Julian Assange. Judge Vanessa Baraitser.

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    Julian Assange/Judge Baraitser

    ‘At today’s case hearing at Westminster Magistrate Court (again plagued by inadequate phone-in lines for social-distancing lawyers and journalists), Assange didn’t appear by video link, for the fourth consecutive time.
    His lawyers have explained that he hasn’t appeared during the previous three times either because he felt unwell or because the video room at Belmarsh Prison, used by scores of prisoners daily, is not a sufficiently sanitised place during this COVID epidemic for someone who is documented to have a chronic lung condition.

    Doctors 4 Assange (200+ signees) reckon he is immuno-compromised after years spent without sun, exercise and fresh air and without permission to access recommended MRI scans and dental care.

    Their latest letter published this week at The Lancet / The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange / William Hogan; Stephen Frost; Lissa Johnson; Thomas G Schulze; E Anthony S Nelson; William Frost et al states: “Mr Assange is at grave risk from contracting COVID-19”.

    But Judge Vanessa Baraitser is unswayed by any of this. She announced today she wants a sick note from Assange next time. The implication is that he doesn’t have the right to protect himself from catching Covid19 in the video room used by many people.

    The irony is that Judge Baraitser is accommodating to lawyers and journalists who (like Assange) are nervous of COVID and prefer to use video link from their own homes: their worries are acceptable to Baraitser.’

    Hat tip to Margo on the Lifeboat News. 28/6/2020

    #55987 Reply

    Thanks Mary. There is nothing about these interlocutory hearings in the press or media.
    Even more sinister is the prosecution seeking to pre-empt defence arguments, that were powerful, by purporting to amend the indictments but not formally doing so.

    This link is fully detailed and very interesting, setting out the proposed amended indictments.


    #55990 Reply
    Gail Carter

    Juan must be given due process. Too many can now see that this has not been the case.

    #56065 Reply
    John Goss

    Thanks Mary for posting this important letter to the Lancet. It is diabolical that nobody in parliament seems to be raising this cruelty as an issue. Isn’t Keir Starmer supposed to be a lawyer? What does he stand for?

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