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Prosecutor fighting to extradite Assange 'is biased against men'

February 8, 2011 - London

The Swedish prosecutor seeking to have Julian Assange extradited to Sweden on sexual assault allegations has been accused of having a 'biased view against men'.

The claim that public prosecutor Marianne Ny is motivated by 'sexual politics' was made by fellow colleague and former Swedish Appeals Court judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman in a London court on Monday, reports The Telegraph.

On the first day of a two-day extradition hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates Court in South East London, Sundberg-Weitman described the behaviour of Ny as 'extremely peculiar'.

Giving evidence on behalf of Assange's legal team, she said the Swedish prosecutor could have interviewed Assange by telephone or via the Internet video service Skype, without the need to force his return to Sweden.

"Miss Ny has a rather biased view against men in the treatment of sexual offence cases. They seem to take it for granted that everyone under prosecution is guilty. I honestly can't understand her attitude. It looks malicious ... I think maybe she wants to make him suffer," she said.

The former judge, who is now an associate professor of Law at Stockholm University, added that Ny was 'involved in sexual politics' which was 'very much' a political issue in Sweden.

Meanwhile, Assange told reporters outside the court after the first day of his extradition hearing that he feels a 'black box with rape written on it' had been placed in his life and he looked forward to being allowed to prove his innocence.

Assange's barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC also argued that he will be denied a fair trial in Sweden because rape cases are heard 'in secret' behind closed doors.

He added that a trial in Sweden would be 'a flagrant denial of justice' because even if he was acquitted 'the stigma will remain' because the public would not know what had happened in court.

For the first time, the Swedes have made it clear that they intend to indict Assange on a charge of rape if he is extradited.

Until now, Nye has consistently said Assange is only wanted for questioning over the allegations that he sexually assaulted two women last year.

The change of stance is significant because a key plank of Assange's argument had been that Sweden was not legally entitled to extradite him if he was only wanted for questioning.

The hearing is continuing.


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