Extradition September hearing Day 16 (18 incl 2 Covid)

Joined the video link waiting to cross to the Old Bailey.

In a significant development yesterday, the judge agreed to accept the statements of 2 former UCGlobal employees without requiring them to reveal their identities..
.. This was a critical decision as the only protection they have (besides armed guards) is the fact that their former boss would be the suspect should anything happen to them given he alone would know their identities, Defence argued.

In accepting the Spanish court’s ruling on..
.. anonymity, these witness statements will form part of Defence evidence, paving the way for the extradition to be denied on the same basis the criminal case against Dan Ellsberg was thrown out: illegal activity on the part of the CIA. In Ellsberg’s case, for breaking into ..
..his psychiatrist’s place and in this case for spying on #Assange ‘s privileged conversations with his lawyers, completely undermining any chance of a fair trial in the US.
So far, the US case is not doing well on many fronts including the cruelty of the type of incarceration.
You have to wonder the extent to which we have forfeited our humanity and vigilance of our freedoms when there is so little media coverage of this historic trial.
There will be rapid reading of witness statements today and tomorrow. Rather than attempt to report the lot - can’t type fast enough! - I’ll try to convey the main points.
Stella has her ear to the glass to capture Julian’s words. He is wearing a mask and of course on the other side of the glass wall.
Statement of Patrick Cockburn, journalist with the Independent.

Testifying about the importance of the Wikileaks releases in establishing the truth about the wars he has covered, including the fate of the 2 Reuters newsmen in Collateral Murder.
Also, other incidents involving civilian deaths including children.

Brigadier Carr had to admit in Manning’s trial there had been no deaths due to WL disclosure.
WL is a news gathering org doing exactly what journalist are intended to do.
Statement of Ian Cobain of the Guardian

Has reported on rendition program and the treatment of individuals by the US and the UK, & UK complicity in US activities.

The impossibility of uncovering state crimes, evidence difficult to obtain, (judge appears to be listening intently
..), importance of reliable documentary evidence, citing an examples of individuals who have been tortured.

Gives examples of attempts to deceive journalists and threats to journalists.
.. UK tried to cover up collusion but ultimately had to investigate & conduct an enquiry. (All this can’t be comfortable the judge)

Concludes whistleblowers & journalists vital to expose this.
Statement of Stefania Maurizi, journalist & mathematician so interested in encryption & WL.
Testifies that WL publication of original documents provided an opportunity for vital scrutiny & importantly offered protection for sources.
SM was one of the media partners on the war logs, says she was interested in the lies wars were based on.
SM & her Italian media partners also brought into the Cables partnership because of special knowledge required.

SM makes several points about the WL releases:
Public interest value - gives many examples, including victims of torture. Italy has convicted CIA agents in absentia
.. but the Italian govt subverted the process & issued
pardons. (Me: this is all sounding terrible for the US). WL docs show evidence of US pressure on Italian Govt incl Justice Minister.
SM : WL shed extraordinary light many events she gives examples of.

Secondly SM relates WL efforts to redact.. she worked with WL on appropriate redactions. When names occurred the local partners went through replacing the names with xxxx of a different length to the name.
SM: Thirdly on protection of data itself: all procedures were strict beyond what international colleagues were accustomed to - never had there been such extreme measures. All media partners kept the password secret. Except for one.
SM cont.. (me: the US lawyers listen attentively , arms folded).

Relates her shock at the Der Freitag story, that JA was acutely troubled, that every possible steps had been taken to prevent this. She was at Ellingham Hall when JA tried to contact the State Dept.
SM says the Guardian is to blame. If not for their publishing the password, nothing could have breached the encryption.
Me: These words have been very very important to hear. All so very different to the coverage in the media.
Statement of Guy Goodwin-Gill, Prof of Law at UNSW, fellow at Oxford.
Attended the Embassy to discuss the international aspects of JA’s case. Expected the discussions were confidential so was shocked to hear his name mentioned in legal proceedings in Spain & hear that his ..
..Electronic equipment had been copied.
Statement of Robert Boyle,

