Q: on what grounds might US prosecutors appeal Baraitser’s decision?

Given that she’d ruled that even though she agreed with the Prosecution on virtually every other issue: January 4, 2021, assangedefence.org:

‘Judge blocks the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, ruling the abusive U.S. prison system could not protect him from suicide’:

“Judge Vanessa Baraitser agreed with the defense’s claims that the U.S. prison conditions Assange would face if he were extradited, including solitary confinement, Special Administrative Measures, and extreme restrictions at ADX Florence, would drive Assange to suicide. She ruled it would therefore be unjust to extradite Assange to the U.S. and ordered his release.

The U.S. will appeal the decision.’

Wondering if they might claim that SuperMax Florence ‘really isn’t that bad, and we’d monitor him constantly with CCTV’ or some such?  Or: ‘we could end him to Gitmo instead’?

Lat evening Mr. wd told me that Amy Goodman had Asange attrney Jennifer Robinson on live on our teevee, I told him I’d wait and read the transcript today.

(24 mins; Jameel Jaffer was on as well.)

Hoping that Robinson might answer my Q, here is in part what she’d said about the appeal:

AMY GOODMAN: And the U.S. says they will appeal this. What does this mean? I mean, on the one hand, you have the possibility of him being freed this week, but could that appeal mean he remains in jail?

JENNIFER ROBINSON: We will be making a bail application on Wednesday morning. That was decided this morning. But, of course, the U.S. has two weeks to appeal. They’ve already indicated that they will appeal, and have indicated that they will likely oppose any bail application.

So, the right and correct position is that now that we have won this first battle, that he ought to be released on remand pending any appeal outcome. If the U.S. is granted permission to appeal — because they must apply for permissionthis could be pushed off for several months, perhaps later in the year. And he’s already spent, as I said, almost over a decade under some form of confinement, almost two years in a high-security prison, because of this U.S. extradition request. And it’s really time that the United States puts an end to this. This is an extraordinary prosecution. It never should have been started in the first place. The Obama administration chose not to indict. This case needs to be put to a close, and Julian should be allowed to get on with his life.

JENNIFER ROBINSON: It is still conceivable that — President Trump still has the power to pardon Julian Assange at this point. And, of course, while this is an important decision, this decision protects Julian from extradition from the United Kingdom; the indictment and the prosecution still remains afoot. This is an extraordinary prosecution. And I agree with everything that Jameel has had to say about the impact in the United States with respect to First Amendment protections, but it’s also concerning for journalists outside of the country, because, let’s not forget, the impact of this ruling is that she would have extradited him had it not been for his particular concerns around his mental health.

So, this is actually still a very dangerous precedent and one that — the fact that we’ve won this first step doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the end of the road. There’s still going to be an appeal. And I think all British journalists and journalists outside of the United States need to be looking at this decision, as well, to see the fact that they could still potentially be extradited under this precedent. And that’s dangerous.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you for being with us. And again, Edward Snowden just announced he just had a baby with his partner. They live in Moscow now. This is Democracy Now! I want to thank Jameel Jaffer, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. He is the director there. And I want to thank Jennifer Robinson, speaking to us from Sydney, Australia. She is an adviser to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

As in: no answer to my Q.  So…I’d Bingled the Q and had found this in an op-ed at consortiumnews.com:

“As the judge agreed on every point with the U.S. indictments of Assange, there is little the United States can appeal other than to argue that Assange is not severely suicidal or that it can be managed, and that its prisons are not the well-established dungeons that they are. The U.S. may argue on appeal that Assange violated the Espionage and Official Secrets Acts but Baraitser’s ruling to deny extradition on mental health grounds would remain.”

Zo…I went back to Jennifer Robinson on Twitter and had found a short video of her featured at 7news.com/au: UK court rules Julian Assange should not be extradited to US over espionage charges, but it doesn’t end there’, Jan. 5, 2021

If the appeal is successful, the case could be heard at the UK Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

“We will continue to seek Mr Assange’s extradition to the United States,” a US Department of Justice statement said, adding that the United States had won on all the legal points including arguments relating to freedom of speech and political motivation.”


Two side notes: there are rumors out there that Joe Biden might choose Barack Obomba as his Attorney General; that makes sense as he will surely be the Man behind the Throne.  Given his reluctance to prosecute Assange because: NYT, etc., might Biden end his prosecution and free him?

Note 2: long ago while Chelsea Mannning was in solitary confinement in March of 2011 I’d researched the issue, and in part:

“What are the roots of this burgeoning practice?  Oddly enough, it seems to have had its inception in 1829 in Pennsylvania, where Quakers believed that inmates would benefit from communing with God in the silence, undistracted by other prisoners.  Now, of course, the American Friends Service Committee works diligently against prisoner abuses.

