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Assange in Court

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to this, Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:

On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?

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Assange Must Not Also Die in Jail

The highly dubious death of Jeffrey Epstein in a US maximum security prison is another strong reason not to extradite Julian Assange into one – particularly as many of the same people who are relieved by Epstein’s death would like to see Assange dead too.

But there is every reason to fear Assange is already in danger, in Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is currently incarcerated. As the great journalist John Pilger tweeted six days ago:

Do not forget Julian #Assange. Or you will lose him.
I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated. Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of US extradition. I now fear for him. Do not forget him.

There is no official explanation as to why Julian’s health has continued to deteriorate so alarmingly in Belmarsh. Nobody genuinely believes him to be a violent danger, so there is absolutely no call for him to be imprisoned in the facility which houses the hardcore terrorist cases.

Assange is fighting major legal cases in the UK, Sweden and the United States, yet is permitted visitors for only two hours per fortnight, inclusive of time spent with his three sets of lawyers. All of his visitors have been alarmed by his state of physical health and many have been alarmed by his apparent disorientation and confusion.

It is because of Assange’s draconian one year sentence for “bail-jumping” on claiming political asylum that he can be kept in such harsh conditions and with so little access to his lawyers. That is why his sentence was so unprecedentedly stiff for missing police bail. Otherwise, as a remand prisoner awaiting extradition hearing his conditions would ordinarily be less harsh and his access to lawyers much better. The Establishment has conspired to reduce his ability to defend himself in court. I am not convinced it is not conspiring to destroy him.

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Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

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The Re-Opening of the Swedish Assange Case Should Be Welcomed

That the Swedish investigation into the rape allegation against Julian Assange is being re-opened is something that ought to be welcomed. The alternative would be for this accusation to hang unresolved over Julian’s head forever. The Swedish prosecutors now need finally, as my father used to say, either to piss or get off the pot. They need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge or not.

There is no reason for delay. The Swedish police have had seven years to investigate this case and all the evidence has been gathered and all statements taken – the last being the interview of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2017. Hopefully to review the evidence and decide whether to charge will not now be a lengthy procedure. It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.

In the event that Sweden does wish to try to extradite, that should take precedence over the US request. There are three good reasons for this. Firstly, rape is by far the more serious alleged offence. Secondly, the Swedes entered the process many years before the Americans. Thirdly, the European Arrest Warrant is a major multilateral arrangement that is much more important than the discredited bilateral extradition treaty with the USA.

Julian only entered Ecuadorean political asylum because he feared onward extradition to the USA, not extradition to Sweden.

None of the above detracts from the many problems with the Swedish prosecution, Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor decided no offence had been committed and the case should be closed after the initial investigation, before another Prosecutor decided to reopen the case, as is possible under the Swedish system. That prosecutor, Marianne Ny, herself decided to close the case in 2013, and was instructed not to by the British Crown Prosecution Service, in a series of emails which the CPS attempted to hide and some of which had been destroyed. Ms Ny also admitted to destroying communications from the FBI, and ultimately admitted to having destroyed the entire case file.

That is before you get to the problems with the Swedish judicial system, where rape trials hear all evidence entirely in secret, there is no jury, and two of the three judges are political party appointees.

Plainly, as always in cases involving Assange, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the impartiality of state justice. The United Nations has already condemned the disproportionate sentence given to Assange for breaking bail conditions and his being held in a maximum security prison. It has gone virtually unremarked by the MSM that the Ecuadorean government has, entirely illegally, handed all of Julian’s possessions over to the USA.

Plainly this is a long and difficult fight to save Julian from entrapment and permanent imprisonment. But the Swedish calumny not being simply left hanging is a necessary step in that fight.

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Julian Assange: Socialists and Liberals Must Now Choose Their Side.

Cassandra Fairbanks’ account of her visit to Julian in the Ecuadorean Embassy paints a truly harrowing picture of the conditions in which he is being held. Last week after receiving a message from Julian I applied to the Ecuadorean Embassy to go and see him. I have done this many times but a new regime has established involving forms and strict time windows.

The Ecuadorean Embassy claim not to have received my email with the application, which is peculiar as I received no undeliverable message and bcc copyees received it. I therefore re-sent it with a new email advising they may change the date and time if the original is not now achievable. I have heard nothing so far in response.

Chelsea Manning is currently entering her fourth week of solitary confinement for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. The United States wishes to extradite Julian Assange to face charges, not of collusion with the non-existent “Russiagate”, not with a sexual offence stitch-up. They wish to charge him with publishing the evidence of extensive US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with publishing the US diplomatic cables including the one I drew on last week which prove that the US and UK conspired to establish a marine reserve around the Chagos Islands as an environmental fraud to maintain the deportation of the islanders from what is now the US nuclear and torture base.

Many tens of billions of dollars are spent every year on western security services, and they are not stupid. The use of contrived sexual allegations to detach progressive figures from their support base is well established practice. But the allegations against Assange in Sweden are long gone, never reached the stage of a charge, and fell away immediately once Assange was finally interviewed by Swedish police and prosecutors in the Embassy. The whole Russiagate fabrication has been exploded as the media confection it always was.

The false left and liberals have until now been delighted to hide behind Russiagate or Sweden to avoid asking themselves the fundamental question. Julian Assange is merely a journalist and publisher. The fundamental question is, should a journalist or publisher be locked up for life for publishing leaked documents showing war crimes? If the answer is yes, where is press freedom?

That is now the unavoidable question. The security service patsies at the Guardian, however, prefer to retail ludicrous accusations from CIA asset Lenin Moreno – accusations motivated by the revelation of Moreno’s Panamanian offshore accounts – in frenzied efforts to maintain the tactic of diversion.

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Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the articles, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

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Assange Never Met Manafort. Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.

Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified “Russians” to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort’s plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these “Russians” are in the visitor logs.

This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.

There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the “Russians” would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean “intelligence report” of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged “Russians”.

Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller’s pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.

My friend William Binney, probably the world’s greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC “security consultants” Crowdstrike.

I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive “Big Lie” will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them.

I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.

I am not a fan of Donald Trump. But to see the partisans of the defeated candidate (and a particularly obnoxious defeated candidate) manipulate the security services and the media to create an entirely false public perception, in order to attempt to overturn the result of the US Presidential election, is the most astonishing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Plainly the government of Ecuador is releasing lies about Assange to curry favour with the security establishment of the USA and UK, and to damage Assange’s support prior to expelling him from the Embassy. He will then be extradited from London to the USA on charges of espionage.

Assange is not a whistleblower or a spy – he is the greatest publisher of his age, and has done more to bring the crimes of governments to light than the mainstream media will ever be motivated to achieve. That supposedly great newspaper titles like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post are involved in the spreading of lies to damage Assange, and are seeking his imprisonment for publishing state secrets, is clear evidence that the idea of the “liberal media” no longer exists in the new plutocratic age. The press are not on the side of the people, they are an instrument of elite control.

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Thoughts Inspired by Julian Assange

I took half an hour out yesterday from building the Doune the Rabbit Hole site to take part in a worldwide broadcast in support of Julian Assange. You can see me here on YouTube from 3 hours and 43 minutes in, though you may prefer to watch Slavoj Zizek who is on just before me.

The fact that I could broadcast video to people all over the world from a beautiful but remote field in the shadow of the Trossachs, via a mobile phone connection, is an example of just why the state and corporate media can no longer dominate the narrative with their propaganda. That is the main subject of my brief talk.

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The Guardian Rejoices in the Silencing of Assange

The Guardian has today published a whole series of attack piece articles on Julian Assange which plainly exult in the fact he has now been silenced by the cutting of his communication with the outside world. They also include outright lies such as this one by Dan Collyns:

In fact Julian Assange was questioned for two days solid in the Embassy by Swedish procurators and police in November 2016. The statement he gave to them at that time I published in full. Following that questioning it was plain that there was no hope of a successful prosecution, particularly as the only physical evidence Swedish Police had was a condom Anna Ardin claimed he had worn but which had no trace of his DNA – a physical impossibility.

Dan Collyns is a freelance based in Peru, but the Guardian’s editors certainly know it is blatantly untrue that the investigation into Assange was dropped because he could not be questioned. They have knowingly published a lie. “Facts are sacred” there, apparently.

The Guardian article gives another complete lie, this time in the Harding penned section, where it says that “sources” reveal that Assange had hacked into the Embassy’s communications. That is completely untrue as are the “facts” given about Julian’s relationship with the Embassy staff, whom I know well. It is plain that these “sources” are separate from the Ecuadorean security dossier published in Focus Ecuador by the CIA. I would bet any money that these anonymous “sources” are as always Harding’s mates in the UK security services. That the Guardian should allow itself to be used in a security service disinformation campaign designed to provoke distrust between Assange and Embassy staff, is appalling.

I had a front row seat in 2010 when the Guardian suddenly switched from championing Assange to attacking him, in a deeply unedifying row about the rights and money from a projected autobiography. But they have sunk to a new low today in a collaboration between long term MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding and the CIA financed neo-con propagandists of Focus Ecuador.

The Guardian pieces are full of truly startling revelations. Would you ever have guessed, for example, that Julian Assange was visited by his Wikileaks colleague Sarah Harrison, his friends Vaughn Smith and, err, me, and his lawyer Gareth Peirce?! This great scandal, Harding states in an assertion as evidence-free as his entire “Russia hacked the elections” book, “will interest Mueller”. Despite the fact none of these visits was secret and mine was broadcast live to the world by Wikileaks on Brexit referendum night.

The aim of the “Guardian” piece is of course to help urge Ecuador to expel Julian from the Embassy. There is no doubt that the actions of Lenin Moreno, under extreme pressure from the USA, have been severely disappointing, though I am more inclined to praise Ecuador for its courageous defiance of the US than blame it for eventually caving in to the vast resources the CIA is spending on undermining it. It is also worth noting that, post the Francoist human rights abuses in Catalonia, it was Spain and the EU joining in US pressure which tipped the balance.

Julian’s principled refusal to abandon the Catalan cause, against direct Ecuadorean threats to do precisely what they have now done, has not received the credit it deserves.

The same Blairites who supported the latest Israeli massacre will this morning be revelling in the Guardian’s celebration of the silencing of a key dissident voice. I have no wish to try and understand these people.

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Assange Judge’s Husband Runs Security Firm With Ex Head of MI6

“Security Intelligence Consultancy” SC Strategy Ltd has only three directors. One is the husband of the judge in yesterday’s Assange ruling. One is the former Head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, who is synonymous with crooked security operations and personally wrote the notorious dossier of lies on Iraqi WMD, thus causing the subsequent deaths of millions of people. One is Lord Carlile, who was notably close to protected Establishment paedophiles Greville Janner and Cyril Smith. Is the British Establishment not endlessly fascinating?

The corporate media has published no information about “Lady” Arbuthnot’s background and sinister links at all, despite the fact it is uniformly carrying her jibes at Assange as a major story. There can be no clearer example of the fact that it is the corporate media which, deliberately and systematically, spreads fake news, while bloggers get out the actual facts via social media.

