Wikileaks lawyer: Assange is public enemy No. 1 in Sweden

Julian Assange has been 'vilified' by the Swedish prime minister, whose remarks have affected the Wikileaks editor's chances of getting a fair trial in Sweden.

In a hearing Friday to decide whether Wikileaks' Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face rape charges, defense attorney Geoffrey Robertson said at UK Belmarsh Magistrates' Court that comments made by Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on women's rights and Assange's extradition hearing had "created a toxic atmosphere" for the Wikileaks founder.

"[Assange] has been denounced as an enemy of the people, and one doesn't have to know Ibsen to know what impact that could have in the fairness of his trial," Robertson said. "[Assange] is public enemy number one as a result of the prime minister's statement."

Inside the hearing, the defense has tried to establish through a number of witnesses that Assange should not be extradited to Sweden for questioning. The defense team has suggested that there have been procedural inconsistencies in the way the case has been dealt with by the Swedish authorities, and that the women bringing complaints against Assange are seeking revenge.

For more on this story, read Defence: Assange is Sweden's 'public enemy number one' on ZDNet UK.