back to article I can 'proceed without you', judge tells Julian Assange after courtroom outburst

Julian Assange has been told to hold his tongue and not interrupt court proceedings by a judge as he contests US attempts to extradite him from Britain to stand trial over his WikiLeaks website. During the cross-examination of human rights lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith, one of Assange’s own witnesses in his extradition trial, …

Page:

          1. Jaybus

            Re: Blackmailed

            "But if the Americans did do that, then plea bargains are legal in America and so information produced as a result of one wouldn't be inadmissible in evidence."

            Yes. Plea bargains are legal in America. Keep in mind that plea bargains have to be reviewed and accepted by a judge. This is because it is actually a plea of guilty, the difference being that the judge is agreeing to the reduced sentencing proposed by the prosecutor in exchange for testimony. He cannot be compelled to testify against himself, but he can agree to do so. Does this make hist testimony less believable or more believable? That question is left up to the jurors.

      1. eamonn_gaffey

        Re: Blackmailed

        The US has already made the decision on innocence or guilt. That is a major issue the UK should be considering....but then we need a trade deal some time soon...(notwithstanding potential criminal acts by US citizens with 'dimplomatic immunity').

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          Yes, you generally make sure that you have a fairly good idea that somebody is guilty before extraditing them. If you didn't then you probably need new legal staff.

        2. skwdenyer

          Re: Blackmailed

          Surely Boris' latest shenanigans with Northern Ireland will put paid to any trade deal?

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: Blackmailed

      Yeah, it's a messed up situation. "Co-operate or you'll face time in prison, and your children will need to be put up for adoption as you won't be there to care for them" is both brutal truth and also coercion.

      1. Cliffwilliams44

        Re: Blackmailed

        Unfortunately it is nor coercion, this is perfectly legal for prosecutors in the US .

        1. My-Handle Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          Maybe, but when the person may potentially be innocent and is still being threatened with having their kids being taken away if they don't confess...

          That sounds like coercion to me, legal or not.

    2. Joe Gurman

      Re: Blackmailed

      Sorry, but it's not blackmail, and it would not have been abduction had US authorities indicted and tried Mr. Monsegur. If he were convicted (which would have pretty much been a slam dunk), someone would have had to care for his child; in the UK it would be called being "taken into care," right?

      Using various forms of "pressure" (which are usually of the sort: "You have two options, one of which involved a lot of hard time and separation from your family, and the other involves helping is nail a bigger fish") is a common way to secure testimony against alleged criminals who have committed more serious crimes, in the US. It keeps a lot of small-time crooks, such as street-level drug dealers or mules, out of prison in return for help in putting away the real villains. "Copping to a lesser," though generally without imprisonment, at the judge's discretion, is generally part of the plea bargain.

      It was exactly the kind of deal offered to one Mr. Cohen, former shyster to our Crook-in-Chief (though he had to serve some prison time, which has become home confinement since Covid started spreading in US correctional institutions.... come to think of it, pretty much what most of us are "enjoying" now).

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Blackmailed

        >> Yeah, it's a messed up situation. "Co-operate or you'll face time in prison, and your children will need to be put up for adoption as you won't be there to care for them" is both brutal truth and also coercion.

        > Sorry, but it's not blackmail, [...] someone would have had to care for his child; in the UK it would be called being "taken into care," right?

        There's a big difference between foster-care and adoption.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          "There's a big difference between foster-care and adoption."

          This sentence is correct as written.

          However, in reality when your kids are in foster care long enough to reach their majority while you are incarcerated, it pretty much comes to the same thing.

        2. Cliffwilliams44

          Re: Blackmailed

          The article obviously has it wrong, there is no method or legal authority for the state to put a child up for adoption. It would be foster care until the father was out of prison.

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Blackmailed

        "

        "You have two options, one of which involved a lot of hard time and separation from your family, and the other involves helping is nail a bigger fish"

        "

        Yes, I understand the reason. The problem being that it is a powerful incentive to provide false testimony against an innocent person as well. What's better - provide truthful evidence against a "Mr. Big" who would very likely have you tortured to death for being a grass, or provide false evidence against an innocent person who is in no position to retaliate?

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Blackmailed

      "Having been threatened with having his child forcibly removed for adoption unless he identified his fellow hackers, single father Monsegur is said to have passed on information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)."

      The FBI are supposed to be the good guys. Yet they threaten the well being and long term emotional stability of a child to get what they want.

      I guess their motto is now Fidelity, Bravery, Intimidation.

