Skip to content

Appeals court: question Assange in London!

Julian Assange shall remain detained in his absence, the Svea court of appeal ruled today. But the court also admonished prosecutor Marianne Ny to question the WikiLeaks founder in London at the Ecuador embassy.

‘It’s her responsibility if the case comes to a halt, and it’s come to a halt’, said court magistrate Niclas Wågnert.

The court admonished prosecutor Marianne Ny to test ‘alternative means’ to move the investigation forward.

What do you mean by ‘alternative means’?

‘That’s up to her. One way would be to just question him in London.’

It was in July this year that the district court ruled that Assange should remain detained in his absence. The ruling was appealed. Today the appeals court upheld the previous ruling.

‘He was of course disappointed’, says attorney Per E Samuelson.

Samuelson was also instructed to continue to the supreme court.

‘We’ll now study the appeals court ruling in detail and then submit our appeal.’

International pressure to question Assange in London has increased, says Joakim Nergelius, professor at the University of Örebro.

‘We’ve got signals to the effect, not in the least from the British police, that they don’t want to go on guarding the embassy.’

Nergelius says that the appeals court clearly criticised Marianne Ny.

‘You have to see this as a very sharp criticism. And there are things to criticise. Marianne Ny has a duty to move the case forward. It’s in no one’s interest to let things drag on like this for years.’

Nergelius points out that Assange has been waiting in the embassy for two and one half years.

‘That Marianne Ny doesn’t lift a finger to question him there but only says she can’t do it that way – but never explains why – that’s rather remarkable.’

Samuelson interprets the court admonishment of Ny as a sign that they understand she is on thin ice.

‘We were proven right indirectly, but the court didn’t have the civil courage to put their feet down as they should have and rescind the warrant.’

Assange’s request to be given copies of the infamous SMS messages, as well as his request for a preliminary ruling from the European Court, were denied.

Postscript: Statement by Marianne Ny

The Svea court of appeal ruled today that Julian Assange shall remain detained in his absence, on probable cause suspected of lesser rape, unlawful coercion, and two counts of sexual molestation.

‘Julian Assange has of his own accord evaded justice by fleeing to the Ecuador embassy’, said Marianne Ny. ‘My position has been, and still is, that he needs to be available in Sweden for the continuation of the process and a possible trial for the crimes he’s suspected of in Sweden in August 2010.’

The court of appeal ascertained however that the investigation had come to a halt, and they find that the negligence of the prosecutor’s office to test alternative means is in violation of their duty to keep the case moving forward.

‘This has been a complicated case’, says Marianne Ny. ‘And we have continually evaluated this issue. As the appeals court pointed out, there’s all reason to continue to evaluate how the case can be made to move forward.’