Extradition Hearing thread #Assange

I’ve logged on and can see the Observer Room Host and a technical assistant.

Have my fingers crossed this is all going to work.

Waiting while the host determines who can join.
Goodness, seeing people negotiating who will join. They did say ONE person per organisation.
Laura Warden, the Observer Room Host, looks to be in her living room. I am hoping she is automatically allowing people to join where there is no problem.
I have to say this looks quite surreal.
A short time ago we received a reminder that recording or photographing anything I’d forbidden.
We’re joining the court room “shortly”
In now.
The camera is focused on the bench but the judge isn’t there yet. Lots of chatting, in German.
View of the courtroom now. And some seats at the back behind glass.
Can see someone who may be Stella. Figures in the distance blurred.
Someone has asked that Mr Assange be brought up
The judge has entered.
Julian has been re arrested
Audio not good
Mark Summers is in court representing Julian
Julian is wearing a suit. He looks much older.
Summers is saying he hasn’t seen the arrest document itself. Now just given to him. Now to summarise the content of new request.
The judge must inform the defendant of the contents. Fitzgerald confirms Julian has seen the fresh warrant. Julian is asked if he consents to be extradited. Pardon? He says, then, No.
Baraitser asking if Defence wants to talk to their client. No they will wait till housekeeping matters are dealt with..
Judge warning those attending remotely that the same rules apply as if we were in court. No photos on social media. If anyone breaches that she may cancel the videolink.
Judge explaining why members of the public can’t attend remotely.
We can hear her very clearly but not the legal team when they stand to speak.
Lewis appearing for the govt. not delivering an opening address. Summers too.
Oh my goodness. Some of the witnesses have been denied permission to join.
Judge says it s in error.
Defence says
Expert witnesses should be both able to submit their statement & be taken through it.
Factual witnesses also should have their statements adopted then taken through them.
Judge asks what the point is as she has read their statements.
Defence says
before cross examination it’s important for the court, the public and Mr Assange to hear the key points before they are cross examined.... Ensures justice is done in public.
Judge is concerned about time allocated to do what defence is proposing with witnesses. Defence says it’s possible & advisable for an orderly & rational exposition.
Judge says
It is me that needs to have read the statements. Discussion about releasing the statements to public and summarise.
Objection from Lewis, about the process, and the so expert witnesses - says they are not experts, just people offering opinion.
Defence argues the High Court doesn’t do this so why should this court be so generous, giving witnesses the opportunity to add to their statements.
Defence says a Professor of Journalism has to be accepted as an expert witness. Prosecution disagrees - only medical witnesses acceptable. Defence argues the purpose of questioning witnesses is to ask the basis of their opinion.
Defence argues this would be a complete departure from what has gone before & a matter of human rights.
Judge says witness statements will be made public. In her view there is no benefit to going through the statements but will give Defence no more than 30minutes with each witness to settle them in, so time needs to be shorter per witness.
Fe admissibility of evidence, the parties have reached agreement says Defence. She will break so Defence can talk to their client. Defence saying witnesses should be allowed to follow proceedings. Judge will think about it. Eg Jen Robinson is a witness but s/b able to follow.
How long do you need with your client? Judge asks. About an hour. Court will now break so his lawyers can talk to Julian. The sound has now been muted.
The aircon isn’t working so she have them permission to take off their jackets.
I can see @SwaziJAF talking to @StellaMoris1 in the distance
Problems so far:
Audio is shocking - esp Julian’s legal team who stand to speak;
Amnesty monitor & Consortuim News’ Joe Lauria not on the videolink yet. I hope they let them in during this break.
Clearly we will see very little of Julian.
Court is back
A number of us have complained about the audio on the videolink
Summers referring the judge to the new allegations & affidavits. Without warning, weeks before this hearing, the US announced the new indictment. Defence had it a month before the judge.
Charges seemed the same but more general allegations added.
The new allegations are put before the judge as stand alone criminality - he could be extradited on the basis of these new allegations.
A potentially separate & distinct basis for extradition - involvement in stealing money from a bank, tracking police vehicles, directing someone to hack a computer, assisting a whistleblower in Hong Kong, encouraging someone to intrude into computers in Iceland.
Summers asks how this could be a crime in the US & dual criminality a problem.
Restrictions inhibiting Julian’s contact with his lawyers are unacceptable says Summers.
Summers saying this is a new extradition; issues surrounding the source of this new evidence - some of the individuals were tried a decade ago, including Jeremy Hammond. Summers listing the various other individuals including “Teenager” convicted of fraud, theft, stealing, &
Impersonating Julian.
Dates when the incidents occurred are a problem - out of time.
Also the new allegations can’t be considered in time, even without the restrictions in speaking to their client.
Summers asking the judge to excise the new conduct, she has jurisdiction & power.
Summers providing precedents for the judge & inviting her to invoke her power to redress what would be fundamentally unfair to the defence
Summers says the defence would not be able to provide her with the material to make a decision fairly.
This is abnormal, unfair & would lead to a great injustice.
Very frustrating - someone is making an argument off camera & difficult to hear what they are saying.
Ok we see the speaker now - he is part of the prosecution team, but his speech is impossible to hear clearly unfortunately.
This camera angle is allowing us to see Julian. He is sitting up very straight. He is behind the glass and we don’t know whether he can hear clearly enough to follow the arguments.
Here is the Defence Argument pt 1
Here is part 2. See section 8 re the new allegations
Summers on his feet: wrong, wrong, wrong Madam.
Apropos Jurisdiction - agrees there exists jurisdiction to make repeated extradition requests but it is unfair to do it 6 weeks before the hearing. You have to do it in a manner that’s fair.
Summers: prosecution has included conduct outside the original timeframe. He argues the Prosecution is making an error in interpreting the law with respect to the judge’s power
“Mr Smith is saying HaHa this is what we’re doing & there’s nothing you can do about it”.
Judge: I offered the defence an opportunity to defer in order to prepare but they declined to do so. She is refusing to excise any of the conduct in the new request. The defence team had argued it would have been unfair on Julian to defer the hearing for months.
Lunch break.
So to clarify, anyone who was given approval to join the videolink who is not a journalist was not aloud access. The judge said it was organised without her permission - she can’t control the situation as if they are in the court. So Amnesty’s monitor was excluded.

