By Craig Murray
February 27, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - 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 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.