Today I am talking to Mark Stephens, Julian Assange’s lawyer. A great deal has been written about the rape allegation, the bail issue and, of course, the Wikileaks revelations themselves. It is not hyperbole to say that this is probably the most famous legal issue in the world at the moment.
Mark Stephen’s is quoted in The Daily Mail …as saying says his client, WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange, is accused of ‘sex by surprise’ in Sweden.
‘Whatever “sex by surprise” is, it’s only an offence in Sweden,’ says Stephens.
Mark Stephens told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: ”It is quite bizarre, because the chief prosecutor in Sweden dropped the entire case against him, saying there was absolutely nothing for him to find back in September, and then a few weeks later on – after the intervention of a Swedish politician – a new prosecutor, not in Stockholm where Julian and these women had been, but in Gothenburg, began a new case which has resulted in these warrants and the Interpol Red Notice being put out.
”It does seem to be a political stunt.
”I have, and his Swedish lawyer has, been trying to get in touch with the prosecutor since August. Usually it is the prosecutor who does the pursuing, not the pursued..”
The Telegraph reported …”Mark Stephens said Mr Assange would ”certainly” fight deportation to Sweden on the grounds that it could lead to him being handed over to the US, where senior politicians have called for him to be executed.”
To put some structure into to this complex subject I have divided the podcast into the following key sections:
THE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
THE EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT
THE BAIL ISSUE
HOW JULIAN ASSANGE CAME BY THE WIKILEAKS INFORMATION
HAS JULIAN ASSANGE COMMITTED ANY CRIME UNDER US LAW
THE ATTACK ON WIKILEAKS BY AMAZON, PAYPAL, VISA AND OTHERS
POSSIBLE ACTION FOR INDUCEMENT TO BREACH OF CONTRACT
I am grateful to Carl Gardner, ex government lawyer and author of the Head of Legal blog, who assisted me in focusing on the salient issues. I am doing a further detailed podcast with Carl Gardner on these issues tomorrow.