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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:53 AM

Swedish envoy bashes Aussie press on Assange

Published: 26 Nov 12 12:24 CET

The criticism comes in an email from Swedish ambassador Sven-Olof Peterson to Elizabeth Farrelly in response to an April 12th column entitled "Truth of Assange is stranger than fiction" in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) ...

Wikileaks’ Twitter account published a link to more than 100 pages worth of documents on Sunday and immediately faced flack on the social media site for choosing to describe Peterson’s reaction as “going berserk” ...

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Anders Jörle downplayed the significance of the documents' release.

"We're the ones who made these documents public," he told The Local ...

http://www.thelocal.se/44660/20121126/

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Reply Swedish envoy bashes Aussie press on Assange (Original post)
struggle4progress Nov 2012 OP
Matilda Nov 2012 #1
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #2
Matilda Nov 2012 #3

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:25 PM

1. Ambassador's rage doesn't dispel facts

Rebuttal from Australian journalist Elizabeth Farrelly of the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Back story: last April I wrote a column about Julian Assange. ''It's quite clear,'' I said, ''that Assange is not guilty - not of rape, not of treason'', but it was more a logical deduction (from the definition of these things) than a claim to knowledge of the events. In particular, I wrote of my dismay at what can happen to speakers of truth, especially at the hands of those who pretend to uphold it. It made the Swedish ambassador mad. Really mad. We now know it made him, by his own admission, out-of-control mad."

(snip)

"But even if Assange were, as some say, a zionist, cultist, narcissist, misogynist or Marxist - even all of these - he'd still be entitled to a fair and open trial.

"There are genuine doubts as to whether this can happen in Sweden, and worse about the US trial. (With the imminent and sinister Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, its contents so secret they can't be disclosed for four years, we'll never exert pressure on the US.)

"Australia must therefore demand a Swedish guarantee that Assange will not be sent to America. Otherwise he, and our own rights to truth, may end up naked in a cell like poor, sweet Bradley Manning."

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/ambassadors-rage-doesnt-dispel-facts-20121128-2ae99.html


I'm with Elizabeth Farrelly. No matter what, Assange is entitled to a fair and open trial.




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Response to Matilda (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:03 PM

2. Here's Farrelly's April column on Assange:

Last edited Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:33 PM - Edit history (1)

Truth of Assange is stranger than fiction
April 12, 2012
Elizabeth Farrelly

... It's quite clear that Assange is not guilty - not of rape ... As Malcolm Turnbull, responding to Gillard's "illegal" claim ... it is prima facie clear that Assange has broken no Australian law ...

Assange has been under house arrest for 15 months. His family are in hiding and governments all over the world vilify him. A US sealed indictment could deliver decades in prison, or worse, his lawyers claim. Yet he has not been charged ...

Yet the Sweden-US bilateral extradition agreement requires neither charge nor evidence. The minute he lands in Sweden, Assange can be locked up in solitary, incommunicado, and indefinitely without charge.

Or he can be shuffled straight onto the US extradition plane and, under sealed indictment, into the secret horror of a grand jury. There will be no judge, and no defence materials. Just a jury drawn from the most militarised area of the US - Alexandria, Virginia ...


http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/truth-of-assange-is-stranger-than-fiction-20120411-1ws4o.html


For all I know, Farrelly is an entirely competent adjunct lecturer on architecture.

But there are great lacunae in her understanding of the law, which she fills by spouting various versions of Assangist nonsense. By babbling, for example,


... he can be shuffled straight onto the US extradition plane and, under sealed indictment, into the secret horror of a grand jury. There will be no judge, and no defence materials. Just a jury drawn from the most militarised area of the US ...

she shows she has not the slightest clue what a "grand jury" is -- a gross cultural ignorance that seems somewhat less justifiable, given the fact that grand juries were sometimes employed in Australia until as late as 2009, which ought to be within the memory of anyone Down Under who has been actually been paying attention. Similarly, she exhibits not the slightest familiarity with any EU extradition treaties. Moreover, sex with an unconscious woman is regarded as rape in many countries (including Sweden and the UK), and it is not at all clear that sex with an unconscious woman is legal in Australia, regardless of Farrelly's stated certainty that Assange is innocent of rape.

The bottom line, of course, is that, as a columnist, she is hired to draw readers to the pages in which she is published, tio benefit the advertisers appearing therein, which is not at all necessarily the same as being a reliable source of information

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:19 AM

3. She's made it very clear that she's not a legal expert.

She is an intelligent and educated woman who is trying to understand just what is going on. If you read her peice, she is at pains all through not to give the impression of being any kind of expert.

Her knowledge of how a grand jury works is pretty similar to my own: they are convened in secret, and the accused is not called to give evidence or mount a case for his/her defence. If that is not the case, please enlighten me, but it certainly doesn't seem to be very fair.

Ms Farrell's assertion that Assange's actions do not constitute a crime in Australia are based on a statement by Malcolm Turnbull, formerly a top lawyer and currently a member of the federal parliamentary Opposition. I don't know that he has any particular interest in the case, but is just giving his learned opinion. He was a very good lawyer and is a clever man.

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