Introduction by Siv O’Neall
As the French leftist newspaper Libération states, the accusations for rape against Julian Assange were intended to “destroy” Wikileaks ‘ (August 22, 2010).
“There have been [headlines in the media] worldwide claiming that I was suspected of rape ( . . . ) And I know from experience that the enemies of WikiLeaks continue to trumpet things even after they were denied.” he says.
Since there is a strong suspicion that political interests are behind the extremely suspicious wheelings and dealings of the Swedish system of justice, we are posting excerpts from an article which was posted in The Standard, New Zealand, on December 4th, 2010 and also by the site Radsoft on December 4th, 2010 “Assange, FSI, Marianne Ny, & The Swedish Media” (FSI—Finers Stephens Innocent is a central London based law firm). There have been contradictory statements by Swedish legal officers ever since this brouhaha started in August 2010. Two women were wrongly quoted by police officers as having been the victims of rape, whereas only one of the women was complaining of anything at all, and definitely not of rape, which was simply the interpretation of the police officer. The accusation of rape was later withdrawn by the woman in question. The expression ‘trumped-up’ charges comes back rather frequently in the writings dealing with this legal scandal.
The accusations have been moving back and forth from rape to sexual coersion and then to coercion. The Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, seems to be the official who has been mishandling this case and made herself guilty of lies and strange delays from the very beginning. She overruled the decision by the previous prosecutor, Eva Finné, without even having seen and talked to Julian Assange who had repeatedly asked to see her.
Excerpts from various sites—Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet (August 21, 2010)
“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is no longer suspected of rape. Therefore he does not have to submit himself to the police.—I do not think there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape, said chief prosecutor Eva Finné in a statement to the press. Allegations of coercion still remain.” (translation by Siv O’Neall)
Wikileaks Julian Assange, Extradition Hearing: Marianne Ny, Swedish Prosecutor Biased? (NowPublic—Crowd Powered Media, UK—February 7, 2011)
Marianne Ny, the Swedish public prosecutor, requesting the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, is biased, the Belmarsh Magistrates Court in South East London heard on Monday.
Julian Assange is now officially wanted in Sweden on a “minor rape” charge. Brita Sundberg-Weitman, a former Swedish judge, appearing on behalf of the Assange defense team, told the UK court that public prosecutor, Marianne Ny, could easily have questioned Assange via Skype or phone instead of requesting the extradition.
Excerpt from the Swedish blog ‘Samtycke nu’ by Göran Rudling: (February 9, 2011)
This blog states essentially what the report by The Standard, New Zealand is saying. ‘När man vet något mer än Statsministern måste man säga något’ (‘When you know something better than the Prime Minister, you have to speak out’)
“On September 1, the investigation of the rape of woman No. 2 was resumed. Even then, Julian Assange was not arrested. Which he should have been, according to Sven Erik Alhem. We must remember that rape is a serious crime and that Eva Finné as late as August 25 wrote off any possible suspicion that Julian was guilty of rape. The fact that a well informed prosecutor did not find anything suspicious in the relationship between Julian and woman No. 2 made the Julian version of what happened all the more important to obtain. It was not done. Marianne Ny let 21 days go by before she showed any interest in questioning Julian. This is extremely strange.” (translation by Siv O’Neall)
Sven Erik Alhem is a former prosecutor and a well-known civil rights lawyer who would have insisted on keeping Assange in Sweden and also accused the Swedish prosecutors of acting far too slowly. The question why the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, did not question Julian Assange during the month that he was still in Sweden after he was suspected of a grave offense last fall has been thoroughly discussed and questioned at the trial here in London.
* * *
Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law. (Excerpts)
All of the drama surrounding the Wikileaks release of US government diplomatic wires I and others do not find surprising. What has been intriguing me more is the behavior of Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny. The available information on her charges and actions against Julian Assange, the founder and head of Wikileaks, indicates that she is driven more by politics than by any respect for the law. Assange’s current lawyer compares her to the role of the infamous Beria in Stalins 1930′s show trials—and from what I can see I’d have to agree. Similarly I fail to see why Interpol is involved for such a minor charge. (Minor corrections for legibility, by SON)
. . .
Assange’s London attorney, Mark Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called “sex by surprise,” which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.
This would not be regarded as rape here or apparently anywhere else apart from Sweden. Specifically in this case it appears to revolve around the use of condoms.
Based on what was said to the police, the on-call prosecutor, Marie Kjellstrand, decided to issue an arrest warrant on charges of rape and molestation, and the next day the story hit the Swedish paper Expressen and newspapers all over the world.
Kjellstrand’s decision was overruled the following day by a higher-level prosecutor, Eva Finné, who withdrew the arrest warrant and said she did not see any evidence for rape allegations.
Then, on Sept. 1, a third prosecutor, [Marianne] Ny, re-opened the rape investigation, implying that she had new information in the case.
. . .
Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange’s two accusers. According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.
. . .
The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.
. . .
That further evidence hasn’t been confected to make the charges less absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes.”
