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Sweden issues global warrant for Assange

Sweden issues global warrant for Assange

Published: 20 Nov 2010 12:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Nov 2010 12:00 GMT+01:00

"Late last night we gathered all the information and sent it out in the different systems," namely the Swedish system, Schengen countries system SIS and Interpol, Tommy Kangasvieri of the Swedish National Criminal Police (Rikskriminalpolisen) told AFP on Saturday.

"The prosecutor had already decided to issue an international arrest warrant, we made sure that all the police forces in the world would see it," Kangasvieri explained.

Interpol, based in Lyon in eastern France, later said it had received an arrest warrant for the extradition of Assange.

The Stockholm district court on Thursday ordered an arrest warrant for Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, for questioning on "probable cause of suspected rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion" in Sweden in August.

The court order allowed prosecutor Marianne Ny, who had requested Assange's detention, to prepare an international arrest warrant for the head of the whistleblowing website, who is believed to be in Britain.

Ny insisted Thursday that arresting Assange was the only way she could be sure of questioning him about the allegations, which he has denied.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Björn Hurtig on Friday filed an appeal against the arrest warrant court order, but the appeal did not suspend the Swedish order or delay the international warrant.

However, Swedish media reported the petition would likely be treated quickly by the appeals court, which could rule on the warrant's legitimacy in days.

Assange has been accused of raping one woman in Sweden and sexually molesting another.

He has strongly denied the charges and hinted that they could be part of a "smear campaign" against his whistleblower website for publishing classified US documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks last month published an unprecedented 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:38 November 20, 2010 by marianne667
What is "illegal coercion"? Might it be when someone nags you for sex? Had no idea that was a crime...hmm...

This whole thing is very strange to say the least. I smell a rat.....
12:47 November 20, 2010 by eZee.se
Yep, and that rat is waving some stars and stripes...
12:53 November 20, 2010 by Nemesis
This is very strange.

If someone is raped in Sweden, the police usually send a letter to the victim a few months afterward, stating there is no evidence anything happened, drop the case and go back to eating pizza.

So why have they suddenly decided to actually issue a warrant for this guy, if they usually never even bother to investigate rapes.

This stinks.
12:59 November 20, 2010 by Capey
Agree -this definitely smell like a US rat. They are trying to shut Assange up and to shut down Wikileaks altogether- don't like the truth being told.
13:27 November 20, 2010 by heu
Dance, puppets, dance!
14:02 November 20, 2010 by dtes
Yeah this is absurd, Even IF he raped someone since when did sweden care about prosecuting rapes? This was totally predictable, everyone knows the US government is not too low for this sort of behavior. I wouldnt be surprised if they didnt actually plant his DNA. They are going to attempt to destroy him, he has exposed thier nasty murderous lies and propaganda.

He is good people in my book!
14:17 November 20, 2010 by fm
How many International warrant of arrest have been issued for rape and sexual molestation suspects, I mean like for the common rapist or molester ??? I haven't heard much of those, that is the only reason why i think there is something fishy about this whole thing, I am not a fan of this Assange, but still I feel this is witch hunting in a way
14:40 November 20, 2010 by spidernik84
It reminds me of what happened with Al Capone: they couldn't catch him with any direct evidence, so they had to bust him with something more common (fiscal fraud). The only difference is the lack of evidence, here, while with Al Capone you had some.

As many stated here: this stinks like rotten fish. The bad thing is: the most of the population won't even suspect this and point their finger at this "bad criminal" clapping the government for the "great sense of justice and protection of the Homeland security".
14:42 November 20, 2010 by calebian22
Yes, Bush sucks, oh wait, Obama the darling of Europe is in charge now.....
15:07 November 20, 2010 by amirhosein
this is absurd,

put yourself back together, Sweden.

US is not worth sacrificing the truth.
15:16 November 20, 2010 by EuropeanIsraeli
when this gonna end.... useless stories about a criminal who rapes women.....
15:48 November 20, 2010 by Nomark
So many people seem to believe that this is a conspiracy.

