Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 16 143

On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard the immediate following Monday. This brought the closest the defence have come to a protest, with the defence pointing out they have still not addressed the new superseding indictment, and that the judge refused their request for an adjournment before witness hearings started, to give them time to do so.

Edward Fitzgerald QC for the defence also pointed out that there had been numerous witnesses whose evidence had to be taken into account, and the written closing submissions had to be physically prepared with reference to the transcripts and other supporting evidence from the trial. Baraitser countered that the defence had given her 200 pages of opening argument and she did not see that much more could be needed. Fitzgerald, who is an old fashioned gentleman in the very nicest sense of those words, struggled to express his puzzlement that all of the evidence since opening arguments could be dismissed as unnecessary and of no effect.

I fear that all over London a very hard rain is now falling on those who for a lifetime have worked within institutions of liberal democracy that at least broadly and usually used to operate within the governance of their own professed principles. It has been clear to me from Day 1 that I am watching a charade unfold. It is not in the least a shock to me that Baraitser does not think anything beyond the written opening arguments has any effect. I have again and again reported to you that, where rulings have to be made, she has brought them into court pre-written, before hearing the arguments before her.

I strongly expect the final decision was made in this case even before opening arguments were received.

The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.

The US Government responded to Baraitser’s pronouncement enthusiastically with the suggestion that closing arguments did not ought to be heard AT ALL. They ought merely to be submitted in writing, perhaps a week after final witnesses. Baraitser appeared eager to agree with this. A ruling is expected today. Let me add that two days ago I noticed the defence really had missed an important moment to stand up to her, when the direction of her railroading became evident. It appears that because of the ground the defence already conceded at that stage, Noam Chomsky is one of the witnesses from whom we now will not hear.

I am afraid I am not going to give you a substantive account of Wednesday’s witnesses. I have decided that the intimate details of Julian’s medical history and condition ought not to be subject to further public curiosity. I know I cannot call back what others have published – and the court is going to consider press requests for the entire medical records before it. But I have to do what I believe is right.

I will say that for the defence, Dr Quinton Deeley appeared. Dr Deeley is Senior Lecturer in Social Behaviour and Neurodevelopment at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IOPPN), King’s College London and Consultant Neuropsychiatrist in the National Autism Unit. He is co-author of the Royal College Report on the Management of Autism.

Dr Deeley after overseeing the standard test and extensive consultation with Julian Assange and tracing of history, had made a clear diagnosis which encompassed Asperger’s. He described Julian as high-functioning autistic. There followed the usual disgraceful display by James Lewis QC, attempting to pick apart the diagnosis trait by trait, and employing such tactics as “well, you are not looking me in the eye, so does that make you autistic?”. He really did. I am not making this up.

I should say more about Lewis, who is a strange character. Privately very affable, he adopts a tasteless and impolite aggression in cross-examination that looks very unusual indeed. He adopts peculiar postures. After asking aggressive questions, he strikes poses of theatrical pugilism. For example he puts arms akimbo, thrusts out his chin, and bounces himself up on his feet to the extent that his heels actually leave the floor, while looking round at the courtroom in apparent triumph, his gaze pausing to fix that of the judge occasionally. These gestures almost always involve throwing back one or both front panels of his jacket.

I think this is some kind of unconscious alpha male signalling in progress, and all these psychiatrists around might link it to his lack of height. It is display behaviour but not really very successful. Lewis has grown a full set during lockdown and he appears strikingly like a chorus matelot in a small town production of HMS Pinafore.

There is a large part of me that wants to give details of the cross-examination because Deeley handled Lewis superbly, giving calm and reasoned replies and not conceding anything to Lewis’s clumsy attempts to dismantle his diagnosis. Lewis effectively argued Julian’s achievements would be impossible with autism while Deeley differed. But there is no way to retell it without going into the discussion of medical detail I do not wish to give. I will however tell you that Julian’s father John told me that Julian has long known he has Asperger’s and will cheerfully say so.

