Myths about the Assange case

Since I realised there are some myths widely spread in the Assange case, not only by the common internet mob but even by swedish journalists, I´ll try to correct some of them for my englishspeaking readers. I´m sorry for some of the sources being avalible in swedish only, try Google Translate for checking I´ve done my homework. I´m also sorry for any misspelling, feel free to correct me.

Myths about the extradition

Sweden would hand Assange over to United States, to possible death penalty or torture.
No. Sweden is bound by EU and ECHR law not to extradite in circumstances where there is any risk of the death penalty or torture.  There would be no extradition to the United States in such circumstances.

Sources: Mark Klamberg, doctor in Public International Law for legal sources, and David Allan Green, journalist and Francis FitzGibbon, QC in London.

Sweden would ignore the law and hand Assange over anyway, look at the case with the two Egyptians Sweden handed over to USA.
The cases are not similar, and it´s not likely the same thing will happen again. That case was handled outside the legal system, and the people involved thought itwould pass unnoticed. The Assange case has so far been handled inside the legal system, and has got much attention in media.

See: Mark Klamberg, and his answer 11.48 today

Assange is more likely to be extradited to USA from Sweden than the United Kingdom
No. Because the extradition order doesn´t cover handling Assange over to USA. So an extradition to USA would require the consent of both Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Sources: Mark Klamberg, , David Allan GreenFrancis FitzGibbon

Sweden should guarantee that there be no extradition to USA.
It wouldn´t be possible for the swedish government to do that. And even if they did, the decision wouldn´t be valid. Cases about extradition has to be tried by the Supreme Court. If they says yes, the goverment still can say no after that, but it doesnt work the other way.
Sources: Mark Klamberg

Sweden should interrogate Assange in Great Brittain.
That might be possible, but the opinion differs. David Allan Green says it´s impossible, he claims Assange is asked for by Sweden not only for interrogation but in fact detained. Which is true, he is detained in absentia on suspicion of rape and unlawful coercion.

However, Mark Klamberg seems to think it is possible to interrogate him in London. But says it´s not the standard procedure and that there is a struggle on the control over the investigation, a struggle the swedish police and prosecutor don´t want to loose.
I agree with his assassment, and I want to add I dont´t like the idé a suspected sex offenders gets special treatment just because he´s famous.

Sources: Mark Klamberg, see his answer 11.08 today

It´s much safer for Assange in Ecuador than in Sweden, when it comes to extradition to USA
It´s true Sweden does not have a extradition treaty with Ecuador. But United States has. Ecuador is also, this year, evicting an ex-government worker from Belarus who has enjoyed three years of political asylum status in Ecuador. What he may encounter in Russia is hardly better than Assange may face in the USA.

When it comes to Freedom of Speech, Ecuador is one of the worse countries in the world, with many imprisoned journalists in recent years. If Assange critizises President Correa, he might very well end up as them. One who has criticized Assange's, and Wikileaks, dealing with such shadowy rulers as the Ecuadorian President is Anna Troberg, leader of the swedish Pirate Party. She claims that Assange's actions in this matter hurt Wikileaks

Sources: Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs/SVT Treaties in force, Part 1, bilateral treaties and other agreement, side 83, Der Spiegel , Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders

Myths about the Swedish legal system

It is strange that a prosecutor closes the case and another resumes investigation
I´t happens in 11% of all closed cases where the plaintiffs askes for it to be reopened. My  guess is thats not uncommon in other western countries either.
Source: DN//Claes Borgström, lawyer and counsel for the injured party.

It is strange to ask a person in custody when he never been in conflict with the law before.
No. It´s standard procedure to ask a person in custody for interrogations, if he´s not living in Sweden permanently. Even if the suspected offense is only about shoplifting.

Source: DN//Claes Borgström.

The case and the evidence is very weak.
Both the District Court and the Svea Court of Appeal held that there was probable cause to request Assange arrested for rape,unlawful coercion and sexual molestation. That means, one prosecutor and two courts had the same opinion, and one prosecutor didn´t. This suggests that neither the case nor the evidence is weaker than otherwise.
Source: DN//Claes Borgström.

The prosecutor did not bother to interrogate Assange while he was still in Sweden.
The prosecutor Marianne Ny did on several occasions unsuccessfully sought to obtain a hearing, during the five weeks he remained  in Sweden.
Source: DN//Claes Borgström.

It is strange to send out an European Arrest Warrent to bring an alleged rapists to the Swedish legal system.
No. Sweden has done so for years, in former rape cases.

Source: Mårten Schultz, Professor in Private Law

Myths about conflict of interest

The prosecutor Marianne Ny and the counsel for the injured party,Cleas Borgström, are old buddies.
False. They are both lawyers, and have therefore met briefly twice in the job over the years, nothing else.

