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On the Occasion of Julian Assange Celebrating His 45th Birthday Within the Confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London

Today, 3 July 2016, on the birthday of the greatest truth-teller of our times, it might be appropriate to congratulate and celebrate with Julian Assange (and his friends and his cat).

But is is also appropriate to review the persecution he has endured now for so many years. And no one is more suited to that task than the United Nations, as per their ruling from 4 December 2015.

Their description of the conditions of Julian Assange’s persecution unequivocally places the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny in a category solely her own, forever displacing Claes Borgström as the country’s (perhaps the world’s) most incompetent (and most heinous) jurist ever.

The Ruling of the United Nations

The Working Group is convinced once again that, among others, the current situation of Mr. Assange staying within the confines of the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador in London, United Kingdom, has become a state of an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. The factual elements and the totality of the circumstances that have led to this conclusion include the following:

  1. Mr. Assange has been denied the opportunity to provide a statement, which is a fundamental aspect of the audi alteram partem principle, the access to exculpatory evidence, and thus the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations;

  2. the duration of such detention is ipso facto incompatible with the presumption of innocence. Mr. Assange has been denied the right to contest the continued necessity and proportionality of the arrest warrant in light of the length of this detention, i.e. his confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy;

  3. the indefinite nature of this detention, and the absence of an effective form of judicial review or remedy concerning the prolonged confinement and the highly intrusive surveillance, to which Mr. Assange has been subjected;

  4. the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador in London is not and far less than a house or detention centre equipped for prolonged pre-trial detention and lacks appropriate and necessary medical equipment or facilities. It is valid to assume, after 5 years of deprivation of liberty, Mr. Assange’s health could have been deteriorated to a level that anything more than a superficial illness would put his health at a serious risk and he was denied his access to a medical institution for a proper diagnosis, including taking a MRI test;

  5. with regard to the legality of the EAW, since the final decision by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in Mr. Assange’s case, UK domestic law on the determinative issues had been drastically changed, including as a result of perceived abuses raised by Sweden’s EAW, so that if requested, Mr. Assange’s extradition would not have been permitted by the UK. Nevertheless, the Government of the United Kingdom has stated in relation to Mr. Assange that these changes are ‘not retrospective’ and so may not benefit him. A position is maintained in which his confinement within the Ecuadorian Embassy is likely to continue indefinitely. The corrective UK legislation addressed the court’s inability to conduct a proportionality assessment of the Swedish prosecutor’s international arrest warrant (corrected by s. 157 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, in force since July 2014). The corrective legislation also barred extradition where no decision to bring a person to trial had been made (s. 156).


The deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange is arbitrary and in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It falls within category III of the categories applicable to the consideration of the cases submitted to the Working Group.

Consequent upon the opinion rendered, the Working Group requests the Government of Sweden and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to assess the situation of Mr. Assange, to ensure his safety and physical integrity, to facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner, and to ensure the full enjoyment of his rights guaranteed by the international norms on detention.

The Working Group considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the adequate remedy would be to ensure the right of free movement of Mr. Assange and accord him an enforceable right to compensation, in accordance with article 9(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

4 December 2015

December 10, 2015: The Silence

A week Saturday it will be two months since Stefania Maurizi released the FOI documents that turned the case of Assange in Sweden on its head – or more accurately: put it out of its misery, once and for all.

Stefania’s documents showed, in black on white, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Sweden’s chief prosecutor Marianne Ny has been lying to Assange and his attorneys, and lying as well to both Swedish and international media.

The documents also showed that neither Marianne Ny nor Great Britain took the allegations seriously – although they took the threat of WikiLeaks seriously. Their ‘cat and mouse’ game, ongoing since September 2010, was meant to ‘contain’ Assange – to ‘neutralise’ him. Or even better: keep him locked away. Somewhere, anywhere.

In one of the letters, Paul Close of the Crown Prosecution Service repeated his admonition to Marianne Ny to not question Assange in Great Britain, as her case would fall apart.

This was at the same time Marianne Ny was telling TIME Magazine that questioning suspects abroad is illegal according to both Swedish and British law.

And only a few months later, Carl Bildt was telling Assange attorney Jennifer Robinson that it’s also unconstitutional.

That Marianne Ny and Carl Bildt couldn’t understand they’d be exposed sooner or later: it’s staggering. Of course it’s not illegal to question suspects abroad: EU member states have something called ‘Mutual Legal Assistance’ precisely for this purpose.

Yet even more incriminating: during the same time Assange was asking (over and over again, ultimately over thirty times) to be questioned, only to be ignored by Marianne Ny, the same Swedish prosecution authority questioned 44 (forty-four) other people in Great Britain, whereof 18 (eighteen) as suspects, in criminal investigations.

