Monday, November 25, 2013

Does Swedish justice depend on who stands accused?

'Word against word' in Swedish Justice system. A new analysis on the biased management of accusations regarding purported sexual misconduct on Swedish women. Would this depend on who is the accused, or who is the prosecutor? In similar 'Assange cases', Swedish prosecutors deciding differently


A Swedish top politician of the pro-US Swedish government party (Moderater) member of the Parliament since 1998, has newly been acquitted by the Swedish prosecutor authority – in record short time – of “crime suspicions” regarding an alleged sexual misconduct against a 21 year-old woman. The prosecutor that dropped the case based his conclusion on that “word stands against word”, and that “evidence was not sufficient”. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the publicist known in the nation for exposing wrongdoings of the Swedish government, is denied interrogation in London and thus the dropping of his case continue being protracted – also in record time, but instead for being longest. In both cases “words stand against words”, and no evidence has been put forward.  In a third case, a leftist refugee from Chile, also an internationally acclaimed opera singer which shadowed local artists, is sentenced to years of prison in a similar case where “word stand against word”, and while the court even recognizes that the word of the woman is tenable as sufficient for a conviction.

By Marcello Ferrada de Noli

“The Swedish Prosecution Authority is an independent organisation. It is independent from both the courts and the police. The Prosecution Authority, like all other Swedish authorities, is not a department in the Ministry of Justice or any other ministry. Compared with many other countries, the Swedish prosecutor is very powerful.” [Own presentation by the Swedish Prosecution Authority]

“Sweden has the highest number of prosecutors in all Europe, which makes these prosecutors to believe that they are ‘very powerful’, and also “independent’. But facts deny their claims: The Swedish legal system has NEVER protested for the multiple interferences by the government, e.g. Reinfeldt, Bildt, Hägglund, etc. in the “legal” case against Assange. What would Montesquieu say about the Swedish Prosecution Authority?” [Professors blogg in: “Duckpond in Swedish legal system]

It should be noticed that the Swedish Prosecution Authority is only claiming being an independent organisation. This should be accurately interpreted as an organic, administrative independence. They of course do not claim, for they cannot claim, that their decisions are independent of the Swedish political establishment – of which they are a part. Neither independent of the geopolitical interests of Sweden, that is supposed to be determined by the executive and legislative powers. As this is to be read by a standard informed international forum, it would be needless to add that the centre of those geopolitical decisions is found long away Sweden’s territory or truly national interests.

Case 'word against word' 1 – The case against Mr Gunnar Axen 

During a recent visit to Sweden, I had the opportunity to read a brief dispatch mentioning whereabouts of Mr Gunnar Axen, a former consultant at JKL, [1] and member of the Swedish Parliament for the right-wing conservatives party (Moderater, the political party of Reinfeldt and Carl Bildt, at the head of government).

According to a dispatch in Svenska Dagbladet [SvD] on the 23 of October 2013, it has been revealed that the Prosecution authority had initiated a preliminary “crime” investigation on Gunnar Axen. The background being, says SvD, "that a 21-year-old woman in Östergötland filed the politician for sexual molestation.” [2] The legal case against Axen was rapidly handed over to the National Prosecution Directory for Police Internal Affairs (“Riskenheten för polismål”).

I recognized his name because of a few things: One was that Axen came to “overt” politics at a time he has been working as at JKL, a major Swedish PR company focused on “strategic communications”. JKL was most known for their lobby amid the Swedish defence establishment on behalf of the multinational armament giant BAE systems, based in London (another adviser on JKL’s payroll is the former “social democratic” Prime Minister of Sweden, Göran Persson. This is Sweden). [3]

But mainly, I remember Gunnar Axen’s deeds in politics from the times I was active in the movement opposing to the “Swedish” surveillance legislation (FRA-lagen).[4] Axen was one among the Swedish politicians that voted for this shameful law [5] and therefore his name accounted in what was to be known as “The list of the 143 that sold the Kingdom of Sweden to foreign interests”. [6] Also, some years ago, he was the one that presented at the Swedish Parliament the proposition to legalize Taiwan’s stand at United Nations in a number of activities, an initiative originally agitated by the US government.

In only about three weeks, on the 17 of November 2013, the Swedish Prosecutor could announce that no further investigation was to be pursued on the case against Axen because  “word stands against word”, and there were no evidence. Chief-prosecutor Mr Mats Ericsson (same prosecutor-rank than Ms Marianne Ny, the prosecutor in the Assange case), concludes as the reason for dropping the case: "There are two versions of what happened", and "there is no sufficient evidence" [See the red-underlined text on the image below, from SvD; "Det finns två olika versioner om vad som hände"; and "tillräckligt med stödbevisning"].