Is there any *evidence* that this is the case ?
16:00 November 20, 2010 by Revenge
LOL Sweden. The faithful follower of the U.S.A as usual using women to satisfy their political needs. Shame on you.

Poor guy. I think he regrets now publishing the documents.
16:01 November 20, 2010 by Nomark
Believing what you feel to be true in the absence of evidence is great for church-goers but not so useful in the real world.....
16:48 November 20, 2010 by Boyfriend
At the age of 40 I believe it would be hard to rape two women. And if he raped them why they did not report the matter right away so police could verify it easily?
17:48 November 20, 2010 by truthworthy
This is US work, if Sweden allowed the US to spy on its citizens why would they not cooperate with arresting this guy. It makes sense. but this is bad for Sweden's reputation.
17:49 November 20, 2010 by Nomark

Forty year olds don't commit sexual offences ? Do you believe that he did it on the same night ? I don't think this was ever alleged.

As far as I'm aware, the reports were made soon after the alleged offences.

That said, as I'm sure you're aware (or maybe not) its not uncommon for rape victims to wait some time before going to the police. Its a well known phenomenon.

Why do you think JA is more trustworthy than the women who complained ? Do you know any of the protagonists ?
19:06 November 20, 2010 by Nomark

You write that this is "US work". How do you know this? I must have missed something big since I don't see any evidence at all that the US is behind this. Can someone, anyone, please provide the evidence.

NB An assertion on a discussion forum does not equal evidence. Lots of assertions on a discussion forum also do not constitute evidence
19:20 November 20, 2010 by edb
Y'all ought to call Oliver Stone. He'd love to make a movie out of your whacko theories.

If Washington controls the Swedish government, then why are the Swedes running the embassy spying allegation up the flag pole?

Or is it just possible that this megalomaniac actually did what his son suggested he is capable of doing, mistreating women and all people who he sees as inferior to himself?
19:24 November 20, 2010 by ehwhat?
Prosecutors have the ability to request arrest warrants. These requests are either upheld or not. This one was upheld. International arrest warrants are common. Interpol publishes statistics on these requests. Look them up. Being told that Swedish police are "soft" on rape and molestation claims is hardly an indictment of a prosecutor who isn't. No one should take a soft stance on these activities.

Is the US behind the claim? Perhaps, Who cares ? If they are, then they are idiots. This type of BS backfires and makes the accused into martyrs. If they are not, then why should an alleged pervert get off? (pun intended).

The proper response is to come back and disprove the claim. Once its dropped or set aside Wikileaks can make considerable funds for the "smear campaign." It would also play well with the conspiracy addicts who might then actually do something useful and donate to Wikileaks rather than simply spend their time typing rants on the web.
19:32 November 20, 2010 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
i am of the opinion that the its a set up. atleast Sweden is dancing to the american beat. how many int'l arrest warrant has been issued by säpo for any crime committed in sweden.
19:56 November 20, 2010 by Nomark
Where is the evidence ????
19:57 November 20, 2010 by UScitizen
I can't believe you people who read The Local ard so paranoid that you think EVERYthing is a US conspiracy. Are all of you so afraid of America? Believe me, as a US citizen, I know what my country is capable of and I know what dumb things our government can do. I wish we WERE as powerful and scary as you all seem to think we are. The US government DOESN'T control the Swedish government. That's funny right there, I don't care who you are!
20:01 November 20, 2010 by Revenge

H ehehe.... thanks for the laugh man, you are so right, you reminded me of the musician that plays the music box on the streets and with him a small monkey dancing. He heheheh....

Dance Sweden.... Dance......
20:18 November 20, 2010 by Njal
Does anyone notice an inconsistency with the way rape is handled by the Swedish government?

A group of immigrants who gang-rape a Swedish girl, were any of them sent back to their homelands with their Swedish citizenship revoked? Compare this with the white dude whom is as of yet unproven in his guilt, it was not violent, (i.e. he did not smash the girls face after he slaked his supposed lust), and there were no international warrants for their arrests.

I also notice The Local does not allow anyone to comment on the storey about the African footballer who plays for Sweden accused of rape, as well as the 'honour killing' (a contradiction in terms), by a man slaying his own kin.

The timing is definitely fishy in this storey.
20:44 November 20, 2010 by Tennessee Thunder
Why don't Yah,ll just blame the U.S for everything.,if there is a flood were there,a volcano,were there,an earthquake were there.

I do wish my tax money wasn't spent on Europen bullshit.
22:03 November 20, 2010 by Nilspet
Rats, Cats, Dogs ... we have plenty of them in the world.
23:38 November 20, 2010 by RobinHood
There is powerful evidence something is amiss with this prosecution. In it's first few hours, a prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for two rapes on the basis of a telephone conversation. The next morning the prosecutor's boss countermanded the warrants. A few days later, a new charge was laid for a single much lesser offence of sexual molestation, and then the previously dismissed rape charge was ressurected. This is all highly unusual legal procedure. Something funny is going on at the prosecutor's office, and there seems to be a growing sense of desperation there to get something to stick on JA,. Perhaps to somehow justify the terrible mess they have made of this, perhaps for darker, more mysterious reasons. We shall see.

What we do know now is that this matter is not being handled in the normal way. Why not?
00:17 November 21, 2010 by sgt_doom
This is the most profoundly nonsensical, idiotic stuff I've ever witnessed.

This Marianne Ny character apparently doesn't have anything sensible to occupy here time, and wasn't there some law enforcement individual in Malmo that happened to escape her attention who was recently either found guilty of something or convicted of something in her realm?

To allow Mr. Assange to depart Sweden, THEN to issue an international warrant for his arrest is the height of legal (or illegitimate) absurdity!

I've yet to see any indication of evidence, they simply keep repeating the want to question Mr. Assange.

But the question is the "who" and "what" of those questions? (As in who really wants to question him and exactly WHAT do they want to question him about?)

Sounds like predatory jurisprudence to me....

From the Financial Times,


"Sven-Erik Alhem, former chief prosecutor for the city of Malmo, said the case had been mishandled from the moment officials confirmed Mr Assange’s identity to the media – in contravention of usual practice.

He said it was hard to imagine a rape conviction being secured when a senior prosecutor had previously announced publicly that there was no evidence of such a crime. “This is a case where you would want to be a defence lawyer,” he said."

And think that pretty well sums it up...
01:47 November 21, 2010 by DAVID T
Turns out he went for pink but hit the brown
02:08 November 21, 2010 by StuartM
The behaviour of the authorities does perhaps seem a bit odd but there are numerous reasons why a charge may be withdrawn then reapplied eg. witnesses changing their minds, new evidence emerging etc. I'm definitely no friend of the US government and anyone who knows about the history of Latin America will have no doubt as to what they're capable of. However in this case I can't help thinking that it's all too much of a far-fetched conspiracy theory. I assume people are arguing here that the two women have been persuaded/paid/coerced/hypnotised or whatever by the CIA into completely making up these rape allegations. Is it really worth them doing all this just to get Mr Assange put behind bars for at most a few years (probably much less considering how short the sentences are in Sweden)? As has been pointed out it would backfire enormously for the US if such a thing was ever to come out.
02:09 November 21, 2010 by Toonie
"from the moment officials confirmed Mr Assange's identity to the media - in contravention of usual practice."

That seems to be the nub of it. Remember the fuss about the Swedish press revealing the identity of the alleged shooter in Malmoe? Or, most famously, Lisbeth Palme being told, by police, before the identity parade that the main suspect was an alcoholic, thereby destroying the possibility of convicting the man she pointed out as the murderer of Olof Palme?

