The following is an open letter to the Australian people from Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange.
There have been numerous public statements made about WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange that are factually inaccurate.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said about WikiLeaks, “It’s illegal.” Attorney General Nicola Roxon said my son “fled Sweden.” The media repeatedly states, “Assange is charged or facing charges” in relation to Swedish sex allegations.
Some of these inaccurate statements are due to misinformation, but others are designed to smear Julian, to erode his public support, and to discredit WikiLeaks in order to prevent the further publishing of uncomfortable truths.
Many Australians, including leading lawyers, academics, and journalists believe WikiLeaks is a legitimate, ethical, and courageous media organisation, and that Julian is an innocent man, a political prisoner, persecuted for exposing the complicity of the U.S. Government and its large corporations in war crimes, fraud, corruption, the exploitation of the third world, bullying, and diplomatic manipulation, that is lying to the public and other shady dealings.
Many of us were appalled watching the Australian Government stand by in silence as furious US politicians and commentators called for the brutal murder of my son.
Many of us were appalled watching the Australian Government stand silent when Julian’s personal bank accounts were frozen, and when the US Government cut off 95 per cent of WikiLeaks funding by pressuring credit card companies to refuse to process voluntary donations. This was done despite the US Treasury stating there was no reason to blacklist WikiLeaks.
Many of us are deeply concerned that the Australian Government refuses to protest against the many documented abuses of Julian’s legal and human rights in the Swedish extradition case, or his right to a fair legal process in an imminent US extradition application.
Moreover, many feel his treatment signifies wider concerns that the Australian Government has become an echo chamber of the US Government and its big business, which increasingly dictated Australian policy, including newer legislation that is against the interests of Australian security, the privacy and civil rights of Australian citizens, Australian businesses, and Australian democracy.
I implore you as a mother and urge you as an Australian citizen to look at the facts I have listed below and to make up your own mind.
Included below are even more links to factual information.
FACTS (via Wikileaks Central)
PLEASE NOTE: Julian has not been charged by Sweden regarding the sex allegations, or by any other country in the world in relation to his work at WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit legally-constituted online news publisher which is funded by voluntary donations and has been recognised for quality investigative journalism, with many prestigious international journalism and human rights awards (Wikipedia).
- Sam Adams Award 2010 was unanimously awarded to Julian Assange for “integrity and intelligence” for the release of the Afghan War Diaries and Iraq war logs by a panel of senior US military and intelligence officers (ret.). Awards ceremony: “It has been said that: ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’ WikiLeaks is helping make that possible by publishing documents that do not lie.”
- 2011 Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism ”Today journalists and editors around the world are concerned about the attacks on WikiLeaks. This is an issue of the freedom of the press, people have a right to information through the opportunities provided by the web, journalists remain ready to fight for the principle of exposure journalism. His organisation has done nothing more than hold Governments to account and we should stand by him and his right to do so”.
WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism. It publishes information given by various sources but protects its sources with a secure anonymous dropbox.
WikiLeaks redacts its documents, so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.
WikiLeaks has a perfect record with information reliability. No Government has denied authenticity of any documents.
Swedish Sex Allegations and the Swedish Extradition Case
After the Afghan War Diary release 25/7/10 Julian visited Sweden to obtain residency and base WikiLeaks there because of the good whistle-blowing laws. The US was aware of more WikiLeaks releases to come and wrote threatening letters. Julian was warned of entrapment plans.
Woman A.A. invited Julian to speak in Sweden at a seminar about Afghanistan in mid-August 2010. Woman S.W. stated she went to the seminar to meet Julian. Both women have stated to the police and media that sex was consensual and non-violent. Exculpatory evidence (texts to friends) show women had no complaints regarding sex until finding out about each other and 100+ texts between A.A. and S.W. speak of revenge, making money and ruining Julian’s reputation by going to the press.
Woman S.W. was so upset police were going to allege rape she does not finish her interview or sign her witness statement, which was then altered again without her consent. She stated she felt railroaded into making a complaint.
In Sweden, consensual non-violent sex can be legally defined as rape.
Contrary to Swedish police procedure the women’s interviews were not video or audio taped and the first prosecutor, Maria Häljebo-Kjellstrand, unlawfully told the press Julian was wanted for rape. Julian was not interviewed or informed – he found out in the tabloid newspaper Expressen that he was “being hunted down for double rape”. Within hours, there were millions of website hits for Assange plus rape, causing irreparable harm to Julian’s reputation.
The next day after reviewing the file, Stockholm’s chief prosecutor Eva Finné threw out the rape allegation. “I consider there are no grounds for suspecting he has committed rape,” she said.
For the last three years, the political advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister has been Karl Rove, a notorious, disgraced former Bush administration advisor who orchestrated vicious smear campaigns against political opponents. Karl Rove is a personal friend of the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt and of the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt.
Sweden has close ties to the US and was the major arms supplier to the US-Iraq War.
Around a week after the dropping of the rape allegation by the chief prosecutor, a politician/lawyer named Claes Borgström appealed the decision. Claes Borgström and his business partner Thomas Bodström run a thriving legal practice based on representing claimants in sex cases.
