A strange case gets even stranger.
Few around here would be surprised at the fact that this ongoing international saga hasn't garnered much attention on this side of the pond. I guess our traditional media has more important stories to cover instead. (insert your favorite latest media non-story to saturate cable-news 24/7 here) Julian Assange has become somewhat of a folk hero, if not here in the U.S., certainly in other countries around the world from Ecuador to Australia to parts of Europe. Through his close association with WikiLeaks-- the online aggregator of classified information obtained through hacking and whistleblowers like Bradley Manning -- Assange has earned more than his share of scorn and contempt from governments around the world, and especially the U.S.
Assange currently resides at the embassy of Ecuador in London, having been granted political asylum last summer, and is now waiting to see if the Scandinavian country will attempt to extradite him to face allegations of sexual assault by two women. (for not wearing condoms) Assange also faces the threats of extradition for totally other reasons by both Britain and the U.S.
However, the prosecution team in Sweden now seems to be mired in a state of upheaval:
The top Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault charges against Julian Assange has abruptly left the case and one of Mr Assange's accusers has sacked her lawyer.Although the reason for the lead prosecutor's abrupt departure is not yet known, Australian Fairfax Media Limited, distributor of the Sydney Morning Herald and many other media outlets in Australia and New Zealand, has obtained court records from Sweden revealing that Prosecutor Marianne Nye's replacement is a less experienced prosecutor named Ingrid Isgren.
The turmoil in the Swedish Prosecution Authority's effort to extradite Mr Assange comes as another leading Swedish judge prepares to deliver an unprecedented public lecture in Australia next week on the WikiLeaks publisher's case.
The Swedish Prosecution Authority wants to extradite Mr Assange to have him questioned in Stockholm in relation to sexual assault allegations by two women.
But disruptions in the case have not been exclusive to the prosecution team.
Political activist Anna Ardin, one of the two accusers (and has purportedly worked with a group that has connections to the CIA) petitioned the Swedish court last week to replace her own attorney on the case, controversial Swedish lawyer, Claes Borgstrom, amidst claims by the plaintiff that Borgstrom has spent more time talking to the media about the case than he has with her. According to Ardin, Borgstrom referred most of her questions about the case to his secretary and other assistants. She also told the court that she has lost complete confidence in Borgstrom as her chief legal advocate.
Apparently, Ms Ardin's retainment of a new advocate, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, has now been approved by the court.
But that's not the only news happening regarding the Assange case. The turmoil seems to be widening.
More from the SMH:
Swedish Supreme Court judge Stefan Lindskog will deliver a lecture on ''The Assange affair, and freedom of speech, from the Swedish perspective'' at the University of Adelaide on Wednesday.I don't even know if Scalia would give a speech on a case currently before the court. But then again, he's done some pretty strange stuff in the past.
Mr Assange condemned Judge Lindskog's planned discussion of his case.
''If an Australian High Court judge came out and spoke on a case the court expected or was likely to judge, it would be regarded as absolutely outrageous,'' he said.
Justice Lindskog is chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, the highest court of appeal. In announcing his forthcoming lecture, Adelaide University said that ''as one of Sweden's most eminent jurists, he is uniquely able to provide an authoritative view of the Assange affair''.
I also don't know if Assange will ever be safe from prosecution by the U.S. Our Justice Department has waged all-out war on whistleblowers. Their use of the antiquated and arcanely used Espionage Act has been relentless. Transparency is a rare commodity in America these days. And the lack of it is steadily degrading any semblance of democracy in this country.
Please support Bradley Manning here.
And if you're so inclined, you can support Assange and the WikiLeaks Coalition here.