Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 17 202

During the hearing of medical evidence the last three days, the British government has been caught twice directly telling important lies about events in Belmarsh prison, each lie proven by documentary evidence. The common factor has been the medical records kept by Dr Daly, head of the jail’s medical services. There has also been, to put it at its very lightest, one apparent misrepresentation by Dr Daly. Personally, I am wary of the kind of person who impresses Ross Kemp.

Here is a still of Dr Daly from Ross Kemp’s documentary on Belmarsh prison.

This is Mr Kemp’s description of the medical wing at Belmarsh: “Security is on another level here with six times more staff per inmate than the rest of the jail.”

While in the medical wing or “healthcare”, Julian Assange was in effect in solitary confinement, and three psychiatrists and a physician with extensive experience of treating trauma have all testified in court that Assange’s mental and physical condition deteriorated while he was in “healthcare” for several months. They also said he improved after he left “healthcare”. That says something profound about the “healthcare” being provided. The same doctors testified that Assange has a poor relationship with Dr Daly and will not confide his symptoms or feelings to her, and this has also been asserted by defence council.

That is all essential background to the lies. Now let me come to the lies. Unfortunately to do so I must reveal details of Julian’s medical condition which I had withheld, but I think the situation is so serious I must now do that.

I did not report that Professor Michael Kopelman gave evidence that, among other preparations for suicide, Julian Assange had hidden a razor blade in his folded underwear, but this had been discovered in a search of his cell. As I did report, Kopelman was subjected to an extremely aggressive cross-examination by James Lewis, which in the morning had focused on the notion that Julian Assange’s mental illness was simply malingering, and that Kopelman had failed to detect this. The razor blade was a key factor in Lewis’s browbeating of Kopelman, and he attacked him on it again and again and again.

Lewis stated that Kopelman “relied on” the razor blade story for his diagnosis. He then proceeded to portray it as a fantasy concocted by Assange to support his malingering. Lewis asked Kopelman repeatedly why, if the story were true, it was not in Dr Daly’s clinical notes? Surely if a prisoner, known to be depressive, had a razor blade found in his cell, it would be in the prison medical records? Why had Prof Kopelman failed to note in his report that there was no evidence for the razor blade in Dr Daly’s medical records? Was he hiding that information? Was it not very strange that this incident would not be in the medical notes?

In an attempt to humiliate Kopelman, Lewis said
“You say you do not rely on the razor blade for your diagnosis. But you do rely on it. Let us then look at your report. You rely on the razor blade at paragraph 8. You mention it again at paragraph 11a. Then 11c. Then paragraph 14, paragraph 16, 17b, 18a. Then we come to the next section and the razor blade is there at paragraph 27 and 28. Then again in the summary it is at paragraphs 36 and again at paragraph 38. So tell me Professor, how can you say that you do not rely on the razor blade?”
[I do not give the actual paragraph numbers; these are illustrative].

Lewis then went on to invite Kopelman to change his diagnosis. He asked him more than once if his diagnosis would be different if there was no razor blade and it were an invention by Assange. Kopelman was plainly unnerved by this attack. He agreed it was “very odd indeed” it was not mentioned in the medical notes if it were true. The plain attack that he had naively believed an obvious lie disconcerted Kopelman.

Except it was Lewis who was not telling the truth. There really was a concealed razor blade, and what Assange had told Kopelman, and what Kopelman had believed, was true in every single detail. In a scene straight out of a TV legal drama, during Kopelman’s testimony, the defence had managed to obtain the charge sheet from Belmarsh Prison – Assange had been charged with the offence of the razor blade. The charge sheet is dated 09.00 on 7 May 2019, and this is what it reads:


On the 05/05/19 at approximately 15.30, myself and Officer Carroll were conducting a routine matrix search in 2-1-37 solely occupied by Mr Assange A9379AY. He was asked before we began the search if everything in the cell belonged to him, to which he replied “To my knowledge yes”. During the process of this search I lifted a pair of his personal underwear up whilst searching the cupboard. When I lifted them I heard a metal object drop inside the cupboard. When I investigated what it was I saw half of a razor blade which had been concealed in his personal underwear. This had now been placed in evidence bag number M0001094.

