Sweden’s argument for refusing to issue non-extradition guarantees to Mr Assange is fallacious and hides real commitment to the U.S. – Analysis

The Indicter, Vol 2, Nr 31, 20 February 2016

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli PhD.

Chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights and of The Indicter’s Editorial board.

new feature pic ja article


It has been nearly six years since Time Magazine acknowledged – see image above – that the organization founded by Mr Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, “could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.” We could say that it is there is to be found the true strategic reasons of the protracted detention of the WikiLeaks’ CEO and forerunner. Likewise, it would be  among the main reasons why the US government would like to keep Mr Assange further detained – why not 30 years in a high security US military prison, just as in the case of Manning.

In fact, the former chairman of the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), the Norwegian jurist Mads Andenas – who worked with the case Assange since the beginning  – has recently declared that “the panel came under considerable political pressure from the US and UK when compiling their report.

Why would the US government put pressure against the release of Mr Assange, if not for the reason they want the Swedish arrest warrant against Julian Assange shall be fulfilled, ergo, that  Mr Assange should end under  custody of Sweden’s authorities? What other reason the US is having for this, if not for it would made possible the implementation of the indictment against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks? [1] [2]

For the above, the obvious is that Sweden would have to extradite the WikiLeaks founder. However, the Swedish government refuses to give guarantees. For instance, Fmr Foreign Minister Carl Bildt declared to Human-Rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson that Sweden “couldn’t give that guarantee; that it’s a judicial process.” [3]

Human-Rights Lawyer Jennifer Robinson – The_Indicter Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl BlldtHuman Rights Lawyer Jennifer Robinson (image at left ) and Former Foreign Minster Carl Bldt (right)

And against the backdrop that Mr Assange has been called “terrorist” by the Vice President of the US [See down below], [4] it is necessary to clarify once for all what is the record of Sweden with regards to the US on matters of legal and of extra-court extraditions, including renditions.

As seen below, the judge who chaired the committee on Sweden’s extradition-law revealed recently that the “(Swedish) anti-terrorism law gives the government wide discretion”. [5]

Contrary to speculations by Swedish scholars [See my rebuttal to a comment sent by Assoc. Professor Mark Klamberg to The Professor’ Blog] [6] or disinformation spread by a monopoly Swedish press, [7] a fact-based analysis demonstrates that the extradition of Mr Assange by Sweden to the US is not only juridical feasible, but most certain to happen, provided he will be taken to custody in Swedish territory. Corollary to the juridical (and extra-juridical) feasibility of a prospective extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the U.S. feasible, the analysis shows that Sweden’s stance on the ‘legal impossibility of giving non-extradition guarantees’ is fallacious.

1. Introduction

Montesquieu’s principle on democratic separation of powers has been made in Sweden a sad charade around the Assange case.  And at this stage, no one, nowhere, would insist that this is not a true political case.

Besides the political motivations and geopolitical interests behind  the prosecution of Assange, the request to Sweden from the U.S. government, etc., analyzed in my article “Sweden doesn’t follow U.N., but U.S. – Prosecution of Assange requested by the US, Snowden document reveals“, we witness the spectacle of statements on the ‘juridical status’ of the case consistently made by the government representatives – not by the ‘independent’ judiciary or prosecutor carrying our the ‘legal case’.

The above became re-enlighten when the declarations of the prosecutor Marianne Ny about the UNWGAD-ruling on her arbitrary detention of Asange came after the government had issued a statement via the Minister of Interior Affairs Anders Ygeman, who said among other:

“I do not think it [the UN-ruling] will affect a possible trial.” [8]

Prosecutor Ny had then green light to state, consequently:

“Regarding the (UNWGAD) report that came last week I just can note that it does not change my earlier assessments” [9]

And in the same fashion that in the previous government Prime Minister Reinfeldt [10] or the Minister of Social Affairs Göran Haglund [11] intervened with ad-hominem declarations against Assange in the middle of the ongoing ‘legal process’, nowadays this interference of the executive power is executed – as we saw above – by the very Minister of Domestic Affairs.


