It’s the fourth and final week of witness testimony in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition trial.

Court starts soon, and I'll have live updates in this thread. #AssangeTrial
Third week of #AssangeTrial ended with significant testimony from a digital forensic expert with background in US military, who used the US military's own expert witness in Chelsea Manning's trial to discredit password-cracking theory against Assange.
dissenter.substack.com/p/prosecutors-…
Recall, first charge brought against Assange by prosecutors—computer crime—was intended to delude world into believing US govt wasn't targeting Assange for journalism. But that was false. Always a smokescreen, and that smokescreen dissipated w/ Eller's testimony. #AssangeTrial
Judge Baraitser is denying a press association request for disclosure of witness statements on Assange's physical and mental health. The defense opposed disclosure, and prosecution backed them up. #AssangeTrial
First witness for Day 15 is about to take the stand: Yancey Ellis, an experienced lawyer who practices in the area of Virginia in and around Alexandria Detention Center, where Assange would be held in detention before and during trial. #AssangeTrial
Ellis says Alexandria jail is most common place for defendants to be held. He mentions it housed two high-profile defendants, Paul Manafort and Maria Butina. Chelsea Manning was also held there when found in contempt. #AssangeTrial
Ellis referred to X Block, where Assange would be detained. He'd be in a cell for about 22 hours a day, with only 1-2 hours outside his cell at "very odd hours." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald: If you’re on X block in the administrative segregation unit, are you allowed to associate with other prisoners?

Elliis: Not really. You're in X block to "keep you away" from other prisoners. #AssangeTrial
Ellis said around four to six prisoners in X Block. Most likely they would all be in cells most of the time, if there are other prisoners. #AssangeTrial
Ellis: "Very difficult to talk through those doors." He has tried to communicate through those doors in the X Block. #AssangeTrial
Ellis said administrative segregation is "essentially solitary confinement." Difficult to challenge conditions. Courts will defer to jail on how they house prisoners and "secure the facility." #AssangeTrial
Ellis has never represented a federal defendant held under special administrative measures (SAMs) so he is unable to specifically speak to what conditions would be imposed in addition to "normal regime." #AssangeTrial
Ellis said during the 1-2 hour period outside of his cell Assange would have access to "inmate recorded phone line" #AssangeTrial
Ellis told the court Alexandria jail does not employ a doctor and they use a contractor to provide "many of the medical services." There's a part-time psychiatrist. #AssangeTrial
Ellis describes having trouble with clients he represented as a public defender, who needed to get back on medication or have adjustments made to dosage. "Often they wouldn't see psychiatrist for several weeks." #AssangeTrial
Ellis told court there are few "extra measures" taken for those with suicidal risk. May be moved to location for extra monitoring. Shoestrings, bed sheets, etc, taken. #AssangeTrial
According to Ellis, jail staff do permit access to X Block but there is not a constant deputy. It can be difficult to arrange meetings, even if lawyer is able to access. #AssangeTrial
James Lewis, lead prosecutor, cross-examined Ellis on the matter of US Marshal's Service inspections. But it was unclear how that mattered to testimony Ellis provided. #AssangeTrial
Lewis insisted that programs would be available to Assange if he was in administrative segregation and seemed to try and differentiate federal and state prisoners. But Ellis said Alexandria jail does not treat differently and cannot be "colocated" with prisoners. #AssangeTrial
Lewis: Did the defense ask you to put "solitary confinement" in your statement?

Ellis: No, asked to consider time out of cell and what one comes up with is "generally equivalent to solitary confinement." #AssangeTrial
Lewis mentioned a previous witness — Eric Lewis, a US lawyer—who said he met with client for 6 hours. This is not standard, according to Ellis. The windows are maximum of 3 hours unless one has special permission. #AssangeTrial
Yes, Assange could go to the law library, but Ellis said he would go alone and during a "period of time when no one else there." #AssangeTrial
Lewis: Assange has "huge publicity" and "a lot of public support"?

Ellis: "Umm, I would agree with the publicity." #AssangeTrial
Lewis asked Ellis if the "phalanx of lawyers" able to make the "minutest criticism of the system" would help Assange.

Ellis answered, "I guess they could. I'm not sure what it would do." #AssangeTrial
Lewis followed up with a question about medical experts Assange will have available, and doctors that would look after him. He would not be treated like "ordinary prisoner."

Ellis: "To my knowledge, the Alexandria jail does not give anybody special treatment." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald used Ellis to highlight Chelsea Manning's suicide attempt at Alexandria jail and to point out they may have "good record" on suicides but there have been publicized and non-publicized suicide attempts #AssangeTrial
Judge Baraitser: "Assange in custody in this jurisdiction for 18 months. on general wing in prison here in UK.

"Other than his being public figure - any reason you think he’ll be held in admin segregation?" #AssangeTrial
Ellis answered, "Primary reason" is "he's a public figure." Mental health could factor into it as well.

Because mental health unit at the jail is general population. #AssangeTrial
Baraitser followed up: In UK, "high profile won't affect conditions in which you are held." Is that not the same in US? "Mere fact you are high-profile dictates conditions?" #AssangeTrial
Ellis did not want to claim to know what administration would factor when setting conditions for any given prisoner, but what he knows his Alexandria jail segregates these particular high-profile defendants. "I can't tell you why. Just that it's been the case." #AssangeTrial
I don't recall Judge Baraitser asking a question of any witness thus far. So, this may be significant, but obviously, I don't want to read more into it than anyone should. #AssangeTrial
Short break. Next witness at noon before lunch. #AssangeTrial
The prosecution has often repeated claim from Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg that prisoners can speak through their cell doors if they are in administrative segregation.

Ellis exposed this as one of many crude falsehoods in his affidavit to the court. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald asked if Kromberg's assertion on talking through doors was plausible.

Ellis said if Kromberg is referring to two inmates in their cells talking to each other, "I don’t see how that would be possible." #AssangeTrial
The whole point of administrative segregation is to prevent prisoners from associating with other prisoners. It defies reason that they would be allowed time with other prisoners in the "day room," and Ellis made this point clearly. #AssangeTrial
Joel Sickler, an expert on prison conditions in the federal system, is called to the virtual witness stand by the defense #AssangeTrial
Sickler agrees with Ellis that Assange will be assigned to X Block in administrative segregation, or the Special Housing Unit (SHU) #AssangeTrial
Sickler: "Our govt alleges [Assange] has knowledge of certain highly classified info. Their need is to keep him sequestered from information disclosure standpoint."

Likely held if convicted in ADX Florence. If not there, CMUs in Marion, IL, or Terre Haute, IN. #AssangeTrial
To the claim from Kromberg that prisoners can communicate through walls or windows at ADC ad seg, Sickler says, "In practicality, that's ridiculous. You have to scream." #AssangeTrial
Sickler continued, in SHU units at federal detention level, there’s a lot of noise and a lot of screaming. "Renders people angry and confused."

Added, “To have a discourse between inmates for social reasons is a little preposterous." #AssangeTrial
Sickler: "I’ve never had a client subjected to SAMs. I’ve had them subject to similar measures just short of SAMs." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald: If someone wishes to commit suicide in pretrial detention, in your view will it be possible to stop that?

Sickler said he's had over dozen of clients commit suicide, including in MCC. "If they are intent on committing suicide, it can be done." #AssangeTrial
Sickler said the likelihood of using the administrative remedy process to appeal SAMs successfully would essentially be remote or nil. And I believe he called it a feudal system, as former BOP warden Maureen Warden described it. #AssangeTrial
If Nurse Ratched was a prosecutor, she'd resemble Clair Dobbin in her demeanor. Dobbin is leading the cross-exam of Sickler.

