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Australia appeals to Sweden over Assange

AFP/The Local · 17 Feb 2011, 16:21

Published: 17 Feb 2011 16:21 GMT+01:00

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In a letter sent to Justice Minister Beatrice Ask last week, Australian ambassador Paul Stephens took up Assange's case, which the ambassador termed as "high profile".

"I am writing in relation to the situation concerning Mr. Julian Assange, an Australian citizen who is facing extradition to Sweden from the United Kingdom under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant," Stephens wrote to Ask last Friday.

Stephens explained that Assange "has been detained in his absence" by a Swedish court on suspicions of having committed "a criminal offence".

"I wish to convey the Australian Government's expectation that, should Mr. Assange be brought into Swedish jurisdiction, his case would proceed in accordance with due process and the provisions prescribed under Swedish law," the Australian ambassador.

He emphasised as well that he expected Assange's case to adhere to "applicable European and international laws, including relevant human rights norms".

The letter was written on the same day as Assange's last court appearance at the end of three days of legal arguments in his extradition trial.

He has been ordered to return to a London court next Thursday to learn if he will be extradited to Sweden to face questioning over sex crime allegations.

Last week, his lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson launched a scathing attack against Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt after he made comments saying that Sweden does not take women's rights lightly.

Ask's press secretary Martin Valfridsson told The Local that Sweden's justice minister is legally prohibited from interfering in the legal process.

"The minister of justice is not involved in the trial, nor did she ask for the arrest warrant that has been submitted by the Swedish prosecutors," he told The Local.

"She can't give any comment on it, but I can confirm that the letter has arrived. We can't comment on the ongoing process. She is forbidden by the Swedish constitution to have any influence on the ongoing case."

Story continues below…

Assange's mother Christine has previously appealed to the Australian government for assistance since her son's arrest.

"Julian did not even get the laptop you had publicly promised him which he needed to prepare for his case while he was in Wandsworth Prison," she wrote to former Australian prime minister and current Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

Attempts by The Local on Thursday to reach a representative at the Australian embassy in Stockholm for comment were unsuccessful.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:57 February 17, 2011 by Rick Methven
"We can't comment on the ongoing process. She is forbidden by the Swedish constitution to have any influence on the ongoing case"

So Ask is forbidden to comment but Reinfeldt can?
17:05 February 17, 2011 by UScitizen
The justice minister speaks for the justice system and the court while Reinfeldt (supposedly) speaks for the people. There's a difference.

Boy, big bad " You better be scared of me or I'll tell everyone what you did!" Assange had to get his mommy and the powerful nation of Australia to back him up because he's running scared.
17:44 February 17, 2011 by big5
What an insult. Sweden shouldn't have to provide guarantees of the obvious.
17:48 February 17, 2011 by bob3000
Nothing more than a PR/ass covering exercise from Paul Stephens.

One can only surmise that the Australian Ambassador sent the letter, then faxed/emailed it to the press to advertise it's sending.

Given the He can now say, he said his piece for an Australian citizen, bravo.

I'm failing to see the news-worthiness of this article.
17:56 February 17, 2011 by big5
re: Ask not commenting on the case:

18:25 February 17, 2011 by SeanK
Spot on bob3000, this is nothing more than a PR exercise. Public support for Assange is strong back in Aus so they can't be seen to have done nothing at all (which is what the have done).

I also agree that this article is pointless.
19:42 February 17, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:47 February 17, 2011 by Xris Hannah
Agreed, regarding a last minute ditch PR spam. Australia has been noticeable in it's lack of presence in this whole matter (leaks or Swedish arena), thus so far.

And similarly, yes; it's an insult to the Swedish and their judiciary system that such a comment may even be offered. It's called 'making the right noises...' Or not.
20:50 February 17, 2011 by Iraniboy
If Assange was in Australia, Australian government had sent him to the US on the first day or probably there are already CIA unit there so it they could even save the trip!
20:53 February 17, 2011 by big5
I just loving this whole win-win situation. Two of my biggest hate objects are locked in a destructive war.
20:56 February 17, 2011 by Ivan Juric
@Uscitizen, you will be changing your name to Beijing citizen soon as to how much your citizenship owes to China....
21:28 February 17, 2011 by johnny1939
It is a storm in a teacup when it comes down to it. In a way I would like to see Assange extradited to Sweden only to see what would happen then. Might be very interesting and we might really find out what it is all about. I wonder if the Swedes really want him to be extradited like we need more problems w/ this bird.
21:31 February 17, 2011 by big5
Hasn't Assange been punished enough? Now the whole world knows he's lousy in bed.

