The Julian Assange circus: why is Carl Bildt lying?

First, let me state that I am as adamantly in favour of Julian Assange being extradited to Sweden as I am opposed to him being extradited to the USA for any Wikileaks-related offense. Being a jurist, reading the press coverage and blog & twitter comments on the Julian Assange circus has proved very demanding – the amount of bad faith, ignorance and paranoia has been staggering, mostly on the part of the Assangistas, many of whom have not refrained from smearing the two female victims in the Swedish court case at heart of the matter.

I do not propose to comment all the idiotic allegations and comments made, too daunting a task, but will here turn to comments made by the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, and also on the behaviour of the Swedish prosecution service, Åklagarmyndigheten, in relation to their refusal to issue a guarantee that Julian Assange would not be extradited to the United States on any Wikileaks-related charge. Most Assangistas point to two possible solutions to the current legal, diplomatic and political conundrum: Swedish prosecutors and policemen could agree to his offer to be interrogated in London, at the Ecuadorian embassy, or the Swedish government could issue a guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to the USA.

The first solution is easy to dismiss: such an interrogation, taking place in a foreign embassy in a third country, would not be done under normal interrogation conditions. The Ecuadorian embassy, acting on instructions of a president who’s taken sides with Assange, would in effect be dictating the terms of that police interrogation. Furthermore, Julian Assange, who is a fugitive and has jumped bail on the UK court orders upholding the European Arrest Warrant, would be treated in a very favourable and discriminatory way as compared to other suspects. Finally, and more importantly, there would be no real possibility to confront him with the two victims under normal circumstances. The Swedish prosecuting service has said as much in a press communiqué:

Varför kan inte åklagaren förhöra Assange i Storbritannien?

En förklaring till åklagarens beslut att inte förhöra Assange i Storbritannien.
I ärenden där en misstänkt person befinner sig utomlands måste åklagaren överväga vilka förundersökningsåtgärder som är möjliga enligt svensk rätt och internationella instrument. Vidare måste åklagaren överväga vad som krävs i det enskilda fallet för att utredningen ska kunna genomföras på ett rättssäkert och effektivt sätt utan att kvaliteten åsidosätts. Åklagaren måste också överväga hur en eventuell rättegång ska kunna genomföras, om utredningen leder till att åklagaren väcker åtal, och hur ett eventuellt straff ska kunna verkställas.
I detta ärende utmynnade åklagarens överväganden i att Julian Assange begärdes häktad för de brott han var misstänkt för. Med stöd av domstolens häktningsbeslut utfärdade åklagaren en europeisk arresteringsorder.
Åklagarens bedömning är att Julian Assange av utredningsskäl behöver vara tillgänglig i Sverige under förundersökningen. Det som kan nämnas, utan att gå in på utredningsarbetet i detalj, är att det finns behov av att vid förhör med Julian Assange kunna presentera och höra honom om den bevisning som kommit fram i utredningen samt att i den fortsatta utredningen vid behov kunna genomföra kompletterande förhör med Julian Assange och andra inblandade personer.
Enligt svensk lagstiftning krävs att den åtalade är personligen närvarande vid rättegången när det gäller den här typen av brott. Om förundersökningen leder fram till att bevisningen bedöms räcka för åtal mot Julian Assange krävs hans personliga närvaro i Sverige för att en rättegång ska kunna genomföras och för att ett eventuellt straff ska kunna verkställas. Domstolens häktningsbeslut innebär att Julian Assange är häktad för att säkerställa detta.

Why can’t the prosecutor interrogate Assange in Britain?
An explanation of the prosecutor’s decision not to interrogate Assange in Britain.

In cases where a suspect is abroad, the prosecutor must consider the preliminary actions possible under Swedish law and international instruments. Furthermore, the prosecutor must consider what is required in each case for the investigation to be conducted in a legally secure and efficient manner without sacrificing overriding quality requirements. The prosecutor must also consider how a trial could be implemented, if the investigation could lead to prosecuting the suspect, and how a possible sentence would be enforced.

In this case these considerations led the prosecutor to request that Julian Assange be put in custody for the crimes he was suspected of. Based on the Court’s decision to grant that request, the prosecutor issued an European arrest warrant.

The prosecutor believes that Julian Assange needs to be available in Sweden during the preliminary investigation for the sake of the investigation. It is to be mentioned, without going into the investigation in detail, that there is a need, when interrogating Julian Assange, to present and hear him on the evidence that has come forward during the investigation and that there is also a need, if necessary, to carry out additional interviews with Julian Assange and other people involved under the further investigation.