2Axen svd 18 nov-13

Dagens Nyheter would refer, in the same line, that the prosecutor of the case expressed, “word stands against word”

axen dn 18 11-13

Predictability at “Riskenheten för polismål”

I followed the Axen case, as soon as I learned of it, for its similarities with the “Swedish case against Assange”, partly about a political scenario, and partly the purported allegations without evidence [I retake the “evidence” issue further down]. But here in the Axen case instead, my guessing since an early stage was that an acquittal would have been, as it is indeed, incumbent. Why?

At a difference with some democratic countries in the West, in Sweden the accusations incriminating the political and judiciary establishment (MPs, judges of higher courts, etc.) are not objects of “standard justice”; their cases are given instead to the National Prosecution Office for Police Internal-Affairs [Riskenheten för polismål]. This institution has a record of “case dropped”, which I believe must be worldwide: 97 per cent of the reported criminal-behaviour cases do not result in trial, according to that Prosecutor authority's own statistics for the last available year 2011. Besides, in this graphic done by the said Riskenheten för polismål we can observe two things clearly: a) 58 % of the cases were dropped without any investigation; b) 39 % of the cases were investigated but not pursued at the court, and dropped too.
anmälningar mot polisen som INTE lett till. . .

Meanwhile, an independent academic study revealed that only 1 % of the reported cases with accusations of criminal behaviour from the part of the police lead to some form of penalizing. The study, using materials from the Southern region of Sweden, found that over half of the cases were dropped at once "without preliminary investigation"; being "Not reason to believe offense is subject to public prosecution" and "Crime can not be proved", the leading causes for the sinking of the cases. [7]

With the above said, I am not implying that the Axel case should be considered otherwise, and not being dropped by the prosecutor; not at all. And it is not that I do not have sympathies - apart of course of his political stance - for Axen’s personal situation. In my understanding, it is not the first time he has been a victim of unfounded rumours. In 2008, after a prosecutor’s investigation, Axen was acquitted of suspicions about allegations of domestic violence.  His own political peers, possibly seeking his post in office, spread these rumours, according to Axen and several others.[8]
[It would also be fair to add that Gunnar Axen is one of the few Swedish politicians that has contributed to the campaign for the release of journalist Dawit Isaak, detained in Eritrea.]

Case 'word against word' 2 – The case against Mr Julian Assange
Yet for me, the most striking about that referred episode of Gunnar Axen by 2008, it was the “revelation” that Swedish prosecutors do initiate secret investigations on people – without informing the accused - based solely in anonymous communications “on behalf” of a woman; which it is more likely, using a woman for the sake of the smear. And here we have also a striking similarity with the so-called Assange case. In my understanding, one of the “Two woman accusers” was led to make declarations at the Police Station in Stockholm, in a trap-scenario; not being clear at all that her first intention was to file a criminal complain against Mr Assange.

Moreover, after the first prosecutor in the case clearly dismissed the case, this was later “re-opened” at the initiative of the law firm Bodström and Borgström. Being Thomas Bodström a former minister of Justice of the Swedish government; and this is a government whose corrupted subservience towards the Intelligence services of a foreign power – as seen in the secret deals with the CIA on the illegal extraditions of political refugees – has been heavily targeted by the WikiLeaks exposures. The other main partner in the law firm, Claes Borgström, is a nation-wide fanatic [9] “feminist-activist” for the radicalization of the legislation of rape (regarding exactly the same items that the “accusations” against Mr Assange are allegedly about).

Another known activist pursuing the same agenda in the “group of experts” called by the government to study the reform of the sexual-offences law, is nothing less than Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny, who reopened the case against Mr Julian Assange at the initiative of her ideological colleagues, the social democratic politicians Borgström & Bodström in the “feminist” struggle for radicalize the penalization of sexual offences.

In this political struggle, as it has been recognized by Borgström with those terms, [10] it has also been publicly recognized by the leaders of such campaign that [the case] Julian Assange “is a symbol”. [11]  It should be recalled that, in conjunction with the events leading to the falsified accusations against the WikiLeaks founder, he was invited to Stockholm by the same religious-ideological group inside the Social democratic Party, known as “The Brotherhood”, where Thomas Bodström is a conspicuous top member and one of the nominal women-accusers was the political secretary at the time of the accusations.

