Hazel Press

I'm a rape victim. That's why I've taken great interest in this case from the very beginning and followed it in great depth. I don't know Julian Assange, I've never met him, and I therefore don't feel qualified to talk about his character or personality. My interest has only ever been in the political and judicial aspects of the case, and how very much it deviates from how rape cases (my own, for example) are normally treated.

 

My case (a date rape situation), in common with most women's reporting of rape, never reached the courts. The police were lovely, they believed me, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided the evidence wasn't strong enough and (I think) their motives were that it's no good bringing weak cases to court - acquittal after acquittal will only put other women off from reporting in the first place - and they probably felt they were saving me from further ordeal at the hands of defence lawyers.

 

I'd made mistakes, of course: I took three weeks to buck up the courage to report it; I'd destroyed evidence by throwing a letter apologising and admitting the offence back in someone's face out of fury. So I know all about the irrational responses of rape victims. Been there, done that. And I feel - despite all that - that the behaviour of the women accusing Julian Assange, and the behaviour of Marianne Ny (the Swedish prosecutor) in pursuing things the way she has, just doesn't add up - and I feel I'm as qualified as any to say so.

 

Tell me something, Katie. Do you believe that ALL women are incapable of lying if they make accusations of rape? Because I'm with you in believing that rape victims are generally poorly served by judicial systems the world over. And I'm with you in believing that a lot more can be done to improve the situation, and that the crime of rape should be treated more seriously by society. But some women do make false accusations. It happens. We're not all saints.

 

Stop trying to make the stories of two individual women stand in for ALL women's experiences of sexual violence.

 

Stop believing that because women routinely experience sexual violence all over the world and are generally poorly served by the courts in getting justice, individual women can NEVER be untruthful if they make such claims.

 

I am a woman. I was raped. But I never lied about my experience and I didn't hand in any false evidence. So I call her (AA) allegations bullshit. Women genuinely reporting rape to the police do not hand in false evidence.

 

Turn your anger onto the Swedish prosecutor who has abused due legal process and has lied to and misled the UK courts.

 

Marianne Ny should be investigated because she has done a great disservice to all true victims of rape.

 

What appears on the EAW is what Marianne Ny has decided the offences are. Which is a very different thing from receiving a full description of the complainants' version of events on which those offences are based. One of the four charges was described as "acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity”. When you find out from the witness interview transcripts that this refers to an erect penis nudging someone's back when they're sharing - by agreement - a small double bed, well, that's when I start to question what's really going on.

 

The EAW says that Julian Assange is accused "on probable cause". Who decides that a case has "probable cause"? Yes, that's right, the Swedish prosecutor herself.

 

The only accusation labelled as rape in the EAW is where, of course, it says that she was asleep when penetration happened. There's no question that such a scenario would be rape, but reading the witness statements as they appear in the leaked police protocol? That describes Sofia Wilén's experience very differently, in that she says she was "only half-awake", i.e. sleepy but not asleep, and that her objection was to the lack of condom use, not to sex itself. Once she had queried whether Assange was wearing a condom and he told her no, she restricted herself to saying "you'd better not have HIV" and did not make it clear to him beyond that that she was unhappy with the situation. In the UK courts, I'm afraid, that evidence would never result in a conviction because it would fail the mens rea test.

 

I therefore submit that this prosecutor has lied to the UK courts. Bear in mind that in EAW extradition cases the judges are forbidden from testing the evidence and are directed by the Framework Decision governing EAWs to follow "mutual recognition" of European justice systems, i.e. "trust" that their judicial systems function well and fairly and their judges and prosecutors act impartially. The EAW laws are a shambles, which is why the UK has recently announced that it will withdraw from the EAW system entirely at the end of this year.

 

Marianne Ny is also behind the UK's Crown Prosecution Service's request to the Supreme Court to reduce the 14-day grace period the court had given Julian Assange to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (followed by the 10 days that the actual extradition takes to be processed) to ZERO days. In other words, she tried to block any avenue of appeal left to him. How impartial and judicial of her!! No doubt she saw how strong his team's submission to have the case re-opened actually was.

 

Marianne Ny put an offence of sexual molestation on a European Arrest Warrant form (which is the only thing the UK judges can use to decide whether the allegations have an equivalent in UK law and therefore the dual criminality criteria apply, not the actual evidence) when at least three weeks prior to filling out that form she had received a forensic report which directly contradicted that any such offence had taken place.

 

What the hell, while I'm about it... How can a Swedish prosecutor be both an impartial officer of the court and the chief investigator of an alleged crime? If this is considered in any way at all possible under the Swedish system, should she be:

 

Lying to the Swedish public that it was illegal for her to question Julian Assange abroad under the standard protocols of Mutual Legal Assistance when both Sweden and the UK are signed up for them? Julian Assange has been under house arrest for nearly two years waiting for the prosecutor to do the decent thing and actually hear his side of the story (using perfectly lawful and acceptable methods of Mutual Legal Assistance which are routine in international cases) in conditions which would not put him in jeopardy of onward extradition. Marianne Ny faxed her statement backing up her claims to the UK High Court extradition appeal hearing and then refused to come to the court to be cross-examined on it, and yet demands what of Julian Assange??

 

Breaking Swedish law by reaching a decision to charge (she says this is why she wants him on Swedish soil, so formal charges can at last be filed) before the preliminary investigation - and the necessary questioning that obviously has to take place first - is completed? What kind of prosecutor decides to charge over allegations of a sexual nature before even hearing one side's version of events?

 

This is how it 'works': Sweden gets Julian Assange extradited from the UK. He is placed straight into detention. Marianne Ny announced on 14 June (the day after the UK Supreme Court refused to re-open the case and five days before Julian Assange legged it to the Ecuadorian embassy) that was exactly what she was going to do as soon as he arrived on Swedish soil. Then, should a request for extradition come in from the US, Sweden is presented with a choice. Say No and continue to hold Julian Assange in custody (pre-charge, pre-questioning) until Marianne Ny has concluded her preliminary investigation and is in the legal position of being able to decide whether to prosecute or not. Or say Yes, at which point I suspect Julian Assange would, through his Swedish lawyers, and from his jail cell and in a language he doesn't understand, attempt to appeal that extradition through the Swedish courts. And good luck with that?..

 

Isn't this the whole point of not allowing questioning under the standard protocols of Mutual Legal Assistance??

 

I repeat, Marianne Ny must be investigated. She has inflicted damage upon all true victims of rape. Her actions are grossly offensive to women, to the law, to decency and to morality.

Speaking Out Against Prosecutor, Marianne Ny

Compiled from posts by 'Arbed' from: 02.08.12 – 28.10.12 (some elements did not survive Guardian Cif censorship for long).

 

Edited 28.10.12