Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four 254


Please try this experiment for me.
Try asking this question out loud, in a tone of intellectual interest and engagement: “Are you suggesting that the two have the same effect?”.

Now try asking this question out loud, in a tone of hostility and incredulity bordering on sarcasm: “Are you suggesting that the two have the same effect?”.

Firstly, congratulations on your acting skills; you take direction very well. Secondly, is it not fascinating how precisely the same words can convey the opposite meaning dependent on modulation of stress, pitch, and volume?

Yesterday the prosecution continued its argument that the provision in the 2007 UK/US Extradition Treaty that bars extradition for political offences is a dead letter, and that Julian Assange’s objectives are not political in any event. James Lewis QC for the prosecution spoke for about an hour, and Edward Fitzgerald QC replied for the defence for about the same time. During Lewis’s presentation, he was interrupted by Judge Baraitser precisely once. During Fitzgerald’s reply, Baraitser interjected seventeen times.

In the transcript, those interruptions will not look unreasonable:
“Could you clarify that for me Mr Fitzgerald…”
“So how do you cope with Mr Lewis’s point that…”
“But surely that’s a circular argument…”
“But it’s not incorporated, is it?…”

All these and the other dozen interruptions were designed to appear to show the judge attempting to clarify the defence’s argument in a spirit of intellectual testing. But if you heard the tone of Baraitser’s voice, saw her body language and facial expressions, it was anything but.

The false picture a transcript might give is exacerbated by the courtly Fitzgerald’s continually replying to each obvious harassment with “Thank you Madam, that is very helpful”, which again if you were there, plainly meant the opposite. But what a transcript will helpfully nevertheless show was the bully pulpit of Baraitser’s tactic in interrupting Fitzgerald again and again and again, belittling his points and very deliberately indeed preventing him from getting into the flow of his argument. The contrast in every way with her treatment of Lewis could not be more pronounced.

So now to report the legal arguments themselves.

James Lewis for the prosecution, continuing his arguments from the day before, said that Parliament had not included a bar on extradition for political offences in the 2003 Act. It could therefore not be reintroduced into law by a treaty. “To introduce a Political Offences bar by the back door would be to subvert the intention of Parliament.”

Lewis also argued that these were not political offences. The definition of a political offence was in the UK limited to behaviour intended “to overturn or change a government or induce it to change its policy.” Furthermore the aim must be to change government or policy in the short term, not the indeterminate future.

Lewis stated that further the term “political offence” could only be applied to offences committed within the territory where it was attempted to make the change. So to be classified as political offences, Assange would have had to commit them within the territory of the USA, but he did not.

If Baraitser did decide the bar on political offences applied, the court would have to determine the meaning of “political offence” in the UK/US Extradition Treaty and construe the meaning of paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the Treaty. To construe the terms of an international treaty was beyond the powers of the court.

Lewis perorated that the conduct of Julian Assange cannot possibly be classified as a political offence. “It is impossible to place Julian Assange in the position of a political refugee”. The activity in which Wikileaks was engaged was not in its proper meaning political opposition to the US Administration or an attempt to overthrow that administration. Therefore the offence was not political.

For the defence Edward Fitzgerald replied that the 2003 Extradition Act was an enabling act under which treaties could operate. Parliament had been concerned to remove any threat of abuse of the political offence bar to cover terrorist acts of violence against innocent civilians. But there remained a clear protection, accepted worldwide, for peaceful political dissent. This was reflected in the Extradition Treaty on the basis of which the court was acting.

Baraitser interrupted that the UK/US Extradition Treaty was not incorporated into English Law.

Fitzgerald replied that the entire extradition request is on the basis of the treaty. It is an abuse of process for the authorities to rely on the treaty for the application but then to claim that its provisions do not apply.

“On the face of it, it is a very bizarre argument that a treaty which gives rise to the extradition, on which the extradition is founded, can be disregarded in its provisions. It is on the face of it absurd.” Edward Fitzgerald QC for the Defence

Fitzgerald added that English Courts construe treaties all the time. He gave examples.

Fitzgerald went on that the defence did not accept that treason, espionage and sedition were not regarded as political offences in England. But even if one did accept Lewis’s too narrow definition of political offence, Assange’s behaviour still met the test. What on earth could be the motive of publishing evidence of government war crimes and corruption, other than to change the policy of the government? Indeed, the evidence would prove that Wikileaks had effectively changed the policy of the US government, particularly on Iraq.

Baraitser interjected that to expose government wrongdoing was not the same thing as to try to change government policy. Fitzgerald asked her, finally in some exasperation after umpteen interruptions, what other point could there be in exposing government wrongdoing other than to induce a change in government policy?

That concluded opening arguments for the prosecution and defence.

MY PERSONAL COMMENTARY

Let me put this as neutrally as possible. If you could fairly state that Lewis’s argument was much more logical, rational and intuitive than Fitzgerald’s, you could understand why Lewis did not need an interruption while Fitzgerald had to be continually interrupted for “clarification”. But in fact it was Lewis who was making out the case that the provisions of the very treaty under which the extradition is being made, do not in fact apply, a logical step which I suggest the man on the Clapham omnibus might reason to need rather more testing than Fitzgerald’s assertion to the contrary. Baraitser’s comparative harassment of Fitzgerald when he had the prosecution on the ropes was straight out of the Stalin show trial playbook.

The defence did not mention it, and I do not know if it features in their written arguments, but I thought Lewis’s point that these could not be political offences, because Julian Assange was not in the USA when he committed them, was breathtakingly dishonest. The USA claims universal jurisdiction. Assange is being charged with crimes of publishing committed while he was outside the USA. The USA claims the right to charge anyone of any nationality, anywhere in the world, who harms US interests. They also in addition here claim that as the materials could be seen on the internet in the USA, there was an offence in the USA. At the same time to claim this could not be a political offence as the crime was committed outside the USA is, as Edward Fitzgerald might say, on the face of it absurd. Which curiously Baraitser did not pick up on.

Lewis’s argument that the Treaty does not have any standing in English law is not something he just made up. Nigel Farage did not materialise from nowhere. There is in truth a long tradition in English law that even a treaty signed and ratified with some bloody Johnny Foreigner country, can in no way bind an English court. Lewis could and did spout reams and reams of judgements from old beetroot faced judges holding forth to say exactly that in the House of Lords, before going off to shoot grouse and spank the footman’s son. Lewis was especially fond of the Tin Council case.

There is of course a contrary and more enlightened tradition, and a number of judgements that say the exact opposite, mostly more recent. This is why there was so much repetitive argument as each side piled up more and more volumes of “authorities” on their side of the case.

The difficulty for Lewis – and for Baraitser – is that this case is not analogous to me buying a Mars bar and then going to court because an International Treaty on Mars Bars says mine is too small.

Rather the 2003 Extradition Act is an Enabling Act on which extradition treaties then depend. You can’t thus extradite under the 2003 Act without the Treaty. So the Extradition Treaty of 2007 in a very real sense becomes an executive instrument legally required to authorise the extradition. For the executing authorities to breach the terms of the necessary executive instrument under which they are acting, simply has to be an abuse of process. So the Extradition Treaty owing to its type and its necessity for legal action, is in fact incorporated in English Law by the Extradition Act of 2003 on which it depends.

The Extradition Treaty is a necessary precondition of the extradition, whereas a Mars Bar Treaty is not a necessary precondition to buying the Mars Bar.

That is as plain as I can put it. I do hope that is comprehensible.

It is of course difficult for Lewis that on the same day the Court of Appeal was ruling against the construction of the Heathrow Third Runway, partly because of its incompatibility with the Paris Agreement of 2016, despite the latter not being fully incorporated into English law by the Climate Change Act of 2008.

VITAL PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

It is intensely embarrassing for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when an English court repudiates the application of a treaty the UK has ratified with one or more foreign states. For that reason, in the modern world, very serious procedures and precautions have been put into place to make certain that this cannot happen. Therefore the prosecution’s argument that all the provisions of the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007 are not able to be implemented under the Extradition Act of 2003, ought to be impossible.

I need to explain I have myself negotiated and overseen the entry into force of treaties within the FCO. The last one in which I personally tied the ribbon and applied the sealing wax (literally) was the Anglo-Belgian Continental Shelf Treaty of 1991, but I was involved in negotiating others and the system I am going to describe was still in place when I left the FCO as an Ambassador in 2005, and I believe is unchanged today (and remember the Extradition Act was 2003 and the US/UK Extradition Treaty ratified 2007, so my knowledge is not outdated). Departmental nomenclatures change from time to time and so does structural organisation. But the offices and functions I will describe remain, even if names may be different.

All international treaties have a two stage process. First they are signed to show the government agrees to the treaty. Then, after a delay, they are ratified. This second stage takes place when the government has enabled the legislation and other required agency to implement the treaty. This is the answer to Lewis’s observation about the roles of the executive and legislature. The ratification stage only takes place after any required legislative action. That is the whole point.

This is how it happens in the FCO. Officials negotiate the extradition treaty. It is signed for the UK. The signed treaty then gets returned to FCO Legal Advisers, Nationality and Treaty Department, Consular Department, North American Department and others and is sent on to Treasury/Cabinet Office Solicitors and to Home Office, Parliament and to any other Government Department whose area is impacted by the individual treaty.

The Treaty is extensively vetted to check that it can be fully implemented in all the jurisdictions of the UK. If it cannot, then amendments to the law have to be made so that it can. These amendments can be made by Act of Parliament or more generally by secondary legislation using powers conferred on the Secretary of State by an act. If there is already an Act of Parliament under which the Treaty can be implemented, then no enabling legislation needs to be passed. International Agreements are not all individually incorporated into English or Scottish laws by specific new legislation.

This is a very careful step by step process, carried out by lawyers and officials in the FCO, Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Parliament and elsewhere. Each will in parallel look at every clause of the Treaty and check that it can be applied. All changes needed to give effect to the treaty then have to be made – amending legislation, and necessary administrative steps. Only when all hurdles have been cleared, including legislation, and Parliamentary officials, Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and FCO all certify that the Treaty is capable of having effect in the UK, will the FCO Legal Advisers give the go ahead for the Treaty to be ratified. You absolutely cannot ratify the treaty before FCO Legal Advisers have given this clearance.

This is a serious process. That is why the US/UK Extradition Treaty was signed in 2003 and ratified in 2007. That is not an abnormal delay.

So I know for certain that ALL the relevant British Government legal departments MUST have agreed that Article 4.1 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty was capable of being given effect under the 2003 Extradition Act. That certification has to have happened or the Treaty could never have been ratified.

It follows of necessity that the UK Government, in seeking to argue now that Article 4.1 is incompatible with the 2003 Act, is knowingly lying. There could not be a more gross abuse of process.

I have been keen for the hearing on this particular point to conclude so that I could give you the benefit of my experience. I shall rest there for now, but later today hope to post further on yesterday’s row in court over releasing Julian from the anti-terrorist armoured dock.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible. I wish to stress again that I absolutely do not want anybody to give anything if it causes them the slightest possibility of financial strain.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

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254 thoughts on “Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four

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  • Mary

    Craig’s Twitter is being interfered with.

    ‘Craig Murray
    @CraigMurrayOrg
    ·
    3h
    Twitter Suppression – The tweeting out of my reports for days 1, 2 and 3 of Assange case each reached 170,000 to 190,000 people. Then suddenly day 4 report reached just 50,000.

    Please rt but also write your own tweet including link to my day 4 report.’

    • Edmond V.O. Katusz

      Dear Franc,

      Thank you very much for providing the links.
      Good to see and hear Craig speak passionately.
      Great the transcript as an added bonus.
      Thanks again! Edmond V.O. Katusz

  • Paul Barbara

    Here are two pictures of Baraitser, from Whikispooks:
    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Vanessa_Baraitser
    Interestingly, when I searched for Ms. Baraitser pictures the page that came up was dominated by Craig’s Belmarsh series!
    By the way Craig, if you are still in London on Tuesday 3rd March, there is a discussion of MH 17 at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square near Holborn tube which may be of interest:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-meeting-and-film-screening-mh17-awaiting-trial-tickets-96531776141
    Entry is free, but you have to pre-book (still tickets available).

    • SayLess

      As far as photos go, those two are useless for the purpose of identifying the person that the article is about.

      Also, I am curious as to why it is an issue that Baraitser’s image is not readily available on the internet. Why do you need/want it? I would have thought the overriding important things is what she says (which happily for all of us is being reported by several people), not what she looks like.

      • lysias

        The unusual absence of photos strongly suggests that Ms. Baraitser is associated somehow with the security services.

        • SayLess

          Are there photos readily available of all the other district judges/magistrates, or is it just Baraitser?

      • nevermind

        Should a publicly accountable judge, who is paid by taxpayers, be seen and heard by the public, dispensing bendy justice, be an anonomous figure? Untouchable and remote? Daring to call herself a public servant?
        Please dont hesitate to say, say less

      • Tony_0pmoc

        SayLess, I have never met any of these people. I don’t do twitter, and rarely if ever post anything political on Facebook, but I was so upset at what I read here this week, I did post rather a better high definition picture of that drawing, and merely wrote a few words, and in the morning, I looked to see if any of my friends had responded. I thought only one or two might, but no one could respond to the picture, and my few polite words, cos Facebook had deleted it.

        So it must have been down to the political content. I didn’t swear or anything.

        Tony

      • pete

        Re pictures of Baraitser.
        It may simply be vanity that has kept her from publishing her photo, some people are not photogenic. It may be for security reasons that she might not want her likeness to fall into the public domain, after all we know that the world is full of trolls who would like nothing better than to make her life difficult.
        Or maybe she thinks that a photo might have magical properties, that it might capture her soul if she has one, or that she might be on the most wanted list in some other country, so I am only curious as to her caution, after all she has gone into public life and has a very public profile in this instance. If she, as they say about identity cards, has nothing to hide she has nothing to fear.
        Still, her likeness in public may not matter, it is unlikely to reveal any more than what has been revealed in her behaviour and pronouncements so far. Craig has interpreted her body language and non verbal communication insofar at that is possible from his vantage point, for our benefit. Should any of us come before her we will know what to expect, we have seen behaviours like this before.
        It is just human nature to be curious about those who make judgements about us.

  • Kim Sanders-Fisher

    JUDICIAL CAKEISM? Quoting Craig: “Fitzgerald replied that the entire extradition request is on the basis of the treaty. It is an abuse of process for the authorities to rely on the treaty for the application but then to claim that its provisions do not apply.” Fitzgerald had stated: “On the face of it, it is a very bizarre argument that a treaty which gives rise to the extradition, on which the extradition is founded, can be disregarded in its provisions. It is on the face of it absurd.”

    This is nothing short of “Judicial Cakeism:” We will take the part that allows us to proceed with an Extradition Hearing in accordance with the treaty we signed, but we want to exclude the bit we don’t like in the absurd pretence that UK Law will supersede the provisions of that same treaty in this particular instance.

    There will be no end to this insanity without the removal of the corrupt Tory Government who rigged the 2019 Election to seize absolute control in order to perpetuate the gross injustices of endless UK/US war crimes inflicted upon the innocent throughout the world. I fear there is little hope of preventing this extradition that will become the gateway to a massive extension of the grotesque abuses of power perpetrated by the US Government. The Tory manifesto pledged to abolish Judicial Review, but also to introduce greater Government control over Judges, possibly making the most influential Judges subject to political appointment.

    This freight train of injustice has barely left the station, but the Tory agenda could be derailed if the legitimacy of the 2019 Election result was challenged and investigated. Unfortunately, the US Presidential Elections pose an even greater threat regarding the subjugation and elimination of democracy, especially in places where easily hackable Electronic Voting Machines have been introduced to facilitate ongoing corruption and Electoral Fraud. The last gasp of UK democracy was stifled in 2019; the Tories will embrace the enabling technology of voting machines in a heartbeat. We can set a groundbreaking example here in the UK by becoming the first major Western Democracy to overturn a rigged Election.

    Please visit the Discussion Forum – Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 – This Forum elaborates on the evidence that supports the concern that the election was rigged and suggests a strategy for challenging the stolen vote. Forum Post #50261 List the Nine Petitions including the one I created calling for an Investigation: 2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION. The Blog site “The Daily GasLamp” offers a further trove of evidence regarding the ongoing PsyOps manipulation of a growing number of Elections worldwide and the extreme danger this poses: https://dailygaslamp.com/author/dailygaslamp/

    While the injustice of this trial must be strenuously opposed, we cannot ignore the rigged election process that installed the corrupt Government that is enabling and facilitating this landmark abuse of power. We can and we must fight back. If we do nothing the UK will descend into an authoritarian dictatorship and it will take decades to remove the offending despot from power. Atrocities like the persecution of innocent journalist will become commonplace just as it has in other European countries that pretend to respect democracy. We must demand the investigation required to restore UK democracy before it is too late.

  • CK

    Your analyse is quite right. Some Question remain:
    Why is an, what looks like properly working, justicesystem not able to treat a person without harassment?
    What picture of their own this show, independent of what kind of person is the object? (a process like this always helps to deeply damage the image of the accusers!)
    Next, the only intention to do this, where to show everybody the unbearable, irresponsible conditions which have gradually developed over the time. And instead to sort this all out and have the backbone to clean up the mess, once somebody outraged decided to put all this under the carpet and look for the man who only wanted to open them their eyes. Sure maybe he was involved in stolen information, but even if this would be the case, it would be only a theft! and not a case of espionage. Not Julian weakens the position of the state or any body else. They have done it their own by acting this way! He only showed them the mirror.
    And now sadly enough, none seems to have the guts to finish that stupid showtrial and say sorry to him.
    It always needs a little more to bear responsibility.

  • Republicofscotland

    This is I think a pertinent paragraph from this article.

    “The principle is that in British law, for example, you are allowed to do dodgy things in the name of public interest,” Charlie Beckett, the director of Polis, the London School of Economics’ international journalism think tank, told Al Jazeera.”

    “For example, when the Telegraph [newspaper] published their stories about MPs’ expenses back in 2009, it was hinged on stolen data. They paid for stolen data. It’s clearly in the public interest, and no one even bothered to even try to pursue them. I think this comes under a similar rubric,” he explained. “On principle, it would be a blow to media freedom if he’s extradited.”

    We should also praise Chelsea Manning for not caving into pressure from the US government.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/assange-extradition-hearing-underway-london-200224082053667.html

  • Edmond V.O. Katusz

    Dear Mr. Murray,

    Just now I’ve reread your article “Assange in Court” dated 22 October 2019.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/

    There you wrote how shocked you were because of his apparant mental deterioration. Again it was also a shock to me, how the State can can dehumanize a human being.
    If you could find the time, do please tells us, what is the physical and mental state of Julian now, better or worse compared to 2019?
    My heart goes out not only to Julian, but also to his family. How they must suffer seeing him so mistreated, so maligned, so reduced to only a mere shadow of his former self.
    To my great chagrin I must say that the Dutch press is hardly reporting about the case
    Keep up the incredible good work you are doing.
    Thank you very much in advance! Edmond V.O. Katusz

    • craig Post author

      Edmond I sat with Julian’s dad and brother all week and it’s a deliberate omission at present for reasons of emotional distress to family.

      • On the train

        I can imagine how this must be torturing his family, it must be such a comfort for them to have you there to help them make sense of it all.

      • Edmond V.O. Katusz

        Dear Mr. Murray,

        Thank you indeed very much for a personal answer. I fully understand.
        Thanks to Franc here above who provide the link to your speech, I was
        able to watch you speaking in person.

        I am so angered about the Dutch press, all the big newspapers and Dutch
        national broadcasting organisation hardly do any reporting. They seem
        like lackeys, flunkeys, doing menial tasks for the powers that be. Rubbing
        against the prevailing powers.
        Keep the good work. Edmond V.O. Katusz

  • Eugene Lutz

    The US government obeys no international laws, but expects other governments to obey them, and other criminal governments like the UK co-operate.
    “The USA claims universal jurisdiction. Assange is being charged with crimes of publishing committed while he was outside the USA. The USA claims the right to charge anyone of any nationality, anywhere in the world, who harms US interests.”

    • Tom Welsh

      “The US government obeys no international laws, but expects other governments to obey them, and other criminal governments like the UK co-operate”.

      Like other experienced criminals, those governments have no respect for law but are very much aware of human fallibility, and adept at exploiting it to the full.

      If you can be bluffed, they will bluff you. If you can be conned, they will con you. If you are frightened by threats, they will threaten you. If you value your good name, they will blacken it.

      It’s what they do. Imagine a Terminator programmed to accumulate money and power.

      • Sally Ride

        I have a method that correctly predicts the actions of the US government every single time. It goes like this…..

        Step 1, Sit down with screen and go to your favorite movie providers and watch several of your favorite classic gangster movies. Or, if you are old school, pull out some primitive DVDs and that old DVD player. Either way, the idea is to binge watch a sequence of gangster movies.

        Step 2. Now, once you are deep into the gangster mindset, think about what the gangster characters would do in this real world situation. That will always accurately predict the actions of the US government.

        • Giyane

          Sally Ride

          If you are registering the malignancy of politics, that’s the wavelength of crime movies.
          We do benefit from the emotional education of a good crime fiction.

          You would think politicians would ban crime fiction , to keep us in the dark, but no, they know that by explaining crime we switch off our anxieties, leaving them to continue undisturbed.

        • andic

          Or just watch a two year old who has seen something that that they want but cannot have

        • Antonym

          The 2008 movie “Contagion” for COVID-19 and the 1996 “Executive Decision” for 9/11 show that Langley’s top barely watched their Hollywood PR wing’s output as they were caught on the wrong foot for both.

