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Sweden Defends Wiki Sex Case About-Face 454

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "Mistake? We didn't make a mistake. That's what Swedish prosecutors said Sunday as they defended their handling of a rape allegation against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The Swedish Prosecution Authority said the prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant Friday did not make a mistake, even though a higher-ranked prosecutor withdrew the warrant the next day. A spokesperson for the Authority said: 'The prosecutor who took over the case yesterday had more information, and that is why she made a different assessment than the on-call prosecutor.' Assange, who was in Sweden seeking legal protection for the site as it prepares to leak more Afghan war documents, told a Swedish tabloid newspaper, 'I don't know who's behind this but we have been warned that for example the Pentagon plans to use dirty tricks to spoil things for us.'" We covered the warrant being issued and withdrawn yesterday.
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Sweden Defends Wiki Sex Case About-Face

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  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Suki I (1546431) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:37PM (#33332828) Homepage Journal
    I am not jumping on the exotic CIA plot against him bandwagon yet. At least not for this incident. Are his accusers keeping quiet, like they should if this is a for real investigation/accusation? Guess they would do that too if it was a setup. If they are just making it up to get famous, look for the media blitz.
  • On-Call Prosecutor?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:40PM (#33332844) Journal

    I'm not sure I'd want to stake my future on a country where justice is so swift they have to maintain 24 hour prosecutorial coverage...

  • by elucido (870205) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:50PM (#33332924)

    Very similar to this http://www.stopthechamber.com/ [stopthechamber.com] where the amount of money in rewards which lead to the arrest and conviction of Julian Assange will reach into the millions, or tens of millions, and once that happens it's only a matter of time before somebody accuses him of something. Or maybe they don't have to accuse him of anything, there are enough laws and enough ways to entrap people that anybody can be taken out if enough informants agree to take them out.

    Confidential informants working in teams can entrap or find evidence on anybody. If the money is big enough and the government agrees to look the other way on the quality of the information, they could get him for some esoteric unknown law that he probably doesnt even know hes breaking and never heard of. And once hes arrested it's all over.

  • Re:Not a mistake? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:50PM (#33332926)

    You might want to read up on the pirate bay trial, if you really want an insight in how well the system here works. There have been plenty of fucked up cases before that, but it's unusually well covered in English. It's pretty much par of the course though when things get political or when prestige gets involved.

    TL;DR: You have no idea how fucked up the system really is, and you don't want to know, just remember the next time you hear about how fantastic we are that we're really a banana monarchy under cover, without bananas.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:55PM (#33332970)

    At the end of the day, I'm driving home and hear on the radio that Assange is no longer a suspect and that the case has been dropped. I find this even more incredible than the initial news. To be exhonerated in less than 24 hours is incredibly dramatic. I couldn't believe what I was hearing once again.

    There's pretty much only one way to read into these events. There must have been a conspiracy to destroy Wikileaks through the character assassination of Assange. There can be only one suspect for who was behind it: the U.S. government.

    If there were anyone left in the world who could reasonably doubt that the U.S. government wasn't corrupt, didn't play dirty, didn't abuse its power, didn't lie as it suited them, and wasn't what Orwell warned us about in 1984 and Animal Farm, if they were within the reach of the mainstream media yesterday, that should have been their wake-up call.

    Amazingly, they fucked up so badly that they couldn't get things to stick for even a day. How did that happen?

    The US government need not even be behind it. They just have to offer the rewards to the vigilante squads around the world. All the informants in the world could be rewarded for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of Julian Assange. On top of that you have all the mafias, gangs, drug kingpins of the world who would want the reward.

    http://www.stopthechamber.com/ [stopthechamber.com] --- if these people can organize something like this, the government could probably do much much better considering they'd have millions of dollars to offer to anybody who stops Julian Assange from releasing the classified documents. In fact if we were to have a Slashdot survey on this site and the question was "would you turn in Julian Assange for $5 million dollars in cash" I'd bet that 25% of Slashdot would be willing.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:03PM (#33333042)

    It doesn't apply to Obama. The leader is ultimately responsible for the work done in their name. If Obama gave the CIA carte blanche to take care of the situation, then he is the one ultimately responsible.

    Note: I voted for Obama, and I think he gets blamed for a lot of things that are outside of his, or anyones for that matter, control. If this is a CIA operation he IS responsible.

