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This is a thread for Day 1 of Julian Assange’s one-week extradition hearing. Prosecutor (unsure of name at moment) has started opening argument and emphasizes there have been “misstatements of the charges against him.”
Prosecutor: First charge is “straightforward criminality and a conspiracy to steal and hack into Department of Defense computer system. This is an ordinary criminal charge and any person, journalist, or source, who tried to gain unauthorized access to computer system is guilty.”
Prosecutor: “Reporting our journalism is not an excuse for criminality.”

“True in the United Kingdom as it is in the United States of America”
Prosecutor says they are not criminalizing the publication of classified materials but rather the publication of names of informants or dissidents who help the US and allies in military operations
James Lewis QC suggests identities revealed in documents were all individuals who passed information about countries, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran
James Lewis QC said Assange is raising abuses of process to “deflect from his criminal behavior” and those issues can be dealt with once he is “returned” to the United States
James Lewis QC states Assange knew publishing documents to the internet would be so damaging to security and intel services in United States and damaging to armed forces, as well as US interests.
James Lewis QC is essentially giving a slightly more detailed reading of the indictment that the public has already seen couched in the presumption that Assange is public face of WikiLeaks, which is a website that “solicits” documents that are “stolen” through “hacking”
James Lewis QC is essentially reciting summary of Chelsea Manning’s trial, which I’m not going to bother to share details from unless he says something we didn’t hear in 2013 during her trial. But all her conduct is being recited because US is prosecuting as conspiracy case
Much of this is recycled, and crucially, James Lewis QC shares details about the digital media found in Bin Laden’s compound in Abottabad which was a sensational piece of evidence in Manning’s trial to argue she aided the enemy. Manning was acquitted of that charge
James Lewis QC listed off specific documents that Assange is accused of releasing which allegedly contained names of “human sources” that were endangered.
The first set were documents from the war logs in Afghanistan and Iraq that named “sources” “vulnerable to retribution by the Taliban” and vulnerable in Iraq to insurgents.

Second set all cables on Iran, China, and Syria
War logs charged (all of this is merely alleged):

C1. Local human source named who reported planned attack in Afghanistan
C2. 2009 threat report ID’ing person who supplied weapons at specific location on Afghanistan, human source
D1. 2009 report discussing IED attack in Iraq named local human sources who provided information on attack

D2. 2008 report named local person in Iraq who has turned in weapons to coalition forces and was threatened afterward
These are cables that are basis of charges against Assange. Following are allegations on contents.

A1. 2009 cable discussing “political situation in Iran” named human source in Iran
A2. 2009 cable on “political dynamics in Iran” named source who regularly traveled to Iran
A3. Cable on “ethnic conflict in China” named human source in China
A4. Cable discussing relations in Syria. Revealed human sources in country
A5. 2010 cable on “human rights issues” in Syria also revealing names
James Lewis QC acknowledged that the United States identified persons named “who subsequently disappeared although United States cannot prove that their disappearance” was related to publication by WikiLeaks
I’ll say, as James Lewis QC mumbles through statutory authorities in a way that is hard to follow:

Definitely seems like UK is taking the US case against Chelsea Manning and simply arguing Assange is guilty too. He was “hacker” to authorities who engaged in conspiracy
Supposedly James Lewis QC, the prosecutor, is making an argument related to extraditable offenses versus abuse of process in Assange case. But none of this is intelligible. Keeps referencing paragraph numbers and none of this makes any sense at all
We are being shown that there are English statutes that are similar to US statutes charged to make the case that these aren’t “political offenses” unique to US.

Specific acts in UK mentioned: Official Secrets Act, 1989 amendment to Official Secrets Act, and Serious Crime Act
Judge asks James Lewis QC if offense of publishing this info would apply to newspapers. He replied 1989 Official Secrets Act would cover.

“If journalist of newspaper publishes secret information likely to cause harm in the categories, it commits an offense.” #AssangeCase
We finally can hear the judge. This is monumental #Assange
Among others, defense mentions Noam Chomsky has submitted expert testimony on the unprecedented nature and political context of this unjust and oppressive prosecution
Going over the “New York Times problem” that led Obama admin not to indict Assange, defense quotes @matthewamiller, who was spokesperson for Obama DOJ: “If you are not going prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, then there is no way to prosecute Assange.”
David Morales of UC Global, the Spanish security company that spies on Assange for CIA, returned from Las Vegas security trade fair with a contract to provide security for Sheldon Adelson. The agreement was purportedly to provide security for private yacht.
Morales had entered into side agreement to “provide information gathered to the dark side,” to US intelligence
This is hugely important. Defense is saying a whistleblower testified that this espionage operation was at direct request of US intelligence. Original recordings including sound, and from separate mics, were collected every 14 days. Brought to US intelligence
According to whistleblower, Witness #2 “extreme measures” such as kidnapping or poisoning Assange were discussed among personnel involved in espionage operation
Defense goes over Rohrabacher and Charle Johnson meeting with Assange in 2017. They represented they were there to offer pardon on behalf of Trump. #Assange
Defense: “Whole pardon business shows that just as prosecution was initiated in December 2017 so after this meeting for political purposes. So too did Trump administration use the threat of prosecution as a means of extortion to obtain personal political advantage from Assange.”
Defense pieces together a timeline to show that the indictment for conspiracy to commit computer crime was drawn up against Assange in December 2017 at almost exact time he was granted diplomatic asylum by Ecuador
Defense maintains violation of diplomatic asylum is reason to not extradite, especially because there was intrusion on the premise #Assange
Edward Fitzgerald highlights the isolation Assange would likely be kept in if brought to the United States and convicted. May be put in “Communications Management Unit. That has an Orwellian ring to it.”
Edward Fitzgerald speaks on Assange’s mental state. “Sensitive issue.” Adds this is “classic case for invoking the jurisdiction” of High Court and higher appeals court in the case of Lauri Love. “Assange suffers from long history of serious clinical depression.”
Edward Fitzgerald QC: Mental state of Assange deteriorating such that there is possibility he may not be able to participate in his own trial.

Defense outlines why they believe it’s unjust an oppressive to pursue trial so long after alleged offenses
Court is adjourned for the day. I’ll wrap up my coverage via video and in a written article soon. #Assange
Here is report for first day of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing. I focus on bombshell allegations defense made against Trump administration and the Spanish security company that engaged in espionage operation against Assange.…
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