Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21 126


I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.

The court that had listened to Clair Dobbin spend four hours cross-examining Carey Shenkman on individual phrases of first instance court decisions in tangentially relevant cases, spent four minutes as Noam Chomsky’s brilliant exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly fired into the court record, without examination, question or placing into the context of the legal arguments about political extradition.

Twenty minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identity protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, bugged not only him but his lawyers, and burgled the offices of his Spanish lawyers Baltazar Garzon. This evidence went unchallenged and untested.

The rich and detailed evidence of Patrick Cockburn on Iraq and of Andy Worthington on Afghanistan was, in each case, well worthy of a full day of exposition. I should love at least to have seen both of them in the witness box explaining what to them were the salient points, and adding their personal insights. Instead we got perhaps a sixth of their words read rapidly into the court record. There was much more.

I have noted before, and I hope you have marked my disapproval, that some of the evidence is being edited to remove elements which the US government wish to challenge, and then entered into the court record as uncontested, with just a “gist” read out in court. The witness then does not appear in person. This reduces the process from one of evidence testing in public view to something very different. Wednesday confirmed the acceptance that this “Hearing” is now devolved to an entirely paper exercise. It is in fact no longer a “hearing” at all. You cannot hear a judge reading. Perhaps in future it should be termed not a hearing but an “occasional rustling”, or a “keyboard tapping”. It is an acknowledged, indeed embraced, legal trend in the UK that courts are increasingly paper exercises, as noted by the Supreme Court.

In the past, the general practice was that all the argument and evidence was placed before the court orally, and documents were read out, Lady Hale said.
She added: “The modern practice is quite different. Much more of the argument and evidence is reduced into writing before the hearing takes place. Often, documents are not read out.
“It is difficult, if not impossible, in many cases, especially complicated civil cases, to know what is going on unless you have access to the written material.”

At least twice in the current case, Judge Baraitser has mentioned that the defence gave her three hundred pages of opening argument, and has done so in the context of doubting the need for all this evidence, or at least for lengthy closing arguments which take account of the evidence. She was highly resistant to any exposition by witnesses of their evidence before cross-examination, arguing that their evidence was already in their statements so they did not need to say it. She eventually agreed on a strict limit of just half an hour for witness “orientation”.

However much Lady Hale thinks she is helping by setting down a principle that the documentation must be available, having Patrick Cockburn’s statement online somewhere will never have the impact of him standing in the witness box and expounding on it. What happened on Wednesday was that the whole hearing was collapsed, with both defence and prosecution lawyers hurling hundreds of pages of witness statement at Baraitser’s head, saying: “You look at this. We can get finished tomorrow morning and all have a long weekend to prepare our next cases.”

I was so disappointed by the way the case petered out before my eyes, that the adrenaline which has carried me through must have dried up. Returning to my room at lunchtime for a brief doze, when I tried to get up for the afternoon session I was overcome with dizziness. I eventually managed to walk to the court, despite the world having decided to present itself at a variety of sharp and unusual angles, and everything appearing to be under glaring orange sodium light. The Old Bailey staff – who I should say have been really friendly and helpful to me throughout – very kindly took me up in a lift and through the advocate’s robing room to the public gallery.

I am happy to say that after court two pints of Guinness and a cheese and ham toastie had a substantial restorative effect. Those who have followed these reports will understand how frustrating it was to be deprived of James Lewis asking Noam Chomsky how he can venture an opinion on whether this extradition is politically motivated when he is only a Professor of Linguistics, or whether he has ever published any peer-reviewed articles. To attempt to encapsulate the wealth of information skipped through yesterday is not the work of an evening.

What I shall do for now is give you the eloquent and brief statement by Noam Chomsky on the political nature of Julian Assange’s actions:

I will also give you the breathtaking testimony of “Witness 2”:

A friend last night gave me the cold comfort that I should not worry about the hurried close of these proceedings reducing the public gaze on the evidence and the arguments (and I think there were altogether nine witness statements yesterday), because that public gaze had been extremely limited, as indeed I have been continually explaining. In other words, it makes no difference. I follow that argument, but it goes against some fundamental beliefs and motivations I have about bearing witness, which I shall need to develop further in my own mind.