Under Swedish law, the defendant is required to be personally present at the trial in the case of such a crime. If the inquiry leads to the conclusion that the evidence is considered sufficient for prosecution against Julian Assange, his personal presence in Sweden will be required for a trial to be carried out and for any sentence to be enforced. The Court’s arrest warrant means that Julian Assange has been arrested to secure this.

In fact, judicial policy reasons are probably decisive: allowing a fugitive to set conditions for his interrogation in spite of the courts of the requested country – the UK – having granted an European arrest warrant request would send a catastrophic signal, giving suspects around the EU a useful tip on how to evade justice. Once the extradition procedure has been launched, any other outcome would not only be a humiliating stepdown for the two court systems involved, but also a severe setback for the European arrest warrant, seen as a substantial step forward for a speedier judiciary co-operation within the EU. To sum up: prosecutors usually interrogate suspects on their premises, and there is no reason why Assange shouldn’t be treated as any other sex crime suspect in this respect.
The other solution proposed by the Assangistas is of another order altogether. Julian Assange is a well-known activist, and US authorities are widely known to want his extradition for trial for Wikileaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables. It should however be stressed that no such extradition request has been made by the US to the UK government, despite the very close diplomatic and security links between the two, the UK being the US’ closest intelligence partner. The Assangistas therefore suggest that Sweden could issue a guarantee that it would not extradite Assange to the US for any Wikileaks-related charge.
That suggestion is more difficult to dismiss. Extradition procedures are typically of a mixed nature, where courts and governments share the final decision – it is not unknown for governments to reject an extradition request in spite of court verdict allowing it. This is the case under Sweden’s law (1957:668) on extradition – its articles 1, 14 and 15 establish that an extradition request must be lodged with the Swedish justice department, the decision being taken by the government after having heard the Prosecutor general and, if the person whose extradition is sought objects to his extradition, the Supreme Court. In the last case, the government may not however overrule the Supreme Court’s judgment that an extradition would breach the law. Article 12 adds that the government may put conditions on its decision to accept an extradition request. The deciding body is thus the government, with an input by the Prosecutor general and a veto right given to the Supreme Court in case where the requested person doesn’t accept to be extradited.

Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister, has however said that he is prevented from issuing such a guarantee:

Tidigare i veckan sade utrikesminister Carl Bildt till TT att skälet till att en garanti inte kan ges är enkelt:

– Rättssystemet i Sverige är oberoende. Jag kan inte göra några uttalanden som binder rättssystemet på något sätt. Då skulle jag bryta mot den svenska grundlagen.


Earlier this week, foreign minister Carl Bildt declared to Sweden’s news agency TT that the reason why such a guarantee cannot be issued is simple:

– The Swedish court system is independent. I cannot make any declaration that bind the court system in any way. I would then be violating the Swedish constitution.

His declarations are as far as I can judge without any legal basis. As we’ve seen, Swedish extradition law clearly states that the Swedish government is the body deciding on any extradition request (with the exception of requests based on the European Arrest Warrant or the Nordic Arrest Warrant). Article 1 of that law clearly states that the government decides on extradition, and this is repeated throughout the text (articles 12, 14, 15, 17 and 21 of the law). No provision gives any court the right to decide on an extraditions request. The nearest such provision is that the government may not extradite someone for whom the Supreme Court has found that an extradition would not be in conformity with the law.

The last sentence of article 15 even says the following:

15 § Innan regeringen meddelar beslut i anledning av framställningen, skall yttrande avges av riksåklagaren. Har inte den som avses med framställningen samtyckt till att han utlämnas, skall ärendet dessutom prövas av högsta domstolen. Är det uppenbart att framställningen ej bör bifallas, skall den dock omedelbart avslås.


Before the government takes a decision on an extradition request, an opinion is to be given by the Prosecutor general. If the person whose extradition is requested does not agree to his extradition, the case is to be transmitted to the Supreme Court. If it is manifestly evident that the extradition request should not be granted, it should however be rejected immediately.

True, no formal extradition request relating to Julian Assange has been made by the US government to the Swedish government – yet. But such a request would be ultimately decided by the Swedish government, not by the courts – unless the government would wish to overrule a Supreme Court decision that an extradition of Assange would be contrary to the extradition law (we can safely assume that Assange would object to his extradition to the US). If the Swedish government has no intention to grant such a hypothetical request, why not issue a guarantee anyway?

