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Assange case difficult to prove: Swedish press

AFP/The Local · 25 Feb 2011, 12:55

Published: 25 Feb 2011 12:55 GMT+01:00

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"Once he (Assange) is here (in Sweden), the prosecutor Marianne Ny must expect a thorough examination of the investigation and of the Swedish justice system", which Assange's defence lawyers sought to discredit before the British courts, the newspaper wrote.

"The police and the prosecution service will have to act more intelligently than they have done" to date, it said, suggesting that investigators use "a working tape recorder when questioning" Assange.

British judge Howard Riddle ruled Thursday that Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face rape charges there.

The Australian former computer former hacker strongly denies the claims, insisting the extradition attempt is politically motivated and stems from WikiLeaks' release of thousands of classified US cables.

His lawyers strongly criticised the Swedish justice system during the extradition hearing, attacking the practice of holding rape trials behind closed doors, and claiming that Sweden has excessively strict sexual assault laws.

Assange, who said he would appeal the decision, fears that Sweden will deliver him to the United States, where some politicians have called for him to face the death penalty for leaking state secrets.

"The question that arises now is whether the United States will seek Mr Assange's extradition," wrote the Dagens Nyheter.

Story continues below…

The tabloid Aftonbladet said lawyers were the only beneficiaries of the lengthy legal battle.

"It would have been easier and cheaper for Assange to have taken a plane to Sweden to answer the prosecutor's questions," the country's biggest selling daily wrote.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:24 February 25, 2011 by UScitizen
"The police and the prosecution service will have to act more intelligently than they have done"

If that's all that comes out of this, it will be a great accomplishment. And, as they said, lawyers are the only beneficiaries. The rest of us are losers, no matter which side we take.
13:44 February 25, 2011 by big5
"It would have been easier and cheaper for Assange to have taken a plane to Sweden to answer the prosecutor's questions,"

Exactly. His stupid conspiratorial paranoia about the USA has forced this boring story in all our faces.
15:26 February 25, 2011 by RobinHood
Everyone who has come into contact with this case has come out, at least diminished, and at worst humiliated. Even the usually dignified Swedish prime minister has made an international buffoon of himself and his country. It has months to run, plenty of time for more international embarassment.

"It would have been easier and cheaper for Assange to have taken a plane to Sweden to answer the prosecutor's questions,"

Fortunately for us all, "easy" and "cheap" are not prioritised when lawyers advise on criminal matters. Real justice comes neither "easy" nor "cheap". As it is the British taxpayer who is currently picking up the substantial bill for the extradition process, and its multiple appeals, Dagens Nyheter can relax.

One wonders whether, if it was the Swedish taxpayer bearing the strain, Ms Nye might have popped over to England for a couple of hours and conducted the interview she says she so desperately wants. Ryan Air offers excellent rates, and are considerably cheaper than ten minutes of any QC's time.
16:03 February 25, 2011 by Steve911
Well said RobinHood, some sensible comment at last.

Sadly there's no sign of compromise from Sweden to solve this distasteful little case. Looks like the UK taxpayer is going to have to dig deeper in their pocket to support Ms Ny's arrogance.
16:16 February 25, 2011 by big5
I can't figure out who I despise most, Ms Ny or Assange. I hope they both bring each other down.
16:49 February 25, 2011 by sliver
I found this post:

"Assange's London attorney, Mark Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called "sex by surprise," which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715."

Lets try and be objective here. If Assange didn't have this dark cloud of wikileaks hovering above him, how would any reasonable and sensible human being regard this with respect to an international arrest warrant and a meddling Swedish top politician?
17:28 February 25, 2011 by GLO
ASSange is a creeep, who would spread out for that scum. Just cant get it!!!

