Schlagwort-Archive: Julian Assange

Julian Assange Hearing – Your Help Wanted

Quelle: Craig Murray

Here is a list of things you can do to help. Everyone can do at least one of these.

1) Put 18 May firmly in your diary. The hearing stands adjourned until 18 May. Turn up on 18 May and join the protests there all day – show the world this is a political trial, and we know it. Woolwich Crown Court is walking distance from Plumstead Railway Station in South East London. If you feel able to do so, bring your tent and join the Free Assange Village that sets up on the grass banks around the court – there is loads of available space. But if you can just turn up for the day, that is just as valuable. Protests will roll on every day throughout the hearing which will continue for a minimum of three weeks.

Make all the noise you can at the protests. The prosecution is anxious to portray this as an “ordinary criminal case”. Make sure the world, and the judge, know it is not. There was an attempt by the judge to deflect the communication problems caused by Julian being locked inside a bulletproof glass cage, and blame the distant noise of protestors for that instead. Do not be deflected by this arrant nonsense. Make all the noise you can.

2) Write to your elected representatives. This really does have an impact if done en masse. You can do this whichever country you are in. The key points are these:

– Publishing the truth should not be a crime. Wikileaks exposed war crimes and worldwide corruption by governments.
– The prosecution case rests entirely on the argument that the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007 is legally enforceable, but that specifically Clause 4.i of the Treaty forbidding extradition for political offences has no standing in law. This is an absurd argument.
– Ask specifically your elected representative whether they personally believe political offences should be extraditable, and what they believe the impact might be worldwide on political dissidents in exile
– Demand they act on the disgraceful conditions in which Julian is held, including entirely unnecessary strip searches and manacling, lack of access to his legal papers and lack of access to his lawyers. Point out he has not been convicted and that these are incompatible with his status as an innocent remand prisoner. Point out he is being treated as the most violent convicted terrorists are treated, but he is unconvicted and accused of a peaceful political offence.

3) Put in a freedom of information request. I explained at great length why it is impossible that the UK could have ratified the US/UK Extradition Treaty in 2007 if it is indeed, as the prosecution claim, incompatible with the UK Extradition Act of 2003. Please read that again.

If you are in the UK
There must be documentary evidence of all the clearance work around Whitehall that was done to ensure the 2007 Treaty is fully compatible with UK law. I therefore need people to submit Freedom of Information Requests to:
a)Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Specifying Consular Dept, Legal Advisers, North American Dept, Nationality & Treaty Dept, Counter Terrorism Dept or their successors if renamed and any other relevant departments)
b)Home Office
c)Treasury Solicitors
d)Cabinet Office
e)UK Parliament

Requesting “All materials relating to the ratification and entry into force of the UK/US Extradition Treaty (signed 2003 ratified 2007), and particularly all discussion of the ability of the 2003 Extradition Act to apply all of its provisions, of the need or lack of need for any further statutory provision to incorporate it into English law, including but not exclusively any reference to extradition for political offences or to clause 4 of the UK US Extradition Treaty.” Materials should be requested from 2002 to 2007.

If you are in the USA, please similarly put in a FOIA request to the Department of Justice and State Department for all material relating to the implementation of the UK/US Extradition Treaty (signed 2003, ratified 2007), and particularly any discussion of the political offences exclusion at Clause 4, in particular but not exclusively with relation to the desirability of the UK implementing that clause and/or the UK’s ability to do so.

I realise I am asking for a bit of work here from you to work out how to do and phrase this. I have never been let down when drawing on the tenacity and perspicacity of our readers before!

4) Research the passing of the 2003 Extradition Act.

In Court the prosecution argued that the 2003 Extradition Act was the first such UK Act not to include an exclusion for political offences. Parliament must therefore deliberately have removed the political offences exclusion and the 2007 Treaty could not put it back in. The defence argued to the contrary that the 2003 Extradition Act is an Enabling Act on which extradition treaties depend. Both the Act and the Treaty are required for extradition, and the Act did nothing to limit Treaties from including a ban on extradition for political offences.

As always, Judge Baraitser ignored the defence argument. She three times asserted as a simple matter of fact that Parliament had intended to allow extradition for political offences when passing the 2003 Extradition Act. Twice she did this in interruption of the defence argument to the contrary.

Normally neither arguments about the intention of parliament, nor quotes from Hansard debates, are taken into consideration by English courts. With few exceptions, rulings have been that the legislation must be read on its face. But here, Baraitser has herself quoted the intention of parliament – using that very word – to justify dismissing the defence argument. It must therefore be legitimate to introduce evidence on the intention of parliament, if the judge is going to rely on the concept.

I therefore need people to read through all the Hansards of debates on the 2003 Extradition Act, both in the Commons and the Lords, to see what was said about extradition for political offences, and particular if any distinction was made between terrorists and peaceful political offenders, and whether ministers gave any reassurances. Apart from the debates, there may be parliamentary questions in Hansard on the same topic.

It is of course true that the 2003 Extradition Act was a product of the so-called “War on Terror” and the Iraq and Afghan invasions, passed by Blair, Straw and Blunkett, undoubtedly the most hostile to civil liberty, authoritarian government in modern British history. But even so, I feel fairly confident that to get the Act through the Commons and especially the Lords, ministers will have been obliged to give some reassurance it was not intended to use it against peaceful political dissidents.

I have received quite a clamour from people wanting to know how they can help. Off you go!

This blog will resume its daily coverage of the hearings when proceedings restart on 18 May. On a personal note, my sincere thanks to all those who supported financially. I am happy to report that from the afternoon of Day 3, an accommodation was made by the Court whereby Julian was given six seats in the public gallery for family and close friends, and he kindly listed me for one of those, so I no longer had to queue at 6am, and I hope that will continue.

Finally may I say that I am always delighted when readers, and subscribers, introduce themselves personally. I find it really heartwarming and it certainly helped keep my morale up at a very tiring and emotionally draining time. So please do not feel in the least reticent to say hello if you come along from 18 May.

There was a tremendous camaraderie at the hearing among Julian’s supporters, and I believe I met people from well nigh every country in Europe and the Americas. We kept each other going, and Julian lit up every time he saw friendly faces. It was a very intense week, and even with a wonderful and loving family to go home to, I felt a bit down after we all split up, and everyone who has been back in contact since has said the same thing. I am haunted by the thought of how much more dreadful Julian must feel, back into the bowels of that high tech dungeon and virtual solitary confinement, with very little contact with his legal team or his papers and months to go before anything else happens. Do think of him and pray for him if you have a faith.

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The Armoured Glass Box is an Instrument of Torture – Craig Murray

In Thursday’s separate hearing on allowing Assange out of the armoured box to sit with his legal team, I witnessed directly that Baraitser’s ruling against Assange was brought by her into court BEFORE

Quelle: The Armoured Glass Box is an Instrument of Torture – Craig Murray

she heard defence counsel put the arguments, and delivered by her entirely unchanged.

I might start by explaining to you my position in the public gallery vis a vis the judge. All week I deliberately sat in the front, right hand seat. The gallery looks out through an armoured glass window at a height of about seven feet above the courtroom. It runs down one side of the court, and the extreme right hand end of the public gallery is above the judge’s bench, which sits below perpendicular to it. Remarkably therefore from the right hand seats of the public gallery you have an uninterrupted view of the top of the whole of the judge’s bench, and can see all the judge’s papers and computer screen.

Mark Summers QC outlined that in the case of Belousov vs Russia the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg ruled against the state of Russia because Belousov had been tried in a glass cage practically identical in construction and in position in court to that in which Assange now was. It hindered his participation in the trial and his free access to counsel, and deprived him of human dignity as a defendant.

Summers continued that it was normal practice for certain categories of unconvicted prisoners to be released from the dock to sit with their lawyers. The court had psychiatric reports on Assange’s extreme clinical depression, and in fact the UK Department of Justice’s best practice guide for courts stated that vulnerable people should be released to sit alongside their lawyers. Special treatment was not being requested for Assange – he was asking to be treated as any other vulnerable person.

The defence was impeded by their inability to communicate confidentially with their client during proceedings. In the next stage of trial, where witnesses were being examined, timely communication was essential. Furthermore they could only talk with him through the slit in the glass within the hearing of the private company security officers who were guarding him (it was clarified they were Serco, not Group 4 as Baraitser had said the previous day), and in the presence of microphones.

Baraitser became ill-tempered at this point and spoke with a real edge to her voice. “Who are those people behind you in the back row?” she asked Summers sarcastically – a question to which she very well knew the answer. Summers replied that they were part of the defence legal team. Baraitser said that Assange could contact them if he had a point to pass on. Summers replied that there was an aisle and a low wall between the glass box and their position, and all Assange could see over the wall was the top of the back of their heads. Baraitser said she had seen Assange call out. Summers said yelling across the courtroom was neither confidential nor satisfactory.

I have now been advised it is definitely an offence to publish the picture of Julian in his glass box, even though I didn’t take it and it is absolutely all over the internet. Also worth noting that I am back home in my own country, Scotland, where my blog is based, and neither is within the jurisdiction of the English court. But I am anxious not to give them any excuse to ban me from the court hearing, so I have removed it but you can see it here.

This is the photo taken illegally (not by me) of Assange in the court. If you look carefully, you can see there is a passageway and a low wooden wall between him and the back row of lawyers. You can see one of the two Serco prison officers guarding him inside the box.

Baraitser said Assange could pass notes, and she had witnessed notes being passed by him. Summers replied that the court officers had now banned the passing of notes. Baraitser said they could take this up with Serco, it was a matter for the prison authorities.