  • David

    a couple of other important media stories concerning the show-trial:-

    https://ifex.org/julian-assanges-extradition-hearing-highlights-lack-of-us-evidence/
    Reporters Without Borders
    Julian Assange’s extradition hearing highlights lack of US evidence

    We were not surprised by the prosecution’s argument, which again confirmed the lack of evidence for the charges against Assange. This week’s hearing confirmed our belief that he has been targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting

  • David

    and somewhere there must be a url for the actual Al Jazeera discussion on the last week, featuring
    Stefania Maurizi – Investigative journalist
    James Ball – Global editor, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
    Rebecca Vincent – UK bureau director, Reporters Without Borders
    Nils Melzer – UN special rapporteur on torture

    On trial: Julian Assange and journalism
    Julian Assange’s trial and its consequences for journalism. “The Listening Post”
    29 Feb 2020 11:41 GMT

    https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2020/02/trial-julian-assange-journalism-200229082117385.html

    (you might have to dig a but further fir the actual discussion program, I seem to get AlJazeera live video rather than “the Listening Post”)

  • Edward

    Sounds like Craig is coompletely off on one. Has anyone here actually thought that if he’s the only journalista in the room then he’s pretty much free to make it up as he goes along, with tales of the Lubyanka and all? I mean this all seems like it’s been pre-scripted. He’s gone into this trial with his mind already made up. I see he’s now inventing conspiracy theories about Twitter “suppression”. Can one of his technology handlers please explain to him how Twitter works!?

    • David

      … Edward, which group exactly was it that claimed “mastery of the internet”, UK’s JTRIG if I’m not mistaken.
      I also recall reading that UK gov have overall ‘gold’ control of social media applications in the UK, was this mis-used?, or just internal cyberwarfare firing something like “spoofed TCP reset packets” at an ongoing ‘viral’ embarrassment, or potentially a simple ‘shadow-ban’ as was noticed in the past by the Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams.

      From my above links Reporters without Borders and Al Jazeera would apparently agree with Craig’s honest reporting ideas on the continuing torture of Julian Assange, but you are of course entirely free to have your own wacky ideas, unsupported by facts.

    • Robyn

      Scroll up, Edward. Some helpful commenters have been listing URLs for reports from others in the court. Craig is not the only one.

    • nevermind

      The digference between you, Edward, and many people here who know Craig very well, is, that we have no record of Craig making it up, as you so intellectually put it.
      Comprehend and realise, why dont you?

  • Sally Ride

    I never did enjoy learning the types of languages where the meaning of a word or phrase can be radically altered by where the emphasis is put. Always seemed like a pointless exercise.
    I speak about 7 languages, ones that I can pick up and quickly become fluent again. Only one of these is understandable by humans. The rest are understood by computers. Computers have more sense than humans. In computer languages, a word means what it means and it doesn’t matter as to the tone or inflection of the word, nor does it matter that I’m standing on my left foot and crossing my fingers behind my back or other such things important to humans.

    I suspect the worldwide readership of Franz Kafka is experiencing a spike. The Trial (2020), a reboot of the classic tale. Surely that’s got to make at least a few people go check out the original.

    • Piotr Berman

      Because I occasionally shop in a store “East European Market” run by Russian immigrants and offering goods from my homeland as well, I once heard the phrase “our American partners” on Russian TV. The way emphasis was placed indicated that “partners” means “people you cannot work with, [they cheat, they lie, they steal, this kind of things]”. I think that the English description of this emphasis trick has a name “dripping with sarcasm”. I must admit to know only three languages, but you can say something “dripping with sarcasm” in each of them. On the other hand, I do not see how to apply “dripping with sarcasm” to Algol, Pascal, C, Fortran, Perl etc., although it is surprisingly easy to write something in those languages that means something very different than a reader (and the writer!) many imagine.

  • willie

    Its not just Craig Murray’s Twitter feed that’s being interfered with.

    Comments posted on Wings Over Scotland are vanishing and being deleted out of public view. The whole media thing is now beoing ver much controlled.

    Orwell was right.

  • Ashers

    Could not University of St Andrews offer another Professorship to Angus Robertson at c 90k, to avoid another losing contest, and also to make clear the slavish, state corrupt, Scottish Funding Council approach? Gethins seems pleasant, but he has absolutely no background, other than as SNP advisor. SNP starting to look as corrupt, pigs in trough, state board etc as Labour and Tories in 1970-1990s

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    A couple of French language youtubes –

    ‘Julian Assange: Éric Dupond-Moretti veut faire une demande d’asile politique en France’ (AFP 20 Feb 2020). Conférence de presse de Julian Assange, avec ses avocats Eric Dupond-Moretti et Antoine Vey, Jen Robinson, avocat à Londres et John Shipton, père de Julian Assange.

