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30/08/2010 - Julian Assange Swedish Police Interview

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Jan 19th, 2013
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  1. This translation was originally published here:
  4. Julian Assange
  5. Date: 30 August 2010
  6. Interviewing officer: Mats Gehlin
  7. Also present: Police officer Ewa Olofsson as witness
  8. Leif Silbersky, legal counsel for Julian Assange
  9. Gun von Krusenstjerna, interpreter
  10. Type of interview: In person; audio-recorded
  11. Type of protocol: Verbatim transcript with all utterances in English translated
  12. into Swedish (slightly edited in this translation to English)
  13. Abbreviations: JA, Julian Assange; MG, Mats Gehlin;
  14. LS, Leif Silbersky; GK, Gun von Krusenstjerna
  19. MG: Now the tape recorder is running. The interview will be transcribed.... The entire interview, every word, will be written out.
  20. JA: I have a question.
  21. MG: Wait. And as noted, you are suspected and will be formally notified of that suspicion, and it is for the crime of molestation. The formal notification reads as follows: “During the period from 13 to 14 August 2010, in Anna Ardin's residence at Tjurbergsgatan in Stockholm, Assange molested Anna Ardin during an act of copulation — which was begun and conducted under the express condition that a condom would be used — by purposely damaging the condom and continuing the copulation until he ejaculated in her vagina.”
  22. LS: Is that everything?
  23. MG: Yes.
  24. JA: Is this one or two incidents?
  25. MG: One incident.
  26. JA: The 13th, the 14th [inaudible].
  27. GK: In the evening or...?
  28. MG: It is during this period between the 13th...
  29. JA: Between.... O.K.
  30. MG: And so this is the question: What is your response to this accusation?
  31. LS: Is it correct or incorrect?
  32. JA: I am trying to understand exactly what he said.
  33. GK: Can you repeat it one more time?
  34. MG: I can try.... The molestation would be in that you destroyed the condom.
  35. JA. O.K.
  36. MG: And that you would have done so intentionally.
  37. JA: Yes. So in other words there are several condoms?
  38. MG: Yes, in this context — no, in this context it has to do with one condom on one occasion.
  39. JA: O.K., so it's one incident...
  40. GK: One condom.
  41. JA: Between the 13th and the 14th when you say that I have intentionally destroyed a condom during copulation.
  42. LS: Correct. What is your response to that?
  43. JA: It is not true.
  44. MG: O.K. So that you can relate your experience of that evening, is it true that you and Anna dined out together?
  45. JA: What date?
  46. MG: The 13th.
  47. JA: What day of the week was that?
  48. LS: I can check.... The 13th of August was a Friday.
  49. MG: And then the question is: Do you know of — if one can put it like this — do you know of an occasion on which you had sex together?
  50. JA: Before I answer that, shall I assume that this is going to go to Expressen?
  51. MG: From us? I am not going to release anything. And the only ones who are here, that’s we three at this interview, plus a stenographer who will write it out afterwards. And I am the only who has access to the case file. So if it comes out in Expressen, you can quarrel with me.
  52. JA: And as the case continues?
  53. MG: Yes, after this interview the prosecutor will decide whether to continue or shut down the case.
  54. JA: (Inaudible) previous statements (inaudible) all the previous statements.
  55. MG: From?
  56. JA: From this office.
  57. MG: It has gone out via a reviewer who acts as a censor for everything relating to the investigation.
  58. JA: So it will be the same with what I say here?
  59. MG: Yes, but according to the Secrecy Act nothing about what happened will be made public. No names will be released. It works like this: On every document, everything that may not be made public is blacked out. But according to the law it must be reviewed for confidentiality, and we are required to make public everything which according to the law does not have to be reviewed for confidentiality [sic].
  60. JA: So this part of the conversation, for example, will be released?
  61. MG: If it is not to your detriment.
  62. JA: And who decides that?
  63. MG: Our legal department.
  64. LS: I think you should answer, because if they accuse you of something and you do not respond, they will have to accept what the young woman says. You have to defend yourself by giving your version. Otherwise it will be made known you did not respond, in which case the prosecutor will be required to take it to court.