The second psychiatrist on Wednesday, Dr Seena Fazel, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, was the first prosecution witness we have heard from. He struck me as an honest and conscientious man and made reasonable points, well. There was a great deal of common ground between Prof Fazel and the defence psychiatrists, and I think it is fair to say that his major point was that Julian’s future medical state would depend greatly on the conditions he was held in with regard to isolation, and on hope or despair dependent on his future prospects.

Here Lewis was keen to paint an Elysian picture. As ever, he fell back on the affidavit of US Assistant attorney Gordon Kromberg, who described the holiday camp that is the ADX maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, where the prosecution say Julian will probably be incarcerated on conviction.

You will recall this is the jail that was described as a “living hell” and a “fate worse than death” by its own warden. Lewis invited Prof Fazel to agree this regime would not cause medical problems for Julian, and to his credit Prof Fazel, despite being a prosecution witness, declined to be used in this way, saying that it would be necessary to find out how many of Kromberg’s claims were true in practice, and what was the quality of this provision. Fazel was unwilling to buy in to lies about this notorious facility.

Lewis was disingenuous because he knows, and the prosecution have conceded, that if convicted Julian would most likely be kept in H block at the ADX under “Special Administrative Measures.” If he had read on a few paragraphs in Kromberg’s affidavit he would have come to the regime Julian would actually be held under:

So let us be clear about this. William Barr decides who is subjected to this regime and when it may be ameliorated. For at least the first twelve months you are in solitary confinement locked in your cell, and allowed out only three times a week just to shower. You are permitted no visits and two phone calls a month. After twelve months this can be ameliorated – and we will hear evidence this is rare – to allow three phone calls a month, and brief release from the cell five times a week to exercise, still in absolute isolation. We have heard evidence this exercise period is usually around 3am. After an indeterminate number of years you may, or may not, be allowed to meet another human being.

Behind Baraitser’s chilly disdain, behind Lewis’s theatrical postures, this hell on Earth is what these people are planning to do to Julian. They are calmly discussing how definitely it will kill him, in full knowledge that it is death in life in any event. I sit in the public gallery, perched eight feet above them all, watching the interaction of the characters in this masque, as the lawyers pile up their bundles of papers or stare into their laptops, as Lewis and Fitzgerald exchange pleasantries, as the friendly clerks try to make the IT systems work, and my mind swims in horrified disbelief. They are discussing a fate for my friend as horrible as that of the thousands who over 500 years were dragged from this very spot and strung up outside. They are all chatting and working away as though we were a normal part of civilised society.

Then I go back to my hotel room, type it all up and post it. The governments who are destroying Julian have through their agencies pushed the huge corporations who now control the major internet traffic gateways, to ensure my pained and grieving account is seen by very few. My screams of pain and horror are deadened by thick padded walls. We are all locked in.

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143 thoughts on “Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 16

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  • lee

    again, stellar coverage that we are just not getting anywhere else. I cannot believe what I am reading sometimes, it is absolutely shocking but, then again, UK has history for this type of behaviour so I shouldnt be surprised.
    I cannot thank craig enough for his coverage.

  • Kate

    Thanks so much, Craig, for giving us this distressing information. It must be agonising to have to watch and witness the goings-on. I wish I could support you with more money.

    • Jon

      Would it not be possible for one of the defence psychiatrists to make a professional judgement in court regarding the behaviour of James Lewis; and declare that he was mentally unfit to partake in this case?

  • pretzelattack

    this is appalling. i feel like i am watching society crash in slow motion, as the decline in our culture mirrors the decline of our physical infrastructure (u.s. here). the mainstream media is being even more subservient than expected, nothing to see here, nothing to click on, nobody reports the fallen tree.

  • Ian

    It is just evil. What else can you call the indifferent, almost triumphant process which condemns a man to living death, with no contact with any other human being? No human being could survive that mental isolation, which is torture, without severe mental deterioration. Which seems to be the point. And the airy, bullying, lying about it in order to achieve their goal.