In the next few days I will try to bring you a synthesis and analysis of all that passed on Wednesday. Now I need to go to court and see the last few dribbles of this case, and exchange last glances of friendship with Julian for some months.

 
 
Forgive me for pointing out that my ability to provide this coverage is entirely dependent on your kind voluntary subscriptions which keep this blog going. This post is free for anybody to reproduce or republish, including in translation. You are still very welcome to read without subscribing.

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Choose subscription amount from dropdown box:

Recurring Donations



 

Paypal address for one-off donations: [email protected]

Alternatively by bank transfer or standing order:

Account name
MURRAY CJ
Account number 3 2 1 5 0 9 6 2
Sort code 6 0 – 4 0 – 0 5
IBAN GB98NWBK60400532150962
BIC NWBKGB2L
Bank address Natwest, PO Box 414, 38 Strand, London, WC2H 5JB

Bitcoin: bc1q3sdm60rshynxtvfnkhhqjn83vk3e3nyw78cjx9

Subscriptions are still preferred to donations as I can’t run the blog without some certainty of future income, but I understand why some people prefer not to commit to that.


126 thoughts on “Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21

1 2
  • Matt

    Craig,

    it may not have been heard in court, but this material is getting more coverage in the media than anything we have heard so far. So all is not lost.

    Cheers,

    Matt

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    Glad you’re feeling somewhat revived after the tremendous effort of turning up each day and leaving us with a full and disturbing account of the proceedings. I hope these accounts will be required reading for future law-students and have brought them to the attention of students intending to study related subjects in Britain and those who are still starry-eyed about British justice or fair play.

    From the time I first attended the courts hearing the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombing cases to the overturning of the verdicts took many years. We all hope that Julian can be free very much sooner and your efforts by bringing sunlight (vitamin D) to the hidden rottenness of the proceedings have done much towards that.

  • giyane

    Just bearing witness that swathes of evidence that supports Assange has been binned by the judge into black bags she hasn’t time to read and certainly wouldn’t be have room for in her Holland Villas mansion, is a magnificent piece of journalism.

    You were there, you saw it happen. You reported it to the world. The court record can never say that it was all heard and placed on the scales of British justice. You saw it being bagged up and put in the metaphorical wheelie bin.

  • Ian Robert Stevenson

    Craig, first of all thank you for your efforts in keeping us informed. My question is-have any of our political class, MPs, members of the Lords, former ministers or other office holders, been in communication with you in support of Julian Assange? I understand that some may not wish this to be known. I am hoping that someone in the political class may be able to speak out without being intimidated by our authorities.

  • Carl

    Chomsky has always said liberal intellectual elites are not committed to authentic freedom and democracy and has been validated once more by this case.

    • mr.lobaloba

      Imagine someone saying Chomsky is not qualified to testify on how political this case is. Oh wait…

    • Twirlip

      I’m sure Chomsky is right, but it’s hard to think of the intellectual midgets currently in power in the UK and US as a “liberal intellectal elite”. John Stuart Mill must be spinning so fast in his grave that he’s sending out X-rays

  • Gerry Bell

    I actually find this the most depressing day of the trial. Not Lewis’s clumsy badgering or Barista’s indifference to objectivity, but the lazy clerical substitution of texts for witnesses, purely in the interests of brevity. How low can British Justice sink? At least as low as American Justice, and that must be close to complete dissolution of the term ‘justice’.
    This is absolutely disgusting.

    • Ian

      Baraitser is a functionary, doing her job, despatching the case as quickly and efficiently as possible. That is her role, so the mountain of evidence proving Assange’s solid case against extradition is of no interest to her. She is there to ensure due process is followed, and the ordained result is achieved. She will consider that her role is not to judge on the merits of Assange’s case but to follow the narrow guidelines of the extradition bill, which basically gives the US whatever it wants. She will, falsely, claim that the merits of the case will be argued in a US court. The only exceptions have been as a result of home secretaries overruling the court process. And we have Patel as home secretary (incredibly). So..

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Ian,

        What you say is as it is – but what of the issue of ‘political’ motive behind this extradition. This fact undermines the entire case.

        So – what will the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court say?

        Are they too all bought and paid for?

        • Ian

          I agree with you, Courtenay. It iseems impossible to ignore, especially with the mountain of defence evidence, and the wafer thin and false ‘facts’ of the prosecution. Of course it would be great if justice was served and the case thrown out, as it should be, but I wonder if they will refuse leave to appeal? I have no idea, I just can’t see the present UK government, the worst and must unprincipled ever and the closest to the US (who are desperate for the magic trade ‘deal’), standing up to the US. We have heard in this trial how the US pressured Germany, can you imagine what they are doing to our pusillanimous, perfidious, obsequious bunch of lackeys behind the scenes? I think in the end they will cravenly declare that the UK believes that he will get a fair trial in the US (as they have done before) and that is the end of it, ie not our problem.
          Of course, maybe a judge will stand up for some semblance of justice. We can but hope.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    Sparkling stuff, Craig … keep up the good work exposing the Great American Cess Pit

    Those two reports, had they been from the dock of the Old Bailey would have, undoubtedly sunk Judge Ratbraiser and her fellow comedians working for a nation of war criminals, faster than a lead anchor.

    The refusal of this bent judge to allow these persons to make an appearance more ammunition to call a for another trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

    Ratbraiser’s bonus will now be in doubt if she does not come up with the planned outcome the yank puppeteers have come to expect.

    I wonder if Ratbraiser’s judicial bonus will also be made via the tax haven banking system favoured to pay Morales? Gibraltar by the back door!

    The term used by Chomsky, ‘evaporate’, is well chosen and sums up the charade being played out in front of the hidden audience about what american self respect still remains.

    The self respect does not exist anymore as the feud about who runs the White House is pushed in our faces on a daily basis.

    It is nothing to do with characters but more akin to those controlling them … and the Assange fake hearing is no different. One big fat controller and only one outcome.

      • wonky

        Yeah it does.
        Who else is going to call out the swamp rats? The swamp media?
        There is ultimate beauty in truth. And if the truth is crap, then there’s ultimate beauty in crap. Sign of the times, baby.

  • Tom Welsh

    “The court… spent four minutes as Noam Chomsky’s brilliant exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly fired into the court record, without examination, question or placing into the context of the legal arguments about political extradition”.

    That rings a bell!

    “There was once an interview with Jeff Greenfield in which he was asked why I was never asked onto Nightline. He gave a good answer. He said the main reason was that I lacked concision. I had never heard that word before. You have to have concision. You have to say something brief between two commercials.

    “What can you say that’s brief between two commercials? I can say Iran is a terrible state. I don’t need any evidence. I can say Ghaddaffi carries out terror. Suppose I try to say the US carries out terror, in fact it’s one of the leading terrorist states in the world. You can’t say that between commercials. People rightly want to know what do you mean. They’ve never heard that before. Then you have to explain. You have to give background. That’s exactly what’s cut out. Concision is a technique of propaganda. It ensures you cannot do anything except repeat clichés, the standard doctrine, or sound like a lunatic”.

    – Noam Chomsky (interview with Laura Flanders, 24/4/2012). http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/30/talking-with-chomsky/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlL2Jj-kCNU

    • Twirlip

      That seems to be related to the technique of the “Gish gallop”. As Wikipedia puts it: In practice, each point raised by the “Gish galloper” takes considerably more time to refute or fact-check than it did to state in the first place.

      • Tony

        How ironic that in a case where the supposed exposure of sensitive sources and agents has been so prominent that perhaps the most startling revelations should come courtesy of a document that exposes the informant as clearly as if his name, address and DOB were included! I strongly suspect that Mr David Morales (and his American friends) will know who this brave man is, so hopefully they are beyond caring what happens to this ‘agent’.

        • Andrew Mcguiness

          The point of anonymity for the UC Global ex-employees was so that *only* Morales would know their identity – if something happens to them, he also knows that he will be the prime suspect.

  • Bruce McPhie

    Thank you so much for your detailed reports and commitment to Julian, which is much appreciated, and which must be a personally harrowing experience for you. All strength and power to you. Take care.

  • Simon Prichard

    Thank you so much Craig
    you must make this into a book, with all the bg and additional material kept out of court, and a thorough naming and shaming of the officials involved. You make it a paper of record, and we’ll make it a best seller.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    It has just come to my attention that the BBC has a journalist in the Assange courtroom.

    Furthermore, the BBC are being bombarded with calls to ask why they are not reporting anything whatsoever.

    The public are funding a corporation that hides what the fat controller wishes to appear in the public domain …………….. why?

