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Assange: The Case Against Sweden
The mother of all chronologies woven into a submission to the Australian parliament.
CANBERRA (Rixstep) — FSI's Jennifer Robinson submitted a heavy document to the Australian parliament to assist in their investigation of Swedish transgressions against Australian national Julian Assange. The following is the 'short version' - it tells the 'other side' of the story, the side Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny consistently refuses to discuss, the side the Swedish cabinet want kept secret, the side the subservient Swedish media don't dare touch with a barge pole. It reveals a serious abuse of power and a serious miscarriage of justice and serves as a severe indictment of Sweden as a whole.
- 2010-08-11. Julian Assange arrives in Stockholm to give lectures, participate in online chat sessions for three of the four major Swedish dailies, seek residence for the purpose of obtaining an utgivarbevis to further strengthen confidence in the already secure WikiLeaks submission process.
- 2010-08-13. Anna Ardin returns home a day early and ambushes Julian in her flat which she was contractually responsible for leaving to Julian's sole disposal until the following day. The flat is a small studio flat - perhaps only 25 square metres, has but a narrow bed and a tiny couch; despite her clumsy handling of the affair, Ardin tells her friends she's chuffed ('skitstolt') to get the world's coolest guy into her flat and into her bed.
- 2010-08-14. Julian Assange holds his speech at LO-borgen. A lunch meant solely for 'confidantes' is sabotaged by the appearance of one Sofia Wilén, evidently with the help of conference organiser Peter Weiderud.
- 2010-08-20. Anna and Sofia go to the Klara police station right in the middle of the early evening rush hour to meet Anna's friend, criminal interrogator Irmeli Krans. They later claim they only wanted to obtain information, perhaps find ways to encourage Julian Assange to take an STD test, but this is later shown to be a prevarication.
- 2010-08-20. Irmeli Krans begins her interview with Sofia Wilén; criminal investigators Mats Gehlin and Linda Wassgren meanwhile contact prosecutor on duty Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. This is before any testimony or other data in the case is available.
- 2010-08-20. Stockholm prosector on duty Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand decides to issue an arrest warrant in absentia for Julian Assange and a 'manhunt' is begun by the Stockholm police, primarily in the Stureplan nightclub area which at the time has still not fully opened for the evening's 'business'.
- 2010-08-20. Stockholm prosector on duty Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand unlawfully tells the media Julian Assange is wanted for rape. No action is taken against her. Within hours there are up to 5.000,000 references online to 'Assange+rape'.
- 2010-08-21. Ordinary prosecutor Eva Finné reviews the case and rescinds the arrest warrant. Finné's the first prosecutor to actually see any data. (The decision to arrest the previous day was made without the basis of actual evidence. The argument it had to be done quickly to detain Assange is refuted by the fact Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand incompetently and illegally announced the fact to the media.)
- 2010-08-22. Anna Ardin contacts disgraced solicitor Claes Borgström. Borgström informs Ardin she can try to get the case reopened, something Borgström claims Ardin was not aware was possible. Borgström contacts his friend Marianne Ny who is able to 'pull rank' on Finné and reopen the case.
- 2010-08-30. Julian Assange volunteers for an interview with the police but only after obtaining an assurance his testimony will not be provided to the media. This assurance is immediately violated: the tabloid Expressen published scanned pages of the testimony obtained from the police the next morning.
- 2010-09-01. Expressen apply for access to the police documents as per above. This 'tidbit' is only disclosed to FSI on 21 January 2011. Björn Hurtig applied for the same access both in September and November 2010 and was in each case denied by Marianne Ny.
- 2010-09-15. Julian Assange offers himself for interview by Marianne Ny but Ny turns him down: her favourite police officer is sick at home with a cold. Ny tells Hurtig that she has no objections to Assange leaving the country and visiting Berlin Germany to meet with editors of Der Spiegel to organise coming WikiLeaks releases.
- 2010-09-22. An interview with Julian Assange is finally proposed by Marianne Ny after a three week delay. The interview is to take place on 28 September. Björn Hurtig is unable to contact Julian Assange as a new wave of threats against Julian Assange's person has surfaced, this in conjunction with new releases: the Pentagon organise a 'war room' to fight WikiLeaks and Julian Assange and several US politicians and pundits openly encourage Julian's assassination.
- 2010-09-29. Julian rings Hurtig from Berlin to tell him his luggage (and three laptop computers) have been stolen at the Stockholm Arlanda International airport - Julian wants Hurtig to take legal action. Hurtig informs Julian of Ny's wish to interrogate him. Julian offers to return to Sweden 9 October for this purpose but Ny rejects the proposal as being 'too far away'.
