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Prestige Corrupts

'We're waiting for Marianne Ny to declare...' From an op-ed by Svante Thorsell.


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The rules for due process were ignored when our Swedish government, with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, abducted the Egyptians Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Alzeri in 2001. And the Quick circus: the justice system didn't see the errors in all eight cases - the system of checks and balances didn't work. The sad fact is that it was the journalists, and not the judicial system, that found what was wrong in the conviction of a serial killer who wasn't a serial killer.

Anyone who's taken the time to read the investigation of Julian Assange - they might fit into our Olympic stadium - has been shocked. One of the women talks about how she, after sex with Assange, goes out onto the town to buy breakfast, rings her brother and tells him who she's got sleeping in her bed. Afterwards, she and Assange speculated what they'd do if she were pregnant. Should they christen their baby 'Afghanistan'? Their night together ended with her, ever cheerful, giving Assange a ride on her bicycle to the train station where she bought his ticket back to the big city.

The other girl waited for Assange to fall asleep so she could take a photo of him lying naked in her bed - and she shared this trophy with friends on social media.

We also find descriptions of parties in the courtyards of the southern island, meets with IT nerds, members of the Brotherhood, other social democrats, journalists, feminists. The atmosphere is euphoric. The tales told by the witnesses are not at all what the prosecutor Marianne Ny would have us believe. And it can't be twisted to Assange's disadvantage if she rings him at the Ecuador embassy in London.

The very first interrogation isn't even complete when Expressen trumpets the headline across the globe: ASSANGE HUNTED AND SUSPECTED OF RAPE. The story spreads like wildfire through the world media, adapted by CNN as 'rape'. In other countries, 'rape' means a physical crime where one party uses violence to force sex on another. But in Sweden, 'rape' can mean something else.

In the Assange case, the 'rape' is a question of whether a condom was used. The allegations against Assange are like getting hit by a cotton wad. After that, the Assange circus has been driven by prestige - servants of the law serving their own best interests, not the law. They're trying to figure out how to end this mess without being humiliated in their retreat. The 'honour' of Marianne Ny gets to dominate the circus, at the expense of Assange and others. Can it really be that difficult? Other prosecutors do it every day! But not here, not Marianne Ny. The Assange case is very uncomfortable: 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'.

Assange is obviously afraid for his life. You don't need to be paranoid to think that Assange is the victim of a conspiracy. Entangled by two mistresses, perhaps hired by the CIA - perhaps Assange suspects as much? Hung out on newspaper bills at kiosks on every corner in every town, accused by CNN of being a serial rapist?

Reason to fear surrender

Because of this, and because of what happened to Bradley Manning, Assange's apprehension for Swedish justice is justified. Remember too what happened to the two Egyptians who were delivered to the CIA on Swedish soil. And it's not reassuring when Swedish supreme court justice Stefan Lindskog travels to Australia and tries to convince people there that Assange can never be surrendered to the US. Following the legal system, yes - but the legal system didn't help the Egyptians. Assange has very good reason to fear for his safety in Sweden.

Former court magistrate Rolf Hillegren argued in the newspaper SvD that the Assange case should be closed. An excellent proposal, even if, with good intentions, Hillegren suggests that the two women be granted compensation by the government. That would be extremely inappropriate. Why should someone who claims to have been the victim of rape be subjected to further humiliation? The women already have the right to demand compensation, per Swedish law, through a Swedish court. Yet even Assange has the right to compensation for what's happened.

Assange was arrested because he wasn't in Sweden for further interrogation - nothing else. He has never refused to be questioned. On the contrary: he's been asking for an interrogation for years. But Marianne Ny has refused to give him this interrogation out of pure prestige. The common practice is that you question the suspect where the suspect is. That's what they did in the Trustor scandal with Lord Moynes; that's what they did in the Prosolvia affair. Nothing at all unusual about those. It's appropriate that Assange be questioned where he is, locked in the Ecuador embassy in London - he's effectively locked in there by Marianne Ny herself.

Corrupted by prestige

The Assange case, the Quick cases, and the abduction of the Egyptians all have a lot in common. They're soaked in prestige, mostly by the jurists. Jurists whose behaviour is called into question, and who try to save themselves at the expense of those they're supposed to serve rather than victimise, sometimes with jurists who are standing at the open door to their approaching retirement. The strength of a state with rule of law is that it can withstand corruption, and yet demand that the state deal with that corruption.

So we're waiting to hear Marianne Ny declare:

'I've spoken with Assange and have decided to close the investigation.'

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