In the videolink Observation Room
First a comment about the experience of the witness yesterday - a complete shambles: the technology failed, the truncated time to go through his statement (half an hour rather than an hour & a half) resulted
I’m a lawyer with Reprieve rep people facing the death penalty, secret detention, rendition, kidnapping, and litigation surrounding conduct in Iraq.
How have the classified WikiLeaks docs helped your work?
US assassination program in Afghanistan & Pakistan, targets included journalists - unlawful & reprehensible
(it’s very hard to hear anything he says unless repeated)
The point was that if people knew what was going on there, it would be closed down he says
I would never had believed my govt would have done what they did, not just torture but murder.
Razor blades to genitals, but psychological torture was worse said my client.
@wikileaks disclosures - how did they help?
Where people were taken.
What has been the US response to investigations of ICC?
Threaten with sanctions so non Americans can’t/won’t testify against the US.
Your point is you believe the @wikileaks publications were in the public interest. Are you aware there is no defence in Britain for this under the Official Secrets Act?
JA is not being prosecuted for those cables, how is it relevant to this case? There are other things that I haven’t spoken about yet Stafford Smith
Lewis - that is not my point, there are people outed by @Wikileaks - the only Count relates to those cables. SS inaudible
Lewis - You are wrong.
Julian is trying to speak. The judge says he can’t & needs to be advised by his lawyers about the
SS: routinely in American courts many things are included that aren’t specified in the charges. Lewis seems to have agreed in the end
SS - (essentially is saying) what’s torture got to do with National security.
SS - the most damaging thing for the US has been (fuck, talks off mic)
Lewis - why should a court accept your view rather than that of a jury hearing the case?
Reads from David Leigh’s book : Julian didn’t seem concerned about the risk of revealing names.
SS - inaudible but seems to agree, not a good idea.
Lewis - can you see that is the only thing he is being charged with
Summers making the point that the disclosures are not just in the public interest. Actions condemned by Pakistan & ICC as war crimes. Re the Counts being just about docs that reveal names. Count 1 receive & wilfully communicate cables, detainee
“Cables” if followed by a semi colon.
It’s been suggested the only cables being prosecuted are ones that contain names. SS - counsel has misunderstood.
Going to David Leigh book.. asks whether he knows Luke Harding’s role in release of the cables. Luke Harding is responsible for fabricating stories in the press. Judge stops him.
Lewis: it’s not a matter open to dispute Madam.
Lewis: it has to be unbiased. What’s your specific qualification? You don’t have a legal background.
Lewis: in your report the only paragraphs you quote are the 2 middle paragraphs. You don’t quote the paragraphs that cast doubt on your view of the position of the Obama administration ie that the investigation remained open.
Lewis: but he was in the Embassy by then.
Witness- maybe they were hoping more evidence would come in
Witness says he doesn’t know how to answer the question, then that Lewis is going too fast.
Witness: I’m not a lawyer
Lewis : Difference is the NYT received the info passively - didn’t solicit, encourage
A journalist can not commit a crime - agree.
Did Manning break a law?
Is it illegal to leak national security information?
Govt insiders can’t leak. If Assange ..
Definition of what “help” means, if a journalist “helps”.
There is no allegation that the NYT helped, or committed any crime. Isn’t there a fundamental difference between the NYT & JA?
Lewis: do you agree unredacted files should not have been published.
Do you agree the names should not have been published?
Lewis: you say in your report encouraging sources is standard journalistic practice.. but under oath here that they must not break the law.
Witness: Yes but I can’t say it is true
Witness: no that just says they’re not allowed to be motivated by that but it’s naive to assume it never happens.
Witness says you only find out in later. Explains why he thinks it is politically motivated - Trumps poisonous remakes about the press etc
Do they solicit?
Are you aware of any prosecution for that kind of conduct?
Witness: Not for an act of publication.
Witness: they were very active in helping.
Lewis: How active?
(I don’t know it’s still Lewis asking questions the video froze ages ago)
No, I don’t know what would have been said.
Witness: grand juries are very malleable.
Tomorrow morning will start at 10.30
It’s aground 2am in Sydney. Goodnight.