Well, we can certainly see which side of the issue this blogger is on from the respected Opinio Juris! If if we didn't notice before that he is a proud defender of WikiLeaks.
But in fact, it's anything but -- he's engaging in wishful thinking. He must believe that the Swedish prosecution's wish to bring Assange back to Sweden for questioning is somehow based on their subserviance to the United States -- and that if Assange goes back to Sweden, he faces extradition to the US. This is a preciously and tightly-held belief of the "progressives" and hard left, for which there is no evidence -- but is nonetheless tightly-held because it underscores the sense of victimhood and creates false urgency around the WikiLeaks case.
It's nonsense, of course, because if the US actually had wanted to extradite Assange, they could have done it from the UK any time in the last two years, while he was there for so long, because they have an extradition agreement with the UK.
To be sure, given how other cases related to the Internet have gone, they might have faced obstacles getting Assange from the UK. But before you can even speculate, you'd have to have the US finding a law to try this foreigner under, then issuing the extradiction order to UK -- neither of which they did. It's pretty much victimology on the left's side, with hysterical hypothesizing to try to build sympathy. Opinio Juris readers and writers shouldn't be falling for it so uncritically.
First of all, if "chaos" is implied in the decision of one of the women in the case changing her lawyer, in fact, it seems anything but -- she's traded a controversial attention ho, by all indications, with a more staid attorney who will concentrate on defending her:
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.
Chaos? No, more order.
Then the "abrupt" departure from the case of the lead prosecutor is also described as "chaos," although there are no grounds for thinking that at all. Being the lead prosecutor in this case must not be easy. It means constantly being harassed by WikiLeaks and Anonymous, possibly doxed or threatened as all persons trying to establish the rule of law over the unruly Internet and its hacknarchists are finding. The strain must be great, and you can understand any individual who decides not to continue to bear it.
But it's not as if the decision to prosecute this case is the whim of some individual prosecutor, some hate campaign he's cooked up as a US symp who oppresses Internet freedom blah blah. Another prosecutor can step in and follow the same procedures and look for the same cooperation from Assange in answering to these charges. It's not a sign that the case is dropped or that there is "chaos" except in the minds of those who want there to be chaos because they want Assange to win and "Internet freedom" to win -- even if it means stepping on women's rights.
I'd need a lot more information to see this as "turmoil" -- and the only proof would be if the case were suddenly dropped. It has not been. And if it were dropped, it wouldn't be a triumph of the rule of law or freedom, but anything but -- the chaos would be in indulging "the Internet" in its whims and allowing its Anarchist-in-Chief the latitude to abuse women and escape legal responsibility.
There was a simple solution to proving innocence and proving that the issue wasn't merely a US stalking horse -- coming back to Sweden and facing the music. If the charges were untrue, the case would be dismissed. If they were true, Assange would serve whatever sentence was appropriate. During this process, if by some remote chance, the US suddenly issued an extradition order, the Swedes, who have operated on good faith, could be expected to put the breaks on it if there were not merits and if it seemed opportunistic.
There is absolutely no evidence that a) the US will issue the extradition order b) that Sweden would honour it with any more alacrity than the US has honoured some of the US extradition requests related to Internet hackers -- who ultimately won the right to remain in their country.
Heller's other evidence of "chaos", drawn from the Sydney Morning Herald, is that a Swedish judge appears to be about to comment on the case:
News of changes in the Swedish prosecution of Mr Assange comes shortly before Swedish Supreme Court judge Stefan Lindskog delivers a keynote lecture on “the Assange affair, and freedom of speech, from the Swedish perspective” at the University of Adelaide next Wednesday.
Justice Lindskog is chairman of the Supreme Court of Sweden, the country’s highest court of appeal. In announcing his forthcoming lecture, Adelaide University observed that “as one of Sweden’s most eminent jurists, he is uniquely able to provide an authoritative view of the Assange affair”
But...the advertisement of Adelaide university isn't the same thing as what the judge will say, and we don't know that he's going to somehow violate Swedish law or practice here -- he may say exactly the generalities that their system enables them to say, and speak in a broader context.
And who are we getting this opinion that the Swedish judge is out of line? Not from Swedes, but from a biased Australian rooting for Assange:
Greg Barns, a barrister spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, said it was a fundamental legal principle that judges do not speak publicly on matters that are likely to come before the courts or are yet to be decided.
“That a Swedish supreme court judge thinks this is acceptable tends to confirm the fears people have about the impartiality and robustness of the Swedish judicial system. It gives great currency to the belief that Mr Assange’s case in Sweden has been heavily politicised.
Er, heavily politicized? Shouldn't Heller have told us that Barns isn't merely "a barrister spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance" but Assange's very own political campaign manager?!
Where's the chaos, again, except where it is manufactured?
Even if Alexa O'Brien claims that the grand jury is still investigating "the owners" of WikiLeaks, so what? There is no indictment and no extradition order for Assange. It's been more than two years now.
I want a second and even third opinion about all this, and I want it from reputable people in Sweden, not Australians engaged in Assange whitewashing.