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Göran Hägglund

Swedish cabinet minister goes berserk on Twitter over Julian Assange.


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STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Sweden's cabinet minister for social affairs Göran Hägglund, trained as a plumber according to Wikipedia, suffered an outburst on Twitter this evening after reading that Julian Assange was to be granted asylum in Ecuador.

The rude conversation that ensued was encouraged by Niklas Svensson, the convicted reporter from Expressen who elbowed his colleagues out of the way to scoop the ominous headline 21 August 2010 that the WikiLeaks founder was being hunted on the streets of the Swedish capital as a serial rapist.

But the outcry from the Swedes was deafening: no one backed Hägglund. Instead they all objected to his statements either on the grounds that cabinet ministers aren't allowed to make public statements in ongoing cases or on the grounds that the accusations against Julian Assange are groundless.

All in all it was yet another display of the current Swedish government's total lack of ethics and also a display of growing support for Assange in Sweden.

@NiklasSvensson: I wonder how Ecuador will smuggle him out? A suitcase?

@GoranHagglund: Expressen's van?

@NiklasSvensson: Haha. What do you think of this farce?

@GoranHagglund: Sick. A coward who doesn't dare take his case to court. If he did what he's accused of, he's a lowlife.

@JohanTangen: @GoranHagglund @NiklasSvensson And if he didn't do what you think he did?

@GoranHagglund: @JohanTangen @NiklasSvensson Then he should appear in court and prove his innocence.

@owenil: Interesting discussion between @NiklasSvensson and @GoranHagglund about Assange. But why is a cabinet minister making public statements about an ongoing case?

@AndraAnais: @owenil Don't spoil the fun by being melodramatic. @niklassvensson @GoranHagglund

@viktorbk: @AndraAnais @owenil @niklassvensson @GoranHagglund True. Göran got a 'get out of protocol' card. Best wishes, your Twitter audience.

@GoranHagglund: @owenil @NiklasSvensson Are you insinuating that I'm betraying our constitution when I say he should appear in a Swedish court? Hardly.

@_Hanso: @GoranHagglund @NiklasSvensson 'If he did what he's accused of...' Maybe it's not a well qualified statement?

@GoranHagglund: That's why I wrote it that way.

@NiklasSvensson: Big words, no action.

@GoranHagglund: Dispute it if you want.

@UlfBjereld: My FLASH about the Guardian's article on Assange beat Expressen's FLASH by 15 minutes. I shouldn't have left journalism behind.

@GoranHagglund: @UlfBjereld And you'd still have the Expressen van.

@UlfBjereld: My my I'm really getting worried.

@NiklasSvensson: @GoranHagglund I don't!

@GoranHagglund: @NiklasSvensson A wise decision.

@GoranHagglund: JA's extradition has been requested by Sweden and that's what the British court decided. JA is avoiding Sweden. That's cowardly.

@Jockeohlin: @GoranHagglund But he has to leave the embassy to leave the country. Can't they nick him then?

@GoranHagglund: @Jockeohlin I presume so.

@GoranHagglund: Now there's been a lot of tweets about his fantastic contributions in other areas. Sorry but that's got nothing to do with it.

@hassc: @GoranHagglund But they'll never get it to court - several prosecutors have already closed the case. So what are we doing?

@GoranHagglund: @hassc So you know already how this is going to turn out? Why don't you tell Assange?

@TuttLinda: Any more political leaders other than @GoranHagglund who feel the urge to call Assange a coward?

@Pat_Eng: @TuttLinda I hope not! Cabinet ministers aren't supposed to make public statements about specific cases. @GoranHagglund

@TuttLinda: @Pat_Eng That's what he did. @GoranHagglund

@Pat_Eng: @TuttLinda Talking of courts is a bit premature when Assange hasn't even been charged. And calling someone a 'lowlife' sounds a bit rash. @GoranHagglund

@GoranHagglund: @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda You can quote me.

@GoranHagglund: @MolokK Nope. But it was a ruling on extradition for interrogation. And then he should appear before our court.