Summers asserted that, contrary to Baraitser’s statement the previous day, she did indeed have jurisdiction on the matter of releasing Assange from the dock. Baraitser intervened to say that she now accepted that. Summers then said that he had produced a number of authorities to show that Baraitser had also been wrong to say that to be in custody could only mean to be in the dock. You could be in custody anywhere within the precincts of the court, or indeed outside. Baraitser became very annoyed by this and stated she had only said that delivery to the custody of the court must equal delivery to the dock.

To which Summers replied memorably, now very cross “Well, that’s wrong too, and has been wrong these last eight years.”

Drawing argument to a close, Baraitser gave her judgement on this issue. Now the interesting thing is this, and I am a direct eyewitness. She read out her judgement, which was several pages long and handwritten. She had brought it with her into court in a bundle, and she made no amendments to it. She had written out her judgement before she heard Mark Summers speak at all.

Her key points were that Assange was able to communicate to his lawyers by shouting out from the box. She had seen him pass notes. She was willing to adjourn the court at any time for Assange to go down with his lawyers for discussions in the cells, and if that extended the length of the hearing from three to six weeks, it could take as long as required.

Baraitser stated that none of the psychiatric reports she had before her stated that it was necessary for Assange to leave the armoured dock. As none of the psychiarists had been asked that question – and very probably none knew anything about courtroom layout – that is scarcely surprising

I have been wondering why it is so essential to the British government to keep Assange in that box, unable to hear proceedings or instruct his lawyers in reaction to evidence, even when counsel for the US Government stated they had no objection to Assange sitting in the well of the court.

The answer lies in the psychiatric assessment of Assange given to the court by the extremely distinguished Professor Michael Kopelman (who is familiar to everyone who has read Murder in Samarkand):

“Mr Assange shows virtually all the risk factors which researchers from Oxford
have described in prisoners who either suicide or make lethal attempts. … I
am as confident as a psychiatrist can ever be that, if extradition to the United
States were to become imminent, Mr Assange would find a way of suiciding.”

The fact that Kopelman does not, as Baraitser said, specifically state that the armoured glass box is bad for Assange reflects nothing other than the fact he was not asked that question. Any human being with the slightest decency would be able to draw the inference. Baraitser’s narrow point that no psychiatrist had specifically stated he should be released from the armoured box is breathtakingly callous, dishonest and inhumane. Almost certainly no psychiatrist had conceived she would determine on enforcing such torture.

So why is Baraitser doing it?

I believe that the Hannibal Lecter style confinement of Assange, this intellectual computer geek, which has no rational basis at all, is a deliberate attempt to drive Julian to suicide. The maximum security anti-terrorist court is physically within the fortress compound that houses the maximum security prison. He is brought handcuffed and under heavy escort to and from his solitary cell to the armoured dock via an underground tunnel. In these circumstances, what possible need is there for him to be strip and cavity searched continually? Why is he not permitted to have his court papers? Most telling for me was the fact he is not permitted to shake hands or touch his lawyers through the slit in the armoured box.

They are relentlessly enforcing the systematic denial of any basic human comfort, like the touch of a friend’s fingertips or the blocking of the relief that he might get just from being alongside somebody friendly. They are ensuring the continuation of the extreme psychological effects from isolation of a year of virtual solitary confinement. A tiny bit of human comfort could do an enormous amount of good to his mental health and resilience. They are determined to stop this at all costs. They are attempting to make him kill himself – or create in him the condition where his throttling death might be explained away as suicide.

This is also the only explanation that I can think of for why they are risking the creation of such obvious mistrial conditions. Dead people cannot appeal.

I would remind you that Julian is a remand prisoner who has served his unprecedentedly long sentence for bail-jumping. His status is supposedly at present that of an innocent man facing charges. Those charges are for nothing except for publishing Chelsea Manning’s revelations of war crimes.

That Baraitser is acting under instructions seems to me certain. She has been desperate throughout the trial to seize any chance to deny any responsibility for what is happening to Julian. She has stated that she has no jurisdiction over his treatment in prison, and even when both defence and prosecution combined to state it was normal practice for magistrates to pass directions or requests to the prison service, she refused to accept it was so.

Baraitser is plainly attempting psychologically to distance herself from any agency in what is being done. To this end she has made a stream of denials of jurisdiction or ability to influence events. She has said that she has no jurisdiction to interfere with the strip searching, handcuffing and removal of Assange’s papers or with his being kept in solitary. She has said she has no jurisdiction to request that his defence lawyers have more access to their client in jail to prepare his defence. She has said she has no jurisdiction over his position in the courtroom. Se has suggested at various times it is up to Serco to decide if he may pass notes to his lawyers and up to Group4 to decide if he can be released from the armoured dock. The moments when she looks most content listening to the evidence, are those when prosecution counsel James Lewis argues that she has no decision to make but to sign the extradition because it is in good form and that Article 4 of the Treaty has no legal standing.

A member of the Assange family remarked to me at the end of week one that she seems very lazy, and thus delighted to accept any arguments that reduce the amount she needs to do. I think it is different to that. I think there is a corner of the mind of this daughter of dissidents from apartheid that rejects her own role in the torture of Assange, and is continually urging “I had no choice, I had no agency”. Those who succumb to do evil must find what internal comfort they may.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible. I wish to stress again that I absolutely do not want anybody to give anything if it causes them the slightest possibility of financial strain.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

Thank You Craig Murray!

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Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four – Craig Murray

Please try this experiment for me.Try asking this question out loud, in a tone of intellectual interest and engagement: „Are you suggesting that the two have the same effect?“.Now try asking

Quelle: Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four – Craig Murray

this question out loud, in a tone of hostility and incredulity bordering on sarcasm: “Are you suggesting that the two have the same effect?”.

Firstly, congratulations on your acting skills; you take direction very well. Secondly, is it not fascinating how precisely the same words can convey the opposite meaning dependent on modulation of stress, pitch, and volume?

Yesterday the prosecution continued its argument that the provision in the 2007 UK/US Extradition Treaty that bars extradition for political offences is a dead letter, and that Julian Assange’s objectives are not political in any event. James Lewis QC for the prosecution spoke for about an hour, and Edward Fitzgerald QC replied for the defence for about the same time. During Lewis’s presentation, he was interrupted by Judge Baraitser precisely once. During Fitzgerald’s reply, Baraitser interjected seventeen times.

In the transcript, those interruptions will not look unreasonable:
“Could you clarify that for me Mr Fitzgerald…”
“So how do you cope with Mr Lewis’s point that…”
“But surely that’s a circular argument…”
“But it’s not incorporated, is it?…”

All these and the other dozen interruptions were designed to appear to show the judge attempting to clarify the defence’s argument in a spirit of intellectual testing. But if you heard the tone of Baraitser’s voice, saw her body language and facial expressions, it was anything but.

The false picture a transcript might give is exacerbated by the courtly Fitzgerald’s continually replying to each obvious harassment with “Thank you Madam, that is very helpful”, which again if you were there, plainly meant the opposite. But what a transcript will helpfully nevertheless show was the bully pulpit of Baraitser’s tactic in interrupting Fitzgerald again and again and again, belittling his points and very deliberately indeed preventing him from getting into the flow of his argument. The contrast in every way with her treatment of Lewis could not be more pronounced.

So now to report the legal arguments themselves.

James Lewis for the prosecution, continuing his arguments from the day before, said that Parliament had not included a bar on extradition for political offences in the 2003 Act. It could therefore not be reintroduced into law by a treaty. “To introduce a Political Offences bar by the back door would be to subvert the intention of Parliament.”

Lewis also argued that these were not political offences. The definition of a political offence was in the UK limited to behaviour intended “to overturn or change a government or induce it to change its policy.” Furthermore the aim must be to change government or policy in the short term, not the indeterminate future.

Lewis stated that further the term “political offence” could only be applied to offences committed within the territory where it was attempted to make the change. So to be classified as political offences, Assange would have had to commit them within the territory of the USA, but he did not.

If Baraitser did decide the bar on political offences applied, the court would have to determine the meaning of “political offence” in the UK/US Extradition Treaty and construe the meaning of paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the Treaty. To construe the terms of an international treaty was beyond the powers of the court.

Lewis perorated that the conduct of Julian Assange cannot possibly be classified as a political offence. “It is impossible to place Julian Assange in the position of a political refugee”. The activity in which Wikileaks was engaged was not in its proper meaning political opposition to the US Administration or an attempt to overthrow that administration. Therefore the offence was not political.

For the defence Edward Fitzgerald replied that the 2003 Extradition Act was an enabling act under which treaties could operate. Parliament had been concerned to remove any threat of abuse of the political offence bar to cover terrorist acts of violence against innocent civilians. But there remained a clear protection, accepted worldwide, for peaceful political dissent. This was reflected in the Extradition Treaty on the basis of which the court was acting.

Baraitser interrupted that the UK/US Extradition Treaty was not incorporated into English Law.

Fitzgerald replied that the entire extradition request is on the basis of the treaty. It is an abuse of process for the authorities to rely on the treaty for the application but then to claim that its provisions do not apply.

“On the face of it, it is a very bizarre argument that a treaty which gives rise to the extradition, on which the extradition is founded, can be disregarded in its provisions. It is on the face of it absurd.” Edward Fitzgerald QC for the Defence

Fitzgerald added that English Courts construe treaties all the time. He gave examples.

