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Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, December 4th, 2010 - 114 comments
Categories: activism, International, us politics - Tags: , , ,

With all of the drama surrounding the Wikileaks release of US government diplomatic wires which I and others do not find surprising. What has been intriguing me more is the behavior of the Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny. The available information on her charges and actions against Julian Assange, the founder and head of Wikileaks, indicates that she is driven more by the politics than any respect for the law. Assange’s current lawyer compares her to role of the infamous Beria in Stalins 1930’s show trials – and from what I can see I’d have to agree. Similarly I fail to see why Interpol is involved for such a minor charge

Apparently the charge is question is something pretty weird called “sex by surprise”

Assange’s London attorney, Mark Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called “sex by surprise,” which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.

This would not be regarded as being rape here or apparently anywhere else apart from Sweden. Specifically in this case it appears to revolve around the use of condoms. I’d have to point out here (probably with too much information) that I was conceived because of a condom failure. Over the years I have had a few failures of condoms and failed to use condoms when I should have. It happens in the passion to the best of us. Fortunately I haven’t had the consequence of either issue or STD’s.

The facts of the case do not appear to be in any dispute by either side.

Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange’s two accusers.

According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.

While in Sweden Assange had sex with another woman a few days after meeting her at a function hosted by the first woman.

The woman and Assange also reportedly had sex. According to the Daily Mail account, Assange did not use a condom at least one time during their sexual activity. The New York Times today quoted accounts given by the women to police and friends as saying Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

The woman discovered that Assange had sex with both of them, and a few days later went to the police. This is where the legal system in Sweden gets somewhat strange and muddled.

Based on what was said to police, the on-call prosecutor, Marie Kjellstrand, decided to issue an arrest warrant on charges of rape and molestation, and the next day the story hit the Swedish paper Expressen and newspapers all over the world.

Kjellstrand’s decision was overruled the following day by a higher-level prosecutor, Eva Finne, who withdrew the arrest warrant and said she did not see any evidence for rape allegations.

Then, on Sept. 1, a third prosecutor, Ny, re-opened the rape investigation, implying that she had new information in the case.

The best information about what was going on comes from Melbourne barrister James D. Catlin, who acted for Julian Assange in London in October. Of course this is one-sided. However there appears to be nothing to contradict this in the media storm raging in Sweden with statements from the prosecutors or the woman or their lawyer.

The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.

That further evidence hasn’t been confected to make the charges less absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

But then neither Arden nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.

Of course, their celebrity lawyer Claes Borgström was questioned as to how the women themselves could be essentially contradicting the legal characterisation of Swedish prosecutors; a crime of non-consent by consent. Borgström’s answer is emblematic of how divorced from reality this matter is. “They (the women) are not jurists”. You need a law degree to know whether you have been r-ped or not in Sweden. In the context of such double think, the question of how the Swedish authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as such nor acted as such is easily answered: You’re not a Swedish lawyer so you wouldn’t understand anyway. The consent of both women to sex with Assange has been confirmed by prosecutors.

So why exactly is there a red notice lodged with Interpol over this? In the 188 countries that are part of Interpol, there are a bit over five thousand notices given each year for murderers, fraudsters, actual rapists, and other serious crimes. A crime that has a maximum penalty of USD715 and no potential jail time is a minor offense, and appears to be more a case of social ineptitude on both sides than anything else.

Why did Interpol accept it? There isn’t even an arrest warrant against Assange in Sweden. Apparently because Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny claimed that Julian Assange had ‘fled’ to avoid answering questions. However  the facts that have not been disputed by the Swedish prosecutor or her staff is that Julian Assange has made statements to both the police and the prosecutors after staying in Sweden to do so, was given permission to leave the country by the prosecutors, and has offered to answer questions in Britian including at the Swedish embassy.

Of even more concern is the conditions attached to the red notice. When it was issued on November 18th it requested that Assange would be

…held incommunicado without access to lawyers, visitors or other prisoners..

Quite simply this looks like a politically motivated legal move to grab Julian Assange on a legal pretext, to shut him up, and to get moved to a country with a sympathetic prosecutor for extradition. I’d be extremely interested in finding out what communication has been going on between the conservative government in Sweden  before and after the election on September 19th with the government in the US.

But it is pretty clear that Marianne Ny is not acting for the law in Sweden – she is using the law and the Interpol process on the flimsiest pretext. It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.

Sure, Assange should probably answer more questions – if only to get this on again, off again, on again accusation settled. But there is no reason that cannot be done in the relative safety of the embassy in London. Since the charges do not carry a custodial sentence then there should be no reason to put Assange in prison to answer questions. That just makes him an easy to get at target for the various groups that are proposing to kill or imprison him on trumped up charges from countries like the US to which he owes no duty.

Bearing in mind the US policies of grabbing suspects from friendly states with poor legal systems and throwing them into concentration camps like Guantanamo Bay for interrogation, I can see why Assange would not want to put in the control of a show trial prosecutor like Ny.

Marianne Ny is just making an arse of Swedish law and holding it up as a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

BTW: If anyone is having problems accessing Wikileaks, then try this link

114 comments on “Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.”

  1. MrSmith 1

    ‘Hillary is pissed’ Thats why he is wanted. Assange is carrying on like her husband, plus making the U S of ass look bad, women can be bloody nasty at times I can tell you or is that just the hundreds I have met.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    But there is no reason that cannot be done in the relative safety of the embassy in London… That just makes him an easy to get at target for the various groups that are proposing to kill or imprison him on trumped up charges from countries like the US to which he owes no duty.

    Especially considering that the Tories in the UK have sworn to bow down and kiss the USAs arse.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah, but from the looks of it the courts in Britain are less likely to be as pliant. That is probably why the police in Britain requested a better definition of the charges. They know that they’re going to have to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to get this past the courts.

  3. swimmer 3

    So what all the Swedish have to travel abroad to get pregnant? :-)

    • lprent 3.1

      You’re asking me? From my reading today I’d have to say that Catlin gave the most cogent description…

      In the context of such double think, the question of how the Swedish authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as such nor acted as such is easily answered: You’re not a Swedish lawyer so you wouldn’t understand anyway.

      But I gather that the issue is about ‘surprise’ like a busted or defective condom. I’d imagine that sex whilst asleep would be defined as a surprise (which has happened once to me – someone took advantage of my pre-waking hard-on). I’d hate to think what some of the few mutual horniness and bugger thinking moments would be classified as – they’re usually a surprise to me.

      In fact I have some real difficulties imagining how you could put this whole concept into law bearing in mind the surprises that seem to crop up in my sex life.

      I’d imagine that the whole thing revolves around consent. But I’d hate to have to figure out how you’d even try to put this particular charge into the courts. Usually the surprise happens to me after the event and I’m usually surprised at myself for letting it happen (for some quite understandable reason my mother was seriously into family planning and made sure her kids were as well) – which seems to have been what happened in these cases.

  4. ianmac 4

    A very interesting illumination LPrent. It does seem incredible that the explanation above is at such huge discrepancy from the other “experts”. The two women skiting about their liasons then later turning it apparently into very serious charges is very hard to fathom. Wonder if there will be any Wikileaks showing influence between some countries and Sweden? The plot thickens.

