This document contains translations of police interviews relating to accusations of sexual misconduct made against Julian Assange in August of 2010.
There are twelve interviews: three with the principals, and nine with various witnesses.
The interviews with Julian Assange, Johannes Wahlström and Donald Boström were audio-recorded and the protocols include every verbalization that was uttered, including contemplative noises (e.g. “mm” and “eh”), repetitions, unclear formula- tions, etc. All such apparently extraneous details have been omitted from the following translations; to check for accuracy, compare with the originals in Swedish (see above). The other nine protocols are all summaries by the interviewing officer of what was said.
Date: 20 August 2010
Interviewing officer: Irmeli Krans
Type of interview: In person; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing officer; revised 26 August 2010
Sofia says she saw an interview on TV a few weeks ago with Julian Assange, who is known to be responsible for WikiLeaks’ release of U.S. military documents from Afghanistan. Sofia thought that he was interesting, courageous, and admirable. During the next two weeks she carefully followed news reports, read numerous articles and watched interviews. One evening at home when she googled the name Julian Assange, she discovered he had been invited to Sweden to give a presentation arranged by the Social Democratic Brotherhood [“Broderskapet”]. She e-mailed Broderskapet’s press secretary Anna Ardin, whose contact details she found on its website, and asked if he was coming to Sweden and, in that case, if she could attend his presentation. She offered to help out with practical details in exchange for being allowed to attend. Anna Ardin replied that she would forward her message to those in charge.
However, Sofia got no further response, and suddenly one day she saw an advert with the time and place. The presentation was to take place in the headquarters of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation at Norra Bantorget on Saturday, 14 August. On Friday she telephoned those in charge and asked if it was O.K. to attend. She was told that she was one of the first to apply, so that it would probably be all right. She took the day off from work and went to the meeting place on Saturday. Seeing a woman standing outside whom she presumed to be Anna Ardin, Sofia went up to her and introduced herself. Anna told Sofia that she was on the list and that she was welcome. At the same time the speaker himself, Julian Assange, arrived in the company of a man in his 30s. She got the impression that the man was Julian's press secretary or the like. Julian looked at Sofia with an amused expression. She had the feeling that he thought she did not fit in there, with her shocking-pink cashmere jumper amongst the others — grey-clad journalists.
She sat at the far right in the front row of the meeting room. The speaker would stand
at the left front. Everyone else in the room seemed to be a journalist. A half-hour before the presentation was to begin, Anna asked Sofia if she could help by purchasing a cable for Julian's computer. A cable was lacking, and Sofia had offered to help out. Sofia went up to Julian to find out what type of cable he needed. He explained what kind it was and also wrote it on a slip of paper. She took the paper and placed it in her pocket. Julian said contemptuously, “You didn't even look at the note'”. She replied that she didn't need to, as he had already explained what type of cable it was.
She took a cab to the Webhallen shop on Sveavägen Street, but it was closed. It was
10:30 a.m. and the store would not open until 11:00. But that was when the presentation was scheduled to begin, so Sofia became a bit stressed. The cabbie drove her instead to Hötorget Square, where she bought two variants of the cable for safety's sake. She got back in time and had the right cable, but received no thanks from Julian for helping
out. The presentation went well.
After the presentation, many journalists interviewed Julian. Sofia remained, because she wanted very much to speak with him. She asked Anna if that were possible, and Anna said that Julian would be standing outside the entrance to the building in order to be accessible to the public in case anyone wanted to ask him questions. Sofia went out and sat in the shade, waiting for the interviews to be over. Outside, there were more interviews. Sofia again approached the entrance and overheard that the
Broderskapet people were going to invite Julian to lunch. Sofia asked if she could come along; after all, she had helped them with the cable. She was invited to join them and walked with Anna, Julian, his entourage, and two members of Broderskapet to a restaurant on Drottninggatan Street opposite the Central Bathhouse. She ended up next to Julian and started talking with him. He glanced at her now and then during the lunch. On one occasion when he had cheese on his flatbread, she asked him if he thought it tasted good; he then extended it toward her and, still holding it, let her take
a bite. Later during lunch, he remarked that he needed a charger for his laptop. She said she could get one for him; she had, after all, got the cable for him earlier. He put his arm around her back and said, “Yes, you gave me a cable'”. Sofia thought this was flattering; for, it was obvious he was now flirting with her.
The others left after lunch, leaving only Sofia, Julian, and Julian's companion. They all went off together to buy an electric cable for Julian's computer. Kjell & Co. didn't have the item; so they proceeded to Webhallen on Sveavägen Street, but it was closed again. They walked back on Sveavägen St. toward Hötorget Square and discussed what they would do next. Julian's companion asked him if he wanted to come along and help move furniture for his [companion’s] parents; and Sofia offered Julian a visit to the Swedish Museum of Natural History, where she worked. It was decided that Julian would accompany Sofia to the museum, and his companion left them. Julian and Sofia entered the Hötorget tube station where she bought a day-ticket for him, as he had neither a monthly commuter card nor, he said, any money. They took the train toward Mörby Centrum and got off at the Stockholm University station. A man at the station recognized Julian and told him how much he admired him.
The Natural History Museum
On the way from the university tube station, Julian stopped to pet a few dogs, which Sofia thought was charming. Once in the museum they went to the staff room where Julian sat down and began surfing the Internet; he was looking for tweets about himself. They sat there, waiting for a film that was to be shown at the Cosmonova theatre at 18:00.
They were let into the theatre by Sofia's colleague, and Julian held Sofia's hand. In the darkness of the theatre, he began kissing her. Some latecomers arrived and sat behind them, so they moved to seats at the rear. There, Julian continued kissing her; he caressed her breasts under the jumper, undid her bra, unbuttoned her pants, caressed
her buttocks, and sucked her nipples. He muttered about the armrest being in the way. When the lights went on, she was sitting in his lap and he attempted to put her bra back on. She thought it was embarrassing to sit there in full view of her colleagues, who she knew could have seen everything.
They went out via the inner courtyard, and she went to the toilet. When she came out, he was lying on his back and resting on a permanent picnic table; he said he was exhausted. He was due at a crayfish party at 8:00 p.m. and wanted to sleep for 20 minutes before departing. They lay down beside each other on the grass, he with his arm around her. He dozed off and she woke him after twenty minutes. They walked off across the grass, passing cows and Canada geese. He held her hand; it was pleasant
in every way, and he said, “You are very attractive… to me….” During the Cosmonova performance, he has also said she had lovely breasts. She asked him if they would meet again. He said that of course they would, after the crayfish party.
She accompanied him to the Zinkensdamm tube station, from which he took a cab to Anna Ardin's home where the party was to take place. He hugged her and said he didn’t want to part from her; he encouraged her to recharge her mobile phone. She returned to her home town of Enköping, arriving at her flat at 11:00 p.m. When she recharged her telephone, there was a voice message from Julian; he had called her at
10:55 p.m. with a message to call him when her phone was working again. She rang back at 11:15 p.m. and realized that he was still at the crayfish party. She had developed stomach cramps from a sandwich she had eaten on the way home, and told him that she wanted to go to bed. He insinuated it was not due to the food, but rather to guilt feelings.
She rang Julian twice on Sunday, but his phone was turned off. On Monday she told her work mates about her experiences on the weekend. Their opinion was that Julian had surely felt rejected by her and that was why he had not called back, that it was now her move. She rang him and he answered. She asked if they could do something together. He said that he would be at a meeting that could drag on until 8:30 p.m., but that he could ring her back later. He also asked about her stomach. He insinuated that she had lied about her stomach cramps, and when he said that he referred to her in the
third person. She promised to wait for him, and after she finished work at 7:00 p.m. she went to Kungshallarna to eat sushi. Afterwards she strolled around town and ended
up in the Old Town around 9:00 p.m. As he still had not contacted her, she called him and asked what was happening. He said that he was in a meeting on Hornsgatan Street, and that he wanted her to come there. She got the address and went there. But
she could not find the address, so she rang Julian whose phone was answered by a man who spoke Swedish and explained that she was to enter via a side entrance. She stood there and was waiting for him when he came out together with another man; they said goodbye to each other and looked very happy.
Julian and Sofia walked along Hornsgatan Street to Slussen, and from there to the Old Town. They sat near the water by Munkbroleden and he commented on girls who sat there, “lonely and abandoned'” who “needed to be saved”. They lay down and began a session of very heavy petting. Among other things, he put his hands under her jumper and when they left the area she noticed people were looking at them. They decided to go to her place. They entered the Underground where his card was no longer valid; she passed him through by using her own card twice. They took the train to Enköping
from the Central Station; she paid for the tickets, SEK 107 each (ca. USD 8). He said he did not want to use his credit card, to avoid being traced. They sat at the rear of the train, facing the direction of travel. Julian connected his computer to the Internet and started reading about himself on Twitter, using both his computer and mobile phone. He paid more attention to the computer than to her. She had suggested that they check in at a hotel, but he said that he wanted to see “girls in their natural habitat”.
It was dark when they got off the train and they passed old industry buildings where he went off to urinate. She also urinated. When they arrived at her flat she went into the bedroom before him to clean up a bit before he came in. They took off their shoes and the relationship between them did not feel warm anymore. The passion and excitement had disappeared. They snogged in the bedroom, but she wanted to brush her teeth. It was midnight, pitch black outside, and they brushed their teeth together, which felt commonplace and boring.
When they want back in the bedroom Julian stood in front of Sofia, grabbed her hips and pushed her demonstratively down onto the bed, as if he to show that he was a real man. He took off his clothes and they had foreplay on the bed. They were naked and he rubbed his penis against her genital region without penetrating her, but coming closer and closer to her vagina. She squeezed her legs together because she did not want to have intercourse with him without protection. They carried on for hours and Julian could not get a full erection. Julian had no interest in using a condom.
“Suddenly, Julian said that he was going to get some sleep. She felt rejected and shocked. It was so abrupt: They had engaged in a very lengthy foreplay, and then — nothing. She asked what was wrong; she did not understand anything. He drew the blanket over himself, turned away from her and went to sleep. She left him and got her fleece blanket because she was cold. She lay awake, wondering what had happened, and sent SMS messages to her friends. He lay beside her, snoring. She must have dozed off; for, later she woke up and they had sex. Earlier, she had fetched some condoms
and laid them on the floor by the bed. He reluctantly agreed to use a condom, although he muttered that he preferred her to latex. He no longer had an erection problem. At one point when he took her from behind, she turned to look at him and smiled and he asked her why she was smiling, what had she to smile about. She did not like the undertone of his voice.
They fell asleep, and when they woke up they may have had sex again; she does not really remember. He ordered her to fetch him some water and orange juice. She did not like being ordered about in her own home, but thought “what the hell” and fetched the liquids anyway. He wanted her to go out and buy more breakfast. She did not want to leave him alone in the flat — she really did not know him very well — but she did it anyway. When she left the flat he lay naked in her bed and was fiddling with one of his telephones. Before she left she said, “Be good'”. He replied: “Don't worry, I'm always bad”. When she returned she served him oatmeal porridge, milk, and juice. She had already eaten before he awoke, and had spoken with a friend on the phone.
They sat on the bed and talked, and he took off her clothes again. They had sex again and she suddenly discovered that he had placed the condom only over the head of his
penis; but she let it be. They dozed off and she awoke and felt him penetrating her. She immediately asked, “Are you wearing anything?”, to which he replied, “You”. She said to him: “You better don’t have HIV”, and he replied, “Of course not”. “She felt that it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She didn’t have the energy to tell him one more time. She had gone on and on about condoms all night long. She has never had unprotected sex before. He said he wanted to come inside her; he did not say when he did, but he did it. A lot ran out of her afterward.
She said to him: What if I get pregnant? In reply he merely said that Sweden is a good country to have children in. She said jokingly that, if she is pregnant, he would have to pay off her student loan. On the train to Enköping, he had told her that he had slept in Anna Ardin's bed after the crayfish party. She asked if he had sex with Anna. But he said that Anna liked girls, that she was lesbian. But now she knows that he did the same thing with Anna. She asked him how many he had had sex with, but he replied that he had not counted. He also said that he had taken a HIV test three months earlier
and that he had had sex with one girl afterwards, but that girl had also taken a HIV test and was not infected. She made sarcastic comments to him in a jocular tone. She believes that she was trying to minimize, in her own mind, the significance of what had happened. He, on the other hand, didn’t seem to care. When he learned the size of her student loan he said that, if he were to pay so such money, she would have to give
birth. They joked about naming the child Afghanistan. He also said that he should always carry abortion pills that were actually sugar pills.
His phone rang and he had a meeting with Aftonbladet on Tuesday at noon. She explained to him that he could not get to the meeting on time and he moved his entire schedule for the day forward one hour. Then they bicycled to the train station with her on the luggage rack. She paid for his ticket to Stockholm. Before they parted he told her to keep her phone on. She asked if he would call her, and he said that he would.
She cycled home, showered, and washed the bed sheets. Because she had not gone to work on time, she called in sick and stayed home all day. She wanted to clean up and wash everything. There was semen on the bed sheets; she thought it was disgusting. She also went to the chemist's and bought a morning-after pill.
When she talked with her friends afterwards, she understood that she was the victim of a crime. She went to Danderyd Hospital, and from there to Söder Hospital where she was examined and where samples with a so-called rape kit were also taken.
Forensic medical report
Sofia gives her consent to the acquisition of a forensic medical report.
Sofia wishes to be represented by an attorney whom she will name at a later time.
In the course of the interview, Sofia and I were informed that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia. After that, Sofia had difficulty concentrating, as a result of which I made the judgement that it was best to terminate the interview. But Sofia did mention that Assange was angry at her. There was not enough time to obtain any further
information about why he was angry at her or how this was expressed. Nor did we have time to discuss what had happened afterwards. The interview was neither read back to Sofia nor read by her for approval; but Sofia was informed that she could do so at a later date.
Note on date and time of document
On Friday, 20 August 2010. I conducted an interview with complainant Sofia Wilén
in connection with case #0201-K246314-10 at Klara Police Station. The interview com- menced at 4:21 p.m. and was terminated at 6:40 p.m. The interview [protocol] was thereafter written with the word-processing program in the DurTvå computer system. The interview was to be copyedited on my next workday, Monday the 23rd of August
2010. That was not possible because I was denied access to the interview I had con- ducted. After an exchange of e-mails, I was directed by supervisor Mats Gehlin to instead create and sign a new interview in DurTvå, which was done on 26 August with the necessary changes. Unfortunately, the date and time of that document conforms with the time that the changes were made, as that is done automatically by the DurTvå system.
