Assange Extradition: On To The Next Hurdle 122

With Julian still, for no rational reason, held in maximum security, the legal process around his extradition continues to meander its way through the overgrown bridlepaths of the UK’s legal system. Today the Supreme Court refused to hear Julian’s appeal, which was based on the grounds of his health and the effect upon it of incarceration in the conditions of the United States prison service. It stated his appeal had “no arguable legal grounds.”

This is a setback which is, most likely, going to keep Julian in jail for at least another year.

The legal grounds which the High Court had previously ruled to be arguable, were that the USA government should not have been permitted to give at appeal new (and highly conditional) diplomatic assurances about Assange’s treatment, which had not been offered at the court of first instance to be considered in the initial decision. One important argument that this should not be allowed, is that if given to the original court, the defence could argue about the value and conditionality of such assurances; evidence could be called and the matter weighed by the court.

By introducing the assurances only at the appeal stage – which is only on points of law and had no fact-finding remit – the USA had avoided any scrutiny of their validity. The Home Office have always argued that diplomatic assurances must simply be accepted without question. The Home Office is keen on this stance because it makes extradition to countries with appalling human rights records much easier.

In saying there is no arguable point of law, the Supreme Court is accepting that diplomatic assurances are not tested and are to be taken at face value – which has been a major point of controversy in recent jurisprudence. It is now settled that we will send someone back to Saudi Arabia if the Saudis give us a piece of paper promising not to chop their head off.

It interested me in particular that the Supreme Court refused to hear Julian’s appeal on the basis there was “no arguable point of law”. When the Supreme Court refused to hear my own appeal against imprisonment, they rather stated their alternative formulation, there was “no arguable point of law of general public interest”. Meaning there was an arguable point of law, but it was merely an individual injustice, that did not matter to anybody except Craig Murray.

My own view is that, with the Tory government very open about their desire to clip the wings of judges and reduce the reach of the Supreme Court in particular, the Court is simply avoiding hot potatoes at present.

So the extradition now goes to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to decide whether to extradite. The defence has four weeks to make representations to Patel, which she must hear. There are those on the libertarian right of the Tory party who oppose the extradition on freedom of speech grounds, but Patel has not a libertarian thought in her head and appears to revel in deportation, so personally I hold out no particular hope for this stage.

Assuming Patel does authorise extradition, the matter returns to the original magistrate’s court and to Judge Baraitser for execution. That is where this process takes a remarkable twist.

The appeals process that has just concluded was the appeal initiated by the United States government, against Baraitser’s original ruling that the combination of Julian’s health and the conditions he would face in US jails, meant that he could not be extradited. The United States government succeeded in this appeal at the High Court. Julian then tried to appeal against that High Court verdict to the Supreme Court, and was refused permission.

But Julian himself has not yet appealed to the High Court, and he can do so, once the matter has been sent back to Baraitser by Patel. His appeal will be against those grounds on which Baraitser initially found in favour of the United States. These are principally:

  • the misuse of the extradition treaty which specifically prohibits political extradition;
  • the breach of the UNCHR Article 10 right of freedom of speech;
  • the misuse of the US Espionage Act;
  • the use of tainted, paid evidence from a convicted fraudster who has since publicly admitted his evidence was false;
  • the lack of foundation to the hacking charge.

None of these points have yet been considered by the High Court. It seems a remarkably strange procedure that having been through the appeals process once, the whole thing starts again after Priti Patel has made her decision, but that is the crazy game of snake and ladders the law puts us through. It is fine for the political establishment, of course, because it enables them to keep Julian locked up under maximum security in Belmarsh.

The defence had asked the High Court to consider what are called the “cross-appeal” points at the same time as hearing the US appeal, but the High Court refused.

So the ray of light that was Baraitser’s ruling on health and prison conditions is now definitively snuffed out. That means that rather than the possibility of release by the Supreme Court this summer, Julian faces at least another year in Belmarsh, which must be a huge blow to him just before his wedding.

On the brighter side, it means that finally, in a senior court, the arguments that will really matter will be heard. I have always felt ambivalent about arguments based on Julian’s health, when there is so much more at stake, and I have never personally reported the health issues out of respect for his privacy. But now the High Court will have to consider whether it really wishes to extradite a journalist for publishing evidence of systematic war crimes by the state requesting his extradition.

Now that will be worth reporting.


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122 thoughts on “Assange Extradition: On To The Next Hurdle


    Thank you for updating us on this huge news story. Best wishes to Julian and family on his forthcoming wedding. I agree that the key issues are even more important than his health which though important were in my opinion a distraction.

  • Roger Ewen

    Ive just been reading about the CIA operative being taught walling. Where they were taught to hit a prisoners head against a wall. The prisoner, tortured for years ending up with brain damage, from walling!
    This is the American filth we are dealing with.
    Surely to god, this Assange case could be taken to the European courts? As you Craig, very well know, there is no longer honour, morality or Justice in England or Scotland. This stemming from American dictatorship over all, nations belonging to NATO.
    What we see in Ukraine is an American bankers’ manipulative war under the guise of freedom.
    In a word, absolute “bollocks”.
    Assange has the right of protection from everyone of us, for the privillage he gave us all, being informed.

      • Peter

        This treatment of Julian is utterly barbaric and brings nothing but shame and disgust upon this country and its legal system and profession.

        Whilst it may be necessary to exhaust all domestic legal processes before proceeding to the European Court to reject the extradition request is there not some body that can be appealed to ameliorate Julian’s immediate incarceration conditions, at least on the grounds of health, as the nature of his current jailing is very obviously taking a huge, damaging and dangerous toll on his health.