This rule about not revealing a suspect's identity to the media can cut both ways in terms of legal effect. But earlier in the Olof Palme murder investigation, journalists were told who the main suspects were - and there were a few. So my journalist friends would proudly announce, as though they were members of an elect club, that they 'knew' who had murdered Olof Palme. Until that case crumbled and another suspect was pushed to the front of the queue. In other words, the various instances of legal authority are perfectly capable of breaking their own rules to suit their own purposes, and the Swedish media are perfectly capable of letting them get away with it. (In the Palme case, the foreign correspondents were the ones putting the key questions.) This case looks as shambolic as the mismanagement of the Olof Palme case. Whatever the outcome after investigation, I just hope the Swedish media aren't as supine as they were in the 1980s.
09:51 November 21, 2010 by Nomark
The Swedish legal system is slow, bureaucratic, imperfect and prone to errors. No surprise.

Is there any evidence that this is a conspiracy ?
11:17 November 21, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Nomark,

The fact they have actually issued a warrant for an alleged rapist, is unusual.

It is a subject I am well versed on.

3 years ago a man tried to rape me literally in front of the front door of the police station, fracturing my leg in the fight he clearly did not expect. The police interviewed him and asked him if he tried to rape me. Just that one question. He said no and the police sent me a letter stating there was no evidence of an incident. It would have been obvious when they interviewed him, that he had been in a serious fight, for a few weeks afterwards. They did not knock on one door of the many people looking out the window from there apartments at me fighting with him, or talk to the two Swedish men who came out of there homes, to help me get home, due to my fractured leg.

From speaking to several women I know in Sweden it is normal for the police to only glance over at best a rape allegation.

That is why when I see a warrant out for an alleged rapist in Sweden I seriously question what is going on. It is way out of character for the police and prosecutors who normally don't believe the victims and think the rapists are wonderful people.
11:31 November 21, 2010 by marianne667
Nemesis, I am so very sorry for what happened to you and it makes the Assange case sound so much odder.
11:31 November 21, 2010 by The Tim Channel
If Sweden had any sense of real justice, they'd be issuing arrest warrants for admitted US war criminals.

11:45 November 21, 2010 by Revenge
People should know,

1- U.S started war against Afganistan (Taliban) for an unclear reasons (9/11??), no proof till now that Taliban had anything to do with it.

2- U.S started war against Iraq because Iraq had nuclear or biological weapons, as usual nothing was found till now.

3- U.S bombed a medicine factory in Sudan claiming that there is a nuclear factory beneith it and after the bombing, it was proven that it was just a medicine factory.

U.S in all these matters tried to shift the goals to justify the mistakes they did and sadly most of western countries are helping without questioning, Unluckily in this case the guy exposed their actions, so what better way to strip this guy from his credibility????

I leave the rest to your imagination. By the way isn't he innocent until proven guilty????
11:51 November 21, 2010 by Nomark
Nemesis - I am also very sory for what happened to you. Undeniably, you have direct experience in one case and have heard anecdotes about the way the police supposedly operate.

Your case showed apparent police indifference to the issue of rape. The Tito rape case showed the opposite..It really isn't surprising that the authorities would be more vigorous in investigating a complaint if the alleged rapist is a public figure (if this is what happened/is happening). Furthermore, different prosecutors will treat the issue of rape (and attempted rape) in different ways depending on their own priorities.. Do these priorities change if complaints are made by more than one person about the same person ? I would imagine yes.

Where is the evidence that this is a conspiracy ??????
17:28 November 21, 2010 by Nomark
Its worth repeating a comment I made on a similar thread.

All I want is information. Given the whole JA-wikileaks openness thing I would have thought that you guys would be very keen to (a ) pass on the detailed information you think you have which shows a conspiracy (b ) open it up to scrutiny and debate and (c ) arrive at an informed conclusion.
18:23 November 21, 2010 by Nomark
Trowbridge - are you serious ?

If you wish to compare cases then you need to make sure they are directly comparable.

One case was Sweden responding to a request from another country. Country-to-country affairs *always* take time. The other case concerns Sweden driving the investigation. Why *should* the time scales by the same ?

Furthermore, a legal process proceeds at a pace determined by a number of different factors, eg resources, availability of witnesses and evidence, expert reports etc. etc. Can you confirm that these factors carried exactly the same weight in the JA and the Polish case ? If so, prove it.

Its simply asinine to compare the two and use the comparison as evidence of a conspiracy.
19:04 November 21, 2010 by sgt_doom
To Nemises, #36, I am very sorry for your horrendous experience. Having grown up in especially violent circumstances, I empathize with your upset over what occurred, but it is in no way comparable to what is now happening to Mr. Assange, and I heartily urge you to look deeply into the background of prosecutor Marianne Ny, and what occurred during her tenure in Malmo.

To Revenge, #35, I am afraid you are either woefully misinformed, or ignorant, of what has been transpiring with regard to America's foreign policy in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There was NOTHING MISTAKEN ABOUT THOSE ACTIONS: oil from southern Iraq flows into China, to keep those factories and production facilities humming for the multinationals.

Afghani copper is mined by Chinese mining companies, under the protection of the US military, while Indian Hindu construction companies build the roads to those mines, and elsewhere, under the protection of Indian paramilitary outfits in Afghanistan.

And gas and oil pipelines now run across Afghanistan, ending in India, to supply those factories and production facilities there for the profit of the multinationals.

No mistakes; get the picture???????
21:41 November 21, 2010 by BYDAND
Robin Hood has got it right! something has gone all wrong at the prosecuters office,and those fools are digging the hole deeper for themselves by the day!
21:48 November 21, 2010 by Nomark
Trowbridge - I consider your comparison asinine for the reasons I stated that there are simply too many variables which can explain differences. Asking you to prove these variables contributed in identical ways in both cases was, in effect, asking you to either (a) come up with the goods and reveal detailed knowledge of the case or (b) go through the logical exercise of realising that your comparison is wholly invalid without such knowledge.

Rather than repeating your rhetoric, show that you have that detailed knowledge and prove me wrong by quantitatively disproving my point.

This is done by showing that you understand which factors played a role in determining the length of each case ? I can think of resources, the soliciting expert opinion (which experts were consulted and when), availability and further interviewing of witnesses (when did this happen), different priorities which individual prosecutors may quite legimitately assign to these cases, consultation with Poland (in the Polish case) etc. etc.. After you have considered all of this show that the differences in time-lines for the cases shows a conspiracy for the JA case.
00:22 November 22, 2010 by Toonie

What happened to you is unforgivable, and sadly common across Europe, both in cases of rape, attempted rape and violence against women. I sat on a jury recently in a similar case and observed close up the perceptions of women who are trying to get justice.

But back to Wkileaks. I just heard the Prosecutor in this case on the BBC World Service explaining why she'd issued this warrant. She said two things which surprised me. 1) naming the suspect for the whole world (otherwise discouraged in Sweden) and 2) said she'd been trying to speak to Assange 'for months'. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Assange stay in Sweden so that he could be questioned, but was then told he was free to travel?

And on the question of conspiracy theorists, a very little history will show that all countries go after those who threaten their national interests. They also do deals with citizens of other countries in order to achieve that. Whether it's happened in this case may never be known - or will be when the US opens up the record (which they tend to do earlier than European govts) .

Interesting question. If anyone wanted to smear Assange, what would be the most effective slur? That he was a womaniser? Or gay? A tax dodger? Or a rapist? All those slurs used to work in the past. Perhaps only one, possibly two, work these days. The more liberal or neo-liberal people become the harder it is to undermine their credibility. Fortunately for the US, there is one charge that still definitely works.
06:48 November 22, 2010 by allesklar
On the balance, I'm inclined to believe it is a smear campaign cooked up by the obvious US interests, and unfortunately aided by Sweden's authorities who should know better.

Will the slur be effective? Probably yes. Will it have the desired effect? Well, in my case, it provoked me to donate to WikiLeaks.

Hopefully, a whistle blower will soon provide documentary proof of the frame-up, which can then appear on WikiLeaks in due course.
09:42 November 22, 2010 by Kevin Harris
It's pretty clear something odd is going on at the prosecutor's office. Two rape charges are filed, and then countermanded a few hours later. Then one is restored and the other reduced to assault. The duty prosecutor breaks the law by giving information to the press, and her office reports itself to the ombudsman for malpractice. Then, a senior Stockholm policeman says publicly that the prosecution has made such a mess of the case it has no chance in court.

If this is a typical day at the prosecutor's office, I'm a monkey's uncle. The prosecution have to get a result here. If JA is found not guilty at trial, they are going to have some seriously embarrassing questions to answer.
11:51 November 22, 2010 by Nomark
Trowbridge - I note you didn't respond to the detailed questions I asked you regarding disproving my point about your poor comparison of cases. Simply ignoring a well reasoned counter argument is a weak way to debate.

Regarding the prosecutors office, its no great surprise that the Swedish justice system is inefficient and bureaucratic. It would be expected that charges change as more evidence, witness statements, expert opinions become available. Can someone please show that the revision of charges/allegations is in fact evidence of a conspiracy against him ?
11:58 November 22, 2010 by NickM
@Nomark, There's plenty of evidence he didn't rape them - the women themselves told the police reports that got leaked to the press that the sex they had was "consensual". Or is that not enough evidence for you? Maybe you know more about this than the women themselves?
12:42 November 22, 2010 by Nomark
@NickM - what is the definition of rape under Swedish law ? This is the matter under question. Do you *know* the details of exactly what is being alleged and why it is being interpreted as rape ?

@Trowbridge - I'm afraid my questions were valid. You used the different timelines from different cases to postulate a conspiracy. I asked you to justify that reasoning by discounting normal non-conspiracy-related variables which could give a different time line. This you failed to do. The questions weren't gibberish. They were perfectly valid. They went to the heart of the matter i.e. what is the extent of the evidence base you use in order to draw conclusion ? From your lack of response, it appears your evidence base is shallow. Related to this is your belief that I'm a SIS agent. This alone implies that you don't apply rigorous evidence-based standards to your reasoning.
13:45 November 22, 2010 by Nomark
Trowbridge - for you to prove your thesis then you must have details of what went on in these cases. I listed several factors in an earlier post. You may find them inconvenient since you have no knowledge of how they played a role but you can't simply ignore them and pretend they don't exist or matter - they clearly do. You are not an expert in the workings of the judicial system for these two cases. To forget this and argue from a basis of almost complete ignorance is not going to lead anywhere.

Furthermore, with regard to your final point, rather than preventing a real discussion, I'm actually doing just that i.e. demanding evidence and questioning assumptions.
16:17 November 22, 2010 by Chuy
As an American; I can say, "Of course this due to the USA." America has nothing on Assange. They can't get him on treason because he's not American. They can't get him on anything so they needed to set him up to shut him up. If he's captured, I wouldn't be surprised if he never made it to trial.
19:15 November 22, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Toonie,

I know what you mean.

I was asked by a friend to sit in on a case she took against a priest who raped her as a child in Ireland. I could not believe it when a psychiatrist suggested that a young girl may have sexually led on a priest. She had to have stitches in vagina and anus after the rape, yet in court he was treated with respect and her with complete disrespect. There is to much of it all over Europe.
15:05 November 23, 2010 by NickM
@Nomark, You say: "What's the definition of rape under Swedish law?" It's certainly not consensual sex which is exactly what the women say they had with Assange. No law in the world recognises consensual sex as rape.
16:15 November 23, 2010 by Nomark

As its so clear cut you should send in your expert legal report to the prosecutor's office since whatever went on is clearly being interpreted as a possible rape... It is quite a stretch, even by conspiracy theory standards (which are generous), to imagine that there are no grounds under which whatever went on can't be interpreted under the rape legislation.

I did ask you for details of the rape legislation. However, I note you failed to provide any - instead you repeat yourself.

I'll therefore take the opportunity to repeat myself. Were you there at the alleged rapes ? Have you read the detailed allegations and legal arguments ? Are you, in fact, arguing from a position of near complete ignorance ?
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