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 NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE

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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 10:16 am

Lewis says yet again (has said to multiple witnesses): are you really trying to help the court?

Dr Kopelman evaluated Assange primarily May-Dec 2019. These comments don't preclude serious depression. If anything they are evidence of his ASD Asperger's


Kopelman says Assange has passed 2 tests for malingering. Lewis says those tests don't test for malingering -- Kopelman says, I am an expert on neuropsychiatry, you're not, those are the tests


Kopelman cites the (TOMM) Test of Memory Malingering

https://www.wpspublish.com/tomm-test-of-memory-malingering

Lewis again asking a witness why he didn't include Gordon Kromberg's comments regarding US prisons in his report. Kopelman says he only received them after his report. Lewis complaining that he based his findings on defense experts

Lewis: would you agree that mental health issues didn't prevent Assange from leaking government material?


Kopelman: I...wasn't evaluating him at the time

Lewis: didn't prevent him from running WikiLeaks, from public speaking, running a chat show?


Kopelman again says he wasn't evaluating him then, determination is that depression at issue began in 2016

Lewis now wants to put Kromberg's statements about US prisons to Kopelman and see if they change his mind 


Kopelman doesn't want to deal with hypotheticals

Kopelman citing many sources (including CCR, the Marshal Project) on US prison conditions


Lewis: so you're an expert on US prisons now?

Kopelman: no, but those are sources out there on this issue

Lewis challenging the potential sentence Assange might get, as one of many bases Kopelman cited as reasons to fear extradition 


If he didn't get life in prison, sensory deprivation, segregated housing, would it change your mind?

Kopelman says it could but there are many factors

Kopelman again says he is confident Assange could find a way to commit suicide if extradited


End of cross-examination. Re-examination from defense lawyer Ed Fitzgerald


(Omitted some exchange in which Kopelman clarified comments and opined on differences of opinion regarding psychosis and suicidal ideation out of respect for privacy, and not necessary to repeat relevant portions)


Fitzgerald asks Dr Kopelman to comment on insinuation he is biased -- Kopelman says it's for the judge to decide but she'll find that his psychiatric report to be more comprehensive than the others


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 22, 2020 10:28 am

Defense re-examines witness:

Defense: If you consider depression and extradition but not considering US prison conditions, your evaluation?

If extradition became imminent or were to happen, that would be the trigger to a suicide attempt


Kopelman testified in Lauri Love's extradition case as well. In that case he was reassured that US prisons are safe, but the court ruled that he should not be extradited, and since then Jeffrey Epstein has committed suicide in prison. "Those reassurances were not so reassuring."

Fitzgerald also mentions that Chelsea Manning attempted suicide in the very facility where Assange would be held in pre-trial detention. Dr. Kopelman notes that Assange will be well aware of that attempt


Segregating housing would worsen depression, and "isolation he would experience in North America would be far worse than anything experienced in embassy or Belmarsh"


End of re-examination, end of Dr. Kopelman's testimony. #AssangeCase 


Now working out upcoming witnesses for the rest of the week

6 witnesses have been agreed in full (meaning they won't need to testify live, will just submit statements), others had been agreed but will now require cross-examination, some mostly agreed but require edits to statements. 14 witnesses for next week, 3 the defense won't call


Statements agreed -- not requiring cross-examination -- include those from Noam Chomsky and John Young (host of Cryptome)


Tomorrow we'll hear from Paul Mullen, Australian psychiatrist. 


Now Ed Fitzgerald arguing against release of Dr. Kopelman's witness statement to the court

End of proceedings for the day, back tomorrow at 10am London time. #AssangeCase


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 6:12 am

Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. We expect more medical testimony today from Australian psychiatrist Paul Mullen.

Potentially more sensitive material will be discussed today that we may summarize rather than describe in detail for reasons of privacy. Court has commenced, the parties are talking about evidence that goes to Assange's suicidal ideation in Belmarsh.

Now on the stand is Dr Quinton Deeley, National Health Service psychiatrist who specializes in autism, ADHD, & other mental health issues


Deeley co-authored 'The psychiatric management of autism in adults' https://rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/improving-care/better-mh-policy/college-reports/college-report-cr228.pdf?sfvrsn=c64e10e3_2


Deeley is testifying to Assange's suicidal ideation in Belmarsh and his fears of how he'll be treated in a U.S. prison


Deeley also testifying to Assange's diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome


Deeley confirming Assange's diagnosis of depression. Deeley interviewed Assange at length by phone and talked to others who know him well. Deeley says Julian's risk of suicide would be "high" in the event of extradition.


Assange's "obsessive rumination" and "rigidity of thought", symptoms of ASD Asperger's, increase the likelihood of suicide


To the idea that US prisons could prevent self-harm -- "I think the reality is that people who want to commit suicide find a way" both in UK and US prisons, not least in facilities of high security


Deeley: Half of all suicides in US prisons are by people in solitary confinement


End of defense questioning. Now James Lewis cross-examining for the prosecution. The first question is whether Deeley is a neuropsychiatrist, he responds that his training is in general adult psychiatry


Lewis is questioning Deeley about the autism spectrum, typically onset in childhood, but Deeley says signs can become more evident in adulthood


Lewis questioning Deeley's agreeing with Assange's diagnosis of Asperger's. Wants to play Assange's comments from the Frontline Club for Deeley to get his view as it pertains to the diagnosis, his ability to communicate. Tech issues playing the video, so the questions continue


Lewis suggests Assange hosting a TV interview show means he doesn't have Asperger's. Deeley says no, when the person speaks about topics they are very interested /knowledgeable about, in a set format, is actually where they're comfortable -- it's other venues that are challenging


Lewis: are you trying to give an objective opinion to the court?


Deeley: I am


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 6:41 am

Lewis: so you've got to take this new information (that he hosted a TV show) into account rather than excusing it away?

Deeley: I'm just providing relevant context

Now prosecution is playing video from Frontline Club


Video from Frontline Club, Assange had participated in Q&A by videolink, answering a question about the Afghan war diaries, lessons learned about redactions & informants


In his answer Assange talks about no resultant harm, USG refusing to help redact, civilian casualties exposed

Video appears to be from 2010. Video ends -- Lewis says, so this isn't rehearsed, shows him able to handle this conversation?


Deeley: no actually this is a good example of what I was talking about, doesn't have to pay attention to social etiquette, he's in his comfort zone

Lewis again says, are you trying to help the court or just help the defense?


Defense objects that Lewis asks all the witnesses this after they've given extensive, intelligible, reasonable answers.

Judge allows the question

(Haven't confirmed but video could be from this event: 'How Wikileaks is changing journalism' https://frontlineclub.com/blogs/theforum/2010/08/how-wikileaks-is-changing-journalism.html…)


Lewis reading from a recap of interviews, keeps noting 'good eye contact' 


Deeley contextualizes eye contact, format in which he was observed is relevant. Recalls interviews with Assange's mother, comments from Kopelman. Doesn't assert Assange has no nonverbal communication

Lewis suggests having sole custody of a child contradicts diagnosis, suggests no court would give custody to someone who struggles to develop peer relationships


Deeley disagrees, says makes relationships based on shared interests, not inconsistent with Asperger's diagnosis

Lewis says 'lack of empathy' is part of Asperger's diagnosis. Quotes mother calling him 'selfless', says isn't that wholly inconsistent?


Deeley: No, not uncommon for someone with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) to be dutiful, principled, moved by the idea of suffering in general

Lewis cites Assange's articles, books, interviews, speeches


Deeley: not unusual for someone with expertise to be able to speak about it. Others have noted 'Edwardian' style of speech, unusual formality

Lewis: why do you always defend this diagnosis, why aren't you unbiased?


Deeley: I'm giving a summary, comprehensive judgement


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 7:04 am

Lewis: you often look at the ceiling instead of making eye contact when answering my questions, is that a trait..?

Deeley: I don't think I would score highly on an ADOS (autism) test, it hasn't been put to me before but I'm addressing you, judge, the defense


Prosecution seems determined to try to undermine the idea that Assange is on the autism spectrum, questioning supportive items evidence in isolation, Deeley emphasizes the diagnosis doesn't hinge on one example.

One final question about risk of suicide. End of cross-examination. 15-minute recess now before defense re-examination. Defense says Paul Mullen isn't available for the afternoon, judge very concerned about not using the afternoon time.


Back from recess, defense re-examination. Confirms Dr. Deeley spoke to Assange for 6 hours over a series of interviews in July. 

Judge objects to questioning as 'leading' without prosecution rising to say anything
--------------------------

The motivation behind the medical/psychological assessments being presented:
Yesterday's #AssangeCase write-up: 'Psychiatrist: High risk of suicide if Assange is extradited'

Extradition Act is prohibited if “the physical or mental condition of the person is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him.”
----------------------------------------


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 9:16 am

Long defense re-examination exchange basically confirms Dr. Deeley's assessment that Assange is on the autism spectrum. End of testimony.

Judge now talking about social distancing in the courtroom, suggesting those not directly associated with the case need to re-arrange (leave?) to observe social distancing. Fitzgerald says these are the same people who've been in court for the full hearing and they're spaced out


Judge says they'll need to re-arrange and some will have to go to the overflow room


Paul Mullen will not be called. Dr. Sondra Crosby (examined Assange in the embassy) may be called tomorrow morning, but defense needs to confirm her availability. Judge wants to finish proceedings by Oct 2 but may not be possible with 14 witnesses left + closing arguments.


Recess now for lunch, both sides need to take instruction before we know what will happen this afternoon. #AssangeCase


Back from lunch recess, more social distancing in court now. #AssangeCase



The prosecution is calling its first witness (doesn't mean the end of defense witnesses) -- Professor Seena Fazel, a forensic psychiatrist, just sworn in

Fazel has a specialization in prison suicide, has published studies of prison suicide in The Lancet, other journals


Fazel has found that Assange is "moderately depressed", would not classify it as "severe depression" (as defense psychiatrists have). Now talking about relative risk of suicide in prisoners, 'high' must mean above average of other prisoners of same demographic. Risk level changes


Fazel says prison suicide is generally rare, rarer in US than UK. Fazel says Assange's condition is not so severe that he can't manage his suicidal risk -- phones the Samaritans, takes his medication


Fazel says he's not an expert on US prisons. He understands that they do offer some cognitive behavior services. End of prosecution questioning. Defense lawyer Ed Fitzgerald cross-examining now.


Fazel confirms Assange's depression, medical history. Talking about medication, Assange's dislike of segregated housing, that depression can be and here is episodic and a fluctuating condition.


