The Armoured Glass Box is an Instrument of Torture 128

In Thursday’s separate hearing on allowing Assange out of the armoured box to sit with his legal team, I witnessed directly that Baraitser’s ruling against Assange was brought by her into court BEFORE she heard defence counsel put the arguments, and delivered by her entirely unchanged.

I might start by explaining to you my position in the public gallery vis a vis the judge. All week I deliberately sat in the front, right hand seat. The gallery looks out through an armoured glass window at a height of about seven feet above the courtroom. It runs down one side of the court, and the extreme right hand end of the public gallery is above the judge’s bench, which sits below perpendicular to it. Remarkably therefore from the right hand seats of the public gallery you have an uninterrupted view of the top of the whole of the judge’s bench, and can see all the judge’s papers and computer screen.

Mark Summers QC outlined that in the case of Belousov vs Russia the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg ruled against the state of Russia because Belousov had been tried in a glass cage practically identical in construction and in position in court to that in which Assange now was. It hindered his participation in the trial and his free access to counsel, and deprived him of human dignity as a defendant.

Summers continued that it was normal practice for certain categories of unconvicted prisoners to be released from the dock to sit with their lawyers. The court had psychiatric reports on Assange’s extreme clinical depression, and in fact the UK Department of Justice’s best practice guide for courts stated that vulnerable people should be released to sit alongside their lawyers. Special treatment was not being requested for Assange – he was asking to be treated as any other vulnerable person.

The defence was impeded by their inability to communicate confidentially with their client during proceedings. In the next stage of trial, where witnesses were being examined, timely communication was essential. Furthermore they could only talk with him through the slit in the glass within the hearing of the private company security officers who were guarding him (it was clarified they were Serco, not Group 4 as Baraitser had said the previous day), and in the presence of microphones.

Baraitser became ill-tempered at this point and spoke with a real edge to her voice. “Who are those people behind you in the back row?” she asked Summers sarcastically – a question to which she very well knew the answer. Summers replied that they were part of the defence legal team. Baraitser said that Assange could contact them if he had a point to pass on. Summers replied that there was an aisle and a low wall between the glass box and their position, and all Assange could see over the wall was the top of the back of their heads. Baraitser said she had seen Assange call out. Summers said yelling across the courtroom was neither confidential nor satisfactory.

I have now been advised it is definitely an offence to publish the picture of Julian in his glass box, even though I didn’t take it and it is absolutely all over the internet. Also worth noting that I am back home in my own country, Scotland, where my blog is based, and neither is within the jurisdiction of the English court. But I am anxious not to give them any excuse to ban me from the court hearing, so I have removed it but you can see it here.

This is the photo taken illegally (not by me) of Assange in the court. If you look carefully, you can see there is a passageway and a low wooden wall between him and the back row of lawyers. You can see one of the two Serco prison officers guarding him inside the box.

Baraitser said Assange could pass notes, and she had witnessed notes being passed by him. Summers replied that the court officers had now banned the passing of notes. Baraitser said they could take this up with Serco, it was a matter for the prison authorities.

Summers asserted that, contrary to Baraitser’s statement the previous day, she did indeed have jurisdiction on the matter of releasing Assange from the dock. Baraitser intervened to say that she now accepted that. Summers then said that he had produced a number of authorities to show that Baraitser had also been wrong to say that to be in custody could only mean to be in the dock. You could be in custody anywhere within the precincts of the court, or indeed outside. Baraitser became very annoyed by this and stated she had only said that delivery to the custody of the court must equal delivery to the dock.

To which Summers replied memorably, now very cross “Well, that’s wrong too, and has been wrong these last eight years.”

Drawing argument to a close, Baraitser gave her judgement on this issue. Now the interesting thing is this, and I am a direct eyewitness. She read out her judgement, which was several pages long and handwritten. She had brought it with her into court in a bundle, and she made no amendments to it. She had written out her judgement before she heard Mark Summers speak at all.

