Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, has reported (Swedish language site – click here for The Guardian’s report) that an investigator who first interviewed at least one of the two women who have accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sexual crimes in Sweden was friends with the accuser prior to the incident.
According to the report, the two women met through Sweden’s Social Democratic Party and bonded partially over shared feminist views.
The investigator did not declare a conflict of interest on the case, according to The Guardian. In a translated version of the Expressen story, it appears to state that the investigator in question did not interview the woman she was familiar with (named Miss A in most coverage) and only spoke with the woman she didn’t know (Miss B).
I’ve emailed the author of the Expressen article with the hope that she knows english and can clarify some of these details for me.
If it’s true that this investigator was involved with the case and did not declare a conflict of interest, this is a glaring oversight by Swedish authorities and creates a gaping legal hole through which Assange’s lawyers can hinder the prosecution’s case in his extradition appeal.
Regardless of my feelings on the matter, this investigator quite possibly did a great deal of damage to the judicial proceedings around this case by failing to declare a conflict of interest and remove herself from the case.