        Is open prison so out of the question, or even release with tagging pending a final legal decision?

        Are the American and British Establishments so fearful of him even getting anywhere near a computer?

        • Clark

          He’s being made an example of.

          The establishment can’t control modern communications so it’s trying to control the people, through fear. Defy it, or it’ll crush us all, forever.

        • Olly Perry

          I quite agree with you, Peter, and was thinking exactly the same thing. Why can’t they let him out on a tag, even if it meant he had to remain within the confines of a house and garden? Or as you say an open prison so he can get some sunshine and exercise? Anyone going through what he has gone through and continues to go through would have their health severely challenged. This is cruel as it is barbaric. I can imagine that paedophiles, rapists and thieves are all treated better. I always thought this country was a beacon of justice – how wrong I was. Where is the champion of freedom and justice in parliament? Where is the campaigning lord or lady in the Lords? Where is the voice of wisdom and compassion in the legal profession? Nowhere. And a largely uninterested complicit media. Shame on them all. Shame on us all. What have we become?

      • Colin Alexander

        Does a party have to exhaust all domestic remedies to go to the UN for a ruling? Especially if there are good reasons why a party does not exhaust all domestic remedies before appealing to the UN for a ruling on human rights abuse. ( Such as prolonged imprisonment in high security facilities which could be considered a form of torture designed to damage a person’s mental health).

        Not that I am suggesting that’s the way to go for Julian Assange, for as we know, the rule of law and compliance with international legal standards on human rights is simply ignored by the UK, when it does not suit the UK (and USA). For example, the UN ruling about the Chagos Island belonging to Mauritius:

        Diego Garcia which is part of the Chagos Islands archipelago is home to a USA long range strategic military runway.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Have you tried reading up on the ‘School of the Americas’ (now ‘rebranded’ as the ‘Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’)?

      Rather well known as training pretty much every death squad which operated in Central- and South America for a period of 50+ years.

      Start here:

      There’s plenty more juicy material available for those who search….

      • Carolyn L Zaremba

        I think most people who have lived long enough know all about the “School of the Americas”, particularly the people of Central and South America. United States viciousness is not new. It goes all the way back to the Spanish American War. It makes me ashamed to be an American.

        • pretzelattack

          it arguably goes all the way back, even before the US as such was founded. the treatment of the natives. we need honest history classes, but we aren’t going to see that any time soon.

  • JohnA

    Unfortunately, there is a very rational reason, from the US/UK perspective. They want Assange silenced forever, either by his own hand, or by crushing his soul relentlessly via incarceration. And naturally, to discourage anyone else from publishing their dirty secrets.

    • Fazal Majid

      And their objectives have been achieved. It is sadly unlikely Assange’s mental health will ever recover from his ordeal, even in the unlikely case the supine British government doesn’t ship him off to a US gulag (with nary a protest from the equally craven Australian government).

    • Tom Welsh

      For many years now the parallels of Socrates and Jesus have occurred to me more and more often. Just the two most famous (and I hope well-loved) of the thousands who have been publicly destroyed for challenging false official stories.

      If, as seems likely, Mr Assange is destined to meet a horrible fate at the hands of the Americans, we may see a new religion rise up around his martyrdom. Perhaps it could be called the Church of Truth.

  • Mist001

    He’s being remanded in jail because he skipped bail once and the authorities don’t want to risk that happening again whilst the legal process is taking place.

    My own thoughts are if he gets out then yes, he’ll be a free man but he’ll also be a marked man, so he might be safer in the jail at least for the time being, where he’s under scrutiny and the public are aware that he’s there.

    Yes, conditions are harsh for him and it does seem unfair, but that’s my take on the situation as it stands.

    • Clark

      He didn’t “skip bail” because he neither sought nor gained freedom. He claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Since he could not leave without surrendering to persecution, he was subjected to arbitrary detention, according to the highest authority on the matter:

      There is simply no rational way that being arbitrarily detained for years can be described as avoiding bail.

    • Clark

      “…and the authorities don’t want to risk that happening again whilst the legal process is taking place.”

      What the authorities may or may not want would be irrelevant in a real democracy; Assange has now served three times the maximum sentence for “skipping bail”.

      • Mist001

        The key word in your sentence is *would* but we’re not in the *would* position. The authorities don’t want him running away so they’re keeping him locked up. That’s how it looks to me as I said in my original post.

        • Jayhawk

          Mist – If you’ve been convicted of a crime, and you’ve served the sentence, is it then right for the authorities to decide to keep you in prison indefinitely ‘in case’ you reoffend, without any further charge or conviction?

          • Mist001

            Of course it’s not right and I never said that it was right. I offered my thoughts or opinion on why he was still being held. If you have a prisoner who has previous for absconding, what would you do?

          • Allan Howard

            They would undoubtedly be keeping Julian banged up even if he had no ‘previous’.

      • Tom Welsh

        HMG and the Yanks are making it crystal clear that what they say goes; that no one disses them and lives; and that the law and “democracy” count for absolutely nothing.

        That will be most satisfying for them. But in achieving that short-term satisfaction they have revealed, quite unmistakably, that the USA and UK are countries ruled by men and not by law.

        Navalny is being treated far more fairly and legally by Russia.

        • Tom Welsh

          The wars – let’s not be mealy-mouthed – were launched in quest of wealth and power. Fossil fuels are only part of it; and the desire to control them is motivated only in part by their value. The other part, at least as important, is the power control of them gives over the lives of others – from individuals to states. Those who control the oil, gas, coal and uranium have their boots on the throats of everyone else.

