The Re-Opening of the Swedish Assange Case Should Be Welcomed 339


That the Swedish investigation into the rape allegation against Julian Assange is being re-opened is something that ought to be welcomed. The alternative would be for this accusation to hang unresolved over Julian’s head forever. The Swedish prosecutors now need finally, as my father used to say, either to piss or get off the pot. They need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge or not.

There is no reason for delay. The Swedish police have had seven years to investigate this case and all the evidence has been gathered and all statements taken – the last being the interview of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2017. Hopefully to review the evidence and decide whether to charge will not now be a lengthy procedure. It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.

In the event that Sweden does wish to try to extradite, that should take precedence over the US request. There are three good reasons for this. Firstly, rape is by far the more serious alleged offence. Secondly, the Swedes entered the process many years before the Americans. Thirdly, the European Arrest Warrant is a major multilateral arrangement that is much more important than the discredited bilateral extradition treaty with the USA.

Julian only entered Ecuadorean political asylum because he feared onward extradition to the USA, not extradition to Sweden.

None of the above detracts from the many problems with the Swedish prosecution, Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor decided no offence had been committed and the case should be closed after the initial investigation, before another Prosecutor decided to reopen the case, as is possible under the Swedish system. That prosecutor, Marianne Ny, herself decided to close the case in 2013, and was instructed not to by the British Crown Prosecution Service, in a series of emails which the CPS attempted to hide and some of which had been destroyed. Ms Ny also admitted to destroying communications from the FBI, and ultimately admitted to having destroyed the entire case file.

That is before you get to the problems with the Swedish judicial system, where rape trials hear all evidence entirely in secret, there is no jury, and two of the three judges are political party appointees.

Plainly, as always in cases involving Assange, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the impartiality of state justice. The United Nations has already condemned the disproportionate sentence given to Assange for breaking bail conditions and his being held in a maximum security prison. It has gone virtually unremarked by the MSM that the Ecuadorean government has, entirely illegally, handed all of Julian’s possessions over to the USA.

Plainly this is a long and difficult fight to save Julian from entrapment and permanent imprisonment. But the Swedish calumny not being simply left hanging is a necessary step in that fight.

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339 thoughts on “The Re-Opening of the Swedish Assange Case Should Be Welcomed

1 2 3
    • craig Post author

      Greg,

      It is sometimes a good plan to read the article before commenting. I quote that incident in the article and give the same link.

      • Greg Park

        Ah good advice indeed. Just amazing though how audacious this sudden Swedish U turn is.

    • Tony

      And, guess who was in charge of the CPS at the time? Step forward Keir Starmer, currently employed as the Establishment’s Corbyn-handler.

  • Jake Pelmet

    “Julian only entered Ecuadorean political asylum because he feared onward extradition to the USA, not extradition to Sweden.”
    I’m sure you said at the time that he feared onward extradition to the US AFTER the Swedish case. You now imply a change in his thinking. Could you clarify?

    • craig Post author

      Frankly it is irrelevant whether before or after. He feared he charges in Sweden were a ruse to get him into custody and then extradited on from Sweden to the USA. The precise handling of the charges in that case making no difference.

      • Blissex

        Another commenter a few weeks go wrote:

        “The reason Assange fought and fled eventually (into political asylum) from the Swedish extradition was because Sweden has a special arrangement with the US which is unusual in normal extradition proceedings. Sweden has an arrangement with the US for “Temporary Surrender”, which means that anyone in Swedish custody who the US wants will be immediately handed over without any real Court process – on the condition that after the US has finished with them they must be sent back to Sweden. This process has been used before and would certainly be used against Assange.
        Assange offered to go voluntarily to Sweden IF he was given a guarantee that he would not be surrendered to the US. Sweden refused.”

        • Martinned

          I understand that Sweden also has a much stronger protection against politically motivated extraditions than the UK does. (Or rather, apparently Sweden has the normal kind, while the UK equivalent was weakened a couple of years ago.)

        • michael norton

          As Sweden is in the European Union and as the United Kingdom, is just, still in the European Union, shouldn’t common judicial values still apply,
          no E.U. state should be extraditing an innocent person to America, for anything, because America will stitch that person up.

      • Jake Pelmet

        I’m afraid he cannot judge his own case. Craig, that’s not justice.

        • pretzelattack

          so refugees from nazi germany should have been sent back to germany, in order to effect your notion of “justice”.

