Wednesday, 30 May 2012

John Pilger On Assange's Extradition Case And Infringements On His Human Rights

“One of the most fundamental human rights -- that of the presumption of innocence -- has been breached over and over again in Assange's case. Convicted of no crime, he has been the object of character assassination --perfidious and inhuman -- and highly political smear, of which the evidence is voluminous.”

The full interview with author, documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilgerconducted by Thomas Hall, of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN). Pilger gave his answers on the 28th of May, which DN did not publish in the Swedish version of the 30th of May "Aktivister litar inte på Sverige" ("Aktivist do not trust Sweden"). Pilger was NOT "attacking" the Swedish system as DN made appeared when quoting some of Pilger's text. Professors blogg, however, is proud to publish this unreleased, full text material, by John Pilger.

Author John Pilger

DN: Julian Assange has ben fighting extradition to Sweden at a number of British courts. Why do you think it is important that he wins on Wednesday?
John Pilger: Because the attempt to extradite Assange is unjust and political. I have read almost every scrap of evidence in this case and it's clear, in terms of natural justice, that no crime was committed. The case would not have got this far had it not been for the intervention of Claes Borgström, a politician who saw an opportunity when the Stockholm prosecutor threw out almost all the police allegations. Borgström was then in the middle of an election campaign.  When asked why the case was proceeding when both women had said that the sex had been consensual with Assange, he replied, "Ah, but they're not lawyers." If the Supreme Court in London rejects Assange's appeal, the one hope is the independence of the Swedish courts. However, as the London Independent has revealed, Sweden and the US have already begun talks on Assange's "temporary surrender" to the US -- where he faces concocted charges and the prospect of unlimited solitary confinement.  And for what? For telling epic truths. Every Swede who cares about justice and the reputation of his or her society should care deeply about this. 
You have said that Julian Assange's human rights have been breached. In what way?
One of the most fundamental human rights -- that of the presumption of innocence -- has been breached over and over again in Assange's case. Convicted of no crime, he has been the object of character assassination --perfidious and inhuman -- and highly political smear, of which the evidence is voluminous. This is what Britain's most distinguished and experienced human rights lawyer, Gareth Peirce, has written: "Given the extent of the public discussion, frequently on the basis of entirely false assumptions ... it is very hard to preserve for [Assange] any presumption of innocence. He has now hanging over him not one but two Damocles swords of potential extradition to two different jurisdictions in turn for two different alleged crimes, neither of which are crimes in his own country. [and] his personal safety has become at risk in circumstances that are highly politically charged."
You, as well as Julian Assange, don't seem to have confidence in the Swedish judicial system. Why  not?
It's difficult to have confidence in a prosecutorial system that is so contradictory and flagrantly uses the media to achieve its aims. Whether or not the Supreme Court in London find for or against Assange, the fact that this case has reached the highest court in this country is itself a condemnation of the competence and motivation of those so eager to incarcerate him, having already had plenty of opportunity to to question him properly. What a waste all this is.
If Julian Assange is innocent, as he says, would it not have been better if he had gone to Stockholm to sort things out?
Assange tried to "sort things out", as you put it. Right from the beginning, he offered repeatedly to be questioned -- first in Sweden, then in the UK. He sought and received permission to leave Sweden - which makes a nonsense of the claim that he has avoided questioning. The prosecutor who has since pursued him has refused to give any explanation about why she will not use standard procedures, which Sweden and the UK have signed up to.

IF the Supreme Court decides that Julain Assange can/should be extradited to Sweden, what consequences/risks do you see for Julian Assange?
First, I would draw on my regard for ordinary Swedes' sense of fairness and justice. Alas, overshadowing that is a Swedish elite that has forged sinister and obsequious links with Washington. These powerful people have every reason to see Julian Assange as a threat. For one thing, their vaunted reputation for neutrality has been repeatedly exposed as a sham in US cables leaked by WikiLeaks. One cable revealed that "the extent of [Sweden's military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known" and unless kept secret "would open up the government to domestic criticism". Another was entitled "WikiLeaks puts neutrality in the dustbin of history". Don't the Swedish public have a right to know what the powerful say in private in their name?
What decision do you expect on Wednesday?
That's impossible to predict.
© John Pilger

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Shall Sweden's politically appointed Judges decide the political case against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange?

To which extent the Swedish institution of Lay Judges would influence the course of events in a possible trial against Julian Assange?

