Day 16 of the #JulianAssange extradition hearing will begin soon. Our live tweets will be on this thread.

Join us on #CNLive! at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's round-up of the day's proceedings.

Court in session. This morning's witness is Maureen Baird, who worked in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) & as a warden who is experienced w/ Special Administrative Measures.

MB #Assange is likely to be subjected to SAMs
MB: SAMs prisoners locked in their cells 23-24 hrs/ day. They have no contact at all w/ other prisoners. They were allowed to go into another "recreation" (empty) cell. They can make 1 30' or 2 X 15' calls to approved family members per month. All mail is screened. Takes months.
MB: At ADC there were usually 12-15 prisoners, held in a unit called 10 cell, designed after 9/11 for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, alleged terrorists.
MB: #Assange would be treated like all other SAMs prisoners. SAMs is not a policy. Not discretionary. Same measures for terrorists & any other prisoner who represents a security threat. Same across all pre-detention facilities. No contact w/ other inmates.
MB: There are no variations in SAMs. No double cells. Mr Kromberg suggests when an inmate has a biannual review w/ their case manager, they can apply to change their SAMs conditions. I was a case manager. This is unheard of.
MB: I have never seen a SAMs situation changed. They remain forever. The SAMs unit in NY required a Top Secret clearance. We would attend yearly wardens' meetings. I discussed w/ the warden at Florence ADX.
MB: SAMs is not supposed to be punitive but the effects are punitive. They may see a guard pass but no one speaks to them. There are weekly & daily visits but this doesn't happen. It causes severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, weight loss, harm to their physical & mental health.
MB: If placed under SAMs, which is likely, #Assange will be placed under the same conditions as terrorists.

If convicted, he will continue under SAMs at ADX Florence. You have to be almost... dying to get out.

It is likely Assange will be in H unit.
SAMs is not fit for humanity
MB: Kromberg talks about a program in H-Unit, a step-down. SAMs prisoners are ineligible. Phase 2 may be an extra phone call. Phase 3, some time w/ other prisoners but I don't see how this happens.
Anything that would be possible would always maintain the isolation.
MB: Not only would #Assange not be able to have physical contact; can't even talk except 30 mins / month. The conditions are the same pre & post trial.

Dr Feld said some prisoners were said to want to stay in ADX. That's the fear of somewhere else being worse.
MB: Prisoners complain & litigate in state, federal & Inter-American courts about SAMs conditions.

MB: If someone wants to suicide they will succeed. I have had inmates suicide. Often the warning signs are not reported.
Re Wadhi El-Hage, who was permitted to have a cell mate after 15 months, MB says this would be extremely rare. She has never seen nor heard of it.
Ms Dobbin: Are you independent
MB: I work for attorneys and do some consulting for Allan Ellis

Dobbin: You only represent inmates?
MB: Yes. I don't get involved in pre-sentence. I help people get home confinement within the context of Covid.
Dobbin: Experience in sentencing?
MB: I have some involvement, explaining health conditions
Dobbin reads list of duties.
MB Confirms. I looked after the safety of prisoners

Dobbin traces MB's work history. Her experience w/ SAMs in pre-trail conditions, up to 3 years ago.
Dobbin: Were all terrorists?
MB: No, one was a drug dealer.
Dobbin: Was anyone there for espionage?
MB: No
Dobbin: Are you familiar w/ the criteria for placing a prisoner under SAMs
MB: Yes
Dobbin: How do you know Assange would be under SAMs?
MB: Kromberg keeps talking about it
Dobbin: You know the risk criteria for SAMs, that someone could leak classified information? How do you know the Attorney General would think #Assange might do that?

MB: He's charged w/ espionage! SAMs isn't usually laid on the table at this stage.
Dobbin: I'm going to suggest SAMs can be varied
MB: The measure are pretty steady for everyone.
After sentencing, the administrative process needs to be exhausted before an inmate can go to court.
Pre-trial it's a little different but the administrative process must be exhausted
Dobbins is citing a case of a terrorist, Hashmi who was deemed a dangers to others pre-trial. The court decides to hear the challenge to SAMs & concludes SAMs are appropriate and lawful

Dobbin cites Wadhi El-Hage who was allowed a cell-mate.
MB Prior to 2001. Not since.
Dobbin You were allowed to visit as a warden?
MB Yes
Dobbin: You allocated people to observe the inmates?
MB Yes. They never spoke to the inmates
Dobbin Why didn't you tell them to speak to them
MB They just open a slot & check inmate was OK
Dobbin You could have asked they talk?
MB I couldn't force the staff to chat with inmates. They would have told me it was not in their job description. I did chat.
Dobbin Couldn't you have a meeting & ask staff to talk w/ prisoners?
MB Conversation is not something that is done. I couldn't enforce it.
Dobbins refers to Abu Hamza case in Jan 2015 & a conversation between a judge & a warden.
MB I don't recall ever speaking to a judge
Dobbins So you didn't encourage conversation; you didn't raise concerns to superiors or a judge?
MB I was a compassionate employee. Others weren't.
Dobbin That all suggests these conditions didn't cause you much concern at the time. Only now
MB It did concern me. I honestly believed I had no control over the situation. It was so far above me
Dobbin How many were deemed fit to stand trial, or transported to a hospital
MB None
Dobbin Before Jeffrey Epstein, there had been no suicides for 13 years
MB Correct
Dobbin Have you been to ADC or do you have knowledge of the level of medical care?
MB No
Dobbin Mr Sickler described it as "stellar" [ doesn't mention he was being sarcastic).
Dobbin moves on to ADX Florence. MB was responsible for placing people there. It was different when she did it in the 90's . Now it's different. A Regional Director is sent a referral.
Dobbin details a multi-level process of selection, which excludes ppl w/ psych illness.
MB The screening in my experience only excludes inmates who are psychotic & need hospitalisation. A lot of inmates were moved out of ADX after the Cunningham litigation but a number w/ mental health problems remained. There was nowhere else to put them.
Dobbin lists other facilities. MB accepts there are SAMs prisoners who were taken elsewhere but says the conditions would be the same

Dobbins challenges MB's claims SAMs are not variable. Kromberg says they are. Talks about the 3-phase step down policy as pathway to lifting SAMs
MB This a description of how inmates may have more privileges but it is not a program or group activity. SAMs is not negotiable.
Dobbin says the European Court found there is a real possibility people can eventually get out of SAMs. Says 26 inmates have progressed & been moved out H Unit. Reading Lukefeld, group therapy is available for SAMs inmates upon approval.

MB: I've never seen it
MB Mental health at ADX has improved for the general population since the Cunningham litigation - but not for SAMs inmates.
Dobbin disagrees & says it's across the board.

MB It initiated group programs but SAMs inmates are not entitled to group contact.
MB The Cunningham settlement benefitted all inmates but certain aspects did not overlap with SAMs requirements. I am familiar w/ how SAMs is applied. There is no group therapy for SAMs inmates.
Dobbins asks Baird to confirm a range of suicide prevention procedures at the Bureau of Prison. Baird agrees the staff are doing a good job but it doesn't always work. One suicide is too many. I don't want to comment on the suicide rate.
The defence returns.

EF You took Mr Kromberg's lead in saying Mr #Assange is likely to go to ADX & may be subjected to SAMs?
MD Yes
EF Do you think the charge of espionage is significant?
MD Yes
EF Do you still think it's likely Mr #Assange will be put under SAMs?
MD Yes
EF In the case of El-Hage, his complaint was about his conditions. It stated: "He was subjected to solitary confinement..." Baraitser says this is a closing statement, so he moves on

EF You said the AG decides on SAMS. That it was above your pay grade.
MD Yes
EF lists people under SAMs & where. MD confirms.
MD confirms that only Phase 3 of step-down would involve contact with others. Confirms Sickler's figures that 82% of inmates have been on SAMs for over a year & 13% over a decade. Confirms more suicide in pre-trial & in solitary.
EF You said intelligence community have a say in whether someone placed under SAMs. So the CIA would have a say?
MD Yes
EF You are a legal consultant within the prison system?
MD Yes & I'm still in touch w/ many BoP employees & attending conference.I've acted independently.
There are to be some anonymous witnesses!
Break for lunch. Judge Baraitser will decide on whether she accepts the anonymity of this afternoon's witnesses.

Who can it be?
Lindsay Lewis has taken the stand. She is a US lawyer, admitted to the bar in 2008. She represented Abu Hamza who is held under SAMS at ADX Colorado.

EF Lists representations made to the English court before he was extradited. Assurances were made he wouldn't go to ADX. He was.
LL Abu Hamza has been at ADX for 5 years. He was held under SAMs in isolation. He was almost never out of his cell, except for legal visits. I had difficulty seeing my client.
#JulianAssange is eligible for SAMs on grounds of national security & will almost certainly be placed
Lindsay Lewis's voice has been muffled. A few attempts have been made to improve intelligibility.
LL Continuing w/ how Mr Hamza is being held in ADX, he is not allowed to associate with any other inmates at all. Effects have been severe on his mental health

Mental health problems are not a bar at all to being placed.
After a settlement, floridly psychotic inmates not removed
LL Therapy is not available to inmates housed in H-Unit & subject to SAMs.