Directors of SC Strategy Ltd from Companies House Register

To anyone to whom British corruption is not axiomatic, it appears pretty rum that the judge in the Assange case is married to a government parliamentarian and close to the security services.

“Lady” Arbuthnot’s Husband

There is some interesting background in the Mirror here. The taxpayer paid £1,200 in restaurant bills for “Lady” Arbuthnot and her husband in one long weekend jaunt to Turkey alone.

If anybody thinks the Assange case had anything to do with justice, they are very mistaken. Please read my analysis of “Lady” Arbuthnot’s judgement here.

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All Pretence is Over in Persecution of Assange

The “judge” who dismissed Assange’s case yesterday was “Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom”, wife to Tory peer, former Tory junior Defence Minister and government whip Lord James Arbuthnot. Not to mention Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Arbuthnot was naturally Eton educated, the son of Major Sir John Sinclair Wemyss Arbuthnot. Of course Lady Arbuthnot’s children were all sent to Eton too.

At the first hearing, I was stunned by reports of completely inappropriate comments by Lady Arbuthnot, including responding to representations about Assange’s health by the comment that medical care is available in Wandsworth prison. As the official charade is that Assange is wanted for nothing but jumping bail, for which a custodial sentence is rare, that callous attempt at gallows humour was redolent of Arbuthnot’s Tory mindset. She also remarked – and repeats it in yesterday’s judgement – that Assange has access to fresh air through the Embassy’s balcony. That is simply untrue. The “balcony” floor is 3 feet by 20 inches and gives no opportunity to exercise. Julian does not have access to it. He is confined to a small area within the Embassy, which still has to function. The balcony is off the Ambassador’s office. He has been given access to it on average about twice a year. But “Lady” Arbuthnot showed a very selective attitude to getting at the truth.

The truth is that just last week the evidence was published which inarguably proves that the questioning for sexual allegations was only ever a charade to secure Assange in custody for deportation to the US, to face charges for publishing the USA’s dirty secrets. In 2013 Sweden wished to drop the investigation and the arrest warrant, and was subject to strong persuasion from the Crown Prosecution Service to maintain the warrant. This included emails from the CPS telling the Swedes “Don’t you dare” drop the case, and most tellingly of all “Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition.” That last exposes the entire pretence in just one sentence.

It is worth noting it was not the servile UK corporate media, but the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi and the Italian newspaper Le Repubblica which obtained these emails through dogged freedom of information requests and High Court proceedings. These revealed the quite stunning truth that the CPS had systematically destroyed most of the highly incriminating correspondence, with only accidental copies of a few emails surviving to be produced in response to the FOI request.

The CPS emails devastate the official charade, which is precisely that this is just a normal extradition case. Furthermore it is admitted at para 43 of “Lady” Arbuthnot’s judgement that the Crown Prosecution Service actively referred the Swedish authorities to Wikileaks activities in the United States as a reason not to drop the arrest warrant, a fact which the UK mainstream media has still never reported and which obviates “Lady” Arbuthnot’s trite observation that there is no evidence that Sweden would have extradited Assange to the USA.

Perhaps most stunning of all “Lady” Arbuthnot opines at para 44 that “I cannot determine from the extracts of correspondence whether the lawyer in the extradition unit acted inappropriately” in preventng the Swedes from dropping the case and referring them to Wikileaks activities vis a vis the USA. Whereas in fact:

a) It provides irrefutable proof that this was never about the frankly unbelievable Swedish sexual allegations, which were always just a pretext for getting Assange into custody over Wikileaks’ publications

b) The reason she only has “extracts” of the correspondence is that the Crown Prosecution Service, as openly admitted in the High Court, tried to destroy all this correspondence, itself an illegal act. Arbuthnot gives them the benefit of their illegality, against all legal principle.

“Lady” Arbuthnot takes it upon herself to contradict the judgement of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, every one of whose members is a much more eminent lawyer than “Lady” Arbuthnot. The UK had of course every opportunity to raise the points made by Lady Arbuthnot in its appeal to the UN, which appeal also failed. “Lady” Arbuthnot’s attempt to undermine a judgement by going back and disputing the actual facts of the case, with no opportunity to answer, is, to say the least, a creative piece of judicial process. But as with her failure to pursue the CPS’ destruction of evidence, it is just an example of her most obvious bias.

“Lady” Arbuthnot set out with one clear and evident purpose, to assist the Crown.

“Lady” Arbuthnot has perhaps performed an unwitting public service by the brazen nature of her partiality, which exposes beyond refutation the charade of legal process behind the effort to arrest Assange, in reality over the publication of USA secrets. The second half of Para 57 of the judgement sets out how, following his arrest for “jumping bail”, the American extradition request on espionage charges will be handled.

I should like to conclude that “Lady” Arbuthnot is a disgrace to the English justice system, but I fear she is rather typical of it. This intellectually corrupt, openly biased, callous Tory shill is rather a disgrace to humanity itself.

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Ecuador and Assange

It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian citizen. It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian diplomat.

It is not in the least unusual for Julian Assange to become an Ecuadorian citizen. Having been granted political asylum, and having lived for over five years under Ecuadorian jurisdiction, naturalisation is a perfectly normal step. There are a great many refugees in this country who are now naturalised UK citizens. Julian appears suitably proud of his new citizenship, and rightly so.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office appears to be putting out a story that it has refused to accredit Assange as an Ecuadorian diplomat. As the Guardian reports:
“Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as a diplomat. The request was dismissed.”

I have no knowledge that the Ecuadorian government ever notified Assange as a member of diplomatic staff of its mission. But it has every right to appoint Assange, now an Ecuadorian citizen, as an Ecuadorian diplomat if it so chooses. Ecuador cannot tell the UK who may or may not be a British diplomat, and the converse applies.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – to which the UK and Ecuador are both party – is the governing international law and determines the obligations to respect diplomatic immunity. It is crystal clear (Article 4,1) that the need to obtain agreement in advance of the receiving state only applies to the Head of Mission – ie the Ecuadorian Ambassador. For other staff of the mission the sending state (in this case, Ecuador) “may freely appoint” the other members of the mission, (Article 7), subject to provisos in Articles 5,8,9 and 11. Plainly the only one of these which applies in the Assange case is Article 9. Julian Assange is persona non grata – unwelcome -to the UK government. That is a legitimate reply to notification, but comes following the appointment; it does not pre-empt the appointment.

Here is the key point. A member of staff below head of mission can already have entered the country before appointment, and their diplomatic immunity starts from the moment their appointment is notified, and NOT from the moment it is accepted. Article 39 (i) could not be plainer:

1.Every person entitled to privileges and immunities shall enjoy them from the moment he enters
the territory of the receiving State on proceeding to take up his post or, if already in its territory, from
the moment when his appointment is notified to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or such other ministry
as may be agreed.

So to summarise.

There is no requirement for prior approval before arrival of staff below Ambassador, and it is just a notification regime (Article 10). If the FCO is telling the truth and Ecuador notified the UK of its appointment of Julian Assange as a member of diplomatic staff, the UK can only have refused by declaring Assange persona non grata. That does not remove his diplomatic immunity which started the moment he was notified. It continues until he has been given the chance to leave the country in “a reasonable time”. (Article 9.2, and 39.2).

The immunity of envoys has been universally regarded as essential to inter-state relations for thousands of years. The reasons why that immunity must start at notification are obvious if you think it through. The FCO bragging about refusing the alleged Ecuadorian request has been carried in virtually the entire neo-liberal media. Not one article, anywhere, has reflected anything approaching the applicable legal arguments. I am again left wondering whether mainstream media journalists are simply entirely incompetent, or deeply corrupt.

I suppose both.

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There Are No Rape Charges Against Julian Assange in Sweden. There Are Espionage Charges Against Julian Assange in the USA.

UPDATE GREAT NEWS: Swedish prosecutors are about to announce the dropping of the investigation into Julian Assange on sexual offence allegations. There never were any charges and the allegations were always nonsense, as detailed in the below article I wrote a month ago:

A few months ago I asked Julian whether he expected that Donald Trump would end the case against him in the United States. WikiLeaks had after all published the DNC and Podesta emails, which revealed the corruption at the heart of the Clinton campaign and the way the Democratic primaries had been rigged against Bernie Sanders.

Julian replied that no, he expected the opposite to be true. Trump would feel the need to be openly active against Assange to show that there had been no relationship between him and WikiLeaks. Julian was of course right, and Trump’s Attorney-General has announced that the United States wants to extradite Assange on charges of espionage related to the Snowden revelations of mass illegal government surveillance.

It is worth noting that this is not really new. The Obama administration was sitting on sealed indictments against Assange for years. Obama prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other President in history. Having come to power promising to take action against senior CIA figures for waterboarding, the only person his Administration prosecuted – and jailed – over it was John Kiriakou for blowing the whistle on waterboarding.

Obama’s policy of not confirming or denying the charges against Assange in the States, enabled the media propagandists to pour scorn on Assange’s repeated insistence he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy to avoid extradition not to Sweden, but to the USA. That is now undeniable.

There are no rape charges against Assange in Sweden. There are espionage charges against Assange in the USA.

The evidence in the Swedish Assange allegations was originally reviewed by the chief prosecutor in Stockholm who declared there was no case to answer. It was then taken up – as allowed in the Swedish system – by a second prosecutor, Marianne NY, who has a campaigning third wave feminist agenda.

The European Arrest Warrant against Assange was signed not by any court, but by Marianne Ny. It was not on the basis that he was charged with any offence, but that he was wanted for questioning by the prosecutor. This can never happen again – UK law was subsequently changed so only a court, not a prosecutor, must sign the warrant.

Questioning is now complete. Assange has still not been charged. And yet his legal status according to the UK government is still that he is pending extradition for questioning – even though the questioning finished in the Ecuador Embassy last November.

The sexual allegations against Assange in Sweden have always been risible when considered in detail. The physical evidence against Assange is faked. The condom he allegedly wore and furtively ripped during intercourse with Anna Ardin contains none of his DNA – a physical impossibility had he worn it.

Assange’s DNA is present in another condom provided by Sofia Wilen, but there is no dispute the pair had consensual sex with that condom. What is alleged is that after drowsing off post-coitus, Assange initiated sex a second time while Wilen was still, in her own words “half asleep”, so she was not able to give fully informed consent. Assange adamantly denies this.

The women were questioned six years ago, as was Assange. All the physical evidence was collected and assessed. For five years Assange has been proclaiming his willingness to be questioned by Swedish authorities inside the Ecuadorean Embassy. Marianne Ny did nothing. The fact that there was no viable case against Assange and no genuine investigation in progress, was a determining factor in the decision of the extremely eminent international jurists of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, that Assange is being arbitrarily detained and should be freed. The UK and Swedish governments accepted the UN process and fully participated in it, and then appealed and lost again, but still refuse to accept the result. Neither the UK nor Sweden has ever failed to support any other decision of the UN Working Group.

