Goran Rudling, 59, a retired Swedish businessman and crusader for the reform of Swedish rape laws, said he does not support the anti-government-secrecy website or its editor. But he told the court he has acted as a sort of Internet detective on Assange's behalf ever since the 39-year-old Australian was accused of sexual misconduct by two young Swedish women in August.
"My interest in sexual offense law and reform to ensure better protection under the law for victims led me to follow the Assange case," Rudling said in his official witness statement. He said his own mother was a rape victim.
"I should add that I am by no means a supporter of WikiLeaks or Julian Assange (I am critical of their work) and I have no liking of Mr. Assange. My only concern has been to ensure that this investigation is effective, the real offender is punished and to avoid a possible miscarriage of justice."
Assange is being held under house arrest in Britain pending the outcome of the two-day hearing to decide whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face questioning about four allegations, one of which is defined as third-degree rape in Sweden.
His lawyers argued that Sweden could, in turn, extradite Assange to the U.S., where prosecutors have suggested they would try him under the Espionage Act -- a fate that could send him to Guantanamo Bay or even death row. Lawyers for Sweden denied they would extradite him to the U.S.
Rudling told the court that Ardin sent out several tweets less than 24 hours after her allegedly violent sexual encounter with Assange. In one she asks if anyone is having a crayfish party that night that she and Assange could attend.
Not long after, Rudling said, she tweeted, "sitting outside. with the coolest and smartest people. that's amazing."
AOL News does not usually release the names of alleged sexual assault victims. It first identified Ardin in a story in December, after mainstream media outlets such as MSNBC and CBS News identified her. Ardin's name, along with that of the other accuser, has been widely available on the Internet since the scandal broke in August.
Rudling said that Ardin deleted the tweets around Aug. 20, after she and the other accuser went to the police with their allegations. Rudling said he found them on "mirror" sites on the Internet that Ardin had not deleted.
"It seemed obvious that the story told to the police and these facts just didn't go together," Rudling said. "The tweets reveal that Ms. Ardin had a high opinion of Mr. Assange and that she very much enjoyed his company while he was staying at her home, and these were posted after the alleged sexual assault."
Rudling also tracked down a press release dated Aug. 17, three days after Ardin says Assange assaulted her, in which Ardin is listed as Assange's new press liaison.
Assange's Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig, who will testify Tuesday at the second and final day of the extradition hearing, told AOL News today there are also text messages from the two accusers that he believes cast doubts on their claims of sexual assault.
Hurtig said he is concerned that the text messages will either not become available or that Assange's accusers will have been allowed to explain them away.
"I'm worried because I know the police have conducted two new interviews with the women, interviews that haven't been leaked like everything else," said Hurtig, who has seen the messages but is forbidden under Swedish law to reveal their content.
"I'm afraid they showed them the text messages and gave them a chance to make something up," he said.
Assange was uncharacteristically emotional at the end of today's hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.
"Five and a half months we have been in a condition where a black box has been applied to my life," Assange told reporters outside the courtroom.
"On the outside of that black box has been written the word 'rape.' That box is now, thanks to an open court process, being opened. And I hope that over the next day that we will see that box is in fact empty and has nothing to do with the words that are on the outside of it," he said.
A Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has classified one of the allegations as third-degree rape or "minor rape" because the act allegedly took place while one of the women was asleep or half-asleep and it "violated her sexual integrity."
Clare Montgomery, representing Sweden at the hearing, said Assange's conduct included "violent unlawful coercion" and that he "exploited" the fact that one of the women was asleep, The Telegraph reported.
AOL News reported exclusively on Friday that one of the witnesses in the investigation, Swedish journalist and photographer Donald Bostrom, said that Ardin told three different versions of what happened between her and Assange.
Assange's Australian lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, told the judge today that the rape allegation does not qualify as rape in other European countries, Bloomberg News reported. Robertson said Assange can only be extradited if the alleged acts are also illegal in the U.K.
"What is in Swedish law 'minor rape' does not amount to rape in any other European country," Robertson said. "The charge does not meet the European law standard concept of rape."
But Montgomery said the sex offenses would be considered criminal in both the U.K. and Sweden.