Stockholm Syndrome 66

Most of the Stockholm hearing into the Assange case yesterday was held in secret. It is plain from comments on my blog that many people have not grasped this point: if Assange goes to trial in Sweden it will be mostly held IN SECRET. There will be no jury. There will be a judge and two assessors. The assessors are nominated one each by Sweden’s main political parties.

It will not be like the Oscar Pistorius trial, where justice is open and society can form a fair view of the strength of the evidence against the member of society who has been accused. It will be a secret proceeding in which you will hear little more than the verdict. You will never know what the evidence was. All this is to “protect” the false accusers from the public obloquy they so richly deserve.

I have yet to hear a single one of those jumping on the “Assange should face a fair trial” bandwagon address the point that it will be a secret trial, stitched up in advance by Sweden’s political parties who are, to say the very least, CIA-friendly.

I am not therefore in the least surprised by yesterday’s Swedish court verdict, which Assange’s lawyers will appeal, probably pointlessly. The fix is well and truly in.

For me, the most important point at yesterday’s trial was about disclosure. The defence was applying to see the hundreds of texts from and between Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen in the possession of the prosecution, including texts they sent when at the police station making their complaint.

Now in every other legal system I know, those would have to be shown to the defence. Weirdly, in this case they were shown briefly to defence lawyers, but they were not allowed to have copies or write anything down. What on earth can be the purpose of that? Can anybody explain to me any principle of law that might explain why defence lawyers should be allowed very quickly to read them but not have copies or ever see them again?

In the UK, the US, France, Spain, South Africa, Ghana and Russia those texts would have to be available to the defence. Anyone with knowledge of other jurisdictions would be welcome to contribute. The EU has made plain that the ability of Swedish prosecutors to hide evidence tending to innocence is contrary to the human rights of citizens. Accordingly, Sweden has been obliged to amend its law for the first time, to bring it a step towards civilised practice and institute disclosure. This has just happened, and this appeal by Assange was viewed as an important test case for the new duty of disclosure.

The Prosecutors however said that the new Swedish legislation makes plain that they do not have to disclose the case file to the defence. That appears to make some sense, in that the prosecution has to be free to set out its case in court. But it cannot possibly mean that the prosecution can make the EU obligation a dead letter, simply by hiding any evidence that tends to innocence inside the “case file”. That would negate the entire purpose of the new law, and Sweden plainly is still not meeting its international human rights obligation. The hiding of these texts should be a severe concern to anybody whose concern is genuinely for justice.

Finally we have the strange question of the refusal of the prosecutors to advance the case by taking up the offer to conduct initial interviews with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. It is perfectly known procedure for investigative authorities to
travel to conduct interviews in other countries. It happens pretty frequently.

The question here is, what do they have to lose? If they travel to interview Assange in London, and they believe the interview clears up the questions outstanding, that may resolve the case. If they feel it does not clear up the case, then they are still a bit further advanced than they were before, having conducted the interview, and the difficulty of Assange’s physical location will have been no better of worse than today. For the cost of a short haul air ticket, it is truly worth a try.

The prosecutors’ argument against interviewing Assange smacks of desperation. They could not compel Assange to take a DNA swab in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Well, have they asked him if he is willing to provide a sample? Knowing Julian he will happily agree. (You would, incidentally, have to be extraordinary naïve to believe that the security services have not had Assange’s DNA on file for years.)

But what is the DNA sample for. There is no question of identity in this case. Nobody has ever argued that the man who Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen eagerly got into their beds was Julian Assange. The argument concerns the wearing of condoms whilst there. Anna Ardin produced a torn condom, not at her first police interview but several days later, and by then weeks after it had allegedly been used by Assange. She had told police at interview that she “might” be able to find it. One does have to wonder about her sanitary habits that she was able to find an allegedly used condom weeks after the event. Strangely, the torn condom she eventually brought in had nobody’s DNA on it but her own.

Secret courts, no jury, no disclosure of evidence tending to innocence, refusal to interview Assange in London. To believe that this is a genuine attempt to pursue a crime, you need to have had every critical faculty removed.

The trolls will be out big time on comments now. I am more than happy for contrary opinions to be addressed, provided the commenter actually includes a response to the specific points which I make above. Otherwise they will be simply deleted.

66 thoughts on “Stockholm Syndrome

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  • Arbed

    Sorry, Axel, I can answer a little more fully to the second part of your post – about the two reputable Swedish sources saying Wilen is an intelligence asset. One is a very prominant Swedish journalist, the other is – indirectly – an intel source itself.

  • craig Post author

    Bob R

    They do contain material which tends to be exculpatory. If you recall, the defence were allowed to look at then briefly, but not make notes or copies. They believe the material is exculpatory.

  • Paul Barbara

    Totally agree with your post, Craig.

    @Ken 19 Jul, 2014 – 1:16 am
    ‘Can anyone confirm the story that Anna Ardin was deported from Cuba for her CIA links? It could be true, or yet more water muddying.’


