Court Grants Assange Freedom Just As U.S. Ramps Up Claims


Julian Assange at Ecuador's Embassy (Photo Collage by The Indicter Magazine)

Julian Assange, center, at Ecuador's Embassy (Photo Collage by The Indicter Magazine)

A major international human rights body has ordered the United Kingdom to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for safe passage out of the kingdom — just when it seemed likely that the UK and other Western powers were on the verge seizing Assange on old charges and possibly major new ones.

Ruling on a petition brought by Ecuador, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights announced on July 12 a so-far little-reported ruling that political asylum in a nation's foreign embassy — as Ecuador has granted Assange in London for six years — carries also a right of safe passage out of a country, as in Assange's situation.

inter american court human rightsThe Costa Rican-based court is a unit of the Organization of American States (OAS) that adjudicates cases, such as referrals from the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The court ruled that its jurisdiction extends globally when the rights of its members are involved. Under that authority, it ordered the United Kingdom to release Assange for safe passage to Ecuador.

The court's press release stated that the court ruling, issued on May 30 and kept confidential, was delivered to the parties on July 12. The announcement said that the court has not yet received a response from the UK on the decision.

Whatever the UK response, the ruling by the five judges is likely to become controversial because so many major Western nations have such deep hostility towards Assange, whose organization operates in a gray zone between hackers and conventional media.

Years ago, Assange released via WikiLeaks vast quantities of secret foreign and military documents that showed apparent torture, other war crimes and deceitful practices by Western nations.

dnc horizontal logoA new factor is the U.S. Justice Department's July 13 indictment of 12 Russian GRU intelligence officers.

The government alleges that the Russians illegally used massive amounts of stolen political documents from such entities as the Democratic National Committee to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Republicans. The conspiracy was said to include an international group — unnamed and uncharged — that is widely reported to be WikiLeaks.

Since 2010, our Justice Integrity Project has reported extensively on sexual misconduct claims made by two women that year against Assange. The claims (including that he engaged in unprotected sexual relations) have not led to any formal charges against Assange by Sweden in the nearly eight years since his visit there.

But Sweden's aggressive investigation has led to court battles that have kept Assange confined for six years as a political refugee in a small room in Ecuador's London embassy while he was widely smeared in the popular press as a suspected sex criminal.

Yet that "case" against Assange was dubious and tainted by Sweden's oppressive, secretive non-jury court procedures. Even so, one of the complainants, identified most frequently in the press merely as "SW," completely disappeared in 2010 soon after inviting Assange to sleep with her, as we have previously reported in accounts excerpted below.

julian assange facts wikileaks CustomA team of Swedish computer sleuths reported several years ago that "SW" and a number of her social media friends have disappeared from view, suggesting that either they were very frightened of a man long departed from Sweden or that they had been part of a secret operation.

This summer Assange has risked losing even his safe harbor of a room in Ecuador's embassy because of the recent change in Ecuador's government to new conservative leaders displeased by new WikiLeaks disclosures. Ecuador has cut off Assange's Internet and other communications, partly as a reaction to pressure from the United States. The New York Post reported on July 14 that Assange could soon be evicted from London embassy,

WikiLeaks, which launched its first server in 2006 and claims to possess 10 million documents, specializes in release of secret documents received from anonymous sources. Its stated goal? To increase accountability for governments and other major players. In early 2016, a presidential campaign year, WikiLeaks ramped up release of American political documents that hurt Democrats especially.

Background: Sweden Framed Assange On Sex Charges As UK Cooperated

Swedish flagIn late 2010, our project received a tip that U.S. intelligence officials had close relationships with Swedish political and court officials relevant to the Assange investigation.

We found that Swedish officials had been undertaking irregular procedures in investigating Assange and that most in the mainstream media in Sweden, the rest of Europe and in the United States were content to rely upon official statements and in effect go along with a remarkable abuse of multiple nations' legal systems.

An appendix below summarizes previous reporting on this finding and credits such leading investigators as Swedish medical school professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, founder of the watchdog group Swedish Doctors for Human Rights and the magazine The Indicter, as well as independent columnists Naomi Wolf and Celia Farber.

For now, however, it's enough to report that the OAS court has called for Assange's freedom. Assange, a native of Australia, has claimed in court papers that he believes the United States has obtained a secret indictment against him in a Virginia federal court on spy charges for his long-ago activities.

New Suspicions About 2016 Election

rod rosenstein us attorneyAn entirely new legal dimension became apparent on July 13 with the announcement by U.S. Deputy Attorney Gen. Rod Rosenstein (shown right) of the indictment of the 12 Russian GRU military intelligence officers.

The organization is part of Russia's military and is more akin to the NSA in the United States than to the CIA or Russia's SVD, which is the successor to the KGB. The GRU's symbol is below at left.

In practical terms, the indictment links the alleged wrongdoing to Russia's government power structure, and not to isolated hackers as Trump and his defenders sometimes claim.

gru logo Custom 2U.S. authorities accused the Russians of conspiring with unnamed others to influence the 2016 presidential election with documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and other Democratic Party bodies. The new indictment follows a previous one in February that named 13 Russian defendants, most of them fairly low-level figures working in social media.

The newer indictment (whose 29-pages are shown here) alleged that GRU officers used a false identity to create a go-between named "Guccifer 2.0" to distribute documents to, among others, an unnamed congressional candidate and an international body. Analysts have concluded that Wikileaks was the international body. Speculation abounds about the supposed congressional candidate.

The indictment follows extensive reporting that Wikileaks and Assange touted disclosures embarassing to Democrats during the 2016 campaign. Hillary Clinton, the front-running Democrat during the 2016 campaign, had been Secretary of State until early 2013. During that period, Western nations began hyping sexual misconduct claims against Assange, whose disclosures were making him and his organization seem heroic to many pro-transparency and anti-war advocates.

hillary clinton bernie sandersThe Justice Department indictment on July 13 alleged that stolen documents were laundered through anti-Clinton allies and released to the larger public to show favoritism by Democratic officials during the primary season to the front-running Democrat Clinton, thereby hurting her main rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont (shown with Clinton in a graphic illustrating their campaign).

Releases causing disputes at the 2016 Democratic National Convention came when the party was seeking unity between the supporters of Clinton and Sanders. Continued revelations inevitably helped the Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The controversy continues to fester in some quarters, including because of a de facto alliance between some Trump defenders on the right and Clinton opponents from the left. Some of the latter remain strong opponents of Clinton's hawkish foreign policies.

These Clinton opponents claim, much like many Trump supporters, that the Russian influence investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, a Republican former FBI director, has been hoked up in order to continue a militaristic U.S. and NATO foreign policy.

Those claims and counter-claims are beyond the scope of today's report, which is intended to provide more simply the news of the court  decision, which the major media have almost entirely overlooked so far.

The decision, which does not mention the U.S. indictment of Russians, came during a flood of news on Friday the 13th.

Among developments aside from the above-noted Justice Department indictments: President Trump created many controversies during his European trip last week and his one-on-one summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin July 16 in Finland.

The news includes Trump's unprecedented public sneers at NATO and major U.S. allies, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as widespread suspicions that he and Putin cannot be trusted to meet given current circumstances.

What's Next?

Looking ahead, two important mysteries are likely to be resolved fairly soon.

OAS sealFirst is whether the UK will comply with the international court's finding, which is made (at least formally) on behalf of the 35 OAS members (portrayed in the seal at right). The member states include all Western Hemisphere nations, including the United States, which was not represented on the judicial panel and is not a signatory to the court's convention.

