The Empire’s Trial of Assange Constitutes a Life-Threatening Injustice
Oct. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—Judge Vanessa Baraitser in Julian Assange’s extradition case stated Sept. 30 that she will not announce her verdict or take up U.S. extradition of him until Jan. 4, 2021. After nearly four weeks of evidence in his extradition hearing in London’s Old Bailey Court, the judge said she would deliver her decision at 10 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2021, declaring, “Unless any further application for bail is made, and between now and the 4th of January, you will remain in custody for the same reasons as have been given to you before,” she told Assange, seated behind a security screen in the back of the room. Linguistics Professor Noam Chomsky had sought to testify for Assange, but the judge rejected as irrelevant any testimony a linguistics professor might offer, despite his decades’ old, international status as a political figure and human rights activist.
If she rules against Assange, the overwhelming likelihood is that Assange will be sent to a “supermax” U.S. prison, where prisoners have in effect no human rights, and remain in absolute solitude.
British human rights activist and former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray wrote a Sept. 30 “snapshot” of the injustice being carried out against Julian Assange in his extradition hearing in London. Murray writes that after listening to irrelevant cross-examinations of defense legal experts for four hours, the court then spent four minutes as Chomsky’s exegesis of the political import of this extradition case was rapidly filed into the court record, without examination, question or providing context of the legal arguments about political extradition. The court is following the practice of keeping witness testimony unknown, by merely reading out a very brief “gist” and, according to Murray, allowing this “gist” to be pre-screened by intelligence services.
Murray added that 20 minutes sufficed for the reading of the “gist” of the astonishing testimony of two witnesses, their identities protected as their lives may be in danger, who stated that the CIA, operating through Sheldon Adelson, planned to kidnap or poison Assange, that it had tapped both him and also his lawyers, and had burgled the office of his Spanish lawyer.
“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.... Instead we got perhaps a sixth of their words read rapidly into the court record.... I have noted before ... that some of the evidence is being edited to remove elements which the U.S. 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.”
For more information on the background, see “Assange in Court,” on Craig Murray’s website.