Why is an award winning newspaper keep repeating in error that Julian Assange was charged by Sweden when it is false? How many times will WIkiLeaks supporters have to attempt to correct the record in the Assange case at this precise point over the last 10 years?
On the 17th of September 2020 I wrote once more to the Reader’s Editor at The Guardian:
“In your article syndicated from Reuters here:
You write that:
“In 2012, Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of sex crimes. He always denied the charges and they were later dropped. ”
I have looked up the original Reuters article here: https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN26726W which says:
“In 2012, Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was accused of sex crimes, which he denied and which were later dropped.”
And I am baffled as to why your article is different from the original. It is incorrect to say “charges”. Julian Assange was never charged in Sweden. He was wanted for questioning in a preliminary investigation which was opened and closed three times without an inditement ever made.
The UK’s Supreme Court already in 2012 clarifies here:
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. “
In the name of accuracy and truthful reporting, could kindly replace the word “charges” with the word “allegations”
A month later I received their correction:
Thank you for your email, and many apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
I think you are correct that the reference to “charges” was made in error. The article has now been amended accordingly, and footnoted to say:
• This article was amended on 5 October 2020 to clarify that Julian Assange was not charged with sex crimes, as an earlier version said. He had faced allegations, which he denied, and the investigations were later dropped.
I hope this address the concerns you had raised.”
Was the syndicated article (copy paste from Reuters) amended to include the word ‘charges’? Why it took a month for such an easy correction to be made? When will The Guardian stop spreading false information about Julian Assange, defaming him?