A quick and easy reference guide to claims and the sources that give the factual details with summary only. Aimed at journalists and bloggers who want a quick list of where the documents are so that they can write accurately.
We give a list of commonly made misleading claims around the case, and the sources that provide the facts in each instance. An expanded version with quotes and commentary can be found here.
Less detailed on the specifics as it’s a ruling on a technicality (whether a public prosecutor is a judicial authority):
Supreme Court Full Judgment
This is reportedly the Agreed Facts at the High Court hearing. It makes fascinating reading.
Swedish Extradition Law
The Extradition For Criminal Offences Act (1957:668) is in English on the Swedish government website.
Political crimes: Section 6.
Harsh treatment: Section 7.
Death penalty: Section 12, item 3.
Swedish legal expert, PhD equivalent, and university lektor Mark Klamberg on whether the Swedish government can legally offer any guarantees about a specific case.
Swedish government clarifies the position on Assange. Note that espionage is a political crime in Sweden.
Swedish extradition process (again in English on the Swedish government site).
European Human Rights Act (Article 3 on torture). Sweden and UK are signatories to this Act.
Here is a New York Times article about Edward Lee Howard which states very clearly that Sweden do not extradite for espionage.
Home Office guidance on death penalty in extradition cases (“Secretary of State” section)
UK/US Bilateral treaty UK Government report, 2012. Page 7 prima facie evidence discussion.
Home Office 2010 Review of Extradition treaties. 7.66 – 7.68 on Grand Juries and level of evidence required. Page 472 for stats on extradition between US/UK.
Crown Prosecution Service on when evidence is disclosed in the process.
EAW processes, including temporary surrender: Article 18 states person MAY be surrendered without a hearing, but must be returned for extradition hearings.
Crown Prosecution Service desciption (last section). This exists in Sweden and the UK, as well as many other countries.
Does the rape charge involve a condom/being asleep/half asleep?
The High Court judgment, paragraphs 124-126 discuss this.
Mr Assange is only wanted for questioning / Mr Assange hasn’t been charged
The High Court judgement is pretty clear on this (item 129, which starts: “It was common ground…”). Questioning or investigation is not grounds for extradition.
The High Court was also clear on charges (page 4 at the top). Mr Assange is wanted for prosecution, but charges happen immediately before that in Sweden. See also Magistrate court document, page 20, item 1 in the list.
Sweden refuse to question in the UK and/or haven’t explained why questioning in the UK not possible
Covered in the detailed High Court judgment, starting para 142 – Swedish prosecutor gave detailed explanation. It amounts to the fact that criminal proceedings have begun. Opinion of the court on options for UK interview given in para 160.
Swedish prosecutor did not try to question Mr Assange in Sweden
Covered by the Magistrates court, starting near the bottom of page 7. The original evidence given by Mr Assange’s lawyer (Mr Hurtig) was false and he retracted it. It was this that led the judge to be heavily critical of Mr Hurtig (page 10, item 15 in list).
Expert testimony of Ms Brita Sundberg-Weitman and Mr Alhem
Covered by the above: the experts based their testimony on the information from Mr Hurtig, which turned out to be false. See Magistrate’s court document, page 10 item 15:
[Mr Hurtig’s statement] was a deliberate attempt to mislead the court. It did in fact mislead Ms Brita Sundberg-Weitman and Mr Alhem. Had they been given the true facts then that would have changed their opinion on a key fact in a material way.
Hurtig was warned over this incident by the Swedish bar association.
Mr Assange has not been interviewed/questioned at all
Magistrates court page 9, item 4 in list: he was interviewed in Sweden.
European Arrest Warrant was disproportionate
Possible; opinion differs. The
It would be easier to extradite from Sweden
Covered briefly in the Magistrates Court document (page 27 at the bottom); both Sweden and the UK would have to give consent.
Mr Assange hasn’t seen the evidence against him
The CPS guide to disclosure can be used to compare the English system here (para 6.11 is key).
Australia refused to offer the chance to serve any sentence at home
The Australian guidelines are useful (esp page 9, second column).
Red notices are unusual for this type of crime
Interpol state that in 2007 sex crimes were frequently given red notices
Red notices are more serious than Orange notices
Interpol describe the difference.
Mr Assange is under house arrest
Mr Assange was released on bail conditions including a night-time only curfew.
BBC describe conditions here and the Telegraph here.
A discussion on “House Arrest” and its meaning in the UK can be found here, starting on page 20 (note it is not a legal term in the UK).
A legal definition for the US state of House Arrest.
Legal and expert blogs
Charon QC podcast with Carl Gardener and David Allen Green (legal experts discussing the issues and EAW in general). Also full of other useful resource links – including the original home of this very post.
David Allen Green has an excellent post on legal myths (this has been updated and amended following feedback from Klamberg)
Adam Wagner has a good collection of legal blogs (also voices strong opinions).
Swedish legal expert Mark Klamber confirms Sweden allows for no extradition for Espionage.
Australia’s ABC interview Christine Assange. She claims that Human Rights organisations are propaganda machines, and that Ecuador has total freedom of the press.
Sweden refused extradition to USA of Edward Lee Howard for espionage.
Sweden illegally deported (not extradited as previously stated) two Egyptian men to Egypt. More here.
News report on the illegal deportation of two Egyptians, and how Sweden reacted (sourced from a Wikileaks release).
News blog on “Enemy of the State” – they called the Pentagon to check.