Skip to main content

Julian Assange is facing the ‘trial of the century’: 10 reasons why it threatens freedom of speech

The Ecuadorian diplomat who gave Julian Assange political asylum reports from the extradition hearing against the WikiLeaks journalist, and explains why it is “the most important case against the freedom of expression in an entire generation.”
by Fidel Narváez, (translated by Ben Norton)
Part 11 - Ecuador illegally gave the U.S. confidential materials about Assange, including documents about his legal defense
The renowned human rights lawyers Gareth Peirce, a member of Julian Assange’s legal team, submitted her own written testimony to the court, affirming that since April 8, 2019 — three days before the arrest of Assange in the embassy — the U.S. Department of Justice had ordered Ecuador to confiscate property and give “evidence” to a “representative of the UK FBI,” as journalist Kevin Gosztola documented.

A document from April 9, 2019, marked “highly confidential from the Deputy Director’s Office of International Affairs,” contained instructions to give Assange’s property to the U.S. government.

One record of [Assange’s] entire archive” was basically robbed, and without that it has been more difficult for the defense to make the case against his extradition. According to Peirce, the day Assange was arrested, she “made immediate contact with the embassy in regard to legally privileged material, an issue of huge concern,” but “Repeated requests by telephone, email and recorded delivery mail were entirely ignored by the embassy.

When Assange’s legal team was able to gather his belongings soon after, “All legally privileged material was missing save for two volumes of Supreme Court documents and a number of pages of loose correspondence.

The UK Metropolitan Police denied any involvement in seizing legally privileged materials. This suggests that it was Ecuador, then, that illegally gave the documents to the United States.

Gareth Peirce testified that, in the days following the arrest of Assange, security guards “went in and out of relevant rooms” of the embassy, along with a diplomatic official named Pablo Roldan, who is related to the Ecuadorian ambassador and close to President Lenín Moreno.

Although rooms were purported to be sealed, Embassy staff who were not permitted to return for approximately one week saw the original seals had been replaced, the re-seals marked ‘for judicial purpose,’” Peirce testified.

As Gosztola also reported, Carlos Poveda, an Ecuadorian attorney representing Assange, requested that the prosecutor in Ecuador make a copy of the documents on Assange’s belongings for December 2019 extradition proceedings. But Peirce noted, “The Ecuadorian prosecutor refused that request.

Among the documents reviewed by Assange’s lawyer were photographs that showed that the seals on doors in the embassy were broken.

In her testimony, Peirce confirmed that she was spied on when she attended legal meetings in the embassy.

In January 2021, Judge Vanessa Baraitser will issue a ruling on the most important extradition of the century, deciding, for the first time in history, if a journalist will be prosecuted under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The importance of that decision is that it not only threatens the life of Julian Assange, which is already being destroyed in a London prison, but rather the very future of investigative journalism.

I would add, moreover, that that verdict will determine the validity of the rule of law, and even the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.

The judge has an entire legal arsenal on the table to prevent this extradition, protect the future of journalism, and put herself on the right side of history. The question is, will she do it?



Popular posts from this blog

Vijay Prashad on BRICS & Why Global South Cooperation Is Key to Dismantling Unjust World Order

Democracy Now!   As a two-day BRICS summit gets underway in South Africa, we speak with author and analyst Vijay Prashad about whether the bloc — which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — can meaningfully challenge U.S. and Western domination in world affairs by building an alternative forum for countries of the Global South. BRICS countries represent 40% of the world's population and a quarter of the world's economy, and the group is now considering a possible expansion to more than 20 other countries. " BRICS is an instrument to push forward their political views, which they feel are not taken seriously, " says Prashad, director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Prashad explains the history of BRICS and its New Development Bank and responds to criticism that BRICS falsely portrays itself as an anti-imperialist project. The BRICS countries " are not a socialist bloc, " says Prashad, but they " don't want to


The Hill   Editor for The Grayzone Max Blumenthal previews the upcoming summit of "BRICS" nations. 

Libya's destroyers appeal for aid

The Grayzone   The Grayzone 's Max Blumenthal and Wyatt Reed discuss the hypocrisy and cynicism of Obama and his former aides who presided over NATO's destruction of the Libyan state as they now appeal for humanitarian relief following deadly floods in the city of Derna. 

USA & NATO responsible for Ukraine war, German & French public say in poll

Geopolitical Economy Report   Most people in Germany and France blame the United States and NATO for the war in Ukraine, according to a poll conducted not by a pro-Russian group but rather by anti-Putin activists. 

Western sanctions failing: EU imports more Russian gas, China beats US tech war

Geopolitical Economy Report  Western sanctions are backfiring: The EU is now importing Russian liquified natural gas at record levels, and China has made high-tech breakthroughs despite US export restrictions. Ben Norton discusses how this is strengthening their economic sovereignty while blowing back on Europe.

EU increases Russian purchases despite sanctions

The Dive with Jackson Hinkle    

Intel-linked UK official pushing censorship of Russell Brand

The author of letters to social media companies demanding the financial punishment of Russell Brand is a British lawmaker implicated in London’s war on Covid-19 and Ukraine dissenters. Her husband was a commander in the Army’s psy-ops division. by Kit Klarenberg   Part 1   Allegations of sexual impropriety and abuse by comedian and podcaster Russell Brand by the British media prompted YouTube to demonetize the star’s popular channel on September 20. The Grayzone can now reveal that YouTube’s financial censorship of Brand is the result of an effort waged by a former British government minister who was responsible for London’s crackdown on dissent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her husband has also participated in that campaign of state repression as deputy commander of 77th Brigade, the British Army’s psychological warfare division. YouTube justified its demonetization of Brand on the grounds that he violated its “ creator responsibility policy. ” This marks the first time a content cre

Julian Assange’s father tells Glenn Greenwald how he may finally go free

Glenn Greenwald    

Niger raises Uranium price from €0.80/kg to €200/kg!

The New Africa Channel   Niger Raises Uranium Price  From €0.80/kg to €200/kg - In a groundbreaking development that signals a seismic shift in the global resource market, Niger, a prominent player in the uranium industry, has reportedly taken a bold step towards securing fair compensation for its invaluable natural resource, uranium. Multiple reports suggest that Niger has substantially increased the price of its uranium, skyrocketing it from a mere €0.80 per kilogram to €200 per kilogram.    This remarkable decision underscores a burgeoning determination among African nations to break free from historical imbalances and demand equitable remuneration for their vital contributions to the global economy.  According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), Niger is the world's seventh-largest uranium producer. The radioactive metal is the most widely used fuel for nuclear energy. It is also utilised in cancer treatment, naval propulsion, and nuclear weapons.   Uranium prices increased

Julian Assange and the end of American Democracy

The Real News Network   The US government has hounded Julian Assange since WikiLeaks first revealed the extent of US war crimes in 2010. In the process of persecuting Assange, the federal government has used every tool at its disposal and even pushed beyond the boundaries that supposedly restrict state power in defense of civil liberties. One of the most insidious tactics is the use of the Espionage Act, which had not been used for against whistleblowers and journalists for almost a century before Assange's case.    Prison is always a political tool, and in the case of whistleblowers like Julian Assange, the use of incarceration to suppress, discourage, and silence dissent is self-evident. Since being imprisoned, Assange has married and even started a family—but has been kept apart from his wife and children.   Lawyer and human rights defender Stella Assange, spouse of Julian Assange, joins Chris Hedges for a look at the vast and vicious campaign by the US to silence Julian Assange