‘Affair Assange’ – Malicious handling of a political case

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights.

Summary. In a few days the Swedish court shall rule on Assange’s freedom; or it will rule in favour of prosecutor Ny. This article deals with prosecutor Marianne Ny’s assaying anew to influence the court, in exactly the same fashion that she did the last time; I question Ny’s statement, made during her press conference, on Swedish prosecutors fairness, ­and that “all should be treated equal”; I base my query on factual cases, i.e. allegations against a right-wing Swedish politician that were similar to the one against Assange, and that were quickly dropped by the prosecutors at the time Assange was under arrest in London by orders of Ny. This article also refers to the Swedish media reactions after the revelations in the recent TV program Uppdraggranskning, which dealt with the extradition of Assange to the US. This program – aired the same day of Ny’s press conference –partly failed to comment, or even mention, the resolution of the UNGWAD ruling for the immediate freedom of Mr Assange; and partly omitted for the Swedish viewers crucial facts which ascertain the absolute existence of a ‘criminal investigation’ against Assange in the US, based among other on the new laws on terrorism. All that makes the extradition of Assange to the US not only ‘probably’ – as publicly acknowledged for  the first time in the Swedish state-owned media (or for that part in all mainstream media of Sweden)– but also its request by the US highly inexorable. The program also hinted innuendos on the “paranoid Assange” as it is standard in the disinformation generally given by the Swedish state and stream media on the Wikileaks’ founder personality.

featured-img-the_indicter-13-sept-2016The only serious in the ‘case Assange’: “A serious exploitation of the good sentiment that people have to protect women rights.”


I

After six years of a blunt-biased reporting of the Assange case, [1] the Swedish media at large is finally acknowledging in these days that Sweden would extradite Assange to the U.S. [2] They were forced to this spectacular change only after the investigative TV program Uppdraggranskning made public their ‘research’ on the case and concluded that a Swedish extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the U.S. is not only feasible or probable, but most certain in view of the argumentation exposed in the program. The program, which included an interview with Assange in London, is commented further below.

Expresen‘s new contribution

Now in Expressen –a main Swedish tabloid– in a remarkable article titled “Come to Sweden Assange, for the sake of free speech” [3] Julian Assange is been asked to surrender himself to Sweden, and face in Swedish territory the high odds of being extradited to the US.  Although the Expressen’s piece fully recognizes that Assange would, or could, be extradited to the US, it argues that he should face this incumbent risk of extradition to the US in Swedish territory, and for the sake of the ‘freedom-of-speech cause’. The argument is put forward after the above mentioned UppdraggranskningTV-program investigated [sic] that all extraditions requested by the US for persons based in Swedish territory have been granted by the Swedish authorities in the last decades.

In other words, knowing the certain odds of the Assange-extradition request, Expressen is advocating not only the surrender of Assange to the Swedish authorities, but his further imprisonment in the US. A surrender of Assange would remind the world that he is a champion of free speech, argues Expressen.  But what would actually happen is that Assange will be in incommunicado detention both in Sweden and later in the USA therefore curtailing Assange’s free speech. Furthermore, WikiLeaks’ publishing mission to reinforce democracy and free speech through exposing secret machinations of the political establishment will be restricted. I am referring to the very international and Swedish political, financial and military establishment that otherwise right-wing Expressen represents, and so vividly defends.

II

protest-in-sweden-at-nys-press-conferenceGrassroots traveling from London to Stockholm to demonstrate outside Marianne Ny’s press conference. Photo published on Twitter by Stefania Maurizi.

It should be noted that the Swedish prosecutors held a press conference on 7th of September 2016, exactly the same day that the Swedish TV aired its main program on the Assange case, also a biased program as we will show below. [4] There are various indications that within the cultural groupthink framework of ‘consensus Sweden’, there exist a status of ‘communicating vessels’ between the Swedish prosecution authority, the Swedish state TV – as well as mainstream media.