* * * * *
Date: 21 August 2010
Interviewing officer: Sara Wennerblom
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing officer
* * *
Anna states that she is employed as press and political secretary for Sweden's Christian Social Democrats, Broderskapet. Anna says that she worked on preparing a seminar that was to take place on 14 August, at which Julian Assange had been invited to
Since Anna would be out of town during 11–14 August, she lent her flat to Assange. But Anna returned early to Stockholm on Friday, 13 August, because she had a lot to do for the seminar. Anna and Assange had never previously met in person, only professionally via e-mail and telephone
On Friday, Assange and Anna went out to dine together. They had agreed that
Assange would continue residing in Anna's flat, despite her return a day ahead of time. After dining in town, they returned to Anna's flat and drank tea.
In answer to my question, Anna replies that neither she nor Assange had taken any alcohol during the evening. While they sat and drank tea, Assange began caressing her leg. To my question Anna replies that Assange had not made any physical approach toward her earlier that evening, except now which Anna initially welcomed. However, it felt “unpleasant right from the start”, because Assange was rough and impatient.
According to Anna, “everything went so fast”. He tore off her clothes and in the process pulled at and broke her necklace. Anna tried to put some clothes back on, because it all went so fast and she felt uncomfortable; but Assange immediately took them off again. Anna states that in fact she felt that she no longer wanted to go any further, but that it was too late to tell Assange to stop, as she had “gone along this far”. She thought she “had only herself to blame”. She therefore allowed Assange to remove all of her clothes.
Then they lay down on the bed, Anna on her back and Assange on top of her. Anna sensed that Assange wanted to insert his penis in her vagina right away, which she did not want because he was not wearing a condom. She therefore tried to twist her hips to the side and squeeze her legs together in order to prevent penetration. Anna tried several times to reach for a condom, but Assange stopped her from doing so by
holding her arms and prying open her legs while trying to penetrate her with his penis without a condom. Anna says that eventually she was on the verge of tears because she was held fast and could not get a condom, and felt that ‘this can end badly’. To my question Anna replies that Assange must have known that Anna was trying to reach
for a condom, and that he therefore held her arms to prevent her from doing so.
After a moment, Assange asked Anna what she was doing and why she was squeezing her legs together. Anna then told him that she wanted him to wear a condom before he came in her. At that, Assange released Anna’s arms and put on a condom that Anna fetched for him. Anna sensed a strong unspoken reluctance by Assange to use a condom, as a result of which she had a feeling that he had not put on the condom that he had been given. She therefore reached down her hand to Assange's penis in order to ensure that he had really put on the condom. She felt that the rim of the condom was where it should be, at the base of Assange's penis. Anna and Assange resumed having sex and Anna says that she thought that she “just wanted to get it over with”.
After a short while, Anna notes that Assange withdraws from her and begins to adjust the condom. Judging from the sound, according to Anna, it seemed that Assange removed the condom. He entered her again and continued the copulation. Anna once again handled his penis and, as before, felt the rim of the condom at the base of the penis; she therefore let him continue.
Shortly thereafter, Assange ejaculated inside her and then withdrew. When Assange removed the condom from his penis, Anna saw that it did not contain any semen. When Anna began to move her body she noticed that something “ran” out of her vagina. Anna understood rather quickly that it must be Assange's semen. She pointed this out to Assange, but he denied it and replied that it was only her own wetness.
Anna is convinced that when he withdrew from her the first time, Assange deliberately broke the condom at its tip and then continued copulating to ejaculation. To my question Anna replies she did not look closely at the condom in order to see if it was broken in the way that she suspected; but she believes that she still has the condom at home and will check to see. She also states that the bed sheets used on this occasion are still lying unwashed in her hamper.
Anna states that she and Assange did not have sex again after the above-mentioned event. However, Assange continued residing with her until yesterday (Friday, 20
August). According to Anna, Assange made sexual advances to her every day after the evening when they had sex, for example by touching her breasts. Anna had rejected Assange on every such occasion, which Assange had accepted. On one occasion (on Wednesday, 18 August) he had suddenly removed all the clothes from his lower body,
and then rubbed his lower body and erect penis against Anna. Anna states that she felt this was strange and unpleasant behaviour, and had therefore moved down to a mattress on the floor and slept there instead of on the bed with Assange. The following night, Anna stayed with a friend because she did not want to be with or near Assange due to his strange behaviour. She had also said after Wednesday 18 August that she no longer wanted Assange to reside at her flat, which he did not act upon until Friday [yesterday], when he took his things and returned her key.
To my question Anna replies that Assange resided with her, but that they rarely slept together because Assange was up all night, working with his computer. When he lay down to sleep, around 7:00 a.m., Anna was usually up.
To my question Anna replies that she knew about Sofia, because she had been in contact with Anna before the above-mentioned seminar and was in the audience at the presentation. According to Anna, Sofia had purchased electrical cables for Assange, and had joined Anna and Assange for lunch after the seminar. Anna noticed that Assange had flirted with Sofia during lunch and understood that they subsequently had begun some sort of relationship, because Assange had rung to Sofia later in the evening during the crayfish party at Anna’s place.
Yesterday, Anna received an e-mail message from Sofia who wondered how she could contact Assange, as she had something important to tell him. Anna understood immediately what it was about; she contacted Sofia who then related what had happened to her — that she and Assange had had sex, that he did not want to use a condom, etc. Sofia wanted to take this further to the police and Anna decided to follow along, primarily as support.
Anna states she had previously heard from various sources that Assange “chases every woman who crosses his path”. Given Assange's reputation, Anna felt that it was very important to use a condom the time they had sex, i.e. the day before the seminar.
Anna states that she has felt very badly after the occasion when she and Assange had sex, primarily due to worry that she might have been infected with HIV or some other sexual disease. Anna states that she had consented to have sex with Assange, but that she would not have done so if she had known that he was not wearing a condom. Anna has contacted the health centre and been given a time for testing next week. Anna consents to the police acquiring medical background.
For the present, Anna does not desire any contact with a crime victims service, but will get back to us if she feels the need.
Interview read back to Anna and approved by her.
* * * * *
Date: 30 August 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Also present: Police officer Ewa Olofsson as witness
Leif Silbersky, legal counsel for Julian Assange
Gun von Krusenstjerna, interpreter
Type of interview: In person; audio-recorded
Type of protocol: Verbatim transcript with all utterances in English translated into Swedish (slightly edited in this translation to English)
Abbreviations: JA, Julian Assange; MG, Mats Gehlin; LS, Leif Silbersky; GK, Gun von Krusenstjerna
* * *
MG: Now the tape recorder is running. The interview will be transcribed.… The entire interview, every word, will be written out.
JA: I have a question.
MG: Wait. And as noted, you are suspected and will be formally notified of that suspicion, and it is for the crime of molestation. The formal notification reads as follows: “During the period from 13 to 14 August 2010, in Anna Ardin's residence at Tjurbergsgatan in Stockholm, Assange molested Anna Ardin during an act of copulation — which was begun and conducted under the express condition that a condom would be used — by purposely damaging the condom and continuing the copulation until he ejaculated in her vagina.”
LS: Is that everything? MG: Yes.
JA: Is this one or two incidents? MG: One incident.
JA: The 13th, the 14th [inaudible]. GK: In the evening or…?
MG: It is during this period between the 13th... JA: Between.… O.K.
MG: And so this is the question: What is your response to this accusation? LS: Is it correct or incorrect?
JA: I am trying to understand exactly what he said. GK: Can you repeat it one more time?
MG: I can try…. The molestation would be in that you destroyed the condom. JA. O.K.
MG: And that you would have done so intentionally. JA: Yes. So in other words there are several condoms?
MG: Yes, in this context — no, in this context it has to do with one condom on one occasion.
JA: O.K., so it's one incident... GK: One condom.
JA: Between the 13th and the 14th when you say that I have intentionally destroyed a condom during copulation.
LS: Correct. What is your response to that? JA: It is not true.
MG: O.K. So that you can relate your experience of that evening, is it true that you and
Anna dined out together?
JA: What date? MG: The 13th.
JA: What day of the week was that?
LS: I can check…. The 13th of August was a Friday.
MG: And then the question is: Do you know of — if one can put it like this — do you know of an occasion on which you had sex together?
JA: Before I answer that, shall I assume that this is going to go to Expressen?
MG: From us? I am not going to release anything. And the only ones who are here, that’s we three at this interview, plus a stenographer who will write it out afterwards. And I am the only who has access to the case file. So if it comes out in Expressen, you can quarrel with me.
JA: And as the case continues?
MG: Yes, after this interview the prosecutor will decide whether to continue or shut down the case.
JA: (Inaudible) previous statements (inaudible) all the previous statements.
JA: From this office.
MG: It has gone out via a reviewer who acts as a censor for everything relating to the investigation.
JA: So it will be the same with what I say here?
MG: Yes, but according to the Secrecy Act nothing about what happened will be made public. No names will be released. It works like this: On every document, everything that may not be made public is blacked out. But according to the law it must be reviewed for confidentiality, and we are required to make public everything which according to the law does not have to be reviewed for confidentiality [sic].
JA: So this part of the conversation, for example, will be released? MG: If it is not to your detriment.
JA: And who decides that? MG: Our legal department.
LS: I think you should answer, because if they accuse you of something and you do not respond, they will have to accept what the young woman says. You have to defend yourself by giving your version. Otherwise it will be made known you did not
respond, in which case the prosecutor will be required to take it to court.
LS: But if you answer, the prosecutor will have both your version and the young woman’s version, and she will have to ask herself: Can I prove that he has done this?
JA: And how much of my version do I have to provide?
MG: One more thing: You have the right to take a break during the interview, and then we turn off the tape recorder. That applies to the discussion we are now having, because the interview is actually only supposed to be about the alleged crime.
LS: It is even easier than that…. Either you destroyed the condom intentionally, as the young woman says, or it was an accident, or no condom was used whatsoever. Those are the possible alternatives. So state your alternative to the police as your answer.
JA: All I am saying.…
MG: Do you want to take a break so that we can thoroughly discuss this, so that you feel fairly comfortable with the proceedings?
LS: Do you want to discuss….
JA: Perhaps we should have a discussion.
LS: O.K., we take a break.
MG: We pause to clarify the interview procedure; the time is 5:55 p.m. (Pause)
MG: The interview is resumed at 6:02 p.m.… If I put it like this: You denied committing the crime and so my question is, are you aware of an event during which a condom has broken in connection with sex with Anna?
MG: Have you had….
JA: I have heard that accusation.
MG: You have heard that accusation. From whom?
JA. Friday, the 20th, the same day that the police were contacted, I spoke with Anna and she accused me of several things. And there were a number of false statements, as well. During that conversation she made a similar accusation; she said that I had removed a condom during sex. That was the first time I heard that accusation.
MG: Is it true that you have had a sexual relationship, you and Anna?
JA: Yes, we had a sexual relationship from that Friday, the 13th, for a couple of days. We slept in the same bed until the following Friday.
MG: What sort of sexual relationship was it; were there several occasions? JA: Yes.
MG: Was a condom used on any of those occasions?
JA: On the first occasion; and we had sex several times on the 13th and the 14th. And afterwards, on the other days as well, we also had a sexual relationship.
MG: The subsequent sexual relations, did they also involve copulation? JA: No, it was more… we touched each other.
MG: So we're talking about one time when copulation was involved? JA: Yes, we had intercourse on the 13th and the 14th.
MG: And that was once, or was it several times? JA: Several times.
MG: And so the first time was with a condom? JA: Yes.
MG: And who was it that wanted to use a condom? JA: I'm not sure.
MG: And why was a condom not used with the subsequent acts of copulation? JA: It was used with the subsequent acts of copulation.
MG: O.K. I misunderstood. So you had intercourse, and then only with a condom? JA: Yes, that is correct.
MG: The accusation appears to be that a condom was damaged after the copulation; and it is Anna’s contention that, on one occasion when you withdrew your penis, it sounded at first as though you removed the condom. But when you entered her again, she felt with her hand and she could feel you were still wearing the condom. Then you ejaculated and, among other things, she felt that she had semen inside her. And she also looked at the condom, and there was no semen in the condom. And so the question to you is: Is this a situation that you recognise in any way?
JA: No. On one occasion Anna pointed to the bed, which had a wet spot, and said,
‘Look at that. Is that you?’ I said, ‘No, it must be you’. And there was no more discussion about that, not a word — until the accusation last Friday, a week afterward.
MG: Are we talking about the first occasion again….
JA: And during that time, except for one night, Anna and I slept in the same bed. Every night except Tuesday night and Thursday night. On Thursday evening Anna said she was going out for a few hours to visit a journalist who wrote something about me and who lived in the same area, or the same housing complex or nearby. But she did not return that evening.
MG: Do you remember what you did with the condom? JA: No.
MG: And you have no recollection of a damaged condom, either? JA: No. Nor have I searched for a damaged condom.
MG: Do you use a condom otherwise? JA: Yes, usually; not always, but usually.
MG: And you say that you did not check, or you say that you do not recall what you did with the condom. Is that correct?
JA: Yes, that is correct.
MG: What do you normally do?
JA: I have no special routine for what I do with condoms.
MG: No.… How did you become acquainted with Anna?
JA: When I now think back on that situation, it was no unusual occasion for me and I had no reason to suspect that I would be accused of anything afterwards. No, there was no question of any accusations of any sort, in any way. So I do not really remember when I heard the first accusation before Friday. I did not think back on that evening
and night in any great detail.
JA: You asked how I knew Anna. To come to Sweden, it was necessary for me to get diplomatic support in order to leave England — due to the security situation between my organisation and the Pentagon. Political contacts in Sweden therefore suggested that I be invited by the Christian Democrats to give a presentation. A formal invitation would be sent to (inaudible) and England, so that I would have a secure journey from England to Sweden. And I understood that Anna Ardin was press secretary for Broderskapet within the Christian Democrats.
MG: A correction: It is not the Christian Democrats, but rather the Social Democratic
GK: Sorry, sorry, I apologize for giving the wrong party. MG: Yes.
GK: Excuse me, sorry. The Social Democrats.
JA: She was contacted by Peter — I don't remember his last name. I believe he is the chair of Broderskapet, and a good man. Anna offered me her flat, and was also involved in organizing the press conference last Friday.
MG: And on what date did you come to Sweden?…
JA: I'm not sure. Perhaps the 12th — between the 10th and the 12th.
MG: This accusation — I might sound like I’m nagging, but I still have to ask. It is a fairly clear picture that Anna has of what happened, especially about hearing a sound from the condom.
JA: Anna Ardin has never spoken to me about this incident in any way — nor anyone else of whom I am aware. I got a very brief and completely different reference — something other than what you are now saying — on Friday, the 20th.
MG: What do you think Anna meant by pointing to that wet spot?
JA: At the time, I had no idea. Maybe she was trying to point out how amorous the sex had been.
MG: But she said something about it coming from you. JA: Yes. She said, “Is that from you?”
MG: So why did she say that if you had a condom?
JA: That I don't know.
MG: Did you check the condom beforehand? JA: Before what?
MG: Before you put the condom on, so to speak.
