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Assange in Sweden: Witness 'E'
Transcript of the fifth witness statement in the preliminary police investigation.
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — Nine witnesses were interrogated in conjunction with the preliminary police investigation into the allegations made against Julian Assange. Some of these interrogations were conducted by telephone and therefore 'conceptual' in nature; others took place on location and were recorded and thereafter transcribed.
The interrogation of 'Witness E' is by far the most comprehensive and extensive in the entire case file. It's a recorded interrogation so all the utterances, pauses, and non-words are included. Yet it's by far the most revelatory part of the entire case and will take quite a lot of work to read (as it was to translate and transcribe).
But it should be worth it.
Ewa Olofsson (EO) conducted the interrogation on 20 September (31 days after the case was filed) starting at 09:42 and concluding at 11:10. Mats Gehlin (MG) acted as police interrogation witness; witness 'E' is referred to as 'WE'.
EO: OK, do you have any questions before we begin?
WE: Yes, it's uh, well partly a clarification which, which maybe I want to make and partly a question which touches on this case.
WE: And the clarification has to do with my professional role. That is to say I am a journalist. And in some cases which, which have to do with my practicing my profession and cases which have to do with my sources, I can't reveal my sources. Uh, I don't think that it will be particularly relevant in this interrogation but, uh, yes that's the clarification.
When we come to the actual interrogation so, um, a little bit also because of what I just mentioned right now uh, so I'm curious about in which way this interrogation will possibly be made accessible to the media. Please tell me now.
EO: That, that the judicial system reviews each and every document which someone requests.
WE: I might not understand the judicial games in this matter in such case but if I have not understood, or if I have believed that it has functioned uh, so it's then the interrogations are covered by the secrecy act until the day when uh, when a case is, or a what shall we say, a prosecution is begun or?
MG: Yes or, a prosecution...
WE: Goes to a prosecution.
EO: Precisely. And then we always respect the confidentiality of the preliminary investigation.
WE: So is it so that this interrogation will be kept secret until a prosecution has begun?
MG: It works like this, all confidentiality shall, it's like this that this is a public document according to the first principle that they're public with respect to all documents within all agencies.
MG: If it happens that someone requests a document, then it's so that then everything must be in principle reviewed again, in other words all text must be checked for secrecy, in other words the preliminary investigation. Now it's so that now it's very strict secrecy in this case, so that it, it can be so that a document can be released but maybe it's entirely blackened. For if someone requests a document then they're supposed to get a document.
WE: Hmmm. That, the reason I ask this is that I have understood, now I've been out of the country a lot, but I've understood that uh, there have been interrogations that have been released and above all else to, to a tabloid newspaper uh, and now I'm thinking about Expressen. Uh, and I don't know if these interrogations have been released in accordance with the secrecy act or if there are leaks in your building here. But for me it's very important that if I am going to talk about my journalistic profession, uh, and if the contacts I have in my profession that, uh, that you can guarantee in some way that during a certain time so this won't, yeah, let's say tomorrow be leaked to Expressen.
MG: Nothing has been leaked. All has been released.
WE: So nothing, there haven't been any leaks?
MG: There have been no leaks and everything that's come out, in other words from it coming to this group. All documents that have been released have been released on request. And you know yourself how that's done most likely...
MG: ... That you've requested documents. So that, that Expressen has and that Aftonbladet has received as well, this is on the request of, in other words after review according to the secrecy act and then it's been blackened out. If one says, that which is blackened out in the newspapers that's what the police have done, that's not the newspaper.
MG: But it's the police who have done a confidentiality review huh and that has occurred through, in the first place, from the beginning part of the city police unit after that it's moved over to the central judicial unit on county level now who handle all these things huh.
WE: But you mean in other words that it, the interrogations which have up to now been published in the newspapers that they are public to the degree that, that the newspapers could publish during an ongoing preliminary, preliminary interrogation?
MG: Yes it was the judicial unit in the city police from the beginning. Then it went up to the central judicial unit. But that is in other words, each document that's been released has been released on the request of private citizens and the press.
EO: I can also add that what's said in here today it's we three who have that information. In addition this interrogation will be transcribed by one of our colleagues who will also be privy to what is said, what's been said in here. So that...
MG: And it's the same girl who's written everything.
EO: Who has, who has transcribed all interrogations.
MG: So OK then.
EO: Anything else you...
WE: No that, let's, let's get to work.
EO: Yes. Yes precisely. Precisely. And I'd ask you to begin to tell us of your contact with Julian Assange. And, uh, yes in connection with and before he came to Sweden.
WE: Uh, I've worked with Julian Assange uh, on assignment from Swedish Television. In a, uh, an ongoing documentary which I don't have the authority to, to talk about. Uh and I...
WE: ... And I met him a, uh, shall we say if I remember exactly but it's probably approximately, let's say a week before he comes to Sweden I met him in England. And after that he came to Sweden and I returned a day or twelve hours later approximately. Or...
WE: You said contacts before he came here.
EO: Precisely. What's it called, hang out, were you involved in his assignments here in Sweden...
EO: So to speak, were you, were you in England and met him because of his assignments here?
WE: I was in England and met him on assignment from Swedish Television.
EO: OK. Hmmm. Had you, did you organise things for his visit here in Sweden?
WE: That depends on what you mean...
EO: No I'm thinking about his living conditions on his, what assignments he had, possibly interviews.
WE: No but on the other hand I was aware of what there were, were for assignment and living conditions and things like that. And I helped make contacts, that I can say. Uh, partly with the Swedish brotherhood movement which then came to invite him to, to Sweden. Uh, I had email contact with Anna Ardin then who was press secretary, or who most likely still is, in the brotherhood movement.
