Julian Assange: Imminent Freedom 121


It has been a long and tiring day, with the startlingly unexpected decision to block Julian’s extradition. The judgement is in fact very concerning, in that it accepted all of the prosecution’s case on the right of the US Government to prosecute publishers worldwide of US official secrets under the Espionage Act. The judge also stated specifically that the UK Extradition Act of 2003 deliberately permits extradition for political offences. These points need to be addressed. But for now we are all delighted at the ultimate decision that extradition should be blocked.

The decision was based equally on two points; the appalling conditions in US supermax prisons, and the effect of those conditions on Julian specifically given his history of depression. The media has concentrated on the mental health aspect, and given insufficient attention to the explicit condemnation of the inhumanity of the US prison system.

I was the only person physically present in the public gallery inside the court, having been nominated by John Shiption to represent the family, aside from two court officials. I am quite sure that I again noted magistrate Baraitser have a catch in her throat when discussing the inhumane conditions in US supermax prisons, the lack of human contact, and specifically the fact that inmates are kept in total isolation in a small cage, and are permitted one hour exercise a day in total isolation in another small cage. I noted her show emotion the same way when discussing the al-Masri torture evidence during the trial, and she seemed similarly affected here.

Julian looked well and alert; he showed no emotion at the judgement, but entered into earnest discussion with his lawyers. The US government indicated they will probably appeal the verdict, and a bail hearing has been deferred until Wednesday to decide whether he will be released from Belmarsh pending the appeal – which court sources tell me is likely to be held in April in the High Court. I should be very surprised if Julian is not released on Wednesday pending the appeal. I shall now be staying here for that bail hearing.

I apologise for not giving a full analysis of the judgement yet, it has all been rather hectic, but wonderful. Here is a brief video giving more detail. I can produce a more considered piece tomorrow.

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121 thoughts on “Julian Assange: Imminent Freedom

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  • Opport Knocks

    Isn’t it obvious? The judge wanted to appear to be exercising the wisdom of Solomon, both sides getting roughly half of what they wanted.
    But she has simly washed her hands of the mess and is simply passing it off to another judge.

    There clearly is more going on than we are being led to believe, and I expect Craig Murray knows this. Specifically behind the scenes negotiations with respect to Assange’s future, his sources and whatever unreleased data dumps he still has.

  • Clark

    From Craig’s post:

    “The judgement is in fact very concerning, in that it accepted all of the prosecution’s case on the right of the US Government to prosecute publishers worldwide of US official secrets under the Espionage Act. The judge also stated specifically that the UK Extradition Act of 2003 deliberately permits extradition for political offences.”

    Yes, to me this judgement translates to “we’re compassionate humanitarians. But now, Mr Assange and everyone else, you will desist from publishing leaks, or you will be extradited”.

    • christopher sutton

      Clark — you hit upon the actual question myself, our family, has been asking itself, regarding how Mr. Assange proceeds from this point…

  • M.J.

    It is puzzling why Baraitser would agree to every point of the prosecution and then refuse extradition on the grounds of US prison conditions. It is as if she wanted the prosecution to appeal, but not the defense. That would have the likely result that Craig spoke of in the video – the high court would allow both the ground she did, plus a few more (which perhaps she wanted kicked upstairs, but not grant herself).
    I agree with the video that, it is best to celebrate for now, but consider that Assange is by no means out of the woods yet.

    • Paul Mc

      Perhaps Baraister is setting the case up for “assurances” — where the prosecution obtains Julian’s extradition by making enforceable promises not to keep him in solitary – SuperMax conditions. See Home Office — Assurances in Extradition Cases http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2016-0191/2016-1-20_Assurances_Review.pdf, which discusses assurances concerning prison conditions.

      The procedure is that “where there are substantial grounds to believe that a person’s human rights are at risk of being breached were extradition to be ordered, the Requesting State may be invited to provide an assurance which, if judged to be adequate, may be accepted as sufficient mitigation such that extradition could be ordered.” (p-5.)

  • Patrick Hertel

    “I should be very surprised if Julian is not released on Wednesday pending the appeal.”

