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Marianne Ny's Wicked Game
Is she simply diabolical? Or is she caught in a trap?
She responded when her colleague, notorious political opportunist Claes Borgström, asked her to pull rank and reopen the 'Assange vs Sweden' case, and used evidence now shown to be falsified to justify that action.
She lied to TIME in December 2010 with the preposterous claim that use of Mutual Legal Assistance by EU member state Sweden was illegal in Sweden.
She has refused time and again to travel to London to interrogate Julian Assange, even though this is used regularly in similar cases; she's given unconvincing explanations time and again, once her lies to the media were exposed; she refused to appear on the news show 'Agenda', and refused to respond to prosecutor Rolf Hillegren; and now most recently she's refused a meeting even with famed corruption prosector and former presidential candidate Eva Joly.
There aren't many who believe anymore that Marianne Ny is calling the shots - the case is politics, little else. But at the end of the day, it's still Marianne Ny who gets to decide. Marianne Ny is breaking the law left and right and doesn't seem to care, even with retirement from office right around the corner (or already eight years past it).
Recap in 17
Two girls walked into a police station in downtown Stockholm in the early afternoon of Friday 20 August 2010 and started the whole thing off. What followed after their arrival is still the subject of debate, but it's clear the Swedish police drew up a formal complaint by the state against Julian Assange.
Contrary to rules of office, the on-duty prosecutor then issued a warrant in absentia for Assange as well as an 'all points bulletin' for the police to apprehend him. The spouse of an assistant to minister for justice Beatrice Ask, she followed this up by disclosing details of the case to the yellow press, including the name 'Julian Assange' and the number and nature of complaints - all without having herself seen any paperwork in the matter and despite such disclosures being a breach of office.
The following day, prosecutor-general Anders Perklev was given explicit orders to clear up the mess; he called on what many regard as one of the finest and sharpest prosecutors in the country: Eva Finné. Eva was out in the country at her summer cottage, and the case dossier was sent to her by messenger that same day.
Eva Finné didn't need even until 5:00 PM that same day to close the case as regards its most serious implications, telling the media that although she found the witness testimony believable, the events related did not in fact constitute criminal activity. A few days later, this part of the case was formally closed.
Enter Claes Borgström, infamous for his part in the Quick corruption scandal. He was contacted by the two girls and suggested he try to get his colleague Marianne Ny to reopen the case, something possible if further 'evidence' could be 'found'. One of the girls supplied this further 'evidence', a condom later proven to be falsified for the occasion. Borgström also stated on camera that the idea to reopen the case was his, that the girls hadn't even known such a thing was possible, making it clear the meeting occurred after Eva Finné's announcement, and that the girls had appealed to him for a different unspecified (as yet unknown) reason.
Marianne Ny was called in to reopen the case; Ny works with a 'development centre' on the west coast, and it's believed she planned to prosecute Assange on a legislative proposal not yet brought before the parliament, much less enacted into law.
As Assange waited week after week to be given the chance to tell his side of the story, Marianne Ny balked: she found excuse after excuse to not accommodate Assange, this despite judicial policy stating explicitly that all witnesses - including suspects - must be interrogated as soon as possible. Ny waited over two months to interrogate some of the witnesses; in the case of Julian Assange, the wait is now almost four years.
Marianne Ny finally gave Julian Assange an informal 'go-ahead' to leave the country in mid-September, still denying him his chance to speak; after preparing his travels, Assange left the country on 27 September on a flight to Berlin. His luggage was stolen from behind the check-in counter; the formal police investigation into the matter was half-hearted at best.
Yet according to people in Marianne Ny's office, Ny secretly issued a new warrant against Assange a matter of hours after his arrival at the Swedish airport (but before his departure). No alert of any kind was sent to ports; the warrant was kept secret. This action, preventing the alert being sent to ports, requires special intervention on the part of the prosecutor.
