Beyond Words 135


Yesterday Mark Sommers QC, the extremely erudite and bookish second counsel for Julian Assange in his extradition hearing, trembled with anger in court. Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser had just made a ruling that the names of Julian Assange’s partner and young children could be published, which she stated was in the interests of “open justice”. His partner had submitted a letter in support of his Covid 19 related bail application (which Baraitser had summarily dismissed) to state he had a family to live with in London. Baraitser said that it was therefore in the interests of open justice that the family’s names be made public, and said that the defence had not convincingly shown this would cause any threat to their security or well-being. It was at this point Sommers barely kept control. He leapt to his feet and gave notice of an appeal to the High Court, asking for a 14 day stay. Baraitser granted four days, until 4pm on Friday.

I am in lockdown in Edinburgh, but received three separate eye witness reports. They are unanimous that yet again Baraitser entered the court carrying pre-written judgements before hearing oral argument; pre-written judgements she gave no appearance of amending.

There have been two Covid-19 deaths in Belmarsh prison so far. For obvious reasons the disease is ripping through the jail like wildfire. The Department of Justice is admitting to one death, and refuses to give statistics for the number of cases. As even very sick prisoners are not being tested, the figures would arguably not mean much anyway. As the court heard at the bail application, over 150 Belmarsh prison staff are off work self-isolating and the prison is scarcely functioning. It is the most complete definition of lockdown.

The Prison Governors’ Association submitted to the House of Commons Justice Committee (which yesterday morning considered prisoner releases in closed session) that 15,000 non-violent prisoners need to be released to give the jails any chance of managing COVID-19. The Department of Justice has suggested releasing 4,000 of whom just 2,000 have been identified. As of a couple of days ago, only about 100 had actually been released.

The prisons are now practising “cohorting” across the estate, although decisions currently lie with individual governors. Prisoners who have a cough – any cough – are being put together in segregated blocks. The consequences of this are of course potentially unthinkable. Julian has a cough and chronic lung condition for which he has been treated for years – a fact which is not in dispute.

Yesterday Baraitser again followed her usual path of refusing every single defence motion, following pre-written rulings (whether written or merely copied out by herself I know not), even when the prosecution did not object. You will recall that at the first week of extradition hearing proper, she insisted that Julian be kept in a glass cage, although counsel for the US government made no objection to his sitting in the body of the court, and she refused to intervene to stop his strip searching, handcuffing and the removal of his court papers, even though the US government joined the defence in querying her claim she had no power to do this (for which she was later roundly rebuked by the International Bar Association).

Yesterday the US government did not object to a defence motion to postpone the resumption of the extradition hearing. The defence put forward four grounds:

1) Julian is currently too ill to prepare his defence
2) Due to Covid-19 lockdown, access to his lawyers is virtually impossible
3) Vital defence witnesses, including from abroad, would not be able to be present to testify
4) Treatment for Julian’s mental health conditions had been stopped due to the Covid-19 situation.

Baraitser airily dismissed all these grounds – despite James Lewis QC saying the prosecution was neutral on the postponement – and insisted that the May 18 date remains. She stated that he could be brought to the cells in Westminster Magistrates Court for consultations with his lawyers. (Firstly, in practice that is not the case, and secondly these holding cells have a constant thoughput of prisoners which is very obviously undesirable with Covid19).

It is worth noting that the prosecution stated that the US government’s own psychiatrist, appointed to do an assessment of Julian, had been unable to access him in Belmarsh due to Covid 19 restrictions.

This is getting beyond me as it is getting beyond Mark Sommers and the defence team. Even before Covid 19 became such a threat, I stated that I had been forced to the conclusion the British Government is seeking Assange’s death in jail. The evidence for that is now overwhelming.

Here are three measures of hypocrisy.

Firstly, the UK insists on keeping this political prisoner – accused of nothing but publishing – in a Covid 19 infested maximum security jail while the much-derided Iranian government lets Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out and hopefully will release her altogether.
Which is the inhumane regime?

Secondly, “open justice” allegedly justifies the release of the identities of Julian’s partner and kids, while the state enforces the secrecy of Alex Salmond’s busted accusers, even though the court heard evidence that they specifically colluded to destroy him using, as a deliberate tool, the anonymity afforded to people making sexual accusations.

Thirdly, nobody cultivates her own anonymity more than Vanessa Baraitser who has her existence carefully removed from the internet almost entirely. Yet she seeks to destroy the peace and young lives of Julian’s family.

Keep fighting for Julian’s life and for freedom.

