Julian’s Extradition Show Trial Resumed on Monday Sept. 21 [Updated]

with reports from Tues. and Wed.

‘Explosive evidence from Trump insider, Assange dragged from embassy “on the orders of the president”, Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 22 September 2020, wsws.org (with permission & my bolds)

Assange arrested by the British police on April 11, 2019

“Alt-right media personality Cassandra Fairbanks’ witness testimony was read out in court yesterday, providing evidence that Julian Assange’s April 2019 arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was politically motivated and directed by United States President Donald Trump.

Fairbanks testified that Arthur Schwartz, a wealthy Republican Party donor and key Trump ally, had told her that Assange was taken from the Ecuadorian Embassy “on orders from the president.” The conversation between Schwartz and Fairbanks occurred in September 2019 and was recorded by Fairbanks.

Schwartz, a frequent visitor to the White House and “informal adviser” or “fixer” to Donald Trump Jr., told Fairbanks the president’s orders were conveyed via US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who brokered a deal with the Ecuadorian government for Assange’s removal. Grenell was appointed acting director of national intelligence by Trump in February this year, holding the position until May.

Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, spelled out the significance of Fairbanks’ disclosures, telling Judge Vanessa Baraitser they were, “evidence of the declared intentions of those at the top who planned the prosecution and the eviction from the embassy.”

Fairbanks, who writes for the pro-Trump Gateway Pundit, is a prominent Assange supporter who visited the WikiLeaks founder at the Embassy on two key occasions. Her evidence was read into proceedings yesterday afternoon unopposed, with Fitzgerald explaining, “My learned friend [James Lewis QC for the prosecution] reserves the right to say ‘because she’s a supporter of Julian Assange you must take that into account in weighing her evidence.’ But we say [her evidence] is true.”

Given her close connections to leading figures in the Trump administration’s fascistic entourage, Fairbanks is uniquely positioned to expose key aspects of the politically motivated vendetta against the WikiLeaks founder. Throughout the extradition hearing, lawyers for the US government have repeatedly claimed the charges against Assange under the Espionage Act are motivated by “criminal justice concerns” and are “not political.”

Fairbanks’ evidence shreds the official narrative of the Department of Justice (DoJ) that Assange was arrested on April 11, 2019 in relation to “hacking.” In a phone call with Schwartz on October 30, 2018, he made clear that Assange would be arrested as political payback for his role in “the Manning case,” i.e., the disclosure by US Army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He also told me that they would be going after Chelsea Manning,” Fairbanks recalled of her October 2018 phone conversation with Schwartz. This was one of several predictions by the Trump insider that were soon confirmed (Manning was re-arrested in March 2019), with Fairbanks concluding, “He knew very specific details about a future prosecution [of Assange] … that only those close to the situation then would have known.”

Fairbanks’ testimony provided chilling evidence of plans by the Trump administration to impose the death penalty. In his October 2018 phone call with Fairbanks, Schwartz said Assange would “probably” only serve life in prison, but went on to qualify this, “He told me that the US government has said they will not pursue the death penalty, something that would have prevented the UK and Ecuador from extraditing him here.”

Less than six months later, just hours after Assange’s seizure from the embassy, Fairbanks again messaged Schwartz to ask if he “knew anything.” “He responded with a series of messages about how Assange deserved a lethal injection and how both he and Manning should die in prison.” Further, “He sent me lots of messages about how everyone involved with WikiLeaks deserved the death penalty. I noted in our conversation that it had been reported that Grenell only got a verbal agreement that there would be no death penalty, nothing in writing. Schwartz’s response to this was to send me a shrug emoji and he continued his tirade about how Assange deserved to die.”

On January 7, 2019, Fairbanks travelled to London to warn Assange of US plans to seize him from the embassy and have him extradited to the US. They discussed quietly, Assange using “a little radio to cover up the conversation.” They exchanged written notes.

Fairbanks’ testimony recounts the extraordinary measures they faced during a second two-hour visit on March 25. She was left alone in a cold room for a full hour, while Assange was kept outside and subjected to a “full body scan with a metal detector” before being let in. The pair had only two minutes to talk. Fairbanks is later made to understand the reason for this aborted visit after Schwartz “called and informed me that he knew I had told Assange” during the earlier visit.