But the verdict against Sweden – and which included particular reference against the prosecutor’s behaviour – by this organ under the UN Human Rights Council on the arbitrary detention of Julian Assange shall have profound consequences for Sweden, internationally.

For it’s not about Assange, it’s about an UN ruling, and it’s about stances on basic human rights established in international conventions on which Sweden is a signatory. Paramount, it is a matter of Sweden’s credibility.

Most recently, the UN- Human Rights, Office of the High Commisioner published the document “UN rights expert urges the UK and Sweden to give good example to the world and implement the Assange ruling” [See excerpt in image below; click to enlarge], where expert Mr. de Zayas messages to Sweden:

“If a State is truly committed to a philosophy of human rights, it cannot limit the enjoyment of those rights by engaging in narrow pedestrian positivism or invoking technical distinctions or loopholes in an attempt to escape ethical obligations.”

And it has to do not only with Sweden’s credibility-losses as “Recht Staat” in the minds of key major observers, or at plenty international forums housing the commoners. Such reiteration in infringements against UN ruling will anew confront Sweden with shameful vote-results in its bids to be elected as member of Human-Right international bodies. Further, it also most likely shall alter the prospective of economic transactions with human-rights aware governments of the Third World. Negative effects on tourism or tourists, including Swedes abroad, will unfortunately also be noticeable.


Sweden’s renditions to the US, and the less known Swedish participation in the Somali extraditions

The Swedish behaviour on extraditions matters has been persistent during the latest decade, as Sweden has continued distinguishing itself with violations on the human rights in matters of extraditions. That was the case of the sanctions for serious violations on the International Ban on Torture after the Swedish government participation in the CIA operation for the extradition to the two political refugees from Egypt. [12]

Apparently, the previous sanctions from the UN have not stop the anti human-rights behaviour of key member of the Swedish government.

For instance, and what is less know by the public,  Sweden again in 2013 incurred in the same violations; while the former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was accused of not impeding the extradition in Somalia to the US of yet two other refugees – Swedish citizens – ‘suspected’ of terrorism by the US. This, despite that the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) had issued an statement to the government, that the two refugees were not consider terrorists in Sweden, and that they were not considered of being of any “terrorist risk”. [13]

In fact, long after Sweden has been sanctioned by the United Nations for Sweden’s transgressions to the international ban of torture (the Egyptian political refugees secretly extradited by Sweden to the CIA, picked up on Swedish territory), [12] Sweden obtained the lowest counting among UN countries in the voting for a seat in the UN Human Rights Council. A fact that it was not properly reported to the Swedish public. [14] At that time, as it was confided to me by two different ambassadors from African countries, these countries would not easily sign anew commercial treaties for the purchasing of made-in-Sweden products including vehicles and arms.


2. Why is a prospective extradition of Julian Assange by Sweden to the U.S. feasible, and why the argument of ‘impossibility of non-extradition guarantees’ is fallacious?

As means of introductory summary, I will reproducing a recent exchange I had with Judge Krister Thelin on Twitter. His stance on this issue, in my opinion, well summarizes the arguments of the Swedish government, the mainstream media and ‘the legal establishment’ – which in Sweden is in fact the very same thing when referring to issues of foreign policy (this peculiar Swedish phenomenon of merging consensus is detailed in chapter “The Swedish Media Paradox and The Case Against Assange”, in my book “Sweden VS Assange – HR issues & Political Background”. [15]


Judge Krister Thelin [image above) is a respected figure within the international juridicum; he has been member (2008-2012) of the UN Human Rights Committee. In 2008 he was judge at the UN war-crimes tribunal on the former Yugoeslavia in Haag. In Sweden, Judge Thelin was Department Secretary of Justice during the government of Reinfeldt/Bildt, and he chaired the committee studying Sweden’s extradition legislation.

Two different Swedish legislation on extradition?