A press release on the court's decision quoted its decision this way:

If the UK continues to ignore the court’s decision by insisting that local police will arrest Assange for a breach of bail conditions if he leaves the embassy, this means that the British government will have wantonly failed to uphold Assange’s rights as a legitimate receiver of asylum by Ecuador.

While London has yet to respond to the Court’s ruling, it is imperative that Assange is allowed to make the safe passage to Ecuador demanded by the Court as his physical and mental health conditions have been described as deteriorating rapidly.

Second, the public can be expected to see in coming weeks (if not sooner) whether U.S. authorities will identify and indeed prosecute those alleged by the indictment to have cooperated with Russian military intelligence and hackers.

Defenders of Trump and Russia have been claiming since the indictment on July 13 that it named only Russians because prosecutors do not dare test their claims in court against Americans.

The contrary view from defenders of the Mueller investigation, including this editor, is the indictments of Russians appear to be just one interim step on a path that will lead to a trial for many others, possibly including Assange.


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Related News Coverage Of Court Ruling On Assange's Right To Asylum

International Court Orders Safe Passage For Assange

Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Advisory Opinion, July 12, 2018. The composition of the Court for this Advisory Opinion included the following: Judge Eduardo Ferrer MacGregor Poisot, President; Judge Eduardo Vio Grossi, Vice President; Judge Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto; Judge Elizabeth Odio Benito; and Judge L. Patricio Pazmiño Freire.

inter american court human rightsOn May 30, 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court”) issued an Advisory Opinion on the Institution of Asylum and its Recognition as a Human Right in the Inter-American System. Notice was given to the parties today. This Advisory Opinion was requested by the State of Ecuador. The text of the Opinion can be found here.

The Court interpreted the reach of the protection given under Article 22(7) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article XXVII of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, which recognize the right to seek and receive asylum in a foreign territory persons who may be found in the territory of the State, but also obliges States extraterritorially whenever authorities exercise their authority or effective control over such persons, as may happen in legations, that, by their own nature, may be in the territory of another State with that State’s consent and authorization.

The Court added that host States under whose jurisdiction the person falls who had requested protection in diplomatic headquarters have the obligation to adopt positive measures regarding an individualized evaluation of risk, such as the opportunity of a personal interview or a preliminary evaluation of the risk of refoulement, as well as the obligation to adopt adequate means of protection, including those against arbitrary detention.

Thus, States must arbitrate all the necessary means to protect persons in the event of a real risk to their life, integrity, liberty, or security if they were sent back. Similarly, since the legal status of the person cannot stay in limbo or be prolonged indefinitely, States must adopt measures which expedite suitable safe passage, which is why the Court recalled that the duty of cooperation between States in the promotion and observance of human rights is an erga omnes norm.

The entire text of the Advisory Opinion can be found here and the official summary here., Julian Assange Scores Major Legal Victory as Court Orders Safe Passage of Wikileaks Founder Out of Embassy, Adam Garrie, July 13, 2018. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a body of the Organization of American States, rules that UK must allow Assange safe passage from embassy to host nation Ecuador.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica is a multinational independent judicial body which handles court cases relating to the human rights of individuals in or effected by the laws of the members states of the Organization of American States (OAS).

At present the OAS is comprised of every North American, Central American and South American nation, although Venezuela has expressed a desire to withdraw from the body.

OAS sealToday, the Court ruled that it is the duty of nations to allow for the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state that has granted an individual asylum.

For Julian Assange, this would mean that according to the Court’s decision, Britain has a legal obligation to allow Julian Assange to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in peace and allow for his safe transit to an airport from which he would be able to fly to Ecuador, the country that has granted Assange asylum and where he now also holds formal citizenship.

ecuador flagNew York Post, Assange could soon be evicted from London embassy, Mary Kay Linge, July 14, 2018. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be evicted from the London embassy that has sheltered him for the last six years. Ecuador, which has played host to the political provocateur since 2012, and Britain are in high-level discussions over Assange’s fate, the Sunday Times of London reported.

ecuador embassy nick hider flickr dmcaNew Ecuadorean president Lenin Moreno – who has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” – dismisses him as a problem he inherited from his predecessor.

The South American nation’s former president granted Assange political asylum shortly after the Australian was accused of sexual assault and rape in Sweden. Assange claimed the charges were part of a U.S. plot to discredit him for WikiLeaks disclosures that embarrassed the Obama administration.

robert mueller waving handsBut Ecuador’s new government, which has cut off his Internet access and banned most visitors, isn’t buying the story.

Assange believes he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves the London embassy (shown above in a Flickr photo). That fear is doubtless heightened by indictments filed Friday by Special Counsel Robert Mueller (shown at right in a file photo).

WikiLeaks published documents that the Russians allegedly hacked from the Democratic National Committee – including emails that revealed the party’s internal scheme to rein in the insurgent primary campaign of Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Republication of JIP Assange Column:

The IndicterThe Indicter, Court Grants Julian Assange Freedom Just As U.S. Ramps Up Claims, Andrew Kreig, July 17, 2018. A major international human rights body has ordered the United Kingdom to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for safe passage out of the kingdom — just when it seemed likely that the UK and other Western powers were on the verge seizing Assange on old charges and possibly major new ones.

Ruling on a petition brought by Ecuador, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights announced on July 12 a so-far little-reported ruling that political asylum in a nation’s foreign embassy — as Ecuador has granted Assange in London for six years — carries also a right of safe passage out of a country, as in Assange’s situation.

The Indicter is Stockholm-based independent monthly magazine on geopolitical & human rights issues, founded November 2015 by Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli. Andrew Kreig is an associate editor. Vol 4, N°32, July 2018 issue.

The 5th Estate (Indonesia), Court Grants Assange Freedom Just As U.S. Ramps Up Attack, Andrew Kreig, July 15, 2018 (Founded and edited by Robert Finnegan).



julian assange august 2014 wRT, Assange may finally leave Ecuadorian embassy in London as health worsens – report, Aug. 1, 2018. Julian Assange (shown in a 2014 photo), who has spent more than 2,230 days in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, is expected to leave the building soon with his health deteriorating, sources say.

This latest information about the WikiLeaks founder, who was already expected to leave the embassy “in the coming weeks,” was broken Wednesday by Bloomberg which cited “two people with knowledge of the matter.” The news agency reported that the whistleblower’s health “has declined recently.”

The news comes days after Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced that Assange must "eventually" leave the embassy. “Yes, indeed yes, but his departure should come about through dialogue,” the Ecuadorian president said in answer to a reporter’s question on whether he will eventually have to leave.

Newsweek, WikiLeaks: Australia Has 'Obligation' to Protect Julian Assange, Lawyer Says, Jason Murdock, Aug. 1, 2018. Julian Assange is “homesick for Australia” and will need to be protected by the Malcolm Turnbull government if he is expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy, his lawyer has said.

australian flag wavingSpeculation has mounted in recent weeks that Assange’s welcome at the London embassy—where he has lived under political asylum since 2012—is coming to an end. Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, recently confirmed that discussions with British officials were ongoing about the WikiLeaks chief. “I have never been in favor of Mr. Assange’s activity,” Moreno stated.

jennifer robinsonJennifer Robinson (left, shown in a file photo), Assange’s legal representative in London, told Australian media Wednesday that the situation had become “untenable.” She suggested that Australia should offer aid.

“Julian is still an Australian citizen and they have an obligation — and I think a duty — to exercise rights of protection over an Australian citizen,” Robinson told “They could usefully engage in this to help solve the impasse.” The lawyer said that it was “disappointing” that the Turnbull government had not yet stepped in. “I very much hope that they will,” she stated.

