Just some words of caution in regard to the posts and poster above.
As far as I understand, Göran Rudling was interrogated by the police in regard to the case of Julian Assange, and he also presented evidence for Assange in the first round of extradition court hearings at Woolwich Crown Court.
He also runs a blog related to questions of gender and sexual policies in Sweden, and he furthermore also appears to have close private personal connections with parties involved in this case, so he has many layers of both personal and professional conflicting interrests resting in this case.
In the best of worlds this would not mean anything, but I think it is prudent to be aware of this in regard to the current situation.
On another wider level I think this underscores the desperate need for independent, qualitative and critical investigative journalism into this whole case. Journalism performed by a profession and individuals, not paying subservient lip service to any particular political or ideological agenda, but that places the responsibilities of accuracy, objectivity, fairness and truth highest.
This need is especially desperate for Sweden, were this issue is now so emboiled in emotion and irrationality that I dont think we have the capability to sort things out ourself anymore, but requires assistance to calmly and rationally help us place things back into their proper perspective.
Naomi is (as far as I understand), actually primarily pointing out the relative changes in reported cases and convictions in Sweden over time, and Sweden has not changed judicial system, the reported changes are seen within the SAME system.
What Sweden has changed, are among other things the laws concerning rape and sexual assualt, extending the concept of rape and molestation far outside the colloquial understanding of the words. Essentially watering down the concept to the point that, in the words of the accusers legal representative, Claes Borgström, 'you today need to be a trained lawyer to know if you have been raped or not'.
There has actually been proposals put forward, in all seriousness, that legal documentation of consent be signed by both parties, before any hanky panky are allowed to commence... something that I think really should turn on all alarm bells.
If you couple this with a situation were accused has been sentenced, exclusively on the word of the accuser, on the opinion that a raped woman never lies, you have in my mind created an exceedingly dangerous situation.
If you to this add that these trials are normally held behind "closed doors", I come back to your ascertion that: "Sweden has different legal system and culture, but it's very good."
To place your opinion in perspective, only last week a brand new opinion poll in Sweden showed a dramatic 40% decrease in confidence in the Swedish judicial system.
So I am curious om what experiances and what knowledge you assert this?
I can only agree fully with Naomi Wolf, and further support the conclusions presented in the article. It is almost impossible to understate how atypical and completly upside down this case has been handled by the swedish authorities.
The really scary thing is how increadible easy it is to secure solid documented evidence for this, by just doing a couple of quick google searches and telephone calls, (As Noami did, and much more). I mean Sweden have been THE frontrunner and for a long time been pushing for public access, transparancy and to openness in regard to government and authorities.
And at the same time, that so many prolific journalists that regularly writes for prominent international newspapers and news organizations, fail to do just this.
How about doing a background check of the official "actors" in this case? How about the prosecutor, Marianne Ny? Has anyone looked into her case history, previous actions, the prosecutors office? I mean, you can hardly see the forest for all the trees...
And in regard to JA, almost all documentation are already available online. Which is a story all in itself, and why not compare similar cases from Ny's recent personal professional history...
I have a very hard time believing that the apparent lack of basic journalistic curiosity and footwork, from so many, into a case of this dignity, are due to honest negligence or credulity.
My own experiance is that many economists are masters of calculation, but often fail spectacular in understanding the underlying assumption that form the basis for the mathematics they use.
Theoretical physicist in turn, understand the mathematics intimatly, but often fail to grasp the properties of the economic reality that differs radically from the neat realiable predictable uncertainty of quantum mechanics and gravity.
And both seems to fail miserably to fully account for the fundamental biology of human nature, and the consequences this have on the theories and mathematical models they use.
So maybe required studies in biology, biochemistry, evolution, cognitive psychology could be worthwhile for budding new economists? Together with the growing fields of behavioural economics and complexity theory.
But an important first step could very well be to fully embrace the idea that human beeings are not born as blank slates, and begin to really strive to take into account the many human quirks and universals we now have very strong evidence for to exist.
I feel the need to comment on some of the thoughts, assumptions and presuppositions that appears to form the foundation of your arguments and opinions in this case.
Sweden were once one of the richest countries in the world, we once had a fantastic school system, public and free healthcare. We were secure and acted with pride and integrity and stood for our ideals, and we even faced down USA and protected desserters during the Vietnam War.
Home to the Nobel price, we were the paragon of industry and science, and the epitome of freedom, democracy and justice, spiced with beuatiful blond girls and tall handsome vikings, fantastic nature and meatballs. This was the country of Björn Borg, Ingmar Bergman and Anita Ekberg.
This is a public national image that Swedes are increadibly proud of, and a heritage which is now guarded with reverent pride that borders on manic obsession, and nothing is allowed to tarnish this image.
This has been instrumental in creating a society with an ever deepening rift between the public image of our society and the hard facts of reality.
We fool ourselvs for the sake of a phantom image of the past, and try our very best to fool everyone else, a spell which I fear you have fallen victim to in this case.
Let me stress this a little more, under the blanket created by this image, things are deteriorating at a increasing speed, for example even many swedes dont know that
* Swedish schools and pupils performance are in a freefall and in the last PISA studies Sweden scored below OECD average, and in mathematics did even worse then USA on place 29! One of the most dramatic declines in performance for any country in recorded history.
* Swedish public healthcare has been one of our main prides, and it still ranks fairly high in regard to quality, but this has been to the deteriment of accessibility. Sweden now has the longest ques and waiting times of any country in Europe. Even waiting lines to begin treatments for agressive cancers can be measured in months.
* Swedish police only solves around 4% of all break ins compared to 25% in for example Finland, and the number of solved crimes has continued to decrease over the last years even as the police force has been increased with 3000 new officers, an increase of roughly 15%
* Sweden has the highest number of cases per capita taken to the The European Court of Human Rights for flouting Article 6 -- the right to a fair trial.
* In a survey conducted this spring in Southern Sweden, 90% of all small entreprenurial businesses reported having been targeted with fraud attempts, destruction of property and thefts, and 75% contemplated quiting or relocating their businesses due to this.
* Corruption on all levels in the society are increasing dramatically, which has begun to be noted by international organizations and OECD issued an alert on this just a couple of month back.
and the list goes on and on...
We were great once, but under the spell of this image, corruption, greed and incompetece has been festering.
We are truly a "twilight country", maybe on of the first in the modern era, on a downward trajectory and I would urge all observers to reconsider preconcived notions and opinions and to take a closer critical look.
I apology for the length of this post, but I hope that it can maybe give some clues to the behaviours and strange inconcistencies in this case.