I will now tell you a story of how Swedish newspapers attempt to control the past regarding what the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has said and not said. Perhaps she never said anything actually? Perhaps she doesn’t even exist? Perhaps she’s just a bad dream and we all woke up at some point after March 9, 2011.
Dagens Nyheter, or DN for short, is the biggest newspaper in Sweden. Its main competitor is Svenska Dagbladet (SvD). Both are considered serious newspapers (as opposed to the more tabloid-like Aftonbladet and Expressen). For example, the daily debate article in DN is regarded as an obligatory read by many Swedes.
This story begins with me trying to find out what Marianne Ny had actually said regarding the possibilities of questioning Julian Assange in the UK. She had said something about some law not permitting her to do this for some reason, but what was it exactly? And when did she say this?
A search on “Marianne Ny” at DN.se gave 37 hits, and the article published on December 4, 2010 entitled “Assange vågar inte åka till Sverige” seemed particularly interesting. Actually, the excerpt displayed in the search results contained the information I was looking for:
“Åklagaren Marianne Ny kommenterar att svensk och brittisk lag hindrar henne från att resa till London för att träffa Assange” (translation: The prosecutor Marianne Ny comments that Swedish and British law do not permit her to go to London to see Assange.)
Screen dump from DN search:
But in the article linked to the search result, this text was nowhere to be found. In fact, the link redirected to another article with the same title, published on December 5, 2010.
I decided to google the whole phrase and got hits with live links for several other Swedish newspapers: SvD, Göteborgsposten, Norrköpings Tidningar, Sydsvenskan, Dagen, Västerbottens-Kuriren, and Privata Affärer. But, notably, not Dagens Nyheter. We may also observe here that neither Aftonbladet, nor Expressen turned up in the search. Perhaps they chose to not publish at all in the first place, or they too have removed the article.
Screen dump from SvD:
Further work (by other people) revealed that also Dalarnas Tidning has removed their article on the subject. It is still visible however in google cache, dated March 9, 2011. My guess is that up until about that time, the article existed also in DN, but I have no proof.
Screen dump from DT, google cache (two parts):
- Why do major Swedish newspapers feel the need to remove a published article containing the phrase “Åklagaren Marianne Ny kommenterar att svensk och brittisk lag hindrar henne från att resa till London för att träffa Assange”?
- Why was the article removed after several months?
- And why was the publishing date in DN manipulated (in a cunning google-cache-outsmarting way too, by redirecting the link)?