Sweden vs. Assange with special guest Julia Gillard in Sweden’s corner.

A lot of misinformation has been spread about Julian Assange in relation to the allegations made against him and what he is facing if extradited to Sweden. A lot of this misinformation has come from the mouth of Julia Gillard.

As of yesterday Mr Assange lost his High Court appeal and will find out in 21 days if he can appeal to Britain’s Supreme Court which is their highest court.

I came across a site called Sweden v Assange which puts a lot of things in perspective and with the permission of the editor I reprint one of their posts below. I will comment on it at the end.

Fair Trial for Julian Assange?

Criticism of Swedish justice system

Of all the signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, Sweden has the highest per capita rate of cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights relating to article 6.1 (right to a fair trial). It also has the highest rate of adverse rulings when it comes to the fair trial.

Fair trial as a ground for challenging the EAW – February Hearing

In the February Hearing, Julian Assange’s lawyers argued that the UK should not extradite him because he would not face a fair trial in Sweden. If extradited, Assange will be:

- Held in prison in solitary confinement when he is returned, despite not having been charged (likely to spend up to a year in custody). There is no time limit to detention in Sweden.

- There is no bail system, so he would remain in detention indefinitely.

- If there is a charge and a trial, it will be held in secret.

- He will not be judged by an ’independent and impartial tribunal’, a fundamental requirement under the European Convention of Human Rights (article 6.1). Three out of the four judges are lay judges, who have been appointed by political parties and have no formal legal training (see Lay Judges).

- The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has not given Julian Assange or his lawyers information on the allegations against him in writing, which violates the Swedish Code of Procedure (RB 23:18) and the European Convention of Human Rights (article 5), and the EU Fundamental Charter on Human Rights.

- There has been political interference with the Prime Minister’s statements to the Swedish Parliament during the trial (see Political Interference, and constant press attention has been given to the complainants’ lawyer (see Media climate in Sweden).

- The bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden (see section on US extradition). Under US custody, Julian Assange risks kidnapping, torture, and execution.

Reactions in Sweden to the criticism of the Swedish Justice System

- Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt stated in a parliamentary address that criticisms of the Swedish Justice system are unfounded, and Assange’s lawyers have tried to patronise Sweden (7 February 2011). The original statements are available here.

- In an anonymous survey one out of three jurists agreed that Assange’s criticisms of the Swedish Justice system were well-founded (English here, and here). The comments by Swedish lawyers reveal a profound lack of trust in the legal system:

“The Swedish judicial system is close to falling apart as far as sex crimes goes. Bizarre gender theories have had too much influence on practitioners of jurisprudence.”

“Considering the pressure on Assange by the world at large, it’s not unrealistic to suspect there are things going on behind the scenes that have influenced how the case is being handled.”

- The Swedish lawyers Jens Lapidus and Johan Åkermark published “Assange’s criticism is right on several counts” in one of the main Swedish dailies, DN (05 May 2011):

“We share Assange’s criticism about the rules of detention, the Lay Judges and the routine fashion in which trials are held behind closed doors.”

- Claes Borgström, the lawyer for the two complainants in the Assange investigation, has also argued detention periods are excessively long in Sweden.

- Anne Ramberg, the chairperson of the Lawyers’ Association said:

“Both the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and other Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the UN Committee Against Torture have criticised Sweden for long detention periods and we agree that they can be incredibly long. We have also repeatedly through the years challenged trials behind closed doors. As well as the Lay Judges, but on the grounds that it recruits from a limited pool of people rather than the politicisation of the courts.”

Would a trial lead to Assange’s Conviction?

The testimonies of the two complainants (AA and SW), Julian Assange, and nine witnesses (English here) were leaked onto the internet in January 2011.

Swedish lawyers are divided on whether Assange would be convicted of the allegations against him.

Arguing that Assange would be found not guilty if charged:

Criminal justice professor Per-Ole Träskman (University of Lund Sweden) and doctoral researcher Sakari Melander (University of Helsinki) discussed the rape allegations against Assange in the Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. They argued that a conviction was unlikely:

* Träskman: “Based on the evidence available, it is unlikely Assange would be convicted of the suspected crimes. Also, the prosecutor has not yet raised charges. That means the prosecutor doesn’t think there’s sufficient reason to raise a charge at this stage. That’s why she wants Assange to be heard in Sweden relying on a European Arrest Warrant.”

* Melander: “The success of a possible charge in court is not likely because reasonable doubt remains about Assange’s guilt. If there is unclarity about guilt, or there is no full certainty of it, the case must be resolved in favour of the accused.”

