Julian Assange's lawyers prepare for the case against Sweden's legal system


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The Independent Online

It now seems inevitable that it will be Sweden that deals with Julian Assange, and the Scandinavian country's legal system has been the focus of extreme polemic in recent months. For some it is the model of how a democracy should run; while Mr Assange's lawyers and family have insisted that he will be at the mercy of an unfair and pre-judiced system.

Experts say Mr Assange may not be held in jail, but would probably have some kind of restriction on his movements, similar to his situation in the UK. His lawyers and family have raised concerns about the transparency of the process, given that sexual assault cases are held behind closed doors in Sweden.

Swedish prosecutors will want to interview Mr Assange, and there is even a chance that the case could be dropped. "It is possible that he may offer up an explanation for what happened that makes the prosecutor rethink how strong a case she has," said Chistopher Wong, a legal scholar at Lund University.

He said that much of the criticism of Sweden had come from the differing terminology used in the country. "Just because he's not been charged doesn't mean he's not a criminal suspect and there is evidence against him," said Mr Wong.

While many have rubbished Mr Assange's fears that he could be extradited to the US, a study of 9,000 Swedish lawyers found that 32 per cent agreed with his criticisms. The main issue is that defence lawyers are often not informed about the prosecution's case until minutes before it is presented in court.