  65. JA: O.K.
  66. LS: But if you answer, the prosecutor will have both your version and the young woman’s version, and she will have to ask herself: Can I prove that he has done this?
  67. JA: And how much of my version do I have to provide?
  68. MG: One more thing: You have the right to take a break during the interview, and then we turn off the tape recorder. That applies to the discussion we are now having, because the interview is actually only supposed to be about the alleged crime.
  69. LS: It is even easier than that.... Either you destroyed the condom intentionally, as the young woman says, or it was an accident, or no condom was used whatsoever. Those are the possible alternatives. So state your alternative to the police as your answer.
  70. JA: All I am saying....
  71. MG: Do you want to take a break so that we can thoroughly discuss this, so that you feel fairly comfortable with the proceedings?
  72. LS: Do you want to discuss....
  73. JA: Perhaps we should have a discussion.
  74. LS: O.K., we take a break.
  75. MG: We pause to clarify the interview procedure; the time is 5:55 p.m.
  77. (Pause)
  79. MG: The interview is resumed at 6:02 p.m.... If I put it like this: You denied committing the crime and so my question is, are you aware of an event during which a condom has
  80. broken in connection with sex with Anna?
  81. JA: No.
  82. MG: Have you had....
  83. JA: I have heard that accusation.
  84. MG: You have heard that accusation. From whom?
  85. JA. Friday, the 20th, the same day that the police were contacted, I spoke with Anna and she accused me of several things. And there were a number of false statements, as well. During that conversation she made a similar accusation; she said that I had removed a condom during sex. That was the first time I heard that accusation.
  86. MG: Is it true that you have had a sexual relationship, you and Anna?
  87. JA: Yes, we had a sexual relationship from that Friday, the 13th, for a couple of days. We slept in the same bed until the following Friday.
  88. MG: What sort of sexual relationship was it; were there several occasions?
  89. JA: Yes.
  90. MG: Was a condom used on any of those occasions?
  91. JA: On the first occasion; and we had sex several times on the 13th and the 14th. And afterwards, on the other days as well, we also had a sexual relationship.
  92. MG: The subsequent sexual relations, did they also involve copulation?
  93. JA: No, it was more... we touched each other.
  94. MG: So we're talking about one time when copulation was involved?
  95. JA: Yes, we had intercourse on the 13th and the 14th.
  96. MG: And that was once, or was it several times?
  97. JA: Several times.
  98. MG: And so the first time was with a condom?
  99. JA: Yes.
  100. MG: And who was it that wanted to use a condom?
  101. JA: I'm not sure.
  102. MG: And why was a condom not used with the subsequent acts of copulation?
  103. JA: It was used with the subsequent acts of copulation.
  104. MG: O.K. I misunderstood. So you had intercourse, and then only with a condom?
  105. JA: Yes, that is correct.
  106. MG: The accusation appears to be that a condom was damaged after the copulation; and it is Anna’s contention that, on one occasion when you withdrew your penis, it sounded at first as though you removed the condom. But when you entered her again, she felt with her hand and she could feel you were still wearing the condom. Then you ejaculated and, among other things, she felt that she had semen inside her. And she also looked at the condom, and there was no semen in the condom. And so the question to you is: Is this a situation that you recognise in any way?
  107. JA: No. On one occasion Anna pointed to the bed, which had a wet spot, and said, ‘Look at that. Is that you?’ I said, ‘No, it must be you’. And there was no more discussion about that, not a word — until the accusation last Friday, a week afterward.
  108. MG: Are we talking about the first occasion again....
  109. JA: And during that time, except for one night, Anna and I slept in the same bed. Every night except Tuesday night and Thursday night. On Thursday evening Anna said she was going out for a few hours to visit a journalist who wrote something about me and who lived in the same area, or the same housing complex or nearby. But she did not return that evening.
