Following a negative #Covid result for a member of the legal team, #JulianAssange's extradition hearing resumes. We'll be live-tweeting from the court in about 5 hours on this thread.

Join us at 5pm BST on #CNLive! for Joe Lauria @unjoe's daily update.

We are in the courtroom. Judge enters. 19 present. @Assange not yet in dock. Half the people wearing masks. A statement about #Covid protection coming soon.
#JulianAssange has arrived. Mark Summers speaking. Hard to hear. Encourages the wearing of masks. Baraitser said it is not obligatory but people welcome to do so. Summers objects to having to go close to glass to speak to Assange. Baraitser instructs jailers to get Assange a mask
US lawyer Eric Lewis will be today's witness. It will take all day. He has not logged in yet...
We are still waiting for the witness Eric Lewis to log in. Judge says he has not responded to 2 links sent to him...
Eric Lewis has arrived. His voice is very muffled. Almost impossible to understand. Being sworn in now.
Edward Fitzgerald "settling in" the witness, verifying his credentials. He has made 5 statements for the court and stands by them.
Statement 1: History of this case. First indictments in relation to @xychelsea came in 2010 & 2011. #Assange not indicted until 2018.

"No publisher has ever been prosecuted for publishing information"

Cites "New York Times" problem (others besides Assange would be indictable)
Obama admin saw NYT problem & "all but concluded" not to prosecute #Assange. Matthew Miller (very close to AG Holder) made the statement abt not prosecuting #Assange.

EL: Mr Trump said JA should get death penalty
Candidate Trump praised @wikileaks
@POTUS influenced by Pompeo
JL @jeffsessions called for arrest of #Assange in April 2017. Arrest & indictment followed in 2018, directed by Attorney General. New indictment made under new AG William Barr.

"This case being regarded as greatest espionage case in US history. Whole new approach to 1A."
Eric Lewis's voice is extremely garbled, boomy and with an echo. So hard to understand him without a headset.
EL Mr Kromberg knows what happened in 2013... Doesn't explain why evidence that was around for 5-6 years suddenly becomes the subject of an indictment.

US gov could have used only one count, excluding espionage.
Edward Fitzgerald: Will #Assange be incarcerated under Special Administrative Measures?

Eric Lewis: Most likely. #Assange has had access to large amounts of secret info. Court would fear he might reveal some of it.

EF: Would he be isolated?
EL: Yes, for a long time.
EF: Re ICC, you deal w/ their investigation into US war crimes. You say @Wikileaks docs would be essential for such an investigation? You speak of threats to ICC members from Trump, Pompeo & John Bolton?

EL: Yes
James Lewis will cross examine witness Eric Lewis.

JL: Are you retained by Mr #Assange as a lawyer?
EL: No, only as an expert witness & paid at rate of Legal Aid

JL: Are you being paid today
EL: Yes

JL: What is your duty
EL: My duty is to the court to give independent opinion
JL: Shouldn't you cite the point of view of the prosecution, Rule 19 4f?

EL: I tried to engage with all the evidence

JL: You have expressed a view in the media against the extradition of Mr Assange?

EL: Yes, before I became an expert witness, and those are still my views.
JL: Isn't there a conflict of interest?
EL: I I expressed my professional opinion.
JL: Shouldn't you have declared your interests?
EL: I've done what was asked of me
JL: You speak of prison conditions. Are you an expert in this area?
EL: I have experience...
JL: Qualifications?
EL: I've taught prison conditions. I haven't been a warden.
JL: Short answers please
Defence objects. Witness is stating his relevant knowledge
JL Do you know about the conditions in Alexander remand centre (where Assange would be held).
EL I spent a great deal of time there
JL Your client was acquitted of most charges, inc 4 murder charges?
EL Yes
JL wouldn't jurors for your client be from the same pool?
EL NO. They were from the District of Columbia, not EDVA
JL What did gov want
EL Life sentence. He got 22 years. It was harshly criticised
JL Would you call your client's trial a complete denial of justice?
EL No, but it was difficult.
JL Was he held under SAMS? Did that prevent you spending many hours w/ him?
EL it was very difficult but I did get to spend many hours w/ him. All of our meetings were recorded.
JL One of your clients was associated w/ the 9/11 attacks?
EL Yes
JL Prosecutors wanted death penalty but jurors refused.
EL I believe he's serving 20 yrs w/out parole.

