Assange in Court 856


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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856 thoughts on “Assange in Court

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  • John M. Noble

    Craig Murray – this is superb journalism and many thanks for this detailed account.

    This is a demonstration of radical evil in its purest form.

    They are in the process of making Julian Assange into a martyr and I don’t think that this is a very intelligent move on their part. It will only serve to encourage others to make a stand, which (I presume) is the opposite of what they want.

  • Doghouse

    I have to say I seriously question the role of his legal team and those purporting to be his friends and allies at what passes for WL since his forced departure. It absolutely beggars belief that the few words quoted in this article are the only ones directly attributable to him in a very, very long time that I am aware of.

    It is quite apparent that the mainstream consensus moving forward is to carry on as though he doesn’t exist and it appears to me his lawyers and ex-colleagues have signed up too! The only thing one ever hears is on this blog, probably there are other places but I don’t frequent them.

    On the face of it this seems an outrageous statement, but if the US in their desperation can subvert / co-opt the leader of one country, the judicial process of another then what remains of a headless on line publishing interface and a team of lawyers would be both mandatory and a stroll in the park. It’s debateable which would be easier. The truly outrageous thing is not to question their seeming inaction.

    Under British judicial system there are very different rules covering remand prisoners and for good reason, particularly nonviolent ones who pose no threat to the public. Yet not only do his lawyers appear to be making no effort to secure his release, but equally none to at least change his circumstances. Considering his condition one would think this the major priority, absolutely.

    But nothing, no efforts seemingly, no comments in the press, he doesn’t exist and that fallacy appears to be being admirably assisted by the gatekeepers in my opinion. I cannot see they are helping him in any productive way shape or form and the fact he is effectively silenced, voiceless and on death’s doorstep is what remains of the living proof of it…….

    So sad.

    • Doghouse

      JTA, it seems to me that one of the things we are witnessing here is a blatant display of self censorship right across the board from those diametrically opposed to him to those purporting to be his allies. Just because someone says they have his interests at heart doesn’t make that statement true, its truth should be judged by the fruits of accompanying action and is Assange’s condition and predicament are anything to go by, the fruit is rotten.

      They have had 10 years to prepare for the inevitable extradition they absolutely knew was coming and besides a few extra charges they should have a nailed on comprehensive case. To lamely bleat lack of time is merely a public airing of the excuse that will be proffered when they fail.

  • Hermione Laake

    Thank you for sharing this information. To keep anyone in isolation for 23 hours a day is clearly debilitating, from your description of Julian’s mental state he does appear to be suffering unduly and to have been denied the basic human right of exercising his mind through conversation and human interaction.
    From an interested writer.

  • pete

    The confused state of Julian in his court appearance is troubling, based on the reports he appears to have been medicated to the point where he is visibly confused and is in no state to be able to prepare any defence to the charges against him.
    It would be a gross offence against natural justice to proceed against him in such a state. It is as though the law, which should protect whistle blowers who alert us to war crimes, is being used to crush him.
    Who is this District judge,Vanessa Baraitser, and how is she qualified? According to judiciary.uk : “The work of district judges involves a wide spectrum of civil and family law cases such as claims for damages and injunctions, possession proceedings against mortgage borrowers and property tenants, divorces, child proceedings, domestic violence injunctions and insolvency proceedings.” https://www.judiciary.uk/about-the-judiciary/who-are-the-judiciary/judicial-roles/judges/district-judge-role/
    Vanessa Baraitser shows no awareness of the basic arguments of this case and has just rubber stamped whatever she has been told to say. I guess there are career judges as well as career politicians, whatever the reward for this action may be, it will become apparent to us in time, if not at the moment.
    The unevenness of this legal process reminds me of the summing up in the Jeremy Thorpe case, there was no justice there either, but at least Scott lived to fight another day.

  • Mosaic

    This is so terribly distressing.
    All I can say is, Thank-you, Craig Murray, for attending the hearing and reporting to us on it in detail.

