By D. J. Webb
I wish to make a comment on Julian Assange, who is currently enjoying a prolonged stay in the Ecuadorean embassy rather than face rape charges in Sweden.
First of all, Assange is some kind of libertarian in that he has published numerous files showing what the American and other governments are up to. That does not mean to say that all his beliefs are libertarian or that we should necessarily support him any further than the publication of the Wikileaks cables.
There are some unpalatable facts surrounding Mr Assange. One is his “conning” of the people (mainly celebrities who could afford to lose a bob or two) who put up his bail money. Any decent person would not skip bail and allow others to pay large sums on his behalf, regardless of the nature of the charges.
The other is that he has missed the opportunity to defend himself in court, and expose some of the absurd hysteria surrounding date rape charges. In one sense, the charges are so absurd that one can understand his reluctance to submit himself to this farce of a judicial process. But he has hardly escaped scot-free: his period of confinement in the Ecuadorean embassy (more than three-and-a-half years so far in a small room) probably exceeds any probable period of imprisonment the Swedes would have considered for him.
His attempt to forge some kind of link with a possible Swedish extradition of him to the US to face charges over the Wikileaks cables seems feeble: there is no evidence this has ever been intended.
However, all that said, it is undoubtedly the case that the Swedish case against him is absurd. Apparently, a naked Swedish woman crept into his bed and was surprised to find he had sex with her without issuing her with a written contract beforehand. After days of being photographed with him on subsequent occasions, laughing and joking, she decided she may have been “raped”.
The Swedish prosecutors, including Marianne Ny, are extremists pursuing a hard-left agenda that assumes that all men are rapists. A woman who gets in bed with a man naked has consented to sex – that is all there is to it. What the hell did she think was going to happen? She was not raped, and her accusation is libellous and fraudulent.
Furthermore, Ny and her fellow bureaucrats are more than willing to turn a blind eye to real rape if committed (as official Swedish figures show is the case in the vast majority of cases) by members of the ethnic minority communities. In my book, Ny abets rape and should herself be behind bars.
Sweden’s highly politicized extreme “justice” system provides the context for Assange’s skipping bail. The UK courts are also responsible to some extent for a deliberate misinterpretation of the extradition treaty, which requires a “judicial authority” to issue an extradition request. Ny is not a judge, and is just a prosecutor, and Assange has not been charged with anything. The attempt to extradite someone for a “fishing expedition”, to answer questions on the supposed rape, is an abuse of the extradition system.
It’s high time we told the Swedes that the extradition treaty has been scrapped and that only a revision of Swedish laws, to delete “date rape” from the statute book, and to allow extradition requests only once a warrant for arrest had been issued (and not just to “help police with enquiries”) could see the UK enter into this sort of cooperation with Sweden again.
The £12m spent on attempting to arrest Assange is ridiculous. He should be allowed to leave the embassy without fear of arrest, while attempts are made by his bail guarantors to recover some of their money from him. (The bail guarantors took on a degree of risk in this, of course, and so may have to whistle for their cash in the end.) The fact is this man is not a criminal of any type, and the trend in conservative circles for him to fall under increasingly harsh criticism ignores this basic fact.