  110. MG: Do you remember what you did with the condom?
  111. JA: No.
  112. MG: And you have no recollection of a damaged condom, either?
  113. JA: No. Nor have I searched for a damaged condom.
  114. MG: Do you use a condom otherwise?
  115. JA: Yes, usually; not always, but usually.
  116. MG: And you say that you did not check, or you say that you do not recall what you did with the condom. Is that correct?
  117. JA: Yes, that is correct.
  118. MG: What do you normally do?
  119. JA: I have no special routine for what I do with condoms.
  120. MG: No.... How did you become acquainted with Anna?
  121. JA: When I now think back on that situation, it was no unusual occasion for me and I had no reason to suspect that I would be accused of anything afterwards. No, there was no question of any accusations of any sort, in any way. So I do not really remember when I heard the first accusation before Friday. I did not think back on that evening and night in any great detail.
  122. MG: No.
  123. JA: You asked how I knew Anna. To come to Sweden, it was necessary for me to get diplomatic support in order to leave England — due to the security situation between my organisation and the Pentagon. Political contacts in Sweden therefore suggested that I be invited by the Christian Democrats to give a presentation. A formal invitation would be sent to (inaudible) and England, so that I would have a secure journey from England to Sweden. And I understood that Anna Ardin was press secretary for Broderskapet within the Christian Democrats.
  124. MG: A correction: It is not the Christian Democrats, but rather the Social Democratic (inaudible).
  125. GK: Sorry, sorry, I apologize for giving the wrong party.
  126. MG: Yes.
  127. GK: Excuse me, sorry. The Social Democrats.
  128. JA: She was contacted by Peter — I don't remember his last name. I believe he is the chair of Broderskapet, and a good man. Anna offered me her flat, and was also involved in organizing the press conference last Friday.
  129. MG: And on what date did you come to Sweden?...
  130. JA: I'm not sure. Perhaps the 12th — between the 10th and the 12th.
  131. MG: This accusation — I might sound like I’m nagging, but I still have to ask. It is a fairly clear picture that Anna has of what happened, especially about hearing a sound from the condom.
  132. JA: Anna Ardin has never spoken to me about this incident in any way — nor anyone else of whom I am aware. I got a very brief and completely different reference — something other than what you are now saying — on Friday, the 20th.
  133. MG: What do you think Anna meant by pointing to that wet spot?
  134. JA: At the time, I had no idea. Maybe she was trying to point out how amorous the sex had been.
  135. MG: But she said something about it coming from you.
  136. JA: Yes. She said, “Is that from you?”
  137. MG: So why did she say that if you had a condom?
  138. JA: That I don't know.
  139. MG: Did you check the condom beforehand?
  140. JA: Before what?
  141. MG: Before you put the condom on, so to speak.
  142. JA: No, I am not in the habit of inspecting them in detail before I put them on. There was nothing unusual in any way. My behaviour was nothing other than normal. So I did not inspect the condom in any special way, nor did I ignore it completely.
  143. MG: Who applied the condom?
  144. JA: I don’t remember.
  145. MG: You don't remember who took it off, either?
  146. JA: Probably, it was me. It is unusual for a woman to remove the condom.
  147. MG: Then, you said, that you had sex. Did you have any more sex that evening?
  148. JA: We took several pauses and then began again, with the same condom.
  149. MG: So it was a protracted episode of sexual intercourse?
  150. JA: Yes.
  151. MG: How long, at an estimate?
  152. JA: A few hours; I am not certain how many.
  153. MG: Did you bring the condom to Anna’s, yourself, or where did you get it?
  154. JA: I think it was Anna's.
  155. MG: Do you remember where she kept the condom?
  156. JA: No.
  157. MG: How did you get hold of the condom?
  158. JA: I am not certain who put the condom on, so I cannot say.
  159. MG: But you cannot remember exactly how you got the condom?
  160. JA: No, I do not recall. But as I just said, it was just an ordinary night. I had no reason to suspect that I would need to recall all the details from that night.