    – After brief intro, Dupond-Moretti is first speaker for 10 mins or so, and also in Q&A line-up which starts at about 53 mins. Julian’s father speaks (n English) for about 6 mins starting at 40 mins 50 secs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b2HR4LscuU
    ————
    ‘Éric Dupond-Moretti défend Julian Assange’ (C à Vous 20/02/2020)

    – Second subject discussed, starting circum 12 mins 30 secs —

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEIkT7i9INQ

  • MrK

    “Lewis stated that further the term “political offence” could only be applied to offences committed within the territory where it was attempted to make the change. So to be classified as political offences, Assange would have had to commit them within the territory of the USA, but he did not.”

    Julian Assange is charged under 18 USC Chapter 37, titled Espionage And Censorship. That’s Paragraph 793, covering charges 1-17.

    Espionage is a crime against the state. Crimes against the state are considered political crimes. Extradition for political crimes is prohibited by several laws.

    That’s all anyone would need to know.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1165556/download
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

    In Sweden, the Ministry of Justice put it like this:

    “If it’s a political offence, you can’t extradite a person” to a country outside the EU, said Per Clareus, a spokesman for Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask.

    “And espionage is usually considered a political crime,” he added.

    https://thelocal.se/20130427/47580

    The one charge that they first showed to the world, the 18th charge, is specifically for conspiracy (371) to commit computer intrusion (1030) – not intruding in a computer, but talking about it. (Conspiracy is from the latin conspirare, or to breathe together – i.e. talking about it. If it happened, he would be charged under 1030 on it’s own too.) That 18th charge, conspiracy, is where the hacking claim comes from and is what they used to window dress the real charges under Chapter 37, Espionage And Censorship.

    • Giyane

      MrK
      If conspire comes from breathe together, suffocate comes from sub fauces , under the windpipe.
      A government that completely stifles reportage of its crimes is not the leader of the free world.. it is a savage and murderous
      Criminal, with no regard for law or morality.
      This is what happens when you sell yourself to Zion

  • Martin Kernick

    Craig. Well done! You have been a true and trustworthy friend to Julian when so many others walk by on the other side of the road.

  • Frank Hovis

    I just happen to be reading “Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories” by Thomas Grant at the moment – a very entertaining and interesting read which demonstrates very effectiveley that there was very little difference in the Establishment mindset with regard to their attitude towards whistleblowers from the present-day attitude. Jeremy Hutchinson Q.C. was a very eminent barrister who was involved in many of the notorious politically inspired trials of the 60s, 70s & 80s. He led the defence team in the famous “ABC” trial in 1978 in which one of the defendants was the (proper) journalist Duncan Campbell. These were his closing remarks in his summing up for the defence:

    “It is the task of a vigorous, healthy press to examine, probe, question and find out if there are mistakes and abuses and embarrass governments of whatever complexion and not just to accept handouts from people in high places and churn out what they are told to say.”

    Words that the craven lickspittles, hacks and government stenographers of our present-day so-called “fourth estate” should be made to read, memorise and put into practice. But come to think of it, most of them wouldn’t be able to comprehend such eloquence.

    • Mr Obvious

      The world doesn’t work like that anymore. Take Smedley D. Butler‘s famous book ‘War Is a Racket’. Instead of being a warning about what war really is (theft via mass murder) it has become a lesson for would-be generals on the purpose of being a warrior (being a thief for oligarchs).

      You can’t stop psychopaths by exposing them anymore, the population has become too indoctrinated into believing war is something it’s not. So the only solution is to stand out of the way and let them destroy everything they touch.

      Allow the US to pick and choose the parts of treaties it wants to recognise, that behaviour will spread until no treaty is valid anymore.

      Allow the US to kidnap journalists to silence them, that behaviour will spread until there are no ‘real’ journalists anymore (nearly there on that one).

      And once the US has manufactured a world that isn’t allowed to think anymore, nothing will function anymore. There won’t be a stock market oligarchs can use to loot pension funds. There won’t be inventions or scientific advancements anymore, because the oligarchs will have subverted human nature itself.

      Life on this planet will literally have to circumvent the US to survive, which is already happening.

  • Nelly dean

    Is it possible to ask for a new trial Judge due to obvious bias ? Please tell Julian there is rising support for him in Australia!

