The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Page 79

Teleborian waved a hand in a dismissive gesture.

"When I was sixteen and still at school I was intoxicated on a good many occasions. I have tried drugs. I have smoked marijuana, and I even tried cocaine on one occasion about twenty years ago. I had my first sexual experience with a schoolfriend when I was fifteen, and I had a relationship with a boy who tied my hands to the bedstead when I was twenty. When I was twenty-two I had a relationship with a man who was forty-seven that lasted several months. Am I, in your view, mentally ill?"

"Fru Giannini, you joke about this, but your sexual experiences are irrelevant in this case."

"Why is that? When I read your so-called psychiatric assessment of Lisbeth Salander, I find point after point which, taken out of context, would apply to myself. Why am I healthy and sound while Lisbeth Salander is considered a dangerous sadist?"

"These are not the details that are relevant. You didn't twice try to murder your father  - "

"Dr Teleborian, the reality is that it's none of your business who Lisbeth Salander wants to have sex with. It's none of your business which gender her partner is or how they conduct their sexual relations. And yet in her case you pluck out details from her life and use them as the basis for saying that she is sick."

"Lisbeth Salander's whole life  -  from the time she was in junior school  -  is a document of unprovoked and violent outbursts of anger against teachers and other pupils."

"Just a moment." Giannini's voice was suddenly like an ice scraper on a car window. "Look at my client."

Everyone looked at Salander.

"My client grew up in abominable family circumstances. Over a period of years her father persistently abused her mother."

"That's  - "

"Let me finish. Lisbeth Salander's mother was mortally afraid of Alexander Zalachenko. She did not dare to protest. She did not dare to go to a doctor. She did not dare to go to a women's crisis centre. She was ground down and eventually beaten so badly that she suffered irreversible brain damage. The person who had to take responsibility, the only person who tried to take responsibility for the family long before she reached her teens even, was Lisbeth Salander. She had to shoulder that burden all by herself, since Zalachenko the spy was more important to the state and its social services than Lisbeth's mother."

"I cannot  - "

"The result, excuse me, was a situation in which society abandoned Lisbeth's mother and her two children. Are you surprised that Lisbeth had problems at school? Look at her. She's small and skinny. She has always been the smallest girl in her class. She was introverted and eccentric and she had no friends. Do you know how children tend to treat fellow pupils who are different?"

Teleborian sighed.

Giannini continued. "I can go back to her school records and examine one situation after another in which Lisbeth turned violent. They were always preceded by some kind of provocation. I can easily recognize the signs of bullying. Let me tell you something."


"I admire Lisbeth Salander. She's tougher than I am. If I had been strapped down for a year when I was thirteen, I would probably have broken down altogether. She fought back with the only weapon she had available  -  her contempt for you."

Her nervousness was long gone. She felt that she was in control.

"In your testimony this morning you spoke a great deal about fantasies. You stated, for instance, that Lisbeth's Salander's account of her rape by Advokat Bjurman is a fantasy."

"That's correct."

"On what do you base your conclusion?"

"On my experience of the way she usually fantasizes."

"On your experience of the way she usually fantasizes? How do you decide when she is fantasizing? When she says that she was strapped to a bed for 380 days and nights, then in your opinion it's a fantasy, despite the fact that your very own records tell us that this was indeed the case."

"This is something entirely different. There is not a shred of evidence that Bjurman committed rape against Lisbeth Salander. I mean, needles through her nipples and such gross violence that she unquestionably should have been taken by ambulance to hospital? It's obvious that this could not have taken place."

Giannini turned to Judge Iversen. "I asked to have a projector available today..."

"It's in place," the judge said.

"Could we close the curtains, please?"

Giannini opened her PowerBook and plugged in the cables to the projector. She turned to her client.

"Lisbeth. We're going to look at the film. Are you ready for this?"

"I've lived through it," Salander said dryly.

"And I have your approval to show it here?"

Salander nodded. She fixed her eyes on Teleborian.

"Can you tell us when the film was made?"

"On 7 March, 2003."

"Who shot the film?"

"I did. I used a hidden camera, standard equipment at Milton Security."

"Just one moment," Prosecutor Ekstrom shouted. "This is beginning to resemble a circus act."

"What is it we are about to see?" Judge Iversen said with a sharp edge to his voice.

"Dr Teleborian claims that Lisbeth Salander's account of her rape by Advokat Bjurman is a fantasy. I am going to show you evidence to the contrary. The film is ninety minutes long, but I will only show a few short excerpts. I warn you that it contains some very unpleasant scenes."

"Is this some sort of trick?" Ekstrom said.

"There's a good way to find out," said Giannini and started the D.V.D. in her laptop.

"Haven't you even learned to tell the time?" Advokat Bjurman greets her gruffly. The camera enters his apartment.

After nine minutes Judge Iversen banged his gavel. Advokat Bjurman was being shown violently shoving a dildo into Lisbeth Salander's anus. Giannini had turned up the volume. Salander's half-stifled screams through the duct tape that covered her mouth were heard throughout the courtroom.

"Turn off the film," Judge Iversen said in a very loud and commanding voice.

Giannini pressed stop and the ceiling lights were turned back on. Judge Iversen was red in the face. Prosecutor Ekstrom sat as if turned to stone. Teleborian was as pale as a corpse.

"Advokat Giannini... How long is this film, did you say?"

"Ninety minutes. The rape itself went on in stages for about five or six hours, but my client only has a vague sense of the violence inflicted upon her in the last few hours." Giannini turned to Teleborian. "There is a scene, however, in which Bjurman pushes a needle through my client's nipple, something that Doctor Teleborian maintains is an expression of Lisbeth Salander's wild imagination. It takes place in minute seventy-two, and I'm offering to show the episode here and now."

