#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.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser is citing a Supreme Court judgement which balanced risk of harm of legitimate interests of various people with principle of Open Justice.
A copy of the edited statement to be provided of Dr Humphries, since it was already read into open court. There is no need for any more disclosure than what was said in court, she says.
The Defence and the Crown Prosecution Service are united in the position of the disclosure of medical evidence.
His personal suffering, from infancy to the present time, even of the PA had shown good cause, it would in the judge's view be a "disproportionate interference" with Mr Assange’s privacy to disclsose the medical documents to the press.
Mr Yancey Ellis has been sworn in. He holds a Juris Doctor from 2005 from George Mason University school of law and has been practicing law for 15 years. He was a Judge Advocate in the US Marines from ~ 2006 to end of 2010.
From 2011 – 2013 Mr Ellis was a public defender in Alexandria, Virginia and since has been in private practice there. He says he is “very familiar” with the Alexandria Jail [the ADC]. “I have visited the Alexandria jail on many occasions”
The ADC is "the most common place for pre-trial defendants to be held in Alexandria", Mr Ellis says.
Mr Ellis confirms that from his experience Admin Segregation, aka X-block, is where Mr Assange is most likely to be held.
As public defenders we would take up attorney client rooms too frequent a basis and had clients held in the X-block (which is what deputies typically refer to it as).

From my recollection it is probably 50 ft or less.
There is a shelf with a matt for a sleeping space and room for a blanket. A small metal toilet and sink, inside the unit, and not much else besides that.
I believe the schedule is about 2 hours outside the cell on a daily basis. I have said 1 – 2 hours because often that second hour was at very odd hours, so in practical terms in was likely less than that, maybe an hour a day.
Q) Are you allowed to associate with other prisoners during that time in that cell?
A) It would depend on a number of things. The short answer is not really. The whole point of that unit is to keep you from other inmates....
... If there are other inmates in that unit, assuming there are, you would be in your cell most of the time. It is very difficult to hear through those doors, "I have tried, you almost have to scream at the top of your lungs", Mr Ellis says.
Each inmate in the X-block would be given approximately a one-hour break, by themselves, within whatever little common area there is outside of the door. You could attempt, if there are any other inmates in that area to communicate through the door. But often, with my client….
....“We would almost shout at each other and it was a very ineffective way to communicate”.
Q) Mr Komberg says inmates in Admin Seg are able to communicate with one another through the open windows or doors?
A) Its almost impossible through the door if the food slot is not open. For anyone to make that assertion it is almost as though they have never tried or are not familiar with the location where X-block is located.
That’s the point of the Admin Seg Unit which is to keep the inmate away from other inmates in the unit. Its not meant to give him access to other inmates.
If you’re defining it as more than 22 hours a day by yourself and almost no other interaction, I think that would qualify as a solitary confinement.
Often the courts will defer to the jail in how they house inmates and secure facilities… I don’t think the court would interfere with that, Mr Ellis says.
From Mr Ellis' knowledge SAMs would merely impose conditions on top of what he's referring to, though he has never represented a federal inmate under SAMs
Jail doesn’t employ a doctor but there is a contract for part-time access to a shrink. Often with his clients they would often not see a shrink for several weeks and there wasn’t “ a close enough monitor on things like medication”…
...the limits of psychological servicers are a social worker or counsellor to see how you are doing.

He confirms to Mr Lewis that he has not interviewed the prison staff, or shrinks or wardon. Though he has interviewed medical staff before for certain clients that he's had, though not in relation to this case.
Q) You’ve given one side, but there would be another side would you agree with that?
A) That there are two sides to every story?
Q) Yes
A) Sure.
Mr Lewis asks Mr Ellis if defence lawyers asked him to put the word solitary confinement into his WS. He responds No, I was asked how much time you have with yourself and how much contact with other inmates and that seems generally equivalent to solitary confinement.
Q) Did you exclude interaction with lawyers from your definition?
A) I wouldn’t have counted interaction with your lawyers. Every other day he was there besides that I guess.
You couldn’t meet for 6 hrs continuously; 3 hrs would be the max time unless you had special permission
I know based on my experience there are 4 floors to the jail, and gen population in 1 – 3, and if housed more long term it would be more likely to be in the standard administrative segregation unit, Mr Ellis says.
Just going of the jail’s track record, they don’t put high profile defendants in the general population they think it will attract too much attention from other inmates.
Q) you will be aware that Mr Assange’s case has attracted huge publicity and a lot of public support
A) I would agree with publicity.

Q) And public support?
A) I m not sure about that.

