Assange’s extradition: September 7 set for resumption of delayed hearing, WikiLeaks says


13-05-20 01:43:00,

“A date of September 7 has been set for the resumption of Julian Assange’s delayed extradition hearing,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Wednesday. A court location has yet to be determined, it said.

A London court said on May 4 that the US extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Assange would resume in September. It had been postponed from later this month because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Assange is wanted by US authorities to stand trial for conspiring to hack government computers and espionage. The extradition case began in February for a week before being adjourned until May 18 for another three weeks of arguments, Reuters said.

The Australian citizen, 48, says he could spend decades in prison if convicted, and calls the case against him political and a threat to free speech. The US says he put the lives of informants in danger by publishing secret diplomatic cables. Assange was dragged from Ecuador’s embassy in London last April after spending seven years there in a bid to avoid being sent to the US.

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ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Julian & Lockdown Injustice


10-04-20 03:41:00,

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has insisted throughout the process that the WikiLeaks publisher be caged and monitored, writes Binoy Kampmark.

By Binoy Kampmark
International Policy Digest

Scribes of the Julian Assange case must surely gawk with a sense of horrified wonder at each proceeding unfolding at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Assange is in a battle that can only be described as titanic, seeking to avoid the clutches of the U.S. Justice Department, not to mention its legal system, and convince District Judge Vanessa Baraitser about the merits of that argument. The gigantic canvas confronting all participants in this squalid tale of vexation and oppression is the nature of journalism itself, and the central point of sharing confidential state information that sheds light on impropriety, atrocity, and corruption.

That canvas, however, eludes the judge. Baraitser has insisted through the entire process, including the four days of extradition hearings now passed, that Assange deserves to remain caged and monitored. The farcical show of hobbled justice must go on, including the risk posed to his frail being by Covid-19.

On Tuesday, April 7, during the course of yet another court duel, Assange’s legal team attempted to convince the judge to grant legal anonymity to the WikiLeaks publisher’s partner. As with so many efforts, it ended in heroic failure, which could only be put down to a judge who does her work in a hermetic chamber mute to the world.

The line taken by the defense was bog standard. Both Mark Summers QC and Edward Fitzgerald QC insisted that the identity of Assange’s partner continue to be suppressed. This would also protect the privacy of her two young children yet to attend school. Then came that unsettling issue of U.S. officials having attempted to take a DNA sample from one of the children’s nappies. Surely, their safety would be compromised.

Baraitner’s Hostility Legendary

The defense lawyers had not noticed a change in Baraitser’s mood, whose hostility against fair proceedings in this matter is becoming legend. There was a strong public interest, 

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Assange Extradition: Can a French Touch Pierce a Neo-Orwellian Farce? – Global Research


28-02-20 07:59:00,

It’s quite fitting that the – imperially pre-determined – judicial fate of Julian Assange is being played out in Britain, the home of George Orwell.

As chronicled by the painful, searing reports of Ambassador Craig Murray, what’s taking place in Woolwich Crown Court is a sub-Orwellian farce with Conradian overtones: the horror…the horror…, remixed for the Raging Twenties. The heart of our moral darkness is not in the Congo: it’s in a dingy courtroom attached to a prison, presided by a lowly imperial lackey.

In one of Michel Onfray’s books published last year, “Theorie de la Dictature” (Robert Laffont) – the top dissident, politically incorrect French philosopher starts exactly from Orwell to examine the key features of a new-look dictatorship. He tracks seven paths of destruction: to destroy freedom, impoverish language, abolish truth, suppress history, deny nature, propagate hate, and aspire to empire.

To destroy freedom, Onfray stresses, power needs to assure perpetual surveillance; ruin personal life; suppress solitude; make opinion uniform and denounce thought crimes. That sounds like the road map for the United States government’s persecution of Assange.

Other paths, as in impoverishing language, include practicing newspeak; using double language; destroying words; oralizing language; speaking a single language; and suppressing the classics. That sounds like the modus operandi of the ruling classes in the Hegemon.

