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WIKILEAKS CONTROVERSY
Assange lawyers: Swedish courts 'unfair'

Assange lawyers: Swedish courts 'unfair'

Published: 07 Feb 2011 12:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Feb 2011 21:29 GMT+01:00

The 39-year-old Australian appeared at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in southeast London at the start of a two-day hearing.

Swedish prosecutors want to question the whistleblowing website's chief over allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women, but Assange claims the moves are politically motivated.

His lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said in his opening arguments that a rape trial in Sweden would violate Assange's human rights.

"He would be tried behind closed doors in a flagrant denial of justice," he told a packed courtroom at Britain's highest-security court complex.

"The Swedish custom and practice of throwing the press and public out of court when rape trials begin is one that we say is blatantly unfair, not only by British standards but also by European standards," Robertson added.

Assange's lawyers were also expected to argue that the extradition request is unacceptable because he has not been charged with any crime.

Wearing a dark blue suit and tie, the former computer hacker spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth as proceedings began.

A decision is not expected Tuesday, with the judge expected to defer until later this month.

If the ruling goes against Assange he will be able to appeal all the way to England's supreme court.

At the end of the first day's evidence, Assange claimed that a "black box" of accusations against him was being opened to inspection.

"On the outside of that black box has been written the word 'rape'. That box is now, thanks to an open court process, being opened," he told reporters.

"I hope over the next day we will see that that box is in fact empty and has nothing to do with the words that are on the outside of it."

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women.

Assange, who won worldwide notoriety for his website's release of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables, insists the attempts to extradite him are politically motivated.

His lawyers were to argue that if Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would risk extradition or could even be passed on to the United States where they say he could face the death penalty.

Assange, who was arrested in London in December 7, now faces a widening criminal probe in the United States and has made powerful enemies in Washington.

Robertson claimed that any trial in Sweden would be held "in secret" and that he would be held "without bail in conditions that have been condemned by the European Commission".

He also argued that the rape charge would not count as rape under European law.

"The court cannot accept the charge of rape is correctly identified, that that box has been ticked, because what is rape in Swedish law does not amount to rape in any other country," he said.

"The prosecutor describes this charge as 'minor rape'. That is a contradiction in terms, rape is not a minor offence."

The three molestation charges relating to Assange's other accuser were also "plainly wrong" because the woman had consented to sex, he told the court.

But Clare Montgomery, representing the Swedish authorities, said the arrest warrant alleges that Assange had sexual intercourse with one of the women "improperly exploiting the fact that she was asleep; and that Assange was aware it was the express wish that a condom be used."

Talk of extradition to the United States "depends on a factual hypothesis that has not yet been established as being real", Montgomery said.

Called as a defence witness, a retired former Swedish appeals court judge said the case had been "from the beginning extremely peculiar".

Brita Sundberg-Weitman said Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, who is handling the allegations, had a "rather biased view against men".

"I honestly can't understand her attitude (towards the Assange case). It looks malicious," she said.

Sundberg-Weitman answered "yes" when asked by Robertson if it was her view that Ny wanted "to get (Assange) into her clutches and then arrest him no matter what?"

The former computer hacker's legal team were to take the rare step of publishing their defence argument in full online later Monday.

One of his lawyers, Mark Stephens, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: "You will see some fundamental challenges to the European arrest warrant scheme."

Assange was released on bail a week after his arrest and has since been staying at a supporter's country mansion, under strict conditions including that he obey a curfew, wear an electronic ankle tag and report to police daily.

Leaked details have cast new light on the rape and molestation accusations he faces after Swedish police reports filled with graphic details of the allegations reached the Internet last week.

The police documents, viewed by AFP, contain a statement from the alleged rape victim alleging that Assange forced himself on her, without wearing a condom, while she was asleep.

The woman, identified only as Miss W, said she had had consensual sex with Assange earlier in the evening and had then fallen asleep with him, only "to wake up because he has forced himself inside of her," the report said.

"'She asked immediately: are you wearing anything?' and he answered 'you'," it added.

"She told him 'You better not have HIV,' and he answered 'Of course not'."

After that, Miss W allowed the intercourse to continue.

The documents also include a forensic report on the condom used during a sexual encounter with Assange's other alleged victim, Miss A, who accused him of having deliberately broken the prophylactic.

The report says the condom had not been cut with scissors or a knife.

Celebrity backers including socialite Jemima Khan were planning to lead rallies in London for Assange during his extradition hearing.

Khan, the wealthy former wife of Pakistan cricketer Imran Khan, was in court for the start of the hearing.

After releasing hundreds of thousands of confidential US documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan last year, WikiLeaks has in recent months been slowly publishing more than 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:27 February 7, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
again, this is total BS.

THEY HAVEN'T EVEN CHARGED HIM!!!!!!!

when on earth has someone been extradited but never been charged with anything before?????????

NEVER!

sweden should be ashamed to be americas puppet in all this.

and how the courts stand for this is totally beyond me. oh wait, they are corrupt.
13:06 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
You're right - it is total BS.

He's wanted for questioning. Why doesn't he just go back ? He could have ended this whole circus some time ago but chose not to. Maybe he simply prefers grandstanding.

You seem sure that America is behind this. Where is your evidence for this ?
13:10 February 7, 2011 by UScitizen
@Nomark

You can't pay attention to people like Liquidmonkey. He and a few others are grandstanding and trying to get attention just like Assange is.
13:25 February 7, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
yeah, if he has nothing to hide then why not go back, answer the questions and be done with it? i get that.

but "His lawyers were to argue that if Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would risk extradition or could even be passed on to the United States where they say he could face the death penalty."

so there is your answer.

more importantly, how can you ignore the other aspects of this fiasco? he's wanted for questioning so why put him on INTERPOL's most wanted list or allow an extradition?

interesting you mention evidence when there is obviously a total lack of it in his so-called sexual allegations. otherwise they would have charged him by now.

and gee, i wonder, assange puts out all kinds of cables that paint america in a bad way, america goes on the record calling him a terrorist and calling for his death (its on the 60 minutes interview) and you ask where is my evidence???

read the news NOMARK and open your eyes.
13:43 February 7, 2011 by Rebel
At least now people are seeing that Sweden is as corrupt as any other nation. Welcome to reality!
14:10 February 7, 2011 by Syftfel
Assange is of course correct when he says that Swedish courts are unfair. Swedish courts have become a mouthpiece for ferocious, and vicous, liberalism and coddling of criminals. Letting murderers and rapists out of jail, and jailing minor tax evaders and those who excersize free speech and say things that does not fall neatly in the socialist fold. So, yes, Swedish courts are unfair.
14:12 February 7, 2011 by HYBRED
Thats okay. The prisons are full of people that have had "..blatenanly unfair" and "..politically motivated" trials. Just ask them.
14:14 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
@Liquidmonkey

I asked for evidence that America was behind this. Nothing you wrote constitutes evidence. Writing in upper case or telling me to open my eyes doesn't change this.

Permit me to ask again. Where is the evidence that America is behind this ? You made the allegation - please provide the evidence.
14:21 February 7, 2011 by bow290
Most western countries bend over backwards to make the USA happy... its a well known fact cause we all want them on our side! European aren't any different. nothing wrong there i thinks :)

Sweden my not b perfect but when u compare her to alot of other nations...

i really can't see Sweden being as "corrupt as any other nation"

Way to let them know Liquid monkey!
14:25 February 7, 2011 by HYBRED
The USA has always been cozy with the UK. It would seem that if the USA wanted him back, their best chance would be getting him from the UK, not Sweden.
14:31 February 7, 2011 by RobinHood
The Swedish justice system just had an excruciatingly embarrassing morning. Solitary confinement to "soften up" a defendant before questioning, "secret trials", the dodgy Swedish definition of "rape", "trial by media, "Claes Borgström …. would be in jail for contempt of court if he was in the UK", incompetent prosecutors, and the withholding of vital evidence from the defendant. All this on the front pages of the world's media. And we've only just begun.

For veteran posters here who might have noticed something decidedly dodgy about the Swedish legal system (not just in this case), enjoy the show. The dirty laundry is well and truly out of the hamper, and there are some huge skid marks in the underpants.

I know .... calm down Robin.
14:31 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
@Hybred

It doesn't work that way. I believe a forum warrior has already explained on a related thread that UK justice is much fairer when it comes to extradition matters. That said, I do have the suspicion that were JA resisting extradition from Sweden to the UK, the forum warriors would make the contrary case.

I wish that I knew as much as the forum warriors. They don't show the slightest doubt and seem to be experts in everything they write about.
14:33 February 7, 2011 by Rick Methven
@HYBRED

Although there is an extradition treaty between the UK and USA, It can take years for the process to go through British courts and the US would have to get very hard evidence before it would be granted.

The US obviously thinks that Sweden is a softer alternative where it could be done easier and quicker.

From the way that Sweden has pursued it so far, they are most probably right
14:38 February 7, 2011 by procrustes
LiquidMonkey, et. al.

I believe the logic behind the accusation of Sweden acting on behalf of the USA is the FACT that Sweden illegally supported USA rendition (obduction) of suspected enemies and their transport to torture camps.

No one has proof before the fact that Sweden will extradite Assange to the USA, but given the existing facts that a) they blatantly violated European law in the USA renditions and b) knew that the abductees would be taken to secret locations forms a reasonable base to question Swedish intentions. Assange has every reason to mistrust the Swedish legal system.
14:54 February 7, 2011 by HYBRED
@Rick Methven

Thanks for opinion.
15:36 February 7, 2011 by Rishonim
Why aren't we allowed to comment on this article "Swede charged for sex crimes against 13 girls" 8-11 year old. I bet anything he will get square deal than Assange
15:38 February 7, 2011 by Kalyissa
@Rick Methven

"US would have to get very hard evidence before it would be granted."

Incorrect

"Among other provisions Part 2 of the Act: Extradition to category 2 territories (non-European Arrest warrant territories) removed the requirement on the USA to provide prima facie evidence in extraditions from the UK, requiring instead only reasonable suspicion.[3] This was necessary to redress the previous imbalance against the USA under the 1870 Act, as the UK did not have to provide the more onerous prima facie evidence to extradite from the USA. The requirement for the UK is to show probable cause - and although not exactly the same as reasonable suspicion, they are more equal than the 1870 Act and are about as equal as can be, given the differences in the two legal systems and without violating the US Constitution"

(Thanks Wiki! - Extradition Act 2003"

2003 treaty, agreed in aftermath of 9/11 attacks

Offence must be punishable by one year or more in jail in both countries

US has to prove "reasonable suspicion" for extradition of a British citizen

To extradite an American from the US, British must prove "probable cause"

Since 2004, 46 people have been sent from the UK to the US for trial, and 27 from US to UK

(Thanks BBC)

The US would have a better chance pulling him from the UK than Sweden since the Swedish act requires more evidence.

The only reason McKinnon hasn't been extradited is because he has Asperger's so they are trying to block it for this reason.

In my opinion as I said above, if he doesn't want to be pulled to the US going to Sweden would be a better option for him.
16:23 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
Regarding the death penalty that his lawyers refer to, there is usually an agreement that a country without such punishment allows a suspect to be extradited to the US only under the condition that, should they be convicted, they wouldn't be executed. Again, from wikipedia, "countries and areas, such as Canada, Macao,[1] Mexico, and most European nations, will not allow extradition if the death penalty may be imposed on the suspect unless they are assured that the death sentence will not be passed or carried out". BTW this is (or should be) common knowledge. His lawyers certainly know this. I wonder what it implies about the credibility of their public statements.

That said, it seems that the US will have a hard time finding something that he's actually guilty of under US law - usually a prerequisite prior to an extradition request :). He has made a big thing about calling himself a publisher - presumably since the US constitution affords great protection to media organisations when it comes to leaks.