Fazel agrees a conviction and long sentence would be a risk factor for suicide, and that the conditions in which he's confined can make a difference


Fazel confirms that solitary confinement removes opportunities to mitigate depression, could increase sense of hopelessness, loneliness


Fitzgerald asking Fazel about Assange's prospective conditions under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), no association with other prisoners and very limited contact to the outside world - which Gordon Kromberg said he may well be under - would that exacerbate condition? 


Yes


Fitzgerald references Terry Cooper study on suicide in US prisons, 2x as high in solitary confinement. Fazel noting that he needs more information, these stats are for New Jersey and California. Talking about whether solitary in general increases risk


"Hopelessness is an important risk factor." A factor for Assange, his "bleak prospects" if convicted


Fitzgerald notes Assange is likely to be perceived as a "security risk" in a US prison, would reduce his access to therapeutic treatments/avenues to mitigate depression. Fazel cautious to comment without more information but agrees if opportunities are reduced, risk increases


You've made assumptions that the US prison system is likely to treat mental health as well as the UK does yes?


Yes, based on some research but I admit I'm not an expert on US prisons

Approximately 6-7x bigger prison population in the US than in the UK


Fazel agrees he isn't an expert on SAMs, that we'd need to ask US prison experts. Hasn't been to ADX Colorado, hasn't heard that even the prison warden there described SAMs as "unfit for human habitation"


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 9:56 am


Warden also referred to imprisonment under SAMs as "clean version of hell"

Fazel: if Assange is severely depressed and in isolation, may reduce his capacity to resist suicidal ideation


Cases of Gary McKinnon and Lauri Love, where autism & suicidal risk played important factor in decisions against extradition -- Fazel aware of these cases but not an expert

Fazel agrees Assange has "autistic-like traits" but isn't an expert, has been to state and local jails in the US but not the federal system, not aware of ADX Colorado or Chelsea Manning's suicide attempt. End of defense cross-examination.


Re-examination, prosecution trying to argue that solitary (segregated housing) doesn't always exacerbate depression/mental health symptoms


The prosecution is now questioning defense definition of "solitary confinement" -- says according to Kromberg, "there is no solitary confinement in the ADC" (Alexandria Detention Center where Assange would be held pre-trial)


Defense objects that the prosecution isn't differentiating between SAMs and administrative segregation (defense contends Assange will be subject to both)


Now talking post-trial, the prosecution is reading off the amenities offered by supermax prison ADX Florence in Colorado. "13-inch television" "arts & crafts" etc

After long list of ostensible amenities, "would you describe those conditions as solitary confinement?" Defense objects that all of those are not part of housing unit H where Assange would be held. Question is asked nevertheless


Can't really comment definitively, would have to see what factors prisoner would actually get


Now prosecutor James Lewis "wants to make sure there wasn't a slip" in Fazel's previous testimony: "suicidal ideation doesn't necessarily correlate with suicide?"


People who commit suicide did have ideation, but minority of those with ideation do so

End of Fazel's testimony. #AssangeCase


Back from recess. Ed Fitzgerald reading from a neuro report, Assange's scores on psychiatric/other tests

Assange passed a test showing he was "very unlikely to be malingering" (as the prosecution attempted to argue yesterday)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 23, 2020 10:17 am

Defense has culled 3 witnesses from its list to be done by next Friday. Dealing with witnesses for tomorrow. Dr. Sondra Crosby is available tomorrow but since she's in the US, not until later in the day. May have a later start tomorrow. Judge asks when closing arguments would be.

Defense asks for a month after testimony to prepare closing arguments, and a day to argue them in court. Prosecution says it wouldn't need more than 3/4 of a day. Judge doesn't like that they need time between testimony and closing arguments.


The judge proposes giving these closing arguments in week 5, "profoundly reluctant to delay the closing" arguments at all, due to the length of hearing thus far. Defense says this would present massive difficulties. Judge: there was never an expectation that you'd get more time.


Defense responds that they've asked for an adjournment at the beginning of this resumed hearing. Don't think I can do Mr Assange justice in this timetable, need to take instruction from him


Judge will hear argument about when they can present closing submissions but says not to assume they will get more time to do so


Defense realizes a delay means more confinement for Assange but he would prioritize putting forward the best defense


Judge notes that this case began many months ago (doesn't note that the prosecution added a 2nd superseding indictment much later...)


Prosecution proposes just written submissions for closing arguments instead of arguing them in court. Judge: "that's certainly an alternative" 

The defense also notes they only scheduled for these 4 weeks.

The judge wants the defense to consider written closing only

Both parties will present arguments, on when to have closing arguments, on Monday.


Adjourned now until 12pm London time tomorrow, a later start.



(me: I'm not liking this judge)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2020 9:21 am

24 SEPTEMBER 2020
Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Expecting more medical testimony today, from Dr. Blackwood and Dr. Sondra Crosby. #AssangeCase

The prosecution calls Dr Blackwood to the stand, just sworn in now, consultant forensic psychiatrist with the NHS. He's made a report for this case, prosecutor James Lewis is taking him through it now


Once again we may summarize the proceedings more than provide exact detail out of respect for Assange's privacy. Relevant for the case: Dr Blackwood finds Assange to be moderately depressed and able to manage his risk of suicide. This differs from the findings of defense doctors


Blackwood now more directly challenging Dr Kopelman's assessments, referring to the fact that Assange was never taken out of the prison for medical help. Recall that more than 60 doctors called for Assange to get medical help outside the prison in Nov 2019


https://medium.com/@doctors4assange/concerns-of-medical-doctors-about-the-plight-of-mr-julian-assange-ffb09a5dd588

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30383-4/fulltext

There is undoubtably some risk of suicide attempt in the event of extradition," but it doesn't rise to a "high risk," Dr. Blackwood says.

Dr. Blackwood on how Assange would be treated in a US prison: "We would expect there would be broad equivalence" in Assange's mental health care treatment. This is a key point, UK doctors expecting US prison mental health care to be adequate


Blackwood said he thought Assange was prone to "self-dramatizing". End of prosecution questioning. Defense cross-examining. Defense explaining to Blackwood that he drew on reports from the prison psychologist, with whom others have said Assange has had a difficult relationship.


Talking about why Assange was moved to the medical wing in Belmarsh last year -- the prison psychologist didn't properly explain to Dr. Blackwood that the move was related to suicidal risk, prison psych said it was about the prison's "reputational risk"


Long exchange on medical reports, medications that I won't report on for Assange's privacy. But Blackwood pushes back against fears for Assange's health. He's a "very resilient man" and "resourceful man" and some thought he wouldn't be fit for trial and yet here he is


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2020 9:34 am

Blackwood thinks suicide isn't as common in U.S. prisons. Now talking about what Assange would endure in a U.S. detention facility

Fitzgerald talking about SAMs, former prison warden suggesting high risk of suicide in supermax prison. Blackwood: "this is the most pessimistic end of the spectrum"

Fitzgerald for the defense: "but this is a prison warden." Blackwood then cites (prosecution's affidavit) assistant US attorney Gordon Kromberg

Blackwood drew on (US govt witness) Kromberg's submission to find that there is no solitary confinement in supermax prisons.

Correction not necessarily supermax - this was about prospective pre-trial detention in Alexandria Detention Center)


But Eric Lewis (Reprieve lawyer) testified about solitary confinement at this facility. Blackwood accepts there is a range of opinion on the matter.

The key question is whether it would be "unjust or oppressive to extradite" Assange. Blackwood takes the US govt claims that the ADC doesn't use solitary confinement at face value.

Hour-long recess now for lunch. #AssangeCase

Legal background for Blackwood's assessment of the question of whether it's "unjust or oppressive to extradite" to the US include: 

USA v Turner: [size=0]https://casemine.com/judgement/uk/5a8ff72760d03e7f57ea8bab


USA v Lauri Love: https://judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/lauri-love-v-usa.pdf[/size]

The lower court judge in Lauri's case found that "there is substantial risk Mr Love will commit suicide" in a US prison but an appeals court found that the judge was too credulous of US claims they could protect prisoners:

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 EirhwGkWAAgaTgQ?format=png&name=small


Reminder: at issue are both Assange's prospective pre-trial & prospective post-trial prison conditions. Defense & prosecution agree he'd be held pre-trial at ADC in Alexandria, VA. Prosecution claims there is no solitary confinement at the ADC. Defense testimony contradicts that.

Post-trial, defense argues he'd be held at ADX Florence, a supermax prison in Colorado. Prosecution says they don't know where he'd be detained post-trial, but they also say even admin-segregation at ADX doesn't constitute solitary confinement.


In general, the US government always says that there is no solitary confinement in US prisons, always referring only to "ad-seg" (administrative segregation). See this report by 

@theCCR
: Solitary Confinement: Torture in U.S. Prisons


https://ccrjustice.org/home/get-involved/tools-resources/fact-sheets-and-faqs/torture-use-solitary-confinement-us-prisons


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2020 8:46 pm

In arguing that ADX detention doesn't constitute solitary, the prosecution says the facility offers "weekend 'brain teaser' games, arts and crafts, a weekly movie program, and special holiday activities." 


The defense notes this is not the unit Assange would be housed in. 
Furthermore, again, this is the facility even a former warden has referred to as "a clean version of hell," "unfit for human habitation." 


Back from recess, Dr Nigel Blackwood still on the stand. Defense lawyer Ed Fitzgerald cross-examining. #AssangeCase 


Re: whether it would be unjust to extradite, Blackwood was only dealing with 'the Turner test' from USA v Turner, regarding "capacity to control" suicidal impulses. 


Fitzgerald is establishing that Blackwood was not addressing the Lauri Love ruling that the conditions of US imprisonment would be inhumane 
Blackwood accepts the question of whether it would be inhuman should rely on US prison experts, which he is not. Blackwood has not visited any US federal prisons, none of the facilities where Assange would be detained. 


But Blackwood can comment on reports on US prisons. At the time of Blackwood's report, he hadn't seen the statement from Eric Lewis or from Joel Sickler on solitary confinement/US prison conditions. He drew on Kromberg's statement and other literature in the public domain 
Blackwood still says after reviewing academic literature that there would be "broad equivalence" between US and UK prisons. But he hadn't heard defense submissions on the specific facilities where Assange would be held. 


