WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Kirsty Wigglesworth

Assange speaks out: 'I want people to know the truth'

JULIAN Assange has publicly declared his innocence under Swedish investigations into a rape case originally dismissed six years ago, via a statement from asylum.

Wednesday, December 7, was Mr Assange's sixth anniversary in detention despite official calls from the United Nations for authorities in the United Kingdom and Sweden to grant him freedom and compensation.

The former Northern Rivers resident has rarely commented publicly since officials at the Ecuardorian Embassy in London granted him aslyum in August 2012.

After six years of unexplained delays, Swedish Chief Prosecutor Swedish Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren visited Mr Assange at the Embassy in mid-November and questioned him via an Ecuadorian lawyer.

In a statement published at justice4assange.com, Mr Assange said he was questioned over two days but his Swedish lawyer was excluded from the interview room.

"I want people to know the truth about how abusive this process has been,” he said.

Mr Assange has stated that neither he nor his Ecuadorian lawyer speak or read Swedish and that his defence team has not been granted access to "exculpatory and other discovery material” allegedly held by Swedish prosecutors, including a swathe of text messages regarding rape accusations.

"The Swedish prosecutor has declined, since 2010, to accept this, my first statement on the allegation against me,” said Mr Assange.

Swedish rape allegations: Assange's version

"I went to Sweden on 11 August 2010. During my stay, I met a woman (hereinafter called ”SW”).

"On the evening of 16 August, 2010 she invited me to her home. During the night and in the morning we had consensual sexual intercourse on several occasions.

"I therefore could not believe my eyes when five days later I saw a headline in a Swedish tabloid that I was suspected of a crime and arrested in my absence.

"I immediately made myself available to the Swedish authorities to clarify any questions that might exist, although I had no obligation to do so.

"That same day (21 August 2010), the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné, dropped the arrest warrant against me and within days would close the preliminary investigation...

"I drew the conclusion that, other than the worldwide damage to my reputation caused by millions of web pages saying that I was 'wanted for rape', my life, in this respect, would return to normal.

"On 23 August 2010, the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné stated she 'made the assessment that the evidence did not disclose any offence of rape'.

"On 25 August, the Chief Prosecutor found that 'The conduct alleged disclosed no crime at all and that file (K246314-10) would be closed'.

"A week later, I learned to my surprise that a different prosecutor by the name of 'Marianne Ny' had reopened the preliminary investigation without any consultation or opportunity for me to be heard - after I had already been cleared and the case had been closed.”

Australian press authorities uninterested

Mr Assange has consistently said that his refusal to leave the Embassy is based on fear of extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for publishing classified material via WikiLeaks.

"The US government has described [its] investigation as a 'whole of government' investigation,” he said.

"In Alexandria, Virginia, a Grand Jury has been meeting behind closed doors for the past six years under case number 10GJ3793 to explore ways to imprison me and seven others who they have identified as 'founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks'.”

The Northern Star sought comment from The Australian Press Council, The Walkley Foundation and The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance on Mr Assange's six-year detention but all representatives declined.

Mr Assange won a 2011 Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since his 2010 arrest in London.



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