Fairbanks’ testimony provides insight into the criminal underworld surrounding the White House. After Trump fires National Security Adviser John Bolton and Grenell’s name is floated as a replacement, Fairbanks tweets about his involvement in Assange’s arrest, which elicits a “frantic” call from Schwartz. “He was ranting and raving that he could go to jail and that I was tweeting ‘classified information’… Schwartz informed me that in coordinating for Assange to be removed from the embassy, Grenell had done so on ‘direct orders from the president’” and that “other persons who Schwartz said might also be affected included individuals who he described as ‘lifelong friends’.”

These individuals included Grenell and Las Vegas Sands boss and long-time Trump ally Sheldon Adelson.”

They then describe Monday’s morning session at length with testimony by ‘Professor Christian Grothoff of the Bern University of Applied Sciences testified to the chronology of events leading up to the bulk release of unredacted US State Department cables in September 2011. He is a computer scientist with experience reporting on the Edward Snowden revelations. His evidence demolished the prosecution’s claim that Assange and WikiLeaks were responsible for this mass disclosure.’

Again, the rest is here.

Tuesday: ‘US Prosecution Accuses Assange Of Exaggerating Symptoms Of Depression’, Sept.22, 2020, Kevin Gosztola, shadowproof.com (my bolds; nothing is labeled by copyright, so it’s unclear how much I can use, but there IS a donate button…)

“During the extradition trial for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, James Lewis, the lead prosecutor, strongly suggested Assange reads the British Medical Journal to help him exaggerate his psychiatric symptoms. He speculated that Assange consulted his attorneys on how to effectively deceive doctors.
Lewis also repeatedly pressured a forensic psychiatrist, who took the witness stand in the Old Bailey Courthouse, to alter his diagnosis of Assange to match the prosecution’s view of Assange’s health. […]

Professor Michael Kopelman first met with Assange on May 30, 2019, and has visited with Assange numerous times during his detention at the Belmarsh high-security prison. He offered testimony on Assange’s clinical depression and the risk of suicide if Assange is extradited to the United States.
Kopelman told Lewis Assange reads the British Medical Journal “because he’s very preoccupied by his state of health.” He is a “little bit hypochondriacal.”

Around the one-year anniversary of Assange’s arrest, Stella Morris revealed to the press that she was Assange’s partner, and they had two children while he was living in the embassy.

Kopelman prepared two reports that included quotes from a visit with Morris, and Lewis brashly objected to the psychiatrist’s decision to withhold personal information about Morris’ relationship with Assange from the first report. […]
“Lewis scolded Kopelman, arguing he had a duty to the court that overrode not “embarrassing” Assange. It did not matter if he wanted to be sensitive to Morris’ privacy and keep it “confidential.”

In Lewis’ view, it was crucially important for Judge Vanessa Baraitser to know about Morris and his children because it could be a key “protective factor against suicide.” (Kopelman noted married people commit suicide too, and there may not be much difference at all. It’s a myth.)
Assange’s depressive state was especially severe in December 2019 and then it became moderately severe in February and March of this year, according to Kopelman. But the lockdown at Belmarsh during the pandemic led to a regression for several months.

He is apparently reluctant to “volunteer” statements to prison medical staff about his health. He drafted farewell letters to family and friends, drawn up a will, and even engaged in confession with a Catholic priest, which Kopelman documented as signs of potential suicide risk.

Assange was held in isolating confinement conditions at Belmarsh for a period, but Kopelman argued the “isolation he would experience in North America would be far worse than anything experienced in the embassy or Belmarsh.”
“If extradition became imminent,” it would be the “trigger to a suicide attempt,” Kopelman declared.

Assange was greatly concerned about Chelsea Manning, the source of documents published by WikiLeaks, which are the focus of this case. Manning was held at Alexandria Detention Center when she resisted a grand jury subpoena and attempted suicide right before she was released. This is where Assange is likely to be held in pretrial confinement.” […]

“Lewis attacked [United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils] Melzer’s work on the Assange case as “palpable nonsense” that was “neither balanced or accurate.” He pushed Kopelman to distance himself from Melzer’s conclusions, even though it was not an “important factor” in his conclusions.

Finally, it became exceptionally petty, even for the U.S. government, as Lewis asked if his depression “prevented Mr. Assange’s solicitation or leaking of material from the U.S. government.

