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Wikileaks Julian Assange investigative journalist NWO arrest
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imperialism on Trial | Free Julian Assange

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Imperialism on Trial | Speakers from a variety of backgrounds will share their expertise on #imperialism in general, and on the #JulianAssange case in particular.

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Historian, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist
Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6
Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6 128
September 8, 2020 in Uncategorized by craig
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/09/your-man-in-the-public -gallery-the-assange-hearing-day-6/

I went to the Old Bailey today expecting to be awed by the majesty of the law, and left revolted by the sordid administration of injustice.

There is a romance which attaches to the Old Bailey. The name of course means fortified enclosure and it occupies a millennia old footprint on the edge of London’s ancient city wall. It is the site of the medieval Newgate Prison, and formal trials have taken place at the Old Bailey for at least 500 years, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. For the majority of that time, those convicted even of minor offences of theft were taken out and executed in the alleyway outside. It is believed that hundreds, perhaps thousands, lie buried under the pavements.

The hefty Gothic architecture of the current grand building dates back no further than 1905, and round the back and sides of that is wrapped some horrible cheap utility building from the 1930’s. It was through a tunnelled entrance into this portion that five of us, Julian’s nominated family and friends, made our nervous way this morning. We were shown to Court 10 up many stairs that seemed like the back entrance to a particularly unloved works canteen. Tiles were chipped, walls were filthy and flakes of paint hung down from crumbling ceilings. Only the security cameras watching us were new – so new, in fact, that little piles of plaster and brick dust lay under each.

Court 10 appeared to be a fairly bright and open modern box, with pleasant light woodwork, jammed as a mezzanine inside a great vault of the old building. A massive arch intruded incongruously into the space and was obviously damp, sheets of delaminating white paint drooping down from it like flags of forlorn surrender. The dock in which Julian would be held still had a bulletproof glass screen in front, like Belmarsh, but it was not boxed in. There was no top to the screen, no low ceiling, so sound could flow freely over and Julian seemed much more in the court. It also had many more and wider slits than the notorious Belmarsh Box, and Julian was able to communicate quite readily and freely through them with his lawyers, which this time he was not prevented from doing.

Rather to our surprise, nobody else was allowed into the public gallery of court 10 but us five. Others like John Pilger and Kristin Hrafnsson, editor in chief of Wikileaks, were shunted into the adjacent court 9 where a very small number were permitted to squint at a tiny screen, on which the sound was so inaudible John Pilger simply left. Many others who had expected to attend, such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, were simply excluded, as were MPs from the German federal parliament (both the German MPs and Reporters Without Borders at least later got access to the inadequate video following strong representations from the German Embassy).

The reason given that only five of us were allowed in the public gallery of some 40 seats was social distancing; except we were allowed to all sit together in consecutive seats in the front row. The two rows behind us remained completely empty.

To finish scene setting, Julian himself looked tidy and well groomed and dressed, and appeared to have regained a little lost weight, but with a definite unhealthy puffiness about his features. In the morning he appeared disengaged and disoriented rather as he had at Belmarsh, but in the afternoon he perked up and was very much engaged with his defence team, interacting as normally as could be expected in these circumstances.

Proceedings started with formalities related to Julian’s release on the old extradition warrant and re-arrest under the new warrant, which had taken place this morning. Defence and prosecution both agreed that the points they had already argued on the ban on extradition for political offences were not affected by the superseding indictment.

Magistrate Baraitser then made a statement about access to the court by remote hearing, by which she meant online. She stated that a number of access details had been sent out by mistake by the court without her agreement. She had therefore revoked their access permissions.

As she spoke, we in the court had no idea what had happened, but outside some consternation was underway in that the online access of Amnesty International, of Reporters without Borders, of John Pilger and of forty others had been shut down. As these people were neither permitted to attend the court nor observe online, this was causing some consternation.

Baraitser went on to say that it was important that the hearing was public, but she should only agree remote access where it was “in the interests of justice”, and having considered it she had decided it was not. She explained this by stating that the public could normally observe from within the courtroom, where she could control their behaviour. But if they had remote access, she could not control their behaviour and this was not in the “interests of justice”.

Baraitser did not expand on what uncontrolled behaviour she anticipated from those viewing via the internet. It is certainly true that an observer from Amnesty sitting at home might be in their underwear, might be humming the complete soundtrack to Mamma Mia, or might fart loudly. Precisely why this would damage “the interests of justice” we are still left to ponder, with no further help from the magistrate. But evidently the interests of justice were, in her view, best served if almost nobody could examine the “justice” too closely.

The next “housekeeping issue” to be addressed was how witnesses should be heard. The defence had called numerous witnesses, and each had lodged a written statement. The prosecution and Baraitser both suggested that, having given their evidence in writing, there was no need for defence witnesses to give that evidence orally in open court. It would be much quicker to go straight to cross-examination by the prosecution.

For the defence, Edward Fitzgerald QC countered that justice should be seen to be done by the public. The public should be able to hear the defence evidence before hearing the cross-examination. It would also enable Julian Assange to hear the evidence summarised, which was important for him to follow the case given his lack of extended access to legal papers while in Belmarsh prison.

Baraitser stated there could not be any need for evidence submitted to her in writing to be repeated orally. For the defence, Mark Summers QC was not prepared to drop it and tension notably rose in the court. Summers stated it was normal practice for there to be “an orderly and rational exposition of the evidence”. For the prosecution, James Lewis QC denied this, saying it was not normal procedure.