To abolish truth, power must teach ideology; instrumentalize the press; propagate fake news; and produce reality. To propagate hate, power, among other instruments, must create an enemy; foment wars; and psychiatrize critical thinking.

There’s no question we are already mired deep inside this neo-Orwellian dystopia.

John “Paradise Lost” Milton, in 1642, could not have been more prophetic, when he wrote “Those that hurt the eyes of the people blame them for being blind.” How not to identify a direct parallel with Le Petit Roi Emmanuel Macron’s army, month after month, willfully blinding protesting Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests in the streets of France.

Orwell was more straightforward than Milton, saying that to talk about freedom is meaningless unless it refers to the freedom to tell people what they don’t want to hear. And he put it in context by quoting a line from Milton: “By the known rules of ancient liberty.”

No “known rules of ancient liberty” are allowed to penetrate the heart of darkness of Woolwich Crown Court.

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Day 1 of Assange’s US extradition hearing: What you need to know


24-02-20 07:13:00,

Opening arguments were made on the first day of the US extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with the prosecution claiming his leaks risked lives while the defense argued that his case was politically motivated.

Monday’s hearing lasted six hours, including breaks, and Judge Vanessa Baraitser heard arguments from James Lewis QC, representing the US government, and Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Assange.

The journalist’s supporters amassed outside Woolwich Crown Court, loudly chanting, holding ‘free Assange’ placards and blowing vuvuzelas. Inside the courtroom, Assange sat clean-shaven, with a new haircut and wearing glasses and a gray suit.

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Palestinian flag, Yellow Vests, Anonymous masks: Wide range of protester groups join demonstration in support of Assange (PHOTOS)

Speaking to the gathered media, Assange’s father John Shipton condemned what he called the “ceaseless malice” directed at his son by US and UK authorities. He cited a determination by UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, who said that Assange had been subjected to prolonged “psychological torture.” 

Assange spoke : said he was struggling to hear proceedings and he cannot concentrate ( none of us can hear well !)

— NADIRA TUDOR (@nadiratudor) February 24, 2020

Such was the swell of support for Assange on the street that the noise from protesters could be heard from inside the courtroom. This prompted Assange himself to comment on the level of noise, saying that while he appreciated the support and understood that people “must be disgusted,” the sound was making it difficult to concentrate on proceedings.

Journalists themselves also complained on Twitter that the sound quality in the courtroom was not good, although the situation seemed to improve as the hearing went on.

‘Lives at risk’

As arguments got underway, Lewis claimed for the prosecution that revelations made by WikiLeaks had put political dissidents and journalists in danger, but no names of supposed victims were offered.

Lewis said unnamed persons had “disappeared” following the leaks, but admitted there was no proof that their disappearances were linked. He also argued that journalism was not an excuse for breaking laws.

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Assange’s US extradition hearing begins: What’s it all about and how did we get here?


24-02-20 03:29:00,

A London court is set to begin hearings to determine whether or not jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to the US on charges of conspiracy where he faces life in prison.

Assange has languished in London’s top security Belmarsh Prison since he was dragged from London’s Ecuadorian Embassy by British police in April last year and subsequently slapped with 18 charges under the US Espionage Act, which could see him sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

The Australian journalist and whistleblower had, for the seven years prior, been living in the London embassy, where he had sought asylum after skipping bail in relation to a Swedish sexual assault investigation, which he and his lawyers maintain was politically motivated (and which was later dropped).

Now, Assange’s fate is hanging in the balance in the Woolwich Crown Court with Judge Vanessa Baraitser hearing arguments for and against his extradition. The hearing is expected to last until Friday.

Also on
‘Journalism is not a crime’: Australian MP says charges against Assange must be dropped after visiting him in UK prison

Assange’s lawyers have long argued that he would not receive a fair trial in the US and that the case against him is purely political, amounts to criminalizing the legitimate activities of journalists, and poses a threat to free speech.

WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 but came to prominence in 2010 when it published a classified video showing a US military helicopter killing around 12 people, including two Reuters journalists.

The video was part of a massive cache of military material leaked to the whistleblower site by former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in prison before her 35-year sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in 2017.

Manning was jailed again in 2019 (and remains behind bars) for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks, saying she would rather “starve to death.”

Assange’s critics say that his activities do not amount to journalism and pose a threat to the national security of the US. During the 2016 US presidential election, WikiLeaks angered the US establishment, releasing leaks from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which showed party leaders trying to restrain Bernie Sanders.

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Extradition Hearing – Defend WikiLeaks


18-02-20 10:57:00,

Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing

The Courage Foundation’s daily coverage of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in London
Please send corrections to


Day 1

February 24, 2020

(text here)

Day 2

February 25, 2020

(text here)


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Extradition order to send Assange to US poses existential threat to all truth seekers – Galloway


13-06-19 12:22:00,

Julian Assange’s extradition to the US would be a deathblow for all truth seekers, George Galloway told RT, warning that anyone who fails to support Assange will one day share the same fate as the persecuted Wikileaks co-founder.

Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed on Thursday that he had signed a request for the extradition of Assange to the US, where he is accused of violating the Espionage Act. The order will go before the UK courts on Friday.

Galloway, a former MP who has campaigned tirelessly for Assange’s freedom, quipped that the “dark” episode shows that Theresa May’s “zombie” government was “not content with all the other disasters for which it’s responsible.”

He insisted that Assange’s supporters would “never give up” the fight to stop his extradition to the US and secure his safe release from UK custody.

Also on
British Home Secretary signs extradition order to send Julian Assange to US

Failing to support Assange now will have disastrous consequences for journalism and all who profess to hold progressive values, Galloway warned. He expressed particular discontent with those who would have ordinarily protested Assange’s treatment at the hands of the UK authorities, but remained silent because the Wikileaks co-founder was accused of sexual misconduct – what Galloway decried as a politically-motivated smear.

The liberals and the progressives, as they describe themselves, they will one day be a victim of this tyranny themselves, that is unless they eventually give up any pretense of actually being liberals and actually being progressives.

Asked about what would happen if Assange is ultimately extradited, Galloway said that the consequences for allowing such an injustice would be devastating.

“Every truth seeker will go down if Julian goes down.”

Assange faces a litany of charges in the US, including one count of conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, to gain access to the US Pentagon network. The Australian journalist is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence in the UK for jumping bail.

Also on
Journalists silent on Assange’s plight are complicit in his torture and imprisonment

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Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All. Veteran Intelligence Professionals – Global Research


03-05-19 04:24:00,

Retaliation against Julian Assange over the past decade plus replicates a pattern of ruthless political retaliation against whistleblowers, in particular those who reveal truths hidden by illegal secrecy, VIPS says.


DATE: April 30, 2019

MEMORANDUM FOR: The governments and people of the United Kingdom and the United States

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All

On April 11, London police forcibly removed WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from the embassy of Ecuador after that country’s president, Lenin Moreno, abruptly revoked his predecessor’s grant of asylum. The United States government immediately requested Assange’s extradition for prosecution under a charge of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

Former U.S. Government officials promptly appeared in popular media offering soothing assurances that Assange’s arrest threatens neither constitutional rights nor the practice of journalism, and major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post fell into line.

Not So Fast

Others found reason for concern in the details of the indictment. Carie DeCel, a staff attorney for the Knight First Amendment Institute, noted that the indictment goes beyond simply stating the computer intrusion charge and “includes many more allegations that reach more broadly into typical journalistic practices, including communication with a source, encouraging a source to share information, and protecting a source.”

In an analysis of the indictment’s implications, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) observed that it includes an allegation that “Assange and Manning took measures to conceal Manning as the source of the disclosure…including by removing usernames from the disclosed information and deleting chat logs between Assange and Manning,” and that they “used a special folder on a cloud drop box of WikiLeaks to transmit classified records.”