    • lprent 4.1

      Yeah, I was kind of surprised myself when I started to read through the material available on the net. It felt like the usual conspiracy theories and I expected to find the gaping hole somewhere.

      What intrigued me was that the charge for the red notice was apparently just the sex by surprise with some others of a lesser nature. The lesser ones were not given to the British police, which is why they requested the full list. They have to put this in front of a British judge and I suspect that the sex by surprise one is more likely to cause amusement than action in front of them.

      Apparently there was a very early charge of ‘rape’, which got kicked out the following day. It was attempted to be brought up again later and looks like it got kicked out by a Swedish court as lacking any evidence.

      But if you look closely at “experts” accounts you will find that they are quite unspecific on what the actual charges are. Which is why most of the material for this post comes from the Assange side. They’re the only ones releasing any detail.

      However there is absolutely nothing detailed that I found from the other side on the net to refute what I’ve written.

      The amount of disinformation and sheer lack of information floating around over this latest WikiLeaks is pretty frightening. For instance I get the impression that there are a number of grand juries running in the US to mount charges against Assange and others on various charges. But there is no detail about what they are apart from some rather strange speculation on the Espionage act of 1917, which the visible legal opinion I’ve read says won’t apply due to the decision on the Pentagon papers.

      So I just concentrated on the Swedish connection because I figure that one is the only one that is likely to happen in the short-term.

      • Pete 4.1.1

        To call for Assange’s execution (by former and future US president hopeful Huckabee) or assassination (Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canada’s Harper) just illustrates beyond reasonable doubt what kind of retarded schmocks end up in government. And I thought we had seen it all with the Grizzly Mom, aka Sarah Palin. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen are not trying to frame Assange for the CIA, they are simply jealous and pissed at him because neither of them can claim exclusiveness of screwing with him. They are just two pathetic pussies who should be ashamed of themselves and certainly not be protected by Swedish law.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E76qQUD-QP8
    sorry for the past

    Everyone deserves justice, including Julian Assange.
    Julian Assange, the founder of and spokesperson for Wikileaks has done what so few have been able to accomplish. He has courageously taken on the superpowers of the world with Wikileaks, an organisation that has exposed major human rights abuses, that could have never been accomplished under the veil of secrecy.
    Because of that, he is subject to reprisal from various governments through a variety of means. What is clear is that the Swedish district court has issued an interpol warrant for the arrest of Mr Assange. The charges are in their terms for “Rape and molestation”.
    The facts are:
    The other party has stated even after the episode that it was with consent.

    The charges were dropped and then raised again after a political figure with a personal interest in the coercion laws involved herself in the matter.

    A 16 year old girl was also charged with the same thing around the time the prosecutor was making a decision for engaging in consential intercourse with boys that were a year younger than her.

    http://www.thelocal.se/29880/20101028/

    A 32 year old was freed under these laws for having violent “sex” with a 16 year old also around the time of the decision.
    http://www.thelocal.se/29302/20100928/

    The case was widely publicized resulting in ambiguous search terms combining “Rape” and Julian Assange.

    Clearly justice is absent from these courts and Julian Assange needs our support.

    You can write directly to the Director of Prosecutions at:

    Director of Public Prosecution
    Åklagarmyndigheten/Utveckling­scentrum i Göteborg
    PO Box 2565 SE-40317 Gothenburg
    Tel: +46 31 739 41 04 / 41 00
    Fax: +46 31 739 42 50
    marianne.ny@aklagare.se

    There is also a petition that you can sign here;
    http://readersupportednews.org/julian-assange-petition

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Remember too that Wikileaks offered to ‘redact’ any names in cables the US State department considered at highest risk that their lives would be in danger.

    The US refused of course, as the ‘endanger lives’ is just a political manoeuvre.

    Eventually Assange himself will be eliminated. Possibly as a contra by criminal groups ( mafia?, drug lords?)- Mossad would normally oblige but the Israelis are quite chuffed by it all.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Nah mate you’re being paranoid. I’m sure Assange will simply and co-incidentally suffer a tragic and premature vehicle accident, heart attack, or be the victim of a senseless burglary gone wrong.

      Possibly all at the same time if they aren’t properly organised.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      I seriously hope you’re wrong, ghostwhowalksnz, about Assange being ‘eliminated’..
      (I have to say as a woman, that I think he is well fit! He could put his shoes under my bed any time, but that’s irrelevant…)
      Deb

  7. Bill 7

    Please get real.

    Assangne isn’t wanted per se for the simple fact that there isn’t anything to charge him with …neither dubious sexual illegalities or anything else for that matter. If there was, he’d be banged up already. But since the majority of the population are being subjected to nothing more than tittle – tattle from the leaks (view Jon Stewart’s stupid belittlement of the leaks for an example of this), character assassination will suffice. The aim is to produce a narrative that questions whether you are going to look favourably on the actions of a person accused of rape. In other words, a distraction from the substantive matters at hand. It’s a tried and tested technique for nullifying the potential for support of people voicing dissent.. If he hadn’t been accused of rape, it would have been sheep shagging or any other number of accusations designed to diminish the character’s of those doing or saying things authorities don’t like.

    Sadly, Assangne will wind up dead ( unfortunate accident, undiagnosable disease or whatever) if moves to discredit him are unsuccessful.

  8. Barry 8

    This is uncomfortably like the sort of anti-woman rant that is common on the RWNJ sites. Assange may or may not have done something wrong according to Swedish law, but we should be careful not to smear the complainants. If it comes to court you can see the evidence, and then accuse the court of political bias or not depending on what happens.

    I agree that there is nothing in the charges to warrant extradition or recourse to interpol. This is clearly politically motivated. A little bit of paranoia as to what might happen if he goes into custody is perhaps warranted, but I suspect that it only amounts to harrassment, not physical harm.

    • prism 8.1

      Barry – Every Saturday night there is a lot of hetero sexual activity going on in NZ. I don’t think the blokes would take kindly to even gentle harrassment by police or some moral authority afterwards despite there being no physical harm to them. The Swedish legal ‘protection’ appears to be overdone.

    • lprent 8.2

      Yeah I know, unusually for me, I got Lyn to check over the post and the related links before finalizing it – which is why the spelling and grammar is better than usual. She tolerates such rants even less than I do. The complainants in this case appear to be as surprised at the response of the prosecutors as Assange is from the comments in the media.

      The point about the charges is that they seem to be designed to pin Assange down to one place using a mini charge. To me that looks like a denial of freedom attack completely unrelated to the complainants. That makes him easier to monitor and easier to pick up for extradition.

      My suspicion is that the type of prosecution system in Sweden makes that easier to do – they are not kidding about how arcane and siloed the Swedish legal system appears to be. Provided the US doesn’t try to use a charge that carries the death penalty, I think that they are more likely to get him from Sweden than Britain because of the style of the legal system.

      That was what the post was about, the material about the complainants was only there to show exactly why I thought that the complaint did not warrant Interpol red notice.

      It was pretty clear.. Did you read the post?

  9. prism 9

    This was riveting and surprising stuff lprent. Thanks for giving us the chance of getting behind this story. Wondered about it. Who would have thought Sweden would get its panties in a twist in this sort of way. I thought they were pretty sorted about sex matters and had a quality legal system with checks that would prevent this sort of damnable harrassment.