The full transcript in English is available here.

Björn Hurtig, Assange’s defence counsel in Sweden, estimated that there was a 50% chance of conviction. However he argued the following in a letter to Assange’s UK defence counsel, Mark Stephens:

“Having studied the case-file, as well as other material which I was permitted to inspect but not take copies or notes of (sms/text messages from the complainants’ mobile phones), the case is one of the weakest cases I have ever seen in my professional career…”

“It is highly uncertain whether Mr. Assange will be prosecuted at all, if extradited. If prosecuted, I consider it highly unlikely that he will be convicted. If convicted, he would be likely, in light of the nature and detail of the allegations themselves (the lack of any threats or physical violence, the consensual sexual relations between the complainants and Mr. Assange before the incidents and, in the case of [AA] (her evidence on this point is contradictory) after the incidents, and his personal circumstances, to receive a suspended sentence.”

Arguing that Assange is likely to be found guilty if charged:

- Per E. Samuelson, a high-profile Swedish criminal defense lawyer who specialises in rape cases, has explained the context of the rape allegations against Assange, and the uphill battle he has to prove his innocence. Samuelsson was also quoted in an article on AOL.

* “People from other countries with different legal cultures just do not understand how extensive the Swedish legal system is regarding sexual crimes. The allegations made against Julian Assange in Sweden must seem to Assange as pure nonsense, as a joke. But he must understand that these are the kind of things for which men go to prison in Sweden.”

“There was a discussion [about a law in sexual offences in 2007], but it has not changed. Political pressure which has the equality of women in society as starting point – which is in principle commendable – has led to an unacceptable very high legal uncertainty for defendants in Sweden. This is what Assange is experiencing right now. The feminist movement in Sweden is particularly strong. It has long been criticised by women’s rights activists that the judges would believe men more. It was said that it was impossible to get justice as a woman. Now the reverse is true in Sweden.

* “Today convictions are demanded due to a basic political tenor [a higher conviction rate was the stated purpose of Thomas Bodström (the partner in the law firm representing the two complainants against Assange) while he was Minister of Justice and promoting the reforms for the Sexual offences law]. The tenor: in rape cases, men have to be sentenced; otherwise it is unfair to women. This is unworthy of a constitutional state.”

“In Sweden, the consensus is: you say the truth because you’re a woman. That is the limit for me. I am for the equality of women in society. Of course. But it cannot go so far that people who are innocent are convicted. In Sweden, the so-called victim’s perspective is so advanced that there are even people out there who believe in all seriousness that it is unacceptable that women in general are exposed to the rigours of an interrogation in court. People say we as trial lawyers would offend these women because we interrogate them on behalf of our clients. I think such a culture is unprecedented in Western Europe.”

The above is reprinted in full with the permission of the editor of the website: Sweden v Assange which is at http://www.swedenversusassange.com/

One of the theories suggested by Assange supporters is that Sweden only want to have him extradited so he can be extradited to the US. This to me does not seem to be without any basis. Especially when you consider that he has already been interviewed by the Swedish (although not for rape) and the strange way they seem to have gone about the whole process. Crikey.com has a timeline of the matter up to the end of last year. (Click here to read)

It has also been reported that one of the reasons he has not been charged and is only wanted for questioning is that one of the accusers is refusing to co-operate with Swedish prosecutors anymore.

What has Julia Gillard been doing? Not much. One would have thought she could at least have sought assurances from Sweden that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the US from Sweden. But as we know she has been acting as the US’s mouth piece on this one. Yes our relationship with the US is important, but it is not necessary for the Australian Prime Minister to cower to the US on every issue.

Obviously my main interest in following this matter is that it is a flow on from my post on the 7th of August titled “Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s criminal history and her hypocrisy with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.” (Click here to read)

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25 Comments on “Sweden vs. Assange with special guest Julia Gillard in Sweden’s corner.”

  1. Mindbeat November 3, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    http://internationalextraditionblog.com/2011/11/02/why-julian-assange-might-be-better-off-in-sweden/

    The Swedish legal system without bail for rich people can of course be discussed, but in Sweden you can’t buy your way out if you’re accused, just because you have money, simple as that.

    I’m a big supporter of Wikileaks and Assange’s work but this talk about some conspiration from Swedish authorities is laughable.

    Even one in the Swedish Wikileaks staff, who knows both the two women and Julian, denies a connection to Swedish authorities.

    • The US-UK treaty regarding extradition is much more US-friendly than the US-Sweden treaty.

