A Swedish prosecutor attempting to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face sex charges has been accused of having a “biased view” against men.
Retired Swedish appeal court judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman launched an outspoken attack on the authorities responsible for an arrest warrant in the whistleblower’s name.
She was flown to London by Assange’s legal team to give evidence supporting their argument that extraditing him would be a “flagrant denial of justice”.
Speaking in the witness box at Woolwich Crown Court, sitting at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, she said she could not understand the “attitude” of prosecutor Marianne Ny.
Mrs Sundberg-Weitman, a published academic and associate professor at Stockholm University, accused Ms Ny of having a “rather biased view against men”.
She added: “She seems to take it for granted that everybody under prosecution is guilty. I think she is so preoccupied with the situation of battered women and raped women that she has lost balance.”
The claims were made on the first day of a two-day hearing that will decide whether Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, should be sent to Sweden, where he is wanted by police over allegations he sexually assaulted one woman and raped another during a visit to Stockholm last August.
Assange’s legal team argue extradition would breach his human rights and fear he could ultimately be taken against his will to the United States and executed.
But a barrister representing the Swedish authorities said the fears are unfounded, the proper legal process is being followed and Assange has a case to answer.
Assange, who arrived under an extraordinary media spotlight, is supported by a number of high-profile campaigners, including Bianca Jagger, socialite Jemima Khan and veteran left-winger Tony Benn. Some of them are due to attend a Defend WikiLeaks rally in central London organised by the Stop the War Coalition.