Bonnie Kernes, writing at thirdworldtraveler.com draws one of the most complete synopses I’ve read on the subject.  She writes that the practice was largely abandoned once it was discovered to cause so many mental breakdowns, and was revived in the early seventies in experiments into behavioral modification or ‘control’, which sometimes included beatings, torture and psychological abuse.  In fact, in 1890, the United States Supreme Court came close to declaring the punishment to be unconstitutional.

Kernes reports on yet another shame:

“The development of control units can be traced to the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement, during which time many activists found themselves in U.S. prisons. We believe this use of isolation stems directly from the brain-washing techniques used during the Korean War. Sensory deprivation as a form of behavior modification was used extensively for imprisoned members of the Black Panther party, members of Black Liberation Army formations, members of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, members of the American Indian Movement, white activists, jail house lawyers, Islamic militants, and prison activists. At one time or another, they all found themselves living in extended isolation, sometimes for years on end. Many political prisoners still live in isolation, not because they have received charges for infractions, but because of who they are and what they believe.”

In 1972 the fist control unit prison was constructed at Marion, Illinois.  In 1983 an episode of violence caused prison officials to ‘lock down’ the prison, keeping inmates in their cells 24 hours a day.  That lockdown has never been lifted.

The idea spread, and in 1995 the first Supermax was built in Florence, CO; the ‘worst of the worst’ are said to be housed there, though it’s been proven not to be precisely true, but there are plenty of Bad Guys there, many of whom are watched continually lest they communicate with others and spread their messages to other ‘terrorists’ in the wider world.”

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

10 users have voted.


QMS's picture

Does the US spooks, Inc.
Have to screw with other countries
justice systems? Greater good for
more better control of truth sayers?

Injustice writ large. UK is a plaything
for empire's destruction. It's the $ billions
that seek to dominate the world.

If they are trying to hush their war crimes,
stringing out a reporter is not in their
best interest.

7 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture


but i do wish we could know on what grounds they'll appeal, and i say that as i'm accepting it at face value. now that i've heard jen robinson say:

If the U.S. is granted permission to appeal — because they must apply for permission — this could be pushed off for several months, perhaps later in the year.

it reminded me that they might just pay off some belmarsh guards and covertly take him on a Midnight Special ride to Supermax Florence.

we'll see if Vanessa Baraitser grants him bail and hecn be under house arrest somewhere safe, like a hospital he needs. we'll know in the morning.

7 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

That assumes that there is a legal structure anywhere in the world that is stronger than the big stick that we as a country swing so freely.

I think, in the final analysis, that the grounds will come down to "So who's going to stop us?"...

It is interesting that finally putting his head on a pike outside outside Lady Liberty's mythical Golden Door is worth our government squandering so much of its international political capital. But what do I know?

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

wendy davis's picture

and sorry i'd missed your comment, usefewersyllables:

from wsws.org:

‘Assange denied bail after extradition blocked, will appeal to UK High Court’,
Thomas Scripps

“WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson announced afterwards that Assange’s legal team would be taking the bail decision to the High Court.

Baraitser’s refusal to grant bail confirms that her decision not to extradite was motivated by political considerations and not any genuine concern for Assange’s health. Assange will be kept in conditions which have had a grave impact on his mental health, during a massive escalation of the UK’s COVID-19 epidemic.

Assange’s lawyer made the “wider point” in favour of granting bail that “Throughout the lengthy hearing, the [extradition] request remained the basis of detention, and the basis on which he was refused bail. Now, you have given a considered ruling and you have ordered the discharge of Julian Assange…

“The natural and logical consequence… of that ruling would be that he regains his liberty, at least conditionally. Really every canon of English law over the centuries is that once there’s been a ruling that someone’s entitled to discharge… that that would be a reason for them at least to obtain conditional liberty.”

Speaking outside the court, WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson denounced Baraitser’s decision: “It’s obviously a great disappointment to get this decision now from Judge Baraitser not to release Julian Assange on bail. We think it’s unjust and unfair and illogical when you consider her ruling two days ago about Julian’s health, which of course is caused in large part because he is being held in Belmarsh Prison.

“To send him back there doesn’t make any sense… It’s inhumane, its illogical. This denial of bail will most likely be appealed to the High Court within hours or a few days and we will expect this to be overturned, because frankly as I say, it doesn’t make any sense from any point of view.”

The prosecution described her ruling against extradition as one which “hangs on a single thread”, made solely on the basis of Assange’s mental health and risk of suicide and accepting the US lawyers’ anti-democratic arguments on every other legal point.
Vamos noted in his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that the appeal would be an opportunity for the American government to secure a reversal of the decision not to extradite by making promises that Assange would be well-treated in the US. “For example, it could agree not to detain him in a particular prison or under certain conditions or to beef up his health care or suicide monitoring.”

Clair Dobbin for the US indicated during Wednesday’s hearing that these plans were already underway: “consideration is also being given to providing undertakings [on mental health care] that meet specific parts of the judgement.”

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