Mr Hamza is frequently moved from cell to cell. I only learned that from a document released. He spends his entire day, every day, in solitary. This is the fate awaiting #Assange if placed under SAMs.
LL SAMs inmates not allowed to write letters. Only one phone call a month to certain family members. I can't see how some of them for my client, a grandson, would pose any risk to national security.

Mr Mustafa (client of LL) has been held for 8 years under SAMs.
LL Extremely difficult to appeal SAMs. Very long administrative process & I have never known one to succeed.

Mr partner represented Mr El-Hage. He was only double-celled for a while. He was then placed back in solitary & remains there for life without step-down.
LL The case of Hashmi(?) was a pre-trial case and it is not a case of where an inmate can progress from SAMs. His SAMs conditions were not changed. Is living in an abysmal condition. Not receiving adequate mental or physical health care, given his disabilities.
Dobbin asking LL questions about ADC, LL's credentials & Abu Hamza's case. Establishing he was a terrorist.

Hamza has made a complaint around his conditions of confinement. LL represents him. He's a double amputee , diabetes, high BP. Still placed in ADX.
LL The judge was assured that Hamza would only be placed in ADX temporarily, not indefinitely. The court was misled & the US Gov did not follow through. They just rubber-stamped someone into ADX.

Lawyer vs lawyer & Lindsay Lewis is hitting back hard at Clare Dobbin
Dobbin is ignoring Lewis's strong rebuttals of her assertions & moving on.
Lindsay Lewis: The US backed out of assurances regarding Abu Hamza. I would challenge you to show me adequate dental care, special needs care (for double amputees) at ADX.
Dobbin said conditions at MCC were not unconstitutional
L Lewis: 1/ Her opinion & 2/ Practically very difficult if a judge declares otherwise. Should everyone be released? A big issue.
Dobbin Have you represented other SAMs inmates at ADX
LL Not I, but my law partner for 12 years does & I have consulted w/ him & other colleagues. I have also read extensive documentation and spoken w/ ADX staff.
Dobbin suggests Hamza's claims will be disputed.
LL I think some things that are indisputable. He had help from a nurse in the UK 4-6 times a day. He gets no help of that sort at all at ADX. He has to open cans w/ his teeth & w/out dental treatment this causes great pain.
Dobbins: You're aware inmates can progress through SAMs
LL: Yes, that might get them another call or two a month.

LL The number of ppl on SAMs has increased between 2009 & 2017
Dobbin speaks of improvements for inmates under SAM. Cites Feldman claim SAMs inmates can participate in group therapy if their SAMs changed
LL They're almost never changed
Dobbin Did Hamze violate Sam's
LL Yes. Wrote letter asking his son to tell 1-year old grandson he loved him
Defence
LL decisions abt SAMs placement are made in deference to the PoP & executive. "The court defers to the government's predictive judgement regarding SAMS placement"

The FBI listen in on family calls
I understand my calls are not monitored by my mail is & often rejected.
You compared the stark difference in treatment of Hamza in the UK compared to the US.
Would #Assange receive anything like here?
LL He won't receive anything like the same level of care
We are now considering the anonymity of the upcoming witnesses.
Baraitser: Anonymity has already been granted by a Spanish judge...
Witness 1 asks for protection from the Spanish Court on grounds of risk to me & my family in providing this information.

Also Witness 2
The witnesses will testify about UC Global spying on the Ecuadorian Embassy. They worked for David Morales.
The UC Global witnesses fear reprisals from Morales & his associates. Morales owned weapons & had associates in the military. They under armed protection where necessary.
Baraitser is arguing that there is ample information in their statements to identify them
Mark Summers says they are already under protection at the behest of the Spanish court. If their identity becomes known... Summers lists the dangerous characters associated w/ Morales
The witnesses had discussions with Morales & his US friends about kidnapping or poisoning #Assange
Mark Summers
Please take a look at the plan to poison or kidnap #Assange; the activities of his company and American friends.

Note the presence of fire-arms

We know where this goes back to. Morales is the only person who has the names of the witness.

Anonymity granted
Mark Summers
Now to put the US in a fair place, they need to receive this evidence & have 24 hours to respond
Mark Summers discusses other witnesses. Tomorrow morning we will hear from Andy Worthington.

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More from @Consortiumnews

30 Sep
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See you at 5pm BST for Joe Lauria @unjoe's account of the day's proceedings.

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