Julian Assange: Imminent Freedom

The judgement is concerning, but we are nonetheless delighted, writes Craig Murray, who aside from court officials was the only person in the public gallery on  Monday. 

By Craig Murray

Monday was a long and tiring day, with the startlingly unexpected decision to block Julian Assange’s extradition. The judgement is in fact very concerning, in that it accepted all of the prosecution’s case on the right of the U.S.  government to prosecute publishers worldwide of U.S.  official secrets under the Espionage Act. The judge also stated specifically that the U.K. Extradition Act of 2003 deliberately permits extradition for political offences. These points need to be addressed. But for now, we are all delighted at the ultimate decision that extradition should be blocked.

The decision was based equally on two points; the appalling conditions in U.S.  supermax prisons, and the effect of those conditions on Julian specifically given his history of depression. The media has concentrated on the mental health aspect, and given insufficient attention to the explicit condemnation of the inhumanity of the U.S.  prison system. 

I was the only person physically present in the public gallery inside the court, having been nominated by John Shipton to represent the family, aside from two court officials. I am quite sure that I again noted magistrate Vanessa Baraitser have a catch in her throat when discussing the inhumane conditions in U.S.  supermax prisons, the lack of human contact, and specifically the fact that inmates are kept in total isolation in a small cage, and are permitted one hour exercise a day in total isolation in another small cage. I noted her show emotion the same way when discussing the al-Masri torture evidence during the trial, and she seemed similarly affected here.

Julian looked well and alert; he showed no emotion at the judgement, but entered into earnest discussion with his lawyers. The U.S.  government indicated they will probably appeal the verdict, and a bail hearing has been deferred until Wednesday to decide whether he will be released from Belmarsh pending the appeal – which court sources tell me is likely to be held in April in the High Court. I should be very surprised if Julian is not released on Wednesday pending the appeal. I shall now be staying here for that bail hearing.

Here is a brief video giving more detail.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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4 comments for “Julian Assange: Imminent Freedom

  1. January 6, 2021 at 00:29

    It is highly unlikely that Assange will be granted bail or released from prison given his previous bail was considered violated when he walked into the Ecuadorian embassy and asked for asylum. Baraitser didn’t deny the extradition because she is horrified by the condition of U.S. prisons. After all, she had Julian imprisoned at Belmarsh, which is nearly as bad. No, she denied the extradition because she wants him to spend decades more in prison under torture, and she knows he’s clever enough to avoid that by committing suicide. There is simply no humanity whatsoever in that fascist hag. It is no more than a mindless puppet of the U.S. empire.

    The incoming Biden regime will pursue extradition even more relentlessly than Drumpf did, and will not cease until Assange is dead or dragged before a U.S. court. Of that I am absolutely certain, and would be surprised if it doesn’t happen. Baraitser’s concurrence with the U.S. prosecutors on every single false argument is proof that she and the rest of the British courts system are perfectly content to do the empire’s bidding. This is all show.

    I really do hope I am proven wrong, but I know enough about just how vindictive the U.S. is that it will exhaust every possible avenue to exact its revenge on any and all who dare defy it.

  2. Tom Kath
    January 5, 2021 at 18:54

    Assange Pardoned
    I have great admiration and respect for Julian Assange as a teller of the truth and as a man of incorruptible principles. I have often compared him to historical figures such as Jesus Christ, who were also persecuted for espousing a different “truth” to the one maintained by the mainstream authorities of the day.
    At this point I must say that in my “dictionary” a pardon means being forgiven for a wrongdoing, not acceptance or acknowledgement of having been right. In the general euphoria of Assange hopefully being out of prison or immediate danger, I fear this is being overlooked.
    A fairly high profile analyst, writer and commentator who claims to actually know Julian Assange personally, has voiced the opinion that he is a bit of an oddity and may actually continue his life’s work of truth telling ( once he has recovered from the punishment he has endured), rather than “having learnt his lesson” and devoting himself to wife, children, and his own life. He expressed a wish for the latter.
    This highlights to me the existential dilemma confronting our society, if a man can be criticised or potentially condemned for prioritising his principles over his life. People of true principles must continue to support Julian Assange to keep up the tremendous work he has done! Escaping the consequences of doing so is only part of that support.

  3. January 5, 2021 at 17:55

    I can’t Thank you enough, Craig…”The Logical Song” is also one of my favorites…*Hug*…

  4. jo6pac
    January 5, 2021 at 13:04

    Thanks Craig and I’ll keep my fingers crossed he is released on bail this Wed.

Comments are closed.