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More from @MaryKostakidis

11 Aug
I’ll be following the UK High Court Appeal by the US

in the case of Julian #Assange

and **live tweeting**

Starts at 10.30am London time on 11 August - in just a few hours.

You can follow this thread, and quite a few others!
It appears this Court has allowed other observers besides journalists, unlike Judge Baraitser who barred human rights groups and parliamentarians form the Extradition hearing.
Amnesty International’s rep has been approved as was the Australian Parliamentary Assange supportgroup
This is not the US Appeal per se.
Tonight’s preliminary hearing
is to appeal the two (of 5) grounds on which the US was denied permission to appeal.
Read 20 tweets
6 Jan
#Assange Bail Hearing 6 January 2021
On the videolink to London and waiting to cross to the court room.

Within 2hrs we’ll know if Julian will walk out of that court room or head back to Covid infected Belmarsh to spend potentially another couple of years while appeals are heard.
They are having internet problems. Our screen was frozen for 10 mins. They fixed it but mine is frozen again. Trying to reconnect. @AndrewJFowler & I still in the virtual waiting room
I’m in.
Read 49 tweets
4 Jan
#Assange Extradition Decision

Joined the videolink to London’s Old Bailey.

There are 12 of us on this link so far, but journalists can join for another half an hour.

Well cross to the court room shortly before 10 London time.
ABC News Europe correspondent @lb_online also on the link
Carrie-Ann Greenbank from Channel 9 also
Read 60 tweets
1 Oct 20
Extradition September hearing Day 17 (19 incl 2 Covid),
expected to be the final day.

Joined the video link waiting to cross to the court room.
Today we expect to hear an update on the Spanish surveillance case and summaries of the remaining witness statements.

I’ll provide as much information as I can on this thread.
Looking forward to providing a wrap of the hearings to @PhillipAdams_1 during the court lunch break

Read 25 tweets
30 Sep 20
Extradition September hearing Day 16 (18 incl 2 Covid)

Joined the video link waiting to cross to the Old Bailey.

In a significant development yesterday, the judge agreed to accept the statements of 2 former UCGlobal employees without requiring them to reveal their identities..
.. This was a critical decision as the only protection they have (besides armed guards) is the fact that their former boss would be the suspect should anything happen to them given he alone would know their identities, Defence argued.

In accepting the Spanish court’s ruling on..
.. anonymity, these witness statements will form part of Defence evidence, paving the way for the extradition to be denied on the same basis the criminal case against Dan Ellsberg was thrown out: illegal activity on the part of the CIA. In Ellsberg’s case, for breaking into ..
Read 71 tweets
29 Sep 20
Extradition September hearing Day 15 (17 incl 2 Covid)

Joined the video link waiting to cross to court.
There are 12 of us on this videolink today. Perhaps @kgosztola can tell us how many journalists are on the link at the Old Bailey
The first witness is Maureen Baird, a former senior Bureau of Prisons official in the US.
Read 113 tweets

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