By doing so, the Swedish government would only make an advance, principled decision on a future, hypothetical US request for Assange’s extradition. The last sentence of article 15 of the law on extradition would allow for the government to immediately reject a request it would consider manifestly unfounded, proividing of course such a request was made. Nothing would prevent the Swedish government to make an advance statement to the effect that should any extradition request be made from a third country for Julian Assange and relating to the publication of confidential documents through Wikileaks, it would reject it. It could even cite article 6 of the law on extradition, which provides that extradition may not be sought for political crimes or for crimes of an overwhelmingly political nature.

If there is a general principle of Swedish law, or a specific provision, prohibiting an administrative body – in this case the government – from announcing in advance how it intends to decide on a specific request, I would like to know it (this is a sincere request – if better informed readers can enlighten me on this, I’d be grateful). One must furthermore note that the request in question is made by a foreign government, not by an individual. That request is of a political nature and the law on extradition does in no way prohibit the Swedish government from refusing such a request whenever it so choses. On the contrary, the law aims at safeguarding the rights of the person whose extradition is sought – for instance, no extradition is allowed of a Swedish national (article 2), or for military crimes (article 5), or for political crimes (article 6), or in the case of discrimination or persecution (article 7), or if an extradition would be inhumane (article 8) or if the person’s right to a fair trial haven’t been guaranteed (article 9). In Assange’s case, a guarantee not to extradite him to the USA would obviously be in his interest, thus being in conformity with the law’s spirit. The huge gain in working hours and litigation costs that could be saved by issuing such a guarantee to Assange’s lawyers should also be considered, not to mention the possibility for the Swedish prosecutor service to interrogate him on Swedish soil.

The real question is therefore: since there are no legal obstacles for the Swedish government to issue such  guarantee, why is it reticent to issue one? Maybe Carl Bildt has a convincing answer to that question.

The legal twists and turns of the rape charges against Julian Assange

On Friday, August 20, at 14.30, two women, Anna and Eva (not their real names) stepped into a Stockholm police station and accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange – who’s been in Sweden since  on a PR tour and possibly to establish his residence there – of rape and molestation. Rape is punishable by between 2 and 6 years’ imprisonment according to 6 kap. 1 § brottsbalken (Swedish penal code – an English translation of it is available here, but it dates from 1999) while molestation – i.e. the act of physically or otherwise molesting another person – is punishable by one year’s imprisonment according to 4 kap. 7 § of the penal code.

Here is the version of what happened, as reported by Swedish media and based on one of two women’s version – the one who was molested – as well as on police sources.

Saturday, August 14:  Anna, who lives in Enköping, a small town 78 km from Stockholm, volunteered her support to Wikileaks during their very well publicised visit to Sweden. She met Julian Assange for a late lunch in Stockholm, and went to the movies with him. They agreed to keep in touch over the phone. Later that night, Julian Assange was taken to a crayfish party . Another woman, Eva has accused him of having molested her during that party. (Expressen, August 22)

Monday, August 16: Anna and Julian Assange meet for a walk in Stockholm. They then took the train to her apartment in Enköping. They had consensual sex. (Expressen, August 22)

Tuesday, August 17: Anna claims that Julian Assange went beyond the kind of sex she had agreed to: « He went too far (« Han gick för långt« ) ». Anna said she was very clear about setting the limits to the kind of sexual contact she agreed to (Julian Assange flatly denies any non-consensual sex). After that, she sent text messages to her friends telling them about the incident (the police have reportedly verified the contents of her mobile phone). (Expressen, August 22)

Friday, August 20:  At around 14 hours, Anna & Eva, who came into contact with each other, decided to go to a police station in Stockholm to ask for advice on what happened to them, as they did not intend initially to press for criminal charges against Julian Assange. Eva accompanied Anna to support her rape allegations, as she alleged having been victim to similar behavior on the part of Julian Assange (no alleged rape in her case though, only molestation, a less serious crime). The police officer in charge thought however that they wanted to press charges and contacted the prosecutor on duty later in the evening. At 21.20, the prosecutor on duty, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, based on a phone conversation with the police officer in charge, decided to issue an arrest warrant against Julian Assange, suspected upon probable cause ot have committed the alleged rape. (Dagens Nyheter, August 22)

Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, the prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant against Julian Assange

Saturday, August 21: Having received completing information, Stockholm chief prosecutor Eva Finné quashes the arrest warrant, declaring as follows on the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s website:

– Jag anser inte att det finns anledning att misstänka att han har begått våldtäkt, säger Eva Finné.

