Craig Murray spots the latest phase of judicial and media bias against the publisher of WikiLeaks.
In Sweden, prosecutors have applied to the Swedish courts to issue a warrant for Julian Assange’s arrest. There is a tremendous back story to that simple statement.
The European arrest warrant must be issued from one country to another by a judicial authority. The original Swedish request for Assange’s extradition was not issued by any court, but simply by the prosecutor. This was particularly strange, as the chief prosecutor of Stockholm had initially closed the case after deciding there was no case to answer, and then another, highly politically motivated, prosecutor had reopened the case and issued a European arrest warrant, without going to any judge for confirmation.
Assange’s initial appeal up to the U.K. Supreme Court was in large part based on the fact that the warrant did not come from a judge but from a prosecutor, and that was not a judicial authority. I have no doubt that, if any other person in the U.K. had been the accused, the British courts would not have accepted the warrant from a prosecutor. The incredible and open bias of the courts against Assange has been evident since day 1.
My contention is borne out by the fact that, immediately after Assange lost his case against the warrant in the Supreme Court, the British government changed the law to specify that future warrants must be from a judge and not a prosecutor. That is just one of the incredible facts about the Assange case that the mainstream media has hidden from the general public.
The judgement against Assange in the U.K. Supreme Court on the point of whether the Swedish prosecutor constituted a “judicial authority” hinged on a completely unprecedented and frankly incredible piece of reasoning. Lord Phillips concluded that in the English text of an EU treaty “judicial authority” could not include the Swedish prosecutor, but that in the French version “autorite judiciaire” could include the Swedish prosecutor. The two texts having equal validity, Lord Phillips decided to prefer the French language text over the English language text, an absolutely stunning decision as the U.K. negotiators could be presumed to have been working from the English text, as could U.K. ministers and parliament when they ratified the decision.
I am not making this up – you will find Phillips amazing bit of linguistic gymnastics here on page nine, paragraph 21 of his judgement. Again, it is impossible that this would have been done to anybody but Julian Assange; and had it been, the outcry from the mainstream media against the preference given to French wording and thus French legal tradition would have been deafening. But given the state’s opne animus against Assange, it all was passed quietly with the law simply amended immediately thereafter to stop it happening to anybody else.
The law having been changed, this time the Swedes have to do it properly and actually go to a court to issue a warrant. That is what is now happening. As usual, The Guardian on Monday could not resist the temptation to tell an outright lie about what is happening.
The main headline is completely untrue. Sweden has not filed a request for arrest. Sweden is going through its judicial processes – which it skipped the first time – in order to decide whether or not to file a request for arrest. This gives Assange the opportunity to start the process of fighting the allegations, which he strenuously denies, in the Swedish courts. However, at present his Swedish lawyer cannot access him in London’s Belmarsh high-security jail, which is typical of the abuses of process to which he is subject.
It is not political correctness that prevents the U.K. mainstream media from investigating the extraordinary nature of the allegations against Assange in Sweden. For example, in the case of Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel housekeeper who brought charges against prominent Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the U.K. media had no compunction whatsoever in publishing the name of the alleged victim from the very first moment of the allegations against DSK. The entire story was raked through in detail by every single national newspaper, and extensively by the BBC.
I have never heard anybody even attempt to explain why it was OK for the MSM to look in detail at Diallo’s accusations and use her name, but Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen must never be named and their story must never be doubted. The answer is not the position in Swedish law – the Swedish law states that neither the accuser nor the accused may be named, which law has been gleefully broken in Assange’s case every day for nine years. When it comes to Assange, he is simply to be reviled. He is provably treated differently by both state and MSM at all points. It does not matter to them that his arrest warrant was not from a judge, or that the media apply entirely different rules to investigating his case, enforced by a feminist mantra they do not believe or uphold in other cases. He is simply to be hated without question.
Why has there never been a documentary in the U.K. like the brilliant “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange” from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship Four Corners programme? Please do watch if you have not done so already.
Julian Assange revolutionized publishing by bringing the public direct access to massive amounts of raw material showing secrets the government wished to hide. By giving the public this direct access he cut out the filtering and mediating role of the journalistic and political classes. Contrast, for example, the “Panama Papers,” which — contrary to promises —only ever saw less than 2 percent of the raw material published and where major western companies and individuals were completely protected from revelation because of the use of MSM intermediaries. Or compare WikiLeaksto the Snowden files, the vast majority of which have now been buried and will never be revealed, after foolishly being entrusted to The Guardian and The Intercept. Assange cut out the intermediary role of the mediating journalist and, by allowing the people to see the truth about how they are governed, played a major role in undercutting public confidence in the political establishment that exploits them.
There is an interesting parallel with the reaction to the work of Reformation scholars in translating the Bible into vernacular languages and giving the populace direct access to its contents, without the mediating filters of the priestly class. Such developments will always provoke extraordinary venom from those whose position is threatened. I see a historical parallel between Julian Assange and William Tyndale in this respect. It is something worth bearing in mind in trying to understand the depth of the state’s hatred of Julian.
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. This article first appeared on his website.