JA: No, I am not in the habit of inspecting them in detail before I put them on. There was nothing unusual in any way. My behaviour was nothing other than normal. So
I did not inspect the condom in any special way, nor did I ignore it completely.
MG: Who applied the condom? JA: I don’t remember.
MG: You don't remember who took it off, either?
JA: Probably, it was me. It is unusual for a woman to remove the condom.
MG: Then, you said, that you had sex. Did you have any more sex that evening? JA: We took several pauses and then began again, with the same condom.
MG: So it was a protracted episode of sexual intercourse? JA: Yes.
MG: How long, at an estimate?
JA: A few hours; I am not certain how many.
MG: Did you bring the condom to Anna’s, yourself, or where did you get it? JA: I think it was Anna's.
MG: Do you remember where she kept the condom? JA: No.
MG: How did you get hold of the condom?
JA: I am not certain who put the condom on, so I cannot say.
MG: But you cannot remember exactly how you got the condom?
JA: No, I do not recall. But as I just said, it was just an ordinary night. I had no reason to suspect that I would need to recall all the details from that night.
MG: How was your sexual relation after that night?
JA: It was still quite warm. On one occasion after that, Anna had two orgasms. We slept in the same bed.
MG: And if have understood you correctly, you did not have sexual intercourse then? JA: That is correct.
MG: And nothing happened during the time you resided with her after the first night? JA: No there was no sexual intercourse; that's correct. But other sexual activities, yes. MG: Were you ever rejected by Anna?
JA: In what way?
MG: That she rejected a sexual advance from you?
JA: Yes, sometimes but in no way that was significant. No, nothing that would in any way be unusual.
MG: If we go back to the first night: Did you ejaculate? JA: Yes.…
MG: Leif, anything you want to…? LS: I have a couple of questions. MG: Yes.
LS: At what time of the day did you have sexual intercourse, what time was it approximately?
JA: Late at night and early in the morning.
LS: What would you say, though; approximately what time — three, four, five…? JA: Between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
LS: O.K. Was there any alcohol? JA: No.
LS: Neither you nor her?
JA: I do not recall that I had drunk any large quantity. We might have had white wine with dinner. But it was not an evening where we drank a lot.
LS: Was either of you intoxicated?
JA: Not so intoxicated that I noticed. I would have noticed if either of us was inebriated.
LS: When did you first hear from Anna about the problem we are discussing today?
JA: I have never heard about precisely this problem directly from Anna. Today is the first time I have got an exact description of it.
LS: So during that entire week when you resided with Anna, from Friday to Friday and you had various sexual relations, she said nothing about a broken condom?
JA: No, nothing at all.
LS: O.K. I have no further questions.
MG: One more question occurs to me: Who was it who, shall we say, took the initiative to your advances toward each other?
MG: How did that happen?
JA: She said I should sleep in her bed. MG: And it was in bed that things began? JA: Yes, that is correct.
MG: Did either of you make any advances before you went to the bed? JA: No.
MG: Did Anna say anything?
JA: No, she said something, but nothing unusual. MG: And what do you mean by “unusual”?
JA: They were just things one would expect of a lover.
MG: And what were your plans when it was time for you both to go to bed, then? JA: After Anna had…?
MG: No, before that. JA: Before.
MG: So, you are saying that she invited you to her bed. JA: Yes, that is correct.
MG: Where were you planning to sleep before she invited you to the bed? JA: Either on the floor, or.… I don't know. It is Anna's flat, after all.
MG: How long had you resided in Anna’s flat before her return that evening?
JA: I stayed in the flat for one day when Anna was away. I got the keys three or four days before that. I had access to the flat, but I didn't sleep there. Anna, she said that…. No, I don't want to discuss that, because I don't believe it has anything to do with this case. I don't want to discuss anything private if it has nothing to do with the case.
MG: Any follow-up questions? O.K. then, is there anything you want to say before we terminate the interview?
MG: Go ahead.
JA: I was contacted by a mutual friend of Anna and me on Friday, the 20th. It was a woman named Sonja who was at the hospital. She said something about DNA and the police — and I was very upset to hear that. No one alleged anything. It would be a long story if I were to go into that. It does not seem relevant.
MG: OK so we hereby conclude the interview.
JA: We can always continue if it is needed. But the main thing is that I and other people, we heard a bunch of unbelievable lies, and heard that I was to meet Sonja on Saturday afternoon to discuss the matter. Anna had no accusations, and no one had any intention of going to the police and so on. That is how I expected things to remain until I heard the news in Expressen.
MG: O.K. then. The interview is concluded. The time is 6:37 p.m.
* * * * *
Date: 20 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Also present: Police officer Ewa Olofsson as witness
Type of interview: In person; audio-recorded
Type of protocol: Verbatim transcript (slightly edited in this translation)
Abbreviations: DB, Donald Boström; MG, Mats Gehlin; EO, Ewa Olofsson
* * *
MG: So, this has a bit to do with your contacts with Julian Assange. DB: Yep.
MG: To begin with, I would like you to tell us about how you got to know Julian and when you met him for the first time.
DB: I met Julian for the first time this spring — the spring of 2010, that is. I don’t recall exactly which month, but it was in connection with his being interviewed for Afton- bladet by a journalist named Johannes Wahlström. I then learnt via Johannes and Aftonbladet that Julian would be coming to Sweden and I was asked if I wanted to participate in a meeting….
So, Julian had a rather important presentation in Sweden through an important assignment — an interview in Aftonbladet. That was possibly what made him decide to travel to Sweden at that time. He was also thinking about Sweden in any event, due to the freedom of expression and the press, the laws that exist…. I was asked if I wanted to participate in a meeting in connection with his visit here… with Julian and some
journalists. Of course I said yes. I and many others were curious and interested in what this was all about.
So we had a meeting with him, a number of journalists who had received the same invitation. What is happening now is that there is a journalistic co-operation around WikiLeaks. The most recent media that have become known are Der Spiegel, The Guardian in London and the New York Times…. Other newspapers and TV stations are also involved. And in Sweden this was some sort of embryo which could develop into something similar. There were a number of journalists from various workplaces, including media organizations like Swedish Public Television and Aftonbladet, who were also involved in those discussions. So, of course it was extremely interesting.
Then Julian went abroad again, and then returned. And then we had another meeting, continued the discussion. If we are going to do this, we said, what shall we
do, how shall we do it, and what do we want to do. As I recall, no decisions were made and no organization was established….
So, there was nothing formal; it was just sort of at the discussion stage. But I remember that all the Swedish journalists felt pretty much the same — that one sees material which is worth its weight in gold for a journalist, then of course we want to
see the sources. And here was the opportunity to get the sources, literally — for a lot of issues, not only those that are already known. In that case we would then, as journal- ists, assess the general interest and, based on that, perhaps publish something. That
is to say, not publish everything — as WikiLeaks usually does — but select a more normal Swedish journalistic angle on the material. And on that point we were pretty much all agreed.
Then nothing more became of it. Then Julian travelled abroad again, and there was that collaboration with Der Spiegel, the New York Times and The Guardian.… Much the same media reviewed some material, and we began to discuss the possibility of doing a similar project in Sweden with some other material. Aftonbladet, Swedish Public TV and other journalists were involved in those discussions. It never got started — no documents to dig into, no research has got started, not yet. But it is still in the air. After this storm [i.e. the sex allegations] has settled down, perhaps it will be resumed, perhaps not. I have met Julian on three occasions when he has been in Sweden and
we have discussed these matters, many others and myself.
MG: So the first time was in the spring? DB: Yes, in the spring.
MG: Yes, all right.
DB: And the second time was also before summer.
MG: And the third time, that was when he was to give the presentation?
DB: Just so. He had been invited by Broderskapet and, in connection with that, Anna Ardin had called me. I had not met her before, but we soon got on quite well. It was because there was enormous interest from the media, and she wondered if she could pass all the media inquiries on to me in the event that there were a great many…. So when they called her, which is part of being the organization that invites, she often passed them along to me.
DB: And I mentioned that I have more media experience than she — I know many of the journalists who were calling her. So I said I could do it, without realizing what a tremendous amount of time it would consume. And so I believe that many people thought that I was some sort of media co-ordinator for WikiLeaks, but that was not the case.… I merely helped out — helped Anna and Broderskapet to get organized for the conference [laughs].…
I have known, or have been familiar with Peter Weiderud for years. We ran into each other in international contexts. I am mainly a foreign correspondent.… Peter Weiderud is chair of Broderskapet and is also very engaged in international issues; so we have sometimes met in the Swedish parliament and so on. But when this event was to take place, Anna was assigned to act as press secretary. It was then that she rang me and asked is she might pass the media inquiries on to me [laughs]. I told her that she could. And then a rather big circus started to build around this seminar, there was a lot of interest. And then another circus began a week later when Anna and the other woman went to you lot. At that point my telephone number was already known to
the world media, so it was time for the next storm.…
MG: If we put it like this: When all this began, these allegations…. what reactions did you get from Julian? You were in contact with him then, I understand.
DB: Yes I was. But there is a story that goes with it…. I had daily contact with Anna and Julian in connection with the seminar; and Anna and I were usually in contact several times a day. Since there was a lot of media interest, we had a lot of contact.
And before all this started [i.e. the allegations] Anna rang me and said: “What
I said before is not true. In fact, we did have sex, Julian and I.” Previously, she had said that they had not done so. Without anyone asking, she had joked about Julian living in her flat and sleeping in her bed, but that “we haven't had sex. Of course he tried,” she said, “but I turned him down”.…
But then the phone rang one day, I think it was Thursday, and I could hear from her voice that it was something serious. So she said, “It's not true what I said, we did indeed have sex.” Aha, I said, and was a little surprised [inaudible] rings me up and tells me this. And then she tells me that the other woman, Sofia, has called her and said that Julian had been there and had sex with her. It was consensual on both occasions. And now I am telling you what Anna told me; hers is the only version I have, actually. We had many conversations, and I am telling you all this in answer to your question… because there is some background to relate.
So then she told me that Julian and Sofia had travelled to Enköping and had consensual sex, or however one may wish to put it, until the morning. And then Anna said: “Sofia told me that Julian continued to have sex with her in the morning without protection, without a condom. And she did not want that and she protested, but Julian continued and consummated the sex without protection, despite Sofia's protests,” said Anna. All right, I said; I was of course speechless at suddenly hearing this. “And I have to tell you that we also had sex at an early stage at my place, and right in the midst of the act or [inaudible] he destroyed the condom,” she said. She did not say “removed”. My mind fastened on that word — “destroyed”. It is such a strange… Either you are wearing a condom or you are not, or you take — yeah….
So that’s why I remember exactly that description — and she said to me that suddenly he destroyed the condom and continued against my will. Again, I was extremely bewildered and could not say anything; I was just somewhat shocked, of course, that this had happened.
So that is the background; and I believe, I think Anna is very, very credible —
or I have thought that, all the while. So I did not just brush it off, but instead contacted Julian immediately and confronted him with this. Something like, “What the hell is going on?” And his reaction was one of shock; he did not understand anything. His story was just the opposite, of course. He said Sofia had not protested, that it was just [inaudible], that they had fun. I really tried to press him: “Did you remove the condom, did you destroy the condom?” He did not even understand the question, that’s a fact.
So it was two completely different — and I have not drawn any personal conclusions of any kind from this….
But that is the background, and that is why I knew what was going to happen — because then Anna said: “Sofia has asked me to go to the police with her, and I have decided to follow along and support her in this. But we are not planning to file charges against Julian; we just want to go there and tell our stories.” And then I wondered: Is it possible to tell one’s story without it becoming a formal compl…. Yes, technicalities
like that; but I did not pursue them in detail. In any event, that is what she said.
So she went there together with Sofia; and we rang a few times back and forth. We sent some SMS messages to each other about this. And I also called Julian a few times. They wanted Julian to test himself for HIV, otherwise they were going to file a complaint against him. That's how they put it. They did not want to speak with Julian, themselves. But Julian had spoken with Sofia, he said, and he believed that things had been blown out of proportion. But I told Julian, “The young women want you to take
an HIV test; and if you do, they will not file a complaint. But if you do not, they will file a complaint.” So I just passed that on; I was the messenger.…
Then Anna rang again and said, “Now we have been to the police and Sofia told her story; and as I was sitting there, I filled in with one sentence.” This is exactly word- for-word, as I recall what she said. Aha, I said, and what was that sentence? Well, the sentence was: ”I think Sofia is telling the truth because I experienced something similar”, said Anna. And then she told me that part about the condom, so that's why
I thought that it was true.
I don't know anything about police technicalities, but then Anna said: “Because all of a sudden we were two women with a statement about the same man, it became
[a matter for investigation] and thus became a formal complaint, even though we had not filed a complaint.” And so it became a complaint. Therefore, I already knew Julian's reaction, and now we come to your question.
MG: I see.
DB: He was shocked and did not understand anything. It was his first… And then
there were two versions: First, there was no sex. Then there was sex, but something had happened that Anna didn’t want to happen. And now, third, it is a matter of rape,
even. So from my viewpoint, I have seen three different versions of the same event.
MG: If we say — …. You have then — .… Julian has been here earlier — …. Have you, have you any insight into or knowledge of his activities with women in general?
DB: Well, insight.… We have never spoken in private and we have never associated privately.
DB: So what exactly he has done and with whom, I don't know. But there is a general impression, of course, and that is that he attracts a great many women. I mean, it is really quite remarkable. It is something of a rock-star phenomenon…. The most famous man in the world… I mean, in some people’s eyes, he was the world’s most famous man. Ex- tremely intelligent — that is attractive, of course — and he challenges the Pentagon and so forth…. That impresses a lot of people, and I have seen many women — I can say that the overwhelming majority of women who have gotten near him have fallen completely.…. They come completely under his spell — really — and I have drawn the conclusion that he has sometimes had use of that; that much one can say. But exactly with whom, how many and what — that I don’t know.
MG: No. He… you get… so he… his reaction, if one says…. How does he feel about that attention from women?
DB: I think he experiences it as positive, actually.… I believe that he experiences it as positive. And Anna’s comment when she called me and said, “Donald, that isn’t true, what I said before. We have had sex”…. And then she adds, exactly in line with what I have been saying here: “I was proud as a peacock — the world’s most awesome man in my bed and living in my flat.”
DB: So it is the same theme and that was why I said, in answer to your question, that
I believe that Julian experiences the attention as positive, very positive.
MG: Hmm. The events surrounding Julian’s residing with Anna…. DB: Yes.
MG: Do you know anything about that?
DB: Yes. I was about to say that I am the one who knows about that, because it was just before Julian's arrival that Anna called me for the first time. And then it was not media- related — we had never spoken before— but: “Hi, my name is Anna Ardin and I am involved in planning this seminar. I am going to be on an election campaign tour, so
my flat will be vacant. So Julian is welcome to live there,” she said. “Can you tell him that?” In addition, Broderskapet would save on hotel costs, and Julian would rather
stay in a flat than in a hotel. So I forwarded the message and he gladly accepted the offer; so I brought the two together, quite simply.