Uh, and she, uh, for practical reasons sent the airplane tickets to, to me, for him. And beyond that, the purely practical matters were taken care of by, uh, her and the others of the brotherhood movement, I have no clear idea of how, how that works administratively with them, uh... What I had explained to me then that they would partly invite him to a seminar and partly take care of his living expenses up to a few days after the seminar.
EO: Hmmm. OK and so then you return to Sweden, uh, a half day you said...
EO: ... After Julian. And do you make, have you contact directly when you return to Sweden or?
WE: Yes that, I arrived in the night so I think we made contact in the morning. That's to say one more, one more night later.
EO: And when was that, do you remember?
WE: I could look in my almanac. Uh... But, counting backwards what it was, uh... In other words you've surely got your documents on when he came to Sweden so that it, uh..
EO: This, the seminar was on Saturday.
WE: On Saturday.
WE: And... Either it was a Thursday or so it was a Friday. Most likely so, most likely I returned on Thursday evening. Or Thursday night. And so, and so we met on Friday.
WE: Uh, that's my recollection, if you don't want me to look in my almanac.
EO: Yes you can of course look in your almanac please so we can clarify it all.
WE: No guarantees I've written down the date.
WE: Dum, dum, dum, dum... What date was the seminar?
EO: The 14th.
WE: The 14th. Um... OK let's see, uh... Precisely, that is to say in other words that I, uh, flew home on the 11th at night. And then in other words I met him on Thursday.
EO: On Thursday yes.
WE: That's my recollection.
EO: Hmmm. And then from Thursday where you had contact and met during the following week, during that week and the following week?
WE: Yeah we met during, uh, as I remember it every day until I left the week after.
EO: What day did you leave?
WE: (Clears throat.)
EO: I'm difficult.
WE: I don't remember if it was the 18th or the 19th. Uh, can check in my, my plane tickets if you want. Or wait a minute, I can check in my almanac. Uh... I think I left on the 18th at night.
WE: Left Sweden and then I've been away until the 15th, that's to say until a few days ago.
EO: Yes precisely. And then from your arrival in Sweden the 12th, or the 11th, 12th when you make contact.
EO: How did you associate, how did you meet, in what context?
WE: We collaborated at a number of meetings. Uh, of a journalistic nature so to speak.
EO: Were you also at the meeting on Saturday the 14th?
WE: Saturday the 14th...
EO: With the brotherhood movement.
WE: Yes, I was, I was.
EO: OK. What, what was your impression of Julian as a person?
WE: Uh... Impression of Julian as a person. Uh, that's a big, um, intelligent individual. He is, uh, friendly and warm you can say. Um... He, um... Sorry, now my phone is ringing. Uh... Yeah so you could ask some leading questions if you want instead, it's easier for me to reply to them.
EO: No I'm thinking you met him quite a lot, rather frequently during...
EO: A period when, did you have time, did you have time so to speak to get to know each other any better...
WE: On a personal level?
EO: Yes precisely. More than work or?
WE: Yes I think I have a feel for, for how he is as a person, yes.
WE: I think I can say that.
EO: Hmmm, hmmm.
WE: And... Um... He is, uh... Is a person who in certain aspects is very capable and very skillful. And in certain regards uh, so he can for example have difficulty finding the way if he's walking in, in town, uh for he gets so deeply into conversations. And, uh... He has a uh, a way to bring out a kind of um, goodwill or what you want to express it as. Because, uh... Yeah I don't know, there, there are certain people who have a sort of charisma that makes people want to be nice to them. So something like that. And he himself is very, in other words simply put, nice.
WE: I can uh... You asked me as stated if I was there, there at the meeting with the brotherhood movement.
EO: Yes precisely, hmmm.
WE: We can talk about that. But I'd also like to say something in connection with, with this particular case. And, uh, and the questions as stated around it.
WE: So uh, so I noticed when I was in London... I noticed something that for me was very startling because we in journalism are uh, not used to, as regards celebrities in a way that, that one can be like in the music industry or whatever. Uh, but what I discovered very quickly was that, um, uh, that Julian he awakened some sort of, uh, some sort of celebrity interest amongst, amongst girls.
And uh, above all amongst girls who, who I'd expect to be uh... As more, one can say, professional in character. Now I'm talking about how things were in London. Uh, and, yes they, they hit on him, that's how I can put it. Uh... Looked a little as if like this, yes there were journalists from very, very prestigious publications in other words that, that uh, that behaved like school girls when they, when they looked at him. Giggling, trying to hug. Try, what's the word, put their hands on his thighs. Yeah, yeah for my...
WE: For my part it looked very very strange.
EO: What did he make of it?
WE: He, uh... He was mostly unmoved. He smiled and thought that, the situation looked, seemed to be amusing, I think he found it nice. Uh, but I remember specifically a situation where we sat at a, a meeting. Or it was an, an informal meeting I can say, but nonetheless which was in, of a work context. Uh and as people can sometimes do with uh, with a glass of wine in their hand. And so there were maybe 15 people who were sitting at that, uh, that meeting. And we discussed all the issues that had to do with our professional roles. And uh, and in, in relation to it, certain materials we were working on.
And two women who were uh, who also worked in, in uh, journalism with this material. They sat down very quickly right next to him. And um, and it was obvious that, that they were, from either side, trying to tug, to see who would gain his, his interest. Uh, but he seemed more interested in discussing ethics in journalism, politics, and, so those, those issues. But it looked really strange, I can say that. From my point of view.
WE: Particularly as I knew who those two women were. Um, and particularly as their assignment at that place was of a journalistic nature.
EO: Did you and Julian talk about this later?