Her key points were that Assange was able to communicate to his lawyers by shouting out from the box. She had seen him pass notes. She was willing to adjourn the court at any time for Assange to go down with his lawyers for discussions in the cells, and if that extended the length of the hearing from three to six weeks, it could take as long as required.

Baraitser stated that none of the psychiatric reports she had before her stated that it was necessary for Assange to leave the armoured dock. As none of the psychiarists had been asked that question – and very probably none knew anything about courtroom layout – that is scarcely surprising

I have been wondering why it is so essential to the British government to keep Assange in that box, unable to hear proceedings or instruct his lawyers in reaction to evidence, even when counsel for the US Government stated they had no objection to Assange sitting in the well of the court.

The answer lies in the psychiatric assessment of Assange given to the court by the extremely distinguished Professor Michael Kopelman (who is familiar to everyone who has read Murder in Samarkand):

“Mr Assange shows virtually all the risk factors which researchers from Oxford
have described in prisoners who either suicide or make lethal attempts. … I
am as confident as a psychiatrist can ever be that, if extradition to the United
States were to become imminent, Mr Assange would find a way of suiciding.”

The fact that Kopelman does not, as Baraitser said, specifically state that the armoured glass box is bad for Assange reflects nothing other than the fact he was not asked that question. Any human being with the slightest decency would be able to draw the inference. Baraitser’s narrow point that no psychiatrist had specifically stated he should be released from the armoured box is breathtakingly callous, dishonest and inhumane. Almost certainly no psychiatrist had conceived she would determine on enforcing such torture.

So why is Baraitser doing it?

I believe that the Hannibal Lecter style confinement of Assange, this intellectual computer geek, which has no rational basis at all, is a deliberate attempt to drive Julian to suicide. The maximum security anti-terrorist court is physically within the fortress compound that houses the maximum security prison. He is brought handcuffed and under heavy escort to and from his solitary cell to the armoured dock via an underground tunnel. In these circumstances, what possible need is there for him to be strip and cavity searched continually? Why is he not permitted to have his court papers? Most telling for me was the fact he is not permitted to shake hands or touch his lawyers through the slit in the armoured box.

They are relentlessly enforcing the systematic denial of any basic human comfort, like the touch of a friend’s fingertips or the blocking of the relief that he might get just from being alongside somebody friendly. They are ensuring the continuation of the extreme psychological effects from isolation of a year of virtual solitary confinement. A tiny bit of human comfort could do an enormous amount of good to his mental health and resilience. They are determined to stop this at all costs. They are attempting to make him kill himself – or create in him the condition where his throttling death might be explained away as suicide.

This is also the only explanation that I can think of for why they are risking the creation of such obvious mistrial conditions. Dead people cannot appeal.

I would remind you that Julian is a remand prisoner who has served his unprecedentedly long sentence for bail-jumping. His status is supposedly at present that of an innocent man facing charges. Those charges are for nothing except for publishing Chelsea Manning’s revelations of war crimes.

That Baraitser is acting under instructions seems to me certain. She has been desperate throughout the trial to seize any chance to deny any responsibility for what is happening to Julian. She has stated that she has no jurisdiction over his treatment in prison, and even when both defence and prosecution combined to state it was normal practice for magistrates to pass directions or requests to the prison service, she refused to accept it was so.

Baraitser is plainly attempting psychologically to distance herself from any agency in what is being done. To this end she has made a stream of denials of jurisdiction or ability to influence events. She has said that she has no jurisdiction to interfere with the strip searching, handcuffing and removal of Assange’s papers or with his being kept in solitary. She has said she has no jurisdiction to request that his defence lawyers have more access to their client in jail to prepare his defence. She has said she has no jurisdiction over his position in the courtroom. Se has suggested at various times it is up to Serco to decide if he may pass notes to his lawyers and up to Group4 to decide if he can be released from the armoured dock. The moments when she looks most content listening to the evidence, are those when prosecution counsel James Lewis argues that she has no decision to make but to sign the extradition because it is in good form and that Article 4 of the Treaty has no legal standing.