    Sadly I believe you are in for a “surprise”.

    • Roy Robart

      I can’t see a surprise, if she’s already acknowledged that prolonged incaceration would impact Julian’s mental health – it would not look good for the UK if he deteriorated in their care.

      • Tom Welsh

        Maybe, until you remember that this whole affair was precipitated by publication of a video showing US soldiers machine-gunning civilians for fun.

        And those particular civilians hadn’t done them any harm, or even criticised them.

        It’s not so much a question of whether Mr Assange deserves to die miserably, as whether he is one of “us” or one of “them”. If the latter, his life isn’t worth a bent pin.

        And now, of course, thanks to Judge Baraitser, if he should happen to die in custody it will inevitably be said that, “We did our best, but he was determined to take his own life”.

  • bevin

    As far as I can recall, the 2003 Act was passed as part of the Blairite campaign to re-locate the UK in America’s lower colon. It was deliberately written to provide a means of extraditing persons for political offences. The idea being that offences which involved comforting ‘terrorists’ were criminal rather than political.
    I am no lawyer but I have a good memory of the reception that this Act got from the libertarian left. It was one of Blunkett’s masterpieces and still serves as a reminder not only of the sort of person that he was but of the mentality of the entire shower of Blair’s Cabinet and its collaborators, whose motto was “We will do anything for money.”
    Now that the Labour Party is back in the hands of the Blairites it ought to be very clear: Starmer’s role throughout Julian’s ordeal and, more to the point politically, the assault on freedom that it represented has been very clearly to assist power and Empire in any way possible

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Blair’s Cabinet and its collaborators, whose motto was “We will do anything for money.”’

      So, good capitalists as well as socialists. Like the Chinese?

    • lysias

      I just reread Robert Harris’s roman a clef “The Ghost” about Blair, whom Harris knew well. Unfortunately, Harris pulled his punch. In the novel as published, it’s the Blair figure’s wife who figures as the CIA agent infiltrated into British politics, when I am sure what Harris really thinks and probably originally intended to write is that Blair is the CIA agent whose rise in British politics was mysteriously accelerated. An honest novel would have somehow reflected the untimely death of John Smith.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Ah, the Saintly John Smith, the “best Prime Minister we never had”.
        Scratch the surface. An early graduate of the State Department’s, British American Project.
        Widow (Barroness Smith of Gilmorehill) had a spell as non-Exec Director at secretive, private investigator mob Hakluyt (founded by ex-spooks).
        BBC propagandist daughter Sarah is married to ex-mil Intelligence officer currently employed by a landmine clearing charity “working in the world’s trouble spots”. An excellent cover for a spook.
        Another daughter Chairs the John Smith Centre for Public Service. The JSCfPS is managed day to day by “never had a proper job in her life”, ex-Scottish Labour Leader, Kezia Dugdale. The unstated mission statement of the JSCfPS would appear to be infiltrating remunerated Scottish politics with as many young, “never had a proper job in their lifes”, Politics Graduates (homosexual if possible (don’t ask me why?)) as possible.
        Then there’s the John Smith Trust which runs “intense … Fellowship Programmes … for emerging leaders from … the former Soviet Union.”.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        “ In the novel as published, it’s the Blair figure’s wife who figures as the CIA agent infiltrated into British politics,”

        And just in case you haven’t seen Sixth Sense yet, Bruce Willis is dead all along.

    • lysias

      I’ve heard George Galloway say on radio that Blunkett assured him that the act would not be misused for political offenses.

  • writeon

    The ruling is surprising and… interesting, especially as it accepts, basically the entire prosecution case about the legality of extraditing Assange to the United States; but then refuses extradition on ‘humanitarian grounds’ because the American prison system cannot guarantee that Assange, given his mental state, is likely to successfully commit suicide!

    It’s like the authorities have calculated that Assange’s death by suicide would not serve any purpose and turn him into a martyr, a cause and a rallying point for the disaffected and ‘anti-Americans’ worldwide. After all the ‘damage’ has already been done and the media have been taught a crushing lesson, judging by their almost total lack of interest in the case; the most important case relating to freedom of the press for decades. The media are now on a short leash and Assange’s fate has frightened anyone in the state-controlled media from following in his footsteps. Wikileaks wasn’t a new dawn for journalism. It was a dead end with a dungeon at the end of it.

