Now that Sweden vs Assange has moved in effect to Ecuador, now that it's been shown the case is all about the US trying to get their hands on Assange, the relevance of what's playing out back in the 'Duckpond' is lower than ever.
But there are people in Sweden who are still concerned about what they call 'rättsröta' - the collapse of their judicial and social systems.
Recently it was reported that an extremely expensive mafia trial in Södertälje south of Stockholm would have to run again, as one of the lay judges was connected to the police who'd performed the preliminary investigation.
There's not been any doubt about assessing guilt in the case, but the slipshod matter justice is handled in Sweden terrifies everyone.
Peter Sunde was quick to point out that things were even worse in the trials of The Pirate Bay:
'Sometimes a conflict of interest is evidently OK! Especially if the magistrate himself has a conflict of interest. In my own case where I was convicted of being an accessory to an accessory to copyright violations, it wasn't only the lay judges who had a conflict of interest. The magistrates did too. In all our trials, both in the lower court and the high court, the magistrates were members of associations that openly work for stronger copyright.
'It's obvious that if a lay judge is considered to have a conflict of interest as in the case in Södertälje, then all verdicts for The Pirate Bay should be voided.'
But it's perhaps the circus around the 'Quick Mafia' that's the most embarrassing for the Scandinavian nation. Sture Bergwall, aka Thomas Quick, was convicted with no evidence whatsoever of a number of murders he could only talk about whilst under the strong influence of drugs that aren't allowed in those quantities anymore today - and he also confessed to several dozen more murders, where the victims were still alive, where families of the real victims knew the police and prosecutors were doing a cover up.
And at the epicentre of it all was public defender Claes Borgström, known better today for conducting an unparalleled (and highly skillful) 'show trial' against Julian Assange in the Swedish media.
The books written about the 'travesty of justice' of the Quick cases are myriad. The protests against the police, the prosecutor, and Borgström - who all profited handsomely from the affair - have been resounding for years.
And then Sweden's premier investigative journalist, Hannes Råstam, published his definitive work (posthumously) and things really reached fever pitch.
When who comes out of the woodwork? None other than a Swedish supreme court justice who starts arguing in the media and on television that Quick 'might' be guilty of some of the murders he's no longer convicted of. Thereby dashing the principle of 'presumption of innocence' to the cobblestones.
This justice - Göran Lambertz - has been working behind the scenes for months trying to clear the name of his good (drinking) buddy Borgström. And police inspector Seppo Penttinen. And prosecutor Christer van der Kwast. All to create a media blitz and undermine confidence in the decisions of the high court.
Now all of 'Team Lambertz' have been given ample space in the media to dirty the waters in the controversy surrounding Thomas Quick and the new verdicts that exonerate him. Last to appear is lawyer Claes Borgström who has written a long confused defence plea for DN.se. Just like goalie Göran Lambertz and center-back Christer van der Kwast, left back Borgström uses dirty tricks behind the umpire's back. Luckily this is spotted in a video review.
Borgström's defence plea offers nothing new. Just a repetition of what he's been saying all along, what Lambertz has been saying, and what van der Kwast has been saying. I wrote about what I felt about Borgström's behaviour earlier, and there's every reason to reprint it here.
'Of all the players in 'Circus Quick', Borgström is the one whose actions I despise the most. Or perhaps I should say 'lack of actions'. That he worked closely with the police and prosecutor instead of helping his client is more clear than ever. Now he's working with Göran Lambertz, Seppo Penttinen, Christer van der Kvast, and Gubb-Jan Stigson in an effort to find evidence that Thomas Quick may be guilty, despite already being acquitted. Borgström lets fly with insinuations in interviews that he can't say anything because he might then harm his former client, and at the same time stresses that he knows his client is guilty. He sounds like a prosecutor, not a defence attorney. How he could be a part of dragging a mentally ill patient around in a forest, higher than the Empire State Building, is unbelievable. The films of these reconstructions speak a clear language.'
Borgström writes about how he regards Quick at the reconstructions.
'I don't know how much of the prescription medicines Bergwall took. Whatever - none of us thought he acted 'under the influence'. He acted just as lucidly as he acts today when you hear him on the radio or see him on TV.'
'Claes Borgström was privy to my runaway abuse of narcotics and never protested, no matter how high or stoned I was - and that's his great betrayal', says Thomas Quick today. Bergwall/Quick has put up a list of Borgström's betrayals online.