US criminal & civil rights lawyer, a former staff attorney at the Grand Jury Project - his evidence focuses on abuse of the grand jury system, particularly in relation to Chelsea Manning.
RB sets out the treatment of on Manning, the importance of the information she revealed.
Grand Juries confirm what the Prosecutor wants them to. RB giving history of Grand Juries as a 12th century relic, intended as a buffer between citizens & the state but has not evolved.
RB says Grand Juries are used to silence individuals & groups for political purposes.
Quoting Manning on being in solitary - being in pain, nausea, vertigo, vomiting. This experience was intended to punish her for refusing to testify.
RB: Manning saw this as an attempt to undermine her testimony as a Defence witness in JA case.
RB says the court can’t just take Kromberg’s word on things because that is not due process.
RB includes Melzer’s report on effects of prolonged confinement & the purpose of JA’s treatment.
In his statement he includes evidence of Manning’s attempt to take her life
RB gives responses to Kromberg, & says JA would be coerced to give the names of sources
Statement of Bridget Prince – human rights investigator and CEO of One World Research.
Provides info about the jury pool in EDVA and the likely impact of pejorative government statements against JA,
and points to UC Global’s links to President Trump.
(Me: sobering to hear statistics on the big employers in the area)
(Me: All military, Intel& defence & their contractors. Grim faces in the courtroom.)
5 mins break
Medium shot of JA pacing. I think at this point it would be very difficult for anyone to grasp how this can possibly be happening to someone who is a publisher.
Next the statements of Witness 1 & Witness 2– former employees of Spanish surveillance company UC Global, who worked under contract at the Ecuadorian embassy.
The names of this witness will not be disclosed publicly.

Witness 1: this witness was a 50% coowner of UCGlobal with Morales. In 2016 Morales went to Las Vegas & did not allow me to go with him. The Casino owner in Las Vegas was known to be close to Trump. Morales said we are
..going to the dark side. We were going to give information about JA to the US and did. Staff openly talked about it. Morales went to tha US very often to talk to “out American friends “ & had a secure phone to communicate with them. I asked who they were & he said ..
“US intelligence”. Witness says Morales then became very wealthy.
New monitoring equipment was installed in the Embassy.
Witness 1 says he then sold his shares in the partnership.

Witness 2 is a tech expert employed to design a system to capture everything that was going on at the Embassy including sound.
Witness 2 told to deny the equipment was recording audio & to make sure the equipment allowed for streaming so US could observe contemporaneously.
There was a mic in the socket in the toilet as well. Witness challenged Morales on legality of this. Morales said the lawyer meetings were the primary target as this was required by our US friends.
Witness says Morales instructed him to steal the nappy of the baby as the US wanted to establish paternity.
W1: documents were stolen from JA by Embassy personnel.
W1 relates lawyers had their devices copied; that he was told by Morales the Americans were very nervous about the Californian politician who was to visit JA (Rohrabacher.. me: yes, Intel of course did not want any deal to go ahead)
(This is going very quickly & the tweets aren’t loading but also, some of the above is Witness 2 not 1, but essentially they are about the same issue)
Statement of Aitor Martinez Jimenez, JA’s Spanish lawyer.

gives a procedural history of the criminal case against UC Global & the key issues in the ongoing Spanish litigation.
Statement of political philosopher Emeritus Professor Noam Chomsky:
His evidence relates to WikiLeaks’ significance and the politically motivated nature of the case against Assange.
Me: This of course goes to the heart of the Treaty matter, that extradition cannot be approved for politically motivated purposes.
Chomsky: WL brought sunlight to power
(Me: Chomsky’s erudite & powerful statement is impossible to convey rapidly. This is one to bookmark & make sure to read.)

“The public is an enemy that must be kept in ignorance”
Chomsky: JA has performed an enormous service to those of us who value democracy & for this he is being punished.
Long break for lunch while Defence & Prosecution hammer out their differences over what can be included in the remaining statements, incl Worthington so possibly he won’t need to appear either.
Medium shot of JA pacing, hands in his pockets. He must surely be thinking,
I am spoken about in this way by Noam Chomsky,
there is all this evidence of what I’ve achieved
& what will happen to me (on top of what already has)..
but will any of it make a difference to my fate
At this point, can anyone observing this trial see how the US has not comprehensively lost this case?