Assange was due to return to Sweden in October to speak at 'Afghanistan Week' in Stockholm; in secret, Marianne Ny contacted the Stockholm police and the media and told them to expect a sensation when Assange was led off in handcuffs. Unfortunately, Assange's legal counsel Björn Hurtig needed to be notified as well. Hurtig was supposedly held to secrecy, but someone alerted Assange to the ambush, and he never got on the plane back.
Since then, Marianne Ny's gone ballistic. She spoke to TIME in December and told them in flowery language how Mutual Legal Assistance was illegal in Sweden. (It can't be by definition: EU law always overrides local law.) As soon as news of this interview reached Swedish shores, the Swedish media were scrubbed to remove mention of the TIME interview.
Even Carl Bildt got involved. When approached by Jennifer Robinson in 2011, he told her that using Mutual Legal Assistance was 'unconstitutional' in Sweden - a clumsy lie at best, as Sweden has no constitution.
The lies continued. Representatives of Bildt's office fed additional stories to the Swedish media, again hinting at some vague 'illegality'; when taken to task in this matter by Ivan Johnson, they first attempted to claim they'd been misquoted by the media, then fluffed their feathers on Twitter and told Johnson and other inquirers to f--- off.
Former prosecutor Rolf Hillegren got involved, as did a justice of Sweden's supreme court: all said there was no illegality in traveling to London; and they said Marianne Ny should see Assange was interrogated in the embassy where he'd been granted asylum.
Karin Rosander, the press representative who'd become world-famous through her bumbling interview with Al Jazeera, now attempted to explain Ny's position.
Next it was Swedish television show Agenda who wanted to look into the matter and invited Ny to the studio. Ny refused and further stated there was nothing she could offer in public.
She then went off to offer new material on her own website instead, thus dodging uncomfortable questions from the assembled television studio panel.
Rewriting History: Marianne Ny's 'Minitrue'
But it's the rewrite of this formal 'defence' that's come into question, for there are more than one version of this incredible screed available. She already made sure the website documentation for the all-important month of September 2010 was 'disappeared':
Now it was necessary to do something about her refusals to travel to London, the explanations for which have never rung true.
The first version of her self-defence has fortunately been archived and cannot be removed from the web:
The subsequent version replacing that first version can be found archived as well, put in place in conjunction with the airing of the Agenda television show where she refused to participate.
And now a final manicured version is available, with further 'necessary' modifications.
It's of course not known exactly what needed to be changed, but it's obvious someone was panicking. Ny even changed the URL to the page, from:
Note what's changed in the URL: Storbritannien (Great Britain) becomes London.
The above links can successfully be run through Google Translate to get an idea of what's going on, but why those changes were so desperately needed isn't known - although it's patently clear Marianne Ny found them desperately needed.
One huge change was the removal of the section explaining why Marianne Ny really needed Julian Assange in Sweden, a matter covered in this article:
Marianne Ny seems to be a bit weak on international jurisprudence. She showed this in her repeated attempts to correctly complete a form for a European Arrest Warrant, and she shows it again here. What she's letting slip is that she wants to ask Assange questions that have nothing to do with the case before them. This can work in Sweden where prosecutors can conduct wild goose chases for years if necessary in an attempt to find a charge that sticks, this in strict contrast to legislation in most countries; what Marianne Ny was forgetting was that she was working in the framework of a European agreement, and such things are strictly illegal. Thus the need to make the section 'disappear' and fast.
Marianne Ny has conducted herself reprehensibly throughout this case; she's been proven time and again to be a liar; what further secrets does she hold?
Postscript: Marianne's Holy Story
Karin Marianne Elisabet Ny's official chronology of events in the Assange case has a number of gaping holes.
27 August 2010: 'Claes Borgström gets involved'. This sidesteps the fact that the notorious member of the 'Quick mafia' had already been given the case dossier on the sly, and had 'doctored' the testimony of one of the girls. His counterpart in the police then ordered a police constable to 'force' the altered testimony into the documentation system which is engineered to prevent such malfeasance. This also sidesteps the fact that new evidence is needed to effect a change in the investigation.
This 'evidence' came in the form of a condom supplied to the police by one of the girls already on 21 August, a condom accidentally discovered to have nothing at all to do with Assange or the girl.
Thus there was no new evidence to justify overruling Eva Finné's earlier decision to close the case. But the investigation proceeded nonetheless. This fact - that the 'evidence' was falsified - has never been reported in the Swedish media to this day.
September 2010: 'the investigation continues'. That's all Marianne Ny has to offer for the most eventful month of them all. Naturally this isn't what originally appeared on the website - the original contents have since been 'disappeared'.
27 September 2010: 'Julian Assange arrested in absentia'. This information was not initially available but was later verified by a secretary in Ny's office. The time of the warrant was given at 14:15. Assange is known to have arrived at Arlanda International Airport shortly after noon, and to have left Sweden approximately six hours later on a regular nonstop flight to Berlin. Assange's luggage was stolen from behind the check-in counter, something Assange was to discover first when arriving in Berlin. Assange was not informed of this 'stealth warrant', nor was he stopped from leaving the country, as would normally happen automatically.
September-October 2010: 'the prosecutor makes repeated attempts to interrogate Julian Assange'. This stinks of dishonesty. The fact is it was Assange who was the primary mover in trying to get a chance to facilitate an interrogation, and not Marianne Ny. All Assange's attempts were rebuffed on sometimes outright ridiculous grounds, such as Ny's favourite investigator was home with a 'head cold', or a proposed date was 'two days too far into the future'.
This also hides the rather shameless attempt to couple the secret warrant from 27 September with a media sensation in early October when Assange was expected to return to Sweden (for, amongst other things, a meet with Ny) blissfully unaware of the plot against him. Ny's attempt to ambush Assange failed; from that moment on, there's no question of Ny's true intentions, nor any doubt the case had become completely politicised (and likely beyond Ny's control).
7 December 2010: 'Julian Assange Julian Assange grips av brittisk polis'. The Swedish wording - 'Julian Assange arrested by British police' - can be unavoidably misleading to the Swedish audience. Assange wasn't hunted down and arrested; he was well aware of what Ny was doing, and was ready to voluntarily surrender himself once the international warrant was accepted by UK authorities.
(Ny made four unsuccessful attempts to correctly fill in the form, and also 'upped' the gravity of the accusations in order to qualify for the warrant, something that resulted in the unbelievable 'Red Notice' Interpol alert, something even Gaddafi wasn't deserving of. She finally called in a Swedish legal expert operating in the US to get it right.)
As soon as the warrant was accepted by the UK authorities, Assange reported to the British police.
14 June 2012: 'the (UK) supreme court dismisses Assange's request to reopen the case, and Assange shall be given 14 days to 'get his house in order''. This totally sidesteps the fact that Marianne Ny sent a special request to Great Britain that Julian Assange not be given the customary 14 days to 'get his house in order' - Marianne Ny wanted Assange, and she wanted him immediately.
This of course begs the question: who lit a fire under Marianne Ny? Was it the same people who played with matches in the vicinity of UK foreign minister William Hague who threatened the Vienna Convention with collapse, all for the sake of a broken condom that didn't even have DNA?
Quote of the Day
'This is sloppy work... why the rush?'
- Björn Hurtig
A Marianne Ny Reader
Assange in Sweden: The Lab Results
Rixstep: Assange in Sweden: The Second Protocol
TIME: Why Sweden Wants Julian Assange Arrested
Rixstep: Swedish Prosecutor: Time to Close the Assange Case
Vimeo: Eva Joly interviewed on Assange on Sweden's TV4 (English subs)
Assange in Sweden: Eva Joly press conference 27 March 2014 - Part one
Assange in Sweden: Eva Joly press conference 27 March 2014 - Part two
Assange in Sweden: Transcript: Eva Joly interviewed by Swedish television