Free Assange Now campaign – January 18, 2012, 11:30 p.m.: Important action! Did you write a letter to Marianne Ny’s top boss asking him for clarification over the many irregularities observed in Assange’s case? Here’s a model for you, that you can adapt by at least putting your name and country, then send it by post and/or e-mail:
Dear Anders Perklev,
The extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden under the European Arrest Warrant is currently before the UK Supreme Court, who will decide whether to hear his appeal on the grounds it has not been issued by a proper judicial authority. Mr Assange’s case has drawn international attention and left many ordinary European citizens questioning what safeguards and protections there are in the EAW scheme for people facing police investigation in Europe. In view of this, could you please provide some clarity for non-Swedish citizens on some aspects of Swedish judicial procedure for which you as Prosecutor General have overall responsibility.
On 6 December 2011 the Swedish Prosecution Authority issued a statement pointing out that Sweden decided to make ALL public prosecutors “judicial authorities” for the purposes of issuing EAWs under the Framework Directive. This is not something that was anticipated by British Parliamentarians when drafting the UK Extradition Act 2003 (Hansard), who felt strongly that such warrants should only be issued by a court. May I ask why you felt it necessary to issue such a statement on that date?
Mr Assange’s name was leaked to the press, apparently by the Stockholm Prosecution Service, which is illegal under Sweden’s privacy laws. Can you outline – for an international audience – what steps were taken to investigate this and a summary of the findings. How were those responsible dealt with?
Can you publish some statistics on how often a Swedish public prosecutor nominates themselves as the chief investigator in a case? The Swedish Prosecution Authority English website says: “In the case of less serious crimes, the police continue to lead the preliminary investigation.” As the strongest allegation against Mr Assange is described on the Prosecution Authority’s own website as “less serious crime”, it is not clear why Marianne Ny is involved in the case as chief investigator at this stage.
Mutual Legal Assistance is ordinarily used to interrogate people in foreign jurisdictions. However, Marianne Ny stated that British and Swedish law prevented her from questioning Julian Assange in London, which was untrue. Her statement was later redacted. What disciplinary measures are available to you as Prosecutor General when a senior public prosecutor misleads the public in this way?
Can you please outline – if only in general terms – on what basis this case was re-opened on 1 September 2010 after Eva Finne, a senior prosecutor you appointed to review it, cancelled the original arrest warrant – “I consider that there are no grounds for suspecting that he has committed rape.” – leaving only one instance of alleged molestation still to be investigated? From reading the leaked police protocol on the internet – as millions of people across Europe have – there seems to be only one item of new evidence which might have appeared between Eva Finne’s decision on 25 August 2010 and the re-opening of the case, a torn used condom. However, the forensic analysis of 25 October 2010 included in the prosecution protocol does not support any offences related to this item being included on the face of the EAW issued by Marianne Ny on 18 November 2010. To put it plainly, no DNA could be found on this condom.
This would appear not to meet the Prosecution Authority’s Objectivity Demand (on your website):
“Forensic evidence must, of course, be gathered and investigated in a correct and secure manner. The prosecutor must also be objective when he or she initiates a prosecution. During the course of the trial it is admittedly the prosecutor’s task to prove that a crime has been committed, but the prosecutor is obliged to give due consideration to anything that could change the situation with respect to evidence.”
Again, please outline – for an international audience – whether this is a disciplinary matter and, if so, what disciplinary measures are available to you as Prosecutor General.
I am particularly concerned that Mutual Legal Assistance has not been used in this case. Under Sweden’s Code of Judicial Procedure “the investigation should be conducted so that no person is unnecessarily exposed to suspicion, or put to unnecessary cost or inconvenience.” (Chapter 23, Section 4) and there is no doubt that a great deal of both Swedish and British taxpayers’ money has been wasted arguing this extradition in court when much simpler methods could have been used to question Julian Assange. Can you please explain the mechanisms by which Britain is reimbursed its costs in representing the Swedish Prosecution Authority in the UK courts? Likewise, what avenues are available to Mr Assange to seek recompense for his substantial personal legal costs in challenging this abuse of the European Arrest Warrant process?