          That’s why it’s so extremely satisfying to see Washington cutting much of the West off from Russian fuels, and Saudi Arabia talking earnestly to China and Russia in what looks very much like a plan to stop demanding dollars for oil.

          By trying to use their control of the dollar system to crush Russia, they have pulled the string that deflates the dollar system itself. More and more nations will shun it and move to trading for gold, yen, euros, or even rubles. China certainly owns a lot of US Treasury paper – but in a pinch they can just pulp it to make a few books. Theoretically they would lose a trillion or so – but that value is purely theoretical anyway.

        • Giyane

          Tom Welsh

          ” The power that control of them gives over others”

          Economic power cannot do anything but destroy. This gives the rich an illusion, in fact a delusion, that they can control others. The msm gives them the same delusion. The msm saves people the bother of thinking when they might find thinking enjoyable and useful.

          If you ask the public about important issues they will usually take the short cut of regurgitating what the msm tells them to think. That doesn’t mean they actually think it. It merely means that an oven-ready opinion is already available to regurgitate on demand.

          Rats quickly learn which behaviour is rewarded with food. This is not human intelligence, it’s animal intelligence.

        • Clark

          Choose your target, maybe Belmarsh, the Supreme Court, or the US Embassy, but somewhere to cause maximum disruption to the appropriate authorities where you can’t be ignored, and be there for April 9, when UK oil refineries will be blockaded and other activists will be flooding London. Prepare to camp and occupy and possibly get arrested, not to go home in the evening.

          I know some of you don’t believe in climate change, but you surely agree that the war crimes Julian exposed were in conflicts for fossil fuels. Extinction Rebellion’s first demand is Tell the Truth, and that’s exactly what Julian is imprisoned for.

          Love and rage.

  • Stevie Boy

    The legal process is just a game that the establishment plays before they do what they were always going to do.
    Pretentious prats in their wigs and finery, honourable this and honourable that, prosecution, defence, High Court, Supreme Court, due process, blah, blah fiicking blah. A veritable circus for the plebs.
    This is just another example of the USA and UK doing whatever they like, abusing and torturing, and getting away with it – condoned by the public and the MSM.
    May they all burn in hell, although in this life would be better.

    • Clark

      It is not condoned by the public; according to research and opinion polls there has never been a majority in favour of the wars, the crimes of which Julian exposed. What you call the MSM does not represent the mainstream of people; it projects the interests of corporatocracy.

      • Stevie Boy

        I have to disagree, with respect, IMO, you are wrong.
        Have you ever tried asking the average punter what they think about Julian ? Sex pest, Russian Spy, Traitor, etc, etc. Most people are totally ignorant of the facts and believe what they are told by the BBC, Mail, Guardian, etc. They also know next to nothing about the war crimes he exposed and don’t care ’cause Saddam, Gadaffi, Assad, etc. are Arabs, Muslims and ‘evil tyrants’ (Sand N1ggers !!).
        The MSM is still the place where most people get their information, albeit fake, and thus represents a significant proportion of the population.
        Outside our ‘community’, the truth is another thing.

        • Clark

          I probably should have said it’s not as bad as you think. I do talk to people and quite a few rattle off the attitudes you describe, though usually, when I enquire a bit deeper, I find that they don’t support the wars, as if their earlier condemnation of “evil tyrants” etc. had been rationalisation. And research has definitely found majorities opposed to the Iraq war; before, during and after.

      • Jay

        A majority of Britons surveyed in an Opinium poll last week backed a no fly zone over Ukraine and therefore nuclear war.
        There were also large majorities at the time in favour of invading Afghanistan and Iraq and bombing Libya. That was also entirely due to the influence of MSM. So with near 100% of British journalists opposing Julian Assange’s release I suspect there is not a popular majority in the country supporting his release.

        • Clark

          “There were also large majorities at the time in favour of invading Afghanistan and Iraq and bombing Libya.”

          I feel sure I’ve read the opposite. I suppose I could be misremembering.

      • Feral Finster

        Didn’t Hermann Goering, a man with a certain practical experience in the matter, say something about getting the masses lined up in favor of wars that in no way benefit them?

        • Carolyn L Zaremba

          He did.

          “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

          ― Hermann Goering

        • Clark

          Not always, sometimes the media you insist on calling mainstream brings down a government.

          Actually, both serve capital ie. money, and the media will bring down a government if their chosen alternative would serve capital better.

          • Bayard

            Exactly, people forget that, by and large, the news media exist to make money. That is their prime purpose, not the dissemination of information. The exception is the state-sponsored news media, which serve their country’s Establishment.

    • Tom Welsh

      Exactly so. We have had security theatre, public health theatre, chemical weapons theatre, Russian invasion theatre, and many other popular entertainments. So why not judicial theatre?

      Panem et circenses.

      • Tom Welsh

        Alas and dammit, I forgot global warming theatre. Sometimes a thing becomes so routine that you completely forget it exists. Is that good or bad?

          • Carolyn L Zaremba

            I believe Tom means that the pretense on the part of the government to be concerned about global warming is theater.

          • Clark

            Carolyn, I wish Tom did.

            Covid is not theatre to the hundreds of thousands with long term symptoms, nor to the millions bereaved. War is no theatre to the victims. And the legal process is no theatre to Assange, nor to his family.

          • Tom Welsh

            Clark, like many enthusiasts in comment columns, you have a habit of energetically attacking straw men. If you read my post, you will see that I did not say anything about Covid-19 being “theatre”. I referred to “public health theatre”.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Isn’t it high time that Assange’s custodial remand provisions be appealed??

