Skip to content

‘Promptly’?

By Planboksbok at the Flashback forum.

Now, as our thread runs in low gear through the holiday season, and as our aces at the offices of the country’s prosecution authority hopefully get their act together and undertake their intrepid journey to faraway London to interrogate Julian Assange, perhaps we have some time to reflect on a few things.

Such as whether the agreement between Sweden and Ecuador will be ready by the time they journey out again. For such an agreement is required for almost all countries outside the EU in order to interrogate for criminal proceedings at an embassy or in another country.

This bit about an agreement being required: most of us already knew. Certainly most people working with law already knew. But sadly Marianne Ny did not. She evidently thought it was peachy enough to reach an agreement between herself and the accused’s Swedish attorneys!

Then too she sent her assistant Ingrid Isgren, police interrogator Cecilia Redell, and press representative Karin Rosander, all three, on a win or lose adventure, despite not having received Ecuador’s go-ahead.

Yes, what a stupid and incompetent person Marianne Ny seems to be. Although there’s of course the possibility that she’s playing dumb in order to make it look like she’s trying to get a hearing but failing oh so miserably – who knows what’s most likely there.

Ever since Julian Assange reported to the London police back in December 2010, almost five years ago, he’s made it patently clear that he wants to be interrogated. Julian’s attorneys and his representatives at the Ecuadorean Embassy have done the same many times. Marianne Ny’s cute little lapdog ‘Anonymare’ at the Flashback forum keeps claiming that this isn’t true, but we all know it is, and as we all know by now, the lapdog ‘Anonymare’ functions as Marianne Ny’s parrot in the forum – and of course has never been able to back up a single claim.

What’s more interesting is why Marianne Ny has categorically refused to interrogate Julian Assange in London. Marianne Ny is not only a prosecutor – she’s also the prosecutor who overruled the decision of a chief prosecutor in Stockholm who’d already closed the case, she’s also the prosecutor who decided to reopen the case and also appoint herself the new chief investigative officer, and she’s also the prosecutor who not only resumed the case but extended it with an additional five (5) new accusations – this without anything at all having been added to the investigation.

Marianne Ny didn’t want to interrogate Julian Assange right away, didn’t want to give the suspect a chance to tell his version of events, someone who’d been accused of rape and other things and who’d been portrayed as such in the world’s media. Oh no – Marianne Ny showed she thinks it’s more important to hear what Sofia’s colleagues at work think, people who’ve never even met Julian Assange, more important to hear what AA’s friends and acquaintances heard from AA about Julian Assange – things such as not showering and not flushing the toilet at nighttime. To Marianne Ny, hearsay like this from third parties is far more important than testimony from a principal witness.

And where did her ‘flight risk’ and ‘obstruction of justice’ get off to? The things that were ever so important before, so she could request full restrictions on incarceration, things that became the main justification for requesting a warrant in the first place? The prosecutor who let her precious prey slip through her fingers before she tried to close the trap?

‘Promptly’?

The word ‘promptly’ occurs frequently in legal texts dealing with the rules and regulations governing prosecutorial work. ‘Promptly’ – appropriate when describing Eva Finné’s actions when, after only a few hours, she quashed the arrest of Julian Assange. ‘Promptly’ – appropriate when describing how Eva Finné closed the main part of the Assange case after a mere three days. ‘Promptly’ – again appropriate when describing how Eva Finné closed the entire case after a mere five days. And ‘promptly’ is appropriate to describe how Eva Finné managed to interrogate Julian Assange about the misdemeanour part within ten days.

But to describe anything done by Marianne Ny with the word ‘promptly’ is to grossly mislead. Marianne Ny has consistently refused to interrogate Julian Assange in London because it’d be detrimental to her outstanding investigative work. Everyone knows that it’s the duty of Marianne Ny – and only Marianne Ny – to further the investigation, but no one thinks she’s done that, not even the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of the country.

On the contrary: both courts saw that the case had stalled, and both wondered why Marianne Ny hadn’t tried other means to move it forward. They both found that there were, under the circumstances, good reasons to quash the warrant, but concluded that in the public interest, the case should be (at last) moved forward by Marianne Ny. And Marianne Ny was of course by now promising that she’d interrogate Julian Assange in London…

So we’re forced to conclude that, in practice, a Swedish prosecutor has the means to arbitrarily detain anyone and then do absolutely nothing for as long as she wants – and should a court of appeal or even the supreme court ask her what’s going on, she can just tell them ‘oh yes of course I’ll get around to that in due time’, and then she’s spared egg on her face from them overruling her and quashing her warrant.

This is outrageous, mind-boggling. Can’t someone review this?

‘Nothing surprises me anymore’

An interview with the original attorney for Julian Assange 1 September 2010.

‘Nothing about this case surprises me anymore. Two prosecutors want to serve a suspicion of rape on my client, whilst a third prosecutor says there are no grounds whatsoever’, says Leif Silbersky, attorney for Julian Assange.

Leif Silbersky, Sweden’s most renowned attorney, says it was a mistake by the prosecutor to not immediately let his client give his version of events. Today Leif’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from around the world, yet neither he nor the journalists can understand what’s going on. Leif finds two things in particular that are especially remarkable.

Branded

The first is that the prosecution authority told a tabloid that my client was under suspicion. This led to the media, both local and global, blasting the story around the world and branding him a rapist. I’ve never seen anything like this before.’

The second is that when they review the case again, they discover that they have no basis for such accusations. Then we appeared for a questioning last Monday, and they served him with suspicion of molestation, not even sexual molestation which at most can result in a fine, and now less than 48 hours later, they’ve changed their minds again and want to call it rape and summon us to further questioning.’

Leif says that what’s happened gives the impression that the authorities don’t know what they’re doing. But he and Julian Assange are of course prepared to appear for further questioning, and so they won’t be doing anything else for now.

‘So we’re waiting to hear from them. We can only hope this matter will be sorted as soon as possible.’

False Accusations

On 22 August, a private citizen filed a complaint against the two women complainants for false accusation. The complaint was dismissed by chief prosecutor Eva Finné, the same person who decided to close the rape case. The person filing the complaint says that he thinks it’s inappropriate that Eva Finné should be involved.

‘Eva Finné should be disqualified – she’s biased, inasmuch as a decision to open a preliminary investigation into false accusations means that the prosecution authority must admit they’ve made serious mistakes up to now.’

‘I think that the prosecution authority in this situation should have remembered that Caesar’s wife can’t come under suspicion, and that one should have left the matter to another prosecutor. But I don’t want to condemn them because I don’t know all the rules they use’, says Leif Silbersky.

Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny says that the original preliminary investigation against Assange will be conducted without preconceived notions.

‘We’ll take actions we deem optimal; we’re giving it high priority.’

Statement by JULIAN ASSANGE upon hearing the expiry of 3 allegations

I am extremely disappointed. There was no need for any of this. I am an innocent man. I haven’t even been charged. From the beginning I offered a simple solution. Come to the embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States. This Swedish official refused both. She even refused a written statement. Now she has managed to avoid hearing my side of the story entirely. This is beyond incompetence. I am strong but the cost to my family is unacceptable. Even though I have been improperly treated, I would like to thank the many people in Sweden and the UK who have been very understanding of the wrong which has been done to me and my family.

