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Sep 23, 2020 52 tweets 16 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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.
Dr Quinton Deeley is being sworn & his credentials verified. He stands by the contents of a report he submitted to court. He conducted a 2-hour autism test on #Assange + a 6 hour interview.
#Assange told Dr Deeley about what he feared if sent to the US, citing what happened to Joshua Schulte (arrested for Vault 7 leak). You noted 3Assange's symptoms, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, anxiety, disturbing memories, experiences & bodily sensations.
Edward Fitzgerald for the defence: We see "No suicidal intent". What does that indicate?

QD: That can be a default report if the inmate does not volunteer the information that they are about to suicide.
In my opinion Mr Assange satisfies the criteria for Aspberger's syndrome.
EF: Assange's symptoms, according to your observations, those of his mother @MrsC_Assange & his friend @SueletteD, are indicative of him being on the autistic spectrum

#Assange is high-functioning: highly intelligent, recognises patterns, understands symptoms, struggles socially
Dr Deely has also diagnosed Mr #Assange as suffering from severe depression, ongoing anxiety on top of his Asperger's.

He says the likelihood of suicide if extradited is high. #Assange has told him this would be an unbearable ordeal

EF: Would he be able to manage conditions?
EF: What do you think of the Prevention of Suicide service?
QD: Cites Kuper report. People still suicide in the UK & US especially in solitary confinement. Half of suicides are people in solitary.

#Assange reluctant to speak of his condition to Belmarsh staff, fearing isolation.
QD: Mr #Assange's condition fluctuates between moderate & severe depressions. Events either ameliorate or exacerbate his conditions. Access to family helps. Whatever increases his hopefulness helps.

EF: But if extradited, you believe there is a high risk of suicide?
QD: I do.
James Lewis X-exam
Inquiring about Deeley's training & qualifications.has dealt with a lot of prison inmates.

JL: How often do you go to prison?
QD: 4-5 times a year, once in last year, in January, to visit #Assange.
JL: You found #Assange moderately depressed in July?
QD: You know other doctors who see him?

JL is enquiring if @Assange's condition dates from early childhood.
QD Circumstances can trigger symptoms. Assumption is they were always there.
QD speaking about various tests that diagnose autism.
JL JA didn't want to answer 2 questions in a test?
QD Yes, he found it demeaning to be asked to carry out brushing his teeth & talk about his daily routine in self care.

JL: There must be 6 symptoms present?
QD: Not always
JL Let's look at your diagnosis. You outline a number of criteria. Only 2 symptoms are marked, others are mild.
QD Isn't it possible that Mr #Assange's situation could have been responsible for his manner.
JL No. The diagnosis is not based on one single interview.
Lewis asks for a video to be played of #Assange participating in a Q&A at the Frontline Club. We are looking at an instruction manual on how to plug a USB drive into a computer...

Moving on, Lewis asks QD if he has seen #Assange's TV series 'The World Tomorrow'.
Lewis suggests that #Assange's behaviour in interviews is highly incompatible w/ QD's diagnosis.

QD says that when there is a rehearsed routine & conversation about the subject's area of expertise, they usually open up.

Watching Assange in Q&A at Frontline Club
#Assange saying that no one has come to harm in Afghanistan from release of War Logs & that the Pentagon is refusing to help redact the material. He says we are trying to bring events into the public record & get some justice for civilian deaths.

Strange prosecution playing this
#Assange talking about responsibility towards informants.

QD says #Assange's behaviour in interview is a good example of what he was talking about, when high-functioning subject is talking about their area of expertise.

JL: Are you trying to help this court or advocate a cause?
Defence objects to Lewis's question being inappropriate.
It's clear his perception of Assange's behaviour wildly different to the psychiatrist's. Baraitser allows it.
QD My duty is to the court.

Lewis goes through QD's daily reports about #Assange's behaviour. Says he seems OK
QD is trying to explain to Lewis the specifics of his testing and mental health clusters of symptoms.
Lewis challenging @SueletteD's opinion. Is she a medical expert?

QD That is not required.
I have gathered sufficient qualitative evidence over many years to make my diagnosis.

JL Reads family's description of Julian as witty & great father. Is that compatible w/ your diagnosis?
QD People w/ #Assange's condition can be dutiful.
JL How can someone like that host a chat show?
QD I repeat that they can have a lot to say about their area of expertise.
JL You are not making much eye contact w/ me. Is that a trait? QD I am attending to other people in court.
Talking about another trait, reported by Dr Woodhouse. Lewis reading.

JL On one observation by Ms Woodhouse, you have said this trait is satisfied?
QD I took information from @SueletteD

Lewis continues to challenge Deeley's assessment.
QD asked about risk of suicide.
JL Given his situation would the risk not be the same for any person of his age?

QD No, his condition greatly heightens the risk.

End of X-exam
Court breaks for lunch. Defence lawyer Edward Fitzgerald will take instruction from his client. Dr Quintin Deeley is back in the afternoon for re-examination.

It appears that Professor Paul Mullen will not be able to attend so the defence are trying to contact another witness.
Re-Exam of QD
EF: You conducted a long interview to make one assessment
QD: Yes, 6 hours. In brief the diagnosis was based on the ADOS system, collateral reports and my own observation.

EF: Assange at Frontline Club was a set piece performance?
QD: Yes, on his area of expertise
Dr Quinton Deeley: Listing unusual behaviour of #Assange, as recounted by @SueletteD and others. Some it quite funny. He didn't like small talk...
EF What about #Assange's noted sense of humour? Someone w/ his condition can have an unusual perspective on thinks which might give rise to laughter at the unexpected.

#Assange's language was described as "Edwardian", unusual. This is typical of his condition.
Dr Deeley confirms the similarities in other doctors' observations of #Assange's behaviour. He cites his own experience in this field. The threshold for diagnosis of Assange's condition is high.

No doubt in my mind about Assange's condition. He is intelligent & has coped w/ it
Baraitser is talking about social distancing in the courtroom. It is not good on her right (among family & close associate observers). She wants some to go to the overflow court.
Baraitser also wants a definitive list of witnesses and times. Wants to finish by end of next week.
Edward Fitzgerald says it's impossible to finish by the end of next week. Getting through all the witnesses by then is already pushing it but there would be no time for closing submissions. Baraitser says they should have thought of that & used the court's time more wisely.
EF to Baraitser: We have been doing our best to re-schedule things [since Covid care]. Lewis is now saying he has a problem with witness availability. Fitzgerald says Dr Sondra Crosby could give evidence early tomorrow morning.
Baraitser agrees but she is not happy w/ the chaos.
"Have a seat Mr Assange", says Judge Baraitser. She finds the social distancing in the court "much better".

Witness Professor Fazel is called for the prosecution. He produced a report on July 30. He is forensic psychiatrist. Visits prisons once a fortnight, speciality suicide.
Fazel has published a lot on suicide in prisons & with psychiatric patients. Has notable credentials. He dissents with Dr Deeley's assessment of "high risk". This means it's elevated above the normal population. Suicide is not common in the population so high risk is about 1%.
Fazel says risk of suicide fluctuates over time, so any assessment must be done at the time in question. One cannot rely on past assessments, since life changes.

Fazel thinks Assange is self-managing his risk, by ringing the Samaritans and would be likely to resist suicide.
Fazel I'm not much aware of US prisons but it is my understanding there are assessments & treatments (medications).
Defence cross-examines Prof Fazel

You didn't see Assange when he was most severely disturbed and you fairly said that both Kopelman and Deeley had registered severe depression in Nov-Dec 2019. So you agree that the depression is episodic, depending on circumstances?
Fazel Yes
EF You say #Assange had fewer suicidal thoughts when he saw his family?
Fazel Yes
So he will survive if he can see his family, ring the Samaritans, be given the right meds, but would you say extradition would increase the risk?
Fazel Yes
EF to Fazel You said solitary confinement exacerbates mental health problems. Do you think 22 hours a day in a cell would increase depression?

Fazel: Yes, although some people don't react badly too solitary.

EF You agreed Assange was more depressed in solitary
Fazel Yes
EF Do you know what Special Administrative Measures are?
Fazel I've heard the term
EF Explains and asks if there is a risk of there is a risk of worsening of Assange's symptoms with total isolation.

EF shows Fazel stats for suicide in US prisons. Rate is high & 50% in isolation.
Fazel does not agree that segregation in itself leads to suicide. Suicides have not increased with lockdown measures. In Assange's case it's long terms. There is an increased risk. He would bleak prospects. There would be a hopelessness. That is a trigger. Maybe there are meds.
EF You are aware that high security prisoners on Special Administrative Measures have no access to therapy?

Fazel I don't know about US prisons. I don't want to comment

EF But if that were the case there would be increased risk

Fazel Yes
EF We need to ask US experts?
Fazel Yes
EF We should ask US experts, a warden for example who described SAMS in US prisons as "not fit for human habitation"? Have you heard that?

F: No, I had not heard that.

EF If Assange was severely depressed & in isolation his mental condition would further increase risk?
F: Yes
EF asks Fazel about Assange's symptoms. Lists quite a few. Says he's not an expert but Dr Deeley is.

EF Isolation increases suicidal ideation by 9 times. You are aware of the cases of Lauri Love & Garry McKinnon. They were not extradited for this reason & their conditions.
Fazel confirms nothing about Federal prisons, ADX prison in Virginia, about @xychelea's attempted suicide?

On re-exam, Fazel thinks if Assange were given a shorter sentence, there would be less risk. He agrees different inmates react differently. Re SAMS, Lewis reads Kromberg...
Lewis: Assange will be placed in a holding cell where it is decided where he is placed in Alexandria ADC. There is no solitary in ADC. Prisoners are locked in their cells a max of 22 hours/day. They can talk to others through the bars. They can speak w/ lawyers. Is that so risky?
Lewis (reading Kromberg) They have televisions, can play bingo & ball, learn a variety of things etc

EF: My learned friend has not mentioned H Block where Assange is likely to go

Fazel: It depends a lot on the quality of service & possibility of social interaction.
Lewis: On the spectrum, where is Assange?
Fazel: On the mild end
Edward Fitzgerald reads from Dr Katherine Humphrey's report. Assange was performing well below his optimal cognitive level.
Some witnesses have been culled. Tomorrow's witnesses will be Dr Sondra Crosby and Dr Blackwood.
Edward Fitzgerald has asked for 1 month before final submissions, to respond to the very recent 2nd superseding indictment. Baraitser offers no extra time. Wants them in the fifth week. Fitzgerald says this would do no justice to #Assange's case. Lewis wants written submissions
Correction: Dr Deeley said #Assange understands systems (our typo)

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