    I mean: it really is a disgrace that a man is imprisoned when not convicted of any crime, merely being the subject of an extradition request from the most genocidal nation since 1945.

    Technology is such that Assange could wear something around his ankle allowing the cops to track him 24/7.

    The fact that the UK politicians have him locked up says that their future earnings are totally dependent on obeying the USA fascists.

    They are, after all, employed to serve the interests of the UK public, they are not supposed to use that time building a career serving those whose morals the majority of British citizens have found totally repulsive for the past 40 years.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The fact that the UK politicians have him locked up says that their future earnings are totally dependent on obeying the USA fascists”.

      And what does that tell us about the reality of our “democratic” system? Our rulers obey those who own them, completely ignoring our wishes. Sounds to me like… oligarchy. The eternal enemy of democracy.

      Aristotle wisely pointed out that any political system that relies on elections is de facto an oligarchy/plutocracy, as the rich merely buy the votes they need. That is how our system and the US one work. Otherwise why would politicians appeal for more money when trailing in the polls? It’s obvious that money buys votes.

      • Bayard

        Our system has never been democratic. The only thing the people get to do is, every five years or so, to choose the people who choose the people who make up a very small part of the executive branch of government and, thanks to the party system, they choose them from a list of candidates over which they have no control, not even within the parties concerned. That is a very long way from “rule by the people”.

    • Stevie Boy

      The objective of locking him up is not because of flight risk, it is to silence him. If he was let out on bail or placed in an open prison he could talk to people. That cannot be allowed to happen, so he MUST be stopped from openly communicating.
      Belmarsh is the UK equivalent of Guantanamo Bay without the explicit physical torture.

        • Stevie Boy

          I sincerely doubt there is any exposure that could be made against Bush, Blair, Clinton(s), Bozo, Biden or any of that crowd that would seriously impact them. The last few years has demonstrated that they are all virtually bullet proof.
          Seriously, what is there that Julian could expose that would bring the whole corrupt house down or get him released ?

          • Mist001

            But ‘they’ don’t know what Wikileaks has if the Dead Mans Switch really exists, and that’s why it could be used as a bargaining tool.

            Two things that I know of that Wikileaks hasn’t exposed are leaks regarding UFOs and leaks regarding the SNP. Maybe they don’t have any or they may be sitting on them, I don’t know but they possibly have stuff that nobody is even aware that they have yet, which would come to light should the Dead Mans Switch be deployed.

          • Tom Welsh

            Moreover, no matter how scandalous a revelation, most of the broad masses would have forgotten all about it by next week. Or the next major football match.

  • dearieme

    Much as I dislike the Tartan Fascists of the Scottish government and Courts I equally dislike the Judicial Fascists of the Supreme Court and the English Courts.

    These people are traitors to British liberal traditions developed from the 17th century onwards.

    The Claim of Right of 1689 got it: “Wheras King James the Seventh [Did] Invade the fundamentall Constitution of this Kingdome And altered it from a legall limited monarchy to ane Arbitrary Despotick power …”

    We need government to be limited not despotic. What is to be done?

    • Tom Welsh

      “We need government to be limited not despotic. What is to be done?”

      History strongly suggests “edged weapons and fire”.

      • Clark

        History strongly suggests “edged weapons and fire”.

        Careful what you wish for; the establishment has decisive advantage with those tools, and sends mere oppressed underlings to wield them.

        History has other lessons too; how US blacks overcame segregation, how India became independent. Asked to enforce injustice, the underlings armed by the establishment push back against the orders, and the decisive advantage turns to face the other way.

        • Jarek Carnelian

          100% agree. For “We The People” there is only one way to achieve stable and lasting change in transforming institutions – NVDA, at a MASS level. Physical force is what they WANT fom you – it excuses every repression they itch to deploy.

          To the extent that non-governmental terrorism has ever brought stability rather than destabilisation and “regime change” it has also had support and financing from foreign governments, and has been infested with state security moles and mercenaries from the outset. These are not the tools of “We The People”, but those of the oppressors, turned back on them to serve other agendas, domestic and external.

          Unfortunately, since the history books are open to the oppressors too. They also know that NVDA is the real threat and have been hard at work replacing police with psychopaths and destroying the legal foundations hard won over the centuries. This is a dark time. If we do not unite in the millions – humanity as we understand it will be finished.

          Wecome to the Kali Yuga?

  • Tom Welsh

    “But now the High Court will have to consider whether it really wishes to extradite a journalist for publishing evidence of systematic war crimes by the state requesting his extradition”.

    Of course it does! Governments – like thieves – stick together until there is something to be gained by backstabbing. We can’t have ordinary people breaking through our feeble security and publishing accounts of our filthy cynical crimes for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to read and discuss.

    Next thing the plebs will be thinking that we should answer to the same rules that they have to.

    • Stevie Boy

      To be clear, the UK, Australia, etc. are NOT innocent or uninvolved in the systematic war crimes of the USA exposed by Assange.

  • Osvaldo Valdes United States
    (15) “United States” means— (A) a Federal corporation…

    Can the law of international treaties, applicable to “countries,” be applied to corporations? They are not going to correct you; “these points have yet been considered by the High Court”; Assange may simply be commercial “booty,” this case looks to me like it may come under Lex Mercatoria and all your “legal arguments” will be rejected outright. Even health; “the ray of light that was Baraitser’s ruling on health and prison conditions is now definitively snuffed out.” Get someone who understands common law and Lex Mercatoria, it may be that simple…

  • Jayhawk

    Thank you Craig for keeping us up to date on this. MSM report the bare facts but still no one other than you and Jonathan Cook seems to be asking the pertinent questions. Nils Melzer’s book is a must read, worth a look for anyone wanting the real background. Depressingly most people are ignorant of anything other than the headlines, even those like my family who see my posts but still keep the whole thing at arm’s length despite it being so relevant to literally everyone who cares about justice, if only they knew it.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba

      Don’t care didn’t care,
      Don’t care was wild:
      Don’t care stole plum and pear
      Like any beggar’s child.

