Assange attorney: Text messages mention 'revenge'

Julian Assange's Swedish attorney said text messages throw doubt on the alleged victims' accusations

Text messages sent by the two women who accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape and assault mention "revenge" and "economic gain," according to testimony during the second day of his extradition hearing.

Defense witness Björn Hurtig said he was allowed under police supervision to examine hundreds of messages, which "suggest things that go against what the claimants have said regarding the rape."

Hurtig, who is Assange's attorney in Sweden, said he saw text messages "speaking of revenge" and taking "economic advantage" of Assange, who is wanted for questioning related to alleged incidents with two women in mid-August 2010.

He faces possible charges of unlawful coercion, sexual molestation and rape, but his legal team presents those accusations as a veiled attack related to WikiLeaks' release of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

During the two days of the hearing, Assange's attorneys have sought to show that Swedish prosecutors conducted an irregular investigation and have improperly asked for his extradition.

On Tuesday, the court heard more expert testimony from former Swedish prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem, who contended that Swedish prosecutors should have questioned him sooner when they decided to re-open the investigation.

Sweden initially dropped the case against Assange shortly after the accusations were made, but prosecutor Marianne Ny reopened the case. Assange volunteered for questioning by prosecutors on Aug. 30. However, he was allowed to leave Sweden in late September after prosecutors allegedly passed on further opportunities to speak with him, Alhem said.

"In my opinion she [Ny] should then have made sure Assange was given the opportunity to give his version of the events in detail," Alhem said.

During his testimony Tuesday afternoon, Hurtig said he went back and forth with Ny trying to arrange a time for Assange to return to Sweden to be questioned to no avail.

Around that time, Assange was receiving "death threats in the media" and there was public talk that "he should be given a death sentence due to WikiLeaks," Hurtig said. Assange went into hiding, intermittently communicating with him, Hurtig said. "As a consequence of this, Julian was worried," he said.

Assange's reputation was damaged when the Swedish prosecutor's office told the tabloid newspaper Expressen that he was under investigation for rape shortly after the accusations were made. The leak violates Swedish law, he said.

The WikiLeaks founder maintains that his relations with the two women were consensual. The offenses with which he could be charged would not be offenses under British law, but he could face a maximum of four years in prison if convicted in Sweden.

Assange's attorney, Geoffrey Robertson, argued on Monday that it was improper for Sweden to issue an extradition request without first charging the suspect. But Clare Montgomery, who is representing the British government, said it is proper as Swedish authorities have "sufficient intention" to prosecute.

Further case material has been posted online by Assange's legal team.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalInternet-based applications and servicesJulian Assangewikileakslegalinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?