Fitzgerald notes that in Blackwood's report he doesn't refer to other literature (just cites US testimony from Gordon Kromberg) 
Fitzgerald: No evidence that Blackwood referred to anything other than Gordon Kromberg's statement. Blackwood did not comment on/consider the prospect that Assange would be sent to ADX Florence in Colorado. 
"When you say there is no solitary confinement" at ADC in Alexandria, you are repeating verbatim what Kromberg said?

Yes, this paragraph was about Kromberg's submission 



Blackwood: suicide risk is based on a multitude of factors. I understand there is a variety of treatments under SAMs. Fitzgerald reading from a prison warden stating that there is one standard regime under SAMs, applied to all under it 


Blackwood agrees that in solitary, with no outside communication/phone calls, that regime would be "deleterious" to his mental state 
And that is not like what he has in UK prison?

Blackwood: Yes, he relies on use of phone, communication to outside

So not equivalent to his UK conditions?

Blackwood: again that is the "most pessimistic end of the spectrum" 

Isolation didn't agree with him?



Blackwood: *relative* isolation, yes (referring to Julian's time in the health ward in Belmarsh) 

Aware that Chelsea Manning attempted suicide in Trusdale adult detention center?

Yes

When giving this glowing review of Trusdale you didn't think that was relevant?

I referred to the fact that Julian mentioned it to me 


Lengthy discussion on "capacity to control" suicidal impulse - this is the standard established in USA v Turner. Blackwood essentially says Julian has capacity to control but this isn't necessarily medical terminology (Fitzgerald established with other witnesses that it isn't) 

Some more discussion about Asperger's syndrome. End of Blackwood's testimony. Brief recess, expecting Dr Sondra Crosby after the break. 

(Actually there may be one more question for Blackwood after recess - he's still on the stand and Fitzgerald took instruction from Assange) 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2020 8:52 pm

End of cross-examination. Prosecution re-examination, Blackwood says that an Asperger's test would be better assessed outside of his current situation. End of Blackwood's testimony. 


Up next is remote video testimony from American doctor 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 


(Technical issues with Dr Crosby's audio, brief recess while they're being sorted) 


Crosby began visiting Assange in 2017. Her Feb. 2019 visit in the embassy was spied on & her medical notes were taken. “Mr. Assange’s right to doctor-patient confidentiality was violated, and his confidential information had been breached,” she said.


Tech issues sorted, defense questioning Crosby. She specializes in health of those seeking and in asylum, as well as trauma and torture, has been to Guantanamo Bay


Dr Crosby also visited Assange in Belmarsh. In embassy she says Assange described symptoms of PTSD, psychological distress, and he complained of a number of "very worrisome" physical symptoms but Dr Crosby had no way of performing a necessary evaluation. 

Again, trying to respect privacy and just summarize. Dr Crosby talking about Assange's mental & physical health deteriorating, suicidal ideation in the embassy. 


Prosecution objects to questions about Assange's psychiatric/psychological state, that she's not an expert on that. Fitzgerald for the defense references her experience treating people with psychological trauma. 


The most relevant point from Dr. Crosby: "Assange is at a very high risk of completing a suicide if he were to be extradited” 


More discussion of Assange's physical health. End of questioning for the defense. James Lewis cross-examining for the prosecution. 


Lewis: would it be fair to say you are sympathetic to Mr. Assange's cause?

Dr. Crosby: No it wouldn't be fair to say that at all. 


When you visited Assange in the embassy, did you come to London for other reasons or only to visit Assange?


I had other business there and combined it with my visits with Assange.

So who paid for your travel?

I did. 


Lewis: You say he was "confined" to the Ecuadorian Embassy but he was there of his own will wasn't he?

Crosby: I think that's a very complicated issue, his psychological state was such that he feared what would happen, I would say the question is debatable 


Lewis: you rely on Nils Melzer's report, yes?

Crosby: after my Feb 2019 visit with Mr Assange I was very alarmed by his physical & mental health, spoke to his lawyers about my concerns, I couldn't convince Assange to leave the Embassy. 


I wrote to the high commission for human rights, Mr Melzer partly in response visited Assange but by that time he had left the embassy so the conditions were very different. what I relied on were the 2 medical doctors who accompanied me and had concerns about his health 


Lewis: Do you think Mr Melzer's report is fair and balanced?

Crosby: I only rely on his medical comments, the political dimension I have no opinion on 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 24, 2020 8:55 pm

End of cross-examination. Fitzgerald re-examining for the defense. 


Establishing more of her experience after the prosecution tried to undermine her psychiatric expertise. 


End of Dr Sondra Crosby's testimony. #AssangeCase 


10-minute recess to see if the parties can agree on whether another witness's statement could be read today. 


Back from recess, defense is reading a statement from Christopher Butler, representative of Archive.org / the wayback machine


Now statement from John Young (host of Cryptome) 


Young: I published on Cryptome on Sept 1, 2011 the unredacted State Department files, that remains online today 


Young: No US law enforcement has indicated to me that this is illegal, nor that it contributes to a crime, nor asked for them to be removed. 


Seems end of statements for today.
 Tomorrow we'll have testimony from Patrick Eller [on the encrypted hash/password cracking issue]. End of today's proceedings. Adjourned until tomorrow at 10am London time. #AssangeCase 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 9:24 am

Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Today we expect testimony from Patrick Eller, digital forensics expert, on the computer crime charge and the alleged agreement between Assange & Chelsea Manning to crack a password in 2010

Mark Summers for the defense says the prosecution provided its bundle for Eller, challenging claims in his statements, at 11:30pm last night. He has gotten up at 5:00am to testify and has had about 5 minutes to review these documents... Defense asks for an hour for him to review.

Patrick Ellers will argue, Summers says, that the allegation against Assange regarding the password cracking issue is not possible, and if it were it was not used for the purpose the government alleges. 


Judge grants 50 more minutes for Ellers to review.

Discussion over whether to release Assange's medical report (includes his family's history) to the press. Defense and prosecution agree that they should be withheld for privacy but are making the case to the judge. Judge speaking to a member of Press Association in court.


Will decide that issue at the end of today's proceedings. Now discussing defense request for time between the end of testimony and closing arguments. Would be willing to not make oral arguments and just submit in writing if they get more time to prepare.


The other option, the judge says, is to make oral arguments on the Thurs and Fri of the 5th week (2 weeks from now). Prosecution says it would be fine with just written arguments, would ask for just 1 or 2 weeks.


Judge says this case has already gone 18 months, the defense can't ask for so much time, and your client is in confinement.


Ed Fitzgerald: if the court were to grant him bail that would solve that problem

Defense notes an initial option was to resume this hearing in November but the defense asked for September, so we are still within that timeframe. Defense also notes the surprise 2nd superseding indictment (>4 months after the hearing began)


Judge notes this would mean closing arguments at the end of October, and a ruling wouldn't come until 2021.


Judge also picks up a prosecution argument that the defense can't bring up more evidence. Fitzgerald says it would have to be something quite dramatic, "if President Trump says he's going to execute all journalists" we would have to make comment on that


Judge: what impact would the U.S. presidential election have on your case?


Fitzgerald: There could be some impact. (cont'd)

Fitzgerald: Much of what we say about Mr Trump personally goes to why this was initiated, that will all remain. Much of what we say about the US prison systems will remain because it's systemic. But we do feel the situation would be worse if Trump were to win.


Judge grants the defense the 4 weeks to give written closing arguments, the prosecution 2 weeks to then reply with theirs, and a final 72 hours for limited defense reply.




Defense now reading a statement from Jakob Augstein, journalist at Der Freitag in Sept 2011, when the German weekly published the article indicating that the Guardian book releasing the password + mirrored encrypted files could be put together to find the unredacted cables.


Augstein: the encrypted Cablegate file published online came from Daniel Domscheit-berg's trove that he had taken away from Assange/WikiLeaks' control when he left and started OpenLeaks


It was Domscheit-berg's copy of the encrypted file that appears to have been mirrored.

Now discussing prospective evidence from US prison psychologist. Prosecution "strongly objects" to these 2 reports on the same issues already addressed by other witnesses. If the judge accepts them, prosecution would request adjournment to prepare.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 6:04 pm

Prosecution complaining about late evidence, "enough is enough." [Yes the same prosecution which brought a 2nd superseding indictment halfway through the case.]

Defense says they haven't been able to cross-examine prosecution affidavits from Gordon Kromberg, others, so the prosecution shouldn't complain about this.

Defense just wants its witnesses to be allowed to referred to these reports.
Includes report from Dr Thomas Kucharski which defense says directly contradicts prosecution arguments on US prison conditions 

Judge saying she received files from defense last night, she's warned both parties previously about late evidence. "A line must be drawn" judge says on filing timing, these issues (US prison conditions) have already been covered, so the defense submissions will not be accepted.


Patrick Eller now taking the stand by remote video. 
Eller, who served in the US Army for 20 years as a criminal investigator, is president of Metadata Forensics, which provides digital investigation and forensic examination in both civil and criminal cases.

Eller has been asked to examine a jabber chat regarding a password hash from March 2010

Eller: the chat didn't tell him anything about the computer to which it related, or even whether it related to a government computer.

Any indication to 'Nathaniel Frank' that the password hash they were told about referred to a government computer?

No

Explaining hash values: encryption programs "hashes the password", turning plaintext into hash value and stores it.

To change it back to plaintext, in this instance, you would need both the SAM file and the system file.
Based on this chat and the Manning court transcripts: 
Manning did not have the entire portion required, could not obtain the password2010, computer was running Windows XP.

Defense: Assume that what you just said is not the case, hypothetically if the hash cracking *was* successful -- want to talk about what intent was if it was successful 

Manning had a username on this government computer.
Had a local account specific to the computer, not the domain, no access to the wider network within the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility)

By March 2010, Manning had used her own domain to access and download materials later leaked and in this case -- the GTMO detainee assessment briefs, the war diaries, the rules of engagement

This is important ^ -- the government alleges a conspiracy to access and download more information, but Manning had already sent most of the releases to WikiLeaks by the time of this conversation.


If the hash cracking was successful, it would have given 'FTP access', local computer account. No access to the T-drive.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 6:13 pm

Eller: "govt allegation that there was an attempt to gain anonymity is greatly undermined by the tracking system which identified users.
 
Databases like the Net Centric Diplomacy database & Intelink could be accessed from any account on the computer, including local user accounts"

"But the account on the computer that the user logged into was not used in any way to identify the user to the database.
 Instead, access was tracked using IP addresses."

