DAY TWO: Assange Lawyer Presses Parallels With Love Case

Edward Fitzgerald sought to compare Julian Assange’s case with that of Lauri Love’s before the judge who overturned Love’s extradition order to the United States.

Inside Royal Courts of Justice. (Nick Garrod/Flickr)

Consortium News has remote video access to the courtroom for the two-day hearing.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Edward Fitzgerald, a lawyer for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, at the High Court on Thursday sought to draw parallels with the case of Lauri Love, a British hacktivist whose extradition order to the United States was overturned, before the very judge who took part in that decision.

Fitzgerald argued on the second and last day of the U.S. appeal hearing that the Assange and Love cases had many similarities that the High Court should take into account.  He was addressing Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, who ruled with another judge in 2018 that Love should not be sent to the United States because of a high risk of suicide. 

The judge in the lower court, Westminster Magistrate’s Court, had ordered Love’s extradition, which the High Court overturned, after which the U.S. dropped the charges of hacking U.S government computers. In Assange’s case, the judge in Westminster barred Assange’s extradition, which prosecutors for the U.S. are trying to overturn in the High Court.

Fitzgerald on several occasions referred to the Love case. He pointed out that both Love and Assange were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which increases a risk of suicide. And he said the High Court in Love had looked into the future to see that extradition to the U.S. would be oppressive because of the high risk of suicide. 

James Lewis QC for the prosecution had on Wednesday argued that a determination of the risk of suicide could not be predicted and had to be based on current medical evaluations only.  Fitzgerald contended that the “predictive function is found in Love.” He said: “It is legitimate for the court to determine whether likely conditions would be exacerbated by the conditions” of future imprisonment.

At that point Burnett interjected from the bench to say that the district judge in Love’s case had determined that he would not succeed in committing suicide in a U.S. prison because of preventive measures there.  In Assange’s case, the district judge Vanessa Baraitser, ruled that those measures would not prevent Assange from taking his own life.

“It is a completely different case,” said Burnett in a remark that could be interpreted in various ways. As he is the judge in both cases it could have been an ominous statement for Assange. However, Burnett was referring to what the lower court had a ruled, a decision he had a part in overturning. 

Fitzgerald said that Baraitser had ruled that prison conditions in the U.S. were at the heart of Assange’s risk of suicide. “She said conditions will make it worse and that is quite analogous with the Lauri Love case,” he said. 

Baraitser ruled that Assange’s suicidal impulses were driven by his mental disorders and not a rational decision, Fitzgerald said. “I draw comparison with Love because these are the same two disorders” and the “same evidence” that these were two intelligent individuals being driven to suicide by their mental illness. 

Fitzgerald in the morning session also defended the decision of defense witness Michael Kopelman to have excluded the name of Stella Moris and the existence of her two children with Assange from his preliminary report because he was aware the CIA was spying on the couple and had discussed a plot to kill or kidnap him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.  Fitzgerald mentioned in court for the first time last months report in Yahoo! News that confirmed that the CIA had seriously considering assassinating Assange.  

The Assange lawyer also sought to dismiss U.S. assurances made to the court after the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing in lower court that Assange would not be placed harsh Special Administrative Measures (SAM)  in the U.S. Fitzgerald said that irrespective of where Assange would be housed it was the “overwhelming effect on his mental state of extradition” itself that Baraitser ruled would spur his suicidal intentions by “removing him from protective factors, irrespective of SAMS.”

The hearing continues this afternoon.

12 comments for “DAY TWO: Assange Lawyer Presses Parallels With Love Case

  1. October 31, 2021 at 08:04

    Thank you Joe Lauria for keeping us updated on the proceedings of the trial of Assange. According to what you’re reporting here,we hope that the defense lawyers will be successful in defending Mr.Assange and that unless politics gets into the way, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you too to the defense lawyers and once again thank you very much Mr. Lauria for keeping us updated.Best wishes.

  2. Kiers
    October 30, 2021 at 15:09

    I am in the US right now, let me tell you …… ZERO COVERAGE on Murican TV! ZERO. This is their “standard” of Journalism. It fails the truth test right there. They will never be capable of dealing with truth in Murica.

  3. Lauriedobson
    October 29, 2021 at 07:36

    Thank you for pursing this act of barbarism taking place in the judicial system. For this worthy journalist to not be able to be defended solely on the issue of cruelty to truth telling and whistleblower and for him not to be free solely on the matter of time served and tortuous experience endured, and loss of years of liberty, is itself sufficient to see the extent of judicial overreach in the courts.