JL Evokes Article 3 of European Convention of Human Rights...
JL Explain the conditions under which #Assange would be detailed.
EL NatSec inmates are placed in isolation.
JL How many categories of housing in the ADC?
EL Explains the various levels of segregation
JL Lists them
EL Agrees
JL You agree there is no solitary confinement?
EL No
EL Administrative segregation actually means solitary confinement. It would be 22 hours a day This causes people to deteriorate markedly

JL Was your client held in solitary?
EL (can't hear witness now)
JL Didn't he have the right to unlimited visits?
EL No. There were obstacles
JL You are saying #Assange will be held in solitary. Isn't it right that prisoners subjected to SAMS receive breaks?

EL My experience is that the break schedules require no one else around so breaks happen in the middle of the night.

JL will raise a point in EL's absence...
JL Madame Mr Lewis is giving very long answers. At this stage I will not get through all my questions today.

Baraitser: I asked you to estimate yr time. I have allocated what you asked for. It's not the court's obligation to limit the witness's time to answer yr questions.
Lewis & Baraitser are arguing about time limits for his X-examination. Lewis complaining about long rambling answers. Baraitser advises him to frame questions in a way to elicit short answers.

It's getting a bit testy between the two... Lewis doesn't want to be "guillotined"!
Baraitser tells Lewis he is not being guillotined, but asked for an estimate - and that is the end of the matter. Court adjourned for 10 minutes.
Court resumes.
James Lewis (prosecutor) apologises to judge for his outburst before the break.

JL reading SAMS conditions at Alexander Detention Centre.
EL If AG asks for SAMS under 501.2 #Assange would be detained thus.
JL Can SAMS inmates attend prison events.
EL If not SAMS
JL: None of the SAMS conditions apply to #Assange?
EL: Given the mental health issue & his notoriety, he would most likely
JL: You opinion is based on 1 client there?
EL: It is based on their stated conditions
JL: You said the regime is tantamount to solitary?
JL: Had you read the ECHR ruling on the case of Ahmed (?). I'm saying all the complaints you made are invalidated by ECHR.

EL is looking for something sent to him this morning.
JL: I'll take you through the case, re admissibility. The reason for the application was risk of SAMS
JL: discussing a SAMS case before the ECHR.
EL: SAMS creates a fairness disadvantage because it makes communications with the client so difficult.
JL: Are you saying Mr #Assange would be held under SAMS & in violation of his human rights?
EL: Yes
EL: Mr #Assange is particularly vulnerable if placed under SAMS.
JL: The court here take mental health issues into acc
EL: But it doesn't seem to think that is important or humane.
JL reads the US's criteria for SAMS. Seems it is done with reluctance
EL Disagrees, esp re #Assange
JL: ECHR rejected claims that SAMS violated Article 3.
EL: They did in 2008. If they re-considered today the decision might be different.
JL: What are the defence issues Mr #Assange will raise in his US trial
EL: I'm not his lawyer, but...
JL: You don't know.
JL: You don't know what the issues of Mr #Assange's defence will be so how can you say SAMS will impede it?
EL: I've read the indictment. It's complex.
James Lewis reading from ADX prison survey where #Assange would be held. "SAMS are rare".

JL mentions description of SAMS "fate worse than death".
EL: Yes that was the warden speaking
JL found claims re ADX were unfounded
EL: Yes, in 2005... (now indecipherable).
We can not understand much of what the witness is saying.
JL Would you accept that in 2012, in a very similar case to Mr #Assange's, the ECHR said conditions of SAMS were not sufficient to prevent extradition?

EL: Things have changed.
JL: You said Mr #Assange would not receive adequate mental health treatment. Are you a medical or mental health professional.
EL: I relied on the report from the bureau of prisons... self abuse is up 18%
JL: Have you read their report about mental health treatment of inmates?
EL: You can refer me to all the reports the Bureau of Prisons issue. I can tell you how things actually happen. You didn't give me a copy of the document you're talking about.

Baraitser: You don't need to have a copy of the document.
JL: Can you list 8 recent changes?
EL: No
JL: Are you really an expert?
EL: I'm a practitioner within the context of confinement.
JL: Just want to check how much detail you are aware of re mental health conditions
EL: I can tell you there is one mental health professional for every 500 inmates

Can't hear EL. Bad echo
Someone's voice has invaded the #Assange court room. Now another voice. Everyone on their feet. Baraitser has fled.
More detail on the interruption of the #Assange proceedings.
Everyone is back in court except Baraitser. Edward Fitzgerald asks "What's going on?".

