When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won't receive justice if he's taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.
Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?
"I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court." Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén
Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.
"Sweden has frankly always been the United States' lapdog and it's not a matter we're particularly proud of." Assange supporter
"The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it's simply a matter between the UK and Sweden." Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia
Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" being made against Assange - which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange's supporters across the globe - including his Australian lawyer - and the FBI's attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.
"Sex, Lies and Julian Assange", reported by Andrew Fowler and presented by Kerry O'Brien, goes to air on Monday 23rd July at 8.30pm on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th July at 11.35pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 at 8.00pm Saturday, ABC iview and at 4 Corners.
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