Lawyer criticizes calls to end rape investigation of Assange

Feb. 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A lawyer for one of the Swedish women accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of rape ripped calls by some public officials for an end to the investigation.

Attorney Elisabeth Massi Fritz, in a commentary published Wednesday in Svenska Dagbladet, also ripped politicians' interference in the matter, reported Thursday.

"Why have courts when we can hold votes in daily newspapers and televised debates?" Massi Fritz wrote in the commentary.

Assange, from Australia, faces allegations of sexual molestation in which two women allege he coerced and raped them in 2010.

She said her client was not "out for revenge" for the incidents that took place in 2010.

"It is a scandal that women's rights in Sweden in the year 2014 are still seen by many as a parenthesis, a restraint, in this 'hero's' [Assange's] important work," Massi Fritz wrote.

To escape extradition from Britain to Sweden, which Assange said he feared would result in his being turned over to U.S. officials because of the millions of sensitive military and diplomatic documents posted on the whistle-blowing website, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. Part of a renewed debate in Sweden is whether the prosecutors could question Assange in London, rather than have the suspect travel to Sweden to give his version of events.

Massi Fritz said she opposes such a move because "we are all equal before the law. The only thing that is keeping Assange shut up in that embassy is himself."

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