Justice4Assange.com responds to the harmful inaccuracies of @SandraEckersley:
1. Eckersley says "Sweden has never turned down an extradition request from the USA" is a myth
Justice4Assange: No one has argued that Sweden has never turned down an extradition to the US, but that it has not turned down any extradition request since 2000.
2. Eckersley says "Red Notices are unusual for sexual crimes" and "Gadaffi only got an Orange notice but Assange got a red" is a myth
Justice4Assange: Mr. Assange's lawyers in Sweden have said that it is highly unusual for a red notice to be issued for allegations of this nature and in these circumstances. (For example http://www.dagensjuridik.se/2012/06/horsagen-som-stodbevisning-i-sexualbrottmal-accepteras-inte-i-manga-andra-rattssystem) Red notices are for persons who are absconding or who are not collaborating with an investigation and are in a different country. Assange was not absconding. For example, he was delivering speeches at the UN in Geneva, and to the European Parliament in Brussels while the investigation was ongoing. Via his lawyers, he was offering to be questioned throughout. He was fully cooperative with the Swedish investigation. This is why the red notice is so unusual and disproportionate.
3. Eckersley says "Mr Assange is under house arrest" is a myth
Justice4Assange: Assange could leave the house during certain hours of the day. Technically, he had a curfew. In common parlance however, if you are deprived of your liberty and you are confined to your house certain hours of the day, you are under house arrest.
4. Eckersley says "Mr Assange has admitted X via his defence lawyer in court" is a myth
Justice4Assange: This point is accurate, Assange has not given his version of events at any point. Eckersley wrongly refers to the skeleton argument (which Eckersley links to) as a transcript, even thought it says skeleton argument on the front page.
5. Eckersley says this is untrue: "Stating that Mr Assange has not been charged implies that criminal proceedings have not begun"
Justice4Assange.com: No, stating Mr. Assange hasn't been changed implies that he does not have the rights of a defendant because of this. He has not been given any information about the allegations against him, only what was presented by the Swedish prosecutor to the UK SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) detailing what he is suspected for in Sweden. They have, for example, refused to provide any information in English (only information hat has been translated for the UK authorities). The Supreme Court of the UK has stated that he has not been charged (http://www.slideshare.net/swedenversusassange/120612-appellants-application-to-re-open-judgment-12612). Also, Eckersley is equating an investigation with criminal proceedings.
Furthermore Eckersley says that, under the peculiar terms of Swedish procecure, a prosecution against Mr. Assange has already been initiated, and that he "faces charges immediately upon his return to Sweden." Whether Eckersley is correct on this point is best explained by the Swedish prosecution Authorities themselves:
"We have only heard one side [of the story], not Julian Assange’s version about what happened. It’s far too early to determine whether he will be charged." - Swedish Prosecutor Marianne Ny, 5 December 2010 (3 days after EAW was issued)"http://svt.se/2.22620/1.2257815/assange_radd_for_utlamning&queryArt527895=assange&sortOrder527895=1&doneSearch=true&sd=47225&from=siteSearch&pageArt527895=11
"there is no charge in the sense that the criminal investigation is still going on and the prosecutor has not yet decided whether to prosecute or not." - Head of the Legal Department, Swedish Prosecution Authority, 17 December 2010 (15 days after the EAW was issued)
6. Eckersley says "Mr Assange is only wanted for questioning" is a myth
Eckersley also says: Questioning is not a valid reason for extradition. But the Swedish authorities have not issued any warrants for Mr Assange for just questioning. The High Court made this very clear: "It was common ground that extradition is not permitted for investigation or gathering evidence or questioning" You can't get much clearer than that: the prosecution stated quite openly that if they wanted Mr Assange for questioning, then they shouldn't be given him.
Justice4Assange.com: Whether or not he is wanted for questioning is for the Swedish prosecution to say. The Swedish prosecution authority stated to the press, after the EAW was issued, that he is wanted for questioning and they did not know the they would indict him (see statements by the Swedish prosecution under point 5). That the UK court didn't take these statements to the press into consideration is a different matter.
7. Eckersley says this is a myth: "It wouldn't be classed as rape in the UK"
Justice4assange.com: Expert opinion by professor of English Law at the University of Oxford Andrew Ashworth analysed the classification and intent of the conduct alleged in English law. He considered: Double criminality - whether the offences described in the warrant would also be offences under English Law. The prosecution’s argument that it is possible to infer Julian Assange’s criminal intent (mens rea) from the complainants’ statements.And came to the conclusion that it would not be classed as rape in the UK. You can access his opinion, submitted to court, here: http://www.fsilaw.com/cms/documents/ExpertOpinionofProfessorAndrewAshworthCBEQCHonDCLFBA.pdf
Eckersley's original post, which is mired in inaccuracy, can be found here: http://amiobjective.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/assange-case-common-misconceptions.html
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