Re: "select markets"
"The Swedish investigation needs to take place in Sweden . . ."
Actually no, that's not correct. The interviews CAN take place in the UK.
This is one of the big problems so far as public opinion goes. Yes, Assange comes across as a self-righteous, holier-than-thou type. And yes, he absolutely appears to have acted in rather bad faith as regards his exit from Sweden and his skipping bail.
BUT, and this is a huge 'but' - those acts have a ready explanation. You (and Matt and anyone else) may not believe it but there is no doubt that Assange can provide an answer as to why he did what he did. There is no doubt in my mind that he truly believes he will be extradited to the US if he ever sets foot on Swedish soils again - whether or not you think those fears are reasonable is largely beside the point. He may be paranoid with delusions of importance - picturing himself as a fighter for justice being targeted by government - but the point is that he believes that what he says will happen to him will actually happen to him.
One the other side, however, the Swedish police/prosecutors.just don't have a reasonable explanation for why they are refusing to conduct their interviews as things stand now. The judge has said that they can interview Assange in the UK but they refuse to do so, insisting instead on extradition to Sweden first.
Given - again - that extradition to Sweden is not a legally-necessary pre-condition for conducting a formal interview, this clearly raises questions as to the motives behind the insistence that he be extradited.
Whatever you or Matt may think - and indeed whatever the actual truth of the matter is - this is a bad look. It is easy to understand the reasons why Assange felt he needed to do what he did and those reasons are entirely consistent with his claims now - he believes the aim of all this is to ship him to the US. It is far harder to understand the reasons why it is being insisted that he MUST be extradited to Sweden - especially when the (Swedish) judge has said that it is not necessary.
In short, Assange's actions add up. Whether you think he is imagining things or lying or a raping, lying terrorist who wants to help Al Qaeda to bomb your children's school - his stated reasons and actions are consistent. As much cannot be said for the other 'side' in this palaver.
Personally, I disapprove of the way Assange has acted but I understand it. I do not understand the actions of the Swedish police and prosecutors.
Now, perhaps he gets interviewed and they decide to press formal charges and he still refuses. Okay, so you take that when it comes but the Swedish police are now on the front foot, at least so far as opinion is concerned. At that point, at least some of Assange's support evaporates. Perhaps nothing, ultimately, changes but how exactly is that different from the situation now?