Monday, December 20th, 2010 By Steve Tarlow
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be out on bail right now, but that doesn’t mean his legal team is happy. The Australian reports that Julian Assange’s police report has leaked to the British newspaper The Guardian. According to reports, not only was the report intended to be confidential, but the sexually graphic details leaked are allegedly incriminating against Assange.
Turnabout: Julian Assange police report leaked
While Julian Assange’s camp considers releasing thousands of confidential intelligence cables as fair play in the quest for free information and transparency, his legal team does not consider the alleged police report leaked recently to be a case of turnabout.
Bjorn Hurtig, Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer, plans to file a formal complaint over the police report leak.
“It is with great concern that I hear about this because it puts Julian and his defense in a bad position,” Hurtig said.
Trial by media
While Julian Assange is currently released on £275,000 ($432,305) bail by celebrity backers like Jemima Khan, Michael Moore and Bianca Jagger, Assange still faces criminal allegations in Sweden over multiple counts of sexual assault. The Assange police report being leaked has been characterized as a “smear campaign” intended to bring the 39-year-old journalist/provocateur before the judging eye of the media and circumvent due process.
What The Guardian is calling a “brief summary” of the sex allegations against Julian Assange, his legal team calls an unbridled attempt to convict their client in the court of public opinion.
The Swedish/American conspiracy
Julian Assange maintains that since the details surrounding his sexual assault claims came to light, Sweden and the U.S. have been working together in a conspiracy to punish him for the release of various sensitive U.S. intelligence cables. Assange lawyer Mark Stephens is reportedly confident that the legal team can prevent Assange from being extradited and tried under U.S. treason laws. Because Julian Assange is not a U.S. citizen – he’s Australian – such a turn of events would be a stretch. Furthermore, as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently made the pronouncement that Assange had broken no Australian laws, it will be interesting to see how far the U.S. may go to cause an international rift.