Baraitser stated she could not see why witnesses should be scheduled an one hour forty five minutes each, which was too long. Lewis agreed. He also added that the prosecution does not accept that the defence’s expert witnesses are expert witnesses. A Professor of journalism telling about newspaper coverage did not count. An expert witness should only be giving evidence on a technical point the court was otherwise unqualified to consider. Lewis also objected that in giving evidence orally, defence witnesses might state new facts to which the Crown had not had time to react. Baraitser noted that the written defence statements were published online, so they were available to the public.

Edward Fitzgerald QC stood up to speak again, and Baraitser addressed him in a quite extraordinary tone of contempt. What she said exactly was: “I have given you every opportunity. Is there anything else, really, that you want to say”, the word “really” being very heavily emphasised and sarcastic. Fitzgerald refused to be sat down, and he stated that the current case featured “substantial and novel issues going to fundamental questions of human rights.” It was important the evidence was given in public. It also gave the witnesses a chance to emphasise the key points of their evidence and where they placed most weight.

Baraitser called a brief recess while she considered judgement on this issue, and then returned. She found against the defence witnesses giving their evidence in open court, but accepted that each witness should be allowed up to half an hour of being led by the defence lawyers, to enable them to orient themselves and reacquaint with their evidence before cross-examination.

This half hour for each witness represented something of a compromise, in that at least the basic evidence of each defence witness would be heard by the court and the public (insofar as the public was allowed to hear anything). But the idea that a standard half hour guillotine is sensible for all witnesses, whether they are testifying to a single fact or to developments over years, is plainly absurd. What came over most strongly from this question was the desire of both judge and prosecution to railroad through the extradition with as little of the case against it getting a public airing as possible.

As the judge adjourned for a short break we thought these questions had now been addressed and the rest of the day would be calmer. We could not have been more wrong.

The court resumed with a new defence application, led by Mark Summers QC, about the new charges from the US governments new superseding indictment. Summers took the court back over the history of this extradition hearing. The first indictment had been drawn up in March of 2018. In January 2019 a provisional request for extradition had been made, which had been implemented in April of 2019 on Assange’s removal from the Embassy. In June 2019 this was replaced by the full request with a new, second indictment which had been the basis of these proceedings before today. A whole series of hearings had taken place on the basis of that second indictment.

The new superseding indictment dated from 20 June 2020. In February and May 2020 the US government had allowed hearings to go ahead on the basis of the second indictment, giving no warning, even though they must by that stage have known the new superseding indictment was coming. They had given neither explanation nor apology for this.

The defence had not been properly informed of the superseding indictment, and indeed had learnt of its existence only through a US government press release on 20 June. It had not finally been officially served in these proceedings until 29 July, just six weeks ago. At first, it had not been clear how the superseding indictment would affect the charges, as the US government was briefing it made no difference but just gave additional detail. But on 21 August 2020, not before, it finally became clear in new US government submissions that the charges themselves had been changed.

There were now new charges that were standalone and did not depend on the earlier allegations. Even if the 18 Manning related charges were rejected, these new allegations could still form grounds for extradition. These new allegations included encouraging the stealing of data from a bank and from the government of Iceland, passing information on tracking police vehicles, and hacking the computers both of individuals and of a security company.

“How much of this newly alleged material is criminal is anybody’s guess”, stated Summers, going on to explain that it was not at all clear that an Australian giving advice from outwith Iceland to someone in Iceland on how to crack a code, was actually criminal if it occurred in the UK. This was even without considering the test of dual criminality in the US also, which had to be passed before the conduct was subject to extradition.

It was unthinkable that allegations of this magnitude would be the subject of a Part 2 extradition hearing within six weeks if they were submitted as a new case. Plainly that did not give the defence time to prepare, or to line up witnesses to these new charges. Among the issues relating to these new charges the defence would wish to address, were that some were not criminal, some were out of time limitation, some had already been charged in other fora (including Southwark Crown Court and courts in the USA).

There were also important questions to be asked about the origins of some of these charges and the dubious nature of the witnesses. In particular the witness identified as “teenager” was the same person identified as “Iceland 1” in the previous indictment. That indictment had contained a “health warning” over this witness given by the US Department of Justice. This new indictment removed that warning. But the fact was, this witness is Sigurdur Thordarson, who had been convicted in Iceland in relation to these events of fraud, theft, stealing Wikileaks money and material and impersonating Julian Assange.

The indictment did not state that the FBI had been “kicked out of Iceland for trying to use Thordarson to frame Assange”, stated Summers baldly.

Summers said all these matters should be ventilated in these hearings if the new charges were to be heard, but the defence simply did not have time to prepare its answers or its witnesses in the brief six weeks it had since receiving them, even setting aside the extreme problems of contact with Assange in the conditions in which he was being held in Belmarsh prison.

The defence would plainly need time to prepare answers to these new charges, but it would plainly be unfair to keep Assange in jail for the months that would take. The defence therefore suggested that these new charges should be excised from the conduct to be considered by the court, and they should go ahead with the evidence on criminal behaviour confined to what conduct had previously been alleged.

Summers argued it was “entirely unfair” to add what were in law new and separate criminal allegations, at short notice and “entirely without warning and not giving the defence time to respond to it. What is happening here is abnormal, unfair and liable to create real injustice if allowed to continue.”

The arguments submitted by the prosecution now rested on these brand new allegations. For example, the prosecution now countered the arguments on the rights of whistleblowers and the necessity of revealing war crimes by stating that there can have been no such necessity to hack into a bank in Iceland.

Summers concluded that the “case should be confined to that conduct which the American government had seen fit to allege in the eighteen months of the case” before their second new indictment.

Replying to Summers for the prosecution, Joel Smith QC replied that the judge was obliged by the statute to consider the new charges and could not excise them. “If there is nothing proper about the restitution of a new extradition request after a failed request, there is nothing improper in a superseding indictment before the first request had failed.” Under the Extradition Act the court must decide only if the offence is an extraditable offence and the conduct alleged meets the dual criminality test. The court has no other role and no jurisdiction to excise part of the request.

Smith stated that all the authorities (precedents) were of charges being excised from a case to allow extradition to go ahead on the basis of the remaining sound charges, and those charges which had been excised were only on the basis of double jeopardy. There was no example of charges being excised to prevent an extradition. And the decision to excise charges had only ever been taken after the conduct alleged had been examined by the court. There was no example of alleged conduct not being considered by the court. The defendant could seek extra time if needed but the new allegations must be examined.

Summers replied that Smith was “wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong”. “We are not saying that you can never submit a new indictment, but you cannot do it six weeks before the substantive hearing.” The impact of what Smith had said amounted to no more than “Ha ha this is what we are doing and you can’t stop us.” A substantive last minute change had been made with no explanation and no apology. It could not be the case, as Smith alleged, that a power existed to excise charges in fairness to the prosecution, but no power existed to excise charges in fairness to the defence.

Immediately Summers sat down, Baraitser gave her judgement on this point. As so often in this hearing, it was a pre-written judgement. She read it from a laptop she had brought into the courtroom with her, and she had made no alterations to that document as Summers and Smith had argued the case in front of her.

Baraitser stated that she had been asked as a preliminary move to excise from the case certain conduct alleged. Mr Summers had described the receipt of new allegations as extraordinary. However “I offered the defence the opportunity to adjourn the case” to give them time to prepare against the new allegations. “I considered of course that Mr Assange was in custody. I hear that Mr Summers believes this is fundamental unfairness”. But “the argument that we haven’t got the time, should be remedied by asking for the time.”

Mr Summers had raised issues of dual criminality and abuse of process; there was nothing preventing him for raising these arguments in the context of considering the request as now presented.

Baraitser simply ignored the argument that while there was indeed “nothing to prevent” the defence from answering the new allegations as each was considered, they had been given no time adequately to prepare. Having read out her pre-prepared judgement to proceed on the basis of the new superseding indictment, Baraitser adjourned the court for lunch.

At the end of the day I had the opportunity to speak to an extremely distinguished and well-known lawyer on the subject of Baraitser bringing pre-written judgements into court, prepared before she had heard the lawyers argue the case before her. I understood she already had seen the outline written arguments, but surely this was wrong. What was the point in the lawyers arguing for hours if the judgement was pre-written? What I really wanted to know was how far this was normal practice.

The lawyer replied to me that it absolutely was not normal practice, it was totally outrageous. In a long and distinguished career, this lawyer had very occasionally seen it done, even in the High Court, but there was always some effort to disguise the fact, perhaps by inserting some reference to points made orally in the courtroom. Baraitser was just blatant. The question was, of course, whether it was her own pre-written judgement she was reading out, or something she had been given from on high.

This was a pretty shocking morning. The guillotining of defence witnesses to hustle the case through, indeed the attempt to ensure their evidence was not spoken in court except those parts which the prosecution saw fit to attack in cross-examination, had been breathtaking. The effort by the defence to excise the last minute superseding indictment had been a fundamental point disposed of summarily. Yet again, Baraitser’s demeanour and very language made little attempt to disguise a hostility to the defence.

We were for the second time in the day in a break thinking that events must now calm down and get less dramatic. Again we were wrong.

Court resumed forty minutes late after lunch as various procedural wrangles were addressed behind closed doors. As the court resumed, Mark Summers for the defence stood up with a bombshell.

Summers said that the defence “recognised” the judgement Baraitser had just made – a very careful choice of word, as opposed to “respected” which might seem more natural. As she had ruled that the remedy to lack of time was more time, the defence was applying for an adjournment to enable them to prepare the answers to the new charges. They did not do this lightly, as Mr Assange would continue in prison in very difficult conditions during the adjournment.

Summers said the defence was simply not in a position to gather the evidence to respond to the new charges in a few short weeks, a situation made even worse by Covid restrictions. It was true that on 14 August Baraitser had offered an adjournment and on 21 August they had refused the offer. But in that period of time, Mr Assange had not had access to the new charges and they had not fully realised the extent to which these were a standalone new case. To this date, Assange had still not received the new prosecution Opening Note in prison, which was a crucial document in setting out the significance of the new charges.

Baraitser pointedly asked whether the defence could speak to Assange in prison by telephone. Summers replied yes, but these were extremely short conversations. They could not phone Mr Assange; he could only call out very briefly on the prison payphone to somebody’s mobile, and the rest of the team would have to try to gather round to listen. It was not possible in these very brief discussions adequately to expound complex material. Between 14 and 21 August they had been able to have only two such very short phone calls. The defence could only send documents to Mr Assange through the post to the prison; he was not always given them, or allowed to keep them.

Baraitser asked how long an adjournment was being requested. Summers replied until January.

For the US government, James Lewis QC replied that more scrutiny was needed of this request. The new matters in the indictment were purely criminal. They do not affect the arguments about the political nature of the case, or affect most of the witnesses. If more time were granted, “with the history of this case, we will just be presented with a sleigh of other material which will have no bearing on the small expansion of count 2”.