Woman A.A., Irmeli Krans (interrogating police officer of woman SW) and both Borgström and Bodström are members of the Swedish Social Democrat Party. They all stood together for elections at the same time, one month after the sex allegations were made against Julian, with one of the platforms being widening the definition of rape within consensual sex.
Woman A.A. produced new evidence for the appeal. She submitted a condom which she states Julian tore deliberately. Forensic tests showed there was no DNA evidence in the condom from either Julian or herself.
Julian was not informed of the appeal and had no chance to make a submission. The appeal was successful.
Julian Did Not Flee Sweden
He remained in Sweden for five weeks seeking an interview with the new prosecutor Marianne Ny. She made excuses not to interview him and gave him permission to leave Sweden for business on September 15th (meeting with Cablegate media partners). He offered to fly back into Sweden for interview on October 9 or 10. Ny refused because it was a weekend. He offered to fly back on October 11th. Ny refused because it was too far away.
During October and November Julian stayed at the journalist’s club in the UK preparing for the release of the US diplomatic cables (Cablegate). During this period, he offered to be interviewed by Marianne Ny via the normal protocol for this situation called Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) (via Skype, phone or videolink). Marianne Ny refused all offers.
Around the time of the release of Cablegate in late November, Marianne Ny issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for questioning, stating that Julian had fled the country, and a public Interpol Red Notice for his arrest.
For the entire 16 months that Julian has been under house arrest in the UK, Marianne Ny has refused all his offers to be interviewed at the Swedish Embassy or in Scotland Yard.
Marianne Ny has misled the Swedish and UK public by stating that she was legally not allowed to interview Julian by mutual legal assistance or in the UK. Sweden is a signatory to MLA.
Many legal people investigating the case are of the opinion that the Swedish extradition case is not bona fide but merely a holding case awaiting a US extradition.
The European Arrest Warrant
The European arrest warrant is only supposed to be issued for prosecution, not for questioning. Under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant, no allegations can be tested (including the sex allegations against Julian).
The European Arrest Warrant was initially meant for the fast-track extradition of bona fide terrorists but has been misused. It has been subject to much criticism since its inception as it results in the abuse of many citizens’ legal and human rights (1000 people per month extradited from the UK).
The Supreme Court Appeal
Julian is appealing the UK High Court’s decision to extradite him in the only way he can, not on the evidence of the allegations but on a point of law of public importance. This point of law refers to the fact that a public prosecutor is not a judicial authority and that there is a conflict of interest in a prosecutor having the final say in the issuing of an European Arrest Warrant. Marianne Ny acted as both prosecutor and judicial authority on the issue of the European Arrest Warrant for Julian.
If Julian loses the Supreme Court appeal he will be sent to Sweden in ten days.
If Julian wins the appeal he is free to return home to Australia, unless the US immediately applies for a US extradition from the UK before he has a chance to leave.
What Happens If Julian Goes To Sweden
There is no bail in Sweden for foreigners and he will be held in indefinite detention in a Swedish remand prison incommunicado except to Swedish lawyers and in solitary confinement.
If and when the case proceeds to trial he will be tried in secret (no media or observers) by four judges. Three of the four judges will be “lay” judges, that is, they have no legal training and are appointed by political parties.
The other alternative is that the US will immediately unseal its Grand Jury indictment against Julian and from any point that he arrives in Sweden he could be extradited to the US. Many people falsely believe that the UK would have to sign off on an onward extradition to the US. This is true, if it is by way of a normal European extradition. However, under a separate US/Swedish Bilateral Treaty, Julian can be legally rendered to the US via a component of that treaty called the Temporary Surrender Regime. This is a secret, fast-track, no-test rendition.
What Happens If the US Applies for an Extradition From the UK
The extradition hearing will be public and take longer, but the UK/US treaty is unbalanced, that while a prima facie case (evidence) is required to extradite a person from the US to the UK, no prima facie (evidence) is required to extradite a person from the UK to the US. So any allegations that the US is making about Julian cannot be tested prior to extradition.
The US Grand Jury Indictment
The US Grand Jury has been sitting for 16 months and it is believed to have reached a verdict to indict Julian and has a sealed subpoena ready to unseal at the most beneficial time to the US. The Grand Jury is a flawed, unjust legal process, consisting of four prosecutors but no defense evidence is allowed. There is no judge and the jury pool is drawn from Alexandria, Virginia which has the highest percentage of military contractor families in the US.
The Trial of Bradley Manning
Private Bradley Manning, the whistleblower, who is alleged to have provided the US documents to the WikiLeaks dropbox, has been held in a US military prison for the last two years without trial. The last straw for Bradley Manning was when he was asked to arrest 15 Iraqi civilian protesters and to send them to the Iraqi police for torture. Their “crime” was to hand out flyers upon which was written “Where has the money gone?” referring to corruption by contractors involving post-war construction. When he expressed his concern that this was unethical behaviour for a US soldier he was told to “shut up and go and get 15 more”.
Bradley Manning has been subjected to ongoing no-touch torture in an attempt to break him so that he will falsely incriminate Julian in criminal conspiracy. This is because under the First Amendment to the American Constitution Julian, as a journalist, is protected – even when publishing classified government documents.