But Carl Bildt, Marianne Ny, and Sweden stuck to their story that questioning suspects abroad is either illegal or unconstitutional or both.

Sweden’s media have never challenged this claim.

At one point, Ivan Johnson (@figaropravda) poked deeper into the matter, and got Carl Bildt’s office to retract and admit their claims were not true. And yet the charade continued.

There are so many anomalies in the Assange case that people at large have long ago tired of giving Sweden any benefit of the doubt. The FOI tranche of 19 October should have ended the charade once and for all. Or so one would think.

But as with the publication of the report from the state crime lab five years earlier, which embarrassingly showed that Anna Ardin had supplied the police with fabricated evidence, Swedish media as a whole gathered their covered wagons in a circle and kept to a total blackout. The people of Sweden have still not, two months later, heard of these developments, much less had a place to discuss them.

Members of the Flashback forum have for the longest time been reporting that their journalist friends, who otherwise are eager to talk about almost anything under the sun, fall into complete silence when asked about the Assange case or why they’re not allowed to write about it. They admit that it stinks to high heaven, but they dare say no more.

There’s also evidence of ‘Sweden the state’ being able to censor their own media. When Marianne Ny first talked to TIME, several news sites in the country scooped the interview; yet one day later, they’d all either changed their articles or made them disappear.

Sweden’s media have at least a responsibility to report on Stefania’s FOI documents, this especially as they otherwise report on the most unnecessary trivialities in the Assange case. They could have attempted to analyse the documents, even if they wanted to dismiss their relevance. For the news of these documents spread across the globe like wildfire, with several hundred articles appearing within hours, all the way from the Americas to the British Isles to Assange’s own Australia.

Sweden’s media could have at least been expected to comment on this tremendous development. But they chose instead to do nothing – to report nothing at all. And this, if anything, should convince even the most cynical observer that there must be something very very wrong.

For should one mainstream site – just one – break the blackout, it’s game over for Marianne Ny and Sweden.

The Silence

So in an attempt to get to the bottom of the matter, Assange in Sweden contacted the following people ten days after the FOI release.

  • Henrik Alexandersson, former salaried assistant to MEP Christian Engström in Brussels. Henrik’s often written about what’s wrong with the Assange case, but not now.

  • Stefan Wahlberg, editor-in-chief of Dagens Juridik, Sweden’s leading site for judicial matters. Stefan’s enjoyed a comfortable reputation, and the site’s reported several times on the case. Stefan’s been been contacted several times.

  • Svante Thorsell, an active attorney in Sweden who’s previously been outspoken about the case.

  • Anne Ramberg, general secretary of Sweden’s bar association. Anne’s previously been outspoken about the case as well.

One week ago, two sites representing Sweden’s ‘alternative media’ were also contacted.

Only Svante Thorsell has replied. Svante replied the same day. Since then: nothing more.

It is great,
I will study the material with interest.

There is, in our minds, nothing at all that can explain the blackout without pointing a finger at an increasingly corrupt Sweden. There are over 150 news sites in the country, and yet there’s still total silence. The same mechanisms, once used to redact the story of Marianne Ny’s fiasco with TIME, are evidently in play again.

Common with Interrogations Abroad

From Sweden’s Journalisten (The Journalist) 9 November 2015.

Swedish prosecutors have for several years refused to interview Julian Assange in Great Britain. They’ve claimed that ‘it’s uncommon for Swedish prosecutors to interview suspects abroad’.

The Journalist can today show that this is a misleading claim.

Since 2010, and all the way forward and into the spring of 2015, prosecutor Marianne Ny has refused to interview Julian Assange in Great Britain. Since 2012, Julian Assange has resided at the Ecuador embassy in London.

This past August, The Journalist reported that 44 (forty-four) people were interviewed by Swedish prosecutors in Great Britain between 18 November 2010 [the date of Marianne Ny’s most recent warrant against Assange] and 31 March 2015 [when Marianne Ny finally began negotiations with Ecuador].

Julian Assange had, during this period, repeatedly requested to be interviewed, but Marianne Ny refused to contact Mutual Legal Assistance in Great Britain.

Karin Rosander

Karin Rosander, director of information at the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told The Journalist that those statistics were ‘misleading’.

‘It’s very unusual for a Swedish prosecutor to interview suspects abroad. On the other hand, it’s not unusual to question witnesses abroad. I doubt whether the facts cited in the article really come from Great Britain. It’s likely that they register all requests [suspects and witnesses] under Mutual Legal Assistance.’

