MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘secret trial’

Julian in the Dock, by Israel Shamir – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on March 13, 2020

The Court is designed with no other purpose than to exclude the public, on an island accessible only through navigating a maze of dual carriageways, the entire location and architecture of the building is predicated on preventing public access. It is in truth just the sentencing wing of Belmarsh prison.

In the end, none of this role-play mattered since none of the media reported on this exchange, as it wasn’t inserted into the daily press release. The MSM journalists used only these prepared texts, so convenient for copying and pasting into their own reports.

This will ensure isolation and be as close to a secret trial as it’s possible to get.”

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/julian-in-the-dock/

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has had very little media coverage. Even The Guardian and The New York Times barely mentioned it, though these newspapers made a fortune publishing Assange-provided cables. Unless you had been looking for it, you wouldn’t even know that on February 24 to 27, the first stage of Assange’s extradition hearing was being adjudicated in the secretive Woolwich Crown Court embedded within the huge Belmarsh Prison nicknamed “British Gitmo”. Luckily for us, Ambassador Craig Murray, the indomitable truth fighter, went there, waited in line for hours in the rain, underwent searches and discomfort, and wrote an extensive report (12,000 words) on this travesty of justice that went under the name of a ‘trial’. His reports leave nothing out, from the threatening atmosphere to the sinister legal arguments. He captured the menace and the abuse bordering with public torture, and delivered it to the world, something that none of the journalists on the payroll of the mass media had been allowed to do. Here are some insights from his report in my free rendering augmented with other sources.

The Court is designed with no other purpose than to exclude the public, on an island accessible only through navigating a maze of dual carriageways, the entire location and architecture of the building is predicated on preventing public access. It is in truth just the sentencing wing of Belmarsh prison.

The judge, the Magistrate (or District Judge) Vanessa Baraitser is a modern version of the Hanging Judge George Jeffreys, a female Judge Dredd. She is the chief villain by all descriptions of the trial, not just tolerating but exceeding the demands of the prosecution. The lawyers acting for the prosecution did request some niceties if only for the trial to appear fair. Baraitser had no such pretensions. She went straight for the jugular. If she could, she would hang Assange right away.

This Jewish lady is surrounded by mystery: she has left no trace upon the Internet. A newly born child has more Internet presence than this middle-aged woman. I doubt such a blank slate could be achieved nowadays without the active assistance of the Secret Services.

Ambassador Murray writes: “Ms Baraitser is not fond of photography – she appears to be the only public figure in Western Europe with no photo on the internet. Indeed the average proprietor of a rural car wash has left more evidence of their existence and life history on the Internet than Vanessa Baraitser. Which is no crime on her part, but I suspect the expunging is not achieved without considerable effort. Somebody suggested to me she might be a hologram, but I think not. Holograms have more empathy.”

John Pilger saw Baraitser in action during the previous round of Assange hearings in October 2019. He wrote: “I have sat in many courtrooms and seen judges abuse their positions. This judge, Vanessa Baraitser shocked all of us who were there. Her face was a progression of sneers and imperious indifference; she addressed Julian with cruel arrogance. When Assange spoke, Baraitser contrived boredom; when the prosecuting barrister spoke, she was attentive. When Julian’s barrister described the CIA spying on him, she didn’t yawn, but her disinterest was as expressive. Her knee in the groin was to announce that the next court hearing would be at remote Woolwich, which adjoins Belmarsh Prison and has few seats for the public. This will ensure isolation and be as close to a secret trial as it’s possible to get.”

It turned out to be practically a secret trial. There were MSM journalists, but “not a single one of the most important facts and arguments today has been reported anywhere in the mainstream media.”

On the first day, James Lewis QC for the prosecution tried to drive a wedge between Assange and the media. He claimed that in no way are mainstream outlets like The Guardian and The New York Times threatened by this trial, because Assange was not charged with publishing the cables but only with publishing the names of informants, cultivating Manning and assisting him to attempt computer hacking. The mainstream outlets are not guilty of any crimes, having only published sanitised cables.

But Judge Baraitser didn’t accept this vegetarian approach. She thirsted for blood. She referred to the Official Secrets Act 1989, which declares that merely obtaining and publishing any government secret is an offence. Surely, Baraitser suggested, that meant that newspapers publishing the Manning leaks would be guilty of a serious offence?

Lewis agreed with the judge and admitted that indeed, the mainstream journalists also are guilty, fully denying what he said in his opening statement. In the end, none of this role-play mattered since none of the media reported on this exchange, as it wasn’t inserted into the daily press release. The MSM journalists used only these prepared texts, so convenient for copying and pasting into their own reports.

The main argument of the defence was that the motive for the prosecution was entirely political, and that political offences were specifically excluded under the UK/US extradition treaty. For a normal human judge, that would suffice to dismiss the case. But Baraitser had a trick up her sleeve. Although the US/UK Extradition Treaty forbade political extraditions, this was only the Treaty, and this is not an international court, she said. That exemption does not appear in the UK Extradition Act. Therefore political extradition is not illegal in the UK, as the Treaty has no legal force on her Court. With such a judge, who needs the prosecution? Read the rest of this entry »

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