Source: DN//Claes Borgström.
The counsel for the injured party, Cleas Borgström, is Social Democrat and has a law firm together with the former Minister of Justice Thomas Bodström, also Social Democrat. And one of the victims are Social Democrat.
True. But what has that to do with the case? Thomas Bodström or the Socialdemocrats are not involved in the case.

Cleas Borgström volonteered to represent the women
False. He was asked for by the women. A rather natural choiche, Cleas Borgström is a well known lawyer in rape cases.

Source: DN//Claes Borgström.

The police received the notification is a Social Democrat and do know the victims.
She is a Social Democrat, and know at least one of the victims, yes. But, she didn´t interrogate that victim. A policeman in Sweden must receive a police report if someone wants to leave one.

Source: The detention memorandum

Myths about the crime, the case and the victims

Assange is facing a show trial over the journalism of WikiLeaks
No, he is dodging allegations of rape.

Assange is suspected for an imaginary crime, sex-by-surprise, and/or for having sex without a condom
No. The European arrest warrent is about rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He's accused of pinning one woman's arms and using his body weight to hold her down during one alleged assault, and of raping a woman while she was sleeping.

The sex-by-surprise-theories and the "missing-condom-crime" seems to be a product of the fantasies of Assange's lawyer. Probably based on the fact that one of the reasons the women didn´t want to have sex with him was that he insisted on having sex without condoms, and is accused of intentionally tear a condom apart and didnt want to make a hiv-test when asked to.

Source: The Guardian, Newser/Mark Stephens, Assanges lawyer , The detention memorandum

It wasn´t rape because the intercourse started of as consencual sex.
In United States, that might acutally be the case, in legal terms. (If that is what women raped in USA thinks is another story...)  But in Sweden, non concensual intercourse is still a rape, even  if the sex started of as consensual.

And, as I said, he's accused of raping a woman while she was sleeping. According to the detention memorandum they had have concensual intercourse earlier. But later on, she woke up by Assange penetrating her.

Source: Jessica Valenti/The Washington Post, Svea Court Case 2007-10 - 16 in case B 3806-07 p 9 "The Stureplan Case".

"The prosecutor has not asked to see Julian, never asked to interview him, and he hasn't been charged with anything."
According to Newser, this was said by Mark Stephens, Assange's lawyer, the third of December 2010. Two weeks earlier, the 20th of November, an international arrest warrant for Assange was issued by Swedish police via Interpol. One should think a lawyer would understand that that mean the prosecutor wants to see Assange...

The victims did intentionally took contact with Assange
Yes, they did. But that has nothing to do with if he is guilty of sexual abuse or not.

The second victim, miss A,  did file a report only after she found out Assange earlier had sex with her friend, the first victim, Miss B. Because of Miss A being angry at Assange out of his infidelity.
It is true she reported the crime only after she learned that Miss B had also< been victim of Assange.
But, none of the victims mentions infidelity in the detention memorandum. Neither doe´s they say anything about them being in love with Assange or having regarded the whole thing as serious relationships

The infidelity-myth sems to be a product form the internet mob, after they found an older blogpost by Miss A. In the blogpost she seems very angry at another partner, cheating on her or maybe a friend she cared about, and talks about the best way of getting revenge. There is no connection to the Assange case in the blogpost. Neither is there anything about make false accusations about rape. Step 1 in the "revenge list" says: "Consider very carefully if you really must take revenge. It's almost always better to forgive than to revenge."

Source: The detention memorandum, the blogpost

Disclaimer: Since I´m a Social Democrat and live in Stockholm, as well as one of the victims, the counsel for the injured party and one of the policemen, of course I "know" them all. But, I´ve never worked with them, we are not close friends and I´ve never spoked with them about the case. I don´t know the first victim at all and the last time I met the second victim IRL was probably over a year ago. The information I mediates comes from the dentention memorandum, media and swedish and international law sources, nothing else.

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At 10:20 fm, Blogger hm said...

Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av bloggadministratören.

At 7:55 em, Blogger Objectivisor said...

A good blog, thank you. I understand that Borgstorm is actually acting as målsägarbiträde in this case. We have a whole section on the difference between that and a lawyer/counsel over at wikiwatch.org.uk/4corners.

You quote Borgstorm as a source for a number of things, but if you look at the Magistrates court findings, Bjorn Hurtig also confirmed that Assange couldn't be contacted and then left Sweden.

You may want to check our "Common Misconceptions" page as well, and there's still some stuff on my old blog.

The myths surrounding this case grow and grow and grow.

Thank you for adding some clarity.


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