‘THIS CASE is a grave threat to press freedom, not just for Julian Assange, but for all British journalists,’ lawyer Stella Morris, Julian Assange’s fiancée said yesterday outside the Old Bailey where prosecutors are trying to have Assange extradited to the US where he faces 175-years in jail.
His ‘crime’? Exposing the war crimes of imperialism conducted during the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US and UK rulers.
On day 16 of the hearing outside the Old Bailey protesters shouted: ‘Jail the war criminals! Free Julian Assange! Only one decision! No extradition! See three truth, hear the truth, know the truth! Free Julian Assange!’
Inside the Old Bailey on day 15 on Tuesday, Prof Kopelman from Kings College was appointed by the defence to speak in court. He has visited Julian Assange 19 times in Belmarsh Prison. His detailed report concluded that:
‘I reiterate again that I am as certain as a psychiatrist ever can be that, in the event of imminent extradition, Mr. Assange would indeed find a way to commit suicide.’
QC Lewis for the prosecution attempted to argue that Assange was not suicidal. In the written testimony by Kopelman two cords and a razor had been found hidden in Assange’s cell that were removed. The prosecutor wanted to know why this incident was not in the prison record.
Lewis asked Kopelman: ‘So you rely on the razor and cords as indication of suicide. If this didn’t happen it would alter your diagnosis.’
Kopelman replied: ‘But he has clinical depression independent of whether a razor was found. He has reported his intense suicidal preoccupations, he wrote farewell letters and a will, that I corroborated, and the other day pills were found in his cell.’
Responding to what happened in court, outside the Old Bailey Joe Brack from EF Press and the Julian Assange Defence Committee (JADC) said yesterday: ‘After yesterday’s testimony as to the affect on Julian Assange’s physical and mental well being, we can conclude that he is clearly displaying signs of physical and mental torture and untreated physical ailments.
‘These conditions were something the prosecution QC Lewis was unable to discredit using his usual bullying tactics deployed against defence witnesses.
‘Then we heard the testimony of Khalid El-Masri, a German critic who was kidnapped in Skopje (modern day Macedonia) tortured and rendered to the CIA black site in Afghanistan.
‘This has only confirmed the methodology of the security services of the USA and the fate that awaits Julian Assange should he be extradited.
‘We expect further evidence of the policies currently employed by William Barr (Attorney General in the US) and President Donald Trump.’
William Coleshill, a teaching assistant who had come to join the protest told News Line: ‘Julian Assange is a hero who has given a platform for people all over the world to stand up and expose those who rule over them.’