Borgström was present at the police interrogations and the reconstructions. He says it was only on a few occasions that Quick had panic attacks and was given special medicines. It can therefore be instructive to see this excerpt from the Swedish TV show 'Dokument inifrån'.
Quick taking five in a police car. 'Can you manage a Xanax?' he's asked. 'Is one enough? Maybe a second one right away?' 'It's OK if I overdose a bit', replies Quick, taking the tablets. Quick's attorney Borgström, present throughout, claims to know nothing.
Claes Borgström appears in the beginning of the clip. He was at the reconstruction in Örjeskogen where Thomas Quick was to show them where he'd hidden the body parts of Therese Johannessen. Borgström should have seen the list by Sven-Åke Christianson, eleven pages long, of how this all was to have taken place. It was Christianson's recommendation that Quick be given free access to controlled substances - and bring along the real heavy drugs too!
The reconstruction is a journey deserving of the epithet 'Circus Quick'. They travel all over the place! Quick has panic attacks, he screams, he falls down, he hurts himself. After 5½ hours they return empty-handed to the hospital. It's also Christianson's recommendation to not film the reconstructions. But it's still obvious that they were carting around a sick and confused man in the forest - and yet this man's defence attorney, who was present throughout, didn't say a word.
Claes Not Telling the Truth
So of course Claes Borgström has to be lying when he writes:
'Back then in the 1990s Bergwall was very convincing when he confessed to the murders for which he was convicted and sentenced. Under great agitation he tells how he carried out each deed. He often gave incorrect details which he would later - but not always - modify. But of the four cases where I was the defender, Bergwall submitted information which I judged back then to have strongly supported his confessions. I've understood that the situation was the same for the two other lawyers who defended Bergwall.'
If Borgström's not lying, then he's really dumb, and I don't think he's dumb. On the contrary: he's a big schemer. Like his fellow players, Borgström wants us to believe that all criticism comes from an uncritical read of Hannes Råstam's book. OK, but the book's been 'fact-checked' by Gubb-Jan Stigson and Seppo Penttinen. And not even they can disregard the clear and obvious facts found in all the police protocols from the interrogations and the reconstructions in the preliminary investigations. These are the vital parts of the book and they're corroborated by the books by Pelle Svensson and Dan Larsson, by the appeals, by the statements in conjunction with the dismissal of charges, by articles by Jan Olsson, Nils Wiklund, and Astrid Holgersson to name but a few examples. Borgström's lack of intervention also led to Leif GW Persson's estrangement from his old friend.
Claes Borgström was present for many of the interrogations. Sture Bergwall says Borgström sat quietly through it all.
'I can show you the interrogation protocols where Seppo Penttinen and I on page after page (thousands of pages) are never interrupted and aren't disturbed by a single question from him. Claes Borgström kept his mouth shut', wrote Sture Bergwall.
Borgström likes to cite things that happened in the courtroom. He wants to convince us he was an active defender. But nowhere, save with Gubb-Jan Stigson, can I see there's been any major eagerness to ask the critical questions.
Detective superindendent Lennart Jarlheim tells Hannes Råstam on page 285 of Råstam's book about the trial for the murder of Yenon Levi:
'The trials were a travesty! Claes Borgström never asked a single critical question. It was obvious that everyone wanted to see Quick convicted!'
'Afterwards I thought I might have said something in court. But at the same time - and it's not an excuse - I'm an expert witness who is supposed to answer questions and not draw my own conclusions. I'd expected questions from the defence attorney Claes Borgström. But he said not a word. The passivity of Claes Borgström came as a total surprise', detective superintendent Jan Olsson told Råstam on page 255 about the murder in Appojaure.
Olsson also told Borgström, on a car trip back to Stockholm after the reconstruction, that he was convinced Quick hadn't murdered Yenon Levi. Borgström replied by telling Olsson about his new sailboat. The citations I've read from the trials show clearly that Borgström acted as an assistant prosecutor and actively saw that the material which indicated Quick was not guilty would not be presented, for example the letter from forensic psychiatrist Nils Wiklund wasn't introduced at the trial in Gällivare, and witnesses and 'accomplices' weren't summoned to court.