Baraitser adjourned the court “for ten minutes” while she went out to consider her judgement. In fact she took much longer. When she returned she looked peculiarly strained.

Baraitser ruled that on 14 August she had given the defence the opportunity to apply for an adjournment, and given them seven days to decide. On 21 August the defence had replied they did not want an adjournment. They had not replied that they had insufficient time to consider. Even today the defence had not applied to adjourn but rather had applied to excise charges. They “cannot have been surprised by my decision” against that application. Therefore they must have been prepared to proceed with the hearing. Their objections were not based on new circumstance. The conditions of Assange in Belmarsh had not changed since 21 August. They had therefore missed their chance and the motion to adjourn was refused.

The courtroom atmosphere was now highly charged. Having in the morning refused to cut out the superseding indictment on the grounds that the remedy for lack of time should be more time, Baraitser was now refusing to give more time. The defence had called her bluff; the state had apparently been confident that the effective solitary confinement in Belmarsh was so terrible that Assange would not request more time. I rather suspect that Julian was himself bluffing, and made the call at lunchtime to request more time in the full expectation that it would be refused, and the rank hypocrisy of the proceedings exposed.

I previously blogged about how the procedural trickery of the superseding indictment being used to replace the failing second indictment – as Smith said for the prosecution “before it failed” – was something that sickened the soul. Today in the courtroom you could smell the sulphur.

Well, yet again we were left with the feeling that matters must now get less exciting. This time we were right and they became instead excruciatingly banal. We finally moved on to the first witness, Professor Mark Feldstein, giving evidence to the court by videolink for the USA. It was not Professor Feldstein’s fault the day finished in confused anti-climax. The court was unable to make the video technology work. For ten broken minutes out of about forty Feldstein was briefly able to give evidence, and even this was completely unsatisfactory as he and Mark Summers were repeatedly speaking over each other on the link.

Professor Feldstein’s evidence will resume tomorrow (now in fact today) and I think rather than split it I shall give the full account then. Meantime you can see these excellent summaries from Kevin Gosztola or the morning and afternoon reports from James Doleman. In fact, I should be grateful if you did, so you can see that I am neither inventing nor exaggerating the facts of these startling events.

If you asked me to sum up today in a word, that word would undoubtedly be “railroaded”. it was all about pushing through the hearing as quickly as possible and with as little public exposure as possible to what is happening. Access denied, adjournment denied, exposition of defence evidence denied, removal of superseding indictment charges denied. The prosecution was plainly failing in that week back in Woolwich in February, which seems like an age ago. It has now been given a new boost.

How the defence will deal with the new charges we shall see. It seems impossible that they can do this without calling new witnesses to address the new facts. But the witness lists had already been finalised on the basis of the old charges. That the defence should be forced to proceed with the wrong witnesses seems crazy, but frankly, I am well past being surprised by anything in this fake process.

You are free to republish this article, including in translation, without further permission. A brief note left in comments below detailing where it is republished is appreciated.



——————————————

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128 thoughts on “Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6”
« Previous 1 2 3

Reply ↓
SA
September 8, 2020 at 18:18
This trial is scary, not just for the future of journalism but also for anyone living in a country with an extradition treaty with the USA. Basically what it means that whatever perceived misdemeanor you do in the eyes of the USG, you cannot escape. You cannot criticize or dissent in any way. If for example BDS is declared universally illegal by the US it would mean that nobody can exercise the right to boycott anymore, unless it is approved by the USG. The USG seems to have declared itself, world policeman and government.
The other scary thing here is how totally biased the magistrate can be and do it so openly without it raising an eyebrow.


Reply ↓
Blissex
September 8, 2020 at 18:49
«The USG seems to have declared itself, world policeman and government.»

That happened around 1941-1945.

«The other scary thing here is how totally biased the magistrate can be and do it so openly without it raising an eyebrow.»

The magistrate is far less biased than the treaty. She knows that the treaty was carefully worded after 9/11 so that the USA could grab anybody they wanted for any reason, and that the extradition tribunal was just window dressing, a layer of make-believe, like so many HR or welfare complaint processes are too. Handing over Assange will be in substance a travesty of justice, but not handing him over would be a travesty of the treaty, and the treaty is law.


Reply ↓
SA
September 8, 2020 at 19:30
Blissex
“That happened around 1941-1945.”

I don’t think it was so much in your face then and a lot of the control was not so open and there was probably some resistance. But since the fall of the USSR and even more so since 911 it has become open and blatant.
I also disagree with you in that the treaty is law. It may well be but within its own set terms, such as that extradition should not be carried out for political purposes. And this was obviously done to prevent other lesser countries and jurisdictions from persuing thier own agenda to get at their dissidents. But the need for a fig leaf has been blown since US declared itself the maker and executor of all rules.


Reply ↓
Ken Kenn
September 8, 2020 at 22:01
What the US means by Rule of Law is their rules and their law only.

The grovelling UK is still waiting for Ann Sacoolas to be sent back to the UK for absconding from an alleged crime involving a death.

The fact that the British Government isn’t even trying tells you whom the ‘Rule of law ‘ works solely in favour of.

The MSM is ignoring all this because the acquiescense of the UK historically to the US is well entrenched.

Many know that if they stuck their heads up above the parapet that this spineless lot ( inc luding Starmer’s and the current Labour leadership ) would not defend them.

Most though are just cowards on a salary or commission.

By the way: If the Tories do a bilateral Deal with the US they will make the EU look like softies as they will apply worldwide America First rules to the terms of any trade agreement.

