#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
..., and was later promoted to Warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. There, she was appointed to Senior Executive Staff by the United States Attorney General and within 2 years, she was transferred to a position of greater responsibility as the Warden
... of the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. As warden, Maureen was responsible for the leadership and direction of 300 to 350 staff members and approximately 1,200 to 1,500 inmates.
...During her tenure as warden for 7 years, she was responsible for staff development & various specialized inmate housing units, including a high security management unit which mainly housed international terrorists who were assigned maximum custody. see alanellis.com/attorney-profi…
Judge has entered the court, the ex-wardon Maureen Baird, is 'sworn in' by way of an affirmation.
She has experienced of dealing with people under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) and is familiar with them.
It is likely that he will be subject to SAMs [pre-trial]
Everything I have read from the US Attorney’s report indicates that he will be subjected to SAMs
In his case yes [nat sec is one of the reasons]
Those subject to SAMs spend 23 -24 hours per day in their cells
Q) Where they permitted communication with other inmates?
A) Not at all, no.
Q) What recreation were they permitted?
A) Had the opportunity to come out of their own cell and into another cell we considered the recreation cell. There was no exercise equipment in there at all. I had an exercise bike put in there. It was just an empty cell.
Always alone.
Q) How frequently phone familiy
A) One phone call a month to an approved fam member for 30 minutes or two for 15 minutes.
All mail coming in or going out any SAM assigned inmate is screened before it ever gets to the recipient. It sometimes takes a couple months maybe longer for an inmate to receive mail. It is not necessarily free flowing.
Phone calls always monitored by an FBI agent in whatever language. Inmate had to request the call 2 weeks before so that could be set up… and arrange for an FBI agent to be available
Its not discretionary. It can’t be changed by a warden or anybody at the BOP. It is more of a directive. It is very black and white. There is no Grey area with SAMS. If someone is in pre-trial for terrorism or a different type of case they would be subjected to the same measures.
SAMs are what it is. Save of being a stage 4 cancer patient with radical medical care they would be housed at ADX (post-conviction) Mayreen Baird says.
Everybody had the same cell, the same exact thing in the cell. There was no difference, Maureen Baird says.
Having been a case manager myself I can tell you… nothing will happen at that unit review. The Case Manager has no authority to make any changes.. every CM that I know would not go out to fight to have SAMs changes for an inmate… it is just way above their pay scale
If anybody is going to challenge SAMs a warden with the BOP does not have the authority to make those changes and then they will have to exhaust their remedies before anything will make it to court.
Very, very few are ever approved for any reason. And I have never seen one approved in overturning a SAMs situation. Maureen Baird says.
So now they are reviewed every year. But I don’t remember ever being a part of that review and I have never seen anybody seen the SAMs removed. Maureen Baird says.
I agree that it was not supposed to be punitive. But the consequences and results very much feel like they are punitive.

It is more isolated that what you would refer to or other people would refer to as restrictive housing. Maureen Baird says about SAMs.
Someone is alone and don’t have contact with any staff member who passes by… but the Correction Officer doesn’t engage in conversation with the inmate
Other staff members only have obligation to make rounds once a week. Others to make rounds daily but that doesn’t always happen
It causes severe depression, it causes anxiety, it causes paranoia, in some a weight loss, detriment to their physical health, severe detriment to their mental health, former MCC prison warden Maureen Baird says about inmates subject to SAMs.
If he is given SAMs he will be subject to the same regime as terrorism offences.

Exactly, yes, Exact same conditions.
Post-conviction, if he is subjected to SAMs, "the only place for him to go is in ADX Florence, unless there is severe change in his medical status" “You have to be almost dying for lack of another description.”
Q) Mr Assange could potentially spend the rest of his life in H-Unit?
A) Yes it is [a real risk] if he is sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment.
Q) When asked about El Haj case in 2000 when someone subject to SAMs was originally in solitary for 15 months and then after 15 months was permitted to have a cell mate..

A) I would say that would be very, very rare instance that would happen....
... I have never seen it occur and I’ve never heard it occurring with a SAMs inmate

Clair Dobbin for the prosecution is challenging the idea that everyone subjected to SAMs experiences the same regime. She also challenges idea that Ms Baird can offer any idea as to whether and what type of SAMs would be implemented onto Mr Assange.
Q) How can you possibly say that that risk exists?
A) He is being charged with an espionage crime and its believed that he continuous to have involvement or he is familiar with people who have involvement with disclosing classified information.
Clair Dobbin asked whether Maureen Baird has had any experience in determining whether a prisoner gets transfered to the ADX.

