Extradition to Sweden may be the least bad outcome of the recent Assange seizure and arrest: (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/12/give-priority-to-julian-assange-claim-home-secretary-urged). It would get the British government off the hook. If it gives priority to the Swedish extradition request over the American, as these MPs are requesting, it will avoid a much more politically sensitive row involving free speech, whistleblowing, the rights of journalists, the quality of US justice, and – ultimately – Trump. It will also give the Home Secretary credit among the ‘Me Too’ sisterhood for prioritising (alleged) sex crimes against women over matters of national security. At one bound, Javid will be free!
I’m not sure, however, whether it would be so welcome to the Swedes. I’ve written about their rôle in this affair in previous blogs. (Search ‘Assange’.) It is curious – to say the least – in many ways. It’s my suspicion that the Swedish legal establishment, and possibly the government, were not too upset at the collapse of their case six years ago. It was, after all, largely their fault. If Assange had been tried in Sweden then it would have thrown a searchlight on the whole dodgy process, and even on some of the deficiencies of the Swedish legal system. (I wrote about these too.) For Assange it would offer him a chance to plead his innocence, in the full glare of international publicity; and even if he were convicted the worst that could befall him would be a few months in a very comfortable Swedish prison. (I’ve visited one; better than some hotels I’ve stayed in.)
If, that is, he were not then extradited from Sweden to the United States; which would then involve Sweden in the same political controversy that Britain is threatened with currently. The Swedish authorities might not want that. Will they take on this poisoned chalice? – As a Swedish-Brit now, I’ll be following this closely.