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Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. MrSmith 1

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

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

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

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

    • lprent 2.1

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

  3. swimmer 3

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

    • lprent 3.1

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

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

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

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

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

  4. ianmac 4

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

    • lprent 4.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Pete 4.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You can write directly to the Director of Prosecutions at:

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

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

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

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

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

    • Vicky32 6.2

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

  7. Bill 7

    Please get real.

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

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

  8. Barry 8

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

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

    • prism 8.1

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

    • lprent 8.2

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

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

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

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

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

  9. prism 9

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

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

    • lprent 9.1

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

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

  10. Bored 10

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

  11. Olwyn 11

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      He’s a smart guy.

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

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

      See Obama as another case in point.

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

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

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

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Christian science monitor

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

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

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

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

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

    • ianmac 12.1

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

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

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

        ‘nother link

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

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

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

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    A couple more:

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

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

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

    http://vimeo.com/17393373

    • ianmac 13.1

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

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        the security of international information will just get greater

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

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

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

        But yeah, it’s revolutionary shit.

  14. handle 14

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

    • ianmac 14.1

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

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Wikileaks is threatening to publish information about big corporates next.

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

  15. RobertM 15

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

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Bright Side for Clinton to leaked Cables

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

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

  17. Simon C 17

    What the fuck?

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

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

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

    • Andy 17.1

      Who told who to stop?

      How do you know this?

      • Simon C 17.1.1

        From the OP:

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

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

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

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

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

        • lprent 17.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

          • Simon C 17.1.1.1.1

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

            I’ll repeat my point:

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

            That is rape.

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

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

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

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

              That is rape.

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

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

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

              Also please answer my question from 4:36pm:

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

              • Simon C

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

                What I’m disputing is this:

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

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

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

                So here are my questions:

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

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

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

                • lprent

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

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

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

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

                  • Simon C

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • lprent

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

                    • lprent []

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

                  • Bill

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

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

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

                    Maybe worth a read.

                    • Simon C

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

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

                      Now, a final go at my argument:

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Vicky32

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

                    • Elizabet Mulkerrins

                      Interesting discussion.

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

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

                      I should imagine the conversation went something like this..

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

                      “Heeheehee!”

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

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

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

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        Also from the OP:

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

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

    • The Voice of Reason 17.2

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

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

      • Simon C 17.2.1

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

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

        • Andy 17.2.1.1

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

          ^^You know what that means right?

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

          Is that rape?

          Come on!

          • Simon C 17.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, um, actually that is rape.

            • Andy 17.2.1.1.1.1

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

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

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

              This is silly!

              Grow up!

              • felix

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

                • Andy

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

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

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

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

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

                  • felix

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

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

            • Jack P 17.2.1.1.1.2

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

            • Elizabet Mulkerrins 17.2.1.1.1.3

              Actually dude, thats is rape.

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

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

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

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.2

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

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

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

        • The Voice of Reason 17.2.1.3

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

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

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

    • balgarnie 17.3

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

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

  18. Andy 18

    Guess who Anna Ardins cousin is?

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

    Pretty interesting huh?

  19. Vicky32 19

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

  20. Arnou 20

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

  21. Freedom Fighter 21

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

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

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

  22. Chris Joyce 22

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

    • Vicky32 22.1

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

      • lprent 22.1.1

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

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

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

  23. Hugin 23

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

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

    It is disgusting.

  24. Rubadubadoobag 24

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

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

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

    • Simon C 24.1

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

      From the UKPA:

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

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

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

      Comments, Lprent?

      • lprent 24.1.1

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

        Perhaps you’d care to comment on that?

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

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

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

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

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

        • Simon C 24.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Vicky32 24.1.1.1.1

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

            • Simon C 24.1.1.1.1.1

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

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

              • lprent

                Now you’re just getting silly.

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

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

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

                • Simon C

                  Good point.

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

                  • lprent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Simon C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

                    • Simon C

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

                    • LizR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

                    • felix

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

  25. LizR 25

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

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

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

  26. Simon C 26

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

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

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

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

  27. flax 27

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

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

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

  28. Nibbler 28

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

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

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

  30. Jess 30

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

    • Andy 30.1

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

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

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

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.1

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

      • Elizabet Mulkerrins 30.1.2

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

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

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

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

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

    • prism 30.2

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

      I thought that was widely held, common knowledge

  31. Alice 31

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

    • Swedish Bitch 31.1

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

      • Alice 31.1.1

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

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

        • Alice 31.1.1.1

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

  32. Amir 32

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

  33. Gabby 33

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

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

    • Carol 33.1

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

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

      • lprent 33.1.1

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

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    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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