    In that sense it wasn’t necessary to completely destroy Assange anymore, that would be overkill. Other journalists have seen the writing on the ‘prison’ wall.

    • Paul Mc

      Baraitser’s ruling is here: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/USA-v-Assange-judgment-040121.pdf. The discussion about U.S. prison conditions begins on p. 91. The decision focuses on the effects on Assange of administrative segregation (ADSEG) and special administrative measures (SAMS) and the possibility of being housed at an ADX facility post trial, not US prison conditions generally.

      At p. 101, the decision summarizes the Kopelman psychiatric testimony as saying that Assange will be at high risk of suicide “if housed in conditions of segregation and solitary confinement.” (The Crosby and Deely testimony summarized on pages 102-103 is not so conditioned.) See also p. 110, where the decision uses the language “if detained subject to the full restrictions of pre-trial SAMs” (and post trial SAMS) in predicting a “deleterious impact on Mr. Assange’s mental health.” Also p. 116 “I am satisfied that, if he is subjected to the extreme conditions of SAMs, Mr. Assange’s mental health will deteriorate to the point where he will commit suicide…”

      This suggests (as I mentioned) that the US could obtain extradition consistent with Baraitser’s decision by giving assurances of no SAMS, no ADSEG.

  • Squeeth

    Like Craig, I am suspicious of the lackey denying extradition only on the grounds of Assange’s mental health. I smell another rat and think that this ruling is a tactic.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig, there is an extraordinary piece in The Times by Melanie Phillips praising Glenn Greenwald, (no idea how to post it ) !


    [ Mod: Here’s the link.

    Big tech not Trump is subverting democracy: A leftwinger has added his voice to those warning about the power of companies like Facebook – The Times (paywall) ]

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    Is it possible that there is a long strategy here? Baraitser has stopped the extradition of Julian on mental health grounds. The American govt will probably appeal her decision. Does the Court of Appeal just get to look at the mental health decision or does it decide on the whole case? The Court of Appeal according to its website is next in line to the Supreme Court so its decisions must be pretty influential. Having the whole case thrown out by the Court of Appeal would have more impact and lasting effect than the lower court. Having followed the lower court proceedings over the past year – I’m not a lawyer – I found the arguements and rebuttals of Julian’s lawyers against the American govt “case” completely decisive. Surely the Appeal judge would see this the way I and many many other people saw it – political interference, twisting the truth, horrible treatment of Julian Assange and the stupid stupid charges which seemed to change when things weren’t going the way the AG wanted. I hope the bail hearing tomorrow is successful and Julian Assange can be free

    • Rosemary MacKenzie

      I looked through the roster of appeal judges none seemed very useful. They are heavily geared towards family and commercial law. Does anyone know anything about them? I agree with Nevermind that someone/some group has to appeal the points of the AG case with which Baraitser agreed.

    • Ingwe

      Rosemary Mackenzie at 15:57 5 January 2021-an appeal by the USA is made (unusually for a magistrate’s court) to the High Court rather than the Crown Court (which has criminal jurisdiction). The appeal needs grounds and these include that the judge misapplied the law, made a finding unsupported by the facts or some how abused her position.

      It is important to appreciate that an appeal is NOT a rehearing and normally there is no further evidence. It is purely submissions by lawyers. Therefore the USA, if it appeals has to have grounds that Baraitser got the law wrong, refused to make the order where there were no facts to support it. I’ll ignore the abuse of position argument which in my view would be open to Julian rather than the USA!
      The only thing she ordered was JA was not to be extradited. This was based on her decision, after having all the evidence about the effect of incarceration of JA in a maximum security prison in the US put before her. She made the decision and has made a finding of fact that JA is likely to commit suicide. That is her prerogative as a judge. The High Court hearing the appeal will not have all that evidence again and will only overturn that finding if she was wrong in law (unlikely) or was perverse (i.e. there were no facts to support her conclusion (again unlikely).