    • It’s only the Swedish Supreme Court who can decide to extradite someone (if the accused doesn’t agree what the district court decides, of course), not any politician. BUT, if the Supreme court decides that Assange CAN be extradited, then the Swedish gouvernment can change that, for humanitarian reasons, for example. The other way around is not possible.

    • If the Swedish Supreme Court decides that Assange can be extradited to a third country, like USA, the UK authorities has to aprove according to European Extradition law.

    • The Swedish law recently changed to ensure people like Assange even better legal security in these cases than before.

    The smear campagne against Sweden started with a false rumour from US authorities about secret negotiations between US and Swedish authorities regarding an extradion of Assange. They did this because US authorities DOES NOT want Assange to be extradited to Sweden.

    And all the supporters of Assange swallowed that US bait like stupid kids. Laughable.

    • VERONICA NICHOLLS November 3, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      I DO NOT BELIEVE THE SWEDISH JUDICIAL IS AS WONDERFUL AS YOU WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE

      • Mindbeat November 4, 2011 at 11:24 am #

        Why SHOUT? For most people SHOUTING on Internet means lacks of arguments. (for your information: I’ve read both the Swedish-US treaty and UK-US treaty regarding extradition plus the European Extradiotion law. The original documents. But read the link I did send you).

        Where did I say our judicial system is wonderful? Are you one of those ignorant people who really seems to think this is some kind of set-up between Swedish and US authorities?

        Well, then you do exactly what US authorities want you to do. Help them to keep Assange in the more US-friendly UK. You are part of their plan. Are you maybe even payed by the CIA? Well, that was almost as laughable as the setup-theories, but only almost, because it’s obvious that US authorities are part of these laughable rumours regarding Sweden, and I don’t know you enough to be sure you’re not one of them 😉

        But I know my country. Sweden is considered as probably the best country in the world for a whisteblower like Assange to live and work in, because of the protection of sources. And he knew this. Why do you think he applied for residence permit in Sweden? Because our Judicial System stinks? Why do you think the Wikileaks data-servers where placed in Sweden? Because Sweden is at risk to hand over these servers to the US?

        No, of course not. It’s time for all supporters of Wikileaks to look at the other side of the coin. To turn this ship around. Don’t be the stupid captain, Veronica.

    • Shane Dowling November 5, 2011 at 12:40 am #

      You may want to go back and read your own link again. This is what it says “Sweden, it’s important to note, be able to circumvent those restrictions on traditional extradition. The Assange support site SwedenVersusAssange.com argues that Sweden will use a clause in its extradition treaty with the United States that allows a “temporary surrender” of a prisoner to the U.S. by “mutual agreement.” That clause, Assange’s backers fear, means Assange could be passed on to the U.S. without either the usual extradition hearing under Swedish law or the consent of the U.K. government.”
      I notice how you left the above out of your comments. Shoots a real whole in your argument that “The US-UK treaty regarding extradition is much more US-friendly than the US-Sweden treaty.”

      • VERONICA NICHOLLS November 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

        MINDBEAT, FOR YOUR INFORMATION

        I AM MYOPIC.

        YOU CALL ME IGNORANT BECAUSE I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR OPINION.

        SHANE’S REPLY SPELLS OUT VERY CLEARLY ASSANGE HAS MUCH TO FEAR.

      • Mindbeat November 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

        Shane and Veronica. Their interpretations about “mutual agreement” is wrong. The accusations from the US has to be a crime in Sweden too, so it’s impossible for Sweden to hand Assange over to the US without “dual crime”. Only under those circumstances can Sweden “temporary surrender” a prisoner, accused for another crime (the rape), and temporary hand him over. If it was the way you think, the whole Extradition treaty between Sweden and the US would be totally useless.

        Sorry, Veronica, but I called you ignorant because your opinion isn’t based on all facts.

      • Shane Dowling November 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

        It is your link that you quote from as being experts and say we are wrong. Now your are saying that the experts in your link are wrong. The title of the website on your link is “International Extradition Lawyers”. I think they know what they are talking about.

      • Mindbeat November 8, 2011 at 12:47 am #

        Can’t you read, Shane. This is just so silly. READ:

        “SwedenVersusAssange.com argues that Sweden will use a clause in its extradition treaty with the United States that allows a “temporary surrender” of a prisoner to the U.S. by “mutual agreement.” ”

        again:

        SwedenVersusAssange.com argues

        My link is referring to a website that argues against my opinion. Sorry, but this was almost the only link that doesn’t try to smear Sweden all the time. And you see Shane, I try to be as open-minded as possible. You. You are just ignorant.