Consortium News, Opinion: Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World, Stefania Maurizi, July 19, 2018. Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has worked with WikiLeaks for nine years on the Podesta emails and other revelations. Here’s an insider’s view of the publisher, which has incensed rulers around the world, desperate to hide their corruption.

Over the last nine years, I have partnered with WikiLeaks on behalf of my newspaper, the Italian daily La Repubblica to work on the Podesta emails and many of its other secret files, except for those that WikiLeaks released without media partners: the DNC emails, the Saudi Cables, Turkey’s ruling party emails, the Hacking Team documents, the Collateral Murder video and the Brennan emails.


Background: Sweden Framed Assange On Sex Charges As UK Cooperated

Swedish flagAs noted above: In late 2010, our project received a tip that U.S. intelligence officials had close relationships with Swedish political and court officials relevant to the Assange investigation.

We found that Swedish officials had been undertaking irregular procedures in investigating Assange and that most in the mainstream media in Sweden, the rest of Europe and in the United States were content to rely upon official statements and in effect go along with a remarkable abuse of multiple nations' legal systems.

Marcello Ferrada de NoliOur reporting benefited enormously from the pioneering work by Swedish medical school professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, founder of the watchdog group Swedish Doctors for Human Rights and the magazine The Indicter.

The professor, shown at left, and his colleagues worked tirelessly at early stages to expose complicity by Swedish authorities in a frame-up of Assange for political reasons.

In January 2017, for example, The Indicter published New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange’s Version in Sweden’s case by Celia Farber, an author and investigative reporter.

She concluded that the crucial allegations against Assange, "as have appeared in the Swedish and international media," were constructed by the police "and were not what the complainants really said or wished to achieve." 

Farber (shown at right), unlike most writers intimidated either by political correctness, powerful government sources or both, dared explore the specifics of the sex claim allegations, as summarized immediately below.

Farber's work drew on such previous inquiries as that of best-selling feminist author Naomi Wolf (shown in a file photo below).

Naomi Wolf FacebookWolf (shown at left) from the outset of the claims against Assange in 2010, questioned why the identities of the complainants were being kept confidential, especially given the many usual features of the case. Wolf's views are summarized in her columns, including J’Accuse: Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide, published by the Huffington Post in 2010:

“Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world,” Wolf wrote, "have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned — for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven."

The basic claims by two Swedish women were that Assange had engaged in improper sexual activities after they separately invited the newly famous transparency guru to sleep with them in their beds during his speaking trip to Sweden in August, 2010.

The Swedish legal system has a number of differences with those in the United States that allowed these kinds of allegations to proceed with little scrutiny compared to American procedures.

The IndicterFor one thing, the investigation was pushed in effect by a private attorney with political and intelligence connections.

Also, the original prosecutor was replaced after an initial interview of Assange was deemed unworthy of follow-up. Sweden also does not have a jury trial for such allegations if they ever proceed to formal charges, thus increasing the fears by an accused suspect.

Furthermore, the Swedish personnel were revealed to have important intelligence and political ties with Western counterparts compromising the credibility of the entire matter. The initial attorney for the two women complaining about Assange, for example, was law partner to Sweden's former justice minister who cooperated with the CIA to send an political asylum seeker in Sweden to Eygpt for torture.

After we documented these kinds of close ties between U.S. Swedish and other officials who wanted WikiLeaks silenced our investigative reporting evolved more into commentary to connect the dots more concisely, as we reported in our 2016 columns Noted Swedish Journalist, Assange Critic Exposed As Sapo Agent and Assange Rape Defense Underscores Shameful Swedish, U.S. Tactics.

United Kingdom flagLast year, Sweden abandoned its sex misconduct investigation entirely without ever filing charges, as we reported in Brits Threaten Assange As Swedes Abandon Sex Smear. That column reported that even without a viable Swedish investigation the United Kingdom still sought to arrest Assange for failing to submit to court procedures that could have led to extradition to Sweden and then, he feared, to the United States. 

Many of these previous legal proceedings seem best understood through the arguments of Assange and his defenders: That Sweden and the United Kingdom wereless interested in applying neutral principles of law than in making Assange available for extradition (for potential rendition to a more hostile venue) and smearing him in the media.

Bottom line: bad faith by nations in previous legal proceedings raises the possibility of bad faith in current proceedings (such as those underway in the Mueller probe) but does not necessarily prove it. Indeed, many times in legal history a person freed after wrongful prosecution has committed new and different crimes.

As an additional factor in any U.S. charges involving trafficking in stolen documents are questions on whether WikiLeaks functioned at relevant times essentially as a media outlet or as a conspirator.

In sum, any reasonable observer needs to keep careful watch over current proceedings with an open mind.


Related News Coverage On U.S. Indictment Of Russians July 13 and Feb. 16, 2018

gru logo Custom 2

Above, the logo of the Russian intelligence service GRU 

dnc horizontal logo

ny times logoNew York Times, U.S. Indicts 12 Russian Officials in 2016 Hacking of Democrats, Eileen Sullivan and Katie Benner, July 14, 2018 (print edition). Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Friday announced new charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Hillary Clinton ButtonThe announcement came just a few days before President Trump is expected to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland.

robert mueller full face fileThe 11-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy by the Russian intelligence officials against the United States, money laundering and attempts to break into state boards of elections and other government agencies.

The indictment is part of the investigation of Special counsel Robert Mueller (shown at right) into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The 29-page indictment is here.

washington post logoWashington Post, Analysis: Indictment lands at a really awkward moment for Trump, Amber Phillips​, July 14, 2018 (print edition). The development in the Russia investigation — coming days before a planned summit with Vladimir Putin — could force President Trump’s hand on something he has seemed loathe to do: Confront the Russian leader about election meddling.

The timing of the newest indictment in the special counsel's Russia investigation couldn't be better for President Trump's opponents — or more inconvenient for Trump and his allies.

Friday's indictment of 12 Russian spies, who are accused of hacking Democrats during the campaign, could blunt any positive results Trump's allies thought they had gleaned from Thursday's contentious congressional hearing about alleged FBI bias in the Russia investigation.

vladimir putin o wTrump is gearing up for a meeting Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin (right). This indictment could force his hand on something he has seemed loathe to do: confront Putin about election interference.

Meanwhile, these 12 new charges prove that the special counsel's Russia investigation is very real — not a “witch hunt” as the president has claimed. It brings the total indictments to 32 people, most of whom are either Russians or Trump campaign officials or people with ties to the Trump campaign.

And Friday's indictments come a day after some on the left found a new spokesman for protecting the FBI from Republican attacks, beleaguered FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Feb. 17

washington post logoWashington Post, Justice Dept. deals fatal blow to Trump’s Russia ‘hoax,’ Philip Rucker, Feb.17, 2018. A 37-page federal indictment released Friday afternoon spells out in exhaustive detail a three-year Russian plot to disrupt America’s democracy and boost Trump’s campaign. The indictment reveals that the scope of Russia’s alleged efforts to help Donald Trump defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was extraordinary.

ny times logorussian flagNew York Times, Analysis: Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too, Scott Shane, Feb. 17, 2018. Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States’ history of intervention in foreign elections.

On Tuesday, American intelligence chiefs warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia appears to be preparing to repeat in the 2018 midterm elections the same full-on chicanery it unleashed in 2016: hacking, leaking, social media manipulation and possibly more. Then on Friday, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, run by a businessman with close Kremlin ties, laying out in astonishing detail a three-year scheme to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, boost Donald Trump and sow discord.

Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system. But intelligence veterans, and scholars who have studied covert operations, have a different, and quite revealing, view.

