forget!

    PPS: Almost all claims and actions by AA completely contradict eachother. Starting with the most obvious that it is more then a little strange for a self declaired feminist and former equality spokesperson at university to threw a party for the SAME guy who reportedly violently attacked her the night before-especially since she called him “not violent and we are not afraid of him” in a newspaper article she gave AFTERWARDS. Or to jokedly recommand him to a girlfriend of hers-not uncommon with a n unfaithful ex but UNTHINKABLE when rape was involved.
    And then there is the issue of that ripped condom that has no identifiable DNA – only that of fingernails-although it was allegedly used during sex and should be SOAKED in DNA! Strange hm? But not worth a mention by the prosecutor.

    And when you say its completely okay to destroy evidence that favours the accused you seem to agree with the prosecutor and the accusers`s lawyer who said the SAME thing! An INSANE statement by the way because OF COURSE it is NEVER okay to destroy evidence. It might have been a different case had AA deleted the tweets AFTER showing them to the police which she did NOT-mention them to the police that is! They were discovered by an internet activist (google saves all deleted sites) and handed over to the police. Something that prompted Bergström to say that the tweets and SMS praising Assange AFTER the incidances will play only a little if ANY role at all!
    But I am sure such statements by the lawyer and the prosecutor in ur mind prove that they are interested in a fair and just trial (rriiiight).

    BTW: In SW`S case I think we should wait for the rape kit result which could be important. That and the fact if the prosecutor can prove that she was asleep and the minor íssue with SW agreeing to sex half unprotected.The trial will show wether or not that plays a role. Could it be said that maybe he had reason to believe that she changed her mind?. And when he said he would rather have sex without a condom -to which she no longer “bothered” to reply-does that matter or is her will alone the law?

    Reply
    • Why don`t you just correct your initial post or add that it wasn`t meant as a confession by his lawyer-which it was clearly NOT?

      Erm, I did. Several times. In the first reference I directed readers to the comments which point this out, in subsequent places I struck through the statements which made that error.

      Your statement that women do not know when and if they were raped is insane at least in the absense of “rape” drugs! The accusers` lawyer claimed the same and justified it with the fact that they are no lawyers. So what?

      So, if they are not lawyers they do not necessarily know what the threshold is for an act to constitute rape under the law. This is not as obvious a question as you seem to think. In my Criminal Law textbook there are several pages devoted to analysing what it takes for intercourse to qualify as rape.

      Can I suggest you spend some time reading women’s accounts of their experiences of rape. Questioning whether you have actually been raped is not at all uncommon – particularly when you know the person.

      And when you say its completely okay to destroy evidence that favours the accused

      Where did I say that?

      The trial will show wether or not that plays a role.

      Many issues will come out at trial, if there is a trial. My objection is that people are trying to prevent a trial from even happening, simply because of who the accused is.

      Reply
      • Why do u claim that people try to prevent a trial when those very people have ZERO power to prevent an extradition much less than a trial?

        PS: U SUGGESTED that it was okay to delete the tweets (BEFORE and WITHOUT mentioning them to the police)! There is ZERO doubt in my mind that such an act is wrong.

        Reply
      • Why do u claim that people try to prevent a trial when those very people have ZERO power to prevent an extradition much less than a trial?

        You don’t believe that the demonstrations they are holding in London are an attempt to bring pressure on the British government not to extradite Assange?

        You really don’t believe that?

        U SUGGESTED that it was okay to delete the tweets (BEFORE and WITHOUT mentioning them to the police)!

        I suggested no such thing. I made no comment whatsoever about the deletion of the Tweets, only the content of the deleted Tweets.

        Reply
      • Many issues will come out at trial, if there is a trial. My objection is that people are trying to prevent a trial from even happening, simply because of who the accused is.

        I think there are plenty of people in high places who want a rape trial to take place simply because of who the accused is

        Reply
  16. Whom ru kidding? The handfull of people that demonstrated outside court where there to show their soliderity and voice their disagreement with a possible extradition! I don`t think anyone seriously thought they could prevent extradition!

    Reply
    • I don`t think anyone seriously thought they could prevent extradition!

      I’ll be protesting the Irish government’s planned austerity budget on Saturday. I don’t seriously think I can prevent it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going there just to express my disagreement with it. It’s an attempt, however futile, to prevent it from being introduced.

      You’re really grasping at straws for an argument here.

      Reply
  17. “The deleted Tweets don’t seem to me to indicate anything other than she was really pissed off. There’s no indication in them that she was making anything up.”

    That was ur statement! So if someone destroys evidence that contradicts or at least doesn`t support ur story that person does it because she is angry? BTW How can u say what was in the tweets and SMS when only 1 or 2 messages are publicly known? We know about the CONTENT of SOME of the rest b/c his lawyer was allowed to view but nor copy them and from what he said they praised his client. Make of this what u want but it does NOT make AA more believable!
    If I was the prosecutor I would drop AA`s allegations and go with the rape charge. There are just too many contradictions in them that could hurt BOTH cases since the 2 women had contact and compared their stories before the went to the police.

