• Sweden's news in English

Sweden 'can't offer Assange guarantees'

25 Jun 2012, 13:04

Published: 25 Jun 2012 13:04 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

On Monday, it emerged that Assange may be ready to return to Sweden to face questioning over claims by two women that he raped and sexually assaulted them in August 2010.

However, he would only consider giving up his lengthy battle to avoid extradition to Sweden if officials in Stockholm guaranteed that he wouldn't be turned over to the United States to face espionage and conspiracy charges over secret US documents previously published by WikiLeaks.

But an official with Sweden's Ministry of Justice said that, according to current legislation, Sweden couldn't provide Assange with the guarantees he's currently seeking.

"Any such guarantee doesn't exist," Cecilia Riddselius, a staff member with the ministry's Division for Criminal Cases and International Judicial Cooperation, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

"After having worked on these issues for ten years, I can't see how it could become reality."

Riddselius emphasized that the matter remained hypothetical and that her assessment was restricted to that of a government civil servant.

Currently, there is no formal request or indication that the United States is interested in extraditing Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since last Wednesday waiting for the South American country to process his request for political asylum.

At the weekend, Australian foreign minister Bob Carr rejected claims that Washington is keen to get Assange, saying there was "no hint" of a plan to extradite the 40-year-old former compuer hacker to the United States.

According to Riddselius, countries can ask for different sorts of guarantees related to extradition cases, but the guarantees are restricted to covering the sort of treatment someone might receive once extradited, such as guarantees the person wouldn't be tortured or sentenced to the death penalty.

But, she said, Sweden couldn't guarantee Assange that he wouldn't be extradited to the United States ahead of his possible arrival in Sweden.

For the moment, officials in Sweden are standing by awaiting further developments in the case.

Story continues below…

"We're waiting to see how Ecuador acts," Riddselius told DN.

The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:57 June 25, 2012 by carolannusa
A US Federal Grand Jury has been sitting in Alexandria, VA for some months now with an aim to indict Mr Assange on espionage charges - I would say this is more than "a hint" of a plan to request Mr Assange's extradition from Sweden. Once in the US he would be subject to torture (solitary confinement, etc) and a possible death penalty. All of this could have been avoided if the Swedish Prosecution Authority had questioned Mr Assange during his voluntary extended stay in Sweden in 2010 or by Mutual Legal Assistance after his lawful departure from the country. The question that needs to be asked is why does Sweden need him physically back in the country now to question him about the allegations.
15:23 June 25, 2012 by bcterry
That is a straight up honest reply by the Minister of Justice.

It should be applauded for it's integrity.

Assange is in no position to dictate the rules.

After examining the situation carefully, it looks like Ecuador may be having some reservations on whether or not to grant him his wish, thus his new stance.

Maybe he should give Saudi Arabia a shot.
16:07 June 25, 2012 by Nomark

I agree. No minister could give that type of guarantee ahead of any request.

Assange has a long history of believing that he and only he sets the rules. He wanted to be interviewed by the Swedes on his terms and not theirs. Its no surprise he's in a mess with the Swedes.
16:54 June 25, 2012 by procrustes

Maybe the particular minister speaking could not make such a deal, but without doubt the proper level person could make the deal.

This is just finely parsed language to cover Sweden should they decide to honor an extradition request.

As far as the Grand Jury indictment goes, the saying is that the guidelines for indictment are so broad a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich if desired.

This whole affair stinks.
17:20 June 25, 2012 by skogsbo
what is it with folk who think he couldn't be extradited to the USA right now from the UK. I think the UK would be only to glad to get rid of this clown.

As for Assange he just continues to squirm like the little coward he is. Thankfully Ecuador looks like it is going to do the honourable thing and send the fella on his way to face the sex crime allegations he should have faced 2 years ago. :)
17:46 June 25, 2012 by smilingjack
the only people who think they can operate outside the rules are the USA. shooting down russian commercial airliner. kidnapping 10's of thousands off the street and murdering and torturing.Invading and obliterating more countries than I can remember. international law - geneva convention not for them. But dont they whine and carry on when someone stands up to them. Another mass murder by an american soldier - UN in to have a look. Not on your life.

Thanks goodness for Russia, China and Iran having the balls to tell these mass murders to f*ck off. I really hope it takes off in Syria and the yanks try conning NATO to go in and China, Iran and Russia hand them their bums on a plate.

This is a country that has 1 in 30 of its own population in prison whilst monitoring just about every other citizen. More people imprisoned in the USA then ever before in history and you could be next. still they want the world to believe they are all fuzzy and warm like one of their sh*tty teen movies.
18:06 June 25, 2012 by 4america
This is what someone gets who messes with the US. They even kill thier own citizens now just by labeling them "terrorist." Personal freedom, liberty and privacy in America are fastly eroding. It is not as safe here as it used to be.
20:29 June 25, 2012 by klubbnika
#6 @smilingjack

You are such a hypocrite! You wouldn't go and live line an ordinary citizen in Iran, China or Russian, would you?
22:35 June 25, 2012 by bcterry
"You are such a hypocrite! You wouldn't go and live line an ordinary citizen in Iran, China or Russian, would you? "

Just another obsessed American hater.