But documentation now obtained by The Journalist shows that this is not true – it is not at all unusual for Swedish prosecutors to conduct interrogations with suspects abroad.

Of the 44 interviews, 16 were with suspects and 28 with witnesses. It’s about every third month that a Swedish prosecutor travels to Great Britain to question a suspect in a Swedish criminal investigation.

This according to data provided by the British Home Office.

The Journalist has sought the Swedish Prosecution Authority for comment.

This is the first mention in Swedish media of any one of a number of critical ‘anomalies’ in the case of Assange in Sweden. Others, involving how Marianne Ny and Paul Close of Great Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service deliberately circumvented Assange’s requests to be interviewed, all the way back to December 2010, are still being blacked out.

Re: Developments in case ‘Assange in Sweden’


The undersigned have, since August 2010, conducted an ongoing and thorough investigation of the legal case surrounding Julian Assange in Sweden. It is we who supplied the English translation of the police documents used by the Belmarsh court. And of course we still follow the case closely and with great interest.

On Monday 19 October, journalist Ms Stefania Maurizi of l’Espresso published a tranche of documents she received from the Crown Prosecution Service of Great Britain and the office of Marianne Ny. Those documents show unequivocally that Mr Paul Close of the Crown Prosecution Service, already in 2010, advised Marianne Ny to not pursue a questioning of Julian Assange in Great Britain, as they seemed to agree the case would not hold up.

The cover story is here:

And the revealing FOIA documents are here:

Ms Maurizi’s story was, to say the least, sensational, and it spread quickly around the world, from the Guardian in the UK to mainstream outlets in Australia, to news sites such as teleSUR in the Americas, to Sputnik, to RT, and so forth. Hundreds of news sites covered the story within hours! The story was also picked up by several international celebrities in the social media – the story had, to put it mildly, caused a storm.

Here’s a sampling.

Yet now well into the second week since first publication, the story still hasn’t been seen ANYWHERE in the Swedish media. On the contrary, there seems to be a concerted – some would say a ‘directed’ and deliberate – blackout.

We’ve been checking Google News for Sweden on an hourly basis these past two weeks. We have a list of 150 Swedish news sites to consult. We find no references to the story anywhere, despite it being the biggest news in the case in five years, since the case was moved from Eva Finné to Marianne Ny on 1 September 2010.

Several people have suggested this is because Swedish news sites have been threatened. Others suggest it’s because they’ve been persuaded to not spread the story. Others still suggest that they have been bribed.

So our question to you:

We wondered if you have an opinion in this matter, off the record of course, about how such a strange thing can occur.

We’re also naturally curious as to why you’ve not commented yourself in public about it.

We’re very interested to find out what’s going on, so your reply will be very welcome.

We plan on going public with this story in a few days.

Thanks for your time.
‘The truth will out, the truth wins out’

The above was sent to a number of journalists and jurists in Sweden. So far: no reply.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.]


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?


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



A follow up question, what do you expect is going to happen now so that the process can continue?


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.


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.


Och hur länge…


How long can he continue to be remanded in absentia?


Ska jag svara på den frågan eller vill du…

Du kan svara på den ja.

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


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


Då var det Aftonbladet…


Hur ser du…

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?


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.


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.


Vad tror du om de eventuella överklaganden?


What about the possibility of appeal you think?


Det frågan skall rätteligen ställas till försvararna.


You should be asking the defense counsel that question.


OK då var det du då…


[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]

Det var lite svårt att uppfatta din fråga…

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?


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.


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.


Då var det Per!


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?


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


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


Detta ärende är unikt i det avseende att…


Is there a way that you can answer in English?


Jag föredrar att tala svenska.

I prefer to answer in Swedish.


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


[Interpreter comes to sit with MN.]


Otherwise [unintelligible] in English.




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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


OK då var det du och sen du.


[Mumbles unintelligibly]

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


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.


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.


[Another mumbler]


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


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


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


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


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?


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…


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?


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.


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.


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


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


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 […].


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.


[…] SVT?


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.


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


Kan vi ta en i taget?

Can we take one at a time?


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.


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.


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?



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?


Det enkla svaret är den Europeiska arresteringsordern ska omedelbart återkallas.


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


OK då var det SVT.

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


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?


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


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.


Och vad gäller våldtäkt så är preskriptionstiden tio år.


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



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?


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]

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.




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?


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


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.


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

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?

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.


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.


KR: Yes?


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?


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.


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.




Kan jag ställa en sista fråga?


Can I ask the last question please?


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


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.


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.


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


Den sortens personliga fråga vill jag inte svara.


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


Vad jag tänker och tror har väldigt lite betydelse.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.