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”

Loch K. Johnson, the dean of American intelligence scholars, who began his career in the 1970s investigating the C.I.A. as a staff member of the Senate’s Church Committee, says Russia’s 2016 operation was simply the cyber-age version of standard United States practice for decades, whenever American officials were worried about a foreign vote.


Justice Integrity Project Coverage of Assange / Wikileaks

May 2017

Justice Integrity Project, Brits Threaten Assange As Swedes Abandon Sex Smear, Andrew Kreig, May 21, 2017. British authorities threatened WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with arrest on a bond-jumping charge last week after their Swedish counterparts gave up trying to investigate Assange on what appears to have been a dubious series of sex claims that have been pending against him for nearly seven years since his 2010 speaking trip to Stockholm.

The British threat, if pursued aggressively with punishment beyond the norm, would further compound a travesty of justice that has already disgraced the Swedish and British legal systems. The Swedes have wasted vast amounts of taxpayer money for the probe, as have the British in the latter's around-the-clock surveillance of Assange for years cost millions of pounds. The evidence suggest that both nations have undertaken such extraordinary actions to thwart WikiLeaks and not to investigate claims arising out of consensual sex with two Swedish women who invited Assange to sleep with them separately before complaints arose.

Designated by a United Nations body 15 months ago as the victim of unlawful detention stemming from a political prosecution, Assange has lived since 2012 in Ecuador's London embassy.

Ecuador granted Assange political asylum from Sweden's demand, affirmed by Britain's courts, for Assange's extradition to face renewed questioning. Sweden has never charged the WikiLeaks founder with an offense but has instead insisted until recently that he must return to Sweden for questions about sexual activities, even though the initial prosecutor questioning him found no basis for charging him before her supervisors dismissed her from the case.

December 2016

Swedish flagJustice Integrity Project, Assange Rape Defense Underscores Shameful Swedish, U.S. Tactics, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 12, 2016. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last week refuted the dubious rape prosecution Sweden began against him in August 2010. Assange’s written response on Dec. 7, with his first detailed defense, underscores the disgraceful procedures used by Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom, with the complicity of most mainstream media outlets because of their pattern of omitting evidence in biased news accounts.

With the zeal and arrogance of a police state, Sweden has repeatedly violated due process under a veneer of legal and human rights rhetoric. Sweden's use of sexual misconduct claims to capture Assange stems from coordinated reprisal by the three nations for his WikiLeaks publication in 2010 that included some 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables and “The Afghan Diaries,” a trove of 80,000 documents.

These materials exposed diplomatic hypocrisy (including regarding Sweden's ostensible "neutrality") suspected war crimes, and cover-up by Sweden and NATO members.

March 2016

Justice Integrity Project, Noted Swedish Journalist, Assange Critic Exposed As Sapo Agent, Andrew Kreig, March 20, 2016. A prize-winning Swedish journalist noted for his left-wing, pro-NATO and anti-Wikileaks commentary was revealed this month to have been a paid agent of Säpo, his nation's security service.

Martin Fredriksson WikimediaMartin Fredriksson (left), winner of a major investigative reporting prize in 2014 for his work exposing right-wing groups opposed to NATO, has been secretly paid for years by Säpo, the Swedish Security Service, according to news reports based on his own admissions.

In deep intrigue that resembles a spy novel, Fredriksson's story undermines conventional wisdom on both sides of the Atlantic that journalists work independently from power centers, including government agencies.

The matter is especially timely because of Sweden's ongoing persecution of Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange for what appears to be a trumped-up sex scandal probe extending nearly six years in reprisal for massive and ongoing disclosures by Wikileaks of Western governments' darkest secrets.

February 2011

Justice Integrity Project, Rove’s Swedish Connections: The Controversy And The Facts, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 14, 2011. My Huffington Post column in December describing links between Karl Rove and Sweden’s governing party continues to generate controversy. That’s because of implications of Sweden’s all-out effort to capture WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Developments since then illustrate how the Assange law enforcement scandal is similar to many Rove-style political prosecutions in the United States.

Among the tell-tale signs are using the media to smear a defendant with pre-trial leaks. These foster an anti-defendant climate in the courts and public, helping to ensure that unfair court procedures won’t generate effective protest by legislators, the media or general public.


Selected Assange / WikiLeaks Coverage

May 2017

RT, Assange defends Clinton campaign leaks in foreword of new book, Staff report, May 23, 2017. A book about Hillary Clinton’s presidential run is being promoted by WikiLeaks, thanks in no small part to a foreword by Julian Assange in which he defends publishing leaked Democratic Party campaign material.

The latest edition of How I Lost by Hillary Clinton by former Wall Street Journal correspondent Joe Lauria (shown at right) is said to examine how the US was “delivered” to Donald Trump.

"At a time of widespread dissatisfaction with business-as-usual politics," the publisher's announcement said, "the Democrats chose to field a quintessential insider. Her campaign dwelt little on policies, focusing overwhelmingly on the personality of her opponent."

Julian Assange at Ecuador's Embassy (Photo Collage by The Indicter Magazine)

Julian Assange, center, at Ecuador's Embassy (Photo Collage by The Indicter Magazine)

The Indicter, UK Threatens Assange As Sweden Withdraw Accusations, Andrew Kreig, May 22, 2017. Justice Integrity Project Editor Andrew Kreig is a member of the Editorial Board, and Associate Editor of The Indicter Magazine. (Reprint of column above.)

The Real News Network, John Pilger: Julian Assange is Cleared of Rape Allegations, but Far From Free, Kim Brown interview, May 22, 2017. Filmmaker and journalist John Pilger says Swedish authorities should be 'embarrassed' for pursuing what he called trumped up accusations against Assange and also how journalists are increasingly targeted as enemies of the state.

KIM BROWN: So even though Sweden is no longer seeking Assange's arrest, London police announced that their arrest warrant, based on a 2012 bail violation, remains in force. Also, recently US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the Justice Department is looking into prosecuting WikiLeaks and Assange related to WikiLeaks' release of classified government information. In other words, Assange still cannot leave the embassy building in London without risking arrest and extradition to the United States.

john pilger SmallJOHN PILGER (shown at right): The case is being dropped because it's demonstrably a farce and always has been. Marianne Ny, the prosecutor, has embarrassed the Swedish judiciary. She's embarrassed the Swedish government. I would suggest she's probably embarrassed many people in the Swedish public with her obsession, and a previous prosecutor has described it as an obsession, with Julian Assange. It's not simply that, of course. There are great political aspects to this that are very sinister. But there never was a case against Assange.

The Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné, when Assange was arrested, said: "There is no case to answer here, no crime was committed," and she dismissed it. Marianne Ny picked it up only after a local politician, Claes Borgström, a very ambitious and highly contentious character, encouraged her to do so. Ny's distinction has been to withhold evidence. She refused to allow the lawyers of Assange to include in their case hundreds of SMS messages which the two women in question had sent.

These SMS messages made very clear how the police had manipulated them. One of the women refers to being railroaded by the police, that she'd never wanted it to end up in a police situation, that she was shocked by it, and so on and so forth. There are many others. I've seen these SMS messages. They make the whole case very clear, and that is it's a farce. The women themselves early on said they hadn't been raped, and Borgström, the politician I was referring to who then became their lawyer, said, "Ah, well they would say that, wouldn't they? But they're not lawyers."

