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Assange in Sweden: His Own Words
Transcript of the only police interview.
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — Julian Assange was questioned a single time by the Swedish police on 30 August 2010. By this time all charges saved one ('molestation') had been dismissed by chief prosecutor Eva Finné.
The interrogation took place late in the day because Assange's legal counsel Leif Silbersky was in court with the infamous 'helicopter robbery' trial.
The interrogation lasted 54 minutes with a short pause in the middle to clear up questions Assange wanted to ask the police, specifically related to his apprehension the entire conversation would once again make its way to the tabloid Expressen.
The interrogation took place at the 'family violence' unit of the police at Bergsgatan 48 in Stockholm, began at 17:43, and concluded at 18:37. There were five people present.
- Mats Gehlin (MG) - the chief interrogator
- Ewa Olofsson (EO) - the police interrogation witness
- Gun von Krusenstjerna (GK) - the interpreter
- Leif Sibersky (LS) - Julian's legal counsel at the time
- Julian Assange (JA)
Leif Silbersky spoke English with his client save on one occasion. Julian Assange's testimony was later translated and transcribed by Jennie Wolgast.
MG: And now we're running the tape, this will be transcribed, so all parts will be transcribed, in other words the entire interrogation every word will be transcribed.
JA: I have a question.
MG: Wait. And as stated, you are under suspicion and are to be formally notified of this and this is for the crime of molestation. And the notification is as follows: Assange has between 13 and 14 August 2010 in Anna Ardin's residence at Tjurbergsgatan in Stockholm molested Anna Ardin by during sex, which was initiated and completed with the explicit condition a condom would be used, with malice aforethought destroyed the condom and continued the sex until he ejaculated in her vagina.
LS: And that's it?
JA: Is this one or two incidents?
MG: One incident.
JA: The 13th, the 14th...
GK: In the evening or?
MG: It's during the time between the 13th...
JA: Between, OK.
MG: And so the question, what is your response to this accusation?
LS: Is it correct or not correct?
JA: I'm trying to understand exactly what he said.
GK: You want to repeat it one more time?
MG: I can try to do it too, Assange has during the time the 13th, in other words the time is clear for that matter you know that. The molestation is that you destroyed the condom.
MG: And that you did this with malice aforethought.
JA: So in other words there are several condoms?
MG: Yes in this context, no in this context this is about one condom on one occasion.
JA: OK, so it's one incident...
GK: One condom.
JA: ... Between the 13th and the 14th when I, when, you say I have deliberately destroyed a condom during sex.
LS: Correct. What is your response to that?
JA: It's not true.
MG: OK, so that you can then tell us your experience of the evening in question, is it true that you and Anna were out eating dinner?
JA: What date?
MG: The 13th.
JA: What day of the week is that?
LS: I can check, or tell you. The 13th of August was a Friday.
MG: And then the question, were you aware of, if one expresses it like that, were you aware of an event where you had sex together?
JA: Before I answer that, can I assume that this is going to end up in Expressen?
MG: From us? I'm not going to leak anything. And the only thing that's here, that's the three of us who are a part of this interrogation and a girl who will transcribe it afterwards. And I'm the only one who has access to the file. So if it gets into Expressen, you can pick a fight with me.
JA: And if the case continues?
MG: Yes after this interrogation the prosecutor will decide whether to continue or close the case.
JA: Previous statements, all the previous statements.
JA: From this office.
MG: It's gone out through a reviewer. And that is, who censors things about the investigation.
JA: So it'll be the same thing here what I say then?
MG: Yes but this... Yes one can say the secrecy act says nothing will be released about what's happened. No individuals will be outed. So that this occurs for each document, someone sits down and blackens whatever isn't supposed to come out. But we have the law that things have to be checked for confidentiality and whatever isn't censored by law, we're forced to release.
JA: So this part of the conversation, as an example, will be released?
MG: Your questions about it, if it's nothing except for you.
JA: And who decides that?
MG: That's our legal department.
LS: I think you should respond, because if they accuse you of something you haven't responded to, they have to accept what the girl says. You have to defend yourself by telling them your version. For otherwise it will become known you didn't respond and then the prosecutor has to go to court with it.
