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Assange: Belmarsh Day 1
So far a rout for the defence.
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — The ultrafeminist-controlled Swedish media are reluctant to report on it, but their Norwegian neighbours and their colleagues in the UK are not: FSI and Geoffrey Robertson pulled two rabbits out of their wigs and formidably butchered the Swedish justice system and Marianne Ny.
Geoffrey Robertson QC began by whittling down the assumption feminist prosecutor Marianne Ny even had authority to apply for a European Arrest Warrant in the first place, citing a Swedish ruling from 2005 that has not been updated, and pointing out one cannot in any case apply for a warrant before getting an approval from the courts - something Ny was in too much of a hurry to bother with.
Robertson then pulled out his first ace - venerable Brita Sundberg-Weitman, golden girl, retired appeals court magistrate, lecturer in jurisprudence at the University of Stockholm like her brother, champion of civil rights like her brother, and author of several seminal tomes on the subject.
Brita became actively engaged in the case months ago when she joined the Flashback forum to help dig up the truth in the case. Her testimony was quick, witty, and often devastatingly sarcastic about the state of affairs of jurisprudence in Sweden.
GRQC: What is your view on the procedures concerning Assange case?
BS-W: Extremely peculiar. My specialty is administrative law.
GRQC: What did you see in relation to the rule of law?
BS-W: She was under obligation to not confirm whether Assange was being investigated. Breach of confidentality. If a person breaches confidentiality she cannot be punished. because one has freedom of expression. The complainants' lawyer lodged an appeal. Formally it's not an appeal, it's based on the hierarchy amongst prosecutors. A senior prosecutor can override the decision of a junior prosecutor. But I don't think that's fair. It's not a good thing but it doesn't break Swedish law.
GRQC: Complainants' lawyer said that Assange was a coward and that if he was a true man, he'd go to Sweden to face accusations. On TV.
BS-W: Reaction to Assange was hostile. Most people take it for granted that he has raped the women. Bias against men. They take it for granted everyone being prosecuted is guilty, especially men. Marianne Ny in particular is against men. Ny has said locking up the man in rape cases is positive even if accused has not been charged. It would appear Ny is in favour of locking up innocent men. I honestly cannot understand her attitude against Assange. It looks malicious. It would've been so simple to have him heard whilst he was in Sweden. She could've agreed to hear him on the telephone, video link, etc.
GRQC: Are prosecutors allowed to hear suspects on the phone?
BS-W: Yes, it's in the manual. It's recommended. There's no special legal rule saying video interviews can't be done.
GRQC: Nothing discourages the use of telephone interviews?
BS-W: Correct. She wants to get him to Sweden, no matter what he says. I think her intention is to have him arrested and maybe let him suffer for a bit so he can 'get softer'.
GRQC: She asked for him to be detained incommunicado?
BS-W: I'm surprised it doesn't say that in the decision.
GRQC: It's in the decision by the district court. Is that normal?
BS-W: Yes it's normal. He can't be given a chance to influence the witnesses.
GRQC: What about Mutual Legal Assistance?
BS-W: Yes that's a possibility. There's a special manual on that. When the suspect is abroad, Mutual Legal Assistance is possible. It's regulated by a convention - it's encouraged.
GRQC: There's a rule that the preliminary investigation should be conducted as expeditiously as possible - is that correct?
BS-W: And? (Courtroom laughter.) Ah yes, that's a very important part of the procedure. Very often it's not respected at all and nothing happens.
GRQC: Is it important in Sweden for prosecutors to ask suspect if he wants any evidence or witnesses examined? Is it necessary for the suspect to be shown all evidence against him?
BS-W: Yes, once they decide to prosecute. I think before they decide to prosecute, they need to show all evidence to the suspect.
GRQC: The decision to issue an arrest warrant breaches the principle of proportionality?
BS-W: Yes. An authority must never use more harsh means than what is necessary for his/her objective to be pursued. This principle has not been respected at all. I dont think you can do more harm to a person than has been done in this case. He is known as a rapist worldwide!
GRQC: The EAW involves him going to Sweden, being held incommunicado, and given a secret trial.
GRQC: Do you think this has become a political issue in Sweden?
BS-W: Very much so, very much so.
GRQC: Mr Bergström's attacks on Mr Assange have been widely reported?
The judge abruptly called for a lunch break at this point. At 14:20 when the court reconvened, FSI had the second rabbit of the day: Göran Rudling, the blogger who found Anna Ardin deleting tweets and other stuff online and led her into several traps.
Acting on the part of the British defence team was retired Swedish prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem who's been severely critical of the judicial circus from Day One.
The Crown Prosecution Service's cross examination of Rudling was surprisingly brief and weak and ended after only a few rather perfunctory questions. And at that point the hearings were closed for the day.
Day 2 is of course tomorrow. Follow Federica Cocco for the best possible coverage.
If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade. If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point.
- Björn Hurtig
I can tell you that the Swedish prosecution still hasn't provided copies of those SMS texts that have been referred to. Those texts are some of the most powerful exculpatory evidence. In Australia prosecutors have a very grave duty to disclose such evidence to courts when seeking the grave exercise of a court's power against an individual. Yet in Sweden in this case, in the first hearings to obtain an arrest warrant, those texts were not submitted to the Swedish court, which is highly improper.
- James Catlin
Assange in Sweden: The Police Protocol (Translated)
Industry Watch: Assange: The Hornets Nest
Hall of Monkeys: Three Women II: The Sex War
Sunday Times: Accuser snapped me in the nude
Red Hat Diaries: How to Rape Julian Assange Twice