Sweden's judiciary has decided it would like to keep Julian Assange “detained in absentia” as it feels he still has questions to answer.
The Stockholm City Court decided this week that “Julian Assange will still be detained, suspected on probable cause for rape, less serious crime.”
The court has promised to release an English translation of its judgement next week. For now, we're working from a canned statement that says “Julian Assange is, on probable cause, suspected of rape, less serious crime, and the risk of evasion is still substantial.”
“In our opinion, the public interest to continue the investigation still carries weight. The efforts to conduct an interview and take DNA samples continue, and we are still awaiting a response to the application for legal assistance which was submitted to Ecuador in March 2016.”
The court says it is yet to receive a response to the March letter.
The court has also rebutted the United Nations' Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's finding that Assange has been arbitrarily detained. In a statement in Swedish that we've run through some online translate-o-tronics, the court says Assange's Ecuadorian sojourn is fair enough because the alleged crimes under investigation “outweighs the intrusion or injuries leading to the arrest”. “There is therefore reason for Assange to continue to be detained in absentia.”
Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny says she believes “The Court shares our view that a continued detention complies with the principle of proportionality.”
Assange has responded through his cat.
Really! We can't make this stuff up.
Assange recently acquired a cat which of course now has a twitter account, @Embassycat. That account offered the following comment on the Swedish decision.
Which sounds an awful lot like another stalemate in this long-running saga. ®