          • Jake Pelmet

            Pretzelattack I agree with your point, alleged perpetrators should have to return to the scene of the crime rather than the alleged victims.

  • Lawrence Anderson Burley

    Craig, in the event that Julian Assange ends up on trial in Sweden, the US will no doubt press the Swedes also for his eventual extradition. What is your view on his respective chances of fair extradition proceedings that take his public interest / publisher argument seriously) in Sweden as opposed to UK?

    • Jack

      Uk have the courage to extradite him much more than Sweden. However Sweden is a US puppet and there are some incidents where Sweden worked to extradite people from their territory with the americans.

      Sweden worked with CIA agents in Sweden to extradite asylum seekers
      “Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad Alzery were two Egyptian asylum-seekers who were deported to Egypt from Sweden on December 18, 2001, apparently following a request from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.[1] The forced repatriation was criticized because of the danger of torture and ill treatment, and because the deportation decision was executed the same day without notifying the lawyers of the asylum seekers. The deportation was carried out by American and Egyptian personnel on Swedish ground, with Swedish servicemen apparently as passive onlookers.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery

        • Martinned

          It’s all relative. As long as I have more of a clue than you and most/all other people in this comments section, I see no need to be quiet.

        • John A

          The Swedish government financially supports the Atlantic Council, Sweden engages in joint exercisses with NATO. A majority of Swedes are in favour of staying neutral, as shown regularly by opinion polls, but supine US vassal politicians are desperate to join NATO. Sweden also financially supports Ukraine and immediately acknowledge Gauido as Venezuelan president. The Swedish msm is full of Russian scare stories even though there are far more infringements of Swedish air and other territory by NATO vessels. Former Swedsih prime minister Bildt was a CIA informer.
          The whole ‘case’ against Assange is politically motivated to curry favour with the US.

          • pretzelattack

            if i undjerstand you, you’re asking what benefit the u.s. could have from making sweden their tool?

          • nevermind

            Well said John A, and when it suits the US to accept EU jurisdiction, i.e. the EAW, it uses it despite its loathing of the ICC when it comes to US citizens/serving soldiers/staff held for any charges here. They are whisked away within 48hrs.

            Should countries that do not accept the ICC’s jurisdiction be partial to using the EAW for their own derisory purposes?

        • Ingwe

          Martinned @12:33-so what? Being in NATO is not a necessary condition to being a US puppet.

    • Martinned

      If Sweden tried to extradite Assange to the US, the UK would have to consent. (Art. 28 EAW Framework Decision.) So then he’d be able to litigate his extradition in two jurisdictions simultaneously.

      • Ingwe

        Yes Martinned. And I expect that Mr Assange is mightily heartened by the prospect of the UK not consenting to Sweden extraditing him to the USA. Naïve or what?

        • Sharp Ears

          Don;’t waste your time on Martinned. He only comes on here to defend the gangsters-in-charge and to divert and disrupt.

          • Charles Bostock

            Martinned is hardly diverting or disrupting, surely? He seems to be writing very much on topic, so no diversion. He can only be said to be disrupting if disagreeing with the majority view equals disrupting. Surely no one would support that definition?

      • Jake Pelmet

        Martinned. Not if the US extradition isn’t processed, as is the case now. That is a month away at least.

    • N_

      If Julian Assange goes to any country that has an extradition agreement with the US, the US will file a formal extradition request within about 10 minutes of him going through immigration.

  • Jack

    Not surprising – its a mockey of justice. However, while UK have the guts to extradite Assange to the US, Sweden lack that courage.
    Consider the ridiculous handling by swedish authorities on the charges against Assange (from closing it to suddenly opening it and so on) I guess a trial, if it it leads to that – Assange would win that case.

    • Robyn

      I have for years been reading every article and comment I come across about Julian Assange and every time somebody mentions ‘charges’ against him I leap in and write a correction. I must have done it dozens of times. Craig has beaten me to it this time. From this article:

      ‘It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.’

  • intp1

    It seems highly likely that The US and it´s poodles think that a Swedish step is a better bet, so while I agree that the Swedish case is on the face of it ludicrous, why do they want it?

    Is the UK reluctant to be seen to do the dirty? With the Govt on a Brexit back foot?
    Is the Swedish system more pliable from without, in terms of the ¨rape¨ charge or the extradition? The British/US extradition agreement couldn´t be more favorable to the US. (You will send us your detainees without question or even without charges and we will never, ever send any to you)

    Do they prefer a delay? Is the rape conviction a political done deal, with extradition also guaranteed? What is their game?

    • Martinned

      Yes, arranging for Assange to be sent to Sweden instead of to the US is a devious US-led conspiracy! It all makes sense now…

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        It may be that the US deep state would rather that Assange be banged up in Sweden. Even if the “rape” case collapses, he might spend years in prison fighting an extradition request.

        Also, there is (only slight) chance that Trump may pardon Assange in the run-up to 2020. I am fairly certain that Trump will win re-election but pardoning the “man who helped him prove he was right all along about the lying Democrats” would surely boost his campaign.

        Perhaps the US establishment wants to circumvent any pardoning.

        • Martinned

          Well, pre-trial detention would be much less likely if the authorities could trust him to turn up for court when he’s supposed to…

          • pretzelattack

            and they could have ensured that by promising not to extradite him to the u.s. not a hard thing to do, surely.

          • nevermind

            Utter rubbish, Julian has kept to past bail condition in Norfolk, until it became apparent that the US had secret agreements with Sweden there was no need for him to be worried or go into the Ecuadorian embassy. To say that he is a serious risk to abscond is totally unfounded.

    • N_

      “The British/US extradition agreement couldn´t be more favorable to the US. (You will send us your detainees without question or even without charges and we will never, ever send any to you)”

      That sounds just like the visa, academic, electronic spying, military base, and nuclear weapons arrangements between the two countries. Why does any country that’s not a “dependency” of the more powerful country ever sign such an agreement?

      I’ve no idea what the Swedish game is. It could be simply that the agency running the Swedish brand image wants to get the country’s name in the international media as a “serious player”. (Remember when they “hunted” for that “Russian submarine”?) If ordered by the US embassy, I doubt there’s much difference between Britain and Sweden in how “yes sir, three bags full sir” their “helpfulness” will be.

      • Blissex

        «Why does any country that’s not a “dependency” of the more powerful country ever sign such an agreement?»

        Because in operetta kingdoms like here or Kuwait or Brunei or several banana republics the personal fortunes of the elites are “guaranteed” by the 101st Airborne. In the UK the redjackets used to be employees, and the english elites knew the redjackets would protect from the “rabble”; but the necessities of WW1 and WW2 have required raising unpaid citizen armies, that is that same “rabble”, so no protection there. In such cases usually elites entrust the protection of their fortunes to some foreign power, or just move their fortunes abroad to financial institutions under the protection of some foreign power. The UK elites did the latter in the 1930s, moving the financial parts of their fortunes from London to New York, as the “rabble” started voting Labour, but they still have vast holdings of manors, palaces and lands, they would really hate for the “rabble” to tax or confiscate them. And when an elite entrusts their fortunes to foreigners, they know they have to be obedient, and “suzerainty” (limited sovereignty) is the result.

        Then there is a special circumstance: given England’s brutal defeat in WW2, the feeling was that it could not defend itself, not against Hitler or Tojo, and certainly even less so against Stalin. So this was the result:

        http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1986/jun/18/foreign-affairs-2#S6CV0099P0_19860618_HOC_479
        “When NATO was set up in 1948, the commander of the United States air force who arrived in Britain with the advance guard of the American forces to be stationed here said: “Never before in history has one first-class power gone into another first-class power’s country without any agreement. We were just told to come over and ‘We shall be pleased to have you’.””

        Fear of some foreigners can turn a country (even one that had been a first-class power but no more) to seek the protection of other foreigners.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    “It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.”

    The “charged with” doesn’t really apply because under Civil Law systems, “charges” (or the equivalent) are only entered when the prosecutor begins the court case against the suspect. In the Netherlands, you are “suspected” of something during the preliminary investigation and only “accused” of something when the investigation is completed and the prosecutor is ready to move to trial.

    But it is true that Assange is formally still only “under investigation” by the Swedith authorities.

  • fredi

    They are making an example out of Assange. He is being uses to sow fear into the minds of those who ‘speak truth to power’.
    The poor man probably faces an even more dismal future.
    The powers who do this to him seem oblivious of the fact that the millions of us who are following his treatment are fully aware of what happens to people who put their heads above the parapet. That doesn’t change our views, or make us give up, it just hardens our feelings towards those who wield such power over countless lives.
    We see this attitude across the political spectrum these days, as the traditional phony left /right dialectic crumbles as it’s exposed for the lie it is.

