Today UN Special Rapporteur for Torture Niels Melzer published the response by the UK government to his report on Julian Assange of 31st of May 2019.
Dear Mr Melzer,
The Government rejects any allegation that Julian Assange has been subjected to torture in any form as a result of actions by the UK Government. The UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture for any purpose. The United Kingdom does not accept that Mr Assange was ever arbitrarily detained; he was free to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy at any time. Mr Assange has been convicted under English law of failing to surrender to custody following due legal process. Judges in the UK are completely impartial and independent from Government. They hear cases based on the evidence presented and in accordance with the law. Mr Assange was legally represented at the hearing and chose not to give or call evidence on his behalf. The detailed sentencing remarks of the District Judge were published on the judicial website and fully explain the decision process. Mr Assange did not appeal his conviction and has withdrawn his appeal against his sentence.
The sentencing remarks mentioned in the UK government’s report are published here: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/sentencing-remarks-assange-010519.pdf
But those of us who attended the hearing at Southwark Crown Court know that District Judge Taylor shown her bias against Julian Assange during her reading out from a pre-prepared text her sentencing remarks.
Because in her original sentencing statement she repeated the most common falsehood about Julian Assange, that he had been charged in Sweden. Only after he interrupted to correct her, and after she completed reading her remarks, did she correct herself that he had not been charged.
I have uploaded the complete Southwark Crown Court transcript which I obtained this week here: 1174027_R v Assange_Sentence_01.05.19 (1).
Here is the relevant section where she repeats the most common falsehood about Julian Assange:
JUDGE TAYLOR: Mr Julian Assange on 11 April 2019 you were convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for an offence under Section 61 of the Bail Act 1976 and committed to this court for sentence. On 24 February 2011 the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ordered your extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual offences including one charge of rape.
THE DEFENDANT: Excuse me, My Lady, I was not charged [inaudible].
And here is where she corrects herself in the end:
JUDGE TAYLOR: […] Just to go back to the beginning, it is right that you were not facing charges but allegations of sexual offending.
End of Sentence
How could a judge make such a common error in a statement prepared in advance and merely read out at court? She obviously could not have studied the case background but wrote down what came strongly into her mind from her own bias opinion.
The media reporting on this case has been abysmal for years repeatedly repeating that Julian Assange has been charged in Sweden. They hold a responsibility in creating cultural bias against Julian Assange by spreading falsehoods, Since his arrest I have filed 8 complaints against the BBC alone misreporting the Swedish allegations as charges. They corrected four articles on their website, they refused to correct four more on the basis that I took more than 30 days to report their error. The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, everyone is doing it for years creating a bias against Julian Assange that is extremely hard to resist.
When will this abuse with its devastating results going to end?