For more information, see here.

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.

Marianne Ny Presser After City Court Ruling 2014

From 16 July 2014, this is Marianne Ny’s press conference after the lower city court in Stockholm rubber-stamped her refusal to quash the warrant against Julian Assange, despite nothing happening in the case; much has changed in the year since.

[00:00]

Marianne Ny (MN):
Stockholms tingsrätt har idag hållit häktningsförhandling och prövat beslutet om Julian Assange på försvararnas begäran. Domstolen har beslutat att Julian Assange ska vara fortsatt häktad på sannolika skäl misstänkt för våldtäkt mindre grovt brott, olaga tvång, samt två fall av sexuellt ofredande. Inga förändringar… Och det är inga förändringar i brottsrubriceringarna.

[00:36]

Interpreter:
OK so the Stockholm city court today has held a hearing to review the remand order for Julian Assange, a case which was brought by his defence counsel. The court has come to the conclusion that there is no reason for putting a stop to the remand order, so it will continue, and Julian Assange is still charged with the same charges which were rape, a few other minor charges, unlawful coercion, and sexual molestation.

Note: Assange isn’t charged. Period. Error on part of interpreter.

[01:06]

MN:
Domstolen tillkännagav i sina skäl att man vägt betydelsen av häktningen mot det intrång eller men i övrigt som häktningen medför för Julian Assanges del, och funnit att det fortfarande finns skäl för att han ska vara häktad i sin utevaro.

[01:31]

Interpreter:
Giving the grounds for the decision, the court said that it had in fact weighed the balance between the significance of the remand order and the effect – impact – this is having on the life of Julian Assange, but it comes to the conclusion, in fact, that the reason for continuing the remand order outweighed the disadvantages for Mr Assange.

[01:54]

MN:
Domstolen har alltså inte ansett att det varit oproportionerligt att han ska vara fortsatt häktad, att den har inte heller haft några invändningar mot det sätt som målet [cameras] handlats på.

[02:07]

Interpreter:
So the court in fact found that there was nothing disproportionate about the remand order which had been issued against Mr Assange and they had no objections or no objections about the way the case has been handled up to now.

[02:22]

MN:
Julian Assange har hållit sig undan rättsvisan [sic] genom att ta sin tillflykt till Ecuadors ambassad. Min inställning har varit – och är fortfarande – att han behöver vara tillgänglig i Sverige för återstående utredningsåtgärder och eventuell rättegång för de brott han misstänkts ha begått i Sverige i augusti 2010.

[02:47]

Interpreter:
Julian Assange has in fact been avoiding the process of law by taking refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. But my approach to this case is in fact that it is still very important that Mr Assange is available in Sweden for questioning and to enable us to continue the investigation of the offences that are alleged to have been committed when he was in Stockholm.

[03:24]

Karin Rosander, press rep (KR):
OK och det var åklagarens uttalande och nu lämnar vi plats för frågor och då kommer jag och min medarbetare [name] att försöka hålla lite styr på det här, så att om ni kommer fram här så kan vi försöka hjälpa till, först du, sen du, sen du, sen du. Yes, varsågod!

[Translator starts translating the question, which was asked in Swedish, into Swedish. Somebody interrupts.]

[Kamerasnurr]

Journo:
En fråga till Marianne Ny. Vi som skriver på engelska får ibland frågan erm eller får som Assange säger ofta och är väldigt noga med att han har inte blivit charged som kan översättas till att vara åtalad i Sverige, men som jag förstår det också inte direkt – det går inte att översätta lätt mellan olika system och Sverige, mellan England och Sverige eller mellan USA och Sverige. Så frågan: har han blivit charged eller inte?

[04:30]

Interpreter:
Sorry, forgive me. The question was about the fact that very often people who are familiar with the English legal system say that one of the points about this case is that Mr Assange has not yet been charged with these offences, and the process of charging is quite an important one. And the question was, what the prosecutor feels about this point of view?

[04:52]

MN:
Det är helt riktigt som du konstaterar att våra system är inte helt kompatibla och det var också föremål för ganska mycket diskussion i de engelska domstolarna. Så charged kan inte rakt av översättas till något svenskt juridiskt begrepp. Det ligger inte så högt som [kamerasnurr] som krävs som för att åtal ska väckas i det svenska systemet.

[05:18]

Interpreter:
Yes, this is a question that has been raised and there was a great deal of discussion of this point in fact in the hearings in the English court, but the point is in fact that the two systems, the English and the Swedish systems, are not totally compatible, it is very difficult to translate the concept of charge, and charge does not have the same kind of legal importance as the business of beginning a prosecution does in the Swedish legal system.

[05:44]

Journo:
Varför kan dessa förhör inte genomföras på brittisk mark? Vad förväntar du dig av processen framöver – Julian Assange har inte velat komma till Sverige hittills.

[06:03]

Interpreter:
The question to the prosecution was why the questioning cannot take place in fact in the United Kingdom territory and how the prosecutor intends to continue now, because Mr Assange is not going to come to Sweden.

[06:16]

MN:
När det gäller frågan om att hålla förhör med honom i Storbritannien så är genom att vi valde att utfärda – begära honom häktad och utfärdade en Europeisk arresteringsorder – så var vi på väg vid en så tidig tidpunkt att under den tid som en process i England pågick med att… frågan om att alltså han skulle överlämnad hit så var det inte aktuellt att starta ett parallellt en parallell process för att samtidigt också få till stånd förhör i England. Det… Man väljer antingen det ena eller det andra i sådana här sammanhang.

När det gäller valet av väg så är det också behövs kanske poängtera att den som är misstänkt för lite allvarligare brott där det finns skäl som det nu var i det här fallet att begära någon häktad så är inte ett förhör med någon medhjälp av rättshjälp i brottsmål normalt sett en väg att välja.

När det gäller att hålla förhör med hjälp av rättshjälp i brottsmål i Storbritannien, så förutsätter det totalt frivillighet från den förhördes sida när det gäller alla åtgärder man vill få till stånd. Men det är inte det vägande skälet, utan det vägande skälet är ju att vi har handlagt detta mål på samma sätt som vi hade handlagt någon om det hade varit en svensk som misstänktes för brott och det har varit […] och vi gör ingen skillnad.

[08:13]

Interpreter:
This is a question that of course has been discussed in great pains within the investigation as well, but the point was that we chose at the very beginning to deal with this case in Sweden from the Swedish point of view, which is why we issued a European Arrest Warrant and then there were a number of hearings in the United Kingdom about the extradition on the basis of the European Arrest Warrant. There would have been little point at that stage in carrying on parallel negotiations with the United Kingdom about the possibility of arranging questioning in the United Kingdom, and I think I must point out here in fact, that when the offences are as serious as these offences, then it is not very satisfactory to carry out questioning through the process of Judicial Assistance. We felt in fact that it was necessary, because people that answer questions through the Judicial Assistance process, do so voluntarily. We felt, we have felt all the time, that this is a case that has to be dealt with in Sweden and dealt with in exactly the same way that other offences of a similar nature are being dealt with in Sweden.