That includes a Biden Presidency.

It’s called ‘ Lawfare ‘ and applies to more than just removing governments the US doesn’t like.

If the UK reneges on deals with US private companies they ( the US) will sue under the ‘ Rules of law ‘that they wrote up and apply.

If Assange is extradited that makes the US even more confident that they can get away with more applications of their ‘ Rules’


lysias
September 9, 2020 at 03:11
What is being done to Assange is also a violation of U.S. law. I am a graduate of Yale Law School, was an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, practised international law in the Pentagon, and have no idea on what basis the U.S. has jurisdiction over the revelation of U.S. military secrets by an Australian citizen outside U.S. territory.


Reply ↓
N_
September 8, 2020 at 20:17
“«The USG seems to have declared itself, world policeman and government.»
That happened around 1941-1945.“

The US played no role whatsoever in the Khabarovsk war crimes trials in 1949 for instance.


Reply ↓
N_
September 8, 2020 at 20:37
Remember too that the USSR rejected Marshall aid in 1947.

An interesting case is the IAEA, established in 1957, the year the USSR launched the first ICBM. The IAEA system is said by some to have recognised that the number one spot belonged to the US in some sense. I’m not wholly sure that that’s true, but then again a few decades later the Kremlin couldn’t protect its nuclear facilities from the Chechens. Mind you, there is no way that the US could protect its own nuclear facilities from the Israelis. It even lets the Israelis run the security for some of them.


N_
September 8, 2020 at 20:52
Another counterexample to the thesis that the US called the shots worldwide is how they failed to remove the zaibatsus in Japan in any lasting sense, although they tried.

Then there was Vietnam.

The USG is all mouth and no trousers – a bunch of Franz Josephs wearing mobster suits 🙂


Reply ↓
arby
September 8, 2020 at 21:27
Trouble is, as intended, there are not that many eyebrows in the room to be raised


Reply ↓
Annie McStravick
September 8, 2020 at 22:46
40 NGOs and other groups applied to the court authorities for permits to have video access to the proceedings, and obtained them.
But the hanging judge subsequently didn’t approve and revoked all 40 of them. They weren’t insignificant groups, they included Amnesty International, Reporters sans frontières, PEN International, etc.


Reply ↓
Alan Blanes
September 9, 2020 at 01:22
What I find most scary is that there appears to be no demand that the US account for its willingness to provide impunity to those who have committed war atrocities. When viewing the Collateral Murder video, what strikes me is the fact that at the beginning of the video there are two men holding rifles who were in a group of other people. The gunship photographer panned away from the two armed people and the killers focused on the unarmed people and followed them and then machine gunned the whole group of unarmed individuals. This needs questioning: why were the armed people spared and the unarmed people massacred? Until the US faces such a question they are obstructing #Principle7Nuremberg which forbids collusion to keep war atrocities hidden. The whole US effort has been to attempt to intimidate journalism into silence so such incidents may be hidden with impunity.


Reply ↓
CasualObserver
September 8, 2020 at 19:33
Quite remarkable ! Seems the Magistrates idea of court procedure is such that it would make even Roland Freisler blush.

Clearly Assange should be out with a tag at this point, and the apparent difficulty in his liaising with his advocates is doubly worrying.


Reply ↓
remember+kronstadt
September 8, 2020 at 21:11
Thanks Craig


Reply ↓
remember kronstadt
September 8, 2020 at 21:15
more coverage here

Consortium News – DAY 2 Joe Lauria’s Daily Report on Assange Extradition Hearing, – YouTube (21m, 2s)


Reply ↓
Steve
September 8, 2020 at 21:24
Thanks Craig for this excellent account. You have done Julian and his supporters a great justice by it. Shared on Facebook.


Reply ↓
Republicofscotland
September 8, 2020 at 21:52
The contrast by Australia in protecting its journalist citizens is staggering Assange is thrown to the US/UK wolves, whilst others are quickly protected.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/09/08/australia-suddenly-cares-about -its-journalists-when-they-get-in-trouble-in-china/


Reply ↓
Brianfujisan
September 8, 2020 at 22:43
WoW.. It’s much worse blatant rigging than I thought.. Sulphuric, Demonic, Psychotic Creatures Get off on crushing the Tortured innocent souls.

Thank you Craig for this eloquent, if infuriating account from the so called court of Law… Be Careful.


Reply ↓
Ethan Allen
September 8, 2020 at 23:33
Good Sir,
There literally could not be a more appropriate voice, Mr. Craig Murray, than yours to bear us witness and honest insight into these historically important events; regarding both the insidious persecution and unjust inquisition of Julian Assange. Thank you, and all those at ConsortiumNews.com, for maintaining the honor and undaunted spirit of professional journalism.
As Usual,
EA


Reply ↓
Martin Kernick
September 9, 2020 at 00:23
Do you think there is any possibility that Vanessa Baraitser is deliberately making sure she is seen to read from her laptop – a way of showing that her verdicts are dictated to her?


Reply ↓
David G
September 9, 2020 at 00:58
If she thinks that will merit her fewer coals in Perdition, she deserves that number of additional coals.


Reply ↓
doug scorgie
September 9, 2020 at 01:27
‘But if they had remote access, she could not control their behaviour and this was not in the “interests of justice”’.

I thought that remote access to the hearing was a one way system where those listening to the process could only listen but remain silent.


Reply ↓
David G
September 9, 2020 at 01:35
It has to do with the “danger” viewers might circulate unauthorized images or audio, doesn’t it?


