Wikileaks’ Assange claims Victory after Sweden drops Charges, Vows to Publish More

TeleSur | – –

Swedish prosecutors dropped the rape investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday, saying the investigation had not been able to proceed because of legal obstacles.

“Today is an important victory for me and for the U.N. human rights system,” Assange said in an address on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Assange, 45, has lived in the embassy since 2012 when he took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations. He feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution for information leaks as thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents were published by WikiLeaks.

Swedish Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny said that the investigation could be reopened if Assange came to Sweden before the statute of limitations deadline for rape allegation in 2020. “We are not making a statement about his guilt,” Ny added.

Assange said being detained for seven years without charge while his children grew up and his name was slandered is something that he won’t “forgive or forget.”

The United Nations has decried the unfair treatment of Assange, declaring that he was being arbitrarily detained and that his human rights were violated.

Assange thanked the United Nations and Ecudor who “stood by my asylum despote intense pressure” in his address.

Ecuador’s government welcomed the decision by Sweden, but said it was long overdue.

“Ecuador regrets that the Swedish prosecutor delayed more than four years in carrying out this interview,” said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long. “This unnecessary delay was despite the repeated insistence from the Ecuadorean government — ever since the granting of asylum in 2012 — that this interview was not only possible but that Ecuador would facilitate its carrying out in our embassy.”

“Given that the European arrest warrant no longer holds, Ecuador will now be intensifying its diplomatic efforts with the U.K. so that Julian Assange can gain safe passage in order to enjoy his asylum in Ecuador,” said Long.

After a seven-year stand-off with Sweden, Assange may still not be able to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy. British police said that if Assange were to leave the embassy it was still their obligation to arrest him. But the British government has not commented on whether the United States had made a request to extradite Assange.

“Westminster Magistrates’ Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012,” British police said. “The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy.”

Assange claimed he has the basic right to seek asylum like everyone else and that the decision of the British police is unaccpetable.

“My legal staff have contacted the United Kingdom authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward,” he said.

As the founder of WikiLeaks, Assange said it will continue its publication. “The threats toward me, my staff and WikiLeaks will not be tolerated.”

Assange also said the release of Chelsea Manning this week a “even more important” victory. Manning, a former army intelligence analyst who leaked three-quarters of a million classified U.S. war reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, was released from military prison Wednesday morning after seven years.

“While today is an important victory, the road is far from over,” Assange said.

Via TeleSur


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Democracy Now!: “Human Rights Lawyer: Sweden Dropping Investigation of WikiLeaks’ Assange is “Long Overdue Decision”

9 Responses

  1. I wish people would stop saying Assange is being detained. He isn’t. It’s entirely his own choice to avoid justice by hiding in an embassy.

  2. Thomas, absolutely incorrect. In stage one, Sweden together with CIA help put together some trumped up rape charges. This was character assassination to try to turn public opinion against Assange. The second step once the public opinion was against Assange was to extradite him to the US.

    Initially the UK said Assange was free to go if Sweden dropped the charges. Now Sweden has dropped the charges so the UK has gone to phase two: the UK will extradite Assange to the US.

    The US plans life imprisonment or execution for Julian Assange. Remember this is the guy who brought us “Collateral Murder” and the dirt on what happened at the DNC with the sheepdogging of Bernie Sanders (a strategic miscalculation which cost the Democrats the presidency btw) as well as countless other misdeeds unreported by the MSM. Julian Assange is an activist hero and the most important journalist to work in this century.

    In what way is threat of execution if he ventures outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy not detainment?

  3. Alec, conspiracy theories like yours just don’t hold water. There is no indication of any CIA involvement, if the charges had been intended as character assassination they could have been a lot less ambiguous. If the charges were made up, surely something better than “he intentionally put a hole in his condom” could have been used. Say accusing him of using “rape drugs”.

    I strongly doubt Assange would have ben convicted in any Swedish court, but by refusing to be heard he sure has made himself look guilty, again entirely by his own choice.

    • The women continued to be close to Assange and to write him lovingly for some time after the alleged offense. The charges were clearly the state’s idea. The charge was not made up but the prosecution was arguably frivolous. Assange could not risk going into the system since once detained for trial he would have been put on a plane to Gitmo.

      • The accusation that an overenthusiastic prosecutor went ahead on a fairly weak case is reasonable, but that is best handled by trying to get a speedy trial, not by wild accusations of CIA involvement or that he would have been put on a plane to Gitmo.

        The Swedish government did cooperate with CIA on one occasion, but then they figured it would go below the radar, that no one would find out. This turned out to be wrong and it became a political scandal in Sweden. A public figure like Assange, forget it, it wasn’t going to happen.

  4. It’s hard to see how this news is a “victory” for Assange unless it means that Assange has succeeded in committing sexual assault without facing any legal penalty. If Assange leaves the embassy now, he faces an open-and-shut case against him for jumping bail. After that, there are possible charges in the United States. The Obama Administration wasn’t able to find a solution to the “New York Times problem”–namely, how to convict Assange with a crime without setting a precedent that could be used to prosecute a New York Times reporter. The Trump Administration is indicating that it won’t let that stop them.

    • Assange was never accused of committing sexual assault. He was accused of slipping off the condom in the middle of the sex act without getting partner permission, which would not be prosecutable in most countries however objectionable it might be.

      • Assange was accused of four offenses. Assange appealed in both Sweden and the UK, and courts ruled that all four of the alleged offenses are violations of the laws of both countries.

        You claim that Assange was not accused of committing sexual assault. To defend this claim, you would have to make the case than none of the four offenses qualified as sexual assault. But you only mention one of the four offenses (specifically, number 2).

        Furthermore, offense 2 is sexual assault under British law. You claim, without evidence, that offense 2 would not be prosecutable in most countries, but even if that’s true I don’t seen the relevance.

  5. The courts were bought in both countries. As Professor Cole points out, the whole scenario was a stitch-up. US government officials openly threatened Wikileaks and Assange from early 2010 (the release of Collatoral Damage):

    On the first day the cables were published, Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State stated, “This disclosure is not just an attack on America – it’s an attack on the international community.” Sarah Palin responded by stating that Assange had “blood on his hands” and asked the rhetorical question, “Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”

    The Espionage Act of 1917 is a very serious and broad statute, conviction under which bears dire consequences:

    To convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies. This was punishable by death or by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or both.

    Under the Espionage Act, the Rosenbergs were executed in 1953.

    Anna Ardin has CIA ties, USAID financial ties and published a seven step guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends. One (female) Swedish prosecutor dismissed the complaints as non-actionable before being bumped off the case.

    [when] the police declared that Assange was to be arrested and questioned about possible rape and molestation. Wilen became so distraught at this that she refused to give any more testimony or sign what had been taken down.

    That same night, a prosecutor issued a warrant for Assange’s arrest. The prosecutor’s office did not contact Assange. Instead, within hours, it leaked to the tabloid newspaper Expressen the statements made by the two women. The newspaper’s front page read: “Assange hunted for rape in Sweden.”

    This was just the first evidence of high-level collusion, involving the police, the prosecutor’s office and the media, to destroy Assange’s reputation.

    Within 24 hours of the arrest warrant, there was a further twist. A more senior prosecutor dismissed the rape allegations, leaving only the lesser accusation of molestation. Assange voluntarily went to the police on August 30 and made a statement. During the interview he expressed his fears that whatever he said would end up in the Expressen. The interviewing police officer said: “I’m not going to leak anything.” The interview was nevertheless leaked.

    Assange was still not charged with any offence—a fact that remains to this day. Instead, he was assured by the prosecutor that he was free to leave the country while an inquiry continued, an assurance that was later dramatically reversed.

    When Ardin couldn’t manipulate Sofia Wilen into pressing any kind of charges (“I only wanted him to take an STD test”), Ardin was forced to invent some of her own:

    Ardin then made up her own story of sexual assault. As so many friends knew she was having sex with Assange, she could not claim non-consensual sex. So she manufactured her story to fit in with Wilen’s concerns by alleging the affair of the torn condom. But the torn condom she produced has no trace of Assange on it. It is impossible to wear a condom and not leave a DNA trace.

    Ms. Ardin deleted many tweets which directly contradicted her police testimony and hid her weblog.

    The detailed record doesn’t look like sexual assault to me, Kenneth Almquist. It looks more like two women quarreling over bed privileges. Or like a conspiracy with Anna Ardin acting as the instigator and honeypot.

    For the folks who run Operation Gladio, setting up a left wing honeypot and manufactured rape charges is kid gloves treatment. Compromising and capturing Assange would be certainly worth compromising a medium value asset, n’est ce pas Kenneth? If first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

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