- 2010-10-06. Julian is to return to Stockholm to speak at the 'Afghan Week' and to thereafter participate in a demonstration on the streets of Stockholm. He informs the arrangers that he cannot arrive until 9 October for the demonstration and must cancel his speaking engagement. But he is contacted by people present at the seminar who inform him that the Stockholm police and a serious contingent of the Swedish tabloid media are on hand to witness an ambush organised by Marianne Ny. Julian senses 'foul play' and cancels his return on 9 October.
- 2010-11-02. Jennifer Robinson writes to the UK police and informs them that her firm FSI represent Julian and that he can be contacted through their offices if needed. Julian is in hiding only from the media and through Hurtig is in contact with Marianne Ny, continually suggesting alternative means of conducting interviews with her.
- 2010-11-18. After considerable preparations and a briefing of the media, a request for a European Arrest Warrant is put before the Stockholm district court. This planned action is widely known in the Swedish parliament weeks in advance but the media for once keep a lid on it.
- 2010-11-18. Björn Hurtig is allowed for the first time to review the case files held by Marianne Ny and given a description of the allegations against Julian. He is shown over 100 SMS messages between the claimants and their friends. The messages contain important evidence about the allegations and the women's real motives. Sofia Wilén's gossipy messages, sent after each 'tryst' with Julian as a sort of 'play by play', indicate she was not at all asleep when they began their final encounter but only halvsov ('half asleep') which in Swedish does not indicate any unconsciousness at all. The women also discuss 'getting revenge', making money by making allegations, and ruining Julian's reputation by contacting the tabloid media. Marianne Ny does not let Hurtig copy the messages or take notes on what he's seen.
Jennifer Robinson made several further incriminating observations about the behaviour of Marianne Ny in her submission.
- Björn Hurtig makes repeated requests for disclosure under Swedish criminal procedure code 23.18 but is categorically denied each time by Marianne Ny.
- Marianne Ny defends her position with the Australian Embassy in Stockholm, citing the fact Julian hadn't actually been charged with any crime. Yet Julian was held in solitary confinement at Wandsworth and is now tagged and under house arrest without Ny having to show a reasonable case against him.
- Despite Hurtig's repeated requests, Ny consistently refused to inform Julian about charges to be brought against him before he was interviewed: 'interview by ambush' (after solitary 'incommunicado' stir time) is her preferred method.
- Finers Stephens Innocent asked Marianne Ny for a specific description of the charges and evidence in English as a condition for returning Julian to Sweden for interrogation. Marianne Ny refused.
- The first case document received by Julian or FSI was the translation of Marianne Ny's application for the EAW as shown to them at the Kentish Town police station when Julian voluntarily responded to the arrest on 7 December.
- This was the first time Julian was informed in writing of the specific allegations and potential charges against him in English. Jennifer was with Julian at the police station and witnessed his shock and surprise at reading the allegations as described in the warrant.
- Both the EAW and the Interpol 'red notice' were issued right before the start of the 'Cablegate' releases. Had Julian returned to Sweden in October or November, he would have been held 'incommunicado' in solitary confinement and Cablegate might not have happened. This is corroborated by the findings of Howard Riddle on 24 February 2011.
- Björn Hurtig notes that it's highly irregular in Sweden for international arrest warrants to be sought in relation to allegations of this kind.
- Marianne Ny continues to defy the European Convention of Human Rights in not providing her materials to Julian in English. Ny only turned over excerpts of her files in Swedish and FSI have already had to pay in excess of £20,000 for 'official' translations.
- Ny still refuses to disclose her exculpatory evidence (SMS messages et al) that tends to demonstrate Julian's innocence.
- The content of the SMS messages is in conflict with the specific factual allegations in the EAW that form the basis of the arrest. This matter cannot be further investigated because Marianne Ny refuses to disclose the messages.
- Anna Ardin has been scrubbing and modifying her Internet presence to remove exculpatory evidence.
- Marianne Ny has refused to contact witnesses who spent time with Julian and Anna Ardin, people who knew them both and who can attest to their friendly relations in the days after the alleged assault.
- The files disclosed to the defence on 18 November show the police have acted improperly and in breach of proper procedures.
- It is clear Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén collaborated before filing their complaints, thereby contaminating their evidence.
- The initial police interrogator Irmeli Krans is a personal friend of Anna Ardin also running for election with Ardin's political party (as was Claes Borgström).
- The claimant's testimony is in summary form only. One of the two interviews was conducted by telephone the following day. The police know they should record interviews in cases such as this, that the required equipment is always on hand at their police stations, but have only recorded the interviews of those who possibly could defend Julian Assange.
