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Published on August 28th, 2012 | by Nick Doyle
Image © [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="340"] The real V?[/caption] If you thought that the leaking of thousands of diplomatic cables and US led war-crimes would cause a stir in politics then you were sorely mistaken.  No, instead the issue that really sets the controversy alight is the man at the heart of those leaks and the individual who is, intentionally or not, igniting a diplomatic row of Godly proportions.  However, whether you are for or against Assange you can be sure to encounter a great deal of myths floating about on the online media and social networks about this entire debacle.   I want to lay out a few and briefly discuss them in no particular order: 1. Assange has not actually been charged with any crime. This is surprisingly true however it is not the whole story.  Because of the Swedish legal proceedings Assange actually needs to submit to a second interview before he can formally be charged.  The second interview in some cases is a formality but it has to happen.  As Assange has only been questioned once, he cannot yet be charged. 2. The Swedish police have interviewed individuals before abroad so why are they refusing to now. The case commonly cited involves the case of a 21 year old suspect who was questioned in Serbia.  It is true he was interviewed in Belgrade however this was his first interview. This is important because of the ramifications it has on Swedish law. As soon as you are charged (after the second interview) your case will be heard within two weeks in court.  Now the question is, if Swedish officials interview Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then charge him, how likely is it that he will show up at his court date?  I'm going to hazard a guess at a slim chance.  The Swedish authorities don't want to interview him because they suspect it wont actually lead to any progress in this case. 3. That the charges wouldn't hold up in English courts. This is a fabrication pure and simple.  Assange has pleaded his case multiple times to UK magistrates and they all have been with held despite appeals (source). 4. That Sweden should guarantee that Assange wont be extradited to the US. This falls entirely out of the legal system.  Not only can the Swedish legislative authorities not do this, but extradition cases are heard on a case by case basis.  As the US has not submitted an extradition the Swedish authorities can't promise anything. 5. That Assange will be executed is extradited. Again this is untrue.  According to EU law an individual cannot be extradited if it is suspected they will face torture or execution.  So the US would have to present a case of imprisonment. 6. That Ecuador is simply protecting free speech by allowing Assange to claim asylum. This is one of those points where you hope so much that it is the case but again, just look at Ecuador and you see it isn't.  For one, it is a country where there are documented incidents of critical journalists going missing or being intimidated.  On top of that, the country sits outside the top 100 of the Press Freedom Index, one place behind Chad.  You remember Chad, one of the few countries the Foreign Office still emphatically suggest you don't visit for fear of all sorts of nasty things. 7.  That the alleged charges aren't in fact rape. Whatever your personal opinion on this one, it doesn't matter.  The Swedish authorities have a duty to investigate alleged incidents of this nature.  And frankly, when you have someone like George Galloway trying to defend you on this point, you may as well just throw in the towel. So those are some myths I would like to think busted.  This is no doubt a contentious situation and I am not foolish enough to put my own thoughts on the man and his actions down here but what I will say is this.  For a man who strives to uphold the light of transparency to Government and triumphantly stands in front of them asking to defend themselves from their actions, he fails to live up to his own principles.  

1

Mythbusting – The Assange Special

The real V?

If you thought that the leaking of thousands of diplomatic cables and US led war-crimes would cause a stir in politics then you were sorely mistaken.  No, instead the issue that really sets the controversy alight is the man at the heart of those leaks and the individual who is, intentionally or not, igniting a diplomatic row of Godly proportions.  However, whether you are for or against Assange you can be sure to encounter a great deal of myths floating about on the online media and social networks about this entire debacle.   I want to lay out a few and briefly discuss them in no particular order:

1. Assange has not actually been charged with any crime.

This is surprisingly true however it is not the whole story.  Because of the Swedish legal proceedings Assange actually needs to submit to a second interview before he can formally be charged.  The second interview in some cases is a formality but it has to happen.  As Assange has only been questioned once, he cannot yet be charged.

2. The Swedish police have interviewed individuals before abroad so why are they refusing to now.

The case commonly cited involves the case of a 21 year old suspect who was questioned in Serbia.  It is true he was interviewed in Belgrade however this was his first interview. This is important because of the ramifications it has on Swedish law. As soon as you are charged (after the second interview) your case will be heard within two weeks in court.  Now the question is, if Swedish officials interview Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then charge him, how likely is it that he will show up at his court date?  I’m going to hazard a guess at a slim chance.  The Swedish authorities don’t want to interview him because they suspect it wont actually lead to any progress in this case.

3. That the charges wouldn’t hold up in English courts.

This is a fabrication pure and simple.  Assange has pleaded his case multiple times to UK magistrates and they all have been with held despite appeals (source).

4. That Sweden should guarantee that Assange wont be extradited to the US.

This falls entirely out of the legal system.  Not only can the Swedish legislative authorities not do this, but extradition cases are heard on a case by case basis.  As the US has not submitted an extradition the Swedish authorities can’t promise anything.

5. That Assange will be executed is extradited.

Again this is untrue.  According to EU law an individual cannot be extradited if it is suspected they will face torture or execution.  So the US would have to present a case of imprisonment.

6. That Ecuador is simply protecting free speech by allowing Assange to claim asylum.

This is one of those points where you hope so much that it is the case but again, just look at Ecuador and you see it isn’t.  For one, it is a country where there are documented incidents of critical journalists going missing or being intimidated.  On top of that, the country sits outside the top 100 of the Press Freedom Index, one place behind Chad.  You remember Chad, one of the few countries the Foreign Office still emphatically suggest you don’t visit for fear of all sorts of nasty things.

7.  That the alleged charges aren’t in fact rape.

Whatever your personal opinion on this one, it doesn’t matter.  The Swedish authorities have a duty to investigate alleged incidents of this nature.  And frankly, when you have someone like George Galloway trying to defend you on this point, you may as well just throw in the towel.

So those are some myths I would like to think busted.  This is no doubt a contentious situation and I am not foolish enough to put my own thoughts on the man and his actions down here but what I will say is this.  For a man who strives to uphold the light of transparency to Government and triumphantly stands in front of them asking to defend themselves from their actions, he fails to live up to his own principles.

 

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  • emirjame

    You are mistaken in the fact that the English Courts ruled on the contents of the case. They only ruled that it was wise for them to NOT look at contents of cases in other countries – but only to look at the requesting authority in Sweden.

    It is also clear that someone who is not around can be labeled as uncooperative. The court case can then continue & they may be represented by their lawyer.

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