        “But McNabb argues that even in spite of that potential loophole, Assange has a better shot of staying out of American hands in Sweden than he would have in the United Kingdom, where the Extradition Act practically pre-ordains his trip to America. “It would be almost certain in the UK,” says McNabb. “In Sweden, it’s a toss-up.” ”

        And as I said, they have misunderstood this “loophole”. My interpretation, when I read the treaty, is that it has to be a “dual crime” situation.

        And more:

        “Swedish hosting companies PRQ and Bahnhof have both continued to serve WikiLeaks at the height of its controversy without threats from the Swedish government.”

      • Shane Dowling November 8, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

        You say “Sorry, but this was almost the only link that doesn’t try to smear Sweden all the time.” I think that says a fair bit, they are smearing Sweden for good reasons. It must be remembered that Julian Assange was charged with rape by Sweden then the charges were dropped by a senior prosecutor, now they want him for questioning for the same charge. I hate to tell you but any fair minded person would look at that and say it is a joke and very suspicious.
        And they have already questioned him once. Why do they need to do it again and why can’t they do it in England?

      • Mindbeat November 9, 2011 at 4:16 am #

        I linked to a website which linked to another website, where they discussed one thing from another angle. Oh, my God, I linked to a website which hadn’t my opinion all the way. Now, that is something you would never do, of course. You would never link to a website that might discuss this from a different angle. Because if you do that, your interpretations will fall.

        The discussion about how different Swedish prosecuters handled this is also relly laughable. This is what happened: The first prosecuter thought she had a case. The scond one maybe believed the women, but she thought the chances for a conviction was to small (in all countries a prosecuter has to look at the chances, even if the victim’s story is believable). Then the women’s lawyer appealed and the third prosecuter thought, after new questionings, that she might have a case after all and wanted to talk to Assange. Now, this is what happened.

        And now you seriously think that this, what I might call a circus (I’ll give you that), is a sign of some sort of set-up from Swedish authorities. What amateurs they are then. And why didn’t Sweden just approve Assange’s request for residence permit. Why jeopardize everything with a dubious rape case. Can’t you see this?

        I’m a supporter of Wikileaks but I think will go insane soon. It’s actually easier to discuss more complicated matters with my children.

        But I’ll give you more set-up proof to hazzle about: Did you know that the female police officer, who wrote the first police report, was a friend to one of the women. That could easily happen i small communities, but now it happened in Stockholm. Oh, this is another proof of a set-up. Maybe soo. The funny thing is that this police officer wrote about this on her Facebook. Not very smart if she is a part of a set-up, don’t you think.

        And did you know that there is a discussion among people like you about Sweden’s former Minister of Justice, Thomas Bodström. His colleague, Claes Borgström, is the women’s lawyer, by the way. Now, Thomas went to the US to work for almost a year at the same time everything with Assange occured. Of course people on websites like this think he did this to discuss an extradition of Assange from Sweden with US authorities. Now, this is false, of course, but I will not tell you why. Have a good time and hazzle about it, call it a part of this set-up if you want. In the mean time I can laugh about it. Or, you can seriously do your homework, read facts and tell me why this is false.

        Good luck!

  2. Pat McCann November 3, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    It is hard to believe that a country as advanced as Sweden, would appoint Lay Judges, with political affiliations! Julia might have the same system in mind for us!

    • Shane Dowling November 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      I think she has already started with some of the people she has appointed.

  3. VERONICA NICHOLLS November 3, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    LET US PRAY FOR JULIA,N. I DREAD TO THINK OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HIM WHEN THE YANKS GET HOLD OF HIM,

  4. Jennifer Hutchison November 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Gillard would be the last person you would expect to support an Australian in need of assistance. Gillard is to preoccupied with big noting herself on the world stage. All she’s capable of is giving superficial speeches. She’s incapable of any action,paralysed by indecision.I’m a supporter of Julian Assange,as are many people and I hope this will all work out well for him as I believe the world needs wikileaks.Another great post,keep up the good work Kangaroo Court,we need you to!!!

    • VERONICA NICHOLLS November 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      WELL SAID! JENNIFER.
      LET US HOPE GILLARD’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED.
      HARDLY ANYONE IN AUSTRALIAN IS LISTENING TO THAT DREADFUL BOGAN DRONE.
      HOWEVER, I AM SURE THE IMF WAS LISTENING INTENTLY WHEN SHE OFFERED THEM FINANCIAL HELP.