 Justitia. Acrylic in canvas, Ferrada de Noli, 2003
Lay judges in Sweden is an institution from the Middle ages. Such judges are supposed to represent the people, concretely, the people's "sense" of justice in the courts. However, the first democratic paradox is that these judges ARE NOT elected by the people but instead designated separately by some political parties among their militants -- which are in any case, all parties considered, only less than 2.9 percent of the population of Sweden! (see further below, item 4 on democracy issues). These judges intervene together with a professional judge in the assessments, judgment and verdict of cases in the Swedish courts. There is however an increasing conclusion, latest summarized in an article today in Svenska Dagbladet by Daniel Person, that "Lay judges have a tendency to judge according to their political affiliation" [2]. 

Aftonbladet, another main Swedish newspaper, publishes today 20 February an editorial-article by Eva Franchell containing remarkable revelations [3], also commented in DN:
  • More than 200 lay judges have been the subject for criminal investigations  in Sweden; 
  • Twenty-five convicted lay judges have continue act as judges in Swedish courts in the last years.
  • Nearly half of the lay judges are retired individuals (over age 65). Have these lay-judge appointments been converted in a end-of-career chairs for politicians, by politicians?
by Marcello Ferrada de Noli
Disclaimer on the opinions in this article about juridical issues:
I have understanding for certain protests that diverse juridical-educated academics have raise, about the treating of issues on the Swedish legal system in connection to the Assange case in an irrelevant manner. For it looks more as if these individuals would using the "case Assange" to throw away animosity against some Swedish institutions for other purposes, or based in other reasons. The subject has been perhaps too often treated in a sensationalistic tune, or using attacks ad hominem – some of them quite passionate, some others straight vulgar - but with little factual substance or much absence of juridical knowledge. There have been as well several such libellous attacks in the main stream media against Julian Assange or his supporters, actions that compromise professional journalism. Nevertheless,  I firmly believe that any kind of articles or comments  delivered without the basic requirement of relevancy,  may end producing among the public more antipathy than sympathy towards the causes we put forward, or defend. Like this one of justice for WikiLeaks and of its founder Julian Assange.
Human Rights experts, and serious Human Rights activists in the professions of journalism, do have the academic education and the professional experience as to properly examine those issues related to the judiciary system.  Example of these expertise, by which Professors blog have taken proud in presenting to its readers, are Human Rights lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Andrew Kreig, and Human Right activist and journalist Naomi Wolf.

During a second interview I gave recently in Stockholm for the TV network RT – aimed to Arabic speaking audiences – the journalist opened with this straight question, approximately in this formulation: 
- “What would happen to Julian Assange at arrival in Sweden if extradited from UK?”
The question demanded an equally straight answer, no space for argumentation, and I had to think faster than reasoning. For which I did answer – as usually happens in such circumstances - with pictures I got spontaneously in mind.
I saw Julian Assange incommunicado in a tiny cell that is frequently visited or controlled – and for which I imagine he will be deprived of rest, of continuous sleep.
And I saw him answering questions posed originally in a language he does not understand. This led me to imagine he was in court. And this means in his case in a secret trial behind close doors. Defended by a lawyer for whom it was forbidden to tell the press about all the investigations details he may know, “in possession” by the prosecutor.
I saw finally Julian Assange been judged by a team consisting of lay judges appointed by political parties and professional judges. And I though in the actual stands of the main political parties in Sweden with regard to WikiLeaks and Assange. And I thought what are the possibilities for Julian Assange – thinking in precedence of trials of that kind - to be judged guilty even if no substantial evidence is presented against him.
Why did I first get those pictures like in a film-reel? Because they remind me so vividly my experiences under the fascist regime of Pinochet, with politically appointed judges, incommunicado arresting system, and trials behind close doors, and guilty verdict without the need of substantial evidence.
It was then when I decided to write these comments.