"Firstly, many databases were accessible to anyone with a SIPRNet connection. 
These databases did not require any additional log in information or account based access control. 
Access was not controlled with accounts

"The Cables and the Detainee Assessment Briefs "were databases that anyone with SIPRNet access could use without any further authentication or login at that time

"If Manning had been able to access the ftpuser account, it would not have given her access to the CIDNE database (where the war logs were held)

If you were trying not to be traced, there were other means available to Chelsea Manning. 
Defense wants to unpack this - again establishes even with the 'ftp username' (instead of her own personal login), downloading docs would've been traceable by IP address

Manning booted a Linux CD to access the SAM file in the first place, before this jabber chat, to actually be anonymous. 
So she knew of ways to use computer anonymously that did not require hash cracking (which she knew wouldn't anonymize her)
Films/music files/computer games were on the T-drive. 
These were unauthorized programs. 
Users did not have local access to this drive (this is why Manning would want to crack a password, to download programs like *this* from an account other than her own)

Defense established Manning's computer was reimaged: 
"The consequences of reimaging would be that unauthorized files and programs may have been lost. 
Soldiers would have to go through the same processes again in order to reinstall them.
It may be notable that this reimaging took place a few days before the portion of the Jabber chat log in which Manning sent a password hash.
"End of defense questioning,

now James Lewis cross-examining for the prosecution.

Lewis challenges Eller's claim that the password was not cracked -- 
Eller deduces that from the conversations he's seen, saw no evidence that it was.
 Lewis says but you don't have evidence that it wasn't
Lewis reading from jabber chats:
Manning "any good at lm hash cracking?
"He replied “we have rainbow tables for lm”.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 6:52 pm

Manning sent hexadecimal string she found in SAM file

Assange: “passed it on to our lm guy”, “any more hints about this lm hash?”, 
“no luck so far”.

Lewis is running through complex technical background of LM hashes and how encrypted passwords work
Lewis picks up on phrase "at the time" from Eller sentence: "At the time, it would not have been possible to crack an encrypted password hash such as the one Manning obtained." 

Lewis wants to show him evidence to see if he changes his mind
Lewis reads from a Microsoft announcement about hashes, 
"LM hash is an old and weak" system because password length is only 14-characters, breaks into 2 separate files 
"so if your password is less than 7 characters it should be a breeze" to crack by penetrative attacks

Asks Eller about his sentence "at the time" would have been impossible. 
Better to say "very difficult" or "might not have been possible" or still say "impossible"?

Eller: In 1999 (time of Microsoft announcement) there was a patch this vulnerability, makes it computationally impossible to use brute force when Sys key has been applied.

Lewis: Right. Well rather than debate the issue with you on this...
Lewis (cont'd): Manning and Assange *thought* they could crack the password and agreed to try to password?

Eller: it never said where the hash if from, and I didn't get to finish my previous answer

Eller (cont'd): The government witness in the Manning court martial said it was not feasible
Aware Assange described himself as a 'fantastic hacker'? (allegedly said this as a teenager)
No
And agree even the strongest encryption can be cracked by an expert hacker?

Yes - Eller wants to add a comment but Lewis moves on

Lewis: we agree an IP address will only identify a computer, not a user?
Yes
And on computer you can log on as a domain user or a local user?
Yes
Evidence at Manning's trial was she logged on as a user in her name?
Yes
In fact the user profile contained forensic evidence used against her at her trial?
That is correct(Lewis reading from Manning trial transcript, working to establish the above. 
Cites page 8,300 within the appendix, shows massive scale of the material in the case)

Lewis on program 'wget' found in Manning's profile, scripted to automate downloading. 
Lots of discussion of wget in Manning trial
Lewis: use of Manning's profile was used to prove what she had done?
Yes
If you use the same computer with a ftpuser account, you could hide all that activity from your domain user account?
That is correct
Can access SIPRNet from ftp user account?
Yes (his statement says didn't require any log in details)Any forensic evidence from a ftp user account would not be available on an image of the bradley.manning user account?
No, it would be available on the computer
Lewis: the defense argument is one reason she'd want to access ftp account is to download video games/similar programs?
Yes
Lewis: You said it could be assumed that an ftp account had administrative privileges, but how do you know that?

Eller: Local accounts tend to have admin privileges
Lewis: But you don't know, and we'd say it didn't
Eller: Don't see how you could say it didn't
Lewis: If it did not have local admin privileges, it could not be used to install programs/computer games?
Eller: That is correct
Lewis: So it's essential to know that
End of cross-examination, 10-minute recess to see if the defense has more questions

They'll need more time to confer about defense re-examination questioning, so we'll start the lunch break now and return at 2:00pm London time. 
#AssangeCaseBack from recess.
 Mark Summers for the defense re-examining Patrick Eller.
The jabber chat has one user as 'Nobody', we know that's Manning because she said so at her trial, right?
Yes
Were you asked to determine who 'Nathaniel Frank' is?
No


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 7:02 pm

So why attribute that name to 'Assange' in your statement?
That was just assumed
So can't know whether that's Assange?
No
Or whether multiple users were behind that username?
Can't know that

Do you stand by your assessment that cracking the hash as alleged would have been impossible?
Yes I do
Microsoft's assessment was that it was computationally infeasible for a password hash to be cracked as such?
That is correct
Because of a patch on that vulnerability?
Yes
That software remained in place on all MS Windows applications for the next 2 decades?
Correct

Would a skilled hacker be able to achieve something that is computationally infeasible?
I would assume no.
Do you resile [deviate] from your opinion that this would have been impossible?
No, and I note this is in line with the government's own expert in Manning's trial

Confirmed that SIPRNet is an intranet, not 'the internet'?
Yes
How many people had access to SIPRNet?
Anyone tasked with using a secret government database/computer
Can you give a number?
Probably in the millions
(Judge seems surprised, "in the millions?" 
Mark Summers: yes)
Establishing that wget is a common program. 
If she'd logged in with ftp user account she wouldn't access any domain (like the T-drive, CIDNE database)?
Correct 


Access to wget?
Not the wget in her bradley.manning profile
Summers: Lewis confirmed, and everyone agreed, accessing Intellink and the like -- that's tracked by IP address?
Yes
Would ID the specific computer being used?
That is correct
How many people used each SCIF computer terminal?
Day shift and night shift, so 2 on each computer
So it would specify the computer and the time, from which one could work out who was on shift.


Linux CD provided anonymity -- so the benefit that Kromberg suggests (from using ftpuser account) was already available to Chelsea Manning because she already had the Linux CD

Would ftpuser benefits achieve anything by disguising activity of accessing documents from the databases originally?
No   it would not - 
because the IP trail would have led back to the same computer anyway


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 25, 2020 7:06 pm

ftpuser account was found on which machine? 
Both machines, both of Chelsea Manning's computers
Defense establishes: Computer placed on a domain that has local accounts installed on it would have administrative privileges. 
Also establishes that FTP stands for file transfer protocol.
End of re-examination, end of Patrick Eller's testimony. 

#AssangeCaseNow returning to discussing potential release of medical report to the press. 

"Open justice would not be advanced" by the disclosure of this information, Ed Fitzgerald says, 
we've already had several days of testimony on it

Dialogue b/w representative of Press Association and judge over release of medical records. 
PA speaking for the press at large, would accept a redacted report, wants to understand this key plank of defense case. 
Judge says she (PA) needs to show legal basis to release
No more witness statements today --

 end of proceedings, adjourned until Monday at 10:00am London time. #AssangeCase (Source: https://threader.app/thread/1309417725333327872)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 8:27 am

28 Sept 2020
I hope you've had a chance to read along.  So God may know, over and above all, Julian the man, is important to us and we seek His Mercy for him.  
https://threader.app/thread/1310501897552490496

Defense position: Report so far: Julian Assange would face solitary confinement and extreme restrictions if sent to the United States


Day 15 of Julian Assange's extradition hearing and the beginning of the last week of testimony. 
See all of our daily #AssangeCase reports collected here:  https://assangedefense.org/live-blog/ 

Today we expect testimony from Joel Sickler and Yancey Ellis, on the prison conditions Assange would face pre- and post-trial in the United States if he is extradited.
At issue in their testimony is whether extraditing Assange to the U.S. would be "unjust or oppressive" and whether he would be subjected to "torture" or "inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment". 

From our report on Dr. Kopelman's testimony on day 11: (Source: https://threader.app/thread/1310501897552490496)
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 Ei_YbiEWkAAgCZH

Up first will be Yancey Ellis, a lawyer in Alexandria, Virginia, the jurisdiction where Assange would be tried and where he would be detained pre-trial if extradited, connected by remote video.
First the judge addresses the issue of releasing Assange's medical reports to the media (Press Association requests them, defense and prosecution both oppose their release), judge says she'll find in favor of withholding them (except for one which was read out in court last week)

Now Yancey Ellis is sworn in. He made two witness statements for the court.
 Ellis was a judge advocate in the the US Marines for 5 years, then was a public defender in Alexandria, now has a private practice there.
Ellis is very familiar with the Alexandria Detention Center, where Assange would go -- has many clients there, has visited many times, has been in the admin-segregation unitsAs a pre-trial defendant, Assange would be detained in the ADC for months or potentially years. Ellis: "I believe it's most likely" Assange would be held in administrative segregation (ad-seg)

Ad-seg in ADC referred to as the 'X Block'. 
Ellis describing prison cells there, maybe 50' sq, shelf bed, metal toilet. 22-23 hours/day in cell. Sometimes the 2nd hour out of the cell would be in the middle of the night so prisoners can't/don't take it.
"The whole point of this unit is to keep you away from other inmates."
Sometimes there's not even other prisoners in the inmate. 
Very difficult to hear through the doors to speak from one cell to another, would have to scream.
Each inmate on X block gets 1 hour at a time out of the cell and can't communicate with other prisoners.
Prosecution evidence includes an affidavit from AUSA Gordon Kromberg alleging that prisoners in ad-seg can communicate to one another through doors and windows. 
Ellis says this sounds like a claim from someone who hasn't been there before and tried it.
Especially if he's talking about 2 inmates in their cell at the same time, "I just don't see how that's possible.
"Effectively no communication with other prisoners. "That's the point of ad-seg." 

Ellis thinks ad-seg on these terms could be called solitary confinement. 
No redress of your conditions in the courts, they defer to the jail.
These are the basic minimum physical conditions of the unit. 
Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) impose additional restrictions on communications on top of that.
Medical care for someone suffering a psychological disability? 
Very limited. 
They have social workers & counselors on staff but the jail doesn't employ a doctor.
They have a contract with a part-time psychiatrist. Some inmates would go many weeks between visits. 
No psycho-therapyThe extent of mental health care is that a social worker or counselor comes around to check on you every once in a while to ensure basic functioning.
End of defense questioning, now James Lewis cross-examining for the prosecution.
Lewis: In your opinion, Kromberg's evidence is "inaccurate or incomplete"?
Yes
How many prisoners at ADC?
I think around it can hold 300 or so, not sure what the number is now
Only room for 4-6 inmates in the X block. 
United States Marshall service utilizes the ADC for [federal] pre-trial defendants


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 8:55 am

Lewis establishes Ellis is basing his testimony on his own experience. 
"You haven't interviewed the warden?" 
No. 
"Interviewed the correction staff?" 
No"
Interviewed the psychiatrist who attends the jail?" 
Haven't met them"Interviewed the psychologist?"
No
Lewis: So you're giving one side and another side could be given by those individuals?
Ellis: "You're asking if there are 2 sides to every story? 
Sure"

Lewis establishes that there is a visitation system at the jail. 
Asks if the Marshall service inspects that system?
"Do they inspect their policy? 
I'm not sure"
Don't know how often the jail is inspected or who conducts inspections 

During last inspection they found no suicides?

"They do have a good track record when it comes to actually completed suicides I believe" 

Don't know how Assange would be assessed for housing?

I've requested those records before I've never been able to get a hold of them 

Don't know whether he'd be placed in administrative segregation do you?

I can't predict the future but I bet that he would be held in administrative segregation 

Lewis: were you asked to put the phrase "solitary confinement" in your statement by the defense?

No, I was asked to talk about the conditions and they constitute solitary 

References 
Eric Lewis saying he spent 6 hours with an inmate, 
Ellis says that doesn't happen continuously.
Did you exclude interaction with your lawyer in saying this is solitary confinement? 
Yes, 
I don't include that, even if they do see lawyer every other day is in isolation 
Talking about how the ADC deals with suicide risk. 

Several clients have been moved to the medical unit or some sent to state psychiatric hospital. 
Explains ad-seg units in the ADC. 

Says he doesn't know if Assane would be considered a security risk. 
Ellis: going by the jail's track record, they don't put high profile inmates in general population

Lewis: you're aware Mr Assange's case has attracted huge publicity and public support?

Ellis: I would agree with the publicity 
Will he not have a phalanx of lawyers of looking out for him?

I don't know.

If he did wouldn't they be able to make the minutist criticism of every detail of the conditions?

I guess they could, I don't know what it would do 
And wouldn't he be able to get special treatment?


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 9:10 am

llis: The ADC doesn't give special treatment 
End of cross-examination. Fitzgerald for the defense re-examining. Establishes Ellis' testimony is based on personal experience with the physical regime in X block. 
Ellis explaining his basis for believing Assange would be on ad-seg. Very likely for high profile inmate, for pre-trial.

Programs like therapy would not be available in X block? "Contrary to the definition of being in administrative segregation." 

Ellis also doesn't believe these kinds of programs exist at the ADC 
References Chelsea Manning's attempted suicide in this facility. Ellis says she wouldn't be on this X block, female inmates are housed separately 
End of re-examination. 
Judge is asking Ellis about why he thinks he'd be held in ad-seg, other than that he's a public figure. Mental health aspect combined with the fact that he's a public figure. 
Judge says in the UK being a public figure doesn't change your conditions.

Ellis says he doesn't know their exact reasoning but just from his experience, that's been the case here.

End of Ellis testimony. 

Recess now for 35 minutes. In an hour we'll have testimony from Joel Sickler. 
Ellis' statement on ADC suicide prevention: Inmates at risk are placed in a "suicide prevention suit that immobilize the arms away from the body, removing shoe strings and sheets, etc. 
These individuals had access to counsellors, but not increased access to psychiatric services." 

Back from recess. Joel Sickler has been sworn in -- an expert on U.S. prison conditions (justiceadvocacygroupllc.com/meet-joel-sick…)
Sickler has been working in prison advocacy for more than 40 years, founded the Justice Advocacy Group in Virginia, has been to the Alexandria Detention Center (ADC) dozens of times, has many clients detained there. 
Sickler: I believe Assange will be assigned to an administrative segregation unit. 
Agrees with Ellis it's likely to be the X unit 
Sickler: national security issues, Assange's notoriety, concerns for Assange's safety, and concerns for self-harm risk all lead him to believe Assange will be held in ad-seg
Ellis called the cells on X block "the size of a parking lot" in his statement and Sickler agrees based on his clients' experience 
Sickler: "He absolutely won't have communication with other inmates."

Kromberg says inmates can talk between cells. 
Sickler: "in practice, that's ridiculous. You have to scream." 
Very limited social interaction with others, no access to the outside world except for a rare few monitored phone calls. "You're twiddling your thumbs. You'll have access to reading material, but your whole world is the four corners of that room." 
Believes statutorily Assange would "have to be" held under SAMs. Has had clients held in conditions just short of SAMs. Refers to @theCCR report (ccrjustice.org/sams-report)
Sickler: "Mr. Assange should expect to receive only the most limited medical services at the ADC. Any suggestion to this Court that he will be fully evaluated and assessed for medical or mental health conditions is misleading." 
Sickler: if an inmate is intent on committing suicide, they will 
Sickler also commenting on the ADX Florence in Colorado, where he agrees it's likely Assange would be sentenced post-trial if convicted. If sent there, he'd likely be held in the H Unit (for SAMs inmates) 
Again, would be held in a very small cell, not permitted to interact with other prisoners, "extraordinarily limited" contact with visitors/outsiders, one 15-minute call a month, monitored contemporaneously 
Prospects of appealing being subject to SAMs?

It's a well-known fact here that even the most minor administrative appeals by inmates are denied. I've probably filed 1,000 or more appeals, winning a dozen at most. Chances of appealing SAMs are "remote to nil." 
Sickler has a client who has been held in solitary confinement for 22 years. 
Sickler's statement: "Mr. Assange will be held in solitary confinement at ADX for a prolonged period with little hope of challenging those conditions." 
Sickler says in practice, based on his decades of experience, the government's claims about what these prisons are like just don't hold up. 
Says reports from the Marshall Project on these conditions are "spot on."


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 9:14 am

End of questioning. 
Now Clair Dobbin cross-examining for the prosecution 
Dobbin establishing Sickler's experience. 
You're not a medical doctor? 
No but I relied on a medical doctor's assessment of Assange's records in providing my statements 
Dobbin notes Sickler's statement includes dealing with inmates under SAMs. 
He clarifies they weren't ordered as SAMs but SAMs-like conditions.

Dobbin: so did you add that in to make it seem like you know more about SAMs than you do?

Sickler, vexed: No, of course not 



Dobbin insinuates Sickler described prison conditions as if he had first-hand experience. 
He rejects idea he's trying to "pull a fast one" over the court. 
She says he's basing claims on "hearsay" 
Dobbin recounting Kromberg's statement explaining why Assange would be held in ad-seg, would be able to participate in programs with other inmates.

Sickler only agrees if Assange weren't subject to SAMs 

Sickler: "Not sure what programs he'd want to avail himself of there," says programs include getting a GED 
Dobbin: SAMs in Assange's case could only be imposed on the direction of the Attorney General?
Without a doubt yes

Because the AG deems them necessary to prevent disclosure of national security information?

I believe that'd be the reason yes 


Dobbin talking about why people are under SAMs, very few people under SAMs, that it's speculative that it he'd be placed under SAMs. 

Questions Sickler's use of 'statutorily' in claiming those under SAMs have limited communications. 
He corrects "by policy, not statute" 
Dobbin recounting the case of Wadih el-Hage, former al-Qaeda member, "even he" isn't under SAMs.

Sickler asks, "but what jail was he held in?" Dobbin doesn't answer the question, judge says it probably won't be answered, and we break for an hour for lunch.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 1:31 pm

Court resumes for the continuation of Joel Sickler's testimony. 
Sickler referred to lawyers fearing imprisonment themselves when dealing with inmates under SAMs. 
References the case of Lynne Stewart (pbs.org/now/news/242.h…)


Prosecutor Clair Dobbin now turns to potential pre-trial detention at the ADC. 
Reading through Kromberg's list of staffers there Sickler questions Dobbin's use of "sufficient" for mental health care at the ADC. 
Not exactly talk therapy, he says, inmates are medicated/sent to psych ward 
Sickler refers to a client of his who committed suicide, notes he was one of the most guarded inmates. 
Dobbin notes that the guards on duty are being criminally prosecuted. Sickler says yes they are, but that doesn't bring him back 
Sickler: "When you're held in administrative segregation, which AUSA Kromberg says is not solitary confinement -- which is interesting to me -- it's very arduous, almost torturous conditions of confinement." 
It's going to be "deleterious" on Assange, he says. 


Sickler has said he finds the ADC "well-run", Dobbin picks up on that, he says they have a "stellar record" on preventing suicide."

Sickler: "But Mr Assange isn't just at risk at the ADC, what about post-trial?" 



Dobbin referencing the case of Ahmad vs UK, where court found being subject to SAMs didn't prevent communications with the inmate's legal team 


From Sickler's statement: "I am skeptical about BOP pronouncements that the agency can adequately address the health care needs of even the sickest of inmates."


Sickler's statement cites Chief Judge McMahon in USA v Israel: “I take it as a matter of settled fact that the Bureau of Prisons is not the best place for anyone to receive medical care. ...I’ve made that observation numerous times over the years ..” 

Dobbin reads from the rest of the decision where judge says that in this case the claimant hadn't demonstrated that BOP couldn't provide medical care 


Sickler says the first part of that quote "speaks volumes", 

Dobbin says the rest of it is "more weighty." 
Dobbin wants to establish that it's different dependent on the case, that we don't know where/how Assange would be detained post-trial
 
Sickler says if he doesn't get SAMs he predicts he'd go to another of the two Communications Management Units 


Sickler: the US government considers Assange a risk, he "harbors in his mind" information about the crimes of the US, they're going to restrict his communications without the outside world. He's going to be sent to the ADX or a CMU 


Sickler: look, he's going to get a very long sentence. if it's not life it's going to be 30 or 40 years

Dobbin: you would accept that's a very contentious statement?

Sickler: yes 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 1:35 pm

Dobbin notes Sickler was an advisor on the Reality Winner case, notes Winner got 63 months under Espionage ACt

Sickler says yes but is laughing when he says these are "qualitatively different defendants" 

Dobbin says Winner was a govt insider, was sent to health care facility, Sickler notes that is because it was in Texas near her family. Dobbin says she was recommended for a mental health evaluation 
Sickler: "most clients could use mental health services if they were available, but in most cases they are not available," and he isn't going to disclose more for Winner's privacy 
Dobbin suggests it's "astonishing" to claim inmates don't get mental health care when he's also claiming Winner was sent to a mental health facility when she didn't even need it, that it was to be near family. Sickler says it's a medical facility, not a mental health one 
Dobbin suggesting that many inmates in Segregated Housing Units are double-bunked, so it's not solitary confinement, Sickler explains why this "doesn't alleviate how difficult it is" 
Long back & forth about reviews including medical review that inmates go through before being sent to an ADX -- gist is Dobbin reading what the policies are, Sickler explaining that what's on paper is always different than what happens in reality 
Dobbin just trying to establish that Sickler isn't an expert on SAMs, which he readily admits, again references The CCR's report on SAMs (ccrjustice.org/sams-report)
Sickler getting tired of the way Dobbin is questioning, asks her, "Why don't you inform the court, how often will Mr Assange be able to be visited by his family, under SAMs at the ADX?"

She doesn't answer directly but is reading through other cases 
Sickler says Assange would be held "incommunicado" "indefinitely", there won't be a point when the US gov doesn't consider him a security risk. Dobbin says he can't know that, reads through various levels in the ADX's H unit, inmates progress through levels to reduce restrictions 
Dobbin had cited the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab saying he was able to get family visits. New York Times 2017: "Underwear Bomber Sues Over Treatment in Supermax Prison"
Sickler stands by his report that the conditions will be "deleterious" and that the ADX is "torturous." "I don't think there's any argument about that," he said, "even their own warden has said that" 
Dobbin cites number/types of mental health staffers at the ADX.

Sickler: I'm aware, I'm sure the need is high given the conditions at the ADX

We can agree it's well-staffed and effective at mental health care?

Agree it's well staffed, I wouldn't say it's effective 
Dobbin citing the case of Cunningham et al vs. BOP, settlement was agreed after which mentally ill inmates were moved out of the ADX (web.archive.org/web/2012070400…)


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 1:54 pm

Sickler's statement notes that 3 years after that settlement was upheld, "that same Court would find that the health care in ADX failed to meet basic standards of care for inmates" 
Sickler: "my experience informs me that a lack of physical
health care always matches a lack of mental health care" 

Long exchange continues, boiling down to what the ADX and Bureau of Prisons say are their policies vs what actually happens.

Sickler: "What I see ongoing in practice is entirely different." 

Background on the ADX Florence in Colorado, which the prosecution is attempting to argue is a perfectly fine place to go. NYT: "Inside America’s Toughest Federal Prison" nytimes.com/2015/03/29/mag…
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 EjAodZgXsAE5P2W
More background on the ADX from the Marshall Project: "My Life in the Supermax" themarshallproject.org/2016/01/08/my-…
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 28, 2020 2:02 pm

Dobbin wants Sickler to compare federal and state, he says federal prisons certainly are better funded and better resourced, so if all else is equal, better to go there. But that's at minimum security; medium & high-security prisons & ad-seg units, "these are dangerous places" 
End of cross-examination. 10-minute break, then defense will re-question for a half hour 
Defense re-examination. Sickler stands by his conclusions that Assange would likely be held in solitary confinement in pre-trial confinement, that he would likely be sent to ADX, and that likely would be for a long time.


Sickler sticks by his conclusion that Assange is likely to be held under SAMs.



Sickler: I've had a few clients die after they were denied compassionate release. I've had a handful commit suicide. And I've had hundreds of clients who I have medical reports showing did not receive adequate health care.



Establishes that Assange is at high risk of danger as a high-profile inmate.

End of Sickler's testimony.




Tomorrow we'll hear testimony from Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York



We'll also hear testimony from Lindsey Lewis.

End of today's proceeding


-----------------------------------------


https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/julian-assange-faces-torturous-months-in-parking-space-sized-cell-if-extradited-to-us-court-hears/

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 1lh3ePUE?format=jpg&name=small



https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-julian-assange-ai-weiwei-london-extradition-3da7b17cb52d08601bd50e467de7a717?s=09

“He truly represents a core value of why we are free — because we have freedom of the press.”

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 JFsBoiAE?format=jpg&name=small


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 8:51 am

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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 8:57 am

Former warden: Julian Assange would get “desolate and degrading” Special Administrative Measures

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 QIz_DfDn?format=png&name=small

Defense Witnesses In Assange's Extradition Trial Counter Key Prosecution Lie About US Solitary Confinement
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 9:33 am

Today we'll first have remote testimony from Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. Baird has testified in other extradition cases about the inhumane conditions of US prisons and the inability to keep prisoners safe.


---------------------
They haven't put up the thread reader yet, and that's so much quicker to copy from that I'm going to wait.
You can still read the entries here:
https://twitter.com/DefenseAssange/status/1310868173323939840

This is a very frightening thing to witness. The most hopeful thing I've seen so far is that if Julian was extradited, it would be Barr's decision as to where (of if) he was to be incarcerated here in the US.
Could Patriots bring enough clout?


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 9:37 am

Short vid on Supermax in Colorado.



                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 2:28 pm

Final notes from yesterday:

Replying to
@DefenseAssange
Baird thinks it likely Assange would be placed under SAMs before trial, for 'national security' reasons

Inmates she oversaw who were under SAMs spent 23-24 hours in their cells a day and were allowed no communication with other inmates at all.

-----------------
29 Sept 2020  (Source: https://threader.app/thread/1310868173323939840)


T'oday we'll first have remote testimony from Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. Baird has testified in other extradition cases about the inhumane conditions of US prisons and the inability to keep prisoners safe.




In the Lauri Love case, the U.K.’s High Court overturned the lower court judge’s ruling because the judge relied too heavily on the assurances that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons could provide adequate mental health care. (See more from day 13  https://assangedefense.org/live-blog-entry/day-13-september-24-2020-assangecase/ …)
Baird has been sworn in, Ed Fitzgerald questioning for the defense.
Baird worked in the Bureau of Prisons for more than 20 years.
Has experience with prisoners under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) [which render inmates essentially incommunicado]
Baird thinks it likely Assange would be placed under SAMs before trial, for 'national security' reasons
Inmates she oversaw who were under SAMs spent 23-24 hours in their cells a day and were allowed no communication with other inmates at all.
All mail incoming or outgoing to anyone under SAMs is screened.
Takes months to receive a piece of mail.
30 mins of phone call time a month, always monitored by an FBI agent,
inmates have to request a call 2 weeks ahead of time
SAMs inmates were held in a special unit in the MCC.
Designed after 9/11, intended for inmates to come from Guantanamo Bay, evolved into a SAMs unit, several alleged terrorists in that unit




Baird testifies that the SAMs regime applied to one prisoner is applied to all -- can't be changed by a warden, very black & white.
If someone's in pre-trial for terrorism and someone's in for a different type of national security case, they're all held the same.
SAMs are imposed by the Attorney General, same regime of conditions from one prison to the next
.If anyone is a SAMs inmate in federal system, would likely go post-trial to ADX Florence in Colorado.
Prosecution's witness Mr Kromberg has said inmates under SAMs can challenge the conditions.
Baird says a warden and the BOP can't assist, and inmate has to exhaust the Administrative Remedy process before suing in court.
Baird has never seen an Administrative Remedy overturn SAMsAuthority for imposing and renewing SAMs lie with the Attorney General




.Baird: SAMs are more isolating than restrictive housing.
No contact with anyone else.
Causes severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, weight loss detrimental to their physical health, it's detrimental to their mental health.




Baird: if under SAMs post-trial, the only place for Assange to go would be ADX Florence in Colorado
Baird agrees with Joel Sickler's assessment that Assange could spend the rest of his life in the H unit at ADX Florence.
Baird agrees with former ADX Florence warden Robert Hood that the prison is "not built for humanity."





Baird challenges Kromberg's assertion that ADX has a step-down program for inmates to reduce restrictions.
Also says any program ADX offered would still be in isolation.
Not just physically - no type of communication with other inmates. No physical contact during family visits.
Baird discusses the Bureau of Prison's suicide prevention program -- relies on inmates self-reporting, so signs are often missed.




End of questioning, now Clair Dobbin cross-examines for the prosecution.
First question: "are you independent?"
Dobbin notes Baird consults a law firm which advocates for defendants, always advocates for lower sentences.
Baird explains she helps more in things like trying to get home confinement.
Dobbin establishes Baird's SAMs experience is limited to pre-trial defendants.
Were any other SAMs inmates imprisoned for espionage?
No
Dobbin challenges Baird assumption that Assange would get SAMs
Baird: it appears to be very much on the table,
Mr Kromberg references SAMs quite a bit in his statement, indicates to me it's likely.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 2:40 pm

Dobbin stresses that it's speculative, that Kromberg was only saying it's possible
Dobbin arguing there are good reasons for SAMs, an intelligence agency & US attorney office are involved in the decision to prevent the disclosure of national security information.
Dobbin: how can you say the risk of disclosure exists?
Baird: He's being charged with espionage
Dobbin also questioning Baird's claim that all SAMs are applied the same across the board, says they often vary and can be modified.
Baird: I'd say that's very rare, any modification wouldn't change the isolation
Dobbin at length trying to challenge Baird's claim that SAMs can't be challenged/appealed
Dobbin says Baird was in a position to change these conditions at the MCC, like getting correctional officers to talk to isolated inmates under SAMs. 

Baird says that isn't in their job description. 
"That's not something that's done in the prison"Dobbin lengthily trying to establish Baird didn't complain about SAMs when a warden
Baird: if you've been to one of these facilities you'd know that isn't what's done
Dobbin: this all suggests these conditions didn't concern you at the time 

Baird: I honestly didn't believe I had any control over it at all, it was at such a high level.
Baird was involved in placing inmates in specific facilities, including the ADX. 
Dobbin trying to argue there's a multi-layer review process, people are placed there for good reason / exceptional security concerns, that Baird's experience from the 90s isn't sufficiently relevant

Dobbin also trying to argue SAMs inmates can go to other facilities than the ADX. Baird saying some of these referenced could be pre-trial, one of the facilities mentioned is all-female. 
Also says even if at other facilities would be in special segregated housing.
Dobbin again suggesting SAMs can be amended to eventually allow inmates to associate with others. 
Baird says she sees it on paper but doesn't believe it happens in practice, if so extremely rare.
Baird on the idea that you could appeal to be able to speak with other inmates, says the isolation is the whole point of SAMs, if they can speak to other inmates why would they need to be on SAMs?
Dobbin has been trying to establish that inmates on the H unit at the ADX Florence in Colorado have the potential to get off of SAMs. (Spent far more time on this than on the argument that he might not go there.)

Dobbin moves to suicide risk in prison, suggesting the rate is very low. 
"One is too many," Baird says, though she agrees suicide prevention is usually effective.

Ed Fitzgerald re-questioning for the defense.
 Establishes that a judge has referred to conditions for inmates under SAMs as "solitary confinement"
Defense establishes that Assange's conditions could be indefinite. 
Also that suicide risk is higher in pre-trial detention and in solitary confinement
Baird confirms that CIA and the DOJ's office of enforcement operations would be involved in the decision to place Assange under SAMs, and that AG William Barr would have the final decision
End of Maureen Baird's testimony. 

Lunch break now, then we're scheduled to have testimony from US attorney Lindsey A Lewis, and then we'll have discussion of anonymous witnesses. 
Court back in an hour. 
U.S. attorney Lindsay A Lewis is testifying by remote video now.
Lewis is on the board of directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 
Lewis worked on the case of Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, who was extradited to the US and is imprisoned at the ADX Florence.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 2:54 pm

Mostafa is also known as and is referred to here as Abu Hamza
Lewis testifies that in Hamza's case, the US told European courts that Hamza wouldn't be detained at ADX Florence -- that is where he has been detained for the last 5 years
UK and European high courts relied on US representations that Hamza wouldn't get placed in ADX Florence in deciding to extradite him
Hamza was held in solitary confinement before trial. 

Lewis testifies that "almost certainly" Assange would be subject to Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) before and after trial
Lewis discusses the psychological effects of SAMs + solitary confinement -- references the CCR's report
( https://ccrjustice.org/sams-report )

Lewis says that the Cunningham settlement is lauded because mentally ill patients were moved out of ADX but it hasn't resolved the problem of ADX still detaining severely depressed inmates and others with psychiatric issues requiring therapeutic services
Lewis says if you are in the H unit at ADX and are under SAMs, you get no benefit from the Cunningham settlement
Lewis says the restrictions SAMs imposes on lawyers too means she can only discuss Hamza's case because some of it is in public records 

Lewis confirms SAMs conditions: 
extremely limited communication with the outside world, 
no interaction with other inmates, 
solitary confinement 'for sometimes years at a time'

Kromberg suggested SAMs could be lifted after a year. 
Lewis says this is Hamza's 8th year under SAMs. 
"Extremely difficult" to challenge SAMs, must go through long drawn-out Admin. Remedy process before getting to court. 
Doesn't know of any successful Admin Remedy attempts
Judge's in el-Hage case referred to the first 15 months of his detention as "solitary confinement",
Lewis confirms this is the right term to use
End of questioning, 

now Clair Dobbin cross-examines for the prosecution 
Dobbin is recounting the details of Abu Hamza's terrorism convictions, asking Lewis to confirm each part [presumably to implicitly justify extraditing him and detaining him at ADX Florence]

Then Dobbin recounts his subsequent legal issues, requested new trial, filed appeal - asks, he was able to do all this while in ADX Florence?
Lewis says yes but w/ significant difficulty, says Dobbin is dismissive of these substantial difficulties working with lawyers under SAMs
Lewis says the US assured UK courts that if Hamza was sent to ADX he'd get full medical evaluation and if he couldn't manage daily activities he wouldn't be placed there.

UK courts thought at every stage it was highly unlikely, one said "impossible", that he'd be placed at ADX

Dobbin & Lewis disagreeing about whether the UK court was misled by the US over whether Hamza would be sent to ADX Florence
Long disagreement continued but wasn't resolved, Lewis maintains that the US did not stick to assurances it made to UK courts

Lewis says there is an "extreme shortage" of medical care at the ADX Florence
Dobbin reading Dr Leukenfield's description of therapy services offered at ADX, 
Lewis looks astonished, says if this is her position on mental health treatment at ADX it discounts the rest of her testimony because it's just not the reality, 
SAMs mean no services like this

Dobbin said 'yes but if a prisoner gets taken off of SAMs...', 
Lewis reiterates can't get off SAMs

Dobbin said did Hamza violate SAMs?
Lewis says yes and how that happened is a good example of the absurdity of SAMs
Hamza said on the phone to tell his 1-year-old grandchild 'happy birthday' and was written up for talking to a 3rd party, the 1-year-old wasn't an approved party. 
Lewis says this shows how SAMs tears families apart


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 29, 2020 3:03 pm

Dobbin said the purpose of this SAMs restriction is to stop terrorists from communicating coded messages
End of cross-examination. 
Fitzgerald re-examines for the defense.
Fitzgerald asked about the deference to the executive in the SAMs process, 
judge asks if he is challenging the impartiality of American courts, 
he says no but asking about constraints on courts. 
Lewis reads from case where court deferred to the executive
Fitzgerald says Assange's current UK conditions allow him to see other inmates and pre-COVID regular sessions with a psychologist. 
If under SAMs would he get the same?Lewis: if under SAMs wouldn't get anywhere near what he gets in the UK

End of Lindsay Lewis' testimony. 
Now dealing with issue of defense requesting anonymity of 2 witnesses. 
Prosecution is neutral, says up to the judge but the defense must prove harm would be caused if names released. 
Defense says both parties would know the name.
Judge notes that these 2 witnesses have already been granted anonymity in a Spanish court, so we can deduce they are 2 former employees of UC Global and can testify about the surveillance company spying on Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy

Background: Three protected witnesses accuse Spanish ex-marine of spying on Julian Assange 
https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/21/inenglish/1579611351_198492.html …

"Former employees of David Morales tell a judge in Spain that his company was making recordings of the cyberactivist and his lawyers for the CIA.


In Spanish case, US has stalled the proceedings: "American prosecutors want to know the judge’s sources before cooperating in an investigation into whether UC Global gave intelligence services sensitive material on the cyber-activist" 
https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2020-09-10/us-demands-hinder-spanish-probe-into-alleged-cia-ties-to-security-firm-that-spied-on-assange.html …


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 10:37 am

Conclusion of testimony from 29 Sept 2020

Defense explains witnesses taking measures to stay safe, fearing retaliation from military-trained David Morales. Guns found at Morales' home with serial numbers missing.

Judge suggests the employment details in testimony already make it easy for Morales to know who they are 



Defense lawyer Mark Summers discussing Morales' reference to his "American friends", plans to kidnap or poison Assange. 


More US background: '"The American friends": New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange'
(Sheldon Adelson has his own thread)


Summers explaining that the aim of the Spanish proceedings is to determine chain of command, who Morales was taking direction from (who the 'American friends' are). 

Summers: the duty of this court is to reduce the risk to witnesses such as these even if we can't remove it entirely. Morales may well know who they are but the fact that he alone may know could be what is currently protecting them. As it stands it is working. 


Judge says no need to continue, "I am with you" on need to anonymize. Says the fact that Spanish court already granted anonymity means UK court will respect their decision 


Now that judge has agreed to anonymity, the procedure is for defense to pass the statements privately to the prosecution and US confirms their identity and then they can be read. Hopes it won't take more than 24 hours. 


Defense and prosecution have agreed on several witness statements, including those of Noam Chomsky, Stefania Mauritzi, Cockburn, several others. Leaves just Andy Worthington and Jameel Jaffer to potentially be called live, and 2 other witnesses still need to be agreed 


Statements will be read in court tomorrow morning and Andy Worthington will be called live tomorrow afternoon. Jaffer was scheduled to testify Friday but may be able to be agreed to or may testify Thurs. 
Prosecution can't receive instruction from the US government on the 2 anonymous witnesses because they don't yet know who they are, prosecution intends to argue their evidence is irrelevant 

Adjourned for today, back tomorrow at 10:00am London time


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 11:07 am

30 Sept 2020   Day 17:

Julian Assange's resumed extradition hearing.
We expect multiple witness statements will be read aloud this morning, and then Guantanamo Bay prison expert @GuantanamoAndy will be called in the afternoon session. 
Defense is reading from/summarizing a witness statement from war reporter Patrick Cockburn. 
He was in Kabul when the war logs were released and he says they confirmed civilian casualties he and other journalists suspected.
Cockburn's statement includes the importance of the war logs and Collateral Murder video to prove these incidents in the face of official denial.
As background, read Patrick Cockburn 'Julian Assange in Limbo' 
https://lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n12/patrick-cockburn/julian-assange-in-limbo … 

NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 EjJtz1pXcAMuyLf

Cockburn in June 2020: The WikiLeaks cables collectively "convey [the war's] reality far better than even the most well-informed journalistic accounts" 
NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 EjJuCoZWAAE_Sel


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 11:25 am

Cockburn's witness statement calls WikiLeaks releases a great victory for freedom of expression in the face of government secrecy.

Now defense will read from a statement of a Ian Cobain, investigative journalist who was at The Guardian in 2010. 
His focus had been on uncovering British collusion with US rendition / mistreatment of detainees in the wars following 9/11
Cobain talks about the near-impossibility of uncovering these crimes -- it's always known that those with knowledge of them face fear of reprisal if they disclose. 

Cobain talking about how difficult it was to report on rendition before WikiLeaks documents were released
Cobain refers to danger to journalists for reporting on these abuses: 
2005 
plan to attack Al Jazeera office, 
threats of prosecution,
threats in N. Ireland.
Media scrutiny is more important than ever, & leaks & whistleblowing remain a vital means for state crimes to be exposed.
Now reading from a statement from @SMaurizi, an Italian journalist with a background in mathematics who became interested in WikiLeaks' use of encryption.
2009 releases on Naples. 

Assange called WikiLeaks scientific journalism
Maurizi was working with L'espresso at the time of Collateral Murder. 
Was given access to the Afghan War Logs and was able to work on the documents. Then joined a new agreement on the State Dept. cables in Jan 2011 to provide local expertise on Italian documents 

Maurizi's statement deals with the cables' public interest value. 
Talks about Sy Hersh's release of Abu Ghraib, was able to be dismissed ultimately because they could be framed as a few bad apples.
Talking about Italy prosecuting CIA/other US officials for extraordinary rendition. 
"Had it not been for the US diplomatic cables" these prosecutions would have been impossible.
Maurizi's statement also covers Assange/WikiLeaks' redaction of the State Dept cables. 
"I worked with WikiLeaks on appropriate redactions." 
The objective was to document state crimes, educate the public, and change government policy.
When names were identified, the local media partner would weigh in and redact with 12 X's so that even the number of characters in a name couldn't be used to identify someone.
Maurizi talks about lengths gone to to keep the documents protected/encrypted, far more strict than any other journalists she'd worked with. 
"Unprecedented", agrees with John Goetz calling it the "most careful" he'd seen. 
Even reporting on Italian mafia never reached these levels
Maurizi is surprised at how much Kromberg relies on David Leigh's book, says all other journalists knew not to share passwords (hers was different than his) and he appears not to have understood the agreement.
On the 2011 release of unredacted cables, Maurizi says Wikileaks could not have done something to prevent it and Assange himself was acutely concern with the impending release


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 11:38 am

Maurizi was present at Ellingham Hall when Assange called the State Department to warn them about the impending release of unredacted cables.
Defense will now read from a witness statement from Robert Boyle, US attorney, has sought to educate the public on use & misuse of grand juries
Boyle talks about Chelsea Manning's allocution statement and her belief that the release of these documents could educate the public and possibly change the course of the war

(Full text of Manning's statement at her court-martial:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/01/bradley-manning-wikileaks-statement-full-text …)

"Although I stopped sending documents to WLO, no one associated with the WLO pressured me into giving more information. 
The decisions that I made to send documents and information to the WLO and the website were my own decisions, and I take full responsibility for my actions.
"Boyle's statement talks about grand juries, known widely as little more than a rubber stamp, indicting or failing to indict as the prosecutor wants it to

Boyle talking about Manning refusing to testify in a grand jury (against WikiLeaks), believed it punishment for her releasing docs to WikiLeaks, was imprisoned in Alexandria and held in solitary confinement.
Boyle relays Manning: "The government is still intent on punishing me" despite imprisonment and commutation 
Now defense reading a statement from Bridget Prince, Executive Director of One World Research 
( https://oneworldresearch.com/what-we-do )
Prince's statement discusses the jury pool that would be called in Assange's case, if extradited, in the Eastern District of Virginia -- large concentration of government agencies
Defense now moves on to the anonymous witnesses from the Embassy spying case. 

From yesterday's thread for background: 

[size=15][size=15]Assange Defense

@DefenseAssange[/size]
Sep 29, 2020
Replying to @DefenseAssange
Judge notes that these 2 witnesses have already been granted anonymity in a Spanish court, so we can deduce they are 2 former employees of UC Global and can testify about the surveillance company spying on Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy[/size]

[size=15][size=15]Assange Defense @
DefenseAssange[/size]
[/size]
Background: Three protected witnesses accuse Spanish ex-marine of spying on Julian Assange
https://english.elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/21/inenglish/1579611351_198492.html
---------------------------------
Witness 1 explaining what UC Global does, how it obtained a "flashy contract" with Las Vegas Sands, owned by Sheldon Adelson whose financial ties to Trump are well-knownUC Global director David Morales, after securing the contract, said the spying company would now be "playing in the big leagues" and had "moved over to the dark side"Witness 1 recounting the spying operation on Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Morales said he was providing reports to a US intelligence agency, particular zeal in recording Assange's conversations with his lawyersWitness 2 talking about spying operation as well, intention was to provide Embassy recordings to the US in real time. Witness refused because it was "manifestly illegal". 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 30, 2020 11:47 am

Microphone was installed on the fire extinguisher. 
Especially wanted to record conversations with lawyers
Witness 2: Morales asked me to take a diaper from a baby in the Embassy to determine if Assange was the father. 
US was particularly interested
According to Morales, Americans had asked him to personally control and monitor everything surrounding a visit from a California politician to the Embassy
Assange lawyer Baltasar Garzon was followed, spied on, men in balaclavas entered his office
Fitzgerald will now read from statement of Noam Chomsky
Chomsky's statement will deal with whether the prosecution is political and that Assange is being prosecuted for his political opinions

Chomsky: Assange's words and actions should be understood in relation to the priorities of government. 
His actions exposed power to sunlight
Chomsky's statement provides an academic recounting of the role of information in the relationship between government and the governed -- all goes to whether this extradition is for a political offense

Recess now until 2:00pm London time for the parties to agree to more statements. 
Court back in session.
 Mark Summers for the defense updating on witness statements, nearing agreement on the statement of Jameel Jaffer
Defense requests a further half hour break to continue working on witness statement agreements. Court adjourned until 2:30pm London time.
Back in session.
 Defense & prosecution agreed on statements from Andy Worthington and Jameel Jaffer which can now be read from.
Mark Summers is now summarizing Worthington's statement, which deals with the Guantanamo Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs)
Worthington: the GTMO revelations were of extremely high importance, still find them useful & important in 2020. 
Details the supposed intelligence used to justify the detainees' imprisonment. 
The majority of cases were based on testimony from fellow detainees who'd been tortured

See Worthington's reporting from 2011:
WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Guantánamo Files, Exposes Detention Policy as a Construct of Lies

http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2011/04/25/wikileaks-reveals-secret-guantanamo-files-exposes-detention-policy-as-a-construct-of-lies/ …
I'll post excerpts from Worthington's statement shortly. 
Next Summers will read from Jameel Jaffer's statement. 
Dobbin for the prosecution is telling the judge this overlaps with Shenkman's testimony, and similarly he would've been asked about case law he cites
Jameel Jaffer is the director of the @knightcolumbia First Amendment Institute.
Last year @JameelJaffer joined @jeremyscahill's podcast: 
'Prosecuting Julian Assange for Espionage is a Coup Attempt Against the First Amendment' 

https://theintercept.com/2019/05/29/prosecuting-julian-assange-for-espionage-is-a-coup-attempt-against-the-first-amendment/ …
Jaffer also joined Courage's panel at the National Press Club: The Prosecution of Julian Assange and Its Impact on the Freedom of the Press 
https://defend.wikileaks.org/2020/02/01/the-prosecution-of-julian-assange-its-impact-on-the-freedom-of-the-press/ …
Done with Jaffer's statement - I'll share excerpts in my report. 

Adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10:00am London time for potentially just one more statement.


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2020 8:05 am

E posted this excellent 'tell it like it is' summary of why this case against Julian really exists.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/surreal-us-case-against-assange


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeThu Oct 01, 2020 10:47 am

Day 18: Julian Assange's resumed extradition hearing. Expecting final witness statements today

Defense is explaining to the judge that the parties need a little more time to agree to 2 witnesses' statements, then give an update on the Spanish case (Embassy spying), then make a final submission on the additions to the latest indictment.

Recess and discussions continued till 2pm London time, followed by another 40 minute recess.
-------
Back again. Defense can now read a witness statement from Professor Michael Tigar

Tigar gives an overview of whistleblowing and journalism preventing injustice, "essential to achieving important social reforms", gives examples including Woodward & Bernstein reporting on the Nixon admin, Seymour Hersh

Tigar notes that the prosecution's opening included the word "journalistic" whereas the indictment calls WikiLeaks an "intelligence service for the people" and doesn't use the term "journalism"

Tigar talks about how common/routine it is for journalists to work with sources, soliciting information

Tigar talks about the importance of journalism in documenting war crimes. Then discusses overclassification — US law doesn’t allow challenging classification status. Recounts Ellsberg’s prosecution which was dismissed

Several Gareth Peirce statements, first one lays out the history of Assange securing Ecuadorian asylum because he feared US extradition, recaps the Embassy spying case, Assange’s legally privileged property seized from Embassy

Background: Ecuador to hand over Assange's entire legal defense to the United States https://wikileaks.org/Ecuador-to-hand-over.html

Peirce statement discusses her own legal meetings with Assange in the Embassy being spied on, "chilling effect" on preparing for these proceedings

A second statement from Bridget Prince includes the full transcript of Assange's 2010 speech at the Frontline Club, which the prosecution quoted from in cross-examination. This would give proper context. Prosecution objects to the statement being submitted

The defense also wants to include new comments from US Attorney General William Barr which were made during these proceedings (Sept 16th)

The Frontline Club appearance is from the 2010 Q&A Assange conducted by video -- the prosecution tried to say that Assange's answer contradicted testimony about his mental/psychiatric health

Judge says the witness (Dr Deeley) didn't agree that the video contradicted the diagnosis, so it won't be accepted.

Judge also says the Barr speech (of Sept 16th) doesn't reference Assange by name, it's not a significant enough development to include here


In that speech, Washington Post on the William Barr speech: "The attorney general said it was he, not career officials, who has the ultimate authority to decide how cases should be handled..."

"...and he derided less-experienced, less-senior bureaucrats who current and former prosecutors have long insisted should be left to handle their cases free from interference from political appointees."


Back from recess. Difficult to follow exchange (because we don't have statements under discussion) in which a defense submission ultimately wasn't accepted. Now Mark Summers speaking about another Gareth Peirce statement (there are 5 in total).

The statement includes defense relaying that it has been insufficiently able to present its arguments about 'abuse of process' due to the very late second superseding indictment


Judge's ruling will come on January 4, 2021, 10:00am London time. Done with the evidence phase of the hearing. Defense gets 4 weeks to submit closing arguments, then the prosecution gets 2 weeks to submit in response. Julian will remain in custody until the ruling. 

End of these proceedings. #AssangeCase


Julian will have an obligatory admin court appearance by video on Oct 29th (won't be substantive, he just has to appear in court every 28 days by law). 


                             
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 02, 2020 12:56 pm

2 minute Free Assange video at the twitter link that Dove found and sent me. Worth seeing. Wish I could find a way to make twitter video play on this forum. It just ain’t happenin’ I guess. Go to twit link to see.
 
https://twitter.com/starbabie1111/status/1296272715771453440
 
 NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 Assang12


Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven

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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 16, 2020 4:42 pm

Stella Moris

@StellaMoris1
· 2h

I spoke to Julian just now. For the past week his section of the prison has had no heating. Julian is trying to insulate his cell by boarding up the opaque 'window' (which has bars) with books people have sent in as gifts. But it's cold and he's cold.
---
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PostSubject: Re: NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE   NEW INDICTMENT AGAINST J ASSANGE - Page 3 I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 17, 2020 8:24 pm

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-resolution/1175

A bill introduced by Tulsi Gabbard on October 2, 2020

H.Res.1175 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that newsgathering activities are protected under the First Amendment, and that the United States should drop all charges against and attempts to extradite Julian Assange.


                             
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