This concludes my report

Off Locke

I was later shown a copy and got a quick shot:

When on Tuesday Edward Fitzgerald QC produced this charge sheet in court, it did not appear to be news to the prosecution. James Lewis QC panicked. Rather too quickly, Lewis leapt to his feet and asked the judge that it should be noted that he had never said that there was no razor blade. Fitzgerald responded that was not the impression that had been given. From the witness box and under oath, Kopelman stated that was not the impression he had been given either.

And it was most certainly not the impression I had been given in the public gallery. In repeatedly asserting that, if the razor blade existed, it would be in the medical notes, Lewis had, at the very least, misled the witness on a material question of fact, that had actually affected his evidence. And Lewis had done so precisely in order to affect the evidence.

Panicking, Lewis then gave the game away further by making the desperate assertion that the charge against Mr Assange had been dismissed by the Governor. So the prosecution definitely knew rather more about the events around the razor blade than the defence.

Baraitser, who was aware that this was a major car crash, grasped at the same straw Lewis was clinging to in desperation, and said that if the charge had been dismissed, then there was no proof the razor blade existed. Fitzgerald pointed out this was absurd. The charge may have been dismissed for numerous reasons. The existence of the blade was not in doubt. Julian Assange had attested to it and two prison warders had attested to it. Baraitser said that she could only base her view on the decision of the Prison Governor.

However Baraitser may try to hide it, Lewis attacked Prof Kopelman over the existence of the blade when Lewis gave every appearance afterwards of a man who knew full well all along that there was compelling evidence the blade did exist. For Baraitser to try to protect both Lewis and the prosecution by pretending the existence of the blade is dependent on the outcome of the subsequent charge, when all three people in the cell at the time of the search agreed to its existence, including Assange, is perhaps Baraitser’s most remarkable abuse of legal procedure yet.

After his evidence, I went for a gin and tonic with Professor Kopelman, who is an old friend. We had no contact at all for two years, precisely because of his involvement in the Assange case as a medical expert. Michael was very worried he had not performed strongly in his evidence session in the morning, though he had been able to answer more clearly in the afternoon. And his concern about the morning was because he had been put off by the razor blade question. He had firmly understood Lewis to be saying that there was no razor blade in prison records and Michael had therefore been deceived by Julian. If he had been deceived, it of course would have been a professional failing and Lewis had successfully caused him anxiety while in the witness box.

I should make plain I do not believe for one moment the government side were not aware all along the razor blade was real. Lewis cross-examined using detailed prepared notes on the razor blade and with all the references to it tabulated in Kopelman’s report. That this was undertaken by the prosecution without asking the prison if the incident were true, defies common sense.

On Thursday Edward Fitzgerald handed the record of the prison hearing where the charge was discussed to Baraitser. It was a long document. The Governor’s decision was at paragraph 19. Baraitser told Fitzgerald she could not accept the document as it was new evidence. Fitzgerald told her she had herself asked for the outcome of the charge. He said the document contained very interesting information. Baraitser said that the Governor’s decision was at paragraph 19, that was all she had asked for, and she would refuse to take the rest of the document into consideration. Fitzgerald said the defence may wish to make a formal submission on that.

I have not seen this document. Based on Baraitser’s earlier pronouncements, I am fairly certain she is protecting Lewis in this way. At para 19 the Governor’s decision probably dismisses the charges as Lewis said. But the earlier paras, which Baraitser refuses to consider, almost certainly make plain that Assange’s possession of the razor blade was undisputed, and very probably explains his intention to use it for suicide.

So, to quote Lewis himself, why would this not be in Dr Daly’s medical notes?

Even that startling story I did not consider sufficiently powerful to justify publishing the alarming personal details about Julian. But then it happened again.

On Thursday morning, Dr Nigel Blackwood, Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at Kings College London, gave evidence for the prosecution. He essentially downplayed all of Julian’s diagnoses of mental illness, and disputed he had Asperger’s. In the course of this downplaying, he stated that when Julian had been admitted to the healthcare wing on 18 April 2019, it had not been for any medical reason. It had been purely to isolate him from other prisoners because of the video footage of him that had been taken and released by a prisoner.

Fitzgerald asked Blackwood how he knew this, and Blackwood said Dr Daly had told him for his report. The defence now produced another document from the prison that showed the government was lying. It was a report from prison staff dated 2.30pm on 18 April 2019 and specifically said that Julian was “very low” and having uncontrollable suicidal urges. It suggested moving him to the medical wing and mentioned a meeting with Dr Daly. Julian was in fact then moved that very same day.

