Ecuador Notifies Sweden
Press release: Assange Legal Team Statement on Ecuador’s accouncement today
11 August 2016 [09:00 CET] Julian Assange’s defence team welcomes the fact that steps are finally underway to take Mr. Assange’s statement, a request that Mr. Assange has asked of the Swedish prosecution since August 2010.
Ecuador announced today that it has formally notified Sweden’s government of the next steps Sweden should make to take the statement in the embassy as the Swedish prosecutor has refused to accept a statement by video conference, affidavit or other standard means.
The announcement comes after six years of complete inaction on the part of the Swedish prosecutor. The prosecutor’s arbitrary conduct was found to be unlawful by the United Nations earlier this year, and the prosecutor’s refusal to take Mr. Assange’s statement was also found to be unlawful by Sweden’s higher courts in November 2014 and May 2015.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated in its Feb 5 2016 finding: "Mr. Assange has been denied the opportunity to provide a statement, which is a fundamental aspect of the audi alteram partem principle, the access to exculpatory evidence, and thus the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations."
Ecuador communicated its willingness to make arrangements for Mr. Assange’s statement to be taken on 25 July 2012, seven days after Mr. Assange first entered the Embassy of Ecuador in London (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CMM7mUl...). He received political asylum in relation to US efforts to prosecute him over WikiLeaks publications in August 2012.
Since February 2016, the prosecutor has openly defied the authority of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which mandated Mr. Assange’s immediate release and compensation. On 9 August 2016, Mr. Assange lodged an appeal to Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden to enforce the UN findings.
Mr. Assange has never been charged, and this same case was previously closed on 25 August 2010 after finding that Mr. Assange had committed "no crime whatsoever".
The prosecutor’s unlawful conduct have caused irreparable harm to his health, his due process rights and his family life.
The coordinator of Mr. Assange’s legal team, Mr. Baltasar Garzón, said: "The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Mr. Assange’s case is blighted by procedural violations and conditions amounting to torture and that Sweden is in breach of its international obligations including under Article 7 of the ICCPR."
The authorities of Ecuador and Sweden are informed of the harm caused to Mr. Assange due to the Swedish prosecutor’s continuing unlawful conduct. The serious and ongoing violations caused to Mr. Assange’s by his arbitrary detention are under investigation by several United Nations special procedures mechanisms.