LS: But if you respond then the court, the prosecutor, get your version and the girl's version then the prosecutor has to decide 'can I prove he's done this'.
JA: And how much of my version do I have to tell?
MG: One more thing, you have the right during the interrogation to take a break from the interrogation. And then we turn off the tape and if you don't want to have this discussion we're having now, because the interrogation is actually only supposed to be about the alleged crime.
LS: It's even easier than that, if I can take it in Swedish, it's even easier than that, you can translate. Either you destroyed the condom deliberately as the girl says or so it's an accident or so there's been no condom used whatsoever. Those are the possible alternatives. So submit your alternative to the police.
JA: All I'm saying...
MG: Do you want us to take a break so we can finish discussing this so you feel calmer about things?
LS: Do you want a discussion...
JA: Maybe we should have a discussion.
LS: OK we'll take a break.
MG: We pause for clarifications about the interrogation and the time is 17:55.
MG: The interrogation is resumed at 18:02. And if I put it like this, you denied the crime and so I ask, are you aware of an event where a condom broke during sex with Anna?
MG: Have you had...
JA: I... I've heard the accusation.
MG: You've heard the accusation. From whom?
JA. Friday the 20th August. The same day the police were contacted I spoke with Anna and Anna accused me of a lot of things. And there were a number of false statements as well. During the conversation she made a similar accusation, she said that I'd removed the condom during sex. The first time I heard the accusation.
MG: Is it true you've had a sexual relationship, you and Anna?
JA: Yes we had a sexual relationship from the, Friday the 13th, a couple of days. We slept in the same bed until the following Friday.
MG: So how was this sexual relationship, were there multiple occasions?
MG: Was a condom used on any of these occasions?
JA: On the first occasion. And we had sex several times on the 13th and the 14th. And afterwards, on the other days too, we also had a sexual relationship.
MG: So, the later sexual relations, so it was intercourse?
JA: No they were more we touched each other.
MG: So that, we're talking about one time it's about intercourse?
JA: Yes we had intercourse the 13th and the 14th.
MG: And that was once or was it multiple times?
JA: Multiple times.
MG: And you used a condom the first time?
MG: And who wanted to use a condom?
JA: I'm not certain.
MG: And why wasn't a condom used for the other sex acts?
JA: It was used for the other sex acts.
MG: OK I misunderstood. So you had sex only with a condom?
JA: Yes that's correct.
MG: The accusation is the condom, a condom, was damaged after the act and Anna is of the opinion that at one point when you withdraw your penis there was a sound like you first removed the condom but when you entered her again she reached down and felt and she could feel you still had the condom on. Then you ejaculated and she feels amongst other things that she has semen in her. And she looks at the condom and there's no semen in the condom. And so the question to you, is this a situation you recognise in any way?
JA: No. At one point Anna pointed to the bed which had a wet spot. And said, look at that. And said, is that you? I said, no it has to be you. And we didn't talk about it anymore, at all, not at all. Until the accusations on Friday, a week later.
MG: And we're talking about the first occasion again...
JA: And during this time, except one night Anna and I slept in the same bed. Every night except Tuesday and Thursday nights. On Thursday evening Anna said she was going out a few hours to visit with a journalist who wrote something about me who lived in the same area or the same building or close by. But she didn't return that evening.
MG: Do you remember what you did with the condom?
MG: And you have no recollection of a damaged condom?
JA: No. And I've not looked around for a damaged condom.
MG: Do you use a condom otherwise?
JA: Yes usually, not always but usually.
MG: And you say you didn't check, or you say you don't remember what you did with the condom, is that correct?
JA: Yes that is correct.
MG: Normally how do you do things?
JA: I have no special routines for what I do with condoms.
MG: No. How did you become acquainted with Anna?
JA: When I now think back to that situation, it wasn't an unusual situation for me and I had no reason to suspect I'd be accused of something afterwards. No it wasn't a question of any accusations whatsoever in any way so I don't really remember when I heard the first accusation before Friday. So I didn't recollect that evening and the night in greater detail.
JA: You asked how I got to know Anna. To get here to Sweden it was necessary for me to get diplomatic support to leave England. Because of my security situation between my organisation and the Pentagon. Political contacts in Sweden therefore suggested I should be invited by the christian democrats to hold a speech and a formal invitation would be sent to England, so that I would get a secure transit here. From England. And I understood Anna Ardin was press secretary for the brotherhood movement within the christian democrats.