Fitzgerald put it to Blackwood that plainly Assange was moved to the medical wing for medical reasons. His evidence was wrong. Blackwood continued to assert Assange was moved only because of the video. Dr Daly’s medical notes did not say he was moved for medical reasons. The judge pulled up Fitzgerald for saying “nonsense”, although she had allowed Lewis to be much harder than that on defence witnesses. Fitzgerald asked Blackwood why Assange would be moved to the medical wing because of a video taken by another prisoner? Blackwood said the Governor had found the video “embarrassing” and was concerned about “reputational damage” to the prison.

So let us look at this. Dr Daly did not put in the medical notes that Assange had concealed a razor for suicide in his cell. Dr Daly did not put in the medical notes that, on the very day Assange was moved to the medical wing, a staff meeting had said he should be moved to the medical wing for uncontrollable suicidal urges. Then Daly gives Blackwood a cock and bull story on reasons for Assange’s removal to the medical wing, to assist him in his downplaying of Assange’s medical condition.

Or let us look at the alternative story. The official story is that Healthcare – to quote Ross Kemp where “security is on another level” – is used for solitary confinement, to hold prisoners in isolation for entirely non-medical reasons. Indeed, to avoid “embarrassment”, to avoid “reputational damage”, Assange was kept in isolation in “healthcare” for months while, according to four doctors including on this point even Blackwood, his health deteriorated because of the isolation. While under Dr Daly’s “care”. And that one is the official story. The best they can come up with is “he was not sick, we put him in “Healthcare” for entirely illegitimate reasons as a punishment.” To avoid “embarrassment” if prisoners took his photo.

I am going to write to Judge Baraitser applying for a copy of the transcript of Lewis cross-examining Professor Kopelman on the razor blade, with a view to reporting Lewis to the Bar Council. I do wonder whether the General Medical Council might not have reason to consider the practice of Dr Daly in this case.

The final witness was Dr Sondra Crosby, as the doctor who had been treating Julian since his time in the Ecuadorean Embassy. Dr Crosby seemed a wonderful person and while her evidence was very compelling, again I see no strong reason to reveal it.

At the end of Thursday’s proceedings, there were two witness statements read very quickly into the record. This was actually very important but passed almost unnoticed. John Young of gave evidence that Cryptome had published the unredacted cables on 1 September 2011, crucially the day before Wikileaks published them. Cryptome is US based but they had never been approached by law enforcement about these unredacted cables in any way nor asked to take them down. The cables remained online on Cryptome.

Similarly Chris Butler, Manager for Internet Archive, gave evidence of the unredacted cables and other classified documents being available on the Wayback machine. They had never been asked to take down nor been threatened with prosecution.
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202 thoughts on “Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 17

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  • Mist001

    I remember reading over a year ago, probably longer than that, of a Wikileaks ‘Dead Mans Switch’, in that if anything happened to Julian Assange, then extremely damaging information would automatically be released and distributed around the world.

    I’ve never heard it mentioned since.

    Was that a tactic used solely in a game of bluff, or does a dead mans switch really exist, which may be used as Julians trump card?

    • Carolyn Zaremba

      I hope there is. And I hope it blows everyone involved in this persecution and show trial to hell.

    • Ort

      I’ve wondered about this too.

      I presume that if it exists, the crucial question is at what point it is deployed. It would be unfortunate if the Wikileaks parties in charge of deploying this alleged trove are taking the metaphorical phrase “dead man’s switch” too literally.

      That said, I’ve also wondered what sort of information would be contained in this rumored cache of “damaging information”. Put slightly differently, I can indeed imagine various revelations that might “blow the lid off” various state black operations, false narratives, and cover-ups (covers-up?). What is less clear is the mechanism or dynamic in which such revelation would directly assist Assange.

      Put slightly differently: sadly, during this century discerning observers have seen that the public has an increasing capacity to submissively or stoically absorb both endless Big Lies and occasional Inconvenient Truths.

      A radical minority of non-submissive contrarian types might be energized by, say, unequivocal and incontrovertible evidence that the illegal War on Iraq was fraudulently prosecuted, or that the US and allied governments orchestrated the ostensible “terrorist acts” in the US on September 11, 2001.

      But what would the ripple effects of such nominally shocking revelations be, particularly as they affect Assange’s plight? Do the Wikileaks switch-keepers assume that a “triggered” public would rise en masse, storm Belmarsh, and liberate Assange as impassioned French citizens stormed the Bastille? Or is it more a matter of the presumptive “bombshell” causing a cascade of official resignations, even governments falling?

