Naming Anna Ardin on Newsnight 183


Anna Ardin herself went to the media, under her own name, as long as two years ago to publicise her allegations against Assange. From the New York Times, 25 August 2010:

Anna Ardin, 31, has told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the complaints were “not orchestrated by the Pentagon” but prompted by “a man who has a twisted attitude toward women and a problem taking no for an answer.”

The furore that I “revealed” her name on Newsnight is a pathetic spasm of false indignation by establishment supporters.

A google search on “Anna Ardin” reveals 193,000 articles, virtually all relating to her sexual allegation against Julian Assange. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week broadcast nationwide a documentary investigating Ms Ardin’s allegations and not only naming her repeatedly, but showing several photographs of her and Assange together; it is a documentary everybody interested should watch. Literally thousands of newspapers and magazines all over the world have named her, including the New York Times and the Times of India, aside from those near 200,000 internet entries. The Twittersphere numbers are astronomical.

Gavin Esler, Joan Smith and I all knew her name – what special rights do we three enjoy that entitle us to know that, but would intend to debar the viewers from knowing that? I am willing to bet that virtually all those tweeting and pretending outrage that I named Ms Ardin, already themselves knew her name. They just somehow think nobody else should be allowed to. There is virtually nobody in Sweden – which is after all where she lives – who does not know her name. It is a cause celebre there.

If what I did was illegal, as is being claimed, then somebody had better come and arrest me. As however there are no legal proceedings on this issue in the UK and no prospect of a prosecution here, I know of no lawful reason I should not have named her. I suspect that the number of Newsnight viewers who heard the name for the first time is very small indeed. It might, of course, give some a tool to research further for themselves the facts of the case. That would be very useful indeed.

As for the interview, I was sorry that Aaronovitch was not there (as I had been told he would be) as I might have been more robust – I felt rather constrained arguing with Joan Smith as I generally like and respect her. Strangely enough, as I did the interview I was much less worried about it than I was on subsequently hearing it, because I did not realise the extent my microphone had been turned down compared to Gavin’s and Joan’s when they were speaking across me – which was most of the time I was speaking. It would be interesting if someone with the patience could tot up how many seconds I had speaking with nobody speaking over me, compared to Joan.

To sum up, I was insufficiently assertive and allowed myself to be shouted down, than which I really should know better. But I did succeed in getting over the fact, with examples, that whistleblowers are routinely fitted up with unrelated charges. And all the manufactured fury at my naming Anna Ardin might well lead people to research her claims and behaviour, which would be a good thing. So I am reasonably relaxed.

UPDATE

I have just found the transcript of the Australian Broadcasting Company’s documentary on the Ardin claims against Assange. This is genuine and painstaking investigative journalism from the flagship and long-established “Four corners” programme and shows a glaring contrast between the British and Australian Broadcasting Company approach. The BBC won’t even allow you to mention Ardin’s name, let alone question her story or her motives. The ABC does a full investigation and comes up with some extremely important facts.

It is also interesting that ABC interview Ardin’s own lawyer, as well as Assange’s, and neither shows any concern at the repeated use of Ardin’s name in the interview, of a piece with the fact that it has frequently appeared in the Swedish media.

The documentary is entitled “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange.” This extract starts about twenty minutes in. Click on the title for the full thing. Another interviewee, politician Rick Falkvinge, is obviously extremely conscious of what he may and may not say legally while extradition proceedings are in train, but again appears to have no problem with the interviewer using Anna Ardin’s name.

What is such a big issue for the BBC, and the politically correct media twitterers of London, is apparently not an issue for those in Sweden most closely connected to the case.

ANDREW FOWLER: At the heart of the matter is whether the Swedish judicial authorities will treat him fairly. Certainly, events so far provide a disturbing picture of Swedish justice. Using facts agreed between the defence and prosecution and other verified information, we have pieced together what happened during those crucial three weeks in August.

