Juan Passarelli Profile picture
Sep 14, 2020 67 tweets 20 min read Read on X
I am connected to the virtual court system and ready to report on the #AssangeCase extradition hearing, first day of week 2:

Thread: Image
Reminder, there are 40 civil society, human rights and political observers from around the world that were given access via video link and the access was revoked the last minute. They include @amnesty, @RSF_inter, @hrw, European Ministers of Parliament, and legal observers.
Court commences, but #JulianAssange is not present. They are discussing administrative issues.
Reminder: #JulianAssange is facing 175 years for conduct that the US Government considers journalism and is protected by the First Amendment.
#JulianAssange is wearing a mask, but the judge says that it is at the discretion of those who attend to wear a mask inside court. It is not required to wear a mask in court. The judge asks the jailer that Mr. #Assange should be given the opportunity to wear one if he wants to.
Judge Baraitser noted that @trevortimm was drinking coffee and that witnesses should be reminded that this behaviour is inappropriate. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
Concern raised by Prosecution about time allowed for cross-examination – expected 4 hours with Eric Lewis today.
Fitzgerald: Why didn't the Obama admin didn't prosecute #Assange:
Lewis: No publisher of information has ever been successfully prosecuted for publishing information. The DOJ's at the time said on record said that they had "all but decided not to prosecute #JulianAssange"
Fitzgerald: We know that #Assange was then prosecuted under the #Trump admin.
Lewis: Mr. Turmp said in 2010 that #Assange should get the death penalty. Mr. Pompeo in 2017 was head of the CIA said that @wikileaks is a 'non-state hostile intelligence agency'.
Lewis: it was Pompeo's view that the 1st Amendment did not apply to #JulianAssange
Lewis: Mr Jeff Sessions (attorney general) said that #Assange should be arrested, and shortly after that he was arrested. Around the time when #Trum said that they were going to get tough on leakers.
Lewis: We have gone from never having had a prosecution to a publisher, to a situation where a publisher facing 175 years for doing this.
Lewis: Mr Kromberg (assistant US attorney in EDVA) offers no basis for new charges years later, without new evidence. Knows the previous admin didn't prosecute, offers no explanation for the change in decision
The adding of 17 additional charges of Espionage, with the jeopardy that comes with it and the First Amendment implications, indicates a prosecution that reflects the new administration and Mr Barr's view that he acts at the behest of the president
and the President effectively directs prosecution. Abuse of the criminal law enforcement power. Fact that the case and allegations go back years and years reflect a political change and part of the new admin's view toward the press and leaking
Lewis: He views that if #Assange is extradited he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. Even on the best case scenario we are looking at a sentence of 20 years if everything goes brilliantly to 170 years if things don't go well.
Most of the Espionage cases in the past have resulted in life sentence.
Lewis: This indictment all point to a very long sentence going into many decades.
Lewis: It is a certainty that #Assange will be put under Special Administrative Measures.
It is quite likely that #Assange would be kept under SAMs even post-conviction. Usually kept on the AVX - Colorado. He would not be allowed to asociate with other prisoners. He would be isolated at least for a long time.
Moving on to the ICC and its investigation into war crimes where the @wikileaks documents would be crucial and that the Trump administration is trying to block, including bocking of assets of any non US nationals that even try to help in the investigation.
Defence finishes.
Eric Lewis witness will be Referred as ES, and James Lewis, prosecutor, as JS.
JL: Asking whether he's being paid.
EL: He's being paid as a witness.
JL: Asks if he understands if he understands what an expert witness and start with the credibility dance.
EL: I don't know that I'm required to include Mr. Kromberg's every affidavit, otherwise my reports would be hundreds and hundreds of pages.
EL: Before I became an expert I expressed my own political views on the matter.
JL: But your views are he shouldn't be indicted?
EL: Yes those are still my views.
JL: Isn't this a conflict of interest?
EL: I can interpret the law in an independent manner.
JL: Is asking again for short answers.
Fitzgerald: Objects by saying that his witness needs to answer the question.
JL: Is trying to discredit EL's expertise in Jails.
EL: Says that he has spent quite a lot of time inside the VA prison.
JL: Tries to lead the witness in saying that a former client of his was acquitted in the same jury pool that #Assange would face.
EL: That is incorrect sir. He was acquitted in the district of Colorado not the one in Virginia.
JL: Actually asked if the fact that his client was under SAMs prevented his acquittal!

I will not add the comment I have in my head.
JL: Do you agree that there is no solitary confinement in the prison where #Assange would be kept.
EL: No, this is a semantics issue, 22 hours a day in a cell without any association with any other inmates is solitary confinement.
EL: There are not unlimited visits because there are a lot of practical and logistical issues, including availability of rooms, FBI availability, and any other issues which now include COVID.
Lewis to Judge: I cannot control Mr. Lewis and you are not controlling Mr. Lewis. He is giving speeches, I wish to be released of time limits.
Baraitser: The Judge says that she will stick to time limits and it is not my duty to control witnesses I am here to ensure fairness.
Lewis: complains about the 4 hours he asked for saying that it is the Judge who asked for a 4 hours limit.
Baraitser: the witness is entitled to answer the questions he is asked. In relation to the time you are given, you gave this time and you shall stick to this time.
James Lewis, has already today lost his temper with the witness as he cannot lead him into a hypothetical madness, also the defence of course, and he almost got into a screaming match with the Judge.
The prosecutor expressed to the judge that he was feeling stressed with the answers from the witness and the time limits. I wonder how he managed when he was in the SAS?
Court resumes. Mr JL apologizes to the judge.
Prosec: which of those reasons would be used to place Assange in ad-seg?

