I think we all have a bit of suspicion regarding the alleged charges against Julian Assange. I think we all have a bit of suspicion regarding the actions of the UK government and its desire to arrest him.
But having read this piece in Republik, the whole situation is even worse that you can imagine.
To give some highlights.
We were told that Assange was wanted by Swedish police because he had been accused of rape – This never happened. He was never accused of rape. “The woman’s testimony was later changed by the Stockholm police without her involvement in order to somehow make it sound like a possible rape. “
We were told that Assange was on the run from Swedish police. In fact he had appeared in a Swedish police station of the 30th of August 2010.
We were told that extradition to the US was an excuse to avoid the rape investigation. In fact “during the nearly seven years in which Assange lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy, they made over 30 offers to arrange for Assange to visit Sweden – in exchange for a guarantee that he would not be extradited to the U.S. The Swedes declined to provide such a guarantee by arguing that the U.S. had not made a formal request for extradition.”
Swedish officials could have questioned Assange via video link in order to investigate the rape allegations except they declined.
We were told that this was a Swedish issue, that the UK authorities were obligated to extradite Assange to Sweden if they arrested him. Except “When the Swedes told the UK that they may be forced to abandon the case, the British wrote back, worriedly: «Don’t you dare get cold feet!!»”
“the British, or more specifically the Crown Prosecution Service, wanted to prevent Sweden from abandoning the case at all costs. Though really, the English should have been happy that they would no longer have to spend millions in taxpayer money to keep the Ecuadorian Embassy under constant surveillance to prevent Assange’s escape.”
“Why were the British so eager to prevent the Swedes from closing the case?“
“We have to stop believing that there was really an interest in leading an investigation into a sexual offense….Assange made it clear that countries are no longer interested today in legitimate confidentiality, but in the suppression of important information about corruption and crimes. Take the archetypal Wikileaks case from the leaks supplied by Chelsea Manning: The so-called «Collateral Murder» video. As a long-time legal adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross and delegate in war zones, I can tell you: The video undoubtedly documents a war crime.”
Assange will not receive a fair trial in the USA because “Assange will receive a trial-by-jury in Alexandria, Virginia – the notorious «Espionage Court» where the U.S. tries all national security cases. The choice of location is not by coincidence, because the jury members must be chosen in proportion to the local population, and 85 percent of Alexandria residents work in the national security community – at the CIA, the NSA, the Defense Department and the State Department. “
With regards to Assange imprisonment in the UK
“In the UK, violations of bail conditions are generally only punished with monetary fines or, at most, a couple of days behind bars. But Assange was given 50 weeks in a maximum-security prison without the ability to prepare his own defense”
Assange’s Ecuadorian passport was revoked without any legal proceedings.
With regards to Assange’s bail hearing after he was removed from the Ecudorian embassy
“Assange only had 15 minutes to prepare with his lawyer. The trial itself also lasted just 15 minutes. Assange’s lawyer plopped a thick file down on the table and made a formal objection to one of the judges for conflict of interest because her husband had been the subject of Wikileaks exposures in 35 instances. But the lead judge brushed aside the concerns without examining them further. “