    A damning fact about the BBC’s Assange coverage just emerged

    The Canary asked the BBC for comment as to where it’s coverage of the Assange hearing was. We specifically wanted to know why it was sending a reporter there every day, yet not putting content out. We also asked why Sandford considers the trial “repetitive”. We asked this in the context that the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment called Assange’s trial

    Start to question why our main stream media is complicit in hiding the trial of the century

    Deprive the public of the right to know & you will have deprived them of their ability to control the Government.

    Moreover, it entrenches the notion that once again, our public service broadcaster is far from working in the public interest.

    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2020/09/30/a-damning-fact-about-the-bbcs-assange-coverage-just-emerged/

    • giyane

      Geoff Reynolds

      Maybe that’s why radio 4 sent John Simpson to the Old Bailey today to report on the trial. He appeared on Pm just before the six o’clock news and mentioned a few things.

    • bj

      Like I said yesterday, this is probably so that in six months’ time, the Wikipedia article on Assange can cite from a ‘reliable and credible source’ (as they parade themselves to do) on the case.
      What the stuff cited will be, you and I can readily guess.

  • Carol+McKenzie

    Thank you Craig for everything you have done to support Julian. UC Global staff had the courage and sense to expose these abuses and the espionage of Assange. It is truly shocking but not surprising. I can verify that the US and UK will break every rule and law going to get their man as I too have been a target of their surveillance back in 2016 when I cracked their interception of my own devices and equipment including the network. In what followed, I was then put under overt surveillance and collateral intrusion b the Scottish police and undercover agents who relentlessly followed me, watched me and tracked my movements for 3 months between September and December. You and readers may recall the Yahoo data breach of Sept 2016? This was a false flag put out by the DoJ with MI6 and CIA to conceal the real truth. what started as a large pension fraud between the Open University and the USS scheme, to the DWP Regulator and the Serious Fraud Office, turned into an absolute nightmare from hell for me. I found I was being intercepted throughout the court case that followed. I then pen tested my network and operating system and lo and behold, managed to crack their surveillance of me. This is what led them to put out the false flag of Yahoo being breached by state sponsored actors, mainly Russians they could not get a hold of. My life was destroyed by them and the cover up and false flag concocted to hide their embarrassment that a single mum from Glasgow discovered their hidden network and files.

    • Susan

      Carol+McKenzie,
      I think a lot of people might be reading your account – and wondering what to think of it. I, for one, accept it on face value. In fact, I say “Bravo” to you for discovering the fraud. I was going to say “exposing the fraud”, but I think from your account that that never happened.

      Anyway, I hope you survived (emotionally and financially) your experience. If it adversely impacted your ability to work and earn an income, I am sure there are many of Craig’s followers who would be happy to pay for you to “pen test their network and operating system” to check for, and remove, any surveillance!

  • 6033624

    Thank you, again, for going to such lengths to keep us all informed. This information is available nowhere else and is therefore of historic value. You have really pushed yourself to your physical limit, I hope you can get some time to recover when this is finished.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “A friend last night gave me the cold comfort that I should not worry about the hurried close of these proceedings reducing the public gaze on the evidence and the arguments (and I think there were altogether nine witness statements yesterday), because that public gaze had been extremely limited, as indeed I have been continually explaining.”

      This is where Assange’s defence team is failing miserably. They seem to fail to understand that there will be no justice in this sham trial. The only way to get any leverage at all is to do all you can do to generate public interest (and thus scrutiny). This is probably the only way to save him. This demands a “more than legal” approach.

      I am not sure about the legal proceedings regarding witnesses in the UK, but it has crossed my mind that the defence could have called Pamela Anderson, Lady Gaga, Vivienne Westwood, Slavoj Žižek and other “celebrity” visitors of Assange in the embassy. I realise not really legally relevant, but relevant to the press and media and they could testify about Assange’s state of mind. Let Lewis tear into them, it just makes it all more newsworthy!

      Let’s face it, Assange will not get a fair trial from the UK or US courts. The ECHR may or may not intervene on appeal, but the Tories may well have withdrawn from the convention by the time an appeal can be made. The MSM is happily turning a deaf ear to the proceedings (with the strange exception of The Daily Mail). The only way to increase public interest is by introducing an element of spectacle and using “guerilla marketing” tactics.

      • Yum Sqiddy

        Terrific idea to enlist those celebrities for the eyeballs that they would attract. Perhaps then the general public could witness the David vs Goliath struggle and realise the blatant hypocrisy of the US conducting espionage in order to prosecute Julian for the same.

  • Baalbek

    The statement by the ex-UC Global employee detailing the company’s illegal shenanigans at the Ecuadorian embassy is just incredible. Those revelations should have put an immediate halt to this travesty of a “hearing” and the very serious, and credible, allegations investigated. Not surprisingly that did not happen and this miscarriage of justice in progress was allowed to proceed unhindered.

    This illustrates perfectly what I mean when I say that we already live in the era of post-democracy. Democracy was always fragile and far from perfect and it was certainly no stranger to corruption but there was an effort made to uphold democratic values. What’s changed in the last 20 years or so is how blatant and out in the open the corruption and manipulation is now and how little pushback there is from human rights, justice and other organizations who are supposed to monitor these things. The mainstream media, for it’s part, has become a defacto arm of the establishment.

    The first rule of post-democracy states that protecting the Atlanticist establishment, and promoting its longevity, is the most important task the media, government/‘deep state’ and the NGO/Quango sector have. Lying, advancing blatant double-standards, character assassination, hounding and persecuting critics and truth tellers, show trials and miscarriages of justice are perfectly acceptable.

    Using the media and the intelligence agencies to destroy people who expose the establishments crimes and ‘threaten’ its legitimacy is the inland version of bombing Libya, funding the proxy war in Syria etc. The UK and wider western establishment is feeling insecure and paranoid and it is mobilizing to sideline and destroy its perceived enemies. The Integrity Initiative is part of this effort, so is Russiagate and the Guardian with its lies, wholesale character assassination campaigns and MI6 Luke.

    The ongoing attempt to “fast track” Julian to a cell in an American torture prison so he can serve as a warning to all the would-be whistleblowers and truth tellers is of course also part of the post-democratic establishment’s “defence” strategy.

    Kudos to Craig for diving in and reporting to the public how this is being done. It is essential, though depressing, reading. But the fight isn’t over yet and there still remains a sliver of hope that justice will prevail.

    • Twirlip

      I’ve never understood politics, so please correct me if I’m wrong (I usually am!) but it seemed evident to me 40 years ago – not merely 20 – that the elevation of profit into the ultimate human motive was (a) implicitly criminal, (b) insanely ideological, (c) incompatible with what I stubbornly persist in thinking of as “liberal” democracy, and (d) it was bound to undermine all standards other than its own, like a jealous god. Subsequent events only seem to have proved me right. There has indeed been an even more evident level of madness and evil since 9/11, but perhaps the last 20 or 40 years only make more obvious what critics like Chomsky have been pointing out for much longer. Indeed, Major General Smedley D. Butler’s War is a Racket dates from 1935. I still resist the conclusion that capitalism itself must have this essentially criminal character, but the people in power at the moment do seem to be going all out to demonstrate it.

      • Tom Welsh

        Twirlip, I think that profit has evolved into a symbol of dominance. It’s a simple, one-dimensional and highly visible way of showing how high up the pecking order you are.

        That’s what has been eating away at Larry Ellison for decades: although he is a multi-billionaire, he has always had substantially less than Bill Gates, Warren Buffett (and nowadays of course Jeff Bezos).

        It’s not for buying things. It’s firstly to show how important you are, and secondly to exert power. (For instance, by bribing politicians or putting out contracts on people you would like to get rid of).

        • Tom Welsh

          And the larger and more complicated the community, the more psychopathy pays and the easier it is to get away with it.

          That’s why Washington and New York (and LA) are the world centres of corruption.

    • Andrew Mcguiness

      “What’s changed in the last 20 years or so is how blatant and out in the open the corruption and manipulation is now and how little pushback there is from human rights, justice and other organizations who are supposed to monitor these things.”

      I agree! And people I know, when they hear about these things, agree it’s bad, but . . . [what’s on Netflix? Is my washing dry yet? etc] And these are people with children!

