Witness Says Julian Assange is Being Framed

Wikileaks Julian Assange is fighting his extradition to Sweden. Today, a witness who doesn't like him released a statement saying Assange is being framed.

Here is Gordon Rudlin's statement.

His lawyers released this statement.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

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    One of my fave songs: (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    -- Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller

    I was walkin' down the street
    Mindin' my own affair
    When two policemen grabbed me, unaware
    They said "Your name Herbie?" I said "Why sure"
    "You're just the boy we've been lookin´ for"

    Framed, I was framed
    I never do nothin' wrong
    But I always get framed

    They put me in a line up and let them bright lights shine
    There were ten poor souls like me standin' in that line
    I knew I was the victim of some evil plan
    When a stool pidgeon walked in and says "That´s the man"

    Framed, I was framed
    I never do nothin' wrong
    But I always get framed

    The prosecutor turned and started prosecutin´ me
    Man, that cat gave me the third degree
    He says "Where were you on the night of June 29?"
    I said "I was home in bed" and he said "Judge this man is lyin' "

    Framed, I was framed
    I never do nothin' wrong
    But I always get framed

    I deny the charges of robbin' a liquor store
    I deny the charges of carryin' a forty-four
    I deny the charges of vagrancy, too
    But when the judge came down,
    Poured whiskey on my head,
    Turned me around to the jury and said convict this man he's
    drunk What could I do?

    Framed, I was framed
    I never do nothin' wrong
    But I always get framed

    I was framed
    I was framed

    Switzerland -> Sweden (none / 0) (#1)
    by Andreas on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 10:04:14 PM EST
    There are similarities between the legal attacks on Julian Assange and those on Roman Polanski but they would like to extradite Assange to Sweden, not Switzerland.

    thanks, that's what I get (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 10:27:27 PM EST
    for typing while watching TV. I've fixed it. Much appreciated.

    Framed! (none / 0) (#3)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 01:09:00 AM EST
    Why am I not surprised?

    I knew what he was doing was brave. (none / 0) (#4)
    by sj on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:30:13 AM EST
    I expect he did also.  But this is truly frightening.  He's right to fear that the primary goal is custody.  And it pains me that he is also right to fear custody.

    This one (none / 0) (#5)
    by killer on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:36:20 AM EST
    sure seems to be well written by JA's defense. I wonder how hard Ms. Ny can fight without doing damage to her own reputation in her own country.

    Whoo-boy (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 02:28:54 PM EST
    Hoo, boy (none / 0) (#7)
    by Zorba on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:39:07 PM EST
    Why am I hearing the Twilight Zone theme song?  On the other hand, he may have a right to be worried about some things- even paranoid people can have enemies (although not Sarah Palin.......).

    Did you read the article, or (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:49:29 PM EST
    just grab the headline and run with it?

    This is what the article says, and I don't see anything remotely unbelieveable about it:

    "There were a lot of threatening statements made by politicians in the U.S. ... you should keep in mind that during this period I've known Julian, he has actually received death threats in the media ... that he should be given the death sentence," Hurtig said, using an interpreter, in court on Tuesday. "As a consequence of this, Julian was duly worried."

    Hurtig's statement is part of an effort by Assange's lawyers to fight extradition to Sweden on the grounds that doing so would violate Assange's human rights by putting him at risk of execution. They support this claim by citing British media reports that U.S. Republican politicians Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee have called for him to be executed. Palin is reported to have said that Assange "should be hunted down like al-Qaeda."

    NewsFeed goes on to make some rather glib, sarcastic and disparaging editorial remarks, but given the activities of the US government against those it considers threatening, I don't know why it thinks Assange's fears are as silly as they are being made out to be.


    It IS silly (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:57:14 PM EST
    His reason for not going to Switzerland was because he thinks somehow Sarah Palin with her public "threats" will get him.

    How about he at least come up with something remotely credible for not going to Switzerland to be interviewed (even after many repeated requests) and not try and use this garbage?  "Oooh!  Sarah Palin's out to get me!"