Fitzgerald went on that the defence did not accept that treason, espionage and sedition were not regarded as political offences in England. But even if one did accept Lewis’s too narrow definition of political offence, Assange’s behaviour still met the test. What on earth could be the motive of publishing evidence of government war crimes and corruption, other than to change the policy of the government? Indeed, the evidence would prove that Wikileaks had effectively changed the policy of the US government, particularly on Iraq.

Baraitser interjected that to expose government wrongdoing was not the same thing as to try to change government policy. Fitzgerald asked her, finally in some exasperation after umpteen interruptions, what other point could there be in exposing government wrongdoing other than to induce a change in government policy?

That concluded opening arguments for the prosecution and defence.

MY PERSONAL COMMENTARY

Let me put this as neutrally as possible. If you could fairly state that Lewis’s argument was much more logical, rational and intuitive than Fitzgerald’s, you could understand why Lewis did not need an interruption while Fitzgerald had to be continually interrupted for “clarification”. But in fact it was Lewis who was making out the case that the provisions of the very treaty under which the extradition is being made, do not in fact apply, a logical step which I suggest the man on the Clapham omnibus might reason to need rather more testing than Fitzgerald’s assertion to the contrary. Baraitser’s comparative harassment of Fitzgerald when he had the prosecution on the ropes was straight out of the Stalin show trial playbook.

The defence did not mention it, and I do not know if it features in their written arguments, but I thought Lewis’s point that these could not be political offences, because Julian Assange was not in the USA when he committed them, was breathtakingly dishonest. The USA claims universal jurisdiction. Assange is being charged with crimes of publishing committed while he was outside the USA. The USA claims the right to charge anyone of any nationality, anywhere in the world, who harms US interests. They also in addition here claim that as the materials could be seen on the internet in the USA, there was an offence in the USA. At the same time to claim this could not be a political offence as the crime was committed outside the USA is, as Edward Fitzgerald might say, on the face of it absurd. Which curiously Baraitser did not pick up on.

Lewis’s argument that the Treaty does not have any standing in English law is not something he just made up. Nigel Farage did not materialise from nowhere. There is in truth a long tradition in English law that even a treaty signed and ratified with some bloody Johnny Foreigner country, can in no way bind an English court. Lewis could and did spout reams and reams of judgements from old beetroot faced judges holding forth to say exactly that in the House of Lords, before going off to shoot grouse and spank the footman’s son. Lewis was especially fond of the Tin Council case.

There is of course a contrary and more enlightened tradition, and a number of judgements that say the exact opposite, mostly more recent. This is why there was so much repetitive argument as each side piled up more and more volumes of “authorities” on their side of the case.

The difficulty for Lewis – and for Baraitser – is that this case is not analogous to me buying a Mars bar and then going to court because an International Treaty on Mars Bars says mine is too small.

Rather the 2003 Extradition Act is an Enabling Act on which extradition treaties then depend. You can’t thus extradite under the 2003 Act without the Treaty. So the Extradition Treaty of 2007 in a very real sense becomes an executive instrument legally required to authorise the extradition. For the executing authorities to breach the terms of the necessary executive instrument under which they are acting, simply has to be an abuse of process. So the Extradition Treaty owing to its type and its necessity for legal action, is in fact incorporated in English Law by the Extradition Act of 2003 on which it depends.

The Extradition Treaty is a necessary precondition of the extradition, whereas a Mars Bar Treaty is not a necessary precondition to buying the Mars Bar.

That is as plain as I can put it. I do hope that is comprehensible.

It is of course difficult for Lewis that on the same day the Court of Appeal was ruling against the construction of the Heathrow Third Runway, partly because of its incompatibility with the Paris Agreement of 2016, despite the latter not being fully incorporated into English law by the Climate Change Act of 2008.

VITAL PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

It is intensely embarrassing for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when an English court repudiates the application of a treaty the UK has ratified with one or more foreign states. For that reason, in the modern world, very serious procedures and precautions have been put into place to make certain that this cannot happen. Therefore the prosecution’s argument that all the provisions of the UK/US Extradition Treaty of 2007 are not able to be implemented under the Extradition Act of 2003, ought to be impossible.

I need to explain I have myself negotiated and overseen the entry into force of treaties within the FCO. The last one in which I personally tied the ribbon and applied the sealing wax (literally) was the Anglo-Belgian Continental Shelf Treaty of 1991, but I was involved in negotiating others and the system I am going to describe was still in place when I left the FCO as an Ambassador in 2005, and I believe is unchanged today (and remember the Extradition Act was 2003 and the US/UK Extradition Treaty ratified 2007, so my knowledge is not outdated). Departmental nomenclatures change from time to time and so does structural organisation. But the offices and functions I will describe remain, even if names may be different.

All international treaties have a two stage process. First they are signed to show the government agrees to the treaty. Then, after a delay, they are ratified. This second stage takes place when the government has enabled the legislation and other required agency to implement the treaty. This is the answer to Lewis’s observation about the roles of the executive and legislature. The ratification stage only takes place after any required legislative action. That is the whole point.

This is how it happens in the FCO. Officials negotiate the extradition treaty. It is signed for the UK. The signed treaty then gets returned to FCO Legal Advisers, Nationality and Treaty Department, Consular Department, North American Department and others and is sent on to Treasury/Cabinet Office Solicitors and to Home Office, Parliament and to any other Government Department whose area is impacted by the individual treaty.

The Treaty is extensively vetted to check that it can be fully implemented in all the jurisdictions of the UK. If it cannot, then amendments to the law have to be made so that it can. These amendments can be made by Act of Parliament or more generally by secondary legislation using powers conferred on the Secretary of State by an act. If there is already an Act of Parliament under which the Treaty can be implemented, then no enabling legislation needs to be passed. International Agreements are not all individually incorporated into English or Scottish laws by specific new legislation.

This is a very careful step by step process, carried out by lawyers and officials in the FCO, Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office, Parliament and elsewhere. Each will in parallel look at every clause of the Treaty and check that it can be applied. All changes needed to give effect to the treaty then have to be made – amending legislation, and necessary administrative steps. Only when all hurdles have been cleared, including legislation, and Parliamentary officials, Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office and FCO all certify that the Treaty is capable of having effect in the UK, will the FCO Legal Advisers give the go ahead for the Treaty to be ratified. You absolutely cannot ratify the treaty before FCO Legal Advisers have given this clearance.

This is a serious process. That is why the US/UK Extradition Treaty was signed in 2003 and ratified in 2007. That is not an abnormal delay.

So I know for certain that ALL the relevant British Government legal departments MUST have agreed that Article 4.1 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty was capable of being given effect under the 2003 Extradition Act. That certification has to have happened or the Treaty could never have been ratified.

It follows of necessity that the UK Government, in seeking to argue now that Article 4.1 is incompatible with the 2003 Act, is knowingly lying. There could not be a more gross abuse of process.

I have been keen for the hearing on this particular point to conclude so that I could give you the benefit of my experience. I shall rest there for now, but later today hope to post further on yesterday’s row in court over releasing Julian from the anti-terrorist armoured dock.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible. I wish to stress again that I absolutely do not want anybody to give anything if it causes them the slightest possibility of financial strain.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

Thank You Craig Murray!

Markus

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Your Man in the Public Gallery – The Assange Hearing Day 3 – Craig Murray

In yesterday’s proceedings in court, the prosecution adopted arguments so stark and apparently unreasonable I have been fretting on how to write them up in a way that does not seem like caricature or

Quelle: Your Man in the Public Gallery – The Assange Hearing Day 3 – Craig Murray

unfair exaggeration on my part. What has been happening in this court has long moved beyond caricature. All I can do is give you my personal assurance that what I recount actually is what happened.

As usual, I shall deal with procedural matters and Julian’s treatment first, before getting in to a clear account of the legal arguments made.

Vanessa Baraitser is under a clear instruction to mimic concern by asking, near the end of every session just before we break anyway, if Julian is feeling well and whether he would like a break. She then routinely ignores his response. Yesterday he replied at some length he could not hear properly in his glass box and could not communicate with his lawyers (at some point yesterday they had started preventing him passing notes to his counsel, which I learn was the background to the aggressive prevention of his shaking Garzon’s hand goodbye).

Baraitser insisted he might only be heard through his counsel, which given he was prevented from instructing them was a bit rich. This being pointed out, we had a ten minute adjournment while Julian and his counsel were allowed to talk down in the cells – presumably where they could be more conveniently bugged yet again.

On return, Edward Fitzgerald made a formal application for Julian to be allowed to sit beside his lawyers in the court. Julian was “a gentle, intellectual man” and not a terrorist. Baraitser replied that releasing Assange from the dock into the body of the court would mean he was released from custody. To achieve that would require an application for bail.

Again, the prosecution counsel James Lewis intervened on the side of the defence to try to make Julian’s treatment less extreme. He was not, he suggested diffidently, quite sure that it was correct that it required bail for Julian to be in the body of the court, or that being in the body of the court accompanied by security officers meant that a prisoner was no longer in custody. Prisoners, even the most dangerous of terrorists, gave evidence from the witness box in the body of the court nest to the lawyers and magistrate. In the High Court prisoners frequently sat with their lawyers in extradition hearings, in extreme cases of violent criminals handcuffed to a security officer.

Baraitser replied that Assange might pose a danger to the public. It was a question of health and safety. How did Fitzgerald and Lewis think that she had the ability to carry out the necessary risk assessment? It would have to be up to Group 4 to decide if this was possible.

Yes, she really did say that. Group 4 would have to decide.