The idea was that Julian would stay until Friday, I think it was. The seminar
was to be on Saturday and Anna was to come home on Saturday; I think that was the original plan. But then she came back on Friday. Then there was a little discussion about where Julian was going to spend the night and so on. But my understanding is that they went out to dinner, then they went home, and so they decided that Julian would stay in her bed. So it was that simple: Anna realized that her flat was going to be vacant, it can be used; and she offered it to Julian, then he lived there for one more week.
MG: Yes. Did you then have any contact with Anna during that week? DB: Yes.
MG: After the seminar in other words.
DB: Yes. After the seminar we went — that was on Saturday. They met on a Friday and the seminar was on Saturday. Then we went to lunch; that is something which I also believe has been mentioned in the media. There was a little group that lingered after, when all the journalists had gradually departed and just a few people were left. There was also a woman that I had seen during the seminar, that I did not recognize and did not know who she was. So being polite, I said hello and asked her if she was also a member of Broderskapet and so on. “No, not at all,” she said. “I just asked if I could help out.” Then I understood that she was one of those — you can call them groupies, or stalkers, or those who are attracted to his star aura.… But there was nothing more with that, and she followed along to lunch with us.
MG: Who saw to it that she joined you for lunch?
DB: Yes, that’s a good question. But it was like this: Broderskapet says thanks for the seminar and now we invite you to lunch, and she is just sitting there.
MG: So you don't even know if she was invited?
DB: No, but she said that she phoned Anna and asked if she could help out. So there was some sort of acceptance from Anna that she was included in the group. I don’t know what she helped out with, but there was an acceptance that she was with us.…
So she didn’t just push her way in; she…. Then I was the first to finish lunch and move on. But before that Peter Weiderud said — because this has been in the media — that now it is crayfish season and Julian is here from abroad, it's crayfish season, so he ought to have a chance to try some Swedish crayfish. And then Anna started calling around — this is Saturday, after the seminar —Anna called some friends and said, by all means let’s organize a crayfish party for Julian. And so she called around and
delegated tasks — can you buy this, can you buy that. That was about the last I heard before I said thanks and left the restaurant.…
And then came the crayfish party in the evening, around 7:00 p.m.
MG: How were you invited, were you already invited at lunch?
DB: Yes, just so. I was invited then. It was not a large gathering, it was a smaller party…. Among others, there were two people from the Pirate Party who came, who Anna contacted; for, the idea was that Julian was to start living with them, instead. That's why they came — so they could meet and be introduced. And there were also a few friends of Anna.
MG: If we back up a bit to the lunch and the part about Sofia tagging along.… What was your impression of Sofia during the luncheon?
DB: I thought she was spec— … Yes, the best term I can think of is “special”. Basically, she did not say anything, as I recall. She just said that she rang Anna and asked if she could help out; and she said at one point that she worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. That was pretty much what I heard her say, and…. So I did not think much about her; but since you ask, then yes: a special person.
MG: Did she converse at all with Julian during lunch?
DB: Yes, they sat next to each other and said something to each other and did something with each other; but cannot recall any details.… The only picture I have is that there sits a person who is delighted in Julian.… And as I said, Julian experiences that as positive. That is pretty much the picture I have, as I do not dig into people’s private lives and so on…. But apropos that, there is another detail that I have also thought about. It was — I spoke with Anna on a regular basis — and she joked about Julian, said he was a special bloke. Suddenly he is simply gone in the middle of the night, and it turns out that he is sitting in the bathroom with his computer…. She jokes quite heartily, in an amused sort of way. And sometimes we related similar things to each other.
But at the crayfish party, she was sitting beside Julian and then she said, she took that up: “Where did you disappear to last night?” she said. At that time I did not think that they had any sort of relationship. I really believed Anna — she is a strong woman [inaudible] — so that…. But that grabbed his attention, and he looked at her — I was sitting right next to them. “And I woke up and you were gone from the bed, and I felt like I had been dumped,” she said. And just that word startled me a little: Why would she feel like she had been ‘dumped’ if she did not…. And I noticed afterward that the word came back, that she….
MG: But was that the night before the seminar, then?
DB: No, it was after the seminar. Yes, that’s right; the Friday night before Saturday.… That was when Julian was supposed to move [out of Anna’s flat]. But instead they went out to dinner, went home again, and decided that he would stay. And so they shared the bed. And then she had told me with a laugh how he — strange fellow who disappears and sits in the bathroom with his computer. But towards him there was another feeling — that she felt dumped. And I reacted to that; because you do not feel that way if you do not have a relationship or something like, do you? And as far as I knew, they had no relationship. So that, well she felt dumped; yes… That was during the crayfish party, and they sat and talked quietly about that for a while, because it….
Oh, right! And then she also joked that Julian had disappeared with a “random girl”, [inaudible] the media. Because those who had called her had asked if Julian and so on. But no, “He disappeared with a ‘random girl’,” and I did not then understand what she meant. But she meant that, after the lunch that we have just talked about,
Julian and Sofia had gone off to the museum and the cinema and so on. But he returned for the crayfish party.
MG: Was there anything else that you picked up during the crayfish party?
DB: Well, the only possibly relevant…. Actually, I did not participate very much. Mainly, I sat and ate; I love crayfish [laughs]. So I concentrated very much on eating. But I know that there was a discussion about where Julian was going to sleep. Should he go home with this couple, as planned. There was another friend of Anna, and there was Anna. But I did not understand that it was already decided then, at the table, that Julian was to remain at Anna’s that night. I was not involved in that discussion, but I understood that so it would be, so that…. Once again, I was among the first to leave; and the others remained and…. Then he and Anna went up and slept there, from what I have been told.
MG: Did you get the impression that Julian was flirting with any woman in particular at the crayfish party?
DB: Not that I could see. Maybe he did on the sly, or however one might put it. But
I did not see that he did so.
DB: The classic— that man chases woman, or something like that…. MG: No.
DB: No. My recollection is that he rather intended to continue meeting Anna, because what he said was, “I think it will be best if I sleep here afterwards. It's the simplest.” He devised a formal explanation, so to speak — i.e. instead of moving luggage and
so on…. That was my impression. But, in fact, I was not overly observant in that gathering. I know that I ate more than the others did [laughs]. [Inaudible] Yes.
MG: And then if we put it like this: Sofia, have you had any contact with Sofia, have you met Sofia other than at the lunch?
DB: No. That occasion was the last time I…. I have not spoken with her. I have not seen her.
MG: Before that, had you any contact with Sofia?
DB: No. It was at the seminar. I saw someone at the seminar who just looked special — that is, whom I noticed but.… Everyone seemed to have a role to play. There were journalists, there were technicians, and there were, like, organizers. And it was very obvious that she did not have any role. So I sat and considered: But think.… Who can that be; can it be a member of the Pirate Party, can it be…? Yeah you know — like that. And suddenly she was just standing there next to Julian…. That's why I introduced myself; and then I understood, “All right, she is one of his female admirers,” so to speak.
MG: Then let’s go back to, to this, a little, to this about her living, that Julian was to stay with Anna.
MG: And then, was it then decided how long he would stay with Anna?
DB: No, not as far as I know. It was my understanding that he was actually supposed to have moved out on Friday, as mentioned; that was the plan. And then he remained, and then I never heard about any other time limit. Not that I have heard. If they said something to each other.… But I don't think so. Perhaps what you are getting at is that, eventually during that week — towards Wednesday and afterward, I believe —Anna told me that she wanted him to move. O.K., but tell him, I said. And then she said.
”I have told him, but he doesn't want to move.” And then I confronted him with that.
DB: Confronted Julian — that it was time to move, that Anna wants you to move, that she says she told you. And again he was surprised and said she had not said a word about it.… And again I can… So I have… two — it is like stereo speakers, where one channel says one thing and the other channel says something else. But not once has anyone mentioned any time limit, other than on a certain day [inaudible]. “No, now
I want you to move”…. She said to me. And I conveyed that message to Julian —
now it is time. And it is not until Friday, I believe, that he moves.
MG: Where does he move to then?
DB: Good question. I don't know. I think you should ask Johannes; maybe you already have. I have not been involved in arranging his lodging, not at any point.…
MG: No. Do you know, did you get any, did you hear Anna mention Sofia or that, in other words, did she mention Sofia before this business about the HIV tests and so on? Did she mention Sofia at all?
DB: No, the only thing I heard was what I just mentioned, that she called her a “random girl”.… With a shrug of her shoulder, or she tried to sort of joke that Julian disappeared with a “random girl”. More than that I have not heard.
DB: One could perhaps ask her girlfriends how she…. Those closest to her. No, so it was fairly clear then, the impression she gave me — Anna, that is — that her manner toward me was pleasant, trustworthy, straightforward, refreshing in some way. But then I understood later that a lot of other things had happened — that the impression I had got was not correct….
DB: Did not correspond with reality. DL: No.
DB: So, hmm.…
MG: So, how and when did this come…. That is, when she called and told you this…. that things had happened with this Sofia.… And that you, even then, she told you what was true and that.… What was your impression of her when she related what she said she had experienced?
DB: My impression was that — partly, I was of course bewildered that suddenly it is a completely different picture…. But then I believe that my impression was that she was credible, and there was a little of this — one is inclined to believe a woman who has been mistreated. It is like that, in some way; it is sort of…. So that was my immediate impression.…
But at the same time, I began to think: How can it be possible? For, if they are having sex, consensual according to her, and something happens that she experiences as an assault, how can she nevertheless gladly arrange a crayfish party, let him remain
in her flat, share a bed and so forth? I felt that there is something here that does not add up. So I had the feeling that she was a credible person, yet there was something about her story that did not add up.
DB: But I also decided not to dig into this. That is something for you to do, so to say
MG: Yes [laughs].
DB: So those are pretty much the two impressions I have, parallel with each other: a credible young woman, a strong young woman who knows what she wants, but something that does not add up. And it is somewhat strengthened by the fact that
I now had three versions of what happened.… And Julian still says the same thing: “I don’t understand anything”.…
EO: May I toss in a question here? MG: Of course.
EO: When you spoke with Anna, and she said that she had been the victim of a sexual assault. Did you get any sense of what she had actually been subjected to — or Sofia?
MG: Based on Anna's story.
DB: Yes, I understand; based on Anna's story. When she called me and said “we had sex” and this happened, she did not in any way imply that she had been the victim of sexual assault. In fact, she did not even want to go to the police. But the way she put it was like, “I want to go with, I promised Sofia I would go with her for support” — not that she had any reason to go, herself. And so my impression is that she did not experience anything very serious, but that she had become angry. Roughly: Don't destroy the condom, but not that it was an assault. That was my impression, because she did not want to go to the police for her own sake.
Then she called back and said, as I mentioned, that because she strengthened Sofia’s story with that one sentence, the case became stronger, as she expressed it. That was exactly what she said.… But it was not her case. If she then went to you lot and
made a strong case for herself, I don’t know. But [I am explaining what she said] to me, because that was your question.
EO: Yes, yes; of course.
DB: So she toned it down a lot as something unpleasant, or something she got angry about — and no intention to file a complaint or pursue the matter further.
MG: But this is then before you, this is before it…. It seems like…. DB: This is on Thursday, then….
MG: And when does she go to the police — do you know that?
DB: Yes, I believe it is on Friday that she goes to the police. And I believe that it is on Saturday that Julian is arrested in absentia. So that, yes, on Friday afternoon Anna phoned me fairly often, or we phoned each other a great many times that Friday. Then she said, “Now Sofia is with the police. Now I have been with the police”, and there is talk of HIV tests again…. So on Friday, in particular, there was a fairly intensive telephone traffic…. But she gave me the impression that she went there to say what
I have just told you; and she is a supportive friend to Sofia. Just so…. MG: What she told you — what did you feel?
DB: I guess I felt precisely so — or believe her, quite simply.… For when this came out, I got a call from Aftonbladet; and I decided that I did not want to say anything in the media. I did not want to get dragged into this. It is not my story, so to speak.… I was not present on these occas…. and so, so that…. But I know that I said to Aftonbladet
straight off that my impression of Anna was what I have told you — that she seemed to be a credible young woman. I remember that I did say that to Aftonbladet.… But nevertheless, there are things about the story that do not add up. …
MG: Have you ever talked with Julian about, well, women? Have you ever talked with him, that is….
DB: Yes, I understand the question. Yes.
MG: That bit about how they, how he is pursued all the time.… Have you had, shall we say, ethical discussions with him
DB: Yes, yes.
MG: And have you had, well, shall we say ethical conversations with him?…
DB: Yes, I have.… Precisely because there is an astounding surge of women. It takes only a few seconds; it is very noticeable. And when it is like that, I believe that one has to keep things under control, for a variety of reasons. There are then ethical, moral ways to, so to say — . But I cannot really offer an opinion, because I do not know what he has done and not done, so to say, you understand.…
It is just like, handle…. On the one hand it was: If it is going to be like this, it must be handled very, very well. Deal with it so that no young woman, you know…. On the other hand, our discussions were more about the security aspects — that he has portrayed himself, which I think is at least partly accurate, as a hunted man. He is not
so popular in the United States. According to reliable sources that I have read in several places, there over one hundred who [inaudible] Pentagon trying to crack his codes….
There is a hunt — and most important, he is sitting on material that the USA believes can damage the USA.… But not only the USA. It was the same in Iceland, and there are other countries.…
So it is a source of intelligence that is without parallel. That is why it is interesting from a journalistic standpoint to [inaudible] the actual sources. So it is not difficult to draw the conclusion that this is something that many people want to stop. I do not believe that anyone will try to attack him physically; but there are other things that can be done.
And although it may seem conspiratorial, there have been many episodes throughout history where a girl with a short skirt has been sent in. There was a case not so long ago in Russia…. And we talked about just that case. We also talked about Vanunu, the Israeli scientist who revealed Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. That was the same thing: They sent a girl to his hotel room, and that was that. Then they could transport him to Israel and so on.
So we talked about all that, and there were two aspects. One was to deal with the young women in a proper way. The other was that now he was becoming someone who could expect to be subjected to various…. That’s what we talked about, in those terms.
MG: Yes, and what did he say to that?
DB: I only remember him saying that he understood.… So that was probably how it was. But I also got the impression — don’t recall the exact words — that he thought he had it under control, that because he understood the problem, he thought….
MG: Do you feel there is any reason to think about this case in those terms?
DB: I don't think so. Not really, if one can think in different ways. So if one thinks about the Pentagon and the CIA and such…. No, I don't think so. I don't believe that at all — any such conflict.
MG: Has Julian discussed that possibility?
