Extradition September hearing Day 11 (or 13 with Covid days)

Joined video link & waiting to cross to court.

Yesterday we heard from the main Defence medical witness Prof M. Kopelman whose testimony that JA suffers from clinical depression and is likely to kill himself if
.. extradited, was contested by the Prosecution who attempted to discredit his opinion by alleging bias, an error in judgement thru omission, & a mistaken premise regarding conditions in US prisons as well as the likely severity of his sentence.
Kopelman informed Lewis’ that given he is aware Lewis had intended to secure K as a witness for the Prosecution, his attempts to discredit the reliability of K’s opinion rang somewhat hollow, that a lawyer cannot use psychiatric diagnostic guidelines like a cookbook,
.. and that it is not for Kopelman to prove the true conditions in US prisons but drew Lewis’s attention to his decades of experience, incl as an expert witness in extradition trials, and that in his experience most US prison experts would not concur with Kromberg, pointing to
.. prior decisions such as that in the case of Laurie Love.
There is a sheet of paper everyone in court is reading.. wondering what it might be.
Perhaps it’s that schedule the judge has been asking for.
Glimpse in the corner of JA being brought in. Fitzgerald now talking to JA
Fitzgerald showing judge the adjudication sheet on the finding of the razor blade, as promised yesterday when the truthfulness of the incident was questioned.
There is a charge sheet, the outcome of which has to be provided - audio kept dropping out so unsure if this relates to the razor incident.
First witness today, another psychiatrist Quinton Deeley, who specialises in autism & ADHD. He has diagnosed JA with Asperger syndrome.
Deeley’s report includes the symptoms he observed & notes of consultations with JA, including concerns about the circumstances of Joshua Schulte.
Discussing medication & the diagnosis. Deeley also spoke to JA’s mother about him as a child, and S. Dreyfus regarding his years as a young adult.
Deeley says JA is highly intelligent & has a similar ability to comprehend & analyse systems as top scientists have.
Deeley confirms he has also found JA to be depressed & at risk of suicide if extradited would be high.
Deeley is young and highly articulate.
Discusses Aspergers tendencies coupled with depression would make his situation unbearable.
Deeley citing a report showing the high percentage of prisoners in solitary in the US committing suicide.
Lewis: would like him to sit but this witness also prefers to stand.
Tells Lewis that a neuropsychiatrist is a general adult psychiatrist & he sees a wide range of disorders, including people who are in & out of prison.
Lewis asks him how often he goes to prison. Replies 1-5
times a year.
Lewis says all the psychiatrists agree JA is depressed so he will concentrate on Deeley’s diagnosis if Aspergers.
They discuss how this manifests in childhood.
Lewis quoting the guidelines & Deeley pointing out where they have changed. Regarding the test for Aspergers, Deeley agrees JA refused to answer questions (about daily personal routine because he found it demeaning explains Deeley).
Lewis again referring to the diagnostic guidelines about the number of traits required for a diagnosis, Deeley explains it also depends on the severity of a trait & the extent to which it affects function.
Playing a couple of extracts of JA at the Frontline Club. The issue is how articulate he is. They want to make sure the journos can see it but no, so Lewis goes on to discuss the JA Show for RT. Deeley says when JA is talking about a topic he is interested in & knowledgeable
.. he has no trouble discussing the issues at length as do all highly intellectual people, but hopeless at chit chat, or mundane topics.
Lewis says he is confused by this.
Lewis insists on an objective opinion, so if there is evidence that shows the opposite to a trait he has
Observed.. such as difficulty conducting conversation, why hasn’t he taken it into account? Lewis has failed to understand something fairly straightforward. Now we are seeing JA speaking on video to an audience at length..
.. audience member asks JA about the difference between an informant & an informant once removed .. JA answers saying we are only obliged to protect them from unjust retribution, but not if they have sold people etc
Lewis challenges Deeley about JA’s communication skills..
& Deeley replies JA is speaking about topics he is familiar with, in monologue, but that is quite different to sustaining a conversation.
Lewis reading at length from notes on observations of JA’s behaviour by other doctors (amounting to a conclusion JA is fine) Deeley says when you judge quality of eye contact in a formal interview it is not necessarily going to correlate to eye contact in general socialbehaviour
Deeley continuing to give very calm comprehensive answers about what was excluded from his report while Lewis attempts to elicit a simpler answer that would discredit his previous judgement but this is proving unsuccessful. S. Dreyfus being quoted again about long term friends
of JA & allowances they make for the special/different attributes of JA. Lewis again asks if Dreyfus is a medico & he explains when doing useful collateral interviews, it is standard practice to talk to non medical people.
Lewis asks about JA ability in having had 5 children & picks up on JA’s mothers comment that he is a dedicated extraordinary father & Deeley says it’s not unusual for people with the disorder to have a heightened sense of duty.
Someone on the spectrum can be dutiful, principled & have acute higher order function but in social situations demonstrate qualitative extraordinary, odd behaviour.
Lewis asks him does Deeley’s avoidance of eye contact with Lewis prove Deeley is autistic. (He answers this well..
.. but he could have said there is no point looking at you because you are looking down & furiously turning pages while I’m trying to speak)
Me: you have to admire the restraint of this witness & his capacity to articulate very lucid responses despite a persistent wooden cross examination showing not only the usual attempt to elicit a different response but it appears a failure to actually comprehend the answers.
Me: to be fair, Lewis may be feigning not understanding.
Deeley reiterating JA is a high suicide risk & he believes would attempt to take his life ie not just a higher than normal risk in his age group in the male population as Lewis asked.
Short break before Fitzgerald re examines Deeley.
Fitzgerald said there is no witness for this afternoon & the judge has asked for on to be organised. It seems the 2 days lost in the non-Covid event has resulted not only in the loss of 2 days, but in a slowing down as witnesses
