Wednesday, August 22, 2012


by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Julian Assange has been in 'custody' illegally! His right of 'habeas corpus' has been denied him though not formally. He is simply detained, denied his freedom of movement and, presumably, his access to the international press! In fact, no charges have ever filed against him. No 'probable cause' has been demanded of his captors by any judge. He is a political prisoner in every sense of the word. He may be the picture of a fascist future when 'authority' or 'force of arms' simply decrees one to be an enemy of the state.

Assange is locked up though the burden of proof in almost every western nation has rested upon those making accusations. In this case there is no 'probable cause' whatsoever that Assange committed any crime. No formal charges have been filed against him! Officially, he has not even been accused of a specific crime. He is a political prisoner. He is a 'captive' of a crooked state(s).

The arrest warrant for Julian Assange should not stand and breaches "a matter of fundamental legal principle", the supreme court has heard .

Dinah Rose QC, defending the WikiLeaks founder in his final appeal against extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex crimes, told the panel of seven senior judges that to consider the Swedish public prosecutor as a judicial authority was "contrary to a basic, fundamental principle of law".

Reaching back as far into European legal history as the Codex Iustinianus, dated 376 AD, Rose said the Swedish prosecutor was a party in the Assange case and therefore not independent and impartial, breaching the principle that "no one should be judge in their own cause", which Rose said was one of the pillars of natural justice.

--Julian Assange extradition breaches legal principle, lawyer claims
This is an outrage! Everyone should be outraged! If Julian Assange can be imprisoned though NO CHARGES have ever been lodged against him, NO ONE IS FREE!

When the U.S. Bill of Rights had not yet been trashed, subverted by the likes of George W. Bush, the crooked court made crooked by the likes of Thomas, Scalia et al, the Bill of Rights had GUARANTEED every American DUE PROCESS OF LAW. The principle, it was hoped, would have been universal among 'western nations'. In fact, no one should be denied the right of Habeas Corpus.
Latin for "that you have the body." A writ of habeas corpus is used to bring a prisoner or other detainee (e.g. institutionalized mental patient) before the court to determine if the person's imprisonment or detention is lawful. In the US system, federal courts can use the writ of habeas corpus to determine if a state's detention of a prisoner is valid. A habeas petition proceeds as a civil action against the State agent (usually a warden) who holds the defendant in custody. It can also be used to examine any extradition processes used, amount of bail, and the jurisdiction of the court.

--See, e.g. Knowles v. Mirzayance 556 U.S.___(2009), Felker v. Turpin 518 US 1051 (1996) and McCleskey v. Zant 499 US 467 (1991).
Simply, if charges cannot be found and filed upon PROBABLE CAUSE, the person targeted should be, must be released! Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, embraced by the American founding fathers, and made law in the Bill of Rights! It is, likewise, guaranteed in many nations.

Make the Right of Habeas Corpus a Principle of International Law. It is an essential safeguard against tyranny, arbitrary state action, 'official vendettas! ORGANIZE to demand that Julian Assange be 'arraigned' and the charges against him HEARD together with the probable cause that he violated ANY LAWS WHATSOEVER. If the 'authorities' don't even have enough 'probable cause' to file a formal complaint with a judge, then ASSANGE MUST BE RELEASED!


damien said...

Len, just some details that might interest your readers.

The issue of probable cause that you raise has a variation in the Swedish legal system. Basically, they can take a suspect into custody as part of an investigation prior to the laying of charges but there has to be a sound factual basis for this to occur. Suspects are expected to be released fairly quickly if no charges are to be laid but in instances of serious allegations such as rape apparently the suspects can be held for weeks or even months while investigations continue. It's an idiotic European practice that has no counterpart in Anglo judicial processes. Even by Swedish judicial standards however the current pursuit of Assange fails.

According to a former senior Swedish prosecutor, the legal procedures followed in the Assange case are well outside customary practice. He finds it to be an abuse of well established Swedish legal process not to interview Assange in London and he is doubtful that he can obtain a fair trial in the present cirumstances if extradited to Sweden. (LINK)

Naomi Klein points to several departures from normal police practice in sexual assault cases . She provides illuminating insights into the time line of this prosecution (LINK):

1) Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent.
2) Police do not let two women report an accusation about one man together.
3) Police never take testimony from former boyfriends.
4) Prosecutors never let two alleged victims have the same lawyer.
5) A lawyer never typically takes on two alleged rape victims as clients.
6) A rape victim never uses a corporate attorney.
7) A rape victim is never encouraged to make any kind of contact with her assailant and she may never use police to compel her alleged assailant to take medical tests.
8) Police and prosecutors never leak police transcripts during an active investigation because they face punishment for doing so.

Glenn Greenwald writes in detail about the case and especially about the self-serving hostility of the UK media towards Assange. (LINK)

David Allen Green rebuts the popular media falsehoods about the legal setting and the Swedish extradition process. (LINK)

damien said...

