Updated 20 April 2015 (see down below)
Brief rationale on why the preliminary-investigation of the ‘case’ against Julian Assange in Sweden should be dropped, now. A further delay only fosters damage to the international position of Sweden.
By Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli
1. Case is stalled by all accounts
Despite the Swedish Court of Appeal direct recommendation to the prosecutor (Court of Appeal’s decision of 12 November 2014) to be more active in finding an “alternative formula” for completing the interrogation of Mr. Assange – indicating for instance an interrogation at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London– the prosecutor Marianne Ny continues to refuse to do so. Nevertheless, neither Swedish courts, nor government, nor the Prosecutor General, are taking the case any further. The ‘case’ is at a preliminary stage – no charges were ever made against Mr. Assange – is now in its FIFTH YEAR!
2. Asylum issue
The asylum of Mr Assange granted by Ecuador has to be respected, according international conventions and praxis. This asylum was granted after a thorough evaluation of the risk for both a) prison, b) and/or assassination of Mr. Assange in the event he is extradited by Sweden to the United States. Such risk of imprisonment relates to indictment pertaining to the on-going Grand Jury sealed investigation against Mr Assange and WikiLeaks in Virginia, linked to the Chelsea Manning process of exposing secret data allegedly harmful to national security. The risk of physical harm relates to several prominent U.S. politicians publicly advocating for his assassination.
3. Guarantees on extradition dismissed anew by the Swedish government
Searching for a solution on the above-described stalemate, I have essayed together with other Swedish professors a proposal [Swedish; English] to the new Swedish government for issuing guarantees that Mr. Assange will not be extradited to the U.S. from Swedish territory. We attempted this solution to meet the basic human rights of Mr. Assange, and to facilitate the completion of the preliminary investigation in Sweden.
Unfortunately, the view of the new government – expressed on the occasion of a similar request regarding Mr. Edward Snowden – is still that such guarantees cannot be issued ahead, and can only be considered in the instance of an extradition request. Although we regard this tenure to contradict the self-sovereignty principle, we have to accept that is the government’s privilege. That is to say, according to Swedish law, it is ultimately the privilege of the executive power to decide if a court-decided extradition will be processed or not.
In merit of the facts above, I conclude that the case has been lost in a labyrinth leading nowhere, with no actual feasible resolution. It is therefore, now the responsibility of the Swedish judicial authorities to intervene and drop the case. Against the backdrop of this human-rights infringement, keeping a person detained and without any charges, in a variety of ways during a period of over four years, ranging from solitary cell to house arrest and confinement in an embassy’s room, the question remains, whether Sweden is acting as a “Reich stat”. An assertion that increases internationally every day this case remains unsolved.
5. Background – Crucial aspects about the case itself, which demonstrate its true political character
a) The Snowden documents on the Assange case, revealed by Glenn Greenwald
This was published by the Intercept, based in new exposed Snowden documents to which Greenwald had access:
“The United States on 10 August urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan, including Australia, United Kingdom and Germany, to consider filing criminal charges against Julian Assange, founder of the rogue WikiLeaks Internet website and responsible for the unauthorized publication of over 70,000 classified documents covering the war in Afghanistan. The documents may have been provided to WikiLeaks by Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. The appeal exemplifies the start of an international effort to focus the legal element of national power upon non-state actor Assange and the human network that supports WikiLeaks.”
In the analysis “Snowden document reveals Swedish prosecution of Assange was requested by the U.S.” I remarked two things regarding the revelation by Snowden.
Firstly, the Snowden document says “including Australia, United Kingdom and Germany”. Nevertheless, the document also provided the inclusion criteria: “nations with forces in Afghanistan”. One amongst these was (is) Sweden, conspicuously; one of the few nations, and longest lasting, participating in the U.S. led military occupation of Afghanistan.