First, Judge Thelin refutes the notion of a ‘political’ extradition of Assange, since extradition involves the Swedish Supreme Court. However, in further clarification, he mentions the distinction between cases under the “normal” extradition legislation, and cases of the extradition of terrorists.  And when it is about terrorists, the government has “wide discretion”, says Mr Thelin. [5] Meaning, the Swedish government does not need to have any clearance of the extradition upon the courts. All which raises a key issue, would Sweden regard Assange as ‘terrorists”? My answer is definitely, yes, most likely. And I base my assumption on the following: who decides at the Swedish government if a person is a terrorist, or suspected terrorist, is not Swedish Security Police SÄPO, but the US government. This was demonstrated in the above-mentioned case of the Somalia extraditions. I will detail on this down below.

Inline images 5

to which I replied:

Inline images 7

Judge Thelin says in his rebuttal that the Egyptians were extradited under the “Terrorist law”, whereas in the Assange case, the issue would be treated under the “Extradition law”, says Thelin:

K. Thelin on extradit law

Dear Judge Thelin, woud you please tell

swe never denied us extradition in last 15 years

Judge Telin knows of early cases

nja cases

Cases ref by Judge Telin are under European Extradition Convention

The political cases in which Sweden has denied extradition has nothing to do with US-government requests on ‘terrorists’

I have examined the documentation on the cases referred by Krister Thelin in the twitters above, namely the cases “where the crimes were considered ‘political’ and [thus] extradition-request were denied per law”. Thelin referred the cases NJA 1982 s. 520, NJA 2008 s. 680 och NJA 2009 s. 557. However, two of these cases fell under the European Extradition Convention of 1957, which would not allow the extradition for ‘political crimes’. This convention was also signed by some non-European countries, but not by the US. This means that the legal body shall not hamper an extradition for “political crimes” to the US. The other case refers to an extradition request by Russia, but, in hyper Russophobic Sweden, “dissidents” against the Russian government are per default to be protected. These are not pro-NATO rulers for nothing. And not for nothing has WikiLeaks – the organization founded by Julian Assange – exposed former PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt, accusing him of being a US-government agent.

For my part I have already clarified on this issue of the incumbent extradition of Assange to the US in previous publications. Some excerpts:

(2012) “The Assange Extradition Case Revisited. Part III of the series Sweden Versus Assange – Insider Analyses”:

“Of course the government of Sweden can give such guaranties. Because, even in the eventuality that the legal process ends by granting the extradition (and it will certainly do that if asked by US – see down bellow), the executive power – the Prime Minister and its government – have the full possibility of exercising veto on such decision.”

In other words, it is fully possible for the Swedish government to give guaranties expressing it in this fashion, for instance: “in case the extradition would be approved by the legal system, the Swedish government would be vetoing such decision because of the risk for capital punishment.”

(2013) “It is up to the Swedish Government, Not to the “Swedish Legal System”, to comply on pressures to extradite Assange. Part II of the series The Seven Pillars of Deception“. Here I denounce that the extradition to the US of the two refugees –Swedish citizens-  arrested in Djbouti with the collaboration of the Swedish Foreign Office (Bildt) demonstrated that:

1) if the “terrorist” characterization is done by the US, it does not matter that SÄPO concludes that the subject does not present a terrorist threat, ergo not being a ‘terrorist’.

2) Praxis would show that Swedish govt follows rather the decision of the US govt, than the judgment of its own Security Agency (SÄPO).

Feb 6 -Twitter exchange K Thelin – Professorsblogg

Would Sweden regard Assange as “terrorist”?

Julian Assange has been described in the US as “high tech terrorist”, [“Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden.”] According to The Guardian, Biden claimed that “by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world.” [16] See below Vice-President Bidén making his statements on Assange and WikiLeaks on video. [Click on the image for the video].


It would be highly appropriate tat the Swedish government declares whether they consider Assange a terrorist or not. This is essential for the debate, because top US-govt officials and politicians have already labelled Assange as ‘terrorist’. In this meaning, the extradition request from the part of the U.S. government could be by arguing Assange is indicted on terrorist activities.

Following Judge argumentation, an extradition processed in Sweden under the terrorist legislation does give the government extraordinary powers, meaning, it does not need to submit the case for consideration by the Court. In other words, this crime-categorization would even make the process quicker and less complicated in Sweden.

