21 September 2020 — Assange Defense
Julian’s extradition hearing resumed today with important witness testimony. A witness statement read today described President Trump’s involvement in the plan to evict and arrest Julian. Earlier in the day, the court heard expert testimony that devastates the prosecution’s case against Julian dealing with publishing unredacted material.
It was a busy day outside the courthouse, too. Singer-songwriter M.I.A. appeared at the Old Bailey and spoke to the press on Julian’s behalf. Two groups made waves on Julian’s behalf: the newly launched Artists for Assange and Lawyers for Assange, which announced that 167 politicians (including past and present heads of state) signed on to an open letter calling on the U.K. to end extradition proceedings. And powerful Op-Eds were published by former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and retired U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
You can read our full report on Monday’s proceedings here, but here’s a recap:
Witness Reveals Trump Directed Plan to Revoke Julian’s Asylum
A witness statement from conservative journalist Cassandra Fairbanks was read into the record this afternoon. Fairbanks detailed how she learned that her meeting with Julian in the Ecuadorian embassy was surveilled, and how Trump insiders had negotiated with the Ecuadorian government to arrange his eviction and arrest by British authorities. Fairbanks specifically mentioned Ambassador Richard Grenell and Trump fixer Arthur Schwartz as key players. In a recorded phone conversation between Fairbanks and Schwartz, Schwartz reveals that Julian was arrested on direct “orders from the president.”
WikiLeaks Didn’t Release the Cables, and Julian Worked to Keep Them Protected
Earlier in the day, Prof. Christian Grothoff gave crucial testimony that devastated the prosecution’s argument that WikiLeaks recklessly published unredacted State Department material. Grothoff testified that the unredacted material was initially published by Cryptome after two journalists from The Guardian published an encryption password in their book. Neither Cryptome (which is based in the U.S.) nor the journalists who released the password have been prosecuted. Grothoff further undermined the government’s case by pointing out how reluctant Julian was to share access to the unredacted cables, and how Julian worked to prevent them from being accessed even after others had recklessly released them.
It was an important day of testimony and calls for Julian’s release continue to echo. We will continue to keep you updated at our live blog. You can also find hearing coverage from Courage Foundation’s Director Nathan Fuller and real-time updates on Twitter.
Team Assange Defense