Trial Updates

Trial 2021

Assange Defense has very good Trial Updates.
– Julian Assange Extradition Appeal: Day 1
– Julian Assange Extradition Appeal: Day 2

Please help us and report frequently.

It‘s not just a case against a single man (which would be ugly enough). Democracy is a matter and responsibility of us all.

The trial against Julian assange is a clear attack on open justice and Human Rights! cf. Interview with Christian Mihr Reporters without Borders:

Kristinn Hrafnsson about conditions in prison Julian Assange would live under if extradited to the US: “That means basically torture by any standard!”

Get in touch with us in case you want to join forces:

Assange hearing observation German

Assange hearing observation English

Further information:


The trial against Julian Assange does not only undermine freedom of speech and freedom of press (and further human rights such as freedom of information) and thus erode democracy in times where we all and globally need it the most to be able to tackle the challenges ahead.

Let alone the year-long strategic measures against Julian Assange threaten his health and life.

But moreover, evidences are strong how the observation of the hearing is hindered and suppressed (cf. references below).

So we ask and urge you, all journalists, to report on these issues.

You are the professional voices of our free and democratic societies.

We as humans have the right and the duty to protect our free and democratic societies.

This is not only a deed trying to help one single man out of a misery others have put him in.

It is also one central and crucial part of keeping and creating a stability in our world which is based on open and just communication rather than control, exploitation and abuse of power.

A stability we urgently need in order to successfully manage the transformation into a just and sustainable world with access to given rights for all as well as with accountability of all.

Here on this webpage we collect media articles, we find important, and give a condensed overview on the hearing with explicit references for further information.

October 2, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:
LIVE #CaseSummary

Revealed: Key Assange prosecution witness is part of academic cluster which has received millions of pounds from UK and US militaries, Oct 2 2020

George Christensen calls on Australia to lodge formal protest over treatment of Julian Assange – LNP backbencher says latest allegations of plans to poison or kidnap Assange show ‘a foreign power tried to use illegal means to harm an Australian citizen’, Oct 2 2020

Unfettered reporting threatened – what Assange extradition hearings reveal, Oct 2 2020

October 1, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“Julian Assange’s fiance Stella Moris @StellaMoris1 speaking on the final day of evidence in London extradition hearing:”

Hearing concludes, ruling to come January 4th 2021 […]

Gareth Peirce: Embassy spying instilled “chilling effect” on legal defense – […] Peirce recounted Assange’s application for asylum and Ecuador’s reason for giving it. She explained that she learned after the fact that her legal conversations with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London were spied on, and that this surveillance instilled a “chilling effect” on the whole legal defense team as they prepared for the hearings. […]

While Barr didn’t mention Assange or the case in his remarks to Hillsdale College on September 16, 2020, the speech is clearly relevant to the defense argument that this prosecution is “political” in nature.[…]

But the judge refused to accept the statement, arguing that it is a routine speech by an attorney general and not significantly dramatic or relevant to be included at this late stage.

In announcing the date of her ruling, Judge Baraitser explained that the defense gets four weeks to submit its closing arguments, and the prosecution then gets two weeks to submit its closing arguments in response. Then her ruling will be delivered in court on January 4th, 2021, at 10:00am.”


«Julian Assange ist verantwortungs­voll mit den Daten umgegangen» – Ein Informatikprofessor aus Biel widerlegt im Auslieferungs­verfahren gegen den Wikileaks-Gründer den zentralen Punkt der Anklage, Oct 1 2020

Trump associate ordered huge surveillance of Assange inside embassy, court told, Oct 1 2020

Judge sets January date for decision on Julian Assange US extradition, Oct 1 2020,

September 30, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“The witness statements testify to the particular zeal Morales had in recording conversations between Assange and his lawyers as well as his contract with an American company to report the recordings back to American intelligence officials.

Background on the UC Global/Embassy spying story:

  • Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers
  • Three protected witnesses accuse Spanish ex-marine of spying on Julian Assange
  • US demands hinder Spanish probe into alleged CIA ties to security firm that spied on Assange
  • ‘The American friends’: New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange

Because these statements were particularly long, see excerpts in this separate post: Anonymous witnesses detail U.S.-directed spying of Julian Assange in the Embassy. […]

Patrick Cockburn: WikiLeaks showed the realities of war – Patrick Cockburn is an investigative reporter for The Independent.