@Procrustes - lots of EU nations assisted in the renditions, including the UK. How do you think this affects your argument that Sweden is under greater US-control than the UK ? You did, after all, cite Swedish-assisted renditions as a motivation. Somebody who writes "FACT" should perhaps dig out a few more of them before preaching to others.
16:54 February 7, 2011 by procrustes
@Nomark

If I came across as preaching, my apologies. I intended to speculate about why all the suspicion of Sweden's intentions. I believe the fact that I cited is indeed a fact.

I did not argue that Sweden is under more US control than other counties. Please reread my post. For the record, I do believe that Sweden is far more accommodating to USA policy than is good for their society. My point was simply that Assange to be afraid of his fate in Sweden is reasonable. I doubt many in his shoes would be anxious to fact his fate in Sweden.
17:56 February 7, 2011 by mojofat
The U.S. has nothing to do with it. Sweden is quite capable of making its own decisions on this matter, it's insulting to spout off otherwise.

Further, I agree it's ridiculous that he hasn't even been charged...why is Assange forced to go through these extradition hearings? I don't know if the "reasonable suspicion" threshold is required for non-british citizens in the UK, but it seems like if Swedish law enforcement feel they have enough evidence to warrant all of this hoopla of going through extradition hearings then they would have enough to formally charge him and perhaps smooth out this process a bit. Seems like a big circus...but one I give Sweden full credit for. They don't need US puppet masters.
18:26 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
@Mojofat

A Europe-wide arrest warrant was recently introduced. In theory, if member state X wishes to arrest someone in member state Y then it should be as easy as arresting that person in X. Courts in Y have little power to refuse to implement the warrant.

Much of the hoopla and froth has been generated by JA himself (linking it to the US with no evidence) and also his lawyers' sensationalist nonsense (there is no evidence of US involvement and no extradition from either the UK or Sweden would be made to the US without an assurance that the death penalty wouldn't be used). If JA had submitted to an interview when demanded by the prosecutor this could all have been avoided. Trials, extraditions to the US, executions etc. are only spoken of in internet chat rooms. This is froth. There is no evidence that this is anything other than someone wanted for questioning for whom an arrest warrant has been ordered. I would be surprised if it went further than that.
18:31 February 7, 2011 by babychuma
I still think the US State Dept. would rather everyone just forget JA, being so I can't believe they would even want to extradite him. I havn't heard any high ranking US official say anything about it for some time. Now if he disappears or winds up dead...
18:31 February 7, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
This is a real circus show. Its beginning to seem like he'd be facing a kangaroo court in Sweden.
18:58 February 7, 2011 by Rolf100
Do any of you know facts?

In the US; anyone publishing a document is protected via the constitutions first amendment. The people that go to jail are not the ones that publish the material but rather the people that stole and gave the material away. That is the case here and the private that made Assange famous is currently sitting in military prison.

Yes, Assange, embarrassed the USA but there is no law against that! Additionally, the UK is a much greater partner in both economics and military than Sweden is; Assange is in much more danger from extradition (if the USA wanted him) in the UK than he would be in Sweden.
19:21 February 7, 2011 by robertweller
what about brita sundberg-weitman's claim that ny is biased? did assange make that up too.
20:16 February 7, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Wouldn't you like to sit on Julian's head and fart? I know I sure would.
20:44 February 7, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Sweden is alot like Australia (where I live) In these nations you can be a woman in an important government role and run the job with your own agenda as a manhater. I hope that after this witchhunt is over the powers that be pay with their jobs and be exposed for what they are truly about.
21:26 February 7, 2011 by mba0021
note: it is not a pure legislation issue in this case but politics.talking about fairness? it is a joke
21:48 February 7, 2011 by Rebel
The reason Assange has a better chance with the Brits as opposed to the Swedes in regards to any deporting to the Hillary/Obama/Huckabee circus is that Brits have balls, Swedes do not. Its that simple.
21:50 February 7, 2011 by Nomark
Your argument is simple, that's for sure.
22:16 February 7, 2011 by GLO
ASSange is a War Criminal, Sweden wont do anything but help him get nut care then give him a pension. Time will catch him someday....
22:58 February 7, 2011 by Zala Russe
I don't particularly want to respond on a point-by-point basis. Like answering the critic on another thread who asked me 'what does this have to do with English Law?'. Mmm like everything. This is England. OK?

