• Sweden's news in English
 

Swedish envoy bashes Aussie press on Assange

Published: 26 Nov 2012 12:24 GMT+01:00

The criticism comes in an email from Swedish ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson to Elizabeth Farrelly in response to an April 12th column entitled "assange-is-stranger-than-fiction-20120411-1ws4o.html" target="_blank">Truth of Assange is stranger than fiction" in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

Petersson offers a sarcastic thanks to Farrelly for her defence of Assange in the column.

“It is good to get this straightened out from someone who clearly was present during the 'penetrations'!” Petersson wrote in one of a series of emails published by WikiLeaks on Sunday.

Petersson also branded the newspaper "sad" for editing his response to her piece.

“The way you choose to cut down my letter sends a strong signal that while your columnists are free to write any kind of rubbish, you will not allow those effected (sic) to criticize your columnists!” he wrote in an email to editor Antony Lawes.

Petersson also told colleagues in Sweden that SMH had “mutilated” the adjoining headline.

Wikileaks’ Twitter account published a link to more than 100 pages worth of documents on Sunday and immediately faced flack on the social media site for choosing to describe Petersson’s reaction as “going berserk”.

“Berserk? I'm afraid you lost me. This kind of tabloid biased rubbish i did not expect from you,” one follower tweeted.

Another follower drew attention to the fact that the Swedish government had acted in accordance to transparency law by handing over the documents.

Assange is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations made against him by two Swedish women in 2010.

He is currently living in Ecuador's embassy in London in an ongoing bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

He has repeatedly cited fears that Sweden will send him on to the USA.

Sweden's ambassador also addressed those fears in his comment published in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he details extradition law.

"A person risking the death penalty can not be extradited. Nor can a person be extradited for 'political' or 'military' offences," the ambassador wrote.

The documents also include several emails from members of the public, many of which criticize Foreign Minister Carl Bildt for his handling of the Assange case.

The docket also contains official reports from Swedish embassy officials across the work about how local media reports about Sweden and the Assange case.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Anders Jörle downplayed the significance of the documents' release.

"We're the ones who made these documents public," he told The Local.

All official documents that are not classified can be obtained by members of the public in Sweden (offentlighetsprincipen), he underlined.

"We are not biting our nails over this and I see no reason to review how the ambassador reacted to the media reports," Anders Jörle told The Local.

The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

Your comments about this article

14:51 November 26, 2012 by RobinHood
In most countries, politicians do not comment on ongoing legal investigations or prosecutions for fear of being accused of influencing the decisions of police, prosecutors and judges, who are supposed to be independent.

Last year, the world watched in complete bemusement while the Swedish Prime Minister, in his own Parliament, critcised Mr Assange's defence. In some countries, the Prime Minister might have been charged with the crime of contempt of court. Now we learn that a Swedish ambassador has taken to writing to journalists who question the sagacity of the Assange investigation?

Has Sweden's political establishment taken leave of its senses? To jurists and journalists from the rest of the world, this all looks absolutely terrible. The young ladies may or may not have been raped, but Sweden's international reputation as a place where the conventional rules of law apply is splayed over a barrel, legs akimbo.
15:00 November 26, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
There are responsible journalists who have instead of writing informative articles have embraced strange assumptions in support of Julian Assange. It might be that some believe that journalists must stand up for journalists, and for some Austrilian journalist to shame to their government into repatriating Assange.
16:02 November 26, 2012 by Willy
I think the only possible news angle here is "Swedish Official Grossly Overestimates his English Language Skills", which is kind of funny, but hardly shocking. "Misuse of the exclamation mark" is not a crime in either Australia or Sweden.

And a double facepalm for Wikileaks claiming to "release" documents that are part of the public record. Remember why you were so interested in Sweden in the first place?
03:33 November 27, 2012 by Sven-Ingvar
Australian Government, unlike Sweden, have no say in what the "media" publish, spin or twist. Only Rupert Murdoch has this ability, probably worldwide!
08:27 November 27, 2012 by Nomark
Robinhood

