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The Assange Case as a Gender Trap

Swedish attorney Raoul Smitt today posted an op-ed on the country’s leading jurist website Dagens Juridik regarding the standoff at 3 Hans Crescent. Smitt has himself dealt with similar cases. He shows that not only is there no reason to not proceed with an interrogation of Assange by any means possible, but also that were it truly Marianne Ny’s intention to prosecute, then such an interogation would still be the best way to go forward.

Judicial Scandal

The handling of the Assange case is a judicial scandal where gender thinking has clouded people’s judgement. The judicial system has become a playground where logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

That those involved have lost their way goes to show that a lack of judgement, common sense, and integrity irrevocably leads to systemic collapse. And it’d be unreasonable in this context to refuse to recognise Assange’s real fear of being turned over to the US where he’d risk a life sentence.

Good on our supreme court justice Stefan Lindskog who had the integrity to speak out about our international agreements – in this case with the US – on extradition, and thereby weigh in Assange’s case and the ramifications of an extradition, with consideration for what the US claims he’s done against that country.

Stefan Lindskog didn’t choose sides – he merely explained our agreements and the various circumstances that may apply. This was hardly controversial, yet one sees how polarised the case has become. Those who criticise Lindskog are guilty of the same messy thinking that characterises the way the Assange case has been handled.

Moyne & Trustor

A few years ago, I was public defender for Lord Moyne, one of the suspects in the so-called Trustor scam, the investigation of which was the biggest of its kind in our country’s history.

Lord Moyne, a British citizen, was looking at several years in prison – a prospect that Assange, by way of comparison, doesn’t risk if convicted.

But Lord Moyne offered to be interrogated at the Swedish embassy in London. This was a good solution both pragmatically and judicially, if indeed the idea is to move things forward with a modicum of consideration for the suspect. The suspect, lest we forget, may actually be innocent.

The Swedish prosecutor, using the interrogation of Moyne at the Swedish embassy in London, decided to prosecute. Thus the goal of the interrogation – to determine if there was a basis for prosecution – was thereby achieved.

But as those who followed the case may remember, the district court did not share the prosecutor’s opinion, and Lord Moyne was acquitted, and the verdict was not appealed. The pragmatism demonstrated by the prosecutor was sound, and the decision to interrogate Lord Moyne in London was the right one, even for the suspect.

A Shadow Over Sweden

The difference in how the Assange case is being handled is fundamental in nature – but then too, there were no gender issues in the Trustor case.

Further, there are circumstances which, as with the Trustor case, point to Assange being acquitted – with reservation for recent developments in our judicial system whereby criminal courts may evidently now convict when no evidence at all is available (see High Court ruling B2420-12). And because of the way the prosecution authority has chosen to handle the Assange case, it should be difficult – or most likely impossible – to have a “fair trial”.

Of course things would have worked out better had the prosecutor interrogated Assange in Sweden. But this cannot take from the criticism of the prosecution authority which today casts a shadow over our country. It can be noted that an acquittal would not affect Sweden’s ruling on temporary surrender of Assange to the US.

One Comment

  1. Shona Duncan wrote:

    Thank you for your courage to publish this, I know that the scandal involves extrajudicial special FX from your Prime Minister, not the least of which is indiscretion and prejudicial statements. Australia is also paving the way to make extraordinary renditions to the USA more legal under domestic law. All ‘western’ governments are being mislead by the USA who are mislead by Israel. Politics and law, politics and justice, law and morality, the abuse of civilian laws for military purposes.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink