A top Swedish judge has defended the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, pointing out the case against Assange has turned into a legal “mess.”
“It should never be a crime to make known crime of a state,” Stefan Lindskog told the audience at a public lecture he gave at Adelaide University, according to Australian Associated Press.
The judge, who is one of the 16 justices working for the Supreme Court of Sweden, revealed an extraordinary amount of detail on Assange’s sexual assault case, despite not sitting on it.
The official also indicated that the courts may rule against sending the WikiLeaks founder to the US due to some conditions of the existing extradition treaty between the two countries.
“Extradition shall not be granted when alleged crimes [are] military or political in nature,” Lindskog stressed.
Moreover, according to the judge, it was debatable whether Assange would have committed a crime under Swedish law.
“What is classified under US law is probably not classified under Swedish law, and enemies to the US may not be enemies to Sweden,” AAP quoted the official as saying.
Lindskog added that extensive media coverage of the case has entailed the public distrust in the legal system.
“I think it is a mess,” he said.
Finally, the judge supported the American soldier Bradley Manning, who provided some of the classified information to WikiLeaks. Lindskog said he hoped Manning would go through a fair trial, saying that the release of classified information was for the benefit of mankind.
Prior to the speech, Assange condemned Lindskog’s decision to speak in Australia, calling it “absolutely outrageous.”
The 41-year-old whistleblower, an Australian citizen, has spent nine months in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, after claiming asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault allegations.
Assange fears that once in Sweden, he could be extradited to America where, according to his lawyers, he is most likely to face trial and possibly even the death penalty for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables, some of them about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.