On August 11th, 2010, Assange arrived in Sweden to attend a conference organised by the Swedish Brotherhood – a branch of the Social Democratic Party. He was offered Anna Ardin’s apartment while she was away, but Ardin returned home a day early on Friday the 13th. She invited Assange to stay the night, and they had sex. She would later tell police Assange had violently pinned her down and ignored her requests to use a condom. Assange denies this.

The following day, Assange addressed the conference with Ardin at his side. Later that afternoon Ardin organised the Swedish equivalent of a top-notch barbeque – a Crayfish Party. She posted a Twitter message. “Julian wants to go to a crayfish party. Anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow?”

The crayfish party was held that night in a court yard off her apartment. It went on until the early hours of the morning. Ardin tweeted at 2am: “Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest, smartest people! It’s amazing!”

A guest at the party would later tell Swedish Police the event was a very hearty evening. When he offered to put Assange up at his apartment, Ardin replied, “He can stay with me.”

In the past 24 hours, Ardin had worked closely with Assange, had sex with him, organised a crayfish party on his behalf – and, according to one witness, turned down alternate accommodation for him. It is during this same period that police will later investigate whether Assange coerced and sexually molested Anna Ardin.

PER E. SAMUELSON: Well, if you send text messages like that, “I’ve just spent some time with the coolest people in the world”, the night after you then say you were raped – I mean you shouldn’t write such text messages if you had been raped by that person the night before.

ANDREW FOWLER: Your client described Julian Assange as a “cool man”. I think, one of the “coolest men in the world” that she’d had in her bed.

CLAES BORGSTROM: I will argue in court. I have of course arguments concerning exactly what you’re talking about now, but I will not tell any media of how I am going to represent the women in in court. I’m sorry.

ANDREW FOWLER: But can you see how that looks as though…

CLAES BORGSTROM: Yes, of course I can.

ANDREW FOWLER: …it’s a fit up. It looks as though they are in fact setting him up.

CLAES BORGSTROM: I’m quite aware of that.

ANDREW FOWLER: Sunday August 15th – the next day. Assange attended a dinner party at Stockholm’s Glenfiddich restaurant, organised by pirate party founder Rick Falkvinge.

RICK FALKVINGE: I think a lot of people at the… at the table had meatballs. I think Julian might have been one of them. Now, Swedish meatballs that, that’s a little bit like mum’s apple pie in Sweden – as in, you can call my wife ugly, you can kick my dog, but the instant you say something bad about my mother’s meatballs I’m going to take it personal.

ANDREW FOWLER: Also at the dinner was Anna Ardin.

(to Rick Falkvinge) So, just to get this straight: Julian Assange arrived with Anna Ardin and he left with Anna Ardin.

RICK FALKVINGE: Yep.

ANDREW FOWLER: What was their behaviour like towards each other?

RICK FALKVINGE: Well, I was discussing mainly with Julian and the… again I can’t go into too much detail here, but it was at least a very professional dinner. There were two high level organisations, both intent on changing the world behaving professionally.

ANDREW FOWLER: The fact that Anna Ardin accompanied Julian Assange through this dinner and left with him – what does that say to you?

RICK FALKVINGE: Well that’s going into speculating on merits of extradition, and I can’t really do that. I think that be… you’re presenting an objective fact, as did I, and if people want to read something into that that’s obviously ripe for doing so, but I can’t spell it out.

ANDREW FOWLER: Four Corners has obtained a photograph, lodged with police investigators, from that evening. Anna Ardin is on the left. Afterwards, Assange would again spend the night at her apartment.

The following day, August the 16th, Assange had sex with Sophia Wilen at her apartment. According to police records, Ardin was aware that he had slept with Sophia. A witness told police he contacted Anna Ardin looking for Assange. She texted back: “He’s not here. He’s planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?” That same day, the witness asked Ardin, “Is it cool he’s living there? Do you want, like, for me to fix something else?” According to the witness she replied: “He doesn’t, like, sleep at nights so that’s a bit difficult. So he has a bit of difficulty taking care of his hygiene. But it’s ok if he lives with me, it’s no problem.”

