What role did you play in the CPS’s irregular handing of the Julian Assange case?Under your leadership, the CPS’s handling of Assange’s proposed extradition to Sweden to face questioning about sexual assault allegations was marred by irregularities. Italian investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi has spent years in a protracted legal process with the CPS to access information on its handling of the case.
The CPS has admitted destroying key emails relating to the Assange case, mostly covering the period when you were director.
A CPS lawyer working under you also advised the Swedish authorities not to visit London in 2010 or 2011 to interview Assange.
An interview in the UK at that time could have prevented the long-running embassy standoff. An email from a lawyer in the CPS extradition unit on 25 January 2011 cautioned: “My earlier advice remains, that in my view it would not be prudent for the Swedish authorities to try to interview the defendant in the UK.”
Documents from the CPS also show that Swedish prosecutors attempted to drop extradition proceedings against Julian Assange as early as 2013 when you were still the DPP. A CPS lawyer handling the case commented on a 2012 article which suggested that Sweden could drop the case, saying: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!.”
Your personal role in these deliberations is not known. Neither is the relationship, if any, between the US and the CPS in the Assange case.
The CPS has been less than forthcoming about the information it possessed. In April 2013, the same month that you and Sir Jonathan Evans went for drinks, the CPS rejected Assange’s request for the personal data it had on him “because of the live matters still pending.” Even GCHQ, the UK’s largest intelligence agency, had granted Assange’s request for the personal information it held on him;
this revealed one of its officers calling the Swedish case a “fit-up”.