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Marianne Ny on Trial

There's a scapegoat? Flashback comments on the coming SC appeal.

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STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Julian Assange isn't in the hot seat at the moment. Right now it's Sweden - or more specifically Marianne Ny. Sweden has a long record of defying EU regulations for issuance of arrest warrants and a lot of people want it stopped.

And Marianne Ny's online move yesterday, to defend her actions solely to a Swedish audience who have no say in the matter, only cements the suspicion there's a bit of desperation hanging in the air. And the Flashbackers are speculating this morning that Ny's behaviour, taken in the context of rule of law, may result in the case against Assange ultimately being dropped.

The Swedish System

All Gareth Peirce has to do, say the Flashbackers, is argue that Swedish prosecutors - and they think all prosecutors qualify over there - cannot by any stretch of the imagination be construed as the necessary 'independent judicial authority' as required by the EAW framework.

'The Swedish judicial system would be shaken to its roots', said Aleksanterinkatu at Flashback. 'But the English system would be shaken as well - they've gone along with 60 EAWs issued by Swedish prosecutors so far and never questioned them.'

The Brits seem to be getting more and more annoyed with the situation and really want it to stop.

'If Assange is given the right to appeal, this will mean - regardless of the outcome for Assange - that the EAW system and its glaring obvious shortcomings will garner even more attention than before. Assange isn't formally appealing for his own benefit.'

'What do you think of the odds that Marianne Ny will finally swallow her pride and use Mutual Legal Assistance to not cause any more harm to her case?' asked GoodwinStrawman. 'I think her superiors should make her do it - and try to protect rule of law in Sweden!'

Then Lillalinnea popped in at 20:50 yesterday evening to report on Marianne Ny.

Prosecutor on the Defence

'Do you think the prosecution authority are following the debate here at Flashback? For at 18:16 they published an article on who they think is authorised to issue EAWs!'

'Here we see the same abyss between the Swedish and British systems I've spoken about before', said BaalZeBub. 'Lagföring without prosecution is unthinkable for the English. Prosecution occurs early on in their system - and it's seen as an important right for people: the right to know what they're being charged with.'

'The fact that Sweden shoved in a rule that a 'lagföring' can be a matter of an investigation and a decision before any possible prosecution does not change the fact that this is an absurdity in the English judicial system.'

'And this is where I think the objections to the EAW have been the strongest', he continued. 'But we've seen the issue completely sidestepped by the English who want to appear as good Europeans able to tolerate the nutty idiosyncrasies of those silly Swedes.'

For Questioning Only

BaalZeBub goes on to cite Marianne Ny's statements to the media where she repeatedly says she's not yet decided whether to prosecute - that the EAW was issued for questioning only (because she wasn't interested in questioning Assange whilst he was still in the country, only when he left).

'As we've seen, British law and Swedish law are incompatible. Prosecution comes at a late point in the investigation in Sweden. Prosecution is a summons to the lower court when the preliminary investigation is completed. All you have are allegations up to that point - but in Sweden you can still hold someone in custody for months on end. But in the British system - and likely in most other European countries - prosecution is something that happens before any interrogation takes place.'

''This also means we're looking at two different systems of case law. In England a prosecutor decides early on what the case is going to be about. But in Sweden a prosecutor can hold young boys in custody on suspicion of rape and then begin the 'turning over of stones' [Marianne Ny's famous parole] to see what - if anything - she can prosecute for - or to in the end dismiss all the allegations of rape and prosecute them instead for distilling moonshine and perhaps a few other juicy things she learned from the interrogations.'

'This ad hoc process, deciding things after the fact based on what sticks to the wall, is expressly illegal in England.'

Marianne's Making it Up

Hoppsan came in today to tick details off one by one.

'The statute Marianne Ny is citing has to be based on a Swedish translation of the EAW. The problem is the word 'prosecute' has been translated as 'lagföring' which is fuzzier than even the British counterpart.'

'Marianne Ny came with her own unique interpretation of 'lagföring' for this case. I don't think you'll find a linguistic expert anywhere who'd agree that it means what she wants it to mean.'

'I was Googling around and I couldn't find a single legal text that equated 'lagföring' and 'investigation'. It's Marianne Ny who came up with her own original interpretation of it so she could pursue this case - except it really isn't an accurate interpretation at all.'

The legal glossary at the official website of the Swedish prosecution authority has no mention of such a thing.

'I find nothing at their site about 'lagföring' including interrogations', reported Lillalinnea.

All Eyes on Sweden

All eyes are on Sweden. Not on Julian Assange this time - on Sweden. The Swedish authorities have some explaining to do - not only to Julian Assange and the British Supreme Court but to the world in general.

Julian Assange is under Swedish arrest - but not in Sweden. Swedish authorities are supposed to expedite cases as swiftly as possible - but they refuse to comply with their 'suspect' when he repeatedly asks to be questioned - and only get interested in things when they find out he's left the country after finally getting their approval to do so.

He's specifically (as per Marianne Ny's EAW) wanted for questioning. Something he wanted to do a year ago.

'As we've noted, MN jumps in and confuses everything', said BaalZeBub. 'She hasn't based her EAW on a Swedish arrest. But she tosses in assorted suspicions, sanctions, and weak assertions of a possible prosecution after the interrogations.'

'Then we still have the matter of two completely different judicial traditions: in England you get to know the allegations at an early stage. In Sweden they first toss the poor sod in jail, then they interrogate a bit, and then when they're finally through with their investigation, the prosecutor decides which allegations if any will be used at trial. The English would regard the Swedish system as reprehensible if they fully understood it.'

'You can see how big a difference there is between these traditions if all you do is compare the Swedish 'åtal' with 'prosecution'. And it gets even crazier if you compare the Swedish 'häktning' with 'detention' as here:'


'Pre-charge detention refers to the period of time an individual can be held and questioned by police prior to being charged with an offence. Not all countries have such a concept.'

'Sweden's so weird that they have their own section in that Wikipedia article.'

So Weird, So Weird

'From a British perspective, we have an absurd and exotic procedure that regularly comes under attack by Amnesty International and by organs of the United Nations - but we don't seem to give a damn.'

'At the same time the Swedish media can pretend to be highly critical when the US and other countries detain people without prosecution - and they don't hesitate to point out that it's in violation of the laws and judicial traditions in those countries. But they're amazingly quiet about how it's perfectly OK to do that in Sweden.'

Note: countries such as the US and the UK have legislation prohibiting detention without prosecution.

See Also
Industry Watch: Swedish Prosecution Damage Control

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