Eventually Marianne Ny was forced by legal action by Assange to assure the Swedish Supreme Court she would move the investigation forward. Finally last November a Swedish prosecutor and Swedish policeman questioned Assange, over two days, in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Remember this was a follow up to his initial interview in Sweden six years ago. Julian also at the questioning in November gave an extremely comprehensive written statement.

The questioning was in November. It is now nearly May. The police and prosecutor had had six years to assess and analyse all the other evidence – including the testimony of the women and their text messages, which are crucial to the case. The follow up Assange questioning was the last thing Marianne Ny had to drag it out.

Yet there are still no charges. There are still no charges. Assange’s status is still that he is wanted for questioning, even though the questioning is all done. The Swedish establishment, an extremely tight knit and closed apparatus, appears unwilling to bite the bullet of admitting the whole has been nonsense. The tactic appears to be to sit it out another couple of years until the statute of limitations kicks in, and thus avoid admitting there was never a case.

You would have to be profoundly deaf not to hear the tramp of authoritarian boots currently marching all over the body politic of western societies. With racism, intolerance and the security state in the ascendant, now we need whistleblowers (and their publishers) more than ever. Those on the left who were distracted by the CIA’s “rape” dog whistle need to rediscover their critical faculties and get behind WikiLeaks.

There are no rape charges against Julian Assange in Sweden. There are espionage charges against Julian Assange in the USA.

The lies against Assange and WikiLeaks are no longer tenable.

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Julian Assange Not Charged With Anything

Contrary to mainstream media fake news, Julian Assange has never been charged with any sexual offence. His status was that he was wanted for questioning. But the questioning by Swedish police and prosecutors took place exactly two months ago in the Ecuadorean Embassy, at length over several days. So he is no longer wanted for questioning, yet is still not charged. The pretence there is any kind of genuine criminal investigation in progress, already transparently thin, is now in shreds.

The Swedish police and prosecutors have had over six years to gather and assess all the evidence. The only missing piece was the further interrogation of Assange, which happened in November. After six years of preparing the jigsaw, they have had two months to slot the last piece into place. Policemen are used to having to prepare a case for charging within days, not months. What is more, the remaining charge (the minor ones having time expired) is a single, extremely simple incident in which there is nothing else left to investigate.

I think we are entitled to conclude that the Swedish prosecutor is behaving in a disgraceful manner.

These are the facts of the incident in question. It is undisputed by anyone that Julian Assange and Sofia Wilen went to bed in Sofia Wilen’s bed and had enjoyable, consensual sex on multiple occasions. What is in dispute is whether, when one of these sex acts commenced, Sofia Wilen was awake, asleep or, as she tweeted to a friend, half-asleep, and therefore whether she was in a position to consent to sex on that occasion.

The statement Julian Assange gave to prosecutors two months ago states:

91. This is false. I was certain “SW” was not asleep. I was also certain she expressly consented to unprotected sex before such intercourse started. This is also evidenced by “SW”’s own text messages. For example, my lawyers refer me to the following text message to her friend:
— 17 August, 08:42 am: JA did not want to use a condom.
92. Then a day later she explicitly texts her friend that she had not, in fact, been asleep.
— 18 August, 06:59 am: I was half asleep.

You can read the full text of Assange’s statement here.

Sofia Wilen did not view what had happened to her as rape and was to text on 20 August 2010 at 14.26 that she “did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange” but that “the police were keen on getting their hands on him” (14:26) and at 22:25 that it was “the police who made up the charges”.

Unsurprisingly on 25 August 2010 the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm Eva Finne announced that “The conduct alleged disclosed no crime at all and that file (K246314-10) would be closed”.

In Sweden’s extraordinary justice system, a second prosecutor then took up the case, crusading third wave feminist Marianne Ny. For six years, Ny has milked all the political capital possible out of the case while refusing actually to question Assange to move it forward. After the Swedish Supreme Court ordered her to get on with the questioning, she now stands at the Rubicon where she has had more than enough time to try to build credible charges from the situation outlined above, yet plainly no credible prosecution is possible.

The senior international lawyers of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded with good reason that Assange was being illegally detained – and further rejected the appeal by the UK – because there is no real case and no real investigation in progress against Assange. But the mainstream media will never give you any of the flavour or facts outlined above, being interested in nothing but character assassination of Assange who is perceived as a threat to the neo-liberal world order.

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Julian Assange’s Defence Statement

Julian Assange has published his statement given to the Swedish prosecutor. I give it in full below. I do implore you to read it. This is the first time his defence has been made public, although the media have been delighted to report the leaked allegations against him in detail.
His defence will not be given in the same detail in the media.

It is worth noting that under Swedish law the identity of both the accuser and the accused ought to be protected, but that did not prevent Swedish police and prosecutors leaking details to a complicit media, or the women concerned selling their story to the tabloids.

You really do owe it to yourself, to justice and to personal honesty to read Julian’s side of the story.

14/15 NOVEMBER 2016 QUESTIONING AT THE ECUADORIAN EMBASSY LEGALLY PRIVILEGED

You have subjected me to six years of unlawful, politicized detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and four and a half years at this embassy. You should have asked me this question six years ago. Your actions in refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal. You have been found to have subjected me to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You have denied me effective legal representation in this process. Despite this, I feel compelled to cooperate even though you are not safeguarding my rights.

I. THE SWEDISH PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

I, Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, have had my passport taken by British authorities and so cannot provide formal identification, am in a situation of arbitrary detention according to the decision of the United Nations Working Group of Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) of 4 December 2015; a political refugee since 19 June 2012 at the Embassy of Ecuador with asylum which was granted by Ecuador on 16 August 2012, and hereby appear before the authorities of Sweden and Ecuador in the framework of a rogatory commission that has been entered between these two states, requested by the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, and declare that:
1. I ratify what has been expressed by my Ecuadorian lawyer, both in relation to this procedure today and the concerns about the procedure pursued against me in Sweden, including the failure to allow my Swedish lawyer to be present and the failure to provide me with exculpatory and other discovery material, which I have, to date, not been given proper access to, including in the preparation for this statement today.
2. Today, 14 November 2016, after having made myself available to the Swedish authorities since the start of this outrageous process six years ago, I am finally given the opportunity to give my statement to the Swedish preliminary investigation. I am grateful to Ecuador for attempting to facilitate this process in the circumstances where the Swedish prosecutor has declined, since 2010, to accept this, my first statement on the allegation against me.
3. I went to Sweden on 11 August 2010. During my stay, I met a woman (hereinafter called ”SW”). On the evening of 16 August, 2010 she invited me to her home. During the night and in the morning we had consensual sexual intercourse on several occasions.
4. I therefore could not believe my eyes when five days later I saw a headline in a Swedish tabloid that I was suspected of a crime and arrested in my absence. I immediately made myself available to the Swedish authorities to clarify any questions that might exist, although I had no obligation to do so.
5. That same day (21 August 2010), the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné, dropped the arrest warrant against me and within days would close the preliminary investigation with the finding that no crime whatsoever had been committed against the woman “SW” (who is the subject of this procedure). I drew the conclusion that, other than the worldwide damage to my reputation caused by millions of web pages saying that I was “wanted for rape”, my life, in this respect, would return to normal.
6. On 23 August 2010, the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné stated she “made the assessment that the evidence did not disclose any offence of rape”.
7. On 25 August, the Chief Prosecutor found that “The conduct alleged disclosed no crime at all and that file (K246314-10) would be closed”.
8. A week later, I learned to my surprise that a different prosecutor by the name of “Marianne Ny” had reopened the preliminary investigation without any consultation or opportunity for me to be heard – after I had already been cleared and the case had been closed.
9. That prosecutor eventually issued an extradition warrant against me, supposedly to take my statement, even though I left Sweden with her permission and in good faith, and had repeatedly tried to see if the prosecutor was ready to accept my statement. I had not and have still not been charged with a crime.
10. It has taken more than six years for the prosecutor to now obtain my statement. The delay is entirely caused by the prosecutor who re-opened the closed preliminary investigation. A prosecutor is, according to Swedish law (Chapter 23, Section 4 of the Procedural Code), obligated to conduct the preliminary investigation as expeditiously as possible and when there is no longer reason for pursuing the investigation, it shall be discontinued. At the preliminary investigation phase, the prosecutor is obligated to take into account all the circumstances: those against the suspect as well as those circumstances in favour of the suspect, and any evidence favourable to the suspect shall be preserved. The investigation shall be conducted so that no person is unnecessarily exposed to suspicion, or put to unnecessary cost or inconvenience.
11. Instead of following the law, prosecutor Marianne Ny has kept the preliminary investigation open without justification for over six years. She deliberately suspended her work to progress and bring to a conclusion the preliminary investigation. She has for more than six years refused to take my statement during which time she has done nothing to pursue the preliminary investigation. The preliminary investigation entered into a stasis more than six years ago. I have always demonstrated my willingness to cooperate in order to speed up the process – although there is no obligation whatsoever for me to do so. All the obligation is on the prosecutor to progress the preliminary investigation. This attitude of the prosecutor has clearly breached mandatory rules in Swedish law.
12. I reiterate that over the past six years, I have continued to call for this prosecutor to accept my statement, including by:
— Willingly attending a questioning on 30 August 2010 in Stockholm, where no questions were asked about the allegation, as I had already been cleared. — Staying in Sweden for more than five weeks longer than planned, repeatedly asking if or when I could give a statement, despite pressing commitments elsewhere. — Gaining the prosecutor’s consent to leave Sweden before doing so on 27 September 2010 in good faith, understanding that I was not required to provide a further statement for the time being. On the day I left the country three of my encrypted laptops were seized from me at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. The laptops contained evidence of war crimes pending publication and protected legal correspondence. — Offering to return to Sweden to give a statement in October 2010.
— Offering to give my statement from London via numerous methods including telephone or videolink or in writing from London between October 2010 and up to and through the prosecutor unnecessarily issuing a European Arrest Warrant. The European Arrest Warrant attempted to extradite me, without charge, from the UK to Sweden, to take my statement. I was actively offering the testimony she claimed she wanted when she sought my arrest. — Providing a DNA sample six years ago in December 2010 when I was first arrested at Sweden’s request and which has been available to the prosecutor for the last six years. She has never bothered to even attempt to use it. — Offering to give a statement in London via Mutual Legal Assistance, among other suggestions, during my time of house arrest (7 December 2010 – 19 June 2012). — Offering to give a statement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London as from 19 June 2012, for instance via email from my Swedish lawyers on 24 July 2012 and during a meeting between my lawyers and the prosecutors in Stockholm 7 May 2013 – over four years ago and over three years ago respectively. — Offering to come to Sweden provided Sweden would give a guarantee that I am not extradited to another state over my publishing work. This offer was also requested by Ecuador through diplomatic channels and publicly in 2012, as I am a refugee in its jurisdiction.
13. As this demonstrates, although I have no obligation to do so, I have done everything within my power to offer my testimony to the prosecutor while protecting my right to asylum and protecting myself against the risk of extradition to the United States, where there is an open national security case against me. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, WikiLeaks’ alleged source in that matter, Chelsea Manning, has been subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in US detention, and has since been convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison.
14. The state of Sweden has refused to provide me the necessary assurances against extradition or other transport to the United States since 2010 when such was asked by my lawyers and since 2012 when requested to do so by the state of Ecuador. Sweden has also refused to accept that the asylum Ecuador has granted me requires it to protect me from onwards extradition to the United States, despite this being the recognized norm in asylum cases, thus making it impossible for me to go to Sweden without giving up my fundamental right as a political refugee. This refusal to recognize my rights as a political refugee has been the sole impediment to my presence in Sweden. I explicitly offered to accept extradition to Sweden provided it simply guarantee that it will not transfer me to another state. This was declined.
15. Nevertheless, I have continued to offer the prosecutor my statement through mechanisms which can be employed to achieve her stated purpose without putting at risk my fundamental rights, which she has, until recently, rejected.
16. Two years ago the Svea Court of Appeal on 20 November 2014 severely criticized the prosecutor for her negligence:
“The Court of Appeal notes, however, that the investigation into the suspected crimes has come to a halt and considers that the failure of the prosecutors to examine alternative avenues is not in line with their obligation – in the interests of everyone concerned – to move the preliminary investigation forward.”
17. It was not until March 2015 that Marianne Ny finally – after she had been found in breach of her duties by Sweden’s Court of Appeal and my case was before the Supreme Court and it became apparent that she might lose – claimed that she would, under certain restrictive conditions, accept my statement after all.
18. Since that time, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) released its ruling on 5 February 2016 that my situation in the embassy amounts to an unlawful and arbitrary detention, in breach of Sweden’s binding legal obligations under international law. UNWGAD found that Sweden and the UK have disregarded the asylum that I have been granted by Ecuador, forcing me to choose between deprivation of liberty and the risk of losing Ecuador’s protection and being extradited to the United States.
19. It then took Marianne Ny more than 18 months after her claimed change of position at the Supreme Court to arrange this meeting. I have not been responsible for a single day of delay in this process. All the delay has been caused by prosecutor Marianne Ny and the state authorities. Again note that all the obligation is on the prosecutor.
20. Furthermore, the UNWGAD concluded that the Swedish prosecutor has breached my due process rights in the conduct of this preliminary investigation and that seeking my extradition to Sweden as the only option in these circumstances was ”excessive and unnecessary” [para 97]. In particular, it found:
“…after more than five years’ time lapse, he is still left at the stage of preliminary investigation with no predictability as to whether and when a formal process of any judicial dealing would commence…” [para. 97] “…Mr Assange has been denied the opportunity to provide a statement, which is a fundamental aspect of the audi alteram partem principle, the access to exculpatory evidence, and thus the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations…” [para. 98] “…the duration of such detention is ipso facto incompatible with the presumption of innocence.” [para. 98]