WE: Uh, we talked with him about, about this later. And I noted that uh, that he didn't, not really, not really rebuffed either the invites that, that those women came with. And without knowing anything about, about the details where they, what had happened or not happened so I told him in with all good intentions that I thought he should be extremely careful. For in his pressed situation uh, he can't know if it's a person he can trust or not. And um, in the political game which, which, which he is so used to or how you want to put it, what he's got involved in so it's far from unusual or for that matter unthinkable that someone can plan to, to create trouble for him through uh, sexual contacts.
And, so I talked with him a couple of times and I had a, a long serious conversation with him about this when we came to Sweden. Uh, which day it, most likely on Friday I'd guess.
EO: And why, why the long serious conversation?
WE: No it was just that uh, that it was... I noticed that uh, that there was, that there was as for many, in other words if I'm going to describe it without in any way seeming contemptuous towards anyone, there were too many groupies of womanly character like circulating around him. Uh and even if he only talked with them the way he let them in like in his conversation uh, meant that he lowered his guard in a different way compared to if he'd be talking to you or you to me. Um, so that was very simply a, such a, such a discussion.
There are a number of examples in, in history where, where very well known, above all controversial figures have got into trouble with things like this. I think not in the least about Mordechai Vanunu, don't know if you know him. He's the man who exposed Israel's nuclear weapons secret almost 20 years ago. He uh, he happened to, after he exposed the nuclear weapons secret he happened to meet a, a young girl whom he thought was really nice and cute and all of that. And she flirted with him very intensively and so she asked him if he'd like to follow along on a trip to Italy. And he did and then he was drugged and smuggled in a box to Israel and then spent 20 years in prison. It turned out she was a Mossad agent.
Uh and what Julian Assange and his organisation have been dealing with that's in no way less serious within world politics than what Mordechai Vanunu did. And for me so, so, he knew of this case. It wasn't unknown for him. But I felt it was important to point out that risk for him.
EO: Hmmm. Had he then, when you had that conversation, had, already had a relationship here in Sweden or in London that you knew about?
WE: I didn't know of his relationships in detail. I could only see uh, the way girls, uh, girls, uh, flocked to him.
EO: Hmmm. I understand. What, have you had, you say you had contact with Anna Ardin, mail-wise. Did you know each other...
EO: ... Beforehand?
WE: No, we didn't know each other beforehand.
EO: How did you make contact?
WE: I suspect, without knowing for that matter, that uh, was most likely asked by her superiors to, to send the tickets to me. And how that contact happened uh, I don't know that, don't know...
WE: And, and it's nothing I want to get into either because it has nothing to do with this interrogation.
EO: Have you, have you had any contact since you returned to Sweden?
WE: We had contact uh, the first time I met her was on Saturday morning. That's to say a few hours uh, before the seminar at the LO-borgen.
EO: Precisely, hmmm.
WE: And Anna Ardin, if she wrote to me or if I had it told to me afterwards, I can't remember, I was supposed to look in my computer I presume, uh, offer her flat to Julian Assange whilst he was here. And uh... I, I helped him as I said with, with a few practical things there. It had to do with, uh as I said partly turning over tickets and partly so I wanted simply put to find out where he was going when he was here.
Considering the brotherhood movement invited him uh, so they agreed to see that, that he'd have a place to live. And then I heard there was an empty flat that belonged to the brotherhood movement's press secretary, she'd be away. She'd be away until... Until Saturday if I remember correctly. Uh, and in that way so, uh, so there'd be a place for him to, to stay. And, uh, at a later time either they or someone else would find in some way a place for him to move to.
Uh, it's easier if you help me with the date because I don't really have it in my head...
EO: Hmmm. No...
WE: And I haven't thought a lot about this, uh, during, during the past month considering I've been away. But what I remember very clearly was that uh, that Anna Ardin re, she was to return to Stockholm a day earlier. What day it was I don't remember, if it was Thursday or Friday. Uh, I'd guess it was Friday without uh, being able to put my hat on it. Uh... And... Yeah it was definitely Friday. And she, uh, she wanted to meet Julian considering he was living in her flat. But there was nothing wrong with his living there because she had somewhere else she could go. And that day we had a meeting with um... A meeting with the representative of the brotherhood movement. And he told me this, this thing.
EO: Yes it was he who informed...
WE: He, he informed me...
EO: OK, yeah yeah. Hmmm.
WE: ... Information that Anna would be returning a day earlier. But it was cool, Julian could go on living where he was, uh and she was going to live somewhere else. Uh, later at, during, a little later so uh, I heard that through Julian that, uh, that Anna Ardin had contacted him and wanted to meet, uh... Before, before the seminar. And as I understood it so, my impression is that I, I directed him to her flat, uh, and then I went home. And it was probably in the evening but it wasn't night. Uh, and...
EO: On Friday?
WE: On Friday.
EO: OK, hmmm.
WE: That's my recollection.
WE: And, and then she was supposed to uh, she and he were supposed to, supposed to meet up. Uh, then in the morning, on Saturday morning I was supposed to see that uh, to fetch Julian from the flat to show him the way to LO-borgen. The seminar was at 11:00 if I remember correctly. And that means I was most likely there about 09:00, 09:30, don't know exactly when it was.
And so uh, I ring the door. I know to start with that Julian would never find it. And secondly I knew he has a bit of a difficulty with punctuality. So I thought it was a friendly gesture to, to, and wake him. I was one of the only people in Sweden who knew where he was. So I rang the door and to my surprise Anna Ardin opened the door. And she... She looked a bit, uh, a bit, what can I say, hmmm... She looked, looked as if, that she hadn't expected to see me, that I can say. Uh, and I definitely didn't expect to see her, uh, in the morning. And I asked in a somewhat discreet way, uh, yeah what's it called had they, if they, if she had arrived now or not like...
EO: But you understood it was Anna?
WE: I understood that... She like introduced herself as Anna.
