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The Mystery of the Wayward Police Docs
How did those preliminary police investigation protocols get into the wild?
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — Elisabeth Massi Fritz is a bit of a General Armstrong Custer. Armstrong was certainly a brave man confronted by insurmountable odds, and Elisabeth Massi Fritz too is confronted by insurmountable odds, but that's where the similarities end. Elisabeth Massi Fritz is openly claiming, on Twitter and likely elsewhere, that it was Julian Assange himself who leaked the police preliminary investigation ('FUP') docs, which, as this article proves, is physically impossible.
The basic work for this revelation comes from the Flashback forum, where members seem to have found a second wind, despite being systematically attacked by a troll with obvious connections to Marianne Ny, and despite the forum moderators, for an indefensible reason, having removed the 'ignore' option, so that hard-working forum members are inundated with page after page (over two thousand at this point) of brain-dead meaningless repetitive posts by the prosecutor's orc-in-residence.
Elisabeth Massi Fritz openly claims that it was Julian Assange himself who leaked the police docs to the public. These docs appeared online in early January 2011, were quickly translated by this site, and became the basis for what the British court in Belmarsh could use for reference in the case (although it must be pointed out that the proceedings in Belmarsh and subsequent legal instances did not formally consider the quality of Marianne Ny's shambolic case, only the validity of her hysterical European Arrest Warrant and subsequent Interpol Red Notice).
Coverage of the docs turned up at the Guardian in mid-December 2010. WikiLeaks warned that a new smear would start shortly, indicating they were themselves aware there'd been a breach. As the following article at Rixstep accurately reported, vital parts of Guardian coverage were evidently withheld for strategic reasons - to further the vendetta of disgraced reporter David Leigh who'd been caught by Assange with his hands in the cookie jar - the Cablegate files which he'd sent in secret to the New York Times for the purposes of ingratiating himself with NYT boss Bill Keller.
Not much more was known at that time, and the docs became available to the public at large only a month later.
From Björn to Jennifer
As we now know, the documents were sent by Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig to then-FSI solicitor Jennifer Robinson shortly after the Stockholm appeals court hearing - a cover letter from Hurtig to Robinson, written in English, accompanied the docs.
Mention of Leigh's intrigue turned up at WL Central, here in a post by 'x7o', but this was some time after Davies and the others at the Grauniad had set to work on their vendetta.
Rixstep again reported on the leak - and the reaction to it by WL Central, in particular by WLC member 'Bella Magnani'.
Bella's open retort to Davies can be found here.
As Rixstep pointed out mid-December, the story at that point was the leak itself, not the contents of the docs.
And so forth. What's necessary in order to establish what happened (and how the police docs turned up online) is to establish a timeline.
2010-12-07 Julian Assange reports to the police as Marianne Ny, after several incredibly clumsy mishaps, finally puts ticks in the right boxes, adjusts her descriptions of the alleged crimes to suit her purposes, and the British police are finally prepared to recognise the warrant as 'legit'. Note that the legendarily incompetent Ny had to call in the services of a Swedish lawyer working in the US to get this elementary clerical task completed correctly. As of this day, Julian Assange is held in custody, incarcerated, in Wandsworth prison, even in solitary confinement. Starting now, Julian Assange has a watertight alibi.
2010-12-16 Julian Assange wins his bail hearing, is fitted late that evening with an ankle bracelet, and under strict conditions is allowed to return to Ellingham where work will proceed on further WikiLeaks releases.
The Guardian began publishing data on the police documents in question between those two dates. Julian Assange was nowhere near Ellingham, an FSI mail server, or any computer at all, when the documents first surfaced.
And why, for that matter, would Julian Assange - or anyone associated with him - leak the police documents to the Guardian, of all despicable rags?
Quite. But there is one person, who is both 1) associated with the Guardian and in particular David Leigh; and 2) at that same time visiting Ellingham on a regular basis. That person is Iraq War Logs researcher James Ball.
Ball was to leave WikiLeaks shortly after the above incidents, under mysterious circumstances. He tried to spin a story about his demise, with the outed Heather Brooke, online on Twitter, but the facts seem to be the following.