English translation:

– I do not think there is any reason to suspect that he has committed a rape, says Eva Finné.

Eva Finné, Stockholm's chief prosecutor, who quashed the initial arrest warrant against Julian Assange.

Julian Assange still remains under investigation for the alleged molestation.

For his part, Julian Assange has denied any rape. He has given an exclusive interview to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, with which he just signed a contract to write weekly chronicles. Here are his comments on the allegations levelled against him:

Två kvinnor hävdar att du utsatt dem för sexbrott. Kommentar?

– Det går inte att kommentera det här. Det finns inga konkreta berättelser att ta ställning till.

Har du haft sex med dem?

– De är anonymiserade i media. Jag har ingen aning om vilka de är.

Har du haft sex över huvud taget under din vistelse i Sverige?

– Det är en sak som tillhör mitt och eventuellt förekommande kvinnors privatliv.

Men är det inte lika bra att du i den här situationen är så öppen som möjligt?

– Jo, men jag vill inte dra människors privatliv i smutsen utan att först ha hela situationen klar för mig. Varför vänder de sig till polisen? Vad ligger bakom?

– Det jag kan säga är att jag aldrig, vare sig i Sverige eller i något annat land, haft sex med någon på ett sätt som inte byggt på total frivillighet från båda sidor.

English translation:

Two women accuse you of having committed sex crimes on them. Any comment?
– I cannot comment this. There aren’t any detailed stories to consider.

Did you have sex with them?
– They have been anonymized in media. I have no clue of who they are.

Did you have any sex at all during your visit to Sweden?
– This is a matter which is part of my private life and that of possibly concerned women.

But isn’t it better for you to be as open as possible in this situation you’re in?
– Yes, but I don’t want to drag people’s private life into the mud without being clear about the situation. Why are they turning to the police? What’s behind this?

– All I can say is that I’ve never had sex, in Sweden or in any other country, in a way that isn’t built on total willingness from both parts.

Julian Assange further declares that he hasn’t talked either to the police or to the prosecutor service, and indicates that he plans to stay on a bit longer in Sweden than was planned earlier. Asked whether he’s walked right into a sex trap, he answers: « maybe, maybe not« , noting that he’s been warned against sex traps beforehand.

A few legal clarifications are maybe in order.

  1. Julian Assange was subjected to an arrest warrant in his absence – anhållande i hans frånvaro. Such decisions are ruled by 24 kap. rättegångsbalken (Swedish Code of judicial procedure, of which there is a 1998 English translation here). An arrest warrant may be issued either if the suspect is suspected on probable cause to have committed a crime (24 kap. 2 § Code of judicial procedure), or if he is suspected only on reasonable cause (24 kap. 3§ Code of judicial procedure). Probable cause requires of course a higher threshold of evidentiary proof against the suspect, and makes it easier for the prosecutor to request the suspect’s pre-trial detention (24 kap. 2§ as compared with 24 kap. 3§ of the Code of judicial procedure). In her decision, the prosecutor on duty indicated that Julian Assange was suspected on probable cause to have committed a rape. This was interpreted by some commentators as to indicate that substantial evidence was at hand linking Assange to the rape.
  2. His arrest warrant was quashed within less than 24 hours, by the prosecutor on duty’s superior, Stockholm chief prosecutor Eva Finné. This is in line with 24 kap. 10 § of the Code of judicial procedure: « Om det inte längre finns skäl för ett anhållningsbeslut, skall åklagaren omedelbart häva beslutet » – « When there are no longer reasons for an order for arrest, the prosecutor shall rescind the order immediately« . While the prosecutor on duty based her decision on oral information from the police, it must be presumed that the chief prosecutor had completing information – probably the police transcripts of the interviews with Anna and Eva. This was later confirmed on the website of the Swedish Prosecution Authority:

When Ms Finné became in charge of the matter on Saturday, she had more information than the first prosecutor had on Friday night. Decisions on coercive measures, like arrest, should constantly be re-evaluated during an investigation and must always be based on the actual information.

Legal analysts have been quick to comment. Sven-Erik Alhem, well known and outspoken former prosecutor, has been critical of the apparent u-turn in the prosecution authority’s stance:

Enligt den tidigare överåklagaren så är det fråga om flera brister och misstag i åklagarnas handlande som måste förklaras, inte bara inför själva anmälarna och den misstänkte eller svenska allmänheten, utan för världen.

– För det första så sker anhållandet på den starkare misstanken ”sannolika skäl”. Det berättar att misstankarna är särskilt starka. Sedan hävs beslutet några timmar senare, utan att något nytt i fallet verkar tillkommit. Det är mycket förvirrande.

– För det andra brukar ett anhållande i frånvaro inte offentliggöras. Det gagnar inte precis saken utan ger den misstänkte en chans att undkomma. Nu skedde det likväl med pukor och trumpeter. Och så blåses allt plötsligt av!

– Inte minst när en sådan här sak händer en välkänd person inför en hel värld behövs det någon sansad åklagare som träder fram och som kan redogöra och räta ut de här frågetecknen, säger Sven-Erik Alhem, som numera är ordförande i Brottsofferjourernas Riksförbund, BOJ. (Dagens Nyheter, August 22)

English translation:

According to the former regional prosecutor, the prosecutors have to explain many errors and omissions they’ve committed, not only to the plaintiffs and the suspect or the Swedish general public, but the whole world.
– Firstly, the arrest is based on the higher level of suspicion « probable cause ». This indicates that the level of suspicion is particularly high. Then you rescind the order a few hours later, without anything new being added to the case. This is all very confusing.
– Secondly, an arrest order in the absence of the suspect is generally not made public. It is not really productive and gives the suspect a chance to absconce. In this case they made a sound and light spectacle out of it. And then they call everything off!
– When something like this happens to a well known person you need a sensible prosecutor to step forward and sort out the questionmarks, says Sven-Erik Alhem, who is nowadays chairman of the Crime Victims Centres National Federation, BOJ. (Dagens Nyheter, August 22)

Dagens Nyheter journalist however made further inquiries on whether it is unusal for a rape suspect to be tagged with the « probable cause« -level of suspicion rather than simply with « reasonable cause« :

Just den högre misstankegraden ”sannolika skäl” är, vad erfar, mer regel än undantag när det handlar om våldtäkt, vilket skulle kunna tala för en slentrianmässig eller automatiserad bedömning av misstankegraden i samband med anhållanden. Saken bekräftades också direkt av jouråklagaren Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, som i går till sa:

– Det är normalt att ange ”sannolika skäl” i samband med anhållande om våldtäkter.

En enkel sökning på internet, där jämför användadet av den högre misstankegraden ”sannolika skäl” och den lägre graden ”skäligen misstänkt för” i samband med anhållande för våldtäkt visar också på samma sak. En bred majoritet av de som anhålls i Sverige, misstänkta för våldtäkt, har ”anhållits på sannolika skäl misstänkt för våldtäkt”.(Dagens Nyheter, August 22)

English translation:

According to, the higher level of suspicion « probable cause » is the rule rather than the exception when it comes to rape, which could indicate a routine or automatised evaluation of the level of suspicion in connection with arrest warrants. The prosecutor on duty [who issued the arrest warrant against Julian Assange] confirmed this:
– It is usual to indicate a « probable cause »-level of suspicion in connection with arrest warrants for rape charges.

A search on Internet by, where the use of « probable cause » has been compared to the use of « reasonable cause » in connection with arrest orders on rape charges, gives the same answer. A large majority of those arrested in Sweden on charges of rape, are « arrested upon probable cause of having committed a rape« .(Dagens Nyheter, August 22)

Another contentious issue has been the swift rescision of the arrest warrant by the prosecution authority. As intimated earlier, this is perfectly in line with the letter and the spirit of the Code of judicial procedure. Sweden’s most well-known trial lawyer, Leif Silbersky, has commented on this specific issue:

Att en åklagare häver en anhållan är ovanligt men förekommer, säger advokat Leif Silbersky till

– Jag har själv varit med om det några gånger och det har då berott på att man grundat det första beslutet på knapphändiga uppgifter. Men sedan fått fram sådana omständigheter som gjort att man har ändrat sig. Jag tycker att det är hedervärt att man kan ändra sin ståndpunkt, eftersom en sådan här anklagelse drabbar personen i fråga mycket hårt. (Dagens Nyheter, August 21)

English translation:

The fact that a prosecutor rescinds an arrest warrant is unusual but it happens, says lawyer Leif Silbersky to
– I have personnally experienced this a few times and it has then been the result of taking the initial decision on a sparse factual ground. Then fresh circumstances appear that call for changing the initial decision. I find changing one’s standpoint a honourable thing to do, as such an accusation is very harsh on the suspect.(Dagens Nyheter, August 21)