- Several Swedish prosecutors have stated they don't believe in the case. Ny's 'second in command' Erika Lejnefors told Björn Hurtig in November that the case was too weak. Professor Andrew Ashworth of Oxford University concluded the same as well after reviewing both the translated documents and the EAW.
- Julian has suffered immense adverse prejudicial media coverage in Sweden, fueled both by the disclosure of police material to the media by the police and proseution and by the highly prejudicial media statements of Claes Borgström who despite admitting the case isn't something he himself would have pursued, accused Julian of being a 'coward' for not returning to Sweden and further alleged Julian's refusal to return is proof of his guilt.
- Swedish prime minister Fredrick Reinfeldt and other cabinet ministers have begun interfering in the case, organising a series of events with Swedish media. Reinfeldt told the media Julian Assange was indicted and being prosecuted for rape.
- When questioned only weeks earlier about the case and Julian's situation, Reinfeldt refused to comment on the grounds that it was a judicial matter and politicians must not interfere.
- Reinfeldt went so far as to attack Julian's defence team, including a suggestion that Julian's defence is to deem women's rights 'of little value'. This was subsequently reported as Julian and his defence team 'trying to limit the right for women to take a claimed sexual abuse to court'. This smeared Julian's defence case and led to him being portrayed as an enemy of Sweden and of women's rights in the Swedish media.
- Several other 'big name' jurists were made to come forward to echo the prime minister's protests.
'Given the nature of the press coverage in Sweden, we have grave concerns as to whether Julian will receive a fair trial: he will be tried in secret, behind closed doors, by a judge and three lay judges (jurors) who are appointed by political parties. The Swedish press does not seem at all concerned with the need for suspects to be presumed innocent and it is difficult to see how jurors could remain unaffected by this media coverage.'
Jennifer's summary of 'concerns'.
- The unlawful and prejudicial disclosures by police and prosecutors regarding ongoing criminal investigations;
- the failure to disclose details of the allegations and the evidence in English;
- the breaches of police procedures in the investigation of the allegations;
- the apparent failure of Marianne Ny to consider exculpatory evidence;
- the disproportionate behaviour of Marianne Ny in refusing voluntary offers for cooperation and refusing to make use of alternative methods for interviewing Julian - insisting instead on an international warrant which unduly restricts Julian's freedom;
- the pre-trial detention conditions sought by Marianne Ny;
- the prospect of a secret trial; and
- the adverse and prejudicial media coverage, fueled by the state-funded lawyer for the complainants and the country's most senior politicians, including the prime minister.
I'm so sick of it all. Will it never end? At any rate I want to say the other girl's just as much to blame.
- Anna Ardin
Apparently Swedish laws are unique. If you have a penis you're half a rapist before you even get through customs.
- Scott Adams
If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade. If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point.
- Björn Hurtig
I can tell you that the Swedish prosecution still hasn't provided copies of those SMS texts that have been referred to. Those texts are some of the most powerful exculpatory evidence. In Australia prosecutors have a very grave duty to disclose such evidence to courts when seeking the grave exercise of a court's power against an individual. Yet in Sweden in this case, in the first hearings to obtain an arrest warrant, those texts were not submitted to the Swedish court, which is highly improper.
- James Catlin
The prosecutor could achieve this broadening of the law during Assange's trial so he can be convicted of a crime that didn't exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to. There is no precedent for this. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.
- James Catlin
Julian Assange will surely learn that considering what WikiLeaks has published, he's got a few enemies in the Pentagon, the CIA, and the White House. Sweden began an investigation into rape which was later dismissed. Assange was even denied residence in Sweden. One can only speculate to what extent the security agencies of the US were involved. And considering the obvious interest of the US to silence WikiLeaks, is it likely Assange will have an accident of the 'Boston brakes' kind in the coming years? Or will he be snared with compromising information of the 'honey trap' kind?
- 'Drozd' at Flashback 23 October 2010
The truth will out, the truth wins out. Let no journalist ever again speculate into what the protocols say. Six months of digging and the people at Flashback have the actual documents. The sleaze printed by rags such as the Daily Mail, Sweden's Aftonbladet and Expressen, and perhaps above all the toxic Nick Davies of the Guardian, can stand no more. Yet more: these documents are an indictment of the 'news organisations' who've printed deliberate inaccuracies all along or even worse: refused to print anything at all. Nick Davies' account of the protocols was maliciously skewed; both Aftonbladet and Expressen had copies early on and printed nothing. Bloggers had copies but arrogantly kept the information to their Smeagol selves.
- The Assange Police Protocol: Translator's Note