#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 13 (Thread)

Court is due to sit at 12:00 BST

Medical testimony is expected to continue, w/ govt. & defence witnesses expected to be called.

via @SputnikInt
Joseph Farrell, WikiLeaks ambassador, arrives at the Old Bailey.
Dr Nigel Blackwood Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist with the NHS & Reader at forensic psychiatry at Kings College, has been sworn in. He is being examined by the prosecution.
When Dr Blackwood saw Mr Assange in April he thought he was "moderately depressed". And following his most recent review of medical records from Belmarsh he thinks there is some improvement of his state.
Dr Blackwood did not find significant somatic syndromes at the time & did not think this was a severe depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms at that time.
Dr Blackwood notes some risk of suicide but that risk has been very carefully managed in Belmarsh, and he engages closely with treatments to manage that risk. He believes he retains the capacity to resist suicide.
From the records when he was received from the embassy Mr Assange's concentration appeared normal, polite, very engaging and articulate. No evidence then of psychotic features, Dr Blackwood explains to the court.
Dr Blackwood notes that records show Mr Assange's condition was worse by November and especially by December. Noted by staff to be sleeping under his bed, said he didn’t hallucinate, poor condition of cell, low mood, thoughts of self-harm, thinking he could hear people talk...
..about him. Struggling to concentrate when reading a book. He was moved back out of healthcare in December 2019
Dr Blackwood has found that Mr Assange's concentration as good, with gestures that are appropriate and didn’t describe characteristic hallucinations that are found in depression in his interviews with him.
Dr Blackwood had recurrent depressive disorder but one that had been treated throughout his life using his own methods or for a short period of using medication.
Dr Blackwood says somebody’s description of their mood & mental state will definitely be coloured by their personal. He thinks Mr Assange may have had a self-dramatising or hyperbolic approach to describing the symptoms & so one must look very clearly at the psychological records
Dr Blackwood has "anxieties" about making an autism diagnosis in a 49-year old man where there has been no such diagnosis historically, despite Mr Assange's contact with Although there are traits of the disorder the Dr doesn't think Mr Assange goes over the categorical line...
....Even if he does get into that diagnostic spectrum, Dr Blackwood belives Mr Assange would be "at the very mild end".
Dr Blackwood says there's some risk of a suicide attempt but that Mr Assange doesn't reach the strict threshold of "substantial risk". "Even in a context of a worsened depressive state than the one we have observed Mr Assange would be able to resist any suicidal impulse".
I think we would expect there to be "broad equivalence" in terms of medication and something akin to what Mr Assange has "engaged with well in Belmarsh" prison in the UK". Dr Blackwood says.

*Cross-examination has now begun*
Ed Fitzgerald QC puts to an act review to Dr Blackwood, that he had never seen before, portraying a depressive disorder and suicidal ideas by one of the prison staff.
Dr Blackwood agrees there is a history of reccurrent depressive disporder and has required hospitalisation once (post-self-harm around the age of 19) that we are aware of.
Dr Blackwood insists that he thinks based on looking at the notes there was not the "very considerable interference with occupation and social function that you absolutely require" for a diagnosis of severe depression with psychotic symptoms.
Prof Fazel didn't dispute that Mr Assange's depression was was severe in November/December and may have gotten better in February and March. Dr Blackwood, had to accept that too.
Dr Blackwood says that he disputes that Mr Assange "was at the very severest end of the spectrum" and complains that Dr Kopelman "did not recognise" that if that was the case Dr Daley would have been bound to refer Mr Assange to a secure unit, & that that did not occur.
Dr Blackwood says people with depression are on occasion managed in isolation in segregation in prisons in London. But that it has the potential to exacerbate mental illness.
Dr Blackwood says we must "bear in mind" Mr Assange has proved himself to be a very resilient & very resourceful man, which he feels is downplayed sometimes. Doctor says predicitons have been made that haven't come to pass, eg Mr Assange's inability to participate in his case.
Q. Fitzgerald QC asks if itwould be inappropriate to detain someone with Mr Assange’s condition where he is spending his time in a cell 22 and 23 hours a day and deprived of all association with other prisoners?
A. Dr Blackwood says ee have to be "very careful" and we need to know what arrangements may be pre-and post-conviction and certainly there was a concern with COVID-19 in London prisons that we would see in an increase in suicide attempts and that hasn’t born out.
Ed Fitzgerald is now reading to Dr Blackwood testimony from others regarding how Mr Assange can expect to be held in extreme isolation, especially for those under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) and whether this would be psycholigically damaging to Mr Assange.
Dr Blackwood says "Yes, this has the potential to impact upon Mr Assange's mood state", but strongly insists that is modifiable and treatable and that the description put to him is "at the most pessimistic end".
Upon cross-examination by Ed Fitzgerald QC it becomes explicitly clear that Dr Blackwood, in writing his report for the court, is drawing upon a statement from Gordon Kromberg, prosecutor for Eastern District of Virginia.
Dr Blackwood's report takes as fact that "that there is no solitary confinement" that Mr Assange would face in pre-trial detention at ADC in Alexandria, Virginia & that comes entirely from Mr Kromberg's statement and ignores any of the other statements including from the defence.
LUNCH BREAK TILL 2:05pm BST
Joseph Farrell, Kristinn Hrafnsson Stella Morris and Craig Murray outside of the Old Bailey during the lunch break.
My screen had frozen with the court seemingly empty so I have missed the first 15 minutes thinking that court was re- starting late.
cross-examination of Dr Blackwood is finished. Short break before re-examination by prosecution and then followed by another witness.
Dr Sandra Crosby is due to testify now. They are trying to secure her via video link
Dr *Sondra Crosby* has just been sworn in
“I think Mr Assange is at very high risk of completing a suicide if he were to be extradited” says Dr Sondra Crosby who met with Mr Assange repeatedly whilst he was at the Ecuadorian Embassy and then later when he was at Belmarsh prison.
Dr Crosby says when he saw him in October 2019 he met all of the criteria for major depression it was profoundly impacting his functioning and he had thoughts of suicide many times of the day and she felt he met the DSMV criteria for major depression.
“I believe that incarceration in the US is a risk factor for injuries and I worry that he would be at increased risk for fractures”, Dr Crosby adds.
Cross-Examination has begun.
Cross didn't last long, and re-examination is also over.