I have outlined some of the links between Swedish and US Right wing political forces. (LINK)

The key to it all is Anna Ardin. She was aware of Swedish police practices and knew that she would be open to a charge of making a malicious complaint if she complained of 'rape' while subsequently holding a party for alleged 'rapist'. She was an active feminist who had brought various workplace complaints against men for sexual or gender abuses and had literally written a book on punishing men by legal payback. So she went with the other complainant (who did not want to lay charges) and asked the police if Assange could be compelled to take an STD test. Now, the women themselves could have taken their own test so they didn't need Assange to do so. But Ardin was fully aware that a police investigation would automatically follow any such report. So that's the basis of that decidedly odd early request by the women -- it got the criminal processes up and running when there was no reasonable evidence of any crime.

The lawyers for the women are Claes Borgström and Thomas Bodström. According to various reports the Bonnier family runs the Swedish media and has strong links to the conservative government. The following details are from commentator Snagglepus at DU. (LINK):

1. The original prosecutor in charge, Eva Finné, dropped the charges the same week they were made and stated they were groundless.

3. Eva Finné was removed from the case by Claes Borgström and a new prosecutor, Marianne Ny, was appointed. Her first act was to reinstate the charges.

4. Claes Borgström is a former politician. His law partner is Thomas Bodström. Thomas Bodström is Sweden's former Minister of Justice.

5. Thomas Bodström is currently in the USA. One could assume he is communicating and coordinating things with his partner back in Sweden.

6. It is Swedish protocol not to release the names of people accused of rape until after a conviction. The Swedish prosecutors office claims they have "no idea" how Assange's name was leaked.

7. Normally Swedish media will not publish an accused's name until after a conviction. Swedish media is controlled by a single ruling class family named Bonnier who work closely with local politicians to protect their media monopoly.

8. Claes Borgström's two sisters, Annette Kullenberg and Kerstin Vinterhed, both work for Bonnier family newspapers.

9. Anna Ardin and Thomas Bodström are high ranking members of the right wing Christian political organization "Socialdemokrat-Brödraskapet".

10. Claes Borgström is a right wing politician whose push for larger big brother powers for the Swedish state were leaked by Wikileaks.

.... So it's all in house and basically a Swedish fit up (with some strong US backing, no doubt about it).

Thanks for the space to post on this, Len. Clearly, this has some way to go.

Len Hart said...

Damien wrote:

"According to a former senior Swedish prosecutor, the legal procedures followed in the Assange case are well outside customary practice. He finds it to be an abuse of well established Swedish legal process not to interview Assange in London and he is doubtful that he can obtain a fair trial in the present cirumstances if extradited to Sweden."

From your link: "In 2008 – two years before the release of the "collateral murder" video, the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and the diplomatic cables – the Pentagon prepared a secret report which proclaimed WikiLeaks to be an enemy of the state and plotted ways to destroy its credibility and reputation. But in a stroke of amazing luck, Pentagon operatives never needed to do any of that, because the establishment media in the US and Britain harbor at least as much intense personal loathing for the group's founder as the US government does, and eagerly took the lead in targeting him."

It is not surprising that the word "Pentagon" pops up. I recall the furor raised when Daniel Ellsberg 'leaked' the Pentagon Papers.

It would appear that those who have motive to shut Assange up are legion and have made common cause.

Many in the U.S. speak of 'revolution' these days. The Assange case demonstrates that a 'revolution' in the U.S. becomes a world revolution for because the target of such a revolution is the worldwide cabal of elite robber barons i.e, rapacious capitalists and their suck-up toadies.

Only freedom is on the line. If Assange 'goes down', the cause will be set back perhaps indefinitely.

damien said...

Len, you are right to say that the Pentagon is playing an active (but low profile) role here. They are happy to let the FBI conduct the grand jury in Virginia and set up charges that can be presented to the Swedish government at the right time. But that doesn't get past the fact that Assange's fate is closely tied to that of Bradley Manning and in that matter the Defense Department rules. They have made it a clear strategic policy objective, a war strategy, to take down Wikileaks and Assange. This expansion of the role of the US military as the enforcer of US foreign policy, not just in a military setting but in dealing with civilian and domestic matters both in 'the Homeland' and abroad, are evidence of a country under effective military control. And that's what's occuring in the US and to a lesser extent with NATO and Anglo allies where a Pentagon policy of a permanent state of war is now endorsed by them. At the same time we see a ridiculous extension of this idea in the global application of US domestic laws. So you get the nonsense statement from US media pundits and politicians that "Assange is a traitor."

It has now emerged that the Australian government is well aware that the US will likely be seeking to extradite Assange and they have expressed no overriding objections to that process. Apparently, they have reassured the US on just this point. Talk about a f***ing betrayal! My government of third rate lackeys has apparently decided that the public revelation of major US war crimes and foreign policy deceit should never have taken place and that the whistle blower should be punished. These morons (and that's what they are!) deserve nothing for their political short sightedness. If they haven't figured out yet that the US is a police state and US foreign policy is taking us to WW3 then they deserve nothing but contempt. The sad part is that nearly all of Australia's political leadership are stricken by this head-in-the-sand stupidity.

