“When the documents were released, it was not the Bush administration, but the Obamas that broke out on it”
Profile: So did Sweden, Ecuador and Great Britain manipulate themselves and dance to their tune?
Novak: Yes, you can say that. In 2010, when the documents were released, it was not the Bush administration, but the Obamas that broke. Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden: It aimed to clamp down on whistleblowers exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States and its allies.
Profile: According to this view, human rights were sacrificed to discourage. Did this test work?
Novak: Edward Snowden is protected in Russia, but he is still persecuted. It is an eye for free democracies that people exposed to crimes by states are treated in such a manner. Do you remember that Ivo Morales, then President of Bolivia, had to stay in Austria from Russia a few years ago? The Spaniards did not allow it to land following heavy pressure from the United States. The US feared that Morales had brought Snowden in his plane. Here, the European Union has also fallen to its knees under massive pressure from the US, which Snowden had determined to achieve.
Profile: Can different countries like Austria and Sweden or the EU say: We are not playing together?
Novak: I believe that the European Union can do this. No member states have offered asylum to Snowden or Assange. It was Ecuador which was the leftist government at the time. Today it is Mexico that gives shelter to Assange. After changing the government, as it was in Ecuador, friendship with the United States could be quickly restored. These are not really safe countries for those desired by the US.
Profile: The US appealed against the ruling in London. What’s next? Can Assange be shipped at a later date?
Novak: Now the case has gone to the Supreme Court of Britain. Even if the judge initially denied his lawyers’ request to release him on bail, it does not mean that he should remain in custody for the entire duration of the appeal proceedings. It is also related to their health status. I find it hard to imagine the Supreme Court of Britain, which is now separate from the General Court. But even if the Supreme Court has decided, Assange’s lawyers will immediately take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. There are other cases in which England was convicted after extraditing someone properly because the terms of detention in the USA should be considered inhumane. In my opinion, Assange will finally get the right before the European Court of Human Rights.
Profile: How likely is the future US President Joe Biden to forgive Assange?
Novak: I keep reading about this possibility in the media. Only those who have already been convicted can be pardoned. Assange’s case is not about an amnesty, but about the conclusion of proceedings. I would really expect Biden – even if it was Vice Obamas who started all this to drop the case. It is a political decision.