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

Court starts soon, and I'll have live updates on Day 18 in this thread. #AssangeTrial
Yesterday, court heard from two former UC Global employees who were involved in US intelligence-backed espionage operation against Assange.

Witness #2 described how security company's director wanted to bug every room in Ecuador embassy. dissenter.substack.com/p/uc-global-em… #AssangeTrial
Announcement: @jlpassarelli and I will be hosting independent media roundtable discussion about #AssangeTrial on 3 October at 8am EST/1pm BST/10pm AEST.

We've assembled eight journalists, including ourselves, to address revelations from proceedings.
shadowproof.com/2020/09/29/liv…
Gareth Peirce has five statements requiring additional deliberation. Michael Tigar has statement requiring further discussion. Short update on Spanish proceedings is coming. Defense also has planned submission on changes to indictment. Break until 11:30am. #AssangeTrial
Final day of witness submissions for evidence. Then defense has 4 weeks to submit their closing argument. Prosecution has 2 weeks to reply and submit their closing argument. Defense then has 72 hours to submit reply. Judge won't rule before January 2021. #AssangeTrial
Judge was never going to rule before Election Day in the United States. That was made clear when defense asked and was given additional time to prepare closing argument.

Assange will remain in Belmarsh prison til decision because judge has refused to grant bail. #AssangeTrial
Court was in session very briefly for an update. Defense attorney Mark Summer requested more time. Lead prosecutor James Lewis says the evidentiary hearing will end today. We're on break until 2pm. #AssangeTrial
There was plenty of coverage of statements from former UC Global employees on Day 17, but there were several other witness statements.

I'll use the time during this break to highlight some key testimony that perhaps has been overlooked. #AssangeTrial
Aitor Martinez, lawyer whose firm filed criminal case against UC Global director David Morales in Spain, outlined for court why Witness #1 and Witness #2 needed protected status.

They feared repercussions from Morales as result of accusing him of serious crimes. #AssangeTrial
Martinez: "Former employees knew that David Morales had elite military training as former member of military who trained with special ops unit of Marine Infantry, the marine corps of Spanish Navy. As result of this they feared that he could possess firearms." #AssangeTrial
On 17 Sept, 2019, police raided Morales' home. They found guns with "serial numbers rubbed off as well as ammunition." Morales didn't have ownership license for the guns. That raid broadened the charges to include "illegal possession of arms." #AssangeTrial
Martinez: "David Morales has access to the personal information of the witnesses including their home addresses. As a result, one of the witnesses is currently living away from home in another location for fear of reprisals." #AssangeTrial
Martinez: "The potential for retaliation or actions designed to prevent witnesses [from] continuing to give evidence extends far beyond David Morales, not only to organization Las Vegas Sands but also to individuals such as Zohar Lahav..." #AssangeTrial
Martinez: "...[Lahav], an individual identified by witnesses as former head of security for company who was close associate and friend of David Morales. Zohar Lahav is believed to have security background and extensive contacts worldwide." #AssangeTrial
Another statement from Day 17 (September 30) was attorney Robert Boyle's statement on the abuse of the grand jury in the case against Julian Assange. #AssangeTrial
As Boyle notes, prosecutors are not supposed to use grand juries gather evidence for use at a"subsequent criminal trial." But the burden is on the person subpoenaed to show they are being called solely for preparation for trial. #AssangeTrial
Boyle: "Because of secrecy that attaches to grand jury proceedings witnesses and/or already indicted defendants will ordinarily lack proof that a subpoena was issued for an improper purpose." #AssangeTrial
Boyle: "A grand jury subpoena cannot be used to discourage a witness from testifying for the defense at trial or to otherwise interfere with the defense." But courts held so long as testimony sought was proper it can still be "used for an improper purpose." #AssangeTrial
All of this relates to Chelsea Manning, who resisted grand jury subpoena. And Assange was indicted on March 6, 2018, around a year before Manning was jailed for contempt. Government did not need her testimony to charge Assange. #AssangeTrial
Boyle: [Manning's] continued confinement was punitive and an "abuse of grand jury process," which "will likely adversely affect the defense of Julian Assange." Her subpoena was used to get preview of trial testimony if she were to be called as defense witness." #AssangeTrial
Several statements from journalists were read from in court on Day 18 (30 September).