Lewis pressed Kopelman on whether it was severe enough to affect his public speaking or coordination with media outlets nearly a decade ago. His mental health did not prevent him from “doing a chat show” for Russia Today, he added.”

May I also recommend, in the spirit of Aussie Assange attorney Jennifer Robinson who'd noted that it was ironic that these final extradition hearings had been moved to the Old Bailey, as it used to be that justice was not only been served there, but had been seen to have been served. there.

From IMDB: Garrow’s Law’ (a BBC production) is the true tale of William Garrow(1760-1840) , who acted as counsel for the accused, introducing the concept of ‘innocent until proved guiltyat London’s Old Bailey.  That may be so, but by my lights, he’d shown that defendants were entitled to most vigorous defenses, which mooted much of the power of the Court Judge.

Also: ‘Thirteen former national presidents demand an end to the British show-trial of Julian Assange’, Oscar Grenfell, 22 September 2020, wsws.org


Nicolas Maduro and Rafael Correa, who’d given Julian asylum in the Embassy

“A group of 161 prominent international political figures, including thirteen former national presidents, past prime ministers and current or retired members of national parliaments, have announced their opposition to the British extradition show-trial of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and have joined demands for his immediate freedom.

The politicians who have taken up this demand include José Luis Zapatero, prime minister of Spain (2004–11), Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina (2019–), Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil (2011–16), Evo Morales Ayma, president of Bolivia (2006–19), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil (2003–10), Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador (2007–17), Kevin Rudd, prime minister of Australia (2007–10 and 2013) and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party (2015–2020).”

Via KevinGosztola on Twitter, it seems that today is medical testimony about Assange, both from the prosecution and the defense.  I admit that I’m eager to hear if Baraitser will allow Andy Worthington to appear when he can manage to be there.  As you likely know, he’d worked with Julian on the Gitmo files in defense of his clients.

(sorry for typos; my eyes are misbehaving badly today.)

It's hard to imagine I can come back until late afternoon as my RL obligations are backed up big-time. In the meantime, please add to the discussion at will, add links including to other coverage, Tweets, and yes, even long videos that I'm unable to handle, but others may love.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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snoopydawg's picture

This case should have been thrown out days ago with the bombshell news coming from defense witnesses, but it probably won't since the verdict has already been decided. However if they can appeal the decision to a court that deals in facts it would be overturned. If all courts have gotten the message that Assange is to be extradited no matter the facts then he will be.

The witnesses for the defense have been awesome and well informed on all aspects of this debacle. That Wikileaks was NOT the 1st site that released the cables should seal the deal because it is malicious prosecution. The people that have been allowed to cover it have also been awesome.

Miscarriage of justice that will have horrible effects for all of journalism going forward. Don't the Russia Gaters wonder at all why Assange isn't being charged for helping Russia put Trump into office? Probably, but they can't charge him for that because that would be definitely political which the UK will not extradite someone for that.

Anyone know if Wikileaks still has a deadman's switch to release really bad stuff if he's extradited? I think if so they should do it before he dies in prison. And letting this play out over more time is what some people are hoping for.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

if cynical, that even those who hate him (snowden, greenwald, trevor timm, et.al are waking up to #Freedom of the Press! as the larger issue.

yes, the witnesses have been stellar, even timm, and yes, cryptome published the leaks first, but baraitser really doesn't give a hoot about 'Justice beein seen to being served', not did M'Lady Arbuthnot, i guess: because US vassal state?

neither the court nor many media sources actually believe jen robinson's written (?) testimony that rohrbacher was on a mission for Gawd and trump to offer julian a pardon if he ratted out the leaker (whom craig murray had said he'd met in a woods somewhere? O, for a memory!

but add in fairbanks' recorded conversation with a Trumpista, and it all equals 'political prosecution'.

in my haze/daze today i'd forgotten to check my email, but popular resistance sent craig murray's monday report, and while my eyes are weirder today, if i get the gist, this made me sad:

Which brings us to a very crucial point. The next witness, Andy Worthington, was at court and ready to give evidence, but was prevented from doing so. The United States government objected to his evidence, about his work on the Guantanamo Detainee files, being heard because it contained allegations of inmates being tortured at Guantanamo.

