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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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  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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