      It does occur to me that the purpose of the alleged cache of damaging information is not to actually release it, but to effectively threaten culpable parties with its release– i.e., to use as a kind of “whitemail” to coerce authorities who would be compromised by the release into setting Assange free and guaranteeing that he and his family and associates will not be subjected to vengeful reprisals. I have no objection to such “inverted blackmail”, but again it’s difficult to see how this would work in practice.

      I may be missing something obvious, but as discussed I can’t work out how the “dead man’s switch” as a sort of deus ex machina would succeed in its purpose.

      • Mist001

        Well, what I’m getting at is that if the ‘Dead Mans Switch’ is real, then in my opinion, it ought to be deployed now, by reminding people of the fact that it exists.

        On the one hand, we have Julian looking likely to be spending the rest of his days behind bars. On the other hand, nobody knows what’s contained in the dead mans switch.

        It could be deployed as a bargaining tool or more seriously, a threat in the sense of ‘Right. Drop this criminalisation of Julian Assange or else we release these files into the wild’, at which point it becomes a game of bluff and nerve, or poker. One side will have to call and see the others hand.

        Either way, if the ‘Dead Mans Switch’ is real, then surely it deserves a higher profile, considering what’s at stake here.

        So now, it’s over to Wikileaks and see what they’ve got.

        • Ken Kenn

          We have just seen the BBC do some pretty good journalism with the Panorama $2tr Russian Oligarch ( Putin’s and others) expose.

          Yes- it is the BBC doing its anti- Russian stuff but like the Mossack – Fonseca ‘exclusive’ it went off like a rocket and landed like a dead squib.

          Politics has been polluted so badly that voters expect to be misled or lied to.

          Johnson was voted in by many people despite knowing without doubt that he really is an out and out liar.

          This liar they believe is going to deliver a Brexit.

          Being as moralism has replaced politics the ‘ Dead Man’s Switch ‘ may not be about politics and economics at all.

          That is : some of the tales that are thought of as ‘ Conspiracy Theories ‘ away from the above may well be true and the evidence may be there to back the alleged conspiracies up?

          The problem for the Powers That Be is that they don’t know what this evidence may be?

          If they stop Assange no-one is going to find out.

          Even better no journalist or media type or politician is even going to try to find out.

          That is the short term plan.

          Whether that will hold we will see.

          By the way I’ve no idea what the revelations may be but I do think it will not involve politics or economics.

          • M.J.

            “Johnson was voted in by many people despite knowing without doubt that he really is an out and out liar. This liar they believe is going to deliver a Brexit.”

            I believe you’re right about that. One reason may be that the real consequences of Brexit – being poorer and losing workers’ rights – haven’t yet hit us. That’s why a supermarket worker could say to me ‘Nothing wrong with Brexit.’

            The following joke may apply: a man falls or jumps out of a plane at 2000 feet without a parachute. At 1000 feet he says ‘What’s the problem?’

            In fact we’re at 200 feet now, less than 10 weeks to go before the EU borders get as tight as they would for any non-EU country.

    • Clark

      Wasn’t it an encrypted file called (I can’t remember the filename extension), publicly distributed but the decryption key withheld? I probably have a copy somewhere…

      • ureksmet

        Yes it was. I have few copies of ‘insurance.rar’ but have never found a key to open any of ’em.
        I guess the arseholes have decided one of two things. Either insurance.rar contains no info the arseholes believe they cannot propagandise away, or, they believe Mr Assange is neither completely familiar with the encryption key, or has no means to disseminate it.
        By the time the borg marched into the Ecuadorean embassy it it is most probable that they believed everything was under control & manageable.

        That is an assessment made easier to arrive at if you conclude that you have details of every communication Mr Assange has made for the last 7+ years. Why?
        Because WL staff are either turncoats or have been so cowed into submission they daren’t speak out.

        Maybe not.

        I would like to believe there is one person out in the world with facts which if communicated correctly would blow this kangaroo court out of the water, but if I’d been holding my breath until then, I would be long dead.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          Kim Dotcom has claimed to have evidence the DNC leaks were an inside job. Did anyone at the FBI or the MSM care? No.

          If someone did have evidence, they would be quietly silenced or suicided And the information would be called a “conspiracy theory”.