Off-camera speaker: "We don't know whether that [pre-lunch interruption] was coming from Eric lewis's computer or if someone hacked into our system".
Witness Eric Lewis is back. He now sounds like a Dalek!
Cccaaann yyyooou heeaarr meee nnnow? he says.
For the last 5 minutes the witness has been asking if anyone can hear him. No one is answering him. People chatting & laughing in the courtroom. Eric Lewis continues to say: "Hello, hello. Can you hear me?"
Audio problems still not resolved. The witness Eric Lewis can not be heard in the #Assange courtroom. We are now back with the video link host. Now screen is all black, and silent.
Court is still having sound issues. We'll be reconnected as soon as possible...
Court came back online for a brief moment, just to tell us That's All Folks... End of session
Court resumes at 10am tomorrow

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More from @Consortiumnews

28 Sep
DAY 15 of the #ulianAssange extradition hearing is about to begin. Our live tweets will be on this thread.

Join us at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's live report on the day's proceedings.

Image
As we wait for Judge Baraitser to arrive, we see that lawyer Yancey Ellis is waiting to testify. His practice appears to be based in Alexandria Virginia.

All stand...
We will hear from a representative from the press association. Fitzgerald says the defence has been unable to take instruction from Mr #Assange, so they want to hear Mr Ellis's testimony first

Before that, judge is reading the application from the press, who want more disclosure
Read 85 tweets
25 Sep
DAY 14 of the #Assange extradition hearing will start soon. Our live tweets are on this thread.

Join us at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's daily update on the day's proceedings.

One of today's witnesses is Patrick Eller.

Summers: At 11.30 last night we received the prosecution's bundle for witnesses. Mr Eller hasn't had a chance to read it. There has been an exchange between Eller & Kromberg & a challenge to his evidence. Eller needs an hour to read it.
Baraitser grants 1 hour. She received 2 statements last night. Questions whether they can be admitted. Lewis will give an answer today.

Now speaking about what journalists can disclose. Nothing more than what is discussed in open court, acc to defence.
Read 39 tweets
24 Sep
DAY 13 of the #JulianAssange extradition hearing will begin soon. Our live tweets will be on this thread.

Join us at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's live report on the day's proceedings.

Today's witnesses are expected to be be Dr Blackwood & Dr Sondra Crosby. Judge arrives.
Dr Blackwood his seen #Assange at Belmarsh & found him moderately depressed but he believes there has been improvement & Belmarsh has been managing this.
Read 40 tweets
23 Sep
DAY 12 of #JulianAssange's extradition hearing is about to start. Our live tweets are on this thread.

Join us at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's daily report on #CNLive!

Today's witnesses are expected to be Dr Quinton Deeley, an honorary consultant psychiatrist in the National Autism Unit, Adult ADHD Service, and Behavioural Genetics and Autism Assessment Clinic & Paul Mullen, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Monash Uni, Melbourne.
Court in session. Evidence of alarming prison incident is handed to Judge Baraitser. It concerned a razor blade found in #Assange's cell. lewis was trying to imply yesterday this never happened, but there was a report & charges associated w/ this incident.
Read 52 tweets
22 Sep
DAY 11 of #JulianAssange's extradition starting soon. Our live tweets are on this thread.

Join us live at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria's daily courtroom report.

We're in the virtual courtroom, awaiting Judge Baraitser. Camera swings to #JulianAssange, wearing a mask.

Judge arrives
Todays witness is Professor Michael Kopelman. He is in the courtroom, on the stand. He is is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London.
Read 52 tweets
21 Sep
DAY 10 of #JulianAssange's extradition hearing will begin in 1 hour. Our live tweets will be on this thread.

Join @Consortiumnews editor-in-chief Joe Lauria @unjoe at 5pm BST on #CNLive! for his daily account.

Court is in session. Mark Summers announces 1st witness is Prof Christian Grothoff, from the Bern Uni of Applied Sciences. Specialises in net security and cryptography. Has been asked to trace the publication of unredacted cables.
Prof Grothoff says his research would have been visible to anyone - "obscure but not hidden".

Defence: In summer 2010, you saw @Wikileaks shared a server with @davidleighx?

CG: Yes

Defence: Was the cable file encrypted?

CG: Yes & the files could only be accessed w/ password
Read 43 tweets

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