      Only, there is quite a lot of notice from human rights organisations – Amnesty International (finally), Rapporteurs Sans Frontieres – there were 40 trial monitor organisations who had been given access to the video feed of the hearing, and they all had it withdrawn on the morning it started. But there is a growing public awareness of what’s going on – if we keep up the pressure on social media, it will grow exponentially. Post facts (they’re damning enough), rather than slogans –

  • giyane

    The testimony of Witness 2 may be shielding the true sponsors of this illegal surveillance. We should not forget that the main beneficiary of the illegal wars in the Middle East would be Israel and that by weakening Israel’s neighbours Israel would find it easier to control the region for the consortium USUKIS. Witness 2 is careful only ever to surmise that it was the US that was commissioning the illegal espionage. He also mentions Trump but never mentions Trump’s Israeli son in law Jared Kushner who is Trump’s de facto envoy to the Middle East and who organised the Saudi torture of Royal Family insiders.

    Witness 2’s testimony has clearly been circumvented by Baraitser by an abuse of the court process. I personally am convinced that it would not have been allowed to be heard at all if the real sponsors of the illegal espionage , maybe Mossad, had been alluded to in his evidence.

    Against that, the testimony of Hume “…nothing more surprising than to see the easiness by which the many are governed by the few…” ” It is therefore an opinion only that government is founded…” i.e. Government rules by secrecy and anybody breaking that secrecy will be destroyed because only the secrecy is holding that power in place.

    This week I received this text message from an anonymous sender: ” Hi. I was just wondering if you’d be able to do a job and would like some fun on it? I’d blow you if you wanted.” I experienced a powerful feeling of discomfort at someone apparently intruding into my private life. How much more so if someone was actually spying and listening to very single fart and groan we all make in our own private spaces?

    This is the reality of modern life, not just the mythology that this only happens in China. This is the actual reality of anybody who objects to the abuse of power by our and our allies’ governments in illegally invading , destroying and colonising asset rich sovereign countries in the Middle East.
    Hume is absolutely right about secrecy. It is secrecy, the secrecy of the devil who can see us but we can’t see them, which makes many of us compliant to their criminal power. All the time Julian Assange is resisting them, Craig is resisting them, we all resist them , we are actually eroding the fragility of their pretence that they rule us.

    • Ian

      Well, you just have to look at Adelson’s links, and where he puts his money. At that level, all these state actors are linked by security organisations who share data and collaborate on ‘projects’.

      • Twirlip

        Indeed:

        “The Spanish judge presiding over the trial of a security firm owner apparently hired to spy on jailed Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange has sent a request to the US Department of Justice for an interview with Zohar Lahav, the Israeli-American vice president for executive protection at Las Vegas Sands.

        Sands is owned by the ultra-Zionist casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, one of the single largest donors to Donald Trump’s presidential campaigns and the Republican Party.

        According to court documents reviewed by The Grayzone, the judge seeks to probe Lahav’s relationship with disgraced UC Global CEO David Morales, who was indicted for an array of crimes after allegedly presiding over a spying operation targeting Assange while he was confined within Ecuador’s embassy in London.”

        https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/29/spanish-judge-sheldon-adelson-assange-spying/
        Exclusive: Spanish judge seeks Sheldon Adelson security chief in Assange spying case
        Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone, Tue 29 Sep 2020.

    • Natasha

      The USA has been fighting dirty since WW2 for global domination of fossil fuels, in recent decades for the “asset rich sovereign countries in the Middle East.” i.e. access to fossil fuel energy at circa maximum 5% – 7% extraction efficiency, but no higher, or societies begins to fall off the ‘energy cliff’ i.e. their economies stall and collapse.
      http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

      The easiest – in fact the only technically feasible (whatever the politics & anti-science fear-mongering) – solution is to is build global nuclear power asap to enable hydrogen (etc.) to replace liquid fossil fuels, consigning US sponsored oil war crimes and their cover-up, most recently in the London Kangaroo-court hearings to history.
      https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-is-missing-link-to-hydrogen-future,-says-L

  • mr.lobaloba

    Mr. Murray I think you wrote there was going to be 2 witnesses from UC Global today. But you shared one of the testimonies. How come?

  • George Sands

    I followed live via consortiumnews and kevin gozstola’s twitter feeds the proceedings yesterday, and was so much looking forward to your report, Craig. Thank you for it, and most especially the witness statement.

