💧Mary Kostakidis Profile picture
Sep 24, 2020 61 tweets 8 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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
First witness, Dr Nigel Blackwood
Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at King’s College London. Medical expert commissioned by the prosecution to conduct a second psychiatric assessment of Julian Assange. This was completed by phone in July 2020.
Lewis: summarising his finding that JA has a depressive disorder.
Blackwood: some suicide risk, modifiable, but retains the capacity to resist.
Judge interrupts to ask Joseph to sit down
B: polite, good eye contact, engaging, articulate but became very concerned about his case
but engaged in activities & read. In July he said he didn’t want to take his own life but had thoughts about it. Was unhappy about being placed on “health care” as it had nothing to do with his health but was for admin reasons (that film footage)
The above is of course still Blackwood speaking
Blackwood is giving a month by month account, describing JA as well, having coffee with other prisoners etc but it’s unclear how he has gathered all this information - when it is an account of his own observations or reports he read. He says JA wanted to edit his report.
Blackwood is young and has a strong Scottish accent.

His opinion: has a recurrent depressive disorder which he has managed apart from an episode of self harm as a young man.
He is puzzled why Prof Kopelman says he is severely depressed. If this were the case Dr Daly should .....
... have referred him for appropriate care externally, that is the normal course of action & care, contrary to what Dr Kopelman said (that that is not available) which is just not correct.
He continues to say he is concerned that a 49 year old is diagnosed for the first time ..
as having Aspergers. Blackwood continues to list the characteristics & achievements he says are inconsistent with Asp.

Says JA has elevated risk of suicide, but only 1 in 1000 in prisons in England & Wales carry it out, though he is worried about extradition, the risk is ..
Modifiable & manageable.
Fitzgerald is now quoting from a prison report that states staff said they were so concerned about his suicide risk they had him transferred to health care. Blackwood says he hasn’t seen the report, nor did Dr Daly mention this to him. He says she is not denying he has suicidal
..ideas but it has been managed well.
Blackwood reiterating he disagrees with Kopelman about the severity of the depression.
Fitzgerald going thru a specific period when JA was particularly bad. B says Daly would have been duty bound to refer him for appropriate care. Fitzgerald makes the point he hasn’t read all the report and B agrees there are lots of documents he has not read.
Fitzgerald asks about the night checks 5 times a night in health care and Blackwood says yes that shows how well the suicide risk was managed.
Discussion of JA’s medication, one in particular that Kopelman suggested for depression, Blackwood says it was to help him sleep as Dr Daly indicated in her prison notes.
Fitzgerald now asks whether it would be inappropriate to keep someone who is depressed in isolation. Blackwood ultimately agrees but says JA is resilient & resourceful & is obviously capable to engaging in this case.
Fitzgerald asks if solitary exacerbates depression. Blackwood Agrees but says it can be mitigated by other factors.
Blackwood says the suicide rate in the US is lower that the UK.
Fitzgerald asks if he thinks keeping JA in solitary for 22-23 hours would be a good idea. Blackwood basically says it is workable depending on the context & other factors.
Fitzgerald asks about SAMs conditions & asks him again whether it would affect JA. Blackwood agrees, it may.
Fitzgerald reading a horrific description of conditions by a former warden of the bureau of prisons in the US & asks Blackwood again who agrees it may affect JA but
.... repeats the mantra.
Fitzgerald asks why he claims there is no solitary in the ADC in his report.
Blackwood says that is what Mr Kromberg said. Fitzgerald says you just accepted that was true.
Asks if he thinks Maureen Baird, the warden wouldn’t know whether there was or not
... which then elicited the mantra about what else might be available. Nothing else, says Fitzgerald, that’s it.

Fitzgerald continues cross examining Blackwood.
Asks him about whether it would be inhuman to expose someone in JA’s condition to the conditions in the prison he would be held.
B: that’s not for me to say.. for the court to decide
Fitzgerald pointing out reports that were
..available to him about conditions in the US JA would be held before he wrote his report, rather than just reading what the Prosecutor said.
.. Agrees, but says he has read academic articles that say conditions in UK & US prisons are similar.
Fitzgerald asking him to compare what has been available to JA here - phone calls to the Samaritans for example, and what Maureen Baird says the conditions in the US would be, does he consider them the same.
Blackwood says something nonsensical (to me) in reply.. he says, it
.. “depends on other factors at the time”

