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

Court starts soon, and I'll have live updates on Day 16 in this thread. #AssangeTrial
“Even in administrative segregation, Assange would be able to communicate with other inmates through doors and windows of his cell.”

Yesterday, Judge Baraitser heard testimony from defense witnesses that exposed this as a terrible lie.

shadowproof.com/2020/09/28/def… #AssangeTrial
Maureen Baird, consultant and former warden for federal Bureau of Prisons, is the first witness. She was "warden and senior executive service warden at three various federal prisons." #AssangeTrial
Prosecution plans to consume 2 and a half hours of the court's time with a cross-examination of Baird. May it not be as tedious as the prior day's equally lengthy cross-exam. #AssangeTrial
Baird takes the virtual witness stand. She says she was warden at Metropolitan Correctional Center New York from 2014-2016 and then was a warden at United States Penitentiary Marion, which has a Communications Management Unit, until retirement. #AssangeTrial
Baird believes Assange will likely be subject to special administrative measures (SAMs). He would be in cell as a national security defendant for 23-24 hours a day. #AssangeTrial
Baird recalled no communication was permitted for SAMs prisoners at MCC New York. Recreation was in "another indoor cell" and "always alone." She had exercise bike brought in, but otherwise, it was empty cell. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald: How frequently would SAMs prisoner be allowed to phone their family?

Baird: One phone call per month to a family, or 30 minutes for two phone calls for 15 minutes #AssangeTrial
Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg says Assange would have "a right to free-flowing incoming and outgoing mail."

But Baird said "all mail coming or going out from any one SAMs inmate is screened before it ever gets to recipient." #AssangeTrial
Baird continued, "Sometimes could take couple months maybe longer to receive a piece of mail, going out or coming in."

"Not necessarily free-flowing.” #AssangeTrial
Baird said phone calls at MCC New York were always monitored by FBI agents in whatever language the inmate spoke. "Inmate had to request calls two weeks before so phone calls could be setup and arrange for agent to be available." #AssangeTrial
Baird told the court SAMs detainees are held in 10 South, a unit that was designed after 9/11 attacks. "It was originally designed for inmates that were at Guantanamo Bay to come up." #AssangeTrial
Baird: "SAMs is not a policy. It’s not discretionary. It can’t be changed by warden or anybody in Bureau of Prisons. SAMs is more of a directive." #AssangeTrial
Baird: "If somebody is in pretrial for terrorism and someone is in for different national security [offense], they would all be subjected to the same measures." #AssangeTrial
Baird contested Kromberg's assertions on how prisoners can challenge their SAMs with case manager.

"Having been a case manager, nothing is going to happen at the program review." #AssangeTrial
Baird added, "No authority. Every case manager I know would not go and try to fight for SAMs to be changed for inmate."

"Way over their pay scale. Something that is unheard of." #AssangeTrial
Baird mentioned inmate would have to exhaust administrative remedy process. "Nothing is going to happen during internal process."

She used to be person who answered remedies in regional office. "Very, very few are ever approved for any reason." #AssangeTrial
Baird said SAMs are not "supposed to be punitive but consequences and results feel like it's supposed to be punitive." Prisoners more isolated than those in "restrictive housing." #AssangeTrial
Baird: "No contact with anyone else other than staff member walking by cell to make sure person is okay on regular basis. Correctional office doesn’t engage in conversation with inmate."

"Other staff members only have obligation to make rounds once a week." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald said, despite severe disabilities, Abu Hamza is detained at ADX [in] Colorado. He raised as example of how bad one has to be to avoid being sent to ADX.

Baird agreed. "Have to be almost dying." #AssangeTrial
Baird disputed this "step-down" program that Kromberg touts in relation to prisoners with SAMs. "It's not a program. It's where changes are made, very minor changes." Like a prisoner might get an extra phone call. #AssangeTrial
Baird didn't understand how Kromberg could claim someone like Assange could be granted amount of time with "very small group of inmates" under this supposed program. "Defeats entire purpose of SAMs." #AssangeTrial
Prosecutor Clair Dobbin is cross-examining former warden Maureen Baird. Her goal has been to discredit her by arguing Baird oversaw conditions that were inhumane and did nothing to change them. She never blew whistle on Bureau of Prisons—so why listen to her? #AssangeTrial
Dobbin asked Baird how she can say that risk related to espionage exists for Assange to placed under SAMs.