.. cannot necessarily reschedule to accommodate the court’s timetable.
Stella, Jennifer and Gareth interacting. No sound. I have wondered who the cluster of people sitting in the court to the left of the JA group (Stella, Kristinn, Joseph, Jennifer & one other), but now Lewis is seated with them & conferring with them during the break.
Fitzgerald: confirms Deeley interviewed JA for 6+2 hours but the diagnosis was also based on the results of a test for this disorder conducted by someone else. Adds that characteristics of autism appear in informal social situations rather than structured situations (apropos the
.. video clip). Deeley provides examples of his eccentric behaviour described by JA’s long time friend S Dreyfus, saying it is typical for Aspergers. Also, he can’t handle small talk - talk about football or the weather (me: what a relief)
Deeley talking about the uninterrupted monologue on a topic he is an expert about (video clip) being typical. Deeley elaborating on eye contact modulation as a yardstick. Dreyfus described the difference between arrogance & blindness. (Me: this is where comments of Guardian
journos & a judge that he is a “narcissist” fit in - I think the same error in reading JA has been made)
The judge seems to be listening intently. This witness is very compelling, giving some extraordinary examples of autistic behaviour, from childhood through adulthood. It describes what is both brilliant and special about Julian (recognised by many of us).
Interesting details about JA’s life revealed, such as his grandmother (on his mother’s side) isolated herself in her room & studied Latin (remembering what was expected of women of her generation).
Deeley is finished.
Judge is complaining that there are too many people in court for the social distancing requirement of 3 meters apart so the extra people need to go to the overspill court next door... she made reference to the JA contingent, saying only lawyers associated
.. directly with the case should be in court.
Fitzgerald informs the judge that they are trying to get all the witnesses done by Friday next week but they may not be able to include the Prosecution & Defence final summaries.
Back in court. Stella & Kristinn are not in their regular seats. Perhaps have had to go next door, as per the judge’s remarks. The other bank of seats to their left where what seem to be the Prosecution’s troops are sitting, is a larger bank.. seems rather unfair.
Prosecution witness, Prof Seena Fazel, Oxford uni - a forensic psychiatrist ie expertise with prisoners, visits prisons fortnightly.
Lewis: you specialise in prisoner suicides, you’re a world expert, published papers in medical journals, written a training course for psychiatrists. Picture froze, sound dropping out
Fazel: high risk means more than the gen population in that age group. You can’t anticipate future risk with any certainty - you need to do a reassessment at that time.
Fazel: suicide is a rare outcome, JA can manage his risk - found the Samaritans, takes medication - not consistent with severe depression where he can’t resist suicide.
Fazel: there is a lower rate of suicide in US prisons than in the Uk & Europe but am not an expert at what services US prisons offer.
Fitzgerald: you agree he has severe depression & you didn’t see him when he was most unwell. Fazel agrees.
Fazel: agrees with Fitzgerald it is an episodic fluctuating condition depending on the stresses he is under as per Kopelman.
Agrees association with his family is a factor that affects his condition and that in June his suicide risk was high but mitigated by access to family.
Fazel agrees that a very long sentence is a big risk factor.
Fitzgerald refers to the Lancet article Fazel authored: “solitary confinement exacerbates symptoms of mental illness”
Fazel says, that was written 9 years ago.. but if there is restricted exercise, opportunity to
treat depression are diminished, increasing the risk.. in some cases people may not have a poor reaction to being in solitary.
Fitzgerald: knowing JA, what do you think would be the outcome for him?
Fazel: depends on access to family etc
Fitzgerald: Kromberg says he may be
subject to SAMs & Defence experts say he certainly would be, would that exacerbate his condition?
Fazel: yes.
Fitzgerald: could he revert to a serious risk
Fazel: depends on his understanding of his prospects... but yes, there is a risk of worsening symptoms.
Fitzgerald: quotes suicide in prisons .. 50% involve prisoners in isolation.
Fazel: that article quotes figures in 2008, so dated, secondly they refer to only 2 states in the whole country. Also, it depends on what the figure is you are referring to 50% of. Fazel doesn’t know.
Fazel: even in isolation, prisoners (in UK, under Covid) can have contact with family.
Fitzgerald: isolation, limited contact with outside world, bleak prospects of indefinite detention.. is there a heightened risk?
Fazel: yes. (Answers after the judge interrupted Fitzgerald to
to point out he is presenting a hypothetical situation).
Fazel keeps pointing out, “however, it is multi factorial, depends on about 10 different factors, such as programs available”
Fitzgerald: were there to be lack of access to any therapy, would that be a problem
Fazel: yes
Fitzgerald: you have made assumptions the American system is capable to caring for prisoners as they do here.
Fazel: yes with the caveat I am not an expert on US prisons.
Fitzgerald: someone under SAMs.. can you assist us with that?
Fazel: no I can’t, nor have I been to
Alexandra prison.
Fazel: you need to know the total number of suicides to establish the significance of the proportion who suicide in prison or in isolation.
Fitzgerald asks if depression reduces your capacity to resist the desire to suicide.
Fazel: I’d have to think about that
Fazel keeps stating there are many factors that affect suicide.
Fitzgerald: If he is severely depressed & in isolation, would it reduce his capacity to resist?
Fazel can’t respond for a moment, tries to repeat the question, Fitzgerald repeats it, then Fazel says, yes it would
Increase the risk but I couldn’t say greatly.
Fitzgerald: your article says a human environment would try to mitigate the risk factors.
Fazel can’t comment on how they do that in the US prison where JA is likely to be.
Fazel: accepts Dr Deeley’s assessment as he is an expert,
confirms Deeley went about it in the right way.
Fazel: the treatment JA is receiving is appropriate treatment but agrees Aspergers is a factor in suicide risk
Fitzgerald refers to Laurie Love & Garry McKinnon decisions not to extradite.
Fazel quotes the number of suicides
of actual suicides, (I assume in the UK).