Pieter Evert sent me this rather good cartoon, for which many thanks:

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

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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135 thoughts on “Beyond Words

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  • Ruth

    ‘With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.’ No, thank you for exposing this corrupt state we live in.

    • Marmite

      Thanks for this.

      I’m convinced that after about 5 years practicing, a judge is no longer really capable of ethical or rational thinking, and that there needs to be some kind of rotation of this post.

      But in this case, it seems the judge is just a mindless pawn in a power game, kind of like a slimy undertaker, with no qualms doing the dirty work . I pity her for how she will go down in history. Whereas Julian has already made so much history, and we all know the celebrated reputation he will continue to carry.

      This must make the judge hot red with fury.

      Where is the judge that will try her?

      • Marmite

        Meanwhile, another Labour politician sacked for angry words, which in the mouth of a Tory would simply be par for the course. I don’t know why the entire country would be clapping for a Tory whose policies have now led to 8000 deaths. And I don’t know why Boris deserves special treatment. Every life is important, including his. The class system in Britain is murderous, and it should be an huge embarrassment to every single person living in the UK. But let’s go on clapping like fools.

  • Humphrey+Gairloch

    Thank you very much Mr. Murray for continuing to report this case, silence from MSM is truly embarrassing
    Unbelievable, dirty underhand and disgusting behaviour by UK .
    Can nothing be done to help this man?

  • writeon

    I think this entire grotesque affair does reveal the almost total decay, to the point of exstinction, of ‘liberal values’ in public life… especially in the media. The ghastly silence, like a tomb, surrounding this political trial of the century. The liberal/left, typified by the horrid Guardian, cannot face or accept that this kind of thing is going on in London, not Iran; and still maintain their cherished illusions about society, democracy and our values. Where was that dull wanker Corbyn in all this? Couldn’t he be bothered to get off his comfortable arse and use his status, finally, to do something pro-fucking-active for a change? Why didn’t he speak out sooner and forcefully standing outside Belmarsh? Would that really have been so hard for him and the rest of the ‘respectable’ and ‘sanctioned’ left?

    • Giyane

      Write on

      Was Corbyn not facing his own stitch-up, from , for the sake of open justice , exactly the same forces of evil that face Assange, not the US, not the UK, the other one.

        • Giyane

          Squeeth

          If I sharpen my claws on the armchair nobody takes any notice. But if Corbyn had engaged in keyboardery outside the Labour Party , either his own party or the even nastier one would have had him for dog-foid.

          If you want an example of treading water trying to stay in power , tune into the daily Boredom Hour at 17.00 on radio 4 where the fatuous art of avoiding questions and exercising the dogma are worse even than the BBC’S PM.

          Imho you can’t blame him for what is happening to Assange. Blame Blair if you like for spaying the BBC.in 2003, making it virtually illegal ever to discuss anything about Iraq again.

          • Squeeth

            Yes I can, he was supposed to be the socialist with clean hands. He soiled them soon enough, didn’t he. Anyone would think he didn’t want to be PM.

          • Giyane

            Squeeth

            Socialism stands on top of religious morality, while Capitalism, Fascisn and Politicsl Islam are all diametrically opposed to the religious concept of morality.

            Socialism rejects religion only because all religions have been twisted to justify the abuse of power, especially Islam. The fact that you hot me as a ruler is proof enough that God chose me to rule over you.

            The Trinity of twisted doctrines following the prophets Moses, Jesus and Muhammad , peace be on all of them, respectively , all working together against the witness of Truth of those great prophets, has led socialist intellectuals
            to reject religion.

            Thus purity has never been the aim of socialism, just desperately trying to keep the system going while the political classes wreck the world for their own reward.
            There is no ” supposed to be ” purity.
            There is only individual purity , pitted against the tyranny of greed.

            The bastards have hijacked all.the good slogans for sanitizing their blood soaked hands. Corbyn has carried the baton into his 70s. Pick it up or shut up. The new Labour Party isn’t Labour so the vacancy is still available for you.

          • Squeeth

            Quite right, he was courteous as he betrayed Ken Livingstone and the Jews who were purged by zionist antisemites as he passed by on the other side.

          • Giyane

            Squeeth
            ” pass by on the other side ”

            Quoting from the Gospels. Again.
            The Islamists who work for the Tories, spied on me in my own home and on my I internet. If even the mosque is busy trying to find faults with people of integrity, there is no such thing as integrity any more.

            The mosque is a purely political construct, battling for money and power and shafting it’s own supporters for brownie points with the disbelieve elites. They are now thankfully closed, giving hypocrisy a break for a short while.

