From the Swedish original by Expressen’s Mats Larsson.
The British government have grown tired of the circus surrounding Julian Assange. The message from Great Britain’s vice minister for foreign affairs, to Marianne Ny, couldn’t be clearer. Go to London, for heaven’s sake!
Ecuador’s embassy is located in one of London’s best neighbourhoods, a stone’s throw from Harrods. Those four or five British constables stationed outside the embassy have one of the city’s most boring jobs – they’re there should Julian Assange decide to do a runner.
But he’s not about to do a runner. The constables hardly catch a glimpse of him either – he’s shown up on that balcony only a few times.
But of course this exercise costs a lot of money. That’s likely one of the reasons the Brits have tired of it. Another reason is that it’s untenable to let Assange live in a limbo inside that embassy. He’s not even been charged!
Marianne Ny wants to question him in regards to allegations of ‘lesser rape’ and sexual coercion. But Assange doesn’t dare come to Sweden – he’s afraid he’ll be sent straight away to the US.
Ny’s always insisted on conducting the interrogation in Sweden. Assange and his legal team say the interrogation can just as well take place in London.
And now even the British government – in the person of Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire – have come out on Assange’s side. (We should remember the British government aren’t otherwise big fans of WikiLeaks.)
This is what Hugo Swire said in Commons on Tuesday:
Let me make it clear to this house: if she wished to travel here to question Mr Assange in the embassy in London, we would do absolutely everything in order to facilitate that – indeed, we would actively welcome it!
In other words, Marianne Ny, it’s time to go to London. Do it now!
It can hardly be a coincidence that this signal from Great Britain comes but one week before the Svea court of appeal hearing on the Assange motion to have the detention order rescinded.
Assange lost in the district court this past summer, but he’s appealed that decision. And in August, Ecuador’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño traveled both to the UK and to Sweden, to try to break the deadlock.
But we’ve all grown tired of this circus. It’s high time to find a solution.