I haven't got the time or resources to respond to the Palinesque sponsored spamming of discussions with 'red herrings'

My advice ? Prosecute the bimbos for contempt of court and falsification of evidence. Commence proceedings against the Prosecutor for statutory corruption while holding an office of profit under the crown. Take action against the police responsible for perversion of justice. Get rid of the government officials in SAPO for obstruction of justice. Investigate and bring to book the muppet politicians behind this charade. Dump your ill-advised and ill-considered legislation that provided leverage to this scandal.

What I do know for sure: whatever the outcome, Sweden WILL be made to suffer for playing it's part in this judicial farce.
23:24 February 7, 2011 by Njal
For my part, I don't think Assange is doing anything wrong; at least not to the little guy and I have no problems when it comes to the embarassment of the rich and powerful. It seems that the target of his attentions has largely been the US.

The reaction of some of their politicians alone, to Assange's actions, were frightening in and of themselves, nevermind what the files contained. The rape charges are a farce, and Sweden should rightfully bear any criticism associated with this case.

When world leaders (US mostly), are responding with such panic and controversy towards this issue, then I'd like to know why.
00:01 February 8, 2011 by StatingDObvious
@NOMARK

you keep asking for evidence of US involvement, and yet what we now know for sure (which we may previously have only suspected) is that the US (probably other governments) engage in such extra-legal subterfuge in other countries and then protect themselves by keeping their activities secret. So there's no point acting as if lack of concrete evidence is something deeply meaningful -- it would only be meaningful if our societies insisted on government openness and transparency.
00:30 February 8, 2011 by Swedesmith
Is it just me or does Assange look like a character in a Dr. Suess book?
00:38 February 8, 2011 by sgt_doom
Please ignore the trolls: Nomark and US Citizen, whether here or elsewhere, they keep demanding the evidence then ignoring all facts when they are presented. I suspect they aren't even human, simply more chatterbots from various organizations.

Par Nuder was hired by an American international lobbyist group, Albright-Stonebridge. Carl Bildt, Sweden's Foreign Affairs Minister, used to be a director at MI6's cutout, Hakluyt and Company (look them up, they've had an interesting history).

Justice Minister Ask is a financial neocon.

Jeppensen Systems AB is located in Goteborg (Gothenburg) where they wish to extradite Assange to (anyone not familiar with Jeppesen, please google "Jeppesen Dataplan" and "extreme rendition").

The UK has stronger laws and civil participation so they are wary of extraditing Assange....far easier to do it from Sweden, and we know the Swedes are a ball-less bunch.
00:53 February 8, 2011 by Debaraja
@Nomark

In plain English. The evidence you're asking "Liquidmonkey" to provide you with, will be leaked sooner or later.

For now, common sense is all you need.
01:14 February 8, 2011 by Orangemen
Why do Swedes allow a bunch of men-hating militant feminists run their country? It appears that their only interests are deeming all sex rape and ensuring that a woman can murder her unborn child in virtually all circumstances.

What a pathetic country. Do all male Swedes walk around with their hat in their hands, eyes down, and grovelling to these miserable, jilted control freaks?
01:16 February 8, 2011 by sgt_doom
#11, RobinHood, you are absolutely correct, in both America and the UK, Borgstrom's public pronouncements and comments to interviewers would have put him in jail by this point.

#26, arbed12, perfectly correct and intelligent comments --- you are exactly on target.

