UK: Assange extradition trial ‘unfair’ – WikiLeaks’ Hrafnsson says
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Julian Assange was not receiving a fair trial, while speaking outside Woolwich Crown Court in London on Wednesday.
Hrafnsson states that the WikiLeaks co-founder had little contact with his lawyers and was not able to speak confidentially with them, as he was sitting behind a glass-fronted dock inside the courtroom.
“He can hardly and barely hear what’s going on in the courtroom. He cannot communicate with his lawyers without being observed and overheard by officials from the State Department, from the embassy, and from the Eastern District Court of Virginia,” –Kristinn Hrafnsson
Assange told the judge at Woolwich Crown court that he was unable to participate in the hearing from behind a bulletproof glass, and complained about the presence of US officials in the courtroom. The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in high-security Belmarsh Prison since May 1, 2019, after he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.
Despite this sentence coming to an end on September 22, a British judge ordered Assange remain in prison while facing extradition to the US, due to his previous history of absconding. Extradition hearings started on Monday and are expected to continue throughout the week. A second round of hearings will be held in May. Source-RUPTLY
Hrafnsson said that even murderers have the privilege of being able to sit next to their lawyer to communicate with them. A European court would not have done this, perhaps the British Government’s decision to keep Assange in prison last September was in anticipation of Brexit freedom from European Human Rights laws, which could have helped lift the British and Serco imposed restrictions on Julian Assange who was sat locked in a glass box unable to hear what was happening in court and not able to speak to his lawyers. A European court still has more human rights privileges than a British court, if Assange was freed before the Brexit, perhaps he could have had the fair trail that he deserved in the European court system. After all, his only crime was publishing documents exposing deep state corruption in the US and British government on matters of war crimes and more.
This marks a very dark day for true investigative journalism. Assange is not only a symbol for the fight for free press and transparency in government, perhaps he is being used by the real perpetrators, who are the ones wielding the power, as a warning to anyone else that dare to continue to expose the entrails of the corrupted shadow government.
There is no real justice or democracy since what happened today breaches the Rule of International Law, we wait until May 2020 for further developments. – CS.
“Our world is controlled and divided and manipulated, … language and debate are distorted to produce the propaganda of false consciousness.” Read John Pilger’s article