DAY ONE: US Lays Out Appeal Against Assange Judgement

The U.S. appeal hearing against the ruling not to extradite Julian Assange began in Courtroom 4 at the Royal Courts of Justice. Consortium News has video access to the court.

The Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in the City of Westminster, where the London High Court is based. (Sjiong, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

A prosecutor for the United States on Wednesday laid out the reason why the judgement not to extradite imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange should be overturned.  

James Lewis QC argued before the High Court in London that the U.S. had not had the opportunity to present assurances to the lower court that Assange would not be put in extreme isolation if extradited to the U.S.; that the lower court judgement was not based on Assange’s current risk of suicide but on a prediction of what would happen if extradited; and that the defense was wrong to dismiss the U.S assurances as untrustworthy.

The question of whether the U.S. had the chance to give its assurances before lower court Judge Vanessa Baraitser barred Assange’s extradition on Jan. 4because of high risk of suicide in an inhumane U.S. prison became central to the morning’s proceedings.

The bench interjected, asking Lewis to answer to the defense’s contention that the prosecution should have made their assurances that Assange would not be put into Special Administrative Measures if sent to the U.S. before Baraitser issued her judgement.

“It was our position that it was highly unlikely he would ever be put in SAMS so opportunity never arose” during the case in magistrate’s court, Lewis said. “These assurances can be given at any time in these proceedings.”

Essentially Lewis said the prosecution did not think of it and was not expecting Baraitser to put so much weight on the possibility of SAMS in determining that it would exacerbate’s Assange’s risk of suicide. 

Lewis rejected the defense’s contention that the U.S assurances cannot be trusted. He said there had never been a case where Britain complained to the United States that assurances it was given in an extradition had not been fulfilled. 

Lewis argued that the assurance that Assange would not be held in isolation in Alexandria Detention Center and would not be subject to SAMS if convicted effectively destroyed a pillar of Baraitser’s judgement.

Another part of her decision not to extradite was faulty, Lewis contended, because the European law upon which she based it requires an assessment of the current mental state of the suspect and not what it be at a time when he might arrive in the U.S.

“A key part of our argument is that the district judge did not base her judgement on Mr. Assange’s current mental state,” Lewis said. “We can’t go into this crystal ball approach.” 

Baraitser had also discounted suicide preventive measures in U.S. prison, Lewis said, pointing out that prison suicide rates are higher in the U.K. than in the U.S. 

“This cannot be a proper way to deal with extradition procedures because it assumes no treatment can reduce the risk of suicide,” Lewis said. “There is a risk that that approach by the district judge means no one can ever leave [be extradited] if an individual has the ability to circumvent those measures.”

The prosecutor again said that Assange did not “even come close” in his current state to having the kind of illness that would prevent his extradition. 

Another thing that can’t be predicted is the length of the sentence Assange might receive, Lewis told the court. He rejected statements made by the defense that Assange would effectively receive a life sentence because he faces a potential 175 years in prison.  The maximum sentence ever given for the offense that Assange is charged with is 63 months, Lewis said. 

“The district judge is focused on the ability to get around measures as opposed to preventive measures and treatment,” he said. “If one can circumvent them it becomes a trump card which cannot be dealt with by the requesting state…even if their measures are 100 times better than U.K.”

“The approach by the district judge is to erect a barrier to extradition that can’t be met by our extradition partners,” Lewis said. 

The prosecution’s case continues in the afternoon.


13 comments for “DAY ONE: US Lays Out Appeal Against Assange Judgement

  1. EHS
    October 29, 2021 at 00:17

    My country’s Demos have ruined this man’s life. They hunt him like a rabies born dog. He has done a great service to this country.. and so a non-citizen is pursued unto death for his transparenting acts. These people will surely burn in the Hell they don’t believe in.

    Leave this man ALONE!! Pure evil is the most discuss ting attribute of the human spirit. These Demos holler because they have been found out!

  2. Jordan Crwell
    October 28, 2021 at 20:20

    Why can’t both sides affect a “Kanga” trial ineffect arguing against an AI-insurgency because of Julian And Edwaerd (acts…)
    are the basis tenets for control with artificial intelligence algorithms…
    U.K. in the past has incarcerated family members because of offenses of one person. How will AI adjudicate this in part as the future, a basis for today’
    s non-sense AT THE […] COURT!
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  3. Thomas Thorburn
    October 28, 2021 at 08:04

    at least one of the arguments of lewis appear to be null and void inthe respect of his claim that baraitsers judgement was flawed through not taking into account the ‘assurances’ made by th u.s. that assange would not be placed in ‘sams’.These ‘assurances’ were made AFTER baraitser had already passed judgement,thereby closing the proceedings i believe.