    • Courtenay Barnett


      I suspect you are right – and the bigger system has no answer.

      What say you?

      • Mist001

        I think that for people involved in Wikileaks, their position has changed where now they see their activities as a legitimate job or career. They’re outraged at the treatment of Julian and rightly so but they wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. His co-workers feel secure in their new careers and respectability, and they won’t want to give all that up. I also don’t think they have the nerve or commitment needed to truly support Julian so my feeling is that Julian is being hung out to dry by Wikileaks and eventually, they’ll disassociate themselves from him.

        He’s on his own.

        Of course, I could be proved wrong tomorrow or Monday but this is how I think it will be played out.

  • DoctorK

    Approaching the end of a fairly long life, 76 next week, I came to the conclusion that I cannot stomach living in England any more. I think it was Corbyn’s monstering that finally did it for me, I did see that as the last chance to set up a decent government. But we saw how that went. Now, the appalling treatment of Assange kowtowing to the USA, and the conversion under Starmer of Labour into Tory Mark 2, that’s the limit. And the response of this bunch of columnists and PR hacks to the virus impersonating a government…
    So tonight after a swim in the warm South China Sea I sit in a bar listening to live music and drinking German beer. After two months paperchasing and a 17 day journey involving 3 flights and 14 days quarantine I can live a normal life. I ain’t coming back.
    Enjoy your Brexit.

    • Cap'n+Klonk

      Sounds idyllic and I admire you your firm step into a liberatory unknown. Something similar I have been moving towards something similar, but thwarted repeatedly by laughably unlikely turns of bad coincidence, including Soros’s interference in my personal plans (he seems to be able to read my mind), the growing destructive consequences of brexidiocy, the collapse of enlightened politics and diplomacy and growth of corporatocracy, Nato belligerence, USA skulduggery almost everywhere. I am starting to realise the only way I’ll effect my plan is simply to wander off aimlessly on foot with a pack on my back and machete in my hand, beating my own path. Maybe I’ll have to borrow a rowing boat first.

      • Tony Little

        In the same boat, albeit different circumstances. I have been working/living in the Balkans (N Macedonia) for about the last 18 years. We were planning at some stage to return to Uk with my non-EU wife. Brexit and all the xenophobia towards non-Brits was bad enough, but the route this Tory government is heading (51st State) and the decline of the possibility of Scottish Independence, and the obvious criminal activity totally ignored by the MSM, has put a cap on that.

        We’ll stay here, enjoy a relatively simple life (although the gov. is shite) and hope family and friends survive in poet-Brexit Britain (not sure enough Scots will have the balls to finally vote for freedom). Never have I been so dismayed at my fellow Scots and English.

    • John Leon

      I emigrated over 15 years ago @ the age of 48. I could see where the U.K. was going during the eighties but once Tony Blaire got in the writing on the wall grew ever more luminescent.
      I wish you the best for your new life.

    • giyane

      Two industries it seems are obliged to stay silent about this trial because they are in the pay of HMG. Firstly the msm that publish HMG lies about Britain’s colonial wars in Iraq Libya and Syria. Secondly the military – security industry that operates IHMG’s lies. Plus any other smaller industries that depend on them such as arms manufacturing and local politics. Plus any part of the trade union movement that works in manufacture or any sphere that receives funding from local politics such as hospitals , police or education.

      Nobody can say a word. Why is that? Because of years of mortgage inflation and corporate control over.employees nobody can afford to rebel? No, The reason is that under Tory rule lying like Lewis and Baraitser has become more profitable than the truth.
      Not just in this court, everywhere.

      • John O'Dowd

        Two industries it seems are obliged to stay silent about this trial because they are in the pay of HMG.

        Think it’s the other way round, Giyan. HMG is in the pay of the MIC Money Power and Money Power owns the MSM – and HMG.

      • OzTones

        I’ve no idea where DoctorK has chosen to settle other than his South China Sea reference, and I’m not even sure of the bounds of that sea, but I have heard Malaysia is a very comfortable and relaxed place for disenchanted Brits to live.

  • Jo

    Enough evidence that JA health is under immediate and continuing risk at Belmarsh…the Dr must be immediately sacked as endangering and incompetent and compliant with an agenda to weaken and harm JA and his ability to defend himself properly…defence to have ability to approve by seeking external advice over any replacement. … …he must be released from prison for external medical treatment or be allocated external visiting doctors approved by UN Nils Melzer for example….UK must be reported to UN for failure to take care of poltical prisoners and failure to comply with its status of ICCJR as kindly commented by Mark Golding yesterday.

