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Assange in Sweden: The Wait
Prosecutor, judge, police investigator...
GOTHENBURG (Rixstep) — So it's come down to this. After years (since 2012) of ignoring Ecuador's requests (over 30) and cleverly derailing several attempts at cooperation, after Ecuador and Sweden finally entered into a specific and formal agreement on legal assistance, and after further flurries of scratch-outs and muddled conditions, Sweden's Marianne Ny now has an application to interrogate Assange on file with the government of Quito.
So we all wait to see what's discovered when the application is scrutinised by the Republic of Ecuador. And in the meantime: what can be said about the office of Marianne Ny?
Veteran journo and blogger 'Old Wolf' found out that years ago. Back in early 2011, to be more exact.
'I've been critical of Marianne Ny in the past', writes the wolf. 'I'd already seen that Marianne Ny, now employed as a 'chief' prosecutor, is no longer an operational prosecutor. And because I suspected it to be extremely unusual for even Marianne Ny to appoint herself chief police investigator as she's done in the Assange case, I contacted her 'development centre' to get more data on the matter.
'And I got the following reply.'
Unfortunately your question cannot be answered in a simple way. We have no such statistics and we have no way of finding the data you request. Every year there are a few cases where chief prosecutors or vice-chief prosecutors take the lead in a police investigation once a decision is made to reopen. But to what extent Marianne Ny has in the past year assumed the role of chief police investigator other than in the Assange case: we can't answer that without reviewing all the cases, case by case. But there's nothing stopping us from posting or faxing copies of the case files to you.
- Marianne Ny
'So I wrote back and asked for all such cases for the years 2009 and 2010 - more than 60 cases all told. But of all these cases, I found only one where a chief prosecutor or vice-chief prosecutor assumed the role of chief police investigator - Assange's case of course. What was also a bit strange was that the number of reopened cases increased by 100% between 2009 and 2010 - from 20 to 40 - at a time when Marianne Ny was appointed chief prosecutor.
'So I sent a new request to the development centre.'
1. What I can see in the 60+ cases you sent, there's only one where the prosecutor assumes the role of chief police investigator. Namely the Assange case. Meaning that such an occurrence is very rare. So why was such a thing allowed in the Assange case?
2. There was a 100% increase in such cases in 2010 compared to 2009. Can you explain why?
3. The development centre should receive final reports once such cases are concluded. So I'm wondering:
A. How many final reports were sent to the centre in 2010?
B. How many of those cases led to trial?
C. How many led to convictions?
'And I got the answer.'
There is at least one case for 2009-2010 where Marianne Ny is also chief police investigator. Even the vice-chief prosecutor has been a chief police investigator in 2010, but we can't tell you how often without reading through all the files.
'So the answer was that I wasn't getting an answer. So I wrote back again.'
Unfortunately I cannot find the cases you refer to in the material you already sent me. Perhaps they're in a different archive? For the only one I find is a case for vice-chief prosecutor Mikael Björk, but then as chief prosecutor in Helsingborg (ÅM 2008/6145). So I have to ask you for the cases for 2009-2010 where the chief prosecutor or vice-chief prosecutor assumes the role of chief police investigator. And to remind you: I'm still waiting for a reply to my other questions.
As a help in processing, we collect copies of decisions into the categories 'reversed decisions' and 'decisions not reversed'. Copies are regularly put in a binder which is then emptied after a few years. It's copies like these that you were sent. This is no official journal, and, as you noted, some entries lack the corresponding decisions - sometimes people forget to file things properly when cases are closed.
Naturally all decisions are in their respective files in our archive. They're filed in numerical order as they arrive. It's a question of a great number of files - in the year 2010 we had 985 cases. Naturally it's impossible to go through all the files to find the cases you're after, so we can't be of more assistance than we've already been. We don't have an easier way to find the cases you're looking for. But we seemed to have missed one case where the chief prosecutor was also chief police investigator - she's in charge of this case right now. And we're sending you a copy via ordinary post.
The planning department in the office of the Prosecutor-General tries to help the media collate statistics, but I don't think they can help you with your request, although you can of course contact them if you want.
- Marianne Ny
'I'm stunned. I'm speechless! This is a government agency in the year 2010? If they're not lying through their teeth, this is an outrage. So they can't collate 20-40 case files per year, and then they admit that sometimes they forget to file things away in their binder - and those seem to be the occasions when one of them takes over the role of chief police investigator! And they can't remember the cases either, despite there being only one or two such cases per year.
'They can't say how many cases were closed in the year 2010, and they can't say how many of them went to trial, and they can't say how many led to convictions.
'This has to be important data for their 'development centre'. If they they don't follow through on cases like this, if their documentation isn't any better than this... This is very strange, especially considering what their duties supposedly are.
'Now I have to try to collect my thoughts, and figure out if and how I can pursue this further. For now, I'll light a fire in my fireplace and try to think of something else for a while.
'(Note: all replies were signed 'Marianne Ny' but were written by her administrator Britt Svensson.)'