As well documented (http://www.thelocal.se/30628/20101206/), you have a bit of difficulty with the concept of the presumption of innocence until someone is proven to be guilty. Until you get this rather simple point you perhaps you ought not to be commenting on legal matters.
09:59 November 27, 2012 by rolfkrohna
So the Swedish diplomats are now lecturing Aussies how to behave in their own county. I thought diplomats were not allowed to interfere in another county internal matters. As Sweden is largely controlled by the US, Assange has every reason i the world to fee unsafe if coming here. US say "jump", the Swedish government say "how high". Sweden is no longer a safe country with open justice. Nice to see at least there is one Aussie journo speaking out. More of that please/
21:09 November 27, 2012 by unionisten
@RolfKrohna your a funny guy since when is what that journalist wrote somthing that only matters to australia, or are you condemnung equador to interfere in the legal process aswell? Sweden is a very safe country vith open justice
19:21 November 28, 2012 by triple
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/ambassadors-rage-doesnt-dispel-facts-20121128-2ae99.html

This is the most recent response from from Elizabeth Farrelly. She is a well regarded and highly respected journalist. Maybe The Local could learn something...
09:13 November 29, 2012 by smilingjack
nice work triple - you beat me to it.

the entire world knows these 2 girls are repugnant, vial liars and sweden has been told what to do by the USA and are doing exactly what they are told. do what ever they can to get him to sweden so the USA can get their hands on him.

if the article had a pair of boobs as the headline Im sure the local would run it.

how about a piece on these 2 girls including interviews with former partners, work colleagues and the like to expose what they are really like and how much the government paid them.
09:36 November 29, 2012 by unionisten
@smilingjack how much did you pay for your tinnfoil hat?
00:00 December 1, 2012 by Cocoa Jackson
There is no doubt these accusations have been made and exploited for political reasons, wether justified 'in law' or not. The issue at hand is not simply the allegation of local law breaking, because it was going to be something, somewhere, if not in Sweden.

Any assumption or justification the 'prosecutor' here in Sweden or government officials in all countries concerned have not acted politically on some level, is utterly naive. Handing over Julian Assange to America can be be easily justified, because extradition will be legally crafted to avoid breaching 'local' laws. Press support will spin supporting it and he will end up incarcerated or worse. All over unproven 'local' unfalsifiable allegations.

The real issue is the 'internet' and its integration into our lives giving unprecedented access to us all. Access by those wishing us well and otherwise. We all need to use hard critical thinking to set aside our bias when accessing the value systems in play here, even if it is just for purely selfish reasons. Make no mistake the 'Assange Saga', is about personal freedom. It is our choice which side we support.
22:27 December 21, 2012 by FatherJon
Sweden's reputation as a bastion of freedom has hit the dirt with its war on Assange. The Ambassador can rave on all he wants.

The Ecuadorans, and Assange, have freely said he's open for 'interview' by the Swedish Prosecutor, a procedure that has happened in other cases where the Prosecutor has travelled overseas.

It's very clear that Sweden is conspiring with the US to extradite Assange as soon as he lands in Sweden. The fact that the Swedish banks are scutting off his money, as have the American banks and PayPal, is a clear confirmation of conspiracy.

Assange's own Australian Govt. is also to be condemned for its lack of support.
Today's headlines
Lenny Kravitz lets it rip on stage in Sweden
Lenny Kravitz performing at Gröna Lund in Stockholm. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Lenny Kravitz lets it rip on stage in Sweden

US artist Lenny Kravitz made headlines when he rocked his pants off at a rip-roaring gig in Stockholm last night – literally. READ  

Swedish diplomat thrown out of Russia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is too early to say how the incident will affect the countries' relationship. Photo: TT

Swedish diplomat thrown out of Russia

UPDATED: A Swedish diplomat has been expelled from Russia, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs linking the incident to an official at the Russian embassy in Stockholm being asked to leave. READ  

Swedish ship in new migrant rescue mission
Migrants aboard the rescue ship Poseidon on an earlier rescue mission in June. Photo: AP Photo/Carmelo Imbesi/TT

Swedish ship in new migrant rescue mission

The Swedish rescue ship Poseidon has helped another hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, said the coast guard. READ  

Opinion
'Let's promote nudity in a healthy way'
Lotta Gray and her son Lennox. Photo: Private

'Let's promote nudity in a healthy way'

Swedish parents need to get more comfortable being naked around family members to help their children develop a healthy attitude to nudity, argues journalist and blogger Lotta Gray. READ  

Sweden's golden girl swims to new record
Swedish champion Sarah Sjöström. Photo: AP Photo/Sergei Grits

Sweden's golden girl swims to new record

Sweden's Sarah Sjöström broke the women's 100 metre butterfly world record for the second time in 24 hours to win gold in the final at the world swimming championships on Monday. READ  

Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pictured with his parliamentary colleagues in December 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish ex-politicians get millions in payouts

The government changeover last autumn has cost the Swedish taxpayer a whopping 147 million kronor ($17 million) in severance payments for politicians and officials, it was revealed on Monday. READ  

Stir over anti-begging ad for tourists in Stockholm
The Sweden Democrats' campaign in the Stockholm underground. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stir over anti-begging ad for tourists in Stockholm

A controversial anti-begging advertising campaign directed at foreign tourists in Stockholm stirred tense debate in Sweden on Monday. READ  

Breathalyzer blunder goes viral in Sweden
This is not the policeman or the man in the story. Photo: Anders Wiklund/Scanpix

Breathalyzer blunder goes viral in Sweden

A Facebook post by a policeman in western Sweden in which he talks about how he mistakenly asked a passenger instead of the driver to do a breathalyzer test, has gone viral. READ  

Petrol hike marks start of Swedish 'driving season'
Fuel prices are going up in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Persson/Scanpix

Petrol hike marks start of Swedish 'driving season'

Tourists have been enjoying unexpectedly inexpensive road trips in Sweden this summer thanks to falling petrol prices. But the treat turned out to be as short as it was sweet. READ  

Stockholm Pride slams Facebook 'censorship'
Stockholm's Pride Parade. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Stockholm Pride slams Facebook 'censorship'

The organizers of the Stockholm Pride Parade have hit out after Facebook removed a photo posted on the event's official Facebook page showing nipples. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Swedes get ready for new money, money, money
Gallery
Property of the week: Huddinge, Stockholm
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Joyful celebrations at Stockholm's Pride Parade 2015
National
Snoop Dogg's initial drug test positive say Swedish police
How did a banana help a Swedish man avoid speeding fines?
Blog updates

31 July

Editor’s blog, July 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Dear readers, As the Stockholm Pride Festival kicked off this week, we spoke to the chairman of..." READ »

 

15 July

Climate Change: A New Risk Assessment (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today.   The UK is..." READ »

 
 
 
Gallery
People-watching: July 31st - August 2nd
Technology
Modern mugging: Swedish thieves use smartphone app to rob man
National
How a century-old Russian sub wreck got Sweden into a frenzy
Gallery
People-watching: July 29th
National
How to become a Swedish woman
National
Free bus cards for refugees in Sweden
Lifestyle
New snaps of Sweden's baby prince
National
Why are Swedes so scared of Russian submarines?
Gallery
Property of the week: Simrishamn, Skåne
Sponsored Article
Getting pregnant the Swedish way
Features
Five outrageously harsh tourist comments about Sweden
Sponsored Article
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Gallery
People-watching: July 24th-26th
Travel
Seven ways to beat the Swedish rain
National
Should Sweden's alcohol stores be open on weekends?
National
How to become a Swedish man
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd
Lifestyle
How to never miss your favourite features on The Local
National
Royal husband on 'breadwinner' role
National
Stockholm to ban all cars for one day
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Gallery
Property of the week: Sölvesborg, Blekinge
National
Questions over who would replace Swedish PM in a crisis
Gallery
People-watching: July 17th-19th
National
Why are Swedish women joining Isis?
Travel
Ten Stockholm streets you just have to walk down
Sponsored Article
'Swedish women must demand their partners use a condom'
Sport
Did UK football parents threaten Swedish kids?
Technology
Stockholm scientists find world's oldest sperm
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th
National
Angry Swede uses bird nest as fake speed camera
National
Meatball row as Ikea changes recipe
National
Sweden's new princess in spotlight
National
Slimy slugs go on sale to raise cash for EU migrants in Sweden
National
Crown Princess Victoria turns 38
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
National
Is this the best marriage proposal story in Malmö's history?
Sponsored Article
'Biofuels critical for climate-friendly flights'
Sponsored Article
Gaps don't have to kill your Swedish CV
National
Why summer could be the best time to invest in a Swedish property
Gallery
Property of the week: Bollnäs, Hälsingland
National
Swedish house on sale for one krona
National
Would you give this ugly food a home?
Gallery
People-watching: July 10th-12th
Travel
Foreign hikers in Sweden set to get more help in English
Sponsored Article
'Swedish industry needs US trade deal'
Sponsored Article
Sweden's 'incredible' chance to connect
Sponsored Article
'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Sponsored Article
‘I don’t feel Swedish, I feel international’
Sponsored Article
VIP Mingle at Almedalen's hottest event
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,315
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se