Of course Sweden - with monarchy and all - is to be regarded as a full democracy; Pinochet regime was a full dictatorship. In fact, the only real similitude between those two governments is the under positioning towards USA strategic interests. But this is NOT a tiny detail.
We already know that a Grand Jury in the U.S. is preparing a case against the WikiLeaks founder. According to a recent interview with Julian Assange and lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Geoffrey Robertson [1], the USA shall most certain seek the extradition of the Wikileaks founder. The reason - as mentioned in the interview - being that a US Grand Jury investigation has been on-going in Washington since last year - preparing aggravating charges on espionage. Such charges, most likely in connection with the Wikileaks Pentagon-disclosures, would entail for Julian Assange "up to ten-years in a maximum security prison", according to the legal experts. Meanwhile, a recurrent misconception - or deliberately misinformation - published in the international media, is to consider the deportation of Julian Assange from Sweden to the USA as, statistically speaking, "highly unlikely".
Lay judges. . .
Both in the Pinochet dictatorship and in the democratic Sweden lay judges are appointed politically. In Pinochet's Chile the right-wing political force in power was represented by the Military Junta itself. The military have achieved government office by force of a putsh supported by all the right-wing political parties and implemented with participation of the CIA. Lay judges, which participated in courts eventually with professional judges or also law-school educated officers, were often military officers from the "ranks".
First important aspect: in Sweden lay judges ARE used in criminal-law cases
According to the common notion, lay judges are used in some civil law [4]. This last "universal" notion has conveyed that the lay-judges issue has not being considered important in the international discussion over the Assange case.
Nevertheless, in Sweden lay judges are used in the judging of criminal-law cases. And, according to Swedish legislation, this is the  offence-typification implied in the accusations against Julian Assange. We have in Sweden District courts, Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. Lay judges are used more extensively in the District courts.
Second important aspect: in Sweden lay judges are not assessors, they ARE JUDGING
The common understanding, or usual notion of “lay judge”, it refers to an individual assisting a judge in a trial, [4] meaning that these lay judges would have a purely "assessor" role. The Wikipedia article on the Judicial System of Sweden is not clear - or misgiving -  regarding this issue. Although it firmly states that these judges are only "assesors", and that they are not used in civil-law cases, the article omitted saying that Swedish lay judges are instead used in criminal cases, and that their role is to judge.  

So, even if the role of lay judges in other countries is commonly the one of assessor in civil-law cases, in Sweden however that IS NOT the case.
In such Swedish District courts, there are up to three lay judges in the court cases. They participate in the judging with the same judging prerogatives than the professional (career) judge/s. And this is the type of court that Julian Assange would be facing if prosecutors decide to take the case into court.
Third important aspect: Political affiliation DOES MATTER in the judging and verdict outcome
There is a widespread error on that if a Swedish prosecutor do not have enough evidence will not present the case to court. From that assumption, long discussions have been conducted in international and Swedish forums examining the validity or presumably existence of "evidence material" from the part of the prosecutor's side in the Assange case. These discussions aim to elucidate whether "there the prosecutor has enough material", and trying to anticipate whether charges will be made or not, and thus the question of trial or not-trial. But the truth is, that ultimately, a prosecutor in Sweden has the privilege to present a case in court, regardless. Is the prosecutor's side which would decide after own assessment whether the case "is worth" to be taken to court.
One consequence of this would be for Assange, that if this would happen - that is in under trial - he may be further subject of other (juridical) eventualities regarding prospective demands of extradition or "interrogations" by another country. 
The equation "Low/absence of substantial evidence and political-minded judging"  
Yet, the main concern in this scenario - the worst odds, according to precedent (see below the Beltrán case) - is if the absence of substantial evidence would lead that emphases are instead placed in circumstantial evidence, or "testimony evidence". In this situation, what would be examined are subjective factors in relation with the case. In all this judgments the political factor is relevant to say the least, and also can be determinant. What other factors associated with the case? For instance:
In February 2011, referring to the Swedish case against Assange, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt  declared publicly: [5]

“I can only regret that women’s rights and status weighs that light regarding these types of issues, in comparison with other type of theories put forward.”

[”– Jag kan bara beklaga att kvinnors rätt och ställning väger så lätt när det gäller den här typen av frågor jämfört med andra typer av teorier som förs fram”].

Prime Minister Reinfeldt again, a year later, the 25 of January 2012 made similar interferences in the legal case, appealing of national sentiment in the sense that i sthe prestige of Swedish legislation in theses regards what is at stake. I have previously analyzed these declarations of Prime Minister in " Swedish government using media to interfere in the legal process against Julian Assange":

The program leader, journalist Andres Holmberg, asked finally Sweden’s Prime Minister:

- “Is it a problem for you Fredrik Reinfeldt, or for Sweden, that this type of descriptions emerges about Sweden, in the international press: A judicial banana republic?”

The Prime Minister of Sweden:
- “It is very often a method one uses, to try discrediting a country or a judicial system when one stands prosecuted (anklagad, again!) of a crime in other country.”

