Anti-Assange Court Continues Unfair Extradition Hearing To Railroad Assange To US

| Resist!

Above: Julian Assange court sketch, October 21, 2019, supplied by Julia Quenzler.

Julian Assange raises the fist of solidarity to people in the courtroom, October 21, 2019. By Elisabeth Cook.

London – On October 21, 2019, Julian Assange appeared in court for an extradition hearing. Assange is being held in a British jail pending extradition to the United States after having served his sentence for skipping bail when he was given asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition. The court has refused his release pending the extradition hearing and denied him access to computers making it difficult for him to defend himself.

Assange fled to Ecuador’s embassy in 2012 to avoid being sent to Sweden for an investigation of manufactured charges being used to imprison him so he could be extradited to the United Staes. He faced a sex crimes investigation, which is highly suspect and has never resulted in charges despite three investigations. Assange spent seven years in Ecuador’s embassy before he was dragged out with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s consent in April. He now faces 18 counts in the United States.

It is evident from this hearing that Assange is being railroaded and is not receiving due process for an alleged crime that should not exist, i.e. being an editor and publisher that told the truth about US war crimes and other illegal actions, as well as the corporate control of US foreign policy. Assange is facing up to 175 years in prison on more than a dozen charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents that exposed American war crimes and its corrupt corporate-dominated foreign policy. Popular Resistance has supported Julian Assange for his journalism and Chelsea Manning for whistleblowing and refusing to testify against Assange. Both need to be released and the charges against Assange dropped.

Assange arrived for the hearing in a van. There were numerous supporters outside as he arrived but he was driven into a garage with0ut people seeing him.

Assange People outisde of court, October 21, 2019 from Ruptly.

His mother commented on her son’s appearance in court and the extradition he is facing on Twitter:

Others expressed rage at the injustice of the court proceedings being used as a weapon against Assange, not an instrument of due process and justice. The court is not even trying to pretend it is being fair.

The silence of corporate media outlets and journalists is being noticed. Their cowardice is suicidal. If the Espionage Act is used against Assange successfully, it will be available for use against all journalists. They will either have to bow down to the government and not report on corruption and war crimes or risk prosecution. The Assange prosecution is an attack on Freedom of the Press and the people’s right to know. The Assange case will define Freedom of Speech and Press in the 21st Century.

Julian Assange turns to the crowd in court on October 21, 2019, raises fist and shows solidarity.

People did get to see Assange in court.

Julian Assange courtroom sketch, October 21, 2019.

His attorney, Mark Summers, told the court that Assange was spied on in the embassy, including conversations with his lawyers. Reuters reports:

Summers said the U.S. government had been listening to conversations between Assange and lawyers while he was in the Ecuadorean embassy in London from 2012 to 2019.

He said there was a criminal case in the Spanish courts allegedly involving Spanish contractors used by the U.S. government and that hooded men broke into offices, without giving details.

“This is part of a concerted and avowed war against whistleblowers including investigative journalists and publishers,” Summers said.

He argued that his team needed more time to gather and provide evidence, saying the challenges in this case would test the limits of most lawyers and citing the difficulty of communicating with Assange who doesn’t have a computer in jail.

Assange is the first publisher or editor charged under the Espionage Act, which was designed for traitors and is being misapplied to a journalist. The charges against him are a political attempt to silence journalists and publishers, and the fake Swedish allegations were part of a plot to incarcerate him for US prosecution. 

Summers called the USextradition “a political attempt to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information.” He described the prosecution as a war on journalis saying “It’s legally unprecedented. This is part of an avowed war on whistleblowers to include investigative journalists and publishers.”

Reuters reported that Assange mumbled and stuttered for several seconds as he gave his name and date of birth at the beginning of the hearing.  When “the judge asked him at the end of the hearing if he knew what was happening, he replied ‘not exactly,’ complained about the conditions in jail, and said he was unable to ‘think properly.'”

Assange understands he is going through an unfair hearing that does not allow him to defend himself saying to the judge: “I don’t understand how this is equitable. I can’t research anything, I can’t access any of my writing. It’s very difficult where I am.”

Amnesty International has called for Assange not to be extradited to the United States.

The judge refused to delay the hearing in the case when Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, argued that Assange’s extradition hearing, scheduled for February 2020, should be delayed by three months due to the complexity of the case. The judge showed there is a goal in this courtroom — the rapid extradition to the United States where he will face an unfair trial in Alexandria, VA, known as the ‘rocket docket’, where national security cases are held.

Reuters reports:

The crowd of supporters remained through the hearing and cheered Assange as he left.

  • voza0db

    Only one solution for him to get out of prison…

  • Natures Tale

    Somebody needs to punch the corporate media in the face. Soon.

    Not that I have any designs on doing so myself.

  • This article is what journalism should be all about, kudos to Popular Resistance not many sites have reported on this kangaroo court case, or that the next hearing will be held in a different venue with a seating capacity of only 3 !!!!

    In a final vindictive move, Baraitser declared that next year’s week-long extradition hearing would take place at Woolwich Magistrates Court near Belmarsh Prison. There were audible gasps in the public gallery at Baraitser’s announcement. The venue near Belmarsh has a “public gallery” of just three seats, all but denying public scrutiny and allowing a biased media to selectively report and spread disinformation and lies.

    [from WSWS]

    How suspiciously convenient to have only three seats, three puppets can easily hide inside and no one else will be allowed to enter the obvious kangaroo court.

    No doubt the global presscorps will be protesting that they wish to be present after all this is how they’re supposed to earn their keep, by writing and reporting on these events – [Supposed to]

    I’m recording names and suggest that everyone else follows suit

    A court with a seating capacity of only three is yet another clear indication how they’re desperately trying to hide the corrupt proceedings inside, the less people that are there all the better for the establishment.

    A seating capacity of only three is telling me how absolutely terrified the authorities are but also that they fully intend to deny Julian Assange’s right to fair trial – Due Process and the Magna Carta went out the window some time afo — Many have stated that it should never have come to this in the first place – Assange isn’t even a US citizen and hasn’t broken any US laws and neither is the rest of the world accountable to US illogical diktat.

    To give an idea of the hypocrisy involved lets remember how Bolton recently threatened the ICC in relation to an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq obviously related to material downloaded by Manning and released by Wikileaks — then got away with it indicates how flawed this procedure already is and more likely always was.

    The biggest and most important court case in recent history will not be a fair trail….it will be an Australian in an English kangaroo court at the behest of Empire.

  • Infarction

    We have past the point where the illicit government of the US and their lickspittle and craven proxies even attempt to mask their tyranny. Just as the entire illegitimate US government and their puppeteers ignore the laws of the land, these criminals jail anyone who dares question their actions.

    The corporate media and their mouthpieces on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, PBS, ABC and CBS are paid multi-million dollar salaries to shamelessly act as the propaganda ministry for plutocrats.

    As long as the corporations and the oligarchs who pull the strings are not replaced by a socialist government that represents We the People, the tyranny will continue to escalate. More for-profit prisons will be built, more looting of the world’s treasure will increase and the working class will continue on the road to a feudal system.

    BDS the US government.

  • William Johnson

    I’m still shocked the ruling class hasn’t executed Assange by using some form of accident. Anyone know where Jeffrey Epstein’s body is right now or if there is one? The N.Y. City Medical Examiner was banned from performing the autopsy, although that office had clear and binding jurisdiction, while the federal govt called in it’s own medical personnel to perform an autopsy I’ve yet to see any pictures on that as are usually readily available. What gives? Anyone really think that Assange will be safe in U.S. custody? It’s no wonder he’s terrified of extradition.
    What gives in the Assange case is real simple on the other hand. Empire does as it will and if opposed, empire will make the lives of truth tellers exposing it’s many crimes as unbearable as possible. Assange knew this going in or should have. These so-called people are criminals in such an extreme that even mass psychopathic murderers would bow down before them out of pure fear or maybe envy. Who could know?
    Meanwhile, State/Corporate Media continues to act as one would expect. Performing their duties as loyal subjects of the system oppressing us all in one way or another ten or twenty.

  • If we don’t do something now and soon will we ever become motivated to stand up against the obvious injustice of it all !!!

    —-

    Look for the The Epstein Mystery on Paul Craig Roberts blog.

  • dan

    These are dark times indeed; when we have a so-called president who’s bragged about abusing women lies all the time full of conflict of interest wants the media only when it supports his views and constantly claims he;s above the laws (I guess Nixon wasn’t smart, or arrogant enough, to claim that); yet Trump and his regime have aggressively pushed to have Assange indicted and extradited so they can lock him away forever, Gitmo or somewhere else. Assange, Manning, Snowden, Elsberg, and others, are the real heroes of our time….those persecuting them belong in The Hague instead

  • Ophita

    They are torturing Julian and now they have come for Max Blumenthal, who was arrested last Friday, held shackled in jail for two days on false charges.