Baraitser started to throw out jargon like a Dalek when it spins out of control. “Risk assessment” and “health and safety” featured a lot. She started to resemble something worse than a Dalek, a particularly stupid local government officer of a very low grade. “No jurisdiction” – “Up to Group 4”. Recovering slightly, she stated firmly that delivery to custody can only mean delivery to the dock of the court, nowhere else in the room. If the defence wanted him in the courtroom where he could hear proceedings better, they could only apply for bail and his release from custody in general. She then peered at both barristers in the hope this would have sat them down, but both were still on their feet.

In his diffident manner (which I confess is growing on me) Lewis said “the prosecution is neutral on this request, of course but, err, I really don’t think that’s right”. He looked at her like a kindly uncle whose favourite niece has just started drinking tequila from the bottle at a family party.

Baraitser concluded the matter by stating that the Defence should submit written arguments by 10am tomorrow on this point, and she would then hold a separate hearing into the question of Julian’s position in the court.

The day had begun with a very angry Magistrate Baraitser addressing the public gallery. Yesterday, she said, a photo had been taken inside the courtroom. It was a criminal offence to take or attempt to take photographs inside the courtroom. Vanessa Baraitser looked at this point very keen to lock someone up. She also seemed in her anger to be making the unfounded assumption that whoever took the photo from the public gallery on Tuesday was still there on Wednesday; I suspect not. Being angry at the public at random must be very stressful for her. I suspect she shouts a lot on trains.

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.

I was amused by the criminal offence of attempting to take photos in the courtroom. How incompetent would you need to be to attempt to take a photo and fail to do so? And if no photo was taken, how do they prove you were attempting to take one, as opposed to texting your mum? I suppose “attempting to take a photo” is a crime that could catch somebody arriving with a large SLR, tripod and several mounted lighting boxes, but none of those appeared to have made it into the public gallery.

Baraitser did not state whether it was a criminal offence to publish a photograph taken in a courtroom (or indeed to attempt to publish a photograph taken in a courtroom). I suspect it is. Anyway Le Grand Soir has published a translation of my report yesterday, and there you can see a photo of Julian in his bulletproof glass anti-terrorist cage. Not, I hasten to add, taken by me.

We now come to the consideration of yesterday’s legal arguments on the extradition request itself. Fortunately, these are basically fairly simple to summarise, because although we had five hours of legal disquisition, it largely consisted of both sides competing in citing scores of “authorities”, e.g. dead judges, to endorse their point of view, and thus repeating the same points continually with little value from exegesis of the innumerable quotes.

As prefigured yesterday by magistrate Baraitser, the prosecution is arguing that Article 4.1 of the UK/US extradition treaty has no force in law.

The UK and US Governments say that the court enforces domestic law, not international law, and therefore the treaty has no standing. This argument has been made to the court in written form to which I do not have access. But from discussion in court it was plain that the prosecution argue that the Extradition Act of 2003, under which the court is operating, makes no exception for political offences. All previous Extradition Acts had excluded extradition for political offences, so it must be the intention of the sovereign parliament that political offenders can now be extradited.

Opening his argument, Edward Fitzgerald QC argued that the Extradition Act of 2003 alone is not enough to make an actual extradition. The extradition requires two things in place; the general Extradition Act and the Extradition Treaty with the country or countries concerned. “No Treaty, No Extradition” was an unbreakable rule. The Treaty was the very basis of the request. So to say that the extradition was not governed by the terms of the very treaty under which it was made, was to create a legal absurdity and thus an abuse of process. He cited examples of judgements made by the House of Lords and Privy Council where treaty rights were deemed enforceable despite the lack of incorporation into domestic legislation, particularly in order to stop people being extradited to potential execution from British colonies.

Fitzgerald pointed out that while the Extradition Act of 2003 did not contain a bar on extraditions for political offences, it did not state there could not be such a bar in extradition treaties. And the extradition treaty of 2007 was ratified after the 2003 extradition act.

At this stage Baraitser interrupted that it was plain the intention of parliament was that there could be extradition for political offences. Otherwise they would not have removed the bar in previous legislation. Fitzgerald declined to agree, saying the Act did not say extradition for political offences could not be banned by the treaty enabling extradition.

Fitzgerald then continued to say that international jurisprudence had accepted for a century or more that you did not extradite political offenders. No political extradition was in the European Convention on Extradition, the Model United Nations Extradition Treaty and the Interpol Convention on Extradition. It was in every single one of the United States’ extradition treaties with other countries, and had been for over a century, at the insistence of the United States. For both the UK and US Governments to say it did not apply was astonishing and would set a terrible precedent that would endanger dissidents and potential political prisoners from China, Russia and regimes all over the world who had escaped to third countries.

Fitzgerald stated that all major authorities agreed there were two types of political offence. The pure political offence and the relative political offence. A “pure” political offence was defined as treason, espionage or sedition. A “relative” political offence was an act which was normally criminal, like assault or vandalism, conducted with a political motive. Every one of the charges against Assange was a “pure” political offence. All but one were espionage charges, and the computer misuse charge had been compared by the prosecution to breach of the official secrets act to meet the dual criminality test. The overriding accusation that Assange was seeking to harm the political and military interests of the United States was in the very definition of a political offence in all the authorities.

In reply Lewis stated that a treaty could not be binding in English law unless specifically incorporated in English law by Parliament. This was a necessary democratic defence. Treaties were made by the executive which could not make law. This went to the sovereignty of Parliament. Lewis quoted many judgements stating that international treaties signed and ratified by the UK could not be enforced in British courts. “It may come as a surprise to other countries that their treaties with the British government can have no legal force” he joked.

Lewis said there was no abuse of process here and thus no rights were invoked under the European Convention. It was just the normal operation of the law that the treaty provision on no extradition for political offences had no legal standing.

Lewis said that the US government disputes that Assange’s offences are political. In the UK/Australia/US there was a different definition of political offence to the rest of the world. We viewed the “pure” political offences of treason, espionage and sedition as not political offences. Only “relative” political offences – ordinary crimes committed with a political motive – were viewed as political offences in our tradition. In this tradition, the definition of “political” was also limited to supporting a contending political party in a state. Lewis will continue with this argument tomorrow.

That concludes my account of proceedings. I have some important commentary to make on this and will try to do another posting later today. Now rushing to court.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

Thank You Craig Murray!

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Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 2 – Craig Murray

This afternoon Julian’s Spanish lawyer, Baltasar Garzon, left court to return to Madrid. On the way out he naturally stopped to shake hands with his client, proffering his fingers through the narrow

Quelle: Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 2 – Craig Murray

slit in the bulletproof glass cage. Assange half stood to take his lawyer’s hand. The two security guards in the cage with Assange immediately sprang up, putting hands on Julian and forcing him to sit down, preventing the handshake.

That was not by any means the worst thing today, but it is a striking image of the senseless brute force continually used against a man accused of publishing documents. That a man cannot even shake his lawyer’s hand goodbye is against the entire spirit in which the members of the legal system like to pretend the law is practised. I offer that startling moment as encapsulating yesterday’s events in court.

Day 2 proceedings had started with a statement from Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s QC, that shook us rudely into life. He stated that yesterday, on the first day of trial, Julian had twice been stripped naked and searched, eleven times been handcuffed, and five times been locked up in different holding cells. On top of this, all of his court documents had been taken from him by the prison authorities, including privileged communications between his lawyers and himself, and he had been left with no ability to prepare to participate in today’s proceedings.

Magistrate Baraitser looked at Fitzgerald and stated, in a voice laced with disdain, that he had raised such matters before and she had always replied that she had no jurisdiction over the prison estate. He should take it up with the prison authorities. Fitzgerald remained on his feet, which drew a very definite scowl from Baraitser, and replied that of course they would do that again, but this repeated behaviour by the prison authorities threatened the ability of the defence to prepare. He added that regardless of jurisdiction, in his experience it was common practice for magistrates and judges to pass on comments and requests to the prison service where the conduct of the trial was affected, and that jails normally listened to magistrates sympathetically.

Baraitser flat-out denied any knowledge of such a practice, and stated that Fitzgerald should present her with written arguments setting out the case law on jurisdiction over prison conditions. This was too much even for prosecution counsel James Lewis, who stood up to say the prosecution would also want Assange to have a fair hearing, and that he could confirm that what the defence were suggesting was normal practice. Even then, Baraitser still refused to intervene with the prison. She stated that if the prison conditions were so bad as to reach the very high bar of making a fair hearing impossible, the defence should bring a motion to dismiss the charges on those grounds. Otherwise they should drop it.

Both prosecution and defence seemed surprised by Baraitser’s claim that she had not heard of what they both referred to as common practice. Lewis may have been genuinely concerned at the shocking description of Assange’s prison treatment yesterday; or he may have just had warning klaxons going off in his head screaming “mistrial”. But the net result is Baraitser will attempt to do nothing to prevent Julian’s physical and mental abuse in jail nor to try to give him the ability to participate in his defence. The only realistic explanation that occurs to me is that Baraitser has been warned off, because this continual mistreatment and confiscation of documents is on senior government authority.

A last small incident for me to recount: having queued again from the early hours, I was at the final queue before the entrance to the public gallery, when the name was called out of Kristin Hrnafsson, editor of Wikileaks, with whom I was talking at the time. Kristin identified himself, and was told by the court official he was barred from the public gallery.

Now I was with Kristin throughout the entire proceedings the previous day, and he had done absolutely nothing amiss – he is rather a quiet gentleman. When he was called for, it was by name and by job description – they were specifically banning the editor of Wikileaks from the trial. Kristin asked why and was told it was a decision of the Court.

