In March Julian Assange’s legal team applied for Bail as Covid has imposed huge risks on the prison population. The WikiLeaks publisher had a new champion in his bail application, his partner Stella Morris who revealed that the ordeal of the embassy years had a silver lining. Julian and Stella formed a union and had two beautiful children. The UK’s media covered the news with the usual lack of care and at least one complaint was filed in an effort to correct the record in the Julian Assange case.
I read a story by Jedidajah Otte, ‘Release Julian Assange says woman who had two children….’ on 12 April 2020 that contained factual errors which I would be grateful if you could check and if so, correct the record and publish the corrections.
In paragraph 4 Otte states ‘Julian Assange is being held in Belmarsh……where he is serving a 50 week jail term for violating his bail conditions….’ this incorrect. Julian Assange served 25 weeks for the bail charges and should have been released 22 Sept 2019 but for denial of bail on US charges and continued detention on remand with being a flight risk of the highest order according to a magistrate, Judge Baraitser (& others). Judge Elizibeth Taylor who sentenced Assange to 50 weeks at Southwalk Crown Court stated: ‘you would fall to be released after serving half of the sentence‘.
After serving half his sentence Assange was due to be released on 22 Sept. 2019 but on the 13 Sept. at Westminster Magistrates court Judge Baraister told him via video-link, ‘….your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end. When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition’ As reported by the Guardian.
In paragraph 4: ‘he is wanted for questioning over the activities of Wikileaks and likely facing espionage charges.’
The questioning stage passed a decade ago. Julian is being charged, not questioned: 17 Espionage Act 1917 charges and one conspiracy to commit computer intrusion violation totalling 175 years detention. The Virginia Court has a very high conviction rate on Espionage Act cases and is ‘most likely’ to make no exception in Julian’s case.
Thank you for taking time to consider this correction,
Yours Faithfully, Joe Brack
On 13th of June 2020 Joe sent a follow up e-mail as he had heard nothing back. This time he heard back very quickly and the result was great!
Dear Joe Brack, thank you for your email.
Please accept my apologies for this delayed response. I can find no record of us having recieved your email from 28 April.
I have looked into the queries you raise, and as a consequence have amended some text in the article you cite.
Assange was sentenced to a jail term of 50 weeks, so though the judge did indicate that release could come earlier, the text was not wrong to state the 50-week sentence. I have however amended the text to remove the allusion that, at the time of publication, Assange was still serving this original sentence.
I have also amended the sentence referring to the US charges because, as you say, indictments had already been served.
A footnote has been added to the article to explain the changes.
With best wishes,
Guardian readers’ editor’s office
Indeed a note has been inserted at the end of the article: ‘This article was amended on 15 June 2020 to clarify details of Julian Assange’s imprisonment at HMP Belmarsh, and to make clear that he has been indicted by the US courts on espionage charges.’
Joe says: “It appears that the readers’ editor is doing their job in this instance and I am grateful for the correction. It is always worth pursuing even minor inconsistencies/errors which support the Security State narrative against Julian Assange. As the Guardian OZ has demonstrated recently, there are a few editors/journalists who do fact check and investigate.”
So grateful for people who take time and make the effort to correct the record in the Julian Assange!
Thank you Joe!