  • Goose

    The most depressing aspect is how our laws, justice systems and the ‘rules-based international order’ which our govts are so fond of lecturing other countries about, seem to be flexible sham as we regress back to tribal vendettas & score settling. As powerful elites make a mockery of our legal systems and histories while the MSM is either impassive or at worst supportive(guardian).

    From the clear lack of objectivity in the CPS correspondence, through to the effective detention; the political interference and unique treatment. Through to questions around those making the accusations. Nothing seems to be being done by the rule book wehen it comes to Assange.

    • Tom Welsh

      My thoughts exactly, Goose. Increasingly it is a question of “are you in our gang or are you an obnoxious reject?” – where each gang has concentric circles of membership, and only the innermost circle get near-immunity from the law.

      Assange’s persecution, obviously, arises from his having “betrayed” the US establishment’s innermost circle, by publishing things it thought were safely secret and hidden from the proles.

      As David Graeber and others have pointed out, the purpose of propaganda and political lies is mainly to force everyone to make a choice. Although the lies would not deceive a child, to be accepted as a member in good standing of “our gang” you must pretend to believe them.

      Any civilized human being, who insists on examining facts and figures to determine the truth objectively, and who shares this project with others, is automatically beyond the pale and outcast from almost all societies.

      In Assange’s case, it’s particularly important to understand that even Mr Putin has expressed official disapproval of what he, Manning and Snowden did. For Mr Putin, the most important thing apparently is that citizens always obey the law – even when it is obviously and openly immoral.

      I find that disappointing.

  • remember kronstadt

    parking Julian in the arctic circle gets him off the news and keeps him hostage to encourage the others. there’s no interest in justice here just torment from a declining empire that is both bitter and petty.

  • TJ

    My client Julian Assange would not get a fair trial in Sweden
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jul/02/julian-assange-not-fair-trial-sweden

    My guess is if he goes to Sweden he will be charged and will be subject to pre-trial detention for the rest of his life in solitary confinement.

    “The power of the Executive to cast a man in prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government, whether Nazi or Communist.” – Sir Winston Churchill

    • Jack

      It is a disgrace,

      Bogus rape charges
      Bogus hacking charges
      A 7 year “House arrest” at Ecuador
      He have no way out!
      Pressure like this easily cause a subject to become suicidal.

  • Alf Gardener

    It is not worth noting, but it has been noted that “its worth noting” is current favourite of yours. Plainly (another fave) you are milking this for all it’s worth.
    Although pneumatic Pamela may have her detractors, but at least she’s actually doing something worthwhile in raising awareness.

    As pneumatic Pam said, write to him. Do you know his prisoner number, Craig ? I now do, and have written him a short message of support.

    Put it out there, or I shall! Man up!

  • remember kronstadt

    “Assange and his ilk seek personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.” Mike Pompeo. Price of everything, which he doesn’t pay, and the value of nothing.

    • Goose

      ‘Assange and his ilk’ are like a stress test for our systems.

      And so far, it seems our judicial systems are proving they aren’t fully independent and our commitment to human rights can be put aside when inconvenient.

      Tbh, from summary executions in the form of overseas drone strikes, to increasingly draconian sentences for domestic whistleblowers. To those involved in torture being promoted. The elites are acting more and more like the cruel tyrants of yore. The fact their wealthy friends own our main source of information – the MSM – compounds the accountability problem.

  • Simon

    There’s a very good article in this month’s Le monde diplomatique on the abandoning of Assange by msm, by Juan Branco. No new facts, but he pulls the camera back to give the thing the perspective it needs. It would be worth searching online in translation.

  • Sharp Ears

    Your optimism that the case(s) will be over quickly was contradicted by appalling reportage of the BBC on the One O’clock News. Clive Myrie in the studio and Angus Crawford (outside Belmarsh – why?) piled on the agony. You would think Julian was up on a double homicide charge.

    Between them, they could not decide whether Sweden or the US take precedence. It’s just a game to the BBC.

    • Martinned

      It’s actually not an easy call. I’d predict Sweden, but purely because of the politics of the matter.