            Sorry, you were saying…? Oh yes, Saint Corbyn had never been compromised.
            Wake up and smell the herbal tea. We are all comprehensively compromised by a deep state, that exercises 24/7 compromat collection.

            The one that arranged for a bed to be available in hospital for a prime minister, while forgetting about 70 million other people. Good priorities , eh? How much does all that compromat cost, to keep the opposition under control? A lot more than enough Ppe in a pandemic emergency.

  • Ingwe

    I’ll be the first to admit that in over thirty years of practice as a lawyer, I’ve not been involved in criminal proceedings so I’ll claim no expertise whatever in criminal law. But it seems to me absurd that, where it is clear that the District Judge hearing these applications, is not acting fairly i.e. paying no heed to legal argument made by leading and junior counsel for Mr Assange and delivering pre-written judgments, such judgments are not, on that ground alone, appealable.

    Where it is obvious that the judgments don’t in any way deal, judicially, with the matters raised, the judgments should be appealed and heard by a higher court and more qualified judge. I really don’t understand why his eminently qualified legal team have not, so far as I’m aware, appealed this dreadful judge’s biased judgments. I’ve no real belief that Mr Assange will get a fair hearing here or in the USA but at least make the courts show their workings and give the slightest basis for justice not only to be done, but be seen to be done.

    • Leonard Young

      Ingwe I completely agree with you. Despite the reports of the defence’s frustrations and requests, I’m getting the impression that Assange’s defence team are not sufficiently energetic in challenging the procedure itself. There have already been numerous incidents that are clear abuses of procedure. The defence should have been on their feet RAGING about his incarceration behind a glass cell where there is not a shred of evidence to demonstrate Assange is a threatening or dangerous person. They should have also openly pointed out that there is a clear demonstration of the judge arriving at decisions before even hearing submissions, if Craig’s reporting is accurate, which I’m sure it is.

      In cases like these it is not enough to be a “good” defence lawyer. You need to be on your feet almost constantly with loud and clear objections and not sit down when told. His defence should be challenging every single point of procedure with gusto, energy, passion and insight. Now maybe they are and I just don’t get it, but they do not seem to me to be vigorous enough.

  • Muscleguy

    I am beyond appalled. I will be citing this if necessary on the doorsteps when campaigning for Scottish Indy resumes. To anyone who claims the UK state is kind and cannot be criticised. How can you distrust any conspiracy theory with this political show trial going on?

    I say that as a dyed in the wool scientist skeptic. Little would surprise me after this and Salmond’s accusers not being investigated for collusion, conspiracy and perjury.

    Scotland needs out of this septic UK tuit suit. Are you listening Ms Sturgeon? Hello? Earth to Bute House, come in please Bute House chhchchhcspzzzzspzzzzzz. …. . . …

    • James

      Muscleguy – I too am beyond appalled. And very grateful to Craig Murray for everything that he is doing in this matter.

      But Scottish independence won’t do a thing for you. You have hit the nail on the head when you mention neo-con Sturgeon. And the Scottish judges who banged up Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – you cannot blame the English for that.

      What is to be done?

    • Colin Alexander

      A few months ago I wrote appealing for help from my SNP MP regarding the inhuman treatment of Julian Assange. The response just waffled on about the SNP are a “party of law and order” and the law must take its course. It also repeated the false assertion that Mr Assange was facing extradition to Sweden to face rape charges.

      As readers of Craig’s blog will know, Julian Assange was NEVER charged with rape and the Swedish authorities have since dropped their investigation.

      • Patrick Roden

        Do you mind me asking who your MP is Colin?

        He or she gets paid to be informed about legal matters, so If he hasn’t done his homework re Julian’s extradition to Sweden, then they really aren’t fit to be an MP.

        and they need to know this!

        • Marmite

          I can probably only count 2 or 3 MPs whom I would consider to be informed. As much as we’d like that to be a requirement, I don’t think this is the reason for their office. Also, I cannot think of a single one, other than Caroline Lucas, who’d represent me. But sadly she is not my MP.

        • Colin Alexander

          I would prefer not to say at this point in time, as I never said I would share the response. I have always rated them highly. I wonder if SNP hq has ordered mps to take this position. Anyone had similar responses from SNP mps?

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          Good question-see my comment above re MP Amy Callaghan “not really fit to be an MP” is your (and my) conclusion.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        I too wrote to my SNP MP regarding JA.I am in East dunbartonshire lost by Jo Swinson and gained by SNP’s Amy Callaghan. She has not replied. One must assume that she refuses to be drawn into difficult matters.But what else is an MP for if not to deal with difficult issues. One has to wonder at the calibre of some elected representatives. Mere election is clearly no recommendation.
        I notice some criticism of Corbyn above but one must also consider his fortitude in the face of a relentless barrage of abuse and smearing from many quarters of this country.
        The UK has declined and descended into brutality and barbarism in so many ways that it is now unrecognisable to me.

