Back at the Old Bailey where the extradition trial of Julian #Assange is just about to resume.
Judge updates the court on the suspected exposure of a member of one of the legal teams to Covid 19 they have tested negative do we proceed.
#Assange
We are now awaiting today's first witness, Eric Lewis, who is testifying via video link.
#Assange
*So we proceed*
We are still awaiting Mr Lewis logging in.

#Assange
He has now popped up on the screen.
#Assange
Edward Fitzgerald QC for Mr #Assange rises to question Mr Lewis.
The witness tells the court he is a lawyer, with a masters in criminology from Cambridge and has been practicing for 25 years
Lewis tells the court that the conduct that led to the US charges against #Assange occurred in 2010, yet he was not prosecuted until 2017.
Lewis says that in the USA "no publisher has ever been successfully prosecuted for publishing national security information, never."
#Assange
The witness tells the court that, in his view, a decision was taken in 2013 to not prosecute #Assange during the Obama administration.
Lewis tells the court that it was not until Trump set out an intention to "go for the leakers," in 2017, T
in April 2017 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wikileaks was "a hostile foreign intelligence service," and that #Assange was "a “narcissist” and “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”
#Assange
Lewis says the investigation of Julian #Assange is "one of the largest FBI cases in US history."
Lewis says that if convicted on these charges #Assange would face a possible 175 years in prison.
The witness says, that the prosecution of #Assange is “An abuse of the criminal law enforcement power”.
The witness says given the 18 charges of espionage #Assange is facing, the "best-case scenario," would still be 20 years in jail, notes Chelsea Manning was given 30 years
Lewis says that if Assange was jailed he would be placed in "Administrative detention," (solitary confinement) and be subject to "special administrative measures" as a national security risk
Says that under special administrative measures a prisoner is shackled, and not allowed to mix with anyone else, even exercise happens late at night so the prisoner remains isolated.
#Assange
The defence ends, now James Lewis QC for US Government will be cross-examining the witness Eric Lewis (sorry for any confusion this may cause)
#Assange
The witness confirms he is not representing Mr Assange as a lawyer, agrees he has been paid £100 an hour for his work on the case (the legal aid rate)
#Assange
Prosecution counsel, as he has with every other witness, is now challenging Lewis credentials as an "independent expert witness."
#Assange
Lewis agrees, he has publically supported Mr #Assange before he became involved in the case as an "expert witness."
Denies this creates a conflict of interest, says "I was asked to do a task so I carried out a task," he says.
#Assange
Asked if he is an expert on prisons? Lewis says "I spend more time in them than I care to remember visiting clients," also notes he has a degree in Criminology from Cambridge.
#Assange
Prosecution counsel asks the witness to give shorter answers, defence objects, the judge says she will keep an eye on the situation.
#Assange
Prosecution asks the witness if his meetings with clients under "special administrative measures," were monitored by the government.
"Yes," he replies.
#Assange
Prosecution counsel now going over various US national security cases where the defendant's received far less jail time that the statutory maximum.
#Assange
The prosecution now making a complaint about them being time-limited in their cross-examination, Lewis says this has never happened to him before in any court.
#Assange
Judge says there are 39 witnesses so she has to manage how much time each one takes,
"That's the end of the matter Mr Lewis," she says, and court takes a break
Witness says that #Assange's mental health makes him "particularly vulnerable," to the effects of Special administrative detention, he also noted that under that regime prisoners are not even allowed to watch news programmes.
The witness tells the courts that prisoners on special administrative measures are only allowed to watch a limited list of television programmes, chosen by the prison authorities.
Witness says that he knows of no case in history that had managed to reverse a decision to put a prisoner on special administrative measures.
#Assange
Prosecution ask Lewis what affect US prison procedure could have on the issues the defence will use in any #Assange US trial.
"I don't know, I'm not his lawyer," he replies.

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More from @jamesdoleman

16 Sep
As we wait , you can read a full report of this mornings proceedings here.
We are now having a legal discussion over the issue of if a certain witness statement is admissable.
#Assange
The statement is from a Mr El Masri, a German citizen, who was seized by the CIA and transferred to a US military "black prison," in Afghanistan.
#Assange
Read 41 tweets
13 Sep
A wee story that came back to mind yesterday, it involves former News of the World Editor and chief advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron Andy Coulson, and, to this day is the funniest thing I ever heard in a court
1
Anyways, Mr Coulson was on trial at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to illegally intercept communications (phone hacking) and spent two days in the withess box being cross-examined
2
To almost every question his response was "I don't remember," or for variety "I don't recall.' He kept telling the court that he was a busy man, he couldn't be expected to remember if he had read this email or that email, he just couldn't recollect.
3
Read 16 tweets
9 Sep
Back in court at the Julian #Assange case, now awaiting the judge.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser enters court and proceedings begin.
#Assange
Technical issues with the video link to the next witness causing a slight delay.
#Assange
Read 26 tweets
8 Sep
Mark Summers QC for Mr Assange continues his examination of Professor Felstein.
The witness confirms he wrote a book about President Nixon trying to prosecute a journalist called Jack Anderson.
#Assange
Feldstein says that an attempt by the US government to prosecute Anderson under the espionage act failed as publishing classified information was not a crime.
The administration then tried to smear him, and there was discussion in the White House of poisoning him.
Summers moves on to the charge that #Assange, "solicited classified documents," Feldstein says this "paints journalistic activities in a very nefarious light, we teach acquiring secret documents in journalism, school this in journalism school."
Read 23 tweets
8 Sep
In court now for the Julian #Assange hearing day 2, still awaiting the start of proceedings.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser enters and proceedings begin.
#Assange
Defence calls it's first witness of the day, Clive Stafford-Smith.
#Assange
Read 26 tweets
10 Mar
Court rises as the presiding judge Lady Dorrian enters and day 2 begins.
Alex Salmond is in the dock, flanked by two court security staff.
The jury of 9 women and 6 men take their seats, and Alec Prentice QC, for the Crown, resumes his examination in chief of "Witness H," a former Scottish Government official
Prentice moves on to the day after the alleged attack and asks the witness if she attended a scheduled football event the next day, she says she did not "I felt sick, I wanted to throw up I didn't want to see him [Salmond]
Read 23 tweets

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