Assange pops up again

There will be a piece on the Julian Assange affair in tomorrow’s Guardian.* (Remember him?) This follows a press conference given today in Gothenberg by his Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, against whom the Swedish press seems at last to be turning, if Kajsa’s account of a highly critical Swedish TV documentary aired tonight is typical. I’ve written about this before: https://bernardjporter.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/assange-again/.

In my opinion it’s a deeply scandalous affair, reflecting very badly indeed on Madame Ny and even on Sweden. (Which is – if Migrationsverket is reading this: remember I’m applying for citizenship – a terrific country in every other way.) Ny has still apparently made no effort to interview Assange in England, after 18 months of being urged to by a UN Commission and a Swedish court, leaving Assange still incarcerated for – is it five? – years in the Ecuadorian Embassy, to the considerable detriment of his health. Assange is happy to be tried in Sweden on the sex charges he is accused of, so long as he gets a promise that Sweden won’t extradite him from there to the USA. That is surely reasonable. He maintains that he’s innocent, and from the mountain of evidence I’ve looked through I can’t believe that his case, if it came to court, wouldn’t be immediately and indeed scornfully thrown out.

Swedish friends of mine are puzzled by Ny’s behaviour. She is of course a pretty extreme feminist (she thinks any man simply accused of rape should be imprisoned before trial). Conspiracy theorists suspect that the US government has something to do with it. They may be right on this. My theory, however, is that she and the Swedish judicial establishment don’t want the case to come to trial, for fear it will show up the grotesqueries of the Swedish legal system, to the ridicule of the whole world.

In the meantime the accusations against Assange have fulfilled one of their purposes, which is to smear him and by extension Wikileaks by association with sex crimes, which certainly had a negative effect in gender-sensitive Sweden. If it was the CIA that set him up in the first place – another conspiratorial explanation, for which again there is some circumstantial evidence – they certainly knew what they were doing.

PS (next day): the Guardian piece was very tiny: 3 inches at the bottom of p. 26.

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