Patrick Cockburn, longtime Middle East correspondent, provided testimony on the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs. He was in Kabul when he first heard about WikiLeaks revelations. #AssangeTrial
Cockburn [referring to Iraq War Logs]: "These reports are the small change of war. But collectively they convey its reality far better than even the most well-informed journalistic accounts." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "The WikiLeaks documents exposed the way the US, as the world's sole superpower, really conducted its wars—something that the military and political establishments saw as a blow to their credibility and legitimacy." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "The early attempts to discredit Assange focused on trying to prove that the WikiLeaks disclosures had led directly to deaths of US agents and informants. The Pentagon put a great deal of effort into substantiating this allegation..." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "...[Pentagon] set up Information Review Task Force headed by senior counterintelligence officer, Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, which studied impact of revelations & sought to produce list of people who might have been killed because of info cables contained..." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "...Carr later described the extent of his task force's failure, in testimony given at Manning's sentencing hearing in July 2013..." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "...After long research, his team of 120 counterintelligence officers hadn't been able to find a single person, among thousands of American agents and secret sources in Afghanistan and Iraq, who could be shown to have died because of disclosures..." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "...Carr told the court that at one point his task force seemed to be getting somewhere: the Taliban claimed to have killed a US informant identified in the WikiLeaks cables. It was sign of desperation on part of counterintelligence officers..." #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "...that in seeking evidence against WikiLeaks they were reduced to citing Taliban as source. And as Carr admitted during defense cross-exam, the Taliban turned out to be lying: 'Name of individual killed was not in [WikiLeaks] disclosures.'" #AssangeTrial
Cockburn: "In 2010, WikiLeaks won a great victory for freedom of expression and against state secrecy and the US government is now making every effort to reverse it." #AssangeTrial
Next statement worthy of highlighting is Stefania Maurizi's statement. She is journalist who has worked for l'Espresso and la Repubblica. She first partnered with WikiLeaks in 2009, before documents central to this case were disclosed and then published. #AssangeTrial
On her partnership in 2009, Maurizi noted "WikiLeaks was focusing on importance of number of protections" for documents and sources, encryption, and integrity of document so wouldn't be misrepresented or distorted. #AssangeTrial
27 Sept 2010: In Berlin, Maurizi met Assange to discuss partnership with publisher she worked for. "Assange had flown from Stockholm on direct flight. He arrived at my hotel around 11 pm with no luggage, apart from his laptop & small plastic bag..." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "...[A small plastic bag] containing t-shirt, toothbrush, & few small bottles of liquid soap. He immediately told me that plastic bag was all he was given at Berlin airport when it was clear that his luggage had disappeared under suspicious circumstances." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "Having opportunity to investigate and to expose manifest lies which had [enabled and perpetuated wars], and thereby the chance to change direction of future history was of immense significance not only to my own country but for world at large." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "There were aspects of agreements entered into WikiLeaks by media partners in which I had perhaps greater interest than others, since most journalists are neither knowledgeable nor interested in anything to do with encryption processes..." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "...In consequence, I perhaps have a greater understanding of what was being required by WikiLeaks and why, and what the implications of each security measure were. One basic aspect concerned use of 'passwords' as security measures..." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "...but even concept of how organization might create & utilize passwords would have its own security relevance & discussing outside agreements concerning these issues could provide outsiders w/ potential insight into organization's security procedures..." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "...I myself would not at any point think it appropriate to make such essential security aspects public. Indeed Julian Assange had discussed these security aspects with me during very first meeting in September 2010 in Berlin." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi provided much background history and knowledge so she could comment on allegations from prosecution that Assange "dumped unredacted material onto the internet deliberately or carelessly for all to see and in knowledge of harm" it could cause. #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "Objective was to get access to cables in protected arrangement, not to website as seems to be suggested. Although reference is made to material being on WikiLeaks website, it could never have been accessed without password allowing access being published." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: "When I learned that David Leigh and Luke Harding had published the password in their book, even that part of password that Mr Assange had insisted on not writing down, I wondered whether they understood procedure at all..." #AssangeTrial
Maurizi. "...I express my surprise that Mr. Kromberg [AUSA] relied on David Leigh's remarks that 'it is entirely wrong to say Guardian's 2011 WikiLeaks book led to publication of unredacted US govt files.' Keeping passwords private is very basic security measure." #AssangeTrial
Beginning in January 2011, Maurizi worked with WikiLeaks on cables, including redactions to ensure safety of any names that arose. She was primarily focused on Italian or Vatican cables but also interested in torture and Guantanamo. #AssangeTrial
Abu Omar was kidnapped by CIA on Italian soil on 17 February 2003. Omar was tortured. Twenty-six US citizens, almost all CIA agents, were tried in absentia and convicted by Italian Supreme Court in 2012 and 2014. #AssangeTrial
Italian politicians neutralized the work of independent Italian prosecutors, according to Maurizi. They refused to forward extradition requests. Three of 26 US nationals were granted pardons by two different Italian presidents. #AssangeTrial
Maurizi: Behind the scenes, there were "secret & relentless pressures exerted by US diplomacy, which pressured highest echelons of Italian governments for years" [to thwart accountability]. She was able to expose in a book "only thanks" to cables from WikiLeaks. #AssangeTrial
Defense is reading statement from Professor Michael Tigar, who is American attorney who focuses on national security and human rights law. #AssangeTrial
Oh, hello. Good that Twitter is back so I can keep covering #AssangeTrial.