    Baraitser seems to be the epitome of the functionary in a totalitarian regime, merely concerned with completing her appointed task, of confirming the extradition, with great efficiency and diligence. She, like those anonymous bureaucrats essential for the functioning of a repressive state apparatus, knows what is required of her, has no doubt convinced herself that her job requires the smooth functioning or the system and carrying out its demands, and she will do that diligently and remorselessly. For that she will be thanked and rewarded.

    She reminds me of the butler in The Remains of the Day, obsessed with his job and status, determined to please his masters, who he only dimly, and much later, he facilitated in planning their fascist coup. People like him, and her, survive by self-deception and subservience, convinced that the great machines of state require their dutiful oiling of the wheels and cogs, in which they take great pride and satisfaction. And so they enable the processes of destruction from which they hide in a petty, self-serving, cringing way, obsessed with, clinging to, and upholding the very ‘normality’ Craig points out that is anything but. They daren’t think otherwise.

    • Tom Welsh

      “It is just evil. What else can you call the indifferent, almost triumphant process which condemns a man to living death, with no contact with any other human being?”

      Remember what they did to the Native Americans, the Filipinos – even the Japanese? They have not improved with time.

          • Ian

            It’s not about severing, it’s about recognising the exponential increase of dark practices and the thoroughly different contemporary context they operate in.

  • AGK

    This is the first post I’ve felt I the need to comment on. Craig, this work is crucial and your resolve is humbling though it is coming at an obvious personal cost. I wish I could offer more than words on a blog (or modest financial support), although this pales in front of the growing frustration this trial is clearly fomenting. The true value in witnessing this trial will probably only be realised at some stage in the future as your posts will be a primary source should the worst happen. Keep up the good work and stay strong.

  • Wazdo

    Craig; thank you so much for enduring this on our behalf. And now Starmer has sacked two of his front bench for opposing torture.

    I fear that the horrors that await us will be truly savage.

    I can only urge everyone to hold on to their own sense of pride and decency and keep up the good fight; not easy.

  • Nickle101

    No mistake, this is the modern version of hanging, drawing and quartering…

    Savages, the lot of them

  • Barkbat

    Craig your trial reports have had a profound effect on me and I’m sure many others. They are a vital record that I’d encourage you to compile into a book at some later date. Please keep writing them. Love and support.

      • Yalt

        Haymarket? AK Press? Monthly Review? Verso? Finding a publisher shouldn’t be difficult; successful marketing might be.

      • lysias

        What has prevented the publication of an English language translation of Solzhenitsyn’s history of the Jews in Russia, “200 Years Together”?

        • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

          Last I heard was that his family were delaying the English translation ,though unofficial ones are available online.My french and german copies have moon rocketed on ebay as often happens in such cases.Gore Vidal’s novels give a good background to Wilson’s drive to propagandize the US into war against Germany and the passage of the notorious Espionage Act under which Julian is accused.

  • Alan+G

    It’s not just your own messages which are being received by a dwindling audience. I try to follow events on YouTube and frequently come across reports which have only been seen a handful of times. The “Don’t Extradite Assange” channel for example has many videos with low, double digit viewing figures. One interview has been watched just 8 times! But please don’t get downhearted. Too many people rely on you, Shipton, Hrafnsson et al to reassure us it’s worthwhile continuing the fight.

    • porkpie

      I too have noticed how low the figures are for some videos, but on the other hand I am only aware of this because they have appeared in my recommended list, so it doesnt appear YouTube is censoring them.

  • David G

    Going by Craig’s summary of the exchange about closing arguments, and assuming he accurately paraphrased Edward Fitzgerald QC as saying that Baraitser’s position appeared to be that “all of the evidence since opening arguments could be dismissed as unnecessary and of no effect”, and if Fitzgerald himself correctly assessed that to be her position, it seems that both puppeteers and puppets are caring ever less about even the pretense of a fair process. To quote eminent mega-brain James Lewis QC, “This would not happen in a real court.”

    Even characters in a masque are expected to commit to their roles: she’s supposed to at least look like she’s listening to the evidence.

  • Tom Welsh

    “…Prof Fazel, despite being a prosecution witness, declined to be used in this way, saying that it would be necessary to find out how many of Kromberg’s claims were true in practice…”

    About time someone came right out and warned that much of what Mr Kromberg said is untrue. Prof. Fazel found a fairly polite way of doing exactly that. For, if some of Mr Kromberg’s claims are true, it is strongly implied (though not logically necessary) that some are not.

  • Ingwe

    Mr Murray, I feel and share your distress and ultimately the impotence of trying to fight a system designed to heap injustice on injustice. I’ve worked in the system as a lawyer and am aware of just how oppressive it all is. And how the media are complicit in forming public opinion which sees painful indifference to Mr Assange’s plight.

    The only comfort I can draw is that, eventually there will be a tipping point; where the excesses of the state’s oppressive apparatus become so grotesque, that people have had enough. At that point, life will have degenreated to such an extent that living or dying makes ittle difference. The oppurtunity cost of taking action becomes zero. And then the powers that be ought to be afraid. Truly afraid.

  • writeon

    It seems almost unseemly to ‘thank you’ for your account, when, in reality, in a saner and more just world, this is the last thing you’d want to be doing with your time and energy; meticulously discribing the slow torture and destruction of a talented and admired friend. In a real, healthy and functioning liberal demoracy, this bizarre piece of ritualised theatre, shouldn’t be happening like this, not in what ammounts to secrecy and pushed way out of the public’s gaze. How many people even know this is taking place? How many even remember Julian Assange?

    In a way I’d prefer a public execution, (that’s a rhetorical wish) because at least the mob would see the horror unfolding in front of them. It would be hard to ignore! At least it would be over quickly with the fall of the axe. This thing is actually worse. It’s years and years of slowly being strangled and one’s personality is cut away piece by piece. Torturing the mind is actually worse than physical torture because it’s hidden from view. The red hot iron leaves no scars visible to the casual observer, because the scars are on the indside the skull, inside the brain.

    It’s not just journalism that’s dying before our eyes, but many of the core principles and values of liberal democracy too. It makes one shiver. Times have changed and not for the better. Things weren’t this bad and dissent was allowed, up to a point. Bourgeois, liberal democracy was preferable to the kind of corporate, militarised state we live in now, where the mainstream media appears to be under complete control.

    I heard a journalist being interviewed on the BBC about the death of Harald Evans and his contribution to investegative journalism. The example they gave, from the Sunay Times, happened half a century ago! No one seemed to think that length of time was significant at all! What’s happened in the last fifty years? Was there really nothing worth investigating? Nothing comparable to what Evans and his Insight team at the Sunday Times achieved, decades ago?

    They mentioned, in an aside, that Evan ‘fell out’ with Rupert Murdoch when he bought The Times an Sunday Times. That’s one way to describe being fired and the Insight team disbanded! The Sunday Times never recovered from Murdoch and neither did the rest of British journalism. Until Julian Assange turned up and Wikileaks! Yet look what happened to him. But the BBC and their guests didn’t face any of these ugly truths and the fate of Assange is being decided just a short taxi ride away from them. But they choose to ignore it, because it’s a truth too harsh to see and face up to.

  • Tom Welsh

    I am a little concerned at the usage that a person “has Asperger’s” (or autism), as it suggests that those are illnesses. As an interested layman, I find it more likely that they are just personality types that differ substantially from the average.

    Most species exhibit a range of personality types, as evinced by behaviour. As the science journalist Hannah Holmes (for instance) explains, this confers definite benefits on the species. In good times, bold and fearless individuals prosper while timid ones do not exploit their opportunities to the maximum. In bad times, the bold and fearless tend to die, while the timid find their behaviour fully justified and manage to survive. Thus the species can thrive under a wide range of conditions.