    It's the CIA's mission to stop individuals like Julian Assange. The CIA is supposed to be focused on foreign nationals and foreign spies. Julian Assanges organization "Wikileaks" has committed the initial crime which triggered the CIA/NSA/FBI response. It's a bit late now to blame Obama as if Obama could have stopped whatever the response is. If it's true that Assange's documents influence or reveal CIA sources this would equate to Assange attacking the CIA itself because if the sources get killed it hurts the mission and the effort.

    This is not good for Julian Assange. What do you expect Obama to do? Tell the CIA to leave Julian Assange alone? On what basis? Julian Assange isn't an American citizen.

  • Not exonerated (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Henriok (6762) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:06PM (#33333076)
    He was not exhonerated, the prosecutor deemed the ititial warrant baseless, and revoked it. It says nothing about Assange guilt or not, but about the base as to prosecute him.
  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by omidaladini (940882) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:19PM (#33333182)
    We need two Jullian Assanges; We need many!
  • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@NOsPam.gmail.com> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:20PM (#33333200) Homepage

    Modded insightful?

    I'm guessing you don't work in anything relating to policing, law, or the court system. It's pretty fucked up right now. For lack of a better statement. There is no balance to it, rather male = insta-guilt. And that hint of any form of accusation will stay with you forever, because of various things. Hyper-feminists for one, media for a second. Idiots for a 3rd(lol ur guilty).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:26PM (#33333244)

    They were 100% sure they wanted to question him, he has no official address and a warrant was thus issued. Then later, when more information was available, they decided this was no longer needed.

    The rape charges have been dropped, but not the lesser charges.

    The Swedish system of justice is far superior to any other system in the world, the US system is laughable and pathetic by comparison.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:28PM (#33333266)

    You're only wearing one tinfoil hat.

    I'm wearing two!!

    Here is my theory..

    Julian Assange hears that the CIA is about to sling some serious mud or take him out.
    To protect himself he 'arranges' for charges against him.
    There is no truth to them so the extra publicity is good.
    It will also make it harder for any future mud-slinging/action to work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:41PM (#33333350)

    They don't need to arrest him to bring him down, or anything so dramatic, all they have to do is destroy his credibility. That's why they used rape charges, nothing solid, very hard to prove by either side. There are also other crimes that have the same aspect, a lot of public damage, but without real consequence. The US government already has a strategy in place just for this kind of thing, they simply divert the viewers attention to something else, look at slashdot now, everyone talks about the guy and rape charges, not the secret documents, the next step will take this further, until only a minority will remember how everything started, after that, they'll drop it all.

  • It is so painful... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dolphinzilla (199489) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:51PM (#33333404) Journal

    when the conspiracy theorists come out - folks this has nothing to do with the US conspiring to take down this jerk - its just another famous asshole getting targeted because he is famous (or infamous) I'd chalk it up to another Tiger Woods getting busted for cheating, Bill Clinton getting a blow job in the oval office from an intern, John Edwards banging his photographer, etc... The guy probably did do something wrong but the Swiss authorities could never get a case through now anyway because everyone is going to claim conspiracy. Someday in the future if he is a rapist he'll attempt it again, especially after getting away with it - you guy's can come back here then and read all the silly comments about conspiracy and wonder how the government could have let this happen to some poor innocent woman

  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @02:58PM (#33333458)

    unfortunately, like you, the rest of the world is also ignorant of basic reasoning. ad hominem and ad populum aren't very good ways to make your point. the irony is that the US government doesn't get this either...for the same reason.

  • Great cover, though. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 6Yankee (597075) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:02PM (#33333488)

    All it's going to take is a "raid" on his home where they find child pornography on one of his computers. He will go to jail for the rest of his life and, from that point forward, everything that comes from wikileaks will be something that came from "that organization that distributes kiddie porn".

    On the other hand, if you were going to distribute CP in a big way, what better cover for all that infrastructure than a white-knight expose-the-evil site? They come after you for the CP, and conspiracy theorists the world over kick up a stink about cover-ups. Who's to say this "Insurance" file isn't actually a huge stack of CP that's being decrypted by paedophiles the world over as we speak?

    Personally, I think that's all a bit tinfoil-hat, but it's always possible.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:07PM (#33333514) Journal

    >>>yes it is womens groups who are at fault for this

    I know a woman who has changed her mind on child-related crimes. Her husband was "hit on" by a high schooler who later pressed charges, and now the guy is on a sex offender list for the rest of his life even though, legally, he did nothing wrong. Now she's saying the sex list should only be for violent offenders, where she used to demand "everyone" who touched a minor should be on the list.