[09:24]

Journo:
Följdfråga…

[09:31]
Interpreter:
A follow up question, what do you expect is going to happen now so that the process can continue?

[09:35]

MN:
Det är väldigt svårt att ge något svar på den frågan, den som i mångt och mycket har situationen i sin hand det är ju naturligtvis Julian Assange som har valt att ta sin tillflykt på ambassaden och som har naturligtvis också har frågan om han ska gå ut därifrån helt och hållet i sin hand.

[09:59]

Interpreter:
It’s very difficult to answer that question, I mean to a very large extent now the case is in the hands of Mr Assange, because he did take refuge in the embassy in London, and whether or not he decides to leave the embassy is going to be decisive.

[10:12]

Journo:
Och hur länge…

[10:17]

Interpreter:
How long can he continue to be remanded in absentia?

[10:21]

MN:
Ska jag svara på den frågan eller vill du…

KR:
Du kan svara på den ja.

MN:
Förlåt det var hur länge han kan vara häktad. Teoretiskt sett så kan han vara häktad i sin frånvaro till dess att gärningarna preskriberas.

[10:38]

Interpreter:
In theory he can be remanded in absentia until in fact the statute of limitations takes effect.

[10:45]

KR:
Då var det Aftonbladet…

[11:07]

Journo:
Hur ser du…

Interpreter:
What do you feel about the amount of time this is taking and what effect do you think it’s going to have on the way in fact you could finally come to some kind of result, because as time lapses isn’t it going to be increasingly difficult to come to a verdict about who is guilty or if anybody is guilty in this case?

[11:22]

MN:
Vi har utvärderat den bevisning vi har säkrat i målet gång efter annan och konstaterat att den står fortfarande stark och tingsrätten har ju ånyo prövat bevisningen och funnit att föreligger sannolika skäl för häktningen.

[11:44]

Interpreter:
During the investigation we’ve continually evaluated the evidence that we’ve got and we’ve found every time that the evidence continues to be strong evidence and city court today also reviewed the evidence that’s been submitted and they came to the same conclusion.

[11:59]

Journo:
Vad tror du om de eventuella överklaganden?

[12:02]

Journo:
What about the possibility of appeal you think?

[12:05]

MN:
Det frågan skall rätteligen ställas till försvararna.

[12:07]

Interpreter:
You should be asking the defense counsel that question.

[12:10]

KR:
OK då var det du då…

[12:54]

Journo:
[Calls the Swedish legal process a ‘soppa’ and a ‘circus’, mentions it’s been condemned by Advokatsamfundet etc but it’s difficult to hear it all]

MN:
Det var lite svårt att uppfatta din fråga…

Interpreter:
If I could ask the prosecutor that you’ve had very little contact with the media now for the last two, three years in which Mr Assange has been in London and I wonder how you feel, what effect you feel this has had for the Swedish prosecution service, Swedish prosecution agency, there’s been a great deal of criticism expressed, it’s been referred to as a circus by some people, it’s been criticised by the Swedish Bar Association, it’s been criticised by certain politicians. How do you feel as a public prosecutor about the impact that this has had?

[13:24]

MN:
Det är svårt för mig att bedöma hur det har uppfattats… handläggningen… jag kan konstatera att tingsrätten idag vidhåller att den hade inga invändningar mot det sätt målet handlagts på. Jag vill betona att vi har hela tiden handlagt det här målet på samma sätt som vi normalt sett handlägger våra mål av den här arten, och mitt val att undvika att ge intervjuer i mellantiden beror på att det fanns inte så mycket nytt – det har inte funnits något nytt att kommentera från åklagarhåll i Sverige under den tid som processen har pågått i Storbritannien. De uppgifter som vi kunnat lämna har vi hela tiden publicerat på vår hemsida för att de skulle kunna var tillgängliga för alla som ville ta del av det.

[14:21]

Interpreter:
It’s very difficult for me to comment on the way in which my actions have been viewed by other people, but I can say today that the city court has reviewed the process and they say they have no objections to the way in which the case has been handled. I would like to stress this fact, that as prosecutor in the case, I have on the whole avoided giving interviews or talking to the media because nothing new has transpired in the case. Any information that we’ve had, any information that we provided to the authorities in the United Kingdom, has also been published on our own home web page so that it is available for people to know about.

[15:00]

KR:
Då var det Per!

[15:03]

Journo:
Ms Marianne Ny? This is Per from CNN and I’d like you to answer in English if you can. One of the main arguments from Julian Assange’s defence lawyers today was the fact that the detention order cannot be executed. Mr Samuelson said it will not lead to Assange being transferred to Sweden in the near future. Right now we’re pretty much at the same place as where we were a couple of hours earlier today with the same detention order in place and the court having upheld it. How do you see Julian Assange being transferred to Sweden in the near future when his defence lawyers are saying clearly there’s no way he’s going to Sweden under these circumstances?

[15:43]

[Translator starts translating the question into English before realising that it was asked in English. General sniggers ensue.]

[16:28]

If I can ask the prosecutor, it’s been said today here in the case by the…

[16:32]

MN:
Detta ärende är unikt i det avseende att…

[16:32]

Journo:
Is there a way that you can answer in English?

[16:34]

MN:
Jag föredrar att tala svenska.

Interpreter:
I prefer to answer in Swedish.

[16:38]
Journo:

OK would you mind translating into those who are [unintelligible] if that’s OK?

[16:44]

[Interpreter comes to sit with MN.]

[16:51]

Journo:
Otherwise [unintelligible] in English.

[16:53]

Interpreter:
OK.

[16:55]

MN:
Detta ärende är ju något unikt i det avseende att… och jag vill poängtera att domstolen gjorde i bedömningen att det faktum att Julian Assange har tagit sin tillflykt till ambassaden är inte ett skäl att häva häktningen.

[17:20]

Interpreter:
This is, in this respect, this case is a unique one but I would like to stress in fact that today the city court did refuse the circumstances [sic] and came to the conclusion that the fact that Mr Assange has taken refuge in an embassy does not provide grounds for setting aside the remand order.

[17:41]

Journo:
Right, but how do you intend to get him over to Sweden because that’s ultimately what you’d want with the detention order, and his defence lawyers today have said he’s not going to Sweden with this detention order in place.

[18:28]

MN:
Själva verkställighetenn av de engelska domstolarnas beslut att han ska överlämnas är en fråga för engelsk polis och hur de avser att verkställa och vilka bedömningar som polisen gör, det kan inte jag uttala mig om.

Interpreter:
How the order is going to be enforced and how the English courts are going to react to it is ultimately a matter for the police, and in fact, here today I cannot make any observation about what considerations, what thinking is going to lie behind reactions of the police in the United Kingdom.

[18:46]

KR:
OK då var det du och sen du.

[18:58]

Journo:
[Mumbles unintelligibly]

Interpreter:
Should we interpret to mean that you will not do anything more unless the situation changes to get Assange to Sweden?