Assange's barrister, James Catlin, has some important details on the early stages of this prosecution, especially on the early media involvement:

"Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén approached the Klara police station in Stockholm on the afternoon of Friday 20 August 2010 to ask questions of the police, purportedly about forcing someone to submit to STD/HIV tests.

The policemen on duty rang up prosecutor on duty Maria Kjellstrand even before the formal interrogation had begun. Kjellstrand - working with no paperwork at all at this point - issued an 'APB' for Assange and had the police search the Stureplan district of Stockholm for Assange, ostensibly to bring him in for questioning (and a tour of Swedish isolation cells).

The formal interrogation of Sofia Wilén was only concluded hours later and the interrogation of Anna Ardin didn't take place until the day after - by telephone.....

Julian Assange is being harassed for slighting the feelings of two groupies who worshipped him before and after the alleged rapes and he's being hunted for something that's definitely not rape and not even a crime yet. Something that probably didn't even happen as the girls are known to have made the whole thing up. But don't expect such trivialities to affect Marianne Ny, Claes Borgström, the Swedish courts, or the Swedish feminists.... The Swedes are making it up as they go along."

Len Hart said...

Damien said...

They have made it a clear strategic policy objective, a war strategy, to take down Wikileaks and Assange.

Indeed! That they have not hesitated to implement draconian and illegal measures merely confirms the Draconian nature of U.S. imperialism. The 'permanent state of war' is, of course, right out of Orwell's 1984. Big bro is here.

My government of third rate lackeys has apparently decided that the public revelation of major US war crimes and foreign policy deceit should never have taken place and that the whistle blower should be punished.

One is not surprised but, being an otpimist, I had hoped for better. The evil empire just gets stronger and, unless effectively opposed at some point, Orwell's vision will be realized.

At last, Damien, your posts on this are an essential and informed perspective. Would you mind if 'merged' your comments into an article of its own? The byline, of course, would be 'damien'if you should give me an OK.

damien said...

Just hold off briefly, Len. I've got some more very interesting pieces that I will post soon. Cheers. D.

Len Hart said...

That's cool, damien. Will await your word.

damien said...

Ok, Len. You can put it all up if you want to. Feel free to append your name (I'm not going to the Gulag alone!)

There was a bit I omitted from the James Catlin link .

Prosecutor Eva Finné was asked in review the police documents early on....

"Finné quickly concluded there was no rape charge there whatsoever and essentially dismissed the whole thing. But Claes Borgström knew better. He and his friend and colleague Marianne Ny had been working on expanding the legal concept of rape in Sweden. They were interested in two sweeping changes to current legislation, whereof the most important one is that people themselves no longer decide when they've been raped - their governments do.

The other second change is relatively unimportant - but perhaps more shattering worldwide: almost anything can be considered rape - even and especially nonviolent and consensual acts. Consensual sex can be rape, according to Borgström and Ny - but the alleged victims don't decide - they do. The new laws which establish these 'precedents' are not yet on the books - but it's Marianne Ny's intention to make the Assange affair into a test case for that purpose.

In other words: Marianne Ny wants to try Julian Assange for a something that wasn't a crime when it took place."

Now, remember, Claes Borgström was the lawyer for the alleged rape victims. Yet here he is liaising with a new prosecutor, Marriane Ny. What are the connections here and how did this come about?

damien said...

The background circumstances of Assange's delayed departure from Sweden are unsettling and curious. The initial prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the complaints outright. The new police investigator, Marianne Ny, had been appointed to her position by Thomas Bodström, partner to lawyer Claes Borgström who is acting for Anna Ardin, and Sofia Wilén. The legal conflicts of interest exhibited here are overwhelming. Despite full cooperation from Assange she delays seeing him, finally allowing him to leave the country after five weeks. Anna Ardin is working behind the scenes through the media to mount a hate campaign against Assange. Borgström and Ny are hoping to use the case to develop a new legal principle -- that rape may occur even when consent has been given if the power relations are unbalanced. Both are hoping to advance their political careers on the back of an Assange prosecution. Ny agrees that Assange can leave Sweden (he was under no obligation to stay) and he believed then that the charges would come to nothing.

Importantly, Assange was due to fly back to Sweden in early October to participate in a conference during "Afghan week". According to various accounts Ny specifically planned to arrest Assange upon his return to Sweden turning it into a major media event. Assange was delayed getting back to Sweden, other conference attendees who'd arrived before him became aware of Ny's plans and warned Assange, who then went to the UK. From then on Ny had to rely on an Interpol warrant. And so the story developed.

Interestingly, Assange, is a well traveled guy experienced in safeguarding his property in transit. Yet as he left Sweden he had his bags and two laptops stolen from him at Arlanda airport. Now we could put that down to enterprising local thieves but with airport security being what it is these days I'm tempted to put that down to one or more intelligence services. I guess that would be too conspiratorial for some people. (LINK)

At a minimum Swedish prosecution officials have been playing media and political games with Assange and it has nothing to do with the exercise of justice.

Cheers Len.