    Reply
    • “The deleted Tweets don’t seem to me to indicate anything other than she was really pissed off. There’s no indication in them that she was making anything up.”

      That was ur statement!

      Yes, and it refers to the content of the Tweets, not the fact that they were deleted. The commenter who mentioned them was implying that their content undermined her allegations; my response was that I don’t think they do.

      That she deleted them is a different issue, and one I did not address.

      How can u say what was in the tweets and SMS when only 1 or 2 messages are publicly known?

      Jesus Christ, you really are grasping. I was referring to the ones that are publicly known. So was the person I was replying to.

      Reply
      • Grasping seems to be ur favourite word lol! And no I am not “grasping at straws””.I just think its INSANE that u accuse a handfull of protesters who oppose his extradition of
        “interfering with the law”. THATS grasping if we have to use that word.

        BTW While I can attribute SW`s shared breakfast AFTER the alleged rape to her alleged “confusion” I don`t think AA`s case is comparable AT ALL! Or how wd u explain the fact that she REFUSED to let A. move to a friend`s flat shortly AFTER the alleged violent attack? She wouldn`t even have to throw him out – as any woman in her right mind-and certainly a former equality spokesperson knowledgable of the law – would do!

        Reply
      • I just think its INSANE that u accuse a handfull of protesters who oppose his extradition of “interfering with the law”.

        Could you possibly stop attributing things to me that I never said? I didn’t use the word interfering.

        Anyway, may I quote to you from this page:

        “Welcome to the Official Justice for Assange UK Campaign. We are fighting to stop the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden”

        Perhaps you might like to take this argument over to their site and tell them that they aren’t really trying to stop his extradition.

        Reply
  18. On November 13th, you wrote the following: … Ironically, it’s precisely because of the tendency of other people to react in the way that you’re reacting that sexual assault victims frequently try to minimise what happened to them, or to blame themselves.“

    What part of “other people” don’t you understand?

    What about the following part? “to react in the way that you’re reacting..”

    5 minutes later you wrote this response to a comment in which I wondered aloud why only 5% of rape victims in Britain were going forward to the police and why only 6-7% of those reports lead to a conviction.

    “Erm, I would guess that the fact that people who don’t want to believe the accused is guilty will try everything they can do to discredit the accuser has something to do with it“.

    This comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek insofar as you don’t explicitly mention me as one of those seeking to discredit the accuser  but clearly you meant me too.

    Clearly, at the very least, in your two comments, you were offering the opinion that my comments, if they were read by the victims of sexual abuse, may have the effect of deterring them from making complaints to the police. 

    Later, you offered the strawman and distraction that I don’t have any influence in contrast to the other people, whoever they are, who “discredit the accuser”

    In response, first of all, it was never my intention to discredit rape accusers and sexual abuse accusers in general. It was never my intention to belittle their experiences. My intention was to discuss the institutionally taboo subject of rape and sexual abuse as well as to share with you my belief that Julian Assange is probably not guilty of any of the alleged sex crimes he is being investigated for as well as my belief that the continuing investigation and issuing of the European arrest warrant are probably politically motivated.

    Secondly, how do you know I don’t have any influence? How do you know you don’t have any influence? Your blog is publicly available. For all we know, Barack Obama could be typing in your blog address and having a read. Everyone can make a difference. As Robert Kennedy put it: ” Each time that a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance”. 

    Of course, in these more enlightened times, we would say “man and woman” or “person”. 

    Or, indeed, as Michael D Higgins enjoined us all in his Presidential Inauguration speech, we should all be the arrow and not the target.

    Thirdly and finally, regarding effect, I don’t agree with you. If you are right that I may be deterring rape victims and sexual abuse victims because I question the motivation of the Swedish prosecutor then, surely, you are also doing your bit to deter them from going to the police. In your very first post, you took Assange’s lawyer’s reading out of the allegations in court made by his accusers SW and AA during his high court appeal against extradition in July, assumed incorrectly that Assange’s lawyer agreed with them (and therefore presumably that Julian Assange agreed with them too) and on the basis of that misinformation embarked on a tirade against Julian Assange, a man not even charged, never mind convicted, of any offense. You called him a “violent, misogynist sexual predator”. 

    Clearly, I was making the point that this is an area in which Swedish law and common law might agree – not saying that Swedish law is common law.

    You were focusing on whether Julian Assange could be convicted of rape under English rape law if SW’s testimony was correct. You think he might be. I disagree. As Ben Emmerson, Assange’s Attorney, pointed out during the July appeal:

    “the idea of isolating a moment of lack of consent in an encounter that was consenting both before and after is crazy.”

    He was addressing English rape law.

    Did you know when you wrote your original post that Swedish rape law doesn’t incorporate the principle of consent?

    Clearly, Julian Assange is innocent based on sW and AA’s own testimony to the police.

    Huh, well on November 5th you wrote:

    Who are these leftists who assume that Julian Assange is innocent? I’m certainly not one of them.