Three days later on August 20th, Wilen, accompanied by Ardin went to the Klara police station in central Stockholm to seek advice about whether Assange could be forced to take an STD test. Ardin had gone along primarily to support Wilen. Sometime during Wilen’s questioning the police announced to Ardin and Wilen that Assange was to be arrested and questioned about possible rape and molestation. Wilen became so distraught she refused to give any more testimony and refused to sign what had been taken down.

JENNIFER ROBINSON: The circumstances leading up to the issue of the arrest warrant gave cause for grave concern for Julian about the procedures that were adopted in the investigation. We have to remember that when the announcement was put out that he would be subject to a warrant, one of the complainants was upset by that, and later said that she felt railroaded by the police.

KARIN ROSANDER, SWEDISH PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE: Well what happened is what was that the duty prosecutor got a phone call from the police and the duty prosecutor decided that he should be arrested.

ANDREW FOWLER: And what happened?

KARIN ROSANDER: He was arrested in his absence, but he… they never got in… got in contact with him so, but he was arrested in his absence. It’s a technical… technical thing in Sweden, Swedish law, yeah.

ANDREW FOWLER: The Prosecutor’s Office might not have contacted Assange but within hours they let the whole of Sweden know what was going on – leaking to the Expressen Tabloid the statements of Ardin and Wilen. The newspaper front page read: “Assange hunted for rape in Sweden”.

JENNIFER ROBINSON: Julian wakes up the following morning to read the newspapers to hear that he’s wanted for double rape and he’s absolutely shocked.

THOMAS MATTSSON: Two of our reporters had information about Julian Assange, and we also had a confirmation from the prosecutor which confirmed on record that there was a police investigation against Julian Assange.

ANDREW FOWLER: It was now the case took a strange twist. Within 24 hours, a more senior prosecutor dismissed the rape allegations, leaving only the lesser accusation of molestation. Assange willingly went to the police on August 30th and made a statement.

During the interview he expressed his fears that anything he said would end up in the tabloid newspaper Expressen. The interviewing police officer said: “I’m not going to leak anything.” The interview was leaked.

PER E. SAMUELSON: Why did you leak his name to a tabloid paper? How… how can you drop the case and reopen the case and how can you… how can you not say that he waited for five weeks in Sweden voluntarily to participate in the investigation? Why do you have to arrest him? Why do you have to keep him in handcuffs? Why can’t you conduct this in a proper manner? The rest of the world sees it, but Sweden unfortunately doesn’t.

ANDREW FOWLER: It is perhaps understandable that Assange had doubts he would receive fair treatment from the Swedish authorities. On September 15th, the prosecutor told Assange he was permitted to leave Sweden. Assange, back in England, would later offer to return within a month. The Swedish Authorities said too late – a second warrant had already been issued for his arrest.

ANDREW FOWLER: He says that he left the country and then was prepared to come back at any time. Is that your understanding?

CLAES BORGSTROM: I don’t believe that.

ANDREW FOWLER: He says that he was prepared to come back in October but the prosecutor wanted him back earlier.

CLAES BORGSTROM: I don’t know. I don’t believe he wanted to he was he wanted to come freely back to Sweden. I don’t think so.

ANDREW FOWLER: Can you understand that the Australian people may not understand how somebody can be accused in their absence when they haven’t even been interviewed, then have that rape case dropped, the arrest warrant removed and then have it re-instituted, all in the space of a few days?

KARIN ROSANDER: Yeah I can very well understand the confusion and, and, I… that is very difficult to understand, well, exactly how it works.

ANDREW FOWLER: Well you call it confusing, it’s… it may be slightly more than that.

KARIN ROSANDER: Well that’s the way it works here in Sweden so, well… but I can understand the confusion, definitely

.


183 thoughts on “Naming Anna Ardin on Newsnight

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  • Sarah

    ‘The problem is you believe a genuine judicial process is going on, and normal rules should be followed. I believe this is a stitch-up, there is no impartial process and we have to break normal rules to prevent an innocent man being framed.’