Secondly, This request was put forward on the 10 of August 2010. In the document “Affidavit of Julian Paul Assange”, we read that it was around that date when Sweden took decisive steps to “consider filing criminal charges against Julian Assange” – as requested by the U.S. government.
b) Mr. Assange was never accused by the two Swedish women. The investigation of “suspicion” of misconduct was initiated by decision of the Swedish police authority:
As early as 2011, the publication of the interrogation protocols including the testimonies of the two women clearly illustrated that they did not sustain any accusation of misconduct against Mr. Assange. The police instead, by their own decision and initiative, raised the case of suspected misconduct after one woman sought help to identify the location of Mr Assange, and the police took it to a prosecutor. However, Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné after reviewing the evidence she then dismissed the whole thing as without ground. Why was the preliminary investigation of the “case” reopened?
c) Prosecutor Marianne Ny
As it has been published several times in the Swedish press, one of the police officer’s involved in the afore-mentioned interrogation, Irmeli Krans, was a friend of one of the so-called women-acussers under her interrogation at the police station in Stockholm. Besides, Irmeli Krans was widely known, because of media coverage, as self-publicited admirer of radical-feminist lawyer Claes Bogström – the lawyer of the same woman. Furthermore, Krans had also met Mr. Thomas Bodström [see zoomed picture, at left]; the former Justice minister allegedly involved in the CIA extraordinary renditions of political refuges in Sweden. Thomas Bodström has in this context the following links:
Thomas Bodström is the senior partner, together with the above-mentioned Claes Borgström, of the law firm that represents one of the supposedly accusers in the Swedish case VS. Assange. Mr. Claes Borgström have made no secret on that it was he who took the initiative of reopening the case! In this constellation of “radical-feminists” politicians and collaborators with the disgraceful events mentioned earlier, is worth to mention that Claes Bodström was the Swedish ombudsan för genders issues, while Marianne Ny the chief prosecutor for an special unit dealing with issues associate with women abuse. She was already known in Sweden for advocating “preventive detention” of suspected men accused (not charged) of abusive behavioir. Both offices, Ny’s and respectively Bodström & Borgstrom’s, are stationed in the City of Gothenburg.
Further, Thomas Bodström was also in the same organised ideological faction within the Social Democratic Party called the “Brotherhood”, another member of this faction was one of the so-called accusers. The faction consists of Christian believers and other religions’ disciples. While Thomas Bodström was one of the highest-ranking politicians within the faction, the nominal woman-accuser held the position of secretary.
For his part, Thomas Bodström’s colleague, Mr. Claes Borgström, sat together with prosecutor Marianne Ny in the same governmental committee planning to extend the sexual-crimes legislation of Sweden.
Thomas Bodström and Claes Borgström are in the same ideological line with that of Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny. Ms. Marianne Ny, at the time of reviewing the case presented to her by Claes Borgström, still held a government assignment as a special committee member of a new legislation body studying legislative reforms to exactly the same type of offences described in the “accusations” against Mr. Assange. See further details in “Duckpond in the Swedish legal system“.
d) Other political benefits arising from procrastinating the case:
I refer here to my post “Assange case, a symbol for Swedish right-wing “radical-feminism”; link here.
In true fact, the “Swedish case VS Assange” is after all the political case of the U.S. government against Wikileaks, in Sweden implemented by a constellation of police officers, one prosecutor, and lawyers all being ideological militants of a same extreme “radical-feminism”. The four years of arrest without charges of Julian Assange has also been a symbol of their anti-human rights struggle.
For an extended background, I’d recommend to read a) Who are behind the “Swedish prosecution” of Assange, and Why?, b) Analysis: Snowden document reveals Swedish prosecution of Assange was requested by the U.S., and c) Prestige Of Carl Bildt’s Foreign Office withholds Human Rights of Julian Assange.
A selection of the most determinant issues related to the ‘case’ Assange in Sweden is found in the book Sweden VS. Assange – Human Rights Issues, at Libertarian Books:
This book is free to download. 340 page, PDF file. Direct link: http://media2.libertarianbooks.se/2013/12/SWEDEN-VS.ASSANGE-HUMAN-RIGHTS-ISSUES-By-Prof-Marcello-Ferrada-de-Noli.pdf
(click on image for the NewsVoice article)