  • Patsy

    This is disgusting and must be heartbreaking for Julian’s family. I don’t know what else to say.

    • Robyn

      Julian’s mother, Christine Assange, is constantly on Twitter re-tweeting supportive messages and appealing to people to contact their MPs (UK or Australia as applicable) on behalf of Julian. I cannot imagine the constant anxiety she lives in, despairing over her son’s treatment and in constant fear of a call to inform her that he is dead.

  • Willie

    What is so concerning is how so many ordinary people take no interest in the illegal and in humane incarceration of Julian Assange.

    That I’m afraid is the wilful disinterest that allowed the Nazis to take power and then March millions off to the gas chambers.

    If they can do this to Assange in plain sight then they can do it to anyone. Keep up the good work Craig even if it is on behalf of the disinterested sheep who would walk into the gas chambers through complete and utter inaction.

    • Squeeth

      Bollocks, the German public never elected Hitler to anything and in the last Weimar election that wasn’t fully bent they still rejected the NSDAP, despite voter intimidation, watching people as they cast their “ballot”, thieving ballots, blockading working class districts etc, etc. The German public were not to blame for the Nazi regime, the boss class was. What’s being done to Assange isn’t unusual, he us.

      PS it’s “uninterested”.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Squeeth April 8, 2020 at 18:14
        Hitler got the support he did from very many Germans owing to the hell that Germans had been subjected to, being forced into a war neither the Kaiser, military or people wanted, which had been planned at least from 1905, principally by British traitors, and then being humiliated and starved and their territories taken from them (both Fatherland and overseas territories) by the Treaty of Versailles.
        Also, Hitler had been bankrolled by US banks and corporations in the inter-war years (George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a director of a Nazi front bank in the US).
        And despite the Nazi’s atrocities, which are widely condemned around the world, one would also expect condemnation of Eisenhower’s starvation policy after the war, which in conjunction with exposure and disease was responsible for the death of many millions of Germans, both ex-soldiers and civilians.
        Victors Justice (and Victor’s Histories, because Eisenhower’s (and French) atrocities are almost unknown outside Germany).

        • Bayard

          “being forced into a war neither the Kaiser, military or people wanted, which had been planned at least from 1905, principally by British traitors”

          Nice bit of Orwellian revisionism there.

        • Mr V

          “being forced into a war neither the Kaiser, military or people wanted” This is utter nonsense, if not outright lie. Read the titles of the German press from that time, they all were enthusiastic for another great victory. Russia even asked for delaying mobilization and trying peace talks, kaiser smugly replied he won’t do so because Germans started mobilization first which would give them huge advantage they won’t give up.

          And seeing the “Fatherland” mention I am convinced you’re AfD liar, seeing the “Fatherland” bits they lost had massive majorities of polish, danish, and other minorities (Alsace/Lorraine was more questionable but there was a lot of french there too, and besides, thuggish Prussian administration of these regions cured the population of wanting to be part of Germany to the point the troops from there had to be sent to Russian front to not instantly desert)…

          I also love the mention of Eisenhower ‘justice’, as if anything, he was far too lenient, hundreds of thousands of Nazi war criminals got away free, suffering exactly zero retribution for millions they killed. Poor Klaus Barbie, he had to eat a bit less for a bit before getting cosy US job!

      • Coldish

        Squeeth: I know this is OT, but it’s worth bearing in mind that at the peak of Hitler’s electoral career, in July 1932, in an reasonably free election held under strict proportional representation, enough Germans voted for his party to for it to be the largest party in the Reichstag with 39% of the seats. We also know that at least in some regions of the country support for the NSDAP was higher in rural areas than in big cities, and also higher among better-off middle class voters than among industrial workers.

    • On the train

      Sorry,to be pedantic but you mean UNinterested not DISinterested . Uninterested means not caring about the outcome. Disinterested is what the Magistrate SHOULD be , but isn’t. Disinterest is what judges should aspire to….ie being impartial, even handed…without any personal prejudice or interest in the outcome.