DB: No, in fact he has not. He has talked about it being a smear campaign. But he does not know where it is coming from — or he merely refers to what is in the entire world press. “Assange” plus “rape” gets several million hits on the web. So it is a gigantic smear campaign, he says but... No, I don't believe he thinks that the CIA is behind it.… Not in this case. But he has also said — he has got tips from intelligence agencies that he should be careful, because there are indications that such plans exist.…
But that does not necessarily apply to this business.… Then, there are always things one does not know, but…. If you are just asking me, then no, I do not believe that this is something bigger. I believe it is more private, personal.
MG: Yes. You said that you had also confronted Julian in connection with hearing about this from Anna.
DB: That is correct.
MG: Did he say anything about what had happened? That is, did he way, “No, no
I don't understand anything”… but did he add anything about what had happened?
DB: Yes partly. It was not a lot. It was just, “I don't understand what you are talking about, because we had sex exactly as normal”.…
And I also said that Anna had said that Sofia protested loud and clear: “No, do not continue”.… And then he became outraged several times. I have taken it up with him several times and he becomes, like, outraged. He absolutely did not, he states em- phatically – or that she did not. And he also says that it is a pure, pure, pure, pure lie.…
And then he says that they only had normal sexual intercourse, and that which has also been mentioned in the press, that “We joked about what name the baby would have” and so on.…
MG: Did he say whether he was wearing a condom or not?
DB: On that occasion with Sofia, no condom.… And on the other occasion, why does one destroy a condom. Regarding that he said that, no, he had not. He said that they simply continued as usual.… So, it was protected sex on that occasion.… Consensual, protected sex, and he had not damaged the condom in any way. That is his version,
MG: How — what do you know about Julian’s private life? Do you have any knowledge of his life, in general? Is he married, does he have children?
DB: I know very, very little. Most of it comes from newspaper articles.… Some people have tried to explore his background. I know very, very, very little. But I know that he is not married, and he has at least four children, I believe. He talks very little about his private life. That suits me; I have no need to discuss private matters. That is not our role; rather…. And to my knowledge, he has no permanent residence; he has no permanent base, but instead circulates.
MG: Hmm. Have you, has he ever expressed a desire for more children? DB: Not to me… He is not a man who talks about his private life.…
MB: No. [Silence.] Yes, Ewa?
EO: I see a few things here. Yes, had Julian any, did he talk about his future life, like did he want to establish himself here in Sweden, or…?
DB: Yes, that.
EO: What were his thoughts?
DB: His idea — as he expressed it to me, or to others at any rate — was to establish himself in Sweden. Apply for a work and residence permit, as he has done.… So he ahas sent in the application, that much I know. Then he was planning to establish a publication in Sweden and, in order to do that, to obtain a publishing licence and be the publisher responsible under Swedish law. And with that, Sweden would become a sort of base for his life and work. But no more details on how he would live — well, a few. But this was purely professional future planning. Work and residence permit, publishing licence, start a publication, and Sweden would become some sort of home base for those activities. And that shows a future orientation, which is how he thinks.
His links to Sweden would be strengthened, and become more long-term and more…. And that is the clear impression that I have.… Yes, and that was the direction, and he presumably is continuing with that plan.…
EO: Yes, precisely. It occurred to me: Are you still in contact with Anna [inaudible]?
DB: No. We had a little, I'll see when was the last — so, in the midst of the rush, and we were in touch for a while afterwards. Then it was more and more seldom. I phoned a few times, but she did not answer. That was after Claes Borgström came into the picture. And I think I concluded — because we had a good relationship…. In one of her last SMS messages she wrote that, “We trust each other, don’t we?”…. So my con- clusion is that she was worried that I was going to talk to the press — and especially to Aftonbladet because I have a lot of contact with Aftonbladet — and that she therefore winds down our communication to prevent leaks. I can well imagine that the lawyer says, “Don't talk with any journalists, even if they are friends.” That’s what I would
say. So the last time, she did not answer. Instead, there have been some SMS messages, and then…. Yes, since a over a week ago or longer, she has not even sent an SMS.
EO: And your contact with Julian these days?
DB: I have not seen him in ten days or thereabouts, nor have I met him. But we have spoken, perhaps four, three, four days ago…. It is now and then, sort of.
EO: And because he knows, because you have been following it, do you talk about his case much, this ongoing preliminary investigation? Does he bring it up, does he ask you things? Do you have a dialog….
DB: Yes we do. But it is not so much of a dialog; rather, it is more that he expresses his thoughts, for example that nothing will happen before the [Swedish national] election.… I believe he thinks about it very much. We don't talk so often; but the times we have spoken, he mentions this case. Of course, he feels — he expresses [inaudible] dissatisfaction, he feels unjustly treated. To take a concrete example that usually comes up: There was a murder case that was in the newspapers, about a young woman in Malmö named Nancy who got hacked to death with a bottle, I think it was. The killer was caught and sentenced to eight years in prison. After the sentence, the photo of the murderer was distorted, pixeled out. But the photo of Julian, who is only a suspect. is not pixeled out. So he feels that there is something going on that is systematically not right, and he comments on that often.… Yes, and so on in that manner, so to speak.
MG: Who in Sweden is his most trusted confidant, Julian that is? Who would you say is the person here in Sweden whom he trusts the most?
DB: It probably varies a little. But if I were to name one person, it would probably be Johannes Wahlström. I think they got on very well in the United States when Johannes interviewed Julian.
MG: Have you had any contact, how has your contact with Johannes been from…. DB: The beginning of time?
MG: Yes, or to put it more properly — no, but if we say since after this bomb was dropped.
DB: Basically, Johannes has been out of the country the entire time. Now I cannot say if we have spoken on the phone once or twice, and some SMS messages. In other words, it has been very little — low frequency contact.… This is not anything that has unravelled, and people have been going to meetings, sat and planned. Rather, this is something that has just been allowed to unfold as it has. My last SMS message from
Johannes was yesterday. But I did not reply; I kind of did not have the energy…. He can come home and see for himself [laughs]. So it's at that level, in other words.…
MG: And before — that is, did you know him for a long time before this, or…?
DB: No. I met him once in Jerusalem, with a lot of journalists together. So that's why I knew who he was. Then he interviewed me once about the Middle East for some journal. That was the first time I met him and spoke with him. The third time I met him was the first time I met Julian Assange, essentially.
MG: And where was this?
DB: I believe…. [Inaudible] think. I might be missing something here. Yes, I met him,
I wrote also [inaudible]. If you write about the Middle East, there are often fireworks.… Even I have experienced that. Lots of fireworks, and I spoke with him in connection with that. So, he is someone I have known and associated with and so forth. But I have met Johannes a number of times in connection with Julian and WikiLeaks.… Much more. So all of a sudden I can say that, yes, I know him.… But that is only recently.…
MG: Anything you think of that we should have asked, that you want to convey?
DB: I think I have covered everything. But there is this: It feels as though there are so many versions of the same event.… I have been thinking about that.… And certain — that thing about Anna sitting there next to Julian and feeling dumped. That has also fastened in my…. Why did you feel that way?
EO: Just one thing: When that phone call comes, on Thursday, when Anna…. DB: Yes.
EO: And then you confronted Julian.… Was it then made known that he had had sex with both Sofia and Anna, or were you entirely focused on Sofia?
DB: When Anna called, I think it was Thursday…. Up until then she had joked that, “He has not succeeded in bedding me”, and so on…. But on Thursday, that is why she said, “I have also had sex with Julian… What I said before wasn’t true.” So it did come out that they had sex.… And the reason she said that was that Sofia called and told her about their night…. So that within the space of a minute or so, I understood that both of them had had sex with Julian — but also that the sex was consensual….
EO: But then you confronted Julian with this.… Did you also speak with him about the young women?
DB: I told him explicitly, precisely what Anna said to me. I said it straight out.… About the broken condom, and why did you continue when Sofia said no, protested.…
MG: Yes. That leads to this question: Do you know if Julian has had any contact with the young women… after…?
DB: Not after the complaint was filed. But that Friday when the women went to the police [inaudible]; I think it was a Friday. Before that, Anna phoned me often and said that all we want is for him to take an HIV test; then we won't file a complaint, she said.
All right, I said. I will call Julian and tell him that; and so I did. And so I called Anna, and Anna called me.
Then I called Julian again and he said, “But now I have had a long conversation with Sofia,” he said on Friday. “And she (inaudible) no problem”. In other words, she was not going to the police, and they were in complete agreement. Is that really true,
I asked; because I have just spoken with Anna and I got a completely different impres- sion. They are on their way to the police [inaudible]. “No,” he said, “we were in complete agreement, it was very friendly, very pleasant.”
And he has come back to that several times: “I spoke with her about this on Friday and she said such and such.” I don't know if they have had any contact after that, but I don't think so.
EO: No questions.
MG: In that case, we will end the interview at 12:17 p.m.
* * * * *
Date: 20 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Ewa Olofsson
Also present: Police officer Mats Gehlin as witness
Type of interview: In person; audio-recorded
Type of protocol: Verbatim transcript (slightly edited in this translation)
Abbreviations: JW, Johannes Wahlström; EO, Ewa Olofsson; MG, Mats Gehlin
* * *
The interview begins with a discussion of whether or not it will be leaked to the press or otherwise made publicly available. The answer provided is that the legal department of the police will decide how much of the interview to classify or make public.
EO: Is there anything more that you… JW: No. Let’s get on with it.
EO: I would like to ask you to begin by telling us about your contacts with Julian
Assange, both in connection with and before he came to Sweden.
JW: I have worked with Julian Assange on assignment from Swedish Public Television, with a work in progress that I am not authorized to discuss.… I am not sure exactly when I met him, but let's say a week before he came to Sweden I met him in England.
Then he went to Sweden and I returned here a day or twelve hours afterwards, roughly. Or… you said, contacts before he came here.
EO: Precisely. How do you say — associated with, were you involved in his task here in Sweden?
EO: Like, were you, were you in England to meet him in relation to his task here? JW: I was in England and met him on assignment from Swedish Public Television. EO: Did you make arrangements for his visit here in Sweden?
JW: Well, that depends on what you mean.
EO: I mean his lodging, his task here, perhaps some interviews.
JW: No, but I was aware of what his task was, his lodging arrangements and such things. And I helped with arranging contacts, that much I can say — partly with Broderskapet which then came to invite him to Sweden. In connection with that, I had contact via e-mail with Anna Ardin who was Broderskapet’s press secretary, and probably still is. For practical reasons, she sent his airplane tickets to me. Apart from that, she and the others in Broderskapet handled all the practical matters; I don’t know how their internal administration works…. As it was explained to me, they would invite him to a seminar and cover his living expenses for a few days afterward.
EO: O.K. Then you returned to Sweden — a half day, you said, after Julian. Did you get in touch with him as soon as you returned to Sweden?
JW: Yes. I came back at night, as I recall, so we contacted each other in the morning…. EO: When was that — do you remember?
JW: I could look in my diary…. One can count backwards to what it was…. But you must surely have your own records of when he came to Sweden, so that….
EO: The seminar was on Saturday.
JW: On Saturday.… So, it was either on Thursday or on Friday. Probably, I returned on
Thursday evening, or late that night; so, we met on Friday. [Checks date in diary.] Yes: I flew back on the night of the 11th, and then met him on Thursday.… Then, as far as I recall, we met every day until I left Sweden the following week.
EO: What day did you leave? JW: [Clears throat.]
EO: I am being difficult.
JW: I don't remember if it was the 18th or the 19th…. I think I left on the evening of
18 August.… I left Sweden and was away until the 15th, that is to say just a few days ago.
EO: Yes. I see. [Silence]
EO: Then from the time you came to Sweden on the 12th, or the 11th, it is the 12th when you contact each other…. How did you meet, in what context?
JW: We participated in a number of meetings, of a journalistic nature I would say. EO: Were you also at the meeting on Saturday, the 14th… with Broderskapet?
JW: Yes, I was.
EO: What was your impression of Julian as a person?
JW: My impression of Julian as a person.… Well, that he is a very intelligent person. He is friendly and warm, you can say.… Perhaps you could ask some leading questions instead, if you like; it would be easier for me to answer your questions.
EO: I am just thinking that you met quite a lot, and rather frequently for a time. So did you, like, get to know each other on a more….
JW: On a personal level?
EO: Yes, precisely. More than just work?
JW: Yes. I would say that I have a sense of what he is like as a person, yes.… I think I can say that.… He is someone who, in certain respects, is very knowledgeable and very capable. But in other respects — he can, for example, have difficulty finding his way if he is walking in town, because he gets so deeply involved in conversation, and… he has a way of bringing out a sort of, well, good will or whatever you want to call it. Because… I don't know, there are certain people who have some kind of aura that makes one want to be nice to them — something like that. And he, himself is very nice, to put it simply.…
JW: You asked me if I was at the meeting with Broderskapet. EO: Yes, I did.
JW: We can go into that. But I would also like to say something that is connected with this particular case and questions that are related to it.…
When we were in London, I noted something which, for me, was quite astonish- ing, because we in the journalism profession are not, so to say, accustomed to celebrity in the way that it can be in the music banch, or that sort of thing. But I discovered very soon that Julian aroused some sort of celebrity interest among young women — and especially among women whom I expected to be, one might say, more professional.
I am speaking now of how it was in London. They glued themselves to him, so to speak…. These were journalists from very prestigous publications who behaved, well, rather like schoolgirls when they saw him. Giggled, tried to hug him. Tried to place their hands on his thigh. Yes, to me it looked very, very strange.
EO: What did he make of it?
JW: He was relatively unmoved. I suppose he smiled and thought that the situation was amusing; I think he enjoyed it. But I remember one specific occasion when we were in a meeting; it was informal, but nonetheless a meeting related to work — the sort of thing that one conducts with a glass of wine in the hand. There were perhaps fifteen people sitting there, and we were discussing all the issues relating to our professional roles, and which touched upon certain materials that we were working with. And two women who also worked in journalism on this project sat down very
quickly right beside him; and it was obvious that, that they were competing to see who could capture his interest. But he seemed more interested in discussing journalistic ethics, politics and those issues.
But to me it certainly looked very really strange, that I can tell you — especially since I knew who these two women were, and that they were on a journalistic assignment.
EO: Did you and Julian talk about this later?
JW: Yes, I talked with him about this later; and I noted that he did not clearly reject the invitations of these women. And without knowing any of the details, what had happened or not happened, I told him with all good will that I thought he should be extremely careful. For in his exposed situation, he cannot know whether or not he is dealing with a person whom he can trust. In the political game that he has got involved in, and with which he is familiar or however you want to put it, it is far from unusual
or unthinkable that someone may wish to create problems for him precisely by means of sexual contacts.
So I talked with him a couple of times; and I had a long, serious discussion with him about this when we came to Sweden. That was probably on Friday, I would guess.
EO: And why — why the long, serious discussion?