    There probably aren’t any countries in the world with well-functioning legal and government systems that don’t revert to barbarism in times of stress. Can any country be shown to live up to the hype fed out out to we hopeful and gullible people?

    • lprent 9.1

      I can see the logic behind the law. I do have a hard time figuring out how it would work in practice.

      But it does make a short enough statement of ‘rape’ that even Fox news cannot screw up the intended message – even when it doesn’t look anything like what I’d consider to be anything like rape.

  10. Bored 10

    The message is very clear: regardless of how minor any charge that can be upheld against a dissenter like Assange it will be. The power elites of the world can be seen colluding to silence and discredit somebody who has revealed their dirty washing in all its grubby nastiness. The message for any other person considering similar dissent is again, “Dont mess with us, the international elite, we will get you where ever you are and what ever you stand for”.

  11. Olwyn 11

    An interesting reply from Assange in the Guardian, to the question, “Do Western governments have any moral authority?”
    “The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be “free” because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/dec/03/julian-assange-wikileaks

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      He’s a smart guy.

      What he’s saying is exactly what we see happening in Ireland and in Iceland.

      It doesn’t matter what is said now or who is in power. The debts, the contracts, the holders of vast capital all stay exactly the same. No matter which political party takes control in Ireland, the creditors of that country will all still want their pound of flesh, with interest thank you very much. Any new politician no matter how idealistic, has to buckle straight away or there will be no more money left to pay to keep the lights on. (Or at least that’s the threat).

      See Obama as another case in point.

      In such a system, the public can vent to their hearts content, vote one crowd in or one crowd out, it makes no difference. The US electorate has changed the balance of power in Congress three elections in a row now.

      Its made no difference to the plight of ordianry working Americans.

      Now if you want to see how powerful these financial interests are, just make a move which tries to loosen their grip on the underlying levers of influence.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Christian science monitor

    In the latest blow, the online payment service PayPal has cut off WikiLeaks. On its blog, PayPal says that WikiLeaks has violated a policy “which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”

    Trying to donate money to WikiLeaks via PayPal now generates an error message saying “this recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

    I assume paypal would not work with any other outlet that publishes any of the leaked material then? No? Right you are then.

    The Age on relations with the motherland. Mood: estranged.

    The Vancouver Sun has a good reader friendly piece about what Assange says wikileaks is all about. Ooh look, journalism!

    • ianmac 12.1

      It will be interesting to see if “they” manage to silence Julian Asange, will they also silence the exposures? Either the Pandora’s Box will keep its lid open or the crack-down will silence/intimidate other exposures.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        I can’t see how you can put it back in the box. Wikileaks is basically a concept that emerges from the availability of tools. Those tools aren’t gong away, the establishment needs them. Ergo, leaks using those tools this will always be possible.

        ‘nother link

        Reporters Without Borders weighs in unequivocally supportting wikileaks and denouncing western governments actions and statements:

        http://en.rsf.org/wikileaks-hounded-04-12-2010,38958.html

        This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    A couple more:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/17389/238944?RS_show_page=0

    A reprint of a long backgrounder on one of the other wikileaks people.

    And Jay Rosen (journalism prof at NYU) giving his thoughts in progress on what wikileaks means for journalism

    http://vimeo.com/17393373

    • ianmac 13.1

      Jay Rosen raise the issue that Wikileaks is Stateless and therefore not answerable to any particular Governments laws. This is an issue that troubles our Court system especially in relation to name suppression. He is also suggesting that the watchdog Press in the USA failed during the Bush years and thus have lost the initiative to guard the truth of major issues like the Iraqi war.
      Some would say that the MSM in NZ is in the same boat.
      Mr Appelbaum is an indication that Mr Asange is not the sole enemy of freedom of information.
      Perhaps when the “Law” has dealt to Wikileaks one way or another, the security of international information will just get greater, and international penalties will be agreed to quicker than any global warming treaties!
      The issues that you have pointed to Pascal’s bookie, through your links suggest that the issues around Wikileaks have very profound implications for democracy and for governments everywhere.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        the security of international information will just get greater

        From what I gather this is kind of the point. Think of it like the guerrilla tactic of deliberately provoking a clampdown from the state in order to ‘raise the consciousness’ of the population. That’s still far from a perfect analogy in many ways, as the guerrilla doesn’t mind if the state actually gets stronger short term, their point is to ‘heighten the contradictions’ and by making things worse for the population at the hands of the state make support for the guerrilla grow by default.

        Assange views the security state in terms of an info processor. If you destroy the capability for nodes within the network to freely communicate, you limit it’s ability to ‘think’. The less it is able to think, the less it is useful for, the less it can do. An increase in security and tighter secret keeping within the security state degrades it’s ability to act, it degrades the trust within the system.

        The content of the leaks and the effects that content has on the political fortunes of individuals is almost beside the point.

        But yeah, it’s revolutionary shit.

  14. handle 14

    Wikileaks is threatening to publish information about big corporates next. You can imagine the extra pressure coming from them to shut this down immediately.

    • ianmac 14.1

      Handle. Be interesting to see the connections between Pharmac ( Was world famous for its competence.) and certain Pharmacueticals (Which are famous for the opposite ethical behaviours).

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Wikileaks is threatening to publish information about big corporates next.

      I’ve heard: Bank of America, BP, and a video from Afghanistan of civilians getting blown up.

  15. RobertM 15

    I assumed the swedes were just helping the americans -but we can now see the accounts of the Swedish decline into right wing political imbecility is not exaggerated- if only Muriel and councillor Stewart and failed NAct councillor Quax would migrate there. Generally most people including courtersans only insist on condoms when its in the mouth or vagina.
    On the wiki leaks I think they simply help the Americans get support for striking Iran- that is the effect and I don’t see Assange as left or anti American.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Bright Side for Clinton to leaked Cables

    Maybe US journalists can’t write worth a damn nowadays, but apparently diplomatic field staff can.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/world/05diplo.html?ref=global-home

  17. Simon C 17

    What the fuck?

    If you are having sex with someone, and then they tell you to stop, and you don\’t, that\’s rape. I don\’t see anything ambiguous or confusing about that.

    I also don\’t see how the defence\’s characterisation of the victims\’ actions changes any of that.

    I know the Standard isn\’t a feminist blog, but shit, I expected a little better than this rape apologia here.

    • Andy 17.1

      Who told who to stop?

      How do you know this?

      • Simon C 17.1.1

        From the OP:

        The facts of the case do not appear to be in any dispute by either side.

        Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange’s two accusers.

        According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.

        While in Sweden Assange had sex with another woman a few days after meeting her at a function hosted by the first woman.

        The woman and Assange also reportedly had sex. According to the Daily Mail account, Assange did not use a condom at least one time during their sexual activity. The New York Times today quoted accounts given by the women to police and friends as saying Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

        • lprent 17.1.1.1

          Read the last paragraph again. The statement was specifically attributed as being from the complainant. The fact that a condom was not used at least once isn’t in dispute.

          That not using a condom was not consented to is in dispute. You’ll find it if you hunt around the net (there are some limits to how much I can put in one post).

          I suspect that you didn’t read past the section you quoted because you appear to have completely missed the point of the post.

          The charge is not rape. It is an offense that has a maximum penalty of a relatively small fine. For this Interpol has issued a red notice, something that is usually reserved for the most heinous of crimes, and typically carrying penalties of decades in prison.

          If you can shift your mind past your simplistic programming and use the brain that you were issued with, I’m sure you’d find this rather suspicious.

          • Simon C 17.1.1.1.1

            Seriously? My “programming”? What agenda do you think I’m advancing?

            I’ll repeat my point:

            The accusation against Assange is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

            That is rape.

            Your attempt to downplay the seriousness of the accusation and to cast doubt upon the alleged victims’ stories because of their actions after the event are classic examples of rape apologia, as seen in countless other cases where famous men are accused of rape. Ask yourself what you’d be saying if this was not a hero of a cause you support.

            Regardless of what is eventually determined to be the case, I expected a more nuanced and balanced treatment of this story from the Standard (which I usually enjoy). Maybe that was my mistake?

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

              The accusation against Assange is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

              That is rape.

              No mate its the accusation of rape, you’ve made that primary mistake from the outset.

              Further the OP says that so far, no arrest warrant for rape has been issued in Sweden. But according to you that seems immaterial?

              You ask for more nuance and more balance let you show none yourself. Further you consistently ignore the very context of Assange’s existence at the moment – that powerful governmental forces want to shut him up and shut him down, by fair means or foul.

              Also please answer my question from 4:36pm:

              Please explain to me how exactly LPRENT presenting views from both legal teams acts as “rape apologia”?

              • Simon C

                Look, I’m making no claims about Assange’s guilt or innocence. I hope he’s innocent!

                What I’m disputing is this:

                The allegation is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

                But according to lprent “It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.”

                Lprent comes to this conclusion on the basis of Assange’s lawyer’s statement, which claims that because of actions the alleged victims took after the event, they can’t “really” be rape victims.

                So here are my questions:

                Is it rape to “not comply with her appeals to stop”?

                Does how a victim acts afterwards determine whether they were raped or not?

                Does the political situation surround the events (which I agree are highly suspicious) change your answers to either of the above questions?

                • lprent

                  No I base this on the fact a actual rape charge was made, and withdrawn in a day after it was placed when a more senior prosecutor looked at it.

                  The charge that is in circulation is “sex by surprise” put in months afterwards by a politician. Presumably because she was told that there was no evidence to support rape and that such a charge wiould be impossible to bring to court. bearing in mind that that politcian has been spinning it as ‘rape’ in her media statements I would assume that she attempted to bring that. The charge carries a maximum penalty less than that of driving while drunk.

                  Both the police and prosecutors have all ofthe available information from both the womaens statements AND Assange. Having a politician waiting to lay rape charges after the investigation was closed and not being able to do so says that there was zero evidence that ‘rape’ occurred..

                  I see that you still haven’t read the post or the background links. So I guess that you’re just a little ‘confused’ on a basis into bumping up the charges into the realms of ideological fantasy.

                  • Simon C

                    We seem to be misunderstanding each other. I’d like to think I’m reading you pretty carefully, and I assume you’re doing the same.

                    I think that it’s a valid avenue to explore the international context surrounding these allegations, and it is understandable to be suspicious of their timing and their motivations.

                    I think you can do that without arguing that what was alleged to have occurred was not actually rape, and without calling into question the women’s accusations based on how rape victims are “supposed to act”.

                    I want to make it really clear that I’m not making an argument for Assange’s guilt or innocence. I’m arguing that the charges, as described (though not apparently as defined by Swedish law) are rape.

                    I’d like some acknowledgement from you that if Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”, he is guilty of rape, whether that’s what he’s charged with or not.

                    I’d also appreciate some analysis of the defence’s use of the alleged victims’ actions after the event, and how that mirrors the defence in many other celebrity rape cases, but this may be the wrong blog for that.

                    • lprent

                      I put up both the accusation and the defense opinions to give context to the red notice. However I really don’t care if you think this was ‘rape’ on a basis of not seeing the actual statements. Personally I never assume anything like this is as simple as the soundbites in news media by the protagonists.

                      You appear to be making an unsupported assertion based on news reports. The single statement you’re referring to as being significiant is not even from the complainants statement. It is hearsay based on other people making a statement to a reporter. In other words a 4th hand statement that is of no evidential interest. At least Catlins article is merely 3rd hand. That is one reason why I keep saying that you do not appear to be reading the post – you appear to be imagining the scenario rather than thinking about it.

                      There simply isn’t enough information to make the assertion you are making. What I said was that if these are defined as rape (having a condom fail, and not using one when I should have – and I’m ignoring the 4th hand assertions), then to the surprise of my partners over the years then I appear to be a rapist. I also appear to be a child of rape – which will surprise the hell out of my parents.

                      Since I know bloody well neither of these is the case, then I think that you are a total fool.

                      The post is about the political use of a Interpol red notice for minor charge based on the maximum penalty.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We are being cleverly deflected from the reason of Assange’s work – to bring the inner workings of governments to light, inner workings that those same governments feel that their citizens should never understand or see.

                      And of course, this is the point – to create a sideshow to distract and denigrate from the Wikileaks.

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah that is why I think that this case is being brought. It has nothing to do with the events. It is a useful smear and helpful to pin Assange and wikileaks down. It also diverts attention away from the leaks.

                  • Bill

                    There’s an interesting piece Making a Mockery of the Real Crime of Rape:
                    Assange Beseiged
                    on CounterPunch that includes some background info on Anna Ardin.

                    Her politics are apparently really quite far from being ‘left’ and according to the author’s sources she has a kind of strange attitude towards men…

                    …as she was lecturing, a male student in the audience looked at his notes instead of staring at her. Anna Ardin reported him for sexual harassment because he discriminated against her for being a woman and because she claimed he made use of the male “master suppression technique” in trying to make her feel invisible. As soon as the student learned about her complaint, he contacted her to apologize and explain himself. Anna Ardin’s response was to once again report him for sexual harassment, again because he was using the “master suppression technique”, this time to belittle her feelings.

                    Maybe worth a read.

                    • Simon C

                      This argument is getting pretty boring, and I’m getting sick of being called names for disagreeing with the post.

                      First off: FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Quit insinuating that I’m some kind of operative for some global conspiracy. Maybe I just have principles? I think it’s possible to be both supportive of wikileaks as an organisation, while taking the charges seriously and not diminishing the crimes or smearing the alleged victims.

                      Now, a final go at my argument:

                      Lprent. Neither of us know what happened. We don’t even fully know what is alleged, since the police report obtained by the Daily Mail, which you use for the basis of your dismissal of the allegations, is described as “heavily redacted, with details of the sex allegations blacked out”. We have reported accounts by the women that describe a rape.

                      If these accounts describe the actual allegations, it’s important that you realise that in New Zealand or the States or most other countries, failing to stop when the condom breaks, even though your parter asks you to, while constituting rape, would never result in a successful prosecution. It’s hard enough to get a prosecution in even the most egregious cases. No jury in New Zealand or the States would convict.

                      In Sweden, they have to option to bring charges on a lesser offence, this (unfortunately named) “Sex by Surprise”. This is what they’ve done in Assange’s case.

                      We can’t draw any conclusions about the actual events from what charges are laid. That creates the bizarre situation where you’re only raped if your rapist is successfully prosecuted on rape charges.