      Don’t care was made to care,
      Don’t care was hung:
      Don’t care was put in a pot
      And boiled till he was done.

      Old English nursery rhyme

  • Mist001

    This is something which I saved from another website a year or so ago so it may be out of date but I saved it becaise I believe it makes a pertinent point:

    “Yes, what a travesty it is that Assange is still locked up in Belmarsh after 2 years and a Court decision that should have seen him freed.

    Every 28 days for the last 2 years Assange was able to apply for bail – and if it was refused he has an automatic right of appeal to the High Court. And not once has that automatic right been exercised.

    Bail was only applied for once and only on the basis that he would probably die of COVID in Belmarsh, and even when that application was refused, they didn’t appeal to the High Court as he is automatically entitled to do.

    It is fair to argue that the main reason he is still languishing in max security prison while the US appeal drags along is that his own “team” is gagging him and prolonging his incarceration.

    Of course, if I’m wrong about that then there must be some really good reasons that we can hear as to why we haven’t heard directly from Assange for over three years and why they never try for bail in the High Court. And if we are not “allowed” to know those reasons, then it really makes a mockery of us supporting a “truth-teller” doesn’t it?”

  • M.J.

    Good luck to Julian with that. But even if he should be extradited to the US eventually , let’s not forget that the author of The Pentagon Papers prevailed, so that a tradition of not persecuting whistleblowers who expose criminal activity has become part of the tradition of American justice.

    • Tom Welsh

      Daniel Ellsberg himself has stated that he would never have got away with leaking the Pentagon papers today – or any later than about 1990.

    • Yuri K

      One could only get away with whistleblowing if whistleblowing could be used in partisan rivalry between the parties. In case of Assange, however, his revelations exposed the ugliness of the bipartisan Deep State, This is why he is doomed. Snowden was smarter to hide under the Russian nuclear umbrella. Craig, take a note! 😉

  • amanfromMars

    I wonder if Iran would like to insist that Julian Assange be freed from persecution and imprisonment and threat of foreign extradition before the release and return to the UK of their political prisoner, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ?

    The world is surely mad enough to find that very fair and most reasonable.

  • Natasha

    Craig, glad to ‘read’ you’re back! Here’s my efforts to get Julian released.

    UK Green MP Caroline Lucas keeps refusing to publicly support Julian Assange by speaking out publicly, or with a press release(s), claiming (December 2021 in an email to me) she can’t because she has been instructed to “act strategically in accordance with requests made by those MPs [e.g. Richard Burgon who she tells me is Julian’s MP] and the lawyers leading the campaign on his behalf” and is therefore “not willing to take any action that risks undermining the plans of those more directly involved and who are in regular contact with him and his family.”

    But on 8 February 2022 UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer told a media briefing organised by the Foreign Press Association that “Julian Assange would be free within days if the mass media ended its “deafening silence” over his persecution” at the launching of Melzer’s new book ‘The Trial of Julian Assange’.

    Morning StarEnd ‘deafening silence’ over state persecution of Julian Assange in Britain’s media, UN expert demands (18 Feb 2022)

    So I wrote (again) to Caroline Lucas MP asking her to confirm whether Nils Melzer and the UN are acting “strategically in accordance” with any such “plans” and “requests” by speaking out to the Foreign Press Association and publishing a book, whereas MPs have been mysteriously instructed to remain silent?

    Can she explain this absurd contradiction?

    Then there is Julian Assange’s fiancée Stella Moris, who’s also his lawyer, but who, in a July 2021 interview: ‘Blasts Media Silence & Political Cowardice’.

    Duck Duck Go (search link) – Julian Assange Fiancée Media Silence Political Cowardice

    Is Stella Moris acting “strategically in accordance” with any such “plans” and “requests” by first instructing those who instruct Caroline Lucas MP to remain silent in order to starve the wider media of stories, but then herself speaking out?

    And what about Julian Assange’s stepbrother and father, who both spoke at a series of 17 meetings in cities across the U.S. in June 2021 giving media interviews and conferences?

    World Socilaist Website (WSW)John and Gabriel Shipton speak at event in defense of Assange in New York City (13 Jun 2022) – Clara Weiss

    Soclialist ActionThe Case Crumbles: Why Isn’t Julian Assange Free? (3 Jul 2022) – Terina Hine

    Can Caroline Lucas MP explain these repeated apparent contradictions of “those more directly involved and who are in regular contact with him and his family” speaking to the media but MPs have to “act strategically in accordance with [anonymous] requests” to shut up?

    And was New Zealand Green MP Golriz Gharahman ignoring any such “requests” to act “strategically in accordance” with manifestly contradictory “plans” by joining an expert panel of civil rights speakers (NYC, Feb 25th) to oppose the persecution of jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, at the ‘Belmarsh Tribunal’ that put the war criminals on trial instead of the journalist who exposed the crimes?

    Scoop (NZ)Golriz Ghahraman To Become First NZ MP To Speak Against Persecution Of Julian Assange, At Historic Belmarsh Tribunal (20 Feb 2022) – Green Party

    The list goes on. Meanwhile, Nils Melzer said he had previously believed the press would “jump on” evidence pointing to “political persecution and gross judicial arbitrariness” in the Assange case. But instead the UN official has faced a “wall of silence.” Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture.

    Craig, would you agree that Nils Melzer is also telling MPs that their contribution to the media’s “wall of silence” is perpetuating and enabling ongoing arbitrary politicly motivated “psychological torture” in London? And that acting “strategically in accordance” with any such “plans” and “requests” to remain silent could be a crime (e.g. collaboration), which in principal could be heard (ICC, etc.?) under Nuremberg principals?

    Further, MP Caroline Lucas’ account of Putin’s human rights record, as reason to not sign the February 2022 ‘Stop The [Ukraine] War’ petition (the one Starmer “instructed” the dozen or so Labour MPs who had signed, to un-sign or face expulsion) appears the work of a similar ‘hidden hand’ guiding her actions: instead a few days later she was the first to sign a 3 March 2022 EDM (‘Early Day Motion’ a UK parliamentary back-bencher register of views on an issue) urging the Tory government to take action against alleged “Russian disruption in UK elections […] Kremlin-linked interference in British politics” (etc.), citing the 2020 ‘Intelligence and Security Committee ‘Russia’ Report’ which our host Craig Murray has analysed as a fatally corrupt propaganda effort.

    Craig MurrayThe Russian Interference Report, Without Laughing (12 Aug 2020)

    Early Day Motions (UK Parliament) Russia and the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report (3 Mar 2022)

    Craig, what can we do to ensure our MPs will not be forever condemned as the very same actors exposed by Melzer’s compelling investigation? “[S]howing how – through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference – unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. […] The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.”

    World Socialist WebsiteUN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer speaks on book, The Trial of Julian Assange (20 Feb 2022) – Thomas Scripps

    Foreign Press AssociationNils Melzer – The Trial of Assange (21 Feb 2022)

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Natasha – ‘Russian interference in British politics’ is made-up Bellingcat/MI6/other security service claptrap. Apart from a few Russians donating a few quid to the Tory Party, they do nothing. No more than rich Americans, rich Israelis/Jews, other rich folks who want to buy a knighthood or a peerage etc etc.

      It’s about time that a lot of MPs and Westminster village officials were publicly called ‘dishonorable’.

      That’s actually an expulsion offence if you say that in the House of Commons and refuse to back down. Boris Johnson callously caused the murder of 1 million Iraqis by refusing to do due diligence on Tony Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ and 500 other MPs voted the same way he did. That is undoubtedly ‘dishonorable behaviour’ as sucking up to the Americans by sacrificing 1 million lives cannot be called ‘honorable behaviour’ by anyone who does not believe that the USA would start bombing London without us bending to their will.

      My definition of ‘dishonorable behaviour’ is ‘serving unaccountable rich foreigners in preference to the electorate who voted for you and the taxpayers who pay your salary’.

      That’s a pretty low bar based on the current make up of the House of Commons and I would suspect that fewer than half could reasonably be called ‘Honorable Members’ based on that definition.

      • bevin

        “…fewer than half could reasonably be called ‘Honorable Members’ “

        I see that you are entering the Understatement of the Year race.

      • Stevie Boy

        No actual evidence of any Russian Government meddling in UK politics. However, there is plenty of evidence of rich Russians funding the Tories to support their crooked businesses and their tax avoidance schemes. What’s interesting is that if these ‘Oligarchs’ were to return to Russia with their money a large (?) proportion would probably lose most of their money and possibly end up in prison.
        Plenty of hard evidence of Israeli and USA explicit meddling in UK politics – but that’s okay because our government dances to their corrupt tunes. Ask Assange.

    • M.J.

      If Assange’s own MP as well as his own family don’t want other MPs speaking publicly, it may be best to let them get on with it by themselves, at least for now.

      • Natasha

        @M.J “… it may be best to let them get on with it by themselves …” perhaps, which is why I thought of asking our host, Craig’s opinion: should I ‘cease and desist’ ‘encouraging’ my MP from speaking out to the media? However, if your guess is correct, then:

        a) why didn’t the UN’s Melzer get the same memo – is he somehow less ‘significant’ in the mission to secure Julian’s release than UK MPs?;

        b) why is Stella Moris asking ‘why no media interest’ but not telling us her question excludes only UK MPs from talking to the press?;

        c) why hasn’t any family or lawyers been explicit their strategy is to exclude UK MPs but not the UN or NZ or AUS MPs from speaking out – indeed specifically asking them “Boris Johnson should block attempts to extradite Julian Assange to the US, say two Australian MPs who visited the Wikileaks founder in prison” in February 2020?;

        d) why did 5 low profile back-bench UK MPs in September 2019 sign the very strong and explicitly worded EDM 53306 ? “That this House condemns the on-going mistreatment and imprisonment of investigative journalist Julian Assange by the UK; agrees with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that his treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged under human rights standards; opposes any attempt to extradite Mr Assange to the United States, either directly from the UK or by onward extradition from Sweden; believes that his case has broader consequences for media freedoms, freedom of speech and civil liberties in the UK; and calls on the Government to ensure that Mr Assange is released, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement are respected and that he is afforded the right of compensation for his mistreatment by the UK.”;

        e) and why 10 months later in July 2020 did 26 MPs sign the far weaker EDM 57256 ? “That this House notes the July 2020 statement by the National Union of Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and others in relation to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and affirms its commitment to press freedom and public-interest journalism.”