Reply ↓
Stonky
September 9, 2020 at 05:26
Photos of the loathsome piece of dog excrement masquerading as a human being who’s presiding over the proceedings, for example. It would be a terrible thing if it was widely known what she looks like


Reply ↓
Nick
September 9, 2020 at 10:36
Does it matter stonky?
Just another member of the tribe doing there zionist duty.
I can picture the shrivelled emptied out shell a non human quite vividly from craigs words.
I worry for craig. Reading this level of stitch up shows why jury trials are essential.


Nick
September 9, 2020 at 10:36
*their. Predictive text does it again.


N_
September 9, 2020 at 11:34
Agreed about the jury. If Assange were tried in England where they are trying to extradite him from, he would get one, or at least until the new SARS strain was used as the excuse for a move to fascism he would have got one. But no state handles extradition like that. They don’t want to let the man and woman on the street cause any problems for the cosy relationship between the governing gangs in the two countries, on which big contracts rely. Imagine how mortified the Foreign Office would be if a Ponting-style jury decision upset the State Department or the Saudis, Israelis, or whoever. International relations are carried out in the shadows.


Reply ↓
Courtenay Barnett
September 9, 2020 at 02:56
Absence of observers from the public gallery.

Failure to address defence submissions on their merits in a reasoned manner.

Failure to note and/or adhere to precedent on points where questions or law are involved.

Failure to note and/or accept that the absence of any case law in support from one side but case law consistently supportive of the other side’s submission must mean that the prosecutions arguments and submissions are left wanting.

Failure to permit any and/or any adequate time to address new indictments being introduced.

Failure to grant access to internationally reputable human rights organisations and reputable individuals as public observers.

MY, MY, SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A PERFECTLY FAIR TRIAL IS IN PROGRESS IN PERFECT ACCORDANCE WITH THE BEST STANDARDS OF BRITISH JURISPRUDENCE.


Reply ↓
Antonym
September 9, 2020 at 04:52
From retired researcher Stephen McIntyre in Toronto:

David Leigh of Guardian is key witness for US persecution of Julian Assange on issue of revealing identities. I corresponded with a Guardian editor, Damian Carrington (who I’d met at Climategate conference in summer 2010) about Leigh’s questionable activities in smearing etc.
https://twitter.com/ClimateAudit/status/1303445599044464642


Reply ↓
Guillermo Ruiz Zapatero
September 9, 2020 at 09:19
Enlazado un resumen de la entrada sobre la vista (sin traducción al español) en mi blog

https://gruizlegal.blogspot.com/2020/09/la-defensa-de-julian-assange-e n-old.html

Thank you

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julian Assange, Prometheus Bound
He is being punished not for stealing fire – but for exposing power under the light of truth and provoking the god of Exceptionalism.
By Pepe Escobar
Global Research, September 09, 2020

https://www.globalresearch.ca/julian-assange-prometheus-bound/5723351

This is the tale of an Ancient Greek tragedy reenacted in AngloAmerica.

Amid thundering silence and nearly universal indifference, chained, immobile, invisible, a squalid Prometheus was transferred from the gallows for a show trial in a faux Gothic court built on the site of a medieval prison.

Kratos, impersonating Strength, and Bia, impersonating Violence, had duly chained Prometheus, not to a mountain in the Caucasus, but to solitary confinement in a high-security prison, subject to relentless psychological torture. All along the Western watchtowers, no Hephaestus volunteered to forge in his smithy a degree of reluctance or even a sliver of pity.

Prometheus is being punished not for stealing fire – but for exposing power under the light of truth, thus provoking the unbounded ire of Zeus The Exceptionalist, who’s only able to stage his crimes under multiple veils of secrecy.

Prometheus pierced the myth of secrecy – which envelops Zeus’s ability to control the human spectrum. And that is anathema.



“Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan,” 1623 oil painting by Dirck van Baburen. (Vulcan Rijksmuseum, Wikimedia Commons)

For years, debased, hack stenographers worked relentlessly to depict Prometheus as a lowly trickster and inconsequential forger.

Abandoned, smeared, demonized, Prometheus was comforted by only a small chorus of Oceanids – Craig Murray, John Pilger, Daniel Ellsberg, Wiki warriors, Consortium writers. Prometheus was denied even the basic tools to organize a defense that might at least rattle Zeus’s cognitive dissonant narrative.

Oceanus, the Titan father of the Oceanids, could not possibly urge Prometheus to appease Zeus.

Fleetingly, Prometheus might have revealed to the chorus that exposing secrecy was not what best suited his heart’s content. His plight might also, in the long run, revive popular attachment to the civilizing arts.

One day, Prometheus was visited by Io, a human maiden. He may have forecasted she would engage in no future travels, and she would bear him two offspring. And he may have foreseen that one of their descendants – an unnamed epigone of Heracles – many generations hence, would release him, figuratively, from his torment.

Zeus and his prosecutorial minions don’t have much of a case against Prometheus, apart from possession and dissemination of classified Exceptional information.

Still it was eventually up to Hermes — the messenger of the Gods, and significantly, the conduit of News — to be sent down by Zeus in uncontrollable anger to demand that Prometheus admits he was guilty of trying to overthrow the rules-based order established by the Supreme Exceptional.

This is what’s being ritualized at the current show trial, which was never about Justice.

Prometheus won’t be tamed. In his mind, he will be relieving Tennyson’s Ulysses: “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

So Zeus may finally strike him with the thunderbolt of Exceptionalism, and Prometheus will be hurled into the abyss.