    With all due respect I don’t think it’s your place to judge wether or not these women are lying. Every woman who comes forward about a sexual assult deserves to be taken seriously at least until it’s proven otherwise. I do think that society as a whole already has a fairly poor view on womens sexual rights. And you dimissing the ediquette for formal proceedings gives an impression that these rights only exsist for some when you choose to grant them. A very poor show indeed.

  • AKarlin

    Craig,

    I would just like to chime in that you are 100% correct.

    The people who make an issue of this are hypocrites and concern trolls. They cannot win the argument on their own methods so they resort to under the belt tactics.

  • CheebaCow

    Sarah, you speak about ‘dimissing the ediquette for formal proceedings’. There was no etiquette from the beginning.

    When Ardin and Wilen went to the police, on duty was officer Irmeli Krans, a political acquaintance of Ardin’s — a fellow Social Democrat, fellow member of the party’s LGBT network, and fellow candidate in the Stockholm City Council elections. Krans should have excused herself from involvement in the case. Instead she interviewed Wilen. Ardin did not give a full statement that day. However, some brief remarks she made would used to add two accusations of misdemeanour “ofredande” (annoyance) to subsequent accusations. Ardin departed the station.

    Towards the end of her 90-minute interview, after being informed that a r-pe investigation had been opened against Assange, Wilen broke down, claimed (this is recorded in the police report) that she never wanted to report the incident as r-pe but had been “influenced by the police and people around her”, and refused to sign the police report.

    On Saturday afternoon the next day, Ardin was interviewed by police — once again basic protocol was broken, and the interview was conducted by phone, and no transcript recorded. By now, Eva Finne, the Stockholm chief prosecutor had called the case in, after reading the leaked report of it in the right-wing Expressen newspaper.

    The previous night Ardin had given an interview to a media contact at Aftonbladet newspaper — without Wilen.

    In the two weeks following the appeal of the prosecution, Ardin removes two tweets from her twitter feed, which demonstrate an ongoing relationship with Assange in the days following the August 13 s-xual encounter which forms the basis of her complaint . Later, Ardin deletes a post from her blog, a nine-step guide to revenge on cheating ex-lovers adapted from a popular US blog meme.

    More than a week after the allegedly coercive s-xual encounter, Ardin supplies a condom to the police, with a cut/tear at the tip, claiming it is one that Assange tore off during their s-xual encounter. Forensic examination contained in the police report cannot conclusively determine the nature of the cut/tear. No DNA is found on the condom.

    From: crikey.com.au/2012/04/20/rundle-pursuit-of-assange-a-product-of-fraught-swedish-s-x-crime-politics/

  • Mary

    Have nothing more to do with the bastards at the BBC. It was almost a set up. You were p;aced on the outside and then the sound quality difference. I thought she was extremely cocksure and was allowed to hold forth and thus dominate. Esler’s face was a picture when he seized on the Ardin name with Smith. Pure aggression and vitriol.

    Smith has poor taste in men – Francis Wheen and then Denis McShane aka Denis Matyjaszek, who is ‘a policy member for Labour Friends of Israel’. Does Smith herself have some leanings in that direction too?

    Why did Aaronovitch slide out and when were you told he wasn’t appearing and why?

    Radio 4 Today just now headed with an item that Lansley is allowing NHS Trusts to introduce overseas operations but only using funds from their private work in this country to set them up. Any profits back to the NHS. A very subtle litte trick to enlarge the private sector within the NHS. It will set the signal to green.

    This was followed by Obama saying that he will not intervene in Syria (although he has already done so covertly) unless he finds that chemical weapons are in use. Bush/Iraq Mk II. Wait for a suitable event. They take us for idiots and laugh in our faces.

    Nil desperandum Craig and DLTBGYD.

  • CheebaCow

    So Ardin falsifies evidence, tries to destroy evidence and reveals her own identity to the media. Why should Craig be keeping her name a secret?

  • Jonangus Mackay

    Quasi-forensic analysis of how besieged Assange carefully teetered on national boundaries: http://bit.ly/Nb4Uau (Link immediately above first pic also worth a click—informative HD take on this top gun farce not readily available elsewhere.)