Washington Post, Sweden drops Assange rape allegation, but Britain says WikiLeaks founder still faces arrest, Karla Adam, May 19, 2017. Swedish prosecutors on Friday dropped their investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, closing a nearly seven-year legal saga that led the WikiLeaks founder to seek sanctuary at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

But British police said that Assange still faces arrest for jumping bail if he walks out of diplomatic protection, which he claims is needed to keep him from being extradited to the United States to face charges of disclosing confidential military and diplomatic documents.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement that Sweden’s director of public prosecution, Marianne Ny, “today decided to discontinue the investigation” into a rape claim against Assange. Assange has disputed the rape allegation. He also argued that he risked being extradited by Sweden to the United States and tried for espionage.

He took refuge in the embassy in 2012. Assange’s lawyer, Per Samuelson, said in an emailed statement that Assange had “proved his innocence.” The case was closed, he wrote, “because an innocent man proved he was not guilty!”

But Swedish officials said the decision only drops the case and is not a ruling on Assange’s guilt or innocence. The attorney for Assange’s accuser said it was a “scandal” that the case was not tried in court. In explaining why Sweden was dropping the investigation, Ny told a news conference in Stockholm that “all possibilities to advance the investigation have now been exhausted” and that the legal proceedings could continue only if

Justice For Assange, Why I won: My statement, Julian Assange, May 20, 2017 Twitter link to Nov. 14-15, 2016 Assange statement summarizing interview with Swedish authorities.

"You have subjected me to six years of unlawful, politicized detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and four and a half years at this embassy. You should have asked me this question six years ago. Your actions in refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal. You have been found to have subjected me to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You have denied me effective legal representation in this process. Despite this, I feel compelled to cooperate even though you are not safeguarding my rights."

January 2017

The Indicter, New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange’s Version in Sweden’s case, Celia Farber, Jan. 3, 2017. Author and investigative reporter Celia Farber concludes that the police reports confirm Julian Assange’s testimony, as given to the prosecutor in her questioning conducted at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It  has also been established that the crucial allegations against Mr Julian Assange, as have appeared in the Swedish and international media were constructed by the police and were not what the complainants really said or wished to achieve.

It has been discovered that it was the police, or the prosecutor’s office, which unlawfully and/or unethically leaked the “allegations” to the evening paper Expressen, which is clearly known for its declared NATO sympathies. Regrettably, but also predictably, this was an opportunity for Western mainstream media to create a scandal around the founder of WikiLeaks. Likewise, it was an occasion used by the MSM to insidiously attack the organization that had partly exposed the corruption of the governments they represent, and partly surpassed them in journalistic efficacy and objectivity.

The IndicterBut it was more than purely vendetta-time; it was a well-articulated campaign which started that day in August 2010 when – according to the Snowden documents – the US government asked the countries participating in the military occupation of Afghanistan under US command to prosecute Julian Assange. Sweden obeyed; others cooperated.

Nevertheless, the Afghan Logs and the Iraq Logs exposed by WikiLeaks remained published. The WikiLeaks founder did not surrender. The Assange case, already politically in its origins, turned into a spiral of increasing geopolitical dimensions.

Our position has always been that the above-described political aspect has always been present in the ‘Assange case’ and we could hardly be – in principle – interested in furthering a discussion on details pertaining the intimacy of Mr Assange or of other people around the constructed ‘legal case.’

December 2016

Daily Mail, Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails; they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for 'disgusted' Democratic whistleblowers, Alana Goodman, Dec. 14, 2016. A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by 'disgusted' whisteblowers - and not hacked by Russia. Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September. [See Mr. Murray Goes to Washington,]

Craig Murray former UK Ambassador'Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,' said Murray (shown in a file photo) in an interview with on Tuesday. 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.'

His account contradicts directly the version of how thousands of Democratic emails were published before the election being advanced by U.S. intelligence.

Murray is a controversial figure who was removed from his post as a British ambassador amid allegations of misconduct. He was cleared of those but left the diplomatic service in acrimony. His links to Wikileaks are well known and while his account is likely to be seen as both unprovable and possibly biased, it is also the first intervention by Wikileaks since reports surfaced last week that the CIA believed Russia hacked the Clinton emails to help hand the election to Donald Trump.

Murray's claims about the origins of the Clinton campaign emails comes as U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly confident that Russian hackers infiltrated both the Democratic National Committee and the email account of top Clinton aide John Podesta. In Podesta's case, his account appeared to have been compromised through a basic 'phishing' scheme, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly told members of Congress during classified briefings that they believe Russians passed the documents on to Wikileaks as part of an influence operation to swing the election in favor of Donald Trump.

Assange were present in Sweden.

The Hill, WikiLeaks claims Obama hacking probe is investigating WikiLeaks, Katie Bo Williams, Dec. 9, 2016. Anti-secrecy platform WikiLeaks on Friday claimed President Obama’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election was an investigation into WikiLeaks itself. “CNN: Obama orders report into WikiLeaks timed for release just prior to Trump presidency,” the group tweeted, linking to a CNN report about the hacking review that does not mention WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks throughout the election published troves of hacked documents believed to have been stolen by Russia. It has vociferously denied any links to Moscow.

New York Times, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Denies Rape in Detailed Account of Encounter, Dan Bilefsky, Dec. 7, 2016. Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, offered his most detailed and public account on Wednesday of events that led to a rape accusation against him in Sweden, saying he was innocent and had engaged in “consensual and enjoyable sex” with the accuser.

Julian Assange 2014Last month, questions prepared by Swedish prosecutors were posed to Mr. Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he has been living since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over the rape accusation. The questions were asked by an Ecuadorean prosecutor under an agreement made by the two countries in August.

But in a move that is likely to irk Swedish prosecutors, whom Mr. Assange has denounced for forcing him to remain confined in the embassy for the past six years, the WikiLeaks founder on Wednesday released the answers he gave during the interview. In the 19-page statement, which reads alternately like a legal defense brief and an emotional airing of personal grievances, he writes that he is “entirely innocent” and had engaged in “consensual and enjoyable” sex with the woman who accused him of rape.

WikiLeaks has courted controversy by publishing confidential and damaging information from the United States and other countries. During the American presidential election, WikiLeaks came under renewed scrutiny for distributing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, and Mr. Assange acknowledged that he was timing their release to do maximum harm to the White House prospects of Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Assange, 45, an Australian, has refused to go to Sweden to face the rape accusation for fear, he says, of being extradited to the United States and being jailed for life, even though the Swedish authorities have sought to allay such concerns. No formal charges have been filed against him.

Guardian, Julian Assange defies Swedish prosecutors by releasing rape statement, David Crouch, Dec. 7, 2016. WikiLeaks founder publishes answers he gave during questioning in Ecuador’s London embassy over rape allegationJulian Assange has thumbed his nose at Swedish investigators, who he says have robbed him of his freedom for six years, by releasing the answers he gave to them under questioning in Ecuador’s London embassy last month.

The decision to issue the statement, which contains for the first time a detailed account by the WikiLeaks founder of his encounter with a woman in August 2010 who made rape allegations against him, marks a fresh twist in a case in which Assange claims an early leak of information from the Swedish police has shaped opinion.

November 2016

The Indicter, Controversy over WikiLeaks Podesta Emails Opens a Debate for Future Journalism, Nozomi Hayase, Nov. 3, 2016. In its 10th years of existence, WikiLeaks has been at the center of controversy. Ever since its global debut with the 2010 Apache helicopter gun-sight video depicting the killing of civilians in Baghdad, the whistleblowing site has consistently exposed the naked power of empire for the world to see. As a result, the organization has been subject to relentless retaliation. With banking blockades, a secret grand jury and constant character assassination of its founder Julian Assange, who remains arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy, the U.S. government’s efforts to divert public attention from evidence of its own crimes have quickly escalated into a war on the First Amendment.