A member of the Assange family remarked to me at the end of week one that she seems very lazy, and thus delighted to accept any arguments that reduce the amount she needs to do. I think it is different to that. I think there is a corner of the mind of this daughter of dissidents from apartheid that rejects her own role in the torture of Assange, and is continually urging “I had no choice, I had no agency”. Those who succumb to do evil must find what internal comfort they may.

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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128 thoughts on “The Armoured Glass Box is an Instrument of Torture

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  • Eric McCoo

    The whole point of the trial is to make Assange look like a martyr and extend his career as the CIA’s very own conspiracy theorist. The glass cage is a perfect prop.

    Wikileaks was likely created to carry out the CIA’s Arab Spring operation.

    “Amnesty International hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab spring ‘catalysts’

    ‘The rights group singles out WikiLeaks and the newspapers that pored over its previously confidential government files, among them the Guardian, as a catalyst in a series of uprisings against repressive regimes, notably the overthrow of Tunisia’s long-serving president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Al”i.

      • Eric McCoo

        John Young (Cryptome) was asked to front Wikileaks, register it in his name ..

        ‘Young obliged and was initially an enthusiastic supporter but when the organisers announced their intention to try and raise $5m he questioned their motives, saying that kind of money could only come from the CIA or George Soros. Then he walked away.

        “WikiLeaks is a fraud,” he wrote in an email when he quit. “Fuck your cute hustle and disinformation campaign against legitimate dissent. Same old shit, working for the enemy.” Young then leaked all of his email correspondence with WikiLeak’s founders, including the messages to Ellsberg.

        Young is a highly intelligent, sophisticated and educated architect and cryptologist. Assange is a criminal hacker with some very dodgy attitudes to women. Assange is low life scum, not some high minded journalist/activist.

        ‘Paranoid, vain and jealous’ – the secret life of Julian Assange (Telegraph)

        An excoriating profile by Julian Assange’s ghostwriter.

        Earlier O’Hagan had watched as Assange leered at two 14-year-old girls as they walked past a café table at which they were sitting. O’Hagan writes how Assange thought they were “fine”, until he saw one was wearing braces…

        Miss Harrison says of Assange: “He openly chats girls up and has his hands on their a**e and goes nuts if I even talk to another guy

        • Brian c

          Daniel Ellsberg is s vocal defender of Assange and his work. The Guardian and the Telegraph are both mouthpieces of the British security state that is crucifying him (and not because he chats up girls )

          • Eric McCoo

            The Guardian is indeed a mouthpiece of of the British security state. The fact that they published all of Wikileaks major material tells me that Assange is likely one of them. The above article was published before the Wikileaks material.

            ‘Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr, Nick Cohen, James Ball and the BBC’s James Landale at FCO funded, military intelligence linked “Integrity Initiative” skill sharing, networking event.


            The Guardian: MI5 for dummies.

            Ellsberg was never convicted of espionage charges. I predict his colleage Julian Assange won’t be either.

            Let me make it clear, I think he is an unwilling CIA asset. He was busted for criminal hacking in Australia and set free.I assume he is under threat of prosecution for that and other hacking crimes.

          • David

            I bought John Young (Cryptome)’s site physical DVDs, many years ago, they came from NYC complete with embedded trojan/virus. Cryptome never revealed a secret, ever – simply was a site where ‘almost secrets’ were “exposed”, [once someone elsewhere had open-sourced it]; and I presume was/is basically a digital watering-hole attack, heavily tracking the visitors, either accidentally or by design, for later digital stalking. But that is the world of smoky-mirrors, which is NOT how I see Julian Assange. You are welcome to your own point of view.

      • Eric McCoo

        I’m not so silly as to be an Englishman calling for Scots to

        ‘take Independence, not beg for it. At some stage, there is always the danger that the British government may try to react by sending in the British Army to enforce Westminster’s will. If we believe we are an independent nation, we have to be prepared to defend ourselves as an independent state should the worst happen’.

        If you weren’t such a complete twit and my fellow Scots not so reluctant to stand up to anything unless extremely drunk’, I would say that was irresponsible.

        .. and also to insinuate that Nicola Sturgeon stitched up Alex Salmond in your very, very, very silly satire.

        ‘Yes Minister Fan Fiction

        Perm Sec It can’t be traced back to you, Minister.
        Minister Phew, that’s a relief. It can’t be traced back to me you say. How does that work?
        Perm Sec Accuser anonymity, Minister.
        Minister Accuser anon… oh yes! Oh yes! I am beginning to see!! They are sexual allegations so…
        Perm Sec The identities of the accusers can be kept hidden by the court under penalty of severe jail sentences for anybody who reveals them so…
        Minister – the accusers can just be my closest political cronies and the public will never be aware of that! That’s brilliant, Perm Sec ‘

        You are indeed the Great Chieftain of the Silly Race.

      • Calgacus

        There’s a bit too much of this drivel for me to not be suspicious that it may be more than just the usual internet crackpottery.

    • Scott

      Your ridiculous, and frankly distasteful comment making use of a lazy trope linked to an 8 year old article, makes me wonder about your true intentions. Your intention is clearly to disrupt, mislead, and misinform. Mods please block this troll.

      • Tony

        Nah, leave him up: he provides a bit of comedy. Though I must admit I always feel pangs of guilt when laughing at someone who unknowingly makes a complete fool of themself, thinking that they are being taken seriously.

    • Magic Robot

      Eric McCoo
      March 2, 2020 at 13:05
      “The glass cage is a perfect prop”

      And solitary for a year? That’s a ‘prop?’
      Trapped inside a room in a foreign Embassy for years – that too, is a ‘prop?’

      You may apply for a job with them – if the rewards are this ‘generous’.

    • Mr Obvious

      More like Hillary Clinton’s State Department leaking through Wikileaks with help from spooks in newsrooms (Luke Harding etc.) in order to put the Muslim Brotherhood (Huma Abedin’s buddies) in power in Egypt.

      At least we now know that the CIA’s UK terrorism court is for silencing people. They probably use it to silence ISIS fighters that figure out they’re actually fighting for Saudi Aramco.

      • zoot

        somewhat unlikely given that the dictator mubarak was a family friend of the clintons.

      • Eric McCoo

        Mr Obvious

        Yes, quite possibly but remember Luke Harding (MI6) and David Leigh (MI6) wrote a book about Wikileaks. Assange stayed in Leigh’s house. Harding made up the ridiculous story about Paul Manafort visiting Assange.

        ‘WikiLeaks: The Guardian’s role in the biggest leak in the history of the world by Alan Rusbridger

        In an extract from ‘WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief explains why Assange remains such an important figure

        From the book

        ‘At one point the platinum-haired hacker was hiding from the CIA in David Leigh’s London house. Now, together with the paper’s investigative reporting team, Leigh and Harding reveal the startling inside story of the man and the leak.’

    • pete

      Eric, or should I call you Chas or Philip, anyway your comment reminds us of the feeble response of Amnesty International in this case. If there was one instance where a stand ought to be taken it was this one, they have failed miserably. They have lost the plot. Why we might take seriously the opinion of the Grauniad on this or any other matter is anybody’s guess, but I suppose it makes sense to you.

    • SA

      To give you the benefit of the doubt you seem to ignore the difference between the Guardian pre 2014 and post 2014 when their hard drives were smashed and they were invited to join the secret service journalists club. Maybe you do know that.

      • jmg

        “. . . the Guardian took the decision to destroy its own Macbooks after the government explicitly threatened the paper with an injunction.

        “In two tense meetings last June and July the cabinet secretary, Jeremy Heywood, explicitly warned the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, to return the Snowden documents.

        “Heywood, sent personally by David Cameron, told the editor to stop publishing articles based on leaked material from American’s National Security Agency and GCHQ. At one point Heywood said: ‘We can do this nicely or we can go to law’. He added: ‘A lot of people in government think you should be closed down.’ . . .

        “Days later Oliver Robbins, the prime minister’s deputy national security adviser, renewed the threat of legal action. ‘If you won’t return it [the Snowden material] we will have to talk to other people this evening.’ Asked if Downing Street really intended to close down the Guardian if it did not comply, Robbins confirmed: ‘I’m saying this.’ . . .

        “With the threat of punitive legal action ever present, the only way of protecting the Guardian’s team — and of carrying on reporting from another jurisdiction — was for the paper to destroy its own computers. . . .

        “Despite these tensions, the paper continued to consult with the government before publishing national security stories. There were more than 100 interactions with No 10, the White House and US and UK intelligence agencies. . . .

        “Johnson . . . added: ‘It was the most surreal event I have witnessed in British journalism.’”

        Footage released of Guardian editors destroying Snowden hard drives | The Guardian | 31 Jan 2014

  • Magic Robot

    It never ceases to amaze me, the naive confidence in the ‘justice’ (sic) system that people here show. International ‘treaties’ and ‘law’ mean nothing, as the invasion of March 2003 showed.

    I fear it will not get remotely as far as an ‘appeal’ – a fait-accompli (as was the invasion of Iraq) will seal that (JA’s fate). This may be the reason behind the delay in proceedings.

    One fast car to a ‘plane at the ready, it’s navigation controls already set for an airport in the US, flight clearance also pre-agreed with, and… gone.

    All the general public, via the media will know of it (JA’s fate), will be that a perfectly fair hearing was conducted according to UK law but that the defendant lost his case.

    Afterwards there may be a quote made to reporters by the Home Secretary on the lines of:
    “Well, he had a fair hearing, his defence did their best but it is out of our hands, now.”

    I believe these events have marked a terrible turning point – all the prerequisites for the TOTAL destruction on all levels of an innocent man were already put in place by the media, and thus public acquiescence in his fate, is guaranteed. We may even see ‘well, he deserved it’ etc from the usual sources in MSM.

    All the hallmarks of an ‘Oriental Despotism.’

    Any other perspective the public might glean from outside of the ‘Overton Window’ will simply be labelled ‘conspiracy theory.’

    • Mary

      A commentary on the use of a glass box. There are also other links condemning its use.

      ‘Defence lawyers and human rights advocates have slammed the courts for imprisoning Julian Assange in a glass prison case to the back of the court.

      In a scene akin to the James Bond movie Skyfall, where the villain Raoul Silva was imprisoned in a glass box, Rebecca Vincent from Reporters Without Borders stated: “This is a human rights issue in our perspective. Being held in a glass cage to the back of the room is inhumane and particularly when it prevents him from being able to participate properly in the hearing.”’

    • Davy Smith

      Perhaps it Baraitser who needs to be the subject of psychiatric reports, going by her malevolent conduct.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        I think you will find that most people rising high in the Establishment need psychiatric reports publishing.

        Some people call it ‘the killer instinct’, others call it ruthlessness.

        But I have met enough senior officers utterly lacking any humanity in the workplace to know what kinds of people get promoted….

        • Tom Welsh

          Empathy, mercy, kindness, even simple common decency and morality – those are hopeless handicaps for anyone wishing to rise in today’s Western world.

          Only the worst get on in life; and only the worst of the worst rise to the very top.

          Expecting such people to care about other human beings is like expecting a praying mantis to spare the beetle in its jaws.

          As Imhotep replies in “Return of the Mummy” when Baltus begs him “Save me!” – “Why?” He sounds genuinely curious as to why he would lift a finger to save his devoted servant.

    • Antonym

      UK Vanessa Baraitser in Belmarsh = US Gina Haspel in Guantanamo bay?

      What kind of youths did these women have?

      No doubt she was handpicked for this dirty job.

  • Peter

    “I think there is a corner of the mind of this daughter of dissidents from apartheid that rejects her own role in the torture of Assange, and is continually urging “I had no choice, I had no agency”. ”

    Is this not the excuse by all those working within systems of suppression of human rights to sustain the power of the system versus its critics to justify to themselves their obedience – for the privilege to stay on career target, status and economic gain?
    What differentiates her from those working in a “justice system” in South Africa, Chile under Allende, Nazi Germany, Russia under Stalin etc. etc….

  • David

    There is another, not necessarily contradictory, explanation for Baraitser’s behaviour: perhaps she is afraid of the forces at play? Fear often leads to detachment, inaction and tunnel vision.

    • lysias

      Surely she could always resign her position, if she cannot decline this case and stay in office? Or have threats been made against her if she were to attempt to resign?

  • pasha

    Thank you Craig, your reporting on this matter has been nothing less than heroic.
    I’m too depressed to comment on the proceedings themselves. I have lived a long time and these are the darkest days I’ve ever seen.

  • nevermind

    This is almost like Nurnberg in reverse, the judge denying culpability in the decision she rules on ‘ Nothing to do with me Gov, only following orders’.

    She is Freisler, taking her decisions from her neocon handlers in Washington Langley.
    She will be hounded and hunted for her decision, imho.

    I agree with Craigs assumption it looks like physical and psychological dehumanising Julian is designed to drive him to suicide. Would not be surprised if they provide and enable him with the means to do so.
    What cowardly spineless bastards.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Baraitser said they could take this up with Serco, it was a matter for the prison authorities”.

    It is an interesting situation when a judge in a British court of law declares that she has no control over the defendant’s ability to communicate with his lawyers.

    Apparently the outsourcing movement has reached a new peak – justice itself is outsourced to a group of mercenary corporate thugs.

  • Tom Welsh

    It seems to me that all the security theatre is aimed directly at persuading the gullible public that Mr Assange is in fact a dreadfully dangerous terrorist or criminal – much like Hannibal Lecter, in fact. The logic, such as it is, would be along the lines of, “He must be a dreadfully dangerous person or else the government would not find it necessary to take such stringent precautions”. The next step, of course, is that such a dreadfully dangerous person is quite likely to have done dreadful deeds, deserving of exemplary punishment.

    That Mr Assange is likely to be physically and psychologically harmed is perhaps just a useful side-effect of the security theatre.

    However, Mr Murray and others have published more than enough information by now to persuade any reasonable, decent person that the British and US authorities – political, legal and judicial – are quite as brutal, cynical and inhuman as those of any fascist regime. The treatment meted out to Mr Assange has been the precise antithesis of all the pious gobbling about “human rights”, “dignity” and “the rule of law”.

    What this horrible farce has demonstrated is simply that any justice or fairness that ever resided in the British legal system has now vanished. In its place stands a structure of repression just as complete and merciless, although a good deal more subtle and disguised, than that of the Nazis.

    • Ian Stevenson

      Tom over the weekend I watched the film Official Secrets about the whistleblower at GCHQ. Katharine Gun leaked an email from the American National Security Agency asking GCHQ to spy on Security Council diplomats so that the US could bribe or blackmail them to support them in the invasion of Iraq. The UK must have agreed for this email to arrived in her in-box. I don’t know if we know who authorised this.
      Our govt. seem to be puppets of the US military and intelligence community.
      Mrs Gun was helped by Liberty and I am sure there are many decent people in the British legal system. But they have been marginalised.
      We can only hope.

  • Mr Obvious

    Was Baraitser‘s handwritten judgement in her handwriting? Is there anyway of checking? With embassy staff (spooks) in the courtroom she could be under duress and being forced to read out a judgement written for her.

    • lysias

      The Stalinist show trials in Eastern Europe were attended by Soviet officials who had to approve all decisions. Not openly, of course.

  • Tom Welsh

    We should all remember, at all times and whatever may transpire, that mr Assange is on trial for telling the world about the hideous and utterly illegal crimes of the US government. Nothing more and nothing less.

    They want the absolute freedom to commit any crimes they wish without the slightest risk of accountability or punishment. When you think of it, that is the exact opposite of democracy, in which the rulers are supposed to be accountable to the people.

    There is a great deal to be said for the system, practiced in ancient Athens, whereby all senior officials were elected for a limited period – usually no more than one year – and had to render an account of their work, their successes and their failures at the end of that period.

    The people could then discuss the individual official’s performance, and choose by vote to reward him with money, status, or in other ways. But they could also decide to punish him by a fine, exile or even execution.

    Just think for a few minutes how that would improve our public life today!

    • lysias

      And in Athens, except for the very highest executive office of the ten generals and some financial offices requiring expertise (these were elected), all other offices –as well as the Council, the upper house of the legislature, and the judiciary — were occupied by average citizens chosen by lot. The lower house of the legislature was the Assembly, which all adult male citizens could attend and vote in.

  • Clark

    Craig, your detailed reporting and legal analysis puts the corporate media’s dismal efforts to shame.

    Strength to Julian.

  • Fredi

    What surprises me about this case is the deafening silence from some sections of the so called ‘alternative media’.
    Mellon head’s media empire (info wars,prison planet etc) with his small army of ‘truth seeker journalists’ have deemed the whole story of this trial not worth of mentioning in any of their outlets. Strange that when Wikileaks was bashing Hillary they couldn’t get enough of him.

  • vin_ot

    You would think he was being tried for war crimes akin to those of the Nuremberg defendants….not for exposing war crimes!!
    Btw, where is Britain’s fearless press while this is being played out? Y’know, the guys who always tell us Britain is the global beacon of free speech, rule of law, impartial justice, etc, etc…

  • Pyewacket

    Equally saddening & maddening is the total inaction of our media regarding this hearing, in that apart from Craig’s efforts, nothing elsewhere has been reported at all. When Julian was snatched from the Embassy last year, they were all over it, Breaking News on the BBC, followed up by the one, six, and ten-o-clock news programmes and splashed across the front pages of all the papers the following day. Also of note is that none of this reportage cited any revelation of war crimes and murder, but trotted out the sexual offences smears and that he’d jumped bail, to escape justice as a sexual offender. All undoubtedly swallowed by a gullible or uninformed public. Now, about a year later from the snatch, that same media have acted as though they’re under some kind of D-notice or media black-out on the whole story.

  • Steve Hayes

    Is it not truly frightening how easily human beings will commit immoral acts when they can tell themselves that they are just doing their jobs?

    • Magic Robot

      Steve Hayes
      March 2, 2020 at 14:40
      ” just doing their jobs”

      The usual modern excuse I have come across personally:
      “It’s putting food on my family’s table.”
      They must think it gets them around the failed war crime defence of ‘just following orders.’

    • Jones

      reply to above ^^ ”Is it not truly frightening how easily human beings will commit immoral acts when they can tell themselves that they are just doing their jobs?”

      so so true, often followed by the words ”someone has to do it”, when actually they don’t, sheeple !!

  • Wikikettle

    Interview by Afshin Rathansi of Going Underground on RT, of German MP Devin Dagdelen, who along with other International Observers and European MP’s, attended Jillian’s trial. Asks why no British MP’s attended. Alas most public figures are bought and sold. A few brave hearts remain.

  • Mary

    Johnson’s new Attorney General as from 13th February is Suella Braverman, nee Fernandes. She is 39 and like Patel, is very ambitious. She replaced Geoffrey Cox as Attorney General and entered parliament in 2015 as MP for Fareham. She is a member of the Rees Mogg ERG.

    This is her record of votes on foreign policy and defence. Get the drift?

  • AJ

    That’s a very painful read, Craig, but that makes is all the more important that you have written it. Thank you again for your determination and courage.