EO: Yes, OK hmmm.
WE: Uh, and so I went in the flat and saw, uh, saw a bed. Uh, it's a very small flat, um... I have 35 square metres, one room and kitchen. Hers looked to be, to be, yeah but almost ten square metres less. So there was a relatively small sofa and a little bed. And uh, Julian sat in the room and she was dressed in the hall and met me. I made only a, a mental note of the fact that uh, yeah they've spent the night, spent the night in one way or another in uh, the flat. Uh, it's not a really big flat so there's not really any space for, for living in separate rooms.
Uh but I didn't get into that questioning, I was interested in seeing they arrived in time at the seminar. So Anna left a bit earlier. And then maybe a quarter of an hour later we left for, for the LO-borgen, me and Julian then in other words. Uh, shall we see, thinking back if there was anything more...
EO: Did he say anything about the night?
WE: Absolutely not. Uh, firstly it's not my business to ask questions of a personal nature. Particularly not with a person I have a professional relationship with. And secondly so it's not, I felt that he wasn't a person who, who talked about private matters in that way. Uh, but there was a, a thin, thin, thin mattress. Which was about this thin without sheets or anything else that lay on the floor. Uh, I noted it for myself that, yeah maybe he slept on it. But I presumed, presumed it. Uh and that, I thought it was very strange that she had spent the night there. But nothing other than that.
Then we went to, uh, the seminar. And there were a lot of people, a huge press corps. Most of them, without knowing anything about the statistics but it looked like most of them in, in the seminar room were members of the journalist profession. Really a lot of cameras and video cameras and pens, dictaphones, and so forth. And Anna she helped with coordinating things, the practical details. And it went off as, as it should, nothing unusual.
And, and then when the seminar was over because there was a time frame where they were forced to leave the LO-borgen. And we went out and stood, in other words all of us including a lot of journalists stood outside, um, outside the building. And so Anna had made some sort of list, uh of journalists, who were permitted to do an interview there. And they were ticked off the list and it took like a long time. Uh, and... Uh... And so, during this time more and more people dropped off, went away. Uh but, uh, the idea was that, uh, I think his name was Peter Weiderud I think, he who's, who was responsible there at the brotherhood movement. Uh, he and Anna Ardin and me and a journalist whose name is [witness F], we were the ones who uh, had had you can say all the original contacts with, partly with Julian and partly from the brotherhood too. We were going to lunch after the seminar. And there were some people standing around after the journalists started leaving and there were only maybe one or two remaining. Uh and so I went up to, to, yeah his name is Peter Weiderud or?
MG: Uh if it's him with the brotherhood movement.
WE: The brotherhood movement yeah.
MG: Yeah we've had [inaudible] but it...
WE: I'm maybe mixing up the names. Who was in charge?
EO: I'm not sure.
MG: I'm not sure either but it's nothing we...
EO: I recognise it from before.
WE: At any rate, uh I go up to him and so I ask him, um, what, what's the plan. And so he says, yes we're going to go eat lunch and so he asks if I have any suggestions where to go. Then it's suggested we go to, uh, or I suggest we can go to Bistro Bohème which is like right next door. Uh and there are a few people who, who are still there and I ask like this, who are they. Yeah, no clue. Uh, and, and so I note in front a, a young girl standing there in some sort of pink jacket. Uh, yeah she stands out in an, an unbelievable way you could say in this context. Totally shocking pink.
Uh, and, and so I ask who, something about yeah who, who is that. Uh, because she was standing too close, too close to the gang who'd organised the event. And so he says, no but she had, she's been helping here as, as a volunteer or an apprentice, something like that he said. Uh, OK I say, but you can see to it that she, that they leave. Because I mean I don't want any outsiders at our lunch. Uh, now it's been like everything from uh, politicians to journalists to like groupies who've been standing there for almost four hours. We can like go ourselves. So, yeah but she has, she has helped so much for free so that the least we can do is invite her to, to, to uh, to come along to the lunch.
Uh, to go back to what I mentioned before with my warning to Julian. For my part there were a lot of warning sirens going off just by what I saw of her. Uh, and that she suddenly ended up so close, uh, like that conversation climate that we're four people like sitting there and discussing sensitive issues. Uh so it's some person I don't know and I don't know who she is. Uh and suddenly she's following along on a, on a lunch.
Uh and, but about that, his name was Peter, he was in charge for the entire seminar he uh, he said that, no but she's joining us for lunch. And so I asked Anna the same thing if she knew who she was. And she said something like, uh, that she'd contacted the brotherhood movement and asked if she could help out with anything. But that she herself didn't really know who it was. Uh, then... Uh... But that she, that she worked at, uh, the natural history museum or something like that.
Uh, yeah so we went to the lunch restaurant and if I remember correctly so it was so that the people I mentioned earlier, that's to say it was Anna Ardin, it was me, [witness F], it was Julian Assange, and that young girl.
EO: Do you remember her name?
WE: Yeah her name was Sofia. Uh, and... She, she was put at the end of the table. Because I think practically speaking everyone felt she shouldn't really be there. Uh and so we discussed things together how we thought the seminar had gone uh, and some other matters like of a political and journalistic character.
Uh I noticed a really strange scene. Because she sat quiet through, through the entire lunch. She sat next to Julian. I think it was Peter, Julian, her, me, Anna, Donald. Uh, and she sat quiet during the entire lunch and nothing to chime in under, with the uh, in the topics we discussed. And sure enough, she broke into the conversation. And so she asked, she stared intently at Julian and so she asked, did you like, did you like your cheese sandwich or something like that. And I reacted, I don't remember if it was a cheese sandwich but it was something like that, something, something extraordinarily trivial. Uh and, and he reacted too. And he noticed she was sitting next to him. And so he looked at her, uh... And so he said, uh, yeah do you want to taste it? And so she took a bite of his cheese sandwich. Uh, and (laughs)... Yeah if you think if you're like sitting with a bunch of policemen like and then so there's someone there you don't really know who it is who takes a bite of your friend's cheese sandwich uh, you're a bit perplexed.
