Officer in WikiLeaks case slams Assange on Facebook
Comments posted to the social networking website Facebook by a Stockholm investigator involved in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could call into question police impartiality.
Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden on charges of rape and sexual molestation filed last year by two women who say he refused to use a condom during consensual sex. He has been ordered extradited from the UK by a British court, but has appealed that decision.
According to reports in several Swedish newspapers today, an unnamed female officer who conducted the initial interview with one of the women used her Facebook page to call Assange an “inflated, conceited, ready-to-pop bubble,” followed by a cheerful greeting to Claes Borgström, the attorney representing both women.
According to the tabloid Expressen, the officer has a background in the same political party as one of the two women who filed charges, and has been friends with her on Facebook since 2009.
A spokesperson for the Stockholm police declined to comment directly on the officer’s personal relationship with Assange’s accuser, or on general guidelines for Internet postings by individual officers.
Ingrid Helmius, a professor of law at Uppsala University, told Radio Sweden that the claims would have no legal bearing on any appeal case presented by Julian Assange.
"This is a trial in the media. It doesn't matter for the charge against Assange, it doesn't matter for the process afterwards because the interview is not considered as evidence."
But Assange's Swedish lawyer, Björn Hurtig, tells TT that his team plans to pour over the information and work the whole night to possibly turn in a petition to the prosecutor and the court on Friday.
Anne Ramberg, secretary general of the Swedish Bar Association, tells news agency TT, "The initial hearing is quite important, and there's a risk that it can be seen as though the police have not been objective in their assessment."
The leader of the preliminary investigation, Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny does not wish to comment, according to TT.