Oh dear, Fazel has just lost it.
The issue that got him in a pickle is he agrees Deeley is the Autism expert, he himself thinks JA has Autistic tendencies, but he wasn’t focusing on that because he isn’t an expert. He actually stopped, sort of gasped, & said he just wants to stick to what he said, even though
he painted himself into a corner.
Fitzgerald managed to get him to agree that under conditions that are effectively SAMs conditions, JA’s risk would increase, and that he is not familiar with SAMs or US prisons.
Lewis re examining makes an assumption that pre trial JA would not be held under SAMs. Fitzgerald objects - he would be kept under SAMs pre-trial.
Lewis- quoting from cases where prisoners held under SAMs have been able to have meetings with their lawyers & one was even putting
out press releases, they all have televisions, indoor & outdoor recreation, soccer balls, aerobic exercise, movies, arts & crafts, bingo (this is all read from the Kromberg declarations - Kromberg will not present for cross examination.)
Lewis is still reading!
From the Kromberg description, it is a holiday resort.
When I say it, it’s Alexandra prison
Lewis asks him about suicidal ideation & Fazel confirms a very small number of people who experience this ideation actually kill themselves.
Lewis asks him ask where on the autism spectrum he lies. Fazel again repeats reference to his caveats (that he is not an expert) but says
.. he would say, mild.
10 minute break
Sound is on. They are discussing the witness schedule.
Kristinn & Stella have wandered in. They are an essential party to deliberation about how to proceed. I can only conclude that the larger bank of seats to their left is occupied by more Prosecution lawyers as the judge has not asked them to cull themselves.
Fitzgerald is talking with Clair Dobbin. Two people couldn’t have more different cross examination styles.
Fitzgerald’s demeanour, tone, gestures are identical to when he is examining. He has a kindness about him.
Judge is back
Fitzgerald is reading a psychologist’s statement but the audio is not great
Court official turned on his mic
This is about the result of tests. Quite possibly the test results provided to Deeley.
Includes the malingering test & the psych concluded it is highly unlikely he is malingering.
Also that functioning significantly below his cognitive level.
Court official tells Fitzgerald the press missed the beginning of his statement so he tells us it was the statement of
Dr Catherine Humphries, clinical psychologist.
No sound no movement
They are just discussing the schedule. Still no time for closing submissions with passages they will be relying on.
Fitzgerald says he & Summers need a day, Lewis wants three quarters of a day, but Fitzgerald wants a month to consider/ prepare closing submissions.
Judge says she is profoundly reluctant to allow that & they have not mentioned they will need this. She will give them a weekend.
He says the latest superseding indictment came very late & they had not had sufficient time to deal with it. He says it will not be in the interests
of justice.
Fitzgerald wants to provide written final submissions, Lewis believes that is not necessary, judge agrees there is already a lot of written material but this will be resolved later this week.
Court will not start till midday tomorrow.
humane

