ASSANGE & SWEDEN
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
Important events and developments relating to
the Swedish prosecutor’s case against Julian Assange
13 August 2010
Anna Ardin returns a day early to her Stockholm flat, which she has lent to Julian Assange in connection with a seminar. He offers to find other lodgings, but she invites him to stay. That night they engage in a lengthy session of consensual sex, during which she utters not a word of objection or dissatisfaction.
14 August 2010
Assange is the principal speaker at the seminar; Anna Ardin plays a key supporting role. Assange spends the afternoon with Sofia WilÚn, during which they engage in heavy petting and agree to meet again. That evening, Anna Ardin arranges a crayfish party in Assange’s honour and expresses great delight at the company she is keeping. Alternative lodgings are offered to Assange, but Ms. Ardin invites him to continue residing with her.
15 August 2010
At a meeting on the future activities of WikiLeaks in Sweden, Anna Ardin serves as Assange’s press secretary.
16 August 2010
Assange accompanies Sofia WilÚn to her flat in the town of Enk÷ping. He wears a condom during several consensual acts of sexual intercourse. Then he penetrates her once without a condom. She warns that he’d “better not have HIV” but lets him continue without objection. They part on apparently friendly terms and agree to meet again.
17-18 August 2010
Sofia WilÚn becomes increasingly anxious about the risk of infection due to the one act of unprotected intercourse with Assange, but is unable to contact him.
19 August 2010
Sofia WilÚn phones Anna Ardin to seek assistance in contacting Assange. It is not clear what they discussed with each other or with Assange. Ms. Ardin asks Assange to move out of her flat, which he does the following morning.
20 August 2010
Accompanied by Anna Ardin, Sofia WilÚn visits a Stockholm police station — by their own account, for the limited purpose of obtaining assistance in compelling Assange to take an HIV test. Anna Ardin is present during the interview with Ms. WilÚn, which is conducted by a friend and political ally of Ms. Ardin.
On the basis of very little information, prosecutor #1 decides to arrest Assange in absentia on suspicion of rape and other sex crimes. When Ms. WilÚn is informed of that decision, she is unable to continue the interview and leaves without approving the written account of it. News of the warrant is leaked to a Swedish tabloid and, within hours, global media are full of articles and headlines linking Assange’s name to the word “rape”.
21 August 2010
Less than one full day after the arrest warrant is issued, it is revoked by prosecutor #2 who finds that there are no grounds for suspicion of rape or any other sex crime.
Anna Ardin is interviewed by the police via telephone, and gives an account of her sexual encounter with Assange on 13 August which differs from what she has previously told friends. Now, she says that she was the victim of a sexual assault, during which Assange is said to have destroyed a condom and duped her into having unprotected sex. But the “used” condom she subsequently provides as evidence turns out to be unused, and therefore could not have been destroyed in the manner that she claimed.
23 August 2010
The police officer who interviewed Sofia WilÚn on August 20th is ordered by a superior to alter the protocol (written summary), which has still not been approved by Ms. WilÚn.
24 August 2010
A politician-lawyer named Claes Borgstr÷m, who is in the midst of an election campaign and who is struggling to restore a tarnished legal reputation, becomes the publicly financed representative of Anna Ardin and Sofia WilÚn. He immediately accuses Assange of sex crimes, cowardice, etc., in a “trial by media” that has continued for the past 17 months.
30 August 2010
Julian Assange is finally interviewed for the first time, after a delay of ten days that violates police guidelines which call for rapid investigation. As specified by prosecutor #2, the interview is supposed to concern the one remaining suspected crime of non-sexual molestation. But the police interviewer chooses instead to focus on Assange’s sexual relations with Anna Ardin, especially her story about the broken condom (see 21 August).
1 September 2010
At the urging of Claes Borgstr÷m (see 24 August), the original case is reopened by prosecutor #3, Marianne Ny. Assange is now once again suspected of rape and other sex crimes, the precise details of which are not made known to him until mid-November. In the months to follow, Ms. Ny will violate her own guidelines on the proper investigation of such cases.
21 August – 27 September 2010
Since first learning of the accusations against him from news media, Assange has voluntarily remained in Sweden and made himself available to the police and prosecutor. Through his attorney, he has made repeated attempts to be interviewed by prosecutor Ny or her agents, but she has rejected all proposals. Finally, after five weeks and having secured Ms. Ny’s consent, Assange departs for England. On the same day, Ms. Ny issues a secret warrant for Assange’s arrest.
Assange continues to make himself available for an interview by prosecutor Ny, offering to return to Sweden for that purpose or to be interviewed in England, in person or via video link or other telecommunications. All such proposals are rejected by Ms. Ny.
Threats from leading figures in the United States against Assange’s life and freedom escalate in response to the continuing disclosures of WikiLeaks.
20 November 2010
Prosecutor Ny issues a European Arrest Warrant for Assange and authorizes an Interpol Red Notice concerning him. In doing so, she ignores the less drastic alternative of arranging to interview him via Mutual Legal Assistance, an established mechanism for international co-operation. Ms. Ny states that it is not possible under Swedish law to interview him in England. That is a false statement; there is no such law.
7 December 2010
Having announced his intention to resist extradition to Sweden, Assange turns himself into a London police station and for the first time gets to read a detailed description in his native tongue of the accusations against him. They turn out to be false and distorted accounts of his consensual sexual encounters with Anna Ardin and Sofia WilÚn. The most serious accusation is that he raped Ms. WilÚn by penetrating her while she “due to sleep, was in a helpless state”. In fact, she was sufficiently awake to converse with Assange and indicate her consent (see 16 August).
At prosecutor Ny’s request, Assange is jailed pending an extradition hearing. He is placed in solitary confinement with limited access to his lawyers, television, the library, telephones and the Internet.
16 December 2010
Assange wins an appeal to be released from confinement while waiting for the February hearing. But the conditions imposed are unusually restrictive: Assange must observe a 10:00 p.m. curfew, report to a local police station every day and constantly wear an electronic ankle bracelet.
24 February 2011
Howard Riddle, a hostile judge, rejects Assange’s appeal against the European Arrest Warrant and extradition to Sweden. It was Judge Riddle who had jailed Assange the previous December.
2 November 2011
The U.K. High Court rejects Assange’s appeal of Judge Riddle’s ruling, based on a hearing conducted on 12-13 July.
16 December 2011
The U.K. Supreme Court grants an appeal on one point of law concerning the European Arrest Warrant. The hearing is scheduled for 1-2 February 2012.
11 January 2012
The 400th day of Assange's house arrest under the conditions noted above (16 December).
1–2 February 2012
Supreme Court extradition hearing. The issue to be decided is whether or not a prosecutor may be regarded as an independent and impartial “judicial authority”, and thereby qualified to issue a European Arrest Warrant. Ruling expected within weeks.
Note: Information on developments after 1 February 2012
is available in the section entitled Resources.
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