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WikiLeaks' Assange: No "Natural Justice" in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak to reporters on the grounds of Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, England, Dec. 17, 2010.
AFP/Getty Images
Julian Assange prepares to speak to reporters on the grounds of Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, England, Dec. 17, 2010.
AFP/Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has expressed doubts that he would be treated fairly under Sweden's court system, and suggests the two women leveling sexual misconduct allegations against him in that country may have been "bamboozled" by police.

Interviewed Monday by the BBC at the English estate where he's currently under "mansion arrest," Assange said he would not travel voluntarily back to Sweden to face a prosecutor's questions in the case because no formal legal proceedings had been filed.

"The law says I... have certain rights, and these rights mean that I do not need to speak to random prosecutors around the world who simply want to have a chat, and won't do it in any other standard way," Assange told the BBC's Today program. Special Report: WikiLeaks

Assange said he would not be granted "natural justice" in Sweden, and claimed the Swedish prosecutor handling the claims brought by the two women had asked that both he and his lawyer be extradited to the Scandinavian country and legally ordered to keep silent on the matter.

"What is requested is that I be taken by force to Sweden and once there, be held incommunicado: That is not a circumstance under which natural justice can occur," Mr Assange said.

No charges have been filed against Assange in Sweden relating to the claims of sexual misconduct, which include an allegation of rape by one of the two women. Nor does he face any charges -- yet -- in the United States or anywhere else relating to his organization's publication of thousands of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

Regarding the sexual allegations, Assange presented "one description" of the claims as a possible scenario where both women realized they had had sex with himself, and then worked themselves into a "tizzy" over the possibility of sexually transmitted disease.

He said it was possible the women had gone to police seeking advice on any legal recourse in the event of disease exposure, "and then the police jumped in on this and bamboozled the women".

Assange and his U.K. attorney have complained that the Swedish prosecutor handling the allegations has yet to provide any material evidence or documentation on the claims, making it impossible for them to craft a defense.

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.