At this stage John Shipton, Julian’s father, announced that in this case the family members would all leave too, and they did so, walking out of the building. They and others then started tweeting the news of the family walkout. This appeared to cause some consternation among court officials, and fifteen minutes later Kristin was re-admitted. We still have no idea what lay behind this. Later in the day journalists were being briefed by officials it was simply over queue-jumping, but that seems improbable as he was removed by staff who called him by name and title, rather than had spotted him as a queue-jumper.

None of the above goes to the official matter of the case. All of the above tells you more about the draconian nature of the political show-trial which is taking place than does the charade being enacted in the body of the court. There were moments today when I got drawn in to the court process and achieved the suspension of disbelief you might do in theatre, and began thinking “Wow, this case is going well for Assange”. Then an event such as those recounted above kicks in, a coldness grips your heart, and you recall there is no jury here to be convinced. I simply do not believe that anything said or proved in the courtroom can have an impact on the final verdict of this court.

So to the actual proceedings in the case.

For the defence, Mark Summers QC stated that the USA charges were entirely dependent on three factual accusations of Assange behviour:

1) Assange helped Manning to decode a hash key to access classified material.
Summers stated this was a provably false allegation from the evidence of the Manning court-martial.

2) Assange solicited the material from Manning
Summers stated this was provably wrong from information available to the public

3) Assange knowingly put lives at risk
Summers stated this was provably wrong both from publicly available information and from specific involvement of the US government.

In summary, Summers stated the US government knew that the allegations being made were false as to fact, and they were demonstrably made in bad faith. This was therefore an abuse of process which should lead to dismissal of the extradition request. He described the above three counts as “rubbish, rubbish and rubbish”.

Summers then walked through the facts of the case. He said the charges from the USA divide the materials leaked by Manning to Wikileaks into three categories:

a) Diplomatic Cables
b) Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs
c) Iraq War rules of engagement
d) Afghan and Iraqi war logs

Summers then methodically went through a), b), c) and d) relating each in turn to alleged behaviours 1), 2) and 3), making twelve counts of explanation and exposition in all. This comprehensive account took some four hours and I shall not attempt to capture it here. I will rather give highlights, but will relate occasionally to the alleged behaviour number and/or the alleged materials letter. I hope you follow that – it took me some time to do so!

On 1) Summers at great length demonstrated conclusively that Manning had access to each material a) b) c) d) provided to Wikileaks without needing any code from Assange, and had that access before ever contacting Assange. Nor had Manning needed a code to conceal her identity as the prosecution alleged – the database for intelligence analysts Manning could access – as could thousands of others – did not require a username or password to access it from a work military computer. Summers quoted testimony of several officers from Manning’s court-martial to confirm this. Nor would breaking the systems admin code on the system give Manning access to any additional classified databases. Summers quoted evidence from the Manning court-martial, where this had been accepted, that the reason Manning wanted to get in to systems admin was to allow soldiers to put their video-games and movies on their government laptops, which in fact happened frequently.

Magistrate Baraitser twice made major interruptions. She observed that if Chelsea Manning did not know she could not be traced as the user who downloaded the databases, she might have sought Assange’s assistance to crack a code to conceal her identity from ignorance she did not need to do that, and to assist would still be an offence by Assange.

Summers pointed out that Manning knew that she did not need a username and password, because she actually accessed all the materials without one. Baraitser replied that this did not constitute proof she knew she could not be traced. Summers said in logic it made no sense to argue that she was seeking a code to conceal her user ID and password, where there was no user ID and password. Baraitser replied again he could not prove that. At this point Summers became somewhat testy and short with Baraitser, and took her through the court martial evidence again. Of which more…

Baraitser also made the point that even if Assange were helping Manning to crack an admin code, even if it did not enable Manning to access any more databases, that still was unauthorised use and would constitute the crime of aiding and abetting computer misuse, even if for an innocent purpose.

After a brief break, Baraitser came back with a real zinger. She told Summers that he had presented the findings of the US court martial of Chelsea Manning as fact. But she did not agree that her court had to treat evidence at a US court martial, even agreed or uncontested evidence or prosecution evidence, as fact. Summers replied that agreed evidence or prosecution evidence at the US court martial clearly was agreed by the US government as fact, and what was at issue at the moment was whether the US government was charging contrary to the facts it knew. Baraitser said she would return to her point once witnesses were heard.

Baraitser was now making no attempt to conceal a hostility to the defence argument, and seemed irritated they had the temerity to make it. This burst out when discussing c), the Iraq war rules of engagement. Summers argued that these had not been solicited from Manning, but had rather been provided by Manning in an accompanying file along with the Collateral Murder video that showed the murder of Reuters journalists and children. Manning’s purpose, as she stated at her court martial, was to show that the Collateral Murder actions breached the rules of engagement, even though the Department of Defense claimed otherwise. Summers stated that by not including this context, the US extradition request was deliberately misleading as it did not even mention the Collateral Murder video at all.

At this point Baraitser could not conceal her contempt. Try to imagine Lady Bracknell saying “A Handbag” or “the Brighton line”, or if your education didn’t run that way try to imagine Pritti Patel spotting a disabled immigrant. This is a literal quote:

“Are you suggesting, Mr Summers, that the authorities, the Government, should have to provide context for its charges?”

An unfazed Summers replied in the affirmative and then went on to show where the Supreme Court had said so in other extradition cases. Baraitser was showing utter confusion that anybody could claim a significant distinction between the Government and God.

The bulk of Summers’ argument went to refuting behaviour 3), putting lives at risk. This was only claimed in relation to materials a) and d). Summers described at great length the efforts of Wikileaks with media partners over more than a year to set up a massive redaction campaign on the cables. He explained that the unredacted cables only became available after Luke Harding and David Leigh of the Guardian published the password to the cache as the heading to Chapter XI of their book Wikileaks, published in February 2011.

Nobody had put 2 and 2 together on this password until the German publication Der Freitag had done so and announced it had the unredacted cables in August 2011. Summers then gave the most powerful arguments of the day.

The US government had been actively participating in the redaction exercise on the cables. They therefore knew the allegations of reckless publication to be untrue.

Once Der Freitag announced they had the unredacted materials, Julian Assange and Sara Harrison instantly telephoned the White House, State Department and US Embassy to warn them named sources may be put at risk. Summers read from the transcripts of telephone conversations as Assange and Harrison attempted to convince US officials of the urgency of enabling source protection procedures – and expressed their bafflement as officials stonewalled them. This evidence utterly undermined the US government’s case and proved bad faith in omitting extremely relevant fact. It was a very striking moment.

With relation to the same behaviour 3) on materials d), Summers showed that the Manning court martial had accepted these materials contained no endangered source names, but showed that Wikileaks had activated a redaction exercise anyway as a “belt and braces” approach.

There was much more from the defence. For the prosecution, James Lewis indicated he would reply in depth later in proceedings, but wished to state that the prosecution does not accept the court martial evidence as fact, and particularly does not accept any of the “self-serving” testimony of Chelsea Manning, whom he portrayed as a convicted criminal falsely claiming noble motives. The prosecution generally rejected any notion that this court should consider the truth or otherwise of any of the facts; those could only be decided at trial in the USA.

Then, to wrap up proceedings, Baraitser dropped a massive bombshell. She stated that although Article 4.1 of the US/UK Extradition Treaty forbade political extraditions, this was only in the Treaty. That exemption does not appear in the UK Extradition Act. On the face of it therefore political extradition is not illegal in the UK, as the Treaty has no legal force on the Court. She invited the defence to address this argument in the morning.

It is now 06.35am and I am late to start queuing…

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

Thank You Craig Murray!

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Der Prozess gegen Julian Assange – Tag 1

Quelle des Originals: Craig Murray
Quelle der Übersetzung: Multipolar

Vorbemerkung der Redaktion: Der ehemalige britische Diplomat Craig Murray verfolgt als unabhängiger Prozessbeobachter das Verfahren um die Auslieferung des WikiLeaks-Gründers. Multipolar hat Murrays Text, den er am 25. Februar auf seinem Blog veröffentlichte, ins Deutsche übersetzt. Er enthält Informationen aus erster Hand, die man in vielen Medien vergeblich sucht.

CRAIG MURRAY, 3. März 2020

Das Gerichtsgebäude des Woolwich Crown Court wurde entworfen, um die Staatsmacht zu exekutieren. Normale Gerichte sind hierzulande öffentliche Gebäude, die von unseren Vorfahren bewusst inmitten von Städten errichtet wurden, meist nur wenige Schritte von einer Hauptstraße entfernt. Hauptzweck ihrer Lage und Architektur war es, den öffentlichen Zugang zu erleichtern, was der Überzeugung folgte, es sei unabdingbar, dass die Rechtsprechung unter den Augen der Öffentlichkeit stattfindet.

Der Woolwich Crown Court, der den Belmarsh Magistrates Court beherbergt, ist nach dem genau entgegengesetzten Prinzip erbaut. Er wurde zu keinem anderen Zweck entworfen, als die Öffentlichkeit auszuschließen. Verbunden mit einem Gefängnis und gelegen in einem windgepeitschten Sumpfgebiet, weit entfernt von jedem normalen Siedlungszentrum, und nur durch ein Labyrinth von Schnellstraßen zugänglich, ist die gesamte Lage und Architektur des Gebäudes darauf ausgerichtet, den öffentlichen Zugang zu verhindern.

