CharonQC managed to secure an interview today with Mark Stephens – no doubt a very busy solicitor at the moment, given the arrest and detention of his client Julian Assange on a European arrest warrant from Sweden.
Mark Stephens tells us a number of new and interesting things in this interview, including a bit more detail about the suspected offences, his surprise at Assange being denied bail, his views on the conduct of the prosecution in Sweden and securing access to Julian Assange in Wandsworth prison, and he gives his views about the possibility of an extradition attempt by the US authorities either from the UK or from Sweden. He also goes beyond the extradition case itself to talk about Wikileaks and freedom of expression, and the conduct of companies who’ve suspended payments to Wikileaks.
Charon’s been kind enough (too kind in fact) to thank me for help – so maybe I’m biased. But I think this really is a must-listen for anyone interested in law, Wikileaks or the Julian Assange case.
Listen to the podcast here.
It is incredible that Mr Stephens continues with his false claims that there is a crime in Sweden called “sex-by-surprise” and that Mr Borgström is a government minister and “right-wing”. Spin of the worst kind.
I sincerely hope that he is just misinformed.
a former minister of course, and[I’ve been put right on this by Avinor – see below] from the Social Democratic Party. I think he’s their gender equality spokesman.
As for “sex by surprise” I think Mark Stephens has been defending his use of that phrase, saying it’s one prosecutors used in the first instance. You’re right, though – there’s no such thing in the Swedish penal code
and it’s not what the Swedish prosecutor is saying
Borgström was never minister, but equality ombudsman. It is his law firm (Borgström & Bodström) partner Thomas Bodström who was minister for justice 2000-2006.
Amusingly, I now realize the reason for all the claims of Mr Borgström being/having been a minister. I can assure you that for a native Swedish speaker the two names sound quite distinct!
Thanks, Avinor. This is the chap:
So much chatter about this, and so little clarity. Thanks for helping us. I think discussion here in the UK has not been helped by people calling him “Bergstrom”.
Ive never understood what people meant with “sex-by-surprise”, but Stephens havent claimed that it was the name of a crime, just that it was criminal. But what does he mean?
Its however a problem that the accusers changed their accusations after they had spoke to Borgström (who said they didnt know they had been violated because they werent lawyers). Is it the first accusations or the approved accusations that Stephens calls sex-by-surprise ?
Mark Stephens must have had heard someone using a Swedish word that literally translates as ‘sex by surprise’ but actually means rape.
sex by surprise is rape.
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Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is presented on net?
sex by surprise..that’s a new one. I always thought sex without consent implied or otherwise was rape.