Baraitser said her ruling was not going to consider whether torture took place at Guantanamo, or if extraordinary rendition had happened. She did not need to hear evidence on these points. Mark Summers replied that the ECHR had ruled on these as facts, but that it was necessary they be stated by witnesses as appropriate as it went to the Article 10 ECHR defence. Lewis maintained the objection from the US government.

Baraitser said she wanted the prosecution and defence to produce a witness schedule that would get the case finished by the end of next week, including closing statements. She wanted them to agree what evidence could and could not be heard. Where possible she wanted evidence in uncontested statements with the defence just reading out the gist.

She also said that she did not want to hear closing arguments in court, but she would have them in writing and the defence and prosecution could just summarise them briefly orally.

What the defence should have said at this moment is “Madam, the dogs in the street know that people were tortured in Guantanamo Bay. In the real world, it is not a disputed fact. If Mr Lewis’s instructions were to deny that the earth is round, would our witnesses have to accommodate that? The truth of these matters plainly goes to the Article 10 Defence, and by pandering to the denial of a notorious and plain fact, this court will be held up to mockery. We will not discuss such ludicrous censorship with Mr Lewis. If you wish to rule that there must be no mention of torture in evidence, then so be it.”

The defence did not say any of that, but as instructed entered a process with the prosecution lawyers of agreeing the shortening and editing of evidence, a process which took all day and with which Julian showed plain signs of being uncomfortable. Andy Worthington did not get to give his evidence. The only further evidence heard was the reading of the gist of a statement from Cassandra Fairbanks. I did not hear most of this because, having adjourned to 4.30pm, the court re-adjourned earlier than advertised, while Julian’s dad John Shipton, the musician MIA and I were away having a coffee. I commend this account by Kevin Gosztola of Fairbanks’ startling evidence. It was read quickly by Edward Fitzgerald in “gist”, agreed as an uncontested account, and speaks strongly of the political motivation apparent in this prosecution.

I am very concerned about the obvious collusion of the prosecution and the judge to close this case down. The extraordinary conflation of “time management” and excluding evidence which the US Government does not want heard in public is plainly illegitimate. The continual chivvying and interruption of defence counsel in examination when prosecution counsel are allowed endless repetition amounting to harassment and bullying is illegitimate. Some extraordinarily long prosecution cross-examinations, such as that of Carey Shenkman the lawyer, have every appearance of deliberate time wasting and distraction. "

that last kevin had noted as well. funny, though, kevin wasn't as blown away by fairbanks' testimony as scripps and tiernan were, as far as i could tell.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

have dropped the ball on objections to the judge's instructions or rulings too because that way they would be in the records to be used on appeal.

As to the judge not wanting closing arguments to be read, but written instead? Just one more corrupt ruling that in a sane trial might be overturned. Same with her putting a time limit on how long the trial lasts. The corruption and predetermined ruling shows what a farce this is and how Assange will not only not get a fair trial here if he's extradited, but he didn't get a fair one to determine if he should be. And what he has to go thru every day to come to court is barbaric. But then I guess the guards are just following orders. Right. Disgusted beyond words.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

@CraigMurrayOrg
Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 16 - On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard.

stella's desrcption was barbaric: up a 5, strip-stearched, x-rayed, small coffin van long ride. Justice must be seen to be done. None for julian, OMG.

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@wendy davis

if cynical, that even those who hate him (snowden, greenwald, trevor timm, et.al are waking up to #Freedom of the Press! as the larger issue.

Did Snowden, et. al. hate Assange? I have a vague recollection that Greenwald disagreed with how Assange curated documents and objected to date dumps. Of course, he held back (and destroyed?) reams of documentation from Snowden. However, Assange has also held back some stuff. Was Greenwald unaware of Wikileaks redactions of the names of some informants?

Ellsberg, Manning and some other leakers have never wavered in their support for Assange. With the exception of Snowden, it seems that it's other journos that hate Assange. But only the few that have and/or are doing similar reporting can recognize the threat to themselves. The steno-journos are safe and free to hate Assange right along with all those* that hate Assange more than they hate Trump, Barr, and Pompeo and are doing their best to insure that Trump and Pompeo lock up Assange forever.

*The list of those that hate Assange more than they hate Trump is quite long and insidious, from Craig Murray:

A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population.

Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.
...
Then I go back to my hotel room, type it all up and post it. The governments who are destroying Julian have through their agencies pushed the huge corporations who now control the major internet traffic gateways, to ensure my pained and grieving account is seen by very few. My screams of pain and horror are deadened by thick padded walls. We are all locked in.

(People would be wise to stop relying on Facebook and Twitter to share. With Paul Singer on the Board of Twitter, "be evil" may be his goal for the company. Zukerberg was already creepy.)

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

assange was the Bad Whistleblower (he wasn't any sort of whistleblower, of course, but a journalist/author and publisher) snowden was the Good Whistleblower. the first i remember of it was at kim dot com's Aukland town hall electioneering event (2013?) , with assange behind the panel on a mega-screen. when the other two framed it that way, they could not see his eyes glow with anger.

but sure, he dumped everything, snowden and greenwald vetted all new 'revelations' with the military and security state. 'oh, what a thorny problem!' miz klein said in their pre-scripted dialoge at the intercept.

trevor timm had emailed assange the day after kicking wikiLeaks off the freedom of the press foundation (anonymizing donations) that julian and perry barlow (iirc) had started. he said the board's dcision was unanimous (GG, snowden, john cusack (?), ellsberg, likely scahill...i've forgotten them all. their claim as that the blockade against wikiLeaks was over (iirc, it wasn't) and besides, they wanted to spend their own time creating Secure Drop, now used ubiquitously among MSM outlets.

and of course the intercept promplty burned reality winner, jeffrey sterling and one other actual 'whistleblower'. at the intercept 3 other 'fearless journalists' had burned julian himself, the worst smears came from micah lee (filthy, rapist, etc.) i used to have a list somewhere. scarcely matters now.

but that's pretty damning evidence from craig. but sure, social media owners have immense power to shadowban or outright ban anyone or any idea that's counter to The Officially Approved Western Imperialist Narrative.

end rant. ; )

on later edit: somewhere upthread i may have noted 'trevor timm' (with caveats). No. 1 aveat was that he'd testified close to: 'of course i didn't approve of everything He'd published'. CIA vault 7? who knows.

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

Anyone know if Wikileaks still has a deadman's switch to release really bad stuff if he's extradited? I think if so they should do it before he dies in prison. And letting this play out over more time is what some people are hoping for.

i'd later remembered that there was series of wikiTweets perhaps around the time that julian had flipped out over the fact that several sections of scaffolding had been erected beside his balcony. and he'd made his own alarm system to warn him of intruders. the buzz was that he'd be stolen from the embassy, remember?

anyhoo, i'd guess that kristiin h would surely know, as well as others. this april 2019 heavy.com piece: 'What Happened to Julian Assange’s Dead Man’s Switch for the WikiLeaks Insurance Files?' explains how it works, and that it certainly exists, and examples of historical enigmatic tweets...well, here's one paragraph:

What’s still unclear at this time is what might happen with the dead man’s switch that Assange has talked about in the past. WikiLeaks has released numerous insurance files as a type of “deadman’s switch.” Downloaders get an encryption key, but they need a second one before they can actually unlock the file. The insurance files operate as a type of backup. If anything happens to WikiLeaks, the second key is released, giving everyone access to the file, according to comments WikiLeaks and Assange have made in the past. However, these are typically insurance files to ensure that a pending publication is actually released. It’s unclear how many (if any) are actually related to Julian Assange’s safety or WikiLeaks’ existence in general.

anyway, you may be able to interpret all this far better than i.

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wendy davis's picture

Medical evidence shows devastating impact of decade-long state vendetta against Assange, Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 24 September 2020

'Wednesday’s proceedings in Julian Assange’s extradition hearing began with the evidence of Dr Quinton Deeley. He is a National Health Service consultant psychiatrist, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry and a co-author of a Royal College of Psychiatry report on autism in adults.

On the basis of a standard psychiatric test for autism, a two-hour observation, a six-hour telephone interview with Assange and additional interviews with his friends and family, Deeley diagnosed Assange with an autistic spectrum disorder, specifically Asperger’s syndrome. [while in belmarsh gitmo]

The diagnosis is legally significant because individuals with an autistic spectrum disorder are significantly more likely to complete suicide. As Professor Kopelman testified Tuesday, Assange is suffering from moderate to severe depression with symptoms including “suicidal preoccupations.” These conditions, Kopelman said, are triggered and exacerbated by the threat of extradition and would be considerably worsened if Assange were to be incarcerated in the United States.

Under the UK Extradition Act (2003), an individual’s extradition is prohibited if it would be “unjust and oppressive” on account of their “physical or mental condition” or if it contravenes Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guards against “torture” and “inhuman or degrading punishment.”

Speaking on the likelihood of Assange committing suicide if extradited, Deeley said his view was that the risk was “high.” Extradition is “an outcome which he fears, which he dreads. He’s described contemplating it with a sense of horror.” Assange had “consistently maintained that he would find it an unbearable ordeal” and that he views his treatment “as an essentially exemplary punishment, that an example is being made of him.”

Describing how Asperger’s would “compound” Assange’s depression and the threat of suicide, Deeley explained that “the rate of mental disorders” and “rates of suicide are higher in people on the autistic spectrum” and that their “ability to tolerate psychological stress in general is reduced.” In Assange’s case, “his very analytic and highly focussed thinking style does contribute to a propensity for intense preoccupation and rumination. … It is an exacerbating factor for his depression and his mood state. It contributes to his very intense feelings of anxiety and produces essentially an unbearable mood state, an emotional state which he feels unable to tolerate.”

Prosecution lawyer James Lewis QC’s attempts to dismiss the diagnosis of Asperger’s were callous and ill-informed. Deeley was forced to tell the court in response to his cross-examination that “people on the autistic spectrum can manage as parents” and that “a person on the autistic spectrum can be dutiful.” On multiple occasions when Lewis did not receive the answers he wanted, he asked tersely “Are you trying to help the court?” Defence lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC objected to this “inappropriate” questioning of an expert witness giving “focussed, intelligent, intelligible answer[s].”

At one point, the prosecution lawyer attempted to suggest that Assange’s “concern for children, the vulnerable and animals,” noted by his mother in her interview for Deeley’s assessment, was “inconsistent with the criteria” for autistic syndrome. Deeley replied that “A person on the autistic spectrum can be dutiful or principled or subscribe to ideals of behaviour and also be moved by the thought of suffering in general of other people.”
...............................
The assessment provided by Deeley makes all the more despicable the media’s decade-long demonisation of Assange as “weird,” “immature,” and worse. It underscores the tremendous strength of the WikiLeaks founder’s character in continuing with his work and legal defence under such a relentless assault. Those who rolled around in this muck—from Guardian journalists to pseudo-left organisations and the ex-liberal establishment—are beneath contempt.

In the afternoon session, Professor Seena Fazel, a forensic psychiatrist, was called as a witness by the US government. Fazel has specialist knowledge of prison suicide and the treatment of mental disorders among prisoners.

James Lewis QC sought to establish that Fazel’s assessment of Assange differed markedly from that of Professor Kopelman and his colleagues who had diagnosed Assange as suffering from “moderate to severe depression,” with “mood congruent” psychotic symptoms—auditory hallucinations.'

[long snip]

Later in the afternoon, excerpts from the witness statement of Dr Kate Humphrey, Principal Research Clinical Neuropsychologist at Imperial College London, were read into evidence. She reported the outcome of psychometric tests on Julian Assange at HMP Belmarsh, confirming he has suffered cognitive impairment as a result of his prolonged incarceration.

While Assange’s educational and occupational history had suggested an optimal level of intellectual functioning “in the superior, or more likely very superior range,” tests conducted at Belmarsh showed an “average” score for single verbal reasoning, “significantly below” this optimal level. The report continued, “he was unable to complete a second verbal sub-test as he felt overwhelmed with information and nauseous and performed in the low average range on the amount completed.” He performed poorly on a range of tests, showing evidence of impaired memory and orientation.

Humphrey’s testimony shows the personally devastating outcome for Assange of the multi-state vendetta against him. What UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer described in May 2019 as a decade-long “public mobbing” and “psychological torture” of Assange has had the desired effect.

Yesterday’s proceedings ended with Judge Vanessa Baraitser opposing Fitzgerald’s request for an adjournment after next week’s testimony to allow the defence to prepare adequately for closing submissions. Fitzgerald cited the impact of the second US superseding indictment, entered on the eve of the hearing, recalling the defence’s request for an adjournment had been rejected, and saying, “we still need to take instructions [from Assange] on that.”

Fitzgerald continued, “I don’t think we can do justice to Mr Assange’s case unless we have a significant period of time.” Baraitser responded, “you have the weekend.” When Fitzgerald replied, “We have no time, we are preparing the witnesses for next week,” Baraitser told him, “that’s the situation you find yourself in.”

Fitzgerald indicated he will make a formal submission for an adjournment, after discussing with Assange, with Baraitser replying, “please don’t rely on me granting you that time.”

The hearing continues today.'

kevin gosztola's report had added:

'In the cases of Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon, the U.S. government was blocked from extraditing them because the United Kingdom High Court of Justice (Love) and the British Home Secretary (McKinnon) recognized their Asperger’s syndrome would result in degrading or inhuman treatment that violated human rights.

Love was accused of hacking into systems controlled by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Army, and a number of other government agencies. McKinnon was accused by the U.S. government of the “biggest military computer hack of all time.”

Edward Fitzgerald represented Love, and he is part of Assange’s legal team, and the arguments against extradition that Fitizgerald put forward in Love’s case are nearly identical to the arguments in this case.

Particularly:

(1) The mere fact of extradition and detention in the United States would be likely to lead to a serious deterioration in the mental health of Mr. Love

(2) To the extent that suicide was prevented by Mr. Love being placed on suicide watch, the conditions in which he would be held on suicide watch, or in segregation, would lead to a serious and permanent deterioration in his mental health, which was also related to his physical health

Based upon the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, if extradited, Deeley determined Assange’s risk of suicide would be high under the circumstances. He “ruminates about prospective circumstances at length,” and it causes a “sense of horror.”

“He would find it an unbearable ordeal, and I think his inability to bear that in the context of [an] acute worsening depression would confer high risk of suicide,” Deeley added.

Assange views his predicament as “unjust” and an “intolerable ordeal,” according to Deeley. He believes an “example is being made out of him,” which “compounds his sense of its unbearability.” That greatly increases the suicide risk.'

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wendy davis's picture

Crown Prosecutors at the Old Bailey were paid to indict, then try...someone. Meaning that the innocent poor were targeted all too often, personal and political vendettas of all sorts ruled the day, and defense attorneys (if any) were not permitted to see the prosecution’s evidence, with other similar restrictions that Garrow changed almost (we’d thought) forevermore.

But consider that Trump mega-donor Sheldon Edelson paid for UC Global to spy on Julian, his partner and their children, Assange’s attorneys. Given that Lenin Moreno, Rafael Correa’s VP and successor, was given a whopping (zero-percent interest?) loan and some sort of US military understanding agreement to allow/encourage the British Police to drag him out of the embassy like do much luggage and be taken to Belmarsh Gitmo, ‘Who pays for this prosecution?’ is not an idle question.

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An inverse of they go after the little guy and leave the big guy alone. CN - Final Day Thirteen

John Young of Cryptome

The day in court ended with the testimony of John Young, founder and operator of Cryptome.com being read to the court by Fitzgerald. Young said that he published the unredacted diplomatic cables containing informants names a day before WikiLeaks did on Sept. 1, 2017. He said the files are still accessible on his site. Young said he is a U.S. citizen.

“Since my publication on Cryptome.org of the unredacted diplomatic cables, no U.S. law enforcement authority has notified me that this publication of the cables is illegal, consists or contributes to a crime in any way, nor have they asked for them to be removed.,” Young testified.

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

long said that. how refreshing that john young came as a witness for the defense, eh?

thanks, marie.

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wendy davis's picture

in belmarsh gitmo for 2 yrs, arbitrarily detained for an earlier 7 yrs.

@wikileaks

#Assange Hearings: Judge has now stated ruling will not be made before 2021 - after the upcoming US election #politicalprisoner

but then dementia joe called assange a 'high-tech terrorist', so...what would Kopmala do?

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@wendy davis

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wendy davis's picture

@Marie

candygram?

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@wendy davis Nah, that apparently doesn't kill. If it did, it would be a twofer -- Putin done did it.

Setting aside HRC's drone joke, I'm thinking "they'd" prefer a method that looks like an accident or suicide and not murder. Falling or jumping out of a twelfth story window would work.

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