In the context, there is a very aggravating accusation against Julian Assange which equalizes with the American “cyber terrorist” charges. It was put forward directly by the Swedish military. Assange was accused during a main TV news program ‘Rapport’, broadcasted by the Swedish state TV, of being “blackmailing Sweden” See details on this preposterous accusation on straightforward criminal behaviour, such as blackmailing the Nation of Sweden, in my post “Sweden’s FOI publicly slandering Assange & WikiLeaks while in secret help building missile factory for Saudi Arabia dictatorship“. And who is the accusation-messenger Mr Mike Winnerstig? A reserve-army officer and member of the Swedish Military Academy, was at the time Deputy Director of the Military Research Institute FOA (under the Ministry of Defence).  He has participated as lecturer in events sponsored by NATO and the US Embassy in Sweden, and a strong lobbyist for Sweden’s entrance to NATO.


Why the ‘impossibility of non-extradition guarantees’ is a fake?

Simply, because the government of Sweden has the legal possibility of vetoing any court decision, any police authority decision, any immigration authority decision on issues of deportation, extradition or rendition. Period.

I have already clarified in page 18 of my book (2016) “Sweden VS Assange. HR issues & Political Backgrund”: [14]

“At the contrary of what is stated by Swedish sources, it is the Swedish government –and not the judicial system – which ultimately can decide the issue of extradition to a third country. The government is fully entitled to issue guarantees of a non-extradition.”

4. Epilogue

Onn the question of the likelihood of an extradition to the U.S. from Sweden: The Swedish practice during the last fifteen years has been to approve all extradition requests from the United States – when the person in question has been found in Swedish territory.

Why has the US not delivered an extradition request of Mr Assange to Sweden? The answer is very simple: because Assange is not in Swedish territory; he is not under police custody in Sweden. And that is the reason why Assange sought – and the reason why it was granted – political asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador. No matter hoe many times the Swedish media and the Swedish government, seconded by the UK, repeat the infamy on that Assange “is just avoiding justice in Sweden”. Avoiding ‘justice’ for what? There is no legal ground for a “legal case” against Assange in Sweden.

I will end this analysis on the myth, “Assange’s extradition from Sweden to the US is not likely”, with a text quoted from, “Sweden will grant extradition of Assange to US if not stopped by international political pressure“: [15]

In the labyrinth of news around the court deliberations in London on the Assange-extradition, I have traced the origins of such myth to a dispatch by Malin Rising, a Swedish journalist working as correspondent for Associated Press.

The journalist had published time ago a “Question & Answers” article headed “Questions and answers about the Julian Assange sex crimes case and Swedish extradition rules”. The piece was also distributed word-wide by Yahoo news and it is found in numerous sites among other ABC News, Salom.com, etc.

On the extradition issue, one of the items read:

“Question: Assange’s lawyers say there’s a “real risk” that Sweden would hand him over to the U.S. How likely is that?

“Answer: . . . Swedish legal experts say he would be no more likely to be handed over from Sweden than from Britain. Because of the current extradition proceedings between Sweden and Britain, handing him over to a third country would require approval from both countries, says Nils Rekke, legal chief at the Stockholm prosecutor’s office. Rekke notes that Britain is a closer ally to the United States.”

However, Sweden has not excluded it would be willing to go along with a US demand on extradition:

Rekke did not deny that Sweden would be willing (or “like”) to hand over Assange to the USA, what he really said is that “Sweden cannot do as Sweden likes” in that specific matter “before asking Britain first”!

This is instead what Christian Science Monitor wrote, quoting Nils Rekke:

“If Assange was handed over to Sweden in accordance with the European arrest warrant, Sweden cannot do as Sweden likes after that,” and, “If there were any questions of an extradition approach from the US, then Sweden would have to get an approval from the United Kingdom”.

Is there any doubt that the meetings held in London by top government leaders of USA, UK and Sweden – exactly on the days of the verdict on Assange’s extradition – were also an opportunity to decide together issues on the above, politically?

