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Julian Assange has been BLOCKED from seeing key evidence by Pindos
Terri-Ann Williams, Daily Mail, Dec 13 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is yet to be shown key evidence in the case brought against him by the Pindo authorities, his extradition hearing was told today. The 48-year-old, faces accusations of leaking sensitive Pindo military material between Jan- May 2010. The Australian national appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court over video link from HMP Belmarsh white-haired and clean-shaven with a grey jumper and spoke to confirm his identity. He is being held in the high-security jail ahead of a full hearing in February when he will fight extradition to Pindostan, where he faces 18 charges including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Gareth Peirce, representing Assange, said:

The summary case which we have prepared is a dense document. Mr Assange has not been given what he must be given, and we are keen to go through this to the best of our abilities to keep (up) with the requests of the court. It is predicated on the underlying evidence that Mr Assange has not reviewed.

Last month Swedish authorities dropped rape allegations made in 2010 against the editor. Assange had taken refuge in a small office, converted into a bedroom in Ecuador’s embassy since 2012 before he was finally evicted earlier this year. He was then jailed for 50 weeks for breaching bail on 1 May. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser told Assange:

I am now adjourning your case to next Friday Dec 19, when a case management hearing will take place. You will be produced as was requested by both sides over the video link.

It comes weeks after more than 60 doctors warned in an open letter addressed to Home Secretary Priti Patel that he could die in prison without urgent medical care. The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka, expressed ‘serious concerns’ about Assange’s fitness to stand trial. He was jailed for 50 weeks in May for breaching his bail conditions after going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex offence allegations, which he has always denied. Last month, WikiLeaks welcomed a decision by the Swedish authorities to drop a rape investigation. Assange has been in custody since he was dramatically removed from the embassy building in April, and at a hearing in October appeared to struggle to say his own name, telling Westminster Magistrates’ Court:

I can’t think properly.

Last month, Assange’s close friend Pamela Anderson claimed she was threatened by a prison warden at Belmarsh. Anderson said that, towards the end of her meeting with Assange at Belmarsh high security prison in London in May:

The warden stormed in and made it very clear to me, that if I were going to be a problem, he’d make problems for Julian. It was a direct threat.

It was unclear why the warden might have believed Anderson was going to cause trouble. A UK Prison Service spokesman said:

The Governor of HMP Belmarsh did not threaten Ms Anderson or Mr Assange.

On Nov 25, Home Secretary Priti Patel received a letter from medics across the world which stated Assange ‘could die’ at Belmarsh if he didn’t receive ‘urgent medical care.’ The medics from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka express ‘serious concerns’ about the 48-year-old’s health. The doctors are calling for Assange to be transferred to a university teaching hospital, where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team. The letter, which has also been copied to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, says:

From a medical point of view, on the evidence currently available, we have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020. Most importantly, it is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health. Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care). Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.

Dr Lissa Johnson, a clinical psychologist in Australia and one of the letter’s signatories, said:

Given the rapid decline of his health in Belmarsh prison, Julian Assange must immediately be transferred to a university teaching hospital for appropriate and specialised medical care. If the UK Government fails to heed doctors’ advice by urgently arranging such a transfer on medical grounds, there is a very real possibility that Mr Assange may die. As it stands, serious questions surround not only the health impacts of Mr Assange’s detention conditions, but his medical fitness to stand trial and prepare his defence. Independent specialist medical assessment is therefore needed to determine whether Julian Assange is medically fit for any of his pending legal proceedings. Consistent with its commitment to human rights and rule of law, the UK Government must heed the urgent warning of medical professionals from around the world, and transfer Julian Assange to an appropriately specialised and expert hospital setting, before it’s too late.

Julian Assange’s long legal battle (excerpt)

2010
March: Pindo authorities allege Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Mannin to hack a classified Pindo government computers.
July: Wikileaks starts releasing tens of thousands of top secret documents, including a video of Pindo helicopter pilots gunning down 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007. What followed was the release of more than 90,000 classified Pindo military files from the Afghan war and 400,000 from Iraq that included the names of informants.
August: Two Swedish women claim that they each had consensual sex with Assange in separate instances when he was on a 10-day trip to Stockholm. They allege the sex became non-consensual when Assange refused to wear a condom. First woman claims Assange was staying at her apartment in Stockholm when he ripped off her clothes. She told police that when she realized Assange was trying to have unprotected sex with her, she demanded he use a condom. She claims he ripped the condom before having sex. Second Swedish woman claims she had sex with Assange at her apartment in Stockholm and she made him wear a condom. She alleges that she later woke up to find Assange having unprotected sex with her. He was questioned by police in Stockholm and denied the allegations. Assange was granted permission by Swedish authorities to fly back to the UK.
November: A Swedish court ruled that the investigation should be reopened and Assange should be detained for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. An international arrest warrant is issued by Swedish police through Interpol. Wikileaks releases its cache of more than 250,000 Pindo diplomatic cables.
December: Assange presents himself to London police and appears at an extradition hearing where he is remanded in custody. Assange is granted conditional bail at the High Court in London after his supporters pay £240k in cash and sureties.

Assange lawyer discloses conditions for British justice TO RETHINK his extradition
RT.com, Dec 14 2019

A Spanish judge will question Julian Assange on a Spain-based security firm thought to have spied on him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. His lawyer hopes it may help thwart the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to Pindostan. Set for next week, the questioning is part of a criminal inquiry the Spanish High Court is carrying out into UC Global, a private security company suspected of gathering surveillance on Assange and passing it further to US intelligence services. Aitor Martinez, a lawyer in charge of defending Assange in Spain, told RIA Novosti, “Dec 20 is an important day.” He will go to Westminster Magistrates Court “to receive a video conference testimony from Mr Assange as a victim of the alleged spy plot.” El Pais reported this summer that the firm was eavesdropping on Assange during his exile at the Ecuadorian diplomatic mission in London. Citing recordings, the paper alleged that the firm tasked to guard the embassy eavesdropped specifically on Assange’s legal discussions. Assange’s input is invaluable, as it can pave the way to shooting down Pindo efforts to extradite him, Martinez explained. he argued:

Obviously, once Spanish justice receives such testimonies from Mr Assange, then British justice should rethink the usefulness of his extradition.

It can become a reason for the UK to deny an extradition request issued by the country where basic legal guarantees are not ensured. As the inquiry progressed, the Spanish High Court arrested the company’s owner David Morales, a former member of the Spanish military, believed to have liaised with the Pindo side. He was released on bail, but his company’s premises were searched and his bank accounts frozen. As the story unfolded, it emerged that UC Global operatives also monitored Pindo & Russian visitors to Assange, handing their profiles to Pindo intelligence. Morales himself didn’t try to hide his ties to the “Pindo friends.” According to Germany’s NDR broadcaster, which filed a complaint against UC Global for having targeted one of its journalists who visited Assange, Morales allegedly told one of his employees:

From now on, we play in the first league. We are now working for the dark side.

He is said to have traveled up to twice a month to Pindostan to deliver intelligence taken from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Lawyers complain about lack of access to Julian Assange in jail
PA Media, Dec 13 2019

Julian Assange has been blocked from seeing evidence in his extradition case because his lawyers cannot get sufficient access to him, a court has heard. The WikiLeaks founder appeared at Westminster magistrates court by video link on Friday for a hearing to extend his detention in Belmarsh prison, in south-east London. He is being held in the high-security jail before a full hearing in February when he will fight extradition to Pindostan, where he faces 18 charges including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Assange appeared uncomfortable as he sat waiting for the hearing to start, clenching his hands together before putting them inside the sleeves of his grey sweater. He spoke to confirm his name and date of birth and to clarify he was Australian, after the court’s legal adviser mistakenly suggested he was a Swedish national. The court heard that his lawyers had made a request to the judge, complaining about a lack of access to their client behind bars. Gareth Peirce, defending Assange, said the legal team were struggling to prepare documents for the case as Assange had no access to the evidence. she said:

Without Mr Assange’s knowledge, some of it is recently acquired evidence, some of it is subject to months of investigation not always in this country, of which he is unaware because of the blockage in visits. Despite our best efforts, Mr Assange has not been given what he must be given, and we are doing our utmost to cut through this.

Peirce said the governor of Belmarsh had prioritised family visits over legal visits, and she asked the judge to step in. But the district judge, Vanessa Baraitser, said she had no jurisdiction over the Prison Service. The judge said:

Can I make it clear that I have no desire to stand in the way of any lawyer having proper access to their client, and it’s in the interest of justice that they do. What I can do and say is to state in open court that it would be helpful to this extradition process that Mr Assange’s lawyers have the access to their client.

Assange’s lawyers have previously complained that he had been given access to an unsuitable computer in prison. Last month more than 60 doctors warned in an open letter addressed to the home secretary, Priti Patel, that Assange could die in prison without urgent medical care. The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka, expressed “serious concerns” about Assange’s fitness to stand trial. He was jailed for 50 weeks in May for breaching his bail conditions after going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex offence allegations, which he has always denied. Last month WikiLeaks welcomed a decision by Swedish authorities to drop a rape investigation. Assange has been in custody since he was removed from the embassy in April. At a hearing in October he appeared to struggle to say his own name, telling Westminster magistrates court:

I can’t think properly.

He will next appear in court by video link on Dec 19 for a case management hearing.

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