Julian Assange’s rape case dropped, now Australia must advocate for his release – Australia News


God knows who’s styling Julian Assange these days, but they need to be a bit more on the ball. The WikiLeaks supremo emerged onto the tiny balconyette of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge last Friday, wearing a sort of fake leather jacket and raising his fist, which made him look like either a fascist or a Thunderbird, hard to think of which was worse. Stick to a suit, boyo.

Nevertheless, Assange was cheerful, and he had reasons to be. The Swedish prosecutor has indefinitely stayed the seven-year investigation into an accusation around a sexual encounter in 2010 — an encounter that one section of the Swedish prosecution service had defined as an accusation of minor rape (Sweden has three degrees of rape on its criminal statutes).

The move is being presented as the defeat of due process. In fact, it’s most likely a sleazy bit of face-saving. Having interviewed Assange at the embassy, the prosecutors now have everything they need — a complainant, witness statements, Assange’s statement — to proceed if they wanted. They aren’t because there is no case to answer — exactly as the Stockholm region prosecutor Eva Finne concluded the day after the complaint was first presented in 2010.

Furthermore they have the following: an initial statement to the police, in which complainant S* stated that she never wanted to make a complaint and that she had been railroaded into it by the police and people around her; statements from friends of hers that she and the first complainant, prominent Social Democratic Party activist Anna Ardin, had joked about making money by going to the newspapers with the story; witness statements by same friends that S’s account…

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