    He's concerned about Sweden (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 04:08:39 PM EST
    turning him over to the US, which is no small thing to fear these days, in case you haven't been paying attention.  And you can find all kinds of examples of prominent US government officials and political figures calling for extreme treatment of Assange, so it's not like that sentiment isn't out there.  This isn't so much about Sarah Palin herself "getting" him - I think you know that - but when US public figures feel free to say the kinds of things that have been said openly, why shouldn't anyone be afraid of what we are willing to do?

    I can't think of a more credible reason than to be in reasonable fear for one's disposition at the hands of those who rendition, detain without due process and cherry-pick legal venues when forced to bring people to trial.

    And I guess you don't think much of the affidavit Jeralyn linked to, either - is that garbage, too?


    See below (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 04:14:15 PM EST
    His attorneys don't have all their facts straight.

    Sweden, not Switzerland (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 03:58:17 PM EST
    Hurtig (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 04:13:33 PM EST
    also needs to get his own facts straight before trying to pin Assange's absences on a fear of Sarah Palin:

    But the lawyer admitted that Swedish prosecutors had tried to interview his client before he left the country, contradicting earlier claims by Assange's legal team and his own witness statement.

    Hurtig told the extradition hearing that he had been wrong to assert that the prosecutor Marianne Ny had made no active attempt to interview Assange between her appointment to the case, on 1 September last year, and 27 September, when Assange left the country with her permission.

    Under cross-examination by Clare Montgomery QC for the Swedish government, Hurtig admitted the prosecutor's office had contacted him on 22 September requesting an interview. Montgomery asked him to take out his mobile and read two text messages received on that date. One, in Swedish, he translated as: "Hello, is it clear if it's going to be good to have interrogation on Tuesday, 1700h?"

    Hurtig said he could not recall calling Assange after receiving the request, but was sure he would have done. "You should bear in mind that it was very difficult to get hold of him during this time," he said.

    The omission was "embarrassing and shouldn't have happened", he said. "It's true that that gave an impression that was to Julian's advantage."

    But he insisted it was accidental: "I am myself a member of the Swedish bar association and it's important that what I say is right. It's also important for Julian that my statement is reliable and correct."

    I'm sure he did make a mistake - but when one of the main arguments that same lawyer is making - namely that the prosecutor waited 5 weeks to interview his client, and then that's found to not be true, it does make one wonder what other facts he doesn't have straight. This was not just a case of someone misspeaking one time - this has been his argument all along.  

    Maybe it's my solid belief in the (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 05:32:59 PM EST
    principle of the presumption of innocence that guides me in looking at what is selectively presented to us, by prosecutors and "the authorities" via a willing and compliant media, with a fair measure of healthy skepticism; this is especially so in light of the coordinated, everyone-on-message campaign by US government and political figures to pillory Assange and deem him everything from a "high-tech terrorist" to the equivalent of Osama bin Laden - and taken with the affidavit Jeralyn provided a link to which casts Assange's accuser in an altogethe different light than how she has been portrayed, none of it smells or feels right.

    The facts will be what they will be; I am less interested in defending an alleged rapist/terrorist than I am in wanting the playing field to be level and justice to be sought and delivered fairly.

    I haven't figured out why you seem so hell-bent on Assange being guilty of whatever he has been accused of doing or being; I don't get why the word of the authorities carries more weight with you than the word of the accused.  I don't get why you seem willing to believe a campaign conducted by a media that has been an arm of the government, helping it perpetrate all manner of terrible things based on lies, and throwing the full force of its influence in service of goals that have little to do with truth.

    Julian Assange and Wikileaks represent a threat to the government's power to keep pulling the wool over the eyes of the people, and it is clear to me that they will do whatever they have to to neutralize that threat.  

    When our government takes the position that it has the right and the authority to take into custody and detain anyone it deems a threat to security, when it takes the position that it can issue kill orders for people without warrants, trials or due process - and then its most prominent figures openly declare Assange to be a high-tech terrorist, a threat to this country, and whatever other manner of evil it can later use to justify its actions, I think we ALL have reason to ask questions and look at the government with less-than-trusting eyes.