    ‘Despite its ‘leftist’ terminology, RSF is a private organization drawing funds from US government sources aiming to destabilize Cuba. It is connected to Cuban émigrés in Miami. Anna Ardin (the official complainant) is often described by the media as a “leftist”. She has ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes (see here and here) in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba. From Oslo, Professor Michael Seltzer points out that this periodical is the product of a well-financed anti-Castro organization in Sweden. He further notes that the group is connected with Union Liberal Cubana led by Carlos Alberto Montaner whose CIA ties were exposed here. Note that Ardin was deported from Cuba for subversive activities. In Cuba she interacted with the feminist anti-Castro group Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White). This group receives US government funds and the convicted anti-communist terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a friend and supporter. Wikipedia quotes Hebe de Bonafini, president of the Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo as saying that “the so-called Ladies in White defend the terrorism of the United States.”
    @ PAЯADOX 17 Jul, 2014 – 11:07 pm
    ‘I think that the day Julian walked into the Ecuadorian embassy he walked into a trap. I don’t believe for one second that Rafael Correa would have allowed him to remain in the embassy purely to extract the political capital useful for his re-election, whilst at the same time damaging relations with the US.
    I think Correa may well have agreed a back-room deal with the US for some concession or other, then he wins on both sides of the equation. He gets political capital and the US get the man they want detained in one place where they can monitor him 24/7. Whilst it’s true that Rafael benefitted from disclosures on Wikileaks he did not owe Julian anything.’
    Er, I don’t think Rafael Correa would go crawling to the US for a mutual favour:
    ‘Ecuador. $88 million CIA plot to assassinate President Correa before February elections By News Bulletin. Axis of Logic Commentary
    RT News. Axis of Logic
    Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013
    Editor’s Comment: For any who may have doubts about Washington’s desire to eliminate President Rafael Correa, consider his consistent defiance of the U.S. since he was first elected President of Ecuador in 2006. He holds a Ph.D. in economics, having been educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States and has earned his credentials as a stalwart revolutionary, standing against US imperialism in Ecuador and all of Latin America. Among the many reasons he is so hated by the US government are:
    •Correa’s unflinching support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias and the Bolivarian Revolution;
    •his stand against the so-called “war on drugs” run by the US in Colombia;
    •his robust response and condemnation of the Colombian government when it carried out the cross-border missile attack on a FARC military camp inside Ecuador on March 1, 2008;
    •his closing of the US Manta Air Base in Ecuador in September, 2009;
    •his $19 Billion law suit against petroleum giant Chevron for polluting the indigenous lands of Ecuador culminating earlier this year;
    •his nationalization of Ecuador’s oil and gas reserves, notably the Amistad oilfield, U.S. Noble Energy Company’s Energy Development Company in 2011, placing them under the state oil company, Petroecuador, and the Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (Celec).
    •Correa’s plan to nationalize the country’s banana export industry
    •his granting of political asylum to Julian Assange in 2012 when the US tried to engineer bogus rape charges against Assange for extradition from England to Sweden and from there to the U.S. where he would have been imprisoned and possibly been executed for revealing U.S. state secrets through Wikileaks.

    •and most recently his passing of a law to raise taxes on the bankers & financial sector before the February election to help raise the standard of living for the poor. In fact, Guillermo Lasso, an entrenched banker from Guayaquil will be the foremost opposition candidate running against him in the presidential elections next month (February 17)

    In addition to Correa’s assault on US imperialism, President Correa was the target of a September 30, 2010 assassination attempt by a band of corrupt Ecuadoran police. There can be little doubt that those police who have now been prosecuted and imprisoned were backed by the CIA with the objective overthrowing the government.

    President Rafael Correa would be a fool to disregard Chilean journalist Patricio Mery’s report of an $88 million CIA plot to assassinate him before next month’s elections.
    – Les Blough, Editor Axis of Logic

    @ Kempe: ‘It seems that the impression we’ve had all these years that Sweden as an open and liberal society (one reason Wikileaks moved their servers there) have been wrong and it’s really a neo-fascist police state that indulges in secret show trials.

    Funny how we never noticed.’

    Er, some of us have noticed!

    (I’ve just put in first ten, for brevity):
    Rank Country Arms export Population Per capita rel.

    1 Sweden 686 9380 73,1343284
    2 Israel 531 7418 71,5826368
    3 Brunei 24 399 60,1503759
    4 Russia 7874 142958 55,0791141
    5 France 2437 62787 38,8137672
    6 Switzerland 297 7664 38,7526096
    7 Netherlands 538 16613 32,3842774
    8 USA 9984 310384 32,1666065
    9 Bosnia-Herzegovina 119 3760 31,6489362
    10 Norway 108 4883 22,1175507

  • Arbed

    An interesting article looking at the possibility that, although Marianne Ny refuses to use Mutual Legal Assistance to question Assange in London (because she’d then have to set out her evidence for UK authorities to assess), she might have filed an MLA request for wiretap surveillance of the Ecuadorian Embassy – something which MI5/MI6/GCHQ would look on favourably as they’d get to retain anything obtained as a result of it that is not directly related to the Swedish case. This could account for the major discrepancy between what the UK govt admits it’s spent on policing the embassy and what it should cost (ie. roughly half the amount). FOI requests for a full break-down of the figures have been met with refusal and some coy references to “national security”:

    Is Sweden’s Prosecutor Secretly Spying on Julian Assange?

  • Arbed

    Transnational cross-posting 🙂

    Hello Out of the Blue,

    Well done, you! Three posts by Anonymare in quick succession – all in the space of 10 minutes. And successful in getting whatever it was that you said which upset them so much off the current page of Flashback… Hmmm, I wonder what that was…? Haha.

    (For anyone wishing to take a peek for themselves, thanks to Anonymare’s efforts Flashback is now on page 5107, so it’s the bottom of pg 5106 you want:

    PS. To DannyK – keep up the good work, DannyBoy, nice Rottweiler technique you’ve got there! Haha.

  • Kempe

    ” Rank Country Arms export Population Per capita ”

    In your world this might relate to how a country administers it’s justice system. To most people it would seem irrelevant.

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