  5. Pat McCann November 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Maybe we could ask OBAMA to help Assange, when he visits this month. How about a petetion to request a fair and honest deal for him? Hopefully, Sweden will find him not guilty and let him remain in U.K.

    • VERONICA NICHOLLS November 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

      PAT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SIGN A PETITION IF IT WOULD CARRY SOME WEIGHT.

  6. parker_vmg3 (@parker_vmg3) November 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Ah transparency, it seem’s to scare the pants of the powers that be, I wonder why?

  7. alan November 4, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    These women went into the sack with Assange because they wanted to. Sexual charges in Sweden is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500! It is a “trap” by the powers that be to eliminate Assange. Just like with Strauss-Khan. Not a real fan of Assange (or SK) either, I can see that this is bull. Like the charges against Herman Cain.

  8. Mindbeat November 4, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    I’m a man and I’m a big supporter of Wikileaks and Assange work, but if we can’t see the difference between this and Julian Assange as a private person, how are we supposed to react when a politician we DON’T like is accused?

    Yes, I’m a man and for me it’s very upsetting that some people on this board, even women, seems to think it’s okey to have intercourse with a sleeping woman without condom, when the woman clearly stated before that she wanted to use condom. This is classified as minor rape even in the UK. If this is what happened, we don’t know, of course, but that’s why the Swedish prosecuter wants Assange for questioning.

    Sorry guys, but I can’t see anything wrong with that. Honestly, I think it’s obvious.

  9. Paul November 6, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I still find it very interesting that Wikileaks got lots of Mainstream press coverage, even before they had released anything. This was despite the presence of many whistleblowers already out there, some with far more damning information than anything Assange ever put out, who were pointedly ignored or pilloried by our wonderful global Press stenographers. Methinks Assange, narcissistic lost soul that he is, has outlived his usefulness, and what is going on has very little to do with anybody’s justice system.

  10. Corinne February 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I will always Like the courage Julian Assange has. Unfortunately, he is suffering the consequences of his reporting reality. The NWO does not want people like Assange and Manning to mess up their wicked plans, therefore they will be made to suffer for it. I cannot imagine the courage it took for these brave men to do what was right and challenge the government. Remember what JFK said about revealing the truth about “Secret Societies’ and the government? He said the American people deserve to know the truth. God rest his soul. I feel terrible about what the government did to Bradley Manning, who wanted a better world to follow the release of his video and documents, as did Assange. I hope everything works out for the better with the case in Sweden for all concerned. I was not there with Mr. Assange and the women so I cannot make a fair comment on it. However, if it was rape he needs to stay in Sweden and not get swept away by the U.S.A..

  11. John Foster April 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I am no particular fan of Assange, or WikiLeaks, and strongly disagree with their release of confidential information that may put the lives of others at risk. But, it would appear that their actions have not broken any Australian, or United States Laws. This opinion has already been expressed in reference to Australian law by Malcolm Turnbull and Senator George Brandis, the Shadow Attorney General, and is also shared by the Australian Federal Police.
    We should call upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Attorney General, to offer all assistance commonly provided to Australian citizens facing investigation overseas, including the appointment of a Senior Counsel to assist an Australian citizen facing extradition from the United Kingdom to Sweden for the purpose of a police interview. If no charge has been issued by the Swedish authorities, and the only reason for the extradition application is to attend an interview (which I personally do not believe is the case), surely it would be more appropriate for Swedish police to travel to the UK to interview him.
    Furthermore, it should be said that we deplore the disgusting comments in the recently published emails attributed to “Stratfor”, a private intelligence organisation in the US, and ask that the Minister for Foreign Affairs be urged to ask the government of the US to express their condemnation of these emails and to confirm that the views expressed in them are not shared by the US government. Failure to clear the air in this regard could possibly be seen by the general public as an admission that the US is a party to this alleged conspiracy.

  12. Yvette April 26, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Julia Gillard doesn’t have the moral fortitude to stand up for Julian Assange. I have never seen a dignitary (or, in this case, our prime minister) run up and kiss another, let alone a US president. They walk up and shake hands (don’t they? It made me sick to the stomach!). To put it bluntly she “doesn’t have the guts” to stand up to the US but more importantly she was absolutely besotted with Obama. Can anyone remember the constant barrage of criticism that Howard received regarding his relationship with the US? I also agree with comments here that Howard will go down as one of if not the best prime minister we have had.. Please excuse my lack of finesse in writing my comments. I have only just discovered Kangaroo Court and can’t tell enough people. For me, it is like finding a diamond in the mud.

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