  • nevermind

    Caroline must have been gotten at by our security services in between 1999, when first elected as an MEP and today. I have written to her when Julian was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy and did not get a reply, despite doing work for her.
    She has to be opposed during a general election, ideally by an independent Brighton and Hove candidate, for this and other issues.
    Her reluctance to speak out defending an innocent man, without a charge in a high security prison, is unexplained and she might only find her tongue, when her electoral seat is in danger.

  • marc molitor

    Dear Mr Murray,

    Could you show us the document in wich “The defence had asked the High Court to consider what are called the “cross-appeal” points at the same time as hearing the US appeal, but the High Court refused” , because I don’t find it.

    In the defense notice related to the cross appeal, I don’t see such a request

    And I don’t find a decision of the High Court refusing that because, if I understand, the law provides that it is the American appeal that had to be considered first. Assange had won, and there was no reason to appeal against a judgement that refused his extradition (even if a key part of the judgement was very bad in our view).
    So, could you inform us, about “ the High Court refused “ ?

    Thank you

    • Giyane

      Marx molitor

      The high Court refused to not accept reassurances of Assange’s humane treatment in US custody. A double negative which makes it sound as if the High Court is objecting to something, when it us in fact grovelling.

  • dgp

    My mood is plummeting. i am mystified by the apparent certainty by all of us here that the Assange and Murray incarcerations are so separated from the essential tenets of justice and that truth is apparently # now widely held in contempt. I will make a stab at the demographics of the readership here and say it is ‘mature’; mainly disappointed men who have time to scan and assess a long temporal stretch encapsulating the energy of their youth. My meaning here is that this group is small and pitifully irrelevant on matters of such importance.
    This morning we had the appalling sight of Johnston bowing and scraping to an assembly of the worst specimens of humanity, newly hatched from the spectacle of ‘judicious’ beheading. Johnson appeared hearty and buoyant, despite the loathsome role he played, without any sign of shame. He was there to persuade these contemptibles in his midst to release more oil to offset that made inaccessible by the loathsomeness of Putin’s military adventure in Ukraine. The hypocrisy is reaching a previously undreamt of scale.
    Just a few months ago Johnston was laying a slime trail in Glasgow at the COP 26 gathering. The brazen gigantic quality of his dishonesty is without doubt one that exceeds all those who preceded him. Cameron and Blair were delusional and shameless, but mere amateurs alongside Johnston.
    The imminent return of Zaghaari-Ratcliffe lays bare the gross malicious incompetence of this government. One well educated(a lawyer) and well to do acquaintance of mine posted his unconsidered social medium congratulations to the government for pulling off this ‘settlement’ .The stupidity of such low grade comment defies belief, but that is the calibre of the commonality of this country. It is small wonder that there can be no mass awakening over Assange that would sweep away the political ‘media savvy’ nonentities we now regard as acceptably bland. Mediocrity has become the essential quality for our fully televised and mobile telephonic world.

    I doubt if we can change any of this. I think it is the product of technology which cannot be uninvented. The only option is to watch where it will take us

  • Damnedapes

    Ignorant I know but why is Assange even here and not deported to Australia and they decide?

    If he has a bipolar type condition, that can involve a runaway idealism (which can also stem from autistic type issues, like that Brit who went off to kill Trump for being racist or whatever?). I’m not aware of any evidence Assange harmed or was trying to harm the USA’s ability to defend itself or its agents or allies. Hasn’t he sufferred enough for the Swedish stuff and helping the American Manning.

    • dgp

      your argument is vapid. It doesn’t really matter about Assanges’s mental health or autistic spectrum disorder. It is blindingly obvious that isolation will amplify or create the conditions. The imprisonment is simply illegal, just as the continued and now seldom mentioned Guantanamo bay is illegal. It is the denial of justice that is an outrage.

      • Damnedapes

        Reading more I see it is autistic criteria and recurrent depression not bipolar.

        As I said I don’t even know why he’s in the UK rather than Australia.

    • Anthony

      Runaway idealism is a strange way to view exposing war crimes and corrupt, 2 faced elites. Surely Assange’s work is civic service and journalism of a high order?

  • craig Post author

    Just to let you know I am working on a long and difficult piece on Ukraine at the minute. It appeared briefly on the blog yesterday when I may have hit “publish” by mistake rather than “preview”, but it’s not even half written yet. There is nothing more sinister to its brief appearance and disappearance than that.

    • JeremyT

      I’m sure we’ll all appreciate your considered thoughts. Such is the burden and onslaught of propaganda, it has become hard to believe there’s much sanity in public discourse.

    • Tom Welsh

      I very much hope that Mr Murray has found out a bit more about the reasons for the Russian operation in Ukraine, and will give a more balanced account.

  • Ingwe

    Thank you for your helpful analysis. I’m afraid I don’t share your positivity that Mr Assange still has available to him, appealing the findings of the District Judge in favour of the US. The British judiciary has showed its subservience and fear of upsetting the US and the UK government (and its”opposition”) have revealed their view that Mr Assange belongs in prison.

    I believe that Mr Assange will lose on every point as it is apparent that, no matter how poor the establishments’ arguments are and no matter how elegant, eloquent and legally consistent his arguments are, they will have no truck with the judiciary. Deprived of any public scrutiny of the arguments (by a jury) the judgments will be ever more legally bizarre. And in the meantime, Mr Assange’s health and assets will be leaching away. That was always the intention if Mr Assange, under huge pressure, didn’t take his own life or otherwise die through illness.

    His only hope, in my view, and I am both amazed and disturbed that I should even consider this, is to be tried in the US under the grotesque Patriot Act. There is at least the fact that there is a constitution (of sorts) offering some safeguard of freedom of expression (I know, I know) and the fact that the case will be heard by a jury. Clutching at straws I know, but it could hardly be worse than this country with its facade of fair play, natural justice and equality before the law.

