Assange: An Unholy Masquerade of Tyranny Disguised as Justice 130

There has never existed any government so evil and repugnant that it has been unable to find lawyers, and particularly judges, to do its bidding.

Hitler did not need to manufacture lawyers and judges. A very significant number, indeed the majority, of established and reputable German lawyers were prepared to participate actively in Nazi law, both its development and implementation.

That of course includes Roland Freisler, a Doctor of Law from the University of Jena, who was a practising solicitor before his elevation.

This was prosecutor Telford Taylor, opening the trial of Nazi lawyers at Nuremberg:

This case is unusual, in that the defendants are charged with crimes committed in the name of the law. These men, together with their deceased or fugitive colleagues, were the embodiment of what passed for justice in the Third Reich.

Most of the defendants have served, at various times, as judges, as state prosecutors, and as officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice. ALL BUT ONE ARE PROFESSIONAL JURISTS. They are well accustomed to courts, and courtrooms, though their present role may be new to them.

But a court is far more than a courtroom; it is a process and a spirit. It is the house of law. This the defendants know, or must have known in times past. I doubt that they ever forgot.

Indeed, the root of the accusation in this case is that these men, leaders of the German judicial system, consciously and deliberately suppressed the law, engaged in an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice, and converted the German judicial systems to an engine of despotism, conquest, pillage and slaughter.

Taylor’s quote “an unholy masquerade of tyranny disguised as justice” is a phrase that has been rattling around my head as a perfect encapsulation of the state “legal” process against Julian Assange, which I have been detailing this last several years.

Together, of course, with the fact that the NATO states hate Assange – and seek his judicial murder – precisely for revealing truths that embarrassed their system of “conquest, pillage and slaughter” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere.

It is worth noting Hitler was by no means alone in being able to call on the respected lawyers to do his bidding.

The prosecutor of Stalin’s show trials, Andrei Vishinski, whom Freisler traveled to Moscow to see in action and whose screaming and taunting Freisler consciously copied, was also a “proper” lawyer, a graduate of the University of Kiev with a background of practice in Moscow.

(I should note in passing the counter case that Stalin’s favourite judge, Ulrich, was an auto-didact out of military tribunals).

We are brought up with an innate respect for the rule of law and belief that, though it makes mistakes, it is impartial and honest. Unfortunately, that is merely one of the myths by which our society functions. That is something I have reluctantly come to understand.

I was, nonetheless, so taken aback by Justice Jonathan Swift’s current and curt ruling, dismissing Assange’s High Court appeal in the extradition saga, that I thought I would dig a little deeper.

I therefore started with Swift’s surprising December ruling, in cahoots with Judge Lewis, that the Tory government’s scheme to deport refugees to Rwanda is lawful.

His judgment depends above all on the notion that any fiction concocted by the UK government has more legal force than actual fact. There is no real world doubt that Rwanda is a ghastly dictatorship and kills opponents. Nor that it has killed the inhabitants of refugee camps on its soil.

But that is OK, say Swift and Lewis, because the government of Rwanda has said in an MOU that it won’t do that to our refugees, who are different to those other refugees:

73. The Claimants rely on what happened in 2018 when
refugees from neighbouring countries at Kiziba refugee camp protested at the
conditions in the camp. It has been reported (for example, by Human Rights Watch)
that the police who entered the camp in response to the protests used excessive force.
They fired on the refugees and some were killed. The Claimants also point more
generally to limits in Rwanda on the freedom to express political opinion if that opinion is critical of the Rwandan authorities.

74. We do not consider that any direct inference can be drawn from the events at Kiziba refugee camp in 2018. The circumstances that led to those protests are unlikely to be repeated for any person transferred to Rwanda under the MEDP. The treatment of transferred persons, both prior to and after determination of their asylum claims is
provided for in the MOU (at paragraphs 8 and 10) and in the Support NV. For the
reasons already given, we consider the Rwandan authorities will abide by the terms set out in those documents.

On top of which, the Refugee Convention, according to Swift and Lewis, says that refugees must be treated no worse than a state’s own citizens. So if Rwanda persecutes its own people, then there is no breach in persecuting the refugees we send too.

…the Claimants’ case comes to the proposition that, following removal to Rwanda, it is possible that one or more of those transferred might come to hold opinions critical of the Rwandan authorities, and that possibility means that now, the Soering threshold is passed.

77. There is evidence that opportunities for political opposition in Rwanda are very limited and closely regulated. The position is set out in the “General Human Rights in Rwanda” assessment document, one of the documents published by the Home Secretary on 9 May 2022. There are restrictions on the right of peaceful assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The Claimants submitted that this state of affairs might mean that any transfer to Rwanda would entail a breach of article 15 of the Refugee Convention (which provides that refugees must be accorded the most favourable treatment accorded to nationals in respect of non-political and non-profit-making associations and trade unions). However, we do not consider there is any force in this submission at all. Putting to one side the fact that article 15 does not extend to all rights of association, it is, in any event, a non-discrimination provision – i.e., persons protected under the Refugee Convention must not be less favourably treated than the receiving country’s own citizens. There is no evidence to that effect in this case.

Indeed, Swift and Lewis tell us, the defendant’s case is “speculative”. There is no evidence that the government of Rwanda will wish to torture them, simply because the government of Rwanda hasn’t even met them yet. Besides, the government of Rwanda has promised not to mistreat people under an agreement with the UK, “the MEDP”, which gives the Rwandan government 120 million of cash to steal, or spend on Rwanda’s economic development.

Returning to the material covered in the Home Secretary’s assessment document, there is also evidence (from a US State Department report of 2020) that political opponents have been detained in “unofficial” detention centres and that persons so detained have been subjected to torture and article 3 ill-treatment short of torture. Further, there is evidence that prisons in Rwanda are over-crowded and the conditions are very poor. Nevertheless, the Claimants’ submission is speculative. It does not rest on any evidence of any presently-held opinion. There is no suggestion that any of the individual Claimants would be required to conceal presently-held political or other views. The Claimants’ submission also assumes that the response of the Rwandan authorities to any opinion that may in future be held by any transferred person would (or might) involve article 3 ill-treatment. Given that the person concerned would have been transferred under the terms of the MEDP that possibility is not a real risk.

Swift and Lewis argue further, at paras 81 to 84, that in UK domestic law, the Home Secretary’s certification of Rwanda as a safe country is “irrebuttable” – ie there is no legal avenue to question its truth, and nor does it require parliamentary approval. The “safety” of Rwanda is a fact in law simply because Braverman certifies that it is.

Having stated that under Tory immigration legislation the Home Secretary can certify anywhere she feels like as safe, irrespective of objective truth (provide certain procedural steps are taken) Swift and Lewis then go on to the non-sequitur on which their judgment depends, that because a country has been certified “safe” for the purposes of UK domestic law, that makes it actually eligible for receipt of UK deportees in terms of the UN Refugee Convention.

The UN Refugee Convention says this:

No Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a
refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories
where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his
race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social
group or political opinion.

That is the obligation under international law, incorporated into British law. It does not disappear with a signature from the Home Secretary, but depends on the actual, real state of affairs.

It would not, in real life or in the Refugee Convention, be safe to deport people to Yemen, Eastern Ukraine nor the Sudan just because Braverman signed something. The Refugee Convention is not subject to the fantasy propositions of “irrebuttable” Whitehall certificates.

As devoted servants of the Executive, Lewis and Swift undeniably have one thing in common with Freisler, Ullrich and Vishinski, which is an impatience with pesky defendants bothering them with evidence, troublesome arguments and annoying amounts of paper, and trying to save their own lives.

Lewis and Swift begin their judgment on Rwanda with a full throttled rant at the annoyance of having to wade through the paperwork that the deportees had the downright cheek to produce in defence:

36. The pleadings in these proceedings are not models of good practice. Practice Direction 54A requires Statements of Facts and Grounds to be clear and concise. None of the pleadings meets this requirement, even though many if not all have been revised one or more times since the proceedings were issued. On the Claimants’ side the pleading in claim CO/2032/2022 (AAA and others) has taken pole position, setting out various generic grounds of challenge as well as grounds specific to the facts of the cases of the individual claimants in that case. Seven generic grounds of challenge are pleaded (Grounds 1, 1A – 1C, 2A and 3-6). However, these grounds tend to overlap or circle back on one another. Other claims brought by other Claimants have adopted these generic grounds of challenge or formulated variations on them, as well as pleading complaints based on their own circumstances. The pleading in CO/2056/2022 (the Asylum Aid case) raises complaints about the Home Secretary’s decision-making procedure. What is said about procedural fairness in this case largely overlap with the complaints on procedural fairness raised in CO/2023/2022 and other claims. Asylum Aid contends that these matters demonstrate there is systemic unfairness in the procedure adopted to deal with the inadmissibility and removal decisions. The Home Secretary pleading is a response in kind. The Amended Detailed Grounds of Defence (to all claims) runs to some 215 pages.

37. At the court’s request the parties prepared an agreed list of issues. However, that
exercise failed to simplify the position: the list identifies 29 generic issues, many of
which are repetitive or overlapping; and many more issues specific to each claim.

38. The same approach has been repeated in the Skeleton Arguments. Mention should be made of the Skeleton Argument in CO/2032/2022 and CO/2104/2022 (262 pages), and the Skeleton Argument in CO/2094/2022 (63 pages). Each comfortably exceeds the maximum length permitted by Practice Direction 54A (25 pages). Permission to file skeleton arguments longer than the maximum permitted was not requested in advance; each document was presented to the court as a fait accompli. The length of these documents has not served to clarify the way in which the various complaints are put. The documents meander and repeat themselves. .

This is plainly a particular bugbear of Swift. My examination of his ruling on Rwanda deportations is only a prelude, to put into context this ruling on the Assange appeal. What I have found common to both decisions is an insistence that narrative put forward by the executive is not to be questioned, and an extreme distaste for having to entertain lengthy arguments on behalf of those individuals whose lives hang in the balance.

The Assange Appeal

I consider the High Court appeal of Julian Assange to be, in itself a document of historic importance. I have therefore decided to publish it in full, and I recommend you at the very least to dip in to it.


The very first sentence of Assange’s Appeal rings out loud, and explains why his extradition proceedings were held effectively in closed court and why the High Court are determined to avoid any substantive public hearing:

Julian Assange and Wikileaks were responsible for the exposure of criminality on the part of
the US Government on a massive and unprecedented scale.

In the first 3 pages (of 150), it outlines the argument and the ground it covers:

B E T W E E N:
References to CB/X are references to the core permission bundle.
EB/X are references to the section 103 evidence bundle.
1. Introduction
1.1. Julian Assange and Wikileaks were responsible for the exposure of criminality on the part of the US Government on a massive and unprecedented scale. The publication in 2010 and 2011
of materials sent by a serving military officer, Private Manning, sit at the very apex of publicinterest disclosures. By publishing this material ‘WikiLeaks…exposed outrageous, even
murderous wrongdoing [including] war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians’
(Feldstein, EB/10, §4).
1.2. Julian Assange’s work, dedicated to ensuring public accountability by exposing global human
rights abuses, and facilitating the investigation of and prosecution for state criminality, has
contributed to the saving of countless lives, stopped human rights abuses in their tracks, and
brought down despotic and autocratic regimes.
1.3. Those who expose grave state criminality, defenders of fundamental human rights, are, and
always have been, vulnerable to acts of political retaliation and persecution from the regimes
whose criminality they expose. Julian Assange is no exception.
1.4. The law is fiercely protective of human rights defenders. Exposure of state criminality is, in law, a protected political act, the product of a political opinion. Prosecutions ‘on account of’ such acts are straightforwardly prohibited by s.81 of the 2003 Act.
1.5. The history of this prosecution, between Mr Assange’s exposures in 2010 and 2011 and the
indictment in 2018, is a textbook example of political persecution. The course of this case
since 2011 is simply extraordinary. It involves, inter alia, US Governmental plots to interfere
with judges who investigate the matters Mr Assange exposed; to silence the International
Criminal Court (ICC) who have taken up Mr Assange’s disclosures; and to kidnap and
rendition Mr Assange himself, or else murder him. What follows below is conduct of the type
one would normally expect from a military dictatorship. The DJ failed to act upon (or even
address) these issues from the perspective of s.81 because (despite having the law drawn
squarely and repeatedly to her attention) she failed to recognise or acknowledge that exposure
of state criminality is, in law, a protected ‘political’ act, engaging s.81.
1.6. The evidence in this case has, moreover, developed since the DJ’s decision in January 2021.
Investigations in America now provide a fuller picture of the US state-level plans to kidnap,
rendition and murder Mr Assange. They also reveal that the initiation of criminal proceedings
in this case – by a criminal complaint in December 2017 resulted after obstacles (some
reported as having been erected by the UK) to those criminal plans.
1.7. The prosecution that the US were forced to resort to instead, commenced in 2018, is no less
extraordinary. (a) It is unprecedented in law. (b) It cuts clean across established principles of free speech. (c) To deal with that, it anticipates a trial at which Mr Assange, as a foreigner, can be denied reliance on the First Amendment (d) indeed, a trial outwith protections of the US Constitution altogether, and (e) is accompanied by exposure to a grossly disproportionate sentence. In short, the circumstances of the prosecution are so stark and unusual that they engage bars to extradition in their own right.
1.8. As to the circumstances of the ensuing extradition request. (f) It violates the prohibition on extradition for political offences expressly provided for in the relevant treaty and under
international law. (g) It deliberately misstates the core facts. The DJ took these issues one by
one and reasoned that none offended the 2003 Act. For reasons which follow, she was plainly
wrong in multiple respects.
1.9. But even if she were right on each of these issues when viewed separately, the DJ then
needed, but failed entirely, to stand back and examine what they cumulatively told her about
the political origins of this case. They were all, in short, individually and cumulatively, the
clearest evidence of a prosecution mounted ‘on account of’ Mr Assange’s political opinions –
namely his stated and proven commitment to the exposure of US-state-level criminality.
1.10. These Perfected Grounds of Appeal, served in accordance with Crim PR r.50.20(5), are
structured as follows:
1.11. Part A: addresses Ground of Appeal 1, namely that the judge wrongly rejected the
argument that the request was being made for the purposes of prosecuting or punishing Julian
Assange for his political opinions, and therefore barred by s.81(a).1 Accordingly Part A
provides an overview of the history of this matter, and explains the over-arching s.81 case the
DJ failed to engage with. This includes:
(i) Section 2: the evidence before the DJ concerning Mr Assange’s political opinions;
(ii) Section 3: the evidence before the DJ about the criminality Mr Assange exposed.
1 Ground 1 also encompasses the allegation of abuse of process, by reason of ulterior motivation of the request and
the underlying prosecution, which is dealt with in Part D.
(iii) Section 4: The law the DJ ignored;
(iv) Section 5 and 6: the other evidence before the DJ concerning the origins of the 2018
(v) Section 7: The DJ’s decision
1.12. Part B: addresses Grounds of Appeal 2 to 6. That is the various egregious aspects of the
prosecution, eventually commenced in 2018, which individually bar extradition, regardless of
s.81; including:
(i) Section 9: An unprecedented prosecution (Ground of Appeal 2: Article 7 ECHR);
(ii) Section 10: A prosecution for protected speech (Ground of Appeal 3: Article 10
(iii) Section 11: A prosecution designed to secure a guilty verdict (Ground of Appeal 4:
Article 6 ECHR);
(iv) Section 12: A prosecution with no Convention Rights protections at all (Ground of
Appeal 5);
(v) Section 13: Followed by a grossly disproportionate sentence (Ground of Appeal 6).
1.13. Part C: addresses Grounds of Appeal 7 to 8. That is the aspects of the ensuing extradition
request which individually bar extradition, regardless of s.81; including:
(i) Section 14: An extradition request for political offences, in violation of the treaty and
international law (Ground of Appeal 7);
(ii) Section 15: An extradition request which deliberately misstates the core facts,
unfairly improperly and inaccurately (Ground of Appeal 8).
1.14. Part D: returns to s.81 and abuse of process (Ground of Appeal 1), as the DJ ought to have
done, in Section 16. Finally, Sections 17 and 18 address the new evidence in this case.

There follows a further 147 pages of outstanding legal argument, including compelling evidence.
The summary of the crimes of the US Government exposed by Julian Assange at pages 9 to 18 is simply mind-blowing. That section starts thus:

Every single one of the five ‘national security’ publications that are the subject of this extradition request exposed US Governmental involvement in crimes of the first order of magnitude. These disclosures exposed irrefutable evidence of, inter alia, illegal rendition, torture, and black site CIA prisons across Europe, as well as aggressive steps taken to maintain impunity and prevent the prosecution of any American operatives involved in these crimes. The following represents the unchallenged evidence before the DJ of the atrocities Mr Assange exposed.

Here is just one example of the ensuing evidence:

3.3. Mr Stafford-Smith’s unchallenged evidence was that cables, for example, revealed by WikiLeaks regarding US government drone killings in Pakistan ‘contributed to [subsequent] court findings that US drone strikes are criminal offences and that criminal proceedings should be initiated against senior US officials involved in such strikes’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §84, 91). ‘Those were very important in litigation in Pakistan’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p4). The Peshawar High Court ruled, inter alia, that the drone strikes carried out by the CIA and US authorities were a ‘blatant violation of basic human rights’ including ‘a blatant
breach of the absolute right to life’ and ‘a war crime’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/22, §91). What
‘we have to term criminal offences were taking place’ (EB/40 Tr 8.9.230, xic. p4). Moreover,
and as a result, ‘the drone strikes, which were in their hundreds and causing many…innocent
deaths, stopped very rapidly’ such that ‘there were none reported…in 2019’ (Stafford-Smith,
EB/22, §93). WikiLeaks had ‘put a stop to a massive human rights abuse’ (Stafford-Smith,
EB/22, §92-93). ‘Pakistan was an American ally. It was not like we were doing that to an
enemy, and that again is just extraordinary to me’ (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, re-x, 26-
27). Without the WikiLeaks disclosures, it ‘would have been very, very different and very
difficult’ to prevent this crime (Stafford-Smith, EB/40 Tr 8.9.20, xic, p5).

There is much other material in the appeal which the US and UK governments would not wish to be rehearsed in public:

Secondly, the report provides further, corroborative, evidence (not
available to the DJ) of the fruit of the resulting ‘no limits’ discussions.
Namely, the emergence of US Governmental plans about which Witness 2 (EB/2)
gave evidence to the DJ to:
(i) Kidnap Mr Assange:
‘This Yahoo News investigation, based on conversations with more than 30 former
U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct
Assange’ (p2)
‘Pompeo and [Deputy CIA Director Gina] Haspel wanted vengeance on Assange. At
meetings between senior Trump administration officials after WikiLeaks started
publishing the Vault 7 materials, Pompeo began discussing kidnapping Assange’
(ii) In order to rendition Mr Assange to the US:
‘Pompeo and others at the agency proposed abducting Assange from the embassy and
surreptitiously bringing him back to the United States via a third country — a process
known as rendition. The idea was to ‘break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and
bring him to where we want,’ said a former intelligence official’ (p18)
(iii) Or else murder Mr Assange:
‘Some senior officials inside the CIA and the Trump administration even discussed
killing Assange, going so far as to request ‘sketches’ or ‘options’ for how to
assassinate him. Discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred ‘at the
highest levels’ of the Trump administration, said a former senior counterintelligence
official. ‘There seemed to be no boundaries’’ (p1)
‘Some discussions even went beyond kidnapping. U.S. officials had also considered
killing Assange, according to three former officials. One of those officials said he
was briefed on a spring 2017 meeting in which the president asked whether the CIA could
assassinate Assange and provide him ‘options’ for how to do so’ (p20)
‘agency executives requested and received ‘sketches’ of plans for killing Assange …
said a former intelligence official. There were discussions ‘on whether killing
Assange was possible and whether it was legal,’ the former official said’ (p20).

Swift dismisses the 150 page appeal in just three pages, with a curt and sneering rejection.

There are 8 proposed grounds of appeal. They are set out at great length (some 100pp), but the extraordinary length of the pleading serves only to make clear that the proposed appeal comes to no more than an attempt to re-run the extensive arguments made to and rejected by the District Judge.

Swift then stipulates that if Assange’s lawyers apply for a hearing for their request for an appeal to be heard, then that hearing will be limited to 30 minutes.

Furthermore, he limits Assange’s defence to just 20 pages. 20 pages and 30 minutes (the latter being the time for the entire hearing, including the response by the US government). That is the value Swift places on pleadings for a man’s life. Swift even aims a prim taunt at the defence: “The present grounds of appeal are unwieldy and do not comply with any known rules of pleading”.

Swift states that “the issue is the one posed by section 103 of the 2003 (Extradition Act); ought the judge to have decided a question at the extradition heariing differently”. Swift then subjects this “issue” to impossible constraints. Neither the judge’s evaluation of fact nor their assessment of argument can be revisited. He also objects to new evidence, even though new evidence at appeal is specifically allowed by the Extradition Act.

Swift’s background is as a government lawyer. He revealed something of himself in this interview with a legal magazine, where he stated that:

Favourite clients were the security and intelligence agencies. ‘They take preparation and evidence-gathering seriously: a real commitment to getting things right.’


What really matters is that the bond of confidence between Executive and Judiciary is maintained

But perhaps even more revealing is that in this brief interview about his career, he chooses to throw in an entirely gratuitous and pointed anecdote about how unpleasant left wing people are, which perforce implies he was coming from an opposite position:

The first member of his family to go to university and the first to be a lawyer, he remembers his welcome at New College. ‘I unpacked and knocked on the door opposite to introduce myself. ‘Hello, I’m Jonathan,’ only to get the response ‘I’m Dave. I’m a Militant. F*** off!’’ After all, it was the mid-1980s.

It is perfectly plain what Swift is, and that he could be entirely relied on to dismiss Assange’s appeal with no discussion of any difficult subject matter on state crimes.


It turns out that Swift’s reputation is well established. I was sent a copy of this revealing tweet.


In the District Court, Judge Baraitser ruled against Assange on the eight grounds, but had ruled for him on the grounds of mental health and US prison conditions. This resulted in the complicated process of successive High Court Appeals.

First the United States was permitted to appeal on health and US prison conditions. After they won, it was Assange’s turn to appeal on those other eight grounds, on which he had lost at the District Court.

The difference between the High Court treatment of the US appeal, which was accepted and eventually won, and Assange’s appeal, which is dismissed out of hand, is highly instructive.

The US appeal turned very largely on new evidence. That consisted of new diplomatic assurances from the USA in which they stated that Assange would not be placed in a super-max prison pre-trial and would not be subjected to Special Administrative Measures – unless it became necessary to do so.

These “assurances” could have been given during the original hearing but were not, because of course the US has every intention of placing Julian in super-max prison. Judges Burnett and Holroyde, ruling in favour of the USA, airily stated that the new assurances were admissible because assurances were not “evidence”:

A diplomatic note or assurance letter is not “evidence” in the sense contemplated
by section 106(5)(a) of the 2003 Act: it is neither a statement going to prove the
existence of a past fact, nor a statement of expert opinion on a relevant matter.
Rather, it is a statement about the intentions of the requesting state as to its future

So they ruled that, while new evidence is excluded, new “assurances” are not, a bit of special pleading they simply picked out of their capacious arses.

Compare this to the evidence submitted by Assange that the USA spied on his legal defence team and plotted to kidnap him, while actively discussing his assassination. That is excluded on the basis that it is “new evidence”, and on the fact that it is in part based on journalistic reports. The fact that the US government’s star witness has admitted he lied and gave his evidence for money, has also been dismissed on the grounds that information is available from journalistic reports.

Yet a media interview with one of the psychiatrist witnesses for Julian Assange, introduced by the US as part of their High Court appeal, was accepted, and not excluded as either “new evidence” or a “press report”.

You can read the entire the Burnett and Holroyde judgment, discussing the District Judge’s assessment of the evidence of Julian Assange’s mental health and US prison conditions, and it is impossible not to conclude that they are absolutely “second guessing the original judge’s evaluation of the facts and assessment of the arguments”.

There is literally nothing else they are doing.

Therefore, in finding for the USA appeal, the High Court conducted precisely the exercise which Swift rules is out of order when argued for the other side of the case, for the Assange appeal.

My favourite bit of stinking hypocrisy from Holroyde and Burnett comes at para 45:

Extradition proceedings are not private law proceedings but a process through
which solemn treaty obligations are satisfied in the context of a framework which
ensures that a requested person is provided with proper safeguards.

The phrase “solemn treaty obligations are satisfied” should cause an immediate revulsion. The Treaty in question is the US/UK Extradition Treaty of 2003, and it states at Article 4 that there can be no political extradition.

The District Court ruling, specifically upheld by Swift now, is that the UK/US Extradition Treaty has no legal standing and therefore the bar on political extradition it contains does not apply. Swift accepts the argument, that as the 2003 Extradition Act does not include a bar on political extradition, that provision of the Treaty does not apply.

The Extradition Treaty, Swift baldly states, is “not justiciable”, ie cannot be taken into legal account.

How it can both be that, and be a “solemn obligation” at the base of these entire proceedings, is an extraordinary contradiction which worries none of these judges in their concern to quickly and efficiently impose the brute force of the state. The entire process is designed as punishment for Assange’s unauthorised revelation of truth.

How an extradition can take place specifically under a Treaty whose provisions cannot be applied to that extradition, is a logical conundrum to which only the sophisticates of the UK judiciary could adapt their flexible intellects and – more to the point – consciences.

The executive will always find the judiciary needed to do its dirty work. Any executive. There may be occasional blips in periods of political convulsion. There was a temporary standoff with the Supreme Court over facets of Brexit, for example. But the judiciary will realign themselves with the executive in quick time. The power of the State is the constant.

Julian’s persecution has nothing to do with the law. It is a simple demonstration of the crushing power of the state.


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130 thoughts on “Assange: An Unholy Masquerade of Tyranny Disguised as Justice

1 2
  • Gordon Gallacher

    What is the situation regarding Julian’s legal expenses? If he is extradited, which seems now inevitable, he is going to need an absolutely top-rated legal team, and they’re going to be mega-expensive. Is there a fund in place to assist with this? Anyone know?

    • Paul Tucker

      My dear friend Vivienne Westwood was a major funder of Julian’s legal bills but she is sadly no longer with us. I don’t know if anyone has stepped up to replace the kind of amounts she stumped up for Julian.

  • Anthony

    Well-known security-state judge assigned to rule on Assange’s extradition. Most natural thing in the world if you are the British media. Likewise a security-state politician leading the ‘Labour’ Party; security-state journalist the star columnist at ‘leftwing’ New Statesman; security-state protégé fronting the BBC Verify witchfinding op. Everything well in hand and as it should be.

    • Tom Welsh

      But at the same time the UK is the home of true democracy, freedom, and human rights. To my mind it’s the hypocrisy which is most distressing. A complete absence of intellectual integrity or even basic decency.

      • Anthony

        Yes, although ironically they represent themselves as the very pinnacle of integrity and decency; occupying a moral plain distantly above demons like Assange, Corbyn, Loach, Waters, Murray et al.

        Deep down of course they know the truth is very different, which as Alexei Sayle pointed out is why they got so angry at Corbyn:
        “He made them look into their own souls and realise there was nothing there, and that made them crazy.”

  • Stephen C

    I had heard that the refugee agreement with Rwanda was for us to receive some of their refugees as well as send them some of ours. Have not heard that mentioned anywhere since.
    Thanks for the continued coverage of the relentless pursuit of Assange.

    • Stevie Boy

      On that topic.
      Just read that the UK Government has awarded a £1.6 Bn contract over two years, without competition, to an Australian travel company (!!) to manage three barges to house illegal immigrants in the UK.
      Each barge holds 200-500 illegal immigrants, so that works out at:
      ~ £1.35 – £0.5 Mn per head per annum (of tax payers money). Welcome to the UK.

  • Bob (not OG)

    The only surprise about this ruling is that anyone is even slightly surprised.
    The majority of people, on this site at least, are in agreement about the seemingly endless list of crimes committed by the state, a list that just keeps increasing.
    Voting will not change this. There is only one way to stop these injustices, and that is to destroy the system of industrial civilization itself.
    It won’t be easy but it is the only way.

    “Laws are rules, made by people who govern by means of organized violence, for non-compliance with which the non-complier is subjected to blows, to loss of liberty, or even to being murdered.”

    “Until people reject the power of government to govern, to tax, to legislate and to punish, war will never stop. War is the consequence of the power of the government.”
    – Leo Tolstoy

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


      You say this:-
      ” that is to destroy the system of industrial civilization itself.”
      But have you thought that it is already well on the way to destroying itself?

      Neoliberalism as an economic system finds itself being supplanted by economic nationalism – and this economist explains why so:

    • Tom Welsh

      “There is only one way to stop these injustices, and that is to destroy the system of industrial civilization itself”.

      Perhaps that would be going over the top. China has a better way; so does Russia; so, I would argue, does most of Latin America if only it could get the US vampire zombie off its back.

      Our “Western” system, far from being the absolute ideal of perfection, has turned out to be a nightmare of selfishness, cynicism, and violence. It’s the Mafia scaled up.

      Surely the citizens of Europe and North America can change their form of government for something more benevolent. The “golden billion” have been overcome by a kind of social disease – the cult of selfishness, if you like – but the majority of human beings can still be saved.

  • AG

    it is difficult not to comment on this even though I lack the necessary legal expertise, not to speak of the lingual limits, however at least I can link Chris Hedges´ latest piece:

    “The Imminent Extradition of Julian Assange and the Death of Journalism
    Julian Assange’s legal options have nearly run out. He could be extradited to the U.S. this week. Should he be convicted in the U.S., any reporting on the inner workings of power will become a crime.”


    The High Court (…) also accepted four assurances in U.S. Diplomatic Note no. 74, given to the court in Feb. 2021, which promised Julian would be well treated.
    None of these “assurances” are worth the paper they are written on. All come with escape clauses. None are legally binding.
    No doubt the plane waiting to take Julian to the U.S. will be well stocked with blindfolds, sedatives, shackles, enemas, diapers and jumpsuits used to facilitate “extraordinary renditions” conducted by the CIA.
    I am as stunned by this full frontal assault on journalism as I am by the lack of public outrage, especially by the media. The very belated call from The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País — all of whom published material provided by WikiLeaks — to drop the extradition charges is too little too late.
    Former Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno terminated Julian’s rights of asylum as a political refugee, in violation of international law.
    The hearings, some of which I attended in London and others of which I sat through online, mocked basic legal protocols.
    The debate over arcane legal nuances distracts us from the fact that Julian has not committed a crime in Britain, other than an old charge of breaching bail conditions when he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Normally this would entail a fine. He was instead sentenced to a year in Belmarsh prison and has been held there since April 2019.
    He is targeted because he exposed more than 15,000 unreported deaths of Iraqi civilians and the torture and abuse of some 800 men and boys
    because he showed us that Hillary Clinton in 2009 ordered U.S. diplomats to spy on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other U.N. representatives from China, France, Russia, and the U.K., spying that included obtaining DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, and personal passwords
    because he released documents that revealed the United States secretly launched missile, bomb and drone attacks on Yemen, killing scores of civilians.
    because he made public the off-the-record talks Hillary Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs, talks for which she was paid $657,000, a sum so large it can only be considered a bribe
    The U.S. court system is even more draconian than the British court system
    Working with UC Global, the Spanish security firm in the embassy, the CIA put Julian under 24-hour video and digital surveillance. It discussed kidnapping and assassinating him
    in 1975 (…) Senator Frank Church, after examining the heavily redacted CIA documents released to his committee, defined the CIA’s covert activity as “a semantic disguise for murder, coercion, blackmail, bribery, the spreading of lies.”
    The CIA and intelligence agencies, along with the military, all of which operate without effective Congressional oversight, are the engines behind Julian’s extradition.
    Julian inflicted, by exposing their crimes and lies, a grievous wound.
    They demand vengeance.
    Julian may soon be imprisoned for life in the U.S. for journalism, but he won’t be the only one.

  • Cornudet

    The film Ithaka is set to be removed from the ITV on demand service in e days time; I am not sure where else you can watch it. I saw it for the first time tonight and if I win the lottery I will instigate a private prosecution of Keir Starmer for misfeasance in a public office over the CPS’ shenanigans over the proposed extradition of Julian to Sweden which was manifestly a stratagem to put him beyond the bounds of English law. Starmer might claim ignorance as to the operation of the institution of which he was head but Captain Edward Smith, one of the most infamous sons of my home city stands condemned by the verdict of history for having failed to be standing at the prow of his vessel at 2am, a far less egregious sin of omission.

  • Giyane

    In the tiny microcosm of my own domestic electrical work I notice that we now have a choice between right wing policies where the state takes no responsibility and traditional left-wing policies where even the electrician is a nanny Socialist, concerned with electrical safety.

    Of course wherever the law is unclear, there is no law. You fall into the chasm between two laws. One group of technical advisors firmly take the side of the greedy landlords who don’t want to spend money maintaining their premises : do as you are told and ignore the law. Another group is still telling the electrician that he alone is working at the coal face of electrical safety and he has a high moral duty of care to fully comply with the law.

    The reality , even in this tiny microcosm of law, is that some practitioners see a golden future under the allegiance to Tories who are busy crawling up the rectum of US power, while others maintain traditional , responsible British duty of care.

    It’s not even remotely true to say that Britain has taken a violent swing to the right , but British gravy trainers have overloaded the school bus on one side in order to get a day off school. The Tory brown nosers have to override justice and responsibility in order to rise in Tory power, and Tories have to override justice and responsibility to rise in US power.

    It’s very nearly impossible to practise my humble trade with the Professionsl body being neo-liberal Tories. Who cares? I’m a pensioner. The Good, honest lawyers like Edward Fitzgerald are in the same situation . Whatever they say is ignored.

  • vin_ot

    “Julian’s persecution has nothing to do with the law. It is a simple demonstration of the crushing power of the state.”

    It’s also a vivid demonstration of the hate that mass media has for a genuine truthteller. How much more dazzling would the prosecution’s infractions and the judicial corruption need to be before UK news organisations report them and call foul?

    IMO UK journalists are more repellant even than Judge Swift himself because Julian is ostensibly their colleague and his crushing ostensibly represents their crushing too. They should be savaging Swift and his handlers. Instead they are key allies of Swift in this macarbe extradition, which very likely spells the death of a free press and free speech as well as of Julian himself.

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


      This case is a march to the precipice, with bayonet at the back of ‘free press’.

      When the end destination is reached and it ( Julian Assange falls off via extradition) – then – what next for the future of the ‘free press’?

  • AG

    Investigate Europe reports on EU plans for surveillance of journalists, supported by France, Germany Netherlands.

    “EU governments want to allow state surveillance of journalists and their interlocutors, including the use of spyware, if security authorities deem it necessary. This is according to documents from the ongoing EU negotiations on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), seen by Investigate Europe, and Follow the Money.”