    • Tatyana

      Hitler was radically inclined, had a goal and a plan, and gathered around him the same radical people, and all this turned to be a real power.
      Few wanted to stop him; rather, some willingly used this radical force to their own advantage. You know, sometimes interests partially or completely coincide…
      As for ordinary people, until they were counted among those who are subject to destruction, until then they, too, half-jokingly half-seriously took the ideas of Nazism, or kept neutrality.
      It always happens that many people are indifferent as long as it doesn’t involve them personally.

      modern “common wisdom” describing this fenomenon is: ” the problems of blacks are not problems of sheriff ”
      I am sorry if I offend someone with this. sorry. really.

      • nevermind

        Yes Tatyana, IG Farben was just that kind of business to exploit fascism under the Nazis, as were, now multinationals, such as Nestle who supported the NSDAP with over 35.000 Reichsmark? A mere piffle of an insurance to keep safe in the heart of Europe then, whilst the neighbour is running riot.

        Thing is, they have seemed to have provided a blueprint for today’s crooks and ultra nationalists, in Germany, Hungary, your neighbour Ukraine, and in some ways Poland and England, to be specific.

        That said, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Holland face the challenges of right wing nationalists who dress up their racism by pointing to ‘traditional values, culture, and by a rejection of other cultures whose values they don’t understand or ever have heard of.

        I would give three pints of blood and 100 hours of volunteering to change our lifes to fostering soils and sustainability, giving 16 year olds a say in their future. If we do not support and enable our next generation, for the fear of losing what we once thought important, then, I’m afraid, we are the dinosaurs that need to die out.

  • Contrary

    That is absolutely outrageous! There is NO justification for allowing the family’s names to be revealed. If they can’t charge him with a crime in this country they should have let him go – it is an absolute travesty that this is happening at all. I must admit to being utterly shocked by the English state’s treatment of Julian Assange, it is beyond words, and evil.

    • On the train

      Yes “ beyond words and evil ” sums it up. The election of Kier Starmer as labour leader was another misfortune for Julian Assange and his supporters.

      • Marmite

        Thanks for this.

        I’m convinced that after about 5 years practicing, a judge is no longer really capable of ethical or rational thinking, and that there needs to be some kind of rotation of this post.

        But in this case, it seems the judge is just a mindless pawn in a power game, kind of like a slimy undertaker, with no qualms doing the dirty work . I pity her for how she will go down in history. Whereas Julian has already made so much history, and we all know the celebrated reputation he will continue to carry.

        This must make the judge hot red with fury.

        Where is the judge that will try her?

      • nevermind

        Yes, on the train, Keir’s words to the Swedish prosecutor still ring in my ears. Don’t you get cold feet now’ he said, on hearing that The Swedes wanted to shelf the case for lack of real evidence. So they played Sir Keir game and sent him an EAW signed by a prosecutor, not a judge, as it should have been to be bona fide.

        Sir Keir Starmer, as any good neocon, ignored the proper conduct and accepted the EAW. Since then Julian, as far as I can see this farce, is running from the western powers.

        I am very angry about his moves to appease the media, by appealing to minorities with agendas of their own, in the first three days, he is alienating thousands. Whatever Ayesha Hazarika meant when she wrote that he has human rights licked, she clearly fears to mention the facts/is trying to get into Keir’s good books.
        But the I paper does not do critics or facts, it follows the line of pressure. Good boy journalism at its best.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ nevermind April 8, 2020 at 23:44
          Starmer thus proved his subordination to the PTB, and leader of the Labour Party has been bestowed on him (and Nandy reputably has a picture of Thatcher over her desk).
          Labour, R.I.P. Likud (British Branch)?

        • Lawrence AB

          Those words were in the letter sent by Crown Prosecutors to the Swedes (as revealed by those Italian researchers who did a better job than anyone in England) but are you sure they were Keir Starmer’s?

          I agree his conduct as Head was disgraceful but rhst letter may have been signed by the deputy actually on the case.

  • Rhys+Jaggar

    I must say that I have reached the same conclusion as you about the UK State wishing to put Mr Assange to death in jail. I thought the same about the death of Dr David Kelly nearly 20 years ago. One also wonders what the UK State has done with Sergey Skripal and his daughter, having bumped off a junkie or two as ‘acceptable collateral damage’….?

    That being the case, if the worst were to happen, one wonders how a trial by jury for ‘corporate murder/manslaughter’ might be convened?

    Who, apart from darling Vanessa Baraitser, should be charged with ‘conspiracy to commit corporate murder/manslaughter’? I guess that depends on where she is getting her instructions from.

    Given that the DPP is hardly likely to bring criminal charges against the people who appointed him, what mechanisms of private prosecution exist and in which global jurisdiction would such a trial be most likely to a) occur in a timely manner; and b) be least likely to see conspiracy to pervert the course of justice taking place?