      For reference, here is what the EAW framework decision says:
      Article 16: Decision in the event of multiple requests
      1. If two or more Member States have issued European arrest warrants for the same person, the decision on which of the European arrest warrants shall be executed shall be taken by the executing judicial authority with due consideration of all the circumstances and especially the relative seriousness and place of the offences, the respective dates of the European arrest warrants and whether the warrant has been issued for the purposes of prosecution or for execution of a custodial sentence or detention order.
      (…)
      3. In the event of a conflict between a European arrest warrant and a request for extradition presented by a third country, the decision on whether the European arrest warrant or the extradition request takes precedence shall be taken by the competent authority of the executing Member State with due consideration of all the circumstances, in particular those referred to in paragraph 1 and those mentioned in the applicable convention.

  • Babak Fakhamzadeh

    Craig, earlier (April 27), you were convinced a Swedish warrant would not come. It now appears very likely it will. How does that change your narrative from two weeks ago?

    • craig Post author

      Actually I still don’t think a warrant will come. I think they will reopen the case but it won’t go anywhere given the dearth of evidence.

      • Northern

        Given what people including yourself have said about Swedish sex trials, would it not be relatively simple for them to conduct the whole thing behind closed doors and declare him guilty, even if the evidence doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, assuming those are the orders given by the Americans? More likely it’s just another round of Assange = rapist mental conditioning to undercut resistance to the eventual US extradition (from the UK or Sweden) though I’d think.

        I would like to see more in the media of both of Julian’s Swedish accusers. Obviously I can understand the need for sensitivity in these cases, but I have seen precisely ZERO of them in the main stream news even though their information is out there. I assume this is because one of them can’t be trusted to stick to the agenda now perhaps?

  • Ian

    It’s a pity Assange didn’t just go to Sweden seven years ago and clear his name. Particularly as we now learn that the Obama administration came to the conclusion that they couldn’t prosecute him without also prosecuting the NYT. The Trump administration is infinitely worse in their maliciousness. But I agree, he is better off taking his chances in Sweden than here.

    • pretzelattack

      he was there. he cooperated in the investigation. the original prosecutor closed, or had determined to close, the case. after he went to britain they reopened it, and going back to sweden entailed a very real risk of being extradited to the u.s. he had no way of knowing what the obama administration would do, but it’s not like obama had a reputation for taking it easy on whistleblowers.

      • Borncynical

        Indeed. The case was originally investigated, as soon as the allegations were made in 2010, with JA in attendance and interviewed. The prosecutor decided there was insufficient reason to raise charges and JA was told that the investigation was closed and he was free to leave the country whenever he wished. He duly did. But when he was subsequently in the UK a second prosecutor in Sweden re-opened the case although there was, apparently, no additional evidence to add to the case file. They requested his extradition to Sweden from the UK. JA believed that re-opening the case was an indirect means to have him extradited to the US and that was the point at which he claimed political asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy.

    • Tom Welsh

      From what I know of events then, if Assange had returned to Sweden “to clear his name”, he would have found that the authorities took no interest in him.

      Until he finally left Sweden again – when they would have renewed their clamour.

  • Alexander

    HMG is probably very well aware of the scandal that would brew if they were to comply with an American request to extradite him over there.

    His lawyers would certainly bring up the word “torture” if he were to be handed over to the woman Haspel – the general public would not like it, whatever the press and the BBC try and stir up.

    Quite possibly, the almost maximum sentence he received was partly to buy HMG time. This would be a hot potato for any government, right or left.

    And if he were released tomorrow, where would he go?

    • michael norton

      A Lawyer has claimed this is being re-started by her client, a “rape” victim of Julian.
      Is the client the woman who was said to have been working for the CIA?

      • michael norton

        It has been said by the Swedish Presecutor that Assange will be allowed out of prison in England, when he has served half his sentence

        six months.

    • Goose

      ‘This would be a hot potato for any government, right or left.’

      Not really. Remember, Theresa May has blocked two extradition orders from the US over alleged computer crimes: Gary McKinnon and Lauri Love. And the alleged crimes were far more serious than those Assange is accused of .

      Turning down extradition request for Assange would be easy for a Corbyn led Labour govt.

      I honestly think that’s why this his removal from the embassy came about recently. The US knew an election in the UK meant he’d walk out the embassy a hero to his supporters. They couldn’t allow him that ‘victory.

      • Alexander

        The trouble is, the CIA have a very personal grudge against Julian, who was the cause of huge global embarrassment to them by – in particular – publishing Vault 7. That was very major egg on Langley’s face. The two fellows you mention were, begging their pardons, just random computer nerds. This is different and I wonder how a Labour administration would cope with the issue.

        In the meantime, he will be talking to his gaolers.

        And where can he go when he gets out, and be safe from these US successors to the NKVD?