  • Lise B Loken

    I have no doubt that Assange is being given drugs without his own knowledge. Drugs affecting the central nerve system which also take your appetite away. It may be Seroquel and benzodiazepines and morphine, which is much used with ‘difficult’ elderly persons in Norwegian old peoples’ homes to relax and ‘quiet’ a person down.
    It is of utmost importance that Assange be admitted to hospital immediately and someone who know him well be there and attend meetings with doctors. I have personally seen my sister-in-law be killed with these exact same drugs just recently. It is so cleverly done using these drugs that even close family are fooled by hospital or jail staff claiming that the patient, in this case Mr Assange, has worsened so much healthwise. Assange must be placed intensive health care. The drugs are: antipsychotics (Seroquel i.e.); and calming medication (benzodiazepines of all kinds).
    Please save Assange; have his lawyer insist on urgent medical hospital admittance by ambulance, with a close associate and solicitor present at all times, and insist on discontinuation of all drugs except for specific illnesses. Hurry he hardly gets nourishments, just drugs perhaps especially morphine.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Lise B Loken October 22, 2019 at 15:38
      What drugs are being ‘said’ to being administered to Julian, and why? Is he agreeing to these drug administrations, or being forcibly drugged against his will?
      I took the Home Office to the High Court in 1978 for ‘Forcible Administration of a Drug (Largactyl) Whilst On Remand’. I won the case, the first person to successfully bring the Home Office to court and win forcible injection on remand. The case took 6 years, and another two years before I was paid out, but it caused a tightening up of the practice, which was a regular occurrence in those days, and was known as ‘the Liquid Cosh’.
      If he is agreeing to be drugged, I would suggest he withdraw that agreement, because it obviously is not doing him any good, quite the contrary. And there is no guarantee what they say they are giving him, and for what purpose, is in fact not another drug entirely, one designed to cause him distress and confusion.
      I hope Craig or someone else who has access to his defense team will suggest this to them.

      • Tom Welsh

        With great respect for your courage and persistence, regret for your ordeal, Assange’s case would be quite different. They wouldn’t care a fig for any damages, and would simply appoint a pliable judge (like Baraitser).

        Among the collateral damage of the Assange case so far, I have permanently lost all faith in the British justice system.

        “The law, then, is not a neutral body of rules to help keep order and govern society; it is merely an opinion with a gun”.

        – Robert Taylor, “The Myth of the Rule of Law”, https://mises.org/blog/myth-rule-law

    • Александр

      Actually, no. Stalin required that “vrag naroda” in public court looks good, without obvious torture marks.
      “Vrag naroda” must accept own guilt accused by compelling evidence, not under torture.

  • Sam Spruce

    “what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.”
    Might it have something to do with the EU/UK machinations and the uncertainty of UK’s future potential to be a rogue state in close cohorts with the US? Clearly “they” know more than “we” do but what is going on behind the scenes?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Over the last 18 years, we have reverted back over 500 years. I did have a sick feeling in my stomach, but didn’t think it would happen that fast, and it is now accelerating. We are now from a legal point of view back to 1468 and the witch trials, which continued for a considerable period.

    So far as the treatment of Julian Assange, it is almost exactly the same.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_the_early_modern_period#Interrogations_and_torture

    What is happenning to Julian, can happen to anyone, and probably is. Once the rule of law is lost, together with the loss of the most basic morality, there is no justice, and all hell awaits us, even here in England.

    Tony

    • Andrew Mcguiness

      “What is happenning to Julian, can happen to anyone, and probably is.” I think the point of the process is so that we know it will only happen if we do something that makes a difference. We write whatever we like on social media, call the governments of the 5eyes corrupt lying criminals, but if we make public actual information about them, this is what will happen.

    • Tom Welsh

      Go back just a little further, and you come to the Peasants’ Revolt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peasants%27_Revolt

      But today’s peasants are less naive than Wat Tyler’s supporters. The King promised them redress of their grievances if they disbanded – and they did, poor trusting fools. Of course, once they split up and went home they were all executed.

  • Gary Weglarz

    When the spokespersons for Western empire refer to “the rule of law” they are of course referring to the State’s endless access to completely amoral criminality such as this – neatly dressed in the appropriate “legal” terms in order to make it palatable to the masses. My heart breaks reading Mr. Murray’s account of Julian’s torture and slow motion murder at the hands of the same Western criminal cabal still running the world after 500+ years of endless torture and murder.