    Of course, if judicial due process is denied at every turn, those denied the rule of law may turn to the law of the jungle….I would not want to be Vanessa Baraitser under such circumstances….

  • Dom

    Meantime opinion formers demand that candles to be lit for Mass Cull Bozo. (No one mention his intentions for our ederly, sick and disabled please.)

  • Rhisiart+Gwilym

    Baraitser needs urgently to be in the dock at The Hague. Foul traitress!

  • Colin Davis

    Both sick and strange.

    This judge is seemingly working to a script, but can she (or can anybody?) have chosen to show themselves so obviously lacking in integrity?

    She must, surely, be in line for a tempting reward.

  • Geoff

    Was this comment planted just so the ‘dangerous mob mentality’ meme can be trotted out and the subject matter dismissed? I really don’t see any other purpose to this.

    • pasha

      Easy. “YOU’RE A PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A JUDGE AND SHOULD BE DISBARRED IMMEDIATELY. YOU’RE A LIAR AND A FRAUD.”

  • Tony M

    The situation in care-homes seems to be just as bad as in prisons, might even be better ‘inside’ than in the tender care of the care-homes, many care-homes seen as safe-bet fronts for organised-crime legitimising itself, the turnovers are in the billions of pounds league, but the costs: some ramshackle old buildings and a few minimum wage ‘carers’, skivvys and cooks, minimal. Dig down into their ownership and the murky underword is soon uncovered. It seems residents who’re taken ill are not being taken to hospital, not being treated and simply left there to die in their cells. They’re non-persons. As care-home places become available, with the death-toll mounting older people at large living full lives in the community, cared for by their families better watch out they’re not abducted by social-workers tout-ing for the care home management in return for a brown-envelope kickback for filling up the very many now available places. ‘Clean’ money too this care-home racket, profits must be optimised, gangsters, oops shareholders must get their returns maximised, even if they have to stick a bed in a cupboard or utility-room complete with filthy sink, they’ll do it, and there’s no shortage of older people, nor ways to be found to, drag them out of their homes, crying, screaming, resisting all the way, get the police to help too, take their teeth off them so they can’t bite, drug them into stupefaction, label it dementia and lock them up for the rest of their lives as they then no longer have ‘capacity’ having been trauamatised, and no longer either do they have choice, their wishes, their will something to be scoffed at and ignored. Profits dear boy, social-workers must get the cream, how else are they to supplement their already considerable salaries so as to live in the more exclusive parts, as far away and removed from the plebs they terrorise and prey upon, packed in like sardines in the concrete-jungle housing schemes, with built-in by design passive surveillance, to guarantee friction and enough self-appointed curtain twitching clipes to dial 999 and ask for their neighbours to be exterminated.

    • Colin Alexander

      Twice I’ve I’ve caught social workers trying to put elderly people in care homes against their will. One time by claiming falsely doctors had pronounced the person senile and incapable of deciding for themselves. The second time by saying the person wanted to go to a care home. Both occasions involved trying to get the elderly person out of hospital ASAP. So they didn’t have to wait a day or two longer for home care support to be put in place.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Colin Alexander April 8, 2020 at 23:35
        Just like they steal people’s children and take them into ‘care’, often to be abused in care homes and in foster carers’ homes.
        Epstein and Savile are one end of the spectrum; the other is the Family Courts which ‘legally’ kidnap peoples children.

        • Bayard

          “Just like they steal people’s children and take them into ‘care’,”

          I don’t think very much of this goes on, if any. OTOH it doesn’t have to, the belief that it does is very effective at keeping a large section of the population from questioning the decisions of officialdom for fear that it might happen to their children.

  • James Cook

    Trump was very specific when praising BJ the other day in his daily briefing – BJ is there for us (THE USA) whenever we ask and we wish him well in his fight against Covid-19.

    Covid-19 has just reinforced that we are entering a whole new world. Beware!

  • michael norton

    The U.K.’s coronavirus outbreak is slowing, Government experts say – despite the death toll jumping by a record high of 938, overtaking Italy’s worst-ever day (919) during its COVID-19 crisis.

    Official figures show the number of Britons who have died in hospital after testing positive for the life-threatening illness is now 7,097 – more than double the tally of China, where the pandemic began in December.

    If we have double the deaths in the U.K. from covid-19 that have been recorded in China, things are at a pretty pass but more deaths are expected, especially in institutions, like mental hospitals, old peoples homes and prisons.
    As you say Craig, they are letting out non-violent prisoners, to take some of the strain out of the system, even our own prime minister is banged up in a special care unit.
    This woman judge, must be a particularly cruel person.