[19:04]

MN:
Det tillåter inga som helst tolkningar vad avser den ena eller den andra vägen. Vi överväger kontinuerligt hur vi ska handlägga målet och vi har ett väldigt gott samarbete med våra engelska kollegor kring de här väldigt svåra frågorna.

[19:23]

Interpreter:
No there is no reason for interpreting my response either way in fact. We’re considering what we’re going to do next in the case all the time, and we have excellent cooperation with my colleagues in the United Kingdom.

[19:35]

Journo:
[Another mumbler]

[19:40]

Journo:
Can you give us an example of any of the considerations that any of the alternatives you’ve considered.

[19:45]

MN:
Nej det kan jag inte och jag tror att skälen är uppenbara för alla, det är naturligtvis en sekretessbelagd fråga.

[19:54]

Interpreter:
No I can’t, and I think the reasons are obvious to everybody here. This is something which is subject to confidentiality.

[19:59]

Journo:
Har ni kommit ett steg längre än [mumbles] alltså sen Assange […] ambassaden?

[20:09]

Journo:
OK, a quick follow-up question: have you made any progress at all in this case in the two years that Mr Assange has been in the embassy?

[20:16]

MN:
När det gäller själva brottsutredningarna så tror jag vi har […] med stor kraft framförallt under hösten 2010. Ett antal åtgärder har vidtagits därefter men det är väldigt få åtgärder som återstår, men det är oerhört väsentliga åtgärder och vi kan helt enkelt inte i nuläget komma längre och då inställer sig kanske nästa fråga. Varför då inte åka till England och förhöra honom? Det finns så många…

[20:56]

Interpreter:
The inquiry into this case in fact was pursued very vigorously in the autumn of 2010, but since then in fact we’ve made our considerations and there are few important things, a few measures, that still remain to be done, some of them very important. But of course it is very difficult to do anything here, because one of the question, to do anything more at the moment because of the situation as it is, and one of the questions that immediately arises is why not then go to the United Kingdom?

[21:26]

MN:
Och svaret är egentligen det samma som vi har lämnat ett antal gånger. Det finns ett antal utredningsåtgärder som då skulle kräva upprepade förhör kanhända med olika personer däribland Assange även om vi nu med hjälp av rättshjälp i brottmål skulle få hjälp med att förhöra med honom på ambassaden, huruvida det är rättsligt möjligt att göra det vet jag däremot inte, så återstår ännu frågan hur ska vi då få en eventuell lagföring till stånd? Då skulle vi kunna avsluta det här har vi nu […] vi ska väcka åtal och det ska vara rättegång när han har sagt att han absolut inte […] att komma hit.

[22:34]

Interpreter:
Yes, but the response to the question I just posed in fact is one that we’ve repeatedly given to people, it is that there are a number of measures that will have to be implemented that would involve questioning a number of people a second or a third time, among them possibly Mr Assange. To what extent this questioning can be carried out with the help of judicial assistance from our colleagues in the United Kingdom is difficult and I’m not quite sure of the legal validity of that kind of process, and it really is a problem to see how in fact we can ultimately get to some kind of prosecution where Mr Assange has said that he’s not prepared to come to Sweden to be tried.

[23:16]

MN:
Jag kan inte gå in på de närmare detaljerna kring de överväganden vi har gjort.

[23:22]

Interpreter:
I can’t go into any more detail about the considerations that we’ve made..

[23:27]

MN:
Men de har sammanfattningsvis landat i att det inte finns för närvarande skäl att försöka sig på den här ganska komplicerade processen som det skulle bli med upprepade framställningar av dessa […].

[23:49]

Interpreter:
But, I can’t go into detail about the considerations as I’ve said, but I can sum it up by saying that generally speaking that we’ve concluded that given the complexity of the case and the complexity of the process of applying for judicial assistance it would not be a feasible way of working.

[23:08]

KR:
[…] SVT?

[24:33]

Interpreter:
So, I’ve got two questions and the first of my questions is why can’t the prosecution, why can’t the hearing against Assange start before he has been questioned because there must be a number of occasions where people in fact have been tried who refused to cooperate with the prosecution.

[24:49]

[The reporter continues asking the second question in Swedish, MN interrupts]

[24:55]

MN:
Kan vi ta en i taget?

Interpreter:
Can we take one at a time?

[24:55]

MN:
Svaret är ju att rättegångsbalken lägger hinder i vägen. Rättegångsbalken kräver att vi ger den som är misstänkt en chans att lämna sin version. Rättegångsbalken kräver att delger vederbörande brottsmisstanken vid ett förhör. Rättegångsbalken kräver vidare att vi ger den som är misstänkt insyn i hela utredningsmaterialet innan vi får väcka åtal, den misstänkte ska ha möjlighet att göra kompletterande utredningsåtgärder. Därefter att alla de åtgärder är vidtagna kan man gå till åtal.

[25:42]

Interpreter:
The first question, one of the reasons is that the Swedish procedural code in fact would make that kind of course totally impossible. The Swedish procedural code for instance requires that we inform the person who is being prosecuted of the charges that are being brought against them. It requires us to show them the material that’s going to be used in the prosecution. It requires us to give them a possibility of responding to what’s been said, and it is only after that has been done that you can in fact launch a prosecution in the Swedish system.

[26:20]

Journo:
Försvarssidan har redan sagt att de kommer att överklaga det här. Om det skulle bli så att […] och häktningsbeslutet ta in, betyder det att den Europeiska arresteringsordern också dras in eller finns en möjlighet att bibehålla den?

MN:
Nej.

[26:44]

Interpreter:
The question was that the defense counsel have said that they were going to appeal and if the appeal is successful in the court of appeal will that mean that the European Arrest Warrant is automatically withdrawn or not?

[26:58]

MN:
Det enkla svaret är den Europeiska arresteringsordern ska omedelbart återkallas.

[27:07]

Interpreter:
The simple response is that the European Arrest Warrant would then automatically be recalled.

[27:17]

KR:
OK då var det SVT.

Journo:
Marianne Ny du motiverade tidigare att Assange kan vara häktad i sin frånvaro tills brottet preskriberas! Så hur lång är preskriptionstiden?

[27:36]

Interpreter:
In the previous response it was pointed out that the remand order can in fact continue until the statute of limitations takes effect and the question is, how long will it take before the statute of limitations has effect on this case?

[27:51]

MN:
När det gäller brottsmisstankarna olaga tvång, sexuellt ofredande, så är preskriptionstiden fem år, vilket innebär att brotten preskriberas i augusti nästa år.

[28:05]

Interpreter:
When it comes to the crimes of unlawful coercion and sexual molestation then the limitation period is five years and that would mean that that case would have to be dropped in August of next year.

[28:19]

Och vad gäller våldtäkt så är preskriptionstiden tio år.

[28:25]

Interpreter:
But where rape is concerned then the period is ten years.

KR:
Yes?