- “We have naturally to stand up for we have a functioning legal state and also we take very seriously prosecutions that have to do with rape because there are also ingredients aiming to diminish how we have developed, and stand for, a good legislation in this case.” [6]

Political appointed judges, that "have a tendency to judge according political affiliation" are most likely to follow the line of Sweden's Prime Minister, on that this case against Assange is also a case of the political prestige of Sweden internationally, a mater of demonstrating how modern legislation we have on these issues.
And this  not to mention the Assange case as symbol for rigth-wing radical feminists, whose party comrades may be also in the conmposition of the lay judging team.
A precedent. The Beltrán case: In absence of hard evidence, judging guilty in the solely base of "finding the plaintiff's story credible"

Lawyers Thomas Bodström and Claes Borgström (Bodström & Borgsträm Law Firm)
One of these cases was the sentence to prison against the Chilean political refugee Tito Beltran – also a worldwide celebrity as opera tenor - accused of rape on the basis of a Swedish woman's declaration made nine years after the episode in reference. No evidence was needed. The lawyer of the woman-accuser who obtained the sentence was the social democratic politician and former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström, mentioned above. This politician is the partner of the law-firm Bodström & Borgström that nominally pursue the case against Julian Assange.
The verdict stated: "According to this court, we found the plaintiff's story credible and that fully meets the requirements to form the basis for a conviction". [7]
The lawyer defending the plaintiff was the social democratic politician and former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström. The "evidence" mentioned later in the verdict against Beltrán referred to declarations of two friends of the plaintiff which would "have heard" an account from the part of the plaintiff after the alleged happenings. Also in this case, it was not the plaintiff who have made a complaint to the police against Beltrán. It was another woman (Monica Dahlström-Lannes, known in Sweden as activist and campaigner  concerning sexual-offence cases) who after her own private investigations and interviews on the case filed the complaint to the police - nine years after!
Dahlström-Lannes was a board-member of the same organization, ECPAC, in which  the social democratic politician and former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström was also a board-member. However, Bodström denied in the court hearings that he knew Dahlström-Lannes.


Other democracy issues in the Swedish Lay Judges system

Lay judges in Sweden are an institution from the Middle ages. Such judges are supposed to represent the people, concretely, the people's "sense" of justice in the courts. However, the first democratic paradox is that these judges ARE NOT elected by the people but instead designated separately by some political parties. 
And in their turn, the political parties pickup the Lay Judges candidates from their party ranks. However, in spite of the population of Sweden being approximately nine millions (9 316 256), the total individuals affiliated to the Swedish political parties is only approximately a quart of a million (269 208). 

This means that the population relevant for the "democratic" representation by these politically appointed lay judges is actual only less than the 2.9 percent of total Swedish population. 

Since available figures for the political affiliations are from 2009, I have used in the statistical calculation the population figures of that same year. In fact, this difference is now increasing, as the population grows while individuals affiliated in political parties tends to diminish notably.
This in turn poses another "democratic" related problem, since such "elections" done in the Swedish political parties correspond in reality to a "selection", a "co-optation" done by the top leading circles in such parties. in the best of cases this is done through  "Proposition boards" (called some times Valberednings grupp), also at top-levels in the parties hierarchies. In concrete: 

A direct election of Lay Judges by the Swedish voters simply does not take place. That these judges "represent the people" it is simply not true. What they do represent instead is the political parties that have nominated them. 
Further, another problem such system has with "democracy", is that only the political parties that have reached an arbitrarily stipulated statistical value which is decided by the ruling parties (nowadays the stipulated value is >4 percent of the voters). Important political parties such as The Pirate Party - which otherwise has representation in the European Parliament) has been deprived with such formula of forming part of the lay-judges selection club.
Another issue with regard to democracy, is that although these lay judges are supposed to represent the people at large in the Swedish courts, most of the lay judges are retired bureaucrats or else -- of older age. In this sense they hardly wold represent the Swedish people, only a limited age cohort. 
The above aspect is also significant for the final political equation at the courts, since people of older age tend to see issues - politics inclusive - in a different way that younger generations does (e.g. the novel Pirate Party).
What professional/career members of the Swedish Judiciary think on the Lay Judges system?
 In a survey conducted by SvT among 675 career judges accepting to reply, only 28 percent had the opinion that the system of lay judges should be abolished. While 30 percent was negative to that lay judges are politically appointed. [6]

Some other important related observations about the Swedish legal system in the context of the "case Assange"