    I never assumed that Assange was innocent. That said, during the course of our discussion, I have done more reading on the Assange case, read the testimonies of AA and SW and so on. The more reading I do on this, the more convinced I am that Assange is innocent and that this continuing investigation is politically motivated. As Michael Moore points out in that letter to Sweden I linked to in my previous comment, Swedish prosecutors should be going after real rapists and not be seeking to please the US government.

    One final thing: I think that there is a tendency amongst fundamentalist feminists as well as religious organizations to reduce rape and sexual abuse into a simple narrative of the manipulative male imposing his will on the victimized female. It’s more complex than that.

    From the woman’s aid website, 

    http://www.womensaid.ie/policy/natintstats.html

    we learn that:

    “Women are over twice as likely as men to have experienced severe physical abuse, seven times more likely to have experienced sexual abuse, and are more likely to experience serious injuries than men. (National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland, 2005)”

    But the statement that women are 7 times more likely to have experienced sexual abuse doesn’t tally with what we learned in the 2002 SAVI report, the Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland report. 

    We learn from the SAVI report that 20.4% of women have experienced contact sexual assault as adults. We also learn that 9.7% of men have experienced the same, resulting in a ratio of little more than 2 to 1. 

    True, 6.1% of women have experienced penetrative sex, that is rape, as opposed to 0.9% of men, a ratio of roughly 7 to 1, but rape is only one category of sexual abuse.

    When the sexual abuse of children is taken into account, the frequency of the sexual abuse of male and female levels up a little bit more.

    28% of men have experienced sexual assault or sexual abuse in their lifetime. 42% of women have. 

    Reply
    • I’m not going to waste any more time arguing with you over your “influence” or whether I said you had any. It’s possibly the stupidest argument I’ve ever been involved in, and you’re clearly going to believe what you want to believe anyway.

      You were focusing on whether Julian Assange could be convicted of rape under English rape law if SW’s testimony was correct. You think he might be. I disagree.

      Actually I said common law, which is not entirely the same thing as English law. In any case, the English High Court disagrees with you.

      Did you know when you wrote your original post that Swedish rape law doesn’t incorporate the principle of consent?

      I know very little about Swedish rape law and was not posting about Swedish rape law. I was posting about whether the act might be one that could be prosecuted under common law. I really don’t get your difficulty understanding this.

      I think that there is a tendency amongst fundamentalist feminists as well as religious organizations to reduce rape and sexual abuse into a simple narrative of the manipulative male imposing his will on the victimized female. It’s more complex than that.

      I agree that it is more complex than that. However, I don’t think there’s anything that complex about having sex with someone without a condom while they were sleeping because they wouldn’t do it while they were awake, or pinning someone’s arms down and trying to force their legs open while they are clearly resisting. If it can be shown that Assange did these things, and that is what the investigation is trying to determine, then I don’t see anything ambiguous about it at all.

      Reply
  19. I don`t know wether it matters but you should consider that SW did NOT sign her police statement and was so upset when she learned that A. was arrested in absentia that she could no longer concentrate on the questions leading to an aprupt end of the interogation (which was redone later by phone and OVERWRITTEN in the police file!).
    Does that sound like she intended to report him for r.ape?

    PS: When children are involved in s.exual abuse cases the police MUST act on its own but when its about a grown up woman? Is it the job of the police officer to tell you what happened to you or do you think grown ups can decide for themselves and should not be treated like helpless toddlers that need to be told HOW to interpret things that happened to them b/c they cannot yet rationally understand them?

    Reply
    • Yes, I do think there is an issue if someone does not want to press charges and is put under pressure to do so. But the fact that someone doesn’t want to press charges after an offence is committed against them doesn’t make it, objectively, less of an offence, and doesn’t make the offender less of an offender. If the story she tells is true then Assange is still a man who believes it’s ok to have condomless sex with a sleeping woman who had refused to have condomless sex while she was awake. And then he is still unworthy of our “solidarity”.

      Reply
      • Noone is seriously asking for ur solidarity just for accepting the basic principle of innocent until proven guilty! Do u think you are up to that or is that asked too much?

        PS: I think u missunderstood me! SW went to the police station together with AA because she wanted them to force A. to take an HIV test and allegedly she also wanted to seek advise. What she obviously did NOT want was to have him arrested for rape! BTW I have no idea why she would assume that the police could force him to do a test. They could insist on a DNA test but a HIV test would probably require a court order.

        Reply
      • Noone is seriously asking for ur solidarity

        Erm, if you actually read the post that you’re replying to, you will see that the whole reason I started this discussion was because I received an email that did ask for my solidarity.

        just for accepting the basic principle of innocent until proven guilty! Do u think you are up to that or is that asked too much?

        See my comment from November 7 at 10:35pm.

        I think u missunderstood me!

        Not as far as I can tell from the rest of your paragraph.

        BTW I have no idea why she would assume that the police could force him to do a test.

        Possibly because she is not a lawyer.

        Reply
  20. And there is another issue: Neither AA`s or SW`s nor the testimonies of any of their friends was recorded. They were done in a narrative style making it impossible to know what questions the interrogator asked and if they were suggestive. In contrast the testimonies of A. and 2 defense witnesses were recorded and transcript including every single pause during answers! Do u call that EQUAL treatment before the law? Because I do NOT! Together with the prosecutor`s agreeing with the destruction of evidence this looks to me like they think the goal justifies the means meaning the POLICE could break or at least bend its own rules and regulations which demand that testimonies in s.exual abuse cases have to be recorded – as much as they please without ANY consequences!

    Reply
  21. Wendy I am not a lawyer either but I would go as far and claim that I have common sense…as do MOST people.

    Reply
    • You were focusing on whether Julian Assange could be convicted of rape under English rape law if SW’s testimony was correct. You think he might be. I disagree.

      Actually I said common law, which is not entirely the same thing as English law. In any case, the English High Court disagrees with you.

      You have to view the English High Court decision in context. The Assange team were appealing the decision to extradict him to Sweden on a number of grounds. One of them was that they contended that the description of the crime of rape on the European Arrest Warrant was unfairly, improperly and inaccurately described. In other words, what was described as rape on the arrest warrant was at odds with what SW described in her police testimony. There was a previous decision called the Castillo case where it was found that it was necessary to describe fairly, properly and accurately any alleged misconduct on a European Arrest Warrant.

      The High Court judges disagreed with the Assange legal team and so concluded that the description of rape on the arrest warrant matched up with SW’s testimony. However, they were not deciding if Julian Assange was guilty under English rape law even if it was found that SW’s testimony was accurate. They don’t have the jurisdiction to make such a finding. They were merely finding that the European Arrest Warrant was above board insofar as the description of rape on the arrest warrant matched up with SW’s testimony and so rejected the appellant’s challenge on that ground.

      Read the full High Court judgement. Paragraph 124.

      http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-judgment.pdf

      Did you know when you wrote your original post that Swedish rape law doesn’t incorporate the principle of consent?

      I know very little about Swedish rape law and was not posting about Swedish rape law. I was posting about whether the act might be one that could be prosecuted under common law. I really don’t get your difficulty understanding this.

      That’s a no then.

      Reply
      • However, they were not deciding if Julian Assange was guilty under English rape law even if it was found that SW’s testimony was accurate. They don’t have the jurisdiction to make such a finding.

        I didn’t say they were deciding if he was guilty under English law. What they did have to decide, under the principle of dual criminality, was whether what he was accused of constituted an offence in English law. They decided that it did.

        Reply
    • Wendy I am not a lawyer either but I would go as far and claim that I have common sense…as do MOST people.

      You obviously haven’t had much experience of “most people’s” understanding of the law, then.

      Reply
  22. The deleted Tweets don’t seem to me to indicate anything other than she was really pissed off. There’s no indication in them that she was making anything up.

    And your point is?

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?

    From: http://www.swedenversusassange.com/Facebook-Twitter-Trails.html

    Complainant AA deleted the 7-step guide to taking legal revenge against your boyfriend. On 12 December complainant AA changed the 7-step guide to a single step: Step 1: Think very carefully about whether you really should take revenge. In most cases it’s better to forgive than to get even. (emphasis in the original).

    That’s nice. Perhaps the Swedish judicial authorities can be persuaded to slice her sentence by a month or two.

    Perhaps, a punching bag can be installed in her prison cell so that she can deal with her anger issue.

    Reply
    • And your point is?

      That I disagree with your contention that the content of the Tweets undermines her allegations.

      Reply
      • They do.as do her actions over the week following the alleged violent attack. As does her newspaper interview where she decribes him as “not violent and we r not afraid if him”. As does the party she threw for him where she jokedly recomanded him to a girlfriend. As does the fact that she deleted the tweets and her revenge website. As does her DNA free condom allgedly used during sex. As does her refusal to let A. stay with a friend AFTER the attack. As does her proposal to become his PERSONAL secretary days AFTER the incident. As does her initial claim that she had nothing to report and only wanted to accompany SW to the police station.
        Actually there is (almost) NOTHING that fits her story. At least not the story of an abused woman financially independent and therefore not pressured to stay with the offender. Her story however DOES fit with that of a woman scorned ….and the steps she took mirror those described in her “7 steps of revenge” blog about getting revenge on a cheating ex.

        Reply
      • Once again, you’re assuming that women who have been sexually assaulted should follow a particular script in relation to their assaulter – which they often don’t. AA’s behaviour after the incident could be a sign that she was just taking revenge after being “scorned” or it could be a sign that she did not initially come to terms with what had happened. That is not uncommon. It is not a reason to stop the investigation. Whether it is a reason to find Assange not guilty, if and when the case goes to trial, is a matter for the trial to determine.