Es wird von dem gleichen mächtigen Stahlzaun wie das Gefängnis begrenzt. Es ist das Außergewöhnlichste überhaupt – ein Gerichtsgebäude, das selbst Teil des Gefängnissystems ist, ein Ort, an dem man bereits bei der Ankunft als schuldig und inhaftiert gilt. Der Woolwich Crown Court ist nichts anderes als die materialisierte Ablehnung der Unschuldsvermutung, die Verkörperung von Ungerechtigkeit in starrem Stahl, Beton und Panzerglas. Er steht in genau der gleichen Beziehung zur Rechtsprechung wie Guantanamo Bay oder die Lubjanka. Tatsächlich ist dieses Gericht ganz einfach die Verurteilungsabteilung des Belmarsh-Gefängnisses.

Als sich ein Assange-Aktivist nach Räumen erkundigte, in denen die Öffentlichkeit der Anhörung beiwohnen könne, wurde ihm von einem Mitarbeiter des Gerichts mitgeteilt, man solle sich bewusst sein, dass Woolwich ein „Antiterror-Gericht“ wäre. Das stimmt zwar, doch ist ein „Antiterror-Gericht“ eine in der britischen Verfassung unbekannte Einrichtung. Wen ein einziger Tag im Woolwich Crown Court nicht davon überzeugt, dass die Existenz der liberalen Demokratie heute eine Lüge ist, dessen geistige Verfassung muss sehr getrübt sein.

Auslieferungsanhörungen finden nicht vor dem Belmarsh Magistrates Court innerhalb des Woolwich Crown Court statt. Sie werden stattdessen immer beim Westminster Magistrates Court (im Zentrum Londons; Anmerkung Multipolar) abgehalten, da man davon ausgeht, dass der Antrag an die Regierung in Westminster zu übergeben ist. Man stelle sich also vor: Diese Anhörung findet zwar vor dem Westminster Magistrates Court statt und wird auch von den Richtern und Mitarbeitern des Westminster Courts abgehalten – allerdings im Gebäude des Belmarsh Magistrates Court innerhalb des Woolwich Crown Court. Diese seltsame Verdrehtheit dient allein dazu, das „Antiterror-Gericht“ nutzen zu können und damit den Zugang der Öffentlichkeit zu begrenzen sowie Angst vor der Staatsmacht zu verbreiten.

Eine Folge davon ist, dass Julian Assange vor Gericht im hinteren Teil des Saales eingesperrt wird, abgeschirmt durch eine kugelsichere Glasscheibe. Während des Verfahrens wies er mehrfach darauf hin, dass es dadurch für ihn sehr schwierig sei, dem Ablauf optisch und akustisch zu folgen. Die Richterin, Vanessa Baraitser, interpretierte dies – mit einstudierter Unehrlichkeit – als ein Problem, das durch den schwachen Lärm der Demonstranten draußen verursacht würde, und nicht etwa durch die räumliche Abtrennung Assanges in einem massiven kugelsicheren Glaskasten.

Es ist kein Grund ersichtlich, Assange in dieser Box zu separieren, die für besonders gewalttätige Terroristen bestimmt ist. Er könnte auch gemeinsam mit seinen Anwälten im Gerichtssaal sitzen, wie ein Angeklagter normalerweise bei einer Anhörung. Aber die feige und bösartige Baraitser hat wiederholte und hartnäckige Anträge der Verteidigung abgelehnt, Assange dies zu erlauben. Baraitser ist natürlich nur eine Marionette, die von der Obersten Richterin Lady Arbuthnot beaufsichtigt wird, einer Frau, die so verstrickt ist in das Rüstungs- und Geheimdienstestablishment, dass ich mir nicht vorstellen kann, wie ihre Beteiligung an diesem Fall noch korrupter sein könnte.

Für Baraitser oder Arbuthnot ist es egal, ob Assange tatsächlich in einer kugelsicheren Box eingesperrt werden muss oder ob ihn das daran hindert, das Gerichtsverfahren zu verfolgen. Baraitsers Absicht ist es, Assange zu demütigen und uns anderen Angst vor der erdrückenden Staatsmacht einzuflößen. Die unerbittliche Macht der Verurteilungsabteilung des albtraumhaften Belmarsh-Gefängnisses muss gewahrt bleiben. Wer hier ist, der ist schuldig.

Es ist die Lubjanka. Sie sind vielleicht nur ein Untersuchungshäftling und dies eine Anhörung und kein Prozess. Sie haben vielleicht keine gewalttätige Vorgeschichte und werden auch keiner Gewalttaten beschuldigt. Womöglich haben drei der bedeutendsten Psychiater des Landes Berichte eingereicht, in denen von schwerer klinischer Depression und Selbstmordgefahr die Rede ist. Aber ich, Vanessa Baraitser, werde Sie trotzdem in eine Box sperren, die für die gewalttätigsten Terroristen gedacht ist – um zu zeigen, was wir mit Dissidenten machen können. Und wenn Sie dann der Gerichtsverhandlung nicht folgen können, umso besser.

Vielleicht ist es leichter zu akzeptieren, was ich über den Gerichtshof sage, wenn ich ergänze, dass die Verantwortlichen für eine Anhörung, die weltweit verfolgt wird, einen Raum gewählt haben, in dem für die Öffentlichkeit insgesamt 16 Plätze zur Verfügung stehen. 16. Um sicher zu gehen, dass ich einen dieser 16 Plätze bekam und Ihr Mann auf der Tribüne sein konnte, stand ich ab 6 Uhr morgens vor dem großen verschlossenen Eisenzaun in der Kälte, der Nässe und dem Wind Schlange. Um 8 Uhr wurde das Tor entriegelt, und ich konnte durch den Zaun zu einer weiteren Schlange vor den Türen des Gerichtssaals gehen, wo ich mich, trotz der Tatsache, dass auf den Aushängen klar angegeben ist, dass das Gericht um 8 Uhr für die Öffentlichkeit geöffnet wird, noch einmal für eine Stunde und vierzig Minuten vor dem Gebäude anstellen musste. Anschließend wurde ich durch gepanzerte Luftschleusentüren und flughafenähnliche Sicherheitsanlagen befördert und musste mich dann hinter zwei weiteren verschlossenen Türen anstellen, bevor ich schließlich meinen Platz erreichte, gerade, als die Anhörung um 10 Uhr begann. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt sollten wir wohl ausreichend eingeschüchtert und verängstigt sein, ganz zu schweigen von der Durchnässung und möglichen Unterkühlung.

Es gab einen separaten Medieneingang, einen Medienraum mit einer Live-Übertragung aus dem Gerichtssaal und außerdem so viele Medienvertreter, dass ich dachte, ich könnte mich entspannen und müsste mir keine Sorgen machen, da die grundlegenden Fakten sicher umfassend berichtet würden. Ich hätte mich nicht mehr täuschen können. In jeder Minute des Tages verfolgte ich die Argumente sehr genau, und nicht ein einziger der wichtigsten Fakten und Argumente wurde heute irgendwo in den Mainstream-Medien berichtet. Das ist eine kühne Behauptung, aber ich fürchte, sie stimmt. Ich habe also noch viel Arbeit vor mir, um die Welt wissen zu lassen, was tatsächlich passiert ist. Die bloße Aufgabe, ein ehrlicher Zeuge zu sein, ist plötzlich, wo die gesamten Medien diese Rolle aufgegeben haben, extrem wichtig.

Kronanwalt James Lewis gab die Eröffnungserklärung für die Anklage ab. Sie bestand aus zwei gleichermaßen außergewöhnlichen Teilen. Der erste und längste war besonders bemerkenswert, da er keine rechtlichen Argumente enthielt und sich auch nicht an den Richter, sondern an die Medien richtete. Es war nicht nur offensichtlich, dass die Bemerkungen auf die Journalisten abzielten, sondern Lewis erklärte bei zwei Gelegenheiten während seiner Eröffnungserklärung, dass er sich ausdrücklich an sie wenden würde, wobei er einmal einen Satz wiederholte und betonte, dass er dies tue, weil es wichtig sei, dass die Medien den Satz verständen.

Ich bin ehrlich erstaunt darüber, dass Baraitser dies zugelassen hat. Es ist völlig unzulässig, dass ein Anwalt Bemerkungen nicht an das Gericht, sondern an die Medien richtet, und es könnte keinen klareren Beweis dafür geben, dass es sich hier um einen politischen Schauprozess handelt, an dem Baraitser mitschuldig ist. Ich habe nicht den geringsten Zweifel, dass die Verteidigung sehr schnell gestoppt worden wäre, wenn sie begonnen hätte, sich an die Medien zu wenden. Baraitser gibt nicht einmal vor, etwas anderes zu sein als ein Sklave der britischen Regierung und damit auch der US-Regierung.

Die Punkte, die Lewis den Journalisten mitteilen wollte, waren folgende: Es stimme nicht, dass auch Mainstreammedien wie der Guardian und die New York Times durch die Anklage gegen Assange bedroht seien, denn Assange würde nicht für die Veröffentlichung der Dokumente angeklagt, sondern lediglich für die Veröffentlichung der Namen von Informanten sowie für die Anleitung von Manning und dessen Unterstützung bei dem Versuch, Computer zu hacken. Nur Assange habe diese Dinge getan, nicht aber die Mainstreammedien.