21. As a result of the Swedish prosecutor’s actions, UNWGAD found my circumstances to be of an increasingly serious deprivation of liberty which is of an indefinite nature and is already far longer than the maximum penalty I could ever theoretically face in Sweden. For these reasons UNWGAD found that the severe and indefinite nature of these deprivations amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Sweden’s obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Article 7. The severity of this treatment is further confirmed by the expert opinion of Fernando Mariño, the former President of the UN Committee Against Torture, which is entered into the official record of this proceeding.
22. Ten months after the UNWGAD determination the harshness of the situation continues to affect my physical and psychological health. My lawyers have informed the Swedish authorities of the ongoing deterioration of my health through the medical certificates and expert opinions of Dr. Michael Korzinski and Dr. Fluxman, from 11 November 2015; of Dr. Ladbrooke from 8 December 2015; of Dr. Michael Korzinski from 15 June 2016; and of Dr. Ladbrooke from 9 November 2016.
23. And so, finally, here we are today, under the jurisdiction of Ecuador, with my rights ever increasingly limited, as my Ecuadorian defence counsel has expressed. After more than six
years, I am finally being given the “opportunity” to give my statement but with my Swedish counsel having been excluded and under a clear situation of legal defencelessness, resulting from years of negligence and intentional and unlawful delays by the Swedish authorities.
24. All the irregularities that have occurred through the acts or omissions of the prosecution authority and the six-year delay to date of this disproportionate, inhumane and unlawful preliminary investigation have permanently destroyed all possibilities for me to properly defend myself – which is no doubt their intention.
25. Following the above, I wish to express in the strongest terms, that, in addition to the breaches of my due process rights in the investigation to date, the procedure to be adopted today in taking my statement further breaches those rights:
— My Swedish defence lawyer was not permitted to be present today, despite the fact that these proceedings concern a Swedish criminal preliminary investigation. — In the opinion of my general practitioner, I am unfit to prepare and participate in these proceedings (after having been denied hospital treatment and sunlight for 4.5 years). — My Ecuadorian defence counsel has had no access to the case file, let alone in Spanish, the language he understands, nor has he had adequate time to prepare my defence. — My lawyers and I have not been permitted access to the case file. — I have been denied my request to read the text messages that my Swedish defence lawyers have read, which are a key element to my defence because they clearly show that I am innocent.
26. Due to all the shortcomings stated above, prosecutor Marianne Ny should have drawn the obvious conclusion that she discontinue the preliminary investigation.
27. In this context I once again remind you that I have already been cleared and that the preliminary investigation was closed by Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné in August 2010.
28. Given this history I have good reason to have concern about whether this “preliminary investigation” is being conducted in good faith and whether honest and impartial consideration will be given to my statement. I suspect that the real purpose of the Swedish prosecutor coming here today is not to obtain my statement but is simply a ruse to tick a box to ensure the technical possibility to indict me, irrespective of how I answer any questions.
29. I do not believe that prosecutor Marianne Ny is acting in good faith or with the objectivity and impartiality required of her office. For example, after circumventing the Chief Prosecutor of Stockholm’s decision to close this case, prosecutor Ny has made at least 40 press releases and press conferences about me where my name has been published, even though there is no charge against me and I have been previously cleared, subjecting me to endless needless suspicion, in clear violation of her duty to not do so under Chapter 23, Section 4 of the Swedish Procedural Code.
30. My overall conclusion is that the prosecutor’s conduct of the preliminary investigation, for all the reasons above has continued to deprive me of the right to defend myself.
31. I have no obligation to cooperate with this abuse, but I find myself in a coercive situation. I am meant to be protected by the decision of the UNWGAD which makes it clear that this “preliminary investigation” has violated my human rights and that its attempts to arrest me should be discontinued immediately. That decision was issued almost a year ago, but my situation remains unchanged. Despite the many violations already described I feel compelled to give my statement today so that there can be no more excuses for the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to continue my indefinite unlawful detention, which is a threat to my health and even to my life. I have been pushing and indeed litigating for this prosecutor to take my statement for more than six years. The prosecutor has made excuse after excuse to not take my statement. I will not grant this prosecutor any excuse to continue to avoid taking my statement as I fear she would use it as a means to indefinitely prolong my cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