[28:30]

Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks (KH):
What is your view of the reputational [sic] damage that Sweden has suffered because of this case? For example recently almost 60 organisations, including humanitarian organisations such as Human Rights Watch, condemned Sweden and your office for basically forcing Julian Assange into a pre-trial detention. And secondly what is your view to the story early this morning that there is a growing concern in England now about the cost of policing the embassy and keeping Julian Assange inside and that the Swedish taxpayers should pay the I believe 10 million dollars or the equivalent of what – 74 million Swedish crowns?

[29:23]

MN:
Om Sveriges rykte har skadats kan jag inte bedöma, det får andra i så fall ta ställning till. När det gäller frågan om kostnader i Storbritannien, så är det, som jag tidigare nämnde, en fråga för engelsk polis hur man vill hantera frågan om verkställighet, och jag litar på deras bedömningar i allt väsentligt. När det gäller kostnader så är det inte något som jag känner till, det är ingen som har från något officiellt håll kontaktat mig om den frågan.

[After NY answers the question in Swedish, the English translation is missing. Video has been spliced at ~30:48]

Interpreter:
If Sweden’s reputation has been damaged, I can’t really judge, others may in such case judge. Re the question of costs in Great Britain, it’s as I said before, a matter for the British police how they want to handle the matter of execution, and I trust their judgements for everything significant. And re the costs, this isn’t something I’m aware of, no one has contacted me in that matter.

[30:48]

Journo:
Ecuador…

[30:55]

Interpreter:
There’s a third country involved in this process which is Ecuador, and what’s your opinion about the actions of Ecuador, what could they be doing to make sure in fact that the case is brought to an end?

[31:05]

MN:
Ecuador är en stat som självständigt naturligtvis vad som är lämpligt och rätt att göra i den här situationen.

[31:17]

Interpreter:
Ecuador of course is an independent state and it’s up to Ecuador to assess what it seems to think, what it believes is appropriate in the situation that has arisen.

[31:25]

[Video spliced at 31:29. Next question seems to have been asked in English but only the Swedish translation is present]

Journo:
Early during the process that took place in Great Britain, you were criticised personally very much, especially by the defence attorneys who claimed that it was your own personal attitude that ran much of this case. How do you react to these claims? That you have your own personal agenda to follow this through?

MN:
Påståendena var naturligtvis helt felaktiga, men i övrigt så är det ju inte någonting som jag kan låta mig påverkas av i handläggningen av ett ärende. Det måste naturligtvis ske objektivt och utefter de regler som finns.

[32:17]

Interpreter:
When you talk about the allegations, I knew they had been made, but I can’t say… I’m sorry, I missed the whole… They were erroneous and obviously as a prosecutor my own personal feelings are not involved in this, it is my duty to make sure that the case is dealt with objectively and according to the regulations that are in place.

[32:41]

KR: Yes?

[32:46]

KH:
Has there been any correspondence or cooperation between your office and the American prosecutor authorities where there’s a huge investigation going on aimed at Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

[33:03]

MN:
Jag känner inte till några undersökningar i USA och det har inte varit några som helst kontakter från USA. De kontakter som har förekommit är enbart med Storbritannien.

[33:29]

Interpreter:
I don’t know of any investigation taking place in the United States and I’ve had no contact whatsoever with the authorities in the United States. The only authorities that I’ve had contact with have been the authorities in the United Kingdom.

[33:41]

KR:
Jaha…

[33:51]

Journo:
Kan jag ställa en sista fråga?

[33:52]

Interpreter:
Can I ask the last question please?

[34:03]

Journo:
Last question. Can Sweden give any guarantees that Mr Assange will not be handed over to America, if he did come to the country?

[34:09]

MN:
Den frågan har ställts till många rättsliga experter och frågan är på förhand kan ingen lämnas några sådana garantier. Det väcker kanske också frågan är han i en sämre situation om han skulle komma till Sverige genom ett överlämningsförfarande från Storbritannien än om han var kvar i Storbritannien, och svaret är nej, det är nämligen så att Sverige skulle aldrig kunna utlämna eller behöva lämna en person till en tredje stat utan Storbritanniens tillåtelse.

[34:48]

Interpreter:
A number of legal experts have been asked this question and the answer has been all the time that nobody can give any guarantees in advance, but then one should have asked oneself the question, would you be in any worse situation if you did come to Sweden? And the answer to that is no, because Sweden cannot hand over Mr Assange to America without the consent of a third state, and the third state in this case would be the United Kingdom.

[35:15]

Journo:
One final question Marianne Ny. Do you honestly think Julian Assange will ever come to Sweden to face justice here?

[35:24]

MN:
Den sortens personliga fråga vill jag inte svara.

[35:33]

Interpreter:
That’s not the kind of personal question I would like to answer.

[35:36]

MN:
Vad jag tänker och tror har väldigt lite betydelse.

[35:42]

Interpreter:
What I think, what I believe. is of very little significance here.

[35:46]

MN:
Åklagarna i det här målet måste hela tiden göra överväganden utifrån de fakta som finns i målet.

[35:56]

Interpreter:
And in the case, the prosecutors all the time must make, reach their conclusions and act on the basis of the facts in the case.

[36:04]

MN:
Och sen har jag också genom en lång åklagarbana lärt mig att man ska inte försöka gissa eller tro utan försöka handla efter fakta.

[36:14]

Interpreter:
And I’ve had a long career as a prosecutor. I’ve learned in fact that you should never guess, you should never believe things, you should base your actions purely on fact.

[36:27]

KR:
OK thank you everybody for your patience, it’s getting late and we’ll close this press conference. Thank you.

[36:35]

In the Coming Days

The statute of limitations on three of the four allegations against Julian Assange is set to expire ‘in the coming days’. This morning, veteran reporter John Chrispinsson (JC) welcomed Assange attorney Thomas Olsson (TO) to the SVT studio for a discussion of where things are likely to go from here.

JC: Now we’re moving onto a much talked-about judicial case, talked about all over the world, a case with roots in Sweden. It’s the case of Julian Assange. For in the coming days, the statute of limitations for some of the allegations against the WikiLeaks founder will expire, that’s to say they’ll be written off. Assange is under suspicion of unlawful coercion, sexual molestation, and lesser rape involving two women he met during a visit to Sweden five years ago, and as of three years ago he’s at the Ecuador embassy in London, as we know.

Here in the studio we have Thomas Olsson, attorney for Julian Assange. What does this statute of limitations mean actually?

TO: It means that three of the four accusations will not be prosecuted, and of course it’s lamentable that it’s taken such a long time to wind up this case. This should have happened long ago.

JC: But isn’t it also embarrassing for Julian Assange? He doesn’t get closure. The suspicions are still there, and the matter is not investigated.

TO: What people often forget is that Julian Assange voluntarily attended the first interrogation and answered the questions he was asked. Then the investigation was closed, and then a new prosecutor arrived on the scene to open it again, and since then the case has gone nowhere, and Julian Assange is staying at an embassy in dire conditions.

JC: But it’s not all the accusations that will expire, be written off – the most serious of them remains, for there the statute of limitations is much longer, twice as long, so in practice, what does this mean for Julian Assange?

