The Swedish version of the Freedom of Information Act, Offentlighets och sekretesslagen, is a law for openness and transparency. It guarantees ordinary people the right to see government documents so people can be well informed and check what is going on.
In the Assange case all the documents released from the police are lawfully released under the “Offentlighets och sekretesslagen”. There are no leaks from the police. The only confirmed leak is the Detention Memorandum (Häktningspromemoria) that was leaked by Julian Assange’s lawyers. Even though the first page states “Please notice that the documents are legally privileged information for Mr Julian Assange and nobody else” it did not stop the English legal team from leaking the documents to the public.
Since some people are convinced that there is foul play involved in the Assange case numerous requests under the Offentlighets och sekretesslagen have been made. The latest released documents are the contacts between the prosecutor Marianne Ny and Julian Assange’s lawyer Björn Hurtig. The documents does not indicate any foul play. On the contrary, it indicates that Julian Assange is not telling the truth.
Julian Assange and his lawyers claim that they have proposed many dates for interviews. Proposals that all have been declined by the prosecutors. In an e-mail to Julian Assange’s lawyer, Björn Hurtig, on 15 November the prosecutor clearly points out that no proposals for interviews after 21 September have been declined.
“Regarding the dates suggested we have said that we would like to see the it happen earlier but we have not said no to any proposed times. We have been prepared but as far as I understand from the frequent contacts between you on the one hand, and me and Erika Lejnefors on the other, you have not been able to confirm that Assange would come in for an interview. It has also been shown time after time that he did not come in the dates that have been mentioned.”
What we now know about the proposed interviews
With the latest documents we can make a much better time line of events from early September until 18 November when a warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest was issued at Stockholm’s Tingsrätt.
On 8 and 15 September Björn Hurtig talked to Marianne Ny. On both of these occasions Björn Hurtig asked for Julian Assange to be interviewed. The response was to the effect “not right now”. One can say that these “offers” were declined. The reason given on the 15th was that one police officer was sick. There was no indication at this time that Julian Assange was not going to be interviewed.
When the prosecutor was finished with the interviews of witnesses on 20 September she made immediate efforts to interview Julian Assange. She contacted Björn Hurtig on 21 September and made an appointment for an interview on the 23rd. Julian Assange was uncontactable and a new agreement was made for an interview for the 28th. Julian Assange was still uncontactable. On 27 September he left Sweden for Berlin.
Since the prosecutor knew Julian Assange was scheduled for a seminar on 6 October she sent a text message to Björn Hurtig on 5 October and asked for an interview 4:30 pm on 6 October. Julian Assange did not appear for the seminar and the interview had to be canceled.
At this time the prosecutor made several attempts to arrange for interviews since it was believed that Julian Assange was in Sweden for the seminar and a demonstration. All these efforts were in vain since Julian Assange refused to return to Sweden. Finally it was agreed that Julian Assange should come in for an interview on 14 October.
On 12 October Björn Hurtig contacted Marianne Ny and told her that Julian Assange was again uncontactable. He was then informed that she would get a warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest and issue an Interpol Red Notice if Julian Assange did not come in for an interview voluntarily.
The documents reveal more details that are not well known yet. Already on 9 November 2010 Björn Hurtig was informed that the prosecutor planned to get an arrest warrant for Julian Assange. That is the reason Björn Hurtig sent the prosecutor an e-mail on 15 November 11:37 am asking for among other things the complete case files in a language Julian Assange understands. This request was again denied with reference to 23 kap 18 § 1 st Rättegångsbalken. Disclosure of the full case file would be detrimental to the investigation.
From the released documents it is evident that Julian Assange has avoided interviews on many occasions. It looks like Julian left Sweden to avoid being interviewed as Judge Riddle concluded.
It is also evident that the prosecutor has not declined any proposals for interviews after 21 September contrary to Assange’s legal team’s claims.
Why Julian Assange for so long has been trying to deceive people of what really happened in the autumn of 2010 I don’t know. He if anybody should know that people will find out the truth sooner or later. It is funny that Sweden’s version of transparency and openness, Offentlighets och sekretesslagen, shows that Julian Assange is having serious problems with the truth.