Q) Mr Assange, would he not have a phalanx of lawyers looking out for him?
A) I don't know
Q) If he did have a phalanx of lawyers looking out of him wont they have the opportunity to make the criticism over his conditions?
A) I guess they could I’m not sure what they would do
Q) He would not be treated as an ordinary prisoner?
A) To my knowledge the Alexandria jail doesn’t give anybody special treatment.
Q) So, you don’t think because of his ability to attract publicity and support its possible he could get better care than an ordinary prisoner
A) I do not.


Mr Ellis confirms X-block is only real option if on Admin Seg for an extended period. Contrary to the definition of being in administrative segregation that inmates would have access to programmes & to his knowledge there are no individual programmes at ADC
In this jurisdiction being high profile won’t affect conditions in which you are held. Is it not the same in the US?
I’m just speaking form experience. The ADC, in order to maintain a secure and safe environment, will put high profile into Admin Seg. I can’t exactly tell you why I can just tell you it is typically the case.

"Basically it keeps someone still alive but not really alive" Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei says regarding the solitary confinement-like conditions Mr Assange would be held in the US, as described by defence witness Yancey Ellis.

via @SputnikInt
Joel A. Sickler has just been sworn in via video link. Mr Sickler has 40-years experience in federal sentencing and federal prison-related matters. He has experience as a correctional counsellor in DC's Dept of Corrections.
Mr Sickler has a Master’s in Administration of Justice though he is not a lawyer. He has worked in field of sentencing and prison advocacy for 40 years. Heads Justice advocacy Group in Alexandria, Virginia which he founded in 2003. Has a had many clients incarcerated in the ADC.
Mr Sickler believes he would be assigned to one of the administrative segregation units, which one I don’t know. Mr Ellis statement would probably accurate that it would be in the X-Unit.
ADC has a legacy of housing those who are detainees in admin segregation based on their charges, Mr Sickler says. He says Mr Assange, who govt. alleges is a nat sec concern, his notoriety, his safety from inmates, safety for a self-harm standpoint, Admin Seg is where hell be put
Mr Sickler has been to several Special Housing Units but never the unit in the ADC, but from he's been told by prior clients in that Unit its a 50 sqft cell like what Mr Ellis described earlier in the day.
In the SHU units Mr Sickler has been in, in Fed Detention level, there is a lot of noise, a lot of screaming. It renders people angry and confused there is a lot of yelling. But to have a discourse between inmates for social reasons is a "little preposterous", he says.
Based on decades in experience with a number of his clients having committed suicide, Mr Sickler says that if one is "intent on committing suicide, it can be done".
Earlier Mr Sickler explains that hes never had a client subjected to SAMs. He's had clients subjected to similar measures, just short of SAMs. But has read the reports from places like CCR, which he considers authoritative, and has no reason to doubt them.
[Successfully] appealing the SAMs provision is tantamount to remote to nil, Mr Sickler says.
It’s a feudal system in … just with the basic inmate administrative remedy appeals they are just summarily denied, Mr Sickler adds.
Mr Sickler had a client who came in as a 25-year-old and has been in solitary confinement for 22 years. Another inmate discussed, with mental illness, was in solitary for 19 years.
SAMs “will seal his fate”, Mr Sickler says. If he is given a life sentence, he must start at a US petitionary. He will be classified at the highest level.
Mr Sickler says he has had many clients over the years within the prison system. They got a modicum of health, most were medicated, very few with any actual kind of therapy. I read, Bloomfield’s affidavit, it all sounds great on paper. But in practice it’s another story.
Ms Dobbin: Q) You normally work with defence lawyers?

Mr Sickler works exclusively for federal criminal defence attorneys and advise them on sentencing matters. He advises clients on how best to navigate affairs in the federal prison system.
I am taking notes regarding the cross-examination so I shall be taking a break in terms of my tweets. It will be lunch soon during which time I will do a write-up on the prior testimony.
Clair Dobbin has challenged Mr Sickler in terms of his report asking whether he sought to make it sound like he has direct first hand knowledge of the ADC and SAMs deliberately. He said "Of course not" and that was merely inartfully written statement, rushed in January 2020.
*Side note: Ms Dobbin's tone simply drips with condencensition. I don't know if it's deliberate to get under the skin of witnessess or that's just how she speaks.

*Prosecution is putting it to witness that conditions of SAMs will vary per case, Mr Sickler is agreeing.
Please see the above individuals for comments on testimony of Mr Sickler. Court is now adjourned till tomorrow. I shall be posting my review of this morning's testimony, on this thread, in due course.
Assange Faces Conditions 'Essentially the Same as Solitary Confinement' in US, Old Bailey is Told

My latest on this morning's testimony


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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
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.... -Mr Tigar’s statement requires further discussion
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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)
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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
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
24 Sep
#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.
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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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