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Assange Gets New Counsel

Now it's up to Björn Hurtig.

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STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) — Sweden's civil rights foundation Rättssäkerhetsorganisationen (RO) have on behalf of Julian Assange sent a request to the district court for a change of counsel.

Assange's new lawyer is to be Björn Hurtig of Försvarsadvokaterna on Kungsholmen.

'This comes as a complete surprise for me', says Leif Silbersky.

RO sent the application on Assange's behalf. The application says, amongst other things, that Silbersky 'is not committed enough and is difficult to get in contact with'.

'This is a unique situation for me', says Silbersky.

Silbersky has to approve the request for the court to allow it.

'But of course I'll approve it', says Silbersky who adds that he doesn't think he's at all inaccessible.

'I spoke with Assange an hour ago and he mentioned nothing of this. And my older clients know the contrary - I'm easy to reach.'

Former RO board member Billy Butt might be the cause for the action, suggests Silbersky but RO strike back. 'Butt isn't here any longer', says current RO board member Johann Binninge who filed the complaint against prosecutor Maria Kjellstrand who leaked the story to Expressen. 'He was a board member for a year but after that left the organisation.'

'There's absolutely no connection.'

Billy Butt - who still writes op-ed articles for RO - comments: 'I've got nothing to do with this. But Silbersky is not a competent rape lawyer. So this is the best thing Assange could have done.'

Assange has now requested solicitor Björn Hurtig. Hurtig has previously been under contract to the US embassy in Stockholm, defending Steven Gilchrist Glover who was accused of possession, and even appearing in Swedish television dramas.

'Assange came to our offices a week and a half ago and told us he wasn't happy with Silbersky', said Binninge. 'He said he didn't feel a 100% commitment from Silbersky. And this morning I received an SMS message from him saying he wanted to submit the application.'

See Also
SvD: Assange vill byta ut sin advokat
Expressen: Assange byter ut Silbersky
Aftonbladet: Assange Sparkar Silbersky

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