It has come to this: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is complaining that someone leaked a Swedish police report on his alleged sexual offenses.
In an interview with the British newspaper The Times, Mr. Assange complained about reporting in the rival newspaper The Guardian, which is one of several publications that has been helping WikiLeaks edit its trove of secret U.S. diplomatic files in exchange for an early look at them.
The Guardian published details Saturday of the Swedish police report in which two women accuse Mr. Assange of rape, based on what it described as “unauthorized access” to prosecutors' files. Mr. Assange claimed the newspaper was “selectively publishing” parts of it, and questioned the timing of the leak, saying it was given to the paper a day before his bail hearing last week.
“The leak of the police report to The Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application. It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning,” Mr. Assange was quoted as saying in Tuesday's paper. “Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison, and shopped [the report] around to other newspapers as well.”
Mr. Assange, who is contesting a Swedish extradition bid, was freed on bail last week under strict conditions including that he stay at the home of a supporter in southern England, wear an electronic tag, observe a curfew and post a bond of £200,000 ($315,000). He faces his next court hearing Jan. 11.
Swedish officials want to question Mr. Assange about allegations stemming from separate encounters with two women in Sweden over the summer. The women have accused Mr. Assange of sexual crimes including rape, molestation and unlawful coercion. Mr. Assange denies the allegations, which his lawyers say stem from a dispute over “consensual but unprotected sex.” He has not been charged.
The Times quoted Mr. Assange as saying there is “very suggestive evidence” that the two women were motivated by revenge, money and police pressure.
In an editorial, The Guardian defended its coverage, saying it “is unusual for a sex-offence case to be presented outside of the judicial process in such a manner, but then it is unheard of for a defendant, his legal team and supporters to so vehemently and publicly attack women at the heart of a rape case.”
Swedish Director of Prosecution Marianne Ny said she did not know how The Guardian obtained its information.
“We don't know exactly what material the Guardian has received,” Ms. Ny said in a statement.
“The Swedish protection of sources mean we don't have the right to investigate the source, and therefore we don't know how the Guardian got this information.”
In a BBC interview aired Tuesday, Mr. Assange said he believed the women behind the allegations “found out that they were mutual lovers of mine and they had unprotected sex and they got into a tizzy about whether there was a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.”
The women's lawyer, Claes Borgstrom, has said they went through similar experiences with Mr. Assange and decided to go to the police together to seek advice on what to do. A policewoman who heard their accounts decided that Mr. Assange had probably committed a sex crime of some kind and passed the case to a prosecutor.
Mr. Borgstrom has criticized Mr. Assange for suggesting that the allegations are part of a smear campaign against him and WikiLeaks, which has begun to release what it says are more than a quarter-million leaked U.S. embassy cables, infuriating the United States and governments around the world. Mr. Borgstrom says the case has nothing to do with Mr. Assange's website or any wider conspiracy against it.
Asked by the Times whether he is promiscuous, Mr. Assange replied: “I am not promiscuous. I just really like women.”
He said WikiLeaks had received “tremendous” public support, even when he was in jail.
“I was handed a card by one of my black prison guards. It said, ‘I only have two heroes in the world: Dr. [Martin Luther] King, and you,”’ he told the newspaper. “That is representative of 50 per cent of people.”
Mr. Assange didn't immediately return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Julian Assange is delusional. He claims that 50% of people compare him to Dr.
Martin Luther King.
Martin Luther King was not a rapist. He did describe himself as a 87% S.L.U.T. King was most probably not at a high probability of having an STD or HIV.
King did not take the cowards route.
Assange fled Sweden two days before his agreed to interview with the Swedish Police who appear to have more than enough evidence to convict him of rape in any western country, not to mention Sweden.
The world is full of rapists, abusers, who abuse their power. Assange forced unprotected sex upon women while they only consented to protected sex. They did not consent to being terrorized with fear of having contracted HIV or an STD from a self confessed 87% S.L.U.T.
Assange shows his true colours, by his walk outs of interviews where he does not like the question that he can't answer without incriminating himself.
For all those backers of Assange, you should realize that you are backing one of the worst creeps on the planet.
While he has done an incredible amount of good by releasing some information, he has destroyed the lives of many not to mention disclose the names of Iraqi informants for whom such a release is a virtual death sentence. That shows why Assange should be charged with at least a form of criminal negligence.
Let's hope that the British Court put him on the first flight to Sweden just as soon as the passenger backlog is cleared at Heathrow.
Anyone who supports Assange should realize that they have backed the wrong horse.