  • craig Post author

    Mary,

    To be fair, I don’t know that Aaronovitch ever confirmed. Simply the BBC told me he would be there – live lineup changes happen for all kinds of reasons. Joan Smith is generally a decent person. I think her concern for rape as an issue and for genuine rape victims is quite real and commendable. I just think it clouds her perception of what really is happening in this case. I think a great many feminists have the same difficulty.

  • Vronsky

    Looked like an ambush, Craig. It took them less than two minutes to label you a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – always a sure sign that you’re on the right track and they don’t like it. The interview was contextualised by female vox pops worrying about sexual offences, some kid from Index on Censorship (won’t trust them again) saying he didn’t like Assange and a demonic-looking George Galloway being rather unhelpful.

    And you’re right about the sound balance. A recent radio debate between Simon Raeburn of the law journal The Firm and Magnus Linklater (another media asset) had Linklater on full volume on the guilt of Al Megrahi, Raeburn on the probable miscarriage of justice barely audible, apparently somewhere outside the building.

    Yes, Esler was awful, but that’s not new.

    There’s something in the optimistic view that you were on a major TV channel and caused a sensation. It might not have been quite what you wanted, but the attempts to shut you up may activate something like the Streisand Effect. Keep plugging away anyway, and well done.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

  • Jay

    craig its very well a cause for concern bwtf.

    Go and catch the peodifiles.

    All this effort.

    They waste trillions on bombs and kids are starving.

    they are all leaning the same way.

    Greed and materialism.

    Turn your cheek.

  • Keith Crosby

    “Like and respect Joan Smith”? Do you still think she isn’t a shit? Could it be that your gentlemanly demeanour is the reason they could mug you? Perhaps you could practice a few well-rehearsed spontaneous comments, in case there’s a next time. I’m rather fond of “Fuck off yer red-nosed twat!”, I got it off Plato. ;O)

  • craig Post author

    Keith,

    I tend to like people, and in general try to think the best of them. Foolish often, but it is part of my homespun philosophy of getting through the day.

  • Mary

    Thanks for replying Craig. You said it better than me Vronsky and yes Craig is too gentlemanly for his own good Keith Crosby. That is why they substituted Aa for the harpie Smith. I have not forgotten that expression on Esler’s face when he knew that a goal was being scored and he joined in.

    A midnight chat on Medialens with ‘Rippon’ angry and hot under the collar. I suppose Craig is used to the slings and arrows by now although they must still wound.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/thread/1345501230.html

  • Liz Morgan

    > I am willing to bet that virtually all those tweeting and pretending outrage that I
    > named Ms Ardin, already themselves knew her name.
    Well, I didn’t. So you’re wrong on at least one count !

    > And all the manufactured fury at my naming Anna Ardin might well lead people to
    > research her claims and behaviour, which would be a good thing.
    Meaning ? It seemed from the interview that you were trying to discredit her claims by attacking *her* personally, although the interview never quite got that far. If you really are married to a survivor of rape, then I’m sure you’ll know quite how damaging the ‘victim blaming’ game is, yet you seem happy to perpetuate it.

  • Andy

    Only caught the end of the NewsNight piece on Assange. Well done for naming Ardin and exposing how completely fake the concern for the alleged victims are.
    .
    If Joan Smith and others had any worries before about the women being named I am not aware of it. Where are their opinion pieces on the Swedish media and their naming of the women? And as far as I am aware they have never concerned themselves with Miss A and Miss W’s or Assange’s statements to police being leaked to the press. Obvoiulsy leaked BY the police OR the prosecutor. Or have they asked why the Swedish investigation has been conducted in such an amateurish way, for example, the two women were interviewed informally and together on their initial visit to the police station.
    .
    Any examination of how the investigation has been conducted is completely off limits as if simply asking some basic questions on the behavior of the police and prosecutor you are accusing the women of not telling the truth.