  • Theo

    Would it be possible to get your whole account of Assange’s extradition hearings put up separately in one place, so that a single link will take you to the whole thing? I ask for two reasons:

    1. As a resource for campaigners. The judicial malpractice in this case and the legal contortions of the magistrate are eye-popping.

    2. It is a unique eye-witness account. This is a matter of history and preserving the truth of what they have done to Assange.

    • mark cutts

      Anyone got any idea of the so-called charges against Julian yet?

      Or are the Powers that be still working that one out?

      Trump’s a US Citizen so the Espionage Act will apply.

      Julian Assange is an Australian and as far as I know HE did not commit the alleged crime in the US.

      • Theo

        He’s being charged under the US Espionage Act, and yes it is weird – one of many weird legal shenanigans in this case. The USA is claiming universal jurisdiction. That is exactly why it is so dangerous to press freedom, quite apart from the deterrent of treating a dissident journalist that way.

        Another aspect, which I only became aware of after reading Glenn Greenwald’s obituary on Daniel Ellsberg, is that the Espionage Act does not allow any public interest defense. So even if you reveal that the government is breaking the law – as Snowden did, for example – the only legal point at issue is did you leak classified documents. That means once the US authorities get him, he’s had it.

        • Tatyana

          curious logical chain: a criminal knows that he is committing a crime -> the crime must be committed in a secret manner -> evidence of the crime must be hidden -> the criminal is authorized to hide evidence, moreover, he is authorized to get rid of investigators.
          It turns out that in such a system control isn’t provided in principle?
          Is there a mechanism where documents testifying to crimes lose their classified status? No?
          I recall that the women who put Mr. Murray in jail also covered themselves with a law guaranteeing their anonymity. Something is rotten in this logic, it does not serve the interests of society, but only the interests of the government, so it seems to me.

        • mark cutts


          In my opinion the only reason he is being held (after serving his time for skipping bail – a relatively minor offence) is to make sure he is extradited to the US, and then while he is there they can come up with some secret type of unspecified charge wherein the court will be held in secret and only the sentencing will become known to deter other whistleblowers.

          I think that the BRIC countries and their followers would disagree strongly with the ‘Universal’ jurisdiction, which put more simply is the US’s Universal rules – which used to apply in the past but apply no longer.

          For instance Snowden is in Russia and Julian Assange is in the AUKUS UK, therefore that universality can apply.

          Obviously in a grovelling country like the UK the US only has to say jump and the UK asks: How high?

          The above applies to capturing/kidnapping Putin, where ironically the UK is not a signatory to the ICC and neither is the US.

          I thought it was only the Americans that didn’t do irony?

          Bad luck for Julian to be in the grovellers’ camp.

  • DP

    The judge simply read out a bench memorandum prepared by a govt lawyer. None of the legal or fact arguments of JA would have been properly addressed.
    Lawyers won’t ask the judge to see a copy as they will be reported to the Bar Council which agreed to this process, it even acted as an advocate.
    The taxpayer pays some £250k pa, maybe a lot more for a HC/CofA/SC Judge to read out a document prepared by a graduate lawyer who has little or no experience of the courts or the world.

  • Dr. William Fusfield

    This is a particularly superb article by Craig Murray, whose articles are, indeed, always excellent. This one is also especially IMPORTANT because it shows that the most decisive issue at stake in the long drawn out and still ongoing pseudo-legal persecution of Julian Assange goes far beyond the struggle to retain freedom of speech and freedom of press and media, as crucially important as those goals are. What is also at stake is the very “RULE of LAW” itself, the principle that those subjected to criminal prosecution retain certain inviolable rights — like those stated in the US Constitution’s “Bill of Rights” — which may only be abrogated at the expense of legitimate justice and ultimately, the destruction of a free society, and its usurpation by “the rule of men,” — i.e. by the tyrannical utilization of the laws to attain private ends, in the case of Assange, his rendition, kidnapping, lack of full and private access to counsel, a trial by a jury of his peers, the habeas corpus requirement of being entitled to an undelayed trial, the right to speak in his own defense before the court, and the right to have others do so as well, the right not to be tortured while waiting years in solitary confinement for his case to be tried, the right not to be tried in a secret chamber hearing but in an open court of law, the right not to have the same forces that are prosecuting him also plotting his clandestine murder, the right, under explicit treaty law, not to be extradited from the UK to another country for his “political” opinions and actions etc..

    If extradited, Julian is to be tried in the US as a “terrorist” under the blatantly unconstitutional “Espionage Act” laws of 1917, and utilizing the practical, civil liberties eviscerating, provisions of the 2001 Patriot Act and its subsequent laws, and this despite the manifestly obvious fact that he has engaged in NO behaviors which could possibly, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered terrorist acts by any reasonable judgement. Assange’s case is thus a microcosm for the much broader supplanting of the rule of law, and the proper protection of a “disinterested” administration of justice in Western societies. It represents one of the most egregious, if hardly unique, instances of the abuse of prosecutorial power by a zealously vindictive executive branch of government in our time. All such usurpations of a defendant’s legitimate constitutionally authorized protections must be fought tooth and nail if contemporary societies are not to fall still further under the “rule of men,” i.e. of tyrants, and into a truth and freedom crushing totalitarianism.

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