Which is why the entire affair is obviously politically orchestrated. Nobody doubts that at this point....at least nobody ethical with an IQ above a door knob.
01:56 February 8, 2011 by J Jack
Hypothetically, If she (a complainant) had got pregnant to 'Assange' and kept the baby whilst he continued to get rich, she would have been a lot better off financially and they would (according to Swedish custom) still be good old friends. Instead she brings in a bunch of blinkered Rottweilers who will follow a piece of meat in whatever direction you swing it. Both girls who claim rape could fight over the baby, Howard Stern could also make a paternity claim and it would be a much better story. Not very clever ladies at all. Why didn't you sell the story to The Sun, or CBS, or someone who would pay already? Because it's a load of BS!
01:58 February 8, 2011 by sgt_doom
More on Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Bildt (former director at the MI6 cutout, Hakluyth & Company).

Carl Bildt was also with Kreab Group and Lundin Petroleum:

"Leading Swedish lawyer Percy Bratt believes that members of Lundin Petroleum's senior management and Board of Directors are among the identified suspects, including Ian Lundin and Carl Bildt, now the Swedish minister of foreign affairs."

from,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lundin_Petroleum

And an interesting story at this site:

http://%5bhttp//www.ecosonline.org/reports/2010/%5Eindex.html/UNPAID_DEBT_fullreportweb.pdf.html%5D
02:17 February 8, 2011 by JLondon
I wouldn't ever trust the Swedish Legal System for anything. Better for Assange to be in United Kingdom.
02:32 February 8, 2011 by xcited?
i av a question - y did the woman keep his condom for so long? :s
05:18 February 8, 2011 by technoviking
@ Rolf is competely right.

For all the nonsense about American conspiracies and death penalties, there is no case against him to be had in the US and they know it.

The person who commited the espionage is the soldier who stole the information and gave it to him. Assange is no different than a newspaper who published an article with source material given to them. He didn't steal it or access it illegally himself.

He'll either do time in Sweden or be free. There's no way to get him to the US legally.
05:32 February 8, 2011 by UScitizen
@ sgt_dum..... I mean sgt_doom

Let me make it simple for you 'cause I know you have trouble with numbers. My only post to this article was #3 and there you were at post #37, still obssed with me, still stalking me, still trying to say something to get me back on here. I guess you have some kind of "thing" fo me, needing my attention.

I hope this calms you down. Now relax, I'm still here. Take your meds and everything will be ok. ;O))
07:19 February 8, 2011 by Nomark
@Debaraja

Can you do a little bit better than writing that one needs common sense to support Liquidmonkey's assertions ? I've seen little real common sense exhibited on this forum.

Its perhaps appropriate to repeat an earlier comment I made:

"I wish that I knew as much as the forum warriors. They don't show the slightest doubt and seem to be experts in everything they write about."
09:58 February 8, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
@Rebel

Spot-On : )

About these conspiricy theories...

Sure, if the US wanted this dude liquidated, special OP's would have no problem taking him out. However...

It's a straight forward smear campaign to discredit Assange.

CIA comes to mind.

Sweden is on a spiraling downfall, first with it's weak immigration policy, which is in conflict with the geneva convention regarding assylum seekers, and with this roundabout sham of not charging, but issuing an arrest warrant for questioning via extradition?

If for some strange reason Assange ends up back in Sweden, and for some odd reason He ends up on US soil, Sweden will forever change world opinion on itself.

It's all politics now. While were asking questions, who killed JFK and why?

How long did it take special OP's to practice the staged 911 attacks?

Where's Bin Ladden? Where those WMD's the US was so sure were in Iraq? Why is Obama holding back on full disclosure of His origins of birth and of religion?

What happend to the Viking spirit and how did Swedes lose that edge?

Why are there "200 known muslim extremist" still allowed to stay in Sweden?

Anyone... Anyone... Bueller... Bueller..?
10:51 February 8, 2011 by PurpleMelbourne
It will be a much smaller favour for US to extradite him from one of its other allies not connected to the British Commonwealth of nations.

Its also more convenient to the Australian government to ignore JA, letting him be extradited from Sweden instead of Britain. They wouldn't be expected to become diplomatically involved.

Australia is important among the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Extradition for questioning without charge? Scary stuff.
10:57 February 8, 2011 by planet.sweden
Terrible reporting..