                      You say: “It is clear that you can’t call this rape.” But you don’t have any evidence for that. Clearly, the women involved called it rape. The prosecuters were, at least for a time, willing to call it rape. The most detailed account we have of the occurrence (while 4th hand) describes a rape. The details that remain in the police report certainly don’t rule out rape. The reduced charges are still for a crime I would describe as rape.

                    • Vicky32

                      Oh. Good grief! Women like that give we feminists a bad name..
                      Deb

                    • Elizabet Mulkerrins

                      Interesting discussion.

                      I have read the eldest accuser’s blog and the entry written on Jan 19th 2010 describes a ‘seven step model for getting legal revenge’ that exactly mirrors what happened in this case, and it is recommened to be used against a man who ‘cheats or dumps you’. You have to ‘tell a series’ ‘of lies’ to ‘get a lunatic after them’. She sets great store by the punishment fitting the crime too. If a man abandons you for instance, accusing him of theft would not be the way to go.

                      Then she gets dumped, the younger girl fears she is pregnant.

                      I should imagine the conversation went something like this..

                      “I know, lets see if we can get the cheating toe-rag forced to take an STD test, then we’ll go and blab it to the papers!”

                      “Heeheehee!”

                      And so off they went, full of girly mischief and not realising they had a tiger by the tail. To be honest, I’m a female. I don’t get that upset about unfaithfulness, but if I did, its exactly the sort of mischief I might plan. Minus telling it to a newspaper. I think thats excessive.

                      Then every jobsworth with no actual *useful* talent decides they can make their career on this. It all gets a bit out of hand for our two heroines – who honestly didn’t know what danger they were placing their hero in, and they go to ground.

                      Incidentally the best headline went ‘Ardin grabs Assange by the Junk’. Which was precisely what she did.

                      Now it seems to me that he is pinned like a butterfly awaiting US pleasure. The only legal defence to extradition I can find is proving this prosecution was ‘politically motivated’ and if possible I’d like to be able to prove it by Tuesday.

                      Does anyone have the dirt on that, including names? I’m finding it a bit complicated when I try to look into that aspect.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        Also from the OP:

        The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

        In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern…Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.2

      Innocent until proven guilty, Simon. There is an accusation and a denial. I don’t see any ‘rape apologia’ here at all, just some cynicism about the reasons for the complaint. On the facts as we know them from the links in the post, unless Assange admits something, nothing can be proved and the case will either be dropped by the prosecutors or he will be aquitted at trial.

      If the British bobbies felt there was any substance to the matter, they could easily arrest him. They know where he is staying in England. But they choose not to, perhaps because he hasn’t actually been charged with anything nor has an arrest warrent been issued.

      • Simon C 17.2.1

        I don’t have an opinion on whether Assange is guilty of what he’s been accused of. I hope he’s not, frankly.

        What I’m saying is that arguing that what he’s accused of isn’t “really” rape, or questioning the motives of the alleged victims because they don’t “act like rape victims” is classic rape apologia, and I didn’t expect that from the Standard.

        • Andy 17.2.1.1

          “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

          ^^You know what that means right?

          It means Assange pulled of the condom just when he was about to… you know. Maybe Wilen/Ardin shouted “NO! STOP IT!” But Assange did what he did anyway.

          Is that rape?

          Come on!

          • Simon C 17.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, um, actually that is rape.

            • Andy 17.2.1.1.1.1

              No it’s not. Stop acting like a child.

              It might be “bad taste” or “stupid behaviour”. But its not an auto-rape whenever you dont do exactly what your partner wishes.

              If so, that would mean that tens of thousands of women will be charged with rape for lying about being on the pill. Many women could also be charged with rape if they release any liquid without the consent of their partner.

              This is silly!

              Grow up!

              • felix

                Actually Andy, if “exactly what your partner wishes” is for you to stop fucking them and you don’t then yes it is rape.

                • Andy

                  How many seconds do you have to comply before it becomes a rape?

                  Why not act like an adult and realise that sometimes you have bad sex?

                  Both women have stated that they have never been afraid of Assange and that he never threatened them.

                  You must also realise that in Sweden your “feelings” can never be wrong or false. You can also change those feelings whenever you want. Thats why the women didnt immidealty went to the police. They even hung out with Assange after the “rape”. They even praised him infront of their friends.

                  But then their feelings changed and the bad sex turned into rape.

                  • felix

                    I couldn’t give a shit whether you think you’re bad at sex or not, I’m explaining a matter of law to you. Consent can be revoked.

                    If you think it’s wrong then campaign to change it.

            • Jack P 17.2.1.1.1.2

              I believe i saw the word ‘ molestation ‘ at some point in the accusations.
              ‘ To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. ‘ (in this case during consensual sex.)
              This involves coercion without serious injury. A reprehensible and punishable act.
              I have been coerced (bullied) lots of times. Tough on pride, but i survived without sequel. Had i resisted and been beaten to a pulp and still coerced, then you enter the realm of hard criminal behavior.
              You cannot expect to send a man to jail for 10-20 years without bodily harm to yourself or any significant psychological damage (even if it not sexual in nature). Moral anguish is usually paid with money. As sorry a situation as it may be, rape victims must endure graver suffering.
              Well, two days later she was partying with him, he met her friend, had sex with her also. Neither were happy puppies after that… This does nothing to explain Ms. Ny behavior however.

            • Elizabet Mulkerrins 17.2.1.1.1.3

              Actually dude, thats is rape.

              And rape is exactly what I’d say a woman did if she claimed she was on the pill and wasn’t. Plus theft, when the authorities nail his ass for child support.

              Put it this way – would the other party have consented, knowing what the first party knew?

              If you really wanted to prosecute though, in the UK, where I am, you would have your best chance with the civil offence of ‘Deception’.

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.2

          The possibility is that Assange is being set up by major powers who also happen to control the flow and shading of the ‘facts’ to the public.

          Please explain to me how exactly LPRENT presenting views from both legal teams acts as “rape apologia”?

          Are you simply wanting to see the discussion on how Assange is being targetted shut down?

        • The Voice of Reason 17.2.1.3

          Ok, gotcha. I think there are some comments on how unusual the Swedish law is in their definition of what constitutes a sexual crime that might actually border on belittling the alleged victims, but I don’t see that as ‘rape apologia’, especially as he is not accused of rape anyway.

          If it’s true that the punishment is a fine of a few hundred dollars, then this is clearly not regarded in Sweden as rape, but apparently more like a socially unnaceptable behaviour that society would prefer you didn’t do. That is, based on the fine, more serious than littering, less serious than drunken driving.

          All in all, I think Assange is being accused of being a selfish lover, not a rapist. And, as I said above, unless he dobs himself in, it will, (ahem) come to nothing.

    • balgarnie 17.3

      Nothing whatsoever confusing or ambiguous about the Assange “sex by surprise” case …?

      Not if you don’t think about it, no.

  18. Andy 18

    Guess who Anna Ardins cousin is?

    ■Lieutenant Colonel Mattias Ardin, (former) Deputy Head of Operations, Swedish Joint Forces Land Component Command (Afghanistan)

    Pretty interesting huh?