    People at what Professor Simon Baron-Cohen calls the “systemizing” end of the autistic spectrum (the far end from “empathising”) are described as autistic or having the characteristics of Asperger’s. They contribute hugely to society, even though (or indeed because) they are not very sociable or fluffy.

    Yet the dominant “Western” culture (emanating from the USA) tends to belittle them as “geeks”, “nerds” or (in Britain) “boffins”. That is a great shame.

    I can never understand why those who pride themselves ontheir deep resewrves of empathy seem unable to empathise with people who don’t have so much empathy. It’s a mystery.

    • Opport Knocks

      As someone who is frequently categorized that same way, I wholeheartedly agree. I am not an empathetic person at all and make that clear to people who approach me expecting something like that. But if you have a real world problem to be solved, I’m your man.

      So I do not empathize with Julian either. He knew the true nature of the beast he was taking on, and now more other people do too.

      I also believe a deal with the devil has already been made and this is a show trial;
      1. Deep State shows that those who transgress will be punished to the full extent of their internal penal code, as a deterrent to others.
      2. Julian will have a fake death in custody and become a free man somewhere quiet, like Epstein or Seth Rich.

      We cannot forget who benefited the most from the 2016 election Wikileaks releases. Israel got the best President they could ever ask for and the US proponents of the Iran – Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were punished.

      • Vercingetorix

        Epstein and Seth Rich are both dead. They may have committed suicide. They may have been murdered. But they are both dead.

        I hope there is grounds for an Appeal to a higher court.

        • Opport Knocks

          Disagree, the numerous irregularities in both “official versions” and the lack of photographic or other evidence strongly suggests there was an attempt to make them appear to be dead.

          You can start by trying to find Seth Rich’s death certificate and autopsy report.

    • Photios

      Asperger’s is not the name of a disease. It is a descriptive label attached to those that tend to behave in ‘this’ manner rather than ‘that’ manner in response to this, that or the other stimulus or environmental condition in which they may be placed. Note well the use of ‘tend’ in the foregoing.

      As for me, I do not ‘have’ Asperger’s. I ‘am’ Aspergers. High-end to be sure, but Asperger’s none the less.

    • Natasha

      Tom, There is no mystery, because “systemizing” and “empathising” are not a single construct. In my personal and professional experience autistic people report plenty and often overloading emotional and empathising interior experiences, in concert with systematising behaviours. What you are observing is that autistic people get easily overwhelmed attending neurotypical social activities, which are chaotic and hard to follow and full of hidden implied meanings flying past our attention window too fast to process. Backing off from such sensory overload is *not* a sign of reduced empathy in and of itself.

      As such Julian’s “High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder” (DSM-5, which now includes Asperger’s) diagnosis, which means “a high index of suspicion is warranted in evaluating suicidal risk in patients affected by ASDs, whatever their age, psychiatric comorbidity, and setting of visit.”

      “The prosecution knows that cases such as that of Lauri Love in 2018 and Gary McKinnon in 2012, both centred on extradition efforts by the US government for hacking charges, failed on the basis that both accused would be at high risk of suicide in US prison facilities, a point exacerbated by Asperger’s syndrome and depression. In Love’s case, the UK High Court found that “the fact of extradition would bring on severe depression, and that Mr Love would probably be determined to commit suicide, here or in America.” Being kept on suicide watch was woefully inadequate as a measure of protection, and did not constitute a “form of treatment”.

