Julian Assange has now got another reason to fear extradition to Sweden. The other day Dagens Nyheter revealed some new secrets from the Wikileaks files. It turns out that there exists a semi-secret high-level group called e-PINE, which spells out Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe. (The foreign Department’s press secretary says he didn’t know about it.)
This e-PINE group is manned by high-level officials from the Nordic and Baltic countries, plus for some interesting reason the United States, who has been represented by the Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel Fried. What the secret documents reveal is that the real purpose of this group is to build a shield against Russia. So one topic of discussion is how to strengthen the Russian border states, for instance how to facilitate for Ukraine and Georgia to become NATO members.
One of the more delicate parts of the revelation is that the group has discussed how to drive a wedge between President Medvedev and prime minister Putin of Russia, with the aim to strengthen Medvedev and weaken Putin. As it contradicts Sweden’s official foreign policy to interfere with other nations internal affairs, this has become an embarrassment to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and foreign minister Carl Bildt. Since the former probably doesn’t forget things very easily, and the latter has a slight touch of megalomania, Assange’s hopes in this country have dropped another level.
Still there is no debate about the fear of Assange being extradited from Sweden to USA, should he be forced to come here. If the United States will demand Sweden to extradite him there are definitely formal problems for Sweden to deny it.
Strange how we find freedom of expression such a wonderful thing in Egypt and such a disaster when it really is used here in a substantial way.