    • nevermind

      Slowing? Poppycock. They are now look8ng at a different kind of modelling which would see death climb to over 65.000.

      As for Apartheid judge Baraitser, she , as well as those who pull her atringy bits, are soley responsible for torturing and driving Julian to death.
      Some call it deliberatly planned murder. Thats what fascist do Mrs. Baraitser.

    • North Chiel

      Should our Scottish government not “ speak out” against this scandalous injustice in the “ name” of the so called “ U.K.” . Or if this is a purely “ English” judicial matter should our Scottish government be declaring unequivocally “ not in the name of the people of Scotland” . Sickening injustice to the pit of my stomach !

  • Monster

    As an observant Jew, Baraitser was probably in a hurry to celebrate Passover, which is an event marking freedom. Let’s hope Corvid 19 doesn’t affect her family during her attendance, especially her ageing father who has to exist on an Israeli state pension as well as a prolific NHS handout.

    • lysias

      Passover is an event celebrating the slaughter by a vengeful God of innocent Egyptian babies.

    • Squeeth

      How many other sorts are there? I bet she isn’t though, I bet she’s a zionist.

  • Ort

    The cartoon is indeed rather good, except that Vanessa Baraitser is not represented; this may be due to the “technical” problem that her face and form remain invisible to the public, including the cartoonist. Perhaps a revised version is in order, with an imagined Baraitser presiding– albeit garbed not in the traditional judicial wig and robes, but clothed as the scythe-bearing Grim Reaper.

    Craig, I’m sincerely sorry that the general conduct of the judiciary in the nations responsible for Julian’s incarceration have cut at the roots in your faith in the rule of law. Perhaps living in the US accelerates the process of cynical understanding. Unfortunately, despite the traditional glowing, high-minded admiration for the rule of law, in reality judges are by no means sober, skilled, responsible triers of fact who preside and rule without fear or favor in the interests of achieving justice.

    Some are, perhaps. Of course, there is a vast taxonomy of triers of fact, from lowly arbitrators and magistrates to Supreme Court justices. The law of averages presumably dictates that some true paragons of jurisprudence will sit on the bench. But at every level, these are virtually patronage positions sought by persons in the legal profession who are powermongers and/or politically ambitious. I know lawyers who privately assert that judges are hardly the professional cream of the crop, but rather are mediocrities and hacks appointed to their positions for reasons other than their judicial sophistication and personal probity.

    And then there are judges who more or less openly serve class interests instead of justice: sycophantic servants or members of the overclass power elite. Every time the odious Baraitser commits a new atrocity, I think of a comment I posted to an article reporting the work of one of Baraitser’s partners in crime: Judge Deborah Taylor’s harsh sentence in May, 2019, following Julian’s dubious conviction for “bail-jumping”:

    Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher and journalist, was sentenced to almost a year in prison by a UK judge Wednesday in what can only be called a show trial.
    In 1921, Webster Thayer, a judge of the Superior Court of Massachusetts, was the trial judge in the Sacco and Vanzetti case. After the original conviction, when Thayer denied motions for a new trial he told a Massachusetts lawyer: “Did you see what I did with those anarchistic bastards the other day? I guess that will hold them for a while! Let them go to the Supreme Court now and see what they can get out of them!”
    This is exactly the level of judicial consideration and “fundamental fairness” that will be meted out to Assange. And although I truly hope I’m proved wrong, I don’t think general public blowback will be quantitatively or qualitatively sufficient to deter the vicious powers and principalities from doing their worst.

    I would much prefer to be wrong, but whether “pandemic” or “plannedemic”, the present circumstances are an additional distraction from Julian’s plight. We can only hope that it does not prove to be a fatal distraction for Mr. Assange. Sigh.

  • Paul+Pilgrim

    The District Judge shows sheer contempt of court with her bias actions and behaviour. This is being reported world wide, (even if not reported by the British MSM), and brings our legal system into disrepute. She is a mockery to the concept of justice. This is in simple terms nothing less than corrupt to the core and I hope the people behind this poor excuse of a District Judge suffer the consequences of being found out and answer for their criminal behaviour.

    • pasha

      Not bias. “If I can rule for a particular side I will.” All judges bring bias to their cases in one form or another. This is clearly prejudgement. “I will rule for a particular side regardless.” She’s being spoonfed her prejudgement by her MI5 boss.

