Interview with Christine Assange on ABC Radio Australia Wednesday April 18th 2012 9am (Melbourne).
Well, for nearly a year and a half the Editor-In-Chief of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks - we’re talking about Julian Assange here, who’s been under house arrest - now he’ll learn within a few weeks whether the U.K. Supreme Court will allow his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct. Now many people see these sexual assault charges as an attack on Assange personally and on WikiLeaks. And the people who see this as such an attack include the former President of Brasil, who said it’s an attack on the freedom of expression, even the Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin, who is not known for [being] a person who’s been touting freedom of speech, said that the detention of Julian Assange was undemocratic. Now this week Julian’s mother, Christine Assange, will address an audience in Melbourne as part of a panel discussion called “Wikileaks and Defending Democracy” and Christine Assange is with us now, thanks very much for your time.
Oh, hello Phil. Can I just thank you for having me on, but then go straight to picking you up on something, I’m sorry I have to do this. He’s actually not facing charges, it’s something that the media hasn’t got right. He’s wanted for questioning. And it’s actually misuse of the European Arrest Warrant, it’s supposed to only be used for prosecution, he’s wanted for questioning and they’ve refused to question him from day one even though he’s offered. And the other thing I’d like to add is it’s not only been Russia and Brasil, who’ve stated that he shouldn’t be charged, it’s also the U.N. Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, among a number of others.
Phil: Yeah. It is interesting though that you, you’ve had the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin who as I said in the introduction is not known as being a great adherent of freedom of speech, being one who’s come on his side as well.
Christine: Oh, I wouldn’t put any stake in that, if it was Russia who’d put him in the firing line it’d be America who’d be jumping up and down about freedom of speech. That’s “playing politics” there.
Phil: “Playing politics”… It has been a long road, though, for your son. How is he travelling at the moment?
Christine: Um, look, he’s doing fine, as you can see he’s got his new show launched, he’s looking well, he knows he’s got truth on his side which is more than you could say for Nicola Roxon who has just point-blank, unblinkingly lied to the Australian people all the way through that Q and A session the other night, I could not believe it, the woman needs to resign.
Phil: Well let’s have a listen to what she said, and then you can pick up on what she said and tell us what she’s said that’s wrong.
[excerpt from ABC TV’s QANDA television programme, Monday 16th 2012]
Nicola Roxon: There isn’t something at the moment where we can intervene. We’ve made representations about proper processes, we’ve done all of the things that you should, he is not in a country that doesn’t have a legal system that operates properly, even I, as I said at the beginning, think that it’s an odd process that you can keep someone detained for this period of time without there being a charge…
Tony Jones (host of QandA): Have you protested about that?
Nicola: We have made our views very clearly known to the Americans…
Geoffrey Robertson QC: Not to the Australian public you haven’t.
Nicola: Well I’m here doing an interview today, this is a very public thing to be doing…
Geoffrey: Good. What have you said to the Americans?
Nicola: Well, we’ve said lots of things, lots of things to the Americans.
Geoffrey: Have you said “we want him to come home first, before you try to extradite him for an offence that you claim he’s committed outside America?”
Nicola: As you know, firstly I don’t make a claim about whether he’s committed an offence, but other countries are able to make those assertions. If you’re in another country or breaking the laws of another country we have made very clear that we want all of the proper processes to apply, we’ve made very clear that he’s an Australian and he’s welcome to come home to Australia …
[excerpt of QandA television show ends]
Phil: So, Christine Assange, Julian’s mother there - what, in particular …
Christine: She’s lied all the way through it. She lied all the way through it. Okay, for a start let’s take the “we’ve made proper representation”. They did nothing, until I announced on the Wednesday that I was going to stand outside Kevin Rudd’s office , they quickly got a letter together, made that on the Tuesday, on the Wednesday off that letter went to Beatrice Ask the Justice Minister, asking for due process. Now the fact is that Sweden has breached all its own laws on this case from day one and the Australian Government has said nothing. Flagrant abuses, abuses not only of police and prosecutorial procedure, but human rights as well. Now, Nicola Roxon knows full well the list of all the breaches because there was a cross-bench meeting on the 2nd of March 2011 where all of those breaches were listed by Jennifer Robinson in her submission to Parliament. Two other lawyers and an Australian diplomat attended, and made representations that it was a political case, that Sweden was breaching all its own legislation. And just to make sure that they got it, I then emailed it to Nicola Roxon. In fact, I emailed all these submissions, the briefs about the illegal breaches, about the politicisation of the case, to every MP and every Senator, and Nicola Roxon got it as well. And I can tell you about those breaches but we probably don’t have time. But she has lied continually about the breaches.