    I just find it almost astounding that you don't seem to be able to look beyond this inexplicable animus you have for Assange - which is being fueled and manipulated by the media and the government - to see what they clearly want you to avoid noticing: the underlying principles and issues at stake that are miles bigger than just one man.


    You are clearly against (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by observed on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 08:06:20 PM EST
    Assange in the matter of the rape case, quite obviously because of your feelings on the harmless wikileaks case (harmless according to the Pentagon). In my opinion,you yourself illustrate that Assange's fear of a witch hunt in the US are quite valid.

    SNORT! (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 09:20:38 AM EST
    I'll spell it out for you:

    -The main argument as to why he couldn't meet with prosecutors to discuss this case (before he became an international fugitive) was that the prosecutor went straight ahead with the charges and refused to meet with him.

    -His lawyers as far back as December insisted that Assange was trying to meet with prosecutors.

    -We now find out that the Swedish prosecutor made at least 10 attempts to meet with Assange, but he wouldn't do it.  We also know that his lawyers also knew about this (since they texted the prosecutor about one meeting), even though they said they had no contact.  We also know that for a time, even his own lawyers had no contact with him, and had no idea where he was or if he ahd fled.

    -If you are following the proceedings going on now, this is one of the arguments they have been making as to why the Swedish prosecutor should be called into court to testify.

    -The argument changed in the last couple of days from "Julian wouldn't meet with prosecutors because they prosecutors wouldn't sit down and talk about this case," to "Julian was afraid to show up because of stuff Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee said."

    If you don't see the ridiculousness of those arguments, then I can't help you.


    SNORT! back to you (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by sj on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    Making your primary issue the argument is a major WTF in my mind.  Because it is far from the main issue.

    The main issue is weakness or strength of the actual case.  Not the minutiae of the communications process.  Seriously, you're just using that to bolster your pre-existing animus.  

    But if you refuse to see that the issue is the substance of the actual case, then I can't help you.

    Nevertheless, I will continue to point it out.


    Did you read the affidavit? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 10:49:23 AM EST
    Do you have any opinions/insights/thoughts on what is contained in it?  Or are you choosing to ignore it because it reveals some pretty significant weaknesses, and raises some pretty significant questions, in the case that has been built against Assange?

    Or have you decided that the affiant is an attention-seeking media whore who's only in it for himself?

    You keep wanting us to "Look - over there!" whenever there is any information that might be damaging to the government's case, and avoid completely the obvious US government-driven media campaign to demonize him.

    As for the misstatements by Assange's lawyer, I suspect they are as much tactical as anything else, providing  time for the defense to gather more of their own information, especially if this ends up with extradition being granted, and in light of the possibility of Assange being turned over to US authorities.

    Since we no longer adhere to the tenets of our system of justice when dealing with non-US citizens (or, sadly, even with some who are citizens), I think whatever tactical decisions made by Assange or on his behalf to maintain his freedom are well within the bounds of reasonable.


    Definitions of Rape (none / 0) (#16)
    by Citizen Rat on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 07:50:47 PM EST
    What I found interesting, and even a bit confusing (since I'm not a lawyer) was the extended discussion about the different definitions/standards of rape.

    Here is a link to the legal definition of rape in my state, Ohio:

    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2907.02 which as far as I can judge has a "force" definition of rape, but which does not require the victim to prove resistance.

    This whole issue seems to be controversial and frankly, it does not seem all that unusual as I read various left/liberal blogs, that many (if not all) left/liberal feminists support a very broad definition of rape and one based on consent, rather than force.

    There's a lot that is assumed here, it seems to me. But assuming that what the defense attorney says is an accurate representation of the facts, I'm curious as to whether or not Asange's conduct would count as a crime in Ohio-or other states in the U.S.

    The other issue is if it does not-should it?

    who needs Sweden? (none / 0) (#22)
    by diogenes on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 10:50:39 PM EST
    Why is it that Sweden would extradite Assange but Britain would NOT?  The British aren't exactly known for high level liberty protection, they are our friends, and the Conservatives are in power.  Does Assange have some super high-level blackmail secrets that he is using to keep the Brits in check?