I hope he gets sent to Sweden, suffers intestinally from the pea soup at Kronoberg, and then gets acquitted after Ms A, the Swedish justice system, and the entire feminazi illuminati has been laughed back to the witch-hunt era where they belong.

(if Mizz Monroe has a feminazi outfit maybe I'll buy one for my sambo's birthday coming up)
21:36 February 17, 2011 by Aussie
@ Tanskalainen

Perhaps we should have told you to F*** off when Bush asked for the world most elite soldiers to support you (or more correctly take the lead) in Afganistan.

@Iraniboy - The Aussie Government ain't no ones whipping boy. Asange would have been safe at home.
21:47 February 17, 2011 by johnny1939
Masterpiece Theatre here we go!
23:25 February 17, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Aussie Explain to me how Assange is helping those "most elite soldiers" in Afganistan. Would Julian Assange even last a week in the training they go through by the way?
23:26 February 17, 2011 by Da Goat
@ transkalainen

Just to clear up a matter of history the Yanks did not beat the Japs with their fighting only with there financial strength!

The Aussies did the fighting the US supplied the gear (the heavy equipment only)

both my uncles were medics in the pacific war, and both say this: the Aussies and Kiwis refused to fight in front of the yanks they always put the yanks up front for two good reasons 1 they did not like to be shot in the back (friendly fire something they still have not fixed, just shoot wildly) and 2 if the yanks were behind the anzacs they would run away and leave the real fighters if things got tough , so the Yanks were always put on the front line with the others pushing and keeping them in the battle!

left on there own they were cowards sadly!
23:38 February 17, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Da Goat Read history, the Australian generals wanted to establish a front line in northern Australia to resist the Japs there (historical fact) McArthur convinced them that was not the way to go AND WITH ALLIED effort they were halted in the Solomons and New Guinea. More Americans died fighting Japanese than Australians, the Americans fought more battles against the Japanese than Australians. These are facts.
23:57 February 17, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Remember, it was Australian SAS soldiers who rescued bumbling Yank soldiers in Afghanistan whilst trapped by Taliban on a mountain side....not the other way round..
00:01 February 18, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Ivan Juric Again please explain how Julian A. is helping those Australian soldiers in Afganistan?
00:09 February 18, 2011 by Aussie
@ Tanskalainen

Umm, who said the two were ever related.

Your comment -

General Douglas McArthur should have let the Japanese tear Australia to pieces. Ingrate bastards.

And that was my response.

As for your further comments about History, The Australians were correct in wanting to set up a front in Northern Australia. Ever been there?

There is NO WAY IN HELL the Japs would ever have made it out of there - and from memory, it was definitely Australian forceswho were in the majority in Papua New Guinea, which stopped the Japanese push south.

I could go on all day about how one- sided the "Joint" USA / Australian war games go one, but that would be telling stories I am not allowed to tell....
00:16 February 18, 2011 by Grass
@ Tanskalainen

A comment from http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/new-guinea/ng.htm

about the fighting in Papua New Guinea - About 13,000 Japanese troops perished during the terrible fighting, but Allied casualties were also heavy; 8,500 men fell in battle (5,698 of them Australians)

How does this roughly equate to your comment about more Americans dying than Australians in this particular battle arena? Number of dead versus percentage of population, Australia probably gave more of her "sons" & soul to the war than America
00:42 February 18, 2011 by matona1
sweden dont be used by US ,europians are europians,swedish are living all over the europe,the table will turn to sweden one day ooooooooooooooooooooooooo
02:06 February 18, 2011 by bow290
@ tanskalainen.

did u think about what u wrote b4 posting it? it doesn't seem like it. I'm a ex Aussie soldier (infantry) and i find ur comments pretty offensive. u should pull ur head out from that dark spot just below the small of ur back and take a breath. U have no idea what ur talkin about, u have read a few books and seen a movie or two... maybe even played a war game on the ole playstation!? u insult those who died fighting 4 our freedom, be it ur's or mine! u should have shut up after ur 1st comment and shown some respect!

nice comments there from the Aussies :)
03:50 February 18, 2011 by GLO
We all know ASSange is a pimp, and even if he goes to jail, Sweden will give him a pension and nominate him for some dumb as$ award. That's worst case. I am ashamed any woman from Sweden would let him put his deformed sperm in her. Would you want his child?
05:35 February 18, 2011 by UScitizen
@ Ivan Juric

You're wrong, as usual. We don't have to worry about China, The US will eventually be taken over by Mexicans and there will be Canada bordering Mexico.

