Judge orders the CPS to come clean about the destruction of key documents in Julian Assange’s case

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Assange
The Assange: Judge's Decision Forces Crown Prosecution Service to Come Clean

Judge orders the Crown Prosecution Service to come clean about the destruction of key documents on Julian Assange

In a groundbreaking ruling on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case surrounding Julian Assange, Judge O’Connor has ordered the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to reveal information regarding the destruction of key documents.

This decision marks the first crack in the wall of secrecy surrounding the case, which has faced years of obstruction.

WIKILEAKS state – In addition to the ruling, Labour MP John McDonnell has just obtained new information from the Crown Prosecution Service. McDonnell is calling for an independent inquiry into the CPS’s role in the Assange case.

For the last six years, all attempts to shed light on the destruction of key documents in the Julian Assange case, even though the emails were deleted when the high-profile, controversial case was still ongoing have been rejected.

When, How and Why…

But now the British authorities at the Crown Prosecution Service have been ordered to come clean. They must declare whether they hold any information as to when, how and why documentation was deleted, and if they do hold any other documentation, they must either release it to the WikiLeaks team or clarify the grounds for their refusal.

There has always been controversy surrounding the emails between the Swedish prosecutors and their British counterparts.

The correspondence between the Swedish SPA and British CPS is absolutely crucial to understanding and reconstructing what really happened in the Swedish alleged rape allegation investigation.

That investigation was ultimately dropped once and for all without Assange ever being charged, but for almost a decade has deprived him of the empathy of public opinion.

Documents obtained and released under Freedom of Information requests to Italian magazine La Repubblica confirm the very close relationship between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Sweden in the Julian Assange case. The files contain hundreds of mostly redacted emails sent over a five-year period. However, the number of CPS documents related to the case is believed to be greater than previously disclosed.

The understanding of what happened to all documentation is important as there are far too many unanswered questions in this case. Some of the key decisions were taken when the Crown Prosecution Service was headed by Keir Starmer, the current leader of the British Labour Party. questions like what role, if any, did Keir Starmer play in the Julian Assange case?

We do know that while Starmer was DPP in 2013, even the Swedish authorities began to question the dead end into which they had waded with their investigations at the advice of the British authorities by insisting on extradition. They considered dropping the extradition case, writing to the Crown Prosecution Service: “Hope I didn’t ruin your weekend”.

Questions like why would a Swedish prosecutor dropping an extradition attempt for a sex case in Sweden ruin the weekend of CPS authorities need addressing.

CPS intervention

The emails between the Swedish Prosecuting Authority (SPA) and the CPS show that the latter was closely involved in the Assange case at every stage.

Don’t you dare get cold feet!

As DPP, Sir Keir Starmer tempered his supposed love of liberty by trying to fast-track the extradition of Julian Assange (a process now making its way through the courts). He flouted legal precedents by advising Swedish lawyers not to question Assange in Britain: a decision that prolonged the latter’s legal purgatory denied closure to his accusers in Sweden and sealed his fate before a US show trial.

In the email, dated 25 January 2011, a CPS lawyer advised the SPA not to send someone to the UK: “My earlier advice remains, that in my view it would not be prudent for the Swedish authorities to try to interview the defendant [Assange] in the UK.

cold feet 1

In August 2012, in response to an article saying Sweden could withdraw the warrant against Assange, a CPS staffer (name redacted) warned [pdf, p1] Sweden’s Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny: Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!

The response from Sweden stated, “No cold feet” (yet)!

cold feet 2

But a year later, in October 2013, the Swedish prosecutor NY wrote [pdf, p332]: “We have found us to be obliged to consider to lift the detention order… and to withdraw the European arrest warrant. If so this should be done in a couple of weeks. This would affect not only us but you too in a significant way.

However, it took three and a half more years for the Swedish to drop the charges.

The Greater Cost.

a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth john f kennedy
“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”-former US President John F. Kennedy

This case has been handled in a highly abnormal manner by both Swedish prosecutors and the Crown Prosecution Service, leading to a lack of justice for anyone involved to which there has been a great cost.

The financial burden on British taxpayers is ongoing. Just to maintain the Ecuadorian embassy detail to watch Assange amounted to at least £13.2 million. Then the cost of keeping Julian Assange locked up in Belmarsh’s high-security prison adds substantially to the taxpayer’s bill.

However, it all pales in comparison to the detrimental impact on Assange’s health. These concerns are compounded by the alleged violations highlighted by Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, which has yet to be addressed, including the UN’s condemnation of due process violations.

The cost to his family and friends has become insurmountable, years of being locked up, losing out on the lives, loves and the sharing of all those things lost for telling the truth.

Furthermore, this situation is not isolated from the broader consequences it has brought upon our free press and the rights of journalists to expose governmental crimes, even within their own countries.

The media have been cowed…

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks in July. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

If you tolerate this…

This unprecedented attack on Assange as a journalist, along with the peculiar circumstances and questionable actions throughout the case, have resulted in severe repercussions. The indispensable duty and influence that the Fourth Estate ought to embody now face a precarious erosion, but the stakes extend beyond mere press freedoms; they encompass the very fabric of a transparent and accountable democracy.

While the Swedish case is now closed, there remain many unanswered questions Moreover, the CPS continues to play a prominent role in the Assange case, as the United States relies on their assistance to extradite Assange.

The recent ruling by Judge O’Connor is a significant development, but it falls short of providing complete transparency. The judge confirmed WikiLeaks’ status as a media organisation but denied them full access to correspondence between the CPS and various authorities, citing potential damage to the countries involved and their relationships, a chilling effect on information sharing. This closed decision, available only to UK authorities, includes over 552 pages of correspondence between the CPS and the US Department of Justice, shedding light on legal advice and strategic matters related to Assange’s extradition.

Despite calls from prominent human rights organisations and the international community to drop the charges and free Assange, he remains in prison awaiting the British justice system’s decision on his appeal against extradition to the United States.

The lack of transparency and disregard for critical voices, including respected UN bodies, raises concerns about the erosion of press freedom and the role of the Fourth Estate in holding governments accountable. As Judge O’Connor’s ruling denies access to vital documents, the need for public scrutiny and a fair resolution in the Assange case becomes increasingly apparent.

When this travesty subsides and the final verdict is rendered, what remains is a tale of retribution, a vengeance exacted upon a solitary figure who dared to unveil the transgressions of a nation that has strayed so far from its foundational principles that it is scarcely recognisable as the abode of liberty, but rather as that of tyranny, the very thing its founding father’s sort to escape.

To those journalists and media organisations who remain indifferent to this travesty, take heed: you are merely a single exposé away from a prison cell, should your narrative fail to align with the whims of the ruling powers.

For more concise information on the ruling visit here

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