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And that is evidence?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eyewitness testimony by two witnesses, apparently independent witnesses, saying roughing the same thing about Assange's actions is strong evidence.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two different women who approach the police with an exactly similar but extremely difficult to verify complaint about events that are alleged to have taken place in the same week...

What people say about somebody's actions is not yet "strong evidence".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it is, if it was a crime. The important matter is whether the two allegedly independent witnesses were truly independent. If they were and their stories about Assange's behavior are similar (thereby corroborating the other witness's testimony), then that's pretty strong eyewitness testimony.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm somewhat amazed that you see this as a purely gender or feminist issue. A situation in which the US of A is on the other side, and security is the issue, and billions of dollars are at stake, and events are synchronous, means that black ops should not be discounted.

Eyewitness testimony is indeed powerful in cases that clearly involve only sexual behaviour. But the circumstances (and thus the circumstantial evidence) would imply that such eyewitness evidence needs a more detailed examination than is standard such cases.

Assange was specifically warned about the dangers of such situations. Or so we are told.

I have no idea what the truth is, but it seems to me we should take a very close but fair look at any evidence.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:58:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I don't see it as purely a gender/feminist issue. But we all acknowledge there is a political context for the allegations: gender/feminist politics is one aspect of that, which we should not discount in our efforts to defend Wikileaks' Afghanistan revelations.

I'm not discounting 'black ops' but there hasn't been ANY evidence provided that they took place. The fact that no evidence has been presented is important. Finally, the circumstances of the alleged incidents, and who the alleged victims are, is not at all clear. So, the "more detailed examination" you feel is needed should not discount the testimony of two apparently independent eyewitnesses to conduct allegedly in violation of the law. If Assange's excellent defense attorney turns up 'dirt' on the two witnesses, or on the police or prosecutors, fine, but why not wait and see what he can turn up?

I agree, let's take a look at all the evidence: allegations of conspiracy are not evidence.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:02:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Media reports are not strong evidence.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 07:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently independent witnesses

Nope.

Prosecutors may decide today on charges against WikiLeaks founder | Media | The Guardian

On Friday last week, Ms A and Ms W together approached police in Stockholm and reported that they had been sexually assaulted by Assange.

...One source who is closely involved said neither of them had originally wanted the case prosecuted; that Ms W had wanted to report the alleged rape to police without their pursuing it, and that Ms A had gone with her to give her moral support and then become embroiled with the police, who had insisted on passing a report to prosecutors...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 02:44:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not completely clear, but I lean in your direction. But, we don't know the details of how Ms A's testimony came out or was taken. "Embroiled with the police" is not enough detail. Were they interviewed on the details of their complaints separately? But, we can assume from the circumstances that they discussed Assange's alleged behavior before visiting the police.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:53:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it is completely clear that witnesses who went to police together are not independent, and that's why I highlighted the relevant passages by bolding.

As for the insufficient detail in "embroiled with the police", that's relevant to the question of how much police influenced to flow of events on its own initiative, not the independence of witnesses...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What potentially matters is how independent their testimony is. That's uncertain.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They talked before, therefore it is certainly not independent. Wanna walk a few more circles around the obvious?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The degree of independence matters. We don't know that. Yes, they talked, but we don't know the level of detail of their prior talks.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they talked

So they were absolutely not independent, but you may separately talk about the degree of prior agreement between what they said -- just like in the case of any other non-independent witnesses. Do you want to walk yet another round?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 01:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure 'independent' legally, but let's say colloquially it means (at least in this context) more or less that the two witnesses weren't working as a team, hadn't worked out what to say beforehand, and/or that one witness's testimony hadn't been 'contaminated' by the recollections of the other witness. In that context, and despite your certainty, it is not certain whether the two witnesses are 'independent' or not, and how 'independent' their testimony was at the police station.


fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:50:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, That start should be:

I'm not sure 'independent' legally means much,

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:51:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is not certain whether the two witnesses are 'independent' or not, and how 'independent' their testimony was at the police station

Given how competently and honestly the police has handled everything else in this case, I would be exceedingly surprised if they had properly separated the witnesses while interviewing them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 06:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'A politically charged screw-up" is how I'd sum up so far. The Swedish police seem entirely capable of making this mess on their own, without shadowy assistance by cross-national spy agencies, but we'll see.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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