  • Sweden has a judiciary system in which judges participating in the courts are appointed by the political parties (there is not Jury-system in Sweden, neither exists in Sweden the institution of bail).
  • Sweden allows secret, "close-doors" trials. Particularly with regard to sexual-offences trials in which case secret trials is the most common form to be used in the Swedish system of justice.
  • The number of appeals in Sweden has been notably reduced after a law of 2008 (the so called EMR reform) devised to curve down the number of cases resulting on appealing at higher courts.
  • In the Swedish case against Assange the police investigators conducted interrogations without video-recording, sound-tape recording or other form of transcription.  This is an aggravating anomaly and which infringed clear standard proceedings as instructed by the Police Authority with regard to cases involved suspicions of rape.
  • The interrogation of one of the nominal accusers was performed by a police officer friend of the other nominal accuser.
  • The interrogation of Julian Assange could have very well have conducted in Sweden but the prosecutor chosen to issue an Interpol warrant what it made possible the fabrication of an extradition case. 
  • The law-firm defending the accusers is co-owned by a politician member of the very same political group within the Swedish Social democratic party, Mr. Thomas Bodström (former Minister of Justice) and in which the accuser AA was at the time of the accusation the political secretary. 
  • The actual lawyer appointed by the firm (the other co-owner of the law firm) is Mr. Claes Bogström, which, together with the prosecutor of the case Ms. Marianne Ny, and together with the former Minister of Justice and chairman of the Justice Committee of the Swedish Parliament Mr. Thomas Bodström participated in the study of the new legislation which radicalized the proceedings and penalties for sexual-offences in Sweden.
  • Mr. Thomas Bodström was the main politician - apart of the former Prime Minister Göran Persson - signalled around the agreements with CIA on the rendition of political refugees in Sweden to be transported to torture elsewhere. For that he was called upon the Swedish Constitutional Committee. The Swedish political parties however, as well as the mainstream media, did never really condemn such behaviour.


[1] Foreign Correspondent Andrew Fowler's interview with lawyer Jennifer Robinson, Journalist/Publisher Julian Assange and lawyer Geoffrey Robertson. The interview has been recently aired by Youtube. Follow this link to see the interview. 

[2] SvD Opinion, 20 Feb 2012
[3] "Politikerna som struntar i lagen". Aftonbladet, 20 Feb 2012
[4]  "Lay Judge". Wikipedia article
[5] DN

[8]  "RÅ: Nämndemannasystem bör förändras". SvD 24 Jan 2012
*This text is a part of the analysis published in Professors blogg 21 February 2012

Wikileaks, J Assange, Assangeyttrandehefrihettryckfrihet, transperans, Piratpartiet, PP, tryckfrihetwikileaksintressant, pressetik

In the history of Swedish extradition of political prisoners to foreign powers

“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?” (Human-Rights Lawyer Jennifer Robinson)
Ferrada de Noli, Torture, 1976
"The one fighting in combat has as a weapon his rifle. The one fighting during torture has as a weapon his silence. The one fighting in exile, has no weapons; but his word" (Professorsblogg)

This analysis reviews historic and political-background aspects in the extradition of political prisoners in Sweden, and revisits the risks as whether Swedish authorities would further extradite their prospective prisoner Julian Assange - already accused by high-profile U.S. politicians of being a terrorist.
It is also about the remissive attitude by the part of Swedish government officials regarding the practice of Torture. Namely, this is not solely referred to the episode in which Sweden severely violated with U.S. help the United Nations's Torture Absolute Ban, but finds correspondence in Sweden's long-time record of Human-Rights infringements in these regards. For instance, this article review Swedish precedents during and after Word War II - when the Swedish government also violated the Hague Convention, by enforcing the extradition  to the former Soviet Union of three thousand soldiers-refugees that have fled to Sweden from the Baltic countries after the Soviet invasion to Finland [see picture at right of a rendered Baltic refugee]. Sweden had also rendered or deported to the Soviet  Union over two thousand P.O.W. - refugees in Sweden - which fled to Sweden from German camps. Most ended in the Gulag prisons.
I further remark in this analysis the pro-USA Swedish government's refusal to process in 1998 the legal case that torture survivors filed for the extradition to Sweden of CIA-installed dictator Augusto Pinochet.  The General was arrested then in London after a Spanish Court request by Judge Baltazar Garzon. My legal action against dictator Augusto Pinochet aimed to obtain his extradition to stand trial in Sweden, Norway or Europe for the torture and injury sequelae that forces under his direct command (DINA) inflicted to hundreds former political prisoners living in exile in Sweden, or the assassination of their family members. 
This article is also about the similarities found in the judiciary politically/ideologically appointing-system between Sweden and the Pinochet regime. And finally, it is about the Swedish government's discussible judgement shown in their case against the WikiLeaks founder of WikiLeaks - an organization devoted to disclose human rights abuses internationally - when choosing a lawyer known for have declared, "Torture is not international crime". Needless to say, it is about the very same lawyer who defended torture-perpetrator and mass-murdered Augusto Pinochet upon the very same Supreme Court in London.
Here I review historical and modern episodes portraying the real ideological behaviour of some Swedish authorities in the issue of extraditing political prisoners. In the Second Part I treat the subject of certain similarities between Pinochet’s judicial system and the Swedish, focusing in the system of designating non-professional judges (nämndemän) appointed by the political parties, close-doors trials, etc.  
Analysis* & artwork by Marcello Ferrada de Noli


In the discussion – mainly focused on legal aspects – around the extradition process of the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange, meaningful political factors tends to be overlooked. This is detrimental for understanding the case's background in a larger-perspective, and for identifying causes from which such "legal" process may derive.
It is revealing by it self that Sweden's political rulers still perform in the media as if there exist ground for a "legal" case. Obviously there is no legal case: A) incongruences in the investigation have been explained in detail, B) conflicts of interest in the police interrogations exposed, and while every report points that "new" evidence does not exist beyond the known coordinated self-testimonies of the two accusers, which C) already proven juridical insufficient; facts motivating the first prosecutor (Eva Finné) what is the only feasible: close the case. . . Until it was reopened at instigation of the Bodstrom & Borgström law-firm (both of them top social democratic politicians), and by another prosecutor (Marianne Ny).
The breaking news about former Justice Minister Thomas Bodström – taking pride as main partner in the law firm instigating the reopening of the case against Assange – was given in the Professors bloggarticle “The Swedish political crusade against Assange and Wikileaksof January 11, 2011 [also in Newsmill]. Thomas Bodström is a top Swedish politician signalled as deeply involved in the secret transactions with the CIA for the extraordinary rendition of political prisoners in Swedish territory - suspectedof terrorism -  to be airborne for torture elsewhere at the discretion of the U.S. authorities. Bodström is highly praised in Sweden by both the wright-wing media and his party, the social democrats. He is member of the Brotherhood, the Christian social democratic group whose political secretary was one of the Assange accusers at the time of the reopening of the case –- done at instigation by Bodström's partner in their law-firm, the social democratic politician Claes Borgström, as declared by himself in the Guardian.
Besides, as also this article demonstrates, the deplorable behaviour shown by the Swedish PM Göran Persson and his Justice Minister Thomas Bodström in the reported illegal collaboration they had with CIA during the famous extradition episode (the extraordinary rendition of the two Egyptian refugees in Sweden, that occasioned sanction against Sweden by the united Nations) is not an isolated act. It is instead an established element in the Swedish rulers’ tradition -- as the historic facts depicted here show. All this tells against the naïve declarations of PM Reinfeldt on that the extradition of Assange to the U.S. will in that case follow the book. Historical and modern precedents tell otherwise. 
Further, some other peculiar characteristics of the Swedish political and legal system – highly relevant to this case – are still disgracefully neglected -- while the world’s public opinion awaits with confidence the judgment of the UK Supreme Court in reference to a request from a supposedly "peaceful and neutral" Sweden.  The truth being, nevertheless Swedes at large are amiable, peaceful and dignified, some top politicians of this and previous governments are instead way far from a Neutrality stand, and have shown unequivocally in the last years - particularly since the government of Göran Persson / Thomas Bodström - their servile geopolitical posture, negotiating away the Nation’s interests, behind the back of the Swedish people, on behalf of NATO warmongers and corporative business. This is set partly against the democratic exercise of our liberties, as well as against the economic development of poor nations.  
Those politicians and government officials should be taken to trial, and not the whistle-blowers who have exposed their wrongdoings!
Does the Swedish rulersrepresent in these matters the sentiment of the Swedish people?
There are two collateral aspects that I found most significant while doing research for this article on the practical stand from official Sweden regarding issues of extradition and torture: x
One is the dichotomy between the behaviour of common Swedish individuals – the people – and that one of Swedish government-officials. 
While the people - for the vast part open minded and tolerant - have shown during decades, in open demonstrated manner, they solidarity towards political refugees or peace-fighters --influential Swedish government officials on the other side have given away merciless the extradition of qualified cases refugees, nor seldom in secret operations behind the Swedish people and in cases due to agreements done even behind the Swedish Parliament (as in the case of the disclosure made by WikiLeaks). Moreover, those ministers or government officials could not have ignored that their decision would possibly entail torture, imprisonment or death for the individuals they extradite.     x