  • David Sketchley

    Craig,

    What’s all this with the word ‘charges’? Esler used the word and you didn’t stop him in his tracks. You use it again in the article above. Craig, there ARE NO charges. You failed to point out that Assange had already offered himself for questioning in Sweden. You also failed to point out that Assange can be interviewed by Sweden, there’s no legal reason they can’t question him in Britain, they have happily gone abroad to question a murder suspect.You should have expected dirry tricks from Newsnight, they’re famous fr setting people up, rather, you were like a vestal vrgin walking into a rapists convention, or was it the BBC ‘hospitality’ that did you?

  • Antony

    If I called Obama a racial slur, and defended it by saying such comments can be found all over Google, this would make it ok then?
    Regardless of the actions of others, we should be judged by our own actions and moral choices.
    I’ve always supported wikileaks and free speech, I will never support those who dodge fair legal process for sex crimes and those who defend them.
    I doubt any objective, unbiased observer would doubt that Assange’s dodging of the blatantly fair (and not US-loving) Swedish authorities in favour of the decidedly US-loving UK shows he is more afraid of the sexual assault accusations than the US threat. Not hard to then wonder why.
    Can you all not see that defending him on this only harms the rest of the free speech cause?

  • Antony

    Oh and David, Assange has repeatedly refused to be questioned in the embassy, all this apologizing and defending him tars the rest of us with the accusation of being rape-apologists.

  • craig Post author

    David,

    Actually I don’t view it as an important point. I respect your right to do so. Swedish criminal procedure is different to ours and I actually don’t think it is helpful to get bogged down in semantic discussions rooted in that fact. It is indisputable that Swedish authorities want to extradite him to face allegations. The motivation and origin of those allegations and above all the fact that they are part of a strong recent pattern of fitting up those connected to whistleblowing, is for me much more important. People always have different views of what are the killer arguments for a case.

  • craig Post author

    John Goss,

    Actually I feel sorry for Sofia Wilen. You must remember she was worried she may have an STD and was persuaded to go to the police station on the pretext it could result in Julian being tested. She then rather bravely refused to sign the police statement alleging a sex crime had been committed against her. It was not an accident I did not mention her – I fear this may all be very hard for her indeed. I hope she has good friends and family around.

  • Komodo

    Good for you, Craig. The current establishment position is that Ardin and Wilen (both names now freely available on the internet) are poor little innocents brutally assaulted by the evil Assange.
    As I think I commented before, the idea that Ardin (name in public domain)slept with Assange and was so troubled by the “rape” that she organised a party for Assange to attend the next day, and to which her friend Wilen (name in public domain) was also invited (but not warned of Assange’s alleged behaviour), is manifestly absurd.

    And then I found this old report about Ardin (name in public domain since 2010) –
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/anna-ardin-julian-assange_n_794285.html

    Things that make you go hmmm, eh?

  • Arnold Bocklin

    The thing is, Craig, that these are unlikely to be the only women that Assange has assaulted. If you were one of his other victims, would you come forward now, having seen the sort of public humiliation you’ll be exposed to?

  • gremlins3

    Perhaps those so zealously concerned over the rights of Anna Ardin and the minutiae of her allegations might like to comment on the rights of those victims of the “Collateral Murder” incident (and their families) as exposed by Wikileaks. There was I recall a young girl who was a victim and the pilots simply laughed about it.

    Why no baying mob calling for justice to be done and howling for the perpetrators to “man up” and face trial in Iraq?

    http://www.bradleymanning.org/learn-more/collateral-murder-video

  • Komodo

    Ardin seems to be something of a dab hand at working the media….