Fitzgerald pushes him and he finally says, in those conditions, with no outlet for his intelligence etc etc yes it would have a deleterious effect.
In other words, if the former prison warden’s description of conditions is correct rather the Prosecutor’s, then it’s very likely it would be a bad place for JA to be, Prosecution witness agrees.
Fitzgerald asks Blackwood why he spoke to Daly & not another prison doctor with whom JA had a better relationship.
Blackwood says there are numerous doctors there.
Witness agrees JA told him he felt better after being moved out of health care, indicating he doesn’t cope well with isolation.
Fitzgerald going thru the notes where there are constant references to asking for the Samaritans on the phone. Blackwood says yes but also during that period he was reported to be better. Fitzgerald asks whether this might be exactly because of access to the Samaritans for exampl
.. e. (Have to say, Dr Blackwood is being given a going over & showing signs of stress)
Fitzgerald asking about Chelsea & Epstein. Asks if he would say Epstein could have resisted the impulse but didn’t.
Blackwood keeps referring to predictions that JA would not be able to participate in this legal process have not come to pass.
Fitzgerald quotes Deeley & contrasts with Blackwood’s descriptions based on another prison health care worker’s notes that include comments like that he has had successful relationships with numerous women.
Blackwood says he is concerned JA had never been diagnosed with Aspergers previously despite having had psychiatric care.
Fitzgerald asks for his notes of his consultations with JA & Daly.
Short break to consult JA
A final question from Fitzgerald: you said you have got notes of both interviews & there may be notes of interviews with Dr Daly.. anyone else? No one else.
Lewis points out Maureen Baird was talking about another prison, Fitzgerald points out she says the SAMs conditions
.. are exactly the same.
Lewis: Dod you understand it related to the ADC prison?
Blackwood: yes I did.
Lewis: you say given his mental condition it would not be unjust.
Blackwood: yes.
Lewis asks about the other prison doctor who Blackwood did not speak to, asking about her
.. status.. she is at the beginning of her career

Witness finished
Dr Sondra Crosby is next.
She is Professor of Medicine at Boston University, where she specialises in internal medicine. Dr Crosby was one of a group of three doctors who assessed Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in January 2018.
She is on video but doesn’t appear to be able to hear the court
Fitzgerald: you saw JA on a number of occasions starting in Oct 2017
Cosby: I was invited to do this by an American doctor due to the effects of JA’s confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy & visited him in Belmarsh twice
Fitzgerald: the conditions of confinement & the consequences, how his physical health has been affected by prolonged psychological torture.
Crosby: he described symptoms of depression & PTSD, I observed over time his mental state was declining & started discussing suicide
& described an Bosnian charged with war crimes who swallowed cyanide in court
... He was suffering with an infection that he could not have treated outside the Embassy, he increasingly became very depressed & agitated. He told me he was not revealing the full extent of his suicide ideation he would be put into isolation, she said.
She said he was severely depressed & that accessing the Samaritans had helped him. She deals with depression & PTSD in her clinical practice. Lewis objects.
Fitzgerald: did you form a view on his medical condition?
Crosby: in Oct 2019 - severely depressed, met DSM5 major criteria
... & his suicide risk was high. He said the trigger would be extradition to the US where his life would be intolerable. She adds she believes he would be at high risk of suicide if extradited.
She was concerned about his physical condition - chest pain, dizziness, shortness ..
.. of breath, the long term dental infection, osteoporosis which is unusual in young men so I looked at his Oz records & spoke to his endocrinologist in OZ - it has never been treated.. he broke his ribs bending down to tie his shoe laces. He would be at increased risk for..
..fractures if he were incarcerated in the US.
Lewis: would it be fair to say you are sympathetic JA’s cause
Crosby: no that would not be fair.
Lewis: what was the purpose of your trip & who paid for it?
Crosby: I paid, multiple reasons but mainly to see him.
Lewis: all his..
.. probs are being addressed in prison
Crosby: no. Not the osteoporosis oppression the symptoms that could be heart related
Lewis: are you qualified under section 12 of the mental health act?
Fitzgerald: that’s ridiculous no foreigner is
Crosby: I’m qualified to give expert evidence on mental health.
Lewis: a number of experienced psychiatrists have given evidence who have had more recent contact with him. Are you saying you know better?
C: No
L: Did you visit him on your own or with his lawyers?
C: on one occasion his lawyer was there.
Lewis: you’ve relied on Nils Melzer’s report.
C: I relied on his medical experts reports also.
Lewis: do you think Melzer’s report I’d fair & balanced
C: I have no opinion on his political comments, rather on comments about his health
C: I agreed with the doctors’ assessment that his mental state brought about by trauma from the stress of his situation.

