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?

    #56282 Reply
    John Goss

    Here is a link to my analysis of what might have made Vanessa Baraitser a torturer.

    Vanessa Baraitser – Anatomy of a torturer

    #56297 Reply
    Roy David

    In reply to your question regarding Sir Keir Starmer and what he stands for. You are obviously not aware that when Starmer was head of the Crown Prosecution Service (a tenure for which he was knighted) the CPS purposefully delayed justice over the Swedish allegations for five years. Sweden wanted to drop the case in 2013 but the CPS begged and harried them not to do so (much pressure from the US?). The CPS also encouraged Swedish prosecutors not to travel to the Ecuadorian embassy to re-interview Assange as they were willing to do at that time thereby compounding the view of some observers (wrongly) that Assange was ‘hiding’ in the embassy from the Swedish sex allegations when the issue could have been sorted in 2013, not as they were eventually dropped in 2018. Sadly, Assange and his supporters won’t get any help from this Labour leader.

    #57460 Reply
    Rhys Jaggar

    Keir Starmer represents the US/Israeli/UK Establishment axis. That is why he was chosen. He chose 14 ‘Labour Friends of Israel’ for his Shadow Cabinet. Is there a similar ‘Labour Friends of Russia’ group? How about ‘Labour Friends of New Zealand?’ What is it about Israel that needs MPs to be so friendly toward them?

    #57461 Reply
    Rhys Jaggar

    John, when trying to distinguish between genetic and environmental components of behavioural traits, things get quite tricky. The only way you can really distinguish between the two is to find some young children of psychopaths who have also inherited the putative ‘genetic elements’, then bring one or more of them up in the house of empaths lacking such genes.

    Empathy in my experience on an emotional level emerges as a result of experiencing it from others. I experienced none of it in my family growing up but experienced plenty of it on a gap year in Austria from a superb music teacher. Empathy became a part of my armoury as a result. But if you had evaluated me aged 17 you could have postulated, in the days before modern genetics allowed whole genome screening to take place, that I had inherited a ‘lack of empathy’ genetic tag from my parents. Aged 18, your conclusion would have been totally different. That should at least tell you that lack of exposure to empathy may lead to an undeveloped empathy function in the brain, which is different from saying that such a function is totally absent.

    I can well imagine that if Baraitser grew up in Apartheid South Africa that it was eminently possible to have had an empathy-free childhood. Whether she inherited it from her parents, I do not know. But having parents not displaying empathy may well have been more common back then: it certainly was in the UK with all that ‘stiff upper lip’ exhortations….

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