Assange Extradition Hearing: Day One

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‘Julian Assange hearing: ‘journalism is no excuse for breaking law’; Lawyers for US government deliver opening arguments as extradition case begins’, Ben Quinn, the Guardian, Feb. 24, 2020  (Title an hour changed to: ‘Informants named in WikiLeaks files disappeared, Assange hearing told’ with many additions including this at the top):
“Secret sources who had supplied information to the US government “disappeared” after they were put at risk of death or torture by WikiLeaks’s release of classified documents, the first day of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing has been told.”

Quinn quotes UK prosecutor James Lewis QC as adding ‘range of sources in states including Iraq, Afghanistan and China.’

He quotes Lewis:

“The US is aware of sources, whose unredacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared, although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks.”

By disseminating material in an unredacted form, Assange knowingly put human rights activists, dissidents, journalists and their families at risk of serious harm in states run by oppressive regimes.”

“Journalism is no excuse for breaking the law.  The defence seek to suggest that the risk to these individuals who, by having the individuals revealed as informants, is somehow overstated. I would remind the court that these were individuals who were passing on information on regimes such as Iran and organisations such as al-Qaida.”

“(I) want to emphasize that the indictment essentially referred to two areas of Assange’s conduct: theft and computer hacking of the information published and identifying informants in Iraq and Afghanistan knowing that they would be at risk of harm.

“He is not charged with disclosure of embarrassing or awkward information that the government would rather not have have disclosed.” “The disclosures charges are solely where there was a risk of risk.”

He then named a few examples.  Quinn had noted that Assange sad passively watching, but stood before the lunch break and said he was having trouble hearing the proceedings.  Julian’s attorneys will open tomorrow.

@kgosztola /kgosztola/status/1231900632568795136

@kgosztola  ‘James Lewis QC is essentially reciting summary of Chelsea Manning’s trial, which I’m not going to bother to share details from unless he says something we didn’t hear in 2013 during her trial. But all her conduct is being recited because US is prosecuting as conspiracy case’

you can read more on Kevin’s threadreader app here.

@kgosztola 45m45 minutes ago  ‘Edward Fitzgerald highlights the isolation Assange would likely be kept in if brought to the United States and convicted. May be put in “Communications Management Unit. That has an Orwellian ring to it.”

@SMaurizi  #AfghanWarLogs: we know from the @xychelsea’s trial NO ONE died/ was injured as a result. Today we learn that CIVILIAN victims due to US war in Afghanistan exceeds 10,000. Remember the Wolf and the Lamb fable?’@SMaurizi  ‘The US wants put in prison for life Julian #Assange for publishing’


Hearing will resume Tuesday morning where we are promised some bomshell revelations from the defense  9:24 AM · Feb 24, 2020

(any further Tweets will be cross-posted at

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