Prometheus’s theft of the secrecy of power, though, is irreversible. His fate will certainly prompt the late entrance of Pandora and her jar of evils – complete with unforeseen consequences.

Whatever the verdict reached in that 17th century court, it’s far from certain that Prometheus will enter History just as a mere object of blame for human folly.

Because now the heart of the matter is that the mask of Zeus has fallen.

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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A scandal and a crisis in British journalism - Jacob Ecclestone and Bernie Corbet, two veteran British journalists and activists, reflect on the media’s catastrophic failure to respond to the Julian Assange trial. ‘The Assange “trial”,’ they argue, ‘is comparable to that of Dreyfus, with our 'free' press betraying both the word itself, their readers & viewers.’
https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/a-scandal-and-a-crisis -in-british-journalism/

_________________
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXPOSED: HOW BRITISH INTELLIGENCE MANIPULATED JULIAN ASSANGE TRIAL
Published: October 8, 2020

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/78197/exposed-how-british-inte lligence-manipulated-julian-assange.html

SOURCE: GREAT GAME INDIA
Investigative journalists Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis of Declassified UK have extensively studied numerous aspects of the Julian Assange extradition hearing revealing the legal irregularities and conflicts of interest in the case. The reports expose how British Intelligence manipulated Julian Assange trial.

EXPOSED How British Intelligence Manipulated Julian Assange Trial
EXPOSED How British Intelligence Manipulated Julian Assange Trial
JULIAN ASSANGE’S JUDGE AND HER HUSBAND’S LINKS TO THE BRITISH INTELLIGENCE
The husband of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the US, has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.

It can also be revealed that Lady Arbuthnot has received gifts and hospitality in relation to her husband, including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks. These activities indicate that the chief magistrate’s activities cannot be considered as entirely separate from her husband’s.

LORD ARBUTHNOT’S MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE CONNECTIONS
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former defence minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group, and was until earlier this year an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Lord James Arbuthnot of Edrom
Lord James Arbuthnot of Edrom is the husband of the chief magistrate presiding over Julian Assange’s US extradition case. A long-standing Conservative Party politician, he has significant links to the British military and intelligence establishment. (Photo: UK Parliament)
Lord Arbuthnot also has connections to former officials in the UK intelligence services which WikiLeaks has exposed in its publications and which have conducted intelligence operations in the UK against WikiLeaks.


Until December 2017, Lord Arbuthnot was one of three directors of a private security firm, SC Strategy, along with the former director of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, and Lord Carlile. Until June 2019, Arbuthnot remained a “senior consultant” to SC Strategy. Scarlett is mentioned in WikiLeaks releases and has largely remained out of public debates around privacy and surveillance.

Little is known of SC Strategy, which does not have a website, but Companies House lists an address in Watford. Carlile states on his register of interests that SC Strategy was formed by him and Scarlett in 2012 “to provide strategic advice on UK public policy, regulation, and business practice”. It lists one client as the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Authority.

Before becoming a peer, Lord Arbuthnot was a member of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee from 2001-06. He is also currently an officer of the all party parliamentary group on cybersecurity which is administered by the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway, University of London. The ISG manages a project worth £775,000 that is part-funded by GCHQ.

Lord Arbuthnot himself appears in documents published by WikiLeaks, including two confidential US diplomatic cables. A December 2009 US confidential cable notes Arbuthnot telling an official in the US embassy in London that he supported President Obama’s speech on US strategy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan.

SON OF JULIAN ASSANGE’S JUDGE LINKED TO ANTI-DATA LEAK COMPANY DARKTRACE CREATED BY BRITISH INTELLIGENCE
The son of Julian Assange’s senior judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment and staffed by officials recruited from US intelligence agencies behind that country’s prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder.

Dark Trace British Intelligence Julian Assange
Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-pound investment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.

Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-pound investment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

These intelligence agencies are behind the US government’s prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secret documents. Darktrace has also had access to two former UK prime ministers and former US President Barack Obama.

DARKTRACE AND UK INTELLIGENCE
Darktrace, which Alexander Arbuthnot describes as an “AI [artificial intelligence] based cyber-security” company, was established by members of the UK intelligence community in June 2013.

GCHQ, the UK’s major surveillance agency, approached investor Mike Lynch—regarded as Britain’s most established technology entrepreneur – who then brokered a meeting between GCHQ officers and Cambridge mathematicians who co-founded the company.




Company material openly mentions “the UK intelligence officials who founded Darktrace”. It states that its team includes “senior members of the UK’s and US’s intelligence agencies including the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service (MI5) and the NSA.”

Another co-founder was Stephen Huxter, a senior figure in MI5’s “cyber defence team” who became Darktrace’s managing director. Soon after the company launched in September 2013, Darktrace announced that former MI5 director-general Sir Jonathan Evans had been appointed to its advisory board. Huxter welcomed Evans’ “unparalleled stature in the field of cyber operations”.

CHIEF MAGISTRATE IN ASSANGE CASE RECEIVED FINANCIAL BENEFITS FROM UK FOREIGN OFFICE
The senior judge overseeing the extradition proceedings of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange received financial benefits from two partner organisations of the British Foreign Office before her appointment, it can be revealed.

It can further be revealed that Lady Emma Arbuthnot was appointed Chief Magistrate in Westminster on the advice of a Conservative government minister with whom she had attended a secretive meeting organised by one of these Foreign Office partner organisations two years before.

