Assange says 'enemies' to blame for rape claim

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange resurfaced yesterday to dismiss as a smear a false rape claim that led to a warrant for his arrest being issued over the weekend then dropped just hours later. But as he remained under investigation in Sweden over a separate allegation of sexual molestation, one of his accusers gave her side of the story to a Swedish newspaper.

The man behind the controversial website that last month released more than 76,000 classified documents about the war in Afghanistan – and plans to release a further 15,000 in the coming weeks – had been visiting Sweden in an effort to secure legal protection for WikiLeaks.

The alleged sexual assault is claimed to have been committed in a Stockholm apartment on the night of 13 August; the discredited rape accusation centred around the nearby city of Enköping. A warrant for Mr Assange's arrest was issued on Friday, and Swedish police are understood to have been searching for him for some 18 hours before the charge was dropped on Saturday afternoon.

After becoming the public face of WikiLeaks in recent months, Mr Assange had admitted he was expecting personal attacks as part of an effort by the political establishment to discredit him. He said he had been warned about "sex traps" and believed the allegations would do "great harm".

He told the Aftonbladet newspaper: "There have been headlines all over the world about my being accused of rape. They won't just disappear. And I know by experience that WikiLeaks' enemies will continue to bandy around things even after they have been renounced. I don't know who's behind this but we have been warned that, for example, the Pentagon plans to use dirty tricks to spoil things for us."

Mr Assange refused to clarify whether he had in fact had sex during his stay in Sweden, saying he did not want to "drag people's private lives through the dirt". But he said he had "never, whether in Sweden or in any other country, had sex with anyone in a way that is not founded on mutual consent."

The anonymous woman accusing Mr Assange of molestation – a term that covers a broad range of offences involving inappropriate physical contact under Swedish law, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison – denied that she was part of a conspiracy. "The charges against Assange are of course neither staged by the Pentagon nor someone else," she said. "The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who has a skewed perception of women and who has problems taking no for an answer."

Yet she seemed to contradict this by adding: "It is completely wrong to say that we would be afraid of Assange and therefore did not want to report him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him."

The woman told Aftonbladet that both cases had involved mutually consensual sex which had escalated into assaults. "The other woman wanted to report rape," she said. "I gave my story as testimony to her story and to support her. I immediately believed her story, since it was very similar to the experiences I had myself."

A spokesperson for the Swedish prosecuter, Karin Rosander, told The Independent: "I'm not surprised that these rumours come up regarding this very well-known person." But she defended the move to place Mr Assange under arrest, saying the warrant was issued late on Friday by an on-call prosecutor. "The prosecutor who took over the case had more information, and that is why she made a different assessment than the on-call prosecutor."

Additional reporting by Ingrid E Persson

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing & Commnunications Executive, London

£30000 - £34000 per annum: Charter Selection: This highly successful organisat...

C# .NET Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript HTML, CSS) Finance

£60000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...

MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh-£260/day

£230 - £260 per day + competitive: Orgtel: MI Analyst-Reporting-Bank-Edinburgh...

Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment