In a recent post I showed that Jennifer Robinson’s brief to Australian Members of Parliament from March 2011 contains 57 varieties of “truth”. It is not possible to make that many errors without trying really hard. It is obvious that she did her best to deceive the MPs.
Per E. Samuelsson, one of Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyers, is doing his best trying to follow in Jennifer Robinson’s footsteps. In an article in the Guardian 2 July 2012 he makes many false claims. It is obvious that he is trying to deceive readers. I will deal with some of the claims in the order they appear.
“Sweden routinely imposes severe restrictions on suspects held on remand.”
How relevant is this statement to the Julian Assange case? Julian Assange’s legal teams have tried to tell the world that if Julian Assange would be extradited to Sweden he would be held incommunicado. Is it true?
At the time when Per E. Samuelsson wrote the article he was well aware of the ruling in Stockholm’s Tingsrätt and that restrictions were not an option. Still he is trying to tell the world that Julian Assange would have severe restrictions if extradited to Sweden.
“Let us also not forget that Assange has not been charged with any crime”
Either Per E. Samuelsson is ignorant of Swedish law or he is trying to deceive the readers. In an essay about the Swedish Criminal Procedure Professor Wong makes it very clear when a person is regarded charged in Sweden:
Clearly, being ‘charged with a criminal offence’ cannot mean the act of prosecution according to Swedish domestic law. The concept has an autonomous meaning, and the Swedish Supreme Court has had an opportunity to examine at which stage of the criminal proceeding in Sweden, a person would be considered as being ‘charged’ according to the autonomous meaning of the ECHR. There is no doubt that – at the latest – a person will be considered ‘charged’ when he or she is suspected of crime on reasonable grounds.
Julian Assange was suspected of a crime on probable cause around 4:11 pm 20 August 2010. On 1 September 2010 he was suspected of more crimes. Both the Magistrates’ and the High Court have ruled that Julian is to be considered charged. There is no doubt that Julian Assange is regarded charged.
If Julian Assange wasn’t charged with a crime the warrant for his arrest from 18 November 2010 would be illegal. Per E. Samuelsson has not challenged the arrest warrant.
“In August 2010, Assange was interviewed by the police for the first time, then released. A month later, the prosecutor requested an additional police interrogation be held, insisting this time that it be done with Assange behind bars. She called for Assange’s arrest, issued a European arrest warrant and ordered that he be deported from the UK. Stockholm district court and the Svea court of appeal upheld her request and arrested Assange in absentia.”
Why Per E. Samuelsson makes so many false claims I don’t know. The truth is this. On 21 September the prosecutor made an agreement with Julian Assange’s lawyer that Julian should come in for an interview on 23 September. When Julian was uncontactable a new date for his interview was agreed, 28 September. At the time Julian was at liberty. Julian decided to leave Sweden on 27 September without checking with his lawyer if it was ok. He fled Sweden to avoid being interviewed.
Julian Assange had planned to appear at a seminar on 6 October and a demonstration on 9 October. On 5 October Julian Assange’s lawyer was asked to bring Julian in for an interview. The prosecutor made efforts to interview Julian from 6 of October until the 14th. Julian decided to stay away from Sweden hoping that he would avoid being interviewed. When Julian’s lawyer on 12 October said he could not get into contact with Julian he was warned that if Julian did not appear for an interview voluntarily a warrant for his arrest would be issued and then an EAW would be issued.
From the “Statement of Agreed facts and issues”:
At around the same time [October and November], the prosecutor stated that, notwithstanding the extant arrest warrant, that the Appellant was ‘not a wanted man’ and would be able to attend an interview ‘discreetly’.
On 18 November a warrant for Julian’s arrest was issued at Stockholm’s district court and on 24 November it was upheld by Svea Hovrätt, an appeals court. It is not until a valid arrest warrant exists that a prosecutor is allowed to issue an EAW. Per E Samuelsson is in his article implying that the EAW was issued first and then it was upheld by courts. He if anybody should know that is not true.
“Why couldn’t the second police interview be conducted with Assange at liberty? Assange is not a Swedish citizen. He does not reside in Sweden. His work has worldwide impact and he must be able to travel freely to accomplish this. He would happily have presented himself for interrogation and, had the case gone to trial, willingly returned to Sweden to face charges. All this could have been done while he remained at liberty. Had Sweden handled the case in this way, the issue would have been resolved a long time ago.”
The police tried to interview Julian Assange when he was at liberty. The prosecutor arranged for interviews on 23 and 28 September. Julian chose to be uncontactable. He refused to come in for interviews. Sweden has handled the case just as Per E Samuelsson wanted. The problem is not Sweden. The problem is Julian Assange. He is the one that refused to come in for an interview when he was at liberty. Now he is suffering the consequences of his actions.
After Julian Assange fled Sweden he has refused to be interviewed by setting conditions that are impossible to meet. He asked for disclosure of the complete case file before he would attend an interview. Now Julian Assange is setting another ridiculous condition. He wants guarantees that he will not be extradited from Sweden to the US before he is willing to comply with the English Supreme Court ruling well knowing that the Swedish government cannot make such guarantees.
Per E. Samuelsson is trying to make the point that it is difficult for him to prepare Julian Assange’s defence if Julian Assange is in a Swedish prison. If that is the case it is very easy for Per E. Samuelsson to fly over to London and spend some time with Julian at the Ecuadorian Embassy and to prepare a defence. If Per E. Samuelsson honestly believes it is difficult for him to prepare a defence for Julian Assange he should resign. He is not fit to be a defence lawyer.
Jennifer Robinson’s brief to the Australian Members of Parliament is 4 426 words. Per E Samuelsson’s article is just 700. Jennifer Robinson managed to put in 57 varieties of truth in her brief. Per E Samuelsson did not come up to that number.
Why is it that Julian Assange’s defence lawyers have to lie about circumstances and misrepresent facts? Do they think it is a good defence? Or is it that they know if they would tell the truth Julian Assange would be convicted of sex crimes? I don’t know. I only know:
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important matters.”