julian assange's nov. 18 hearing at belmarsh gitmo [updated]

in comments.

I haven’t been able to find any written first-person reports on what happened in court this morning, but oscar greenfell at wsws has this up today: ‘UN special rapporteur exposes Swedish sexual misconduct frame-up of Assange’, Oscar Grenfell, 18 November 2019, and it may be relevant to another Tweet I’d seen earlier.
...and MAE below promises a report soon. I'll bring what I find, as I'm sure you will as well.

gawd’s teeth:

@MElmaazi: CORRECTION: I've since been informed that the name provided to me by the Clerk in Court was incorrect and that it was in fact District Judge Vanessa Baraitser who was sitting today.”

???

Ha; it was relevant indeed (ya thick-wit...):

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ggersh's picture

https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/john-pilger-assanges-...

THE WORST MOMENT was one of a number of "worst" moments. I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser – actually she isn't a judge at all; she's a magistrate – shocked all of us who were there.

Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian Assange with an arrogance that reminded me of a magistrate presiding over apartheid South Africa's Race Classification Board. When Julian struggled to speak, he couldn't get words out, even stumbling over his name and date of birth.

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trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

amigo, but your link failed. he may have been speaking of julian's appearance before baraitser on oct. 21. does this transcript at TRNN mirror the text you've provided?

that date was the hearing that craig murray had written that he was so furious that his fingers couldn't even type out a report on what calumny and barbarity (my words) he'd witnessed. i'd check if i had the time, but the epic confusion embedding all these tweets burned up a couple hours.

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ggersh's picture

@wendy davis https://independentaustralia.net/

I think the problem was going from c99 to Independent Australia
if that's possible?

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trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

thank you. but yes, he'd been speaking of baraitser's comments and ruling on oct. 21. i have some of those videos, but not all, on my coverage at the time.

i haven't checked yet to see how much i'd mooked up MAE's piece, but checking now: oh, good, i did manage to get pilger's tweet from the 21st that he'd used.

thank you, ggersh. ; )

arbuthnot and baraitster put paid to the notion that 'women are the fairer sex', yes? #FascistFemales.

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earthling1's picture

The Nazis are alive and well, even after all these decades.
Come on American service men and women, it's time to hunt down and destroy Nazis again, just like Grandpa did.
It's your duty, you gave an oath.

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wendy davis's picture

@earthling1

but dayum, how many fascists and nazis are there by now, operating with total impunity. within the Western Imperium, do any nations operate under the Rule of Law by now?

may i add a bit more from MAE's piece at sputnik? some of this we'd discussed here yesterday:

Rallies in Support of Assange Outside Courthouse

Outside of the court demonstrators held signs in support of Assange and calling for 'resistance' to his extradition.

One such person was Jeannie, who is based in Stratford. She preferred not to disclose her last name but emphasised that she was, "concerned" because Chief Magistrate Lady Emma Arbuthnot, who has been overseeing Assange's case and making rulings regarding it, "actually has a conflict of interest and should have acknowledged this and stepped down." Jeannie was referring to the recent investigative exposes published in the Daily Maverick by British historian Mark Curtis and investigative journalist Matt Kennard detailing strong links between Arbuthnot's husband and son with national security organisations, which have taken aim against Wikileaks and whistleblowers more generally.

Supporters of Assange were handing out printed copies of these revelations to journalists outside the court room. They told Sputnik that as far as they were aware no mainstream UK news outlet had yet reported on these reports from Curtis and Kennard. It is still unclear who will be presiding over Assange's case and whether Chief Magistrate Arbuthnot will continue to have a role in it.

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wendy davis's picture

I'll unwind a bit at the link but i'll have to read it later:

'Judge in Assange's Case Says She Has 'No Jurisdiction Over the Conditions Over Which He is Held'' sputnik news

On Monday, the judge to presiding over the case of Julian Assange dismissed concerns raised by his lawyer over the unsuitability of the computer equipment provided to the Wikileaks publisher by prison authorities as being outside her jurisdiction.

Gareth Pierce, from Birnberg Peirce solicitors, who is acting for Assange, told the Judge that she wanted to put on record that a "major impediment is Mr Assange’s ability to access the materials he need to prepare his case.”

She explained that while the prison authorities at Belmarsh prison have finally provided her client with a computer, “after months of battle," the computer is “not suitable for the purpose for which he needs it.”

However District Judge Vanessa Baraitser dismissed Pierce's concerns saying that she had "no jurisdiction over the conditions over which he is held."

When Pierce put it to the Court that she wanted her concerns on the record saying, Judge Baraitser insisted that, “there is nothing I can say that will assist you I have no jurisdiction over the prison state or how it is operated.”