The IndicterWikiLeaks’ publications influenced the outcome of a Kenyan election and played a role in instigating the Icelandic revolution. Now, by means of email leaks, they began informing U.S. voters of the real working of Corporate America’s tradition of lesser-evil politics.

After the DNC email leaks that led to the resignation of top DNC officials, WikiLeaks has intensified its activity. Since October 7, they began publishing emails from the private account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. The archive contained transcripts of Clinton’s paid Goldman Sachs speeches that show her two faces and total disconnect from the middle class. It also revealed her private remarks dismissing climate activists. As usual, the leaks have been condemned by the status quo and Clinton loyalists. This time, a narrative that ‘Vladimir Putin was meddling in the election’ was used to discredit their publication, with the mainstream media creating an echo chamber of McCarthy-era style hysteria.

September 2016, Mr. Murray Goes to Washington, Craig Murray, Sept. 15, 2016. After a 16,000-person petition to the State Department and letter writing and lobbying including by Jeremy Corbyn, Roger Waters and Daniel Ellsberg, I have been granted a 10-year US visa. I will be going to Washington in a week to have the great honor to chair the presentation of the Sam Adams Award to John Kiriakou – the CIA agent who blew the whistle on waterboarding, and was jailed for it as part of the disgraceful Obama/Clinton War on Whistleblowers. I shall also be speaking at the World Beyond War conference at American University on the subject of peaceful conflict resolution.

The IndicterThe Indicter, Paid agent of Swedish security services implicated in second disinformation campaign against Assange, Marcello Ferrada de Noli (shown in a file photo), March 13, 2016. In the first part of this series, The Indicter exposed that a former paid agent of Sweden’s Security Police had intervened with Amnesty Sweden (the Swedish section of Amnesty International), directly dictating its negative stance towards Julian Assange.

In this article, I analyze whether Swedish government security agents, or ‘former agents,’ have been further involved in a disinformation campaign against the founder of WikiLeaks and its whistleblower publishing. An important source here is the activity of Researchgruppen (aka Research Group), the journalist-collective organization led by Martin Fredriksson, a former paid agent of the Swedish Security Police – or, as it’s better known by its Swedish acronym, SÄPO.

Marcello Ferrada de NoliResearchgruppen is an organization founded by Martin Fredriksson (shown in a portrait via Wikimedia) and others in 2010 (while he was still a paid agent of SÄPO) that claims to target extreme right-wing or right-conservative parties, organizations that, however, all share a staunch opposition to the incorporation of Sweden into NATO. Researchgruppen has also received support and assignments from Expressen, one of the main Swedish evening newspapers, well-known for leading an earlier campaign against WikiLeaks and Assange.

The "My Special Interests" programs are podcasts in which the ex-SÄPO agent and guests – occasionally including other collaborators working as SÄPO agents, besides Fredriksson – share opinions on topics built around the political and geopolitical stances of Researchgruppen. Many of these stances are, in fact, very similar to the views held by prominent Swedish politicians who have been exposed by WikiLeaks as having provided information to U.S. intelligence services, such as in the case of former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

A prominent characteristic of the podcasts is their harsh criticism of Julian Assange, combined with a fierce anti-Russian bias – particularly targeting Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. The podcasts – so far 22 programs have been produced – are each about one hour long.

March 2016

The Indicter, Former paid agent of Swedish Security Police dictated Amnesty Sweden’s stance against Assange, Marcello Ferrada de Noli, (Chairman of Swedish Doctors for Human Rights), March 6, 2016. Svenska Dagbladet (SVD), one of Sweden’s leading newspapers, has now revealed that a well-known journalist and ‘left activist’ – who, among other things, exerted considerable influence with Amnesty International Sweden – was a paid agent of Sweden’s Security Police (SÄPO).

Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) (Swedish daily newspaper), When the real Salander sold out to Sapo, Sam Sundberg, March 2, 2016. (Translated by Google, with JIP editorial revisions). One of the more nationally famous left activists, Martin Fredriksson, released this day a bomb in social media. In a groovy Twitter, he reveals that he was for many years a paid Sapo informant during a time when he has been active in the Antifascist Action and Research Group.

Martin Fredriksson WikimediaFredriksson (shown in a file photo) is best known as co-founder in the journalist community of the Research Group, which conducted an extensive digging job of the right-wing's digital activities. In cooperation with the Expressen and Aftonbladet newspapers, he revealed the anonymous authors of racist sites Exposed, Free Times and Avpixlat and hateful writers on the web forum Flashback.

For a collaboration with Expressen, Fredriksson, along with five colleagues in the Research Group, has been awarded the guldspaden, one of Sweden's greatest prizes for investigative journalism. He has also worked as a researcher for Robert Aschberg TV show "Insider."

The Indicter, New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange’s Version in Sweden’s case, Celia Farber, Jan. 3, 2017. Author and investigative reporter Celia Farber concludes that the police reports confirm Julian Assange’s testimony, as given to the prosecutor in her questioning conducted at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It has also been established that the crucial allegations against Mr Julian Assange, as have appeared in the Swedish and international media, were constructed by the police and were not what the complainants really said or wished to achieve.

The IndicterIt has been discovered that it was the police, or the prosecutor’s office, which unlawfully and/or unethically leaked the “allegations” to the evening paper Expressen, which is clearly known for its declared NATO sympathies. Regrettably, but also predictably, this was an opportunity for Western mainstream media to create a scandal around the founder of WikiLeaks. Likewise, it was an occasion used by the MSM to insidiously attack the organization that had partly exposed the corruption of the governments they represent, and partly surpassed them in journalistic efficacy and objectivity.

But it was more than purely vendetta-time; it was a well-articulated campaign which started that day in August 2010 when – according to the Snowden documents– the US government asked the countries participating in the military occupation of Afghanistan under US command to prosecute Julian Assange. Sweden obeyed; others cooperated.

Nevertheless, the Afghan Logs and the Iraq Logs exposed by WikiLeaks remained published. The WikiLeaks founder did not surrender. The Assange case, already politically in its origins, turned into a spiral of increasing geopolitical dimensions.

Our position has always been that the above-described political aspect has always been present in the ‘Assange case’ and we could hardly be – in principle – interested in furthering a discussion on details pertaining the intimacy of Mr Assange or of other people around the constructed ‘legal case.’

2013 Background

Sydney Morning Herald, Assange prosecutor quits while accuser sacks lawyer, Philip Dorling, March 28, 2013. The top Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault allegations against Julian Assange has abruptly left the case and one of Mr Assange's accusers has sacked her lawyer.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority wants to extradite Mr Assange to have him questioned in Stockholm in relation to sexual assault allegations by two women. Fairfax Media has obtained Swedish court documents that reveal high-profile Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has unexpectedly left the handling Mr Assange's case, effective from Wednesday, and has been replaced by a more junior prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren. The reasons for the change have not yet been disclosed.

One of Mr Assange's two accusers, political activist Anna Ardin, also applied to the Swedish courts on February 28 to replace her controversial lawyer Claes Borgstrom. Ms Ardin complained that she found Mr Borgstrom spent much more time talking to the media than to her, referred her inquiries to his secretary or assistant, and that she had lost faith in him as her legal representative.

As well as pursuing the prosecution of Mr Assange, Mr Borgstrom has been heavily criticised for his handling of another high-profile case involving an alleged mass murderer, with one prominent Swedish commentator describing him as doing "the worst defence counsel job in modern Swedish history."