MG: A correction, it's not the christian democrats but the social democrats.
GK: Sorry, sorry, I apologise for naming the wrong political party.
GK: Forgive me, excuse me. The social democrats.
JA: She was contacted by Peter. I don't remember his surname. I think he's the chairman of the brotherhood, and a good man. Anna offered her flat to me. Was also involved in the arranging of the press conference last Friday, on Friday.
MG: And when did you arrive in Sweden?
JA: Wednesday or Thursday.
MG: And the date?
JA: I'm not certain. Maybe the 12th. Between the 10th and the 12th.
MG: This accusation, I might sound like a nag but I still have to ask. It's a rather clear picture Anna has of what happened. And this part of her hearing a sound from the condom.
JA: Anna Ardin has never spoken to me about this incident in any way. Or anyone else I'm aware of. I received a very brief and completely different reference, something other than what you're saying now, on Friday the 20th.
MG: What do you think Anna meant by pointing to the wet spot?
JA: I had no idea at the time. She might have been trying to point out how loving the sex had been.
MG: But she said something about it coming from you.
JA: Yes she said was it from you or?
MG: Why did she do that if you had a condom?
JA: I don't know that.
MG: Did you check the condom beforehand?
JA: Before what?
MG: Before you put the condom on, so to speak.
JA: No, I don't make a habit of checking them in detail before I put them on. There was nothing unusual there in any way. So I didn't inspect the condom in any special way. And I didn't ignore it completely either.
MG: Who put the condom on?
JA: I can't remember.
MG: You don't remember who took it off either?
JA: It was mostly likely me. It's unusual with women removing condoms.
MG: Then you said you had sex, did you have more sex that evening?
JA: We took several pauses and then began again, with the same condom.
MG: So this was an extended sex act?
MG: How long a time would you estimate?
JA: A few hours, I'm not certain how long.
MG: Did you bring the condoms yourself or where did you get it?
JA: I think it was Anna's.
MG: Do you remember where she kept the condoms?
MG: How did you get the condom?
JA: I'm uncertain who put the condom on so I can't say.
MG: But you can't remember that you got the condom or something?
JA: No I can't remember but as I said, up until recently it was just an ordinary night. I had no reason to suspect I'd need to remember all the details from that night.
MG: How was your sexual coexistence after that night?
JA: It was still pretty warm. There was one occasion after that night that Anna got two orgasms. We slept in the same bed.
MG: And if I'd understood correctly so you didn't have sexual, you didn't have intercourse then?
JA: That is correct.
MG: And nothing happened during the time you lived with her after that first night?
JA: No there was no intercourse, that's correct. But other sexual activities, yes.
MG: Were you ever rejected by Anna?
JA: In which way?
MG: That she rejected a sexual invite from you?
JA: Yes sometimes but in no significant way. No nothing that would be abnormal.
MG: If we can go back to the first night. Did you ejaculate?
MG: So now I'll ask Ewa if you have anything you want to discuss.
MG: Leif, something you want to... ?
LS: I have a couple of questions.
LS: At what time of the day did you have sex, what time was it approximately?
JA: Late at night and early in the morning.
LS: What would you say, approximately what time? Three, four, five... ?
JA: Between 23:00 and 05:00.
LS: OK. Was there any alcohol?
LS: Neither you nor her?
JA: Yes, I don't remember that I'd drunk any larger quantity. We can have had wine with dinner. But it wasn't en evening where we drank a lot.
LS: Were either of you inebriated?
JA: Not enough so I'd notice. I'd have noticed if either of us had been inebriated.
LS: When did you first hear from Anna about the issue we're discussing today?
JA: I've never heard precisely this issue directly from Anna. Today is the first time I get an exact description of it.
LS: So all the time you lived with Anna, from Friday to Friday and you had various sexual relations, so she said nothing about a broken condom?
JA: No nothing at all.
LS: Yes, I have no further questions.
MG: Then there's one more question popping up for me. Who was it who, shall we say, took the initiative to your getting closer to each other?
MG: How did that take place?
