All Pretence is Over in Persecution of Assange 188

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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188 thoughts on “All Pretence is Over in Persecution of Assange

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  • s windsor clive

    For what particular reason is Lady Arbuthnot’s title, everywhere given inverted commas…is this “class” warfare, raising it’s ugly head, by any chance..? Eton is the best school in the world and you simply cannot blame anyone for wanting the best for their children…or closing ranks and protecting their own. They are as brainwashed and unenlightened as the common folk, drinking from the same mass media trough and it is only fair to say “They know not what they do”…and, probably also believe the’re doing their best. What a charming picture of his Lordship planting “peace trees”…in the sand..!
    Bear in mind that Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and also John Michell were all Etonians…and then a later generation; David Cameron, Justin Welby plus Nathaniel Rothchild…like mirror-image prisms one might say. Depends which one you choose to look through…at the world…takes all sorts and of the latter, may one add, Luis Armstrong used to sing ‘wonderful world’ in cabaret to their parents.

    • giyane

      “best school in the world”
      Most chickens would agree with you because they also have a penchant for yellow socks.

    • Mohamed Elmaazi

      Class warfare is what the capitalist class and their enablers are engaged in 24 hours a day. He is clearly mocking the notion that this partisan, establishment hack is a ‘Lady’.

      • James R. Pannozzi

        Class warfare ? the “capitalist” clas ? You’re on to the basic idea but misidentify the instigators of this elaborate charade.

        It is the Corporatists, engaging in pseudo-capitalism (actually government protected monopolies, special rebates, deals, tax allowances etc.) who are invested in class division. And the symbiotic parasitic relationship between the corporatists, and their enablers, the politicians is what makes this possible as it likewise ensures the never ending forced self detention of Assange.

        The key is exposure. Each time something like the disaster known as the Iraq war happens, the utter ruin of the result exposes those interests who regard it as a profit making “opportunity”.

        As for post colonialism and their associated favorite schools, I offer the example of delusional strategic thinking which hastened the fall of France in less than a month or so in 1940. I’m certain the French generals were educated at the finest colleges.


  • Kevin Herbert

    Thanks Craig for the commentary.

    Assange’s classification as a US target is also confirmed by the stony silence of both the Australian Government & our Federal opposition.

    Our MSM are no better.

    Their subservience makes me cringe to be an Australian citizen.

  • Bruce Thomson

    Splendid article, thanks Craig. Very revealing.
    I hope these points are made public and used in an appeal against the continued unfair threat of arrest of Julian Assange.

  • David Thompson

    Sadly the British Judiciary well as to many Con politicos , do not understand “fairdinkum” ..
    As for UK media, it has been sub servant to excess lies propaganda for far too long and lives in denial !
    No surprise the UK Establishment want BREXIT, so it can continue to dupe the public even more..

  • RBHoughton

    Last month (Jan 2018) the Federal Grand Jury in USA was wound up after 8 years of deliberations. A government spokesmen then said USA supports freedom of the press and the right of voices to be heard. The jury’s problem was distinguishing what the MSM does from what Wikileaks does. They were unable to proceed without indicting free speech generally.

    At the end of 2017 a British tribunal recognised Wikileaks as a media organisation.

    The Judge is fronting the losing side imo. Time is against the usurpers of democracy.

  • Lixo

    Excellent article. Thank you for exposing this country’s ruling class for the corrupt and wicked people they have always been. There is nothing they wouldn’t do to cling onto power on this rainy, fascist island whose people doff their caps at authority and fawn over ‘royalty’, whatever the hell that false construction is.

  • linda

    maybe if all of his supporters escorted and protected him out of the country onto a waiting plane. There are so many supporters surely the masses can do something to help.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ linda February 15, 2018 at 11:26
      The best thing the masses can do is to get JC into No. 10.

      • Martinned

        You can say what you will about the Tories, but at least they don’t go in for this whole “government by messiah” thing – at least not since the days of Thatcher. Labour had Blair the messiah and now Corbyn the messiah, and the Tories just blissfully selected one half-competent (if even that) leader after another without ever trying to anoint any of them Gods Gift to Mankind.