II. REASONS WHY I TRAVELLED TO STOCKHOLM IN AUGUST 2010

32. I am the editor-in-chief and publisher of WikiLeaks, a publishing organisation specializing in the analysis of records under risk of censorship that are of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical importance. Among other countries, WikiLeaks publishes and analyses documents that concern the United States, Sweden and the United Kingdom, including millions of documents relating to actions of military, intelligence and foreign services. I have received numerous awards in relation to my publishing work, including the 2008 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award, The Economist New Media Award (USA) 2008, the 2009 Amnesty International UK Media Award (New Media), the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (USA) award, the 2011 Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (Australia), the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (UK), the 2011 Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (Australia), the 2011 Blanquerna Award for Best Communicator (Spain), the 2011 International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists, the 2011 Jose Couso Press Freedom Award (Spain), the 2012 Privacy International Award, the 2013 Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award, and the 2013 Global Exchange Human Rights Awards, as well as formal nominations for the United Nations’ Mandela Prize (2014) and for the past six consecutive years for the Nobel Peace Prize.
33. The US launched an investigation against me in early 2010 under the Obama administration, while Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State. This administration has expended very substantial resources on attempting to prosecute me and attempting to spy on my publishing work despite its constitutionally protected status. The US government’s WikiLeaks investigation is described in official diplomatic correspondence as being “unprecedented in scale and nature”.
34. All the citations I mention are in my affidavit from 2 September 2013, which I am entering into the official record of this proceeding.
35. The US government has periodically confirmed in public that the national security case against WikiLeaks remains open and ongoing, including in proceedings from this year. Numerous human rights and freedom of speech organizations such as Human Rights Watch have criticized the Obama administration for pursuing a criminal case against WikiLeaks and me.
36. The investigation against Wikileaks is led by the FBI and has involved a dozen other agencies, including the CIA, the NSA, and the Defence Intelligence Agency. The US government has described the investigation as a “whole of government” investigation. In Alexandria, Virginia, a Grand Jury has been meeting behind closed doors for the past six years under case number 10GJ3793 to explore ways to imprison me and seven others who they have identified as “founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks”. The prosecution in the Chelsea Manning case attempted to establish that Private Manning acted as an agent under my control rather than as a journalistic source of mine, even though in Private Manning’s own statement to the court, she said this was not the case. The US military charged Private Manning with twenty-two counts in connection with the release of more than 700,000 classified or confidential documents to WikiLeaks. On 30 July 2013 private Manning was convicted of twenty of these counts and sentenced to thirty-five years in prison on 20 August 2013.
37. Private Manning was detained for more than 1,000 days before the trial commenced. During this time she remained for 258 days in solitary confinement. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture found that the conditions and length of private Private Manning’s confinement at Quantico, Virginia, amounted to “inhuman and degrading treatmen t”. Private Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said that the treatment of Private Manning was an attempt at breaking her so that Manning would implicate me. The US military court system eventually found that Private Manning was unlawfully punished as a result of this treatment while in US custody. Private Manning was convicted of espionage; the first whistleblower ever so convicted. Private Manning was acquitted of the “aiding the enemy” charge, but the US government could still seek to employ this charge against me. Private Manning is serving a 35 year prison sentence.
38. According to the respected UK newspaper The Independent, the US and Sweden entered informal talks regarding my extradition from Sweden to the United States in early December 2010. These talks of my extradition concerned the US Grand Jury and FBI investigation against WikiLeaks, which is also the reason that Ecuador granted me asylum.
39. The aggressive calls to stop WikiLeaks from publishing were the reason for my travel to Stockholm. US officials’ rhetoric grew increasingly aggressive in the period immediately prior to my visit to Sweden on 11 August 2010. In June, a Daily Beast news report entitled ‘The State Department’s Worst Nightmare’ revealed that the Pentagon was “conducting an aggressive investigation” into whether WikiLeaks had 260,000 US diplomatic cables and the material’s whereabouts.
40. Two days later, an article titled ‘Pentagon Manhunt’ appeared, describing Pentagon investigators desperately trying to track me down in relation to the impending publication of Cablegate:
“Anxious that Wikileaks may be on the verge of publishing a batch of secret State Department cables, investigators are desperately searching for founder Julian Assange”.
41. On 17 June 2010 US Department of Defense spokesman Geoff Morrell stated there was an
“ongoing criminal investigation [concerning WikiLeaks], involving the Army Criminal Investigation Division, as well as, I believe, some other law enforcement agencies.”
42. The Pentagon officials “would not discuss the methods being used to find Assange, nor would they say if they had information to suggest where he is now.” On reading this, I realised WikiLeaks’ continued ability to publish effectively and my own personal safety were at serious risk.
43. During the month of July I worked with a team of journalists in the United Kingdom to publish the Afghan War Diaries: 75,000 secret Pentagon documents about the war in Afghanistan, which included the detailed records about the deaths of nearly 20,000 people. The day after WikiLeaks published the Afghan War Diaries, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that WikiLeaks “poses a very real and potential threat”.
44. I published the Afghan War Diaries approximately two weeks before I travelled to Sweden. In the aftermath of the publication, US government officials made efforts to influence the way in which the media reported on our publications. The purpose was to delegitimise WikiLeaks protections as a publisher under the US First Amendment. For example, it attempted to falsely cast WikiLeaks as an adversary, opposed to US national interests, a false claim that I would later see echoed in Swedish media.
45. The New York Times reported that the White House had emailed its reporters with suggested “reporting tacks to take” on WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks’ disclosures, in an attempt to induce news outlets into referring to WikiLeaks in these terms.
46. The White House sent an e-mail with the subject heading “Thoughts on Wikileaks” containing a memo in which the White House
“advised journalists on possible reporting tacks to take on the [Afghan War Diaries] documents […] As you report on this issue, it’s worth noting that wikileaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.”
47. I also learned from news reports that security authorities from my home country Australia were assisting the US intelligence investigation into WikiLeaks and me:
“Australian security authorities are assisting a United States intelligence probe into the whistleblower website Wikileaks and its Australian founder and editor, Julian Assange. The US request for support in what Australian national security sources described as ‘a counter-espionage investigation’ preceded Wikileaks’ dramatic publication yesterday of a leaked US military operations log, described as an ”extraordinary compendium” of 91,000 reports by United States and allied soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.”
48. On July 28th, just three days after publishing the Afghan War Diaries and two weeks before I travelled to Sweden, US Department of Defense Secretary Gates “called FBI Director Robert Mueller and asked for the FBI’s assistance in [the WikiLeaks] investigation as a partner.” The US Defence Department declared:
“Calling on the FBI to aid the investigation ensures that the department will have all the resources needed to investigate… noting that use of the bureau ensures the investigation can go wherever it needs to go.”
49. The New York Times reported that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
“declined to comment about the investigation beyond noting that he had enlisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist Army investigators, a move that is seen as a precursor to potentially charging people who are not uniformed service members […] A person familiar with the investigation has said that Justice Department lawyers are exploring whether Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks could be charged with inducing, or conspiring in, violations of the Espionage Act, a 1917 law that prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of national security information.”
50. On 1 August 2010, the press reported that the FBI and British police were carrying out searches and interrogations in the UK, where I found myself at the time, in connection with WikiLeaks’ publications.
51. Over the next days, US rhetoric and actions against WikiLeaks intensified. Prominent commentators and former White House officials championed extraterritorial measures and the violation of international law “if necessary”.
52. One of these commentators was former presidential speech writer Marc Thiessen, who published a Washington Post article entitled ‘WikiLeaks Must be Stopped’:
“…the government has a wide range of options for dealing with him. It can employ not only law enforcement but also intelligence and military assets to bring Assange to justice.”
53. Thiessen argued that the US should put pressure on any state in which I was located and that the US should, if necessary, arrest me even without the consent of that state. He cited legal advice from the Department of Justice regarding FBI operations abroad:
“The United States should make clear that it will not tolerate any country — and particularly NATO allies such as Belgium and Iceland — providing safe haven for criminals who put the lives of NATO forces at risk. With appropriate diplomatic pressure, these governments may cooperate in bringing Assange to justice. But if they refuse, the United States can arrest Assange on their territory without their knowledge or approval.”
54. Thiessen further asserted that the FBI could violate international law in order to stop me and apprehend other people associated with WikiLeaks’ publishing activities. Thiessen cited a Department of Justice memo:
“the FBI may use its statutory authority to investigate and arrest individuals for violating United States law, even if the FBI’s actions contravene customary international law” and that an “arrest that is inconsistent with international or foreign law does not violate the Fourth Amendment.” In other words, we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.
Arresting Assange would be a major blow to his organization. But taking him off the streets is not enough; we must also recover the documents he unlawfully possesses
and disable the system he has built to illegally disseminate classified information.
This should be done, ideally, through international law enforcement cooperation. But if such cooperation is not forthcoming, the United States can and should act alone.”
55. Seven days before I travelled to Sweden I was acutely aware that my personal safety was at risk. Scott Horton, legal affairs and national security contributor at Harper’s, wrote the article ‘WikiLeaks: The National-Security State Strikes Back’:
“[Assange] will certainly be targeted for petty harassment and subject to steady surveillance, and efforts to kidnap him are almost certainly being spun at this very moment.”
56. Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell announced an anti-WikiLeaks task force comprised of 80 people was operating 24 hours a day. One month later, it had grown to 120 people. The “distinct responsibility” of the Information Review Task Force – dubbed by some occupants as the “WikiLeaks War Room” – was
“…to gather evidence about the workings of WikiLeaks that might someday be used by the Justice Department to prosecute Assange and others on espionage charges.”
57. The article “’The General Gunning for WikiLeaks” described the task force:
“In a nondescript suite of government offices not far from the Pentagon, nearly 120 intelligence analysts, FBI agents, and others are at work—24 hours a day, seven days a week—on the frontlines of the government’s secret war against WikiLeaks. Dubbed the WikiLeaks War Room by some of its occupants, the round-the-clock operation is on high alert this month …”
58. The same article states that Brig. General Robert A. Carr, who runs “the Pentagon’s equivalent to the CIA”, the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was “handpicked” by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to head the team because he “is highly respected …and a fitting adversary to Assange”.
59. General Carr’s “central assignment” was reportedly “to try to determine exactly what classified information might have been leaked to WikiLeaks”. General Carr testified at the Chelsea Manning sentencing hearing on 31 July 2013.
60. I followed closely how pressure mounted on US allies to track my movements and to stop our publications. Official sources within the administration revealed to the press that the US was not only considering how to prosecute me in relation to WikiLeaks’ publications in the US, but was also requesting their allies to prosecute me under their own national security laws:
“American officials confirmed last month that the Justice Department was weighing a range of criminal charges against Assange and others […]
Now, the officials say, they want other foreign governments to consider the same sorts of criminal charges.”
An article published the day before I went to Sweden stated that “The Obama administration is pressing Britain, Germany, Australia, and other allied Western governments to consider opening criminal investigations of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and to severely limit his nomadic travels across international borders, American officials say.”
61. In addition to the stated intention to restrict my freedom of movement, the US government attempted to convince its allies not to allow me entry into their territory as a warning to me, to those working with me and WikiLeaks, and to our supporters:
“Through diplomatic and military channels, the Obama administration is hoping to convince Britain, Germany, and Australia, among other allied governments, that Assange should not be welcome on their shores either, given the danger that his group poses to their troops stationed in Afghanistan, American officials say. They say severe limitations on Assange’s travels might serve as a useful warning to his followers that their own freedom is now at risk.”
62. The Australian government publicly entertained the possibility of canceling my passport, reportedly as a result of pressure placed on Australia by the United States. Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland assured the United States that the Australian government would “provide every assistance to United States law-enforcement authorities”, including by exploring the possibility of canceling my passport.
63. US pressure even resulted in public attempts to influence decisions based on human rights considerations where I and WikiLeaks were concerned. Through US ambassador to Switzerland Donald Beyer, the Obama administration pressured Switzerland not to grant me political asylum while I participated at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of the United States. US ambassador Beyer gave an interview to Swiss newspaper Sonntag:
“The United States ambassador to Switzerland, Donald Beyer, has also entered the Wikileaks debate. He has warned the Swiss government against granting Assange asylum, which the Australian founder of Wikileaks has said he was considering requesting. “Switzerland should very carefully consider whether to provide shelter to someone who is on the run from the law”.
64. The Daily Beast reported that Washington was prepared to review its diplomatic relations with Iceland because parts of WikiLeaks operations had been conducted in that country:
“An American military official tells The Daily Beast that Washington may also want to closely review its relations with Iceland in the wake of the release of the Afghan war logs.”
65. In the context of my heightened concerns about US activities in the United Kingdom in relation to the WikiLeaks investigation, I decided to leave the country. When I travelled to Sweden on 11 August 2010, the aggressive rhetoric against me had reached new heights.
Former CIA general counsel Jeffrey Smith told National Public Radio:
“I think it is entirely appropriate for us to be very aggressive […] If I were the US government, I would be trying to make it as difficult as possible for the WikiLeaks founder to continue to do business… To the extent we can persuade our allies to consider prosecution, I think that’s all to the good.”
66. On the same day I arrived in Sweden, 11 August 2010, I received information from an Australian intelligence source that extra-legal actions might be taken against me by the US or its allies. This was later reported in the Australian newspaper The Age:
“An Australian intelligence official privately warned Wikileaks on August 11 last year that Assange was the subject of inquiries by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and that information relating to him and others associated with Wikileaks had been provided to the US in response to requests through intelligence liaison channels. The Australian intelligence official is also claimed to have specifically warned that Assange could be at risk of ‘dirty tricks’ from the US intelligence community.”
67. Friends and associates of mine and volunteers for WikiLeaks were regularly targeted at borders from this moment on. Border searches and interrogations have affected security researcher Jacob Appelbaum, who had given the keynote speech in my place at the HOPE conference on 16 July 2010. In an interview for Democracy Now, Appelbaum described the targeting he experiences at airports:
In the period of time since [the HOPE conference on 16 July 2010] they’ve started detaining me, around a dozen-plus times… I was put into a special room, where they frisked me, put me up against the wall… they took my laptop… then they interrogated me, denied me access to a lawyer. And when they did the interrogation, they have a member of the U.S. Army, on American soil. And they refused to let me go. They … implied that if I didn’t make a deal with them, that I’d be sexually assaulted in prison.
68. Within days of arriving in Sweden I became concerned about my safety and security there, in particular because of the pressure being brought to bear on US allies, including Sweden.
69. I was aware of the publicly stated attempts to track my movements. I used a number of risk minimisation procedures, including relying on the goodwill of friends and their circles for my safety and to protect the confidentiality of my whereabouts and communications.
70. My contacts in Sweden had arranged for me to stay in two safe houses during the few days I had intended to stay in Sweden. One of the safe houses belonged to a journalist who I knew and another to a Social Democrat party figure unknown to me who had lent her apartment while she was away, or so I had been told. However, because these two original safe houses arranged prior to my arrival became known very soon, I stayed in three additional safe houses between 11 and 20 August 2010.
71. I travelled to Sweden to put in place a legal strategy to try to protect our publishing servers, some of which were in Sweden. I believed these assets were at risk as a result of the intense
political pressure from the US described above. I met with the Swedish Pirate Party, which was represented at the European Parliament at the time, who agreed to host copies of WikiLeaks servers under their party name in order to further protect our publishing work. I also felt it was best to leave the United Kingdom at that time because the FBI was known to be carrying out operations in connection with the investigation into our publications. I intended to stay in Sweden for less than a week.
72. My dependency on other people while in Sweden was aggravated when, shortly after my arrival in Stockholm, my personal bank cards were blocked. On 13 August 2010, the WikiLeaks organization’s Moneybookers account could no longer be accessed. That same day, I contacted the company, who replied: “following recent publicity and the subsequently (sic) addition of the Wikileaks entity to blacklists in Australia and watch lists in the USA, we have terminated the business relationship”. I requested further information from MoneyBookers on 13 August and 16 August regarding the closure, including which blacklists and watchlists my accounts and/or WikiLeaks’ account had been added to, but I was refused this information.
73. The freezing of WikiLeaks’ Moneybookers account was an early example of what in December 2010 would become a concerted extra-judicial global economic blockade against WikiLeaks by US financial service companies, including VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Bank of America, Western Union and American Express. The blockade was the subject of several court actions, a European Commission investigation, a resolution by the European Parliament, and condemnation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression. On 24 April 2013 the Supreme Court of Iceland found the blockade against WikiLeaks to be unlawful.
74. As a result of being suddenly cut off from personal and organizational funds upon arriving in Sweden, I had to rely on others not only for shelter, but also for food, safety and telephone credit. Unfortunately, I knew very few people in Sweden and those I did were only sporadically in the country.
75. On 13 August 2010 one of the main Swedish newspapers, Svenska Dagbladet, published an article entitled ‘Defence ministry prepared for the next leak’, which reported that the Swedish Ministry of Defence had a dedicated group ‘preparing for WikiLeaks next publication’ and had analysed 76,000 previous publications from WikiLeaks in relation to Swedish troops in Afghanistan.
76. Five days later, Swedish state television (SVT) published a segment entitled ‘We risk United States relationship deteriorating’, which argued that the presence of WikiLeaks in Sweden would negatively affect the strategic relationship between Sweden and the United States.