  • Sean_Lamb

    Eller seems to be in some kind of competition to see how many false statements he can get put onto the record

    MS If Manning had cracked the password and logged into the FTP User acct, would she have been able to access defence info?
    PE No
    MS Would she have had access to WeGet (downloading utility)?
    PE If she had admin permissions she could have installed it.

    Manning clearly stated she didn’t need admin privileges to use the wget executable:

    “After this discussion, I decided to download the DABs. I used an application called Wget to download the DABs. I downloaded Wget off of the NIPRnet laptop in the T-SCIF, like other programs. I saved that onto a CD-RW, and placed the executable in my ‘My Documents’ directory of my user profile, on the D6-A SIPRnet workstation.

    On 7 March 2010, I took the list of links for the Detainee Assessment Briefs, and Wget downloaded them sequentially.”

    Frankly I can’t see why anyone would think ftpuser would have admin privileges compared to all the other user names that would have been available. And I don’t see the benefit for Assange for promoting this idea

    • bj

      I can’t say I have read the Manning trial docs, but in general I agree with your last statement. I too lifted an eyebrow now and then when I saw the idea being put forward that an ftp user would have admin privileges. Ftp (the clue is in the name: File Transer Protocol) can only be used to (legitimally — that’s what ftp was ‘invented’ for) download files from that server that you ‘ftp into’ (log into as ftp user). In general, an ftp user ONLY has access to those files that the ftp server offers to the ftpuser. An ftpuser certainly cannot ‘install wget’ on that ftp server WITHOUT breaking the ftp protocol (hacking into the ftp server or hacking into the server from inside the ftpuser account) or WITHOUT a seriously negligent misconfiguration of the ftp user account on that ftp server (overly broad permissions).

      • Ian

        This is all a bit of red herring, since you will see as the dialogue goes on, that Manning neither needed a password or any hacking help to download the documents. And she did so before the speculated ‘conversation’ between her and Assange, which has never been shown to have actually happened. This is a convoluted attempt to retrofit Assange as criminal accessory into the downloading scenario. They would love to bog you down in arcane tech discussions about ftp’s, passwords etc, and hope to convince you, and Baraitser that something illegal occurred which Assange assisted in. There is no evidence that either he did, or that it was necessary.

      • Sean_Lamb

        These days it is becoming more common for corporations to lock down their systems so free standing exe’s won’t run.

        Back then that was quite unusual. If Manning had a free standing exe file in his directory, it is unlikely she would need admin privileges to run it and absolutely no evidence was presented at her trial.

        According to Manning’s statement she was using wget on March 7 before she had the discussion about the lm hash on March 8 – so the need for an “admin password” to install wget (for which there is zero evidence that ftpuser is) can’t have motivated her.

        My concern here is the Pentagon contractor and defence expert witness has rather skilfully constructed the prosecution’s case. The US courts have held the use of wget is a case of unauthorised access under the CFAA

        So by assisting (or attempting to) Manning to crack the password, Assange was assisting in a violation of the CFAA. None of which is supported by the Manning trial record, but all of which has now been stipulated to by the defence.

        • bj

          If she was using Linux Live CD’s she could just have used the wget that is installed on that. I am amazed that you could run Linux Live CD’s on those systems, first that they had CD/DVD-drives and second that the BIOS on those systems allowed it.

        • bj

          Thanks for the EFF link. I didn’t know wget was prohibited under the CFAA. Ludicrous, and it is chilling in itself.

          So by assisting (or attempting to) Manning to crack the password, Assange was assisting in a violation of the CFAA. None of which is supported by the Manning trial record, but all of which has now been stipulated to by the defence.

          Your remark assumes Nathaniel Frank == Assange, but that assumption was stipulated to be false by the defence.

          Your point about wget/CFAA is a serious one. Hmmm.

          • bj

            Correction: “I didn’t know USING wget was prohibited under the CFAA.”
            Additional remark: And what if I program my browser to fetch the goodies? What if I use curl. It’s all too ludicrous for words.

