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Extradition hearing Sept 7 - afternoon session thread.
Take home from morning session:
The judge has not changed her mind about accepting the new indictment. Julian could have spent more time in jail while his team prepared their defence.
And all non journo monitors barred.
Summers asking for 30 minutes to discuss the implications of her decision with Julian, and to talk to the first witness, a prof in the US about the new arrangement (I presume the truncated time he will have)
Judge agrees
I see others are saying the judge will not allow a summary of witnesses statements before cross examination. I heard her say that Defence could have 30 minutes “to settle them in & no longer,” - I don’t think “settle in” can be a euphemism for cross examine. So yes, but be brief.
Julian’s team are back
Stella & Joseph too
Summers has an application to make but wants to do it when Julian arrives back
Still waiting for Julian to be brought back
Judge has asked for them to phone again to ask for Julian.
Summers: we do apply to adjourn the proceedings to gather evidence.
Otherwise judge would be making decisions without assistance from defence evidence
He prefaced this by saying Julian would have to deal with the consequences of this application
Summers: no one has been in this situation before; explaining why defence made that decision - they had not had opportunity to consult Julian & J still hasn’t seen a critical document - that the new material can attract a conviction in its own right.
Judge asks if they have been talking to Julian by phone.
Summers: yes but short.
Judge: how frequently?
Summers: twice in the period in question. They are not easy logistically, can’t hear etc
Summers: Difficulties in communication & challenging material to digest.
Judge: how long do you want to adjourn for?
Summers: enough time to collect evidence - January
Prosecution: difficult to see the need for adjournment - they are asking for one because they have lost (on excise). We can’t see how the new allegations raise the problems the defence claims, or how the witness for this afternoon - Prof - is affected by the expansion to Count 2
Judge taking 10 minutes to consider this.
Expansion OF Count 2 (to include the new evidence)
The defence has argued it has simply not been possible to go through all the complexities & options in a timely way with their client given the severely hampered communication.
What will the judge decide?
Summers wandered over to Lewis for a chat that didn’t last long.
Just while we’re waiting.. it seems the new indictment is placing far more weight on the new allegations of conduct as a basis for extradition, in their own right, contrary to what was thought.
So, not relying on the majority of charges that are pure journalism, but beefing up the other alleged criminal conduct.
It would be fair to assume the judge may need to consult her superior.
This is a long 10 minutes. Stella is not in her seat. I wonder if she has gone over to the glass to be closer to Julian. As anyone in her place would want to do.
She’s back
Mic was off!
She is not going to grant the application
The judge says the Defence have had ample opportunity to seek an adjournment.
The judge delivered all that with a dry mouth so I’d say she was fairly nervous.
She has asked for the first witness, Professor Feldstein (sp?)
Mark Feldstein on video now
Prof Feldstein had difficulty hearing but now can.
Holy book or declaration. Declaration. Audio is so bad he has difficulty repeating everything in the declaration
A tech issue is being sorted out. I think the issue is the image of Feldstein is too small for them
Or perhaps the audio, anyway, nothing happening
Ok Feldstein is now full screen
So remarkably, though I could see the witness looming large on my screen, those in the court could not. They are breaking to try to fix the problem, & defence are speaking to Feldstein on the phone to discuss rescheduling if necessary
Btw all the witness statement will be made public. Follow @Bridges4Media for all the docs relating to this case. I have just been sent Feldstein’s statement.
OMGoodness. The call was going thru to Feldstein’s voice mail, so they will try all over again.
I am looking at the inside of Prof Feldstein’s Office in the US.
“Same time tomorrow afternoon” I can hear off camera
There is discussion in the courtroom but we on video link have been left in Prof Feldstein’s Office....
“There is no point starting” because it’s too close to finishing time today, but they CAN now see the witness.
Summers: plan to start now & continue tomorrow afternoon
Summers: you have produced 2 reports for us.
Do you have those reports?
He is looking for the reports.
He needs to print them out.
He is asked if he recalls them.
Confirms they are accurate.
Harvard grad 1979, 2 decades as investig reporter, a little national security reporting. He is Chair of broadcast journalism at his university. Going thru his credentials
He lectures on the topics he has given opinion on.
1. Practice in US of leaking classified information - govt officials do it when it suits them eg NYT Weapons of Mass Destruction article. Practice is widespread. Reporters in Washington have made a career of it.
Majority of leaks are to media, also congress. Whistleblowers usually try to report within their orgs first.
Are you aware of press proceeding to publish?
Yes, they expose the background to decisions etc
Leaked material is published on a daily basis
Publishers are protected under Ist Ammendment.
There is no precedent to prosecute a publisher. It’s been considered - journalists who were considered presidential enemies - but no one was ever charged.
Oh dear. Witness seems to have lost contact with court, as have we. Oh Shit he says & asks for help. He has an assistant & they are both now peering into the screen trying to work out what’s happening.
This is surreal. I am in an office in the US ... and the court is in the ether some whether. He is trying to get them on the phone.
My screen has now gone to black. They must be trying to reestablish the connection with the courtroom for the witness.
Prof Feldstein is back. Still no court.
This is extraordinary.
They are on the phone to him.
It’s 4.17 in London and we are in limbo folks
I believe it’s all over at 4.30 for the day.
This is a shambles. Unless things run more smoothly they will need a lot longer than the 3 weeks.
I’m back with the observation room host Laura Warden who said something but there is no sound. Now it’s gone to black again
Seems journo in court are none the wiser.
Host apologising for tech probs. Ends link.
So summary of this afternoon then:
Julian’s team applied to postpone till January to gather evidence regarding the new allegations but this was denied.
Defence managed to start the process of summarising the reports of the first witness
I’ll be back tomorrow
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