  • Noel Stevenson

    Soviet style justice administered by a UK court, hi-jacked by a US government agency which is orchestrating on our soil sham justice against a man whose only offence has been to expose wrong doing , a champion of free speech. It is appalling. I can barely believe it is happening. A latter day crucifixion in plain view of all.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    Does Julian not have access to some kind of medical service? Seems to me that his lawyers and advocates should first of all ensure that he is in a fit state to undergo these proceedings. Is there no recourse to the ECHR? Does this require a group of people and testimony:
    from wikipedia: Any person who feels his or her rights have been violated under the Convention by a state party can take a case to the Court.
    Is there anything we (I) can do to assist a process to defend Julian?
    How does one conduct a campaign? Not facebook presumably, but there must be some organising method or some means to publicise this situation.Some means of applying pressure.

    • Theo

      1) educate yourself on the case
      2) talk to relatives, friends, workcolleagues, whoever (even short non-confrontational discussions)
      3) buy T-Shirts or stickers from https://wikileaks.shop – wear, distribute and apply a sticker to your local politicians/’journalists’ forehead
      4) invite people to your home, serve some food and tell them, the most delicious wine will only be opened when you all have agreed on some group action to support Julian
      5) donate to his defence fund / WL
      6) locate MSM ‘journalists’ in your area and superglue a free Assange poster to their door and their car -> http://somersetbean.com/free-assange/
      7) invent your own action

  • Stuart

    Magistrate Baraitser is, by this account, a biased and compromised member of the judiciary. Public questions should be raised about her integrity.
    The only defence against such blatant injustice is the open and public court which allows a public record to be made and to demonstrate the truth of the matter – similar to the life works of Julian Assange himself!
    My personal experience is solely in family (divorce) courts and going by that, biased judges and magistrates are the norm, decisions invariably being made in advance and judgements filled with numerous errors, if not actually lies, with disdain dismissal given to evidence presented. I was always told that I “could not criticise a judge” merely opt to appeal if possible, to be meted out more of the same at a later date at my own expense.
    Lack of reporting and scrutiny allows this sham of real justice to flourish, and in Assange’s case of world wide significance, reporting and scrutiny is vital. Thank you for that.
    If only some of our media had a fraction of your integrity and ethical responsibility.

  • Theresa Barzee

    God, this is so terrifying. Thank you for your work. It makes me want to give the rest of my life fighting for Julian, Chelsea, and all those who’ve been tortured for being brilliant lights in the dangerous darkness. What to do?! All as hellish and insane as this American power over other countries is, there has to be more we can do to reverse this evil! T.

  • Lavengro

    What the fucking, fuck, Craig??????

    Are the legal team considering any form of appeal?

    .

    • Annie McStravick

      His so-called legal team never lodge an appeal against anything at all, no matter how many every vindictive rulings are handed down..
      Julian’s life is at stake and he should be defended by a team of ace lawyers. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • Sue

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this account. I’m heartbroken, writing to my federal representative here in Australia, hoping against hope for some justice.

    What an evil little monster this dying empire is.

  • Ort

    Craig, thank you for continuing to publicize Assange’s plight. I am sorry for your justifiable distress; I share it, but perhaps my intellectual “callus” of pessimistic cynicism protects me from feeling it as deeply as you do.

    At the risk of adding salt to the wound, there are rumors that Assange has been effectively poisoned with psychoactive drugs by his captors in order to hasten his already precarious mental and physical health.

    This is one of those “unproven” and virtually “unprovable” disturbing rumors, I realize. Yet it cannot be discounted, except by those who reflexively retreat to incredulity on “principle”, i.e. “Oh, I can’t believe that the government would ever stoop to such measures!”

    Certainly Porton Down or its equivalent in the US is capable of creating toxins that would be undetectable, especially if the victim is prevented from receiving proper, thorough medical examination and care.

    I regret not being able to think of an upbeat or optimistic conclusion, apart from keeping the faith– and one’s fingers crossed. Thanks again.