      So if the US is foolish enough to appeal the decision, JA can cross-appeal her findings that seem wrong in law, were perverse on the facts and importantly, that procedurally, she abused her position by her treatment of JA and his lawyers throughout. So I personally think an appeal is unlikely. There may be much huffing and puffing by the US but we’ll see.

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        That is very interesting and helpful. Craig said very much the same above. I am becoming better educated. Thanks Ingwe.

  • Roy Robart

    I’d appreciate your view as to whether any of the charges upheld could now potentially be applied to other media organisations that published, even though Julian himself won’t be extradited to face them, or whether the focus is solely on his purported aiding and abetting.

  • Xavi

    Something does not smell right about this. Baraitser expressed no concern whatsoever throughout the hearing about his living conditions in Belmarsh, despite it being a Covid hellhole as well as a general hellhole. Now she has a catch in her throat when discussing conditions In US Belmarshes? ….. Nah.

    • nevermind

      Imho it is important for the defence to appeal on all points so glibly accepted, its almost like she is asceeding to become the latest state of the US.
      something smells fishy about it and the appeal should really be coming with the application of bail.

      This is the time to reform reporting by the MSM, Levenson has to enshrine free speech into law and sort this extradition fiasco act out once and for all.

      Thank you very much for sitting it out in London. Be careful it is full of the dreaded lergy.

  • Republicofscotland

    That’s fantastic new Craig, as you say we all hope Julian is released on Wednesday, lets not forget that you played a major part in reporting all of this well done Sir.

    As for the US appeal, do they win a lot of them on grounds such as this, and in particular do you think they’ll lose this one?

  • Ben

    Even if Assange recovers his liberty he has forever tainted his formerly valid credibility as his bias against Western policy favoring former Soviets is now fully exposed. Only the most extreme Left will continue to give Assange and Co air to breathe.

    Wikileaks joins NEWSMAX and RT as the whistle-blowers who can BLOW ME

    • nevermind

      you are living in a split paralysed and pathological racist society Ben. There is absolutely nothing you can do about your country now, but that is where your focus should be concentrated on.
      spinning on an emptywheel gets you nowhere, have some empathy for the victims of US war crimes.

      • Ben

        For some reason the Left thinks scolding your racist elements has a chilling effect on your least evolved citizens and nowhere is thus more true than in the UK.

        But please continue to claim the high ground on the seniority of civilization as though it creates superior citizens … I need a good laugh.

      • nevermind

        https//www.democraticunderground .com comparrisson between Norway and the US. Capitalism is only good for fascists without emphacy.

    • Walter Cairns

      So Assange has a “bias against Western policy” does he? Well so have I. I have a serious bias against a policy of bombing and invading countries that present no danger whatsoever to us. I have a bias against Western policy towards the Middle East and North Africa countries because of their oil and the danger their pricing policies could represent for the US dollar. I have a bias against Western policy that wages war against and invades countries about whose involvement in 9/11 there is no evidence whatsoever. I have a bias against Western policy that imposes sanctions (admittedly self-harming) against a wartime ally in respect of a few border disputes whilst supporting a head-chopping regime now waging genocide against its helpless neighbour. I have a heavy bias against Western policy that supports an artificially-created theocracy in the Middle East that wages constant war on the people whom it ousted from their lands entirely contrary to international law. Finally, my bias also extends to Western policy that subverts South American countries for the mortal sin of attempting socialism. So might as well book my place in Belmarsh now.

  • Fwl

    Hansard records that on 4 March 2003 Angela Watkinson asked how many clauses and schedules of the Extradition Bill had been (a) fully debated (b) partially debated and (c) not debated at all during the committee stage The response seems to be that they discussed Clause 63 and there were some amendments to clauses 63, 64 & 65. That sounds like Not Much.

    Who was on that committee?

  • writeon

    ‘History’, in this case the reputations of those state officials linked to the persecution of Assange, won’t look kindly or remember their roles in this grotesque political ‘showtrial’, without revulsion and stunned disbelief that anything like this could happen in a leading ‘liberal democracy.’ So, being involved in this entire thing is like being handed a golden, jeweled… poison chalice. One’s career is advanced, but at what cost to one’s legacy and reputation? Does one really want to be forever linked to this ghastly, foul, process? To have one’s name dragged through the legal mud for generations, like those connected to the Dreyfus Affair?

