Emma Arbuthnot is the chief judge who conducted the trial for the extradition of Julian Assange in London to the USA, where a 175 year prison sentence awaits him for “espionage,” that is, for having published evidence of US war crimes, including videos of civilians’ killings in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an investigative journalist. At the trial, assigned to Judge Vanessa Baraitser, every defense request was denied.
In 2018, after Sweden’s sexual assault charges fell through, Judge Arbuthnot refused to cancel the arrest warrant, so that Assange could not obtain asylum in Ecuador. Arbuthnot rejected the United Nations Working Group’s findings on the arbitrary detention of Assange. The UN Officer’s remarks against torture also went unheard:
“Assange is detained in extreme conditions of unjustified isolation, and shows the typical symptoms of prolonged exposure to psychological torture.”
In 2020, while thousands of detainees were transferred to house arrest as an anti-Coronavirus measure, Assange remained in prison, exposed to the infection in compromised physical condition.
In court, Assange cannot consult with lawyers, but is kept isolated in an armored glass cage, and threatened with expulsion if he opens his mouth. What is behind this persistence?
Being Lord James Arbuthnot’s wife, married to a well-known Tory “hawk,” former Minister for Defense Procurements, linked to the Military-Industrial Complex and to the Secret Services, Judge Arbuthnot has the title of “Lady.” Lord Arbuthnot is, among other things, Chairman of the British Advisory board of Thales, a French multinational specialized in aerospace military systems, and a member of Montrose Associates, specialized in Strategic Intelligence (highly paid positions). Lord Arbuthnot is also part of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), an influential transatlantic think-tank linked to the US Government and Intelligence Agency. Last July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at a round table of the HJS in London: since he was the CIA Director in 2017, he accused WikiLeaks, founded by Assange, of being “an enemy spy service.”
The Henry Jackson Society led the same campaign accusing Assange of “sowing doubts on the moral position of Western democratic governments, with the support of autocratic regimes.” Ms. Priti Patel, current United Kingdom Secretary of the Interior,