“These are not only legitimate but professionally advised journalistic practices for source protection,” notes POGO. It is worth noting that Manning had Top Secret clearance and did not need Assange’s assistance to gain access to databases,

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Thursday’s Extradition Hearing “Life & Death” For Assange And Journalism Itself


02-05-19 10:38:00,

Following Julian Assange’s UK court sentencing early Wednesday where he was hit with 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail, which we noted earlier is close to the maximum sentence, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson slammed the “vindictive” punishment as having caused “shock and outrage” in statements to reporters. 

However, Hrafnsson said after the court that the “real battle” begins Thursday, which marks the start of US extradition hearings for Assange, set to begin at 10AM (UK) at the Westminster Magistrate Court. He called it a matter of “life and death” for Assange, and ultimately for the journalistic profession itself. 

Image via EuroNews

Hrafnsson noted that the outcome of the US extradition hearing could prove a watershed moment for the future of journalism: “Tomorrow is the first step in a long battle, so the fight will certainly continue. This is the fight for press freedom, primarily, as we’ve always stated.”

Hrafnsson stressed further: “That is a real battle, it’s not just for Julian Assange – even though for him it’s a question of life and death – it is most certainly a question of perseverance [over] a major journalistic principle,” in statements made after Assange’s sentencing stemming from the 2012 bail related charges. 

Concerning Wednesday’s stiff sentence for skipping bail – close to one year in prison – WikiLeaks later issued the following statement:

Julian Assange’s sentence, for seeking and receiving asylum, is twice as much as the sentencing guidelines. The so-called speedboat killer, convicted of manslaughter, was only sentenced to six months for failing to appear in court.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 1, 2019

Reuters summarizes the specific charges the US will seek to extradite him on as follows

The U.S. Justice Department said Assange was charged with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and American diplomatic communications.

Last week WikiLeaks and a German online magazine published the contents of a letter sent by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to a former WikiLeaks staff member which suggests US officials are attempting to put together a case against Julian Assange based on the Espionage Act. 

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US Extradition of Assange Would be Violation of International Law: UN Special Rapporteur – Global Research


07-04-19 07:39:00,

Following WikiLeaks’ warning yesterday that Julian Assange faced imminent eviction from Ecuador’s London embassy, widespread opposition has emerged to the illegal plans to terminate his political asylum.

Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, issued a statement calling upon the Ecuadorian government of President Lenín Moreno to “abstain from expelling Mr. Assange … or from otherwise ceasing or suspending his political asylum.”

Melzer warned that if Assange was removed from the embassy, he was “likely to be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States,” adding, “Such a response could expose him to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Senior Ecuadorian officials have sought to deflect any questions about WikiLeaks’ claims that a high-level source within the country’s state apparatus indicated that Assange’s expulsion from the embassy building would take place “within hours or days.”

Outside the Ecuadorian embassy Friday, the country’s ambassador to Britain, Jaime Marchan, told the press that there was “no change in the Señor Julian Assange situation” and that he was “offended” by reports to the contrary.

Marchan, who has played a central role in creating a hostile environment for Assange within the embassy, was then asked, “Is he going to be released in the next couple of hours?” He responded, “We are definitely not going to comment on that.”

The country’s foreign minister, Jose Valencia, declared on Twitter that WikiLeaks’ statements were “unfounded” and that his government would not be “giving a running commentary” on “rumours” that it found “insulting.”

Valencia then effectively confirmed WikiLeaks’ warning, stating, “Diplomatic asylum is a sovereign power of a state which has the right to grant or withdraw it unilaterally when it considers it justified.”

The suggestion that political asylum can be granted and withdrawn, based on political expediency and the immediate interests of national governments, makes a mockery of international law. Political asylum is either inviolable, or it does not exist at all. Assange’s status as a political refugee has been repeatedly confirmed by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and other international rights organisations.

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