Picture above  show people of Hagaström friendly together with Russian officers. These were afterwards rendered to the Soviet Union as Swedish rulers complied with Stalin's request. Source Arbetarbladet
As a matter of fact, during the last years Sweden has been taken countless times upon the European Court for the extradition/deportation of political refugees that have face such ominous fate at arrival in their original countries, after being airborne there with the escort of Swedish police. In many cases the deported have encountered immediately arresting upon arrival. I know about also because I have professionally participated in the past with documentation on diagnostic assessments on behalf of those refugees, whose cases have eventually been taken to such European tribunals.
This dichotomy between the Swedish people’s decent and friendly behaviour on one part, and on the other the despicable political doings of some Swedish rulers and bureaucrats acting in behalf of foreign powers, it is observed all across modern times. It is a situation that repeats it self every time the government decrees the deportation of an asylum seeker who was cherished by the communities where the political refugee could live and social-interact - or even work productively for his society - during a while. x
The second noteworthy aspect is that official Sweden has apparently sepulchred documents, photographic material, historic records, etc.  – or in the best of cases make their availability difficult by for instance not publishing in the Internet, presumably as they may reveal Human Rights crimes or clear-cut infringements against the Hague Convention. That was for instance the case of the extradition of Baltic soldiers to the Soviet Union requested by Stalin (see below). The report Fångläger i Sverige tells however that thousands of document would be kept at the Swedish Riksarkivet and documents have been made available for the publication Populär Historia.
A wider political background on the Sweden's extradition precedents regarding political prisoners
Russian prisoners in Sweden - formerly in German P.O.W. camps in Norway - here seen on July 5, 1945, marching in Gävle in British uniforms forced upon them. In October that year they were rendered to the Soviet Union, after the Swedish government complied with  Stalin's request. Source Arbetarbladet

In a highly publicised speech by Joseph Stalin of August 16, 1941, the Soviet dictator categorized all (Russian) soldiers that have been - or would be captured during the war – as "traitors to the country". Further, a special rebuilding of the Gulag complex was ordered in 1945 for the purpose of allocating such "traitors". The Swedish authorities unequivocally knew this at the time they sent to imprisonment the former Russian P.O.W. Many of these captives have fled German camps to "neutral" Sweden for political asylum.

