The lead interrogator who first interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's accusers did not disclose she had personal and political relations with one of the two Swedish women involved in the case. The women have made allegations of sex crimes against Assange, who Sweden is now seeking to extradite from the UK.
The two have been acquainted since April 2009, and both are Social-Democrats; the policewoman being a member of the party's LGTB group and the alleged victim with its Christian Association.
The revelations came to light on Thursday. The policewoman declined to be interviewed, but police spokesman Ulf Görantzon rejected any idea of wrongdoing in a press release.
Assange's lawyer, Björn Hurtig, has called the entire investigation into question. He asked why both accusers reported the alleged incidents at the police station where the policewoman (later to be lead interrogator) worked, and why she didn't reveal the potential conflict of interest. He said he would request phone and sms records of all involved parties. "If this information is correct, then one should carefully consider whether the nature of the investigation is such that he can be assured a fair trial," Hurtig told The Associated Press.
Claes Borgström, the two women's lawyer, said it was a minor detail in an interview. [must find transcript]
Some of the policewoman's statements about Assange on a Facebook page have been published:
- "That over-hyped, burst-ready, Assange-bubble"
- "Go Claes Borgström!!!"
- When newspaper Aftonbladet invited its readers to chat with Assange: "What the fuck is that supposed to mean??? Zero judgement!!!"
- Christian Holmén and Niklas Svensson. "Interrogator in the Assange case friend with woman accusing Wikileaks founder" — , March 10, 2011
- "Swedish police under scrutiny in Assange case" — , March 10, 2011
- "Questions raised over Swedish prosecution's impartiality in Assange case" — , March 12, 2011
- Nina Larson. "Police officer in Assange case 'friends with' accuser" — , March 12, 2011
- Nina Larson. "Assange case in turmoil as accuser linked to police" — , March 11, 2011
- Sapa-dpa. "Assange: Cop is a friend of accuser" — , March 11, 2011