    “Anna worked with various issues and different sections of the embassy. In the political and economic section she (…) helped writing the final reports on the respect for Human Rights in Uruguay and Paraguay. To accomplish this Anna independently carried out a fact finding mission to Uruguay (…) Last but not least Anna was a great asset to the press and information section of the Embassy, where she worked with press information, promoted tourism to Sweden and administrated the website of the Embassy in an excellent way. Anna quickly became an appreciated member of the Embassy staff. Her positive attitude and good language skills makes her very easy to work with. I can warmly recommend Anna and I wish her all the best in the future.”
    September 1, 2005
    Fredrik Folkunger, chargé d’affaires a.i., Embassy of Sweden, Buenos Aires

    “Anna took on the job as Press and PR manager with great energy and managed to communicate ZERI Foundation’s message in a way that created very good publicity. Particularly her energy and focus is something that would make her a fantastic contribution to any team or situation.”
    July 22, 2002
    Anders Landberg, Pavilion Director, ZERI Pavilion at the World EXPO2000
    .
    http://annaardin.wordpress.com/quotes/

  • Alaric

    It must be the heat getting to me but I can’t stop thinking the earlier ‘life of brian’ comment was quite pertinent and a light hearted break from all of this misdirected energy:

    Murray: Look, I don’t think it should be a sin, just for saying “Ardin”.
    [Everyone on Newsnight and twitter gasps]
    Esler: You’re only making it worse for yourself!
    Murray: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Ardin! Ardin! Ardin!
    Esler: I’m warning you! If you say “Ardin” one more time (gets hit with rock) RIGHT! Who did that? Come on, who did it?
    Studio audience: She did! She did! (suddenly speaking as men) He! He did! He!
    Esler: Was it you?
    Smith: Yes.
    Esler: Right…
    Smith: Well you did say “Ardin. ”
    [Virtual twitter crowd throws rocks at Smith]
    Esler: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone _anyone_ until I blow this whistle. Even… and I want to make this absolutely clear… even if they do say, “Ardin. ”
    [Virtual twitter crowd stones Gavin Esler to death]

  • John Goss

    I only know what I’ve read and seen on documentaries about Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin. Julian Assange had been warned of a possible ‘honey trap’. Anna and Sofia are friends. They spoke to one another before going to the police station. They went to the police station together. Sofia may have been coerced. I don’t know. The reason both names should be in the public domain, and they are, is because, unless Assange was guilty or rape, which I don’t believe he was, they are the two people causing him all the problems. It is as well Sofia Wilen never signed the police statement because if she had Julian Assange would now be in a US prison. Ardin had connections with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in the US.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/kirkmurphy/2010/12/04/assanges-chief-accuser-has-her-own-history-with-us-funded-anti-castro-groups-one-of-which-has-cia-ties/

    My guess is that when the US learned Sweden had allowed Assange to leave the country they got directly in contact with the powers that be to find out why and to instruct them to issue a warrant for questioning. This was complied with immediately.

  • Komodo

    The Guardian’s heavily weighted coverage of Assange is of course coming from a feminist p.o.v. Rusbridger has adopted the print persona of Germaine Greer, but hasn’t quite got the balls to, er, pull it off. Here’s a plea from another feminist:

    Dear Interpol:

    As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

    I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims’ complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women’s apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, ‘reading stories about himself online’ in the cab.

    Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first. (Of course, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That’s what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!).

    Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritize the global manhunt for 1.3 million guys I have heard similar complaints about personally in the US alone — there is an entire fraternity at the University of Texas you need to arrest immediately. I also have firsthand information that John Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, went to a stag party — with strippers! — that his girlfriend wanted him to skip, and that Mark Levinson in Corvallis, Oregon, did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut — even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER.

    Terrorists. Go get ’em, Interpol!

    Yours gratefully,

    Naomi Wolf

    https://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/12/08-4

  • astro

    It’s all a matter of perspective. Leave out the names but keep the star status & girl number 2 looks even more a a stalker than ‘back home early’ girl number 1. Wink wink.

  • Jon

    @Sarah – I agree with you about taking rape claims seriously. Despite Craig’s saying above that the ‘killer argument’ should not be about the minutiae of Swedish law, I still think that pointing out that Assange would be happy to be interviewed in London by Swedish prosecutors is relevant. It shows that he is not “evading justice”, and illustrates that there is an ulterior motive for extraditing him to Sweden. The Swedish police have consistently failed to explain why they won’t come to London, and the lawyer for the two women is being hugely secretive too.

    Out of interest, are you otherwise a supporter of Wikileaks?

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