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Assange extradition fight
Assange Swedish fears 'sheer fantasy': Australia

Assange Swedish fears 'sheer fantasy': Australia

Published: 26 Feb 2013 07:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2013 07:49 GMT+01:00

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has dismissed as "fantasy" claims by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that Sweden's case against him is a conspiracy to have him extradited to the United States.

Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in Britain for eight months as he seeks to avoid extradition to Stockholm over allegations of rape and sexual assault, creating a stand-off between Quito and London.

Carr told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late on Monday that Assange, an Australian citizen, would be safer in Sweden than Britain.

"The Swedes say 'it is our policy... that we never extradite someone on a matter related to military or intelligence'," Carr told ABC television.

"They just don't do it."

"To suggest that the Swedes are after him as a CIA conspiracy to get him to Stockholm and allowing him to be bundled off to Langley, Virginia (CIA headquarters) is sheer fantasy," Carr said.

"If the Swedes had him in Stockholm it would be even more hard for the US to extradite, if that's what they want to do, than he's been for the last two years in the United Kingdom."

Assange fled to Ecuador's embassy in June after losing his legal battle against extradition to Sweden. Ecuador granted him asylum in August but Britain has refused to allow him safe passage.

Britain told Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Monday that it remained committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the case.

Assange founded the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website that enraged Washington by releasing cables and war logs relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the biggest security breach in US history.

Correa, speaking on Sunday night after declaring victory in the Ecuadoran election, called on "Europe" to settle the fate of the former computer hacker.

"It's a diplomatic situation for which a solution must be found...as quickly as possible," Correa said.

AFP/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

08:37 February 26, 2013 by RobinHood
Mohammed al-Zari and Ahmed Agiza dismissed as "fantasy" claims by the United Nations that they were kidnapped off the streets of Stockholm by the state of Sweden in December 2001, bound in duct tape, delivered to a CIA black flight, and illegally rendered to Egypt where they were tortured and then imprisoned for years.

"The Swedes say 'it is our policy... that we never extradite someone on a matter to related to military or intelligence'," said Messrs al-Zari and Agiza. "They just don't do it.To suggest that the Swedes were after us as a CIA conspiracy to get us to Stockholm and allowing us to be bundled off to Egypt and tortured by the CIA is sheer fantasy".

Messrs al-Zari and Agiza went on to explain the huge amount of money that they later received from the Swedish state in 2011 was not compensation for their suffering. "We actually both won Postkodlotteriet" they said.

A representative of the Swedish foreign office said "Anyone who says Sweden kidnaps people off the streets and delivers them into the hands of the CIA for torture is a fantasist. We have never done that. Ever!"

The alleged United Nations' ruling in 1996 that Sweden violated its global torture ban in its involvement in the CIA transfer of Messrs al-Zari and Agiza from Sweden to Egypt was also dismissed as "fantasy". "It was all just a bad dream shared by the entire United Nations and never actually happened." said the Swedish foreign office.
08:51 February 26, 2013 by skogsbo
It's not a diplomatic situation, its criminal. He is accused and must follow the rule of law.
10:50 February 26, 2013 by riose
@skogsbo As far as I know, no accusation has been made yet.

He has been called in for questioning.
11:35 February 26, 2013 by byke
How many years later?

What a great judicial system in Sweden LOL.

If he is wanted for questioning, go and question him.

The point is, he is a threat to governments and the more important thing is to try and reduce the threat he poses. Otherwise if this was about questioning, Sweden would have gone over and questioned him.
12:13 February 26, 2013 by SimonDMontfort
The UK Courts decided Assange does stand 'accused' of the four offences (including rape) for which Sweden wants to extradite him. The UK's Extradition Act 2003 requires that the Euro Arrest Warrant contains a statement that the person sought stands "accused" of the offence(s) set out in the warrant.

The is no doubt that the EAW issued in Sweden did contain such a statement. which satisfied the courts. Still, the case, as presented in the media, seems pretty weak.
12:39 February 26, 2013 by skogsbo
Riose, never said that, but he is actually accused, he is accused of rape, a suspect, he is however GUILTY of breaking his bail conditions and for openly sharing classified information.

Whilst you may not like it 99.9% of people in Europe follow the rule of law. Unlike Ecuador for example.
17:26 February 26, 2013 by The Poetician
The morning after- rape claim is a pure scandinavian way to regret having sex with someone especially a foreigner..It even makes the headlines of local newspapers and TV news, and the Police gives briefs on the matter all day long..!! How pathetic!!

They had to come up with a fake rape excuse to get Assange and punish him for daring to expose the naked hairy "butt" of the big brother..

Tomorrow they will claim that Assange leaked nuclear weapon secrets to Iran and regularly read tweets from N. korea presidents!
20:33 February 26, 2013 by johan rebel
Please keep this twit holed up in that embassy for the next 8 years or more.
20:52 February 26, 2013 by Tiny Red Ant
Yes, it is nothing but a strange fantasy. It is truly unknown when Assange will make himself accountable for his actions. The pure irony is the two women can go forward with their lives, while "this twit's" life will be restricted to the confines of an embassy.
00:13 February 27, 2013 by bcterry
The thought of this coward holed up like a rat warms the cockles of my heart.

A real (innocent)??? man would have stepped up to the plate head held high right off the bat and faced his accusers head on.
00:57 February 27, 2013 by J Jack
The Australian political school should support their countryman instead of hiding from reality for the sake of free trade and saving face.
15:19 February 27, 2013 by Morenikeji
I cannot say that I am surprised that Bob Carr would defend his government's shameful abandonment of its citizen, that is the spirit of the moment.
19:40 March 1, 2013 by Archie1954
Unfortunately Australia's foreign minister needs a brain transplant. He is nothing but a shill for American interests and does nothing to assist his own citizens. The preponderance of evidence to date definitely points to a conspiracy amongst Britain, Sweden and the US.
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