        • SA

          This is a strange argument.
          “………the Tories just blissfully selected one half-competent (if even that) leader after another without ever trying to anoint any of them Gods Gift to Mankind.’

          It is what is called making a virtue out of a necessity. What you forget is that when May was appointed, the Tories tried to say that she was the real answer and second Thatcher, but they soon found out that Strong and Stable was really ‘Weak and feeble’ when there was any public exposure of the anointed leader.

    • John Foe

      You are right in a sense, but we had to be many and unfortunately we had to be under arms.
      It won’t work without many people being just shot to death.

      I am not so sure, this is the way to go and I am not so sure you would want to be part of it.

        • John Foe

          On this hypothetical scenario…
          What do you expect, when you and your armed friends try to free some prisoner from an ordinary prison?
          You might get shot.
          What do you expect, when you have to incapicitate the policemen at the embassy?
          There will be hoards of policemen in no time, since there is constant video (and possibly infrared) monitoring.
          The Assange-supporters will be treated like violent demonstrators.
          They probably wouldn’t even manage to gather there in the hundreds but be controlled by police beforehand.

    • grr

      Good idea Linda; a mass of people, thousands, a dozen Assange body doubles, Julian hides in the crowd and is then whisked away to a fast boat, then helicopter, and plane to Equador. Hey, one can dream.

  • John Paterson

    Thank you for an insightful and clear piece of journalism that exposes British Establishment hypocrisy and lack of intellectual rigour. US lapdogs to a person.

  • Michele Grant

    The conservative establishment certainly has a lot to hide and much to fear from organisations like WikiLeaks, which is why they will never let Assange go free. He’ll be persecuted and pursued by USA and picked up for extradition the first chance they get. Australian governments have done nothing to assist Assange and are not likely too any time soon. the man will need a body double and a new identity if he ever hopes to breathe fresh air and smell the roses again.
    Or perhaps join his co- offender of US in Russia.
    Until the political climate changes and openness and transparency are considered the norm in democratic societies, Assange will have to hide or stay in indefinite detention (like Australan refugees!) and rely on the kindness of strangers, friends and family. Public support is out there – but power and influence is seriously limited. Pollies have far more friends in high places – like Lady Arbuthnot to do their bidding.

    • Martinned

      That conspiracy theory would be more credible if Assange hadn’t been perfectly free to roam about the earth for many years before his run-in with the Swedish law.

      • John Foe

        I have a hard time to deem your argument honest, because you should know the rape allegations coincide with the publication of the diplomatic cables. If you indeed do not know that basic fact, you shouldn’t post a word on this case.

  • Tony

    Thanks so much for your excellent insights. It is hard to beleive that the selection of Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom to judge this appeal was random chance. How transparent is the selection process of judges and is it documened and in the public domain? Statistically her selection to judge this appeal could not be random, And if this selection process was truely random, then we must surmise that the only other statistically valid conclusion can be is that the majority of UK judges must come from the same ilk.


    “Eton, best school in the world” ! When I read a comment like that I almost lose the will to live.

  • John Foe

    Accusing Assange of jumping bail is like accusing a person of not jumping down the cliff, because at the bottom might be an interesting riddle to solve.

    I can’t thand these hypocrites, who either are completely retarded or brainwashed.

    If Jemima Khan indeed said: “I don’t regret putting up bail money for Assange but I did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering to the allegations.”, I’d like to reply:
    1) Assange did everything to answer to these allegations
    2) If you can’t see how made up these allegations are, you should listen to the alleged victims, who themselves state, that the allegations are made up. In my world there is no rape, when the victim declares it wasn’t raped. Anyway arguing about these allegations is pointless, since every child can see the politically trumped up agenda.

    This whole charade is hurting me to the bone even if I am not directly affected.

    • Martinned

      That claim would be more convincing if Assange’s lawyers had even tried to prove it in court. Since they didn’t even try, I’m going to go ahead and say that all he has is conspiracy theories.

      • John Foe

        which claim?

        If you refer to the unsubstantiated allegations of rape:
        His lawyers had no chance to address these, because there was no trial for that.

