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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 31 July 2021

Assange hopes rape charges will be proved ‘empty’

At the end of the first day of his extradition hearing, Julian Assange said that a “black box” had been applied to his life and that “on the outside of that black box has been written the word ‘rape’.”

Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AT THE CONCLUSION of the first day of an extradition hearing in London, Julian Assange  said that a “black box” had been applied to his life over the past number of months and that  ”on the outside of that black box has been written the word ‘rape’.”

Assange said that he was hopeful that over the next day it will be established that the accusations of rape against him are “empty”.

Later today it will be decided by the London court whether he should be extradited to Sweden to face charges of rape and molestation.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor leading the case against Assange has been described as “biased against men” by a former appeal court judge. Brita Sundberg-Weitman told Belmarsh magistrates court that Sweden’s chief prosecutor, Ny, had a “malicious” motivation in attempting to have Assange extradited to Sweden, the Guardian reports.

She said that the attitude towards Assange in Sweden was extremely hostile, and that “most people take it for granted that he’s raped two women”.

However, under cross-examination by Clare Montgomery QC, Sundberg-Weitman admitted that she had no personal experience with Marianne Ny and that she had formed her opinion around what she had been told.

Acting for Assange, Geoffrey Robertson QC argued that both Ny and the lawyer representing the two women,Claes Borgstrom, were politically motivated, the Telegraph reports.

Swedish blogger and campaigner Goran Rudling was also called to testify, and said that tweets which one of the witnesses had made public were later removed because “the story told to police was not consistent with the tweets”.

Robertson also said that the Swedish custom of trying rape cases in secret was a “flagrant denial of justice”, the BBC reports. He said that after three “utterly consensual” sex acts, one of the women had objected to Assange having sex with her again without a condom, but she had “let him continue”.

“It’s not natural to call this rape,” he said.

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