I was In Kabul when I first heard about the WikiLeaks revelations. which confirmed much of what I and others had suspected. The trove was immense: some 251,287 diplomatic cables. more than 400,000 classified army reports from the Iraq War and 90,000 from the war in Afghanistan. Rereading these documents now I’m struck again by the constipated military-bureaucratic prose, with its sinister dehumanising acronyms. Killing people is referred to as an EOF (‘Escalation of Force’), something that happened frequently at US military checkpoints when nervous US soldiers directed Iraqi drivers to stop or go with complex hand signals that nobody understood. What this could mean for Iraqis ls illustrated by brief military reports such as the one headed ‘Escalation of Force by 3/8 NE Fallujah: I CIV KIA, 4 CIV WIA’. Decoded, ii describes the moment when a woman In a car was killed and her husband and three daughters wounded at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Fallujah, forty miles west of Baghdad. Toe US marine on duty opened fire because he was unable to determine the occupants of the vehicle due to the reflection of the- sun coming off the windshield’. Another report marks the moment when US soldiers shot dead a man who was ·creeping up behind their sniper position’. only to learn later that he was their own unit’s Interpreter. […]

The Wikileaks documents exposed the way the US, as the world’s sole superpower, really conducted its wars – something that the military and political establishments saw as a blow to their credibility and legitimacy. There were some devastating revelations, the helicopter video among them, but many or the secrets uncovered were not particularly significant or indeed very secret. In my view, they do not themselves explain the degree of reaction that the Wikileaks revelations provoked from the US government and Its allies: I consider this to have been their response to a perceived assault on their monopoly control of sensitive state information, which they saw as an essential prop to their authority. Making such information public as Assange and Wikileaks had done weaponised freedom of expression: if disclosures of this kind went unpunished and became the norm, it would radically shift the balance of power between government and society – and especially the media – in favour of the latter.[…]

Ian Cobain: Only leaked docs confirm what governments cover up – Ian Cobain is an investigative journalist who was with The Guardian in 2010-11.

There is always the understanding – one that is so clear that it needs not be spoken – that anyone who has knowledge of state crimes, and who comes forward to corroborate allegations about those crimes, may face prosecution. […]

Cobain reported on British intelligence helping the CIA kidnap an entire family and render them to Libya where they were tortured.[…]

Had the documents not emerged in the way in which they did, the British government would no doubt have continued to maintain that “the UK does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture for any purpose”, a claim that is completely undermined by the documentary evidence now available in respect of this case.[…]

Guy Goodwin-Gill: Spied on in the Embassy -[…] I was therefore somewhat shocked, to say the least, to learn in late 2019 that my name featured in papers lodged in connection with legal proceedings in Spain concerning the disclosure of confidential information, that the occasion of my visit and participation had been shared with various parties, and that my ‘electronic equipment’ may have been copied and the contents also shared.[…]

Stefania Maurizi: WikiLeaks’ unprecedented document security – […] The fact is that what had been and was being disseminated by the governments involved, in particular the USA, was largely false, and the true picture was not being allowed to be known.[…] Everything was done with the utmost responsibility and attention. I am aware of the password that David Leigh and Luke Harding of the Guardian subsequently published in their book: it was not the same password I myself was given at the time. […] That was the first time I had ever worked in any publishing enterprise involving strict procedures of that kind.[…]

Robert Boyle: Chelsea Manning was punished by grand juryManning explained that due to her position as an intelligence analyst, she had access to information about United States military activities in Iraq. Some of those activities contradicted the stated goals of U.S. policy. She told the court: “[the United States military] became obsessed with capturing/killing targets on lists and being suspicious and avoiding cooperation with our host nation partners and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy, in general, as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.” […]

[Regarding Collateral Murder] Manning told the court that she “wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan were targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare.” Although I stopped sending documents to [WikiLeaks], no one associated with [WikiLeaks] pressured me into giving more information. The decisions I made to send documents and information to [WikiLeaks] were my own decisions and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Manning subpoenaed, refuses to testify, punished further […] Manning was imprisoned for refusing to testify […] Manning believed the U.S. government wanted information ahead of Assange’s hearing:

As Manning herself has stated “I suspect that [the government) [is] simply interested in previewing my potential testimony as a defense witness, and attempting to undermine my testimony … This justifies my theory that participating in this investigation functions simply to abuse the justice system for political ends.” […]

Andy Worthington on Guantánamo files – […]