Sweden's extradition of Russians

Exact figures as how many Russians were in Sweden, as refugees by the end of War World II is not known, at least not stated publicly. Kenth Olsson estimates that of the 100 000 refugees at that time in Sweden, "34 000 were regarded by Moscow as Soviet citizens, and with the demand they should be returned to the Soviet Union" (Sovjet läger i Sverige, Populär Historia, 14/3 2001). Of those,  around 30 000 corresponded to Baltic civilians; over the half among the 4 000 Russians refugees have been soldiers in the Red Army which have fled to Sweden after being confined in German camps.
In fact, in 1945, after Hitler’s defeat, thousands of Russian prisoners fled German camps to Sweden. The above is also consisting with  figures at  a hearing in the Swedish Parliament (Interpellation 2001/02:12 Riksdagen) mentioning a number of 4 000 Russians having fled to Sweden [Note 13 Feb 2012: the content of this link at the Swedish Parliament site - has been removed]. The Swedish state television acknowledged also in a report of December 1, 2008 that 2 500 among those former P.O.W. in German camps were further held in Sweden after the war, among other in three prisoners camps in Skinnskatteberg: at Baggå farm, boarding-house Udden by Bagg bridge, and Krampen. If the reader would care to visit the Wikipedia article with Skinnskatteberg's history [here], will not find any single record of such important historic events. Information about those camps, with pictures of the referred events at the epoch, is instead scattered in private documentation found in Interned sites and a hand few articles. There is also a book authored by Hans Lundgren, “Krampen – Russian camp in Sweden during World War II” [Krampen – ryssläger i Sverige under andra världskriget, Västmanlands läns museum, 2008]. By the same time, in Norway, Sweden even established a sanitary post occupying a former field hospital set up by the Germans in Fauske (Northern Norway), according to a Swedish propaganda documentary of the epoch.
However, all those efforts done by the soldiers-refugees - amid malnutrition and exhaustion - escaping desperate from Germany camps or transported from Norway with dreams of freedom in neutral Sweden, resulted in vain; and all their hope and trust in the Swedish government, vanished and converted in the worst imaginable nightmare – viewed from a political refugee perspective: Sweden decided help the mass-renditions of Russian refugees to the Soviet Union, former prisoners of war by the Germans – after the "repatriation" petitions done by the Communist government of Josef Stalin. In fact it was the case of political refugees to whom the possibility of political asylum in Sweden was never the question. A main bulk of the mass-renditions took place October 10, 1945 in the port of Gävle. In a secret operation (same fashion than the Egyptians case of recent years) 900 prisoners were hustled into two Swedish ships, the Örnenand the Wargo, in a military operation "in cooperation" (i samarbete) with the Soviet personnel. Swedes were not allowed to take photographs.
Other successive renditions of Russians took place in Bergslagen, from where  - according to Kaa Eneberg's "Ur den glömda historien - När Sverige skickade Ryssar till Stalin" [Svensk tidskrift, 6/2-2009] - 2 500 soldiers/refugees were transported to the Soviet Union via Finland. 
The same reports quoted above stresses that the refugees never were given the chance as to individually take a decision for staying in Sweden. In concrete, they were never offered political asylum, neither given them the actual possibility of seeking such asylum since Sweden keep them collectively confined in camps supervised –- or, as in Bergslagen, "at large" under Soviet authority, meaning commanders, political commissars and personnel (see also Baggåand Lissma. See further below).
According to the reports here quoted there existed seven camps in Sweden allocating Russian soldier-refugees: Krampen, Baggbron, Baggå, Abbotjärn, Biringe (in Strängnäes), Lissma (in Stockholm) and Storvreta (in Uppsala). The Baggå camp was practically run by a Soviet commander and his staff of seven commissars. Similar conditions occurred in Lissma. One report adds that after War World II the Swedish authorities opened a camp in the outskirts of Gävle. Of the total approximately 4 000 refugees, over the half was sent to the Soviet Union (information in Fångläger i Sverige) where most of them ended in the Gulag Archipelago.
There is apparently no major documentation or public photographic material related to the Russian P.O.W. human-rights scandal in Sweden after the war. The authorities, according to reportage in Arbetarbladet, would have destroyed this material December 24, 2008 ("Escaping Russians concentrated in Hagaström").
The two pictures above: Russian P.O.W. in the Faulke camp, where the Swedish military ran a hospital abandoned by the Germans. These prisoners were afterwards extradited from Sweden to the Soviet Union after repatriation requests from Stalin. These repatriations "cannot be considered voluntary", although officially it was reported otherwise. There are no photographic materials of the Russian prisoners interned in Swedish camps - formerly in German P.O.W. camps. I took these shots from a documentary at the Swedish Film Institute.
Sweden's extradition of Baltic soldiers and political refugees
The Baltics’ extraditions (known in Sweden as "Baltulämningen") enacted by Sweden at the request of Dictator Joseph Stalin in 1946, is another shamful chapter in the history of Swedish political extraditions at request of foreign powers.
As the Soviet Union advanced its offensive in the Baltic countries and Finland in the Autumn of 1944, thousands Finns, Germans and Baltic civilians and soldiers fled to Sweden and expected there to enjoy the freedom they expected, as promised by propaganda, in a democratic country. 
When the requests for extradition became known, the uninformed press put forward the exactly same arguments which they do now in minimizing the risks for the Swedish extradition to the U.S. of Julian Assange: It cannot happen, Sweden is a neutral country, peace and non-violence abiding, they will never send to torture and imprisonment at the Gulag archipelago refugees from neighbour countries which have come to Sweden for political refugee in freedom. Besides, Sweden is a "law abiding" country and such extradition requests had no ground in the Hague Convention of 1906.
Swedish soldiers enforce the extradition of Baltic and German unarmed soldiers/refugees, from a detention camp in Eksjö, Sweden. Wikipedia picture
According to a sourced Wikipedia article, several Baltic or German refugees committed suicide to avoid the Swedish extradition.
Suicide fatalities in connection to extraditions threats and the harsh Swedish behaviour in these regards are still common in Sweden among political refugees and foreign-born immigrants. In 1997, while at Harvard Medical School, I published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinava the epidemiological article "A cross-cultural breakdown of Swedish suicide" demonstrating the high statistical overrepresentation of such fatalities - particularly Russians - among foreign-born (former P.O.W, refugees and immigrants) in comparison with native Swedes. Later, in Journal of Traumatic Stress, I demonstrated the relationships between imprisonment/torture, PTSD and suicidal behaviour.
What do the Swedish health authorities, and the Swedish academia - for instance professor-colleagues at Karolinska Institutet or other Swedish universities - care about these findings when describing the epidemiology of Swedish suicide? Perhaps they do but they will say nothing, at the contrary. They have silenced the findings fearing it would be detrimental for Sweden’s good international prestige.  Read here.