    It's funny how people change their tune when they become the victims of their previous paranoia.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:09PM (#33333534) Journal
    Essentially it is a protectorate. We don't use that term because it is derogatory, but it is the situation.

    Europe can get the US out of their lands if they have the will to do so. And honestly, it's good that it's a little uncomfortable for Europe so they don't get too used to it. The sooner they kick the US out and start taking care of their own defense, the better. Maybe next time genocide happens in their own backyard (Kosovo) they can take care of the problem themselves.
  • by Krahar (1655029) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:21PM (#33333636)
    It's now absolutely clear that no rape occurred here, but imagine a real rape case. If two women credibly claim to have been raped in the span of last week by the same named person, then most definitely the suspect must be apprehended immediately in the event that those two rapes really did occur, that the suspect is the guilty party, and that he is going to do it again. That cannot be postponed pending further investigation since there is clearly a risk that another rape is imminent. If then a few hours later it turns out for some reason that clearly the suspect could not have been doing what the women claim, then the arrest order can be canceled. None of this is then a mistake by the police or the prosecutor.

    Of course with just an accusation to go on, the name of the suspect should not be circulating in the press with an accusation of rape, at the very most it should be known that the police want to talk to him immediately for some unspecified-but-serious reason. In this case the police claim that the press found out about the arrest order on their own somehow, but that the police confirmed the information when asked. It was a mistake to confirm the information, and if the press somehow found out about it from the police, that was a mistake as well. Both are serious mistakes.

    We do not have the information to know whether or not the arrest order was a mistake. We do have the information to say that the Swedish state fucked up royally by confirming the arrest order to the press. It is unknown to me if the fuck-up is due to people in the police not knowing how to say "no comment", or if it is due to Swedish laws. Lots of countries' laws do not protect the identity of people who have done nothing but been accused.
  • OTOH (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:32PM (#33333736)
    This could easily go the other way. What if the accuser was a plant for Wikileaks. Everyone sympathizes with Assuage, conspiracy theories run a muck and suddenly leaking classified material is heralded by more of the mainstream. You know, as opposed to the usual crowd.
  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @03:54PM (#33333938)

    You don't need public opinion to put a bullet behind his ear, leave him in a dark alley and way away. If they want him quiet, they'll get what they want.

    Unfortunately for them, killing Assange wouldn't solve anything. Idealists aren't discouraged by assassinations, and it would really put conspiracy theorists into overdrive, it wouldn't be such a huge leap to take a guess to who would want the head spokesman for Wikileaks dead.

    Infact even if Assanage got killed by a random shooter (Stockholm is full of random shootings... clearly), the US Government intelligence services and army would get into a lot of diplomatic trouble. Infact I should say it's in their interest to keep him alive.

  • Riddle me this (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davmoo (63521) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:13PM (#33334116)

    I keep hearing people questioning the credibility of his accusers, the FBI, the CIA, etc and so on. But how does Assuage have any credibility either way? How do we know that everything he posts on Wikileaks is legit and he didn't make the shit up? And contrary to what someone is probably going to mark me with moderation, I'm not trying to be a troll here, I'm totally serious. How do we know this guy isn't fabricating any of this just so he can try to be a fame magnet?

  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rawler (1005089) <ulrik.mikaelsson ... il.com minus bsd> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:14PM (#33334124)

    Last I heard, he is still prosecuted for sexual harassment.

    Personally, I think it's a disgrace that newspapers publish names in a case like this. Swedish press tradition around legal cases is innocent until proven guilty, meaning that only after being convicted are people named in press. In this case, however, I guess the promise of selling more papers was irresistable

    Or maybe they just think it's what WikiLeaks would have done.

  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @04:23PM (#33334224)

    I understand the whole "be brave, show your face in public" thing, but pretty much everyone who has done that has been shot at (and killed many times).

    Surely a man with Assange's assets and techincal prowess can telecommute from somewhere safe. The same technology that protects Wikileaks (tor, VPNs, crypto, etc.) means he can stay holed up in a cheateau somewhere unbeknownst to all but a handful of people and continue to get the message out.

    I guess he finds it more important to show his face in public (and risk death) than play it safe and keep the mission going. I do hope that he has several good replacements who are in the know about the day-to-day and as charming with the populace as he is.

  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @05:36PM (#33334748) Homepage Journal

    Going OT here. This came up on BB [boingboing.net] last night with english translations of swedish news reports. This was a quote from one of the women who went to the police:

    Anklagelserna mot Assange är förstås inte iscensatta av varken Pentagon eller någon annan. Ansvaret för det som hänt mig och den andra tjejen ligger hos en man med skev kvinnosyn och problem att ta ett nej.