We are hearing evidence from some crucial statements submitted by one of Assange's attorneys Gareth Peirce
Pierce's second statement details legally privileged materials belonging to Assange that were seized from Ecuador Embassy. When they were able to collect seized possessions, "All legally privileged material was missing," save for some court documents. #AssangeTrial
Pierce's second statement details legally privileged materials belonging to Assange that were seized from Ecuador Embassy. When they were able to collect seized possessions, "All legally privileged material was missing," save for some court documents. #AssangeTrial
Peirce says Assange suspected but had not fully confirmed extent of intrusion into embassy. She commented generally that "as consequence an exceptionally high level of anxiety" has prevailed. They
fear Assange’s conversations w/ lawyers continue to be monitored.
#AssangeTrial
Assange attorney Edward Fitzgerald says the Peirce statements go to political nature of case, abuse of power, and fears if extradited #AssangeTrial
Aitor Martinez, Spanish attorney, provides update on criminal case against UC Global director David Morales and investigation into US involvement to the court. IP addresses that had access to UC Global server are being investigated. #AssangeTrial
It was extraordinarily difficult to follow what bits were read from Peirce statements—except for 2nd statement on legally privileged materials seized. This is entirely fault of judge who will not allow statements to be read in full in her courtroom. #AssangeTrial
Judge does not think Frontline Club discussion video undermined Dr. Deeley's evidence about Assange being on the autism spectrum. She rejects a defense request to allow transcript of the discussion into evidence. #AssangeTrial
Proceedings are becoming rather contentious as defense tries to submit materials that are fairly customary but judge bristles. Lead prosecutor James Lewis is objecting, even when material was discussed privately and they thought there was agreement. #AssangeTrial
None of this material will grab headlines, but judge is making it clear she will refuse to accept any further evidence on this last day of #AssangeTrial, even though we have not adjourned. There's been a lot for defense to manage. This must be deeply frustrating.
To be clear, we're not talking about additional witnesses that judge is being asked to allow to submit testimony. These are papers that could help the defense finesse their argument or diminish misunderstandings. #AssangeTrial
Judge says decision will come on January 4, 2021 #AssangeTrial
Proceedings in #AssangeTrial are concluded. I'll be live with a report on the final day of evidence.

Big thank you to everyone who followed my updates on #AssangeTrial, watched my live reports, read and shared my written articles, listened to my interviews, and showed further generosity by donating to support my journalism.
Work is not done just because we now wait for decision. Wider war on journalism, as well as attacks on whistleblowers, remains as fierce as ever. I encourage you to watch my "Dissenter Weekly" reports on Thurs & to subscribe to Dissenter newsletter, if you haven't. #AssangeTrial
Here is the link for subscribing to Dissenter newletter:
dissenter.substack.com

And here you can find editions of "Dissenter Weekly" from August: youtube.com/results?search…

The show will resume next week.
.@StellaMoris1, Assange's partner: "He is in prison because he informed you of actual crimes and atrocities being committed by a foreign power. That foreign power has ripped away his freedom and torn our family apart." #AssangeTrial theguardian.com/media/2020/oct…
.@StellaMoris1: "That power wants to put him in incommunicado detention in the deepest darkest hole of its prison system for the rest of his life." #AssangeTrial

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Seems like identity may be playing a large role here. (1/4)
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