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Assange Case Should Set Off Alarms

Don't fundamental civil rights apply? By SvD's Carin Stenström.


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The news that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was suspected of rape echoed around the globe. So strange that the woman filing the complaint did not herself claim she'd been raped. It might be considered appropriate that people in general intuitively understand what rape is. But what are the chances when the prosecutors themselves don't seem to have a clue?

After the case was dismissed and then reopened, the case dossier - which is not public information - was published in the tabloid press. There's undeniable irony in that the freedom to leak information praised by Assange is now being used to try to trip him up. But this is a matter of a person who - until otherwise proven - is innocent.

Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny, on special assignment to develop new methodologies for sex crime cases, has explained that this case can take a long time, possibly months. This is remarkable considering that in March of this year in a DN interview she stressed the importance of handling matters swiftly for sex crime cases. That methodology doesn't seem to apply in the Assange case.

Everyone understands the consequences that hurt a person who has such suspicion pointed in their direction as with Assange. That a prosecutor goes public with a suspicion and then neglects to swiftly investigate the suspicion must be in conflict with fundamental principles of civil rights.

The Assange case should set off alarms. Is there an attitude about this type of crime which leads to fundamental civil rights being pushed aside? To swiftly investigate the case should be simple. This is reasonably a matter of interrogating the parties, reviewing mail correspondence, things like that. Maybe a few hours work. Interrogations must obviously be held swiftly as people's memory is influenced and altered, particularly when the interrogations are published in the tabloids.

Assange is being hung out as a suspected rapist and he's harmed by it. But this doesn't seem to bother Marianne Ny.

Postscript: Ny Reacts

Marianne Ny (pronounced 'knee') reacted to the above op-ed by publishing yet another 'non-story' on the official website - merely to say 'the investigation progresses but right now and within the next week I cannot provide any new information on this matter'.

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