Analysis: Trump, WikiLeaks, Assange and Sweden

By Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli,

Chair, Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights.

Introduction

The role of Julian Assange’s organization WikiLeaks in the recent US election process has been widely recognized. For instance, prominent Dr Ron Paul stated in a videoed interview that WikiLeaks’ output was the factor explaining the victory of Donald Trump in the US election. This is the exact wording used by Ron Paul, as seen in the video uploaded by The Indicter Channel in YouTube [Click on image below for the video]:

indicter-ch-dr-paul-ron-on-wikileaks-trumpRon Paul: “Greatest thing happened in this campaign is the evidence and the information we got from WikiLeaks. I think this is why Trump won and the media looks silly”. [1]

Personally, I would like to emphasize that WikiLeaks’ publication did not intend to favour a particular candidate, but to strengthen the democratic process as a whole. In times of political confusion in which the rulers arrogate for themselves secret prerogatives on secrecy, corruption or usurping power given to them by popular mandates, to pursue other than public good objectives, the opening by WikiLeaks of government’s Pandora box has been a lifeboat sent to Democracy. [2]

I have recently answered a questionnaire sent by journalist Anna Khalitova on behalf of Russian newspaper Izvestia regarding the issue. Some of my statements were quoted in this Izvestia article, [3] and after appeals for a translation I received on Twitter, I decided to publish here the full text of my replies to Izvestia; putting it in context and adding the sources I used. The questions of the Izvestia interview dealt with the interrogation of Assange in London done by a Swedish prosecutor on Monday 14 November 2016, Julian Assange’s health status, and the prospect of the case in Sweden against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s election in the US.

I

 

Would you know of any possible violations to Mr Assange’s rights during the interrogation?

izvestia-17-nov-2016Izvestia, 17 November 2016

There is a variety of infringements perpetrated by Sweden not only in this interrogation, but all along the process leading to it. To begin with, it took six years for the “new” Swedish prosecutor to decide to take Julian Assange’s testimony, rearding the allegations put forward against him in Sweden, in a case that is primarily political, and not strictly “legal”. [4] Furthermore, this is an interrogation that prosecutor Ny neglected to perform in Sweden after she reopened the case, while Julian Assange was still there and made himself available. Thirdly, Assange has in fact already been interrogated on the case in Sweden, [5] and subsequently Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné dismissed the case against him. Lastly, the allegations against Assange –as presented by prosecutor Marianne Ny– were worded/formulated by the Swedish police; they do not correspond to the actual declarations of the ‘complainant’ woman; to be precise, as it raised in the press conference of Marianne Ny of 7 September 2016, “the alleged victim said the police had railroaded her, and did not sign the police statement”. [6]

Let’s examine now the interrogation conducted in London by the Swedish prosecutor. Mr Per E Samuelsson, Julian Assange’s lawyer, was not permitted to be present in the interrogation. A Swedish police officer was present, though. Per E Samuelsson stated to the press the same day, “It is a prerequisite that I, as Swedish defence lawyer, am present at the side of my client”. [7]

According to both European Union and Swedish legislation, Mr Assange was entitled to refuse to be interrogated if his defence lawyer was not present. [8] Whether this was communicated to him, I don’t exactly know. What I am certain about is, that Julian Assange strongly wants the conclusion of this ‘case’, and that he has repeatedly requested the Swedish prosecutor receives his testimony.

We must, in any case, not forget that the detention of Julian Assange has been declared arbitrary by the United Nations Group of Experts on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD); [9] a ruling that Sweden has completely ignored – in my opinion, well in line with a various other violations of human rights done by Sweden and that have been highlighted by UN. With regard to these violations and other peculiarities in the affair Assange, see in Notes and References (down below) a list of facts I have already presented as evidence in my book “Sweden vs. Assange. Human Rights Issues” and other publications. [10]

 

II

 

What about the health-status of Mr Assange?

 

jennifer-robinson-on-ja-health

As treated in the media, principally in the Swedish media, the theme of Julian Assange’s health status suffers of a chronic paradox: On the one hand, it systematically ascribes to Mr Assange personality traits that he has never had; but on the other hand, it systematically omits mentioning the health-consequences of having him arbitrarily detained, and confined, year after year.

Sweden’s stream media and TV, as well as some prominent Swedish politicians (and even one scholar, once) have tried in countless opportunities to depict the ‘health’ of Mr Assange with an ad-hominem ‘psychiatric’ characterization, accusing him of being ‘paranoid’ and suggestions of the like. This vilification has been also echoed in some UK media. Evidently, the purpose of the libel has been to counteract the real prospect of a Swedish extradition of Mr Assange to the US.

By fabricating the notion that a person is being “paranoid”, the real danger surrounding that individual is trivialized or annulated. The real, objective risk for extradition –which was politically assessed by the Ecuadorian government as the reason for granting Assange asylum– is converted by the Swedish smear into a subjective “fear” Assange would have of being extradited. Add the “paranoid” element to this manufactured distortion of a presumptive mind, and by implication the real risk of extradition is transformed into an imagined risk, that is to say an “non-existed” one. In reality, is the opposite: the extradition risk is definite and specific.

In 2011 I had personally met Julian Assange in London. Although the aim of our meeting had nothing to do with studying his health status, I had enough time with him that day –more time than a ‘clinical-interview series’ would require – to perform a valid assessment. One conclusion, which I published in Doctoral assessment of Julian Assange quite different from a layman’s opinion, was that the allegedly notion of Assange having a ‘fearfull’ or ‘paranoid’ personality is absolutely a falsehood. I added that I put at stake my entire academic qualifications in the field, to this assertion. [11]

In confirmation of my thesis, Julian Assange’s health status as a ‘paranoid’ was halted magically and abruptly a few months ago, when Sweden acknowledged that an extradition to the US could not be excluded. [12]

In September 2016 – six years after the issuing of the arbitrary detention order– it became known that experts’ assessments of Mr Assange health status had given a worrisome picture. Any normal person subjected to arbitrary detention without been charged of any crime during such an extreme long period; confined; no sun; with visits to hospital facilities denied; no dental care; and lately, even with internet-communication facilities curbed down, would experience his or her health deteriorating. Mr Assange’s health status is described with some detail in the document “Medical and psycho-social report on Mr Assange.” [13]

 

swedish-doctors-for-human-rights-swedhr-logo3

The Board of Director at Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights, after a conference called to treat this issue, unanimously decided to back the conclusions of the above-mentioned report. We published, “Our research and clinical experience in working with similar cases suffering arbitrary detention and violations of their human rights, and the medical literature on the subject, indicate that the clinical points raised in the psycho-social assessment of Mr Assange are real.” [14]

Human Rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson stated in an interview she gave after the interrogation of Assange in London, that medical experts had advised Julian Assange not to give his testimony due to his seriously deteriorated health. [15] Lawyer Jennifer Robinson adds that Julian Assange complied with giving his testimony nonetheless. “(Julian Assange) is so keen for this process to be over; he felt compelled to cooperate and to give the testimony he has been offering for the past six years,” she said. [15] Which would explain why Mr Assange decided to endure this interrogation despite the health-issues and legal circumstances I described above.

 

III

Donald Trump won in the US election, how this fact would influence on the situation of Mr Assange in Sweden? 

 

donald-trump-on-wl-indicter-logoClick on the image above for the video

Despite the declared sympathies from Donald Trump towards WikiLeaks [see below], it is not at all certain that this will signify an easing of the conditions Sweden imposes on Assange. I see here two alternative scenarios.

In the first scenario I take into account the hesitation, or franc opposition, of Sweden’s elites towards the Trump soon-to-be administration. Sweden’s establishment has made no secrets that they have no sympathies for Trump. The Swedish PM Stefan Löfven was very explicit in declarations to the Swedish TV: [16]

I would have preferred Hillary Clinton”.

This stance has partly to do with the profound Russophobe consensus of the Swedish political establishment inspired by Carl Bildt’s doctrine –which, in my opinion, regarding matters of foreign policy has contaminated the full Swedish political spectra, included the so-called Left. I think that Carl Bildt sees in a normalization of US/Russia relations a backlash for the warmongering interests he represents.

This concern was clearly expressed by the reaction of Sweden’s Defence minister Peter Hultqvist, who announced that Sweden will seek assurances from Trump on whether he would honour the “defence cooperation agreement” signed in June this year between Sweden and the US. [17] Furthermore, Minister Hultqvist wonders about the commitment that Trump would have towards NATO. [17] This is a peculiar concern, one might argue, from a country that publicly declares – and profits from – a nonalignment geopolitical stance.

Secondly, a likely deterioration rather than improvement of the Sweden/US relations in the future also has to do with the possibility for Sweden to pursue its worldwide ‘radical feminization’ campaign; for that end, Hillary Clinton was considered by Sweden a potential powerful ally; politicians of all the Swedish political spectra, except from the Sweden democrats, had openly manifested their support for Clinton’s bid. When the results began to arise, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström twittered, [18]

“Dear Hillary Clinton – as we both know it’s not a glass ceiling but a thick layer of men. Keep up the fight for women, onwards!”

Against the backdrop described above, the fact that Donald Trump sympathised with the role WikiLeaks played during the US presidential campaign could have a very positive or a negative consequence in Sweden. I’ll explain why; but let me first anticipate that since the Swedish authorities’ stance vs. Assange is already negative, and it cannot be more negative, arbitrary and unjustified, it is reasonable to assume that they will keep it that way. On the other hand it is assumed that Donald Trump will actively intervene in accordance with expressions he voiced during his campaign.

Donald Trump even stated, “I love WikiLeaks”, as seen in the video uploaded by The Indicter Channel in YouTube [Click on the image in the beginning of the chapter to see the video]. [19]

The Swedish media though has never recognized the role of WikiLeaks in the US presidential campaign. This, is true to the extreme. Even when Swedish Radio, during one program aired in October, expended much time in describing the revelations regarding the Hilary Clinton affair, it never mentioned WikiLeaks as the source of the revelations.

It is also likely that the prestige-prone Swedish establishment will consider the issue of freeing Assange as a tool in its bargain with the new US administration to be led by Mr Donald Trump. This scenario supposes that Trump would have the intention of issuing an executive pardon or likewise juridical measure to favour Assange; which is not at all clear (Obama has recently ruled out the While House would be issuing ‘pardon’ in cases where no trial has been yet set). So far, the risk of an extradition of Assange to the US is overwhelming .

A second scenario is given in a normalization of the relations Sweden/USA. Sweden needs that normalisation badly, due to its miscalculation of June 2016, when it signed a defence agreement with the US (NATO) against Russia. The election of Donald Trump –and its suspicion towards NATO’s role with regard to EU– has hence left Sweden in a rather precarious situation. Ergo, a possible favourable stance of Trump towards Assange’s situation could come into benefit for Assange at least in obtaining by Sweden acceptance of the UNWGAD resolution demanding Mr Assange’s freedom.

In other words, it is likely that the ‘Assange affair’ will continue being – as it has always been – a geopolitical instrument used by the Swedish government, in pursuing favours or consolidating positions in the international arena.

In my personal opinion, the grassroots movement behind Julian Assange should concentrate in a step-by-step campaign. First step, to request upon the new US-administration, and upon all governments, an initiative towards Sweden; an international action to make Sweden abide with UNGWAD in the respect of the Human Rights in general, and of those of Sweden’s political prisoner Julian Assange in particular.

 

new-cover-assange-book-ed-2016Notes & References

[1] Ron Paul on U.S. election: “Greatest thing happened is the evidence & info we got from WikiLeaks”. The Indicter Channel, 13 November 2016.

[2] U.S. election: “WikiLeaks has sent a lifeboat to Democracy“. The Indicter Channel, 13 November 2016.

[3] Ассанж оказался без права на адвоката. Izvestia [], 19 November 2016.

[4] ‘MSM blacks Assange as US seeks Manning link’. RT interview with Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli.

[5] Dick Sundevall, “Assange has already been interrogated”. SWEDHR Research & Reports, Vol 2., N° 49, 17 August 2016.

[6] Form the transcript of the press conference of Marianne Ny of 7 September 2016.

Question: Who actually has made this accusation? Because the alleged victim said the police had railroaded her, didn’t sign the police statement and in fact the first prosecutor on the case dropped it saying that no crime had been committed? That was the prosecutor of Stockholm, and then you took it up again.

Answer: But I am her superior, in fact, I am the Senior Prosecutor. I can in fact reverse the decision of one of my subordinates. I came to the conclusion that her decision in fact was erroneous. When it comes to the question of who made the accusation, I have already said this, rape is subject to obligatory prosecution in Sweden. You don’t need a complainant to sign a complaint or make a charge.

In, “Justice for Assange publishes revealing press conference on Marianne Ny’s case against Julian Assange. Full transcript“, The Indicter magazine, 16 September 2016.

[7] Assange förhörd – utan svensk advokat, Sydsvenkan, 14 November 2016.

[8] According to Swedish Police regulations, all suspected which are going to be interrogated are to be asked if they wish to have assistance of a lawyer. See Swedish Police Authority own description at Misstänkt för brott [Suspected of crime].

[9] Swedish Doctors & Professors for Human Rights, “Sweden’s six years arbitrary detention of Julian Assange”. The Indicter magazine, 14 November 2016.

