One of the US prosecution’s key medical witnesses in the Julian Assange hearing, who claimed that Assange’s risk of suicide is ‘manageable’ if extradited to the US, works for an academic institute that is funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and linked to the US Department of Defence, it can be revealed.
Giving evidence as an expert witness for the US prosecution, Dr Blackwood rebutted other experts’ findings on the seriousness of Assange’s condition, adding his suicide risk was “manageable”. He told the court: “Mr Assange has proved himself to be a very resilient and very resourceful man, and he has underplayed that.”
At the request of US prosecution lawyers, Dr Blackwood examined Assange during two meetings in March. In his written submission to the court, he said that it would “not be unjust” to extradite Assange to the US.
Declassified has discovered that Dr Blackwood’s professional work at KCL is linked to a cluster of academic groups which are funded by or associated with the British and American militaries.
Declassified has seen a contract showing that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) provided more than £2-million to KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry for the years 2013-16 for a project which KCL is forbidden to mention in public without MOD approval. It is likely the contract has been renewed and is still active.
The £2.2m contract between King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry and the UK Ministry of Defence. Click here to read the document.
The project is managed “on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence” and is for Phase 4 of a “wellbeing” study of veterans of Britain’s recent military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeking to “inform MOD decision-making”, the project began in 2003.
The value of the first three phases of the contract is not known but if the Institute of Psychiatry received a similar level of funding for Phase 4 as they had previously,