I particularly got a chuckle out of the hilarious ,

"kidnapping 10,s of thousands off the streets and murdering and torturing" fantasy. :)

BTW, it's 1 in 100 adults, which is high, but not 1 in 30 of the population.

There's not enough room in this thread to list the human rights abuses of your beloved China, Iran, and Russia.

America is a ray of sunshine compared to anyone of those 3.
22:55 June 25, 2012 by Gustav Jung
Join the long list of cowering poodles, Sweden.
23:19 June 25, 2012 by jostein
Anyone with half an analytical bone in their boxy understands that the US doesnt want Assange. They dont have the laws to convict him and they have absolutely noting to gain either way.
23:51 June 25, 2012 by alecLoTh

Remember Kevin Mitnick? the first high profile hacker to be inprisoned? He served 5 years in total with solitary confinement, 4yrs 6 months of that was before he was even convicted or tried...he was just "detained"
05:48 June 26, 2012 by godnatt
I'm sure Iran or North Korea will be waiting with open arms to welcome this champion of freedom...
05:53 June 26, 2012 by Harry®
Wonder if Sweden will bother making Assange get off the plane? Or will he be sent off to Swedens Masters to face the death penalty under the USA's "Espionage Act of 1917".
08:31 June 26, 2012 by skogsbo
Harry. perhaps you need to look at how many people in the USA history who have been guilty of this act, have suffered the death penalty? Probably none in the last 100years?!

But, as the saying goes, if you do the crime, you do the time. There is nothing honourable about him, he doesn't stand up from freedom, he runs from the Police, he won't face his acussers, he just hides behinds his funded legal team, or tries to run to Ecuador, a dictatorship, he suddenly forgot all of his moral values there didn't he.
08:41 June 26, 2012 by Rebel
Skogsbo, the USA is a far different place than it has been for the past 100 years. Now the US can detain a person without charge for their entire life if they want. Obama also has a death panel and with the mindless zombies who follow him on the left I doubt there would be too much protests if Assange were put in Gitmo forever.

As for Sweden the worse thing that could happen for the little bald dude is for Assange to be sent there. If Obama asks for Assange then how could he refuse his idol? However, there are enough people in Sweden who would see such an extradition as a betrayal of human rights as well as a slap in the face of transparency. I think it is safe to say that the Alliance would be voted out of office in the next elections.
09:04 June 26, 2012 by skogsbo
personal, if you steal secrets documents(regardless of their contents), then you do the time for the crime, if that is life in jail then so be it.

Not to mention the fact that he is due in court at some point for alleged rape? Which is a serious offence in itself?

If Assange had raped an American on US soil, but then fled the country what would happen?
09:47 June 26, 2012 by cogito
@#6 smlingjack

Are you still getting messages from the mother ship?

That's what happens when you neglect to take your meds. Go back to your attic and there will be no punishment this time.
10:38 June 26, 2012 by J Jack
Go Jules! Keep the courage to stand up to the cronies.
13:19 June 26, 2012 by bcterry
"Skogsbo, the USA is a far different place than it has been for the past 100 years. Now the US can detain a person without charge for their entire life if they want. Obama also has a death panel and with the mindless zombies who follow him on the left I doubt there would be too much protests if Assange were put in Gitmo forever."

A "death panel", really?

Give me the proof with details on that.
13:47 June 26, 2012 by DonQuixot
Sweden is now in the antipodes of the Sweden of Olof Palme. Sweden is not interested in questioning Assange, they can do so in many different ways without his going to Sweden (letters, emails, videoconference, etc. etc.). They are just lying, all they want is to get him to hand him over to the US. A Swedish or American "guarantee" is just wet paper, they have no credibility, the US has a long tradition of breaking promises. If Assange can believe the Swedish or the American legal system, he is crazy and suicidal. The CIA is just like God, omnipresent and omnipotent.
14:50 June 26, 2012 by bcterry
@ DonQuixot ,

You apparently know exactly what is going on here, so this simple question should be easy for you,

Why haven't the U.S. already extradited Assange from Britain, as they are close allies, and have an extradition treaty, and why wait until he gets to Sweden?

Also, the U.S. currently has an extradition application for Richard O'Dwyer for alleged copyright offenses that is currently under review by Britain, on the other hand, there is no such application for Assange, although he has been there for over two years.

Looking forward to your answer.
20:47 June 26, 2012 by Nomark

Its amusing (and a little sad) how the conspiracy theorists ignore any question which threatens their world view.


I also get the old addage "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime" in my head whenever Assange pops up in the news. Its remarkable that he thinks that he can release a set of classified documents from the US and that it would be somehow be unfair for the US to pursue him over this. Furthermore, in his world view countries ought to guarantee that they'd turn the US down if they were to make an extradition request otherwise he'll make them pay by errrmm staying in the Ecuadorean embassy (yep, that'll teach them)...

My attitude to him would be different if (a) he'd stop this self-aggrandizing grandstanding and talking absolute cr*p (eg execution in the States) and (b) he'd released only "whistle blowing" documents. As it is, he released the lot for reasons of "openness" thereby putting innocents at risk (eg identifying an Algerian dissident) and giving out information which could be damaging to a nation's security. Ironically, this openness doesn't extend to Wikileaks itself which is secretive about its donor list and policy (or lack of policy) towards redaction to protect the identities of innocent people..
13:00 June 27, 2012 by bcterry
20:47 June 26, 2012 by Nomark


Its amusing (and a little sad) how the conspiracy theorists ignore any question which threatens their world view. "

It never ceases to amaze me just how powerful a simple question can be when addressing conspiracy theorists, and religious fundamentalists.

The hit and runners can't dash out the back door fast enough when asked to respond.
16:21 June 27, 2012 by Nomark

I'm afraid I disagree. They ignore the questions altogether and repeat their bs on another thread. Occasionally, one of them will feel sufficiently brave to make sometihng up (eg legal system X is better than Y) backed up with no reliable references, evidence or anything other than a first principle argument that he's right by default and everyone arguing against him must be wrong.

The irony is that the JA case has opened a number useful issues, such as the use of the EU arrest warrant and the balance between openness and security. To discuss any of these is impossible owing to the hysterics of the JA-crowd.
02:49 June 28, 2012 by olga118
I love it! All these posts from people who have never lived in the USA bashing the criminal justice system! I wonder how they would feel if their spouse or child were visciously murdered and got.....5 years sentence for the crime? Do you think that they might feel differently that the USA actually expects people to be PENALIZED for taking someone elses life? I think they might. Here's how it works people. If you break the laws of a country you are liable per their laws.( Loved the comment about China, Russia and Iran......Right, they are such upholders of Human Rights.)

Here's some news for you.....The liberal media does not control the United States Constitution. What you read in the newspapers and see on TV is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what is going on in the USA.
07:33 June 28, 2012 by rufus.t.firefly
Just to be factual, Julian Assange has not been charged any crime, either in Sweden or the US. There is no crime he could legitimately be charged with in the US, secret grand jury notwithstanding. That a grand jury "could indite a ham sandwich" is common knowledge in the US. It's one of the things first year law students learn in their Criminal Procedure classes.

Grand juries are set up because the normal means of prosecution, i.e., open public process with legal representation of the accused will result in no charges being filed. The grand jury is a subterfuge and is widely recognized as such.
10:32 June 28, 2012 by DonQuixot
Sweden can, but does not want to offer guarantees because the main reason for the case is to send Assange to the US. Lies and lies and lies.
14:19 June 28, 2012 by bcterry
10:32 June 28, 2012 by DonQuixot

Sweden can, but does not want to offer guarantees because the main reason for the case is to send Assange to the US. Lies and lies and lies. "

Assumptive conspiratorial bullxxxx with no basis in fact.
21:23 June 29, 2012 by Archie1954
I can't believe the number of people blogging here who don't seem to know the facts of the case or choose to ignore them. First, Mr. Assange did not steal anything, he simply published information that came into his hands the same way Woodward and Bernstein did in the Watergate scandal. Secondly, he did nothing within the territory of the US that was illegal. Thirdly, he is a journalist doing his job to help save the world by ensuring that ordinary people have the facts of the various conspiracies and deadly plans that are actually being formulated by certain imperial forces. Forthly, he is quite willing to face his accusers but not in a situation loaded against him. It would have to be fair and just which is something the US judicial system is not. Fifthly there is not now nor has there ever been any evidence that the "secrets" he disclosed had any dire effects on US personnel or the so called "national security" unless letting the world see the US military shoot and kill innocent parties in Afghanistan is considered dire effects.
08:30 June 30, 2012 by hawkeye ajustralia
smilingjack Congratulations You have posted the most stupid piece of garbage I have ever read.
04:59 July 17, 2012 by hoboturkey
It never takes long for the activists to swamp a blog does it.

My problem is that any man can be extradicted over a case that is remarkable for its lack of transparency.

Assange hung around Sweden when asked and then was allowed to leave.

Seriously, where are the details that the accusers are giving.

His name is muck around the world as a sex criminal, but he is not allowed to defend himself as the allegations are a secret.

If he is guilty then jail him.

BUT, secrecy is a terrible accuser and that is a swedish problem.

Who knows the truth ?
Today's headlines
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available