- Ball was confronted by Assange after Assange's return to Ellingham and asked to sign a WikiLeaks nondisclosure agreement. The agreement was backdated to cover the time Ball had worked on the Iraq War Logs and included the time Ball had been at Ellingham during Assange's incarceration in Wandsworth prison.
- Ball refused to sign the agreement, for a number of unconvincing reasons, which changed frequently over time.
- WikiLeaks staff also demanded Ball sign the agreement as they themselves had already done.
- Ball left WikiLeaks in a stink and thereafter took his position with David Leigh at the Guardian, and launched into his effort to smear Assange and WikiLeaks with 'anti-Semite' allegations.
Alan Rusbridger told Rixstep via Twitter that Davies had the docs translated; with the deplorable state of translation work in the UK in this regard, it's not likely the translation was satisfactory. Also, considering the pure bulk of the docs - over 30,000 words, some of it highly technical - and considering the accepted rate of translation in the industry of 2,000 words per day, it can be seen that it would have taken the Guardian at least 15 days nonstop to derive anything substantial.
The earliest possible date for the leak has to be 24 November 2010, which is reasonably the earliest possible date when Jennifer Robinson could have forwarded the docs to a WikiLeaks mail server.
Fifteen days from 24 November 2010 is 9 December 2010 - at which time Julian Assange is confined to an isolation cell in Wandsworth. And that's of course discounting the time needed for the Guardian to realise what they had in their dirty wee hands and find (and contract) what they hoped would be an adequate translation service. (The likelihood that there'd be more than one such [in]adequate translator on hand anywhere is tantamount to nil - the quality of that job was in any case reprehensible.)
(Rixstep were able to complete the entire translation in a mere five days - or three times as fast - because of their access to native Swedish-speaking staff, because they were prepared to work long eighteen hour days, and because they're already known for high quality 'over night' translations, even otherwise completed often in record time when so required. That there's another rather shabby and incomplete translation 'in the wild' suggests there may have been further intrigue by the Guardian.)
People known to be at Ellingham during Julian's incarceration in Wandsworth prison are: Sarah Harrison; Joe Farrell; Icelandic journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson; Icelandic photographer Inge Ingesson, who accompanied Hrafnsson to Baghdad to corroborate the facts of the Collateral Murder video; and of course Vaughan Smith and his family. None of these people can possibly be suspected of leaking the police documents. Further: it's not even known if any of them had access to the mail server in question.
Any such supposition also falls on its absurdity, as none of them can speak a word of Swedish, and WikiLeaks staff are legendary for their painstakingly thorough vetting of documents prior to publication.
A Boy and His Uncle
But an 'eager beaver' apprentice of David Leigh, who (incorrectly) assumes the documents must contain juicy details that can at least be twisted to malign their new enemy - that's hot stuff! Almost as hot as Heather Brooke's rogue copy of Cablegate, which Brooke used to procure a regular salary from the same Guardian organisation.
It all fits together nicely - snugly even: Julian Assange in isolation in Wandsworth, James Ball still welcome at Ellingham, as he's been working on collating data for the Iraq War Logs. Secretly he's entered into negotiations with David Leigh for a future position at the Guardian, he has access to the WikiLeaks mail server, and sees Jennifer's message in the inbox, with the introductory letter from Björn Hurtig in English, a language he understands; and the rest, as they say, is history - Fleet Street history.
That Elisabeth Massi Fritz should persist in her wild and hysterical claim that Julian Assange himself should have released the documents when he himself was not able to understand their contents, when he himself had an airtight alibi, namely that he was being held in isolation in Wandsworth prison - as so much else emanating from Elisabeth Massi Fritz, it's wild and hysterical.
While Julian Assange was still incarcerated in Wandsworth in December 2010, WikiLeaks intern James Ball was given and/or got access to the WL press contacts server and mirrored it. After this, Ball became evasive and never returned to WikiLeaks, but for one short visit mid-January. Within two weeks, Ball had already signed to start work for the Guardian. The most likely date of James Ball's theft, according to WikiLeaks notes of his employment record, is 14 or 15 December 2010. It was on 17 December that the Guardian ran two smear stories that can only have come from access to the WikiLeaks press contacts archive and a copy of the full police protocol.
- Citation of WL documents by 'Arbed' at the Craig Murray forum