      In McKinnon’s case, the usually icy Home Secretary, Theresa May, melted to the presence of Asperger’s syndrome and depressive illness, concluding that “extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite him would be incompatible with [his] human rights.” “

      • May

        The odious Theresa May did not ‘melt’ in the presence of Asperger’s Syndrome. You clearly never knew about Talha Ahsan, the gentle poet with Asperger’s whose extradition was demanded by the US despite the UK unable to find any crime to charge him with. Talha, being a British born Muslim had less media exposure than Gary McKinnon, a white Scottish man, although both had similar medical conditions. It is highly likely that May struck a deal with the US administration. She approved the extradition of Talha despite a huge campaign by medical professionals and academics warning of Talha’s Asperger’s condition. Just ten days later, May blocked the extradition of Gary McKinnon who had hacked into the US military’s and the NASA’s computer network, on grounds of his Asperger’s condition. Research the innocent and talented poet Talha Ahsan if you don’t know of him but please don’t suggest that the dreadful Theresa May has an ounce of empathy or integrity.

  • writeon

    Strong and confident states aren’t really afraid of a certain level of dissent, opposition and criticism. Arguably it’s a healthy thing and has uses. Problems can be identified, diagnosed and remidied before then become dangerous or a threat to stability. We, in contrast, are moving away from the ‘safety valve’ model towards something else. An increasingly authoritarian and totalitarian model were dissent is increasingly marginalised and criminalised. If we are being groomed for bigger and even more destructive wars against Russia and China, it’s imortant that the media, as they were prior to WW1, are ready for the great effort and sacrifices that are on the horizon. Assange and Wikileaks was correctly perceived as a direct and potentially serious threat to the coming conflicts, if Wikileaks wasn’t destroyed in advance that is.

    • lysias

      JFK said something to the effect that, if peaceful reform is made impossible, violent revolution becomes inevitable.

  • Bill Boggia

    Such a harrowing read Craig – it’s so so terrible.

    It looks as if there is every reason to call this a mistrial.

    Are there not UN rules about fair trials that are most likely being broken here ?

    It’s so unbelievable that this kangaroo ‘court of star chamber’ is allowed to exist in this day and age.

    • Ian

      It’s not a trial, it’s a hearing, the purpose of which is to confirm procedure has been followed according to the agreement the UK signed in 2003 with the US. It is close to a rubber stamp as you can legally get. The only exemptions are for political trials and health grounds. The only two successful exemptions were on grounds of health, which the then home secretaries used to deny extradition. One was Pinochet, which tells you a lot. If you are dependent on the political whims of a home secretary then you can draw your own conclusions about the intelligence and interests of Priti Patel.

      The defence have run rings around the US charges, but Baraitser has made it clear she is just allowing the formalities of.a hearing, and has demonstrated zero interest in conducting a hearing based on evidence which would affect the process. In effect she is allowing the US to prosecute in a UK court.

      The fault is in the 2003 Act, which has been the subject of controversy ever since, with even Tory MPs expressing their discomfort at its craven, lapdog legislation, giving the US leave to extradite on almost any grounds. And the US has made it clear that it has options, if a state should impede its intentions.

      It is a very good example of bad law made in crises (9/11), and never repealed or improved. You can see the same with Covid legislation, the Internal Market Bill and other brexit legislation, which will alter many constitutional areas with no real consent, and will outlast the crises they were supposed to address. Thus do democracies die, as they are eroded from within. Trump plays the same game.

        • Ian

          Yes, I know, and we can but hope that would be the case here. But as far as I can see, they depended on a decision from the home secretary at the time. And that is what makes me despair now. Even May could see the injustice and very real threat to MacKinnon, I can’t imagine Patel has a shred of empathy, understanding or conscience, baed on her track record and confused rambling speeches. Notice how she has been kept well away from the media or even press conferences – like many of them.

        • Fleur

          Here is what Christine Assange said about the politics and timing of the Lauri Love case (9 Aug 2018):

          She said the timing was critical (see video from 9:52). The transcript is below the video.
          The Love result was announced the day before the ruling (by Lady Arbuthnot) on the validity of the outstanding warrant (from the Swedish extradition case) – the same warrant that was eventually used to arrest Julian in 2019.

