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Assange 'won't get a fair trial' in Sweden: lawyer

AFP/The Local · 3 Nov 2011, 07:43

Published: 03 Nov 2011 07:43 GMT+01:00

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Assange, who is Australian, on Wednesday lost a bitter legal battle to block his being sent from Britain to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London rejected arguments by the 40-year-old, whose anti-secrecy website has enraged governments around the world, that his extradition would be unlawful.

Assange, a former computer hacker, now has 14 days to take the case to the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in Britain.

His legal counsel Geoffrey Robertson called on the Australian government to step in. "I think Canberra may have to do something about it," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"It's got a duty to help Australians in peril in foreign courts. It didn't do anything for David Hicks and that was something of a disgrace," he added, referring to the Australian formerly detained at Guantanamo Bay.

"As far as Julian Assange is concerned, Sweden doesn't have bail, doesn't have money bail for foreigners, so he's likely to be held in custody."

Robertson added that he does not believe the WikiLeaks founder, who has previously blasted Canberra for not doing enough to protect him amid the fallout from the leaks, will face a fair trial in Sweden.

"He's going to be tried in secret, and this is outrageous by our standards and by any standards," he said.

Assange has strongly denied the rape allegations, claiming they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks. He has been under virtual house arrest since he was first detained in December.

He has expressed fears that his extradition to Sweden would lead to his transfer to the United States to face charges of spying linked to the leaking of classified military documents by US soldier Bradley Manning.

"We are, I think, most concerned to put at rest his danger of going to America and facing charges under the Espionage Act that could take years in prison," said Robertson, a renowned human rights campaigner.

Assange's mother told Australian media she believes her son would go to Sweden voluntarily to fight the charges provided the Australian government brokered a deal to ensure he will not be extradited to the US.

Christine Assange said Canberra should follow its own diplomatic and legal advice that her son was in "clear and present danger" and seek written guarantees he would not be sent on to the US.

"If that was to take place I believe Julian would go to Sweden and not resist it. His concern is that he'll be rendered on," she said.

Story continues below…

She added that her son had been "crucified for doing what he was brought up to do".

"I brought my son up to tell the truth, to believe in justice. He was brought up to believe he lived in a democracy and to right any wrongs that he saw... Now I believe that's not true."

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told AFP the government would continue to provide Assange with full consular support.

He added: "The government has made it clear to the UK and Swedish government our expectation of due process, but Australia cannot directly intervene in legal processes of other countries."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:37 November 3, 2011 by Watchtower777
Tial.. spellcheck is a fabulous thing
08:53 November 3, 2011 by HYBRED
He hasn't been charged yet and already his lawyer is running his mouth about a fair trial. This makes him look guilty of something already.
09:04 November 3, 2011 by skogsbo
anybody else, for any other offence would have been dragged back to Sweden months ago, this is a farce, it's keeping lawyers in jobs, but failing in every other measure.

The guy is weird to start with, but if you were totally innocent, had very good legal representation, you would fly yourself to Sweden voluntarily, with some credibility and prove your innocence, with a huge media campaign at the same time.

Looking forward to him getting a really harsh sentence in a Swedish prison, probably about 2 1/2 weeks, even after all this fiasco!
09:18 November 3, 2011 by canam
@ skogsbo

"Looking forward to him getting a really harsh sentence in a Swedish prison, probably about 2 1/2 weeks, even after all this fiasco!"

exactly my thoughts as well.
09:23 November 3, 2011 by skogsbo
he'll probably finish up in some open prison, where don't even lock the doors at night, and because of his 'status' with have a fibre high speed broadband installed in the 'cell' to keep on top of his work.

Got to love his mum though, they always only see the good in their kids! He has 'probably' been a bit of naughty boy in Sweden, he then releases half the world's government's secrets online and wonders why the past catches up with your son. She probably thinks of him as some kind of crusader or freedom fighter, not some dodgy perv.
12:15 November 3, 2011 by McChatter
As far as I know, Assange hasn't officially been charged. He's only "wanted for questioning". If the Public Prosecutor is so sure of this case then why don't they go ahead and file formal charges against him? In view of all the publicity surrounding Asssange, I wonder if they can find an unbiased judge to preside over this case. The eyes of the world are now on the Swedish judicial system. I hope there are no more blunders like there have been of late.
13:12 November 3, 2011 by Grokh
fair trial for what? i thought he was just getting recalled to be interviewed by the police since he hasnt been charged...
16:02 November 3, 2011 by philster61
Skogsbo....... as your name suggest you mos likely live in the forest. He WONT get a fair trail... Geoffrey Robertson is one the best and competent lawyers in the WORLD bar none...... In Sweden, the charge of rape is never seen objectively, if you're accused of rape in Sweden then you are automatically guilty in the eyes of the virtually everybody.... guilty until proven innocent and even then dubiously.... you have far too much faith in the heavily flawed Swedish legal process....

I suggest you read some of Geoffrey Robertson's books..... He knows what constitutes rape and what doesn't .Read "The Case of the Pope" to see where he stands on the legalities of rape.....