    Arguably, Assange, along with Wikileaks, his ‘model’ for making journalism ‘relevant’ again, has been comprehensively undermined and successfully contained and deligitimised. He and Wikileaks don’t matter much anymore and are no longer perceived as a real threat. He’s been marginalised and exiled from the mainstream and propagandised away, forever?

    I think the proof argument of this argument is revealed in the almost complete lack of substantial coverage of his trial by the established, state-controlled media across the entire western world. Assange and media freedom no longer matter very much. The media has quietly accepted the limits the state has put on them without any opposition worth talking about. The blackout relating to Assange, the campaign to destroy him and Wikileaks; worked. There are virtually no dissident voices allowed anymore within the media and the ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ know exactly how far they can go in investigating the liberal state’s war-machine in action, and more importantly the harsh consequences of going ‘too far.’ No one wants to follow Assange and if they did they’ed find no one willing to publish their copy anymore if they did. If Pilger and Hersh can’t find a role in the mainstream anymore, what hope does anyone else have?

    • Ben

      Mostly true except that journalism has been part of the Capitalist Tapestry since the early 70’s and that brand of Journalism, dependent upon ad revenue…in turn quantified by ratings, has been busy building stick and straw houses ever since.

      Journalists used to be working class heroes, exposed regularly to the plight of ordinary men. Empathy moved them to champion the Underdogs..

      Now they’re motivations are more mercenary..

  • Merkin Scot

    I wonder if Baraitser went on a non-Strasberg acting course with Hancock?
    .
    Day 1 : ‘crocodile tears without onions’.
    Day 2 : ‘lump in your throat made easy’.
    Day 3 : ‘how to Cry Wolf with conviction’.
    .
    Both Baraitser and Hancock had me fooled. Not.
    .
    .

    .

  • Fwl

    The debate on 25/3 is interesting reading. In the period after 5.36pm Bob Ainsworth, Under Secretary of State at the Home Office represented that Extradition could not take place if it would be unjust or oppressive …. or breach rights under the ECHR and that the Bill purportedly provided a package of measures such that it would be a delusion to call them “draconian”, which had been suggested.

    Further on it was suggested that the Bill was something of a knee-jerk response to 9/11 to which Ainsworth replied that the fundamental position had appeared in a consultation document 6 months before 9/11. Oliver Letwin then concluded that the Home Secretary therefore knew that he intended to give away our birth rights even before 9/11.

  • laguerre

    I rather agreed with those above who think that Baraitser’s judgement was effectively putting the decision into Biden’s presidency. It will be up to Biden and his people, the new president with his new mandate, rather than the out-of-control departing Trump, to make the decision whether to appeal the judgement. That is not necessarily a good sign. But Biden might be more open to pressure from the US media, who I would guess do not like the basis of the extradition attacking press freedom.

  • christopher sutton

    …thanking you again, Mr. Murray, for keeping the world of supporters of what remains of press freedom, informed…

  • Kuhnberg

    Can Assange now be prosecuted for espionage under British law? If so then this judgement makes more sense —the British authorities would have him and his sources all to themselves. If I am right they will release him and rearrest him immediately afterwards.

  • Fwl

    I had not appreciated that the UK-US Extradition Treaty was signed on 31st March 2003 whilst the Bill was going through Parliament. If that is this same treaty which barred extradition to the US for political offences and which treaty was therefore entered into during the parliamentary process and with reference being made to that Treaty (eg Lord Falconer on 31st March) such that any parliamentarian might reasonable assume that the Bill reflects the protection within Treaty then it appears wholly unjust if it is later argued that the Bill does not reflect the Treaty.

    Remember playing Monopoly as a kid? You bet it all on a hotel on Park Lane and then missing someone landing there. The dice is thrown again and everyone shouts ” day dreamer!” – tears and arguments follow.