AFP/The Local missed the real news item by a mile, namely that the prosecutor leading the rape case against Assange is a "malicious" radical feminist who is "biased against men" according to a retired Swedish judge (no less) who addressed the extradition hearing.

Now that's news!

(Shame you missed it. Oh sorry, there's a passing reference in about paragraph 24)

Here's a link to The Guardian to show how real journalists handle a story like this..

www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/07/julian-assange-prosecutor
11:32 February 8, 2011 by procrustes
@planet.sweden

Thanks for the Guardian link--you're right, it is a well written, professional summary of what is known about the Assange debacle.
11:42 February 8, 2011 by johnny 2011
Well, I hope that the British court makes the right decision today and refuse Assange to be turned over to the disgusting Swedish court officials. What bothers me though, is, where is he going to go? He is not going to be safe anywhere in the world. The american criminals will get him. I do not envy his position. He has paid dearly for opening the sluices of showing what is going on under the cloak of diplomacy. He is probably not even safe in Australia.
11:53 February 8, 2011 by Nomark
Again, please, somebody provide *evidence* that the US is behind this. Many of you are so convinced and its so self-evident to you. Surely the evidence must be there ?

Me, I'm confused and I'm not the only one. Even JA has changed his tune. At first it was the US, now its feminism with an extradition twist.... His lawyer talks about possible execution. However, that lawyer knows that (a) the US will have great difficulty in charging JA with anything and (b) EU countries don't extradite unless there is an assurance that execution won't take place, should a suspect be convicted and (c) it is a moot point as to which EU country is best for extradition to the US - UK or Sweden. Yet still the lawyer sings this song and still so many of your applaud. Nobody asks the question - does the lawyer have credibility saying something he knows to be false ? Instead I'm told to use "common sense". Common sense tells me to question the credibility of (a) JA and his lawyers when they say they fear execution and (b) those who believe anyone who disagrees with them doesn't possess "common sense" rather than just supplying evidence for their assertions.
12:04 February 8, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Aren't some senior US politicians calling for his execution?
12:36 February 8, 2011 by Kalyissa
Some of you keep saying he would be better off staying in the UK, it's not true with the extradition agreements if the US want him they would have a much easier time pulling him from the UK than Sweden. Though he's not particually safe in any European countries.

If the US want him that bad they will get him wether he is in Sweden or the UK. In my opinion they won't put out an arrest warrant for him untill all this stuff with Sweden has been cleared up.

Or maybe someone will just put him to rest and finally get him off the news.
13:04 February 8, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Why do people think extradition from the UK would be easy? It wouldn't. Look at the Abu Hamza case. The UK would put him on the next flight gift-wrapped if they could. But they can't an so we're stuck with him.
13:26 February 8, 2011 by Kalyissa
It's not "easy" but it's not harder than it would be to extradite him from Sweden.

Take the natwest three for example they were extradited to the US.

However I can see one block to extradition from any EU country who has a treaty with the US and that is the fact as you said some US politicians have called for him to be given the death penalty.
13:58 February 8, 2011 by johnny 2011
Sweden has been known to have unregistered planes picking up prisoners at odd hours for transfer to various unsavory locations. I do not think the Swedes and Americans would bother w/ extradition papers. Assange would just be picked up and we would be told he went voluntarily if anything. The Swedes are devious.
17:19 February 8, 2011 by Nomark
None of you who purport to understand the comparative difficulties of UK-US or SE-US extraditions have a clue what you're talking about. Legal arguments are notoriously tricky and ambiguous yet most of you are utterly convinced that you're an expert.

Just because you don't understand that there complexities in a topic doesn't mean that that topic is simple.
17:24 February 8, 2011 by procrustes
Okay, now I know Nomark is a troll. Don't feed him.
11:57 February 10, 2011 by Steve911
Isn't it strange how many anti- Assange bloggers come to sites like the Local?

