News24

Sweden: No to London trip to hear Assange

2012-08-23 12:00

Stockholm - Swedish prosecutors on Thursday ruled out travelling to London to question Julian Assange over alleged sex crimes even though the WikiLeaks founder's lawyer said he had key information relating to the matter.

"There is nothing new. We are still waiting for Mr Assange," Helena Ekstrand, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, said when asked about the comments of Assange's lawyer Baltasar Garzon.

Garzon had told the Australian newspaper Sydney Herald that he has key information relating to the rape claims his client was facing and that it would be a "very good option" for the Swedes to travel to London to take a statement.

Swedish justice's position on the case is not new. The prosecution believes that Assange, who is facing rape and sexual assault allegations from two women from Stockholm, should go to Sweden to give his version of the facts.

Assange, who has been granted political asylum by Quito, is currently holed up in the London embassy of Ecuador to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden.

He claims if extradited to Sweden, he would be handed over to the United States, where he fears prosecution over WikiLeaks' release of a vast cache of confidential US government files.

Comments
  • ludlowdj - 2012-08-23 12:18

    Sweden by refusing to see Assange in London, even though no formal charges have been laid against him to me simply confirms that the entire rape scenario is nothing more than the usual smoke and mirrors that white western governments have perfected.

      jurgen.eksteen - 2012-08-23 12:51

      I agree with you except with the racial slur/stir of "white western governments". That's just more of the same black-on-white racial bull-scheisse!

      stephen.scott.376043 - 2012-08-23 13:14

      "White western government's?" there's something wrong with that statement.

  • peter.mansfield.395 - 2012-08-23 12:48

    Their inaction supports the view that they are planning to do the US's dirty work. Skammen!

  • stephen.scott.376043 - 2012-08-23 13:12

    Why does he have to be physically there? Conduct the whole thing over the net, as a conference.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-23 15:31

      Lets clear some stuff up : Although it is clear a decision has not been taken to charge him, that is because, under Swedish procedure, that decision is taken at a late stage with the trial following quickly thereafter. In England and Wales, a decision to charge is taken at a very early stage; there can be no doubt that if what Mr Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged and thus criminal proceedings would have been commenced.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-23 15:32

      Assange is ONLY wanted for questioning at this stage? This is not true and was not even argued on Assange's behalf in the High Court. It is a requirement of s.2 Extradition Act that "the warrant is issued with a view to his arrest and extradition ... for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence." As the High Court notes at para.129 of its judgment.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-23 15:33

      Assange has not been formally charged with any offence but he does stand accused of the four offences, including rape, outlined in the European Arrest Warrant and criminal proceedings are already underway. The European Arrest Warrant has been held to be valid by the highest court in the land. Assange and his supporters are now raising arguments which he either lost or conceded in the lengthy UK proceedings on the application for extradition.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-23 15:36

      The next step in the Swedish proceedings is to conduct a second interview with him before making a decision whether to formally charge him. The prosecutor is presently disposed to charge him, unless any new evidence emerges that might change her mind. If a decision is taken to formally charge him, Assange would face trial within two weeks of that decision being made. It is difficult to see how this could happen if the final interview takes place in the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge. Even if he were interviewed in the embassy, if a decision was then taken to formally charge him, it is somewhat difficult to believe that Assange would suddenly renounce his claim to asylum in Ecuador. In these circumstances it is difficult to see why Sweden would or should agree to interview Assange in London rather than continue to push for extradition so that they can follow their usual procedures in due course. No other fugitive from justice gets to bargain with the authorities about the way in which their case will be dealt with. I don't see why Assange should be any different. http://storify.com/anyapalmer/

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-23 15:53

      Simple really, all Sweden needs to do is make formal that he won't be extradited to the US.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-08-23 15:57

      Hope this clears some questions up and helps to dissolve some of the grand paranoia around US persecution claims , UK & Sweden lapdog insults. The US hasn't charged him but yes did investigate him , considering the leaks an investigation would be the very least of national security inquery. I'm just a little weary of a dude who'll burn a country like Sweden who he praised , gloated and fawned over and even tried to get citizenship with in 2010. He is a master at running at the edge of the law , media and by no means modest. Seperating him from wikileaks is important as they do operate independently , wikileaks can and does operate independently from Assange (of course Wikileaks is another debate all together). Red flags jump up when three Govts "collude" in a all too complex extradtion maneuvre for the benefit of another at the complete rick of their judical reputation. Just thought the other point of view was needed and not just the painfull percecution claims and brown nosing coming from Assanges minions.

  • imam.madi.129 - 2012-08-23 18:21

    Let them ask him on skype or they must buzz off. He is however wrong if he think he will land in the USA, Obama wants him in Cuba to replace the released Ausies there. He is however right to refuse the trip, no sight seeing on the way there and no famous Cubans will visit him.

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