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More from @MaryKostakidis

1 Oct
Extradition September hearing Day 17 (19 incl 2 Covid),
expected to be the final day.

Joined the video link waiting to cross to the court room.
Today we expect to hear an update on the Spanish surveillance case and summaries of the remaining witness statements.

I’ll provide as much information as I can on this thread.
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Joined the video link waiting to cross to the Old Bailey.

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29 Sep
Extradition September hearing Day 15 (17 incl 2 Covid)

Joined the video link waiting to cross to court.
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28 Sep
Extradition September hearing Day 14 (16 inl 2 Covid)

On the video link waiting to cross to court.

Expect to be back to US prison conditions today.
Yancey Ellis is an EDVA lawyer who will focus on pre-trial conditions, another US lawyer Joel Sickler on post-conviction work.
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25 Sep
Extradition September hearing day Day 13 (15 with 2 lost Covid days)

Joined the video link.

I believe the only remains medical witness is Paul Mullen, Emeritus Professor at Melbourne’s Monash University. He was JA’s consulting psychiatrist in Australia & diagnosed..
... him with clinical depression in 1995.

The other witness scheduled for today is computer forensics expert, Patrick Eller.

His report reviews evidence from Chelsea Manning’s court martial.
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24 Sep
Extradition September hearing Day 12 (or 14 incl Covid)

Joined the video link to cross to the court for a midday start to proceedings today.

Expect to hear from at least 2 medical experts, Dr Sondra Crosby for the Defence and Dr Nigel Blackwood for the Prosecution, and
possibly Prof Paul Mullen for the Defence.
Julian is seated judge enters
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