Time will catch him....
18:00 February 25, 2011 by conboy
Glo threats are illegal even in Sweden!
18:17 February 25, 2011 by nolikegohome
i too would be scared to be sent to America if I was in his shoes.:/
18:18 February 25, 2011 by Archie1954
The Swedish judicial system brought on all the criticism by itself. The matter was earlier investigated by a seniour prosecutor and dismissed, then rumour circulates (where there is smoke there is usually fire) that a government official visited the prosecutors' offices and suddenly the Assange matter is back on. Then the background of the initial complaint is published and we find out that the so called victims were not interested in charging him with rape but only sought advice on corollary matters but were persuaded by the prosecutors to file rape charges. This, all after the women themselves gloated to friends about their conquest. Why does it surprise you that such a system would be viewed with mistrust?
02:18 February 26, 2011 by JaneBanana
If these girls were raped and suffered a mental and/or physical injury due to the actions of Julian Assange then why wasn't he arrested when the complaint was made? Why was a man that apparently commited this evil crime allowed to leave the country weeks later? If these women have been denied justice to date it is the tardiness of the Swedish justice systems fault. I recommend they sue the Swedish governemnt as this keystone cops debarcle could cause these women greater mental anguish than what actually happened to them. If arrested at the time probably all over now.

Same as the cables, the man they say released them to the world, Bradley Manning, only exposed them to the rest of us. Apparently over the years upto 6 milion people had access to the cable. the lax security of the US would have ensured that named people's safety was compromised already as spies abound in such great numbers. Yet they wash their hands of responsibility of putting lives at risk while pointing the finger to Manning and Assange with some even calling for execution. Yet not accountable for thei own contribution despite billion spent to ensure communication security? Maybe to detract they have once again wasted billions of money they cannot afford!

Sweden and UK approved the use fo the EAW so they have both failed in upholding the highest stand of fair process as it has no place in nations that claim to uphold human rights. We ahve democracy recession att he moment, jusy beacsue some nations are n top 20 does not mean it is ok to abuse power. Oh we are number one so we can get away with flagrant abuses at times because it does not affect our ranking? Well maybe this time it will.
04:22 February 26, 2011 by BillTuckerUS
I would just like to have a full accounting of the role of this lawyer, Claes Borgstroem,
05:35 February 26, 2011 by UScitizen
@ JaneBanana

"why wasn't he arrested when the complaint was made? Why was a man that apparently commited this evil crime allowed to leave the country weeks later? "

I agree. And if the Swedish government is just a puppet of the US as some of the posters here claim, and if the US wanted Assange so badly, why didn't Washington ORDER Sweden to arrest Assange and send him over at that time?
08:14 February 26, 2011 by Nomark
The delays in arranging for an interview with JA are described by the judge in his report on the extradition. It suggests that JA's account i.e. "I'm available at any time" isn't really true.
10:38 February 26, 2011 by wishUlistenup
"The Australian former computer former hacker.."

Is someone proofreading this or is the media just sloppy and stupid? We don't believe anyway all the blabber, false statementes and lies they spit out.

He is ACTIVELY hacking, as he has an organization that is working 24/7 as we are speaking, while they are trying to do something to cover up all their crimes that are exposed! They are so stupid that it is ridiculous! They think they will be able to prevent the lies to be exposed by "shooting the messenger"?

Will be interesting to see how an innocent is being convicted this time when they twist and thwart the truth and spread lies and infiltrate the media.
11:43 February 26, 2011 by johnny1939
Better have 2 tape recorders to be on the safe side. The Swedes, myself included, are not big on compromise.

I really do not think the Yanks have any leg to stand on to have him extradited to the US. There are many ways of skinning a cat as we know. JA might be safer in Sweden than any other country. Perhaps this extradition will save his life.
12:21 February 26, 2011 by SeanK

If the US "ordered" the arrest of Assange there would be a public outcry both in Sweden and Australia. Not to mention the US citizens who believe in freedom of press.
12:31 February 26, 2011 by JaneBanana
If I committed this level of crime in Sweden would the highest prosecutor in the land really care ? Is this HIGHER level of the legal system normally so involved in prosecuting this level of crime or even taking an interest?

I doubt the US will care where he is, as long as he is in prison he will stop being a rallying point. Nobody else has been able to align a following so diverse in nationality and religion. Only peoples divided can be controlled, united they are the most potent force. They do nto need in the US, they just need him to be forgotten. Swedish prison ideal for his purpose.
14:43 February 26, 2011 by SirAdam
extradited to Sweden to face rape charges there?