JW: Well, it was just that…. I noticed that there were too many — if I may say so without seeming scornful of anyone — too many female groupies circulating around him and that, even though he only conversed with them, he sort of lowered his guard in a way that he would not do in speaking with you or me. It was simply that kind of discussion.
There are a number of examples in history where very well known, above all controversial figures have experienced this sort of thing. I think not least of Mordechai Vanunu — don't know if you are familiar with him. He is the man who disclosed Israel's nuclear weapons secret nearly twenty years ago. After he disclosed the nuclear weapons secret, he happened to meet a young girl whom he thought was very nice and good-looking and so forth. She flirted with him very intensively, and asked if he would like to join her on a trip to Italy. He did, and then he was drugged and transported in a box to Israel where he spent twenty years in prison. She turned out to be a Mossad agent.
What Julian Assange and his organization have been doing is in no way less serious in the context of world politics than what Mordechai Vanunu did. [Assange]
knew about that case; it was not unknown to him. But I felt it was important to mention the risk to him.
EO: Did he then have, when you had that conversation, did he already have a relationship here in Sweden or in London that you knew about?
JW: I did not know any details about his relationships. I could only see the way that young women flocked around him.
EO: I see. What, have you had, you say that you were in contact with Anna Ardin via e-mail. Did you know each other before?
JW: No, we did not know each other before that.
EO: How was your contact with each other established?
JW: I really don’t know; but I suspect that she was probably asked by her superiors to send the tickets to me…. It’s not something that I want to go into, because it has nothing to do with this interview.
EO: Have you had any contact since you returned to Sweden?
JW: The first time I met her was on Saturday morning, that is to say a few hours before the seminar at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.
EO: I see.
JW: … As mentioned, I helped Julian Assange with a few practical matters. Partly, it had to do with passing on the tickets, and partly I wanted to find out where he was going to be when he was here.
Since it was Broderskapet that had invited him, they took it upon themselves to arrange his lodging. Then I found out that there was a vacant flat that belonged
to Broderskapet’s press secretary who would be out of town — until Saturday, if my memory serves. So there would be a place for him to stay. After that, either they or someone else would find some other place for him to stay.
It would be easier if you helped me with the date, because I don’t quite recall it and I have not been thinking about all this during the past month, as I have been out of the country. But I have a very clear recollection that Anna Ardin had returned to
Stockholm a day early. What day it was I don't remember, if it was Thursday or Friday. I would guess that it was Friday… Yes, it was definitely Friday. She wanted to meet Julian, given that he was living in her flat. But that was not a problem, because she had somewhere else to go. And during that day we had a meeting with the representative
of Broderskapet; it was he who told me about all this.
EO: Yes it was he who told…
JW: Yes, he gave me the information that Anna would be returning a day earlier than planned. But it was not a problem; Julian could remain where he was, and she would stay somewhere else. Then, a bit later, I heard via Julian that Anna Ardin had contacted him and wanted to meet, before the seminar. And as that was my understanding,
I believe that I gave him directions to her flat and then went home. This was probably in the evening, but not yet night.
EO: On Friday?
JW: On Friday.… That is how I recall it.… Then they were supposed to meet, and on Saturday morning I was supposed to fetch Julian at the flat and show him the way to the meeting place. The seminar was at 11:00, if I remember correctly, which means that I was probably there by around 9:00 or 9:30; I don't recall exactly.
So I rang the doorbell. For one thing, I knew that Julian would not be able to find the way; for another, he has a little problem with being on time. So I thought it would be a friendly gesture to wake him; I was one of the few people in Sweden who knew where he was. So I rang the doorbell and, to my surprise, Anna Ardin opened the door. And she — she looked, how shall I say… She looked like she had not expected to see me, that I can say. And I had definitely not expected to see her in the morning. So
I asked very discreetly if she had just arrived, or….
EO: But you understood that it was Anna?
JW: I understood that — and she introduced herself. EO: Yes, O.K.
JW: So I entered the flat and saw a bed. It is a very small flat…. Mine is 35 square metres, one room and kitchen. Hers looked to be nearly ten square metres smaller. There was a fairly small sofa and a little bed. Julian was sitting in the room and she met me in the hall, fully dressed. I merely made a mental note of the fact that, so, they have spent the night together in the flat, in one way or another. And it is not a very big flat, so there is not really enough space for separate rooms.
But I did not go into that. I was interested in making sure that they got to the seminar. Anna left right away, before us. Then Julian and I headed off to the meeting place about a quarter-hour later. Let’s see… was there something more —
EO: Did he say anything about that night?
JW: Definitely not. In the first place, it is not my business to ask personal questions — especially not of someone with whom I have a professional relationship. Secondly, it was my impression that he was not someone who discussed private matters in that way. But there was a thin, thin, thin mattress on the floor; it was about this thin with-
out sheets or anything else. I noted to myself that he may have slept on it; I assumed so, in any event. And I thought it was very strange that she had spent the night there. But nothing more than that.
Then we went off to the seminar. There were a great many people there — a huge gathering of the press. Without knowing any of the details, it looked as most of them in the seminar room were members of the journalist profession. There were a great many cameras, video cameras, pens, dictaphones, and so forth. Anna was helping to organize the practical matters of the seminar. It went as it did — nothing remarkable.
Then, when the seminar ended, there was some sort of deadline for vacating the meeting place. So we all went and stood outside, including a lot of the journalists. Anna had made up a list of journalists who would be able to conduct interviews; they were ticked off the list, and that took quite a long time. Meanwhile, more and more people departed.
The plan was for a few of us to go to lunch after the seminar: Peter Weiderud, who I believe is head of Broderskapet, Anna Ardin, a journalist named Donald Boström and myself. We were the ones who, one might say, [were involved in] all the
original contacts between Julian and Broderskapet. And when there were only one or two journalists left, I went up to — is his name Peter Weiderud?
MG: If you are talking about him with Broderskapet.
JW: Broderskapet, yes.… Anyway, I went up to him and I asked what the plan was; and he said that we were going to lunch and asked if I had any suggestions. I sug- gested Bistro Bohème which is nearby. There were a few people who lingered and
I asked who they were. No idea. I noticed in particular a young woman in some sort of pink jacket. She stuck out in a remarkable fashion in that gathering, one can
say — all shocking pink.
So I asked who that was, because she was standing a little too close to the group that had organized the event. And he [Weiderud] said that she had been helping out as a volunteer or trainee, something like that. Aha, I said, but you can see to it that she
and the others [who do not belong] leave, because I did not want any outsiders at our lunch. At this point there had been everything from politicians to journalists to, like, groupies who had been there for nearly four hours. [It would be best if we went] by ourselves. “But she has helped so much for free, so the least we can do is invite her to lunch.”
To return to what I mentioned earlier about my warning to Julian. For me, it set
off very loud warning bells, merely from what I could see of her; and she had suddenly ended up so close. There we sat, four people discussing sensitive issues, and here was someone whom I knew nothing about; and all of a sudden she was joining us for lunch. But the man named Peter who was in charge of the seminar, he said that she was going to join us for lunch. So I asked Anna the same thing, if she knew who the woman was; and she said something of the sort that she had contacted Broderskapet and asked if
she could help out with anything, but that she herself [Anna] didn't really know her… but that she worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History or something like that. So we went to the restaurant for lunch and, if my memory serves, the party
consisted of those I mentioned earlier: Anna Ardin, Donald Boström, Julian Assange, [Peter Weiderud], the young woman and myself.
EO: Do you remember her name?
JW: Her name was Sofia and… she was seated at the end of the table — because I think that essentially everyone felt that she really should not be there. And so we discussed how we thought the seminar had gone, and a number of other issues of a more or less political and journalistic nature.
There was one strange incident — because she was quiet all through lunch. She sat next to Julian… [and she] had really nothing to say about the subjects we were discussing. And sure enough, she broke into the conversation and asked — she looked very intensely at Julian and asked, “Did you enjoy your cheese sandwich?” or some- thing like that. That caught my attention. I don't remember if it was a cheese sandwich, but it was something like that — something very trivial. He was also somewhat taken aback, and suddenly noticed that she was sitting right next to him. And so he looked at her and said, “Yes, do you want a taste?” And she took a bite of his cheese sandwich. Yes, and [laughs]. Yes, if you can imagine that you are, like, sitting with a group of police, and then there is someone you don't really know who takes a bite of your colleague’s cheese sandwich — it would be a bit perplexing.
Then the luncheon ended, and Julian and I were going to go our separate ways. I think we all went our separate ways. But wait: Before we finished lunch, there was some discussion about Swedish traditions, and I mentioned that it was the crayfish season or something of the sort. I suggested that it might be amusing for Julian to see
a Swedish crayfish party, upon which Anna Ardin — who was sitting next to me — said that she could arrange a crayfish party. And so, within the space of three minutes she called several people; and when she put down her phone, she said that at such and such a time “there will be a crayfish party and you are all welcome”. It was very fast and very good-natured, and I thought that it seemed rather pleasant — especially because it was so spontaneous.
In any event, we left the restaurant and I was going to attend to some of my own business; but I left with Julian, and the others went in separate directions. I suppose that Anna went off to organize the crayfish and the alcohol. [Inaudible] be somewhat difficult on a Saturday just after lunch.… And I noticed that the young woman, Sofia, was following Julian and me.…
And I took Julian off to one side and asked who this was. He looked at me and said, “It is my understanding that she works with Broderskapet. She has said that she can help me get a cable for my computer.” Aha, O.K., I said. So we three went off to a computer shop and asked if they had the necessary cable, but they did not. Then we went to another shop and it was the same thing, or it was closed.
And I thought to myself: Well, now she has done her bit and can depart. But instead, she stayed with Julian and asked if he would like to visit her workplace —
I don’t recall if it was the Museum of Natural History, but it was some big museum in Stockholm — and he said to me, “If you want me to follow along and help you with some things, I will be very glad to do so”. No, I said, you go to the museum and I will see you tonight at the crayfish party.
So they headed off to the museum, as far as I know, and I go off on my errands. Then, in the evening I went to Anna Ardin's place. They phoned me a few times to ask where I was; I guess I was late. When I arrived at the crayfish party, they had prepared a table in the inner courtyard. In addition to Anna, Julian and Donald, there were two people from the Pirate Party, plus another three or four young women and one bloke, friends of Anna. I assumed that they were in some way connected with Broderskapet, or that they were simply friends. I did not think very much about it.
And so the evening wore on; and I noted a curious exchange, one can say. It was a very spirited evening, I can say that straight off.… There was absolutely no ill feeling or anything like that, except for one incident. A friend of Anna Ardin who sat fairly far away from me made it pretty clear that she was lesbian and that she had a great dislike of men in general. She said something like — she shouted across the table to Anna that “Next time, we’ll have a crayfish party without men!” or something like that. I just made a mental note of that expression. Then I half-jokingly pursued the question with Anna — why they should do that. She said something like, “Well, it is good when women can get together just by themselves, to be strong together” or something like that.
Also during the evening, I seem to recall that I asked Anna — no, first I asked Julian where he was going to stay that night, and he replied that he had a few offers. But I got the impression that it was sort of all arranged. Then he said, “I have been invited by the young woman whom we met earlier” — Sofia, in other words. But there was some technical detail or the like that had to be taken care of before they could meet. I don’t know what it was, and I was not especially interested in it; I merely wanted to find out if he had some place to stay — if I should lend my flat to him,
Then I asked Anna if it was O.K. if he remained with her, or if she wanted me to take him. She said, “No. It’s no problem. He is welcome to stay here.”
By then it had become very late, perhaps 3:00 a.m. or thereabouts, and everyone left except Julian and Anna. I helped to carry up the last glasses and things, and then took my leave of them in the flat. It was evident that they both were going to sleep in the flat.
EO: Did you notice anything between them during the evening?
JW: A strong friendship…. a very warm friendship. I did not see any open flirtation. That was also why I did not — I got the impression that Anna sort of wanted to look after Julian in some way.… I got an SMS message from her a few days later.… It was the 16th of August, which means it was a —
JW: Yes. We also met the day before, on Sunday I should think. But in any event, an SMS message [on the 16th]. That was a Monday morning, and I was to meet Julian at Swedish Public TV. And [Anna] wrote to me, “Hi! I have told him three times that he must take a shower. He smells terrible; I can't bear it. You are his best Swedish friend.” (That was according to her.) “Can you figure out a way to solve the problem? Thanks, Anna.” I answered something like, “Ha ha. Yes.” And she replied, “Ha ha, O.K. But you can probably [inaudible] get some hot pirate babe to [inaudible] as a condition for bringing him home, or mention it yourself or something. In any event, I have forcibly washed his clothes.”
During the following days we met every day, that is [myself and] both Julian and Anna Ardin. It was partly in connection with the work I am involved in, and partly to assist with various interviews. At this stage, Anna and Julian had developed some sort of relationship, with her as some sort of surrogate mother — something like that. She took care of his laundry and made sure he ate properly. Yes, she talked about it several times.
The same night or the night before I was to travel abroad — that is to say Tuesday, I believe — I had left Julian at restaurant. And Anna phoned me and asked where he was — she was about to leave her workplace — and I said, “You can assume responsibility for our adoptive child.” And she replied, “Yes, I have long thought about adopting a child. I just didn’t know that he would be so big.” But it was a very affable conversation…. Then she left work and went to meet him.
EO: Did she express any wish for him to move out of her flat?
JW: In fact, I asked her that nearly every day. I realize that it is not my business to ask such a question. But I tried to take her aside on several occasions and asked her if everything was all right. I did not go into any detail, but merely asked if she wanted me to make other arrangements. She replied, “No. But it’s just that he doesn’t sleep at
night, so that can be a bit of a bother; and he has some difficulty managing his hygiene. But of course he can continue lodging with me. It’s no problem, as long as I know roughly how long it will be.”
I believe that I asked that question three or four times, from the first time which was Saturday until —
EO: The day of the seminar. Yes, all right.
JW: The day of the seminar…. Monday, Tuesday.
EO: Did Anna or Julian tell you that they were having, or had, or were going to have a sexual relationship?
JW: Absolutely not.
EO: Neither of them? JW: Absolutely not. EO: I see.
JW: Now I have read in the evening tabloids, just as you probably have, that they evidently had such a relationship. But it came as a complete shock to me. Perhaps I should not be telling you this, but she and I developed a kind of relationship where we sort of helped each other look after our guest. And it seemed just as improbable that she would have a sexual relationship with Julian as that I would have one.… I never gave it any thought — apart from that first moment when I discovered that they slept in the same flat together. But after that, I didn’t think about it.
EO: Was Julian seeing any other woman during this time? You have said that he and Sofia went to her workplace on one occasion… and that he was then invited to spend the night at her place.
EO: But did he?
