Richard Medhurst Profile picture
Sep 23, 2020 33 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Day 12 of the #Assange extradition hearing begins.

Live updates in the thread below:
Today’s proceedings will see more expert testimony in relation to #Assange’s mental health.
First witness to take the stand is Dr. Quinton Deeley, who specializes in ADHD and autism. A little more on his background:
Deeley undertook an evaluation of #Assange who voiced concerns over ending up in a US jail in similar peril to Joschua Schulte, leaker of the Vault 7 documents:
Deeley describes Assange as being highly intelligent. He confirms the diagnosis of MDD and just as Dr. Kopelman stated yesterday: extradition puts #Assange at high risk of suicide.
Replying to the defense, Deeley says he does not believe #Assange would be able to withstand the harsh conditions of US prisons. If determined to commit suicide this could occur in both UK or US.
Deeley: half of prison suicides are from solitary. See: reports by Kupers……
Prosecution rises to begin cross-examination of Deeley. #Assange
Lewis begins questioning the expertise of the witness, on how he is qualified to comment on prison conditions if he’s only visited a prison once during the last year.

Deeley previously said that he diagnosed Assange with Asperger’s. Lewis attempts to dispute this.
Lewis seems to possess a very draconian view of what autism is, assuming that people on the spectrum are somehow unable to speak. He plays a video of #Assange at the Frontline club in an attempt to counter Deeley's diagnosis of Asperger's.
Deeley sees the video as supporting his diagnosis, contrary to what Lewis claims.

Lewis asks the witness if he is attempting to help the defense and neglecting his obligation to the court – a recurring theme in his questioning.
In similar fashion to yesterday's proceedings, the prosecution is attempting to pressure the expert witness into altering their diagnosis of the patient. This is rather concerning, I can't fathom how a court sees a lawyer fit to dissect mental health evaluations by several psychs
Despite many attempts by Lewis to question the Asperger's diagnosis, Deeley maintains that it is the correct evaluation.

Cross-examination by prosecution is concluded.

Defense rises to re-examine the witness.
Deeley reaffirms that he conducted an interview several hours long (~6 hours) to establish diagnosis. This was supplemented by further testing.
Deeley (in regards to Frontline Club video) says not uncommon for person with Asperger's to give lengthy talks on subjects they're familiar with in a particular, structured social setting. Certain characteristics of autism more likely to arise in an unfamiliar, informal setting.
Translation: the video the prosecution played does not change anything about his assessment.
Court resumes from lunch break..

Next witness to give testimony is Prof Seena Fazel. This is the first witness called by the prosecution. Fazel is a professor forensic psychiatry, extensive research on prison suicides. #AssangeTrial
Fazel's assessment is that #Assange has moderate depression. Does not agree with Deeley that Assange at high risk of suicide. Fazel qualifies the word "high" to mean greater than suicide risk of persons within same age group of prison's general population.
Fazel maintains it's difficult to predict future risk; admits he's not an expert on US prisons but recognizes some accommodations are made to treat mental health. This runs contrary to what we heard from Eric Lewis last week regarding SAMs. #Assange

Prosecution ends examination. Defense rises to cross-examine.
Defense asserts that Fazel did not evaluate #Assange at worst of depression. Defense get Fazel to concede that his assessment nonetheless does not differ from that of previous medical expert witnesses Kopelman & Deeley.
Fazel concedes that depression is episodic; that solitary confinement and long sentences, life imprisonment are contributing factors to increased suicide risk.
Defense questions Fazel on whether the draconian Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) that await #Assange in a US prison would exacerbate mental health issues, Fazel says yes.

Defense asks Fazel if he agrees mental health treatment is made unavailable to prisoners perceived as high security risk like #Assange, most likely to end up in ADX Florence— which the former warden described as “worse than hell”. Fazel maintains he’s not an expert on US jails.
Prosecution’s first witness doesn’t appear to fare that well. Fazel has so far admitted he’s not qualified to speak to US prison conditions, autism, and concedes that depression can be exacerbated by prolonged sentencing and solitary.
Fazel states he’s not an expert on autism when asked about Gary McKinnon, whose extradition was blocked by Theresa May on account of Asperger’s. McKinnon went looking for evidence of UFOs, hacking into NASA, DoD. He left the US military a note at the time: "Your security is crap"
Prosecution takes over for re-examination of witness.

Lewis claims #Assange wouldn’t be held under SAMs during pre-trial at Alexandria detention, VA.

Defense objects, says Assange would be subject to both SAMs and administrative segregation (22 hours solitary confinement a day)
Lewis reads a statement from AUSA Kromberg, describing ADX “Worse Than Hell” Florence as some kind of summer camp where prisoners are afforded the luxury of communicating through the cell bars, watch TV programmes preselected by staff and participate in arts & crafts.
Fazel’s testimony is concluded.
Defense submits into the record a statement by Dr. Catherine Humphries regarding the results of neurological tests that Assange took. Results indicate a decline in cognition due to heightened stress and no malingering, as was alleged by the prosecution in yesterday’s proceedings.
Back and forth re scheduling of closing arguments.

#Assange’s defense request a month after testimonies. Judge only gives them a weekend adding they’ve had a while to prepare, while glossing over the last minute indictment submitted by prosecution.
Prosecution argues in favor of written final submissions in lieu of a hearing, to be handed over in week 5.
Court is adjourned until tomorrow.

Will be going live later to give a full video summary:

Thank you for supporting independent journalism:

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Richard Medhurst

Richard Medhurst Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @richimedhurst

Aug 24
🧵LIVE THREAD | BRICS Day 3, August 24:

I'm accredited to cover the #BRICSSummit2023 🇧🇷🇷🇺🇮🇳🇨🇳🇿🇦

HUGE developments today. All news and updates below. Bookmark and share the thread! Image
BRICS has just added six new countries! They shall become formal members in January 2024. The list includes major oil producers, as well as other large, emerging economies:

Egypt 🇪🇬
Ethiopia 🇪🇹
Argentina 🇦🇷
UAE 🇦🇪
Iran 🇮🇷
Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦

(In light of this huge news, it would perhaps be wiser to rename the organization BRICS+, which has a nicer ring to it than BRICSEEAUIS. Lol)
Read 20 tweets
Aug 23
🧵LIVE THREAD | BRICS Day 2, August 23:

I'm accredited to cover the #BRICSSummit2023 🇧🇷🇷🇺🇮🇳🇨🇳🇿🇦. All breaking news and updates below. Bookmark it and retweet! Image
In case you missed it, here is my reporting from yesterday, on Day 1 of the summit:

🇧🇷 President Lula: ''In few years, we went back from a benign multi-polarity juncture to going back to an absolute mindset of cold war and geopolitical competition. [...] The world needs to understand the risks that are [...] unacceptable for humanity.'' #BRICSSummit2023
Read 7 tweets
Aug 22
🧵LIVE THREAD | BRICS Day 1, August 22:

Today kick starts the #BRICSSummit2023 🇧🇷🇷🇺🇮🇳🇨🇳🇿🇦

I'm accredited to cover the summit. Will have updates and breaking news below. Bookmark it and retweet! Image
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is a collective of the world's largest emerging economies.

Together BRICS countries make up over 41% of the world population, a quarter of the global economy, and almost 30% of global trade.
The BRICS countries meet annually, but this year's summit is especially important in the context of the Ukraine war, blow-back from Western sanctions, and the rush to ditch the US Dollar, particularly after $300b was stolen from Russia's foreign exchange reserves.
Read 24 tweets
Jul 19
🧵BREAKING: Putin will not attend BRICS summit in South Africa

🇿🇦 President Cyril Ramaphosa: "By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the Summit but the Russian Federation will be represented by Foreign Minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov." Image
There is precedent for this situation in South Africa: In 2015, Sudan's president Omar al Bashir attended the African Union summit in SA, and they refused to execute an ICC warrant and arrest a fellow African leader. Bashir was able to leave but the govt was taken to court in SA.
Courts ruled that the govt were wrong not to arrest him, and blocked SA's attempt to withdraw from the ICC.

Several African countries threatened to leave as the ICC is notorious for being biased against Africa, while giving Western war criminals like Bush & Blair a pass.
Read 6 tweets
Jul 7
🧵THREAD: French lawmakers just passed a bill allowing police to spy on French citizens by remotely hacking their phones
The bill passed with 80 votes in favor and 24 against.

The left (LFI, NUPES) were strongly opposed to it, calling it an "authoritarian snooper's charter".

Unsurprisingly, Macron's liberal party, the centre and the right all voted overwhelmingly in favor.
Under the law French police can remotely

-Track someone's location in real time (GPS)

-Turn on someone's camera and microphone to record their conversations
Read 18 tweets
Jul 7
🧵THREAD: Biden is sending Ukraine cluster bombs, a horrific weapon banned in most countries
A cluster bomb is a large capsule that contains many tiny bomblets that are spread out over a very large area, killing indiscriminately.

123 countries have signed a convention banning cluster munitions.

94% of cluster bomb casualties are civilians. 40% are children.
Cluster bombs were used by the United States in Vietnam and Iraq. They are notorious for killing and maiming kids. How many children in Iraq have lost their arms and legs because of cluster bombs? Too many to count.
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!