  4. JMG
    October 28, 2021 at 13:06

    It’s certainly astounding to have to plead for mercy for a completely innocent person who was in fact the one defending the law and human rights, a multi-award winning publisher who is accused of revealing war crimes and corruption.

    “Julian didn’t do anything, they did.”
    — John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father

    We all know, with whistleblowers — and, from now on, journalists and publishers — who act in defense of the law and human rights, the usual process is as follows:

    1. Unlawfully, the government commits crimes.

    2. Then, unlawfully, the government classifies its crimes. This is explicitly outlawed by the US Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information.

    3. Then, unlawfully, the government boycotts the official whistleblower process and protection, forcing honest citizens to leak government crimes to journalists.

    4. And then, unlawfully, the government charges whistleblowers — and now investigative journalists and publishers as well — with not obeying the unlawful classification of unlawful government actions.

    So Julian Assange, like Chelsea Manning, etc., by revealing corruption and crimes, maybe didn’t obey the code of silence of organized crime, government sector, but that’s not a law.

    The law is for example the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the above mentioned law on Classified National Security Information.

    This means that whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, and investigative journalists and publishers like Julian Assange are the ones defending the law here, while the US and UK governments are the criminals.

    Yes, the extraordinary reality is that Julian Assange — imprisoned for revealing crimes and corruption — has himself literally not broken any law, as journalist and editor Raúl Ilargi Meijer quite clearly explained in a brief essay, worthy to read again now. A few excerpts:


    “The only person who’s abided by the law the entire time this epic tragedy has now lasted has been Julian Assange (and his lawyers, and others who work with him, and former Ecuador president Correa). All the other players, the people who’ve been chasing, torturing and now murdering him have all broken the law consistently, one after the other, and in coordinated fashion. . . . And now he’s in a super high security prison for no apparent reason at all . . .

    “What Assange practiced when he published ‘US war files’ is called journalism. Which thank god is perfectly legal. Much of what those files reveal is not. What he did when he allegedly ‘skipped bail’ in the UK is called requesting asylum. Also perfectly legal, a basic human right. He never broke a law.”

    — Raúl Ilargi Meijer: Assange Is the Only One to Abide by the Law (The Automatic Earth, Oct 23, 2019)

    As the saying goes:

    “When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals.”

    • Randal Marlin
      October 28, 2021 at 18:31

      I believe what you say is true. I wrote some days ago to President Biden to ask him to show some decency and drop the pursuit of Assange, but have received no acknowledgement. I feel like a spectator, on the scene or television, watching the murder of George Floyd and being helpless to do anything to stop it.

      • kiers
        October 30, 2021 at 15:10

        Biden did NOT even win the DNC primary fair and square! He was running a hot fourth place, when they stopped the primary and GAVE it to him……this is how Murica works!

  5. A. Almeida
    October 28, 2021 at 12:59


    Judgment of Julian Assange’s extradition request is expected to continue in London High Court on 27-28 October 2021, Wednesday and Thursday respectively. In turn, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change 2021 (26th conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP26), initially scheduled for 2020, will be held from 1st to 12th November this year, in the city of Glasgow, Scotland.

    As you can see, the beginning of COP26 – Monday, 11/11/2021 – almost coincides with the date of the decision that will define the future of life and, perhaps, the death of the journalist and editor of “Wikileaks” – the Australian Julian Assange.

    With the attention of the youth focused on the important event that will define the direction of world policy on the issue of climate change, a possible focus of adverse reaction to a decision in favor of the extradition of Julian Assange is being eliminated or considerably reduced, as intended by the United States of North America.

    Therefore, it is good to remind the activists in favor of a healthy environment that the freedom of Julian Assange, at the moment, must also be a priority, as it is the defense of a very necessary species, but in rapid extinction: that of journalists who have courage to tell the truths that bother the powerful, who are the same ones that promote the degradation and destruction of our planetary home.

    Moreover, the coverage of this judgment by the major media is insufficient, the importance of the matter disproportionate, since in this legal battle not only the individual fate of an important journalist of these new times is decided: it also defines the future of freedom of investigate, inspect, denounce and hold responsible the criminal and ethical illicit of the rotten powers of this world.

    Against all these unfavorable circumstances, including the tight time, it is urgent to do what is within our power with the intensity that the moment demands.

    We can, for example, remind the British authorities that the complicity in the death (better to say murder) of Julian Assange will not go unpunished!

    We must remind them that any advantages offered to participate in such a large and petty – intimidating and murderous – revenge disguised as justice will not compensate for the damage to the civilizing process and the rule of law, human rights, international law, the right of asylum, … , to history, to image, to respectability, …, and to everything that made the United Kingdom and especially London, until now, a tourist attraction throughout the world.