    The UC Global evidence proves that this is not a fair trial. Reporting by El Pais and Max Blumenthal are thoroughly validated. Assange’s legal team (and many others) have been spied upon and that information was made available to elements of the USA government. It also shows that the surveillance was increased under Trump/Pompeo. Combine this with Cassandra Fairbanks’ statements and it is obvious that this is a political trial. Add to that the foundations of international law based on the Nuremberg trails make it clear that you cannot lay changes against someone for revealing war crimes.

    This proceeding is clearly a politically motivated, unfair trail, which contravenes fundamental international law.

    I feel for the judge. One the one hand she’s been asked by the government to hold the trial, thus they want the extradition approved. One the other, if she finds in favour it will do severe damage to the reputation of the British legal system. Perhaps she can deny the application based on the loss of privacy of the defence team, and make the judgement on a purely legal basis and ignore all of the political and health components. But, this will dreadfully anger the government, because Assange would immediately be released.

    I hope that Wikileaks and Assange’s legal team have thought very clearly about winning the case and how/where to transport Assange to a place of safety. A very hard challenge.

  • DevonshireDozer

    Has any mainstream journalist out there got the courage to doorstep & pursue Tony Blair or Jack Straw for comments on these matters? Cherie Blair’s views as a well known lawyer (with a nod to human rights issues) would also be germane.

    • zoot

      even more germane would be the thoughts of that other human rights lawyer sir keir starmer. i believe he has actually intervened in the case of julian assange in the past.

      • nevermind

        how has he ‘intervened’? zoot. Did he get a EAW from a judge, as required by the statutes guiding the EAW?
        or was this gregarious charge, dropped by Sweden, signed over by a mere prosecutor, with Atlanticist neoliberal Keir accepting it and acting as if it was bonafide.
        that sort of intervention?

  • Mary

    Ms Baraitser’s broom must be worn out having been so thoroughly used to brush the evidence under the carpet.

    Should we have a collection to buy her a new one?

    • Olly Perry

      Maybe we should provide her with some strong carpet tacks instead to stop anything else being brushed under the carpet…

    • Wikikettle

      Mary. She will do her masters bidding and get promotion, yet the price will be Ignominy for ever.

    • Twirlip

      It’s a Nimbus 2001, probably pretty slow now. She got the job because she had a reputation for catching the snitch in her Slytherin days.

  • Joh Cofy

    I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers
    The rich and detailed evidence of Patrick Cockburn on Iraq and of Andy Worthington on Afghanistan was, in each case, well worthy of a full day of exposition. I should love at least to have seen both of them in the witness box.
    Craig: You deserve so much more and so do the witnesses. Unfortunately you did not get to talk to Assange either. Lawyers!? Somewhat similar to a settlement after the money dries up in a civil case in Australia but there is no proper deal. The prosecutors capitulate but don’t lose. Assange is stuck in solitary in the medical wing until after the US election. The lawyers toast each other. The judge has a task well beyond her abilities. All is well in the world. Is it?

    I am the defendant in a Supreme Court case in Melbourne. The plaintiff’s barrister kept asking the judge for summary judgement and I (being unrepresented) kept filing the relevant affidavits & evidence (2,000 +pages) until the judge refused to allow me further time to file, declared I had done nothing wrong and he would set the matter down for trial before a different judge.
    A new judge took over and proclaimed that she had decided the case on the books, I objected of course and she told me not to come back. Subsequently it was revealed by other lawyers that the plaintiff’s barrister had been the new judge’s associate.
    I really hoped for something better from the Victorian supreme court. I have no complaints about the first judge except he allowed himself to be unmercifully badgered by the plaintiff’s barrister. I think both the plaintiff’s lawyers should be reprimanded or suspended from practice.
    Law cannot be applied like this.

    Famously a former Queensland attorney general admitted purposely appointing incompetent judges that had to rely on the prosecutors to conduct matters for them. He claimed to be correcting the gender bias in the judiciary. One old school barrister who had spent time on the bench could name them off the top of his head. He’d say nice person but unbelievably incompetent. I experienced some of that personally. Undermining the courts is as simple as appointing incompetent judges. No more separation of power — nothing.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Perhaps your next focus, Mr Murray, should be on how judges are chosen to hear appeals, in that if, as it seems likely, Baraitser delivers the verdict she was bought to deliver, then an appeal process will be set in motion.

