• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Assange accuser lawyer slams media 'scandal'
Elisabeth Massi Fritz. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Assange accuser lawyer slams media 'scandal'

The Local/at · 6 Feb 2014, 10:12

Published: 06 Feb 2014 10:12 GMT+01:00

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the younger of the two women, took to the debate pages of the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper this week to condemn the recent flurry of debate about whether Sweden's  Prosecutor-General should drop the Assange investigation. 

She was particularly incensed that Swedish public television broadcaster SVT hosted a debate on the topic, with Swedish politicians commenting on the case which is now into its fourth year.

"Why have courts when we can hold votes in daily newspapers and televised debates?" Massi Fritz wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday under the headline "Why should an exception be made for Assange?"

While most Swedish media traditionally shy away from naming suspects and accusers, Assange's name became  public soon after the allegations were made. While mainstream media has refrained from publishing the names of the two women who have accused Assange of sexual molestation and rape, their names and addresses have nevertheless popped up on an array of blogs and websites.

"Should a plaintiff in a sex crime case have to be subjected to years of threat, slander, and harassment," Massi Fritz asked. "Should a normal woman be forced to become a public figure, without the right to anonymity, because a famous man is suspected of having assaulted her?" 

She added that her client was not "out for revenge" for the incidents that took place in 2010. 

"It is a scandal that women's rights in Sweden in the year 2014 are still seen by many as a parenthesis, a restraint, in this 'hero's' important work," Massi Fritz wrote. 

To escape extradition from the UK to Sweden, which Assange fears will result  in him being handed over to the US, the Australian citizen now lives in the London embassy of Ecuador, which has granted him political asylum. Part of the renewed debate in Sweden is whether the Swedish prosecutors could question Assange in London, rather than have the suspect travel to Sweden to give his version of events. Massi Fritz opposes such a move.

"We are all equal before the law, it is a foundation of our society, of our justice system, and a prerequisite for equal treatment," she wrote. "The only thing that is keeping Assange shut up in that embassy is himself." 

She further pointed out that Assange's evasion was racking up enormous bills for the British police, who by law are required to follow through on his extradition to Sweden through the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system. She also accused Ecuador of acting in breach of the Vienna Convention. 

Story continues below…

When the Latin American country granted the Australian citizen asylum in 2012, its president said that the Swedish accusations against Assange wouldn't be considered a crime in "90 to 95 percent of the planet”, a statement which drew much criticism worldwide. 

"It is a scandal that so many people do now know what constitutes rape and ridicule the descriptions of events and heap blame on the two plaintiffs," Massi Fritz wrote in SvD. 

DON'T MISS: Swedish pressure needed on Assange: accuser

The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Ibrahimovic confirms Manchester United move
Ibrahimovic playing for Sweden at Euro 2016. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/TT

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put months of speculation over his future to an end by confirming that he will join Manchester United.

Man detained in Sweden over poison plot
Uppsala University. Photo: David Naylor/Uppsala universitet

The case, which involved assistance from the FBI, regards poisonous substance ricin that was allegedly stolen from Uppsala University to aid a blackmail plot.

Fifty Stockholm heart patients hit by superbug
Staff check air quality in an operating theatre at Karolinska University Hospital. Photo: Gary Fabbri

A potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria has spread to more than 50 heart patients at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm.

Two jailed for match-fixing in Swedish football
Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

A Swedish appeals court has jailed two football players and handed suspended sentences to four others for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

How many Swedes were unfaithful last year?
Photo: Sandra Qvist/TT

It kind of depends how you define it.

Brexit
'A Swedish passport means more than a British one now'
A Swedish passport. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

The Local spoke to Brits living in Sweden on how they feel about the Brexit vote, one week on.

Want a job? Here’s where Sweden needs people
Nurses are in high demand in Sweden. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

It’s not always easy to find work in Sweden, but there are quite a few professions crying out for new workers in the coming year.

Top Swedish businesswomen slam boardroom quota plan
Antonia Ax:son Johnson opposes the plan. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

It's a slippery slope, they say.

What's on in Sweden
Five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm
A ghost walk in Gamla Stan is one way to kick off July in Stockholm. Photo: Jeppe Wikström/Visit Stockholm

From Vikings to ghosts, music and more: The Local looks at five great ways to kick off July in Stockholm.

In pictures: Eight cool compact Scandinavian houses
Houzz.se editor Sara Norrman rounds up some neat but great Scandinavian houses. Photo: Sommarnöjen

Size isn't everything, and Houzz.se's editor in chief Sara Norrman proves it with this looks at nine brilliant uses of compact Scandinavian houses.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Business & Money
Swedish banknotes expire this week
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Gallery
People-watching: June 29th
International
Foul-mouthed attack on young Swedish mother in England
Blog updates

28 June

A message for British expats in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union. As Prime Minister…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Private
The Local Voices
'Having a Middle Eastern name makes life in Sweden hard'
Sponsored Article
International students in Stockholm partner with Nepal school
National
Is this Swede the new Vincent van Gogh?
Politics
Citizenship applications up 500% for Brits in Sweden
National
The humble Swede who sent England home from Euro 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Torhamn
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Private
The Local Voices
'Sweden is the best place for people with special needs'
International
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
International
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
International
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote
Gallery
People-watching: June 22nd
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Private
The Local Voices
'Swedes don't treat me differently because I wear a hijab'
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
3,314
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