It writes former prosecutor Rolf Gren Hill.
The case of Julian Assange
Julian Assange and Marianne Ny Photo: Frank Augstein / AP, Fredrik Sandberg / TT (File 2016)
Julian Assange is since 2010 on suspicion of rape in Sweden, and he has since been arrested in his absence. He was arrested in London in December 2010. Since then, he unsuccessfully appealed the request for extradition to Sweden, he succeeded in June 2012 to take refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London. In August the same year he was granted political asylum in Ecuador. The chief prosecutor Marianne Ny, who is the investigator in the case, should then have realized that the possibility of Assange to Sweden should have ceased when he refuses to leave the embassy.
This is an argumentative text with the aim of influencing. The views expressed are the author's own.
The thing is that the case is an obvious case of depreciation written back in 2010 by an experienced prosecutor and then it would have stayed if not Marianne Ny in September the same year decided to reopen the investigation.
Marianne Ny has however constantly stubbornly claimed that Assange questioned in Sweden in 2010 need to be heard further and that interrogation must take place in Sweden. But in May 2015 she changed her mind and requested permission from Ecuador to interrogate Assange at the embassy. The reason for this turnaround is that she otherwise risked detention order could be lifted by the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court because of the passivity she has shown in the case.
After some administrative hassle from Ecuador's interrogation could finally be held in November 2016 in Ecuador's embassy in London. It would have been reasonable that the prosecutor had then taken a decision within a few days. She has three options to choose from and one of them should have been already in 2010. The options are that the investigation is closed with one of the following reasons: The suspect has left the country and is not expected to return. Reason does not occur to the assumption that the crime committed. Crime can not be substantiated.
Then there is a fourth option. The prosecutor was against his better judgment and common professional ethics to argue that the investigation must continue. The result of such a decision would be that Assange will remain at the embassy until 2020 when the crime barred. The several years ongoing legal scandal would then continue for another three years.
It is completely incomprehensible that the prosecutor has not yet taken a decision on the hearing held in London. In the Prosecutor General's web site is a note dated January 5, 2017 announcing that a " report of the hearing " has been handed over from Ecuador. It is also stated that the report includes several hundred pages and that the translation work is expected to take several weeks. To a report from an unnecessary questioning can be so extensive seems extremely odd. One need not be conspiratorially laid for suspecting that the prosecution wants to give the impression that she is facing a difficult decision. But such is not the case.
Let's play with these thoughts.
Since Assange was arrested in London in 2010, he was extradited to Sweden. Swedish court tried the detention order and decided that it would remain. Furthermore, the Court decided that the prosecutor had one week in which to prosecute. Since the prosecutor questioned Assange, she decided after two days to close the investigation and cancel the arrest warrant. Alternatively: The prosecutor brought charges and the main hearing was held a week later, after which the court the same day or any later dismissed the indictment and lifted the arrest of Assange in finding that the prosecution had not been proved. Some additional options has never been as lacking evidence.
The comparison between what would have happened if the case followed the normal routines and processed in accordance with applicable rules of detention and the situation rather crude since 2010 is undoubtedly of great interest. It is true that Assange himself who caused that he ended up in a situation in practice is significantly worse than if he is prosecuted in Sweden and you can think what you want about Assange as a person and his actions. But it is essential in this context is that he does not have any obligation to participate in the investigation. The prosecutor does have a duty to pursue the investigation as expeditiously as circumstances permit. No one will be able to claim that it has done so.
The handling of the investigation is so poorly managed that it is difficult to free oneself from the thought - albeit bizarre - that the prosecutor decided to make a substantial contribution to the collection that already exist in Swedish legal scandals. For it can not be that bad that a prosecutor may be incompetent?
Equally difficult is it to understand why even the Prosecutor General acquiesced over the years - especially since the investigation brought international attention and attracted ridicule Sweden and the Swedish judiciary.
Rolf Gren Hill former prosecutor: