Day 18: Julian Assange's resumed extradition hearing. Expecting final witness statements today. #AssangeCase
Defense is explaining to the judge that the parties need a little more time to agree to 2 witnesses' statements, then give an update on the Spanish case (Embassy spying), then make a final submission on the additions to the latest indictment.
We'll break for an hour and a half and the parties will give an update on progress on these matters.
Back from recess to say the parties are making progress but are still working, we'll be back at 2pm London time and will finish testimony phase today. #AssangeCase
Back from recess. Defense says we just need 1/2 hour more. Prosecution complains 2 new statements have just come in, objects to even considering them.
Defense lawyer Mark Summers: "upon mature reflection" I don't expect these will be objectionable, these have been mentioned/discussed before
Another recess, 40 minutes. #AssangeCase
Back again. Defense can now read a witness statement from Professor Michael Tigar
Tigar gives an overview of whistleblowing and journalism preventing injustice, "essential to achieving important social reforms", gives examples including Woodward & Bernstein reporting on the Nixon admin, Seymour Hersh
Tigar notes that the prosecution's opening included the word "journalistic" whereas the indictment calls WikiLeaks an "intelligence service for the people" and doesn't use the term "journalism"
Tigar talks about how common/routine it is for journalists to work with sources, soliciting information
Tigar talks about the importance of journalism in documenting war crimes. Then discusses overclassification — US law doesn’t allow challenging classification status. Recounts Ellsberg’s prosecution which was dismissed
Several Gareth Peirce statements, first one lays out the history of Assange securing Ecuadorian asylum because he feared US extradition, recaps the Embassy spying case, Assange’s legally privileged property seized from Embassy
Background: Ecuador to hand over Assange's entire legal defense to the United States…
Peirce statement discusses her own legal meetings with Assange in the Embassy being spied on, "chilling effect" on preparing for these proceedings
A second statement from Bridget Prince includes the full transcript of Assange's 2010 speech at the Frontline Club, which the prosecution quoted from in cross-examination. This would give proper context. Prosecution objects to the statement being submitted
The defense also wants to include new comments from US Attorney General William Barr which were made during these proceedings (Sept 16th)
The Frontline Club appearance is from the 2010 Q&A Assange conducted by video -- the prosecution tried to say that Assange's answer contradicted testimony about his mental/psychiatric health
Judge says the witness (Dr Deeley) didn't agree that the video contradicted the diagnosis, so it won't be accepted.
Judge also says the Barr speech doesn't reference Assange by name, it's not a significant enough development to include here
(Appears the AG comments are here:… along with Washington Post story on the speech, 'Barr accuses Justice Department of headhunting and meddling with politics'…)
Washington Post on the William Barr speech: "IThe attorney general said it was he, not career officials, who has the ultimate authority to decide how cases should be handled..."
"...and he derided less-experienced, less-senior bureaucrats who current and former prosecutors have long insisted should be left to handle their cases free from interference from political appointees."
Break until 4:05pm London time
Back from recess. Difficult to follow exchange (because we don't have statements under discussion) in which a defense submission ultimately wasn't accepted. Now Mark Summers speaking about another Gareth Peirce statement (there are 5 in total).
The statement includes defense relaying that it has been insufficiently able to present its arguments about 'abuse of process' due to the very late second superseding indictment
Judge's ruling will come on January 4, 2021, 10:00am London time. Done with the evidence phase of the hearing. Defense gets 4 weeks to submit closing arguments, then the prosecution gets 2 weeks to submit in response. Julian will remain in custody until the ruling. #AssangeCase
End of these proceedings. #AssangeCase
Julian will have an obligatory admin court appearance by video on Oct 29th (won't be substantive, he just has to appear in court every 28 days by law). #AssangeCase

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More from @DefenseAssange

30 Sep
Day 17: Julian Assange's resumed extradition hearing. We expect multiple witness statements will be read aloud this morning, and then Guantanamo Bay prison expert @GuantanamoAndy will be called in the afternoon session. #AssangeCase
Defense is reading from/summarizing a witness statement from war reporter Patrick Cockburn. He was in Kabul when the war logs were released and he says they confirmed civilian casualties he and other journalists suspected.
Cockburn's statement includes the importance of the war logs and Collateral Murder video to prove these incidents in the face of official denial.
Read 51 tweets
29 Sep
Day 16 of Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. Today we'll have more testimony on prison conditions in the U.S. and what it would mean to send Assange there. #AssangeCase
Today we'll first have remote testimony from Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. Baird has testified in other extradition cases about the inhumane conditions of US prisons and the inability to keep prisoners safe.
In the Lauri Love case, the U.K.’s High Court overturned the lower court judge’s ruling because the judge relied too heavily on the assurances that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons could provide adequate mental health care. (See more from day 13…)
Read 84 tweets
28 Sep
Day 15 of Julian Assange's extradition hearing and the beginning of the last week of testimony. See all of our daily #AssangeCase reports collected here:
Today we expect testimony from Joel Sickler and Yancey Ellis, on the prison conditions Assange would face pre- and post-trial in the United States if he is extradited.
At issue in their testimony is whether extraditing Assange to the U.S. would be "unjust or oppressive" and whether he would be subjected to "torture" or "inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment". From our report on Dr. Kopelman's testimony on day 11:
Read 107 tweets
25 Sep
Day 14: Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Today we expect testimony from Patrick Eller, digital forensics expert, on the computer crime charge and the alleged agreement between Assange & Chelsea Manning to crack a password in 2010. #AssangeCase
Mark Summers for the defense says the prosecution provided its bundle for Eller, challenging claims in his statements, at 11:30pm last night. He has gotten up at 5:00am to testify and has had about 5 minutes to review these documents... Defense asks for an hour for him to review.
Patrick Ellers will argue, Summers says, that the allegation against Assange regarding the password cracking issue is not possible, and if it were it was not used for the purpose the government alleges.

Judge grants 50 more minutes for Ellers to review.
Read 82 tweets
24 Sep
Day 13: Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Expecting more medical testimony today, from Dr. Blackwood and Dr. Sondra Crosby. #AssangeCase
The prosecution calls Dr Blackwood to the stand, just sworn in now, consultant forensic psychiatrist with the NHS. He's made a report for this case, prosecutor James Lewis is taking him through it now
Once again we may summarize the proceedings more than provide exact detail out of respect for Assange's privacy. Relevant for the case: Dr Blackwood finds Assange to be moderately depressed and able to manage his risk of suicide. This differs from the findings of defense doctors
Read 69 tweets
23 Sep
Day 12: Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. We expect more medical testimony today from Australian psychiatrist Paul Mullen. #AssangeCase
Potentially more sensitive material will be discussed today that we may summarize rather than describe in detail for reasons of privacy. Court has commenced, the parties are talking about evidence that goes to Assange's suicidal ideation in Belmarsh.
Now on the stand is Dr Quinton Deeley, National Health Service psychiatrist who specializes in autism, ADHD, & other mental health issues
Read 81 tweets

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