        • Goose

          I can understand why the CIA etc would be pissed about Vault 7 : exploits that were thousands of man hours in development, no doubt at huge cost, suddenly made public and lost.

          However, they could easily be in Chinese or Iranian or Russian hands in exchange for monies, without the CIA even knowing. So WikiLeaks merely highlighted the problems agencies are having protecting all these exploits they are hoarding. Same with NSA /GCHQ tools that’s somehow become public.

    • Tom Welsh

      HMG may also be aware of the precarious position they currently occupy – with an 11% share of the poll concerning EU voting intentions. The last thing they need is to add in any way to their already immense unpopularity.

    • Charles Bostock

      Alexander

      There’s any number of nice countries he could go to, even if you except Russia (another commenter has told us that Mr Putin disapproves of Assange’s actions). There’s Venezuela, for example. Or Iran (but he’s have ti keep it zipped up there…). Or even North Korea!

      • Alexander

        Yes, that is the point I was making.

        As the rich guys in the ex Soviet countries used to say: For our friends, we have everything – but for our enemies, we have the law!

        Anyone who wants that system imported into the UK has obviously never experienced it.

    • remember kronstadt

      quite right Richard – come on Craig and allow donations by card please?

      • Robyn

        Mastercard may be OK, not sure of Visa’s current position. From the Wikileaks site, 2013:

        MasterCard has broken ranks in the US-linked banking blockade against WikiLeaks. For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables.

        • Charles Bostock

          Robyn

          If the banking blockade is illegal, why hasn’t Wikileaks sued?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The position seems more one for global political pressure ( be that by way of UN/formal international scrutiny – or international public opinion being continually informed outside the MSM) rather than one of hoping for any fair Swedish process to operate:-

    A. The Swedish prosecutor for reasons stated in Murray’s article seems ab initio compromised.
    B. So, if the file is totally unavailable/lost ( ha…ha… indeed) then there is a simple solution.
    C. Assange is not going anywhere just now and his new address formally the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, is I hope known to the
    Swedish authorities is known ( hopefully – not lost like Assange’s files):-

    i) No doubt as before he is amenable ( definitely accessible) for a ‘new’ interview.
    ii) In short order ( we hope) upon request from the Swedish authorities to the UK Government any number of prison visits can and
    ought to be granted for Assange’s interview by the Swedish authorities.
    iii) Thereafter Sweden can, on a fully informed basis, can decide what next legally needs to be done.

    The whole Swedish approach in a word is ‘pathetic’ – but let it play and let a decision be made.

  • John Gilberts

    Further developments…

    Ecuador Will Give Julian Assange’s Embassy Computers and Files to the US

    https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/05/13/inenglish/155773550_398996.html

    “Baltasar Garzon, a former crusading judge who is now Assange’s lawyer, has described the latest decision as ‘an absolute violation of the institution of asylum by Ecuador’. ‘It is incomprehensible that the country that afforded him protection is now taking advantage of its privileged position to turn over his belongings to the country that is persecuting him. These belongings will be seized without a court warrant, without protecting the rights of political refugees, without respecting the chain of custody,’ added Garzon.

    “Aitar Martinez, one of the lawyers in the legal team defending the Australian activist, says that Ecuador’s recent initiatives are ‘a manifest and radical violation of the right to a defense, since these documents and devices contain all of [Assange’s] communications with his lawyers and his legal documents. This is confidential material that will allow the US to come up with new charges to request his extradition…”

    • Tom Welsh

      The government of Ecuador is obviously been run by US agents – paid or otherwise.

      Why do the Ecuadorean people accept this situation, which is obviously incompatible with anything resembling democracy?

      The rule of thumb is that, if Washington calls a government “democratic”, it isn’t. Whereas if a government really is democratic, Washington calls it “communist”.

      • Borncynical

        Tom,

        “Why do the Ecuadorean people accept this situation…”

        I acknowledge that your comment relates to the generality of the Ecuadorean Govt being controlled by the US. But I was encouraged to see on RT, immediately after Ecuador handed over Assange for their bounty payment, scenes of thousands (literally) of Ecuadoreans in Quito peacefully demonstrating against their Government for their treatment of Assange and for handing him over to the UK police. Many of their population appear to have scruples that are sadly lacking in the UK. Needless to say, none of this was shown on MSM in the UK.

        J.

  • Simon Floth

    “and ultimately admitted to having destroyed the entire case file.”