Lewis las dann eine Reihe von Artikeln aus den Medien vor, die Assange angriffen, als Beweis, dass die Medien und Assange nicht im selben Boot säßen. Die gesamte erste Stunde bestand darin, dass sich die Anklage an die Medien wandte und versuchte, einen Keil zwischen die Journalisten und Wikileaks zu treiben, um so die mediale Unterstützung für Assange zu verringern. Es war eine politische Ansprache und nicht im Entferntesten eine juristische Argumentation. Gleichzeitig hatte die Staatsanwaltschaft unzählige Kopien dieses Abschnitts von Lewis‘ Ansprache vorbereitet, die an die Medien verteilt und ihnen elektronisch zur Verfügung gestellt wurden, damit sie ohne großen Aufwand veröffentlicht werden konnten.

Nach einer Unterbrechung befragte Richterin Baraitser die Staatsanwaltschaft zur Richtigkeit einiger dieser Behauptungen. Insbesondere die These, dass die Medien sich nicht in der gleichen Lage befänden, da Assange nicht wegen der Veröffentlichung angeklagt wäre, sondern wegen „Anstiftung und Beihilfe“ Chelsea Mannings bei der Beschaffung des Materials, schien nicht mit Lewis‘ Lesart des Official Secrets Act von 1989 übereinzustimmen, der besagt, dass bereits die Beschaffung und Veröffentlichung von Regierungsgeheimnissen ein Vergehen sei. Sicherlich, so Baraitser, würde dies doch bedeuten, dass Zeitungen, die einfach nur die Manning-Leaks veröffentlichten, sich eines Vergehens schuldig machten?

Dies schien Lewis völlig unvorbereitet zu treffen. Das Letzte, was er erwartet hatte, war irgendeine Scharfsinnigkeit von Baraitser, deren Job es doch war, einfach das zu tun, was er sagte. Lewis summte und brummte, setzte seine Brille mehrfach auf und ab, richtete sein Mikrofon immer wieder und zog eine Reihe von Papieren aus seiner Akte, von denen jedes einzelne ihn durch seinen Inhalt zu überraschen schien, während er sie unglücklich in der Luft schwenkte und meinte, er hätte wirklich den Fall Shayler zitieren sollen, könne ihn aber nicht finden. Es ähnelte einer Episode von Columbo – nur ohne den Charme und die Killerfrage am Ende.

Plötzlich schien Lewis zu einer Entscheidung zu kommen. Ja, sagte er viel entschiedener, der Official Secrets Act sei von der Thatcher-Regierung 1989, nach dem Ponting-Fall, speziell deshalb eingeführt worden, um eine Verteidigung (von Whistleblowern; Anmerkung Multipolar) mit Berufung auf das öffentliche Interesses auszuschließen und den unbefugten Besitz eines Amtsgeheimnisses zu einem Verbrechen mit strikter Haftung zu machen. Das heißt: egal wie man es erlangt hat, die Veröffentlichung und sogar der Besitz machte einen schuldig. Nach dem Prinzip der doppelten Strafbarkeit (eine Person kann nur dann ausgeliefert werden, wenn ihre Handlungen in beiden beteiligten Staaten strafbar sind; Anmerkung Multipolar) wäre Assange daher auslieferungspflichtig, und zwar egal, ob er Manning Beihilfe geleistet hat oder nicht. Lewis ergänzte, dass jeder Journalist und jedes Medium, die ein Amtsgeheimnis veröffentlichen, daher auch eine Straftat begehen würden, unabhängig davon, wie sie es erlangt haben, und unabhängig davon, ob Informanten genannt würden oder nicht.

Der Staatsanwalt widersprach somit voll und ganz seinem Eröffnungsstatement an die Medien, wo er noch erklärt hatte, dass sie sich keine Sorgen machen müssten, da die Vorwürfe an Assange niemals auf sie angewandt werden könnten. Er tat dies direkt nach der Unterbrechung, unmittelbar nachdem sein Team Kopien der Argumente ausgehändigt hatte, die er nun bestritt. Ich kann mir kaum vorstellen, dass sich schon oft ein hochrangiger Anwalt vor Gericht so absolut und unmittelbar als vollständiger Lügner erwiesen hat. Dies war zweifellos der atemberaubendste Moment der heutigen Gerichtsverhandlung.

Bemerkenswerterweise finde ich jedoch nirgendwo in den Mainstreamedien eine Erwähnung, dass dies überhaupt geschehen ist. Was stattdessen überall zu lesen ist, sind Medienberichte, die den ersten Teil von Lewis‘ Erklärung kopieren, wonach die Verfolgung von Assange keine Bedrohung für die Pressefreiheit darstelle. Niemand aber scheint berichtet zu haben, dass er fünf Minuten später seine eigene Argumentation völlig aufgegeben hat. Waren die Journalisten zu dumm, um den Wortwechsel zu verstehen?

Die Erklärung ist sehr einfach. Da Lewis‘ Klarstellung auf eine Frage von Baraitser folgte, existiert keine gedruckte oder elektronische Aufzeichnung von Lewis‘ Antwort. Seine ursprüngliche Aussage wurde den Medien zum Kopieren zur Verfügung gestellt. Den Widerspruch dazu zu erkennen, würde erfordern, dass ein Journalist sich anhört, was vor Gericht gesagt wird, es versteht und aufschreibt. In den Mainstreammedien verfügt heute nur eine verschwindend geringe Minderheit über diese elementare Fähigkeit. „Journalismus“ besteht nur noch aus dem Kopieren anerkannter Quellen. Lewis hätte Assange im Gerichtssaal erstechen können – es würde nicht berichtet werden, solange es nicht Teil einer Pressemitteilung der Regierung wäre.

Ich war unsicher, was Baraitser damit bezwecken wollte. Ganz offensichtlich hat sie Lewis in diesem Punkt erhebliche Unannehmlichkeiten bereitet und schien dies eher zu genießen. Auf der anderen Seite ist ihr Argument nicht unbedingt hilfreich für die Verteidigung. Sie sagte im Wesentlichen, dass Julian aus britischer Sicht nach dem Prinzip der doppelten Strafbarkeit ausgeliefert werden könne, und zwar allein für die Veröffentlichung, unabhängig davon, ob er sich mit Chelsea Manning verschworen hat oder nicht, und dass alle Journalisten, die das Material veröffentlicht haben, ebenfalls angeklagt werden könnten. Aber ist dieser Punkt nicht so extrem, dass er nach dem Human Rights Act zwangsläufig ungültig wäre? Drängte sie Lewis dazu, eine Position zu vertreten, die so extrem war, dass sie unhaltbar wurde – und gab ihm genug Seil, um sich zu erhängen – oder geiferte sie einfach bei der Aussicht, nicht nur Assange auszuliefern, sondern auch massenhaft Journalisten zu verfolgen?

Die Reaktion einer Gruppe war jedenfalls sehr interessant. Die vier Anwälte der US-Regierung, die unmittelbar hinter Lewis saßen, wirkten sehr beunruhigt, als der Staatsanwalt klipp und klar erklärte, dass jeder Journalist und jede Zeitung oder jeder Fernsehsender, der ein Regierungsgeheimnis veröffentlicht oder auch nur besitzt, eine schwere Straftat begeht. Ihre gesamte Strategie hatte darin bestanden, so zu tun, als ob dem nicht so wäre.

Lewis schloss dann die Argumente der Anklage ab. Das Gericht habe keine Entscheidung zu treffen, erklärte er. Assange müsse ausgeliefert werden. Das Vergehen falle unter die doppelte Strafbarkeit, da es sowohl in den USA als auch in Großbritannien strafbar wäre. Das britische Auslieferungsgesetz verböte es dem Gericht ausdrücklich, zu prüfen, ob es Beweise zur Untermauerung der Anklagepunkte gab. Hätte es, wie die Verteidigung argumentiere, einen Verfahrensmissbrauch („abuse of process“) gegeben, so müsse das Gericht dennoch ausliefern und dann den Verfahrensmissbrauch als gesonderte Angelegenheit gegen die Täter verfolgen. (Dies ist ein besonders fadenscheiniges Argument, da es dem Gericht aufgrund der souveränen Immunität der US-Regierung nicht möglich ist, gegen diese vorzugehen, wie Lewis sehr wohl weiß.) Abschließend erklärte Lewis, dass der Human Rights Act und die Redefreiheit in Auslieferungsverfahren völlig irrelevant seien.

Danach erhob sich Edward Fitzgerald, um die Eröffnungserklärung für die Verteidigung abzugeben. Er begann damit, dass das Motiv für die Anklageerhebung ausschließlich politischer Natur sei und dass politische Straftaten gemäß Artikel 4.1 des Auslieferungsabkommens zwischen Großbritannien und den USA ausdrücklich ausgeschlossen sind. Er wies darauf hin, dass die Obama-Regierung zum Zeitpunkt des Prozesses gegen Chelsea Manning und erneut im Jahr 2013 spezifische Entscheidungen getroffen habe, Assange wegen der Manning-Leaks nicht zu verfolgen. Dies sei von der Trump-Regierung aus rein politischen Gründen rückgängig gemacht worden.

Was den Verfahrensmissbrauch betraf, so verwies Fitzgerald auf Beweise, die den spanischen Strafgerichten vorgelegt worden seien, wonach die CIA eine spanische Sicherheitsfirma beauftragt hatte, Julian Assange in der Botschaft auszuspionieren, und dass diese Spionage auch die Überwachung von Assanges Treffen mit seinen Anwälten zur Erörterung der Auslieferung umfasste. Für einen Staat, der versucht auszuliefern, sei ein Abhören der anwaltlichen Beratungen des Angeklagten an sich schon ein Grund, den Fall abzuweisen. (Dieser Punkt ist zweifellos richtig. Jeder anständige Richter würde das Verfahren wegen der ungeheuerlichen Bespitzelung der Verteidiger kurzerhand einstellen.)