    • Yuri K

      So, you pray for Shere Khan’s mercy after Tabaqui the Jackal had shown none? I won’t hold my breath. Julian Assange’s sin is mortal, we must crush him completely so this Assange must die, for the sake of the nation this Assange must, Assange must, Assange must die.

  • Tom Welsh

    If you are thinking that the simulation of justice in the UK has reached rock bottom, listen to Christopher Black talking about his experience in “international tribunals”. There are a lot of very remarkable parallels with what Mr Assange and Mr Murray have experienced. I recommend especially Mr Black’s winding-up – the last minute or so of his address. Among other things, he says that the things he speaks of could not happen in any civilised country. Yet some of them seem to be happening in the UK. Is this really surprising?

    “Christopher Black: The Criminalisation of International Justice” (2014)

    • Stevie Boy

      “he says that the things he speaks of could not happen in any civilised country.”

      Are we a civilised country ?
      What is the definition of civilised as opposed to uncivilised ?

  • Jeremy Dawson

    I gather the main “crime” of Julian Assange is publication of things like the Collateral Murder video (at least that’s the only one with which I am familiar).

    I am struck by how clear it seems from the Terrorism Act 2000 that such things should be disclosed.

    Clearly enough the actions disclosed fall under s1(2) of the Act (serious violence against a person, serious damage to property) etc.
    They were for a political cause, one would think s1(1)(c).
    They used firearms or explosives s1(3).
    It doesn’t matter whether they were within or outwith the UK s1(4).

    Oddly, I can’t find whether the Act makes it illegal generally to engage in terrorism, but it is an offence if it involves property (like, I suppose, guns) s16.

    It appears as though this is an offence only if done within the UK, but, for the purpose of s19, activities outwith the UK are equivalent s19(7).

    So s19 requires that the information be disclosed.
    It shouldn’t matter if I’m wrong about s1(1)(c) (or other points) above, what matters is belief or suspicion of an offence s19(1)(a).

    How should such things be disclosed? Primarily, “to a constable”.
    But for a person in employment, it is sufficient that the matters be disclosed in accordance with a procedure established by the employer, s19(4) (see also s20(4)).

    The question of whether Julian was “employed” by Wikileaks also arises in s19(1)(b)(ii).

    In s22A, “employment” is defined about as broadly as one might imagine possible.

    Naturally one asks whether this duty to disclose outweighs a duty not to disclose which may exist on some other basis.

    In some circumstances (legal professional privilege, not relevant here), no: s19(5). This may imply that there are no other exceptions.

    If that isn’t clear enough, s20 clearly gives permission to disclose, applying (oddly) to slightly different matters, but seemingly equally relevant to the Collateral Murder video. And there it says that the disclosure may be made “notwithstanding any restriction on the disclosure of information imposed by statute or otherwise”.

    So doesn’t that leave us with the argument that the disclosure of the Collateral Murder video, and anything else covered by similar arguments, is not an offence in England, and therefore cannot be the basis of extradition?

    If there is some gap in that reasoning, are we not left with the fact that the public policy in the UK, as evidenced by the content of this legislation, is that such matters should be disclosed, and that those doing so should be protected?

  • DunGroanin

    Waking up to fresh anger.

    Utterly outrageous behaviour by the Prison Service on Julian Assange’s wedding day yesterday.

    Not only are they holding an untried, unconvicted person as a political prisoner – CM was not admitted as one of only six witnesses and guests in to that prison for his ceremony.

    Because Craig Murray is a Journalist?

    I remember waking up one Sunday morning last century/millennium, to find that the Sunday People Redtop had many pages of Reg Kray – the notorious gangster serving a life sentence getting married in Maidstone prison – with full colour full page photos of Bride & Groom.

    It hadn’t bothered the Home Office, Prison Service or the Governor or the Prison Officers or the Press, that he was a high profile convicted life prisoner.

    THIS game will stop and there is already massive blow-back as the veneer of ‘British Justice’ totally disappears from any pretence of relevance with such massive pettiness on top of pure evil corruption of legal process. They will always be known for their bitchiness and their demise will be greeted with singing and dancing madams Baraister and Arbuthnot.

  • Nigel Harvey

    Hi there, I’ve just come across your post as I was searching for an update to Julian Assange’s condition and whereabouts. I don’t know if you have personal contact with him, but if you do, I am in a position to help him.

    All the best,
    Nigel Harvey

    [ Mod: Can you elaborate on how you can help Mr Assange? Your email address is now in the moderation filter, so any response you post will not be visible to other readers.

    Thank you. ]

  • Brian Eggar

    Although you argue the points very forcefully, it does not get away from the fact that the authorities know that if Assange does get extradited even with a closed court a selected judge and a jury composed mainly of government employees, under the American Constitution the case will be mostly likely to be thrown out

    For that reason I cannot see Assange leaving Belmarsh except feet first just like Epstein

    Can you?

  • Brian Eggar

    I have heard Roger Barnes talking about the Assange case on with Alexander Mercouris

    He is the chap who got off Kyle Rittenhouse

    He also believed that under the American Constitution any case would be thrown out

    Maybe give him a chat

  • Peter Mo

    The question now to be asked is what can Priti Patel do to be acceptable to both sides and the public as well. One way would be to ask US authorities to stipulate a maximum possible jailing penalty with time served taken to account. e.g 5 years with time served by then over 4 years. Therefore say a period of 6 months prison would allow all parties some sort of credibility.