    The link you embedded there doesn’t show that. I’ve heard it from elsewhere, attributed to Stefania Maurizi, but cannot find primary documentation.

    Some who suppose it is true (as I do) have associated concern that the text messages from the women that count in Assange’s favor have thereby been disappeared as evidence. It could be hard to “clear his name” in that case.

  • Jake Pelmet

    Why doesn’t Sweden present the evidence to Julian and Craig and ask them to rule on this case. Surely that will ensure the alleged victim gets justice?

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Judge Craig -yes.

      Judge Julian – no ( conflict of interest) and further for reason of his long confinement, his judgment is already impaired, and so he may pronounce himself – “guilty as charged”.

      • michael norton

        Someone should ask our Justice Secretary
        “is it true you pressured Sweden to renew the legal tactics against Julian, after you had dropped them, some time ago”

        If true, why would the U.K. be putting the squeeze on Sweden, to re-look in to Julian?

        This is very, very important for the rest of us.

    • Tom Welsh

      What I don’t understand is why any civilised person would ever visit Sweden.

  • Sean Lamb

    Not really an argument Craig could make with a straight face, but the extradition to Sweden must surely take priority as the statue of limitations runs out next year and there is the grave danger the alleged victim in this case might be deprived on justice on a technicality.

    Whereas the US indictment is already lodged in a court and will keep indefinitely.

    • Sean Lamb

      Although Assange has a 900 000 pound debt in Sweden for the costs of the previous two investigations that the Supreme Court has ruled he is liable for.

  • John A

    I have just watched a video interview in Swedish media with Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer representing one of the women. It is only just over 1 minute long, but the look on her face is like the proverbial cat that got the cream. Even if you dont understand Swedish, her smugness can be seen in spades

    https://www.svd.se/advokat-massi-fritz-valdigt-gladjande

    • Sean Lamb

      Well, John, lets not forget, this is a great day for women – apparently.

    • Borncynical

      I pricked my ears up when she came out with the comment “Nobody is above the law”. It was almost as if Mrs May’s script writers had written her monologue for her.

  • N_

    Do we know the name of the CPS official who pressured the Swedish prosecutor to keep the Swedish case open?

    The CPS seems to have redacted his name before they handed Stefania Maurizi copies of emails after she took them to court in a FOI case.

    The Guardian say the guy has “since retired”. Did he “do a Challenor”, as it used to be called in the London police? In any case, how could his action have possibly been in furtherance of the CPS’s remit? How could it have been lawful? How about a judicial review of it?

    Someone should name the c***, for starters. I think Stefania Maurizi would have done, if she’d known his name. So the British poshboys are keeping it quiet.

    Rule of thumb: always personalise, because they don’t like it up ’em.

    • N_

      That didn’t take long 🙂

      His name appears to be Paul Close. Certainly The Unnamed CPS Lawyer (TUCL) and Paul Close share a liking for square brackets (there are other sources for that too) and for exclamation marks, and Close retired from the CPS in 2014, after which the CPS claims it destroyed many of his emails.

      • N_

        Here is some background on how a number of CPS lawyers have been handed large “voluntary redundancy” payments after getting cases into a pickle.

        How old is Close? There’s no currently practising barrister of that name. Maybe he qualified as a solicitor, or perhaps he didn’t qualify in either of those branches. All I’ve seen him called is a “lawyer”. In Britain any person can call themselves a lawyer, accountant, doctor, surveyor, etc. Basically he had a job at the CPS and probably got lunched by the US embassy.

        Apply for a judicial review and publish 100 questions for the b****** to answer.

  • Jackrabbit

    et tu, Craig?

    Many took issue with your agreeing with the Blairites, saying that there was a good chance that Sweden would re-open the case despite your skepticism that they would do so.

    Now that the investigation has been re-started and the intent to seek extradition to Sweden is clear, you are determined not to see the danger in Assange’s being extradited to Sweden.

    Your assertion that “Julian only entered Ecuadorean political asylum because he feared onward extradition to the USA, not extradition to Sweden” is demonstrably false as explained by Blissex’s comment at 12:07. Assange sought to avoid extradition to Sweden because it is highly likely that he will be sent to USA from Sweden. The fact is, British law (there is precedent for refusing extradition for computer crimes) and public opinion are not favorable for an extradition from UK to US but an extradition from Sweden to US would be very easy AND would skirt any UK conditions on extradition (as they would apply only to Sweden, not USA).

