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Assange Extradition Hearing mistrial - Interview with Craig Murray, former British Ambassador, in daily attendance

[Note alternative video URL is https://youtu.be/ZtwpzqAJMBo.]Chris Hedges discusses with Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador, the hearing underway in London to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to the United States. Murray’s exhaustive reporting, which can be found at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/, has become one of the few sources of reliable information about a hearing that has become notoriously difficult to cover because of court restrictions imposed on the alternative press, and which is being ignored for political reasons by most mainstream news organizations. If you wonder why there is no video-coverage available of the Assange mistrial, it is because (a) Human Rights NGOs, which were promised video-access, had this cut off after the first day and (b) despite access being available to most corporate and government media, mysteriously, none has availed themself of it. That is the reason that you and I are not able to monitor this mistrial, and that is possibly the reason it has been able to continue. The public gallery is virtually empty. This is really a secret trial. Only five family members of Assange have been allowed, with Craig Murray having the title of uncle, to Assange. Craig Murray's coverage of the trial is apparently under a shadow ban from the major internet platforms; his readership has dwindled to something like 10 per cent, despite his coverage providing a unique and valuable public window, where almost none exist, into this dark political tower that the Old Bailey has become.

Excerpt from Craig Murray's report for Hearing Day 21

Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21
October 1, 2020

I really do not know how to report Wednesday’s events. Stunning evidence, of extreme quality and interest, was banged out in precis by the lawyers as unnoticed as bags of frozen chips coming off a production line.

The court that had listened to Clair Dobbin spend four hours cross-examining Carey Shenkman on individual phrases of first instance court decisions in tangentially relevant cases, spent four minutes as Noam Chomsky’s brilliant exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly fired into the court record, without examination, question or placing into the context of the legal arguments about political extradition.

Twenty minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identity protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, bugged not only him but his lawyers, and burgled the offices of his Spanish lawyers Baltazar Garzon. This evidence went unchallenged and untested.

The rich and detailed evidence of Patrick Cockburn on Iraq and of Andy Worthington on Afghanistan was, in each case, well worthy of a full day of exposition. I should love at least to have seen both of them in the witness box explaining what to them were the salient points, and adding their personal insights. Instead we got perhaps a sixth of their words read rapidly into the court record. There was much more.

I have noted before, and I hope you have marked my disapproval, that some of the evidence is being edited to remove elements which the US government wish to challenge, and then entered into the court record as uncontested, with just a “gist” read out in court. The witness then does not appear in person. This reduces the process from one of evidence testing in public view to something very different. Wednesday confirmed the acceptance that this “Hearing” is now devolved to an entirely paper exercise. [...] Read more at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/10/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-21/.

Comments

The following was posted to the article by Craig Murray, linked to above:

Thank you, Wikikettle, Craig.

We have also embedded the interview in "Assange Extradition Hearing mistrial – Interview with Craig Murray, former British Ambassador, in daily attendance" (4/10/2020) at https://candobetter.net/node/6040 [here].

Judge Vanessa Barraister and the prosecution apparently don’t care that the proceedings don’t remotely resemble a trial. In a trial, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, is allowed to call upon witnesses to give evidence and to have witnesses for the prosecution cross-examination. Their 'case' against Julian is no more than:

"Might is right. We own Judge Vanessa Barraitser and the government which appointed her. Just sit back and accept your indictment and your punishment for daring to question the good intent of the United States government."

Given how Barraitser’s makes no effort to conceal her hostility to Julian Assange and her outrageous rulings against Julian’s defence team, surely it must be possible to demand that Judge Vanessa Barraitser be removed from this case though popular protest, another legal challenge or both.

Repesentatives Tulsi Gabbard and Thomas Massie Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Defending the Free Press & Call For Charges Against Julian Assange To Be Dropped

October 2, 2020

Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Thomas Massie (KY-04) introduced H.Res.1175, a resolution that defends the freedom of the press, noting that newsgathering activities and news organizations ability to acquire and publish information are protected under the First Amendment. The resolution calls for the United States to drop all charges and efforts to extradite Julian Assange.

“Freedom of the press is a vital function of a free democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. Julian Assange published information that exposed lies and abuses of power at the highest levels of our government. His indictment under the Espionage Act sends a chilling message to every member of the media and all Americans,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “U.S. government prosecutors now claim that any journalist or news organization that publishes classified material is liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act -- which would have led to the indictment of the Washington Post for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. The Federal government’s prosecution of Julian Assange sets a dangerous precedent. All extradition efforts and charges under the Espionage Act against Julian Assange must be dropped now.”

“At a time when government officials claim the right to perform warrantless surveillance upon all American citizens, there is an urgent need to zealously guard freedom of the press and to demand government transparency and accountability. The ongoing attempts to prosecute Julian Assange threaten our First Amendment rights, and should be opposed by all who wish to safeguard our constitutional rights now and in the years to come. I join my colleague, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, in calling for an immediate end to all charges against Mr. Assange,” said Rep. Thomas Massie.