    • Andrew Mcguiness

      I hardly think drugs would be necessary. After all the years spent in the embassy, Julian Assange still doesn’t have adequate access to sunlight, even for a well person. He is kept in effective solitary confinement. He has a vindictive superpower wanting to extradite him and imprison him for the rest of his life, and compliant, corrupt state that is going to do it. He is denied access to his own documents and adequate access to a computer and to his lawyers. His sense of hopelessness must be overwhelming.

    • Annie McStravick

      Julian was initially allowed to fraternise with other inmates but in late May he was moved to a cell in the “healthcare” wing of Belmarsh. Why is he still there, five months later? What treatment is he being given? What drugs are being administered to him?

      It is not normal that, instead of improving in that medical wing, he has deteriorated. It should be possible to demand that he be examined by an independent doctor, who could take blood samples and have them tested by an independent medical body, away from Belmarsh. Who would demand that? His lawyers? I doubt it. Maybe Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Degrading Treatment, who visited him twice back in May.

  • Nasir Ali

    Craig, I am not a lawyer and I am totally confused that a case of this importance is being heard by a magistrate. Why is Julian’s legal team not able to seek a review by a higher court? Please answer me, it is a genuine question.

    • bj

      And why has Trump abandoned Assange…. after he spoke so highly of Wikileaks when he was on the campaign trail???
      This is the shit that sparks violent revolutions!

    • Phil Espin

      I’m not a lawyer either but from reading the limited information available about Baraitser on the internet it would seem she is a district judge sitting in a magistrates court. One might infer from that she has solid legal training and knows exactly what she is doing.

  • Pnyx

    Shame, shame on the UK. This is really unbearable. This is profoundly inhuman. Even if Assange would be a dangerous war criminal it would be despicable. Shame on a government (Division of powers is only a sham.) that allows this. The last remnant of dignity is lost.

    • Goose

      Can you imagine the howls of outrage from Jess Phillips et al and the Guardian were this happening to a woman?

      Katharine Gun, one of the most famous actual whistleblowers was cleared of the charge when the prosecution offered no evidence. Rightly so , I merely raise her case to illustrate it relative to Assange’s plight.

      They are only going after Assange because he doesn’t have the clout of a major news organisation’s legal team behind him. If handling top secret docs is the crime how many thousands of journalists would be in the frame?

      • Tom Welsh

        “They are only going after Assange because he doesn’t have the clout of a major news organisation’s legal team behind him. If handling top secret docs is the crime how many thousands of journalists would be in the frame?”

        In other words, his real crime is working without membership of the appropriate guild. We really are back in the Middle Ages.

  • Goose

    Definitely seems like he’s on some nasty anti-psychotic. Maybe some sort of forced depot injection if he’s been delirious. Which, without some sort of counteractive drug can have horrendous sides. If he’s been kept in solitary the guy must be in mental agony.

    Terrorists a Gitmo and child rapists and serial killers are probably treated with more respect than this … He’s journalist/publisher not a supervillain.

  • Ray Gerlach

    Thank you so much for making us aware of the terrible conditions Julian Assange is facing Craig. It is just unbelievable that no major newspaper or media source is picking up and reporting on this obvious flouting of basic human rights. Makes me ashamed to be British . If this were happening in other certain countries we would quite rightly be up in arms about it . Keep on it Craig .

    • Goose

      Indeed.

      This ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ treatment is what you’d expect in Egypt or Saudi, not the UK under the ECHR.

      No wonder the govt don’t want things codified under a written constitution.

  • Mark Russell

    Not in the slightest surprised. The lower courts in England – Magistrates and Crown – are routinely adjudicated by psychotic narcissists of questionable intellect who endeavour to convict at every opportunity, particularly when the “offence” exposes government misdemeanours and corruption. We urgently need another strategy. Having faith in the impartiality of the judiciary is not only misplaced, but defies logic or reason.

  • Александр

    Nothing strange in UK judge consulting with US embassy – it’s common practice in third-world countries.
    Personally, I just do not see why UK must be so different from, for example, Uganda.

    • Jen

      Or from Hong Kong where there is nothing strange about “pro-democracy” protest leaders consorting with Julie Eadeh, the politicial chief at the US consulate there.

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