          • Clark

            bj – “I didn’t know wget was prohibited under the CFAA”

            It isn’t. She merely broke the Terms and Conditions of her employment contract. From the EFF link:

            “…she was found guilty of violating the [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act] for using a common software utility called Wget […] in violation of a computer use policy. The policy prohibited the use of unauthorized software…”

            This is much like the hounding to suicide of Aaron Swartz, who merely broke the terms and conditions of his university computer use policy. It is escalation of civil contract to criminal law – Mussolini’s definition of corporate fascism – in these cases using the excuse / agencies of national security.


  • Annie McStravick

    Julian would without doubt be held in the US under “Special Administrative Measures”, SAMs, not only once convicted but even while awaiting trial. The SAMs worsen the already draconian conditions of solitary confinement.
    Kevin Gosztola, following the hearing this morning, noted that the defence attempted to submit evidence from experts on the conditions of isolation in ADX Florence as they relate to SAMs but the prosecution objected and Baraitser refused to allow such evidence.

    This report on SAMs by the Center for Constitutional Rights makes for chilling reading:

  • ET

    If the end result of this extradtion hearng is to rule that extradition can proceed and leave to appeal that decision is not granted can the decision not to grant leave to appeal itself be challenged?

  • Piotr Berman

    “In repeatedly asserting that, if the razor blade existed, it would be in the medical notes, Lewis had, at the very least, misled the witness on a material question of fact, that had actually affected his evidence. And Lewis had done so precisely in order to affect the evidence.”

    Regardless of intention, Lewis QC did lie. “If A then B” is false in only one case: A is true and B is false (thank you, Duns Scotus, everyone who had a course in logic or a course with some basics of logic has to know it, and your name as well. He was an Irish theologian…)

    If Lewis knew that the blade was found and that it was not in the medical record, he lied (I assume, under oath or an equivalent obligation). I wonder if he could defend himself by producing evidence that he has no idea about logic, failed such a course as a student, committed a slew of logical errors in his career, many on the record etc.

    • Photios

      If the Scot John of Duns was (as his name suggests) from Duns in Berwickshire, he was not Irish but was indeed a Scot; as the term was used in his lifetime (1265/6 – 1308 AD).

      However Johannes Scotus Eriguena (815 – 877 AD), or John the Scot from Ireland, was Irish; as the term Scot indicated in his lifetime.

  • writeon

    Well done, Craig! On the face of it, Thursday’s proceedings seem to have crossed over the line on a couple of occasions into something that reeks of the manipulation of evidence by the prosecution to secure a result that’s slipping away from them if they ‘play by the rules.’ Others might call it simply… ‘lying.’ Surely now the govenor of Bellmarsh should be called as a defence witness? Also, as seems reasonable, none of the events surrounding the ‘razor incident’ is news, or Dr. Daly’s role in things; what about Baraitser herself? Did she know about Lewis’ manipulation in advance, which is why she is seeking to protect him and the true evidence becoming public? Is this a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?

  • Mary

    Here’s the ex EastEnders ac-tor.

    Ross Kemp
    Rachel Daly is my hero, she deals with the biggest healthcare unit of any prison in the UK, possibly in the world. It’s one of the toughest places to work in the UK. It’s where the NHS and prison service have to work as a team #HMPBelmarsh
    9:12 pm · 16 Jan 2020·Twitter Web App

    Nor further endorsement is needed. LOL.

    • Carolyn Zaremba

      Ross Kemp is nobody. He thinks he is somebody the same way Donald Trump thinks he is somebody. In reality Kemp is just right-wing trash.

  • Wikikettle

    When the books, plays and films are written about this last nail in our collective coffin – the casting should be of very old established actors and narration by a character from the deep state, who’s consiounce only emerges to late, as he sees what he has indulged in and what this means for his own children’s future.

  • x

    The behavior of James Lewis and Judge Baraitser sounds like serious professional misconduct.

    Has anyone filed a complaint, e.g. with the bar association, about them?

    This could have a serious effect, their professional organizations would not necessarily agree with their political views.

  • Carolyn Zaremba

    It is abundantly clear (if it were not already) that this is a show trial rigged in advance and now neither the Judge nor the Prosecutor, James Lewis QC, is trying to hide it. Ignoring evidence and continuing to hound witnesses is appalling malfeasance and Craig Murray, by reporting the details of the actions of the prosecutor, the responses of the witnesses, and the parrot-like yawking of the Judge, brings this to life in the way no other reporting is doing. Never in my life have I heard of such a miscarriage of justice. Josef Stalin and his death’s head prosecutors would have approved.