  • writeon

    I think Julian Assange’s only real chance for justice, lies with the UK’s Supreme Court, with a set of judges that probably aren’t that enamoured with Donald Trump’s style of clumsy and crass rule of the western empire. Failing that, there’s recourse to the European Court of Human Rights which jealously guards its’ independence. Unfortunately, for Assange the UK is abandoning its’ ties to Europe at an accelerating rate and the European Court may not be in a position to rule on this matter. I wonder if the government might simply deliver him to the Americans without anymore ‘fuss’ and get it over with? Where is Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour left when one really needs them?

    • Alwi

      I’m very much afraid that after judgement he will be put on a plane to the US straight from the dock, and that no appeal will be possible…

    • Natasha

      On 21 September, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, and Kenneth MacAskill spoke out publicly joining world leaders in condemning the Assange hearing.

      MacAskill, Member of UK Parliament, former Justice Secretary of Scotland, and lawyer, commented, “This is a political crucifixion not legal process and is about seeking to bury truth and those exposing it.”

      Other MPs may fear adding their names, as mine does, citing risk of breaking ‘sub judice’ laws or conventions applicable to parliamentarians to “call on the Government to ensure that Mr Assange is released” whilst the case is being heard.

      Corbyn, McDonnell, and MacAskill publicly speaking out at this time whilst the court is sitting render all the remaining silent MPs effectively criminals. As former presidents of Brazil, Lula da Silva put it that “If the democrats of the planet Earth, including all journalists, all lawyers, all unionists and all politicians have no courage to express themselves in defence of Assange, so that he is not extradited, it means we have a lot [of] democrats out there who are liars.”

      Nonetheless, these three MPs did miss an earlier opportunity to speak out in 2019 by not signing this EDM (that 5 other MPs did sign).

      In July this year, Corbyn and McDonnell (and 20 other MPs) signed the much weaker EDM “That this House notes the July 2020 statement by the National Union of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and others in relation to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and affirms its commitment to press freedom and public-interest journalism.”

      • SF

        ” these three MPs did miss an earlier opportunity to speak out in 2019 by not signing this EDM”

        MacAskill was not an MP at the time; he was only elected in December 2019 and the EDM was tabled in the previous (2017-19) session. As far as I know, EDMs do not carry over.

  • Simon Prichard

    Except to give thanks to Craig.
    Please put these transcripts of the court, and all the dirty background into a book, we’ll make it a best seller and give these criminal bastards the legacy the deserve.

  • James Cook

    “On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard the immediate following Monday.”

    Based on the above observation, it would reasonable to assume that the negotiations between White Hall and the White House have finally reached an agreement on the price White Hall will be paid for the transfer of Julian to the White House.

    History will appreciate your chronicling of the negotiation process, Craig (with the defence just assisting White Hall in extracting a higher price for the transfer) under the guise of a “fair trial” and Britannia’s strict adherence to “the rule of law”.

    In the west, Martyrdom is far less easy – as it takes much more time – which is entirely out of your control.

  • Sarge

    Dismayed to hear Twitter and Facebook are suppressing circulation of these excellent reports. It has been very instructive to see all the liberals lining up behind their pretend bogeyman Trump.

  • mr.lobaloba

    SIR DO NOT DESPAIR. Forget about stupid Facebook or Twitter. Your posts are being widely shared on platforms like Zerohedge. Most supporters of Assange know how to navigate the internet so they’ll find your posts sooner or later. Please know we are all with you.

    PS: Just hang on until the high court. This one is a show trial, we suspected that all along.

  • Douglas Porter

    I have received fewer and fewer notifications of your blogs; I have to go searching for them and when I do find them I tweet and facebook post. Keep up the good work.

    • Chris

      Have you considered using an RSS reader, Douglas? Once you subscribe, Craig’s site (and most others) will send you a message every time there’s a new item. Great way to follow shadowbanned opinions, and avoid FB and the Twit

  • Bob Carter

    Hi Craig

    What is happening almost out of sight here is scandalous. I appreciate and admire what you have been doing at some personal cost to yourself and have made a contribution today.

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