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Assange lawyers fume over leaked rape case docs

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Lawyers for Julian Assange are "angry" and "concerned" that someone leaked confidential Swedish police files detailing the rape allegations against the WikiLeaks founder, according to a report citing conversations with his legal team, and the team intends to launch a formal complaint with the Swedish authorities.

It's unclear whether they see the irony.

The confidential police files were leaked to The Guardian, which detailed the previously sketchy allegations against Assange in a story that appeared late Friday evening UK time. There's a wonderful symmetry to it all. When WikiLeaks leaked thousands of confidential US military documents detailing the Iraq War and thousands of confidential US State Department cables describing all sorts of global gossip, it leaked them to The Guardian, among other big name news outlets.

According to The Australian, Assange's Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, said he would file a formal complaint with the Swedish authorities over the leaked police files and request an investigation into how the leak happened. "It is with great concern that I hear about this because it puts Julian and his defence in a bad position," Hurtig told a colleague, according to the paper.

"I do not like the idea that Julian may be forced into a trial in the media. And I feel especially concerned that he will be presented with the evidence in his own language for the first time when reading the newspaper. I do not know who has given these documents to the media, but the purpose can only be one thing - trying to make Julian look bad."

Assange is accused of sexually assaulting two women during a trip to Sweden earlier this year. But he has not been formally charged. He was recently arrested in the UK following an extradition request from Sweden, but has been released on bail while the courts consider the request. A hearing is set for January 11. He's now under house arrest in a mansion owned by a UK journalist. ®

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