@ johnny1939

Now that's the best comment in this whole discussion. I can hardly wait for the Cliff Notes version of the book or the Reader's Digest condensed version.
08:18 February 18, 2011 by RobinHood
"He emphasised as well that he expected Assange's case to adhere to "applicable European and international laws, including relevant human rights norms"."

That is what is called in the legal profession a "warning shot". If Assange is convicted under Swedens eccentric definition of rape and sexual offences, Ms Ask is going to get another letter asking her to explain why one of its citizens is doing time under a sexual offences law so out of line with "European and international laws, including relevant human rights norms."

It's quite a good question. Why should Sweden (an EU member) criminalise normal European sexual behaviour? "He held me down with his body weight". Is there an adult male (or possibly even a female) who isn't a "rapist" under this novel definition of an act so "normal", it didn't even make it into the Kama Sutra. Sweden has made rapists of us all, now Ms Ask can justify, in cold diplomatic language, why.
08:52 February 18, 2011 by bob3000

It's no "warning shot" - it's called a PR release and a grab to cover your ass.

Your re: EU law.

Let it go.

You are referring myopically to the law,

It is an attempt to describe in legalise, the general method that rapists use to violate victims. If you choose to be pedantic and ignore context, of course it seems unwieldy.

Rather than gurning and griping, if you know better, set down here, a description of "normal" sexual behaviour, then combine it with a way of defining it, when it becomes either assault or rape. Male on Male, Male on Female, Female on Male, Female on Female.

We can then submit it to our Parliament Reps. We will be waiting with baited breath.
08:59 February 18, 2011 by RobinHood

I don't understand what you wrote. Are you OK?
09:25 February 18, 2011 by bob3000

Interesting way to avoid the question.
10:43 February 18, 2011 by philster61
Its not Sweden whom Australia has to appeal to, Its the US. Their the ones that are pulling the strings in this sordid affair
10:46 February 18, 2011 by big5
I wonder what the Australian SAS thinks of Assange having released operational documents about the fighting in Afghanistan, and his not wanting to remove the names of villagers who cooperated with ISAF saying that they were "informants and deserved to die".

I'll bet the Australian SAS would love to get their hands on Assange.
11:04 February 18, 2011 by Xris Hannah
To be honest, and purely as a point of speculation, my initial reaction to Sweden's early involvement in all of this was that Sweden wanted to pull Assange out of the UK on any pretext; simply to get him out of the UK-kiss-US-butt line of fire. Then with a simple dismissal of the case due to a lack of suitable evidence, Assange would be free to move on from that point.

Now I'm not so sure. Although I'm still fairly convinced that all is not as simple as it appears regarding Sweden's involvement in this. Blast me and call me naive, but I have a high regard for Sweden's integrity regarding human rights and freedom of speech.

The home of the Pirate Bay....
11:12 February 18, 2011 by local_lad
If Beatrice Ask is prevented by the Swedish constitution from commenting on the case, why did she say last week that Assange should turn himself in?


Why has Reinfeldt been commenting on the case?


Will Reinfeldt and Ask both now apologise?
11:15 February 18, 2011 by Kaethar
@Xris Hannah: That's an even better conspiracy theory than the Sweden-will-deport-him-to-the-US one. :D No, it's pretty simple. A few women accuse him of sex crimes. He's wanted for questioning. Whether he'll be convicted is something else. People in minor sex crimes rarely are but the prosecutors presumably want to bring him in because he's so high-profile and it would send a message to any would-be sexual offenders.

And that's it. You can believe any number of conspiracy theories if you want but I think they're nonsense...
11:54 February 18, 2011 by Xris Hannah
@ Kaethar

"And that's it. You can believe any number of conspiracy theories if you want but I think they're nonsense.."

