Feeds

Assange assault accusers sought 'revenge,' attorneys say

Financial motive also alleged

High performance access to file storage

Text messages sent by the two women who accuse Julian Assange of sexually assaulting them refer to revenge and financial gain in messages that undercut the veracity of their claims, attorneys for the WikiLeaks founder said on Tuesday.

Testifying in Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in east London, defense witness Björn Hurtig said he was permitted to review hundreds of messages under police supervision, but was not allowed to copy them. Hurtig, Assange's Sweden-based attorney, said he read messages that spoke of "revenge" and taking “economic advantage" of his client, according to IDG News and other outlets.

Dozens of messages sent by one of the alleged victims, identified only as Miss W, go against her claim that Assange raped her while she slept during his 10-day visit to Stockholm in August, and suggest she has a “hidden agenda,” Hurtig said.

Assange has denied any wrongdoing, and said sexual relations with both women were entirely consensual.

Claims about the text messages came to light during the second day of hearings into whether Assange should be extradited to Sweden. Prosecutors there have said they want him available for questioning. They have issued a warrant for Assange's arrest but haven't filed charges in the case. The hearing is scheduled to resume on Friday.

Assange's attorneys also presented testimony from former Swedish prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem, who said prosecutors should have questioned Assange sooner after deciding to reopen their investigation. The case was initially closed shortly after the assault allegations were made. Prosecutor Marianne Ny later reversed that decision.

“In my opinion [Ny] should then have made sure Assange was given the opportunity to give his version of the events in detail,” Alhem said. Defense witness Geoffrey Robertson testified on Monday that it was improper for prosecutors to issue an extradition request without first charging the suspect. Clare Montgomery, representing the British government, countered that authorities in Sweden have “sufficient intention” to prosecute.

Defense attorneys have also argued that if Assange is extradited, he could end up being forcibly transferred to the US, detained at Guantanamo Bay, and eventually executed.

Additional coverage from The Independent and The Telegraph are here and here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.