JW: I have no knowledge of what he actually did. I know that we were supposed to meet…. Actually, I can check that. I got an SMS message about that from Anna…. Here, this is what I wrote on 17 August: “Good morning. Can you remind J that we have a meeting at noon at the journalists’ union. I suspect that [inaudible] sleeping, and unfortunately I cannot fetch him today.” Anna Ardin replied: “He is not here. He has been planning every night to have sex with the cashmere girl, but has not been able to find the time. Perhaps he managed to do so yesterday?” That was at 9:40 a.m. on
My reply: “Poor taste. Do you have her number?”
Her reply: “Not sure that he has any taste at all, to be honest; but she was cute. Not mentally quick enough according to J. But cashmere and breasts and idol worship compensate. No unfortunately not. email@example.com. Works at the Museum of Natural History. That's all I know.”
Then he missed the meeting that we had arranged. I asked various people to phone him during the day because I had quite a lot to do, apart from that. Then he turned up around 2:00 p.m., I think it was, and we moved up the meeting at the journalists’ union to 4:00 p.m., instead.
I spoke with him on the telephone around lunchtime, when the meeting at the journalists’ union was supposed to take place. He said that he would be stuck a while and that it would take him a fairly long time to get into town. So I suspected that it was a commuter train or something, and that he had simply miscalculated the time. I gave him a friendly scolding and we changed the time. It was, after all, with the head of the journalists’ union; even if he is very well known in Swedish circles, it is difficult to arrange such a meeting and change the time two hours this way or that.
EO: But no more discussion about where he had spent the night or with whom?
JW: I don't think I asked that question. Even though we have what you might call a friendly relationship — in the sense that we can go to a crayfish party together, or that one can help him find his way around and all that sort of thing — I did not want to know about his private life. But I made it very clear that I thought it was bad form to be late for a meeting.
EO: When he moved out of Anna's flat, why and when did he do that — do you know? JW: I left the country — I said that the day was…
EO: Yes, that was Wednesday.
JW: So, then to my knowledge, he was still with Anna.… EO: After that?
JW: He was going to leave Sweden, and that was to be the day after I left. Or was it the same day? In any event, I knew the plan and I asked Anna if it was all right if he stayed with her until the same day that I was to leave the country. So therefore I didn’t think about the alternative, that he could stay at my vacant flat. But I have no idea why he
left [Anna’s flat], or which day it was or anything like that.
EO: And so you left the country and you had contact with him after that — JW: [Inaudible]
EO: … or with Anna?
JW: No, but I did get a call from Donald Boström when I was abroad. What day can that have been?… I don’t really recall what day it was. But in any event I got a call there, and Donald said to me, “Are you sitting down?” And I immediately became worried. Then he told me that Julian hade been accused of raping that young woman, Sofia. And that Donald had spoken with Anna Ardin, and that Sofia had spoken with Donald. And that Anna was furious about what Sofia had told her — that for one reason or another, she believed what Sofia had said and that they were going to meet.…
EO: And how — what happened then with this information?
JW: Well, I was totally shocked.… What can one do with information like that? EO: Did you contact anyone, or did anyone keep you informed about what was
JW: No. After that day when Donald got hold of me, I travelled to a remote area and was…. I learned nothing more about [the situation] while I was in Kazakhstan…. or out on the Aral Sea, with very sporadic telephone and Internet connections…. But I was totally shocked, and the day afterward, it came out as the main story in the world press. Then several hours later, the entire case was closed.
So or me, the accusation was first an enormous shock; and then another enormous shock that the whole business had come out so fast and that the prosecutor had acted
so quickly. And then an enormous shock when the entire case was laid down. So that to me, the whole business smelled bad from beginning to end, because there was something that did not make add up.
EO: And you followed developments via the web or on….
JW: I did not have much time to follow it on the web…. I only succeeded in connecting to some network on one or two occasions.
EO: Have you had any contact with Anna Ardin after….
JW: I called her the same day, right after my conversation with Donald. But that conversation with Anna was very brief; she was just on her way to meet Sofia in order to consult with the police. I may have misunderstood, but what I got out of that conversation was not what Donald had just told me. Rather, it was simply that Sofia wanted to compel Julian to take — I have forgotten some of it.… She wanted to force him to take a blood test, but not to report him for rape. That was what I got out of that conversation.
EO: And the blood test would be in order to…?
JW: HIV. As I understood it, they had had sex without, without…. But I heard that from second-hand sources; it's what Donald Boström told me, and Anna — that they had sex without a condom and that Sofia was worried that she might have been in- fected. She evidently wanted Julian to get tested, and Julian evidently did not want to.
Then I also spoke with Julian, actually. I phoned him. The times sort of blend together, so it is difficult to remember the exact sequence of events.… But then I called him and asked what was going on. Then he said that she wants me to take a blood test. So then do it, damn it, I said. What’s the problem? He replied, “I can take a blood test, but I don’t want to be blackmailed into taking a blood test. For they are saying that either Sofia goes to the police, or I take a blood test. I can give her that; but I would rather do it of good will than be blackmailed into it.”
Then I said, “Take the damn blood test now, if she is worried — it’s ridiculous.” After that, I did not involve myself [inaudible]. Remember that I was 4500 kilometres away, on the telephone… and I was preoccupied with other things.
EO: But did he say anything about the relationship, anything more about what they did together?
JW: No. I suppose he said that he had sex with Sofia.… Don't think he mentioned anything else on that occasion.
EO: You did not discuss Anna?
JW: No — other than that Sofia had contacted Anna, and that Anna was very angry on Sofia's behalf. From my conversation with Anna, I got the impression that Anna had some kind of sisterly attitude toward the younger woman, that she wanted to help her. And therefore, as I understood it, Anna wanted to accompany her to the police to find out whether or not it was possible to force Julian to take an HIV test.
EO: Did you get any sense of Julian's general attitude toward women?
JW: General attitude toward women…. That question is just as difficult as asking what was Anna’s general attitude toward men.
EO: Yes, but I merely wondered if he had expressed something you reacted to, or if he in some way showed —
JW: No. But what I can say, based on what I noted during those nearly two weeks in his company, is that he is a powerful magnet for women…. But [he is] very gentel- manly toward woman. Now in hindsight, having put two and two together, I have understood that there have been rather a lot of young women who sort of… did
everything they could to end up in bed with him. How it went then, I know nothing about. But now it appears that there have been a great many who have succeeded…. But I did not notice anything remarkable about his attitude toward women.…
On the other hand, I did notice as I mentioned earlier a remarkable attitude toward men among Anna Ardin’s circle of friends.
EO: Yes, you mentioned.
JW: That little episode. But it was a feeling that continued during the evening from some of the young women at the crayfish party.…
EO: Let us return to where we were, when you were talking about the attitude toward men among Anna's friends, rather than Julian's [toward women].
JW: As I said, I picked up some strange vibes…. It happens now and then, especially in the university environment, that you encounter something that… I don't know quite how to express it, because sooner or later this will come out in the evening tabloids. But it happens now and then that you encounter young women who have taken a sort of… They have completed a sort of journey, as a result of which they tend to be as chauvin- istic in the name of feminism as the most chauvinistic men can be, but from a feministic standpoint. It often expresses itself in that young women of that sort can refer to men
as sexual implements, that they are not needed for intellectual discourse. And it is only men, or only women who need each other. This is perhaps something that applies only to my generation; perhaps you have never come across it.… But I have run into it quite often, especially in the university world.
I had a sense of that from some of Anna’s friends, for example in connection with that brief comment that I mentioned. I don’t want to say that Anna is like that. But she affirmed that sort of attitude in her friend.… That is the only thing that happened which suggests a character trait, but I don’t know if any shadow from it should fall on Anna. It is difficult to interpret.
EO: A final question, which we have also touched upon earlier. Have you spoken with Julian about his sex life, or perhaps more what might be called his sexual preferences. You have said that you have talked about his sex life.
JW: Definitely not.
EO: But in conclusion then: Have you at any time in any way touched upon anything in his private life regarding sexuality — his preferences or what he likes?
JW: Absolutely not.
EO: [Inaudible] none , nothing. Has he at any time… Do you know if he has any children?
JW: Well, I have read in the newspapers, just like [inaudible]. EO: O.K. But this was also something that you never discussed?
JW: As I said, my relationship with Julian.… I understand, after this interview, that it may seem that we have a close personal relationship — especially given the crayfish party and so on. But in fact, our relationship is professional; and honestly, [his private life] does not interest me.
EO: I see. Has he said nothing, as well, about children or that he wants to have children here in Sweden?
JW: No, I have never heard that (laughs.)
EO: All right, then. I am satisfied. Do you have any additional questions, Mats?
MG: Yes, some clarifications, really.… You said that the first time you met Julian was in
JW: It was not the first time I met him; but it was the first time during this period.
I have also written about WikiLeaks previously, and I have met him in New York. You can read about that in Aftonbladet.
MG: But roughly how long have you, not known, but had contact with [inaudible], if one counts from the first time you had any sort of contact with him?
JW: I met him in New York in perhaps April, something like that.… We have had sporadic contact via e-mail since then.
MB: But we have talked quite a lot about young women, how they behaved around him — that, as you put it, they were somewhat like groupies.… So my question is: How did Julian respond to this attention from young women?
JW: I believe that he thought it was enjoyable; and as I explained, that is probably why I had that conversation with him — that they may seem as pleasing as can be, but you have no idea who they are.
MG: You said that at the crayfish party there were some other young women, including the one who said something that you reacted to. Did any of these other girls seek Julian's attention?
JW: During the evening? MG: Hmm.
JW: Not in, in that way; not in a physical way, one can say.… But if you can imagine that there is a very famous rock star sitting at a party, there are certain glances and,
like, certain ways to direct attention to a person. That was how it was, I would say, that essentially all of the young women at the crayfish party behaved towards him. But that does not mean that it was sexual for the [inaudible].
MG: What about Julian, himself, at the crayfish party? Did you notice if he made any advances, not of a sexual nature, but did he try to capture their attention?
JW: Not that I noticed. You see — I don't know if you have met him yet, but Julian is a person with certain character traits that…. I get the impression that he thinks it is more stimulating to talk about his work. It is almost extreme. Some people can distinguish between their professional and their private lives. But Julian, in my opinion, is some- one who is constantly interested in issues of politics and journalism [inaudible], and that can also be seen in his body language. When it comes to advances and visual attention, it has more to do [in his case] with attention and interest concerning an interesting topic of conversation.… It may be that a young woman initiates a conver- sation on an interesting subject, but the attention she gets is the same kind that I also get from him. It is not sexual attention.
MG: O.K. You spoke with Anna and this cashmere girl.
JW: That's Sofia, the cashmere girl.
MG: The cashmere girl. But how, it sounds like — to my ears it sounds a bit condescending.
JW: From Anna?
MG: Yes, or from the both of you, perhaps, in that conversation about her — who was she and so on.
JW: Yes, it was because she came from nowhere and no one knew who she was. And in terms of appearance, this was a young woman who did everything to play on her sexuality in a context were people were exceptionally professional.
Now it turns out that people are not always as professional in other ways…. That is, based on the information you [investigators] have developed, it is apparent that Julian has also slept around. But in her persona, she was definitely…. She did not fit in, so to speak.
MG: And do you think that Anna had the same impression?
JW: Yes, and also based on the SMS messages that I read out for you…. EO: May I just ask: Did you meet Sofia that day?
JW: I met her that day. EO: Any other time? JW: No.
MG: And no further contact with her? JW: [Inaudible]
MG: I have no further questions. EO: Any questions?
EO: In that case, we conclude the interview at 11:10 a.m.
* * * * *
Date: 7 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Ewa Olofsson
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
Petra says that she and Anna are good friends, and that they travelled by train together on 11 August. Anna had then told Petra that Julian Assange was going to live in her
flat when he came to Sweden. Anna herself would be away.
Anna had called Petra the following Saturday and invited her to a crayfish party for Julian at Anna’s place. Anna had then also related that she had had a crazy weekend, and that she had had sex with Julian. Anna had also said something about Julian coming inside her, but Petra was uncertain about exactly what Anna had related. Anna told her that Julian had broken a condom during intercourse, but it was then Petra’s understanding that Julian had broken it by mistake. It was not until Sunday
[presumably 22 August — translator’s note] that Petra had understood that Anna believed that Julian had broken the condom on purpose.
Petra was at Anna’s crayfish party, and then everything was normal and Petra had met Julian for the first time. At the crayfish party, Petra did not get the impression that Anna and Julian were involved in a relationship. Petra did not converse very much with Julian.
Anna and Petra met on Sunday because they were going to work together. Petra had then asked Anna how things were, how it had gone with Julian, if they had had more sex, and in that case if it was good. Anna had replied that they had not had more sex because Anna did not feel secure, and after that Anna related what had happened. Anna had told a completely different story than previously — that Julian had been unpleasant and, among other things, had broken a necklace of hers during sex. Anna said that she had told Julian to slow down, but that he had just continued.
Anna had also told Petra that Anna believed that Julian had himself broken the condom which they had used. Petra said that she had then felt ashamed because she had not understood and listened more carefully when Anna had told about Julian. Petra’s interpretation of Anna’s account was that Julian had thought that it had been passionate, while Anna thought that it had passed the limit of what she had wanted.
Most remarkable, thought Petra, was that Anna had said that she was not able to move when she and Julian had sex because he held her down. Anna had said that she had decided to let Julian fuck her until he reached orgasm because that was the simplest solution for her.
Petra said that the story about the condom felt like another story that was also creepy, but Petra felt that what was most unpleasant was the roughness, as a result of which Anna did not enjoy having sex with Julian. Petra got the impression that Anna had not been afraid of Julian; rather, it had been unpleasant and he had not behaved
respectfully toward Anna. Julian was not sensitive to what Anna wanted. Petra’s interpretation was that Anna was never afraid of Julian; rather, she felt that she had been subjected to a difficult situation. He wasn’t sensitive to what she wanted, didn’t care about her, was disrespectful and was too rough.
Anna related that she could hardly move, but that she had enough freedom of movement to be able to check that Julian was wearing a condom. When Anna related this, she demonstrated with her head that she could see Julian’s sex organ at the time. Anna said that they then had sex, and it had then crossed a boundary where Anna was no longer interested. Julian then had sex with Anna until he came, and then she had
felt something running out of her vagina, and she had also seen that Julian’s condom was rolled up at the base of his penis. When Anna asked him about that, Julian had deflected the question.
Petra and Anna had talked a lot about Julian after Sunday and during the following week. Petra had learned a lot of things, such as the fact that Julian doesn’t shower, doesn’t flush the toilet after himself, etc., etc. Anna had also related, on Wednesday or Thursday, that Julian had showered and had also found another women with whom he spent the night. When they discussed the fact that Julian was still lodging with Anna, it was Petra’s understanding that, after several days, Anna wanted Julian out of the flat but that for some reason he remained. Julian wanted constantly to postpone his departure from Anna’s flat, despite her efforts.