        Reply
  23. I know it is hopeless to argue, but to me unconditionally defending anything Assange’s accusers say, just because they’ve accused someone of rape, is just as bad as unconditionally defending anything someone else says (like Assange, or a politician, or anyone else). I will never understand why nonconsent doesn’t have to be communicated, all irrational behaviour like going to a party after the alleged assault is excused (“because they are victims”). Leaving out all circumstances would make any investigation or trial unnecessary, the allegations are enough. But there have been false accusations. What do you make of that?

    Reply
    • U didn`t read what I wrote or didn`t u b/c otherwise u would notice that most of the contradictions I referred to concern AA and NOT SW! Her case depends on wether or not she was really asleep and on the result of the r.ape kit.

      Reply
    • unconditionally defending anything Assange’s accusers say, just because they’ve accused someone of rape

      Nobody has done that.

      Reply
      • I think you do.
        “I read the full statement and I don’t think it changes anything. Non-consent does not have to be communicated verbally; the fact that she is using her own body to prevent intercourse ought to be sufficient.
        The fact that he did, eventually, put on a condom in this particular case is also not the issue. ”

        Ought to be sufficient, but apparently it was not, that’s why he asked and the moment she told him what she wanted he did it. Why is that not an issue?

        One of them doesn’t utter noncensent verbally, she doesn’t make him move out of the apartment though it was offered, she organizes a party, the other one talks with him after the assault, takes him to the station and buys him a ticket.
        There’s no rule how women should behave “properly” when they’ve been abused, but how is a man to know that then?

        Reply
      • Oh come on, that is hardly “unconditionally defending anything she says”.

        apparently it was not, that’s why he asked and the moment she told him what she wanted he did it. Why is that not an issue?

        According to her allegation, he finally asked only when he had to give up trying to force her legs apart because she was physically strong enough to resist him. Suppose she had not been physically strong enough?

        As I said in my original post, the issue is not simply how these women reacted to what he is said to have done. It’s the fact (if the allegations are true) that he thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to do those things. It suggests he is likely to do them (and possibly has done them) to other women who may not “retroactively consent” (sic).

        There’s no rule how women should behave “properly” when they’ve been abused, but how is a man to know that then?

        Well, if they don’t abuse them to start with, they won’t have to worry about it will they?

        Reply
  24. However, they were not deciding if Julian Assange was guilty under English rape law even if it was found that SW’s testimony was accurate. They don’t have the jurisdiction to make such a finding.

    I didn’t say they were deciding if he was guilty under English law. What they did have to decide, under the principle of dual criminality, was whether what he was accused of constituted an offence in English law. They decided that it did.

    There was no test of dual criminality regarding the potential charge of rape on the European Arrest Warrant. When the Framework agreement was signed in 2002, on which the UK based its extradition act the following year, certain serious offenses, called framework offenses, were listed which don’t require a test of dual criminality. Rape is one of them.  

    So, the Assange legal team were challenging that offense on the grounds that the description of the offense of rape on the European Arrest Warrant didn’t match up fairly, properly and accurately with the known testimony of SW to the police. The 2005 Castillo case and the 2010 Murua case had, between them, established that there had to be such consistency otherwise the European Arrest Warrant may be invalidated. If the High Court judges had found that there was such a discrepancy, I understand, then a test of dual criminality would have been applied. That didn’t come to pass however as the High Court judges decided that the description of rape on the European Arrest Warrant fairly, properly and accurately matched up with SW’s original allegations to the police.

    Reply
    • The issue of dual criminality is discussed quite extensively in the High Court decision. The judges decided that the test was met in relation to three of the offences. In relation to the rape allegation it also said that the allegation of rape would be an allegation of rape under English law.

      Reply
      • The issue of dual criminality is discussed quite extensively in the High Court decision. The judges decided that the test was met in relation to three of the offences. In relation to the rape allegation it also said that the allegation of rape would be an allegation of rape under English law.

        As I’ve already explained to you, the test of dual criminality was not applied by the judges to the count of rape on the European Arrest Warrant. On this sub-thread we were discussing the potential charge of rape.

        Read the summary of the High Court judgement.

        http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgments/assange-summary.pdf

        Reply
      • I’m citing from the full judgment, not the summary. Paragraph 116. It says that if it were necessary for the court to take the law of England and Wales into account, the allegation would be one that would qualify as rape under the law of England and Wales.

        Reply
  25. And there is another issue: Neither AA`s or SW`s nor the testimonies of any of their friends was recorded. They were done in a narrative style making it impossible to know what questions the interrogator asked and if they were suggestive. In contrast the testimonies of A. and 2 defense witnesses were recorded and transcript including every single pause during answers! Do u call that EQUAL treatment before the law? Because I do NOT!

    Good point. The police interview with SW on August 20th and the telephone interview with AA the following day were apparently not recorded in contrast to the recorded police interview with Julian Assange on August 30th.