  161. MG: How was your sexual relation after that night?
  162. JA: It was still quite warm. On one occasion after that, Anna had two orgasms. We slept in the same bed.
  163. MG: And if have understood you correctly, you did not have sexual intercourse then?
  164. JA: That is correct.
  165. MG: And nothing happened during the time you resided with her after the first night?
  166. JA: No there was no sexual intercourse; that's correct. But other sexual activities, yes.
  167. MG: Were you ever rejected by Anna?
  168. JA: In what way?
  169. MG: That she rejected a sexual advance from you?
  170. JA: Yes, sometimes but in no way that was significant. No, nothing that would in any way be unusual.
  171. MG: If we go back to the first night: Did you ejaculate?
  172. JA: Yes....
  173. MG: Leif, anything you want to...?
  174. LS: I have a couple of questions.
  175. MG: Yes.
  176. LS: At what time of the day did you have sexual intercourse, what time was it approximately?
  177. JA: Late at night and early in the morning.
  178. LS: What would you say, though; approximately what time — three, four, five...?
  179. JA: Between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  180. LS: O.K. Was there any alcohol?
  181. JA: No.
  182. LS: Neither you nor her?
  183. JA: I do not recall that I had drunk any large quantity. We might have had white wine with dinner. But it was not an evening where we drank a lot.
  184. LS: Was either of you intoxicated?
  185. JA: Not so intoxicated that I noticed. I would have noticed if either of us was inebriated.
  186. LS: When did you first hear from Anna about the problem we are discussing today?
  187. JA: I have never heard about precisely this problem directly from Anna. Today is the first time I have got an exact description of it.
  188. LS: So during that entire week when you resided with Anna, from Friday to Friday and you had various sexual relations, she said nothing about a broken condom?
  189. JA: No, nothing at all.
  190. LS: O.K. I have no further questions.
  191. MG: One more question occurs to me: Who was it who, shall we say, took the initiative to your advances toward each other?
  192. JA: Anna.
  193. MG: How did that happen?
  194. JA: She said I should sleep in her bed.
  195. MG: And it was in bed that things began?
  196. JA: Yes, that is correct.
  197. MG: Did either of you make any advances before you went to the bed?
  198. JA: No.
  199. MG: Did Anna say anything?
  200. JA: No, she said something, but nothing unusual.
  201. MG: And what do you mean by “unusual”?
  202. JA: They were just things one would expect of a lover.
  203. MG: And what were your plans when it was time for you both to go to bed, then?
  204. JA: After Anna had...?
  205. MG: No, before that.
  206. JA: Before.
  207. MG: So, you are saying that she invited you to her bed.
  208. JA: Yes, that is correct.
  209. MG: Where were you planning to sleep before she invited you to the bed?
  210. JA: Either on the floor, or.... I don't know. It is Anna's flat, after all.
  211. MG: How long had you resided in Anna’s flat before her return that evening?
  212. JA: I stayed in the flat for one day when Anna was away. I got the keys three or four days before that. I had access to the flat, but I didn't sleep there. Anna, she said that.... No, I don't want to discuss that, because I don't believe it has anything to do with this case. I don't want to discuss anything private if it has nothing to do with the case.
  213. MG: Any follow-up questions? O.K. then, is there anything you want to say before we terminate the interview?
  214. JA: Yes.
  215. MG: Go ahead.
  216. JA: I was contacted by a mutual friend of Anna and me on Friday, the 20th. It was a woman named Sonja who was at the hospital. She said something about DNA and the police — and I was very upset to hear that. No one alleged anything. It would be a long story if I were to go into that. It does not seem relevant.
  217. MG: OK so we hereby conclude the interview.
  218. JA: We can always continue if it is needed. But the main thing is that I and other people, we heard a bunch of unbelievable lies, and heard that I was to meet Sonja on Saturday afternoon to discuss the matter. Anna had no accusations, and no one had any intention of going to the police and so on. That is how I expected things to remain until I heard the news in Expressen.
  219. MG: O.K. then. The interview is concluded. The time is 6:37 p.m.
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