Cross-posting with permission from from her Facebook Post.
I was one of the people who witnessed Julian Assange appeareance in court on 21 Oct 2019
By CLAUDIA M CUARTAS F WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019
Sitting among us were: John Pilger (journalist and film maker), Kristinn Hrafnsson (Wikileaks editor-in-chief), Ken Livingstone (former Mayor of London), Craig Murray (former British ambassador and human rights activist), Vaughan Smith (Front Line Club founder), Eileen Chubb (Compassion in Care founder) and Emmy Butlin (Committee to Defend Julian Assange).
Julian appeared dressed in an acceptable suit, clean shaved and his white hair combed back. But I could clearly see how exhausted and emaciated he was, his back was bent, he was hunchbacked, his head practically sinking between his shoulders…he looked like a very old and tired man, his prematurely aged face was filled with deep sadness, his swollen eyes were holding back tears… He had difficulty speaking, his lips were trembling when talking…It was heartbreaking seeing Julian’s deplorable physical and mental state.
When he saw us raising our arms to show him we were there supporting him, he gratefully managed to raise his arm back to us. “Judge” Vanessa Baraitser totally disliked our action and made us strongly aware of that, stating in a very authoritarian way that anyone causing any disturbance will be removed (She is the same judge who decided on 13 Sep 2019 to keep Julian in prison after he finished his minor bail breach sentence). Then when asked, Julian struggled to mention his name and age…
It was bit difficult to hear what the lawyers and the judge were saying as there were glass barriers between their lounge and the room we were sitting and the microphones were not loud enough. there were also glass barriers between them and the adjacent room where Julian was.
I easily realised how judge Baraitser was visibly attentive with the US prosecution team, while showing apathetic gestures towards Julian and his defense team. Later I confirmed this when I read various articles stating that judge Baraitser had refused to grant the defence lawyers more time to gather evidence of the criminal case ongoing in Spain where alleged agents for the US government are accused of spying on Julian’s computers and telephones as he talked to his legal team within the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Baraitser refused this after the US prosecution team opposed a delay, it was obvious seeing how this “judge” was following and applying all instructions dictated by the US prosecution team and this in fact, showed their eagerness to have Julian extradited as soon as possible to the US.
But the worst of all was seeing Julian so confused and disorientated at the end of the hearing, his head and mind were definitely not well, when asked if he had understood what had happened in court, he replied “Not really” and he struggled to explain the extremely unfair position he is and why he was feeling so helpless at battling this case due to the very limited resources he has and the difficult place he is. He also desperately with a faint voice, was mentioning something about fear and his psychologist, probably that he needed more psychological help..as I sadly remember him also saying he can remember things and is unable to think properly…Then seeing “judge” Baraitser taking all his pain in such cold and uncaring way, replying that the conditions of his detainment had nothing to do with that hearing and if he didn’t understand his lawyers will explain later, was even more shocking!
While this was happening, I also saw Isabell (a German girl who was sitting next to me) shaking in tears…so holding back my tears, I took her hands and in this way we were both able to stand those agonizing last moments in that place.