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Editorial - Cables reveal history of secret cooperation between Swedish and US governments

Today’s revelations from the US Embassy Cables reveal a history of backroom deals between the US government and Swedish politicians and officials.

The findings add weight to claims made this week by Mark Stephens, solicitor to Julian Assange, that the prosecution of Assange is politically motivated.

The cables reveal a history of cooperation behind the scenes, with deliberate effort to prevent deals becoming public. Sweden is not a NATO member and its citizens place high value on the country’s neutrality.

In one cable, from 2008, Swedish officials ask the US to keep all intelligence-gathering informal to avoid scrutiny from the Swedish Parliament and public: “She believed that, given Swedish constitutional requirements to present matters of national concern to Parliament and in light of the ongoing controversy over Sweden’s recently passed surveillance law, it would be politically impossible for the Minister of Justice to avoid presenting any formal data sharing agreement with the United States to Parliament for review. In her opinion, the effect of this public spotlight could also place other existing informal information sharing arrangements at jeopardy.”

Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said:

“We are very pleased with today’s decision to grant bail to Julian Assange, but dismayed that even the hugely restrictive bail conditions offered were not enough to prevent an appeal by Swedish authorities.

“From the beginning, we have been concerned about political influence on the prosecution of Julian Assange, especially after the exceptional way in which this case was handled – it was, after all, dropped entirely by the chief prosecutor within a day, only to then be reinstated.

“The new revelations contained in the Swedish cables today shed some light on the ferocity of the Swedish prosecutorial process in this case. The prosecutor has said there is ‘no condition’ for bail that will satisfy them.”

For the cable please click here