  19. Vicky32 19

    Wow, thanks for the clarification! I had wondered why it all kept cropping up again and again…
    Deb

  20. Arnou 20

    compare what happened with Roman Polanski’s case and Julian Assange these people really have double face.Democracy My A**.

  21. Freedom Fighter 21

    To get some perspective. In another Swedish criminal case, two people from Ireland (another EU country) conducted violent assault and were caught on a video tape kicking a helpless victim on a floor in the head. The two perps were arrested and confessed but were able to leave the country before the trial due to the normal incompetency of the Swedish judicial system.

    Here comes the catch: Their identities are known, they reside in a known place in Ireland, but the Swedish prosecutor’s office did NOT bother to issue an international arrest warrant. When asked why, their response was that international arrest warrants are usually only issued for very serious crimes such as murder.

    The source is: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article8031457.ab
    (sorry only in Swedish, copy the text and make an auto-translation)

  22. Chris Joyce 22

    No no no, women in general are not bitches. They are just born to be pragmatic. Genetic selections have made it so. Her lot in life is to make her husband proud of giving birth to his child. To be successful in this respect, generation after generation, you must be 100% pragmatic and 100% free of priciples.

    • Vicky32 22.1

      “you must be 100% pragmatic and 100% free of priciples.”
      That comment is just creepy, Chris Joyce. I, as a woman, object very strenuously. The trouble with evolutionary psychology is that it’s total bollices..
      Deb

      • lprent 22.1.1

        I as a male would disagree as well. It has not been something that I’ve ever observed.

        However I have frequently observed that many people only see what they expect to see and ignore any evidence to that gainsays their viewpoint. So perhaps CJ is a victim of that behaviour.

        I’m not sure, but it seems to be a evolutionary thing…. :twisted:

  23. Hugin 23

    I’m personally an exile Swede and the reason for that is not only but to a large extent the legal system of Sweden, or rather the lack of respect for it. The total lack of respect for democratic values among the politicians, media houses, and even courts makes me feel sick. I simply could not stand living in a country like that, paying the world’s highest taxes to a group of people that have no intention what so ever to act for the people. Their only concern is to treasure up as much as they can, aroused by power they take the liberty to do whatever they feel like.

    Trust me, foreigners don’t get to know the first of it because media is so in line with the power that hardly anything leaves the country. Swedes are being abused, robbed and discriminated in their own country by the very people that are elected to lead it. After 80 years of socialistic rule, Swedes are so suppressed that a great majority just bends over.

    It is disgusting.

  24. Rubadubadoobag 24

    OK, weighing in on the ‘is it rape’ issue: sure, consent can be withdrawn and if the guy doesnt stop then it can become rape. But (in Australia at least) the man is innocent if he truly believed that consent was still operative/not withdrawn (as others have said, people may not like this, but it is the law, so campaign to change it).

    Now Simon is right in saying how the alleged victim reacts afterwards cannot logically affect whether the offence was committed or not. But for the purposes of proof, her behaviour can certainly be evidence of whether elements of the offence can be made out where they are in dispute (ie whether consent was in fact withdrawn, and whether Assange knew it). Being ‘not happy’ that a condom broke (damn it!) differs from expressed doubts (I shouldnt being doing this) to a firm protest (no, stop, get the hell off me). The fact that both victims seem to have been extremely happy after the alleged rape (to the point of boasting about throwing parties for the rapist no less) suggest that consent was not really withdrawn (at least not firmly and unambiguously) and that these events can only be called rape in a very technical sense. Clearly the alleged victims know that their behaviour is not consistent with their claims themselves which is why they are trying to remove the celebratory remarks from their Facebook page or SMS records.

    Prosecutors are well aware that courtship ritia;s and sexual behaviour is not usually well-defined and clear cut – people dont sign contracts before having sex – and so use their discretion to prosecute only those cases which are sexual assault according to the spirit as well as the letter of the law. That the Swedish prosecutor seems to have done the exact reverse in this case, along with the complicit behaviour of other Western authorities (e.g. Interpol, the British judge who denied bail), can only be explained by the political pressure brought to bear by the US. People who are objecting to this behaviour are no more apologists for rape than those who criticised the Chinese Government for charging Stern Hu are apologists for bribery.

    • Simon C 24.1

      This post at Feministe describes my position well. There’s an update at the end of that post that goes into greater detail on the specific allegations against Assange.

      From the UKPA:

      “The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

      The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

      The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.”

      Comments, Lprent?

      • lprent 24.1.1

        I think that I’ve said it before. This post was about Marianne Ny’s actions in issuing a red notice for charges that carry minor maximum penalties. I’ve also said before that you have a habit of reading whatever you want into a single statement (in the media) without considering it. To me that appears to be a very bad habit of mindless ideological stupidity.

        Perhaps you’d care to comment on that?

        These issues are something for a court to decide and there isn’t enough information to make much of an opinion. The last court to look at this question (appeals court in Sweden in mid-november) specifically removed rape charges from the list of charges in the warrant. Since they had arguments from both sides I’d have to say that you appear to be at odds with the informed decision of a court.

        Just as an aside, how would you could equally describe the missionary position under those terms. I’m a svelte 92 kgs these days (down from 109 earlier this year) and my partner is about 66 kgs. If I’m on top does my weight constitute ‘rape’ because I ‘hold her down’ ? Probably not to me (and anyone moderately rational) but to you as far as I can see it appears that it does.

        It all depends on what had gone on before and we don’t have information about that. Quite simply you’re running an argument in the absence of any facts that you could form a judgement on. That is the action of a fool.

        Yet again I’d suggest that you read the post to see what I said and quit trying to say or infer that I’m saying something that I’m not. I’m starting to get annoyed about it.

        What I am saying is that the penalties on the actual charges brought by Ny (ie not the fantasy charges that you seem to have in your head) do not warrant using an Interpol red notice against Assange. The reasons for this unusual action and the even more unusual conditions that they have attached to it (like not being able to talk to his lawyer) smack more of a political persecution designed to remove someone from their freedom than respect for the law.

        • Simon C 24.1.1.1

          Did you read the Feministe article I linked? That’s my argument, stated by someone smarter than me.

          I feel like you’re becoming increasingly defensive here. I want to make it clear that I’m not attacking the main point of your post, nor am I accusing you of promoting or supporting rape. I’m saying that some of the things that you said in your post can be read as part of a wider narrative around this case and rape accusations in general which diminish the crime and smear the victims. As someone who (I assume) attempts to be a feminist ally, I’d have thought that would be concerning for you.

          I’m sorry if I’m not communicating this clearly.

          You’re right to say that neither of us have enough evidence to make claims about what really happened. Yet you seem to feel confident saying “It is clear you can’t call this rape”.

          As more evidence of what is alleged emerges, it seems increasingly clear to me that what is alleged is clearly rape, especially if one assumes a “consent” model of sexual relationships (as described in the Feministe post I linked). That makes it increasingly concerning to me that you do not appear to take these charges seriously.

          I share your concern about the way these charges are being prosecuted. It would be unfortunate if Assange were being targeted beyond the normal scope of the law because of his position. I hope that’s not the case, but there is some disturbing evidence suggesting that it is. However, I think it’s possible to voice those concerns without contributing to narratives around rape and rape victims which harm women.