Perhaps not, if you consider that we are in the middle of a cyber-war, with Sweden a main battleground. Many government agencies (including CIA and Israel's Mossad) have recruited an army of Cyber-warriors to flood discussion sites with their government propaganda and disinformation, making it look like the average person hates people like JA. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article693911.ece

Look at comments by UScitizen, Nomark etc, what ordinary person has the time to write thousands of comments and be monitoring the news articles so as to have the first comment? UScitizen, I'm sure knows full well that JA did not offer to return to Sweden after he left for the UK, but nevertheless used the incorrect Local headline, to spread disinformation that JA had lied.
13:01 February 10, 2011 by Steve911
The fact is that if JA voluntary goes to or is extradited to Sweden, he will immediately be arrested and held in detention on arrival for perhaps over a year in some stinking jail for foreigners. The Swedes already managed to get him locked up in prison in the UK for about 10 days. The main purpose is to deny him access to the internet and the media so it will slow down the release of the Wikileak logs. The legal case the Swedes are purporting to pursue against JA is a sham. Tabloid newspapers love a good sex story, especially when its distracts people from reading the real message about the corruption and illegal activities of our governments exposed by Wikileaks.

Many UK legal experts doubt if Sweden will succeed in get JA extradited for so called questioning. So Sweden should brace itself for heavy court costs and serious international embarrassment. Even, if they get him to Sweden, what then? He will just say, 'you have already questioned me and I have answered your questions, I have nothing further to say. Charge me or let me go. There is no new evidence other than the SMS messages of the 2 women (which you don’t let me see), so perhaps you should question the women about them.' The fact that Ms Ny doesn’t have the guts to charge JA proves that even she knows that the case against JA is extremely weak. It is unlikely that his so called accusers will give evidence in court against JA because they would lay themselves open to a charge of perjury and in any event one of them is living in Palestine now.
17:14 February 18, 2011 by Benson2
Montgomery described Assange as violent and abusive toward the women, using force in one case to pin one down as he tried to penetrate her against her will. It's a part of the story. I think a sexual relation ship with new partners is risky, because man and woman don't know each other and makes mistakes. The question is can you repair these mistakes without to many consequences. I suppose that the most of the Swedish people think that Assange has been crossed the allowed boundaries of the law. He said that his box of rape after the trial shall be empty. I think that he has been lied a little bit and did something in the grey zone. His lie is necessary because Sweden has terrible laws about sexual assaults for man against woman. In Sweden it's always a he which is arrested for rape , waited sometimes a long time in jail before he go to court. The he would not get a fair trial. Hearing of rape cases are behind closed doors and they believe the woman first and there is also a political influence. Sweden makes the law for rape very complicate. If the woman go to the police than they make the arrest warrant without risk for the woman. Sweden thinks that they are one of the best guys of Europe and have a modern state with modern laws. I think that's wrong if I look how they handle crimes of sexual assaults. On this moment with Marianne Ny as prosecuter for rape cases I think that Sweden is a kind of Saoedi Arab with as victim men. If I look to the black pages in the history of sexual crime in Sweden against women I think the government must look good to her own history of the twentieth century before she makes such inhumane strong laws against men. Sweden has a terrible sexual crime history, because they sterilized in the twentieth century a lot of Swedish women. This group in the North of Sweden was unwanted and must be limited. So Sweden be careful if you make and use laws against sexual assaults and suppose that you make and use the laws better than in the beginning of this century. Normal people and governments are not without any crime. What the Swedish prosecuter do with the foreigner Assange is unfair. In my opnion a rape-process with prosecuter Marianne Ny and unsympathetic woman Anna Ardin is barbarian. After Anna Ardin thought that Assange damaged the condom it's normal in that kind of situations that she directly try to stop the sex action and ask Assange to leave her flat. She did not. Witnesses also confirm that Anna Ardin behaved like nothing had happened after the alleged rape. The witnesses it also appears as if Anna Ardin was not having any issues with Assange until she found out that Sofia Wilen had had sex with Assang . The second case with Sofia Wilen is more complicate.

May be it is rape of the lowest degree. Can you repair this mistake without to many consequences? I think if she is not infected than compassion with Assange after a letter of regret and a financial compensation of Assange is better than a trial.

.
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