Julian Assange has now lost SIX elaborate, expensive, extensive, democratic court hearings across two countries. The type of legal gobbledygook that his endless circus of celebrity lawyers routinely engage with to avoid his extradition to Sweden has been examined formally in court at length and fundamentally THROWN OUT. His so called ‘facts’ around Sweden simply do not stand up to proper scrutiny. Multiple lawyers, every opportunity to put his side of the story and Julian LOST. Six times. Hypothetical fears and personal insults simply do not add up in a court of law. One law for all people. No exceptions.
Repeating the same tired old arguments for four years does not make the Swedish case go away. It never will. The fact Sweden actively PROTECTS many from US prosecution and has not extradited (for over 50 years) anyone in anything like the situation of Julian Assange is kinda BIG. Sweden is a HAVEN from the US for dissidents. Even a junior lawyer could easily claim any attempt by the US to extradite Julian Assange from Sweden, for anything related to Wikileaks, would be a political move and therefore Sweden would not comply. They haven’t complied for over 50 years now. That’s a historic fact.
Yes Ecuador has given Assange asylum but it suits the Ecuadorian political agenda to do so. They maintain a fractious relationship with the US and their own tenuous grip on homegrown press freedom makes Julian Assange the perfect foil. The exact information Assange provided Ecuador as to why he should receive asylum has never been made public. Why? Does it not stand up to proper scrutiny? The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister is quoted as saying he thought the sexual assault allegations against Assange were ‘hilarious’. Hilarious? What exactly was he told they were?
The Swedish prosecutor has explained IN COURT why she will not travel to London to interview him. We know Sweden charges accused people at the END of the interview process not the beginning like other countries. Different does not make it wrong. The UK courts have agreed that Assange is the equivalent of charged as they cannot extradite anyone for mere questioning. Assange knows that. His lawyers know that. Why is this information deliberately manipulated so as to appear sinister?
Getting an obscure group of largely South American lawyers groups to complain to the UN about the way Swedish laws operate is a stunt. No country takes foreign advice as to how to run their own democratic institutions. If outsiders don’t like it they would be advised to not go there. If Sweden attempted to dictate to other countries as to how they should apply their own laws there would be an outcry. Sweden is internationally well respected and frequently enjoys the status of global number one as to the rule of law. The way Julian Assange has demonized Sweden is a disgrace. Prior to the sexual allegations Assange had praised Sweden as being the best location for Wikileaks and had applied for residency there. How quickly that changed after complaints from two women he chose to sleep with.
Ed Snowden HAS been charged. Didn’t take four years or any bizarre trickery with random women to see the US step up and announce he is charged. Chelsea Manning HAS been charged and now jailed for 35 years. Real. Manning was a US soldier who broke his sworn oath of secrecy. Very different scenario to that of an Australian publisher looking for a scoop. Manning was the brave whistleblower, not Julian Assange, which is a point lost on so many people.
Meanwhile, despite a great deal of frustrated, angry rhetoric from the usual red necks in the US, Julian Assange is NOT charged. No one can even think of a crime he could even be charged with. US government insiders have said they doubt he will ever be charged. I expect as long as Julian keep threatening the US with all manner of hated intent he should expect to be under some form of investigation but who knows? The US has a policy of never commenting on investigations. Demanding who and when the US can and should investigate is absurd. Nelson Mandela was investigated by the US until 2008. John Lennon was investigated for 20 years. So what? Did that make them hide? Hardly.
Time for Julian to man-up. No more excuses over Sweden. People should stop defending the suppression of two Swedish women’s rights. Stop encouraging a man to live in a women’s toilet cubical. His pro-bono lawyers need to stop milking this man to further their own media profiles. Julian Assange needs to get a life – a real life. No more excuses.
A version of this article first appeared on the Wikileaks Forum in response to Jen Robinson
Sandra K Eckersley