>An utterly necessary correction of the highly misleading Q & A version distributed in this moment worldwide by AP
This Professors blogg article was published in Second-opinion 7/02, 2011
Corrected (highlighted texts) by Professor Marcello Ferrada-Noli
STOCKHOLM — Julian Assange returns to a British court Monday to fight extradition to Sweden, where the WikiLeaks founder is wanted for questioning about alleged sex crimes.
The petition, filled by the Swedish Prosecutor Authority, was done at a time-point after the Wiklileaks exposures on USA war atrocities – in conflicts supported militarily by Sweden – and the magnitude of its collateral damage. The Wikileaks revelations elicited anew analysis on the participation of former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström in the illegal rendition of political refugees to the CIA. Prior that, Assange had been first acquitted of any suspect charge by a Swedish senior attorney on the very same issue. Further, after the case was re-opened by a new prosecutor – at the instigation of a partner of Bodström (see below) – Assange had been nevertheless permitted to leave Sweden legally.
The 39-year-old Australian has denied the accusations, which his supporters claim are part of a CIA-led conspiracy against his secret-spilling organization.
Although no Assange supporter has ever maintained that it is in fact “a CIA-led conspiracy” it has been pointed out that a) one of the accusers is a notorious anti-Castro activist – banned from Cuba – connected with organizations financed by the CIA, b) the same accuser was at the time of the allegations a paid employee of an organization within the social democratic party (the Christian Brotherhood) in which the former minister of Justice Mr. Thomas Bodström is one senior political members. In that position as information secretary of such organization she implemented and financed the invitation of Assange to “lecture” in Sweden.
Here are some questions and answers about the case.
Today in London, with Lawyer Jeniffer Robinson
Q: Why does Sweden want him extradited?
A: A Swedish prosecutor wants to question Assange about accusations made by two women that he violated them sexually during a brief stay in the Scandinavian country last year.
This is a version that some Swedish journalists or anti-Assange radical feminists continue to spread abroad. The truth is that the women made no charges whatsoever of rape (“violation” means rape in most of languages). The formulation of the “crime rape” was a post-elaboration of the lawyer Claes Borgström (the partner of Thomas Bodström in their law firm Bordstrom & Borgström) which convinced feminist Prosecutor Marianne Ny to re-open the investigation.
One of them says he intentionally damaged a condom during sex and the other says he had sex with her while she was asleep. The latter could be considered rape under Swedish law. Assange denies wrongdoing.
The problem is that the Swedish Police found no DNA evidence linking Assange to the condom provided by one of the women, some time a week later.
Q: Will Assange be jailed if he goes to Sweden?
A: He will immediately put under arrested upon arrival and held incommunicado. There is no bail-system in Sweden. Yes, at least for some time. He would be arrested upon arrival and a detention hearing would be held within four days. The prosecutor could decide to release him after questioning. But she could also ask the court to extend the period of detention. Such hearings must be held every two weeks until a suspect is charged or released. There is no bail in Sweden. Following the manifested position of the Swedish-prosecution side in the Court hearings of January in London, Assange will not be released after questioning on the base of the alleged danger of escaping.
Q: Assange’s lawyers say there’s a “real risk” that Sweden would hand him over to the U.S. How likely is that?
A: Assange hasn’t been charged with any crime in the U.S. If he were, Swedish legal experts say he would be no more likely to be handed over from Sweden than from Britain. Because of the current extradition proceedings between Sweden and Britain, handing him over to a third country would require approval from both countries, says Nils Rekke, legal chief at the Stockholm prosecutor’s office. Rekke notes that Britain is a closer ally to the United States.
Rekke has not denied that Sweden would be willing to hand over Assange to the USA, what he said is that “Sweden cannot do as Sweden likes” before asking Britain first on the matter!
The fact is, regarding the “open” requests of extradition from the USA, Sweden has granted extradition to the USA in ALL OF CASES in which the asked person was in Swedish territory.
Q: How common is it that people are extradited from Sweden and Britain to the U.S.?
A: Since 2000, the U.S. has requested the extradition of seven citizens from Sweden, according to the Swedish Justice Ministry. Five of the requests were approved, and two were rejected because the suspects were no longer believed to be in Sweden. Britain and the U.S. signed a fast-track extradition treaty in 2003 intended to speed the transfer of terror suspects. Since it came into force in April 2007, 23 people have been extradited from the U.K. to the U.S., according to British government figures. Extradition lawyer Karen Todner said Assange would probably stand a better chance of resisting extradition to the U.S. if he were in Sweden than if he were in the U.K.
Again, as above: Regarding the “open” requests from the USA, Sweden has granted extradition in the TOTAL OF CASES in which the prisoner was in Swedish territory. This is a fact.
Furthermore, Sweden has a praxis of giving – in clandestine operations – prisoners labelled by USA as terrorist (like in the case of Assange, according for instance to expressions of USA’s Vice president), the so called rendition.
Q: Could the prosecutor in the sex crime investigation or the Swedish government have been influenced by pressure from the U.S. to seek Assange’s detention?
A: Most legal experts in Sweden agree prosecutors would never accept orders from politicians, which is illegal (sic!). But Assange’s supporters note that Sweden has responded to U.S. pressure before, including in the crackdown on file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, and the secret rendition of two Egyptian terror suspects.
Q: Has Assange been charged with a crime in Sweden?
A: No. He’s only considered a suspect, of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Prosecutors say – and Swedish courts have agreed – that there is “probable cause” to believe he committed those crimes. That’s the higher level of suspicion in Sweden, but it doesn’t mean that he will be charged. It typically takes months of investigation before Swedish prosecutors decide whether to bring a case to trial.
Q: What’s the penalty in Sweden for this type of crime?
A: It ranges from fines for the lower offenses to as much as six years in prison for rape. In cases where sex starts out being consensual, but ends up in rape, the maximum sentence is typically four years.
No misleading work of any establishment’s journalist or compromised attorneys or political opportunists with radical-feminist agendas will ever be capable to erase from the memory of millions and millions among the decent in the world the Wilikleaks exposure “Collateral damage” – a main contribution to international peace and to the anti-war movement, a permanent blow to secret state-power abuse inflicted by Julian Assange and his heroic organization of civil-courage fighters.
This is the issue at stake!
, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
Tags 1, 2, 3,
Labels Wikileaks, J Assange, Assange, T Bordström,, C Borgström, yttrandehefrihet, tryckfrihet, transperans, wikileaks, intressant,