Baraitser has ruled previously on certain matters pertaining to Assange's case. On 13 September she ruled that Assange must remain in prison despite his custodial sentence for absconding on bail expiring on 22 September and on 22 October she denied a request for additional time for Assange to prepare for his case:

On Monday, the judge to presiding over the case of Julian Assange dismissed concerns raised by his lawyer over the unsuitability of the computer equipment provided to the Wikileaks publisher by prison authorities as being outside her jurisdiction.

Gareth Pierce, from Birnberg Peirce solicitors, who is acting for Assange, told the Judge that she wanted to put on record that a "major impediment is Mr Assange’s ability to access the materials he need to prepare his case.”

She explained that while the prison authorities at Belmarsh prison have finally provided her client with a computer, “after months of battle," the computer is “not suitable for the purpose for which he needs it.”

However District Judge Vanessa Baraitser dismissed Pierce's concerns saying that she had "no jurisdiction over the conditions over which he is held."

When Pierce put it to the Court that she wanted her concerns on the record saying, Judge Baraitser insisted that, “there is nothing I can say that will assist you I have no jurisdiction over the prison state or how it is operated.”

Baraitser has ruled previously on certain matters pertaining to Assange's case. On 13 September she ruled that Assange must remain in prison despite his custodial sentence for absconding on bail expiring on 22 September and on 22 October she denied a request for additional time for Assange to prepare for his case:

The judge then confirmed that the next "substantive hearing" will be on 19 December with a further mandatory administrative hearing to be held on 13 December.

i'm sorry; in my usual haste i may have mooked it all up.

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wendy davis's picture

the rally for assange in traflagar square on the 16th, so how odd nothing yet from today's hearing.

it's also odd that one of julian's attorneys frrom the start, jen robinson had said that arbuthnot is out...but maybe not so much?

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sure lays out the fallacy of those rape allegations. I've saved a copy of that for the next time one of my pussy hat wearing friends opens her yap about rape. All one need do is read his letter and all the relevant points are in it. Of course, that assumes those who either think Assange should be imprisoned or those who think it simply doesn't matter would believe those details, and in America that's one hell of an assumption on my part.

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wendy davis's picture

@lizzyh7

ma soeur! what do you think the swedish prosecutor might add tomorrow?

i remember jen robinson being all over it last year on sky news videos last year, as well, but nils exposé's in written form even more helpful.

remember when corbyn had tweeted that assange should get sent to sweden and 'face the music'? all sorts of alleged lefties took up that chant.

it's good that wikileaks.org keeps track of it all, but i often forget which tabs to click, to say the truth.

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wendy davis's picture

but stefania's worked damned hard for julian:

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"...On Thursday, Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis of the Daily Maverick reported: “Lady Arbuthnot has recently appointed a district judge to rule on Assange’s extradition case, but remains the supervising legal figure in the process. According to the UK courts service, the chief magistrate is ‘responsible for… supporting and guiding district judge colleagues.’” (emphasis mine)

The report said that Arbuthnot’s husband, Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former British defense minister, “has financial links to the British military establishment, including institutions and individuals exposed by WikiLeaks.” It said the judge herself had also received gifts “including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks.”

The Daily Maverick reported further on Friday:

“The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.

Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-pound investment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

These intelligence agencies are behind the US government’s prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secret documents. Darktrace has also had access to two former UK prime ministers and former US President Barack Obama.

The revelations raise further concerns about potential conflicts of interests and appearance of bias concerning Lady Arbuthnot and the ties of her family members to the UK and US military and intelligence establishments. Lady Arbuthnot’s husband is Lord James Arbuthnot, a former UK defence minister who has extensive links to the UK military community.

As far as is known, Lady Arbuthnot has failed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in her role overseeing Assange’s case. However, UK legal guidance states that “any conflict of interest in a litigious situation must be declared.’”
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/16/arbuthnot-out-as-assanges-judge-sa...

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wendy davis's picture

@aliasalias

is pretty crap, but i'd added more about MAE's reportage on the daily mavericks in a comment to earthling1 upstream, noting we'd talked about here yesterday. in the end, we'd discussed several tweets, not jut the two i'd started with.

'2 Tweets re: julian asssange’s trial magistrate'. but yes, i'd noted CS's having said that they contacted jen robinson to ask if this were so: 'Arbuthnot Out as Assange’s Judge, Says WikiLeaks Lawyer Jen Robinson', and i'd never seen any answers in the comments, even though the thread noted 'Updated'.

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I've got the Youtube set to start at Wikileaks lawyer Jennnifer Robinson's appearance (2:36:30)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9369&v=3mkSahFzmic&feature=e...