  • Mary

    Report in the Mail today.

    Decision on whether Julian Assange will be extradited to the States won’t be made until after US election, judge says
    WikiLeaks founder fighting being sent to the US for allegedly leaking documents
    His defence claims move is politically motivated under President Donald Trump
    Assange, 49, faces an 18-count indictment alleging a plot to hack computers

    Baraitser is quoted.

    • East Coast Cynic

      In other words, the decision to extradite Assange to the United States will be rendered after the election. I strongly suspect that the decision to do so has been baked into the cake from high on up, particularly with a judge with a 96% extradition rate.

  • Meheru

    Thank you for your dedication to accurate reporting.
    Craven kow towing to the US seems to be the order of the day, not justice.
    My disgust with the Australian government for allowing an Australian citizen to be mistreated without a whisper of protest is unfathomable.
    I look forward to more blogs from you with your take on the proceedings in the Julian Assange case.

  • Mazza

    Started to read this in bed last night and had to stop mid way as it was annoying me so much that I knew if I continued I wouldn’t sleep. Have now finished reading it the morning after and I’m annoyed all over again.

    Wow. What a shocking episode, even for this kangaroo court. I too will report Lewis and Dr Daly. Everybody else should too. It’s something we all can and should do. The more who complain the harder it will be to ignore.

  • Deb O'Nair

    I can barely contain my anger at the dishonest, and therefore unlawful, behaviour of these disgusting and dishonest state apparatchiks – it makes my blood boil.

  • Ian

    Aargh, I just realised Dr Daly is the spitting image of the evil sadist Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale.

      • Ian

        Ah but Aunt Lydia was part of an entire system of oppression, and had fitted her cruelty around its ideology. Not quite the same for Ratched.

  • ronan1882

    It’s absolutely clear from your reports on this trial that we have a craven government and a corrupt judicial system. The absence of reportage elsewhere shows we are also burdened with a morally bankrupt media; dumbly silent despite the clear and present danger to their own industry. Then there is the Parliamentary Labour party and the equally lauded moderate wing of the Tory party. All silent as Boris Johnson serves up a brave journalist to the Trump administration. All approving too this week of Johnson’s Overseas Operations Bill which protects war criminals and torturers.

    Thank you for your dedication to your friend and to accountable government and for showing us so clearly that our political and media elites are a shower of self-reverring shit. Frauds who stand for nothing at all.

  • Mark Golding

    Mazza, we need 10,000 citizens to sign a petition albeit there are standards rules in force that will permit a petition to be rejected and also unpublished such as:

    (i) It’s defamatory or libellous, or contains false or unproven statements

    (ii) It refers to a case where there are active legal proceedings

    (iii) It contains material that may be protected by an injunction or court order

    (iv) It contains material that could be confidential or commercially sensitive

    Nonetheless it is action; it is intention. Change has a global petiton to free Julian here – and RSF et. al. have a petition (end to the prosecution and extradition proceedings) rejected by Downing Street.

    Intention by many will (a) Champion an injustice that resonates with others – Build a movement by getting the word out.

    Please support this petition bless you:

  • bj

    Anyone getting their hopes up on a Biden presidency and a drop of the case?
    I wouldn’t.

    Biden and the DNC have their own reasons –although not part of this hearing and trial– for deep-sixing Assange.
    Besides, and this is my personal take, a free walking Assange will probably have one or two interesting things to tell about the Seth Rich case.

    • nevermind

      greetings dogbiscuit, you fit in very well. Our police is good at following orders from politicians who aren’t scrutinised anymore.
      And their greeting, awfully fit for the new fascist state of Kakakistan is their unusual downward salute, 180 degrees opposite to the dreaded 1930s salute, taken in a stance similar to ski jumpers at the off from the tower.
      I very much hope that Kakakistan will see its first uprising next year. The ‘year of the changing of the old guard’.

  • Jill Gaumet

    Thank you for this report. I sat behind you during two of the four-day prelim in February, and just that sickened me. It’s amazing how low they can go.

  • Andy

    Just rewatched the movie “V for Vendetta” – I’d recommend it to everyone reading this.
    Keep up the great work Craig.

    Some relevant quotes:

    “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

    “You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.”

    “Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.”

    “I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch. It’s small and it’s fragile and it’s the only thing in the world worth having. we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.”

    “Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. ”

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