TO: No, this doesn’t mean that anything changes in the short run, but I think that this development should start people asking whether the entire investigation should now be closed. If the prosecutor handles the case in this way, so that this much time goes by without anything at all happening, and if this results in the statute of limitations expiring for parts of the case, then we have to question the benefit and effectiveness of keeping the case open.

JC: So this doesn’t mean he can leave the embassy in London?

TO: No, he can’t leave the embassy as long as he wants to use the right to asylum that Ecuador granted him, and so he has to stay at the embassy.

JC: In the coming days the statute of limitations for the lesser allegations will expire. What will Julian Assange do?

TO: This isn’t something we’ve discussed as things stand, and we have to wait and see what happens when the statute takes effect. For several years now we’ve asked the prosecutors to come and interrogate Julian Assange, and as defence attorneys we’ve made preparations for an interrogation, but the matter’s still being discussed, and we still haven’t got a reply.

JC: This surveillance of Julian Assange at the Ecuador embassy has cost almost TWELVE MILLION POUNDS, something like that. There’s been a lot of snags between Ecuador, Great Britain, and even Sweden. Is all this worth it?

TO: That’s a question the prosecution authority should answer, because for years now Julian Assange has offered to be part of an interrogation at the Ecuador embassy, the natural step to move the case forward. But for reasons which are unclear, the prosecutor has refused. The prosecutor should explain how it can be that things have gone on this long without anything happening in the investigation.

JC: What would it take to get Julian Assange to consider leaving the embassy?

TO: Well that won’t happen. The reason he’s at the embassy is his concern for being extradited to the US and prosecuted there, because of very serious accusations the US made about WikiLeaks publications and because of personal threats made by people in public office, so as long as that threat remains – and it’s a threat of global scope – he can’t leave the embassy, because then he’d lose the right to asylum that Ecuador granted him.

JC: So actually the situation is that when the statute of limitations for these three cases expires, nothing will happen to Julian Assange’s life at the embassy.

TO: I think there’ll be a lot of talk about how the prosecution authority handled this case, and we need to talk about that, because the real question is whether even the final part of the case should be written off as well, considering the status of the investigation, and considering the ineffective way the prosecutor has conducted the case, and I think the prosecutors have to explain the reasons we’ve ended up in this situation if they want to justify keeping the final part open. So much time has gone by, it’s been such an unbelievable burden for everyone. The way the prosecutor handled this case is unacceptable.

JC: I’d like to point out that the prosecution authority did not have the possibility to be here tonight, nor the attorneys for the women, so this is an opinion that can’t be rebutted. How does he spend his days? A lot’s been written about it. It’s a rather meagre existence?

TO: Yes of course it’s unbelievably limited – he’s been at the embassy for several years, he’s had no opportunity to get outdoors at all, and he just has to use his time to, so to speak, study things, but for more detail about that…

JC: He reads a lot of books?

TO: He reads books, and things like that, but for more detail about that, he’d be better able to tell you.

JC: How much contact do you have with him?

TO: Oh it’s off and on.

JC: What does that mean – off and on?

TO: Well, several times a month. Sometimes it’s more, perhaps several times per week. It all depends on whether things are happening in the case.

JC: So his spirits are good, or is he starting to get desperate?

TO: Julian Assange is an individual with an unbelievable sense of integrity, and over the years he’s demonstrated a moral courage and an ability to keep his eyes on the target in a way that dwarfs most of what we observe in other people.

JC: Thank you, Thomas Olsson, attorney for Julian Assange, and in the coming days we will see some of the accusations against him reach their statute of limitations, but not the most serious one.

Five Minutes to Midnight for Marianne Ny in the Land of the Midnight Sun

Time is running out for Marianne Ny. Sweden’s erratic prosecutor waited nearly five years to interrogate Julian Assange until a Swedish court scolded her, and now, through her own bloopers, can’t even effect an interrogation at the last minute. Her initial plan was to have Ingrid Isgren at the Ecuador embassy in June, but as per usual, Marianne Ny hadn’t checked proper procedure. So now, when Ecuador told her how to do things correctly (using her own foreign department for starters) she has to wait until both Ecuador and the UK sort through her ‘legalese’.

(Compare this with her bungling of the original arrest warrant, rejected by British authorities over and over, because she couldn’t fill in the form properly and tick a few boxes.)

The following interview took place this morning on Swedish state radio (SR) with Stefan Wahlberg (SW) who is editor-in-chief of Dagens Juridik, the country’s leading website on Swedish jurisprudence. The interviewer, Cecilia Khavar, is a producer for Swedish state radio.

[Note: this is a rush transcript and may not be in its final form.]

SR: Yes, so, and as we heard this morning on the radio, there’s only a bit more than a month remaining until some of the crimes Julian Assange is accused of here in Sweden reach their statute of limitations. Assange is still at the Ecuador embassy in London and is still arrested in Sweden in absentia with interrogations not being possible. But now we have Stefan Wahlberg, editor-in-chief of Dagens Juridik. Good morning!

SW: Good morning!

SR: What’s with the statute of limitations for these accusations expiring? How does that affect the prosecutor?

SW: Of course it means that the complainant loses the opportunity for retribution if it’s the case that Assange is guilty. But of course Assange is not charged with, much less convicted of, any such crime, so he must be treated as innocent. And then one should be able to presume that prosecutors and police follow their guidelines to ‘swiftly proceed with investigation’ – because both complainant and accused have an interest in seeing matters expedited as quickly as possible.

SR: So why do you think things have come to this impasse?

SW: Well this case is completely unique, isn’t it? And in all possible ways. It’s been extraordinary. Prestige has played a big part. The fact that Assange sought asylum at an embassy is not something they’re accustomed to dealing with. It’s also important to point out that Assange has absolutely no responsibility to contribute to an investigation! So this is not just a matter for the prosecutor, who has complete responsibility to present the case, but also complete responsibility for the prosecutor to EXPEDITE the case, for both the complainants and the accused, AS SWIFTLY AS POSSIBLE. And in my opinion Marianne Ny hasn’t done this.

SR: You say it’s prestige. What do you mean?

SW: Well already from the start things were rather clumsy. First there’s a prosecutor who arrests him, then a day later another prosecutor who rescinds the warrant, then a few days later yet another prosecutor who opens the case again. This was very clumsy – all those prosecutors with radically different opinions. They couldn’t make up their minds if there’d even been crimes committed!

SR: There certainly were varying opinions in the beginning… And then he traveled to London to hide away at the Ecuador embassy, and he’s asked the prosecutor to come to London to interrogate him, and THEY DIDN’T WANT TO DO THAT, and… Oh… Oh… Oh yes, they said that would give Assange preferential treatment, and so forth… And… Well wouldn’t it have been preferential treatment?

SW: But that’s what I’ve been trying to explain to you! This is in the EUROPEAN CONVENTION! That an accused has no responsibility to contribute to an investigation! So the bottom line is it’s the prosecutor who has the responsibility, no one else!

SR: So you’re saying that one should always do this in cases where an accused is outside the country?