  • Fleur

    Thank you again Craig. I don’t know where you find the stamina to do all that you are doing to support Julian, but (give or take the odd troll) we are all grateful.
    It’s a shame you had to “out” the advantage of your seating position – I guess that won’t be available for Phase 2. Or not to YOU, anyway.

    • craig Post author

      Fleur “I don’t know where you find the stamina”. I got back to Edinburgh and slept fifteen hours straight. And then slept twelve hours the next day. My indefatigibility is a few years behind me, alas.

      • Tom Welsh

        Doing without so much sleep without making it up later would be foolish and harmful for anyone of any age (even if they could do it).

        One of the best ways of prolonging productive life is to make sure you get all the sleep you need, and make up for any deficits as soon as possible. So those 27 hours were a very wise move. You should go on sleeping as long as you can until you start to wake up full of pep with the dawn.

  • Gordon Hastie

    I hope if there is indeed a conflict within Baraitser it manifests as painfully as she deserves. There is now a conflict within myself for wishing her ill, but there we go.

  • grafter

    Sad that all we see and read here is not being broadcast loud and clear by our own MSM. Where are you BBC ??? Oh wait though it’s all about the Coronavirus isn’t it ? Yes of course no room for this Assange trivia. How silly of me….

  • Mary

    Caitlin urges us to go on the offensive:

    ‘The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it.

    So the narrative managers, by and large, have gone silent.

    Which is good. Because it gives us an opening to seize control of the narrative.

    It’s time to go on the offensive with this. Assange supporters have gotten so used to playing defense that it hasn’t fully occurred to us to go on a full-blown charge.’

  • Mary

    The CEO of Serco, Ms Baraitser’s operatives, is Rupert Soames, son of Christopher ‘Fatty’ Soames and grandson of Churchill.

    Doing nicely.

    Serco faces investors’ ire after handing boss Rupert Soames…..
    4 Apr 2019 ]
    Serco is the latest company to defy investors over lucrative pension payments. The outsourcer’s boss Rupert Soames was handed £4.5million overall in 2018, including a £255,000 cash pension contribution.

  • cris

    I fear you are all too correct in your observations. No doubt, Judge Vanessa Baraitser is a corrupt, craven ghoul overseeing this Kafkaesque hearing. Truly despicable creature with no concern for justice or the rule of law, fearless and blatant in her criminal behavior and contempt for Julian.
    Mod should not permit the troll McCoo to hijack this thread.

    • Shatnersrug

      Chris – I agree their existence is to disrupt debate, or make the comments section seem full of nut cases.

  • Ilya Grushevskiy

    Drive him to suicide? Please, they would suicide him if they needed to. It is just to show what the state does to those who stand up against it.

    • Marmite

      I agree with Ilya.

      It is a demonstration that the state can do whatever it wants, including committing psychological torture and abuse at levels that would earn the average person a few decades in jail.

      It demonstrates that the state regards the people of Great Britain as a mass of ignorant sheep, which can be trusted to remain passive even when some of the smarter sheep might have their doubts.

      It is a demonstration, too, of the usual class superiority, sending out the message that the usual laws, decencies and etiquettes don’t apply here.

      For that reason, the state actually needs and wants him alive.

      Otherwise, he would have been murdered already, and it would have been presented to the gullible sheep (which haven’t moved on much from being a rape-accusing lynch mob) as a suicide, with the usual photos being released to the press as documentation and proof that his death was at his own hand (even though it is actually or absolutely impossible to commit suicide in prison).

  • churchfreechristian

    Is there a D-Notice (Now called a DSMA Notice) slapped on reports of the delay to Julian’s Hearing? I only seem to be able to read about it on foreign websites. I’m also amazed that a link from my website ( to Craig’s Blog is not “getting through” on Google. I’ve set up a paid link based on people’s Google Searches. That should bring about a hundred visits per day to my site. The more clicks I get, the more I pay Google, so it’s in their interest to direct searches. But so far today only 4 clicks. Very, very strange. Is the case so obviously a stitch-up that the Government have to bury it?

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