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No DNA link to Assange in condom central to sex assault case

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 18, 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (AFP Photo/Carl Court)

A ripped condom given to Swedish police by one of Julian Assange’s accusers does not contain the WikiLeaks founder’s DNA, forensic scientists have reportedly found.

In a 100-page document shown to Assange’s lawyers, it was revealed that the torn prophylactic, having been examined by staff at two forensic laboratories, did not bear conclusive evidence that Assange had ever worn it, the Daily Mail reported on Sunday.

Assange’s lawyers said the lack of DNA evidence on the condom, which was allegedly used during a supposed August 2010 sexual assault, indicates that a fake one could have been submitted.

The woman in question, now aged 33, claims to have been molested by Assange at her flat in Stockholm. She says that at one point he deliberately broke a condom in order to have unprotected sex with her.

Assange claims he had consensual sex with the woman, but denies intentionally tearing the condom. He had previously told police that he continued to stay at her residence for the week following the alleged incident, saying his accuser never made any mention of the ripped condom.

But DNA purportedly belonging to Assange was present on a condom submitted by a second woman, who has accused him of rape, prompting Swedish authorities to push ahead with their bid to have him extradited from the UK.

However, his second accuser, now 29, who claimed to have been raped in her sleep by Assange, apparently told police she had not been opposed to having unprotected sex with him despite previous statements to the contrary, the daily reported.

Assange denies the allegation of rape, maintaining he had consensual sex with the second woman as well. The Swedish prosecutor’s office refused to comment on the report, saying that the investigation was ongoing.

“The condom DNA evidence was supposed to be the killer evidence… Now, when we have found that there is no DNA on one of these condoms for one of the alleged victims, it rather calls into question substantial evidence against him,”human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told RT.

The whistleblower has been holed up at Ecuador’s Embassy in London since June, after the UK Supreme Court upheld his extradition warrant to Sweden.

In August he was granted political asylum by the country’s president, Rafael Correa, out of fear he could be handed over to American authorities upon setting foot in Sweden, and eventually charged with leaking classified documents.

Safe passage to Ecuador has not been secured by British authorities, however, as the UK maintains it will arrest him if he leaves the embassy, deporting him to Sweden.

In August, Assange told Ecuador’s Gama television network that he expected the diplomatic impasse with the UK to be resolved within a year.

And while Canberra has often been accused of turning a blind eye to Assange’s plight, the Indigenous Social Justice Association, an Australian group which wants recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty, showed their support by offering him an Aboriginal Nations passport on Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

His father, John Shipton, accepted the document on Assange’s behalf at a celebration in Sydney, which was attended by more than 200 people.

“Australian governments of every color are happy to abandon their citizens when they’re in difficult situations overseas,” the daily reports him as saying.

The group, which also accused the Australian authorities of failing to provide sufficient aid to one of its citizens, said the passport will be sent to Assange in London


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