Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist
Contrary to mainstream media fake news, Julian Assange has never been charged with any sexual offence. His status was that he was wanted for questioning. But the questioning by Swedish police and prosecutors took place exactly two months ago in the Ecuadorean Embassy, at length over several days. So he is no longer wanted for questioning, yet is still not charged. The pretence there is any kind of genuine criminal investigation in progress, already transparently thin, is now in shreds.
The Swedish police and prosecutors have had over six years to gather and assess all the evidence. The only missing piece was the further interrogation of Assange, which happened in November. After six years of preparing the jigsaw, they have had two months to slot the last piece into place. Policemen are used to having to prepare a case for charging within days, not months. What is more, the remaining charge (the minor ones having time expired) is a single, extremely simple incident in which there is nothing else left to investigate.
I think we are entitled to conclude that the Swedish prosecutor is behaving in a disgraceful manner.
These are the facts of the incident in question. It is undisputed by anyone that Julian Assange and Sofia Wilen went to bed in Sofia Wilen’s bed and had enjoyable, consensual sex on multiple occasions. What is in dispute is whether, when one of these sex acts commenced, Sofia Wilen was awake, asleep or, as she tweeted to a friend, half-asleep, and therefore whether she was in a position to consent to sex on that occasion.
The statement Julian Assange gave to prosecutors two months ago states:
91. This is false. I was certain “SW” was not asleep. I was also certain she expressly consented to unprotected sex before such intercourse started. This is also evidenced by “SW”’s own text messages. For example, my lawyers refer me to the following text message to her friend:
— 17 August, 08:42 am: JA did not want to use a condom.
92. Then a day later she explicitly texts her friend that she had not, in fact, been asleep.
— 18 August, 06:59 am: I was half asleep.
You can read the full text of Assange’s statement here.
Sofia Wilen did not view what had happened to her as rape and was to text on 20 August 2010 at 14.26 that she “did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange” but that “the police were keen on getting their hands on him” (14:26) and at 22:25 that it was “the police who made up the charges”.
Unsurprisingly on 25 August 2010 the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm Eva Finne announced that “The conduct alleged disclosed no crime at all and that file (K246314-10) would be closed”.
In Sweden’s extraordinary justice system, a second prosecutor then took up the case, crusading third wave feminist Marianne Ny. For six years, Ny has milked all the political capital possible out of the case while refusing actually to question Assange to move it forward. After the Swedish Supreme Court ordered her to get on with the questioning, she now stands at the Rubicon where she has had more than enough time to try to build credible charges from the situation outlined above, yet plainly no credible prosecution is possible.
The senior international lawyers of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded with good reason that Assange was being illegally detained – and further rejected the appeal by the UK – because there is no real case and no real investigation in progress against Assange. But the mainstream media will never give you any of the flavour or facts outlined above, being interested in nothing but character assassination of Assange who is perceived as a threat to the neo-liberal world order.