Dobbin is painting Sickler as biased and trying to show the judge he does not have firsthand knowledge of US prison conditions. #AssangeTrial
Not much reason to focus on anything from prosecution cross-exam so far. Clear they don't think anything from advocacy organizations about US prisons is legitimate because it depends on experiences of defendants, or prisoners, who they don't think are credible. #AssangeTrial
Joel Sickler has no knowledge of these cases that proecutor Clair Dobbin is asking him about, and yet, the judge is essentially allowing the prosecutor to make an argument in open court that she already has in their submission and waste our time. #AssangeTrial
Sickler: Mr Assange. from what I gather from reading medical documentation, has depression, on the autism spectrum. He'll be going into what I would consider to be isolation confinement, and it’s going to be deleterious." #AssangeTrial
Prosecutor calls attention to this footnote from Sickler.

"I am skeptical about BOP pronouncements that the agency can adequately address the health care needs of even the sickest of inmates..." #AssangeTrial
Footnote (cont'd)

"In my opinion, the words of Chief Judge of US District Court in Southern District of New York, sums it up best: “I take it as a matter of settled fact that the Bureau of Prisons is not the best place for anyone to receive medical care." #AssangeTrial
Dobbin scolds Sickler for leaving out that the judge made this statement but found against the defendant, contending the defendant had not proven BOP would not provide adequate medical care. #AssangeTrial
Defense puts an expert witness on stand who can share his professional experiences with US prisons. Prosecutor quizzes witness on Bureau of Prisons regulations largely ignoring how they are enforced or practiced. #AssangeTrial
I don't think defense paid this witness enough. Joel Sickler is rather apathetic about how he answers the prosecutor and is little concerned about how what he says appears to the judge. #AssangeTrial
Baraitser pauses to check on how much time prosecution requested for Sickler. They asked for 2 and a half hours.

Judge checks the time. We've only been going for 1 hour and a half. There's another hour of this excruciating cross exam?!?! #AssangeTrial
Prosecutor Clair Dobbin doesn't say B-O-P, when referring to the Bureau of Prisons. She calls it The Bop. Which I think is appropriate name for administration of any incarceration regime. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin reads from "Review of Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Use of Restrictive Housing for Inmates with Mental Illness (July 2017)," and says all recommendations were adopted by BOP. Sickler said he doesn't see the adoptions in practice. #AssangeTrial
By the way, Dobbin referenced a report that in the past week the Trump Justice Department, which is prosecuting Assange, took down from their website.
Dobbin is finally finished. Defense team is consulting with Assange and then Fitzgerald will come back and ask Sickler some more questions. #AssangeTrial
Sickler told a story about a prisoner at Metropolitant Detention Center in Brooklyn, who he represented. They had serious psychiatric disorder that prison administrators ignored, even though prisoner tried to notify them #AssangeTrial
This prisoner, as Sickler shared, acted out and was severely beaten by correctional officers. They threw him "in the hole naked." His condition remained untreated. Ultimately, he was sent to Bellevue psychiatric hospital. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin justified the brutal treatment Sickler's client received. "Judicial oversight," she said, enabled him to leave.

The system worked. #AssangeTrial
Defense re-exam. Sickler says there likely would be no meaningful interaction with inmates for Assange in pretrial confinement, though "they will use an inmate to serve him meals." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald highlighted the prosecution's suggestion that prisoners at ADX Florence in Colorado want to stay. "Is that your experience from your client [at the ADX]?"

Sickler: "No, he is begging to get out." Wrote to judge on several occasions. #AssangeTrial
We're adjourned, and I will have a live report at the top of the hour on Day 15. (Also taking any questions you may have.) #AssangeTrial
Correction: Would appear the link went bad and it hasn't been restored. They might, as their prosecutors use it against Assange, fix this.
Defense witnesses in Julian Assange's extradition trial counter key prosecution lie about US solitary confinement shadowproof.com/2020/09/28/def… #AssangeTrial

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