    It also reminds me of some of things Bill Binney has said about how the Patriot Act was presented to Congress and how it was then interpreted (which is how the US ended up with bulk collection), or of what Fletcher Prouty has said about Acts being re-interpreted in. ways which had not been intended. This is a right Pandora’s Box. No wonder the trial got so little coverage. I will shut up now. Interested to see what Keir Starmer has to say (if anything).

    • Fwl

      Lord Falconer of Thoroton

      “The Home Secretary is today, together with US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, signing a new bilaterial extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
      The current UK-USA extradition treaty was agreed in 1972 and ratified in 1976, with supplementary provisions from 1986. It is outdated and can be significantly improved.

      The new treaty reflects best modern practice in extradition. In particular, it provides that any crime attracting a maximum sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment or more in both the requesting and the requested state is extraditable rather than containing a list of offences which are extraditable, as the present treaty does. The advantage of that is that it encompasses offences such as computer related crime which did not exist when the 1972 treaty was drawn up.

      The new treaty brings the evidential rules for requests from the United States into line with those for European countries and simplifies the procedure for the authentication of documents.

      As with the existing treaty, the new treaty provides that in death penalty cases, extradition may be refused unless an assurance has been received that no death sentence will be carried out.

      The new treaty also maintains the present position that political motivation cannot be used to block extradition in the case of terrorist or other violent crimes.

      93WA
      The treaty stipulates that neither nationality nor statutes of limitations will be a bar to extradition. The treaty also provides the standard speciality protection against onward extradition or surrender, and we have confirmed our understanding that this covers surrender to the International Criminal Court.

      Before the treaty can come into force it needs to be ratified by the United States Senate. It will be brought into force in the United Kingdom by Order in Council. Such an order will be made under the existing Extradition Act 1989 and will carry over when the Extradition Bill, which is curently before Parliament, comes into force. At that point the United States, like all of our extradition partners, will benefit from the new streamlined extradition procedures which the Bill seeks to put in place.

      The United States is one of our key extradition partners and there is a significant volume of extradition business between the two countries. It is therefore important that our bilaterial extradition treaty should be as effective as possible. I am pleased that it has been possible to reach agreement on the new treaty and that the Government have the opportunity to affirm their commitment to the closest possible cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime.”

      • fwl

        The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Blunkett) – written statement 31st March 2003

        “I am today, together with US Attorney General John Ashcroft, signing a new bilateral extradition treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
        The current UK-USA extradition treaty was agreed in 1972 and ratified in 1976 with supplementary provisions from 1986. It is outdated and can be significantly improved.

        The new treaty reflects best modern practice in extradition. In particular, it provides that any crime attracting a maximum sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment or more in both the requesting and the requested state is extraditable rather than containing a list of offences which are extraditable, as the present treaty does. The advantage of that is that it encompasses offences, such as computer related crime, which did not exist when the 1972 treaty was drawn up.

        The new treaty brings the evidential rules for requests from the United States into line with those for European countries and simplifies the procedures for the authentication of documents.

        As with the existing treaty, the new treaty provides that in death penalty cases, extradition may be refused unless an assurance has been received that no death sentence will be carried out.

        The new treaty also maintains the present position that political motivation cannot be used to block extradition in the case of terrorist or other violent crimes. The treaty stipulates that neither nationality nor statutes of limitations will be a bar to extradition. The treaty also provides the standard speciality protection against onward extradition or surrender, and we have confirmed our understanding that this covers surrender to the International Criminal Court.

        Before the treaty can come into force it needs to be ratified by the United States Senate. It will be brought into force in the United Kingdom by Order in Council. Such an order will be made under the existing Extradition Act 1989 and will carry over when the Extradition Bill, which is currently before Parliament, comes into force. At that point the United States, like all of our extradition partners, will benefit from the new streamlined extradition procedures which the Bill seeks to put in place.

        The United States is one of our key extradition partners and there is a significant volume of extradition business between the two countries. It is therefore important that our bilateral extradition treaty should be as effective as possible. I am pleased that it has been possible to reach agreement on the new treaty and that I have the opportunity in person to affirm our commitment to the closest possible co-operation in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime.”

