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'The Assange Case is Completely Absurd'
Swedish foreign correspondent Rolf Söderberg comes out of retirement to speak his mind.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — The Julian Assange case has led me to lose faith in the Swedish judicial system, says Swedish foreign correspondent Rolf Söderberg, writing for daily broadsheet Dagens Nyheter. Prosecutors hounding Assange isn't about alleged criminal activity in Sweden - it's about appealing to, and being able to finally surrender Assange to, the US.
The case of Julian Assange has made me lose faith in our Swedish judicial system and our Swedish media. The full narrative is completely absurd. No one's going to try to convince us that a Swedish prosecutor should, for over six years, continue to hunt Assange, and at the same time do all in her power to undermine the judicial process - not if there aren't some very special ulterior motives behind it all.
Julian Assange is not just anyone. He's a nearly fanatic champion of human rights, and with his organisation WikiLeaks has exposed the secrets of governments across the globe. He started by exposing corruption in Kenya, then continued with many things, including the Icelandic bank scandals, but most important of all, he exposed the dirty side of US warfare in Iraq.
It's not in any way a secret that the US would love to put Julian Assange on trial for espionage. The foreign affairs committee of the US Senate agreed on this long ago. A request for his surrender will of course not be made public until Assange is extradited to Sweden. There is no doubt that it is such a trip that Marianne Ny is attempting to arrange.
Of course Sweden would not, in such a situation, be able to refuse the requests of the world's only remaining superpower. I myself remember how Sweden surrendered the Baltic refugees to the Soviet Union; I remember German Nazis traveling to and from Norway on our Swedish railroads...
Political leaders may want to prioritise national interests and sacrifice pawns for a higher purpose, but our judicial system is supposed to be impervious and impartial and able to resist attempts to exploit and undermine it. The woman, who all along has insisted she was not raped, is being railroaded by our judicial system.
Swedish media have not been critical of what's happening. They've instead done all they can to smear Julian Assange.
I'm certain that this affair will go into the history books, such that in a few years, people will find the actions (and lack of actions) of our judicial system, as well as the behaviour of our media, both perplexing and tragic.
Rolf is a retired journalist and former foreign correspondent for Dagens Nyheter, Dagens Eko, and Rapport. Dagens Nyheter is Sweden's premier broadsheet, Rapport is public service television's flagship news service, and Dagens Eko, a public service radio programme, is the country's most respected news source.
And as can be seen from the survey results below, the great majority of Swedish readers agree with him.
DN.ÅSIKT: Rolf Söderberg: Hanteringen av fallet Assange är helt barock (SV)
RT Deutsch: Fall Assange: Schwedischer Journalist beklagt Befangenheit von schwedischer Presse und Justiz (DE)