[10] A list of facts I have already presented as evidence in my book “Sweden VS. Assange” and other publications:

a) No woman has ever accused Mr Assange of rape; rather, “rape” was a characterization constructed by the Swedish police (in Sweden, an institution  under the Ministry of Justice). The women declared their reason for going to the police was to seek help to compel Mr Assange to undergo a HIV test.

b) Simultaneously, the Swedish media – contrary to a principled rule in Sweden – rushed to cable to the world that “The founder of WikiLeaks (with name) Julian Assange” was arrested, charged of rape in Sweden”. This claim was not accurate. Despite it being forbidden in Sweden to publish the name of a person who has not been yet convicted, the Swedish media involved in this transgression was never disciplined.

c) Chief-prosecutor Eva Finné immediately dismissed the accusations put forward in the police report after she examined the case.

d) The leading woman (of the two scheduled to visit to the police station) was a personal friend of the police officer, Irmeli Krans, who performed the interviews and interrogations. Irmeli Krans – also a member of the social democratic party the complainant belongs to – was in turn a public supporter of the lawyer-politician Claes Borgström, of the law-firm Bodström & Börgström (both at the time members of the same Social Democratic Party).

e) The case was reopened at the initiative of the said law-firm Bordström & Börgström, the law-firm that also “defended” the women – as declared by the main partner, Tomas Bodström, at that time a resident of Virginia, USA.

f) The ‘woman accuser’, a former Swedish embassy employee elsewhere, had been expelled from Cuba on charges of activities on behalf of the CIA. WikiLeaks has never insisted on this issue; but in my personal opinion I would consider it relevant.

g) The same ‘leading woman’ was at the time political secretary of the “Brotherhood” (a small organization within the Swedish Social Democratic Party) where Justice Thomas Bodström was a principal member.

h) As Justice Minister, Bodström was a principal actor from the Swedish government in implementing CIA operations in Sweden – done in secret and against Swedish law (e.g. the secret rendition to CIA of refugees in Sweden, where Bodström has been indicated as the responsible official from the part of the Swedish government).

i) The initiative to open the case was taken by a selected prosecutor, Ms Marianne Ny, at the behest of the same Bodström & Borgström law-firm. Ny, Bodström and Borgström had previously shared governmental committees to study further enhancing of the radical-feminist legislation on sex offenses.

[11] From: M Ferrada de Noli, “Doctoral assessment of Julian Assange quite different from a layman’s opinion”. The Professors’ Blog, 27 February 2014.

“Another myth is centred in supposedly negative features of the personality of Julian Assange, as they have been invented by his detractors and repeated in the tabloid press and even by the Swedish National Television, as it was the case recently in the program Agenda of 23 October 2011 which repeated without further qualification Assange is “much paranoid in his behaviour” and authoritarian towards his collaborators. [6]

Previously, a notable columnist of Aftonbladet, Johanne Hildebrant, had written on Assange, he is “a paranoid idiot who refuses to come to Sweden to stand trial”. [8]. Parallel, the tabloid Expressen described in detail Julian Assange supposedly “severe compulsive needs. . .” [9]. And the list is long. My research shown among other (See Newsmill article “Medierapporteringen om Assange är osaklig och likriktad“) that the articles with hostile content published in the study period by the Swedish press exceeded significantly the articles with positive or objective/neutral content. And that among the articles referring to his personality features 72 per cent did so by using hostile, aggressive or detrimental terms.

Needles to say that no professionals have ever been quoted of having such assessments, that, astonishingly, are freely reproduced in the Swedish mainstream media.”

[12] In a main investigative program of Swedish TV, Uppdraggranskning (aired 7 September 2016), the State-owned TV recognized for the first time that Julian Assange could be extradited to the US. In: M Ferrada de Noli, ‘Affair Assange’ – Malicious handling of a political case”. The Indicter magazine, 14 September 2016.

See also, M Ferrada de Noli: “Mainstream media in US and Sweden admit now Assange risks to be extradited to the US by the Swedish government. The Indicter magazine, 11 August 2016.

[13] RT, Assange’s mental, physical health deteriorating under embassy confinement – medical records. 15 September 2016.

[14] “Statement by Swedish Doctors of Human Rights on the recent Swedish court decision ref. the illegitimate case against Mr Julian Assange.”

[15] HR lawyer Jennifer Robinson: Assange going through interrogation amid deteriorated health. The Indicter Channel, 15 November 2016.

[16] Prof Ferrada de Noli @Professorsblogg on Twitter “I would have preferred Hillary Clinton”.

[17] “Sweden seek assurances from Trump regarding defense agreement”. Reuters, 11 November 2016.

[18] Twicopy, https://twicopy.org/margotwallstrom/

[19] “Donald Trump, ‘I love WikiLeaks…Oh, WikiLeaks’ infuriates Sweden’s political establishment & media.” The Indicter Channel, 9 November 2016.

 

__

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 the founder and 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. His op-ed articles have been published in Dagens Nyheter (DN), Svenska Dagbladet (Svd), Aftonbladet, Västerbotten Kuriren, Dagens Medicin,  Läkartidningen and other Swedish media. He also have had exclusive interviews in DN, Expressen, SvD and Aftonbladet, and in Swedish TV channels (Svt 2, TV4, TV5) as well as international TV and media.

Reachable via email at editors@theindicter.com, chair@swedhr.org

Follow the professor on Twitter at @Professorsblogg