UK minister who approved Trump’s request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be “neutralized”

On 22nd February Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis report

The British minister who approved the controversial US request for the UK to extradite publisher Julian Assange attended six secretive meetings organised by a US institute which has published calls for Assange to be assassinated or taken down, it can be revealed.

Sajid Javid, who was Britain’s Home Secretary from April 2018 to July 2019, attended “starlight chats” and “after-dinner cocktails” in a series of off-the-record conferences involving high-level US military and intelligence figures at a 5-star island resort off the coast of Georgia, USA. Many of those attending have been exposed in WikiLeaks publications and have demanded the organisation be shut down. 

Javid signed the Trump administration’s extradition request for Assange in June 2019. He was Britain’s Chancellor until his resignation 9 days ago. One of the criteria under which a British Home Secretary can block extradition to the US is if “the person could face the death penalty”.  

The month before being appointed Home Secretary in April 2018, Javid visited Georgia for the “world forum” of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)—an influential neoconservative US organisation with close ties to the US intelligence community. The AEI has run a campaign against WikiLeaks and Assangesince 2010. 

It can now be revealed that Javid spoke at the 2018 meeting, as did Jonah Goldberg, a fellow at the AEI who has called for Assange to be “garroted”. In a column published on the AEI website, Goldberg wrote: “WikiLeaks is easily among the most significant and well-publicised breaches of American national security since the Rosenbergs gave the Soviets the bomb. So again, I ask: Why wasn’t Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago? It’s a serious question.”

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The deliberations within the UK Home Office about Assange’s extradition and incarceration in Belmarsh maximum-security prison, where he is currently held, are opaque. Declassified sent a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office asking for any telephone call or email mentioning Assange sent to or from Sajid Javid while he was running the department. The Home Office replied: “We have carried out a thorough search and we have established that the Home Office does not hold the information that you have requested.” 

It is unclear if Javid only discussed the Assange extradition request in person while Home Secretary or if he used a private email or phone to do so. 

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Read whole article Daily Maverick Declassified