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struggle4progress's Journal
struggle4progress's Journal
December 11, 2013

The testimony of Hurtig at Belmarsh was not that Assange notified the prosecutors that Assange

intended to leave the country but that Ny told Hurtig there were no “force measures” preventing Julian leaving the country. Hurtig also testified at Belmarsh he had thought thereafter the rape case may be closed “without even bothering to interview him. On 27th September 2010, Mr Assange left Sweden.” Unfortunately, this testimony turned out not to be true:

He agreed that this was wrong. Ms Ny did contact him. A specific suggestion was put to him that on 22nd September he sent a text to the prosecutors saying “I have not talked to my client since I talked to you”. He checked his mobile phone and at first said he did not have the message as he does not keep them that far back. He was encouraged to check his inbox, and there was an adjournment for that purpose. He then confirmed that on 22nd September 2010 at 16.46 he has a message from Ms Ny saying: “Hello – it is possible to have an interview Tuesday”. Next there was a message saying: “Thanks for letting me know. We will pursue Tuesday 28th at 1700”. He then accepted that there must have been a text from him ... She requested a date as soon as possible. He agrees that the following day, 22nd, she contacted him at least twice. Then he was then cross-examined about his attempts to contact his client. To have the full flavour it may be necessary to consider the transcript in full. In summary the lawyer was unable to tell me what attempts he made to contact his client, and whether he definitely left a message. It was put that he had a professional duty to tell his client of the risk of detention ... He referred to receiving a text from Ms Ny at 09.11 on 27th September, the day his client left Sweden ...

Thus, whatever Hurtig was told on 15 September, it is a matter of record that by 22 September he was aware that the prosecution sought to interview his client as soon as possible. It is also clear that on 22 September, Hurtig was at least aware prosecutors planned to interview Assange on 28 September. Hurtig testifies Assange left the country on the 27th. This is a rather large coincidence, especially as Hurtig testified he had seen a baggage ticket for Assange's flight. The magistrate at Belmarsh understandably found Hurtig's testimony somewhat unpalatable and concluded somewhat dryly that Mr Hurtig is an unreliable witness as to what efforts he made to contact his client. The court further noted Mr Hurtig said in his statement that it was astonishing that Ms Ny made no effort to interview his client. In fact this is untrue ... The statement was a deliberate attempt to mislead the court.

Somewhat more can be said here. Hurtig also testified that He was able to speak to his client on 29th September and Mr Assange offered to return ... for interrogation. Elsewhere in the Facts and Findings, it is stated that [link:www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2011/5.html|The
authorities believed Mr Assange would be in Sweden .. in .. October ... It appears that either the rumours were false, or Mr Assange changed his mind. In any event he was not apprehended or
interrogated then]
. Other reports generally confirm this picture:

There is a pattern of prevarication here. Hurtig claimed to be unable to contact Assange but somehow managed to view a baggage ticket showing Assange's departure date! Assange himself admitted he had agreed to return for the second interrogation in October but then decided not to go. He subsequently spent a year and a half in the UK courts arguing little technicalities of the European arrest warrant, all of which were dismissed, in order to avoid extradition to Sweden. When he lost that case, he dropped further appeals and jumped bail, stiffing a number of people who had pledged for his appearance. The evidence all points directly to his utter contempt for the courts, and the most natural assumption is that he fled Sweden to avoid prosecution

Regarding Hurtig, the magistrate at Belmarsh concluded: The witness was clearly uncomfortable and anxious to leave

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