Pentagon plotted sex traps, says Wikileaks founder
Published 23/08/2010 | 05:00
Wikileaks angered the Obama administration by publishing documents about US military activity
A woman at the centre of the alleged smear campaign against the founder of the Wikileaks whistleblower website said yesterday she had supported a rape claim because she had experienced unwelcome sexual advances from him.
Julian Assange, an Australian who mostly lives in Sweden, was briefly charged with rape and molestation by Swedish prosecutors last week.
He has dismissed the charges as a Pentagon-inspired smear campaign to create "sex traps" to harm his credibility.
A spokeswoman for the Swedish prosecutor said the rape charge was dropped by a prosecutor when new information became available. The molestation charge is still under investigation.
One of the two women behind the charges yesterday told a Swedish newspaper that the woman who alleged rape was a stranger to her, but had also attended speeches by Mr Assange.
After the woman had approached her, she agreed to attend a police station to make a complaint of her own.
"I believed her information immediately because I had a similar experience myself," she said.
"The other woman wanted to report a rape, I gave my statement as a support statement to her story and to support her."
But Mr Assange has alleged dirty tricks were involved, pointing out that a tabloid newspaper, 'Expressen', had contacted Maria Haljebo Kjellstrand, the prosecutor who laid the charges, within a few hours.
Mr Assange told another Swedish newspaper he expected to be embroiled in controversy following his recent involvement in the leak of classified military documents from Afghanistan.
"I don't know who's behind this but we have been warned that for example the Pentagon plans to use dirty tricks to spoil things for us," he said. "I have also been warned about sex traps."
Revelations on Wikileaks angered the Obama administration by publishing thousands of leaked documents about US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The website is preparing to release of a fresh batch of classified documents from the Afghan war, despite warnings from the Pentagon that they could endanger American soldiers. (© Daily Telegraph, London)