@AndrewJFowler @kgosztola @MElmaazi @latikambourke @_taylorhudak @lcthoma
Worthington is unwell so Prosecution & Defence are nutting out contents of his statement so it can just be read.
Half an hour break to nut out agreement on remaining statements.
Statement of Andy Worthington, an investigative journalist,

Author of UN Report on secret detention. WL approached him to partner with WL on publication of the Guantanamo Files because he is an expert, & emphasised the importance of not jeopardising any individuals named.
AW: Innocent men detained because they had been named following bounties were paid.. prisoners informing about other prisoners... prisoners who confessed under torture including waterboarding
(Me: prior to allowing Summers to read this statement, the judge asked Lewis a question about the Prosecution’s attitude to the statement. I didn’t hear her exact question or his response but her final remark was”because you know it won’t have any bearing on my finding”. Please..
.. let me know if this has been better reported in another thread)
Summers continuing .. US said info to track down & kill Bin Laden was obtained from Guantanamo Bay but this was shown to be false.
Dobbin just clarified something about the Prosecutions attitude to Worthington evidence, but again I could not hear.
Statement of Jameel Jaffer

human rights and civil liberties attorney and director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York.
His evidence tackles the use of the Espionage Act, the Trump Administration’s attitude towards journalists and the knock on effects of the case for press freedom in the United States.
JJ says the charges apply to journalism & if any harm at all can be shown it needs to be weighed against the benefits of publication.

The docs are vital to the public’s ability to understand, evaluate & influence govt policy.
JJ: Classified information needs to be published without authorisation - gives examples of instances like NSA docs, the benefit to the public.
This prosecution raises serious press freedom issues & the functioning of democracy.
Prosecuting a publisher is a new legal frontier.
JJ: Many activities in the first superseding indictment are integral to the reporting of Nat Sec reporting.
JJ: to assert JA is not a journalist is not a valid conclusion, these are core journalistic activities
Summers says tomorrow there will be an update on the Spanish case.
Judge says a decision on transcripts tomorrow.
And remainder of Statements read.
Fitzgerald talking to JA.

See you tomorrow

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Day 2 of the US High Court #Assange Extradition Appeal in London.
Today the Defence will counter the arguments presented yesterday, & raise new reports from former US officials that the CIA considered kidnapping or murdering Assange. I’ll be covering proceedings on this thread.
They will also argue that if the Court decides to admit the US assurances & view them as comprehensive, then consideration will need to be given to which tribunal ought to assess their trustworthiness & will propose Baraitser as she has heard days of detailed evidence.
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The US High Court Extradition Appeal in London is scheduled to start in about an hour.
I’ll be monitoring on the videolink - along with other journalists - and will keep you posted on this thread.
The 5 grounds on which the HC has agreed the US can appeal are:

1. That the Extradition judge applied S91 of the Act improperly ie that extradition would Not be Oppressive or Unjust

2. The Judge should have given the US the opportunity to offer assurances
3. The judge ought to have disqualified the key Defence psychiatric expert Prof M. Kopelman because he misled the court by not revealing the identity of JA’s partner in his first report.

4. The judge erred in assessing evidence of suicide risk
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Aug 11, 2021
I’ll be following the UK High Court Appeal by the US

in the case of Julian #Assange

and **live tweeting**

Starts at 10.30am London time on 11 August - in just a few hours.

You can follow this thread, and quite a few others!
It appears this Court has allowed other observers besides journalists, unlike Judge Baraitser who barred human rights groups and parliamentarians form the Extradition hearing.
Amnesty International’s rep has been approved as was the Australian Parliamentary Assange supportgroup
This is not the US Appeal per se.
Tonight’s preliminary hearing
is to appeal the two (of 5) grounds on which the US was denied permission to appeal.
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