Assange files case to dismiss Swedish warrant
Outcome Appeal to Sweden’s Supreme Court (May 2015)
On 11 May 2015 the Supreme Court of Sweden issued a split decision in relation to Julian Assange’s appeal in the detention matter. Judge Svante O. Johansson wrote the dissenting opinion finding in favour of Julian Assange arguing that the actual harm and intrusion outweighed the reasons for a continued detention. The majority argued that Julian Assange should continue to be detained in absentia without charge and that the fact that the preliminary investigation had been frozen for over four years could be disregarded because the prosecutor decided on March 13, 2015 that she would accept questioning Mr. Assange in the embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has asylum. Sweden’s Court of Appeal had rebuked the prosecutor in November 2014 for breaching her duty to progress the preliminary investigation.
Statement by Julian Assange upon hearing the expiry of 3 allegations 13 August 2015
I am extremely disappointed. There was no need for any of this. I am an innocent man. I haven’t even been charged. From the beginning I offered a simple solution. Come to the embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States. This Swedish official refused both. She even refused a written statement. Now she has managed to avoid hearing my side of the story entirely. This is beyond incompetence. I am strong but the cost to my family is unacceptable. Even though I have been improperly treated, I would like to thank the many people in Sweden and the UK who have been very understanding of the wrong which has been done to me and my family.
GAVIN MACFADYEN and SUSAN BENN, Julian Assange Defence Committee
"This is a severe disappointment. Assange has never been charged in Sweden or the UK. The US Department of Justice is trying to prosecute him for "espionage". This is the reason he was given asylum by Ecuador. He has been confined to the premises of Ecuador’s embassy in London, unable to see his family, because the UK and Sweden refuse him safe passage to Ecuador. This collapse of part of the Swedish preliminary investigation in no way allows him to leave the embassy of Ecuador. He cannot leave, because of the risk of arrest by the United Kingdom on behalf of the United States. The UK has stated its intention to arrest Assange even if the Swedish preliminary investigation is completely withdrawn.
Contrary to the statement of the Swedish prosecutor today, in no way has Assange or Ecuador obstructed the progression of the Swedish preliminary investigation. Swedish authorities have for three years been offered the option of taking Assange’s statement at the embassy, and they have refused. Assange has also offered to go to Sweden if the authorities agreed not to transfer him to the United States, and they have refused. This failure has been rebuked by the highest court in Sweden. It has been condemned by 59 human rights organisations in a submission to the United Nations. While the Assange case has stagnated, 44 other people have been questioned by Swedish authorities in the UK during the same period.
In recent weeks, despite Ecuador’s requests to enter talks about the legal status of the interview, the Swedish authorities have dragged their feet and refused to discuss the matter. It is an outrage that the Swedish authorities now seek to blame Ecuador or Assange for this. By failing to take Assange’s statement at the embassy, the Swedish authorities have deprived him of the right to answer false allegations against him that have been widely circulated in the media, but for which he has not been charged. As the case expires, that deprivation is now becoming permanent, and formal resolutions to the predicament are disappearing. Therefore while a particularly shambolic episode in Swedish justice may be coming to a close, the denial of Julian Assange’s liberty continues.
Gavin MacFadyen and Susan Benn
The United Nations adjudicating body on arbitrary detention, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, is currently considering Julian Assange’s filing, and a verdict is expected imminently.
On 25 February 2015 Julian Assange filed his appeal before the Supreme Court of Sweden.
Appendices to the Swedish Supreme Court Submission
- Fair Trials International Legal Opinion
- Regarding the right to effectively access and invoke evidence in criminal proceedings in pre-trial detention
- Legal Note: Application for Urgent Preliminary Procedure
- For a Preliminary ruling on the implementation of Directive 2012/13/EU
The initial challenge was filed on 24th of June at 1pm CET, Julian Assange’s lawyers filed a request to Stockholm District Court to rescind the decision to detain him without charge.
The decision has kept him in different forms of deprivation of liberty since 7 December 2010. The legal actions will lead to the first custody hearing since his arrest.
The Julian Assange case is Sweden’s longest running pre-trial, pre-charge deprivation of liberty (the matter is formally at the ’preliminary investigation’ stage). Julian Assange is in a legal no-man’s-land: he has not been indicted so he cannot formally defend himself.
The Swedish government refuses to guarantee he will not be extradited to the United States. The Swedish prosecutor, unlike in other cases, refuses to question him in London or via video link, instead demanding that Mr. Assange give up his right to political asylum and speak to her in Sweden. The UK has encricled Mr. Assange at a cost to date of over GBP 10.000.000 (see: http://govwaste.co.uk).
Assange obtained political asylum in relation to the United States criminal investigation against WikiLeaks in 2012. The United Kingdom and Sweden have both refused to give a guarantee that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the United States for his WikiLeaks activities. Earlier this week, 59 international organizations submitted complaints about the investigation against Julian Assange to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
On 19 June 2014, 56 international free press and human rights organisations signed an open letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the investiigation against WikiLeaks: https://t.co/cbZcz2dHEE
Read Julian Assange’s sworn statement from September 2013 about his stay in Sweden: http://wikileaks.org/IMG/html/Affid...
Read the reports to the UN Human Rights Commission:
- English Submission
- Joint Submission for the 21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review of the Kingdom of Sweden
- UPR NGO Submission 3 (in Spanish)
- Pedido de mediación ante el gobierno de Suecia para la liberación del Señor Assange