          I think that the strongest position for the progressive movement is one of principle, rather than tribal afilliation. Is it so hard to support what Wikileaks has done, while also supporting the rights of the alleged victims to have their charges taken seriously?

          Do you stand by your statement that you “can’t call these charges rape”? I’d appreciate clarification.

          • Vicky32 24.1.1.1.1

            As a woman, Simon, I have to say that I agree not with you, but with LPrent. These women have acted, to say the least, oddly.
            The time for issues of consent to arise is before the act, not in the middle of it! Both women seem to have been pretty ‘free with their favours’ to put it in old-fashioned terms, and I have to say that such behaviour is pretty foreign to me, therefore I wonder why and how they can possibly object to anything that happened, especially since their objections were made so long after the fact. (What may have happened at the time, comes down to he said/she said, and unless either party recorded the encounters, there’s absolutely no proof of anything. What we know, reflects badly on all parties – by my standards, these women are at least, ‘slappers’… )
            Rape? Don’t be ridiculous!
            Deb

            • Simon C 24.1.1.1.1.1

              Fortunately, failing to have a penis does not automatically qualify you to pass judgement on what constitutes rape, and who gets to have their charges taken seriously.

              Out of curiosity, how many people are you allowed to sleep with before you’re not allowed to accuse someone of rape?

              • lprent

                Now you’re just getting silly.

                A court should pass judgement on what constitutes rape according to the legal definition. A swedish appeals court has already have judged that Assange did not commit rape by their legal definition because they removed that charge from those brought against him in sweden last month.

                I’m sure that won’t stop fools Fox news from claiming that the charge is rape at every opportunity. I’m also sure that it won’t stop you.

                But from where I’m sitting it is hard to see the difference between an apparent inabilities to simply read the available facts. You’d get a lot more traction if you stop interpreting shades of gray into ideological slogans

                • Simon C

                  Good point.

                  Someone nicked a bunch of CDs from my house a few years ago. The police never charged the guy, so I guess they were never stolen eh?

                  • lprent

                    Did they know who it was? Did they have sufficient evidence to sustain a charge? Or was it simply your opinion on who took them unsupported by any significant corroboration evidence?

                    Taking people to court is not done based on the act of a crime. It is done on the basis of being able to provide evidence that ties someone to committing a crime. An accusation or a suspicion is simply not enough. Otherwise I could (for instance) accuse you of being systematically incapable of logical thought and see about getting you put into some kind of care because I suspect your apparent inability to operate inside a real society.

                    I would not like to live in a society that made the principle that such accusation was sufficient to lay charges (or to get a commitment order) without corroborating evidence. This is obviously an issue with rape cases where the evidence is often not easy to find. But the same principle applies.

                    The police here will usually charge if they have enough to go to court with. And they will charge if they subsequently find additional evidence sufficient to go to court with. They will usually go to court if they have any reasonable chance of winning. Having helped a few activists who have beaten quite blatantly bogus charges, I can testify that they will take activists to court if they have any chance at all of winning a case or if they think that they can make some weird charge fit the facts (my favourite was a charge of “intimidation by loitering” for a protest outside a store selling factory farmed fur).

                    The whole point of this post is the strange way that the prosecutors (who have the charging authority in Sweden) did not have sufficient evidence to sustain charges earlier in the year and dropped the charges at that time. They already had evidence from the only three people who could have offered evidence.

                    Yet somehow in September, coincidentally just before a tight election that the center right was in danger of losing and after the US was was getting worried about these leaked documents, they suddenly manufactured ‘found’ new evidence to sustain a charge.

                    From where did they (or for that matter could have they) obtained this new ‘evidence’ and why did it take months to appear? Either the need to extract retribution got more intense or it took time to be manufactured. Either way I suspect that the Swedish justice and political systems are going to be more on trial than Assange is.

                    • Simon C

                      My point with the CDs is that, regardless of what happens in the courts, my CDs are still gone, yeah? They don’t magically return to me if I don’t get a conviction against the dude. Even if I made the whole thing up, and I just lost the CDs, what I described happening, some dude running off with my CDs, is theft. Right?

                      You don’t have to be convicted of theft to have stolen something, surely?

                      Just like, regardless of what the charges against Assange are, or how he’s being prosecuted, what the women describe being done to them is rape. Sure, it might not have happened the way they say it did, but what they’re describing, the events that they allege happen, can only be described as rape.

                      But let’s make it simple. I’ve asked you some questions, and you haven’t answered them. Here they are again:

                      Is it rape to “not comply with her appeals to stop”?

                      Does how a victim acts afterwards determine whether they were raped or not?

                      Does the political situation surrounding the events (which I agree are highly suspicious) change your answers to either of the above questions?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Simon C, glad that this legalistic sideshow being used to extradite Assange to the US is proving entertaining to you.

                    Personally, I believe that this is a huge and contrived distraction for the benefit of the cameras (it appears as if Assange owns the most important sexual crime in front of Sweden’s criminal justice system this month), and will leave it to the civilian courts (if it ever makes it that far) to decide on his sexual guilt or innocence.

                    In the mean time its quite sporting watching you expound upon your movable fixations.

                    • Simon C

                      I guess I have the peculiar belief that rape is an important issue. Bizarre!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      100% deflection, you prefer a legalistic international sideshow like the one Assange is embroiled in, one where there are few publicly known facts only hearsay.

                      If you want to talk sexual violence seriously then lets go with how a similar case would be interpreted and managed in the NZ criminal justice system. You know, something relevant and close to home.

                      For starters, have there been any rape trials in NZ where the woman withdrew consent from her male partner part way through consensual sex. And what were the verdicts in those trials.

                    • LizR

                      Simon C, I have to agree with you – as described, those charges do indeed sound like rape. Everyone seems to be reading more into your posts than what you are actually saying, and then attacking what they say you’ve said. (This is what I believe is called a “straw man” argument…)

                      As far as I can see, Simon C’s point is simply that one particular sentence from the original article is wrong: “It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.”

                      What is being described – the thing “you can’t call rape” – is the following:

                      Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations. She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of August 14 in Stockholm.

                      The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

                      The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

                      The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

                      I’d say that the above does indeed describe rape, or rapes. Irrespective of whether the charges are pure invention or not, or of whether the involvement of Interpol is justified or not, or of anything else, the charges as described do sound like rape.

                      As far as I can see, that’s all Simon C has been saying – the reaction he’s got, I find rather interesting, not to mention a little disturbing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LizR when were those charges made public and the accompanying information made available? After LPRENT wrote the OP (which was based on what info was available at the time), I thought.

                    • felix

                      Thanks LizR, I’ve been trying to find words to express exactly that reading of the thread and you sum it up well.

  25. LizR 25

    “I’d be extremely interested in finding out what communication has been going on between the conservative government in Sweden before and after the election on September 19th with the government in the US.”

    So would the rest of the world – and you know where to send it (whoever you are) – so get leaking!

    It’s about time someone leaked some information on the dirty tricks campaign that is clearly being conducted against Assange by the same boring bullies who have been “running” the world for far too long, keeping their shabby little secrets while spouting about “free speech” and “democracy”.

  26. Simon C 26

    I can’t seem to reply to your post itself, Liz, so I’ll post here.

