A leak of his own: the Guardian releases lurid details from Julian Assange’s police file

Julian Assange’s lawyers have condemned the Guardian for leaking police documents regarding the rape and sexual assault allegations brought against him by two Swedish women. The previously unseen documents describe the assaults in graphic detail.

Assange’s lawyer in Sweden, Bjorn Hurtig, said that he would ask Swedish authorities to investigate how the Guardian obtained the files.

Assange recently leaked thousands of classified U.S. State Department cables to the Guardian, drawing criticism from Assange’s supporters regarding the paper’s treatment of its source.

The paper stands by its decision to report on the incriminating police files. A spokesman for the Guardian said: “Julian is not a confidential source. The argument that the papers involved with the WikiLeaks should not report criticism of him is one all journalists would find ridiculous.”

Assange’s U.K. lawyer, Mark Stephens, referred to the allegations as “honeytraps” — Assange and his supporters maintain that the charges are part of a conspiracy by the Swedish and American governments to punish him for having masterminded the leak of the U.S. cables.
The Swedish government is currently pursuing Assange’s extradition and federal prosecutors in the U.S. are scrambling to build a case against him.  If they can show Assange to be a conspirator in the leak, the U.S. government could avoid awkward questions about why it is not also prosecuting traditional news organizations which have also leaked government secrets in the past.