Uh then it ended, uh the meeting, after lunch the meeting ended. And, uh, me and Julian were going to go, to, in each our own directions. I think everyone went off in their own directions. But wait before that ended so we discussed um, something about Swedish traditions. And I said something about, yeah isn't it time for crayfish or something like that. Uh I suggested, one perhaps, it might be cool for Julian to see a Swedish crayfish party. I was onto Anna Ardin who sat next to me she said that, yes but I can fix a crayfish party. So within three minutes she'd made some calls and then after she hung up she said, yeah at so and so o'clock at my place it'll be a crayfish party and you're all invited. And it was really fast and very heartfelt and I thought it was really like nice. Above all like in some way when it was so unexpected.
Uh, so in any case we went off and I was supposed to fix some of my stuff but I walked along with Julian and the others went in their own directions. Anna went off to fix, uh, to fix the purchases of crayfish and spirits - was a bit difficult on Saturday right after lunch. Uh and... Um... And so I noted this young, young girl Sofia following along. Partly, yes me and Julian.
WE: And, and I pull Julian a little bit to the side and so I ask him like this, what, who is that. And so he looks at me like this, yeah but she works for the brotherhood movement. She said that, that she can help me get a cable for my computer like this. OK, yeah OK. So we walk together the three of us to a computer store and ask if they have one, yeah some type of cable that they want. Uh and they don't have one in the store, so we walk to another computer store and it's the same thing there, or else it's closed. Uh, and so I'm thinking, yeah but now she's done her thing and now she can leave.
Uh, but instead so, so she keeps Julian there and asks if he'd like to go and see where she works which is, I don't remember if it was the natural history museum but it was some sort of museum, some big museum in Stockholm. Uh, and he asks me, how do you say it, do you want me to go along with you and help you with some stuff or, uh, because I'd be glad to. I say, no but you go to the museum and we'll meet in the evening at the crayfish party.
Uh, so they head off to the museum. At any rate what I know. And, and I go off to do my stuff. Uh, then, uh towards, towards the evening I arrive at, uh, at Anna Ardin's. They've rung a few times and asked where I am, uh... I was late, way late I guess. And so I arrive at that crayfish party to put it simply. So they've booked, or set out a table in the inner courtyard. Uh, in addition to Anna and Julian and Donald who are sitting there, there are two people from the Pirate Party. Um, and another three, four girls and one guy, friends of Anna's. And I presumed that they in some way were, were either connected to the brotherhood or in some other way, uh... Yeah, or that it was simply put friends, I didn't think a lot about, about that issue.
Uh, and so the evening wears on. Uh, and so I note a, a curious uh, exchange, one can say. It's a very hearty evening, I can say that like already at once.
EO: Hmmm, hmmm.
WE: There's absolutely nothing, uh, hateful like or something like that, save for one thing. And it was then a friend of Anna Ardin's who sat quite a ways from me, uh, who made it very clear that partly she's a lesbian and partly had a, a very strong grudge towards men in general. Uh, and she says something like, she screams over the table to Anna that, uh, next time we'll have a crayfish party without men or something like that. So I just put that, that phrase in my memory. Then I asked a little half-joking like this, I spinned the issue further with, with Anna. Like this why would they want to do that. She said something like, yeah yeah but it's good when women can, can get together like only for themselves, be strong together or something like that.
Uh, and later on in the evening so, uh, I think I asked, uh, I asked Anna, um... No I first asked Julian, uh, where, where he would, would spend the night.
WE: Uh and, and then he says, yeah I have a few offers. OK, OK, but everything seemed like fixed. And, and so he says, well I've been invited by one of those young ladies who, who, we, who we met before, Sofia. But there was a technical detail or something like that to be arranged before they could meet. I don't know what that technical detail was, I wasn't very interested in that, I just wanted to know if he had somewhere to sleep. Because if, if I was going to let him use my flat or something like that. Uh, and then I asked Anna if it was OK if he stayed at her place instead or if she wanted me to take him to my place. Uh she said, no no problem, he can, sure he can stay with me.
Uh and then the hour was very late, perhaps three or something like that and so everyone left except Julian and, and Anna. I helped carry up the last, last glasses and stuff. And, and then I said farewell to them in the flat. And then it was apparent that, that they both would be sleeping in the flat.
EO: Was there something, something between them that you noticed that evening?
WE: A, a strong friendship.
WE: A very heartfelt friendship. There were no, no open flirtations that I saw. And that was why I didn't either, uh, or I got like the feeling somewhere from, uh, from Anna uh... She, she wanted to take care of Julian in some way.
WE: I got an SMS message from her a few, a few days later. I don't remember exactly the day but it was something about, I can show it to you if you want. Uh, which was something like the, the, um... Here. Uh, the 16th of August, that means...
WE: Yes. We met the day before as well I'd think, Sunday. But at any rate there, an SMS message. Uh, and so on, this is a Monday morning and Julian and I were to meet with, uh, Swedish Television. And she messages me uh, that, uh, hi now I've told him three times he has to take a shower, he smells terrible I can't take it, you're his best Swedish friend, yeah that's her definition, can you figure out some way to solve this problem, thanks Anna. And so I answered something like hahaha, uh, yeah and so she replied again, haha OK, but you can get some hot Pirate girl to... On the pretext to take him to her place or point it out yourself or something. I've, now I've at least forcibly washed his clothes.