        If you refer to extradition to the US:
        Top US officials stated it is their primary objective to shut down this ‘hostile non state intelligence agency’ Wikileaks.
        You might also just read the obtained emails between the CPS and the Svedish prosecution and as Murray pointed out even Arbuthnot referred to these US-interests in the case, while simultanously denying them.
        You might also read the judgement of the UNWGAD, which addresses Assange’s justified fears of extradition to the US or the Ecuadorian reasoning for their political asylum, that was granted precisely because of this threat, which includes a threat to Assange’s life through a possible death sentence.
        Do you need it any clearer?

  • Hmmm

    What’s good about it is that it is an extremely bad day for Martinned !!! Trying to uphold law whilst everyone can see that even the establishment aren’t even bothered trying to pretend!!! “But it will take years of litigation ” he bleats!!! Yeah right. They do what they want when they want and fuck you to anyone who protests.

  • Mohamed Elmaazi

    Excellent article Craig. I am sharing it. There is one error however. You refer to a Swedish “arrest warrant”. To my knowledge there has never been an actual warrant for arrest, merely an attempt to secure Assange for questioning. Is that not the case?

  • a bystander

    Craig, the judgement is dismal and is an affront to “British Justice”, but I urge you to be more temperate. You recently had a bruising time in the courts and the fact is the learned lady is one of Her Majesty’s justices. In this article you have sailed very close to the winds of contempt of court.

  • Impy

    Julian Assange and his advisers still do not seem to me to understand his situation clearly. I’ll offer my free, non-expert, political junkie opinion. Worth what you’re paying for it!

    Assange and Wikileaks embarrassed the worldwide diplomatic corp by publishing their private cables. No person in authority in any western country will ever do any favors for Assange. They will go to the mat to avoid doing anything to help him in any way, as long as they don’t do anything they could go to jail for.

    The US and UK and Australian authorities have no incentive, none whatsoever, to get this over with. They are perfectly happy that Assange has locked himself into a little room, they are laughing to themselves, and they would not be unhappy to see him die in his chosen prison.

    It is my view that there is no extradition request from the USA waiting for Assange. The Virginia grand jury tried, but almost certainly failed, to find grounds for indictment of Assange, an Australian citizen, for publication activities. Assange is in a completely different situation from Pfc. Manning, a US soldier who stole secret US records. If the USA had an indictment and extradition request for Assange prior to 2012, they would have requested the UK turn him over while he was under house arrest, and the UK would have complied, after appropriate hearings. There would have been no need to go through Sweden.

    Due to that pesky First Amendment and press freedom laws, there are no grounds to imprison Assange for his Wikileaks activities. But the embarrassed and angry Western officialdom will do anything they can, use any legal pretext they can find, to harass Assange for personal and official revenge. The two Swedish women who went to Swedish police with their complaints that Assange removed his condom during sex and they wanted to force him to take an AIDS test have served as that grounds for harassment for several years now. Officials in the US and UK that are willing to take it to the absolute max have encouraged Swedish officials to play out the proceedings for as long as possible.

    Assange and his advisers have said, over and over again, like plaintive children, “Just tell us there is no US extradition request waiting for Julian, and he will answer the Swedish rape charges and UK bail jumping charges. Please answer the question, is there an USA extradition request for Assange?”

    US and UK officials will NEVER answer that question. They are delighted that Assange is imprisoning himself out of fear of an imaginary extradition request, laughing themselves to sleep every night.

    Given my read of the situation, my advice to Assange would be first, to put out informal feelers to some friend who might know some friend with connections to the Virginia grand jury proceedings. Maybe over lots of beers, the question of a pending indictment for Julian could be asked and informally answered to give Assange the confidence he needs to walk out of the Embassy. Maybe.

    Otherwise, Assange just needs to walk out today. Go to court to face the bail-jumping charge, be sentenced to time spent under house arrest during 2010-2012, then get on a plane to Ecuador and head to the doctor’s office as soon as you land.

    There you have it, my free advice to your team. All the best to Dr. Murray.

    • SA

      You say
      “They will go to the mat to avoid doing anything to help him in any way, as long as they don’t do anything they could go to jail for.”
      Given that Tony Blair did not go to jail for contempt of parliament and bringing this country into disrepute and the murder of over one million Iraqis and various others, your statement appears not to be credible.

