The thirteenth day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates in this thread. #AssangeTrial
Yesterday, the court heard Assange was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

In cases of Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon, the fact that they had Asperger's syndrome played a major role in US government being blocked from extraditing them.… #AssangeTrial
When McKinnon won fight against extradition, former White House adviser David Rivkin called it "laughable."

"Under that logic, anybody who claims some kind of physical or mental problem can commit crimes with impunity and get away with it." #AssangeTrial…
We probably can expect prosecutors representing US government to adopt this line if judge accepts diagnosis of Assange—that someone with autism shouldn't be able to commit crimes with impunity. #AssangeTrial
There has been no accountability or justice for US torture & war crimes that WikiLeaks helped expose. We know US officials actively thwarted accountability because of cables published by Assange. Any talk of impunity from prosecutors will make this more offensive. #AssangeTrial
Two witnesses for this shorter day of proceedings will be Dr. Nigel Blackwood, another medical expert for the prosecution, and Dr. Sondra Crosby, a doctor who visited Assange in Ecuador embassy in January 2018 #AssangeTrial
Dr. Nigel Blackwood takes the stand in the Old Bailey. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood, prosecution witness, assessed Assange as "moderately depressed." Didn't think severe. Suicide risk factors "modifiable." #AssangeTrial
James Lewis, lead prosecutor, took Blackwood through entries on Assange's mental health in Belmarsh from each month, April 2019 to February 2020. Each entry seen as evidence by prosecution that he didn't have severe depression and wasn't suicidal #AssangeTrial
Assange was wary about Blackwood's intentions.

Blackwood said Assange was concerned he "may be working for US government and CIA would harvest any vulnerabilities from my report." #AssangeTrial
According to Blackwood, Assange believed Blackwood was "entirely naive about the nature of his difficulties." He was "keen" to tell him everything he knew [about players involved]. #AssangeTrial
One of Blackwood's key objections to Dr. Kopelman's diagnosis that Assange had severe depression is that he was never securely transported to offsite facility for outside treatment when that is apparently standard. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood said Assange was put in the segregated hospital unit because video footage leaked out. It wasn't necessarily for health reasons. #AssangeTrial
Edward Fitzgerald, defense attorney, started cross-exam by asking Blackwood about this idea it was video that led to him being moved. He showed Blackwood report from April 18 when he was moved.
The report Fitzgerald showed Blackwood said he was "very low in mood." He had thoughts of self harm and suicide that were "hard to control." So there was discussion of moving him to health care department. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald: 2:30 pm on day he was moved, staff said concerned about possibility of self harm and suicide. "You're telling us it's got nothing to do with concerns about suicide and mental health?"

Fitzgerald was fairly frustrated with Blackwood. #AssangeTrial
Though Fitzgerald never once said, "Are you helping the court or advocating a cause?"—Baraitser stopped Fitzgerald as he asked if Blackwood was "talking nonsense" about what led to Assange's move to hospital unit. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald asked Blackwood if it is inappropriate to detain someone with depression in isolation.

Blackwood essentially responded that there are prisoners with mental health conditions in isolation in London. #AssangeTrial
While Fitzgerald questioned Blackwood on what the impact of solitary confinement or Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) would be on Assange, Blackwood said Assange is "very resilient man and a very resourceful man." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald put the statistic to Blackwood that about half of suicides in prison occur among the 3-8% in isolation. Blackwood told Fitzgerald the base rate of suicide in American prisons is considerably less than in the UK. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood eventually conceded that the conditions at the Alexandria Detention Center, where Assange would likely be held in pretrial confinement, would impact his depressive disorder. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood relied heavily on Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg's assurance in his submissions for the case that there is no solitary confinement at Alexandria jail. But it has "administrative segregation," which is government's euphemism for solitary. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald very strongly objected to Blackwood's decision to include in his report for the court a statement that extradition would not be "unjust on mental health grounds." He believes it's not Blackwood's place to say but for judge to decide. #AssangeTrial
We know from the Maria Butina case that the Alexandria Detention Center puts detainees in solitary confinement. The facility has cells for holding people in isolation to coerce them into pleading guilty.

From James Bamford's report, "The Spy Who Wasn't," in TNR #AssangeTrial
Return from lunch. Fitzgerald confronts Blackwood's denial of the reality of solitary confinement in US prisons and his reliance on Kromberg's submission for the prosecution that there is no solitary confinement in Alexandria jail. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood eventually conceded that SAMs, as described by the defense, "would have a deleterious effect" on Assange's mental health. #AssangeTrial
Twice during his testimony, Blackwood said have to be careful about predictions we make that do not come true. He said it was predicted Assange wouldn't be able to engage with proceedings. Fitzgerald said he may challenge judge or court on this particular issue. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood said he relied on the same austism diagnostic test results that Deeley relied upon. He did not carry out his own test, yet he disagreed with Deeley on Asperger's syndrome diagnosis. #AssangeTrial
Blackwood: Assange holds "some autistic traits but it does not reach categorical threshold."