  • Jo

    Seems to me the judge has shown her establishment solidarity and done the minimal to get her self out of this troublesome situation but still leaving the two governments (probably rapidly and determindly discussing their situation and what can be done they are not going to let this go as surely both wish to have control over freedom of speech and investigative journalism considering Skripals….OPCW….Iraq dossier and continuing anti russian agendas and cyberwarfare etc) )their “kudos” in these dealings so far…..and leaving the charges still standing ….and appeal system available. Could USA base an appeal thus on proposing that Assange be allowed to recover and be under undependant medical supervision in conditions that are conducive to wellbeing and approved by both governments ….so he could later face the charges? Maybe ask that a trial proceed with Assange still in uk eg video? I doubt USA will let this go. Or proceed with a trial in absentia to tarnish ? Wikileaks dumped all their files the other day and surely every attempt to control it will be made. As Assange recovers could leaving the charges standing mean he could be rearrested…or renditioned later? Where is a safe place for him maybe not 5 eyes Australia or another related country or one where USA can leverage to get extradition or rendition and that might not be able to or not interested to halt such processes? Is Spain safer considering judges are hearing the cases spying against Assange … with his partner family? Does he have a better chance of protection and a right to a family life in jurisdiction of ECHR( UK not seem interested in that aspect)…or Nato countries will be pressurised not to accept him?

  • Oliver Williams

    I wonder :
    – Why was Baraitser chosen ? Did the establishment choose well, trying to get someone who appeared neutral who they thought they could manipulate, or did they choose someone who finally was sufficiently independent and who could balance right from wrong ?
    – Was the judgment given in such a way that the only avenue of appeal was always going to fail ? This is a judge who knows what will happen further down the line so will have known what her words would weigh and how they could be used.
    – Given that we know so little about this judge, what will be her future career ? This will only be interesting to historians as we see “rewards” arrive or perhaps stagnation of her career due to her “bad” judgement from an establishment point of view.
    The favorable judgement on Monday (we can argue whether or not for the right reasons) has given us all hope.

  • Dr Lilliana Corredor

    Thanks, once again, dear Craig for your report. I pray today Assange will be released on bail. Hmm..

    Baraitser gave the U.S. ammunition to further persecute and prosecute both Journalists worldwide and to continue its persecution of Assange – in other countries he may go to, he may not be safe.

    Also, in its appeal the U.S. will make false promises of treating Assange like a king in their Country Club prisons, and may even come up with new charges, which they would have had ready for his arrival in U.S.
    They hate him more now! Because of him, the U.S. has been SHAMED once AGAIN, this time by the UK Court condemning its Prison system. The thirst for blood and vengeance by the U.S. is known and despicable. They are like a dog on a bone. Unless there’s Presidential Pardon, they won’t drop that bone.

    On the other hand, Assange must NOT come back to Australia unless this government makes an OFFICIAL STATEMENT that it WILL NOT EXTRADITE him to the U.S.! So where can he go?

    Alrhough Mexico offered him ASYLUM, that’s too close to the U.S. and full of U.S. Intel operators who will shoot him down and blame it on the Drug cartels…

    My question to you for open discussion: WHERE could Assange go where he can be PROTECTED?

  • Robyn

    I heard Joe Lauria (Consortium News) say that Baraitser ended her judgement by ordering the discharge of Julian Paul Assange. The Prosecution then mentioned the prospect of appeal, to which Baraitser replied that she would have to take that into consideration, after which she invited the Defence to seek bail. Was there a good reason for Julian’s team to postpone the bail application for 48 hours? Two more nights in that hellhole – there must be a good reason.

  • Gordon Logan

    Hi Craig, I emailed you some highly sensitive information regarding the decision to block Julian’s extradition but have received no reply. My Hotmail account has received unwanted attention from TPTB for many years. My correspondence with Gordon Duff has been removed and years of correspondence with the ‘Romeo Spy’ John Symonds couldn’t be forwarded to others. Duff warned me that the information that I sent you was ‘dangerous’ and shouldn’t be followed up, so I can understand your discretion. However I would be grateful for an acknowledgment of receipt.

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