    Thanks! Yes, that is the main body of my issue with the post – that one sentence.

    I mean, I think that the entire line of argument which suggests that the charges are frivolous is unneccesary and unfortunate, given the surrounding narratives around rape. I also think it was unfortunate to repost unchallenged the defence’s use of the alleged victims’ behaviour as a mitigating factor, since it’s such a classic example of victim-blaming. Perhaps I shouldn’t expect that from the Standard though.

    But yes, the only part of the post I see as strictly inaccurate is that one sentence.

  27. flax 27

    put some activists outside her home and office asking questions about, why she wanna be in the headlight? shes just a media hungry old women with dodgy background , her aftername maens nwe? wheres her family from who is her,, pls somebody check her out, she not a NORMAL swede!

    i guess she is a jew with family ties to america or something…….

    anyway if iam wrong correct me, this dont smell well….

  28. Nibbler 28

    - I would like to clarify that there have by no means been any political pressure on my decision making. I act as a prosecutor due to suspicions of sexual crimes in Sweden in August. Swedish prosecutors are completely independent in their decision making, says Ms. Ny.

    Överåklagare Marianne Ny
    +46 31 739 41 04
    registrator.uc-goteborg@aklagare.se

  29. Thank you for a fine article debunking the Swedish charges. Another interesting thing is the USA will have trouble prosecuting Assange for his site because it’s actually been down for several days (that’s why they never moved the dns of wikileaks.org). The publisher of the Wikileaks site is now the Pirate Party of Switzerland who owns the wikileaks.ch domain name. They own the domain and they are subscribing to the servers. Plus Assange now has an alibi, he was in prison! So why does everyone keep saying Assange is the criminal.

  30. Jess 30

    I thought it was widely held, common knowledge (not just ‘obscure’ Swedish law) that to force someone to continue to have sex after they withdraw consent is sexual assault. You can’t just hold someone down and keep going when they say no or change their mind or don’t like what you’re doing and ask you to stop. Surely it’s not just the Swedes who know sexual assault when they see it?

    • Andy 30.1

      The older woman, AA, is somewhat of an expert when it comes to sexual harassment situations and sexcrimes. She was the top gender equality person on her University and have written extensivly about rape on her blogs. Among other things she wrote a piece a few years ago where she argued if sex that was started willingly by both parties could be considered rape even if the woman change her mind during the act and if – THIS IS IMPORTANT – she never told him to stop.

      Julian is not charged with rape of AA, only for exposing himself, sabotaging a condom and one more sexual molestation.

      Julian is charged with a milder form of rape of SW though. He is accused of putting his penis inside her when she were asleep early one morning, after a night of several intercourses.

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.1

        Frankly, Assange should have just kept it in his pants for a couple of months while all the action was going down, ahem, internationally, it would have been a sensible precautionary measure.

      • Elizabet Mulkerrins 30.1.2

        You know you need pretty sharp fingernails to sabotage a condom. Even with two hands it difficult.

        However, if you put it on and leave too much ar in the end, it bursts easily. So I’d be more likely to put the first incident down to accident.

        The second one, sex by surprise – (I’ve personally no objection to, although it might well be a crime in Sweden. And assuming I’d consented to sex the night before) but the real issue there is ‘did she previously consent to sex without a condom’. If she did, the accussed can reasonably have assumed she would still consent to it next morning.

        Now does anyone have any proof the prosecution was politically motivated? There is evidence for it in that a Red Notice is unheard of under these circumstances, but I’m looking for a smoking gun :/

        Its the only legal argument that will get him off the extradition.

    • prism 30.2

      Sex doesn’t tend to be a prissy shall I go first or shall you, no I’ll wait for you etc.
      The relationship should be based on an honest. straightforward emotional decision with agreement about expectations before starting, not mindless game-playing and changeability. Rationality means you don’t start something at all not start then cry rape. That’s not a healthy, adult, fair or reasonable approach and it brings disrespect to women.

      I thought that was widely held, common knowledge

  31. Alice 31

    If I would be a (Chinese) Nobel-prize winner, I would think twice before entering Sweden. A hotbed of strange avengers looking for a scalp and a skull. Among other things, the judicial system sucks and authorities are behaving badly. Fortunately, consensual sex is not (yet) a crime in the U.K. Legally (still) a precondition for extradition. Will the English court(s) bent over?
    If so, Assanges’ case will be more living prove that certain bodies within state-institutions act accordingly to what Wikileaks shows. Morally corrupt to the bone.
    The Chinese dissident and prisoner can safer stay in his cell and eat his noodles there. At least without being harassed by two Swedisch cunts. As a precaution I don’t buy Ikea Billies, because I prefer my books not in alphabetical order, but on subject and content. Crime fiction.

    • Swedish Bitch 31.1

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo and the king of Norway presents the peace prize and it has not much to do with Sweden and the other nobel prizes so the chinese you think of could be really safe from Swedish laws.

      • Alice 31.1.1

        Britain is not Norway. Sweden is not the US. All three are in Afghanistan.
        [deleted]

        [lprent: This is a moderated site. Read the policy. Don't leave completely inane comments. ]

        • Alice 31.1.1.1

          Back to the question: Is Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law? If so, why is she making an arse of Swedish law?
          If Julian Assange was not a famous whistleblower / dissident, he would never have a ‘red notice’.
          The case is obviously political. Sweden has an interesting reputation for sex scandals and politics. Assange was warned for it and fell into the trap. Just like Mordegai Vanunu, who was kidnapped in London. Remember, U.S. State Department knows already from spring 2010 that wikileaks had the 250.000+ documents. Don’t be too surprised if the two Swedes are used (with the riduculous Law in the hand) to catch Assange on purpose. It took the U.S. a week to reach Haiti after the earthquake, but were directly on ‘red alert’ when the wikicables were presented.

  32. Amir 32

    The best and most comprehensive article I have read on the subject so far.

  33. Gabby 33

    Why hasn’t it been more widely reported that Anna Ardin is a lesbian? Her website is filled with pics of her and her girlfriend “Petra.” I also found tons of pics of her with women at a club in Sweden called the Keber Queer Club. What is a lesbian woman doing returning “early” from her out of town trip to have sex with Julian Assange? The more important point is why is this NOT being reported by ANYBODY????

    People have gotten overly politically correct. This is an important fact. It indicates this Anna Ardin person had no interest in Assange other than for setting him up for a false rape accusation. How suspicious is it to have all this material about “revenge” with her name on it. This is a scary anti-social person who should be exposed before she does more damage.

    • Carol 33.1

      There’s quite a bit on the Internet about it. There may be something in what you report, Gabby. OTOH, she could be bisexual. I’ve known women who mostly identify as lesbians, who have occasional sexual flings with men. I’ve also seen at least one woman swing from being heterosexual, to in-your-face, radical lesbian feminist, to being heterosexual again within a year or two.

      So, it seems to me Ardin’s sexuality on its own, is not proof of anything much. And there’s an element of negative stereotyping of lesbian feminists in some of the reports, too.

      • lprent 33.1.1

        Yeah, I didn’t see it as being relevant either. Sexual orientation seems more of a tendency with most people rather than an absolute from what I’ve seen of friends with varying orientations. It depends on who you’re with (and how happy you are with them) rather than anything else.

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    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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