Assange in court with new approach


Lawyers for WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange wrapped up their arguments Wednesday against his extradition to Sweden to face rape allegations, as they pursued a new 'quiet' approach to his defense strategy.


Leon Neal

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is back in court with new lawyers and new stratergy as he fights extradition proceeding, which would see him face trial in Sweden over sex allegations.

Known for being outspoken – particularly on the steps of court – Assange made a tight-lipped entrance and exit from court in the UK yesterday.

His new legal team are taking a softly-softly approach and trying to demonstrate how much they respect the law’s of Sweden.

The tactic is a departure from that of Assange’s previous legal team that vocally and frequently smeared the Swedish extradition proceedings and sexual crime allegations as being politically motivated.

At the start of the two-day hearing, lawyer Ben Emmerson emphasized that none of his arguments were intended to "involve any denigration" of the women who made the complaints, or to "attack their credibility."

Mark Stephens, Assange’s former lawyer, had publically called the women's allegations a "honeytrap."

Keeping a tight-lip in and out of court did not, however, prevent embarrassing evidence about Assange from being presented to the court.

According to his lawyers, his sexual behavior with two Swedish women last August might be viewed as boorish: "disrespectful, discourteous, disturbing" but it was not illegal.

Emmerson said: "The appellant's physical advances were initially welcomed but then it felt awkward since he was 'rough and impatient'.....AA (the complainant) tried several times to reach for a condom which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and try to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. AA says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly."

Despite such behavior, Emmerson said there was no evidence of lack of consent in any of the sexual encounters that occurred that August.

The case continues.