Baird said he is being charged with "espionage crime," and it's believed he continues to be involved with people who will disclose classified information. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin disputed this notion. "It's not about concerns." There "have to be grounds" for designation.

Baird: "Yes, but I believe they could make that argument." #AssangeTrial
Dobbin added, question of argument?

Baird: US Attorney's Office could present case that he posed threat to US national security #AssangeTrial
Baird said she is "surprised US govt has responded to in this case mentioning SAMs as often as they have"

She was "surprised they didn’t say we don’t have any plans to present him or apply for SAMs in this case." #AssangeTrial
Dobbin: All they have said is it’s possible and speculative. Obviously, depends on evaluation later on down the line.

Baird: "Really unusual to even make that a proposal in many cases" #AssangeTrial
Asked about modification to SAMs by Dobbin, Baird said modifications are few and far between. "It would not affect the isolation part of the restrictions.” #AssangeTrial
The following represented a kind of trial within the trial, where prosecutor accused Maureen Baird of being guilty of allowing cruel conditions when she was warden of MCC. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin asked if Baird ensured there were enough staff on unit with SAMs detainees to observe or speak with them when they weren't with lawyers or visiting family.

Baird: "Two officers on that unit, but they did not engage in conversation in the unit." #AssangeTrial
Baird maintained, "It’s just not what correctional officers normally do."

Dobbin replied that she was the "person in position to encourage people to speak to inmates or undertake the kind of conversation that might have ameliorated the kind of conditions." #AssangeTrial
Baird said the cells have a steel door. There's a "viewing slot." But that "viewing slot remains closed at all times except when officer makes rounds every 30 minutes to make sure everyone is okay."

Officer would open & close then move on. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin insisted Baird could've encouraged conversation.

Baird defended herself, saying she did go to detainees' cells, with interpreters' if necessary. But this is not something a warden enforces on their staff. She doesn't have authority. #AssangeTrial
Baird: [Officers] all in a union. If i told them they have to converse with inmates, they’d tell me that’s not in job description."

Dobbin was rather annoyed with this statement. She kept pressing Baird. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin: As conditions were worrying, as you would suggest, wouldn't first thing be to meet with people? Say have an interaction?

Baird: "What I want is not what I can enforce" #AssangeTrial
Dobbin: Ever raise concerns about SAMs with people above you in BOP?

Baird: No I did not. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin asked her about a judgment from SDNY in Abu Hamza's case, and she could not recall a conversation or meeting on SAMs in relation. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin was somehow allowed to outline full indictment of her character, even though it wasn't question.

-Didn't encourage staff to talk to people on the unit
-Didn't raise concerns with people above you in BOP
-Didn't speak with judges about inmates on SAMs unit

#AssangeTrial
Baird defended herself. "First part about I didn't encourage staff to converse with SAMs inmates, that sounds very harsh."

"I believe that I tried to be a very fair and somewhat compassionate employee." #AssangeTrial
Baird continued, "the fact that other staff did not engage in conversations, as I had," that’s a reflection on how they perform duties.

If you've been to US federal prisons, know it's not uncommon for staff to not have conversations with prisoners #AssangeTrial
Dobbin: "What that all suggests is that these conditions didn’t cause you that much concern at the time." Only concerned now when asked to provide evidence for proceedings.

Baird: "It did cause me concern, but I had to convince myself it was okay" #AssangeTrial
Dobbin provided a breakdown of BOP prisoners designated for SAMs due to espionage.

4 at ADX Florence
1 MCC New York
2 FCI Terre Haute (which is CMU)
1 FCI Hazelton
1 FMC Carswell

#AssangeTrial
Kromberg outlines in submission that there is some kind of "three-phase Special Security Unit Program" for SAM inmates in the H Unit at ADX Florence.

Prosecution continuously references this because Phase 3 offers possibility to have physical contact with inmates. #AssangeTrial
The problem with Kromberg's claims about this three-step "program" is it requires modifications of SAMs. Baird kept saying she just did not see it when she was warden (modifications). #AssangeTrial
Dobbin asked about programs within Bureau of Prisons for treatment of depression and anxiety.