In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!.” Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Neither Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.
. . .
But it is pretty clear that Marianne Ny is not acting for the law in Sweden—she is using the law and the Interpol process on the flimsiest pretext. It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say, and what has been blasted all over the US media.
Sure, Assange should probably answer more questions—if only to get this on again, off again, on again accusation settled. But there is no reason that cannot be done in the relative safety of the embassy in London. Since the charges do not carry a custodial sentence, there should be no reason to put Assange in prison to answer questions. That just makes him an easy-to-get-at target for the various groups that are proposing to kill or imprison him on trumped up charges from countries like the US to which he owes no duty.
Bearing in mind the US policies of grabbing suspects from friendly states with poor legal systems and throwing them into concentration camps like Guantanamo Bay for interrogation, I can see why Assange would not want to put in the control of a show trial prosecutor like [Marianne] Ny.
Marianne Ny is just making an arse of Swedish law and holding it up as a laughing stock to the rest of the world.
The Standard, New Zealand
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep)—The ‘skeleton argument‘ released yesterday by FSI provides a devastating condemnation of Marianne Ny and Sweden. Yet the Swedish media refuse to even link to the document, much less intimate its contents or comment on it.
(The link to the skeleton argument from the Radsoft site is not working any more (strange, isn’t it?), but the one given here is working—so far.)
. . .
The salient—and most interesting—points are:
- Marianne Ny isn’t authorised to issue a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Referring to the 2005 case Enander v The Swedish National Police Board, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that the sole issuing authority in Sweden is the national police board. There’s no evidence this position changed. Moreover, the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) received a request for proof of Ny’s authority on 24 December. Presumably SOCA have contacted Sweden; the Swedes have so far refused to reply.
- A prosecuting authority applying for an EAW must go through several channels. Amongst others, they have to take the matter up with the national prosecutor’s office and the cabinet minister of foreign affairs. Evidently nothing such was done in this case.
- Extradition sought for improper purpose. EAWs can’t be issued for ‘questioning’ which Ny has repeatedly said is all she’s after. Conversely, Ny’s afraid of formally declaring charges for then she’d be required to release all documentation, something she’s made clear she doesn’t want (and refused) to do.
- The purported offences aren’t even extradition offences. Brits have no counterparts to what Ny’s referring to.
The document goes on to clarify the basic positions and reveals even more sordid details about ‘legal procedure’ in Sweden.
√ EAW for questioning only, not for purpose of prosecution. This constitutes an abuse of process.
Ny has repeatedly and publicly stated she sought the EAW simply in order to facilitate a questioning and without yet having reached a decision about prosecution.
Further, Ny’s claim that all the ‘normal procedures for getting an interrogation’ had been ‘exhausted’ is false. Both Hurtig and Assange made repeated attempts to coordinate an interrogation but all such attempts were rebuffed by Ny.
British justice Ouseley found that Assange ‘has expressed, and I see no reason to doubt it, a willingness to answer questions, either over the telephone or some other suitable form of communication if the prosecutors in Sweden wish to put them to him.’
In answer to the above comments, Ny has repeatedly said only that she has ‘no comments.’
Further, Ny stated she was not in touch with Hurtig. This is also false: Hurtig was in constant contact with Ny’s office for all of September but Ny wouldn’t return his calls.
√ Communication with Australian embassy in Stockholm. Ny was in contact with the Australian embassy in Stockholm because they evidently interceded on Julian Assange’s behalf.
. . .
√ European Arrest Warrants are only to be used for the purposes of prosecution. Yet Ny can’t declare an intent to prosecute—she’d have to turn over the full case files.
Ny’s whole idea—the subject of her ‘research’—is to develop a new method of processing cases that not only violates several statutes of law but also brings things back full circle to the witch trials of the 1600s.
√ Mere suspicion isn’t enough for an EAW. This is enforced by the Extradition Act 2003. Lord Steyn of the House of Lords in the decision in Re Ismail:
It is common ground that mere suspicion that an individual has committed offences is insufficient to place him in the category of ‘accused’ persons.
It is also common ground that it is not enough that he is in the traditional phase ‘wanted by the police to help them with their inquiries.’
. . .
The Swedish Media
The Swedish media have of course issued a complete blackout on the above document. There’s a scant mention of some ‘document’ being released but—as opposed to most other conscionable news sources—there is no link. Swedes relying solely on their own news organisations for the truth won’t know of it.
More at the site Radsoft
“Julian Assange’s accusers sent texts discussing revenge, court hears
Björn Hurtig, the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer in Sweden, says the women’s messages contradict their claims”
For a good laugh, see ‘Try Me for Rape Too, Marianne Ny!‘
Sweden’s veteran news anchor Olle Andersson doesn’t miss much in this attack on feminist Sweden. ”I hereby confess I am guilty of sexual abuse and rape of my wife . . .”
LPrent writes for New Zealand’s The Standard and Siv O’Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, where this essay first appeared, and is based in France. Her insightful essays are republished and read worldwide. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.