Phil: Did you get a reaction from Nicola Roxon?
Phil: Have you ever had ANY contact with Nicola Roxon? Has she contacted you? No?
Christine: No. In fact they even refused to answer Julian’s lawyers’ letter for about five weeks, until I started jumping up and down with the media over it.
Phil: So Nicola Roxon said there that your son would be welcome back in Australia. Do you fear that if he does come back to Australia that he would be given over to Sweden or to America?
Christine: He wouldn’t be given over to Sweden… What they’re, what she’s doing is lying to the people full-stop about the whole thing. I’ve listed probably about eighteen different lies that she’s told. I’m a bit overtime so I’m not sure how to do this. Okay. One of the things, I’ll pick them out one at a time in reference to your question. The reason he’s worried about going to Sweden as she full well knows, is that they normally get around the normal extradition safeguards in Sweden with something in the US-Swedish bilateral treaty, which is separate to the normal European treaty, which is called a “Temporary-Surrender Regime”. Now she’s actually stated here that she didn’t know if it’s easier or not to be extradited from Sweden. She full well knows it’s easier, because Scott Ludlam took it to the Senate a number of months ago asking at the very least that what the Australian Government should do is protect him from that Temporary Surrender Regime which has absolutely no public process on it, okay? It’s a tick-box.
Phil: So you’re saying then that it would be easier for Sweden to send him over to the US if that were to…
Christine: Very easy, and she well knows it, she’s absolutely lied.
Christine: She’s absolutely lied, because it was taken to the Senate, and Scott Ludlam explained how easy it was to get him out of Sweden and at the very least they could just block that particular one. Even if they just blocked that particular avenue - which was set up for fast-tracking terrorists, okay? - and they will use it. And Nicola Roxon knows that they will use it, and she knows that it’s a loophole, because it was said at the Senate, and the Liberals blocked it. The Liberals blocked, and Labor, they both blocked, the only ones who stood up for it was the Greens, they both blocked Scott Ludlam’s submission to cut off that particular process because there was no legal process. Okay?
Phil: Alright. So, okay, so you put a case there that the Government knew about stuff and is not telling the truth there. So, if he did though, coming back to the original question, if your son was brought back to Australia do you fear that he would be sent on to America then?
Christine: Yes I do because of them pushing legislation. For a start, she’s started off, Gillard’s gone out there and slandered him calling him criminally irresponsible. For a leader to do that ahead of a case is unforgivable, and look the Australian Labor Party and Government at the moment is just an echo-chamber for the U.S. In fact, they’re even using the same words. Opening sentence of Roxon on the QandA “I think it’s fair enough to accuse people of being reckless and putting people in harm’s way”, okay?
Christine: So that’s an allegation about Julian prior to - as she said - she doesn’t even know if there’s a U.S. extradition afoot! Well she’s lying there as well because the Grand Jury has been sitting for months. The U.K. Ambassador has gone to the U.K. saying that they’re looking at the political areas in both Sweden and the U.K. looking at which one would be the best, okay? The U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich here, one week before Obama arrived, stated publicly that Australia would have to look at its extradition obligations in regard to a U.S. extradition from here, and within weeks the Extradition Act amendments were put through! And the Extradition Act amendments do impact on Julian - she’s lied there again, saying there’s no impact…
Phil: Do you think that was put through for Julian, in case he comes back to Australia?
Christine: Of course! That thing’s been afoot for a number of years, alright? But it was rushed through, okay? and the timing’s important. When you look at the Australian Government’s response to Julian’s case you’ve got to look at all the timing as well. Now that Extradition Act amendment was put through just after the leadership spill, in other words they got rid of McLelland [former Australian Attorney-General] because McLelland wasn’t all that keen on all this stuff, you know? And they put Roxon in.
Christine: okay? To do the job. So the expected decision from the Supreme Court about whether or not Julian could come home, would go to Sweden, would stay in the U.K. or come home, and we all know, the whole world knows that America’s just waiting to serve an Extradition Warrant. I don’t know where Nicola Roxon’s had her head for the last twelve months, but she’s lying. She knows.
Christine: But in four days of that expected decision to come down, that Extradition Act amendment was rushed through Parliament very quietly! Within four days, awaiting his return!
Phil: Okay, so at the moment you’ve got your son in the U.K., he’s awaiting this decision on whether he will be extradited to Sweden to be questioned about these, uh, these sexual assault allegations, now …
Christine: They’re not even sexual assault allegations! It’s “sexual misconduct”. The women have both stated very clearly, publicly, that there was no violence, it was consensual sex, and one woman, S.W. - Nicola Roxon knows all this stuff, by the way - S.W. has said that she felt railroaded by the police, left the interview very distressed that a rape allegation was made, and has refused to sign her statement. And they are using that unsigned statement, alright?