Baird replied, "I don't know that you can call them viable programs." #AssangeTrial
Dobbin: Suicide prevention rate of 10 per 100,000 is a low rate?

Baird: "I would say that when you’re working in the system one suicide is too many. I don’t want to pass judgment on whether I think 10 are low or a small amount." #AssangeTrial
This was a notable moment because Dobbin tried to ask the question again, and Judge Baraitser stopped Dobbin

Baraitser: She said "that one is too high." #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald displayed some confusion during re-exam over whether one of espionage prisoners held under SAMs at Carswell was Reality Winner.

Though prosecutors didn't reveal identity, it's Aafia Siddiqui, a target of political prosecution. supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commenta… #AssangeTrial
Lunch break. We resume at top of hour and until then I'm joining @action_4assange for some conversation on the morning.
Lindsay Lewis, an attorney who represented Abu Hamza, was called to stand by defense to testify on the assurances that were given about not sending him to ADX Florence. They were ultimately violated as he is imprisoned there now. #AssangeTrial
It's not that easy to hear everything Lindsay Lewis is saying. Audio is muffled. So I'll go back after all the live testimony and fill in what was said. #AssangeTrial
Defense making application to court for anonymity for witnesses who will testify on US intelligence-backed UC Global espionage operation against Assange while he was in Ecuador embassy. Already granted anonymity in Spanish proceedings. #AssangeTrial
Witness #1 and Witness #2 are afraid UC Global director David Morales could retaliate against them as result of giving information. They requested protected status on the basis that their families and themselves were at risk. #AssangeTrial
Baraitser: Protection "from the director of UC Global or from American state or from whom do you think?"

Summers: "Primarily from Morales but also those associated with him" #AssangeTrial
Summers said Morales has "army connections and search of his house" found "loaded firearm with identification rubbed off." #AssangeTrial
Judge has granted anonymity to witnesses with evidence on UC Global espionage operation against Assange when he was in the embassy.

She respects Spanish court's decision that anonymity is appropriate. To not grant anonymity would "wholly undermine" Spanish court. #AssangeTrial
Adding in testimony from Lindsay Lewis, who represents Abu Hamza on prison and medical concerns, and then I'll have a live video report on Day 16 a bit after the top of the hour:

#AssangeTrial
Abu Hamza was extradited to the US in 2012, and over the course of his effort to prevent his extradition in UK courts, Ron Wiley, the warden at ADX Florence, assured Hamza would not be held in the supermax for indefinite or lengthy period. #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald asked if suffering from mental illness was bar to being held in ADX Florence.

Lewis replied, "It isn't a bar." Individual has to have quite severe mental illness. #AssangeTrial
Lewis added "security concerns" may dictate placement at ADX because of unavailability of other facilities to accommodate prisoner. #AssangeTrial
Lindsay Lewis maintained "limitations on contact are extreme." SAMs prisoner may not communicate by email. Their contact is limited to visits, "ordinary mail," and telephone calls, which are often limited to once a month. #AssangeTrial
Prosecutor Clair Dobbin led the cross-exam and initially called attention to the terrorism offenses Hamza was convicted of committing and the fact that he was able to write his own appeals, despite his mental and physical ailments. #AssangeTrial
Dobbin insisted US never misled the courts on Hamza's placement in a supermax prison. Lewis kept drawing her attention to statements that showed the courts believed he would never be incarcerated long-term at supermax. #AssangeTrial

*Here is what was told to a UK judge:
Lindsay Lewis was asked to comment on the deference of judiciary to the executive. She said there is "absolutely" deference, even with pretrial authorities.

Executive in "superior position" to make determinations on SAMs (for example). #AssangeTrial
Judge Baraitser asked defense, "Are you challenging the independence of the American judiciary?

Fitzgerald said something about deference being a "term of art used by judiciary," and Baraitser asked for a case to confirm they use this term. #AssangeTrial
Lindsay Lewis had case ready for defense to reference - Abdulmutallab case, more commonly known as "underwear bomber." It was in prosecution's bundle.

Opinion upholding SAMs said, “A court must defer to govt's predictive judgment in relation to national security” #AssangeTrial
Assange trial highlights how US government is likely deceiving the British court on the treatment he would receive in prison in order to win extradition
shadowproof.com/2020/09/29/us-… #AssangeTrial

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