Liz Truss, then Justice Secretary, “advised” the Queen to appoint Lady Arbuthnot in October 2016. Two years before, Truss — who is now Trade Secretary — and Lady Arbuthnot both attended an off-the-record two-day meeting in Bilbao, Spain.

TERTULIAS
The expenses were covered by an organisation called Tertulias, chaired by Lady Arbuthnot’s husband — Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former Conservative defence minister with extensive links to the British military and intelligence community exposed by WikiLeaks.

Tertulias British Intelligence Julian Assange
Liz Truss, then minister for DEFRA, speaks in the Guggenheim museum at the secretive Tertulias meeting in Bilbao, Spain, 18 October 2014. Standing to her right is Tertulias’ chairman, Lord Arbuthnot. Foreign Office partner organisation Tertulias also paid for Lady Arbuthnot — Julian Assange’s senior judge — to attend this event.
Tertulias, an annual forum held for political and corporate leaders in the UK and Spain, is regarded by the UK Foreign Office as one of its “partnerships”. The 2014 event in Bilbao was attended by David Lidington, the Minister for Europe, while the Foreign Office has in the past funded Lord Arbuthnot’s attendance at the forum.

The Foreign Office has long taken a strong anti-Assange position, rejecting UN findings in his favour, refusing to recognise the political asylum given to him by Ecuador, and even labelling Assange a “miserable little worm”.

KEY ASSANGE PROSECUTION WITNESS LINKS TO UK MILITARY
One of the US prosecution’s key medical witnesses in the Julian Assange hearing, who claimed that Assange’s risk of suicide is ‘manageable’ if extradited to the US, works for an academic institute that is funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and linked to the US Department of Defence, it can be revealed.




US prosecution witness works at Institute of Psychiatry funded by UK military, although is not personally funded by it.
Witness leads research group which works “in collaboration” with centre set up with US Department of Defence funding.
He co-leads the group with academic whose work is often funded by UK military.
Institute’s partner department is closely linked to the Anglo-American military and intelligence communities, and created a course for British intelligence officers on behalf of the UK government.
Responding to Declassified, witness says: “I had no conflicts [of interest] to declare.”
Revelations come following end of Old Bailey hearing on Assange’s US extradition.
Dr Nigel Blackwood, a reader in forensic psychiatry at King’s College London (KCL), told the extradition hearing in London that Julian Assange was suffering only “moderate” depression.

Nigel Blackwood, a Reader in forensic psychiatry at King’s College London
Nigel Blackwood, a Reader in forensic psychiatry at King’s College London, who was a US prosecution medical witness in the Julian Assange extradition hearing. (Photo: King’s College London)
Declassified has discovered that Dr Blackwood’s professional work at KCL is linked to a cluster of academic groups which are funded by or associated with the British and American militaries.

Declassified has seen a contract showing that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) provided more than £2-million to KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry for the years 2013-16 for a project which KCL is forbidden to mention in public without MOD approval. It is likely the contract has been renewed and is still active.

The project is managed “on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence” and is for Phase 4 of a “wellbeing” study of veterans of Britain’s recent military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeking to “inform MOD decision-making”, the project began in 2003.

Dr Blackwood told Declassified his FRG at King’s College had never received funding, directly or indirectly, from the MOD.

The group does, however, receive funds from organisations associated with the British military. One of its six listed funders is Help for Heroes, which supports wounded military personnel. The organisation receives funds from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, an MOD-funded charity that was until 2018 based inside the ministry.

REFERENCES
Julian Assange’s judge and her husband’s links to the British military establishment exposed by WikiLeaks (link), 14 November 2019
The son of Julian Assange’s judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment (link), 15 November 2019
REVEALED: Chief magistrate in Assange case received financial benefits from secretive partner organisations of UK Foreign Office (link), 21 February 2020
Revealed: Key Assange prosecution witness is part of academic cluster which has received millions of pounds from UK and US militaries (link), 2 October 2020
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got this email today:
'NUJ calls on all unions to support Assange

In a dramatic call the National Union of Journalists has asked every trade union in the UK to campaign to stop the extradition of Julian Assange to the US.

Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ’s general secretary, has written a letter to the general secretaries of all other unions pointing out the danger to a free press that would be triggered if Assange is extradited.

Writing of the US Espionage Act of 1917 under which Assange could face a lifetime in jail, the NUJ leader wrote: ‘This is a repressive statute that has in the past been used to jail trades union activists and working-class leaders. More particularly, the charges themselves seek to criminalise activity that for many NUJ members is their daily work – cultivating sources who are willing to share sensitive information that reveals incompetence, corruption, and illegality’.

The NUJ has been at the forefront of campaigning to stop Assange’s extradition and in the letter Michelle Stanistreet addresses her fellow general secretaries directly: ‘It is vital that we build a campaign to oppose Mr Assange’s extradition and prosecution that is located in the mainstream of progressive concerns – and only trades unions have the reach to achieve this. I am hoping that you will join in this campaign.’

The letter contains a model motion that other unions can use to align their policy with this call for solidarity from the NUJ.

NUJ letter

The train drivers union (ASLEF) has already adopted national policy to support the Assange campaign and this letter from the NUJ is sure to see other unions join the campaign.

ASLEF support

The NUJ is offering to send its executive members to meetings organised by other trade unionists to explain why the union is appealing for support for Julian Assange. The NUJ recently held an online rally to discuss the case with former Guardian editor Alan Rushbridger, NUJ executive member Tim Dawson, the union’s Assistant General Secretary Seamas Dooley, and Julian Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson.

Trade unionists back campaign to Free Assange.'

I can't find it on the web, so can't give a link.

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