Julian Assange

Why Julian Assange Rightly Fears Swedish Justice


As Reason 24/7 noted last week, Amnesty International (and Julian Assange himself) are a bit nervous about the idea of Assange leaving his asylum in Ecuador's British embassy and facing Swedish justice.

Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian today gives an example of Assange's fears happening to another Internet age accused criminal, Pirate Bay-related copyright-infringement suspect Gottfrid Svartholm, recently nabbed in Cambodia and shipped to Sweden:

One of the prime arguments I have always made about the Assange asylum case is that his particular fear of being extradited to Sweden is grounded in that country's very unusual and quite oppressive pre-trial detention powers: ones that permit the state to act with anextreme degree of secrecy and which can even prohibit the accused from any communication with the outside world…..

Svartholm is now being held under exactly the pretrial conditions that I've long argued (based on condemnations from human rights groups) prevail in Sweden:

"Gottfrid Svartholm will be kept in detention for at least two more weeks on suspicion ofhacking into a Swedish IT company connected to the country's tax authorities. According to Prosecutor Henry Olin the extended detention is needed 'to prevent him from having contact with other people.' The Pirate Bay co-founder is not allowed to have visitors and is even being denied access to newspapers and television. . . .

"Since he hasn't been charged officially in the Logica case the Pirate Bay co-founder could only be detained for a few days.

"But, after a request from Prosecutor Henry Olin this term was extended for another two weeks mid-September, and last Friday the District Court decided that Gottfrid could be detained for another two weeks.

"To prevent Gottfrid from interfering with the investigation the Prosecutor believes it's justified to detain him for more than a month without being charged….

Unlike in the British system, in which all proceedings, including extradition proceedings, relating to Assange would be publicly scrutinized and almost certainly conducted in open court, the unusual secrecy of Sweden's pre-trial judicial process, particularly the ability to hold the accused incommunicado, poses a real danger that whatever happened to Assange could be effectuated without any public notice….

Past Reason on Assange: Nick Gillespie on 10 reasons we need him, or someone like him; me on why wikiprosecutions are bad for a free press in general.

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  1. Slightly OT: That Geico commercial with Eddie Money is highly disturbing.

    Back to “Julian Assange – Just a dick, or a really, really big fucking dick?!”

    1. Being a dick: Still no crime.

    1. Which led me to this

      1. Nope still not convinced.

  2. Sweden really liked trading with Nazi Germany. No one pushed their hand(s) on that business. Just sayin’.

    1. Free trade baby!!!!

  3. I haven’t shaved in 2 weeks. It itches. But Should I get a Lemmy?

  4. It’s funny how there are so many subjects that Reason and its readers seem to different on.

    Global Warming, Julian Assange, Pussy Riot

    1. Reason readers aren’t one monolithic block.

      1. Did you mean “bloc”?

    2. I wonder how many know Assange self-identifies as “American-style libertarian” (his words), and not even fake libertarian ala Bill Maher. He like capitalism and free markets.

    3. Huh? Assange is an asshole but that doesn’t mean the issues he has with extradition are fake or that the charges against him aren’t trumped up pretences…

      1. What has Assange done to make you conclude he is an asshole? Just asking.

        1. well lying to women about STD testing and having sex with sleeping women is kinda assholish and while everyone here is suspicious about the rape charges, he’s never denied what he did. Given I don’t know the man personally, this could all be fabricated, but it doesn’t change much in the injustice being purpotrated.

          1. It could be he was advised by his lawyer to say nothing about the allegations. European law is different from US law.

            I agree that lying about STD testing to a person you want to have sex with is assholish – but I have no actual evidence any of that occured.

  5. “According to the Swedish system, when the preliminary investigation is finished, I as prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute him. […] In the Swedish system it is quite usual for people to be detained on this legal ground, and it gives me the possibility to prevent him from having contact with other people,” Olin said.

    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”

    At least Sweden doesn’t pretend to have habeus corpus rules against indefinite detention.

  6. I see no need for a trial. Since obama has declared assange an enemy of the state he can simply vaporize the guy by drone. Finished business.

    1. Mention of that never fails to enrage me. What a rotten fucking usurper Hussein I is.

      1. Hrm..if he is an enemy of the state and threat to the nation, then everyone around him is. And since the Ecuadorian embassy is what’s around him, and is an arm of their state, I assume this means that we are tacitly at war with Ecuador? Awesome.

        1. Whiterun, you magnificent bastard, did you just conjure a rationalization for invading a Latin American banana republic without seeking authorization from the Congress of the United States?

          Say, how would you feel about working for the administration, son?


          1. Well…it would be a pay cut, but I suppose everyone must make sacrifices when their country is threatened!

            Count me in, sir (as long as I never have to shake hands with the wookiee).

          2. We could take over Ecuador and turn it into an eco-tourism resort!

            Then when all the American eco-tourists are there, we wall it off, post guards around it to make sure nobody can leave, and allow it to revert to home rule.

        2. It’s not our fault if we drone bomb an Ecuadorian embassy.

          It’s the fault of the state enemies who have hidden themselves among Ecuadorian diplomats.


          1. Ecuadorians are often using innocents as human shields. We cannot give in to these terrorist tactics!! Bombs away.

  7. And things like this, obviously, will have absolutely no effect on pinko fawning over the Great, Compassionate Progressive Nations of Scandinavia that American leftists like to masturbate over.

    1. They make very modular furniture and decent automobiles and have beautiful blonde hair…basically Hitler should have been Swedish.

    2. I’m sure they feel it is a feature, not a bug.

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