The one and only reasonable conclusion here is: the real reason why Sweden refuses to give Mr Assange non-extraditions guarantees is because they are planning to do precisely that.

Otherwise, why would the US government put so much pressure on the UNWGAD in trying to change the conclusions of their investigation of the arbitrarily detention of Julian Assange? What would the US business on this if not to keep Assange under custody by Sweden in order to ultimately implement  their own indictment plans – and for which  an extradition from Sweden is essential?

5. Notes and References

[1] Important Statement by the US Centre for Constitutional Rights regarding reported sealed Assange indictment. The Professors’ Blog, 28 Feb 2012.

[2] US investigation of WikiLeaks now entering 5th year. By Alexa O’Brien. The Professors’ Blog, 25 Feb 2014.

[3] Lawyer Jennifer Robinson quoted in the Rixstep’s article “Jen-Rob Meets Carl Bildt“, 7 July 2012:

‘I asked him to guarantee that Assange wouldn’t be rendered to the US if he came to Sweden, and Carl Bildt said that they couldn’t give us that guarantee, that it’s a judicial process. I told him that at the end of the day it’s a political decision by the government.’

[4] U.S. Vice President Joe Biden interviewed by ABC News, footage-excerpt uploaded on YouTube 19 Dec 2010.

[5] Krister Thelin on Twitter, 6 Feb 2016: https://twitter.com/KristerThelin/status/695965881176879104.

[6] From The Professors’ Blog article “Sweden will grant extradition of Assange to US if not stopped by international political pressure”, 4 Nov 2011:

Mark Klamberg

“”You write: “Sweden has granted extradition in the TOTAL OF CASES in which the prisoner was in Swedish territory”. What research have you made to reach this conclusion? It took me 2 minutes to find NJA 1982 s 830 where the Supreme Court of Sweden refused extradition to the U.S.””


Marcello Ferrada de Noli (Italy)

“”What I wrote (quoted from the article above) is this:“The fact is, regarding the “open” requests of extradition from the USA, Sweden has granted extradition to the USA in ALL OF CASES in which the asked person was in Swedish territory:”This counting is based in the following information given by the Associated Press article of Swedish journalist Malin Rising (“Questions and answers about the Julian Assange sex crimes case and Swedish extradition rules”). The article was published in several news-sites all over the world, also in Yahoo news. The following is given in the Associated Press report (I quote again from my article). Please do note that the figures given are “according to the Swedish Justice Ministry”:

“Since 2000, the U.S. has requested the extradition of seven citizens from Sweden, according to the Swedish Justice Ministry. Five of the requests were approved, and two were rejected because the suspects were no longer believed to be in Sweden.”

As I am reproducing in my article the complete text from AP, it is clear in the article that it referred to the cases – again, as expressed in the text – from year 2000 (“Since 2000”)Ergo, according to the quoted figures from the ministry of Justice: The five US requests approved correspond to the extradition of the five requests asked with regard to individuals that were in Swedish territory. That is ALL OF CASES (or TOTAL of cases) IN WHICH THE ASKED PERSON WAS IN SWEDISH TERRITORY because, 5 of five cases is not more not less than ALL the cases! Which is what I said in my article.

Now, those are the cases asked to Sweden on the “open”, i.e. known by the public. I do not know how many other “CLANDESTINE” cases of extraordinary renditions have been done in secrecy (not in the open), approved by Sweden, under the time Thomas Bodström was Minister of Justice. One case, which became fairly exposed, was that of the asylum seekers in Sweden taken to torture in Egypt from a Stockholm airport, given to CIA personnel by the Swedish police with the knowledge of the Swedish authorities [M Zettersröm, “Vi har rätt att få veta”. Aftonbladet, Stockholm, 20 January 2009 http://www.aftonbladet.se/debatt/article4219230.ab%5DWhat it is also widely known, in reference to the above, by the international opinion (not much discussed in Sweden) is that Sweden was ruled by NU of severe violation of the NU Absolute Ban on Torture:[Human Rights Watch, “Sweden Violated Torture Ban with U.S. Help.” U.N. Committee Rebukes Sweden for Sending Terror Suspect to Torture”. 19 May 2005http://www.hrw.org/news/2005/05/19/sweden-violated-torture-ban-us-help].””