    Presumably as you go higher and higher up the appeals system, the greater the outrage becomes when a judge is so obviously corrupt.

    There appear to be 38 Appeal Court Judges and 5 ex officio (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_judges_of_the_Court_of_Appeal_of_England_and_Wales), so one wonders who it is that decides who receives the hospital pass.

    It seems inconceivable to me that there are not a veritable chest-of-drawers-worth of grounds to appeal, however I am not a skilled legal professional, so that must be for others to comment on.

    But I would certainly be wanting to have it made known who were considered inappropriate on the basis of their ability to be bought by the US Government…..

    • Matthew

      There are various errors of law that can be appealed. Possibly some errors of fact too.

      Judges are chosen for cases by the Presiding Judge (circuits) or the Resident Judge (specific courts) who is responsible for case allocation and general management of the court. In reality, experienced judges are assigned cases that make the best use of their skills, so you can expect three experienced High Court judges sitting as a Divisional Court for Mr Assange’s inevitable appeal.

      I suppose there’s the chance for bias when cases are assigned, but it seems rare in the appellate and subsequent superior courts. Obviously, it’s possible some judges are corrupt at that level but hard to prove (well, I don’t have the resources to investigate them all…)

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Blair’s revision of UK extradition law leaves just 7 days for an appeal to be lodged. I don’t know much about UK law, but it seems a very short period and, indeed, a deliberately short period. To compare, Dutch law provides 6 weeks for an appeal to be lodged and, furthermore, a “pro forma” appeal can be lodged with a full motivation provided later.

  • writeon

    Julian Assange is accused by the Americans of criminal acts, that even if they were true and proven, pail into insignificance compared to the criminal acts committed by the Americans themselves which he revealed to the public. Let that sink in for a moment.

    Under US and international law, individuals have an obligation not to ignore warcrimes, murder, human rights violations, illegal surveilance and torture carried out by the United States, in ‘wartime’ or any other time. Baraitser isn’t supposed to take part in a conspiracey to ‘cover up’ US warcrimes or ignore evidence about them and pretend they didn’t happen. This would be outrageous and arguably illegal under domestic nd international law.

    Surely Baraitser cannot simply choose to ignore the gross illegality of the US state spying on the Ecuadorian embassy in London and on Assange and his legal team’s efforts to protect his human rights. On those grounds alone one would imagine Baraitser is obliged to rule against the US demand to extradite Assange.

    One of the great tests in relation to liberals within our media and elsewhere is to bring up the possibility of imposing sanctions on the United States in response to their policies, actions and crimes. Usually one is met by a look of astonishment and shock. Sanctions on the United States? That’s impossible to think of, isn’t it? One wonders why exactly?

    As usual, Craig is doing a sterling job. I think I’ll nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, he certainly deserves it!

    • Matthew

      “Surely Baraitser cannot simply choose to ignore the gross illegality of the US state spying on the Ecuadorian embassy in London and on Assange and his legal team’s efforts to protect his human rights. On those grounds alone one would imagine Baraitser is obliged to rule against the US demand to extradite Assange.”

      No – that’s legally irrelevant under the Extradition Act 2003 which governs this administrative hearing. She _could_ decide that Mr Assange’s mental, emotional, or physical state is such that it would be unjust for him to be extradited _or_ she could hold that extradition is being attempted for political purposes. Either option would allow her to stop the deportation.

      However, the prosecution may appeal that decision and Mr Assange can be held for further periods of time for each appeal to be heard or thrown out, etc. I seem to recall it’s around a maximum period of 28 days for each appeal, but obviously that would be continuous so he could still be held for quite some time even if his extradition were to be denied at first instance.

  • Nick Patterson

    I wonder what the point of keeping “Witness 2” anonymous is, there is so much detail that
    insiders such as David Morales could trivially identify him/her. And many thanks for this magnificent
    coverage of one of the most important cases of our time.

    • Andrew Mcguiness

      If something happens to the UC Global witnesses, since they’re anonymous, it will be clear that it was Morales (at least, that’s the motivation for anonymity discussed in court).

  • Antiwar7

    Craig,

    What your doing is so important: recording this for the future. Because what is low will be high, and what is high will be low.

    • lysias

      Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles.

      Let us hope the prophesy is made true.

1 2

Comments are closed.