      1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: Blackmailed

        One wonders what you'd suggest the FBI should do if, say, they detained someone accused of mas murder who happened to be a single parent?

        Taking the accused into custody would "threaten the well being and long term emotional stability of a child".

        And the FBI didn't offer the guy anything. That's not what they do. The US attorneys to the deals, usually via their assistants (as there are only 93 of them, and they're political appointees). So if you want to blame someone, blame the USAA, not the FBI.

        The language in the article is badly emotionally loaded. If the accused is offered a deal that allows for bail and the possibility of no jail time, they may well take it (regardless of actual guilt) in order to avoid the risk of losing their kid. In this specific case, it seems like there is no real question of "actual guilt", so one might equally frame the situation as the US attorney offering him a good deal that would allow him to raise his child. But again, that's emotionally loaded the other way, and the underlying truth is probably somewhere in the middle (they government threatened to add charges but also was willing to agree to a deal, one likely proposed by the accused's lawyers).

        Meanwhile, what did Assange's outburst even mean? "I'm here and also by proxy" is not exactly coherent... the best I can come up with is that he meant he was in court and had lawyers, which seems a bit of a waste of breath...

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          Kinda overblown hysterics to compare the things alleged against Assange to mass murderers...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Blackmailed

            "Kinda overblown hysterics to compare the things alleged against Assange to mass murderers..."

            Regardless, the effect is the same. Get incarcerated for any length of time, and your kids are going to be raised by someone else until they reach the age of majority. This is true regardless of the crime committed by the parental unit(s).

            Suggestion: Don't do anything to get incarcerated if this matters to you.

            1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Blackmailed

              "

              Suggestion: Don't do anything to get incarcerated if this matters to you.

              "

              Yup. If you see a police officer beating someone to death, turn a blind eye. If you know that a politician is being bribed to influence government policy - stay silent.

              Just don't then complain if your kids then have to grow up in a police state or malevolent dictatorship.

            2. sed gawk Silver badge

              Re: Blackmailed

              That attitude stinks jake!, Guilt by accusation. Frankly most people faced with never seeing their loved one, will be compliant, and that is antithetical to the interests of justice.

              "Suggestion: Don't do anything to get incarcerated if this matters to you."

              Unfortunately, being the wrong colour in the US is enough to be deprived of your liberty or your life.

              Being poor is criminalised, being black is criminalised, being mentally unwell is criminalised, being falsely accused is a way of life for the people subjected to the vengeful legal system in the US.

              Unless one is extremely wealthy, staying the hell away from the place is about as good as it gets.

              But it's not a crime to walk the streets in KKK robes, or torture people in "black prisons", or murder them with flying bombs, or to fit up innocent people. Not a single person rescued by the innocence project, has seen the manifestly corrupt people who inflicted that harm on them prosecuted.

              Just like us, and the >1000 people died in police custody, have yet to see a single killer prosecuted.

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Blackmailed

                "being mentally unwell is criminalised".

                sed gawk, how wrong you are, there are always the odd exception, take the President for instance.

                And damn it or not, I am totally incapable of using the Joke Alert icon here.

                1. sed gawk Silver badge

                  Re: Blackmailed

                  I stand corrected, #45 commander bone spurs is indeed an fine example, of how one can rise to the highest position in the land, shaking off the disadvantages of obvious dementia.

                  In mitigation, I did point out that wealth tends to insulate one from this issue, take OJ, I think he probably did it, but "you can't put the juice in Jail", because "I'm not black I'm OJ".

                  Back to the covidiot in chief,

                  "If you get them in order, you get extra points"

                  "I know words, I know all the best words"

                  "I'm like a smart person"

                  "losers"

                  Yeah, he's a putz.

                  1. Booh

                    Re: Blackmailed

                    Have an upvote, for reminding me that Nick Abbott is back on the radio later.

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Blackmailed

                What stinks? In a civilized country, if a single parent is incarcerated his (or her) children become wards of the court. The alternative is to throw them out on the streets, to fend for themselves. Are you seriously advocating that? Or are you suggesting that having kids should make you immune from incarceration?

                I didn't realize this was a black/white issue. However, might I point out to you and your pre-conceived misconceptions about race in America that we had a black man in the Oval Office for not one, but two terms just prior to the current idiot-in-chief's term. Note that he won not just the electoral college vote, but also the popular vote. Twice. If allowed, I suspect he would have won a third term.

                Staying the hell away from the place has obviously taught you absolutely nothing about it. I strongly suggest closing your mouth and being thought a fool than opening it and removing all doubt. Or perhaps open your mind, come visit, and see for yourself.

                1. sed gawk Silver badge

                  Re: Blackmailed

                  What stinks is the refusal to accept that, arresting a person, holding them in savage conditions unless they have access to life changing amounts of money, and threatening to deprive them of their children, is not a recipe for honesty. It's lawfare. To treat that so flippantly as "if you don't want to lose your kids don't go to jail" is spoken as someone who believes it couldn't happen to you.

                  In other words, bad things only happen to bad people, and if you're innocent you'll be okay.

                  It's not a race issue, it is a black and white issue, unfortunate choice of words.

                  I'm no fan of the deli-bama, he's a black tony blair. He queered his pitch before he even took office, by squandering the immense amount of leverage he had in the 100 days prior to his first day.

                  He's a regular run of the mill US president, in otherwords a bit of a cunt, (carter excepted), GITMO, drones, and the same shite as has happened previously.

                  He had a brain, with a background in law, just like blair. But Sorry not being Bush Junior, is not that high a bar, so you can pick that card back up.

                  The guy under discussion is nearly an alibino, he could hide under rice, I think its funny that you complain that people don't make a fuss when it's a white guy being badly treated by the law.

                  And yet here you are, saying you don't care. Incase you missed it, it's an accusation of hypocracy rather than racism, for the record, I don't think you give a single shit what colour someone is.

                  Staying the hell away from the place has obviously taught you absolutely nothing about it

                  On the contrary, I know a lot of Americans, I count many of them as my friends and colleagues, but your .gov is fucked, and is a stain on the planet.

                  Being a fool, is an occupational hazard, being thought a fool, is beneath my notice.

          2. Cliffwilliams44

            Re: Blackmailed

            What he and Manning did was put peoples lives at risk. This information looks bad when placed on a web site without any situational context. War is hell, fighting the kind of war that involves terrorists is even worse. There are probably documents hidden away from the 2nd world war that would look quite terrible in a modern context, it doesn't mean those actions were War Crimes.

            What Manning and Assange did was espionage, plain and simple. He should thank whatever gods he believes in that he lives in this day and age. If this were during the height of the cold war, both these "men" would have been found dead in a ditch somewhere.

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: Blackmailed

              They gave away the fact the government were acting illegally. If that's a crime in itself, then the system can fsck off.

              The government are representatives of the PEOPLE. Therefore the PEOPLE have a right to know EVERYTHING they do. National security is horse shite.

        2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          Yes, the child of the mass-murderer would also be taken into care - but the father in that case would not be offered the chance of preventing it by implicating someone who the FBI didn't like. No matter whether deliberate or as a natural consequence, if a witness has benefitted or is likely to benefit considerably as a result of their testimony, that testimony should be treated with a very large pinch of salt. It's why I do not trust the testimony of people who claim they were abused decades ago when they stand to be paid large sums of compensation as a consequence of being given official victim status.

          It works both ways - a defence witness who stands to gain significantly if the defendent is aquitted should also not be relied upon.

        3. Imhotep Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          I'd say Assange was his own worst enemy if he didn't have so much stiff competion fighting for that honor.

      2. lostsomehwere

        Re: Blackmailed

        According to the Registers article this is what is happened "Investigators reportedly coerced the unemployed dad into cooperating by threatening him with two years in prison away from his children on the easy-to-prove ID theft charges alone" .

        If you go to jail then being away from your children is a statement of fact, I can't see anything about abduction.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Blackmailed

          "

          If you go to jail then being away from your children is a statement of fact

          "

          Yes, which is even more reason why the threat of jail should not be used to elicit testimony against (or for) another person. Nothing a person says as a witness in a different trial should affect whether or not they get sent to prison.

      3. Jaybus

        Re: Blackmailed

        You must be joking. Monsegur is taking the plea bargain, thus admitting his own guilt in the identity thefts. So you are of the opinion that the child is better off with the criminal father. Some might argue that the child would be better off if the criminal father were locked up, but you are entitled to your opinion.

        Also, the FBI doesn't do the bargaining, the prosecution does.

    4. mrobaer

      Re: Blackmailed

      If you're going to do illegal things while being a parent, it is you and you alone who are putting your child at risk, especially when your adversary is known to play hardball.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Blackmailed

        "

        If you're going to do illegal things while being a parent, it is you and you alone who are putting your child at risk, especially when your adversary is known to play hardball.