  4. 8675310
    October 27, 2021 at 21:39

    Assange will surely be ‘suicided’ here if he is extradited.

  5. October 27, 2021 at 20:05


  6. American
    October 27, 2021 at 19:19

    The US Government is COMPLETELY untrustworthy. They are lying! Do NOT believe anything they say. Do not extradite Assange.

  7. Damian Cano
    October 27, 2021 at 16:10

    The BOP (US Bureau of Prisons under the Justice Dept.)has sole authority to place its prisoners in any place they want in the USA. Sentencing courts can recommend all they want, but it is the BOP who can move you around to distant confinement, raise or lower your custody level, assess special risks, etc. And this custody level can be raised for often specious reasons, which of course can be appealed through a lengthy appeals process within the BOP, and then the courts once administrative remedies are exhausted, if you wish to get the BOP to follow its own regulations. Generally the whole process will take a year or more, sometimes much more. Any such US assurances to the court would be and are meaningless lies and should be called out by the defense. The UK has never objected to conditions because the only condition that has ever been agreed to is the promise of no death penalty. It is against British law to extradite to a country where the receiving country cannot guarantee that the prisoner won’t be executed. The DOJ can make that promise by saying, we will not seek the death penalty. But with a maximum tariff of 175 years, what’s the difference? They won’t say and haven’t said they would recommend x number of years, and that they could offer(they could also easily renege and beg pardon). They cannot tell the British court that he won’t be placed in SAMs. “… prosecution should have made their assurances that Assange would not be put into Special Administrative Measures if sent to the U.S. before Baraitser issued her judgement.” Again, had they offered assurances they would have been lying. But the prosecution, both in Britain and the US seem to have no problems with mendacity, deception, obfuscation, and criminal contempt of the court and its processes. The whole process from beginning to end, the Swedish rape charges, the Ecuadorian embassy surveillance, and doubtless other mechanisms, were conceived and implemented by the US and its agents. Of that there is no doubt. How could there be? Wikileaks has demonstrated that the US is capable and guilty of all these crimes and worse whenever it suits them.

  8. MacroSocial
    October 27, 2021 at 13:32

    Vault 7 part B Media Ops hXXps://

    Download the torrent and await the passcode

    The Criminally Insane Aristocracy are finished

  9. October 27, 2021 at 12:49

    I am hoping and concentrating with every ounce of my being that Assaunge will be liberated as their is no just or serious or legal charge against him to begin with.

  10. Piotr Berman
    October 27, 2021 at 11:53

    “If one can circumvent them it becomes a trump card which cannot be dealt with by the requesting state…even if their measures are 100 times better than U.K.”

    I recall excellent measures in Manning case, like ordering him out of his cell stark naked. But as Eppstein case shows, the quality is uneven.

  11. James Whitney
    October 27, 2021 at 11:18

    Does the U.S. Bureau of Prisons have the option to reject any judicial recommendation and decide by itself the prison where a person will be incarcerated? Could Assange suffer the same fate as Daniel Hale, currently placed in the Communications Management Unit (CMU) within USP Marion?

    • John Smith
      October 27, 2021 at 15:12

      This was addressed in the CN video posted yesterday. The Bureau of Prisons is the sole entity that determines which facility an individual will be housed at. Judges have zero authority in this regard.

  12. Ray Peterson
    October 27, 2021 at 09:08

    And just what highness does the U.K. court represent? Unless one these robed corpses speaks out for truth-telling journalism and calls out the mendacity of the American military-corporate state and its infectious poison spread to the U.K.; by apologizing to Julian and his wife and their children, then they are liars no different that all the “weeds,” (Mt.13.30), though they wear the long robes of this world’s high court.
    But if Nietzsche is wrong, and God is not dead, then as for Assange, WikiLeaks’ and truth-telling journalism and its fate in the world: “. . .‘even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him’
    . . .” (Jn.14.17), is being decided by another High Court.

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