In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — 765 out of 779 in total — are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida, known as Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs).[…] Crucially, the files also contain detailed explanations of the supposed intelligence used to justify the prisoners’ detention.[…] The documents draw on the testimony of witnesses — in most cases, the prisoners’ fellow prisoners — whose words are unreliable, either because they were subjected to torture or other forms of coercion (sometimes not in Guantánamo, but in secret prisons run by the CIA), or because they provided false statements to secure better treatment in Guantánamo.[…]

Jameel Jaffer: Assange indictment gravely threatens press freedom – […] In my view, the indictment of Mr. Assange was intended to deter journalism that is vital to American democracy, and the successful prosecution of Mr. Assange on the basis of the activities described in the indictment would certainly have that effect.[…] These provisions are extremely broad, as many others have observed,7 and they criminalize a “wide range of activities that may bear little resemblance to classic espionage.”8 The Act exposes leakers to severe penalties without regard to whether they acted with the intent to harm the security of the United States.9 As it has been construed by the courts, the Act is indifferent to the defendant’s motives,10 and indifferent to whether the harms caused by disclosure were outweighed by the value of the information to the public. […] There are structural reasons why unauthorized disclosures of classified information are so vital to the public’s ability to understand, evaluate, and influence government policy relating to war and security. […] The government’s use of the Espionage Act against government insiders who supply classified information to the press poses a serious threat to the ability of the press to inform the public about matters relating to war and security. The government’s indictment of a publisher under the Act, however, crosses a new legal frontier.

“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.[…]

What I shall do for now is give you the eloquent and brief statement by Noam Chomsky on the political nature of Julian Assange’s actions: […]

I will also give you the breathtaking testimony of “Witness 2”:”

“Er wurde explizit darauf hingewiesen, dass niemand mitbekommen dürfe, dass die Kameras Ton aufzeichnen. Später wurde der Auftrag erteilt, dass die Kameras einen LiveStream liefern, der den “Freunden aus den USA” zur Verfügung gestellt werden sollte.”

“Morales Vermögen stieg sichtbar an, er hat ein neues Haus bezogen und teure Autos gekauft, er soll $200000 im Monat für den Vertrag, der “Operation Hotel” genannt wurde, erhalten haben.”

“In Spanien wurde Morales verhaftet, es läuft ein Verfahren gegen ihn. Die beiden Zeugen leben nun unter bewaffneter Bewachung, weil im Haus von Morales eine Pistole mit abgefeilter Seriennummer gefunden wurde.”

“Schin [sic!] 1973 bezeichneten die Rechtswissenschaftler Harold Edgar und Benno Schmidt Jr. den Espionage Act als eine “geladene Waffe, die auf Zeitungen und Reporter gerichtet ist, die Geheimnisse der Außenpolitik und der Verteidigung veröffentlichen”.”


US intelligence sources discussed poisoning Julian Assange, court told – Extradition hearing told spying operation at Ecuador embassy included plot to take baby’s nappy, Sept 30 2020

September 29, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:
“Former warden Maureen Baird: Assange would get “desolate and degrading” Special Administrative Measures – Former prison warden Maureen Baird […] testified today about the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) that she believes Julian Assange would be subjected to if he were extradited to the United States. At issue are Assange’s potential pre-trial and post-trial prison conditions, because the U.K. cannot extradite if doing so would be “unjust or oppressive” or would subject the defendant to “inhumane or degrading treatment.” […] Special Administrative Measures are a layer of extreme gagging restrictions on a prisoner that render them effectively incommunicado. […]
Baird testified about the inmates she oversaw who were under SAMs: Inmates were in solitary confinement, technically, for 24-hours per day. There was absolutely no communication, by any means, with other inmates. The only form of human interaction they encountered was when correctional officers opened the viewing slot during their inspection rounds of the unit, when institution staff walked through the unit during their required weekly rounds, or when meals were delivered through the secure meal slot in the door.[…]

The conditions are so bad, she wrote, that she can’t believe they still exist:

I am uncertain how the BOP has been able to continue with these types of isolation units, given all the studies, reports and findings of the horrific physical and psychological effects they have on inmates.[…]

Baird’s testimony directly contradicts many of the assertions made by the prosecution’s chief witness, assistant U.S. attorney Gordon Kromberg, in his affidavits to the court.[…]
Lindsay Lewis: Assange will “almost certainly” be placed under SAMs […] The prosecution’s witness Gordon Kromberg suggested that SAMs could be lifted if appealed and sometimes aren’t renewed after a year. Lewis testified, as Baird did earlier, that inmates must exhaust the “long, drawn-out” Administrative Remedy process before they can sue the Bureau of Prisons in court to try to get SAMs removed. Lewis said she’d never heard of any case in which an inmate successfully got SAMs removed through the Administrative Remedy process.[…]
Anonymous witnesses to testify on Embassy spying – The judge granted anonymity to two witnesses from U.C. Global, who will testify about that company’s spying on Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. El Pais reports that U.C. Global director David Morales traveled to Las Vegas where he secured a contract with a company working for top Trump financier Sheldon Adelson to spy on Assange and provide recordings to the CIA.”