The prosecutor who issued the initial arrest warrant, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, has seven years experience as a prosecutor, specialised in sex and relationship crimes. She doesn’t have any second thoughts about her decision:

– Jag fick en redogörelse av polisen som jag tyckte var tillräcklig för att anhålla honom. Jag ångrar inte mitt beslut på något sätt, säger Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. (…)
– I fredags kväll fick jag ett joursamtal från en polis som redogjorde för mig vad kvinnorna hade sagt, säger Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand.
– De uppgifter som jag fick var så övertygande att jag fattade mitt beslut, säger Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand.
Hon fick inte några skriftliga förhör av polisen. Och inte heller konkreta bevis mot Assange. Bara en redogörelse av polisernas förhör med kvinnorna.
– Det bruka räcka i sådana fall, säger Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. (Expressen, August 22)

English translation:

– I was provided with a report from the police which I found sufficient for him to be arrested. I do not regret my decision in any way, says Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. (…)
– On Friday night I got a duty call from a police officer who reported on what the two women had told, says Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand.
– The information I was given was so convincing that I took my decision, says Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. She didn’t receive any written police transcripts, nor any concrete evidence against Assange. Only a report on the police questioning of the two women.
– It’s usually sufficient in this kind of cases, says Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand. (Expressen, August 22)

Question marks have been raised on the internal communication within the prosecution authority. Prosecutor Häljebo Kjellstrand acknowledges she had spoken with chief prosecutor Finné (they spoke over the phone before Finné’s decision to rescind the arrest warrant against Assange), and Finné has asserted having more information than Häljebo Kjellstrand to rest her decision upon:

When Ms Finné became in charge of the matter on Saturday, she had more information than the first prosecutor had on Friday night. Decisions on coercive measures, like arrest, should constantly be re-evaluated during an investigation and must always be based on the actual information. (site of the Swedish Prosecution Authority)

Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand tried to put on a brave face when confronted with the rescision decision, but her disappointment could still be read between the lines:

– Antagligen har hon fått nya uppgifter. Det bör hon har fått. Annars man överprövar inte någon annans beslut, säger Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand.
« Varit i kontakt »

Kjellstrand och Finné samtalade med varandra på telefon innan det nya beslutet togs. Kjellstrand vill inte gå in i detaljer om vad som sades i samtalet.
– Vi har varit i kontakt med varandra. Jag visste om hennes beslut innan det blev offentligt. Jag är inte besviken på något sätt. Det händer att ett beslut ändras, säger Kjellstrand. (Expressen, August 22)

English translation:

– She probably received fresh information. She must have. You do not rescind someone else’s decision otherwise, says Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand.
« We’ve been in touch »

Kjellstrand and Finné spoke together over the phone before the new decision was taken. Kjellstrand doesn’t want to discuss the details of that conversation.
– We’ve been in contact with each other. I knew about her decision before it was made public. I’m not disappointed in any way. It happens that decisions change, says Kjellstrand. (Expressen, August 22)

However, the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s spokesperson, Karin Rosander, gave the impression that no one had any clue on what basis Häljebo Kjellstrand had taken her decision – see this interview, in English.

A Swedish human rights group has decided to register a complaint against prosecutor Kjellstrand with Sweden’s Parliamentary Ombudsman, accusing her of having issued an arrest warrant on the scantiest of evidence.

Worth to remember in all of this is the complaint initially lodged by Anna and Eva. Eva, the one having accused Assange of molestation, has adamently rejected any conspiracy or manipulation:

-Anklagelserna mot Assange är förstås inte iscensatta av varken Pentagon eller någon annan. Ansvaret för det som hänt mig och den andra tjejen ligger hos en man med skev kvinnosyn och problem att ta ett nej, säger hon till Aftonbladet. (Eva, speaking to Expressen, August 21)

English translation:

-The charges against Assange are of course not framed by the Pentagon or anyone else. The responsability for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man with a slanted view of women and having problems at taking no for an answer, she told Aftonbladet. (Eva, speaking to Expressen, August 21)

While both women state they are not afraid of Assange, contrary to what has been reported in the media (Eva even states that Assange isn’t a violent person), Eva and Anna fully maintain their allegations.

And another thing: Sweden has for many years now been thrown into a fierce and politicised public debate over low conviction rates and prison terms in rape cases. Feminists have managed a change in the law ruling sexual exploitation, and media  have generally been much tougher on rape suspects than was previously the case, especially when suspects have been powerful or famous men. This should not be discarded when studying the Assange case.

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