Phil: Okay. Now, the question is, though, he is in the U.K. at the moment. Now, if he wins and he doesn’t have to be extradited this time around, what opportunities, what choices are there left to him on where to stay - will he have to stay in the U.K. then?
Christine: No, he only has to stay in the U.K. if the U.S. Extradition Warrant comes in, and
Phil: …which may well happen of course…
Christine: Well, the ex-Attorney-General of the U.S., the last one, before this one, I can’t remember his name now, he stated that what they do in America when they want to get someone on a serious charge is they get them on a “holding charge” and that’s what this thing is, right? And that they also - it’s well known what the Americans do is they have a sealed indictment ready to go at the right time to put it in. The Attorney-General Eric Holder is on record as saying that “we will let this Swedish thing take its course and then we’ll serve it”. Okay? Now, getting back to the other thing she said about Julian fleeing Sweden, she said that Julian fled Sweden. Now, she well knows that that is a lie. And she also knows that that is what they’ve been doing to smear him. Julian was given permission to leave Sweden by the Swedish prosecutor, and she knows that because it’s in the documents given to them at Parliament, alright?
Phil: And there was no expectation that he would have to return to Sweden? He gave no undertaking that he would come back?
Christine: No! What happened was that the first rape allegation was dropped. “Rape” in Sweden can be given under consensual sex, it’s not like our laws here, it’s quite draconian, alright? So within twenty-four hours the Chief Prosecutor dropped the “rape” allegation, okay? saying there’s no evidence for it. It was only picked up about a week later by a politician lawyer running on a campaign of widening the definition of “rape”, alright? And Julian offered himself for questioning when it was picked up, and again and again the Swedish Prosecutor Marianne Ny refused for all sorts of pathetic reasons, refused to interview him, and they even gave him permission to leave the country on the fifteenth of September. He then offered to fly back in twice in October and she refused both of those, and Nicola Roxon knows it, alright?
Phil: So he did offer to come back to Sweden?
Christine: Twice! And excuse - twice, on the tenth, and on the eleventh, the first time she said it was on a weekend so they couldn’t see him, the second one - a day later - was too far away! It gets worse …
Phil: But but but, before, before we find out when it gets worse, why does he now fight extradition to Sweden if he offered to go back there?
Christine: Well that’s a good question, isn’t it? She took out a European Arrest Warrant - for questioning, right? and on top of that, Phil, for the last fifteen months, and Nicola Roxon knows this, for the last fifteen months he has offered himself for questioning at Scotland Yard or the Swedish Embassy, she’s refused all the offers, she lied to the media saying that Sweden was not a signatory to legal mutual assistance and they are: the Supreme Court in Sweden 1971 said that he could be interviewed in that way. And Roxon knows all this! She’s come out deliberately on QandA to say he’s fled Sweden when she knew full well he didn’t.
Phil: What I don’t understand though, you’ve said that he did offer himself for questioning -
Christine: That’s right.
Phil: then why is he fighting extradition?
Christine: Because they want him as a holding case! That’s what I’m trying to tell you!
Phil: Oh, right.
Christine: She’s saying that there’s these legal processes happening in Sweden, there aren’t! They’ve been illegal from day one!
Christine: Phillip, Sweden is very close to the U.S., okay? They’re the number one arms supplier in the Iraq war, okay? The U.S. Government has gradually infiltrated the Swedish Government to the point where Parliamentarians have resigned in protest over it. The political advisor to the current Prime Minister is none other than Karl Rove, a notorious smear agent under Bush, who’s now advising him, okay?
Christine: So there’s a couple of agendas within Sweden. There’s the women - supposedly according to their texts, which also Nicola Roxon knows - saying they wanted to make money out of Julian. But then there’s the domestic agenda where there’s a local campaign going to widen the sex offenders laws and an election going at the same time. And woman A.A. and the investigating police officer and woman S.W. and both the lawyers all stood for the election at the same time in the same party four weeks after those sex allegations.
Phil: Alright. Christine Assange, we’ll have to leave it there we’ve gone way over time here -
Christine: I just want to say this: Nicola Roxon knows all of this, and she’s lied about it and she needs to resign. I’m calling on her to resign!
Phil: Yeah, you’ve made that point several times. We’re going to try to get response to Nicola Roxon because you have made quite a few allegations against her, so we’ll get her on to get her reaction. We’re going to have to leave it there, Christine Assange…
Christine: She’s got the documents!
Phil: Christine Assange there, the mother of Julian Assange.
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