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Swede Held in Custody Four Years
A new record in the Land of the Midnight™. Assange beware.
DUCKPOND (Radsoft) — Being held without charge in Sweden for inexcusably long periods of time is common in Sweden where no one guards the guardians. This is a fate almost certain to apply to Julian Assange if he ever makes the mistake of returning to answer questions about popping condoms.
But the record for such indefensible custody was heretofore believed to be held by Assange nemesis, narrow gauge prosecutor Marianne Ny. Not so. There is another suffering much more and in a way the United Nations proclaimed is tantamount to torture.
Welcome to Sweden, the Land of the Midnight™. Julian Assange: stay where you are.
The Lone Sailor
Mauritz Andersson, sentenced to 14 years prison for his part in the huge 'Cocaine League', holds a dismal record in the shameful Swedish art of applying unreasonably long custodial times.
Andersson has been behind bars without legal justification for three years, seven months, and twenty days, longer than anyone else in Swedish judicial history.
The supreme court may possibly do something about this torture, but first a word about the background to this remarkable story.
Andersson is referred to in the newspapers and on radio on television as the 'Lone Sailor'. He was sentenced by the Stockholm district court to 14 years prison for aggravated narcotics crimes and smuggling.
This is a harsh sentence, but the 'Cocaine League' he belonged to has handled unbelievable quantities of drugs.
Andersson admitted the narcotics crimes, and for those was sentenced to ten years prison. But he denies the accusations for the remaining four years, and this is not insignificant, as we shall soon see.
The appeals trial is underway in the Svea court and it's turned into a hopelessly drawn-out extravaganza. There've been recurring pauses in the proceedings as new circumstances popped up; investigations conducted beyond the duckpond also played a part.
The verdict of the Svea court of appeals is expected, at the earliest, this coming summer.
Up to now Andersson has been in custody 1329 days, whereof two years and four months in isolation. Yes you read that right: 1329 days. Welcome to the Land of the Midnight™.
This turns out to be a record, even in Sweden. Sweden's notorious 'Laser Man' has been beaten. And remember that John 'Laser Man' Ausonius was under suspicion for extensive criminality: one murder, nine attempted murders, and nine bank robberies.
In addition he physically assaulted his defence attorneys, something that led to proceedings being even more drawn out, as the new attorneys needed time to study the case.
What happens to a human being held in custody for such a long time? And remember: being held in custody in Sweden is not the same as being in prison: being in prison is a lot more humane, a joyride in comparison.
Andersson's defence attorney Martin Cullberg describes what happens to victims of extrajudicial custody.
- Severe depression
- Lost of will to live
- Muscular atrophy
- Loosening teeth
- Loss of vision
- Impaired memory
Andersson today is in such bad shape that he recently pleaded with the appellate court to throw out his appeal so he could begin serving his sentence, something that would have sent him to an ordinary prison where conditions are more humane.
It is unacceptable in a country with rule of law that an individual would be prepared to accept a verdict under appeal only to get out of a tortuously long period of 'custody'.
Andersson is getting help from his attorney Cullberg to make one last attempt to extricate himself from this Swedish situation: they've turned the matter over to the supreme court.
And it's good thing the supreme court review the matter, partly to help Andersson, and partly to get a decision as to whether there's a limit to how long the Swedish judicial 'system' can incarcerate a human being in this fashion.
These past years have seen criminal investigations and trials of unprecedented format. None of the old rules apply.
Andersson should be released on his own recognisance. He can hardly influence the trial at this point. The evidence is well documented. The idea that he's a flight risk is mostly nonsense. He himself has appealed the earlier verdict, so it's in his own interest to see the verdict overturned, for if he runs for it, that earlier verdict will apply and he'd have to stay on the run for the next 15 years.
Andersson isn't dangerous: he's 57 years of age and has never been convicted of a violent crime.
One of the magistrates in the appellate court already suggested he be released.
The United Nations, Amnesty International, and the European Council have all have equated Sweden's extreme custodial times with torture.
The Swedish supreme court can't fix everything in this Swedish mess, but they can at least fix Andersson's four-year custody.
Julian Assange? Stay where you are. This place is too crazy for words.
Postscript: Marianne Ny
Prosecutor Marianne Ny holds Julian Assange in effective custody. Julian's been held up since December 2010 - over three years. And his fate would be far worse if he'd ever returned.
Marianne Ny's record on Swedish soil for holding someone without charge is one year six months. Someone already acquitted by the court system was put back in custody by Ny. The expression 'throw away the key' applies in this case. After doing nothing for one and one half years, Ny finally got back to it and decided she wasn't going to do anything about it after all.
One and one half years.
And what has Marianne Ny been doing to make a cock-up of the Assange case? Following is the short list only.
- At the behest of her friend, the infamous 'Quick' lawyer Claes Borgström, Ny reopened an investigation that had been closed by the universally respected chief prosecutor Eva Finné.
- Ny needed a justification to reopen the case, and that justification came in the form of forensic laboratory results that proved that one of the complainants had falsified the evidence. Nothing has been done in this matter, no charges have been made, despite this being a serious crime carrying a prison sentence of two years.
- Ny lied to TIME in December 2010, falsely claiming that she could not use Mutual Legal Assistance to question Assange in the UK.
- Ny secretly issued an arrest warrant for Assange only hours before he departed for Berlin on 27 September 2010.
- Ny has consistently refused to account for her actions in September 2010.
- Ny planned instead to 'ambush' Assange on his return to Sweden in early October 2010, having notified the tabloids that they should have reporters and paparazzi on hand at ABF-huset where Assange was scheduled to give a talk.
- (The above should, if it be needed, prove Assange wasn't 'running from justice'.)
- Assange's lawyer Björn Hurtig was notified of the impending 'bust' and asked to stay in his offices after hours as Ny planned to have Assange in custody in a matter of hours.
- (Hurtig notified Assange, who knew enough to stay away.)
- Ny told the UK courts that she already made up her mind to bring charges against Assange but told the local Swedish media (in Swedish) that of course no such decision could yet be made, weak case that it was. Ny needed this lie to win approval of the UK courts, as the latter weren't about to surrender Assange on such flimsy grounds.
The above report is based on an article from Swedish Aftonbladet translated into English by Radsoft.
Industry Watch: Swedish Prosecutor: Time to Close the Assange Case