News from Assange At Court 2020/1/13

Video courtesy RT News

Read whole article in RT News

Tareq Hahhad comments from the Court room on twitter

Tweets from Tareq Haddad in the court room

Assange has just walked into court 1 of Westminster Magistrates Court. Looking much better compared to earlier reports and is able to hold a conversation with his lawyer, Gareth Peirce. Updates to follow.

Will do a thread with key points very shortly. Thanks all.

(1/10) Summary from #Assange hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning: As was the case in previous hearings, main issue discussed was the amount of time lawyers had access to their client.

(2/10) His lawyer Gareth Peirce raised concerns about this lack of access and told District Judge Vanessa Baraitser she has only had 2 hours with Assange since the last hearing.

(3/10) Baraitser said 47 people were currently in custody at court with only 8 rooms available for interviewing so Peirce would only be given an additional hour today. The judge said it would not be fair or just to delay or restrict the access to counsel for others in custody.

(4/10) Peirce told the court she had 3 substantial sets of documents and evidence she needed to go through with Assange and have him sign off on before they could be submitted to prosecution for response. Said she would struggle to do this under current time constraints.

(5/10) Peirce added that the last-minute change to move the hearing from tomorrow to today means she lost additional time with Assange. “This slippage in the timetable is extremely worrying.”

(6/10) Peirce also added she was considering filing a claim for a judicial review regarding this lack of access to Assange as it was a breach of his rights. She said access was restricted at Belmarsh prison in spite of several empty rooms being available.

(7/10) Baraitser adjourned the hearing to 2pm this afternoon so Peirce could have the intervening time with Assange and she will have another hour with him on Thursday to finalise the exhibits to be given to prosecution prior to Friday, 18th January.

(8/10) Peirce said she would do her best to have the documents submitted by Friday and the government’s prosecution team said they will have sufficient time to respond to the documents by their deadline of 7 February.

(9/10) In the hearing this afternoon, the case will be adjourned to 23 January. Peirce will tell the court whether Assange wishes to have the hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court or Belmarsh.

(10/10) As he left the dock, Assange raised his fist at those in the public gallery. As mentioned previously, he looked in much better shape than previously reported.

Another article from AAP in the Hepburn Advocate and Moree Champion which adds

Academy and Grammy award-nominated hip-hop artist M.I.A., who visited Assange in prison last year, said authorities had even denied him simple things like a pen and paper.
She said some books were denied as well due to concerns he could use them to secretly communicate with outsiders.
“It blows my mind that England can have this going, and with the support of Australia,” M.I.A. told AAP.
Mr Farrell said given the amount of stumbling blocks presented to Assange it raised the question of whether the “biggest media freedom case this century” was actually a fair trial.

And an article in Reuters stressing inability of access by Julian’s lawyers