“Tuesday has been another day on which the testimony focused on the extreme inhumane conditions in which Julian Assange would be kept imprisoned in the USA if extradited. The prosecution’s continued tactic of extraordinary aggression towards witnesses who are patently well informed played less well, and there were distinct signs that Judge Baraitser was becoming irritated by this approach. The totality of defence witnesses and the sheer extent of mutual corroboration they provided could not simply be dismissed by the prosecution attempting to characterise all of them as uninformed on a particular detail, still less as all acting in bad faith. To portray one witness as weak may appear justified if they can be shaken, but to attack a succession of patently well-qualified witnesses, on no basis but aggression and unreasoning hostility, becomes quickly unconvincing. […]
The other point which became glaringly anomalous, in fact quite contrary to natural justice, was the US government’s continued reliance on affidavits from US Assistant Attorney Gordon Kromberg and Board of Prisons psychiatrist Dr Alison Leukefeld. The cross-examinations by the US government of the last four defence witnesses have all relied on precisely the same passages from Kromberg and Leukefeld, and every single one of the defence witnesses has said Leukefeld and Kromberg are wrong as to fact. […]
The afternoon witness was an attorney, Lindsay Lewis, who represents Abu Hamza, who is held at ADX Florence. The videolink to Lewis had extremely poor sound and from the public gallery I was unable to hear much of her testimony. She said that Hamza, who has both forearms amputated, had been kept in solitary confinement under SAMs in the ADX for almost ten years. His conditions were absolutely inappropriate to his condition. He had no prosthesis sufficient to handle self-care and received no nursing care at all. His bed, toilet and sink were all unadapted and unsuitable to his disability. His other medical conditions including severe diabetes, hypertension and depression were not adequately treated. Lewis said that the conditions of Hamza’s incarceration directly breached undertakings made by the US government to the UK magistrates’ court and High Court when they made the extradition request. The US had stated his medical needs would be fully assessed, his medical treatment would be adequate, and he was unlikely to be sent to the ADX. None of these had happened. […]
The day concluded with a foretaste of excitement to come, as Judge Baraitser agreed to grant witness anonymity to the two UC Global whistleblowers who are to give evidence on UC Global’s spying on Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy.”

“Wenn SAM verhängt werden, gibt es keinen Ermessensspielraum, es ist eine Richtlinie und die wird ausgeführt, die Gefängnisleitung hat darauf keinen Einfluss.”
“SAM sollen zwar nicht als Strafe dienen, werden aber als solche eingesetzt.”
“Besteht die Gefahr, dass Herr Assange im Falle einer Verurteilung sein Leben lang im H-Block (quasi Einzelhaft) verbleiben muss? “Die Gefahr besteht.” “
“Baird ist überrascht, dass die Regierung SAM nicht ausgeschlossen hat. Es sei sehr ungewöhnlich, dass die Anklage überhaupt SAM ins Spiel bringe. Das habe sie noch nie erlebt, seit sie als Anwältin tätig ist.”
“Anmerkung: Es wird wieder deutlich, wie sehr sich die Anklage an Regeln und Theorie klammert und vollkommen ausblenden will, wie die Realität aussieht.”
“Lewis: Es gibt keine einzige Studie, die nicht zum Ergebnis kommt, dass Einzelhaft nach mindestens zehn Tagen zu psychischen Problemen führt.”
“Ms Lewis berichtet, dass Abu Hamza in einem zugelassenen Brief seinem Sohn geschrieben hat, dass er seinem Ein-Jährigen Enkel ausrichten soll, dass er ihn liebt.
Das wurde als Verstoß gegen die SAM-Auflagen gewertet und die Maßnahmen entsprechend verlängert.”
“Sie bezeichnet die Maßnahmen als willkürlich.”

Exclusive: Spanish judge seeks Sheldon Adelson security chief in Assange spying case, Sept 29 2020

Julian Assange would be sent to America’s most notorious prison if extradited, court hears, Sept 29 2020

Assange case: former security firm staff allowed to give anonymous evidence – Witnesses who worked for company accused of spying on WikiLeaks founder claimed they were at risk, Sept 29 2020

Augstein nimmt Assange in Schutz, Sept 29 2020

September 28, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:
“At issue is whether extraditing Assange be “cruel or oppressive” and whether he would be subject to “torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”[…]
Ellis believes it is “most likely” that Assange would be held in the X block at the ADC, the housing unit for administrative segregation (ad-seg) which he said constitutes solitary confinement. Assange would be held there due to a combination of his notoriety and his mental health condition, Ellis said. Speaking from his experience visiting clients at the ADC, Ellis said that inmates on the X block live in 50’ square cells for 22-23 hours a day. They have no access to therapeutic or other programs and no interaction with other prisoners. In his witness statement, Ellis writes, “There is no outside recreational or exercise area at the Alexandria jail and I do not recall there being any windows in the ADSEG unit.”[…]
“The whole point of this unit is to keep you away from other inmates,” he said. These are all the basic minimum physical conditions of the X block, Ellis said, and Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) impose further restrictions on outside communications on top of that.[…]
Sickler testified that he believes that pre-trial in the ADC, Assange will be housed in ad-seg on the X block. He agreed with Ellis’ characterization of the prison cells there as about the “size of a parking space.” Sickler also noted that AUSA Kromberg claims that inmates in ad-seg at ADC can communicate with each other but that “in practice, that’s ridiculous.” “He absolutely won’t have communication with other inmates,” he said.[…]
He also testified about the lack of health care at the Alexandria facility […]. […]
Responding again to Dobbin’s reading through BOP policies as to the care they provide, Sickler said, “What I see ongoing in practice is entirely different.” “

“Today was the worst day for the defence since the start of the trial, as their expert witnesses failed to cope with the sheer aggression of cross-examination by the US Government […].
It was not that the prosecution had in any way changed their very systematic techniques of denigrating and browbeating; in fact the precise prosecution template was once again followed. It goes like this.

  1. undermine academic credentials as not precisely relevant
  2. humiliate by repeated memory test questions of precise phrasing of obscure regulations or definitions
  3. denigrate relevance of practical experience
  4. iterate official positions and challenge witness to say they are expressed by named officials in bad faith
  5. humiliate by asking witness to repeat from memory regulations for expert testimony in UK courts
  6. run though a list of qualifications and government positions relevant to the subject and make witness say one by one they have not held them
  7. claim testimony is biased or worthless because it does not include government assertions at full length.

You will note that none of this has anything to do with the truth of the actual evidence, and to date almost all witnesses have easily, sometimes contemptuously, seen off this intellectually shallow method of attack. But today was another story. The irony was that, when it came to the real subject matter of the evidence, it was obvious to any reasonable person that the prosecution claims of the good conditions in the American Prison service for high profile national security prisoners are just nonsense. But it was a day when the divorce between truth and court process was still plainer than usual. Given the horrific reality this process was disguising, it was a hard day to sit through.[…]
The cross-examination lasted two and a half hours.[…]
Dobbin is officious beyond the point of offensive; she comes over as properly obnoxious as a person.
The unpleasant irony in all this is that both Sickler and Ellis were mocked and scorned for their lack of personal knowledge of ADX Colorado, when prosecution and judge had combined just on Friday to bar two witnesses who the defence both wished to testify, who had expert personal experience of ADX Florence. That is yet another striking example of the fact that this process is divorced from any genuine attempt to find truth or justice.”

“Bevor die Befragung startet, trägt die Richterin ihre Entscheidung zur Freigabe der medizinischen Gutachten an die Presse vor: Antrag abgelehnt – Assanges Recht auf Privatsphäre überwiegt.”
“Dobbin fragt Sickler, ob er ein Problem mit den (formellen) Haftregeln hat: “Nein, die sind toll geschrieben.” Sickler macht immer wieder klar, dass Theorie und Praxis auseinander fallen.”
“Es tut mir leid, dass ich das nicht so detailliert begleite, die Befragung ist unerträglich. Lewis wird für seine Befragungen zT scharf kritisiert, Dobbin will ihn diesbezüglich wohl vom Thron stoßen.”
“[Fitzgerald] geht einige Punkte durch und fragt, ob er nach der langen Befragung durch die Anklage weiterhin an den Hauptpunkten seines Statements festhält. Das ist der Fall.”

Ai Weiwei protestiert gegen eine mögliche Auslieferung des Wikileaks-Gründers, Sept 28 2020

Staatsfeind Nummer eins – USA gegen Assange: Rechtsbruch mit System. Informationen zu Kriegsverbrechen sollen nicht an Öffentlichkeit gelangen, Sept 20 2020

September 25, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“Before testimony began today, Judge Baraitser acknowledged the political dimensions in the case against Julian Assange for the first time. Amid discussion of when closing arguments will be submitted, and how much time is needed to prepare them after testimony concludes next week, the judge asked the defense whether the U.S. presidential election would impact the defense’s case.

Lawyer Ed Fitzgerald said, “Much of what we say about Mr. Trump personally goes to why this was initiated, that will all remain good,” and, “Much of what we say about the fate which awaits Mr. Assange remains good because it’s about systemic faults in the prisons and his underlying conditions.” But “the situation would be all the worse” if Trump were to win re-election, he said. […]

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson reacted to these comments immediately:

In asking the defense how the outcome of the U.S. presidential election would affect its case and indicating that she had hoped to issue a ruling before election day, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has acknowledged what has been clear since even before the first indictment against Julian Assange was unsealed, that this is a politically motivated prosecution.

Article 4 of the U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty says, “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.” […]

The defense then read a brief witness statement from Jakob Augstein, editor of the German weekly Der Freitag, which in 2011 published an article indicating that the book by Guardian journalists Luke Harding and David Leigh had revealed a password that could be used to decrypt files containing the unredacted State Department cables. The article was titled “Leak at WikiLeaks,” referring to former WikiLeaks staffer Daniel Domscheit-berg, who fell out with Assange in 2010 and took files with him to attempt to start a new leak site. Augstein’s statement alludes to the fact that it was a mirror created or controlled by Domscheit-berg that contained the file that could be decrypted with this password. It also confirms that Julian Assange had contacted Augstein in advance of the article’s publication to express that he “feared for the safety of informants.”[…]

Today’s first live witness was digital forensic expert Patrick Eller […]. Eller’s testimony establishes several key points:

  • The attempted cracking of the password hash was not technologically possible in 2010, when the conversation happened […]
  • Even if it were feasible, the purpose would not have been to conceal Manning’s identity […]
  • Even if it were feasible, it would not have given Manning any increased access to government databases […]

Furthermore, Eller testified, everyone tasked with using secret government documents would have had access to this database. Asked to give an estimate as to how many people had SIPRNet access, Eller said it was “in the millions.” What is far more likely, Eller testified, is that Manning wanted to use the admin account in order to download movies, music, and computer games onto her computer. The type of account to which Manning would have gained access would have had administrative privileges making it much easier to access the T-Drive, a shared database where other users uploaded these kinds of files.

Eller’s testimony also established that he and the U.S. government both have no way of proving that ‘Nathaniel Frank’ was actually Julian Assange.”

“[..T]his entire hearing has been conducted in effective secrecy, a comprehensive secrecy that gives sharp insight into the politico-economic structures of current western society. Physical access to the courtroom has been extremely limited, with the public gallery cut to five people. Video link access has similarly been extremely limited, with 40 NGOs having their access cut by the judge from day 1 at the Old Bailey, including Amnesty International, PEN, Reporters without Borders and observers from the European Parliament, among many others. The state and corporate media have virtually blacked out this hearing, with a truly worrying unanimity, and despite the implications of the case for media freedom. Finally, the corporations that act as internet gatekeepers have heavily suppressed social media posts about Assange, and traffic to those few websites which are reporting. […]

The closing arguments are the part of any trial which the media is most likely to report. […]To have these simply submitted on paper, without the drama of the courtroom, is to ensure that the hearing will continue to be a media non-event.

The timetable which has been accepted is that the defence will lodge their closing arguments in writing on 30 October, the prosecution will reply on 13 November, with the defence able to make a further response by 20 November purely on any legal questions; Baraitser will then deliver her judgement in January. She made plain that she would not accept any further submissions based on developments in the interim, including the US Presidential election.[…]

[..I]t is a very strange feature indeed of these extradition hearings that the defence have no right to cross-examine witnesses who are US federal employees. Gordon Kromberg has submitted five separate affidavits, containing much which is disputed hotly as to fact, but he cannot be cross-examined. Nor may Lukfeld be cross-examined.[…]

Having heard the lawyers, Judge Baraitser yet again read out a ruling from her laptop which had been written before she heard either Lewis or Fitzgerald speak.[…]

[..T]he witness statement of Jakob Augstein was important evidence that went to the fact that it was not Assange or Wikileaks who first published the unredacted material, and Augstein added additional information that Assange had tried to prevent it. […] The other interesting point about Augstein’s evidence is that it pointed squarely at the possibility that it has been Daniel Domscheit-Berg who, in defecting from Wikileaks, had been responsible for the emergence of the encrypted but unredacted cache on the net.[…]

That a judge so intent on shutting down or refusing to hear defence evidence is suddenly so preoccupied with “open justice” when it comes to hurting Assange by release of his deeply personal information, is a great irony.”

“wir sollen Patrick Eller hören, er ist forensischer Computerexperte und hat Material aus dem Verfahren gegen @xychelsea untersucht. Die Anklage-Unterlagen zur Befragung wurden ihm so spät zugestellt, dass er sich nicht vorbereiten konnte.”

“ “open justice” beschreibt das Prinzip, dass Verfahren öffentlich und transparent sein müssen ( […].”

“Vor dem Gericht hat @cmihr von @ReporterOG gerade erklärt, dass sie weiter die unmittelbare Freilassung von Julian #Assange fordern – insbesondere nach den schockierenden Ausführungen zu seinem Gesundheitszustand.”


Das verratene Passwort, Sept 27 2020

September 24, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“Dr Nigel Blackwood is a consultant forensic psychiatrist with the NHS, and he produced a report for the prosecution on Assange’s mental health and his suicide risk in the event of extradition. […]

Medical testimony is used to establish whether “the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him”, as that would violate Section 91 of the U.K.’s 2003 Extradition Act, and to prevent violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” […]

The defense and prosecution agree that if extradited, Assange would be held before trial at Alexandria Detention Center (ADC) in Virginia. The defense argues that if convicted, Assange would be sent post-trial to ADX Florence, a Supermax prison in Colorado. The prosecution doesn’t confirm that Assange would be sent there but provides evidence regarding the facility to respond to the defense’s arguments. […]

This afternoon we heard testimony from defense witness Dr. Sondra Crosby, an associate professor of medicine and public health at Boston University and an expert on the physical and psychological impact of torture, who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, beginning in October 2017. […]

On the question of whether it would be unjust to send Julian to the United States, Dr. Crosby said, “Assange is at a very high risk of completing a suicide if he were to be extradited.” […]

Cryptome published unredacted cables first – At the very end of today’s proceedings, the defense read aloud an important and consequential witness statement from John Young, host of […]

The statement is a critical piece of evidence against the U.S. government’s indictment of Assange for publishing the unredacted diplomatic cables in 2011. […]

This witness statement corroborates previous testimony from John Goetz and others on the chronology of events, that WikiLeaks was not the first to publish the unredacted cables and in fact took great care to prevent names from being disclosed.”

“During the hearing of medical evidence the last three days, the British government has been caught twice directly telling important lies about events in Belmarsh prison, each lie proven by documentary evidence. […]

While in the medical wing or “healthcare”, Julian Assange was in effect in solitary confinement, and three psychiatrists and a physician with extensive experience of treating trauma have all testified in court that Assange’s mental and physical condition deteriorated while he was in “healthcare” for several months. […]

That is all essential background to the lies. Now let me come to the lies. Unfortunately to do so I must reveal details of Julian’s medical condition which I had withheld, but I think the situation is so serious I must now do that. […]

When on Tuesday Edward Fitzgerald QC produced this charge sheet in court, it did not appear to be news to the prosecution. James Lewis QC panicked. Rather too quickly, Lewis leapt to his feet and asked the judge that it should be noted that he had never said that there was no razor blade. Fitzgerald responded that was not the impression that had been given. From the witness box and under oath, Kopelman stated that was not the impression he had been given either. […]

At the end of Thursday’s proceedings, there were two witness statements read very quickly into the record. This was actually very important but passed almost unnoticed. John Young of gave evidence that Cryptome had published the unredacted cables on 1 September 2011, crucially the day before Wikileaks published them. Cryptome is US based but they had never been approached by law enforcement about these unredacted cables in any way nor asked to take them down. The cables remained online on Cryptome. Similarly Chris Butler, Manager for Internet Archive, gave evidence of the unredacted cables and other classified documents being available on the Wayback machine. They had never been asked to take down nor been threatened with prosecution.”

Vorteil bei der Aussage einer Enthüllungsplattform – sie veröffentlichen das Statement:


September 23, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“Prosecution attacks Assange’s autism spectrum diagnosis

Today Dr. Quinton Deeley, National Health Service psychiatrist who specializes in autism, ADHD, & other mental health issues, took the stand to discuss Julian Assange’s diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). […]

Dr. Deeley also agreed with what Dr. Kopelman testified to yesterday, that Assange would be a “high risk” of suicide if he were ordered to be extradited.[…]

The prosecution then spent nearly its entire cross-examination questioning this diagnosis, attacking Dr. Deeley’s findings and impartiality.[…]

The prosecution called Seena Fazel, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, who specializes in prison suicide. […]

Fazel testified that he found Assange to be “moderately depressed,” but accepts that he was “severely depressed” in late 2019 […]

However, he said, he doesn’t find Assange’s mental capacity such that he is unable to manage his own suicidal risk. Fazel agreed that Assange has “autistic-like traits […].

In defense cross-examination, Fazel conceded that he is not an expert in U.S. prisons, which have a 6-7 times larger inmate population. […]

Discussing solitary confinement and lengthy prison sentences, Fazel said that “hopelessness is an important risk factor” for suicide, that Assange’s risk increases if he feels he has “bleak prospects.”

“On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard the immediate following Monday. This brought the closest the defence have come to a protest, with the defence pointing out they have still not addressed the new superseding indictment, and that the judge refused their request for an adjournment before witness hearings started, to give them time to do so. […]

I fear that all over London a very hard rain is now falling on those who for a lifetime have worked within institutions of liberal democracy that at least broadly and usually used to operate within the governance of their own professed principles. It has been clear to me from Day 1 that I am watching a charade unfold. […]

The plan of the US Government throughout has been to limit the information available to the public and limit the effective access to a wider public of what information is available. Thus we have seen the extreme restrictions on both physical and video access. A complicit mainstream media has ensured those of us who know what is happening are very few in the wider population. […]

So let us be clear about this. William Barr decides who is subjected to this regime and when it may be ameliorated. For at least the first twelve months you are in solitary confinement locked in your cell, and allowed out only three times a week just to shower. You are permitted no visits and two phone calls a month. After twelve months this can be ameliorated – and we will hear evidence this is rare – to allow three phone calls a month, and brief release from the cell five times a week to exercise, still in absolute isolation. We have heard evidence this exercise period is usually around 3am. After an indeterminate number of years you may, or may not, be allowed to meet another human being. Behind Baraitser’s chilly disdain, behind Lewis’s theatrical postures, this hell on Earth is what these people are planning to do to Julian. They are calmly discussing how definitely it will kill him, in full knowledge that it is death in life in any event.”

“Zur Einordnung: Die Verteidigung argumentiert, dass eine mit der Auslieferung an die USA einhergehende erhöhte Suizidgefahr, eine Auslieferung rechtlich verbietet. Deshalb werden diese Themen momentan so intensiv besprochen.”


September 22, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:

“[…] Dr. Kopelman said that Assange, who has been diagnosed with clinical depression and Asperger’s syndrome, would be at a high risk of suicide if he were extradited to the United States. […] Dr. Kopelman testified […] that he has severe depression and he has been making end-of-life preparations. Dr. Kopelman reviewed Assange’s personal, medical ,and family history as factors in his determination as well as observations he made in these visits. He also noted that renowned Autism expert Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen has found that suicide is nine times more likely in patients with Asperger’s syndrome.”

“Julian is profoundly worried that his medical history will be used to discredit him and all that he has worked for, to paint the achievements of Wikileaks in promoting open government and citizen knowledge as the fantasy of a deranged mind. I have no doubt this will be tried, but fortunately there has been a real change in public understanding and acknowledgement of mental illness. […M]y account will be less detailed than others, because I have decided to censor much of what was said. I do this on the grounds that, when it comes to his medical history, Julian’s right to privacy ought not to be abolished by these proceedings. […] Kopelman had no doubt that Julian was liable to commit suicide if extradited. “It is the disorder which brings the suicide risk. Extradition is the trigger.”

“Auch bei Kopelman versucht die Anklage die Expertise in Frage zu stellen, der emeritierte Professor mit jahrzehntelanger Erfahrung reagiert recht ungehalten: “Ich dachte nicht, dass ich für eine Art Einstufungstest hier sei.”


  • Here’s to you, Julian Assange! “This is the message we all must deliver to those who held [Assange]: if you kill a man, you create a myth which will continue to mobilize thousands.”, Sept 22 2020

September 21, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:


September 14, 2020

Assange hearing observation sum-up:


September 13, 2020


September 12, 2020


September 4, 2020