And it gets “better”, Irmeli Krans, the police officer that took the declarations of one of the Assange accusers, is also a social democratic politician and member of the same ideological group mentioned above. [12] Police Officer Krans “happened to be” on duty at the very moment in which the leading “woman-acusser” happened to take the other woman over that very Police Station in Stockholm for “a consultation visit” (originally, the visit only intended to do inquests about the possibility on whether it was possible to legally force Assange to take an STI test). This last woman did not know at that point that it was a matter of a criminal filing against Julian Assange.  Police Officer Krans has been exposed afterwards as a confessed admired of the work of Claes Borgström, at the time the lawyer of the plaintiffs.

Irmeli Krans: "Claes Borgström is a worth-admiring and extremely knowledgeable lawyer. I am proud he is a social democratic"

And as I observed above, it is about the same Claes Borgström that took the initiative of asking Marianne Ny to reopen the case against the WikiLeaks founder, after that it has been dropped (like in the case of the commented Gunnar Axen’s) by Prosecutor Eva Finné. More? Here in the picture below:
Close-up of a picture published by Irmeli Krans in her homepage, posing around Thomas Bordström in the company of other police officers

And there are further similitudes with the “Assange case”. Gunnar Axen described himself in an interview he gave in Almedalen to Resumé (2008-07-10) that he has been victim of “a Kafka-like process”; and that “The campaign has been spread with professional precision and the media were not slow to catching on”. [13] Which recall immediately memories of the “Prataomdet” campaign – devised by right-wing “feminist” journalists, in the payroll of both the government and the right-wing media monopole of Bonniers. For this anti-Assange mini-crusade, the campaigners were awarded a national prize by the official cultural establishment.

However, analysing these cases in a political perspective, the difference in their “legal” managing from the part of the Swedish authorities emerges well defined.

In the context of Sweden, being the European government that most fervently defends and represent the interest of the US, NATO and NSA, against the dignity and integrity of its own citizens – mine included; the government that has been sanctioned by the United Nations for violation of the Absolute Ban on Torture, due to their servile collaboration with the CIA’s illegal extradition flights. In this context, government-politicians friendly to that policy are rapidly acquitted – without further investigation ­– by the Prosecution Authority of Sweden.

But what happens with those that expose in front of the whole world, both the Swedish government’s geopolitical subservience, and the war atrocities of the superpower that the Swedish establishment serves?

Assange has been consecutively incommunicado, detained in house-arrest, or confined at an Embassy in London for long over one thousand days.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority has all the means, grounded both in the written law of Sweden and in previous and repeatedly praxis, to perform an interrogation of Assange in London. They won’t do that. Not because is not legal procedure, as they tried to misinform the international forum in the beginning. They shall not do it because that will end in the subsequent dropping of the “Assange case” – as it was in the Axen case. And that would mean freedom for the WikiLeaks founder and its main activist and decision-maker. And this would possibly mean further revelations exposing unfair, antidemocratic, or plainly criminal war-behaviour from the part of Sweden’s real rulers, at both sides of the Atlantic.

Case 'word against word' 3 – The case against Mr Tito Beltrán

Tito Beltrán is a political refugee from Chile. He is also a worldwide known opera tenor.
He was accused of sexual offences against a Swedish woman. One of the particularities of the case it was that the accusation was done eight years after the events it referred. Another feature it was that the lawyer defending the plaintiff was the social democratic politician and former minister of Justice Thomas Bodström. The same person in the anti-Assange clique described above. He once boasted from his blog (“Bodströmsamhället“) based in Virginia, USA,” that it was his law firm the one acting in representation of the plaintiffs against Julian Assange. He is also known as one main responsible of the ignominious secret collaboration with the CIA – at the time he was Minister of Justice in the government of the current JKL-consultant Göran Persson – devised to facilitate the illegal “extraordinary rendition” of two political refugees in Sweden to be transported for torture in Egypt. The reader does not need to wonder if any prosecutor has ever indicted Thomas Bodström for that atrocity, or for that part any Swedish authority. For this is Sweden. And the sort of “independency” of the legal system, including the Prosecution Authority, is resumed at the introductorily text in this analysis.

The “evidence” mentioned later in the verdict against Beltrán referred to declarations of two friends of the plaintiff which would “have heard” the word from the part of the plaintiff after the alleged happenings. It was “word against word”. Also in this case, it was not the plaintiff who has 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) [14] who after her own private investigations and interviews on the case filed the complaint to the police – nine years after!