SW: Well with our modern communications technology it’s no great exertion for two individuals, police and prosecutor, to get to London, when Assange has in fact been asking for this interrogation all along! But now they’re trying to get it done at five minutes to midnight, right before the statute of limitations takes effect. This isn’t well managed. This isn’t a matter of preferential treatment – this is a matter of straightforward criminal investigation procedure!

SR: I want to add that Julian Assange hasn’t wanted to travel to Sweden to be interrogated here, claiming there’s a risk he can be surrendered to the US by the Swedish authorities. Thank you for your time, Stefan Wahlberg! And we should also say we’ve tried to contact Marianne Ny, but she has refused to respond. We should also point out that the prosecutor had decided to hold an interrogation in London in June, but they’re still waiting for permission from Ecuador.

Note: The impartiality of SR’s reporter Cecilia Khavar is conspicuous in its absence. Trying to get the last word in an interview is cheap, to say the least, and in this case smacks of micromanaged state propaganda.

The matter of Marianne Ny’s latest blunder isn’t as simple as SR reporter Khavar would have her listeners believe. Marianne Ny’s original request to Ecuador was sent at the last minute, and also was sent through the wrong channels – Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) applications are matters between sovereign states and must be handled by ministries for foreign affairs – not state prosecutors doing legal research.

This is what caused the initial delay – in an application that notwithstanding had to wait five years (and criticism from a Swedish court) to make an appearance.

As with her initial attempt to secure a European Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange back in 2010 – an attempt which failed four times, and could have failed further if she hadn’t called in an ‘expert’ from the US – Marianne Ny isn’t demonstrating any fundamental legal competence.

Marianne Ny’s attempt to make Ecuador a scapegoat at this late stage in the game, to camouflage her own incompetence, when she’s done absolutely nothing for five whole years now, is cheap in the extreme. And it can’t be described as anything but propaganda for the Swedish state radio interviewer to shove misleading comments on the listener at the end after Stefan’s interview is over.

Prosecutor cancels Assange meeting

I have now been detained without charge for 1650 days.

This afternoon, the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny cancelled a prospective appointment to take my statement today. We proposed the dates and Ny accepted them. Prosecutor Ny led my lawyers to believe that the appointment was proceeding. My lawyers had booked tickets and I have been put to considerable expense. Last year, the Swedish court of appeal found that prosecutor Ny had breached her duty because she had refused to take my statement for four and a half years. The prosecutor waited another seven months before finally accepting my offer to take my statement in London. Today I learned that the Swedish legal application to Ecuador, which is likely to take weeks, was only sent to Ecuador two days ago. To behave in such a way seems reckless and it is hard to imagine that it was more than a public relations exercise. It is impossible to maintain confidence in this prosecutor under such circumstances.

Julian Assange
17 June 2015

Supreme court decision 11 May 2015 (dissenting opinion)

THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION
Case Ö 5880-14
announced in Stockholm 11 May 2015

APPELLANT
JA
Representative: Attorney TO
Representative: Attorney PES

ADVERSARY
Prosecutor-General
Box 5553
114 85 Stockholm

CONCERNING
Detention

DECISION APPEALED
Decision of Svea Court of Appeal 2014-11-20, case Ö 8290-14

__________

THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION

The Supreme Court rejects the appeal.

THE MOTION BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT

JA has requested that the Supreme Court rescind the detention decision.

JA has also requested that the Supreme Court task the prosecutor with giving him, or giving the Supreme Court, copies of the claimants’ SMS traffic. In the case that the Supreme Court not consider the request, he has secondly requested that the Supreme Court obtain a preliminary judgment from the European Court in regard to Article 7 of the directive of the European Parliament and Council 2012/13/EU 22 May 2012 if the right to information in criminal procedures includes the duty of the prosecutor to turn over copies of the materials shared by the suspect and intended by the suspect to be used as support for a challenge of a decision on deprivation of liberty.

The Prosecutor-General opposes a change to the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court has previously rejected the motion that a preliminary ruling be obtained from the European Court. The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal the matter of detention, but not granted permission for other appeals.

GROUNDS

Background and the question before the Supreme Court

1. JA was detained in absentia 18 November 2010 because he was on probable cause suspected of unlawful coercion 13-14 August 2010 in Stockholm, of sexual molestation 13-14 August 2010 in Stockholm, of sexual molestation 18 August 2010 or thereabouts in Stockholm, and of lesser rape 17 August 2010 in Enköping. A European Arrest Warrant was expedited and finally ratified by British courts 14 June 2012.

2. Neither the detention decision nor the arrest warrant have been executed. As a result of the detention decision and arrest warrant, JA has been deprived of liberty in Great Britain 7-16 December 2010, and he has had restrictions in Great Britain in the form of electronic surveillance with an ankle bracelet, reporting daily to the police, and prohibited from leaving his place of residence at certain times of the day. JA has since 19 June 2010 been resident at the Ecuador embassy in London.

3. In June 2014 JA moved for the district court to hold a detention hearing and rescind the detention decision. The district court ruled that JA should even in the future be detained. JA appealed the decision of the district court. The court of appeal rejected his appeal. The question now is whether JA should still be detained.

Basic conditions for detention

4. Detention may apply for someone suspected on probable cause of a crime for which prison of at least one year is prescribed, if there exists, with regard to the nature of the crime, the suspect’s situation, or other circumstance, a risk that the suspect abscond or in some other way avoid legal process or sentence (chap 24 § 1 paragraph 1 trial code).

5. The Supreme Court shares the opinioin of the court of appeal that JA is, on probable cause, suspected of unlawful coercion, of two counts of sexual molestation, and of lesser rape, and that there is a risk that he would abscond or in some other way avoid legal process or sentence. The Supreme Course also agrees with the conclusion of the court of appeal that there is no legal hinder to execution which would warrant rescinding the detention decision.

Principle of proportionality

6. A further condition for detention is that the grounds for the decision weigh up against the intrusion or other harm that the measure would mean for the suspect or for any other corresponding matter (chap 24 § 1 paragraph 3 trial code).

7. The pertinent legal provision cites the so-called principle of proportionality. This means that a detention must be in reasonable proportion to what can be gained by the measure. As little coercion as possible is to be used to achieve the desired goal, and a coercive measure may only be used if the objective of the measure cannot be achieved by less intrusive measures. (See prop. 1988/89:124 p. 26 and 65 f.) Ultimately it is a question of weighing the public interest in investigating suspicions of crime in a secure fashion against the interests of the individual in not being deprived of liberty. It should especially be noted that the matter of guilt has not been determined.

8. In the matter of continued detention, there is relevance in how long the deprivation of liberty has been ongoing and for how much longer it can be expected to continue. The longer the deprivation of liberty, the stronger the reasons needed to continue the detention. Particularly with serious criminality this can be important if there have arisen difficulties in the investigation. The investigative authorities should also, with reasonable efficiency, try to make the detention’s duration as short as possible. If anything should be unclear in this regard, it is not the individual who should be burdened by it. (See NJA 2011 p. 518 para. 14–21, compare chap 24 § 18 third paragraph trial code.)