  • Monster

    The Wikispooks pic of Vanessa Baraitser on a bike suggests perhaps her home is not too distant, or that she uses a train and bikes it up from Kent. I’m researching the South African Jewish Baraitser family at the moment and have come across Michael Baraitser, a distinguished medic, and a neighbour who knew him. I think the Lady of Kent will not remain anonymous for long.

  • bob

    Had a dream that andrew marr hosted his usual sunday show with guests including John Shipton, Joe Lauria, Craig Murray and George Galloway this morning – it did not go well for the bbc – then I woke up with a start – had a shower and feel much better now …. truly inspirational week with the enormity of the task to free Julian right there in front of us – how corrupt this country is!

    • Mary

      Thank goodness I was out and missed it. You can guess that the coronavirus dominated the proceedings.

      Sorry I missed the cellist though.

      ‘Andrew Marr is joined by Matt Hancock MP, health secretary, Amélie de Montchalin, French Europe minister, Richard Burgon MP, shadow justice secretary. News review with Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, Hugh Pym, BBC health editor and Madeline Grant, Daily Telegraph. Including a musical performance by Cellist Raphael Wallfisch.’

      Was Hancock asked about his interests? Probably not. Hancock is very keen on introducing tech into OUR NHS and talks of multi million pound investments. He would like to like the elderly and frail to be monitored onscreen in their own homes and advances the idea of video consultations with doctors and surgeon!

      ‘Newly appointed health secretary Matt Hancock received £32,000 in donations from the chairman of a think tank which critics say is trying to “abolish the NHS”.

      After becoming an MP in 2010 Mr Hancock has received regular donations of between £2,000 and £4,000 from millionaire currency manager and Conservative Party donor Neil Record.’

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-privatisation-donations-matt-hancock-health-secretary-institute-economic-affairs-a8442001.html

      Neil Record heads the board of the IEA.

      The news channels, the BBC and Sky, constantly have on, as guests and commentators, young articulate women from the said IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs) promoting NHS privatisation. Kate Andrews is one of them.
      https://uk.linkedin.com/in/kate-andrews-1673a945 At the Spectator too!

  • Yeah, Right

    “On the face of it, it is a very bizarre argument that a treaty which gives rise to the extradition, on which the extradition is founded, can be disregarded in its provisions. It is on the face of it absurd.”

    I would think that there are two provisions on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties that would support Fitzgerald’s astonishment:
    Article 26: Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.
    Article 27: A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. This rule is without prejudice to article 46.

    Lewis would seem to be making a virtue of a “bad faith” interpretation of the UK’s ability to wriggle out of being bound by a treaty requirement, which is a violation of Article 26

    The method by which Lewis argues this ability to wriggle out of a treaty requirement – that a particular piece of enabling legislation does not mention a particular requirement of the treaty that it enables – seems to me to be a blatant violation of Article 27.

    I share Fitzgerald’s astonishment: Lewis’ arguments appear to me to be a hopeless brief.
    If Baraitser rules in his favour then, honestly, there is no rule of law in the UK.

    • nevermind

      Its the rule of Apartheid between the haves and the have nots, the status quo, we know best attitudes they got brought up with.
      The value of sp called established traditional schools and the fagging, bullying and crying for mum in your pillows forms this group think and need to be with them cliques that actually believe they are destinef for power and nobody else. The results can be seen today in the Bullington club excrements that run the Government and rightwing newspapers here.

  • Mary

    It’s a lovely early Spring day after the rain, with sunshine and with the daffodils out. Poor Julian who cannot feel the sunshine or see the flowers.

  • Muscleguy

    It seems to me that the US govt lawyers’ concern that the trial be fair and seen to be fair is entirely self serving. They need Assange safely extradited so that he can be treated most unfairly indeed. Just look at how they are treating Chelsea Manning. American courts also have a long track record of treating foreigners badly simply because as non citizens they can as various constitutional rights do not apply to foreigners.

    What is happening to Chelsea is as nothing to what they will do to Julian if he ever lands there. Chelsea knows this which is why she is enduring incarceration so as not be coerced into aiding his prosecution.

    If you want a definition of a hero just look at Chelsea Manning. Her incarceration is both a terrible indictment of the US and a magnificent act of courage and forbearance.

  • Merkin Scot

    It is often pointed out in these pages that ‘every oppressive regime needs its Uncle Toms’.
    We should also point out that every oppressive regime needs its Roland Freisler.

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