Assange’s Extradition Hearing Resumes: 8 September 2020 – Defend WikiLeaks

assange’s-extradition-hearing-resumes:-8-september-2020-–-defend-wikileaks

08-09-20 04:49:00, Assange’s Extradition Hearing Resumes: 8 September 2020

See our report from Day 1 of these proceedings here. Yesterday, the judge rejected the defense’s request to proceed without the new allegations in the U.S.’s extremely late superseding indictment, then rejected the defense’s request for more time to prepare to deal with these new allegations. Professor Mark Feldstein began his testimony on investigative journalism. Likely to testify today are journalists Patrick Cockburn and Nicolas Hager, and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Clive Stafford-Smith explains using WikiLeaks docs in legal cases

Clive Stafford-Smith’s witness submission

Clive Stafford Smith, a U.S.-U.K. dual national and the founder of Reprieve, which defends prisoners detained by the U.S. at Guantánamo Bay and others in secretive detention localities around the world, testified about the importance of WikiLeaks material in their litigation. He first discussed the utility of WikiLeaks disclosures in litigation in Pakistan relating to drone strikes and the “seachange” in attitudes towards US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Regarding rendition, assassinations, torture exposed in WikiLeaks documents, Stafford-Smith said, “Speaking as a U.S. citizen, it is incredibly important that it stopped … I feel that my country’s reputation was undermined and criminal offenses were taking place.”

“The litigation in Pakistan would have been very, very difficult and different” if it weren’t for WikiLeaks disclosures.

“The most disturbing thing is that the assassination program with respect to terrorists leaked over to narcotics….they were targeting people for death for their involvement in drug trade because it was seen as funding terrorism. I could go on…”

Assassination programs “are not only unlawful but morally and ethically reprehensible,” he said, and journalists being targeted in war zones by the US is “deeply troubling, a monumental criminal offense.”

The defense questioning then turned to the importance of WikiLeaks releases on Guantanamo.

“It is difficult and hostile sometimes – this is one of the cases I have received death threats for representing these people…but your problem is always two-fold, the prisoners in Guantanamo don’t know what they are charged with….second, unfortunately people never get to meet prisoners in Guantanamo and judge their credibility, so proving what happened involved more than just saying it but travelling round the world and gathering proof”

Stafford-Smith explained that it’s complicated as to whether the GTMO releases are positive or negative in his view:

“Those leaks are the very worst that the US authorities confect about the prisoners I have represented.

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Extradition Witness Statements – Defend WikiLeaks

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08-09-20 07:23:00, USA vs Julian Assange: Extradition Witness Statements September 7, 2020

Mark Feldstein, professor and historian of journalism, University of Maryland

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Assange’s Extradition Hearing Resumes: 7 September 2020 – Defend WikiLeaks

assange’s-extradition-hearing-resumes:-7-september-2020-–-defend-wikileaks

07-09-20 08:09:00, Assange’s Extradition Hearing Resumes: 7 September 2020

September 7, 2020

Press Briefing: Assange Extradition Hearing September 2020

Kevin Gosztola: Previewing witnesses scheduled to testify

Assange has been re-arrested, the previous extradition warrant has been withdrawn and the new warrant has been served.

NGOs access to Assange hearing revoked

Judge Vanessa Baraitser then announced that some 40 individuals were granted remove (video) access to the proceedings by mistake, and their access has been revoked. Courage has learned that those whose access was rescinded include representatives from Amnesty International and PEN Norway.

“I know that others are attending this hearing remotely and in an adjacent courtroom. I am allowing this to take place for social distancing and technology allows us to watch this remotely. Those who attend remotely are still bound to the usual rules relevant to court hearings. I remind you that it is a criminal offense to record or broadcast any part of this hearing, including screenshots on any device. As you know I am aware that a photograph has been taken of Mr Assange inside court and shared on social media in breach of these rules.

I have received a list of 40 people who wish to attend this remotely by cloud. This is something I can consider but only after I have received an application. I have granted a number of remote access to lawyers and a small number of people including lawyers who have acted for Mr Assange in closely related proceedings. In error, the court sent out to others who had sought access. During this pandemic, there have been changes about how people can access proceedings. I remain concerned about my ability to maintain the integrity of the court if they are able to attend remotely. Normally, I can see what is happening in the court room to ensure the integrity of courtroom is maintained. Once livestreaming takes place, the court cannot manage this breach even less when the person is outside the jurisdiction. I want to make it clear that the public interest and allowing remote access is unlikely to meet the interests of justice tests. There are many jurisdictions allowing travel to the UK during COVID, so lessening restrictions on travel. For those who consider they still not travel to the UK to attend the hearing,

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Assange’s US Extradition Hearing Resumes Monday – We Need To Step Up the Fight – Activist Post

assange’s-us-extradition-hearing-resumes-monday-–-we-need-to-step-up-the-fight-–-activist-post

04-09-20 09:28:00,

By Nozomi Hayase

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is set to start on Monday September 7 at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of London and could last three or four weeks. Assange has been indicted on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of conspiring with a source to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for his reporting on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture at Guantanamo Bay.

These charges against Assange are a part of a war on journalism. This is the first time that the Espionage Act of 1917 has been used to prosecute a journalist, in this case an Australian citizen publishing material from outside of the US.

The gruesome attack on the First Amendment became naked during the February phase of the UK hearing of the US request for Assange’s extradition. On the first day of what unfolded as a grotesque show trial, Assange was subjected to strip searches twice, handcuffed 11 times, and his legal material was confiscated by prison officers. In the courtroom he was held behind a glass pane in the presence of private security officers, away from his lawyers, contrary to the accepted international standard.

Abuse of process

The prosecution of Assange has always been politically motivated. Nils Meltzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, recognized the coordinated abuse of power by Western governments involved in this case. After visiting Assange in prison with his medical team in May 2019, he reported that the WikiLeaks founder showed clear symptoms of prolonged psychological torture.

From his house arrest and arbitrary detention inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to his incarceration in Belmarsh Prison, Assange has been treated with extreme cruelty at the hands of the state and his basic rights have been severely violated.

For years, while he was inside the embassy, Assange was deprived of medical care, denied access to fresh air and sunlight by the UK government’s refusal to honor his right of asylum – in violation of the rulings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. His activities were under constant surveillance by a Spanish security contractor,

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Assange Extradition: One Outrage After Another, Says a Former British Ambassador – Activist Post

assange-extradition:-one-outrage-after-another,-says-a-former-british-ambassador-–-activist-post

18-07-20 07:21:00,

By Craig Murray

The imprisonment of Julian Assange has been a catalogue of gross injustice heaped upon gross injustice, while a complicit media and indoctrinated population looks the other way. In a truly extraordinary twist, Assange is now being extradited on the basis of an indictment served in the UK, which is substantially different to the actual indictment he now faces in Virginia if extradited.

The Assange hearing was adjourned after its first full week, and its resumption has since been delayed by coronavirus. In that first full week, both the prosecution and the defense outlined their legal arguments over the indictment. As I reported in detail to an audience of millions, Assange’s legal team fairly well demolished the key arguments of the prosecution during that hearing.

This extract from my report of the Defense case is of particular relevance to what has since happened:

For the defense, Mark Summers QC stated that the USA charges were entirely dependent on three factual accusations of Assange behavior:

1) Assange helped Manning to decode a hash key to access classified material.
Summers stated this was a provably false allegation from the evidence of the Manning court-martial.

2) Assange solicited the material from Manning
Summers stated this was provably wrong from information available to the public

3) Assange knowingly put lives at risk
Summers stated this was provably wrong both from publicly available information and from specific involvement of the US government.

In summary, Summers stated the US government knew that the allegations being made were false as to fact, and they were demonstrably made in bad faith. This was therefore an abuse of process which should lead to dismissal of the extradition request. He described the above three counts as “rubbish, rubbish and rubbish”.

Summers then walked through the facts of the case. He said the charges from the USA divide the materials leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks into three categories:

a) Diplomatic Cables
b) Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs
c) Iraq War rules of engagement
d) Afghan and Iraqi war logs

Summers then methodically went through a),

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