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wendy davis's picture

@aliasalias

(2:36:30), but this may.

i listened to dead air for awhile before i noticed, then advanced it to your marker. i listened to the tinny sound rather distractedly until i got a headache and had to get offline. might you tell me/us what jen had said as to arbuthnot's being out or in? i'd sure appreciate it, amigo.

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@wendy davis and I discover (thanks to your post) that it starts at 2:38:57 and runs to 3:30:28 and a question about the court was the last question from the audience, but all in all it was a very good, and informative interview.

Thanks for the help btw.

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wendy davis's picture

@aliasalias

could you tell me what she'd said as per 'lady arbuthnot'? as in: still supervisory overall, or something else? srsly, i won't listen, as i don't have the capacity for it, and you seem to. again, i'd appreciate it, as might others here.

g' night.

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wendy davis's picture

jenni hall (upthread) was correct; here's what the Swedish prosecutor has added this morning:

‘Sweden drops Assange rape investigation – prosecution authority’, 19 Nov, 2019, RT.com
“It was determined that the evidence was simply not strong enough to file an indictment, and that interviewing Julian Assange regarding the case would not change this assessment.
..............................................................
Swedish authorities reopened the rape investigation following his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy last April.

The Prosecution Authority said that its decision could be appealed. Announcing the decision, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told members of the press that “time” had played a significant role in discontinuing the sexual assault probe.”
https://www.rt.com/news/473800-assange-rape-investigation-dropped/

Sputnik’s coverage adds:

“Commenting on the decision, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson underscored the need to “now focus on the threat Mr Assange has been warning about for years: the belligerent prosecution of the United States and the threat it poses to the First Amendment”.
......................................
In a statement on Tuesday, WikiLeaks, in turn, expressed regret over the fact that “a process in Sweden, with which Mr Assange has always expressed his willingness to engage and indeed did so, became so exceptionally politicised itself”.
In this vein, WikiLeaks insisted that instead of the investigation against Assange, a probe “into how the justice system failed to withstand the political and media pressure and lessons learned should be pursued”.

Awesome Job, Nils Melzer!

on later edit: RT's updated their coverage with this addition that hadn't occurred to me:

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wendy davis's picture

‘Julian Assange appears in court via video link: Legal rights denied by judge’, Nov. 19, 2029, wsws.org

“Assange attended from a room in Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is being held eight weeks after his one-year sentence for “absconding” bail expired on September 22.
Still visibly underweight, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth. His father, John Shipton, and WikiLeaks colleagues and supporters watched from the public gallery. A small protest took place outside.
.............................................................................
In an interview given to the PA news agency, a member of Assange’s legal team explained the computer is unlikely to have Internet access needed to carry out research. The denial of Assange’s legal right to access materials necessary to prepare his own defence—including a computer, case-related documents and members of his legal team—has been raised repeatedly and greeted with contempt by judicial authorities.

On Monday, Baraitser callously replied to Peirce, “as you are aware, I have no jurisdiction over the prison estate.’’ In other words, the British ruling class has no intention of providing even the appearance of a fair trial. Peirce’s comment about the inadequacy of Assange’s computer access is only the latest in a long list of judicial outrages against Assange’s legal and democratic rights.”

he reports at length on the daily maverick’s exposés as well as sefania maurizi’s report on UC Global’s spying, although i hadn’t realized that the photos and videos she’d shown had been ‘acquired’ recently.

“Maurizi reported yesterday, “Even the most inviolable meetings were violated: video and audio footage seen by Repubblica show a half-naked Julian Assange during a medical check up, the Ecuadorian ambassador Carlos Abad Ortiz and his staff during one of their diplomatic meetings, two of Assange’s lawyers, Gareth Peirce and Aitor Martinez, entering the women’s bathroom for a private conversation with their client.”
UC Global also compiled profiles on Assange’s London-based lawyer since 2010, Jennifer Robinson, and the head of his legal team in Spain, Baltasar Garzon. A series of photographs seen by Maurizi shows that Garzon was also followed. Maurizi’s own phone and USB sticks were tampered with.”
.........................................................................
There is nothing accidental about Arbuthnot’s appointment and continued oversight of Assange’s extradition case. The British state has selected an individual who can be trusted to oversee his vindictive torture and slow-motion assassination.
Speaking last Thursday at a meeting of the “United Left-Nordic Green Left” European parliamentary grouping, Assange’s father, John Shipton, referred to the October 21 hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court at which Assange struggled to remember his own name and date of birth. Shipton explained, “Before appearing, he had been strip searched and put in what the prisoners call the ‘hot box.’ I don’t know what that is yet but consequently he was very disturbed, and that built upon a basis of psychological stress that Nils Melzer has elegantly described.

god's blood, the barbaric inhumanity of his torment and torture.

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