Uh, and in the following days so, so uh, so we met every day. That's to say both Julian and Anna Ardin. Partly for work I'm involved in and partly to help with some interviews. And at this point Anna and Julian have developed a relationship where she is his, his like plastic mum. Or something like that. She sees to it that she can take care of his wash and sees he eats properly. Yeah she, she talks about it several times.
And, and um... The same evening that I, or the evening before I leave, that's to say Tuesday I think, so I'd left Julian at a, a restaurant. And so Anna rings and so I say, yes he's there and there uh you can... No she rings me like this. Asks me where he is, she was leaving work. And so I ask, uh, then she asks where he is and so I tell her, he's here. Uh and so I joke something about, yeah what was it, uh, we've become uh, we've become a sort of um... Or yeah I say, you'll have to assume responsibility for our adopted child now. So she says, yeah, um, yeah I have for some time, often thought of adopting a child, I didn't know he'd be so, that he would be so grown up. But it's, it's like a very heartfelt like, a very heartfelt conversation.
WE: And then she leaves work and meets him.
EO: Does she express any desire to have him move out?
WE: I actually asked her every day. Uh, and I know it's not my business to ask a question like that. Uh but, but I try, I pull her away, pull her away a bit, a few, a few times. And so I ask her like this, is everything cool. In other words without going into detail here, do you, is it cool he's living there, do you want like for me to fix something else. Uh and so she says, no but it's, it's that he, he he doesn't like sleep at nights so that's a bit difficult, uh, and so he has a bit of difficulty taking care of his hygiene. Uh, but, no it's OK if he lives with me, it's, it's no problem, just so I know approximately how long it's going to be. Uh, but I think that question was asked by me, either three or four times. That's to say, uh, from the first time which, which was Saturday uh, until...
EO: The day of the seminar, yeah precisely.
WE: The day of the seminar, Monday, Tuesday.
EO: Yes. Do Anna or Julian speak with you about them having a, having, or having had or that they're going to have a sexual relationship?
WE: Absolutely not.
EO: Neither of them?
WE: Absolutely not.
WE: And to be honest uh, so, uh, now that I know that it's come out, what's it called read in the evening tabloids just as you have...
WE: That they evidently did have. Uh but it came as an absolute shock for me. Which possibly, now when I say, say this maybe shouldn't have happened. But for some reason so um, so she and I had such a relationship, partly with each other but partly in respect to Julian and it felt more like uh, yeah we helped out like with taking care of our guest. And just as improbable that I'd have a sexual relationship with Julian I felt that it would be that she would have one. Uh... But... Yes. I didn't think about that at all. Save the first, first uh, the first time when I discovered they were sleeping in the same flat. But after that so, so uh, I didn't think about it anymore.
EO: Did Julian meet another woman at this time? You've said he and Sofia went to, to her place of work on one occasion and that...
WE: I don't know where they went, uh...
EO: No but they talked about it.
EO: And then he was invited to sleep over at her place.
EO: But, did he do it?
WE: Um, I have no, no knowledge of what he actually, actually did. I knew we were going to meet... Uh, yeah I can actually check this too, I got an SMS message from Anna in that regard too. Uh, I ask, uh... Here. This is from the 17th of August, good morning, can you remind J that we have a meeting at noon at the journalists association, suspect he's asleep and unfortunately I can't pick him up today. That's me writing that. Anna Ardin answers, he's not here, he's planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening but not made it, maybe he finally found time yesterday? It's 09:40 the 17th of August. My reply...
EO: The 17th of August?
WE: My reply the 17th of August, my reply, poor taste, do you have her number. Her reply, uncertain if he has any taste to be honest but she was cute. Not mentally fast enough according to J. But cashmere and breasts and idol worship compensate. No unfortunately not, firstname.lastname@example.org, works at the natural history museum that's all I know.
Uh, and so he missed that meeting we'd agreed to. Uh and I have to, I ask, I ask people to ring him during the day because I have a lot to do, otherwise. And then he turns up at about 14:00 I think. And so, so we move the meeting we were supposed to have at the journalists association to 16:00 in the evening instead.
Uh, and then, right when I spoke with him at lunchtime, in other words when this meeting was to have taken place at the journalists association, then I reach him by telephone. And so he tells me that, uh, he's stuck on a train. Uh, and that, uh, it would take a long time to get back, get back to town. So I suspected it was a commuter train or whatever it could be or something. And, yeah he'd calculated the time wrong to put it simply. This was don't forget with the chairman of the journalists association. So that it, in a Swedish context, so even if he's very well known in a Swedish context so it's difficult to organise these types of meetings and move them two hours this way or that.
EO: Hmmm. But no more talk about where he spent the night or with whom?
WE: I don't think I asked that question. Uh, and this has more to do with, with my attempt like to, uh... Even if, if he has a friendship, what should I say, relationship in that regard like that one can go and, and, together to a crayfish party or like help him find things, whatever that can be, with all those things, so I didn't feel I wanted to know anything about his private life. But I made it clear that I thought it was uh, bad form to not come in time like to a meeting.
EO: When he'd moved out of Anna's flat, why did he do that and when, do you know?
WE: I left the country, I told you the date there...
EO: Yes precisely, on Wednesday there...
WE: So that then he was, as far as I knew still with Anna.
EO: After that...
WE: He was going to leave, he was going to leave the country. And he was to leave the country the day after me. Or maybe it was the same day. Uh, so I understood, understood the plan. And, and then I asked even Anna as stated if it was, it was OK that he stayed until, until the same say then when I left. Uh, so that's why I didn't think that, yeah alternately so if he'd be able to take my empty flat if he stayed in town. But I have no idea why he, he left or what day it was or something like that.
EO: And so you left, and, after leaving you had contact with him then or with Anna?
