Correct The Record in the Julian #Assange Case – The Telegraph Again!

On Saturday the 25th of April I raised an inaccuracy complaint with The Telegraph for their editorial published on the 24/2/20 that had escaped my notice. I sent my complainto to dtletters@telegraph.co.uk like I had done before but two days later I received an e-mail from them directing me to re-submit my complaint using their online form here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/contact-us/editorial-complaints/ which I did today. Luckily despite the delay they handle complaints up to four months after publication, which is quite good of them. The BBC by contrast has a much shorter reporting window at one month from publication. Here is what I complaint about:

Dear Sir/Madam

I have just perused one of your online editorials from February and I would like to bring to your attention some inaccuracies.

The editorial “The Assange case raises questions about the balance of power between America and Britain” published on the 24th of February published here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2020/02/24/assange-case-raises-questions-balance-power-america-britain/ (http://archive.is/AoV8e) states:

1. “Rather than surrender himself to the British police he sought sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for eight years.”

This is not accurate. Julian Assange sought and was granted political asylum against US persecution. It has come to bear that he was right to do so as the US Grand Jury investigating WikiLeaks since 2010 eventually charged him for his publishing efforts. Further inaccurate is the period of time he was inside the Ecuadorian Embassy 19/06/2012 to 11/04/2019 a period of 6 years and 10 months, almost seven years but certainly not eight.

2. “Sweden has now dropped the charges against him […]’
“Assange has always denied the charges.”
“When Assange was trying to evade the charges against him in Sweden […]”

Julian Assange was not charged in Sweden as the UK’s Supreme Court clarifies here:

https://www.supremecourt.uk/news/julian-assange-v-swedish-prosecution-authority.html

and more recently, so does Swedish Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson by stating that:

“I would like to make the following very clear: my decision to re-open the preliminary investigation is not equivalent on whether or not to file an indictment with the courts. This is the matter we’ll have to revisit,”

as reported by CNN here: https://m.cnn.com/en/article/h_5b11cbb6d7c0de5c86571df5796c8a96

“Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson reopened the remaining case after Assange left the embassy, but she said on Tuesday the passage of time meant there was not enough evidence to indict Assange.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” she told a news conference. ”

as reported by Reuters here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-assange-sweden/sweden-drops-assange-rape-investigation-after-nearly-10-years-idUSKBN1XT1QO

3. “The US allege he conspired with Chelsea Manning, then a US intelligence analyst, to hack into a secret Pentagon network to access classified material”

This is not accurate. According to the US superseding indictment (please see here: https://fas.org/sgp/news/2019/05/assange-superseding.pdf ) count 18, Julian Assange is accused of entering into a Conspiracy To Commit Computer Intrusion. No hacking was attempted or carried out. Chelsea Manning had full security clearance that gave her access to whatever material she allegedly uploaded onto WikiLeaks. The sentence omits the existence of 17 more charges under the Espionage Act for publishing the information. Potentially, the 18 charges could carry the maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

I would be very grateful if you were able to correct the inaccuracies.

They give themselves 28 days to reply to complaints, let’s see what the reply might be.

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