        "

        Yes - and that's the reason why very few Germans did anything against the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Blackmailed

      The threat to take a kid away from a single father who's accused [and therefore coerced into testimony] sounds as though it's WAY above the jurisdiction of the FBI, and in light of OTHER alleged FBI abuses, currently being investigated by the D.O.J., could eventually work in Assange's (and others') favor. Convictions can be overturned as a result of evidence being declared "inadmissible" due to rights and even procedural violations by police.

      That being said, I'm not really happy with the way Assange is being sought after by our F.B.I. unless the evidence they have is compelling enough to warrant it. So far I haven't heard any, and the media is making this sound like a political hit job. OK the FBI _has_ been informally accused of doing things _like_ "political hit jobs" as well (and is under investigation by the D.O.J.). All this could end up being decided by the U.K. court in Assange's favor, in light of these *kinds* of things.

      I hope Assange isn't extradited. But he's definitely getting his day in court. We shall see. He needs to let his lawyers do the talking and shut up.

      There's just NOT enough information to say anything else about it, in my bombastic opinion.

    6. TireIron

      Re: Blackmailed

      Immediately puts the guys 'evidence' into question as he's giving it under duress/threat.

      I suspect in most cases this would undermine the guys credibility but some how I think the justice systems in all countries involved with Assange will do as its told and look the other way.

    7. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Blackmailed

      Doesn't that fall under duress and all testimony would be inadmissible?

    8. Cliffwilliams44

      Re: Blackmailed

      How can any court trust a guilty plea of a man who was told his children would be targeted and financially ruined if he did not plead to the charges the FBI wanted him to? (Gen. Flynn)

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

    Just in case you are missing it .......

    amanfromMars

    September 9, 2020 at 16:58 .... saying still more on https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/09/your-man-in-the-public-gallery-assange-hearing-day-7/

    The USA is quite adamant in declining to join the ICC, because it would mean USA soldiers could be prosecuted for 'war crimes' in a court outside the control of the USA Supreme Court. ..... Eclectic Man

    Why is the UK entertaining any sort of judicial request from the USA whenever they are so clearly stating their contempt of courts and internationally recognised norms of legal behaviour ....... when the above statement is true.

    It surely more than suggests the UK criminal justice system is fundamentally corrupt, or easily corruptible, with any such proceedings and prosecutions in aid of Uncle Sam being blatant and wilful perversions of justice ?

    Which is not so odd a thing to say and ask whenever today we hear of Boris's gang's intention to break the law with regard to what were thought to be binding agreements with EU partners and unionist supporters over certain contentious and long fought over Brexit matters.

    And let's not even start to consider the Anne Sacoolas/Harry Dunn farce/travesty.

    What on Earth is Blighty doing? Do they not have enough problems they cannot solve?

    J'accuse.

    To Hell in a Handcart springs to mind :-)

    1. cdegroot

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      That is mixing politics and law. There is a legal basis, a current extradition treaty, which spells out on what grounds Assange can be extradited and it's a matter for the courts to interpret existing law.

      The US refusing to sign up for the ICC may be a reason to end the extradition treaty in your view. Then you need to yell at Downing Street 10 and Parliament for that, not at a judge. Separate processes, and be glad for it :)

    2. SotarrTheWizard

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      Why, indeed ? Because it's the law: the 2003 US-UK Extradition Treaty, as ratified by the 2003 Extradition Act, as passed by Parliament, and ratified on the US side by the United States Senate in 2006.

      Extradition treaties and agreements are generally between 2 nations, and "international norms" do not apply.

    3. Joe Gurman

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      In principle, you're right. In practice, whenever anyone who's not chummy with the Chinese or the Russians wants someone with a credible threat of force to do "peacekeeping," it's not Germany or the UK they call, because they remember how everyone in NATO sat on their hands until the US intervened in the former Yugoslavia. If US troops are subject to prosecution for alleged misdeeds in such circumstances, that already singles them out from nearly all other nations in so far as liability goes — almost no one else will do the work.

      So you're left with a choice: no US participation in the ICC, or no US intervention when things get extremely ugly. We saw what happened when the latter option was chosen in Rwanda.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

        "they remember how everyone in NATO sat on their hands ".

        And that includes the US too, or have I missed something regarding NATO.

      2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

        Quite true. There are sound reasons for the USA not to join the ICC, as well as good reasons for them to do so. To ignore either the "pro" or the "con" arguments is simply arguing in bad faith, although reasonable people may conclude that one side outweighs the other and disagree on which!