III. THE PERIOD 14-20 AUGUST 2010

77. I met “SW” during my visit to Stockholm. The first time I met her was on the morning of 14 August 2010 when she came to a speech I gave on what my work revealed about the war in Afghanistan, in which Sweden has troops under US command. She sat in the front row and
photographed me. She came to the small private lunch after my talk where one of the organizers stated that she was a volunteer for their organization although they would later claim that this was not true. Due to the security threats against me as a result of my work, I was in a precarious situation. I relied on the kindness of strangers and the safety and discretion they were willing to offer me. I was in a foreign northern country, where I did not speak the language. I had no access to cash because the bank cards I was travelling with had been frozen due to the extra-judicial political measures taken by financial service companies against my organization and me (which are well-documented and the subject of extensive litigation).
78. Prominent “pro-war” personalities were calling for my assassination and capture, and the US administration had stated publicly that my movements were being tracked. “SW” appeared to be sympathetic to my plight and also appeared to be romantically interested in me. She was not close to people I was close to, so it seemed that those who meant me harm would be unlikely to try to find me by monitoring her movements. She said she worked at the National Museum so I asked her to show me, to try to establish her bonafides. At the Museum an IMAX film was playing, where she kissed me and placed my hands on her breasts. She asked whether I was staying with woman “AA”, a Swedish politician, and seemed concerned by it in a manner which I found strange.
79. At her initiative we met again on the evening of 16 August 2010 and she suggested we go to a hotel in Stockholm. For security reasons, I said I would prefer to go to her house even though it was outside of Stockholm. She then invited me to her home. We went by train and she paid for my ticket since my bank cards had been frozen.
80. “SW” made it very clear that she wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I felt concerned about the intensity of “SW”’s interest and I also deeply loved another woman, which played on my mind and left me emotionally distracted. “SW” knew an unusual amount of detail about me, and appeared annoyed with me when I was on my phone searching for news related to the US official government statements against me. I perceived she was irritated when I wasn’t giving her my full attention.
81. I felt there was a risk my location would be revealed and that she might act unpredictably if she believed I was rejecting her. During that night and again in the morning we had consensual sexual intercourse on four or five occasions. Her words, her expressions and her physical reactions made it clear to me that she encouraged and enjoyed our interactions.
82. I would later discover that she had collected dozens of photos of me in the weeks before we even met. Her recent FLIKR photo account was filled with pages and pages of photos of me and no other person.
83. In the morning she went out to pick up breakfast for us. After enjoying breakfast together, I left her home on good terms. At no stage when I was with her did she express that I had disrespected her in any way or acted contrary to her wishes other than to not be interested in her enough to pay her attention above my security situation or attempts to sleep. She accompanied me to the train station on her bicycle and we kissed each other goodbye. She asked that I call her so we could see each other again and I said I would. She called the next day or the day after. We made friendly small talk but we were quickly disconnected due to a failing mobile connection. I did not call her back due to problems obtaining telephone credit (as a result of my bank cards being blocked) and the pressing security situation.
84. I spoke to her next on Friday 20 August, after a Swedish friend said that he had heard that “SW” was at the hospital and that she wanted to talk to me. As I had not called her back, and she had previously gone through considerable effort to attract my attention, I was initially concerned that she may have attempted self-harm in order to force me to pay attention to her. So I called her. She said she was at a hospital and asked me to come down to meet her to test myself for sexually transmitted diseases so she would not have to worry while she was waiting for her own test results (HIV, for instance, needs months to show up).
85. But I was busy that day attempting to deal with the escalating political and legal threats against me from the Pentagon. I said I couldn’t do anything until the next day (a Saturday). She said that it was normal in Sweden to go to the police to get advice about STDs and that if I didn’t come down to the hospital she would go to the police to ask whether I could be forced to get tested. I told her I found her mention of police strange and threatening. She stated that she was only concerned about the tests and that it had no concealed meaning. I agreed to take the test out of goodwill and to reassure her, although I told her I could not do it until the following day, Saturday.
86. We were in agreement and arranged to meet the following day in the nearby park around lunchtime when I would have time to get tested. She said she was fine and seemed at ease.
87. You can imagine my disbelief when I woke the next morning to the news that I had been arrested in my absence for ”rape” and that police were ”hunting” all over Stockholm for me.
88. Her behaviour towards me on the night in question and in the morning made it clear that she actively and enthusiastically wanted me to have sex with her. This is also shown by text messages “SW” sent to her friends during the course of the evening I was at her home and during that week, which the Swedish police collected from her phone. Although the prosecutor has fought for years to prevent me, the public and the courts from seeing them, my lawyers were permitted to see them at the police station and were able to note down a number of them, including:
— On 14August 2010 “SW” sent the following text to a friend: I want him. I want him. Followed by several more of similar content (all referring to me) in the lead-up to the events in question (13:05); — On 17 August “SW” wrote that we had long foreplay, but nothing happened (01:14); then it got better (05:15); — On 17 August, after all sex had occurred, “SW” wrote to a friend that it ”turned out all right” other than STD/pregnancy risk (10:29); — On 20 August “SW”, while at the police station, wrote that she “did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange” but that “the police were keen on getting their hands on him” (14:26); and that she was “chocked (sic shocked) when they arrested him” because she “only wanted him to take a test” (17:06); — On 21 August “SW” wrote that she “did not want to accuse” Julian Assange “for anything”, (07:27); and that it was the “police who made up the charges (sic)” (22:25); — On 23 August “AA” (the other woman whose case was dropped in August 2015) wrote to “SW” that it was important that she went public with her story so that they could form public opinion for their case (06:43);
— On 23 August “SW” wrote that it was the police, not herself, who started the whole thing (16:02); — On 26 August “AA” wrote to “SW” that they ought to sell their stories for money to a newspaper (13:38); — On 28 August “AA” wrote that they had a contact on the biggest Swedish tabloid (12:53); and “SW” wrote that their lawyer negotiated with the tabloid (15:59);
89. These text messages clearly show what really happened between “SW” and me. It is clearly consensual sex between adults. The communication between “AA” and “SW” later sadly speaks for itself.
90. The prosecutor’s allegation in the extradition proceeding was reported to be that one of these sexual interactions started the next morning while “SW” was asleep (in the same bed after a night of consensual intercourse) and that when she woke up she consented to the intercourse in question, but for the first few moments was not theoretically capable of consent due to sleep.
91. This is false. I was certain “SW” was not asleep. I was also certain she expressly consented to unprotected sex before such intercourse started. This is also evidenced by “SW”’s own text messages. For example, my lawyers refer me to the following text message to her friend:
— 17 August, 08:42 am: JA did not want to use a condom.
92. Then a day later she explicitly texts her friend that she had not, in fact, been asleep.
— 18 August, 06:59 am: I was half asleep.

