A number of supporters visited Westminster Magistrates Court to attend the proceedings at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday the 18th of November where Julian Assange was presented to the judge as part of an Administrative hearing. We experienced the same tension in attending the hearing due to the limited number of seats available at the public gallery which only had 13 seats. Many people who had come to attend the court and witness proceedings were disappointed as they were unable to proceed into the public gallery creating an atmosphere of stress and competition among supporters. Having been familiar with the injustice created due to the lack of space our own group was queing outside the court since 8 am at least and that is why around 10 of us including Julian’s father John Shipton were able to enter the public gallery. Others who arrived after 8am were bitterly disappointed. Wsws who attended the court hearing report here:
When District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, appointed by Chief Magistrate Lady Emma Arbuthnot, asked the prosecution and defence if they had anything to bring before the court, Assange’s lawyer Gareth Peirce explained that her legal team was working “extremely hard on this very challenging case.”
“However,” she continued, “the most important of the impediments that we are facing is Mr Assange’s ability to access what he needs to work on his own case. After months of battle he was provided with a computer, but it is not the sort of computer needed to work on the case.”
In an interview given to the PA news agency, a member of Assange’s legal team explained the computer is unlikely to have Internet access needed to carry out research. The denial of Assange’s legal right to access materials necessary to prepare his own defence—including a computer, case-related documents and members of his legal team—has been raised repeatedly and greeted with contempt by judicial authorities.
On Monday, Baraitser callously replied to Peirce, “as you are aware, I have no jurisdiction over the prison estate.’’ In other words, the British ruling class has no intention of providing even the appearance of a fair trial. Peirce’s comment about the inadequacy of Assange’s computer access is only the latest in a long list of judicial outrages against Assange’s legal and democratic rights.
Ruptly covered the event here:
and EF Press reported an update here:
Next Administrative hearing 13th of December. Next Case Management hearing 19 December. Both at Westminster Magistrates Court.