@R_Hed: @GoranHagglund Lowlife was the word you used, right? @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda

@GoranHagglund: @R_Hed @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda 'If he did what he's accused of', yes.

@Pat_Eng: To qualify your statement doesn't make it less of a specific case. @Brottsanalys @R_Hed @TuttLinda

@GoranHagglund @Pat_Eng @brottsanalys @r_hed @tuttlinda So you think I've overstepped my bounds?

@LisaSoulagera: @GoranHagglund @Pat_Eng @Brottsanalys @R_Hed @TuttLinda Have the secret services hijacked that Twitter account?

@GoranHagglund @Pat_Eng @brottsanalys @r_hed @tuttlinda If someone escapes from a prison sentence and I think it's despicable?

@Mannenpagatan: @GoranHagglund What do you mean 'what he's accused of'? @R_Hed @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda

@GoranHagglund @Mannenpagatan @r_hed @pat_eng @tuttlinda The complaints of the two women.

@Brottsanalys @GoranHagglund And what crimes are you saying he's been accused of in their complaints? @Mannenpagatan @R_Hed @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda

@GoranHagglund @Brottsanalys @mannenpagatan @r_hed @pat_eng @tuttlinda I'm not saying anything. The police want to speak with him. He's avoiding them.

@Brottsanalys @GoranHagglund But you said the two women accused him of something. What did they accuse him of? @Mannenpagatan @R_Hed @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda

@Mannenpagatan @GoranHagglund then stated Assange was a lowlife if he was guilty of what he's being accused of - without knowing what he's being accused of. @Brottsanalys

@R_Hed @Brottsanalys 'Sexual molestation, unlawful coercion, rape' http://info.publicintelligence.net/AssangeSexAllegations.pdf @GoranHagglund @Mannenpagatan @R_Hed @Pat_Eng @TuttLinda

@Brottsanalys: @Mannenpagatan Yeah. Evidently @GoranHagglund knows what the girls are accusing Assange of. Wonder what it is?

@AndersBerggren: @GoranHagglund Swedish politicians do not comment on specific cases. How come you're doing it now?

@GoranHagglund: @AndersBerggren I'm not a court - as if I needed to point that out. But he's supposed to appear for questioning. Don't you agree?

@hassc: @GoranHagglund @AndersBerggren But he wanted to! Before he left Sweden for the UK! But evidently that wasn't good enough!

@hassc: @GoranHagglund And I am very concerned that a cabinet minister makes public statements about an ongoing legal process. But your friends in the cabinet don't seem to care much.

@JohanTangen: @GoranHagglund Then why not question him for the two years he's been available in London? @AndersBerggren

@HansCJohansson: @Pat_Eng I'm assuming it was @GoranHagglund's instincts stopped him from giving us a 'thorough analysis'. @Brottsanalys @CarolineSzyber

@Pat_Eng: @HansCJohansson As a representative of a governmental authority myself, I know I can't express all my feelings in public. @GoranHagglund @Brottsanalys @CarolineSzyber

@GoranHagglund @Pat_Eng @HansCJohansson @Brottsanalys @CarolineSzyber To disapprove of people not obeying court rulings - we can state that opinion if we want.

@HansCJohansson: @GoranHagglund @Pat_Eng @brottsanalys @carolineszyber And I think Ny should fly over to London. That's my opinion.

Global Reaction

The Twitter account for Sweden vs Assange lit up for the occasion.

Cabinet minister @GoranHagglund's vitriol does Sweden a great disservice & solidifies #Assange's case for asylum. @carlbildt #svpol

Someone should report Minister @GoranHagglund to an ethics committee. His statements cast serious doubt over rest of Swedish cabinet. #svpol

Cowardly of the prosecutor to refuse to question Assange for two years. Cowardly of Sweden to not give guarantees about temporary surrender to the US. Cowardly of you, @GoranHagglund. #svpol

Minister @GoranHagglund: You call #Assange 'scum'. In a single action you've prejudiced any future trial against him. Congratulations. #svpol

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