IV. SUBSEQUENT DEVELOPMENTS

93. Although the police initially opened an investigation into ‘rape’ in relation to woman AA, there was no allegation in her testimony that she had been raped. She expressed in her statement to the police that she consented to sex and subsequently tweeted on 22 April in 2013 “ I have not been raped”.
94. The press was immediately and unlawfully informed that there was a warrant for my arrest for what was reported as the “rape of two” women. The prosecutor unlawfully, and without any subsequent explanation or remedy, immediately confirmed to the press that there was a live warrant for my arrest. The prosecutor’s breach triggered an avalanche of news reports. Within days there were millions of references online which associated my name with the word ‘rape’.
95. Immediately the police accusations were used to attack WikiLeaks’ work and my reputation as its publisher. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates celebrated the news of my ‘rape’ arrest warrant with a smile, telling reporters that the arrest “sounds like good news to me”. Various twitter accounts officially associated with the Pentagon spread descriptions of me as a “rapist” and a “fugitive”. This slander was then used as a means to attack my organization’s reputation.
96. I canceled my other appointments and remained in Sweden. I gave an interview to the police on 30 August 2010 in relation to the only remaining allegation. The Agreed Statement of Facts and Issues submitted to the Supreme Court of the UK states:
“On 30th August 2010, the Appellant, who had voluntarily remained in Sweden to cooperate with the investigation,attended for police interview in respect of the ongoing Preliminary Investigation in respect of AA’s report. Heanswered all questions asked of him.”
97. I was highly concerned for my personal safety and the safety of WikiLeaks’ operations while I remained in Sweden, but I stayed for another five weeks after the ‘preliminary investigation’ was initiated in order to clear my name and to cooperate with the police investigation. Only after I had obtained an assurance from the prosecutor Marianne Ny that I could leave the jurisdiction did I prepare to leave the country
98. Less than 24 hours after the warrant for my arrest was issued, the chief prosecutor of Stockholm was appointed to take over the investigation and canceled the arrest warrant, stating “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape”.
99. Shortly after prosecutor Marianne Ny had resurrected the “SW” allegation, the head of the Swedish military intelligence service (“MUST”) published an article ‘WikiLeaks is a threat to our soldiers’. I became increasingly concerned about Sweden’s close relationship to the US government in military and intelligence matters.
100. Through the diplomatic cables I also learned of secret, informal arrangements between Sweden and the United States. The cables revealed that Swedish intelligence services have a pattern of lawless conduct where US government interests are concerned. The US diplomatic cables revealed that the Swedish Justice Department had deliberately hidden particular intelligence information exchanges with the United States from the Parliament of Sweden because they believed the exchanges were likely unlawful.
101. The US diplomatic cables, reports by major human rights organizations, and the UN’s own findings made me aware that Sweden had been complicit in torture as a result of its participation in secret CIA renditions from 2001 through to at least 2006 (which I would subsequently reveal). The rendition of the Swedish political refugees Agiza and Alzery resulted in strong condemnation by the UN Committee Against Torture, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and others. There is still complete impunity for the officers of the Swedish state involved and their US counterparts. No charges have been laid although the complicity of the Swedish state has been well established in successful civil litigation. I subsequently learned that Sweden was partly implicated in CIA renditions of its own citizens from Djibouti in 2013. My Swedish lawyer Thomas Olsson represents one of the rendered.
102. Through an intelligence source, I became aware that on 19 August 2010, the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) had requested information about me from an Australian intelligence organization. The Australian intelligence organization (ASIO) responded to the request with information about me on 21 August 2010.
103. On 29 November 2010 WikiLeaks commenced publishing Cablegate, 251,287 US State Department diplomatic cables. The classified diplomatic dispatches related to every country
in the world. In terms of content, it was the largest set of classified documents ever to be published.
104. The next day State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley stated that “we are investigating aggressively” into WikiLeaks and that a State Department “War Room”, which is different from the Pentagon “War Room”, had been set up.
105. On 30 November 2010, two days after WikiLeaks started publishing Cablegate, Interpol, at the request of Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, issued a Red Notice to 188 countries for my arrest in relation to the Swedish “preliminary investigation” (for which no charges or indictment existed). At the request of the Swedish prosecutor Interpol also made the notice public.
106. The Swedish prosecutor issued a European Arrest Warrant on 2 December 2010 to the UK which was processed by the UK Serious Organised Crimes Agency (SOCA).
107. I lost my freedom on 7 December 2010, the day after UK authorities certified the Swedish extradition warrant. I appeared at the police station, having made a prior appointment. I was arrested and placed in solitary confinement in the highest security unit of Wandsworth prison, the CSU.
108. The day after I was imprisoned, the UK newspaper The Independent reported that US and Swedish officials had entered informal talks regarding my extradition from Sweden to the United States in connection with the US Grand Jury and FBI investigation against WikiLeaks.
109. After ten days, the UK courts found that I should be released on bail. In response the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny instructed her representatives in the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to appeal to keep me in prison, but the UK courts found her request to be excessive.
110. I was moved to house arrest after providing UK authorities with £340,000 (nearly half a million dollars) and having an electronic monitoring device fitted to my ankle.
111. On 13 January 2011 the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) wrote to Marianne Ny, assuring her “Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request”.
112. I was forced to meet with police for 551 days in a row. I continued publishing regardless.
113. I applied for asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy on 19 June 2012. The embassy was then surrounded by police at an admitted cost to the UK taxpayer of £12.6 million by October 2015.
114. On 28 October 2014, the UK Minister of State of Hugo Swire, told Parliament that “if she [Marianne Ny] wishes to travel here to question Mr. Assange in the embassy in London, we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that, indeed, we would actively welcome it.”
115. On 14 November 2014 I submitted my case to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD).
116. On 20 November 2014 Sweden’s Court of Appeal (Svea) found that the Swedish prosecutor had breached her duty by failing to accept my statement.
117. On 12 October 2015 the UK announced that it was removing the overt police around the embassy as it was “no longer proportionate”.
118. On 14 October 2015 London police chief Bernard Hogan-Howe told the Standard that the visible police were being removed from the embassy encirclement as “it seems a disproportionate response” and “we think the public are not necessarily supportive of it.”
119. Subsequently (6 Feb 2016) the London Times would report that the removal of overt police was also due to “fears that officers of the diplomatic protection group standing guard were thought to resemble jailers” during the UNWGAD determination. However the 12 October statement reveals that the “overt” police had in fact been replaced with a “strengthened” “covert plan”.
120. On 5 February 2016 UNWGAD found that I have been unlawfully deprived of my liberty since 7 December 2010 as a result of the actions of the Swedish prosecutor.
Answer to subsequent questions:
You have subjected me to six years of unlawful, politicized detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and four and a half years at this embassy. You should have asked me this question six years ago. Your actions in refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal. You have been found to have subjected me to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You have denied me effective legal representation in this process. Despite this, I feel compelled to cooperate even though you are not safeguarding my rights. I refer you to my statement where all these questions were answered.

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Brexit live stream with Julian Assange, Brian Eno, Craig Murray and many other guests.

In a first-of-its-kind, live broadcast from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and an exciting panel of special guests will discuss the Brexit referendum, its context and its repercussions over the course of six hours on the evening of this historic vote.
Tune in, to see the coverage of Brexit that you won’t see on the BBC.

Live from http://brexitclub.eu/

Replay below.

[Posted by Admin

Craig’s flight from Edinburgh was delayed and he will join as soon as he can]

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Why the Assange Allegation is a Stitch-up

I am slightly updating and reposting this from 2012 because the mainstream media have ensured very few people know the detail of the “case” against Julian Assange in Sweden. The UN Working Group ruled that Assange ought never to have been arrested in the UK in the first place because there is no genuine investigation are and no charges. Read this and you will know why.

The other thing not widely understood is there is NO JURY in a rape trial in Sweden and it is a SECRET TRIAL. All of the evidence, all of the witnesses, are heard in secret. No public, no jury, no media. The only public part is the charging and the verdict. There is a judge and two advisers directly appointed by political parties. So you never would get to understand how plainly the case is a stitch-up. Unless you read this.

The original post with all the links functioning and some 2,000 comments is here.

There are so many inconsistencies in Anna Ardin’s accusation of sexual assault against Julian Assange. Before ever meeting Assange, she had been expelled from Cuba by its government as a suspected CIA agent. But the key question which leaps out at me – and which strangely I have not seen asked anywhere else – is this:

Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?

On 16 August, Julian Assange had sex with Sofia Wilen. Sofia had become known in the Swedish group around Assange for the shocking pink cashmere sweater she had worn in the front row of Assange’s press conference. Anna Ardin knew Assange was planning to have sex with Sofia Wilen. On 17 August, Ardin texted a friend who was looking for Assange:

“He’s not here. He’s planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?”

Yet Ardin later testified that just three days earlier, on 13 August, she had been sexually assaulted by Assange; an assault so serious she was willing to try (with great success) to ruin Julian Assange’s entire life. She was also to state that this assault involved enforced unprotected sex and she was concerned about HIV.

If Ardin really believed that on 13 August Assange had forced unprotected sex on her and this could have transmitted HIV, why did she make no attempt to warn Sofia Wilen that Wilen was in danger of her life? And why was Ardin discussing with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and texting about it to friends, with no evident disapproval or discouragement?

Ardin had Wilen’s contact details and indeed had organised her registration for the press conference. She could have warned her. But she didn’t.

Let us fit that into a very brief survey of the whole Ardin/Assange relationship. .

11 August: Assange arrives in Stockholm for a press conference organised by a branch of the Social Democratic Party.
Anna Ardin has offered her one bed flat for him to stay in as she will be away.

13 August: Ardin comes back early. She has dinner with Assange and they have consensual sex, on the first day of meeting. Ardin subsequently alleges this turned into assault by surreptitious mutilation of the condom.

14 August: Anna volunteers to act as Julian’s press secretary. She sits next to him on the dais at his press conference. Assange meets Sofia Wilen there.

Anna tweets at 14.00:

‘Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow? #fb’

This attempt to find a crayfish party fails, so Ardin organises one herself for him, in a garden outside her flat. Anna and Julian seem good together. One guest hears Anna rib Assange that she thought “you had dumped me” when he got up from bed early that morning. Another offers to Anna that Julian can leave her flat and come stay with them. She replies:
“He can stay with me.”

15 August Still at the crayfish party with Julian, Anna tweets:

‘Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing! #fb’

Julian and Anna, according to both their police testimonies, sleep again in the same single bed, and continue to do so for the next few days. Assange tells police they continue to have sex; Anna tells police they do not. That evening, Anna and Julian go together to, and leave together from, a dinner with the leadership of the Pirate Party. They again sleep in the same bed.

16 August: Julian goes to have sex with Sofia Wilen: Ardin does not warn her of potential sexual assault.
Another friend offers Anna to take over housing Julian. Anna again refuses.

20 August: After Sofia Wilen contacts her to say she is worried about STD’s including HIV after unprotected sex with Julian, Anna takes her to see Anna’s friend, fellow Social Democrat member, former colleague on the same ballot in a council election, and campaigning feminist police officer, Irmeli Krans. Ardin tells Wilen the police can compel Assange to take an HIV test. Ardin sits in throughout Wilen’s unrecorded – in breach of procedure – police interview. Krans prepares a statement accusing Assange of rape. Wilen refuses to sign it.

21 August Having heard Wilen’s interview and Krans’ statement from it, Ardin makes her own police statement alleging Assange has surreptiously had unprotected sex with her eight days previously.

Some days later: Ardin produces a broken condom to the police as evidence; but a forensic examination finds no traces of Assange’s – or anyone else’s – DNA on it, and indeed it is apparently unused.

No witness has come forward to say that Ardin complained of sexual assault by Assange before Wilen’s Ardin-arranged interview with Krans – and Wilen came forward not to complain of an assault, but enquire about STDs. Wilen refused to sign the statement alleging rape, which was drawn up by Ardin’s friend Krans in Ardin’s presence.

It is therefore plain that one of two things happened:

Either

Ardin was sexually assaulted with unprotected sex, but failed to warn Wilen when she knew Assange was going to see her in hope of sex.

Ardin also continued to host Assange, help him, appear in public and private with him, act as his press secretary, and sleep in the same bed with him, refusing repeated offers to accommodate him elsewhere, all after he assaulted her.

Or

Ardin wanted sex with Assange – from whatever motive.. She “unexpectedly” returned home early after offering him the use of her one bed flat while she was away. By her own admission, she had consensual sex with him, within hours of meeting him.

She discussed with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and appears at least not to have been discouraging. Hearing of Wilen’s concern about HIV after unprotected sex, she took Wilen to her campaigning feminist friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans, in order to twist Wilen’s story into a sexual assault – very easy given Sweden’s astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws. Wilen refused to sign.