  • SA

    The Russophobia hysteria continues. Long discussion on Radio 4 this morning. What is troubling is that now the statement that ‘Russia hacked US presidential elections, the French elections, Brexit, Ukraine power grid, and anything that goes’ is now stated as fact. The evidence that any of this is true has been dispensed with. So if you believe in ghosts and this becomes the Credo of the state, then we are back to the folly that was the Iraq war misinformation and look at where that led us.

  • Elze

    What I’ve always wondered – how can the US demand extradition/assert jurisdiction? Assange is not a US resident. Under what international law is extradition possible?

  • Dr. Brian Everill

    What the ‘problem’ of Assange in one sentence is? He is not part of the gaslighter’s cabal, and he is interfering in their created status quo!

  • Solly Jacquesson

    An application should be made for a Judicial Review.
    Furthermore an official complain should be lodged with the Lord Chancellor’s Office with regard to Lady Arbuthnot’s biased comments and judgment.

  • David T. Searle

    Hi, I cannot agree more.
    This hearing and judgment is an example of one of the major and obvious travesties of justice. These types of judgment have been present too frequently in the some what inaptly named “Justice system” in the uk for years. I have been following this type of what I can only describe as an “official virtual criminal act”, for that is what they certainly appear that they are, since a young person living in Croydon and the execution, as it was incorrectly named, of Derek Bentley, and in fact enacted in Wandsworth Prison, and obviously wrongly, and again caused by unsafe and incorrectly accepted and unquestioned evidence, and a judge’s mind prior conditioned to a judgment of guilt.
    The use of a class, generally of the “landed gentry” and frequently heirarchically derived, and also frequently, rotten to the core, and who, themselves, over years and centuries have been guilty of the most heinous of crimes, deluding and perverting people’s minds by calling them acts of justice. Their pursuit, as well, of attempting to swindle the public not only by their distortions of the concepts of “truth” and justice, rather than their truly egotistical and sadistic enjoyment and gain from their type of organised and legalised class based terrorism but also through the use of erroneous “expenses” whilst elected as a public servant, presumably to add even more to their self perpetuating and inflated positions and egos. All this should really be no great surprise any more, and to even the most accepting of persons, but hopefully people will see through this smokescreen of supposed justice more obviously now, and attempt, minimally, to help Assange out of this terrible position, without the need for the recognition of and criticism of the past use of what that class of persons refer to as justice, being considered as a contempt of court, which this previous judgment would itself appear to me to be a more apt description of.

  • Corinne

    I agree with all of this, a disgrace as well as a corruption in the UK judicial system, and she ought to resign, or be put out of ever exercising the functions of a judge.

  • PSR_J4

    Whilst there has always been “influence” over judges sentencing, it has never in living memory been as rife over the rule of law. This is especially so in Magistrates’ courts. Mostly this fault lies with a general lack of competence of magistrates and their dependence on court legal advisors, that it generally makes magistrates courts an administrative experience. The bureaucracy and paperwork itself is enough to manufacture relief for the victim, regardless of fault, to be usually thankful to get away with affordable fines, charges and community orders.
    Baroness Arbuthnots’ ruling on Assange is the more ubiquitous in having both exceptional competence of the court and also notable conflicts of interest. It’s a public statement – “challenge me if you dare”. The ruling is a flagrant disregard of what most of the public think are legally-enshrined British Civil Rights. By doing so it shamelessly highlights that there is no longer a Bill of Rights that can be relied upon for civil defence. Where is the damage or the victim in the Crown’s case against Assange. Who has he hurt? Where is the aggrieved party?
    Civil rights have been done away with and the Establishment can do with us as they please. They are brazen, waving in our face that there is an elite group in our society ruling over us as they think fit, and who are above our incrimination, nor are they accountable to us.
    If the media coverage is to be believed we should shut-up, show-up and do what they tell us.
    Thank you for your coverage – i couldn’t help myself to comment. I am just so angry about this tip of the spear. It is high time the Lion roared.

  • Antoinette Dhooghe

    It clearly is a disgrace. The indepency of a judge is a must to have a judgement, not a hidden decision of the executive power of a country under the name of a judgement. We should all scream in reality and invade the streets to oppose such a situation.

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