Lewis: believe a mental health issue has been raised, as well as the notoriety

Prosec: so we agree there's a procedure to determine?

Lewis: yes, but with no right to challenge
Reviewing whether Lewis has read case of Ahmed with regard to European Court of Human Rights, prosecution believes all issues Lewis raised have been dealt with and rejected in that case
EL: Every case is different, and we cannot deal with one case looking at another case.
EL had a sip of coffee. Will he be held in contempt?
JL: Is using references of the European Court decision concerning terrorism cases.
EL: The offences in the indictment say that #Assange will have to defend himself against 18 counts that contain the publishing a million documents.
Debate over how conditions are applied by Bureau of Prisons. Lewis: I don't think it's fair to deny me access to a document and ask me to comment on it

Judge: if you need the document we can provide it but believe you can answer the question
Lewis: without a document with 1000s of pages I can't comment

Prosec: you purport to be an expert, are you an expert on prison conditions or not?

Lewis: I don't remember everything in the document
Prosec: are you or are you not an expert in conditions regarding mental health care in prisons?

Lewis: if you're asking if I'm a psychiatrist or a warden, I am not.
EL: Tells off JL for not giving him time to read from his statement before reading and interrupting.
There is some sound coming out from somewhere with some sort of news report interrupting the proceedings, the judge walked out.
So the court should have started by now, most journalists are locked out of the video system, and somehow the court technicians (who I saw today working from their living room) have managed to screw it up again. What a shambles. Open justice?
How can the tech team in a court be so damn useful!??! I could do a better job blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back!
Ok we are in, Eric Lewis is asking the court if they can hear him. No one seems to be answering. He has disabled his camera asking if his sound is better with the camera off. No one answers.
Mr. Lewis is trying and trying to communicate with the court and no one is paying attention to him even though it appears that the people in the court can hear him.
By the way, Lewis finally is audible after half a day of sounding like he was underwater.
Lewis is trying desperately to get the attention of the court waving and screaming "can you hear me?". We can hear the court and him, but the court cannot hear him. Someone said in court that the other room they can hear him, they ask if they should move rooms.
It is now 2.45pm, almost an hour lost, Lewis earns £100 for asking if the court can hear him desperately!
The visual representation of the #AssangeCase hearing's tech blunders.
Lewis turns his camera off and asks if shouting helps. No reply from court. It is now 3.02pm
The technical clusterfuck that is the Old Bailey court has now recessed until 3:45pm while the tech guys scratch their head trying to fix a two-way communication over the internet.
The tech guys are so incompetent that the judge has decided to adjourn till Monday. This is beyond anything I can imagine! I have dealt with poor tech teams from all over the world and I have never been able to fuck up as bad as these people have.

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More from @JuanAndOnlyDude

Oct 28, 2021
[THREAD] I start my report on the second day of the #JulianAssange extradition hearing with this reminder:

The court will have to decide whether to send #Assange to the country that plotted to murder him, or whether to protect his life.

The court starts.
These are the Defence arguments submitted to court.
Read 87 tweets
Oct 27, 2021
Live court report from #JulianAssange’s extradition hearing [THREAD]:

We start the day by learning that Julian has not be allowed to participate in person at the most important hearing of his life.

This hearing will begin with the #Assange exception to the norm.
The hearing will start soon. They are attempting to communicate with Belmarsh.
Judges are in.
Read 88 tweets
Jan 6, 2021
#AssangeCase bail hearing Thread:

Ed Fitzgerald is in court. Julian hasn't arrived. The proceedings should start soon.
Judge comes into court. #JulianAssange walks in and identifies himself to court.
The Court will hear arguments against bail first.
Clair Dobbin: The high court can overturn the conviction, the court must be careful not to render the result academic.
Read 35 tweets
Sep 30, 2020
Day 17 of the #AssangeHearing, with three days left, open justice has not been done in these proceedings. The Judge blocked 40 political and NGO observers (including @amensty & @RSF_inter) from monitoring the most important #FreeSpeech trial of the century.
Defence is reading from/summarizing a witness statement from war reporter Patrick Cockburn. He was in Kabul when the war logs were released, and he says they confirmed civilian casualties he and other journalists suspected.
Cockburn's statement includes the importance of the war logs and Collateral Murder video to prove these incidents in the face of official denial.
Read 41 tweets
Sep 29, 2020
Day 16 of the #AssangeCase proceedings. By this stage it is very likely that the 40 political observers that the judge arbitrarily banned from the observing proceedings virtually will not be allowed to do so. 4 left & I feel the decision was made before we started.
We have Maureen Baird on the stand: 28 years experience with the Bureau of Prisons in various capacities, with her final positions as Warden and Senior Executive Service Warden at three various Federal Prisons.
Baraitser walks in. Baird takes the oath.
Read 84 tweets
Sep 28, 2020
September 28th, day 15 of the #AssangeCase extradition proceedings. 40 political and #FreeSpeech advocate observers including @RSF_inter and @amnesty are still banned from observing the most important trial of our lifetime by Judge Baraitser without any explanation.
Sorry for being a bit late, this morning the court heard from Yancey Ellis, US attorney, with experience of the federal prison system. He talked about how #Assange would be placed under a strict solitary confinement regime.
As a pre-trial defendant, Assange would be detained in the ADC for months or potentially years. Ellis: "I believe it's most likely" #Assange would be held in administrative segregation (ad-seg).
Read 49 tweets

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