    Everything has limits!

    It’s time for the Father (UK) to remind the deviant child of this path (United States of North America).




    (Text translated by Google Translator, no review)


    O julgamento do pedido de extradição de Julian Assange deve continuar no Tribunal Superior de Londres em 27 a 28 de outubro de 2021, quarta e quinta respectivamente. Por sua vez, a Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre Mudança do Clima 2021 (26ª conferência das partes da Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Mudança do Clima – COP26), marcada inicialmente para 2020, será realizada de 1º a 12 de novembro deste ano, na cidade de Glasgow, na Escócia.

    Como se vê, o início da COP26 – segunda-feira, 1°/11/2021 – quase que coincide com a data da decisão que vai definir o futuro da vida e, quiçá, a morte do jornalista e editor do “Wikileaks” – o australiano Julian Assange.

    Com a atenção da juventude oncentrada no importante evento que definirá os rumos da política mundial para a questão das mudanças climáticas, elimina-se ou diminui-se consideravelmente um possível foco de reação adversa a uma decisão favorável à extradição de Julian Assange, como pretendem os Estados Unidos da América do Norte.

    Por isso, é bom lembrar aos ativistas em favor de um ambiente saudável que a liberdade de Julian Assange, no momento, deve ser também prioritária, pois é a defesa de uma espécie muito necessária, porém em acelerada extinção: a dos periodistas que tem coragem de dizer as verdades que incomodam os poderosos, que são os mesmos que promovem a degradação e destruição de nossa casa planetária.

    Outrossim, a cobertura desse julgamento feita pelos grandes meios de comunicação é insuficiente, desproporcional a importância do assunto, já que nessa batalha judicial se decide não só o destino individual de um importante periodista desses novos tempos: define-se também o futuro da liberdade de investigar, fiscalizar, denunciar e responsabilizar os ilícitos criminosos e éticos dos podres poderes deste mundo.

    Contra todas essas circunstâncias desfavoráveis, aí incluídas o tempo exíguo, urge fazer o que está ao nosso alcance com a intensidade que o momento exige.

    Podemos, por exemplo, lembrar às autoridades britânicas que a cumplicidade na morte (melhor seria dizer assassinato) de Julian Assange não passará impune!

    Devemos lembrá-las que eventuais vantagens oferecidas para participar de tão grande e mesquinha vingança homicida travestida de justiça não compensarão os prejuízos ao processo civilizatório e ao estado de direito, aos direitos humanos, ao direito internacional, ao direito de asilo, … , à história, à imagem, à respeitabilidade, … , e a tudo que tornaram o Reino Unido e especialmente Londres, até agora, um atrativo turístico em todo mundo.

    Tudo tem limites!

    Está na hora do Pai (o Reino Unido) relembrar isso ao filho desviante do bom caminho (Estados Unidos da América do Norte).




    (Texto traduzido pelo Google Tradutor, sem revisão)

  6. Dennis Rice
    October 28, 2021 at 12:43

    The United States government and the Department of Justice refuses to bring to trial such war criminals as George W Bush or Dick Cheney, or the late Donald Rumsfeld. But it will use hook and nail to go after anyone who exposes the wrong doings, war crimes they have caused.

  7. kuze
    October 28, 2021 at 11:47

    ‘Fitzgerald mentioned in court for the first time last months report in Yahoo! News that confirmed that the CIA had seriously considering assassinating Assange. ‘

    The USA’s willingness to calculate wether or not they could succeed in murdering Assange, informs the rest of the world that the USA government has a real determination to deliver serious and deadly harm to Assange. This means that the only opportunity the USA can exact serious harm on Assange is while they are responsible for his incarceration. The USA’s determination to deliver serious and deadly harm to Julian significantly raises the likelihood that Assange will be unreasonably harmed by the USA if this extradition was allowed to go ahead. Therefore, Assange should not be extradited.

  8. Linda Furr
    October 28, 2021 at 10:23

    The US seems to leave no stone unturned in its specious, cruel, global quest to expunge from existence those who may question our exceptional nation.

    Read Cullen Murphy’s “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World.”

  9. Ray Peterson
    October 28, 2021 at 09:39

    Sounds like Dickens’ London trial of Everemonde, in “Tale of Two Cities,” for being a traitor.
    The court justice system itself being on trial, and found guilty, in these “. . . worst of times.”

    • NotStrained
      October 29, 2021 at 14:41

      ““. . . worst of times.”

      Your quote appears incomplete it was and is simultaneously “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” since contrary to the beliefs/hopes of some time is laterally interactive – not linear, although some spectators continue to be immersed in such notions.

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