nazi judge barraitser knows how to run a fascist court

Hrafnsson Briefly Banned From Assange Hearings With No Explanation
Mohamed Elmaazi, Tim Korso, Feb 25 2020

The week-long hearing, which started on Feb 24, will determine whether the WikiLeaks’ founder will be extradited to Pindostan at Faschingstein’s request. Pindostan is seeking to prosecute Assange over allegedly stealing and leaking secret Pindo cables and war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq. WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has stated that he was banned from the hearings on Assange’s extradition to Pindostan without being given any explanation, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene. The editor-in-chief was the only person barred from visiting the court hearings. he said:

Only minutes before the hearing started, my name was called out outside the public gallery. I was told that the court had decided to ban me from the public gallery altogether. I got no reason, there was no reason given for that decision. Simply, that the editor of WikiLeaks was banned from the public gallery in this hearing.

Hrafnsson added that he was “outraged” by the court’s decision to bar him from attending “the most important hearing, to the fate of WikiLeaks” and Julian Assange. Assange’s father, John Shipton, in turn said that the whistleblower’s family also walked out of the hearing in solidarity with Hrafnsson. he said:

We are outside with Kristinn so we won’t go back into the hearing, until the situation changes. Assange’s solicitor, Gareth Piece, intervened in the situation demanding Hrafnsson’s return to the public gallery, which he was later granted. The court, however, didn’t offer any explanation or apology regarding the situation.

The hearings on Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, started on 24 February and will determine whether he will be extradited to Pindostan to face Washington’s criminal charges against him. The Pindo government accuses Assange of conspiring to hack into the Pentagon’s computer system to steal classified data and of later publishing this data on his website. Faschingstein’s barrister James Lewis claims that his actions have put Pindo government sources at “grave and imminent risk.” Assange received the secret cables from Pindo army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and published them on WikiLeaks in 2010. The publication led to a series of scandals as the documents revealed tensions between Pindostan & its vassals, as well as Faschingstein’s surveillance on them. The WikiLeaks founder insists that the case against him is politically motivated. He had been hiding from the Pindo government in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK until he was dragged out of it in Apr 2019. By doing so Assange violated a UK court’s bail conditions on another case against him and as a result was slapped with the short prison term he is serving right now.

Julian Assange was ‘handcuffed 11 times and stripped naked’
Ben Quinn, Groon, Feb 25 2020

Julian Assange was handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice and had his case files confiscated after the first day of his extradition hearing, according to his lawyers, who complained of interference in his ability to take part. Their appeal to the judge overseeing the trial at Woolwich crown court in south-east London was also supported by legal counsel for the US government, who said it was essential the WikiLeaks founder be given a fair trial. Edward Fitzgerald QC, acting for Assange, said the case files, which the prisoner was reading in court on Monday, were confiscated by guards when he returned to prison later that night and that he was put in five cells. The judge, Vanessa Baraitser, replied that she did not have the legal power to comment or rule on Assange’s conditions but encouraged the defence team to formally raise the matter with the prison. The details emerged on the second day of Assange’s extradition hearing, during which his legal team denied that the Wikileaks founder had “knowingly placed lives at risk” by publishing unredacted US government files. The court was told Wikileaks had entered into a collaboration with the Guardian, El Pais, the NYT and other media outlets in order to publish secret cables in 2010. Mark Summers, QC, claimed the unredacted files had been published because a password to this material had appeared in a Guardian book on the affair. he said:

The gates got opened not by Assange or Wikileaks but by another member of that partnership.

The Guardian denied the claim. A spox said:

The Guardian has made clear it is opposed to the extradition of Julian Assange. However, it is entirely wrong to say the Guardian’s 2011 Wikileaks book led to the publication of unredacted Pindo government files.

“The book contained a password which the authors had been told by Julian Assange was temporary and would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours. The book also contained no details about the whereabouts of the files. No concerns were expressed by Assange or Wikileaks about security being compromised when the book was published in Feb 2011. Wikileaks published the unredacted files in Sep 2011. The Guardian’s former investigations editor David Leigh, who wrote the book with Luke Harding, said:

It’s a complete invention that I had anything to do with Julian Assange’s own publication decisions. His cause is not helped by people making things up.

Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act. They relate to the publication a decade ago of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and files covering areas including US activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Australian, who could face a 175-year prison sentence if found guilty, is accused of working with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents. The hearing continues.

As Assange’s trial begins, his lawyers highlight risk of extradition with CIA spying operation’s ‘extreme measures’
Kevin Gosztola, Grayzone, Feb 24 2020

The defense for WikiLeaks founder and Australian citizen Julian Assange alleged that the director of a Spanish security company known as Undercover Global was contracted by Sheldon Adelson, a pro-Israel billionaire who is one of Trump’s biggest donors. The allegation was made during the first day of a week-long extradition hearing unfolding at Woolwich Court in London. It is adjacent to HMP Belmarsh, where Assange is detained. What happens this week will serve as a prequel to a more substantial hearing scheduled for late May and early June. As the Spanish newspaper El País previously reported, Undercover Global targeted Assange when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the UK, spying on him 24/7 on behalf of the CIA. Company personnel surveilled privileged meetings between Assange and his lawyers. The WikiLeaks publisher met with his legal team in the women’s bathroom to ensure privacy, but it did not matter; microphones had been planted there too. Undercover Global is owned and led by David Morales, a former officer in Spain’s military, who trained the Navy’s special ops unit. A subsequent report from El País revealed that Morales was in Alexandria, Virginia, just around 10 km from Faschingstein, in Mar 2017. The Spanish newspaper noted:

Alexandria is home to the Pindo federal court that has been investigating the Australian cyber-activist for years and has requested his extradition from the UK.

Edward Fitzgerald, a defense attorney for Assange, alleged Morales returned from Las Vegas in 2017 after attending a security trade fair. While he was in Pindostan, Morales inked a contract to provide security for Adelson’s private yacht, and allegedly negotiated a “side agreement” to go to the “dark side” and spy on Assange for Pindo intelligence.  whistleblower who worked for Undercover Global, who was referred to in court as “Witness #2,” revealed how data was collected and uploaded daily to a remote server. That information was accessed by Pindo intelligence. Original recordings including sound were collected from several microphones every 14 days. Company employees apparently discussed more extreme measures, such as kidnapping or poisoning Assange. The kidnapping scenario involved leaving the door of the embassy open so that officers or agents on behalf of Pindo intelligence could rush in and take Assange. Witness #2 found the suggestions of “extreme measures” shocking, and multiple employees came to believe the course Morales was taking was dangerous. Around Dec 21 2017, Assange was granted “diplomatic status” by the Ecuador government. Pindo intelligence was spying and knew about this development. This same date, a criminal complaint of “computer misuse” and extradition on a “provisional warrant” was sought. His prosecution became a “political imperative.” The espionage operation was not limited to Assange. Reports were compiled on journalists, attorneys, doctors, and any Russians or Pindos who visited Assange. At a security checkpoint, visitors were instructed to “hand over their bags, computers, electronic devices, and cellphones,” according to El País. While visitors met with Assange, employees of the company put together reports that could be shared with the CIA via a server in Juarez de la Frontera. The FBI allegedly had access to files, too.

Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in Apr 2019. Upon expulsion, his confidential papers were seized and passed on to the Pindo government by the neoliberal Ecuadorian government of President Lenin Moreno, who initiated a pressure campaign to force Assange out of the embassy. Fitzgerald argued this was evidence of the Trump administration politicizing the case. Because of the malicious nature of the espionage operation, Assange has “reason to fear” Trump’s political motivations. And if extradited, he would face real risks once brought to the United States given these extreme measures. The defense outlined what they described as a “strange interlude” in the timeline of the case, where former Thug Rep Dana Rohrabacher and a right-wing activist named Charles Johnson met with Assange at the embassy in Aug 2017. Assange’s attorneys also stated there was a discussion about a preemptive pardon “in exchange for personal assistance to President Trump in the inquiry” into alleged Russian involvement in the hacking of the DNC emails. Assange’s lawyers told their client that Trump was aware they were meeting and approved of a proposal that would benefit himself politically, while at the same time preventing Assange’s indictment and extradition. However, after the defense teased this allegation last week, Rohrabacher denied he was acting at the direction of Trump. Fitzgerald said to the court:

President Trump himself denies everything. But in the immortal words of Mandy Rice Davies, “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?” And there may yet be further developments in relation to this particular aspect of the case, prompted by the public reporting of this allegation last week. We say that this whole pardon business shows that, just as the prosecution was initiated in Dec 2017 for political purposes, so too the Trump administration (was) prepared to use the threat of prosecution as a means of extortion to obtain personal political advantage from Mr Assange.

The defense pointed to Trump’s obsession with power, along with attacks on media, to assert that the court must stay the extradition request. They likened what has happened to Assange to cases loosely tied to Russiagate allegations, where Trump has promised pardons if he can extract some kind of benefit from defendants. Assange’s case shows how the “dividing line between the high executive, the political executive, is being blurred as has happened in many other examples recently.” And according to the defense, the history provides the clearest evidence that extradition is an “abuse of process” that constitutes bad faith and abuses of power on the part of Trump. In 2013, then-Justice Department spokesperson Matthew Miller explained the decision under President Barack Obama not to indict Assange:

If you are not going to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, which the department is not, then there is no way to prosecute Assange.

To the defense, the Trump administration’s reversal of this decision is another glaring example of officials playing politics, and politicizing the case itself because out of sheer loathing of Assange and his political opinions. The defense stated before the court:

(We shouldn’t underestimate the) sheer scale and significance of the revelations. They range from the video of Pindo soldiers shooting unarmed civilians from a helicopter to the brutal torture of detainees in Iraq and the exposure of the true figures of civilian deaths resulting from the invasion of Iraq. Such revelations obviously put him in the sites of the aggressive ‘America First’ ideologues of the Trump Administration.”

Top Pindos like Sec State Mike Pompeo have described WikiLeaks as a non-state hostile intelligence agency, and that Assange therefore had no First Amendment rights. They have publicly denounced him in ways that the defense believes are prejudicial, and which abrogate the decorum that officials are expected to uphold when discussing ongoing legal cases. In expert testimony submitted to the court, Professor Noam Chomsky declared:

In courageously upholding political beliefs that most of (us) profess to share, he has performed an enormous service to all those in the world, who treasure the values of freedom and democracy and who therefore demand the right to know what their elected representatives are doing. So Julian Assange’s positive impact on the world is undeniable. The hostility it has provoked from the Trump administration is equally undeniable.

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