Assange ditches top Swedish defence lawyer

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Assange ditches top Swedish defence lawyer

Too difficult to contact?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has made a request to change his lawyer, Leif Silbersky, widely known as one of Sweden's most successful criminal defence lawyers.

Documents filed with Sweden's Rule of Law Organisation revealed Assange "no longer has confidence in his defenders", according to a report by Swedish daily, Svenska Dagbladet.

Assange's main objection was that Silbersky was too difficult to contact.

Silbersky, who had met with Assange the same day he was fired, was caught off guard by Assange's decision.

"This I learned only now that the District Court contacted me for my opinion. I will tell the court that I have no objection," Silbersky said.

The defence lawyer said he did not understand Assange's claim that he was too difficult to contact.

The decision came as Swedish authorities stepped up investigations over claims that Assange had raped a Swedish woman.

Assange's grip on the leadership of WikiLeaks has become strained in recent days with key members calling on him to step aside as he dealt with the allegations.

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