Witness finished
Judge asks to be told what statements have been agreed that she can receive. Short break. Well either hear another witness statement or the will discuss the “adjudication sheet” which Defence obtained because the Prosecution questioned the veracity of the razor incident.
Whoa, spelling. We will either hear.. or they will..
Long close up shot of Stella talking to Julian who is crouching low to speak to her privately . This is probably the closest she has been to him in many months. All that separates them is the glass.
Her ear is as close to the glass as can be.
Fitzgerald reading the statement of Christopher Butler, San Fransisco, Internet Archive
1. Archive.org has archived shots of WikiLeaks publications
2. No request from US govt to take these down
Next, statement of John Young of New York, Cryptome.org
Published the encrypted file of unredacted cables (dated) and have had no request to take it down nor has any legal action been taken. (I hope this is correct, he rattled through it and it’s 1am in Sydney.
Court over for today.

• • •

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

Keep Current with 💧Mary Kostakidis

💧Mary Kostakidis 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 @MaryKostakidis

Aug 8
In an article on the future of the US alliance in the Australian Journal of International Affairs, the Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the United States and of #AUKUS in the Parliament, Luke Gosling, says moving from ‘interoperability’ to ‘interchangeability’ as @… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
He cites a Loewy Poll that shows the majority of Australians support the alliance but Gosling worries that an even greater majority fear entanglement in a war. “Still, it’s heartening 76% of Australians believe the US would defend Australia..”.

This is a failure of the our… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
The article goes on to say that to shore up support for AUKUS itself & address the concerns of sceptics, the US Studies Centre proposed an annual statement to parliament to define a positive vision of what the alliance stands for & Marles delivered the first, on the alliance and… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Read 8 tweets
Apr 16
FM Penny Wong will address @PressClubAust today to respond to criticism of her and of AUKUS by Paul Keating.

She will also have to explain the shift in her position since moving from Opposition to Govt, pointed out starkly by Hugh White in The Monthly.

The Stepped up… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
She is spinning the US battle to maintain hegemony as a battle to preserve multipolarity. Gobsmacking hutzpah.
The US is going to help us keep the peace in the region. Such is its track record…?
Read 13 tweets
Apr 15
Excellent article by Hugh White:

‘if AUKUS stands, it is inconceivable that Aus would not fight by America’s side if America ever goes to war with China.’

AUKUS is the NATO of the Asia Pacific - we become like any NATO nation, a US base for global war themonthly.com.au/issue/2023/apr…
In Opposition, @SenatorWong
‘clearly understood that in calling for a new multipolar order in Asia she was advocating an outcome very different from the goal of US policy.’
‘The US, she said, should “recognise and embrace the fact that multipolarity in the region is likely to get stronger”. In a remarkable passage, she called on Washington to redefine its objectives, to make it clear that its aim was not simply to contain China and perpetuate… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Read 9 tweets
Apr 15
Here is something to retweet over and over in our troubled times ahead, and be forever grateful to the great @DanielEllsberg

Do not underestimate the power of protests - it gives hope to the world and clips the wings of war mongers.

(short thread) #nuclearwar #Russia #Chinatwitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Regarding the trend among youth “to favour humanistic values” that gives Ellsberg hope.

Ref: Island Off the Coast of Asia, Instruments of Statecraft in Aus Foreign Policy, Clinton Fernandes, MUP Image
But since that assessment regarding Vietnam, protests also curtailed the contribution Howard made to the Iraq war: ‘an internal study of the Army’s performance showed that public opinion was a major factor in reducing the size and lethality of force’ and ‘Australian casualties… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
Mar 22
What does it take for our govt to get it?
No understanding of recent history of Ukraine.
How about getting hit in the face with a wet fish?
The Russians are fighting Nazism in #Ukraine #Russia@SenatorWong⁩ ⁦@AlboMPImage
Here’s some more research if you still doubt the nature of the situation in #Ukraine

“Ukraine’s Azov movement has grown from a militia of fringe far-right figures & football hooligans .. into a multipronged social movement that has become the envy of the global far right. In… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Read 5 tweets
Mar 19
Join me online (Facebook - Marrickville Peace Group)
or at Marrickville TowHall at 4.45pm today AEST
for a discussion on the lies that lead to war, #AUKUS, US ForeignPolicy, geopolitical shifts, and #China
We cross to Col L Wilkerson in the US, who has told me (thread)
‘China so far is not a belligerent nation — actually, it need not be as its manufacturing capacity & thus its industrial base already surpasses that of any other country in the world…
China's supreme diplomat Wang Yi's recent orchestration of a rapprochement between Teheran ..
‘and Riyadh testifies to this reality. Today, it is the U.S. empire that is the belligerent.’

And on #AUKUS

‘In the sad fashion of the lapdog London's current government has become, AUKUS represents not a bulwark to check the bellicose rise of Beijing but a U.S. imperial…
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!