You may well be right; it might be that simple. Comment appreciated. ^^
11:59 February 18, 2011 by big5
@local_lad technically what's she's not allowed to do is to go in and control the activities of the judicial system. The caution on the part of politicians about commenting is due to their commenting possibly being interpreted as interference. Ask could be reported to the constitutional court for the comment you cite. If you think she should be, go ahead and file a complaint yourself.
16:13 February 18, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@Aussies I was referring to the Pacific campaign as a whole - not just the New Guinea campaign. I am a Veteran myself - Hospital Corpsman. That is why I don't like squirmy little rich boy twits like Julian Assange revealing military secrets. If an American were caught reveling Australian military secrets I would condemn him also. I would loath him as much as I loath Assange. If you blokes don't understand that perhaps its best we go our separate ways.
16:34 February 18, 2011 by big5
Here's an anagram (I don't agree but a lot of people see it this way)

Julian Assange = Nuns jail a sage
17:54 February 18, 2011 by bob3000
As is,

juliean Assange = Alien Jags Anus

Lots of funny ones.

21:15 February 18, 2011 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
@ 20:50 February 17, 2011 by Iraniboy

"If Assange was in Australia, Australian government had sent him to the US on the first day"

Absolute utter rubbish.

To be extradited from Australia requires a court case for starters. Secondly it has to be proven an offence has been committed and a successful prosecution will likely result by Australian legal standards.

Were Sweden likely be seeking Julian Assanges extradition from Australia I very much doubt they would be successful because the allegations are so full of holes [no pun intended] and lack transparency and credibility.
03:35 February 19, 2011 by wenddiver
Truth is if the US had not stopped the Japs at the battle of the Corral Sea, the people criticizing the US would never have been born, because their parents would have died in a Jap work camp around 1943.

If Julis Assage had wiki leaked the fact that the US had broken the Japanese code Purple the six Jap Aircraft Carriers at the Battle would have destroyed the three US Aircraft Carriers.

Fact the Air Craft Carriers that defend Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, the Philipines and yes the US, are paid for and manned by the US Navy.

Please list the Australian Forces at Guadacanal, Tarawa, Pelilu, Midway, Coral Sea, the Marianas Turkey Shoot, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, the liberation of the Philipines, Guam, the Aletians, the Strategic Fire Bombing of Japan, etc,etc., so that we all can read of your military prownes.
10:00 February 19, 2011 by Rebel
Problem Sweden has now is Mubarac is no longer the leader of Egypt -- so where would Sweden allow Mr. Assange to be shipped to for torture should he be sent to Sweden? The CIA may be running out of client states to conduct such activities.
13:19 February 19, 2011 by bow290
@ Tanskalainen

mate u offended us with ur first comment! (letting the Japs rip us a new one?) Mate they did, when they caught us alive they would use us for bayonet training!

Your comment has been removed...go back and check!

and good 4 u... a medic!

as 4 Assange, I don't care 4 him much at all... I'm sure a lot of other Aussies feel the same! The only thing i consider a joke is the rape allegations or what ever they want to charge him with. Its a circus show!
14:31 February 19, 2011 by Rebel
Actually, Japanese troops in the Pacific Islands frequently ate Australian POWs.
22:32 February 19, 2011 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
Can someone please explain to me how we made the quantum leap in this debate to the old "hoary" BS America saved Australia from the Japanese?

Factually incorrect. But then again who can argue with Hollywood?
20:36 February 20, 2011 by buschmann
@Rebel, Interesting isn't it. All we ever hear in this world is NAZI,NAZ,NAZI! The safest place for an american soldier in WW2 would have been in a german p.o.w. camp, much safer than being on the front line. Being captured by the Japanese meant certain death.
02:17 March 1, 2011 by Tanskalainen
I apologize to our Australian friends for the deleted comment I made. I should not have blamed a whole continent for one crow's actions.
10:16 April 29, 2011 by neutralina
C'mon guys this is bigger than u and me.. it's even bigger than ur country or mine!

Can any1 tell me of another case where the 'uncharged accused' has had his/her rights instantly withheld on a premise of guilt ?? no?

why did Karl Rove and even Biden weigh in on, and even travel to Sweden re Assanges case..?? what is their interest ? Why was the case dropped and then reopened? IT stinks ! and If ur not sure who is controlling ur country..here's a hint..

Do u know who the Wallenbergs are? ..of course(not) They want more money and Assange is their ticket to the Nasdaq board(why else do they want him so badly?)


Pls read the whole exhibit..our elite r robbing us all !!

Viva Wikileaks and Julian Assange..thanx to Anonymous for working it out ;)
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