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Assange & The Media: Crumbs
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STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — There's still no further news in the Assange case but that won't stop the planet's 'jackal media' - especially the tabloids - of making news anyway.
Marianne Ny's announcement from 9 September is still the most recent news in the case.
Agence France-Presse ran with a story over the weekend about Assange no longer being arrested in absentia. But as far as has been previously reported, he hasn't been under arrest since 16:48 21 August.
Aftonbladet (everyone's favourite tabloid) today splashed an article with a lot of pomp and circumstance, gaudy pictures, etc about 'new witnesses being questioned by the police'. In the best of all cases, this implies yet another leak by authorities in Sweden - something no one seems to bother to contemplate.
Aftonbladet also claim Assange is no longer arrested in absentia - something they probably copied from the strange AFP bulletin. 'In absentia' implies Assange can't be reached - which since the weekend of 21 August is something that's not been possible as he's already turned up for a police questioning.
It's not too long since the 'jackal media' tried to make a story that Assange had gone missing by contacting both Leif Silbersky and Marianne Ny - who both dismissed the idea (which of course didn't stop the jackals from publishing anyway).
Aftonbladet and the other tabloids in Sweden have been very busy covering the national elections and whipping up a frenzy against the Sweden Democrats. Now they seem to have time for other matters again.
Not to say the crumbs the media are throwing out aren't edible. But they're nothing close to ethical journalism. You want to find out Assange's legal status? Talk to the prosecutor's office. Ringing up Björn Hurtig on a Saturday doesn't cut it. You want to flash sensational new information? Cite your sources. 'Aftonbladet's sources' doesn't cut it.
But what did Aftonbladet find out anyway? [Cursive is not theirs.]
Aftonbladet can today reveal that new witnesses have been questioned in the investigation of Julian Assange.
The two men who are acquainted with the WikiLeaks founder were questioned for several hours on Monday.
Both have a professional relationship with Julian Assange and accompanied him during his visit in Stockholm. They've even met one of the woman accusing him of sex crimes.
Interest in Sweden
According to Aftonbladet's sources, the police are now trying to chart the activities of the suspect in Stockholm, which is one of the reasons for the questioning.
The police want to know how much of an interest Assange has in Sweden, if he really intends to stay.
The two police interrogators also asked if he'd said anything about his meetings with the women.
Met One of The Women
The two witnesses met one of the women [Ardin] together with Assange. One of the men has also had contact with her after the alleged incident.
According to Aftonbladet's sources, the witness said that she's given him several versions of what happened when she had sex with the suspect.
Aftonbladet can today even reveal that Julian Assange is not arrested in absentia. Marianne Ny did not want to comment further on the case.
There could be more to the story but it hasn't come out in print. Aftonbladet's sources (how many are there) could be reliable but who knows? The only mildly interesting morsel is the police asking Assange's friends if he really wants to stay in Sweden - but even that doesn't qualify as better than hearsay of hearsay.
The Julian Assange case is important because WikiLeaks is important - not for any 'bleeding lead' potential.
The investigation progresses but right now and within the next week I cannot provide any new information on this matter.
- Marianne Ny 9 September 2010
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