9. An assessment of proportionality shall also be conducted with a continuation of detention of a suspect who is not present in court. The weighing of the opposing interests must however take into consideration that the detention has not been capable of being executed. The opposing interests can therefore take on another mutual weight in such cases. Even outdoor deprivation can in practice lead to restrictions in the liberty of the individual, but typically an executed detention decision must be seen as significantly more intrusive (compare chap 24 § 7 third and fourth paragraphs trial code).

10. The suspect need not contribute to the investigation. The factual consequence of detentions that are not executed can be that the preliminary investigation in certain cases cannot be advanced in the same way. In the light of the requirement that the preliminary investigation be conducted effectively, the investigative authorities must consider what opportunities are available to move the case forward.

11. Particularly with extended detentions which have not been executed, there is reason to consider whether the measure is effective (compare Per Olof Ekelöf et al., Rättegång III, 7th edition 2006 p. 48).

12. There is, in this context, reason to also refer to the provisions in chap 23 § 4 of the trial code. This means, inter alia, that no one should unnecessarily be inflicted by costs or inconveniences for the sake of the preliminary investigation, and that the preliminary investigation shall be conducted as quickly as circumstances allow. It can thereby be appropriate to assess, for example, whether interrogations with the suspect can be conducted in forms other than what is customary, and if one in that way can avoid a coercive measure. The matter should be assessed against the background of, inter alia, how far the preliminary investigation could be conducted and what procedures remain, the relevance of the interrogations, if interrogations could have been conducted, as well as under what conditions interrogations can be conducted (compare NJA 2007 p. 337). For an application of the provisions in chap 23 § 4, the decisive matter must be that the interrogations are conducted in judicially secure forms and as much as possible result in materials supporting good judgement.

Judgment in this case

13. The type of criminality suspected in this case is such that there is a strong public interest in seeing it investigated. The suspicion regards events that were to have taken place in Sweden, and the British courts have found that JA can be surrendered to Sweden in accordance with the European Arrest Warrant.

14. It must be pointed out at the same time that the detention – which has not been executed – has existed for a very long time. In June of this year it will have been three years since the British courts concluded their review of the arrest warrant. For most of this time, JA has been resident at the Ecuador embassy in London. According to JA, this is to be seen as a deprivation of liberty to be taken into account in assessing proportionality. He’s claimed that he, after being surrendered to Sweden, can be in turn surrendered to the US, with serious negative consequences.

15. When assessing proportionality, it must be taken into account that JA, as a result of the detention decision and the European Arrest Warrant, was deprived of liberty 7-16 December 2010, and that he has had other restrictions there. JA’s residence at the Ecuador embassy cannot however be seen as relevant in judging proportionality. If a person has been surrendered in accordance with a European Arrest Warrant, then he or she cannot be surrendered to a third country without the approval of the pertinent authority in the Member State who surrendered the person (see Article 28.4 in the council’s framework decision 2002/584/RIF from 13 June 2002 regarding a European Arrest Warrant and surrender between member states). A surrender from Sweden to the US depends therefore – in addition to judgment according to Swedish law – on the approval of Great Britain. It can also be added that no such request has been made by the US to Sweden.

16. Neither can JA’s deprivation of liberty been seen as in practice being limited in a way that violates the European Convention.

17. The question is then whether the investigative authorities should have taken alternative measures to move the investigation forward and interrogated JA. According to the prosecutor-general, the chief investigator has considered whether interrogations with JA could take place without him being in Sweden, for example via video link, but found that alternative inappropriate due to the type of investigation. The chief investigator has not previously seen any acceptable alternative investigative methods for the time JA has been at the embassy.

18. The very long time the detention has been in effect must be weighed into the assessment and means an increased demand on the investigative authorities to review what alternative investigative opportunities are available to move the preliminary investigation forward. Otherwise a detention – even taking into account that it has not been executed – would be seen as in violation of the principle of proportionality.

19. However, after the decision of the Court of Appeal, the chief investigator took measures to arrange for an interrogation with JA in London. The public interest to continue the investigation weighs heavily. With consideration for this and for the risk that JA avoids legal process if the detention is rescinded, a continued detention in the current circumstances can be seen to be in accordance with the principle of proportionality. Therefore there are currently no reasons to rescind the decision. What JA has otherwise submitted does not lead to a different assessment.

20. So JA’s appeal is rejected.

__________

____________________ ____________________ ____________________

____________________ ____________________

The following participated in the decision: justices Ann-Christine Lindeblad,
Gudmund Toijer (referend), Ingemar Persson, Svante O Johansson (dissenting) and Lars Edlund

Presenting justice secretary: Charlotte Edvardsson

SUPPLEMENT TO PROTOCOL
Case Ö 5880-14
2015-04-28

Justice Svante O Johansson dissents and cancels the decision of the court of appeal, and holds that the decision from and including point 19 should read as follows.

19. The chief investigator has taken steps to arrange an interrogation with JA in London. The interest in continuing the investigation is considerable, despite the long detention. But for a long time now, it’s been uncertain when a surrender to Sweden could take place. The measures being taken now should have been taken earlier, in order to see how far this would have taken matters (compare NJA 2007 p. 337). Against this background, the grounds for continued detention cannot be seen as weighing so heavy that they outweigh the intrusion and harm that in practice the measures mean for JA. A decision for detention in the current circumstances is therefore in violation of the principle of proportionality.

20. So the appeal should therefore be approved.

Supreme court appeal review

PROTOCOL
For appeal review
DATE OF RULING
2015-04-28 Stockholm
File 32
Case Ö 5880-14

JUSTICES PRESENT
Ann-Christine Lindeblad, Gudmund Toijer (referend), Ingemar Persson, Svante O Johansson and Lars Edlund

PRESENTER, KEEPER OF MINUTES
Charlotte Edvardsson

APPELLANT
Julian Assange, 710703
Deprivation of liberty: detained in absentia
Ecuador Embassy London
Flat 3 B, 3 Hans Crescent
London, SW1X 0NT
Great Britain

Representative: Attorney Thomas Olsson
Fria Advokater KB
Box 12706
112 94 Stockholm

Representative: Attorney Per E Samuelson
Law Firm Samuelson, Schönmeyr & Wall HB
Box 12704
112 94 Stockholm

ADVERSARY
Prosecutor-General
Box 5553
114 85 Stockholm

CONCERNING
Detention et al.

DECISION APPEALED
Decision of Svea Court of Appeal 2014-11-20, case Ö 8290-14

The matter presented here is in regards to permission to appeal.

Julian Assange has requested that the Supreme Court obtain a preliminary ruling from the European Court. But there have been no issues in the case which are in doubt regarding the interpretation of EU law that make it necessary to obtain a preliminary ruling in order to arrive at a decision. Request denied.

The Supreme Court will grant permission to appeal in the matter of detention. The decisions of the Court of Appeal are otherwise upheld.

______________________________
Charlotte Edvardsson
Presented 2015-04-22 and 2015-04-28
Submitted for expedition 2015-04-28

______________________________
Ann-Christine Lindeblad