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Convicted killer offers Assange ‘legal advice’

Christine Schürrer, a German woman who was convicted of murdering two children in 2008, has offered to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in his legal battles with Sweden by explaining her own troubles with the Swedish legal system.

Convicted killer offers Assange 'legal advice'

Schürrer, 35, has reportedly sent a letter to the Australian embassy in Stockholm offering her expertise. Her own very public trial four years ago followed the deaths of two children in Arboga, central Sweden.

The fact that Assange currently risks extradition to Sweden is something that “scares” Schürrer, according to daily Expressen.

Schürrer received a lifetime sentence in 2008 for killing two Swedish children, Max, 3 and Saga, 1, and the attempted murder of their mother.

“She thinks that she has been mishandled, that the Swedish justice system has not taken into consideration her human rights,” said an acquaintance of Schürrer to the paper.

Schürrer’s letter allegedly reads as a warning to the Australian whistleblower.

“There are gaps in legal security here that are obvious and that threaten law and order,” the letter reads, according to Expressen.

According to the woman’s acquaintance, Schürrer believes that Swedish justice system remains at a “medieval level when it allows innocent people to be convicted”.

In her own trial, the Supreme Court, Sweden’s highest legal authority, chose not to grant her the chance to appeal.

However, Assange’s lawyer Tomas Olsson is reportedly not interested in the developments, and has distanced himself from the news.

“I attach no importance to this, it means nothing. This is something she has done of her own accord,” he told the paper.

Meanwhile, Paul Stephens, the Australian ambassador to Sweden, will not comment on the matter, according to his assistant Therese Ryde.

“I’ve spoken to him and he has no comments” she told the paper.

TT/The Local/og

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JULIAN ASSANGE

Assange will cooperate with Sweden, but fight US warrant: lawyer

Julian Assange would cooperate with Swedish authorities if they reopen a rape case against him but will continue to resist any bid to extradite him to the United States, his lawyer said Sunday.

Assange will cooperate with Sweden, but fight US warrant: lawyer
Julian Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson in London on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham/TT

“We are absolutely happy to answer those queries if and when they come up,” Jennifer Robinson told Sky News television about the rape claims.

“The key issue at the moment is US extradition, which we have warned about for many years,” she added.

The WikiLeaks founder is in custody in London awaiting sentencing for breaching his British bail conditions in 2012 by seeking refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.

He was arrested at the embassy on Thursday after Ecuador gave him up, and is now also fighting a US extradition warrant relating to the release by WikiLeaks of a huge cache of official documents.

The Australian has always denied the claims of sexual assault and rape in Sweden. The first expired in 2015 and the other was dropped in 2017, but the alleged rape victim has now asked for the case to be reopened.

If Stockholm makes a formal extradition request, the British government will have to decide whether to consider it before or after that of the United States.

Robinson said Assange would seek assurances from Sweden that he would not be sent on to America, saying: “That is the same assurance we were seeking in 2010 and the refusal to give that is why he sought asylum.”

She added: “He's not above the law. Julian has never been concerned about facing British justice or indeed Swedish justice. This case is and has always been about his concern about being sent to face American injustice.”

The US indictment charges Assange with “conspiracy” for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password stored on Department of Defence computers in March 2010.

He faces up to five years in jail.

Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing US military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world.

The conspiracy charge against Assange seems intended to sidestep limits on prosecution potentially arising from the US Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of press freedom.

But Robinson insisted: “This indictment clearly engages newsgathering activities and the kinds of communications that journalists have with sources all the time.”

The lawyer condemned as “outrageous” claims made by Ecuador about Assange's behaviour in the embassy, including that he smeared his faeces on the wall, saying: “That's not true.”

Quito also accused him of failing to care for his cat. WikiLeaks said Assange had asked his lawyers to “rescue him (the cat) from embassy threats” in October, adding: “They will be reunited in freedom.”

Assange's father, John Shipton, on Sunday urged Australia to bring his son home.

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