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Statement by Julian Assange Legal Defence Committee

Assange has not been charged in Sweden or the UK.

The US Department of Justice is trying to prosecute him for ‘espionage’.

This is the reason he was given asylum by Ecuador.

He has been confined to the premises of Ecuador’s embassy in London, unable to see his family, because the UK and Sweden refuse him safe passage to Ecuador.

A collapse of the Swedish preliminary investigation would in no way allow him to leave the embassy of Ecuador.

He cannot leave, because of the risk of arrest by the United Kingdom on behalf of the United States.

The UK has stated its intention to arrest Assange even if the Swedish preliminary investigation is withdrawn.

In no way has Assange or Ecuador obstructed the progression of the Swedish investigation.

Swedish authorities have for three years been offered the option of taking Assange’s statement at the embassy, and they have refused.

Assange has also offered to go to Sweden if the authorities agreed not to transfer him to the United States, and they have refused.

This failure has been rebuked by the highest court in Sweden.

It has been condemned by 59 human rights organisations in a submission to the United Nations.

While the Assange case has stagnated, 44 other people have been questioned by Swedish authorities in the UK during the same period.

By failing to take Assange’s statement at the embassy, Swedish authorities have deprived him of the right to answer false allegations against him that have been widely circulated in the media, but for which he has not been charged.

If the case expires, that deprivation will become permanent, and no formal resolution will be available.

Therefore while this particularly shambolic episode in Swedish justice may be coming to a close, the denial of Julian Assange’s liberty continues.

Gavin MacFadyen

For more information, see here.