2012 Background

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.), American nations back Ecuador on Assange, staff report, Aug. 28, 2012. The Organisation of American States (OAS) has declared "solidarity and support" for Ecuador in its dispute with Britain over granting asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The meeting of the bloc was convened in Washington at Ecuador's request to consider a resolution rejecting any attempt to put at risk the "inviolability" of its embassy in London, where Mr Assange is holed up. The talks gave foreign minister Ricardo Patino a platform to put forward more of Ecuador's argument over the case of Mr Assange. Mr Patino condemned Britain for what he called the "assault on our sovereignty."

"We may be a small country but we are giants in terms of dignity and our own right to sovereignty," he said.

Professors Blogg, WikiLeaks Claims Secret U.S. Charges Against Assange, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 29, 2012.  Andrew Kreig is a regular guest columnist in the Professors blogg. Jennifer RobinsonProfessors Blogg, What Julian Assange does with WikiLeaks is not only right. It is morally right, it is ethically right and it is legally right, Jennifer Robinson (right), Feb. 28, 2012. Professors Blog proudly presents a new great contribution by Jennifer Robinson, the acclaimed media and human rights lawyer. She also is a legal adviser of WikiLeaks founder – editor and journalist Julian Assange.

Raw Story, DOJ refuses to confirm Assange indictment revealed by Stratfor leak, Stephen C. Webster, Feb. 28, 2012. The U.S. Department of Justice is refusing to comment on whether it has prepared espionage charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, even after emails allegedly stolen from the Austin, Texas firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) and published Tuesday revealed that the company claims to have a sealed indictment against him. In an email published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday morning, Stratfor vice president Fred Burton writes that his firm has “a sealed indictment on Assange,” and asks subordinates to “Pls protect” the document, which was labeled “Not for Pub[lication].” In another email, Burton suggests that authorities could “lock him up” by having Assange detained as a material witness. Burton’s email was sent in response to a discussion about reports that U.S. prosecutors have not been able to hang the case against Pvt. Bradley Manning on any direct contact with Assange. Speaking to Raw Story Tuesday morning, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd said that they cannot comment “on whether anyone has been charged in a sealed indictment.”

Associated Press / CBS, WikiLeaks publishes emails on private Intel firm, Feb. 27, 2012. WikiLeaks said Monday it was publishing a massive trove of leaked emails from the geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, shedding light on the inner workings of the Texas-based think tank that bills itself as a leading provider of global intelligence to a range of clients. The online anti-secrecy group said it had more than 5 million Stratfor emails and it was putting them out in collaboration with two dozen international media organizations. The small selection so-far published to WikiLeaks' website gave a rare look at the daily routine at a private Intel firm: One described a $6,000-a-month payment made to a Middle Eastern source, another carried bits of gossip dropped by a retired spook, and many were filled with off-color office banter.

Global Intelligence Files / WikiLeaks, Stratfor Files: McCain for Internal Use (2008), WikiLeaks, Feb. 27, 2012. On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered "global intelligence" company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

Expressen (Sweden), WikiLeaks: Carl Bildt was a USA informant, Kassem Hamadé and Christian Holmén, Feb. 22, 2012. Translation: WikiLeaks is planning a massive smear campaign against Sweden in order to prevent the Swedish government from agreeing to extradite the organization's frontman Julian Assange to the United States. Internal WikiLeaks documents that Expressen noted said the Wikileaks threatens to publish a previously unknown American diplomatic report that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was an informant for the U.S. since the 1970s. He will be forced to resign. It may mean the end of his political career, says a person familiar with the Wikileaks material and planning. Carl Bildt, who yesterday was in London, did not respond to Wikileaks accusation. We are awaiting their comments. We want to see what kind of document it is about before we comment, Foreign Ministry's press officer Anders Jörle told Expressen's Niklas Svensson last night.

Bildt and RiceBusiness Insider, New WikiLeaks Drop Alleges That Sweden’s Foreign Minister Has Been a U.S. Spy, Adam Taylor, Feb. 22, 2012. WikiLeaks is said to be preparing a release that will allege Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has been a US informant since the 1970s.  The news was broken by Swedish newspaper Expressen, which said it has access to an internal Wikileaks memo. The memo says that the allegations are supposedly based on a US diplomat's report, and will be politically explosive. "He will be forced to resign," one source told the paper. Bildt (shown at right with Condolezza Rice) is alleged to have reported to Karl Rove, the former advisor to George W. Bush. Bildt has publicly admitted he meets with Rove but in an informal manner. However, the document reportedly reveals he has acted as an "informer" to the US government since 1973.

Bildt Wikipedia bio: Nils Daniel Carl Bildt KCMG, born in 1949, is a Swedish politician and diplomat. Formerly Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994 and leader of the liberal conservative Moderate Party from 1986 to 1999, Bildt has served as Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs since 6 October 2006. He has also been noted internationally as a mediator in the Balkan conflict, serving as the European Union's Special Envoy to the Former Yugoslavia from June 1995, co-chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference in November 1995 and as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from December 1995 to June 1997 immediately after the Bosnian War. From 1999 to 2001, he served as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Balkans.

Justice Integrity Project, Manning Inquiry Begins With Challenge To Tribunal's Fairness, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 16, 2011. The Article 32 hearing for Private Bradley E. Manning began Dec. 16 at Fort Meade in Maryland with a challenge by the defense team to the fairness of the military proceedings. Manning was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq for suspicion of passing restricted material to WikiLeaks. Counsel for the defense argued that the hearing officer lacks sufficient independence.

In March 2011, Manning was accused of "aiding the enemy," among other charges. Manning, who turned 24 on Dec. 17, is appearing for the first time to face 22 charges of distributing government secrets. The hearing will determine whether he must stand trial on charges that could imprison him for life. About a hundred news organizations have requested credentials to cover the proceedings, expected to last about a week. A compilation of on-the-scene coverage is excerpted below.

Augosto Pinochet Professors Blogg, Sweden and Pinochet: On torture crimes, extradition lawyers, and politically designed judges, Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Feb. 13, 2012. “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder does not prosecute U.S. torturers; he prosecutes those who speak out about U.S. torture. Will Julian Assange be next?” says human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, legal advisor to Assange. "The analysis of this blog," Dr. Ferrada de Noli writes, "reviews in similar fashion the historical background of Swedish policy regarding extradition of political prisoners. We revisit the risks as to whether Swedish authorities would give their prospective prisoner Assange -- already accused by high-profile U.S. politicians of being a terrorist -- to the United States. Sweden undertook a shameful and largely hidden policy during and after World War II, for example, to return political refugees to Russia. In 1998, pro-USA Swedish officials declined to support the extradition to face trial in Spain of CIA-installed dictator Augusto Pinochet, then in London and shown at right in a Wikipedia photo. Spain, then as now, asserts universal jurisdiction on crimes involving politically motivated torture and assassination. Spanish authorities documented how Pinochet's forces had inflicted these crimes in Chile on hundreds of political prisoners later living in exile in Sweden, including this author."