"Reluctant to make such diagnosis at age of 49" #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald asked, "wouldn't be the first time a diagnosis made later in life"?

It's Blackwood's view that Assange's symptoms of depression would have produced unreliable results. #AssangeTrial
During prosecution's re-exam, Blackwood said he did not think the autism test was conducted at "optimal point to use that instrument to assess" Assange. And he said since he is less depressed now, it may be "interesting" to redo the test. #AssangeTrial
Dr. Sondra Crosby takes the virtual witness stand. She was one of group of three doctors who visited Assange at Ecuador embassy in January 2018. #AssangeTrial
Crosby saw Assange in October 2017 in Ecuador embassy. She was invited by American doctor "who organized an academic evaluation of effects of living in the embassy." At the time, in embassy for 5 1/2 years. #AssangeTrial
Crosby also visited Assange twice in Belmarsh - October 2019 and January 2020. #AssangeTrial
Crosby: "When I initially saw Assange in embassy in October 2017, he certainly described to me symptoms of depression, symptoms of PTSD." But he was capable of conversation, not in horrible state, though had number of physical symptoms that were worrisome. #AssangeTrial
Crosby: "No way of performing a further evaluation. I observed his mental state was declining." He was describing more symptom of depression, sleep disturbance, inability to concentrate, nightmares and just quite lot of more psychological distress. #AssangeTrial
Crosby: When I saw Assange in 2018, he "first described his thoughts of suicide to me and in fact spent quite lot of time talking to me about how he had been thinking about all of this deliberately."

Watched Slobodan Praljak's suicide in UN war crimes tribunal. #AssangeTrial
Crosby: In February 2019, markedly deteriorated physically and psychologically.

"I was very concerned about a very advanced tooth infection that was causing him, excruciating pain, requiring him to take narcotics."

Still unwilling to go outside embassy for care #AssangeTrial
Crosby: Briefly visited in January 2020. It was cut short by the prison, "but at this time, he had been moved out of health care [unit]." He was on medication. Depression better. #AssangeTrial
Crosby drafted report on Assange in December 2019. To her, Assange seemed severely depressed. He talked about suicide. He talked like he was "essentially dead." He was "tearful and pleading for help." And he spoke about using anonymous suicide hotline. #AssangeTrial
"When I saw him, October 2019 he met all of criteria for major depression," Crosby testified. "It was profoundly impacting his functioning, and he had thoughts of suicide every day, many times in a day." Met criteria for major depression #AssangeTrial
Crosby: What Assange always said to me "over time was that the trigger would be extradition to US, where he felt his life would be intolerable." High risk of suicide if extradited. #AssangeTrial
Crosby assessed Assange's physical health. She was concerned about what she viewed as symptoms of cardiac disease or anxiety, as well as chronic respiratory infections. #AssangeTrial
Crosby shared Assange's history of osteoporosis, which gives him bones extremely vulnerable to cracking.

If incarcerated in US, she said, "I worry he would be at increased risk for fractures ." #AssangeTrial
There was much ado about the date of the report being absent. Both Lewis and Baraitser were in a tizzy for at least two or three minutes, though they never disputed that it was from December 2019 as Crosby said. #AssangeTrial
James Lewis, lead prosecutor: Are you sympathetic to Mr. Assange’s cause?

Crosby: No, that would not be fair to say at all. #AssangeTrial
Crosby told prosecution she doesn't believe his potential cardiac problems or his osteoporosis has been addressed appropriately at Belmarsh #AssangeTrial
Lewis seemed to contend all the other doctors who submitted testimony had more recent contact with Assange so judge should discount her testimony. #AssangeTrial
Lewis: You rely in your report on Nils Melzer. I think you got him involved.

Crosby shared after Feb 2019 visit was "very alarmed" by Assange's risk of systemic infection & death." Afraid narcotic overdose from dealing with dental infection, as well as suicide. #AssangeTrial
Crosby couldn't convince Assange to leave embassy so she appealed to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for help. Melzer partly responded to this appeal but didn't meet with Assange until he was at Belmarsh. #AssangeTrial
Lewis: Are you aware that no one ever extradited to US from UK has committed suicide?

Crosby, who is an American doctor, replied she is not expert on statistics for extradition from UK. #AssangeTrial
Defense re-exam was very brief. Fitzgerald emphasized Crosby was "able to assist this court on the basis of actually seeing and observing his mental condition while he was in embassy." #AssangeTrial
Two statements from Chris Butler, office manager for Internet Archive, and John Young, founder of Cryptome website, were entered into record. Fairly mundane and for procedural purpose of reaffirming evidence heard in court already #AssangeTrial
We are adjourned, and very soon, I'll be live with a report on Day 13 of #AssangeTrial:

Also will answer any questions you might have.
'Essentially dead': Doctor who visited Assange in the Ecuador embassy testifies at extradition trial… #AssangeTrial

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