JA: She said I was to sleep in her bed.
MG: And things started in her bed?
JA: Yes that's correct.
MG: Were there any approaches from either of you before you got to bed?
MG: Did Anna say anything?
JA: No she didn't say anything but that was nothing unusual.
MG: And what do you mean by 'unusual'?
JA: They were just things you expected of a lover.
MG: And what were your plans when you were ready for bed then?
JA: After Anna had...
MG: No before that.
MG: Yes you say you got an invitation to her bed.
JA: Yes that's correct.
MG: Where had you planned to sleep before she invited you to the bed?
JA: Either on the floor or... I don't know, it's Anna's flat.
MG: How long had you lived with Anna before this evening or lived alone in the flat?
JA: Yes, I'd lived in the flat because Anna was away. One day when she was away. I got the keys three, four days beforehand. I had access to the flat but I didn't sleep there. Anna, she sad that... No I don't want to talk about this, for I don't believe this has anything to do with the case so I don't want to talk about private matters if they have no bearing on the case.
MG: Nobody has a followup question for this? OK then, is there anything you want to say before we conclude the interrogation?
MG: Go ahead.
JA: I was contacted by a mutual friend of Anna's and mine on Friday the 20th. It was a woman named Sonja who was at the hospital. She said something about DNA and the police. And I was very upset to hear this. No one was making any claims, it'd be a long narrative if I were to get into this. It doesn't seem relevant.
MG: OK so we hereby conclude the interrogation.
JA: We can always continue if it's needed? But the main thing is that I and others got to hear a lot of unbelievable lies. And got to hear I was to meet Sonja on Saturday afternoon to discuss the matter. Anna had no accusations and no one had any intention of going to the police and so forth. That's how I expected things to remain until I heard the news in Expressen.
MG: Hmmm... OK then. The interrogation is concluded. The time is 18:37.
I'm so sick of it all. Will it never end? At any rate I want to say the other girl's just as much to blame.
- Anna Ardin
Apparently Swedish laws are unique. If you have a penis you're half a rapist before you even get through customs.
- Scott Adams
If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade. If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point.
- Björn Hurtig
I can tell you that the Swedish prosecution still hasn't provided copies of those SMS texts that have been referred to. Those texts are some of the most powerful exculpatory evidence. In Australia prosecutors have a very grave duty to disclose such evidence to courts when seeking the grave exercise of a court's power against an individual. Yet in Sweden in this case, in the first hearings to obtain an arrest warrant, those texts were not submitted to the Swedish court, which is highly improper.
- James Catlin
The prosecutor could achieve this broadening of the law during Assange's trial so he can be convicted of a crime that didn't exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to. There is no precedent for this. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.
- James Catlin
Julian Assange will surely learn that considering what WikiLeaks has published, he's got a few enemies in the Pentagon, the CIA, and the White House. Sweden began an investigation into rape which was later dismissed. Assange was even denied residence in Sweden. One can only speculate to what extent the security agencies of the US were involved. And considering the obvious interest of the US to silence WikiLeaks, is it likely Assange will have an accident of the 'Boston brakes' kind in the coming years? Or will he be snared with compromising information of the 'honey trap' kind?
- 'Drozd' at Flashback 23 October 2010
The truth will out, the truth wins out. Let no journalist ever again speculate into what the protocols say. Six months of digging and the people at Flashback have the actual documents. The sleaze printed by rags such as the Daily Mail, Sweden's Aftonbladet and Expressen, and perhaps above all the toxic Nick Davies of the Guardian, can stand no more. Yet more: these documents are an indictment of the 'news organisations' who've printed deliberate inaccuracies all along or even worse: refused to print anything at all. Nick Davies' account of the protocols was maliciously skewed; both Aftonbladet and Expressen had copies early on and printed nothing. Bloggers had copies but arrogantly kept the information to their Smeagol selves.
- The Assange Police Protocol: Translator's Note
Industry Watch: Assange & Davies Again
Red Hat Diaries: Assange in Sweden: The Catalyst
Industry Watch: Assange: The Hornets Nest
Hall of Monkeys: Three Women II: The Sex War
Sunday Times: Accuser snapped me in the nude
Red Hat Diaries: How to Rape Julian Assange Twice