It could have been interesting
Johan Håkansson blogged about Borgström's article in Norrländska Socialdemokraten. He discusses the demand of 'Team Lambertz' for a new trial:
'A trial like that would have meant that Bergwall's attorney Thomas Olsson in all likelihood would have called detective Seppo Penttinen to the stand. Along with Christer van der Kwast, the psychologist Birgitta Ståhle, the 'memory researcher' Sven-Åke Christiansson, and the defence attorney Claes Borgström. Even medical examiner Anders Eriksson would have had to sweat it out on the stand.
'It would have been very interesting to hear Penttinen answer questions about the interrupted reconstruction, about the video camera that was turned off, the lies about how long the camera was turned off, and what happened during that long break.'
But just as Håkansson describes it, Team Lambertz know that this is never going to happen, so of course they can demand it. A prosecutor may not press charges if one doesn't believe the case can be won.
Borgström's article is built on worn out empty talk and adds nothing to the discussion. Just as with his cheating team players, he tries to get the readers to believe that the critics aren't well versed in the case and that the prosecutors in the appeals cases aren't either. Which leads me to again refer to state prosecutor Nils-Eric Schultz:
'That the prosecutors, after the decisions of the high court, have dismissed all charges has led some people to claim the prosecutors are taking a dive. To claim such an insinuating thing is an insult to all the competent and experienced prosecutors who've been dragged into the Quick controversy. Those who've made this claim in the media cannot possibly have read through the documentation in the appeals cases.'
This Old Wolf wasn't at the trials and he's not read the 50,000 pages of the investigations. I will nevertheless say I am very well versed in the Quick controversy. After reading miles after miles of interrogation excerpts and reconstructions, I have to say that Claes Borgström totally lacks trustworthiness when he admits that he was there. His defence plea is an embarrassment.
My advice to Borgström and the rest of the team? Crawl back in your holes and keep quiet.
Claes Borgström – A List of Betrayals
By Sture Bergwall aka Thomas Quick. From 14 April 2010 in response to Borgström's media gambit with DN.se.
No questions Claes Borgström was present at hundreds of interrogations. He never asked a single question, never pointed anything out or remarked on what the interrogators and I said.
Supposed 'accomplices' Claes Borgström and Christer van der Kwast pleaded together in the courtroom that the supposed 'accomplices' not be brought before the court.
Socialising Claes Borgström socialised with the Quick team. They had lots of coffee breaks together, they visited him at home, along with the chief interrogator and the 'witness' Birgitta Ståhle.
No critical review When we got the FUP (preliminary investigation protocol) we didn't go through it together.
Witnesses Claes Borgström called but one witness in all the trials: my therapist and co-creator of Thomas Quick, Birgitta Ståhle. She was called to explain my childhood and in that way give credibility to my being guilty of the crimes I was charged with.
Hannes Råstam When Claes Borgström hears in Hannes Råstam's TV documentary that I've withdrawn all my testimony, he responds by saying I should be kept locked up for the rest of my life.
Chocolate cake Claes Borgström thought the most important part of the reconstruction in Norway was the chocolate cake - more important than asking exactly what we were doing there.
The pond When they drained the pond in Norway, back to 10,000 years ago, without finding anything at all, Claes Borgström commented: 'That's OK, we'll just have to find a reasonable explanation'.
Crazy therapy Never never would Claes Borgström question the regression therapy they gave me. On the contrary: in his closing arguments, he praised it.
Drugs Claes Borgström witnessed my runaway abuse of narcotics without a word of protest, no matter how high or stoned I was. This is the greatest betrayal.
Latest in a Long Line
The Quick scandal is but the latest in a long line of judicial scandals in Sweden. The case of Billy Butt, convicted of rape on the most ridiculous evidence ever, because the court couldn't believe a blond-haired blue-eyed Swedish girl would ever want to sleep with a man with his 'singular appearance', to quote the verdict. (Butt is from the Indian subcontinent.)
Or the da Costa case: two doctors were convicted of murder on the testimony of a three year old girl (who had been 1½ at the time of the alleged incident). It was later discovered that the mother of the girl, who was in a custody battle with the one of the defendants who was the girl's father, was coaching her daughter. The doctors were finally acquitted but their licences to practice medicine have never been returned. Feminist groups and the tabloid media conducted a show trial.g
There are patterns in all these cases. There are dramatis personae that continually reappear. And reappearing as well are the same hysteria, the same frenzy whipped up by radical groups, often ultra-feminist, the same cronyism, the same corruption, and the same greed.