It is my understanding that he hasn't been charged but that he is only being extradited for questioning. Questions regarding this case could have easily been asked while he was in the UK or prior to his leaving SE. It certanly would have cleared up any suspicions of a false imprisonment. Pehaps there is another motive behind the extradtion. The legal process involved in these proceedings appear to be of an illicit nature and it is doubtful that this man will see a fair trial.
15:02 February 26, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
to use the term 'rape' in JA case is extremely harsh and unnecessary.

and yeah, considering that an INTERPOL warrant was issued based on someone only wanting to ask him questions, it does not at all seem like he will get anything fair.

i would not at all be surprised if his plane, train or car crashes while he is being transported back to sweden.
15:38 February 26, 2011 by johnny1939
Stay away from radical Swedish females...they are not to tinker with!
21:19 February 26, 2011 by Xris Hannah
... and still the US is noticably quiet at this point in time.

... do they know something we don't?
00:25 February 27, 2011 by Njal
'....and the band played on'.
01:56 February 27, 2011 by Jaffo1970
Why are you crazy swedes doing our bidding for us. Did our government threaten u? I hope not, but I wouldn't put it past them. I mean wow, an interpol warrant for sneaky sex. You top prosecuter going after a $700 Fine. Something smells funny un the state of Denmark, oh er, Sweden.
06:20 February 27, 2011 by Capey
Assanges' "crime" is not rape, but speaking the truth to power and embarrasing the US Government.
13:50 February 27, 2011 by Steve911
This says it all really, perhaps those here accusing Assange of making up dark conspiracy theories could come up with some actual quotes:


This one might explain why so 'many' here are spinning lies about Assange:

15:59 February 27, 2011 by ThisIsGettingRidiculous
"The police and the prosecution service will have to act more intelligently than they have done" to date, it said, suggesting that investigators use "a working tape recorder when questioning" Assange.

Loved this part. So far, the police have used a tape recorder for Assange's first round of questioning (on 30 August about one of the allegations by Miss A) and for both witnesses for the defence (on 20 September). However, they failed to use a tape recorder for any of the prosecution witnesses or for either of the complainants, preferring instead to jot down a few notes themselves:

04:41 February 28, 2011 by emfrodo
the actions of sweden in the assange case amount to political repression. that such nonsense is considered actionable is beyond belief in the first case anyway. that this is being used in this fashion, is reprehensible. it reminds me of smear campaigns conducted by intelligence organizations in the old apartheid regime of south africa or east germany during their heyday. to suggest that there is no political component associated with this leaves this writer at a loss for words as to how ridiculous such a claim is. the nation of sweden should be ashamed, that i as an american say this beggars reality all things considered. what assange has done has taken great courage, what 2 swedish women have done and what the swedish government has allowed and furthers being done, is shameful, shame on you, i no longer will purchase anything swedish.
19:20 February 28, 2011 by ThisIsGettingRidiculous
I think what worries a lot of people about this case is that what has effectively happened in Swedish sex crime law is that MENS REA (culpability in as much as a suspect has to KNOW there's no consent) has been taken out of the equation. As far as Swedish law is concerned, there has to be no consent - and a simple, after-the-fact, statement from a woman is enough to establish this (and women are usually given the benefit of the doubt and deemed "credible") - and sex needs to have taken place. And that's it. What this does, of course, is transfer the need of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt onto the defendant to prove innocence. THIS is why we're all hopping up and down screaming about the possibility of an unfair trial. THIS is why Assange is fighting extradition so hard. THIS is why he's speaking up and being so vocal about things. I've been following this case very carefully for months. I'm a woman who's been raped herself (and, no, it didn't get to court, like most cases) but I still believe very, very strongly in the need for justice to prevail - for both victims and accused - in rape cases. They MUST be investigated properly and follow due process.
15:40 March 1, 2011 by peter franzen
The perception that Sweden is pursuing this case at the behest of the USA is difficult to avoid.

If Assange is extradited from Sweden to the USA the fallout for Sweden will be disastrous and long lasting.
15:41 April 19, 2011 by CokoSwede
Sweden is a country of unadulterated, evil Misandry. Watch it and weep for the innocent men Swedish people have imprisoned for lies told by Swedish women.

I would be ASHAMED if I was a Swedish woman. ASHAMED of this.
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