    Even the prosecutor of Julian Assange, Marianne Ny, called for the interviews of rape victims and perpetrators to be recorded 10 years ago. Of course, it makes sense that this is so. Often rape trials boil down to his word against hers. So it is imperative to record the police interviews of accused and accuser as quickly as possible. That way the cadence of his/her voice can be noted, the pauses, the body language and so on as well as the actual  content, that is the leading questions and the responses et cetera. Instead, what we’ve got with both SW and AA are police interviews in narrative format and worse, the police interviewer of SW, Irmeli Krans, who wrote up the narration (even editing it slightly 6 days later without SW’s approval) has a known anti-Assange bias. She was even criticized by a superior of the Stockholm Police Board for her anti-Assange rants on Facebook. She continued on with her anti-Assange bias regardless.

    Surely, in 21st century Sweden, they do have video recording equipment knocking about their police stations.

    Reply
  26. As does her refusal to let A. stay with a friend AFTER the attack.

    That is another very good point. Hostess AA was offered on a number of occasions between August 13th and August 20th, to have Julian Assange taken off her hands. She refused to let him go. She alleges that she was the victim of sexual molestation and unlawful coercion on the morning of August 14th. Why didn’t she then kick him out of her apartment? Why didn’t she then march to the police station on the morning of August 14th to report these crimes? Was it because she felt oppressed, as only a woman can? Was she in a state of shock or post traumatic stress disorder after Julian Assange pinned her arms down and tried to force her legs open? When she refused to have Julian Assange taken off her hands by friends later, was she thinking that she must try to reason with this masculine brute called Julian Assange? Why did she throw a party in Julian Assange’s honour the following evening, the evening of August 14th? Stockholm syndrome?

    Reply
    • Paul, maybe you should just write a blog post on “what is acceptable behaviour for a REAL rape victim”. Just so that everybody out there knows. I’m sure you have plenty of personal experience of how a woman who has really been raped should behave. Being a woman yourself, of course.

      Reply
  27. I agree that it is more complex than that. However, I don’t think there’s anything that complex about having sex with someone without a condom while they were sleeping because they wouldn’t do it while they were awake, or pinning someone’s arms down and trying to force their legs open while they are clearly resisting. If it can be shown that Assange did these things, and that is what the investigation is trying to determine, then I don’t see anything ambiguous about it at all.

    Well, it is a little more complex than that because we know, in relation to SW’s own testimony, she woke up and then consented to the penetration and, in relation to AA’s own testimony, Julian Assange then asked what was the matter, AA told him that she wanted him to wear a condom and he then did what she wanted.

    Michael Moore wrote in his open letter to Sweden that little more 10% of women in Sweden who report rape finally get their day in court. 

    http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/dear-government-of-sweden

    I’m pretty sure most of those other 90% are cases of cut-and-dried rape. But the Swedes are not prosecuting them because that means going after rich men as well as poor men, that means going after business tycoons, politicians, doctors, professionals and other middle class people as well as your average blue collar worker or member of an ethnic minority. Now, they can’t do that, can they. 

    Instead, the Swedish prosecutor is sending a message to the Swedish people first of all that by pursuing Julian Assange for extradition, they are not interested in systemically rooting out the perpetrators of rape and bringing them to justice.

    Reply
  28. Wendy Lyon: I’ve received a email in my inbox from left wing people inviting me to participate in a demonstration of solidarity with Julian Assange. How dare they! I feel oppressed. I must speak out.

    Oh, look! This man says that Julian Assange’s lawyer says that Julian Assange was abusive to two Swedish women. Julian Assange is a violent, misogynist, sexual predator.

    Paul Carr: I think Julian Assange is innocent of these allegations.

    Wendy Lyon: That’s because you’re a man and you don’t understand how a woman feels inside.

    Reply
  29. A slightly longer recap.

    Wendy Lyon: I’ve received a email in my inbox from left wing people inviting me to participate in a demonstration of solidarity with Julian Assange. How dare they! I feel oppressed. I must speak out.

    Oh, look! This man says that Julian Assange’s lawyer says that Julian Assange was abusive to two Swedish women. Julian Assange is a violent, misogynist, sexual predator.

    Swedish Woman in the Know: In fact, Assange’s lawyers were barred from presenting Assange’s version of events during the extradition appeal. Instead they were comparing the testimony of the accusers with what was written on the European Arrest Warrant to check for inconsistencies. 

    Your man source is full of shit.

    Wendy Lyon: Thank you. I’ve scored out a few words here and there but the general tenor of my article remains the same.

    Paul Carr: I think Julian Assange is innocent of these allegations.

    Wendy Lyon: That’s because you’re a man and you don’t understand how a woman feels inside.

    Reply
    • Your man source is full of shit.

      That was only my main source for what Assange’s lawyer said, not my main source for the allegations. The allegations are still outstanding irrespective of whether or not Assange’s lawyer was admitting them or merely restating (without denying) them.

      In any event, your position is that even if he did commit those acts, there wasn’t anything wrong with what he did, so what does it matter to you whether his lawyer admitted to them or not?

      The rest of your post is reductionist garbage not worthy of a reply.

      Reply
  30. According to her allegation, he finally asked only when he had to give up trying to force her legs apart because she was physically strong enough to resist him. Suppose she had not been physically strong enough?

