Sunday, December 12, 2010

No substance to Julian Assange rape allegations: lawyer

Peter Wilson, Europe correspondent
From: The Australian
December 13, 2010 12:00AM

JULIAN Assange's Swedish lawyer has expressed confidence that he can blow away the sexual misconduct allegations against the Australian. Assange's lawyer said he would like to appear at an extradition hearing in London this week to stop the case even reaching Sweden. Bjorn Hurtig, who is representing the WikiLeaks founder in Sweden, says police documents prove that the two women who made the allegations were driven by their own "hidden agendas".

But instead of being part of some sinister international conspiracy to silence Mr Assange, as many of his supporters have claimed, the women were actually motivated by jealousy and disappointment after brief sexual affairs with him, the lawyer said.

"I can prove that at least one of them had very big expectations for something to happen with Julian," he told Britain's Mail on Sunday. Mr Hurtig said he wanted to fly to London for Mr Assange's extradition hearing on Wednesday morning, Australian eastern time. "If I am able to reveal what I know everyone will realise this is all a charade," he said. "If I could tell the British courts I suspect it would make extradition a moot point. "But at the moment I'm bound by the rules of the Swedish legal system, which says the information can only be used as evidence in this country. "For me to do otherwise would lead to me being disbarred."

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