Take for instance the communication between the prosecutor and the tabloid Expressen in 2010 which revealed – contrary to Swedish press ethical code and against Swedish prosecutors own legal procedures– the name of Julian Assange as “hunted for rape in Sweden”.  Another example of this communication relating to the Assange case was when in the summer of 2015 a photo reporter of the same Swedish tabloid Expressen was outside the Ecuadorian embassy waiting for the prosecutor to enter the building ”to interrogate Assange”, the only photo journalist to do so. As is known, this ‘interrogation’ was ‘recalled’ at last minute by the prosecutor. It was all a Public Relations stunt, a farce. [5]

Do Swedish prosecutors treat everybody equal?

During the latest prosecutors’ press conference Marianne Ny attributed the nature of the case and its characteristics resulting from the fact that the Swedish “treat everybody equal”. [6] This is far from the truth.

In Does Swedish justice depend on who stands accused? I describe the biased management of accusations regarding purported sexual misconduct on Swedish women. Similarly, in the ‘Assange case’, Swedish prosecutors do decide differently:

On 17 November 2013 the Swedish prosecutors acquitted in record time a Swedish top right-wing politician of “the suspicion of having committed a crime”. He was pro-US Moderater, Mr Gunnar Axen, a member of the Parliament since 1998. The case was regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against a 21 year-old woman. The chief-prosecutor that dropped the case, Mr Mats Ericsson (same prosecutor-rank as Ms Marianne Ny, the prosecutor in the Assange case), based his conclusion on “word stands against word”, and “evidence was not sufficient”. [7] At the same time, the Swedish prosecutors denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – known for exposing wrongdoings of the Swedish government, an interrogation in London. In order that, the dropping of his case could continue to being protracted. In the main, the difference between these two cases was not in regard to the ‘accusations’, but rather on the political stances of the accused. [8]

In another case, Mr Tito Beltrán, a leftist refugee from Chile, also an internationally acclaimed opera singer which shadowed local artists, was sentenced to years in prison in a similar case where “word stood against word”, when the court recognised that the word of the woman is tenable as sufficient for a conviction. [10] The accuser’s counsel, the one favoured by the verdict of that court, was the former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström – of the same law firm Bordström and Borgström which reopened the case against Julian Assange which originally had been dropped.

The various manipulations of the Swedish court by Marianne Ny

swe-prosecutor-on-assange-case-tables-1-2

Marianne Ny’s timely effort to influence the court that will soon rule in the Assange case has been a trade mark of hers. I have previously described what happened just days before the previous ruling on the Assange Supreme court in Sweden. Then, Marianne Ny spectacularly announced that she was planning to interrogate Assange in London.  She did that – as time did prove- not because she really intended to do so, but in order to neutralise the incumbent verdict of the court – which was bound to apply article 9 on the UN International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights.

The above mentioned article 9, which I referred to in my article of 30 April 2015 in NewsVoice, advocating for the release of Julian Assange, [11] stipulates that all individuals under the investigation of a prosecutor – even if they are only “detained”, and thus, are not being charged with any crime “shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. This is in fact the same main argument deployed by the UNGWAD on their 4 November 2015 ruling  on the Assange case. [12]

Dr Armando Popa reported the following in “Case Assange – Deutsche Welle interviews SWEDHR chairman Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli”: [13]

“The general comment halted around the fact that the Swedish prosecutor had made a 180 degrees turn on her position. But why? The SWEDHR chairman had assayed this rationale already on the 13th of March 2015: ‘…prosecutor Marianne Ny, has now [this spring] announced she is ready to interrogate Assange in London, it is because the Swedish Supreme Court has recently decided [on request of Assange’s lawyers] to take up the case in view of ‘the conduct of the investigation and the proportionality principle’. This is unequivocally referred to the prosecutors’ conduct in carrying/not-carrying the investigation. And this in its turn anticipated the dismissed of the case by the Supreme Court.”

The passage above quoted in the report by Dr Pop is from the article in The Professors’ BlogThe scandalous political case of the Swedish prosecutor vs Julian Assange”. [14]

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[Part 2 of this series – comprising, “Further analysis of prosecutor Ny statements at the press conference”, “What the Swedish TV program on Assange did not tell the public”, Conclusion section, “A malicious handling of a political case”, and “Reference & Notes”– to be published later today.]