Fitzgerald fuhr fort, dass die Verteidigung Beweise dafür vorlegen werde, dass die CIA Assange und seine Anwälte nicht nur ausspioniert, sondern aktiv seine Entführung oder Vergiftung in Betracht gezogen habe, und dass dies zeige, dass es in diesem Fall kein Bemühen um Gesetzestreue gebe.

Fitzgerald sagte, dass die Einordnung („Framing“) des Falls durch die Anklage eine vorsätzliche Falschdarstellung der Tatsachen enthalte, was ebenfalls einem Verfahrensmissbrauch gleichkomme. Es stimme nicht, dass es Beweise für eine Schädigung von Informanten gebe, und die US-Regierung habe dies in anderen Foren auch bestätigt, so zum Beispiel im Prozess gegen Chelsea Manning. Es habe keine Verschwörung zum Hacken von Computern gegeben, und Chelsea Manning sei von dieser Anklage vor dem Militärgericht freigesprochen worden. Schließlich wäre es falsch, dass Wikileaks die Veröffentlichung von Namen von Informanten veranlasst hätte, da andere Medienorganisationen an erster Stelle dafür verantwortlich gewesen wären.

Auch hier wird, soweit ich sehen kann, über den US-Vorwurf der Schädigung von Informanten zwar weithin berichtet, aber kaum über die vollständige faktische Widerlegung und die Einschätzung, dass die Fälschung von Fakten einem Verfahrensmissbrauch gleichkomme.

Fitzgerald verwies am Ende auf die Bedingungen in US-Gefängnissen, die Unmöglichkeit eines fairen Prozesses in den USA sowie die Tatsache, dass die Trump-Regierung erklärt habe, dass Ausländer keinen Schutz nach dem Ersten Verfassungszusatz (Schutz der Pressefreiheit; Anmerkung Multipolar) erhalten würden, als Gründe dafür, dass eine Auslieferung ausgeschlossen werden müsse.

Sie können die gesamte Erklärung der Verteidigung lesen, aber meiner Meinung nach war die stärkste Passage die Folgende, in der erklärt wird, warum es sich hier um eine politische Anklage handelt und schon daher eine Auslieferung ausgeschlossen sei:

„Ich muss mich als nächstes mit der Frage befassen, inwieweit diese politisch motivierte Verfolgung die Kriterien erfüllt, gegen Julian Assange wegen seiner politischen Ansichten gerichtet zu sein. Das Wesen seiner politischen Meinungen, die diese Strafverfolgung ausgelöst haben, ist zusammengefasst in den Berichten von Professor Feldstein [tab 18], Professor Rogers [tab 40], Professor Noam Chomsky [tab 39] und Professor Kopelman:

  • Er ist ein führender Verfechter einer offenen Gesellschaft und der Meinungsfreiheit.
  • Er ist gegen Krieg und Imperialismus.
  • Er ist ein weltbekannter Verfechter politischer Transparenz und des Rechtes der Öffentlichkeit auf Zugang zu Informationen über wichtige Angelegenheiten – Themen wie politische Korruption, Kriegsverbrechen, Folter und die Misshandlung von Gefangenen in Guantanamo.

Diese Überzeugungen und Handlungen bringen ihn aus politischen Gründen unweigerlich in Konflikt mit mächtigen Staaten, einschließlich der derzeitigen US-Regierung – was erklärt, warum er als Terrorist angeprangert wurde und weshalb Präsident Trump in der Vergangenheit die Todesstrafe gefordert hat.

Aber ich sollte hinzufügen, dass sich seine Enthüllungen bei weitem nicht auf das Fehlverhalten der USA beschränken. Er hat die Überwachung durch Russland aufgedeckt und Entlarvendes über Herrn Assad in Syrien; und es wird gesagt, dass WikiLeaks-Enthüllungen über Korruption in Tunesien und Folter in Ägypten der Katalysator für den Arabischen Frühling waren.

Die USA sagen, er sei kein Journalist. Aber Sie finden ein vollständiges Verzeichnis seiner Arbeit in Konvolut M. Er ist seit 2009 Mitglied der australischen Journalistengewerkschaft, er ist Mitglied der NUJ und der Europäischen Föderation der Journalisten. Er hat zahlreiche Medienpreise gewonnen, unter anderem wurde er mit der höchsten Auszeichnung für australische Journalisten geehrt. Seine Arbeit wurde gewürdigt vom Economist, von Amnesty International und dem Europarat. Er ist Gewinner des Martha-Gelhorn-Preises und wurde wiederholt für den Friedensnobelpreis nominiert, auch im vergangenen und in diesem Jahr.

Sie können aus den Materialien erkennen, dass er Autor von Büchern, Artikeln und Dokumentarfilmen ist. Er hat Artikel im Guardian, in der New York Times, der Washington Post und dem New Statesman veröffentlicht, um nur einige zu nennen. Manche der Veröffentlichungen, wegen denen gerade seine Auslieferung angestrebt wird, wurden in Gerichtsverfahren in aller Welt verwendet, darunter beim Obersten Gerichtshof Großbritanniens und dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte. Kurz gesagt: Er ist ein Verfechter der Sache der Transparenz und der Informationsfreiheit in der ganzen Welt.

Professor Noam Chomsky drückt es so aus: ‚Im mutigen Eintreten für politische Überzeugungen, zu denen sich die meisten von uns bekennen, hat er all jenen in der Welt einen enormen Dienst erwiesen, die die Werte von Freiheit und Demokratie schätzen und die daher das Recht einfordern, zu erfahren, was ihre gewählten Vertreter tun‘ [siehe Tab. 39, Absatz 14]. Der positive Einfluss von Julian Assange auf die Welt ist daher unbestreitbar, ebenso wie die Feindseligkeit, die von der Trump-Administration ausgelöst wurde. […]

Die Charakterisierung von Julian Assange und WikiLeaks als „nichtstaatlicher feindlicher Nachrichtendienst“ durch Herrn Pompeo macht klar, dass er wegen seiner unterstellten politischen Ansichten ins Visier genommen wurde. Alle Experten, deren Berichte Sie haben, zeigen, dass man Julian Assange wegen der politischen Position verfolgt, die ihm von der Trump-Administration zugeschrieben wird – als ein Feind Amerikas, der zu Fall gebracht werden muss.“

Morgen fährt die Verteidigung fort. Ich bin wirklich unsicher, was passieren wird, da ich mich im Moment viel zu erschöpft fühle, um 6 Uhr morgens in der Warteschlange zu stehen, um hinein zu kommen. Aber ich hoffe, dass ich morgen Abend einen weiteren Bericht verfassen werde. (Anmerkung Multipolar: Murrays spätere Berichte sind inzwischen hier nachzulesen: Tag 2Tag 3Tag 4)

Ich danke denjenigen, die diese Berichterstattung durch ihre Spende oder ihr Abonnement ermöglicht haben.

Dieser Artikel ist völlig frei zu vervielfältigen und zu veröffentlichen, auch in Übersetzung, und ich hoffe sehr, dass die Leute dies aktiv tun werden. Die Wahrheit soll uns frei machen.

Über den Autor: Craig Murray, Jahrgang 1958, ist Autor und Menschenrechtsaktivist. Von 1984 bis 2004 war er britischer Diplomat, zuletzt Botschafter in Usbekistan, sowie von 2007 bis 2010 Rektor der schottischen Universität Dundee. Falls Sie die Arbeit von Craig Murray unterstützen möchten, finden Sie hier die Details.

Thank You Craig Murray!
Erschütternd, unfassbar!

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Julian Assange

Die inhaltslose Frase von der „westlichen Wertegemeinschaft“, die es zu verteidigen und hochzuhalten Gelte, kommt unseren ebenso inhalts- wie wertelosen Politikern dieser Tage immer gerne und schnell über die Lippen. Keiner dieser Politschnösel sagt dabei, wie diese Werte denn eigentlich aussehen. Um Welche „Werte“ der westlichen Gemeinschaft handelt es sich? Handelt es sich um die nicht existente Demokratie, deren Reste diese Politiker seit Jahren unterhölen oder handelt es sich vielleicht um den Rechtstaat, den diese Politiker seit Jahren immer mehr zum Rechtsstaat umwandeln, deren Exekutive vom sicheren Staat zur Staatssicherheit mutiert? Oder meinen diese Damen und Herrn mit „Werte“ vielleicht die Menschenrechte, die sie zu Hause mit Füßen treten und nur immer gebetsmühlenartig von anderen Ländern einfordern? Oder greife ich einfach nur zu hoch und man meint mit „Werten“ einfach nur „Werte“, wie Gold, Anlagen, Rohstoffe, Erdöl, Erdgas etc.? Ich vermute, dass eher letzteres zutrifft, denn wenn ich mitansehen muß, wie die westliche „Wertegemeinschaft“ mit Julian Assange umgeht, dann kann ich selbst beim genauesten hinsehen keine moralischen „Werte“ erkennen, gar keine!

Schämt Euch Ihr Politiker!

Alle, die aufgrund ihrer Prominenz, ihrer öffentlichen Präsenz und der ihnen vom Volke gegebenen Macht und Authorität etwas erreichen könnten, die sich für Julian Assange stark machen könnten, sollten aufstehen und Ihr Gewicht in die Waagschale werfen. Wenn es eine Gemeinschaft gibt, die der „westlichen Werte“ würdig ist, so ist jetzt der Zeitpunkt für diese Gemeinschaft gekommen für ihre moralischen Werte aufzustehen und einzutreten!

 

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