At the police station on 20 August, Wilen texted a friend at 14.25 “did not want to put any charges against JA but the police wanted to get a grip on him.”

At 17.26 she texted that she was “shocked when they arrested JA because I only wanted him to take a test”.

The next evening at 22.22 she texted “it was the police who fabricated the charges”.

Ardin then made up her own story of sexual assault. As so many friends knew she was having sex with Assange, she could not claim non-consensual sex. So she manufactured her story to fit in with Wilen’s concerns by alleging the affair of the torn condom. But the torn condom she produced has no trace of Assange on it. It is impossible to wear a condom and not leave a DNA trace.

Conclusion

I have no difficulty in saying that I firmly believe Ardin to be a liar. For her story to be true involves acceptance of behaviour which is, in the literal sense, incredible.

Ardin’s story is of course incredibly weak, but that does not matter. Firstly, you were never supposed to see all this detail. Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret. There is no jury, and the government appointed judge is flanked by assessors appointed directly by political parties. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will disappear into jail, the trial will be secret, and the next thing you will hear is that he is guilty and a rapist.

Secondly, of course, it does not matter the evidence is so weak, as just to cry rape is to tarnish a man’s reputation forever. Anna Ardin has already succeeded in ruining much of the work and life of Assange. The details of the story being pathetic is unimportant.

By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence. If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?

Finally, to those useful idiots who claim that the way to test these matters is in court, I would say of course, you are right, we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six.

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Assange – A Fundamental Vindication

Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise. States including Iran, Burma and Russia have released prisoners following determination by this UN panel, which consists not of politicians or diplomats but of some of the world’s most respected lawyers, who are not representing their national governments.

Countries who have ignored rulings by this UN panel are rare. No democracy has ever done so. Recent examples are Egypt and Uzbekistan. The UK is putting itself in pretty company.

It would be an act of extraordinary dereliction by the UK and Swedish governments to accept the authority of the tribunal, participate fully in the process, and then refuse to accept the outcome.

It is worth noting that the UN judgement vindicates precisely the arguments advanced by Assange’s lawyers before the UK supreme court, that there was no genuine judicial process in train against Assange in Sweden. I cannot express this better than John Pilger:

The Assange case has never been primarily about allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden – where the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape”, and one of the women involved accused the police of fabricating evidence and “railroading” her, protesting she “did not want to accuse JA of anything” – and a second prosecutor mysteriously re-opened the case after political intervention, then stalled it.

The British mainstream media has never fairly reported the ludicrous nature of the allegations against Assange. The establishment is very keen that the public do not know. It is worth noting that the only notice this blog has ever received from Google, that an article has been removed from search results, referred to the article in which I detailed and demolished the allegations against Assange. The UK mainstream media today are reporting with astonishment the UN decision and still refuse to report the details of the allegations against him, or the fact that they were dismissed by Sweden’s most senior prosecutor before being taken up (as Swedish law permits) by an openly politically motivated prosecutor from another region.

It is absolutely normal procedure, all around the world, for regime opponents to be charged with trumped up criminal charges rather than with political dissent. And not just in China or Russia. They tried it on me when I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, with eighteen formal allegations against me, several of them criminal. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the most senior woman in the US Army, testified that Donald Rumsfeld personally approved the torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and the very next day she was “caught shoplifting”. Scott Ritter, US Marine officer and WMD inspector in Iraq, was convicted of engaging, just after going public on absence of WMD, in online paedophile activity. We don’t know for certain what they did to David Kelly.

Anybody who believes the neo-con countries do not persecute dissidents is naïve in the extreme. The indignation at the UN calling them on it is both hilarious and chilling.

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Leon Brittan vs Julian Assange

Young children are unlikely to recognise senior politicians. When young children are living in institutionalised “care” and suffering traumatic physical, sexual and emotional abuse they are likely to have only a very fuzzy recollection of places to which they were taken or the identities of people who were hurting them there. Thirty years on recall will be even more difficult. On top of which, people who have suffered institutionalised abuse are likely to be emotionally shaky and easily influenced.

Those are my words but I believe them to be a very fair summary of the argument which last night’s Panorama on the “VIP Paedophile Ring” was attempting to make. It was very bad journalism, with little cogent argument, merely an attempt to build up a picture that those alleging abuse are flakes. One example was the treatment of retired social worker Chris Fay who is evidently elderly and struggling in a number of ways. The camera showed his tawdry flat and furnishings and zoomed in to a tight close up shot of an apparently filthy container in which tea-bags were stored. It was a classic propaganda technique to undermine the image of a man and what he was going to say. Just an old duffer who can’t even clean his flat.

The programme built up to a climax of bad journalism with an interview of a very obviously damaged abuse victim, his voice replaced by an actor. The victim was pushed by very leading questions to say that he may have been led falsely to identify Leon Brittan. The fact the victim had apparently correctly described the birthmarks on Brittan’s face, which had led to the production of the photo he identified, was skated over. What the journalist did certainly prove is that a vulnerable victim can be led to say anything: the victim was doing it before our eyes, pushed by the BBC. But the police are expert in questioning so as not to lead, and were not pushing an agenda.

Panorama however was pushing a very obvious agenda indeed.

What was most notable was what was missing from the programme. Not all victims are such poor witnesses. There are also some other very compelling witnesses – policemen who were told to drop investigations because of VIP involvement. Panorama did not interview any of those. Nor did they interview Tom Watson, despite continually referring to his “political interference” which they implied was the only cause of the accusations. There was also a peculiar absence of Greville Janner from the story.

Nothing can excuse this amazingly biased programme. But the BBC do have a point. Those accused of sexual abuse are entitled to the presumption of innocence, and those making the accusations should not be exempt from scrutiny of the credibility of their allegations.

Except that the BBC adopts the precisely opposite principle in the case of Julian Assange. The BBC believes it would be absolutely wrong, disrespectful of the “victims” and potentially prejudicial to a trial for there to be any questioning or scrutiny of the allegations against Assange. They take an absolutely opposite view of how to treat Assange and how to treat establishment VIPs.

Indeed, the BBC has decided that, given the accusations against Assange are so risible, it would be wrong for any detail at all of the accusations to be given out. Therefore the BBC has never reported the fact that the allegation they describe as “rape” is that, during the act of consensual sex, Assange allegedly tore a condom with his fingers whilst wearing it (of which I doubt the physical possibility). The second sexual molestation accusation is that again consensual sex took place, but after they fell asleep in each others arms, Assange awoke and initiated a repeat of the sex act without requesting permission again.

Despite the fact that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen have given press conferences in Sweden promoting their allegations, the BBC has made no attempt to interview them. The BBC has not reported that, the day after the condom splitting “rape”, Anna Ardin hosted a crayfish party for Assange and tweeted her friends from it that she was with the coolest man in the world. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin had invited Assange to share her flat and her bed. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin produced a torn condom to police but police found it had no trace of Assange’s DNA – a physical impossibility if he used it. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen only made accusations after the two of them got together and cooked up the story. The BBC has not reported that Stockholm’s chief prosecutor dismissed it as no case to answer, and that Ardin then took it, as Swedish law allows, to another prosecutor, Marianne Ny who has a campaigning feminist agenda.

The BBC has not reported any of that because it would be quite wrong to doubt the word of victims of sexual abuse. It would be wrong to put them under pressure, or look sceptically at the evidence for their stories, both direct and circumstantial. It would be quite wrong to prejudice possible legal proceedings.

It would be quite wrong if the accusations are against Julian Assange. But it would be absolutely right if the accusations are against Westminster VIPs.

I do so much look forward to the Panorama on the Assange sexual abuse allegations. When do you think we will see it?

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Assange on Scotland

Julian Assange has asserted that MI5 are active against Scottish nationalists, as the independence movement is seen as a threat to the UK. Happily, Julian being Julian there is now some traction for this in the corporate media. When I posted on it last week I received nothing from the corporate media except dismissal and abuse over twitter.

I think it is worth repeating some of that twitter abuse for the benefit of anybody who has not fully appreciated the vitriol felt across the entire unionist media establishment towards anybody who queries the narrative they are paid to peddle.

If this doesn’t shake any residual belief in media impartiality, nothing will:

“Craig Murray is mad shocker.” James Bloodworth, The Independent
“Zooooooooooooooomer” Euan Mccolm, The Scotsman
“Craig Murray is obviously an MI5 plant. WAKE UP PEOPLE.” Kevin Schofield, The Sun
“Makes the X files look like Panorama” Rob Corp, BBC
“Cybernat bullying is an MI5 false flag operations, says former British Ambassador. Many Nats believe this stuff.” Iain Martin, the Daily Telegraph
“If you must tweet links to Craig Murray’s MI5 guff, take the SNP twibbon off your profile. That party rejected him as a candidate and rightly so.” Stephen Daisley, STV
“The comments under Craig Murray’s latest rant are really something.” Ross McCafferty, Daily Record

Is it not strange that such a broad spectrum of the mainstream media react with instant vitriol to the very notion that the security services are active against the Scottish independence movement, when we know for certain that environmental campaign groups have been heavily penetrated by agents and agents provocateurs? When such tactics have been used against the Irish Republican movement for decades? When our intelligence services were up to their ears in torture and extraordinary rendition and repeatedly lied about it? When Edward Snowden has revealed the massive scale of surveillance by GCHQ?

In the days when the corporate media had a monopoly on the dissemination of information, simply shouting “conspiracy theorist”, “tinfoil hat” and “lizards” at somebody, excluding them from corporate media access, would be enough essentially to prevent anybody from reaching the public with information. But that no longer works in the age of new media, and especially it doesn’t work in Scotland after the referendum experience.

The fact that my comments on MI5 dirty tricks were so instantly and so unanimously rubbished by the corporate media are more likely to make people realise there must be something to hide. None of the so-called “journalists” I have quoted above has ever tackled the fact that I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, and that the government and security services lied about it then, with the support of establishment journalists. In fact I challenge all the named journalists above to say what they think about the sanctioning of intelligence from torture by Blair and Straw, and whether I was truthful in my whistleblowing. Perhaps some of you might be able to contact them to point out the challenge.

For the avoidance of doubt, let me spell this out. I have certain knowledge from an inside source that disruption of separatist activity in Scotland now features in MI5 tasking. The “tasking” of the security services – and that is what it is officially called – is a very formal written exercise conducted by the Joint Intelligence Committee on an annual basis, though it is possible (but very difficult) to insert new tasks in-year.

I have personally taken part – often – in Cabinet Office meetings of JIC sub-committees determining tasking, though in my case more for MI6 than MI5. It is a system I know very well. None of the “journalists” abusing me above has ever sat on a JIC committee. None of them actually know anything about it. None has contacted me to ask me why I have stated there is an MI5 anti-SNP operation. It is so much easier to collect your pay packet, quaff another Merlot and drunkenly catcall “zoooomer!”

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