    Which means:

    The accusations against Assange are not staged by either the Pentagon or anybody else. The responsibility for what has happened to me and the other woman lies with a man with a distorted view of women and a problem with the word "no".

    I am leaning towards the view that Assange needs to learn that he is not James Bond, and he doesn't have a license to do what ever he wants.

  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:49PM (#33335676) Journal

    So, which results of Assange's "data thieving" (those bits belong to me! stop putting them in the same order!) are most offensive? Does it concern you most that he might help stop Americans being sent to kill and to die unnecessarily, or simply that he uncovers incompetence and corruption?

    releases it without any effort put into finding out if theres anything of value

    You clearly haven't read them.

    or wrong actually IN it.

    Even if you don't believe that he asked for help redacting data, and even if you don't believe that the delays in release are to check for problems with content, you're forgetting:

    1. It doesn't matter. He's publishing credible leaked source material, not vouching for its 100% accuracy. Funnily enough, no publisher of compendia of source material has vouched for the 100% accuracy of that material. This is fortunate, because otherwise we'd have no information on anything published ever. He reports, you decide.
    2. It's already leaked. Once he has it ("he" being the community of Wikileaks workers), you can assume that everyone who can do anything useful with the information has it. There are no operational disadvantages whatever to his publishing it, except perhaps that you might reduce the morale of a few military grunts who disobey orders omg and download it on their home computers. Well, good news for you, the US military is fighting for the freedom (among other things) to criticise, lampoon and otherwise laugh at the US military. When that dirty hippy is putting a flower in your rifle, you can be smug that - at least in theory - it's thanks to you that he gets to do that without someone like you blowing his brains out.
  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xaxa (988988) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @07:52PM (#33335702)

    You give the public way, way, way too much credibility. I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now surrounded by about 20 people, if you had to guess, how many of them do you think know who Julian Assange is? Know what wikileaks is even?

    It's been front page news in the UK in the last few days (there's a picture [foxnews.com] of the Guardian's front page in the Fox News article).

    It's currently on the front page of the websites of the Guardian, Independent, BBC, Times, Daily Mail and Telegraph -- that's all the major UK news papers except the Sun, which won't report on Assange until he's sleeping with Victoria Beckham.

    The American news sites I checked have quite different stories and headlines. Is the US government behind all the anti-Wikileaks headlines I see?

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:16PM (#33335876)

    You can't actually commit a crime, as defined by the US laws if you're not an american citizen and you never set foot in the US or directly accessed resources over there in a criminal way. As far as I know, the CIA isn't supposed to be the KGB, since in a democracy something that embarrasses the government is not in itself a reason for intelligence agencies to be involved.

    Your knowledge is FALSE. CIA is the exact mirror organisation of KGB's foreign intelligence arm (First Chief Directorate of KGB). It's NOT a law enforcement agency, it's an INTELLIGENCE agency that operates ABOVE the law by intent.

    In this case, we see it work exactly as intended - protecting interests of US military on foreign soil, through any means necessary, legal or illegal, ethical or unethical. It's not pretty, you may agree or disagree with both reasons for the actions as well as actions themselves, but they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.

  • Re:Foreshadowing. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:20PM (#33336544)
    Yeah, I think Pvt Manning was moved recently. This is not to say that your main point isn't valid. It was certainly peculiar that an American soldier and an American citizen was held in Kuwait for so long. He was most likely tortured for a very long time over there.
  • Re:Intresting facts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZigiSamblak (745960) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:53PM (#33337034)
    I have a hunch the other woman involved may be http://twitter.com/kristenvanster [twitter.com], they were both tweeting about inviting him to Sweden a week ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 23, 2010 @02:05AM (#33337660)

    One of the women that reporter J.A. is a press secretary of the Christian Socialdemocrats, she's also an radical feminist and has made blog posts about "how to get back at men". She has also been seen on party pictures together with reporters from the newspaper (called tabloid, but not really the same as a US tabloid) Expressen (which happened to be the paper that got wind of this).

    This is probably what happened:

    1) J.A got involved with the women
    2) He did *something* to upset them, this may be a crime or something else entirely
    3) The media trained press secretary (who also works with women's abuse cases at a university) went to the police and reported what she belived to be a crime
    4) She then called her friends at Expressen and gave them the scoop, they called the prosecutor to confirm
    5) The prosecutor folded under media pressure and confirmed the accusations (this is the real mistake)
     

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