I may be able to put out a piece on it otherwise check out @kgosztola, @DEAcampaign & @DefenseAssange.

I am having to prepare an article on this AM and possibly a follow up on Dr Crosby.
Court adjourned till tomorrow 10am see below for what's just happened.
#Assange is a 'Resilient Man' Who Isn't at Risk of Suicide If Extradited, Government Expert Says

My review of this morning's testimony

sputniknews.com/uk/20200924108…
A follow up on the testimony from Dr Sondra Crosby to follow shortly.
US Doctor Who Examined Assange In Ecuadorian Embassy 'Severely Disturbed' Over His Deterioration

My summary of this afternoon's testimony

sputniknews.com/uk/20200924108…

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More from @MElmaazi

1 Oct
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 18 (Thread)

Final Day?

via @SputnikInt

(Like the last two days I shall be attending today's hearings from inside the Old Bailey via the press annex. This case may end up finishing one day earlier than scheduled)
Summers QC: Madam we are on the last leg. There are 4 things that need to be done today
-Hamit statement
-Discussion & negotiation overnight into this morning. "The ship is approaching the shore but is yet to birth"
-Ms Pierce’s 5 statements working those
.... -Mr Tigar’s statement requires further discussion
-Also in pipeline a short update on Spanish proceedings that has been prepared and needs to be served and reviewed
-There will be during the course of today a very short statement that puts into evidentiary...
Read 41 tweets
30 Sep
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 17 (Thread)

Court is commencing now at 10:00 BST

via @SputnikInt

(Now that I am on the court list I shall be attending via the press annex, though I'll still be watching via video link :)
Statements will be read during the first part of today. Testimony of a Mr Worthington is expected during the second part (as I understand it)
First statement that was read is from investigative journalist Patrick Cockburn. He explains the significance of WikiLeaks publications, noting the release of war logs confirming civilian deaths and other casualties that were suspected by journalists.
Read 47 tweets
29 Sep
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 16 (Thread)

Court is commencing now at 10:00 BST

via @SputnikInt

(Today I have entered court to see if the experience in the press annex is any different from viewing via video link.)
Maureen Baird, is the next witness to testify. We are awaiting the arrival of the defendant Julian Assange.
Maureen’s experience in federal corrections began in 1989 as a case manager with the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons where she worked for 28 years. In 2009, Maureen was appointed to the position of Warden at Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, Connecticut
Read 60 tweets
28 Sep
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 15 (Thread)

Court is commencing now at 10:00 BST

(Witness Yancey Ellis' video connection is being sorted out)

via @SputnikInt
The judge has arrived. The first thing to be dealt with will be an application from the Press Association for disclosure of each of the medical reports submitted to the court by the parties.
Fitzgerald QC says he hasn't been able to take representations from his client but judge says she's going to find in his favour anyway, save for Dr Humphries who's edited statement was read out.

The judge is now rendering her decision.
Read 62 tweets
25 Sep
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 14 (Thread)

Court is due to sit at 10:00 BST

(Another chilly Friday morning)

via @SputnikInt
John Shipton and Stella Morris' Mum arrive at the Old Bailey.
Craig Murray arrives not too soon thereafter.
Read 30 tweets
23 Sep
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 12 (Thread)

Court is due to sit 10:00 am.

Medical testimony is expected to continue. Yesterday the court heard that Mr Assange is at "very high risk of suicide" should he be extradited

via @SputnikInt
Dr Quinton Deeley has been sworn in. He's a Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in autism, ADHD, learning disability, and acquired brain injury in adults, mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, psychosis, bipolar affective disorder..
... he examined Mr Assange. An Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Ados) test administered in his presence. Due to COVID there was a big gap between the test being administered and a phone call with Dr Deeley.
Read 94 tweets

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