Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy, and has been awarded asylum by his hosts, but apparently has no way of escaping the UK. The British government has threatened on extremely dodgy legal grounds to enter the Embassy to arrest him, in defiance of diplomatic convention and international law.
These are the points that leaped out for me. Perhaps others remember these details; I was not aware of them.
The first prosecutor who dealt with the case, Eva Finne, decided to drop the case, and it was reopened by Marianne Ny at the request of the claimant’s lawyer. This does not necessarily mean Assange is innocent of the charges made against him, but it does suggest that they were not completely compelling.
The first Swedish prosecutor broke Swedish law by making the case public.
- … confirmation of the identity of a suspect to the media, is in my view, complete against proper procedure and in violation of the Swedish law and rules regarding preliminary investigations. In accordance with Swedish secrecy and confidentiality laws, confidentiality applies to everything that occurs during a preliminary investigation… the prosecutor has not been disciplined.
The second prosecutor had nearly three weeks during which she could have interviewed Assange in Sweden, but declined to do so.
- … Prosecutor Ny declined the opportunity to interview Mr Assange after she took over the case on 1 September 2010, despite the fact that he remained in Sweden until 27 September 2010…
Best practice, says Alheim, would have been to interview Assange immediately while his memory of events was fresh. But best practice was ignored.
Finally, even after Assange had left Sweden, Ny did not have to immediately resort to a European arrest warrant to interview Assange, but could have made a request via a procedure called Mutual Legal Assistance. That she resorted immediately to seeking Assange’s arrest and extradition without first exhausting other options is, in Alheim’s opinion, a breach of the principle of proportionality.