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What a weird statment. How can a country decide to drop a crime against its citizen. Shouldn't the person who got raped be deciding that.



In most European countries, the state prosecutor decides who to charge with a crime, regardless what purported victims think.

It might be a bit foreign, but it does help with some cases, like partner violence, where the victim might not want to press charges against a violent partner. Under this model, if the police learns of the crime, they are obliged to prosecute it if possible.


Same is true in the U.S. as a victim you can decide whether to “press charges” i.e. file an official crime report. However it is only the District Attorney’s office that has the power to file criminal charges.


> the state prosecutor decides who to charge with a crime, regardless what purported victims think.

So state prosecutor can simply drop the charges if she feels like it?

in usa people have the right to jury trial. Seems really unfair that prosecutor can unilaterally simply drop your case, wonder why its that way.


I don’t know all the details of the Swedish system, but governments over here are generally much more centralised than you’re used to from the U.S.

Prosecutors are generally not independent, but work for some arm of the justice ministry and as government officials are subject to abuse of power laws, so they can be punished for mishandling cases.

That’s the theory, at least. In practise, it’s not always that transparent what’s going on.


That’s not true, in the U.S., the DA has complete authority to decide whether to file charges. You have no right to a trial until after you are charged.

You can file a civil suit to get a judge to make declarations of fact in some cases, but I don’t believe there is any criminal equivalent of that.


yea. I was mistaken. thanks.


This is absolutely no different than in the US. A government prosecutor needs to press criminal charges.

The accused has the right to a jury trial. An alleged victim has no such right.


Ok, maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but I had the impression that at least for some crimes (misdemeanors?) the victim can opt to not "press charges"?


Nope, though it is a common TV trope.

In the US, there's a concept known as "prosecutorial discretion," and it refers to the fact that prosecutors have nearly absolute authority over what charges are brought.

There are limits to this, but they are extremely rare. For example the Supreme Court has held repeatedly that a prosecutor can't base their decision on race or religion because it would violate the 5th Amendment.


Yeah they can decide for any reason except prohibited reasons.


There is such a thing as a private prosecution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prosecution


In the US, any alleged victims can sue in civil court, separate from any criminal charges


The alleged victims never pressed for Assange to be charged for sexual assault.


> Assange was accused of rape by a woman and sexual assault by another one

what does 'accused' mean here? I assumed accused = pressed charges.

edit: oh i see wht you mean. thanks.


The women did not accuse him of rape. They described alleged sexual assault, wanted the police to contact him to ask him to take an STD test, and the police took it upon themselves to want Assange for questioning in regards to sexual assault.


why would the article say otherwise though? it literally says they accused him.


To be more clear: the women did not approach the police with the intention of them pursuing any allegations about sexual assault. The accusation was made by police after hearing the context around the women's request. So while the women communicated circumstances that the police interpreted as sexual assault, it was not their direct accusation


> the women did not approach the police with the intention of them pursuing any allegations about sexual assault.

I don't understand what were their intentions then. Its hard to fathom for me as to why someone wouldn't pursue criminal allegation against a person who raped them. Really bizzare.


Because the alleged situation wasn't what we commonly think of as rape, and I agree the circumstances are bizzare - which is why I am skeptical of this entire situation.


If they accused him of performing actions that, if true, meet all the elements of the crime rape, they have accused him of rape.




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