The fifth day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates at this thread.
Eric Lewis, who is a practicing lawyer in United States knowledgeable on trial and sentencing issues, is expected to take witness stand. He'll testify on the ways the legal team believes Assange would be "exposed to flagrant denial of justice" if put on trial in US.
Lewis' testimony will likely return to the issue of Trump administration retaliation against the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is investigating US torture and war crimes, and how that connects to #AssangeCase
Julian Assange enters wearing a mask. Summers, his attorney, is addressing the court on mask-wearing. Both prosecution and defense legal teams are wearing masks in court for first time
Judge Baraitser addresses jailers and says Assange "must have opportunity to wear a mask, should he choose to do so."

Summers said Assange was provided mask today but there have been difficulties before today. And they have to take instructions from Assange through the glass.
Baraitser notes last week's witness Trevor Timm was drinking coffee while giving testimony. She says that is inappropriate and future witnesses should not drink coffee while her court is in session. #Assange
Eric Lewis takes the proverbial witness stand. Assange's legal team begins questioning.
Fitzgerald asks if it was significant that Assange wasn't indicted until 2018, when Chelsea Manning (source) was prosecuted.

Lewis replies, "It is significant in my view."
Not sure what is different from prior witnesses, but audio sounds like Eric Lewis is testifying from inside a wrapping paper tube. Kind of hard to follow everything he is saying. #Assange
Lewis said the second indictment showed "New York Times problem had been blown out of the water and no longer an impediment" to prosecuting Assange
Lewis believes if Assange is put on trial and sentenced he will effectively be served with what amounts to a life sentence, since he is 49 years-old
Lewis estimates if everything went "brilliantly" at trial then the best case scenario would be a 20-year sentence for Assange. Notes Chelsea Manning received a 35-year sentence in US military court.
According to Lewis, Assange will be held in administrative segregation in a prison in Alexandria, Virginia. Subject to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) before and after trial because he is national security defendant
The issue of the ICC investigation into US war crimes comes up. And Lewis mentions that most important disclosures in his view involved the war in Afghanistan. #Assange
Prosecutor steps up. "We're namesakes"

Guide: J. Lewis - prosecutor
E. Lewis - witness
J. Lewis immediately starts out with line of questioning alleging bias.

E. Lewis: "I don't know that I'm required to set out Mr. Kromberg's half dozen affidavits. I'm not aware otherwise my reports would be hundreds of hundreds more pages." #Assange
J. Lewis is challenging through many questions whether the court can consider E. Lewis an expert on prison conditions. #Assange
Asked if Alexandria Detention Center doesn't have solitary confinement, E. Lewis says "that's a semantic point." It's not the vernacular Bureau of Prisons would use. #Assange
James Lewis had the court sever the link with E. Lewis to complain to the judge about the "guillotine," which is time limits on witnesses. He is upset E. Lewis is giving answers to his questions beyond yes or no because it is taking longer than he wants #Assange
Judge Baraitser says this is "not so much a guillotine as it is case management." She rejects J. Lewis' request to control the witness. She says that is the prosecutor's responsibility. It's only fair if asked open question for witness to be able to answer #Assange
Let the record show James Lewis, the prosecutor representing the US government, wasted 10 minutes complaining about not having enough time to cross-examine Eric Lewis. #Assange
The defense has around 20 witnesses left to call to the stand. Proceedings are supposed to wrap in the last week of September. That is impossible if Baraitser gives James Lewis what he wants - unlimited time to cross-examine witnesses #Assange
Eric Lewis was attorney for Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who was held at the Alexandria jail, where Assange would likely be confined. Khatallah was a suspected Libyan militant alleged to have been involved in Benghazi attacks (so high-profile national security defendant).
J. Lewis asked if Khatallah was acquitted of murder charges by jurors from the same pool that Assange jury would draw from

E. Lewis responded no, Khatallah's acquittals came in US District Court of District of Columbia. "They have very different jury pools" [from EDVA].
J. Lewis references Babar Ahmad's extradition case and suggests most of the issues raised with potential US confinement conditions in Assange's case were raised before European Court of Human Rights and rejected.
This re: Babar Ahmad and from @fairtrials is relevant, especially: "Court paid tribute to the procedural safeguards in place in the American legal system, considering them sufficient to ensure respect for human rights." #Assange
E. Lewis: "This is not a terrorist case." He adds Bill Barr will make decision relying upon views with respect to national security, when determining whether to authorize SAMs. Gina Haspel, who ran CIA black site prison, will help make determination. #Assange
J. Lewis reads content from EHCR ruling in Ahmad, and E. Lewis acknowledges the decision but says a lot has changed since 2012, as far as what is known about psychiatric treatment at ADX Florence (etc) #Assange
E. Lewis indicates he consulted this inspector general report on the Bureau of Prisons that concluded BOP cannot accurately determine the number of inmates with mental illness. It is 40 percent, not 12 percent, that had problems in 2015 #Assange
oig.justice.gov/reports/2017/e…
E. Lewis objects to how J. Lewis refuses to let him consult documents. J. Lewis insists on quizzing him to see if can remember details. E. Lewis thinks unfair because he reviewed many, many documents. This all goes to J. Lewis' effort to disqualify E. Lewis as expert #Assange
Suddenly, court goes into recess as a news video about WikiLeaks featuring Fox News' Chris Wallace blasts from who knows where. It stopped but unclear what happened. #Assange
Something clearly happened with the video link. No confirmation from the court yet. The court may still be sorting out technical problems. We're on lunch break now, and J. Lewis is still only on first of five statements submitted by E. Lewis. Going to be long day #Assange
We're trying to come back from lunch, but there are video link problems. #Assange
The court doesn't actually know if they were hacked, said someone LOUDLY WHISPERING and they didn't want anyone to hear but we all could clearly hear this person. #Assange
Finally can hear Eric Lewis clearly after several minutes of troubleshooting, as he sounded like a robot having a stroke #Assange
No lawyers in courtroom. I have no idea how much longer this will go before we get back to testimony. #Assange
Eric Lewis keeps saying, "Can you hear me?" He has airpods. But no one in the courtroom will acknowledge him. James Lewis is talking about some other witness. Eric Lewis: "Hello?" This is maddening. #Assange
You haven't missed anything. We're still trying to fix problems so the court can hear Eric Lewis, the witness, who just said, "Does shouting help?" #Assange
This was not mentioned in court, but a few of the details in it did come up. So sharing this as it involves conditions at ADX Florence, a supermax prison where Assange may be confined westword.com/news/h-unit-at…
From 2017 report on SAMs in federal prisons by @theCCR and Yale Law human rights clinic: "In numerous cases, the Attorney General recommends lifting SAMs after the defendant pleads guilty."

SAMs are used by US Justice Department to coerce guilty pleas. #Assange
As I expected would happen, we're done for the day. Disappointing because what we have is incomplete testimony from Eric Lewis. #Assange
I'll be live shortly with a video report on Day 5 of extradition trial against Julian Assange: #AssangeCase
At Assange's extradition trial, the prosecution invokes a European Court of Human Rights decision that sided with the US government on abusive supermax prison conditions. shadowproof.com/2020/09/14/at-…

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