EO: ...or with Anna?
WE: No, I, uh, however got a call from [witness F]. When I was, when I was out of the country. Uh... What day can that have been. Can't, can't really remember what day it was. But at any rate I got a call where, where he said to me, uh, are you sitting down. And, and I immediately became very worried. And so he said that, that Julian has been accused of rape, uh, of this younger girl Sofia. And that he had spoken with Anna Ardin. And that Sofia had spoken with, with him. And that Anna was royally pissed about uh, about what she heard from Sofia. Uh, and that she for one reason or another uh, had believed what Sofia told her. Uh, and that they would, would meet. Yeah now what day was that.
EO: And how, what happened after that with this information?
WE: Yeah I, I was totally in shock, uh... What, what can one do with information like this like.
EO: No. Did you contact anyone or did anyone keep you informed of what was happening or?
WE: No in other words it was, it was during the day that I, that I still got, uh, had contact uh, with, uh, through [witness F]. And, and then I went out into the country like I was, I was, yeah... Has nothing to do with the interrogation but I was in Kazakhstan.
WE: And out on the Aral Sea, with very sporadic phone contact and Internet connectivity like and... And everything it can be. Uh... So I, I was totally in shock. And then the following day... Yeah that's how it was, the day, the following day this came out as big headlines in, in the world media. And then a few hours later the whole thing, the whole thing was dismissed. Uh, and, for my, yeah first it was a total shock and, about it being an accusation and then it was a total shock about, uh, the story getting out so fast and the prosecutor grabbing onto it so fast. And then a total shock about, about the whole case being dismissed. Uh, so from my point of view, I only thought that this, it smelled completely wrong all of it from beginning to end. Because there was something there that didn't add up.
EO: And you followed the developments on the web or on...
WE: Yeah, I got some calls...
WE: Uh, from [witness F]. And of course I... No I actually didn't have much time to follow it on the web. Uh... There were a few times when I was able to connect to a network.
EO: Have you had any contact with Anna Ardin after...
WE: I rang her the same day that, uh, that is precisely, the call after, after [witness F]. But it was a short call, she was leaving to meet uh, Sofia to, uh, to go consult with uh, with the police. But what I learned from that call was that uh, I may have misunderstood but what I learned from that call it wasn't what, what [witness F] had already told me. Uh but it was very simply that Sofia wanted to force Julian to... Precisely, it, it's part of what I forgot. She wanted to force him to, uh, test himself. Uh, but not a police complaint of rape. Uh... And that's what I learned from that conversation.
EO: And the test was for?
WE: HIV. In other words they were, as I understood it so they'd, uh, they'd had sex without, without... But this is second hand sources from my side of things, it's what [witness F] told me. That, and Anna. That they'd had sex without, without a condom. And that, uh, Sofia was afraid, afraid she'd been infected. And that she evidently had wanted to, to have Julian test himself. And Julian evidently didn't want to do that. Uh, precisely, then, then I actually spoke even with, with Julian. I rang him. Uh the time, the time frames like move into one another so it's difficult to remember the exact sequence of events.
EO: Hmmm, hmmm.
WE: But so I ring him and ask, what the fuck is going on. And then he says that yeah, what do you say, she wants me to, to test myself. So then fucking do it like. What, what's the problem. So, no but I, I can test myself but I don't want to be blackmailed to test myself. Um... Because they say that either they go to the police, or, Sofia, that she either goes to the police or so I test myself. So I can give, I can give her that but I'd rather do it out of, out of, uh goodwill like rather than it's a blackmailing situation. I said, but fuck see you fucking test yourself now like. That's that, in other words if she's uneasy about it, it's crazy. Uh, and after that I didn't butt in, uh. And remember I'm 4500 kilometres like from a telephone...
WE: And I have my head full of a lot of other things.
EO: But does he, does he say anything more about the relationship, in other words about his contact?
WE: Uh no, I think he may have said that he, that he had uh, had sex with, with Sofia. Um... Don't think there was anything else he mentioned then.
EO: You didn't talk about Anna?
WE: No. Uh, other than that, uh Sofia was in contact with Anna. And that Sofia was very angry on Ann... For, sorry, Anna was very angry on Sofia's account. I got the impression from that conversation that I had with Anna what Sofia, that Anna had, uh... Had some sort of sisterhood feeling for the younger girl, that she wanted to help her. And as I understood it, that was why she was going to go with her to the police to get advice about how to force uh, Julian to uh, test himself.
EO: Did you ever get an idea of Julian's attitude towards women in general?
WE: Women in general. That's just as difficult a question as asking about Anna's attitude towards men in general.
EO: OK but I was thinking if he'd expressed something you reacted to or if he in some way showed...
WE: No, I can instead say it's like I said, that during the two weeks I was with him he is an awful chick magnet.
WE: But more from a very gentlemanly way with women. And later I understood afterwards, putting one and one together, that it was probably a lot of girls who did everything they could to get into bed with him. And I don't know where they ended up but now it sounds like it can be a real lot who succeeded. But I didn't see anything unusual in his attitude towards them.
WE: But on the other hand as I said, there's a strange attitude towards men with Anna Ardin and her friends. And that's what I brought up with this...
EO: Yes precisely.
WE: This little anecdote. But it was a feeling that kept on all evening from some of the girls at the crayfish party.
EO: Hmmm. Can I take a short pause in the interrogation. The time is 11... 10:55.
EO: So we can resume the interrogation 10:59. So, then we'll return to where we were and that was, you were talking specifically about Anna's friends' attitude to men rather than Julian's.