Petra did not get the impression that Anna was afraid of Julian. Anna did not say anything about his being aggressive or dangerous; rather, Anna wanted him out of her because of his manner and behaviour, and because the flat is quite small. Petra had herself met Julian on two occasions — first at the crayfish party, then at a dinner the following day.
After that, Anna telephoned Petra on Friday, August 20th, when the other young woman had just contacted Anna. Anna had said that the other woman had related that she had been raped by Julian. According to Anna, there were many similarities between the stories of Anna and the other young woman. What Petra primarily meant, and as Anna had related, was that Julian had also wanted to have sex without a condom with the other woman. The other young woman had wanted to have sex with
a condom, but Julian had seen to it that they had sex without a condom against the will of the other woman. Anna had telephoned Petra to discuss the matter because she herself did not intend to file a complaint against Julian but wanted to support the other young woman.
Petra said that the entire business had become more and more unpleasant for herself, and that she has blamed herself for not understanding what had happened from the beginning so that she could have immediately supported Anna.
Petra did not know who the other young woman was, and still doesn’t. Anna explained that it was the same young woman whom Julian had followed home earlier in the week after he had showered.
Read aloud and approved.
Interviewer’s note: The interview was interrupted at 15:50 on 2010-09-07 and resumed at 13:10 on 2010-09-08. Concluded at 13.50 on 2010-09-08.
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Date: 8 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
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Hanna said that she has been a friend of Sofia since childhood. They have known each other since they were 11-12 years old. Then as now, they resided in Enköping. They meet or speak with each other regularly.
Hanna said that, several weeks before the event in question, Sofia talked about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Sofia was impressed by his work and the organization, WikiLeaks. Sofia said that she thought he was good and smart, and also courageous since he had been threatened due to his work.
On a later occasion, Sofia told Hanna that she had seen that Assange was going to give a presentation in Sweden and that she would attend. Hanna does not know how Sofia managed to be admitted to the presentation. She thinks that Sofia just went there or booked a place somehow.
After the presentation, Hanna received calls or SMS messages from Sofia. Sofia was extremely happy that she had been invited to join the luncheon after the presentation. She sat next to Assange and got to talk to him. Hanna knows that they also kept company after the luncheon and may have gone to the museum, but she is not certain about that. Hanna does not know what may have happened at the museum.
The next time Hanna talked with Sofia was the morning after Assange had spent the night with Sofia. She does not recall if it was a conversation or an SMS message. Sofia said that it did not feel good and she wanted him to leave. Sofia said had Assange changed at her place and had become like an entirely different person. Sofia regretted that she had let Assange spend the night with her.
After that, Sofia told Hanna that she was feeling worse and worse. She said that the problem was that Assange had had unprotected sex with her while she was sleeping. Sofia also said that Assange had nagged her and tried to have unprotected sex with her during the night, but that she had made him wear a condom. Sofia had told Assange several times to wear a condom.
Sofia also told Hanna that Assange had spoken so strangely, as though he wanted Sofia to become pregnant. He said things that sounded like he wanted to make women pregnant. He reportedly said that he preferred virgins, because then he would be the first to make them pregnant.
Hanna asked Sofia why she had not pushed Assange away when she understood that Assange was not wearing a condom. Sofia had answered that she was so shocked and paralyzed, and could not really understand what was happening. She had tried to talk with him.
Hanna was certain that she would not let it happen simply because she admired him and he was a famous person. But his age might have played a role. Hanna does not know if Sofia was afraid of Assange.
Hanna related that she had seen in a newspaper that Sofia knew the other woman, and she asked Sofia about that. Sofia had replied, “Yes, now I do; but not before the seminar.”
Hanna said that Sofia wanted Assange to be tested for venereal disease. Sofia had gotten a test, but it would take a much longer time before she got the results. It would go much faster if Assange were to get a test.
Hanna knows nothing about what happened when Sofia reported the episode to the police.
Read aloud and approved.
* * * * *
Date: 8 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Ewa Olofsson
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
Kajsa states that she and Anna are good friends and that Kajsa met Anna on Tuesday, August 10th. Anna had said that they [sic] would try to bring Julian Assange here, and Kajsa had said that she would also like to meet him, although she could not go the seminar. They had decided to meet on Saturday, hopefully with Julian.
Kajsa later learned that Julian would come, and then on Saturday, August 14th, spoke with each other and decided that they would organize a crayfish party and that Julian would come. Anna said nothing about her relation with Julian at that time.
Kajsa arrived at Anna’s place with a friend named Alexandra at around 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening. Among other things, Kajsa hade asked Anna if she was going to have sex with Julian, because Anna is single and she and Kajsa had earlier talked about sex. Anna had then related that she had already done so, but had said that it was the worst lay she’d ever had. Anna had also said that Kajsa could take him.
During the crayfish party, Julian was extremely flirtatious and even hit on Kajsa. Kajsa said that she nevertheless felt that there was some sort of emotional energy between Anna and Julian, even while Julian was flirting with Kajsa and probably with other young women, as well. Some young woman also telephoned him one or more times. Kajsa left the party at 3:00 a.m. Julian wanted to follow Kajsa home, but was rejected.
At some point, probably during the party, Anna had said that Julian had held her hands during sex, that he had held Anna’s hands fast beside her ears and they it had been unpleasant. Anna thought that not only was it the world’s worst lay, but it was also rough. Anna had demonstrated with her arms the position she was in when Julian held her. Kajsa had thought that it was bad and unpleasant, but nothing more.
After that, Kajsa and Anna spoke sometime during the week, and then Kajsa asked Anna about Julian. Among other things, Kajsa had wondered why Julian was still lodging with Anna; Kajsa had thought that he was going to leave Sweden. Anna had not responded directly to the question, but merely stated that he was still there.
Kajsa and Anna were at a party on Friday, August 20th, but it was after the visit to the police and everything had already happened. Anna explained that she had received an SMS message from the other young woman who wanted to contact Julian. Anna had understood what had happened, and they had then spoken with each other. Anna had said that she and the other young woman had decided to go to the police so that the other woman could report Julian for rape, and that Anna would follow along in support.
It also emerged that the police had also filed charges that concerned Anna, and that the police’s interpretation was that Anna had also been raped. It was also then that Anna related that she thought that Julian at first did not want to wear a condom, and that they had wrestled over that, and then Anna hade curled into a ball. Then Julian put on a condom which Anna believed he later during intercourse had broken, because she had heard a smacking sound. Anna had heard that sound after Julian had withdrawn from her. Anna had then checked and satisfied herself that it was still in place.
Anna had been sad and thoughtful, because she wondered how she could explain, in a judicial process for example, that she had let him continue to lodge with her despite everything that had happened. Anna had also said that she thought it was unpleasant to have him living there and that, among other things, she had vomited on several occasions because she thought it was so unpleasant.
Kajsa had sensed that Anna felt that it had been unpleasant, but not scary or threatening. That was the impression that Kajsa had got, before Friday the 20th when she learned everything.
Read aloud and approved.
* * * * *
Date: 13 September 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Type of interview: In person; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
The witness said that she knows Sofia through work. They are “fairly close workmates”. The witness said that she and Sofia began on an hourly basis at the Swedish Museum of Natural History about two years ago. The witness is now employed full-time, but Sofia is still an hourly worker.
When the witness says that they are “fairly close workmates”, she means that they talk quite a bit about personal matters and that they usually try to work together when they have the same schedule.
The witness says that she was told quite a lot. She did not know that Sofia and Assange had been at the museum. The witness said that Sofia had tried to call her, but that she did not have her telephone with her on that occasion. When they then were at work together, Sofia explained what had happened.
Sofia had said that she had been to a presentation by Assange and that there had then been a luncheon. After the luncheon, Assange had accompanied Sofia to her home. Sofia had said that Assange wanted to have sex with her, and that Sofia had said that she did not want to have sex without a condom.
Sofia also said that, when she was half asleep on her side, she had been aroused from slumber to feel that Assange was inside her. Sofia had then asked him what he was wearing and he had replied, “I am wearing you”. The witness said that Sofia did not believe that he had entered her; rather, she had been aroused from slumber when he was already inside her. The witness said that Sofia had not resisted because she thought it was too late. Sofia had also said that she did not have sex with Assange; rather, it was he that had sex with her.
Sofia told the witness that Assange did not want to leave in the morning, and that Sofia was forced to take a sick day off from work because she did not want to leave Assange alone in her flat, as she did not know him.
The witness said that they discuss confidential matters quite often with each other and that, prior to this episode, Sofia had said that she does not have sex without a condom, in order to protect herself against disease and pregnancy.
The witness said that Sofia has felt poorly after the episode, and that the mass media attention has made things worse.
Read aloud and approved.
* * * * *
Date: 27 October 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
Marie said that she and Sofia are workmates at the Swedish Museum of Natural
History, where they both work on an hourly basis.
Several weeks before the episode [with Assange], Sofia had discussed with Marie her interest in WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Sofia read a lot about the organization on the Internet, and she thought that Julian Assange was very interesting because he seemed very intelligent and did good things.
Marie learned that Sofia would be able to attend Julian’s presentation in Stockholm. Sofia said that she had e-mailed the arranger and was welcome to attend. She was elated and nervous in anticipation of the presentation. Marie said that they were in contact on the day of the presentation. Sofia was happy and elated on her way to the presentation.
Marie received several SMS messages from Sofia during the presentation, among other things that she was going to buy a cable for Julian’s computer and, later, that Sofia was going to lunch with him. Marie received messages such as, “He looked at me”.
Later, Marie learned that Sofia was going to take Julian to the museum where she worked with public information. When they arrived, Sofia borrowed Marie’s badge. Marie realized that she needed the badge, and went to the room where they were sitting. Julian was surfing the web and Sofia sat beside him. Then they went to Cosmonova to see the film. When they came out after the film, Sofia said that she and Julian had petted passionately in the theatre.
Marie said that they were in frequent contact, but does not recall what SMS messages were sent or if they spoke via telephone. She knows that Sofia waited for Julian on one occasion and that they travelled to Enköping. While sleeping on the night of the episode, Marie was awakened by an SMS message from Sofia. Marie’s recollection of that message is that it was not positive — that the sex was not good, that Julian was daft, that she would have to get tested because of his lengthy foreplay. Marie seems to recall that they spoke with each other while Sofia was in a shop to buy breakfast. Sofia was very angry because she had to buy everything, provide breakfast and wait on him. He irritated her.
Marie did not hear about the assault until the day after, or perhaps it was two days after, and got the impression that Sofia was very worried that she might have been infected. Sofia had related that, when she said to Julian that she may have become pregnant, Julian said that it was no problem and that the child could be named “Afghanistan”. If she kept the child, he would pay her student loan.
They spoke quite a bit after Sofia had gone to the police and the media frenzy had begun. Sofia was very upset by all the hullabaloo and was very angry with Julian. They spoke and sent SMS messages to each other. Marie does not recall exactly what they said or wrote, but they had discussed going to Expressen because Julian had spoken
out in Aftonbladet. It was just something they said and had no intention of doing. Marie, in any event, has not spoken with any newspaper.
Marie said that Sofia had been contacted by a US-American newspaper, and Marie had then joked that Sofia should demand good payment.
The interviewer asked about an SMS message in which Marie had written that they should figure out a good way to get revenge. Marie said that it was not something they planned to do, either. It was more an expression of Sofia’s frustration. In their discussions, Marie had tried to support Sofia and to agree with what she had
expressed. She wanted to help Sofia in a difficult situation.
Marie wanted also to say that she has spoken so much with Sofia that it is difficult to remember what was said and not said. Marie wanted also to say that, when Sofia visited the hospital and the police, it did not turn out as Sofia wanted. She only wanted Julian to get tested. She felt that she had been run over by the police and others.
Read aloud and approved.
* * * * *
Date: 6 October 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
Joakim said that he is a younger brother of Sofia. He said that he knew about Sofia’s interest in WikiLeaks and that she thought they did good work. She also thought Julian Assange was interesting because he represented WikiLeaks. Sofia had told him that she had learned by chance that Julian Assange was going to give a presentation in Stockholm and that she would be allowed to attend. Joakim said that she thought it would be fun to hear what he had to say.
Joakim said that the next time he met Sofia was one morning at [the local food market]. It was around 8:00 a.m. Sofia was excited and said that there had been some problem with a cable, that she had been at some party afterward, and that Julian had followed her home. Sofia told Joakim that Julian Assange was in her flat and that it felt strange. Joakim got the impression that Sofia was a bit shaken by the situation. She asked Joakim if he wanted to meet Julian Assange, but he did not want to. He drove Sofia home, and then to his own place.
The next time Joakim heard something from Sofia was via an SMS message which said that Julian was not very nice. Joakim did not learn what had happened until after Sofia had gone to the police and it was reported in the newspapers. He learned about what had happened from Sofia and his mother. The latter had said that Julian had sex with Sofia without a condom and against her will as she slept.
Sofia subsequently explained that she did not want to file charges against Julian, but only wanted him to get tested for infection. She went to the police to seek advice and then the police had filed charges. Sofia had also related that she had spoken with Julian about him getting tested, and that Julian had answered that he did not have time to get tested and that she could take his word that he did not have any diseases.
To the interviewer’s question, Joakim answered that he and Sofia did not discuss sexual matters with each other.
Joakim said that Sofia was mainly angry about what had happened, and that the preventive medicine she had received made her feel ill. She was also upset that the episode had been in the newspapers and that there had been so much hullabaloo about it.
Read aloud and approved.
* * * * *
Date: 22 October 2010
Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
Type of interview: Per telephone; not recorded
Type of protocol: Summary by interviewing office
* * *
Seth related that he had a relationship with Sofia for two and a half years. They had lived together during the last year of the relationship. Seth related that it was very important for Sofia that they use a condom, partly to prevent infection but also to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Seth said the issue of infection was crucial for Sofia and that, before they had sex the first time, they had both got tested for disease and shown each other the results. They did not have sex without a condom on a single occasion during their two and a half years together. That was completely unthinkable for Sofia. Seth said that such was their agreement. He said that, as far as he knew, Sofia had never had sex with anyone without using a condom.
Seth related that he learned about what had happened when Sofia sent an SMS
message to him, asking if she could telephone him. He was somewhat baffled, because
they had not been in contact with each other for several months. When Sofia called, she immediately asked what Seth thought of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. He answered that WikiLeaks seemed positive.
Then Sofia said that she had been raped by Julian Assange, in that he had initiated unprotected sex with her while she lay sleeping. Sofia said that she had asked Assange if he was wearing anything and that Assange had replied, “Yes, you.”
The interviewer asked Seth how Sofia had reacted to that. Seth said that Sofia had related that she was shocked and did not know what to do. Seth said that, given Sofia’s definite views on the use of condoms during sex, he could imagine that she was very shocked and afraid. He knows how important it is to Sofia that a condom is used when she has sex.
Sofia has told Seth that she could not understand how a representative for WikiLeaks, which does so much good, could be so lacking in respect for another human being.
Read and approved.
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