I take back what I wrote about Madame Ny. She is the Swedish prosecutor who originally filed for Julian Assange’s extradition from Britain on a disputed and possibly trumped-up sex-crime charge four or five years ago, leading him to seek asylum in the London Ecuadorean Embassy for fear of being re-extradited to the USA on more serious ‘national security’ charges arising out of Wikileaks’s whistle-blowing activities. (See https://bernardjporter.com/2015/01/09/julian-assange-and-the-european-arrest-warrant/; https://bernardjporter.com/2016/09/07/assange-pops-up-again/; and a number of other past entries – keyword search ‘Assange’.) Or at least, some of what I wrote about Marianne Ny. She still seems to me to be a pretty appalling zealot (evidence is in those earlier posts), and her obstinate refusal to fly over to interview Assange in London – which would have hopefully resolved the whole question of his alleged sex crime – has, Kajsa tells me, been roundly condemned in Sweden too.
But, in her favour, it now appears that she was not responsible for the case going on as ridiculously long as it has. According to today’s Guardian, Ny offered to drop the extradition request as early as October 2013. ‘There is a demand in Swedish law for coercive measures to be proportionate,’ she informed London then, very reasonably – and creditably for the Swedish legal system, which I have criticized in the past. ‘The time passing, the costs and how severe the crime is to be taken into account together with the intrusion or detriment to the suspect. Against this background, we have found us to be obliged to lift the detention order … and to withdraw the European arrest warrant. If so this should be done in a couple of weeks.’ That should have enabled Assange to be released from his comfortable captivity. But it didn’t, because the British Crown Prosecution Service stepped in to turn her offer down: ‘Don’t you dare get cold feet!’ (See https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/feb/11/sweden-tried-to-drop-assange-extradition-in-2013-cps-emails-show.) So it was the British government’s doing after all. Extraordinary. But I might have known.
I can only guess at our government’s motive; but it might be because it wants Assange locked away – in the embassy, or, better still, in an American jail – too. Or, alternatively, it may be because the Foreign Office didn’t want another very public battle with the USA over what could be seen as a ‘political’ extradition, after other recent ones involving ‘hackers’, and at a time when May is desperate for a trade deal with Trump. In any case, it’s ‘our’ fault, not ‘yours’, my Swedish friends. Sorry.