Professor’s Blogg, Swedish government using media to interfere in the legal process against Julian Assange, Dr. Marcello Ferrada de Noli (at left), Jan. 27, 2012. The international organization Reporters Without Borders published in these days the Press Freedom Index 2011-2012. Sweden's position down dropped severely from previous years, from the top position to a currently 12th place. This article explores possible reasons for this deterioration. The analysis focuses on the Swedish government allegedly interference through the media in the judicial process against Assange and issues of a prospective US extradition, and the most recent comments in the National Swedish Radio (25 of January 2012) by Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

2011 Background

Professors blogg (Sweden/Italy), Human Rights concerns regarding the case against Julian Assange, Jennifer Robinson, Dec. 30, 2011. Brief submitted by to the meeting of MPs of the Federal Parliament, at Parliament House, Canberra, discussing extradition aspects in the Swedish case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Editors Note by Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli: Professors blogg proudly presents to the Swedish and international audience the new and much valuable guest column of distinguished human-rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, right. She will now join celebrated American feminist writer Naomi Wolf and the notable Washington attorney and journalist Andrew Kreig – also columnists in the Huffington Post -- with her scholarly and expert opinions on the legal, medical and human rights aspects on important world events, such as now about the Swedish case against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Salon, The intellectual cowardice of Bradley Manning’s critics, Glenn Greenwald, Dec. 24, 2011. Ever since Bradley Manning was accused of being the source for the WikiLeaks disclosures, those condemning these leaks have sought to distinguish them from Daniel Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers. With virtual unanimity, Manning’s harshest critics have contended that while Ellsberg’s leak was justifiable and noble, Manning’s alleged leaks were not. One problem for those wishing to make this claim is that Ellsberg himself has been one of Manning’s most vocal defenders, repeatedly insisting that the two leaks are largely indistinguishable. But the bigger problem for this claim is how blatantly irrational it is. As Ellsberg clearly details in this Al Jazeera debate (VIDEO), he — Ellsberg — dumped 7,000 pages of Top Secret documents: the highest known level of classification; by contrast, not a single page of what Manning is alleged to have leaked was Top Secret, but rather all bore a much lower-level secrecy designation. In that sense, President Obama was right: “Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way” — the secrets Ellsberg leaked were classified as being far more sensitive.

Associated Press / Huffington Post, Bradley Manning's Defense Lawyers Employing Three-Pronged Strategy For Alleged WikiLeaks Suspect, David Disneau and Pauline Jelinek, Dec. 20, 2011. The government neared completion of its case against the Army intelligence analyst blamed for the biggest leak of U.S. secrets in American history as the prosecution and defense wrangled over which parts of the proceedings should be public and private.

Washington Post, Bradley Manning’s attorney in WikiLeaks case seeks presiding officer’s recusal, Ellen Nakashima, Dec. 16, 2011.  The military pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning opened contentiously Friday, with his defense attorney arguing that the presiding officer lacked the impartiality to render fair judgment in a case growing out of the release of a trove of government secrets to WikiLeaks last year.  His attorney said Army Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, a reservist who also works for the Justice Department, could not be unbiased, citing that department’s ongoing investigation of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange. “That simple fact alone, without anything else, would cause a reasonable person to say, ‘I question your impartiality,’ ” the attorney, David E. Coombs, told Almanza, who works in the child exploitation unit of the Justice Department. Almanza rejected a request for recusal after considering it during a recess. He said his unit has no involvement in the case or in national security issues.

FireDogLake, Manning Defense Files Motion Requesting Article 32 Officer Recuse Himself, Kevin Gosztola, Dec. 16, 2011. Manning’s defense lawyer, David E. Coombs, has filed a motion requesting Lt. Col. Paul Almanza recuse himself from his position as the presiding investigative officer over Pfc. Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing. Coombs listed four reasons that he says independently support but collectively mandate Almanza recuse himself.

  1. First, he has served as a career prosecutor with the Justice Department since 2002 and has prosecuted over 20 cases. The DoJ also has an ongoing investigation into the case of Bradley Manning. He alleged the DoJ would like to flip Manning and have him testify against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The Justice Department has also not ruled out taking over the prosecution from the military.
  2. Second, the government requested twenty witnesses and had all of them granted. They only listed names and no basis for why they would be relevant to the hearing. The defense, on the other hand, submitted a 19-page list of forty-eight witnesses. Ten happened to be on the government’s list and were approved. Only two of the thirty-eight other witnesses, Coombs stated, were approved “to the detriment” of Bradley Manning who is accused of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that carries the death penalty....

bbc news logo2BBC, Bradley Manning military hearing begins, Mark Mardell, Dec. 16, 2011. Defence lawyers representing the US Army analyst accused of leaking government secrets have asked the investigating officer to step aside. The hearing offers the first opportunity for his defence team to present their case since he was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 and placed in military custody. It is taking place under tight security at an army base at Fort Meade, Maryland.

As the hearing opened, Pte Manning's defence team asked for the investigating officer -- equivalent to a judge in a civilian court -- to withdraw from the case, the BBC's North America editor Mark Mardell reports from the base. Pte Manning was reported to be sitting in the courtroom dressed in military khaki and wearing black-rimmed glasses. During the Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a pre-trial hearing, both prosecuting and defence lawyers will make their initial cases and are permitted to cross-examine witnesses.

Bradley ManningPaul AdamsBBC, At the Scene, Paul Adams, Dec. 16, 2011. For almost everyone present, this is our first glimpse of the man accused of the biggest leak of confidential material in American history. Private Manning (at right in Wikipedia photo in his native Oklahoma) sat in uniform, wearing thick-rimmed glasses, hands clasped before him. In his only remarks so far, he said he understood his rights and confirmed the identities of the one civilian and two military officers representing him. But the focus of attention was the investigating officer.

Manning's civilian lawyer demanded he recuse himself, arguing that as prosecutor for the Department of Justice, Lt Col Paul Almanza works for an organisation actively pursuing a separate case against Wikileaks. Mr Coombs said Lt Col Almanza's decision to reject defence witnesses, as well as the government's alleged reluctance to put forward witnesses to explain the damage done by the leaks suggested Almanza was biased.  "Where's the damage? Where's the harm?" Mr Coombs demanded, in an early indication of part of his defence strategy. Lt Col Almanza announced a recess to consider the defence plea. It could last some time.

Fox News, Manning Judge on Trial at WikiLeaks Case Hearing, Justin Fishel, Dec. 16, 2011. Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old soldier accused of providing hundreds of thousands of secret government documents to the website WikiLeaks, appeared publicly Friday at a military courthouse for the first time since being arrested in Iraq 19 months ago. Defense attorney David Coombs touched off an unusual courtroom debate by asking investigating officer Lt.Col. Paul Almanza to recuse himself due to bias. Almanza later refused and the hearing adjourned for the day, but Coombs is trying to put the trial on hold in response.

The defense attorney has filed a motion to request a stay before the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, though Almanza plans on proceeding with the hearing Saturday unless he is told otherwise. Coombs claimed Almanza was biased due to his role as a Justice Department prosecutor, and the department's alleged desire to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The government prosecutor, Capt. Ashden Fein, asked Almanza if he had ever dealt with any issues related to WikiLeaks or Manning in his prior role as a Justice Department attorney, a job he left on Dec. 12. Almanza told the court he had no dealings with this case prior to his appointment and that he believed he could be impartial.

Politico, Barack Obama on Bradley Manning: 'He broke the law,' MJ Lee and Abby Philli, April 22, 2011. President Barack Obama’s assertion at a recent California fundraiser that Bradley Manning “broke the law” may have run afoul of presidential protocol, according to legal analysts who have been tracking the case of the Army private charged in the WikiLeaks case.

“I have to abide by certain classified information,” Obama said on a video that quickly began to circulate among media outlets Friday. “If I was to release stuff, information that I’m not authorized to release, I’m breaking the law. … We’re a nation of laws. We don’t individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate. … He broke the law.”

Washington Post, Arguments in Assange extradition hearing end; ruling expected Feb. 24, Anthony Faiola and Karla Adam, Feb. 11, 2011. Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange insisted in the closing arguments of his extradition hearing Friday that the Swedish arrest warrant against him was not valid, adding that media leaks about the sexual assault allegations against him had created a "toxic atmosphere" that ensured he could not get a fair trial in Sweden.