  • FranzB

    According to the Indy, Baraitser delayed making the name public until 4 p.m. on April 14th pending a judicial review in the high court. As I understand it that tests whether Baraitser’s ruling is lawful. Surely any half decent judge in a high court will rule that Assange’s partner has a right to a private life. And surely that will leave Baraitser in a difficult position – since her legal authority will be undermined.
    From the Indy report, it seems that it was the PA who applied for the name to be made public. Of course others retain the right to anonymity (albeit in a different jurisdiction).

  • Andrew Ingram

    I’m reminded of the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six cases where all those prosecuting knew of the innocence of those accused.
    The perversion that is English ‘justice’ is personified by the judge that sentenced Derek Bentley to hang, he used to have his servant bring in a spare pair of trousers on the days he’d don the black cloth because he’d ejaculate when reaching the fateful words.
    Makes one wonder what lies behind perverse judgements.

    • Marmite

      It would be good if the more decent people working in justice would come forward and say how criminally twisted British law is. But I guess one of the oaths that they blindly swear to is never finding any fault with it. Just like the NHS workers who are gagged and threatened for asking any questions.

  • James

    Might be a good time to spring Julian Assange – it sounds as if the prison guards are greatly reduced. After all, George Blake was sprung from Wormwood Scrubs in 1966.

    • nevermind

      James? Are you ready? Have you got your helicopter ready, Edward(Eddy) James…. Aahhhh, we do like a good caper.
      How about a general strike instead of a recovery, proper change to the …yawn… Union…? Soils will rule our lifes. Relax…

    • Paul Barbara

      @ James April 8, 2020 at 20:18
      Belmarsh is not Wormwood Scrubs of the mid-60’s.

      • James

        Paul Barbara – you’re probably right about this. I read `The Blake Escape’ by Michael Randle and Pat Pottle, which really is well worth reading and I’d recommend it to anybody. Unfortunately, I don’t immediately see a possibility of something similar in Belmarsh.

        Nevertheless, security is going to be at an all time low now due to the Coronavirus.

    • Bayard

      17A Doynton St is no longer listed as an address by the post office. I wonder why?

      • N_

        The planning application was to join two flats together into one unit, but eight years later the Land Registry still has titles for both 17A and 17B. It is possible that the planning application was for valuation purposes only. Even if granted it doesn’t have to be acted on. It’s interesting that Flat A, 17, is listed as social housing. There are landlords in existence who have such a cosy relationship with a local council that the council will pay them a monthly rent for their property even when there is no occupancy AND in addition they will leave it to the landlord to interview prospective “social housing” tenants to decide whether they will allow them to live there or not. Council housing departments are all as corrupt as f***.

        A copy of a registered title from the Land Registry costs £3. I haven’t bought any for any of these properties. The document will identify the registered owner and usually it will also record a “charge” such as a mortgage if there is one. (This is the method that the Daily Record used against Craig. Two can play at this game.)

  • Courtenay+Barnett

    Craig,

    Interesting.

    So:-

    ” The Department of Justice is admitting to one death, and refuses to give statistics for the number of cases.”

    But the prisoners are imprisoned at the public expense – so – is it not in the public and in the interest of “open justice” to know of the statistics and conditions relative to these expenditures?

    Ironic to say the least.

  • pasha

    Beyond words indeed.
    I am struggling to express my feelings, which swing back and forth between incandescent rage and utter shame at the actions of what is, technically, still my government.
    My “justice” system.
    My god.
    I hope Thatcher is proud of what she has wrought, as she looks up through the flames of the nethermost pit. It all stems from her.

  • Dave

    Absolutely appalling treatment, has she no regard for her soul? But separately the corona-virus is cover for something else, as the mortality rate is little different from the preceding 5 years. Web-search, http://www.gov.uk weekly all-cause mortality surveillance 2019 to 2020.

    • Shardlake

      Dave : With regards to Mr Assange’s predicament I’m persuaded it’s going to get a great deal worse with the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020 because there are aspects of that legislation that will give the government unlimited powers without scrutiny for an indeterminate period of time. We are beginning to see the introduction of these powers in the manner that Judge Baraitser has conducted herself during Mr Assange’s extradition hearing and now recently with this latest revelation regarding the names of his partner and young children as being in the public interest. As a nation, most of us are now effectively under house arrest by a government that brooks no dissent and we are defenceless with no effective Parliament to call it to account. The situation is more serious than most realise.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Tatyana
      trying to fathom this bit
      “modern “common wisdom” describing this fenomenon is: ” the problems of blacks are not problems of sheriff ”
      I am sorry if I offend someone with this. sorry. really”.

      Are you saying that racism is not a problem for the judicial authorities or police?

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