Almost a decade ago her testimony sparked the investigation into Julian Assange for rape and sexual assault.
STOCKHOLM taz | “No, Julian is definitely not a monster,” says Anna Ardin, “but he exceeded my limits.” After almost ten years, she broke her silence. Ardin is one of the two Swedes whose statements to the police started the investigation against the Wikileaks founder for rape and sexual assault. It was discontinued two years ago, but as a result Julian Assange is still in British custody.
Ardin’s book, “In the Shadow of Assange – My Testimony” will be published soon. Published on Sunday Svenska Dagbladet an interview with the 41-year-old deaconess. In 2010 she worked as press secretary for the Christian-Social Democratic Association Broderskapsrörelsen, which invited Assange to the seminar “The first victim of war is the truth”. And because the Australian did not want to spend the night in a hotel, but “secretly”, Ardin provided him with a guest mattress in her apartment.
You kiss there, cuddle a little – so Ardin’s account – Assange falls asleep and then suddenly comes to her bed. He was not violent, but had “used his physical superiority”. She wanted “somehow to get out of this situation” but didn’t know how. “I tried to gain control in order to reduce my feeling of humiliation,” says Ardin; Assange should use a condom anyway. That was suddenly broken. Ardin is sure Assange did this on purpose. Why? “I have no answer.”
Actually, however, the matter was settled for her: “It was not a criminal offense for me and I did not want to harm Wikileaks.” But then she is contacted by the photographer Sofia W., with whom Assange also had sexual intercourse. They discover parallels and decide to go to the police together to ask if Assange can be forced to have an HIV test.
The public prosecutor’s office acts “ex officio”
But what the women report prompts the public prosecutor to take action “ex officio” even without their criminal complaint. She regrets going to the police, says Ardin: “The price was too high.” For many people she has become “the eternal scapegoat in Assange’s life”, to blame for his long imprisonment and the risk of extradition to the USA.
The threats against Ardin became so massive that she temporarily lived in Barcelona as Carolina Blomgren and has been under police protection for ten years. Meanwhile married and mother of two children, she is now working on her doctorate. She has “long forgiven Assange”, she emphasizes, and wants “reconciliation”. “But you can’t do that alone. This includes talking to each other – and being in agreement about what happened. “
When asked about Ardin’s portrayal, Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris lets the Svenska Dagbladet communicate: “Even if Anna Ardin wants to get as much publicity as possible with her book, neither Mr. Assange nor Mrs. Moris will answer questions.”