A) I am because one of my jobs over the course for many years is that I was the designator I made the determination as to where person would be sent.
Ms Dobbin asked Ms Baird if she encouraged her staff to speak to SAMs inmates. She said no, that she tried to lead by example but couldn't demand that of them. "That’s not something that a warden does. I may want them to do that but it doesn’t mean…
... they are all in a union if I told them they had to confer with inmates they would say it is not in their job description."
Q) If conditions were worrying as you suggest woudlnt' you tell your staff to have conversations with the inmates?
A) "No, that’s not something that is done in a prison. I’m sorry that I’m not answering the way that you want me to. I am answering it the way that it is. What I want is not what I can enforce"
There is extensive back and forth as to whether people subjected to SAMs, in theory and in practice, post-conviction, can engage in group participation. "SAMs inmates are not entitled to group participation" Ms Baird has repeatedly insited.
Dobbin challenges this quotes Cunninham settlment
Earlier during cross Dobbin put it to Baird "these conditions didn’t cause you that much concern at the time and its only now when you’ve been asked to provide evidence in these proceedings".

"They did cause me concern but I had convinced myself that they were ok", Baird says
Extensive Cross is Over - Ed Fitzgerald QC on re-examination
Ed Fitzgerald QC: Do you think its still likely Mr Assange will be subjected to SAMs?

Maureen Baird: I do think it is likely, yes.
Fitzgerald QC: "There’s been a suggestion that there is no such thing as solitary confinement in the US system. Look at how the judgement describes his conditions.... ‘He was subject to solitary confinement for the first 15 months of detention’."
The above quote relates to the El Haj case from the year 2000 cited by the prosecution as evidence that SAMs can be adjusted. Maureen Baird told Ms Dobbin for the prosecution that the El Haj case was pre-9/11 and it is very rare, from her experience, for SAMs to be amended.
Testimony is over. Lunch Break Now.
Decent weather, relatively upbeat mood following this morning's hearing which is thought to have gone well for the defence.
Lindsey A. Lewis, attorney at law in the US, is about to testify.
Ms Lewis has been 'sworn in' via video link.
Called to the bar in 2008 and entitled to practice up to the Supreme Court. The firm she is with represented WikiLeaks in an unrelated civil matter resolved in July 2019 though she was not involved. She did represent Abu Hamza who was subject to SAMs
It was said by the USG that Abu Hamza wouldn’t be held in ADX, or if so not for a very long time, to the English courts and ECHR were told during his extradition case.
It was reliance on those representations that the ECrtHR found no violation of Article 3 to be extradited.
Despite representations made to the Magistrates Court, High Court and ECrtHR, Abu Hamza was sent to ADX Florence in Colorado and he’s been there since 8 October 2015.
Abu Hamza was held in near solitary in pre-trial detention upon arrival in the US. There was no interraction with other prisoners, calls were not always honoured, sporadic "there were always issues" and lawyers also had difficulties accessing him Lindsay Lewis says.
I do belive that under the CFR Mr Assange would be eligable under SAMs and that he would be subjected to them due to the national security nature of the case and the claim of harm done.
Mr Assange "almost certainly" will be subject to SAMs, Ms Lewis says. The witness will now reconnect due to sound quality problems.
Witness has reconnected but now we can't see her via the video. Though the sound has improved.
Sorry for not being around see @kgosztola, @DEAcampaign , @DefenseAssange for afternoon's cross-examination. I've been focusing on writing up this morning's testimony. Mainly the cross has focused on whether...
....the USG reneged on their representations to English courts and ECHR in the Abu Hamza extradition case by putting him in ADX maximum security prison for last 5 years as well as the nature of his medical treatment since arriving which is described as very poor.
Ms Lewis is done testifying. There is now discussion about an anonymity application being made by the defence.
Prosecution take a relatively neutral approach to anonymity application. But as a matter of law court must determine that there is a "very real risk of harm" in these circumstances. It is likely that the anonymity request is in relation to a witness from security firm UC Global
Witnesses from UC Global spying aspect of the Julian Assange case - see here thegrayzone.com/2020/05/14/ame… - will be able to give their testimony anonymously, Judge Vanessa Baraitser has just ruled.
This court should & does respect the decision by the Spanish court. Failing to grant anonymity would wholly undermine the order of the Spanish court & fact the govt don't oppose the order & are neutral don't consider they are disadvantaged by the order to challenge the account.
'I Had Convinced Myself That They Were Ok' Ex-Prison Warden Tells #Assange Hearing on Detainee Regime


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1 Oct
#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 18 (Thread)

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#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 14 (Thread)

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Court is due to sit at 12:00 BST

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via @SputnikInt
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#JulianAssange extradition hearings Part 2 - Day 12 (Thread)

Court is due to sit 10:00 am.

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via @SputnikInt
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