"Thank you, that won't be necessary," the judge said. "Froken Salander..."

For a second he lost his train of thought and did not know how to proceed.

"Froken Salander, why did you record this film?"

"Bjurman had already subjected me to one rape and was demanding more. The first time he made me suck him off, the old creep. I thought it was going to be a repeat. I thought I'd be able to get such good evidence of what he did that I could then blackmail him into staying away from me. I misjudged him."

"But why did you go not to the police when you have such... irrefutable evidence?"

"I don't talk to policemen," Salander said flatly.

Palmgren stood up from his wheelchair. He supported himself by leaning on the edge of the table. His voice was very clear.

"Our client on principle does not speak to the police or to other persons of authority, and least of all to psychiatrists. The reason is simple. From the time she was a child she tried time and again to talk to police and social workers to explain that her mother was being abused by Alexander Zalachenko. The result in every instance was that she was punished because government civil servants had decided that Zalachenko was more important than she was."

He cleared his throat and continued.

"And when she eventually concluded that nobody was listening to her, her only means of protecting her mother was to fight Zalachenko with violence. And then this bastard who calls himself a doctor"  -  he pointed at Teleborian  -  "wrote a fabricated psychiatric diagnosis which described her as mentally ill, and it gave him the opportunity to keep her in restraints at St Stefan's for 380 days. What a bastard."

Palmgren sat down. Judge Iversen was surprised by this outburst. He turned to Salander.

"Would you perhaps like to take a break..."

"Why?" Salander said.

"Alright, then we'll continue. Advokat Giannini, the recording will be examined, and I will require a technical opinion to verify its authenticity. But I cannot tolerate seeing any more of these appalling scenes at present. Let's proceed."

"Gladly. I too find them appalling," said Giannini. "My client has been subjected to multiple instances of physical and mental abuse and legal misconduct. And the person most to blame for this is Dr Peter Teleborian. He betrayed his oath as a physician and he betrayed his patient. Together with a member of an illegal group within the Security Police, Gunnar Bjorck, he patched together a forensic psychiatric assessment for the purpose of locking up an inconvenient witness. I believe that this case must be unique in Swedish jurisprudence."

"These are outrageous accusations," Teleborian said. "I have done my best to help Lisbeth Salander. She tried to murder her father. It's perfectly obvious that there's something wrong with her  - "

Giannini interrupted him.

"I would now like to bring to the attention of the court Dr Teleborian's second forensic psychiatric assessment of my client, presented at this trial today. I maintain that it is a lie, just as the report from 1991 was a lie."

"Well, this is simply  - " Teleborian spluttered.

"Judge Iversen, could you please ask the witness to stop interrupting me?"

"Herr Teleborian..."

"I will be quiet. But these are outrageous accusations. It's not surprising that I'm upset  - "

"Herr Teleborian, please be quiet until a question is directed at you. Do go on, Advokat Giannini."

"This is the forensic psychiatric assessment that Dr Teleborian has presented to the court. It is based on what he has termed 'observations' of my client which were supposed to have taken place after she was moved to Kronoberg prison on June 5. The examination was supposed to have been concluded on July 5."

"Yes, so I have understood," Judge Iversen said.

"Dr Teleborian, is it the case that you did not have the opportunity to examine or observe my client before June 6? Before that she was at Sahlgrenska hospital in Goteborg, where she was being kept in isolation, as we know."


"You made attempts on two separate occasions to gain access to my client at Sahlgrenska. Both times you were denied admittance."

Giannini opened her briefcase and took out a document. She walked around her table and handed it to Judge Iversen.

"I see," the judge said. "This appears to be a copy of Dr Teleborian's report. What is your point?"

"I would like to call upon two witnesses. They are waiting outside the courtroom now."

"Who are these witnesses?"

"They are Mikael Blomkvist from Millennium magazine, and Superintendent Torsten Edklinth, Director of the Constitutional Protection Unit of the Security Police."

"And they are outside?"


"Show them in," Judge Iversen said.

"This is highly irregular," Prosecutor Ekstrom said.

Ekstrom had watched in extreme discomfort as Giannini shredded his key witness. The film had been devastating evidence. The judge ignored Ekstrom and gestured to the bailiff to open the door to admit Blomkvist and Edklinth.

"I would first like to call upon Mikael Blomkvist."

"Then I would ask that Herr Teleborian stand down for a while," Judge Iverson said.

"Are you finished with me?" Teleborian said.

"No, not by any means," Giannini said.

Blomkvist replaced Teleborian in the witness box. Judge Iversen swiftly dealt with the formalities, and Blomkvist took the oath.

"Mikael," Giannini said, and then she smiled. "I would find it difficult, if your honour will forgive me, to call my brother Herr Blomkvist, so I will settle for his first name."

She went to Judge Iversen's bench and asked for the forensic psychiatric report which she had just handed to him. She then gave it to Blomkvist.

"Have you seen this document before?"

"Yes, I have. I have three versions in my possession. The first I acquired on May 12, the second on May 19, and the third  -  this one  -  on June 3."

"Can you tell us how you acquired the copies?"

"I received them in my capacity as a journalist from a source I do not intend to name."

Salander stared at Teleborian. He was once more deathly pale.

"What did you do with the report?"

"I gave it to Torsten Edklinth at Constitutional Protection."

"Thank you, Mikael. Now I'd like to call Torsten Edklinth," Giannini said, taking back the report. She handed it to Judge Iversen and the procedure with the oath was repeated.

"Superintendent Edklinth, is it correct that you received a forensic psychiatric report on Lisbeth Salander from Mikael Blomkvist?"

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