In the “word-stands-against-word” case of Tito Beltrán, the legal system of Sweden sentenced him to years of prison. 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”. [15]

It could be argued that the cases of Beltrán, Axen, and Assange, would be different, for instance attending to the grade of penalty implied in the alleged accusations. For it has not to be forgotten that about Mr Assange, as in the case of Mr Axen, there are only allegations, purported behaviours “worded” even by third parties and where a political motivation could be traced effortlessly. In both cases, no one has come with any evidence – and if that evidence would actually exist, as in an infantile fashion is suggested in sites of the “legal system”  - they would have been charged (in the case of Jukian Assange, for over three years ago).

Nevertheless, the focus of this analysis has been the diverse attitude of the prosecution authorities, that, when confronted with the same “word against word” paradigm, would rule diverse according to the political factors at stake. For what other factors are those identified, paramount?

Mr Julian Assange deserves better justice, and Sweden deserves a better international reputation.
Treisiroon, in commenting a previous analysis published in Profesors blogg, had these, in the context above, very fitting remarks:

“In the case of Mr Assange, Sweden has time and again violated its own procedures and laws. The Swedish State is both persecuting Assange and failing in its responsibilities to the Swedish women involved in the case. A hard analytical look at what (and who) has brought us to this point is fully justified”. [16]


[1] A major Swedish PR company focused on “strategic PR”. Most known for their lobby amid the Swedish defence establishment on behalf of the multinational armament giant BAE systems, based in London.
[2] Paulsson Rönnback E., ”Förundersökning inledd mot Axén". Cited text: “Åklagaren har nu inlett en förundersökning om brott mot den moderate toppolitikern Gunnar Axén. Bakgrunden är att en 21-årig kvinna i Östergötland anmält politikern för sexuellt ofredande. “ SvD 23 oct 2013
[3] Wahlind E.,”Göran Persson blir pr-konsult”, SvD, 27 September 2007.
[4] Ferrada-Noli M., “Sweden. The Surveillance Law (FRA) debate”. Professors blogg, 22 September 2008.
[5] The “Swedish” surveillance legislation (FRA-lagen) was made after direct request by the US government to the Swedish rulers. It includes the spying on all Swedes on behalf of NSA.
[6]Lista på de 143 som sålde ut konungariket Sverige till utländska intressen”, based in a publication by the Swedish Parliament of the MPs that voted for the legislation, nowadays deleted in official sites.
[7] Rolf Granér, R., Skoglund, P., and Mikkonen. M. “Anmälningar mot poliser. en kartläggning”,  Linnæus University studies in policing. Nr 1, 2011. Pages 111-113
[8] De Faire, C. “Smutskastad av partivännerna”. Resumé.se, 7 October 2008.
[9] Mr Claes Bogström advocates for the institution in Sweden of a ”man tax”. Meaning that the totally of the male population of Sweden should pay an special, separate tax to the state, in compensation for the ”patriarchal” situation that would have existed in Sweden back in hundreds years, and thus affected women as a gender. He has quite recently abandoned the Social democratic Party to enter the “Vänster” Party (formerly the Communist Party of Sweden), an organization that in spite its name has voted favourable in the Swedish Parliament for C Bildt’s propositions to intervene militarily on behalf of NATO in the recent Libyan war.
[10] See ” Swedish radical "feminists" declared Julian Assange a symbolic issue, Professors blogg, 30 September 2011
[11]  Id.
[12]The affair Irmeli Krans in the case of Sweden against Assange”, Professors blogg, 17 April 2011
[13]Smutskastad av partivännerna”.  Op. Cit.
[14] 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.
[15]  Excerpt of the report  by David Nannini ”Tito Beltrán fälldes idag”.  Aftonbladet, 2008-02-12” Ystads tingsrätt skriver:
”Som tingsrätten funnit är målsägandens berättelse fullt trovärdig och uppfyller kraven för att kunna läggas till grund för en fällande dom. Detta så mycket mer som den på ett övertygande sätt vinner stöd av övrig bevisning, främst Maria Lundqvists och Carola Häggkvists utsagor.”
”Även övrig av åklagaren åberopad bevisning stöder åtalet, om än i varierande mindre grad.”
”På grund härav, och då vad Tito Beltran anfört inte förringar denna bedömning, finner tingsrätten ställt utom allt rimligt tvivel att Tito Beltran begått den åtalade gärningen på sätt åklagaren påstått.”
”Något tvivel kan heller inte råda om att den också omfattats av Tito Beltrans uppsåt.”
[16]How to best defend Assange”, Professors blog, 6 February 2012

No comments: