US appeals Assange ruling


It took over six months, but the US government’s record against Julien assange continues its draining grind. Even the Biden administration, which claims to tolerate a free press and truthful dialogue with the Fourth Estate, has decided to exhaust its legal options by seeking the publisher’s scalp.

On July 7, the UK High Court of Justice agreed to hear the US government’s appeal on limited grounds, although no date has been set for these proceedings. The Crown Prosecution Service, representing the US government, is challenging District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling that Assange not to be extradited for health and medical reasons.

This judgment accepted defense evidence that Assange was a suicide risk and that the conditions of detention at a U.S. supermax prison facility may well exacerbate it. There was also a “real risk that … Assange would be subject to special restrictive administrative measures.” [SAMs]. “The result of such measures would see his mental health” deteriorate to the point where he will commit suicide with the “stubborn determination” described by Dr. [Quinton] Deeley. She was further “satisfied that Mr. Assange’s suicidal urges will come from his psychiatric diagnoses rather than from his own willful act.” In view of such evidence, “it would be oppressive to extradite [Assange] in the United States of America.

The prosecution’s submissions are not publicly available, but have been examined by Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof. They argue that the judge erred in law in determining that Assange’s extradition was oppressive. The judge should also have communicated with the US government her concerns or her “provisional opinion” on the risk posed to Assange and asked for relevant “assurances”.

This last point is fallacious; The US Department of Justice case was based on shoddy assertions from prosecutors and expert witnesses who betrayed their ignorance of the role of SAM and supermax detention conditions. But in making their appeal, prosecutors were all smooth, suggesting that SAMs would not be imposed on Assange on remand or, if convicted, in jail. Sensing the need to draw the line somewhere, they did not promise that other forms of segregation or administrative segregation would not be used. While Assange wouldn’t necessarily end up incarcerated at ADX Florence in Colorado, that would depend on any “future act” that qualifies.

As to how Assange would be treated medically, the CPS made another weak promise that he “would receive clinical and psychological treatment as recommended by a qualified clinician employed or retained by the prison.”

Prosecutors were also willing to give another assurance which they refused to test at trial. Assange would be allowed to use the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons to negotiate a prisoner transfer to Australia. The DoJ would give its consent to such an arrangement.

Defense attorneys for Assange have been laconic in dismissing the claim. “They had every opportunity to offer such assurance at the extradition hearing, since the relevant Council of Europe treaty has been in force for many years. Such a procedure under the treaty, in any case, “could not take place before the conclusion of the trial and all appeal proceedings, which are obviously likely to be very prolonged”. While this unfolded, the publisher would face conditions of isolation “in a foreign and hostile environment away from his family”.

Prosecutors further sought to weaken Varaitser’s judgment by re-targeting the testimony of Professor Michael Kopelman, whose testimony they did not discredit at trial. This less than noble effort involved affirming that Assange “had a strong incentive to fake or exaggerate his symptoms” aided by his consultation of “scientific journals.” The prosecution also accused Kopelman of a lack of bias “by deliberately withholding information told to him about Mr. Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, and their children.” Judge Baraitser found the cover-up “misleading and inappropriate in the context of his obligations to the court, but an understandable human response.” She accepted Kopelman’s view that “Assange suffers from recurrent depressive disorder, which was severe in December 2019, and sometimes accompanied by psychotic features (hallucinations), often with ruminant suicidal ideation.”

Defense against in their argument against the appellate prosecutors that Baraitser did not err in law in concluding that Assange’s “suicidal impulses” arose from his “psychiatric condition” and were not the result of “his own willful act. “. The “attack” on Kopelman also failed “to recognize the right of the principal decision-maker to make his own decision on the weight to be given to the testimony of defense experts on the one hand and prosecution experts on the one hand. ‘somewhere else “.

In one declaration in response to the High Court ruling, Moris responded by recounting the mix of glaring flaws in the case against his partner: the fabricated testimony of main witness of DoJ Sigurdur Thordarson; infamous suggestions that Assange be assassinated by American agents; monitoring its legal team and theft of legal documents; and, for good measure, threats against the family. “The case is rotten to the core, and nothing the US government can say about his future treatment beats the paper it’s written on.” Such a presumption is practically irrefutable.

If you are interested in writing for International Policy Digest – please email us via [email protected]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.