If not ,the don't you have some moose to go and shoot.....redneck!!!
16:38 November 3, 2011 by GLO
I dont get people with no proble he should answer for what he did. Criminals never think they have done wrong. Wise up....
17:32 November 3, 2011 by skogsbo
philster, I guess you're from the US originally due to your terminology and lack sarcasm or sense of irony. I am quite aware of how dire the Swedish system is in terms of both trials and under sentencing. However lets look at the facts, Assange isn't going trial, he has only been asked to assist in enquires, no charges and no international arrest warrant etc.. If he was innocent he could have popped over and spoke to the Swedish Police ages ago. He has some very expensive lawyers, if there was no evidence and he could prove his innocence or even discredit the complainant / witness - then his legal team would said go with it and we will get you off it in not time at all.

Trouble is he is too far up his own ar$e and because of wikileaks, he thinks he is above the law.

I'm no redneck, they exist in the USA not Sweden, Sweden certainly has it's bible belt clans and it's raggers, of which I'm also neither, finally we have Elk, not moose, wrong continent. I think our quota is pretty much done round here, so no more Elk for 12mths, wild boar though, if only I had the time to shoot a few more of them, organic free range meat, you can't beat it.

You can go wave your 'I love you Assange' banner in a few weeks time, if he eventually reaches Sweden and mansges to follow due process of police investigations and the law, like everybody else in the world without a few million to spend on lawyers has to do. You think if you or I were accused, we would still be ducking and diving like this fella is?
17:49 November 3, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I couldn't see how the verdict was going to be any different to the one given by the UK justices given the nature of the allegations.

This has been a farce, to be sure, but one which should have been handed to Sweden, long ago, to sort out.

As has been said already, if it was some 'ordinary Joe' facing these type of allegations, without the benefit of publicity or money, nobody would have been any the wiser that he'd been extradited to Sweden (or indeed anywhere else)
20:07 November 3, 2011 by philster61

I am not from the US.. And since Assange isn't going to trial, Although I have no doubts the moment he lands its only a matter of process until he does, why then the need to "extradite " him to a country where he had already been denied a residence permit? He could have just as easily assisted investigated where he already it....Are the Swedish that complacent that they can't fly an hour to the UK?

And there isn't any evidence against him. No photos evidence, no DNA..Haven't you read the case facts? Chief Prosecutor Ewa Finne threw the case out last august... If not for the fanatical feminist Marianne Nye then this would never have been an issue. The only "crime" he is guilty of if it is a crime, is that he didn't use a condom. One of the women even made him breakfast. strange thing for a rape victim to do isn't it?

This is a set up sex scandal Russian style , there is even a word for it of which I cannot think of but will. Sweden takes pride in this kind of process. Law has nothing to do with it.......

And in english moose is an Elk.......
21:12 November 3, 2011 by skogsbo
Philster,firsly nope a Swedish älg is translated to Elk in English, Elks now live in Scotland although fenced in, not moose, the same for norway etc.. Moose live on the North American continent, whilst looking almost identical they are considered different animals in name only, since genetically they come same parentage prior to the continents parting company a few years ago. The same can be said for many species. Only in American english could an älg

possibly become a moose, but even that's incorrect as Sweden have NO mooses, only Elk.

I haven't read the evidence and it's unlikely all of it is public knowledge, either way he is accused, he should be investigated. The suspect, him, goes to the police, why should the Police chase him around the world.

Who cares if it's a set up, he is so arrogant, he deserves a few knocks to put him back in his box. If you go releasing masses of state secrets then he should be thankful he hasn't become the victim of some random accident and just being chased for alleged rape. What this case is lacking is any parity on how anybody else would be dealt with.
19:19 November 9, 2011 by Ranger
There is no justice in Sweden. The Swedish judicial system is a complete fraud. The judges are uneducated buffons who make phony rulings based on incompetency, they falsify documents and they fish for bribes. If Sweden has been caught doing things they should not be doing or not be saying then those responsible should get in line to be prosecuted.
08:15 December 6, 2011 by philster61
Skogsbo: Thanks to your info about the Ålk/Moose/Elk. I had to treat myself to the opening titles of Monty Pythons The Holy Grail. And now as a consequence I have now viewed it more times and I fear will develop an obsession with the Moose.....Sorry Elk...And not just the North European migratory kind either, unlike the Afrcian swallow which when laden with a coconut can fly upside down.................

"I haven't read the evidence and it's unlikely all of it is public knowledge, either way he is accused, he should be investigated. The suspect, him, goes to the police, why should the Police chase him around the world. "

I suggest you do....As is written in Hamlet" There is something rotten in the State of Denmark"...... Move across the sound a little and you're bang on.......

"Who cares if it's a set up, he is so arrogant, he deserves a few knocks to put him back in his box. If you go releasing masses of state secrets then he should be thankful he hasn't become the victim of some random accident and just being chased for alleged rape. What this case is lacking is any parity on how anybody else would be dealt with."

Surely you can't be serious as to mean that. Sweden supposedly prides itself on being civilized. Statements like that put Sweden in the same category as Nazi Germany where law and justice went out the window....An "accident"... Well did you know that Sweden has the highest rate of political assassination in Europe? Within a 20 year period, There were two Government officials murdered in public. Thats even more than some parts of the Middle East..
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