The US may have to come up with yet another last-minute, bogus indictment in Julian Assange’s extradition proceeding. From Craig Murray at consortiumnews.com:
Thordarson was always the most unreliable of witnesses, and it seems impossible to believe FBI cooperation with him was ever any more than deliberate fabrication of evidence by the FBI, says Craig Murray.
On the final day of the Assange extradition hearing, magistrate Vanessa Baraitser refused to accept an affidavit from Assange’s solicitor Gareth Peirce, on the grounds it was out of time. The affidavit explained that the defense had been unable to respond to the new accusations in the United States government’s second superseding indictment, because these wholly new matters had been sprung on them just six weeks before the hearing resumed on Sept. 8, 2020.
The defense had not only to gather evidence from Iceland, but had virtually no access to Assange to take his evidence and instructions, as he was effectively in solitary confinement in Belmarsh. The defense had requested an adjournment to give them time to address the new accusations, but this adjournment had been refused by Baraitser.
She now refused to accept Gareth Peirce’s affidavit setting out these facts.
What had happened was this. The hearings on the Assange extradition in January 2020 did not seem to be going well for the U.S. government. The arguments that political extradition is specifically banned by the UK/U.S. extradition treaty, and that the publisher was not responsible for Chelsea Manning’s whistleblowing on war crimes, appeared to be strong. The U.S. Justice Department had decided that it therefore needed a new tack and to discover some “crimes” by Assange that seemed less noble than the Manning revelations.