Bonniers & Schibsted

[8] “Ygeman om Assange: Finns häktningsgrund“, SvT, 5 Feb 2016.

[9] – “När det gäller rapporten som kom i förra veckan kan jag konstatera att den inte förändrar mina tidigare bedömningar i förundersökningen, säger Marianne Ny.” Declarations by Marianne Ny in “Marianne Ny: FN-rapporten förändrar inte bedömningarna i förundersökningen mot Assange“, Dagens Juridik, 9 Feb 2016.

[10] On 11 February 2011, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt stated in the DN and Aftonbladet newspapers, that Julian Assange had been indicted. He then went on to take a position that was biased in favour of the complainants in the case.  Not only was this political interference in an ongoing case, but also it was based on untruths; Julian Assange has not been charged. The statement by the Prime Minister was:

“We have an independent judiciary which also in this case acted according to Swedish law. One has even public-indicted Julian Assange on allegations of rape”. And, “I can only regret that the rights and position of women weigh so lightly when it comes to this type of questions compared to other types of theories brought forward. ” DN, 11 Feb 2011.

[11] On 15 August 2012, Göran Haglund, Swedish Minister of Social Affairs, told the Expressen newspaper: “Assange is a very coward person that does not dare to confront the charges against him”.  And he added, “If he did the things he is accused of, I think one can call him a lowlife. He seems to be a miserable wretch.”

“Assange är en väldigt feg person som inte vågar konfrontera anklagelserna mot honom.” “– Om han har gjort det han är anklagad för så tycker jag att man kan kalla honom för ett kräk. Han verkar vara en ynklig stackare.” In: “Hägglund om asyl för Assange: “Fegis” . Expressen, 4 Febr 2012.

[12] Human Rights Watch, “Sweden Violated Torture Ban with U.S. Help“. 19 May 2005.

[13] M. Ferrada de Noli, “It is up to the Swedish Government, Not to the ‘Swedish Legal System‘, to comply on pressures to extradite Assange. Part II of the series The Seven Pillars of Deception”. The Professors’ Blog, 22 Jan 2013.

[14] From, M. Ferrada de Noli, “Sweden VS Assange – HR issues & Political Background”. Libertarian Books – Sweden, 2014, 2016, Page 18:

“In recent developments, during an important voting at the Human Rights organ of the United Nations in November 2012, Sweden obtained the lowest preference from the voting country delegates. The election concerned Sweden’s own candidacy towards becoming a member of the United Nations Human Rights organization. Also in recent years and for the first time in modern history, the government of Sweden has been obliged to face the burning of Swedish flags by angry protesters in countries as far away as Pakistan.

Motive for those actions were found in the reaction of normal, law abiding citizens of various countries, which felt insulted by the permissive stance of the Swedish government and Swedish media around the “Muhammad drawings controversy” of 2007, provoked by the racist Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The native Swedish cultural elites appealed to the “freedom of expression”. Which was used as a pretext to further reproduce the offensive material. This was done in conscious disregard towards the numerous groups of immigrants and refugees, which, in spite of being of diverse nationalities, share peacefully Islam as their religion or culture.”

[15] M. Ferrada de Noli, “Sweden will grant extradition of Assange to US if not stopped by international political pressure“. The Professors’ Blog, 4 Nov 2011.



The author:

Prof-Marcello-Ferrada-de-Noli-4-Jan-2016-no-glasses-redc-Hanna-to-The_Indicter-644x634Professor Dr med Marcello Ferrada de Noli is chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights and Editor-in-Chief of The Indicter. Also publisher of The Professors’ Blog, and CEO of Libertarian Books – Sweden. Author of Sweden VS. Assange – Human Rights Issues, My Road to Malatesta, and Rebeldes con Causa.

Reachable via email at editors@theindicter.com, fdenoli@gmail.com