    • pretzelattack

      we will see what the u.s. reaction is; if they engineered it, they will welcome it and not fight sweden in court, or conduct a propaganda campaign to get sweden to drop the charges.

  • Mist001

    It’s like I said previously on here, Julian has become too hot to handle. He’ll go to Sweden for two reasons. 1, The UK wants rid of the problem and 2, the UK doesn’t want to be seen as the ones handing him over to the USA, so the simple way to resolve it is to shift the problem onto someone else.

    • N_

      @Mist001 – In which market do you think the British poshboy regime would take a public relations hit if they were to hand Julian Assange over to the US? It’s not as if they sell their territory as a safe haven for filthy rich refugees from the US. From Russia, yes, but not from the US.

    • John A

      The Swedish lawyer representing one of the women, ref my post above, claims in the interview that the British authorities have hinted Assange will only serve half his sentence for skipping bail. I.e. six months. It would appear then, that the rush is to raise another extradition order from Sweden for this ‘rape’ and the British will hand him over sometime in the last summer. Sweden is a total vassal of the US these days. I imagine Assange’s feet would barely touch Swedish soil before he is renditioned across the Atlantic. As we have seen so many times over the past decades, US ignores international law. Even now, they are planning elderly care facilities for prisoners in Guartanamo as they never intend to put them on trial, simply keep them on Cuba till they die.

    • Goose

      @Mist001

      I don’t think the UK under the current govt would have any such compunctions about extradition. The UK will have been just as pissed off over the things like the diplomatic cables and more recently the Vault 7 toolkit as the US was. WikiLeaks is probably the scariest thing out there for the US and UK govts and covert ops. The MSM news rooms arte probably riddled with informants, so investigative stories can be shut down, WikiLeaks is a whole different matter.

      Someone like the current Home Secretary, or Jeremy Hunt, or PM Boris Johnson would relish handing him over themselves, if they could.

      Really, there is no love for Assange from them, they don’t give two figs about his well being (look how Javid lifted the UK’s objection to the death penalty being available for that ‘British pair’ caught in Syria). And also they’re all trying to ingratiate themselves with the US administration as future leaders.

  • writeon

    I dunno. This affair, I have difficulty terming it a ‘case’, is bizarre. Given the extraordinary weakness of the Swedish ‘case’ against Assnage, shown by their unwillingness to actually charge him with anything at all, after so many years, I’m at a loss to comprehend why they are doing this? Is it just a ‘face-saving’ exercise by the Swedish moral super-power, which is how they see themselves, or is it because the US and UK authorities want them to do this? The UK and the US don’t even need to put pressure on the Swedes for them to aim to show their willingness to serve and please the great powers involved in the battle to silence Assange and Wikileaks.

    But surely the Swedes have to charge him with something, finally? Are they going to start extradition procedings without charges, again! How is this going to be possible now that the UK’s law has been changed so that extradition under the terms of the UAW can’t take place merely for questioning. As I understand it, today there have to be serious charges before a suspect is extradited. Whilst ‘rape’ sounds very serious and dramatic, what kind of Swedish ‘rape’ are we actually talking about here? As the sex was consensual how can it be the most serious type of ‘rape’ under Swedish law? That the Swedish prosecutor didn’t define what kind of ‘rape’ she was taliking about, what degree of ‘rape’, I’m really confused. Why was she so vague? Then she started on about another interview with Assange, another interview, how on earth will that materially change anything at this stage? Did they simply forget to ask him something relevant last time?

    • Tom Welsh

      “But surely the Swedes have to charge him with something, finally?”

      Well, Writeon, you have hit the nail on the head. Do they have to charge him with something – or does their surrealistic version of “justice” allow them to play cat and mouse with him indefinitely? I would guess the latter, given the increasingly close resemblance of the whole farce to one of Kafka’s novels.

      “Someone must have been telling lies about Julian A.; he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested”.

  • writeon

    How do the Swedes hope to get Assange extradited when the case against him is so transparently weak? They can no longer extradite him for questioning under the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant, because, as I understand it the UK changed the law to stop that happening to anyone. Futhermore, they will have to prove in a English court that the charges they eventually raise against Assange are crimes in the UK too. So charging him with using a split condom and turning that into ‘rape’ is gonna be rather difficult in my opinion. Is this all just PR to link Assange’s name with ‘rape’ again and undermine his position in relation to public opinion in the UK?

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