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Assange at the High Court: The Alexander Street Summary
I've browsed through the July appeal. It gives a clearer picture of the arguments of the new lawyers than we've seen up to now. My overall opinion is that Peirce and Emmerson have done a thorough job, they argue well, and they have strong arguments. (Stephens & Co look like amateurs in comparison.)
An important starting point is that the law applicable for extraditions is not the framework used in Europe for the EAW but the corresponding English law from 2003 which offers further legal protection. Five groups of objections are presented.
1. The description of the actions of the accused in the EAW must be, in accordance with English procedure, 'fair, proper, and accurate'. Otherwise the EAW is invalid. P & E point out that the descriptions Marianne Ny formulated aren't supported by what the complainants stated in their testimony and are not 'fair'.
2. The accusation concerning SW is a so-called 'list offence' which makes it easier to extradite, but the accusations concerning AA are not list offences. Extradition in such case is only possible if the alleged crime is punishable in England as well ('double criminality'). P & E claim this is not the case - not with accurate descriptions and not even with Ny's inaccurate descriptions.
3. English law does not allow extradition if 'prosecution has not commenced'. This is clear through - amongst other things - Ny's statements that this was not the case when the EAW was submitted, the pertinent point in time. The issue is whether the court play 'make believe' here. If the EAW clearly says 'prosecution has commenced' then the court normally has to assume this is correct and cannot take into account anything that contradicts this: the EAW system is dependent on two countries having confidence each other's judicial systems.
P & E interpellate here with a surprising argument re the 'lagföring' thing. Ny was namely accused of prevaricating with the EAW when she wrote that she wanted JA in Sweden for 'lagföring' - no charges had been filed. Judge Riddle found an 'expert witness' who affirmed that 'lagföring' can mean more than 'prosecution' - actually it's closer to 'legal proceedings'. But P & E say if the EAW only says extradition is sought for 'legal proceedings' which in this case indicates JA is sought for questioning and not for prosecution, then 'prosecution has not commenced'.
4. P & E argue as well that the objective of interrogating JA could have been achieved by means less intrusive than the EAW because JA offered to be interrogated and Mutual Legal Assistance could have been used, so Ny's actions are in violation of the European Convention article 52. (This is the same argument dismissed by the Svea court of appeals without motivation.)
5. English law states that an EAW shall be issued by a 'judicial authority', by which is meant an impartial instance such as a judge. Sweden seems rather alone in Europe in allowing prosecutors to issue EAWs. English courts have previously approved EAWs issued by Swedish prosecutors but the matter has not yet been tested at a higher instance, and P & E argue that the other courts have judged incorrectly (and that Sweden has acted incorrectly). This can become the basis for a further appeal to the highest instance, as the legal aspects are difficult and no precedents have yet been set.
Taken as a whole, the new lawyers are not less critical of Sweden and Marianne Ny than the old ones were, but they express their criticism in a more subtle manner.
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