|Sweden is a ghastly benighted place, your honour|
“I am reliably informed that this blood-curdling atrocity is what passes for justice in dark, pagan Sweden, m’lud,” Geoffrey Robertson QC told Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court. “My source is no less an authority than Ælfric the Grammarian, a scholarly monk of impeccable repute who learned of it from Abbo of Fleury, who in turn was told by the blessed St. Edmund’s personal sword-bearer that this unspeakable rite was performed on his liege-lord even as the horrified squire looked on in mortal terror from a nearby hiding-place.”
“Sadly I am unable to call any of these witnesses, as they have long since crumbled into dust,” he added, “But Ælfric the Grammarian has been widely quoted as an historical authority for a thousand years, and I can therefore see no reason to cast doubt upon his veracity now.”
Mr Robertson also pointed out that there was a very real danger that his client’s bloody carcass would then be handed over by the Viking barbarians to the savage tribes of Vinland, who are notorious for butchering their captives by hacking their scalps off and wearing the grisly souvenirs as a mark of their prowess as warriors.
The magistrate, Sir George Jeffreys, then adjourned the hearing until tomorrow, in order to give the prosecution time to construct a ducking stool for Mr Assange.