WE: And as I said, I got a little, little weird vibes. This happens now and then especially in the universities, you run into something that... I really don't know how to express this because it's coming out sooner or later in the evening tabloids, but it happens, happens now and then that you run into young women who've taken... They've completed a journey, there in the name of feminism so they tend to be just as chauvinistic as the most chauvinistic men can be, but on the feminist scale. And it often expresses itself that they, certain young women can then talk about men as sexual tools and that they're not needed for intellectual conversation. And that it's only men who, or only women who, need one another. So maybe it's more a thing for my generation, maybe you've never run into it, but I run into it quite often, above all in the universities.
And I got, got that feeling from some of Anna's friends. Uh, and when this conversation, this short interpolation came up so I got a quick feeling that, that, yeah, no in other words I don't want to say that Anna uh, was like that. But she, she affirmed that side of things with, uh, with this woman, with her friend. Um... That's the only thing in terms of character, but I don't know about it, if it should fall, if the shadow should fall on Anna. It's hard to, hard to judge.
EO: A final question, have you, we've touched on it earlier also precisely that you've spoken with Julian about his sex life or his, his, maybe what he would prefer in terms of sex. And you said you talked about his sex life.
WE: Absolutely not.
EO: But in conclusion then, have you at any time spoken about something, something in his private life as regards the sexual part, his preferences or what he likes in any way?
WE: Absolutely not.
EO: [inaudible] Nothing, nothing. Uh, has he ever... Do you know if he has any children?
WE: Well I've read in the newspapers the same way as [inaudible].
EO: OK, But this was nothing you talked about or?
WE: As I said, my relationship with Julian... So I understand after this interrogation, particularly considering it's about crayfish and things like that so it can seem we had a close private relationship but we actually have a professional relationship. And that, to be honest it doesn't interest me at all.
EO: No. Has he said anything about children or his, his wanting children here in Sweden?
WE: No, I haven't, haven't heard that. (Laughs.)
EO: No. OK, I'm satisfied. So you have any further questions, Mats?
MG: Yes some clarifications actually.
EO: Hmmm, hmmm.
MG: You said, was the first time you met Julian, it was in London?
WE: It wasn't the first time I'd met him but it was the first time in this, uh, during this period. Uh, I have, uh, even written about, about WikiLeaks previously, uh, and I've met him in New York. You can read about that in Aftonbladet.
MG: But approximately had you, like not known, but had contact if you say the first time you had any contact with him?
WE: Uh I'd met him in New York in, uh, April or something like that.
WE: And we've had, uh, some sort of, um, sporadic contact via email since then.
MG: Hmmm. We've talked about, concentrated a lot on the girls, how they behaved around, around him. That it was, as you yourself described it a bit groupies.
MG: A question I have, in other words how, in other words Julian, how he responded to this, this attention from the girls?
WE: I think that he... Uh, that he thought it was nice. Uh, and what I think, as I said it was as I described it, it was why I had that talk with him. That it can seem as nice as anything but you have no idea who they are.
MG: At this crayfish party so you said that there were a lot of other girls, amongst others this girl who said something that, that you reacted to. Did any of these other girls try to get Julian's attention?
WE: That evening?
WE: Not in, in that way, uh... Not in a physical way, I can put it like that. But, but, uh... In other words if you imagine that there's a, a very famous rock star sitting at a party so there's going to be some looks and, and certain ways to, to more or less direct attention to one person. In that way I'd say that, that probably all the girls at that crayfish party behaved towards him. But no it wasn't sexual [inaudible].
MG: No. Julian himself at this crayfish party, did you notice if he made any overtures, not of a sexual, but in other words that he tried to get their attention?
WE: I don't notice that. Uh and, in other words it's about somewhere if, I don't know if you've met him yet but, uh... Julian is a, a person who has certain character traits, uh, who, who like somewhere it, it, it... I get the impression that he's a person who thinks it's, uh, that it's more stimulating for him to talk about his, his profession. In other words almost so it becomes an extreme situation. In other words you know, there are some people who, who can't distinguish like, or who on the contrary can distinguish between their professional and private lives. But Julian in my opinion is a person who is constantly interested by, by issues about politics and journalism uh and it shows as well in that regard in, in, uh, in his body language. That, uh, if you think about looks like and, and overtures so it's more like looks and interest about an interesting topic of conversation.
WE: And it could be that it's a girl who starts an interesting topic of conversation, but I get that look from him too. But not a sexual look.
MG: No. OK. Do you know if... No we'll drop that question. On the other hand you, we mentioned that you'd spoken with Anna about this cashmere girl.
WE: That's Sofia, the cashmere girl.
MG: The cashmere girl. But how, in other words it sounds, I get the impression that it's a bit derogatory.
WE: From Anna?
MG: Yes or from the both of you in that conversation about her, yeah like who is it.
WE: Yeah in other words, because she came from nowhere and there was no one who knew who, who, who she was. And it, in terms of appearance, it was a girl who, who did everything to play on her sexuality in a context where, where people were exceptionally professional. In their behaviour, then it turns out that people aren't always so professional like in other ways and it... In other words from what you bring up here so it's demonstrated that Julian's obviously had sex with people. But, uh, in her behaviour she was definitely... She didn't belong like.
MG: No. And that, that impression you think Anna also had?
WE: Yes from the SMS messages I read up for you too.
MG: Yeah, yeah.
EO: May I just ask, Sofia did you meet her that day?
WE: I met her that day.
EO: Any further questions?
WE: Uh... No.
MG: And no contact either with her?
MG: No. OK. I have no further questions.
EO: Do you have any questions?
EO: No. So we conclude the interrogation at 11:10.
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
Industry Watch: Assange in Sweden: Sofia
Industry Watch: Assange in Sweden: His Own Words
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
Assange in Sweden
Snowden Defence Fund
WikiLeaks: Support WikiLeaks
The Police Protocol (Translated)
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