    You’re slightly interpreting AA’s testimony to the police. Maybe, Julian Assange stopped trying to force AA’s legs apart because he saw that she was about to cry. In other words, he was a responsive lover.

    Reply
    • Right, that’s an interpretation, nothing about that was in the testimony.
      The problem here is that feminism in the 70s was about women’s sexual liberation to express lust and enjoy sex the same way as men – and also have the same responsibility. But in the modern feminist movement it’s different: women should be able to do what they want but without the responsibility, the responsibility is completely with the man.

      Reply
  31. I’m citing from the full judgment, not the summary. Paragraph 116. It says that if it were necessary for the court to take the law of England and Wales into account, the allegation would be one that would qualify as rape under the law of England and Wales.

    Short Answer:

    It was an extradition hearing.

    Longer Answer:

    The Assange legal team were challenging the count of rape on the European Arrest Warrant on the grounds that the description of rape on the European Arrest Warrant didn’t match fairly, properly and accurately SW’s testimony to the police.

    Narrowly, the High Court judges decided that her testimony did. More broadly, they were ruling that Julian Assange has a prima facie case of rape to answer for in a Swedish court.

    The High Court judges weren’t saying “If you were on trial in England and Wales, you’d be found guilty of rape”.  To do that, they would have to consider all the evidence, including Julian Assange’s version of events. Julian Assange was barred from giving his version of events during the extradition process. If the High Court judges were really prepared to pass final judgement on Julian Assange, they would have applied to the Swedish authorities to have the SMS messages sent by AA and SW, presently being held by the Swedish authorities, released to them. They were shown by Swedish police to Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, in November last year but he wasn’t permitted to copy them. (*) . The High Court judges made no such application. 

    Addressing some of SW’s revealed text messages, the High Court judges write in Paragraph 115 of the full judgement: “These are matters of evidence which would be highly relevant at trial.  But it is not for this court to assess whether the allegations will fail”.

    (*) I am concerned that the messages that were shown to Bjorn Hurtig and which he wasn’t permitted to copy may be withheld during any possible Assange trial in Sweden. Bjorn Hurtig has stated that these messages exonerate his client. The trial will be in secret insofar as the process of submitting evidence is held in secret. There is nothing to stop the Swedish prosecutor from withholding this evidence. Only Bjorn Hurtig will know that evidence was withheld but he won’t be able to prove it.

    Reply
    • The High Court judges weren’t saying “If you were on trial in England and Wales, you’d be found guilty of rape”.

      Paul. I never said the judges said he would be found guilty of rape. In fact, I’ve already pointed out (November 23 at 9.36) that I wasn’t saying that. The issue we were discussing was whether the act alleged could constitute the offence of rape in England and Wales. In paragraph 116 the judges accepted that it could. This has nothing to do with passing final judgment on Assange himself.

      Reply
  32. Of course it’s an interpretation, but it is an interpretation based on the testimony. And the fact that he had to try to “force” her legs apart at all, and that he only stopped trying to do this “after a while”. If you’re trying to shove your dick into someone and they’re trying to stop you from doing that, it shouldn’t take you “a while” to stop trying.

    in the modern feminist movement it’s different: women should be able to do what they want but without the responsibility, the responsibility is completely with the man.

    I don’t see how either of these cases are an example of the responsiblity being completely with the man.

    Reply
    • Of course it’s an interpretation, but it is an interpretation based on the testimony. And the fact that he had to try to “force” her legs apart at all, and that he only stopped trying to do this “after a while”. If you’re trying to shove your dick into someone and they’re trying to stop you from doing that, it shouldn’t take you “a while” to stop trying.

      “After a while” is also subject to interpretation. That could be 10 seconds. It could be a minute. It could be 5 minutes. It probably isn’t less than 10 seconds though. “Several” is also subject to interpretation. It could be as little as 3.

      It’s worth pointing out that this interview with AA on the morning of August 21st 2010 was conducted over the phone. It was then written up in narrative format by the police officer, presumably by the one who conducted the interview over the phone. I find that truly bizarre because just the previous day an arrest warrant for Julian Assange was issued on foot of suspicion that he had committed double rape, that is rape of both AA and SW. That arrest warrant was still active when AA’s phone interview took place the following morning. Later, the arrest warrant was cancelled on the afternoon of 21st August by the second proseuctor, Eva Finne, and the rape investigations dropped with more minor sexual offenses remaining to be investigated.

      Even the Swedish police accept that in cases as serious as rape, any interviews of the involved should be video recorded, or if that is not possible, at the very least, audio recorded. That wasn’t done here, as far as I can see. SW’s interview on August 20th was not video recorded. A narrative was written up afterwards by the police interviewer, Irmeli Krans. In fact, this narrative wasn’t even approved by SW. Furthermore, 6 days later, Irmeli Krans added some choice edits, again without SW’s approval. We already know from her facebook updates that Irmeli Krans has an anti-Assange bias, perhaps man-hate.