        But since neither China nor Russia are members, it seems a bit of a contrived accusation that the US isn't a member either.

        Personally, as I understand it, I think the US should join, and should take advantage of the fact that the ICC only acts when the other jurisdictions are unwilling or unable to act. Then accusations against US people could be heard in US courts subject to US laws and US rules of evidence.

        (Accusations against US political leaders would never be heard by the ICC despite grandstanding like efforts to charge Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. Notwithstanding the lofty ideals, the only practical way a head of state gets to stand trial is when he becomes a deposed head of state...)

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....... with Asses in a Nation

          (Accusations against US political leaders would never be heard by the ICC despite grandstanding like efforts to charge Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. Notwithstanding the lofty ideals, the only practical way a head of state gets to stand trial is when he becomes a deposed head of state...) ...... Malcolm Weir

          Malcolm, Hi,

          As populations become smarter and/or better virtually informed and remotely programmed .... more effectively brainwashed ...... why ever would any exclusive status quo establishments, with extant embattled and embittered and enabling powers that be, waste any revealing time and incur any revolving expense on charges and trials whenever there is JFK/Soleimani/Gaddafi option always available for instant resolution.

          You might like to think that is why the MainStreamMedia feeds you so much nonsense and monumental garbage to keep you constantly serially uninformed and undereducated for the ongoing maintenance and retention of the blissfully sunny uplands of the stupid and stupefied. Heaven forbid that one should ever discover how everything works and how everyone is put to work for the greater benefit of just a few.

          However, do yourself a favour and short that putrid stock. It's had its day and is now mortally toxic to both support and hold.

      3. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: remember everyone in NATO sat on their hands until the US intervened in the former Yugoslavia

        Nice remembering! Heard of WWII?

        1. Cliffwilliams44

          Re: remember everyone in NATO sat on their hands until the US intervened in the former Yugoslavia

          What does WWII have to do with NATO and Yugoslavia? The US entered WWII in the Pacific because we were attacked. We entered WWII in Europe because Germany declared war on us.If we had not entered the war in Europe the entire continent would have ended up under Soviet rule with the possible exception of the UK. Europe/NATO has been feckless on most of the conflict post Korea. Was it right for the US to get involved in these conflicts? That is debatable, but many of us here are just done with it.

          1. sed gawk Silver badge

            Re: remember everyone in NATO sat on their hands until the US intervened in the former Yugoslavia

            The Russians gave a generation of blood and treasure to liberate western europe.

            The Americans came a day late (two years) and a dollar short (3.4 Billion in that time)

            They were handsomely paid for their "help".

            The flag flying that liberated berlin was the hammer and sickle.

            Frankly the US was quite sympathetic to the nazi's and only entered the war due to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour, see https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/news-features/declassified-documents/cryptologic-quarterly/pearlharbor.pdf for some interesting discussion on the matter.

            The racism on open display in the US, doesn't point to much in the way of discord with the racism of the Nazi party. For example, red-lining https://ncrc.org/holc/ that map is from 1938, "a federal agency, the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC)"

            It's a federal agency setup to promote the same race based policies the nazi espoused.

            The US has been a force for evil almost throughout it's modern history, it's perfectly represented by Trump, and the "all lives matter" crowd.

            The US also has the seeds of a wonderful ideal, and has given the world much in the way of advancement and improvement to humanity, its people represent a great hopefulness.

            That tension is yet to be resolved, and one hopes the positive will accelerate and outweigh the bad, leaving it just as the history all countries would rather forget.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      https://twitter.com/Jonathan_K_Cook/status/1303596131876831232

      The Guardian. Remember when it wasn't an American aircraft carrier?

    5. jake Silver badge

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      You know the answer to this, amfM. This kind of trolling doesn't behoove you.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Follow Craig Murray for Objective Reporting of the Trial

      because you won't find it in the Mainstream Media.

    7. Cliffwilliams44

      Re: The Much Bigger Picture Show ....

      The ICC is a political organization run by political "anti-American" hacks. Why are they not investigation charges against the Chinese for their criminally negligent handling of the Corona Virus? I am not holding my breath.

      No we will not place ourselves under the authority of this court. If Europe does not like how we do things, then defend yourselves, We are tired of doing it and paying the bills.

      So lets look at the biggest hot spot int he world today, the Middle East. Who is responsible for this situation? Europe! It was not the policies and actions of the US after the 1st and 2nd world wars that created this mess.

      We are tired of cleaning up your messes.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020