      To the best of my knowledge, neither of the interviews with SW and AA were video or audio-recorded. Truly bizarre, given that we are talking about a very serious potential charge of rape. The police at Klara police station, that SW and AA went to together on the afternoon of August 20th, must have had video recording equipment knocking around their police station. Don’t their police stations have such equipment in 21st century Sweden? SW and AA would have informed the police at Klara police station that there were no other witnesses to any of the alleged crimes perpetrated against them. In other words, it’s the accused’s word against the accuser’s word, for each woman. In those situations, it’s all the more important that there is a video recording of the police interviews. On the back of that, an interview dialogue transcript can be prepared. This was done for Julian Assange in relation to his police interview on August 30th.

      When the interviews are in narrative format as is the case for the first interviews of SW and AA, on August 20th and August 21st, they are more open to subjective interpretation, in my opinion. There is more ambiguity to be found in such narrative formats, in my opinion.

      If interviews are video recorded and subsequently written up in dialogue transcript format, much more information can be extracted from them without a potentially subjective and biased police officer writing up a narrative based on what he/she hears. This, it seems to me, is vital in rape trials and other sexual offenses trials which boil down to his word against hers, as would have been made clear to the police at Klara police station on August 20th when the allegations of SW and AA were first made to them.

      Video recordings allow investigators, and at trial, defendants and prosecutors, to analyse closely the interviews conducted and the statements made. They can take note of the leading questions, the responses to them, the body language of the interviewee, the pauses, the tone of voice and whatever else. It’s not rocket science.

      I also find it bizarre that the first prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Julian Assange on the 20th of August even before the first formal interview of SW took place. I also find it bizarre that the first prosecutor tipped off the Swedish tabloid press that evening, revealing Julian Assange’s identity as the suspect and the crimes he had allegedly committed, namely double rape of both SW and AA. The Expressen newspaper then ran with the double rape by Julian Assange headline.

      Good publicity for Klara police station. Well done! [slow hand clap].

      Reply
      • “After a while” is also subject to interpretation.

        Of course it is, but it does suggest that it didn’t occur as soon as Assange realised that she was resisting, which would mean that there was a period of time in which he was trying to force her. Like all else it is something that the prosecutors and ultimately (if it goes to trial) the judge will have to consider.

        Reply
  33. They had consensual sex, and he is described as “rough and impatient”. That happens with people you don’t know. I’m sorry, what I don’t get in my head is why it is too much to ask from a woman to take responsibility for her own pleasure and make it clear that it won’t work that way when he apparently doesn’t know or care. They could have stopped the whole encounter. To think “I hope it will be over soon” is not a very feminist attitude. I think Assange maybe respectless and a cad, but clueless with no intention and therefore I think this case doesn’t deserve the feminist frenzy it creates.

    Reply
    • “she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom”

      It sounds to me as though she was trying to take responsibility.

      Reply
  34. It’s clear that initial police interviews with SW and AA (on the 20th and the 21st of August 2010 respectvely) were not in accordance with the guidelines of the National Police Board and the Swedish Prosecution Authority. The new prosecutor, after September 1st, Marianne Ny, understandably conducted new interviews with the accusers. 

    Take the first interview with AA. It was conducted over the phone in the late morning of August 21st. At the time. Assange was still being investigated for rape of both AA and SW. It is conceivable that the Swedish police officer was taking written notes of this interview and then after the phone interview ended, she reviewed her notes and wrote up the narrative based on those notes. It is conceivable that the words “after a while” and “several” were never spoken by AA but may have been added later by the police officer in order to fill up gaps in the narrative. 

    Of course, there would be little to no room for me to speculate if the interview was conducted properly in accordance with the National Police Board guidelines and the guidelines of the Swedish Prosecution Service. They mandate that interviews must at the very least be audio recorded and preferably video recorded given that we are talking about the very serious potential charge of rape which also boils down to his word against hers. An arrest warrant for Julian Assange was issued in absentia based on an investigation of rape of both SW and AA.  

    If the interview was conducted properly, it would have been recorded. Based on a recorded interview, a dialogue transcript can be prepared. This was done with Julian Assange’s interview on August 30th. 

    Given that the interviews were shoddily conducted, I have to wonder what the motivations of the police of Klara police station were. Did they really believe that Julian Assange had committed serious sexual offenses after AA and SW initially told their experiences to the police at Klara police station in the early afternoon of August 20th, before any formal interviews had taken place? Or were they more concerned about gaining some cheap publicity for their police station? The on-duty prosecutor that day contacted the tabloid press that evening to inform them that an arrest warrant had been issued for Julian Assange (he was named) and that he was being investigated for rape. I’m pretty sure that is a violation of the police code of conduct. Expressen, one of the Swedish Tabloids, then ran with the “double rape” by Julian Assange headline. Why was an arrest warrant issued in absentia for Julian Assange a matter of one or two hours after the two women first went to the police station? Did the police try to contact Julian Assange on his cellphone first? . SW had his number. Probably AA too. Couldn’t the police have left a message if his cellphone was off for some reason and then wait for him to reply?

    Reply

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