EXTRADITION SHOWTRIAL: Julian Assange is a curate’s egg, but Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser is a rotten apple from central barrel casting



In Woolwich Crown Court, a faceless unelected State bully is clubbing the Rule of Law to death


If one is going to “trust” legal institutions that are there to uphold the Rule of Law in favour of citizen and civil rights, then we have to accept that this will include the rights of those with whom we disagree. The unfolding Julian Assange extradition trial is, for me, just such an occurrence.

Let me declare such skin as I have in this game. Pretty much from Day 1, I have judged Mr Assange to have something of a “Martyred Messiah” complex. Listening to his media conferences or speeches (and watching his body language during such events) only confirmed my impression of the bloke as an egotist with dark undertones of narcissism.

But the Law (thank heavens) does not dismiss the rights of such people. Lest we forget, George Orwell defined journalism as follows:

‘The publication of facts that the powerful would rather remained unknown. All the rest is just PR 

The sole case “against” Assange is that he undertook investigative journalism and leaked the output online…..unlike the usual MSM suspects who operate as image consultant bumboys to the Corporacratic State.

So, dear readers, what a few dedicated journalists are witnessing is the trial of George Orwell, aka Julian Assange. So far, things are not going well for either persona.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot is the presiding judge in the US extradition hearings against imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Her appointment in that case provoked widespread outrage because of glaring conflicts of interest caused by her marriage to a former Conservative Party MP with close ties to Britain’s armed forces and intelligence services. She has refused to be replaced (why can’t she be forced?) and has instead maintained an ultra-low profile while handing the UXB to Vanessa Baraitser as the District Judge.

By all accounts, Ms Baraitser has been displaying some bizarre behaviour in Court. This from veteran civil rights defender Craig Murray:

‘In Thursday’s separate hearing on allowing Assange out of the armoured box to sit with his legal team, I witnessed directly that District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling against Assange was brought by her into court BEFORE she heard defence counsel put the arguments, and was delivered by her entirely unchanged.’

Murray goes on to explain convincingly why he was so sure about this. He describes her biased irritation with Assage’s defence team, and asks why a defendant suffering from acute depression is in a glass box. This is a Court picture taken illegally of the arrangements around the glass box:

Other public gallery witnesses confirm the gully that separates JA from legal assistants (bottom right). He has no privacy for consultation, because the SERCO guard remains with him throughout. When such consultation is attempted, Baraitser “interrupts irritably with unwarranted demands to know what is going on” according to another attendee.

Such behaviour is on a par with the Nazi judges who show-trialed the Hitler bomb plotters in 1944. It is an unqualified disgrace – legally unprecedented, and designed purely to humiliate, frighten…and above all, demonstrate merciless State power.

Three questions, it seems to me, are left for every thinking citizen in the light of this charade.

First of all, who on earth is Vanessa Baraitser? Craig Murray refers to her obliquely as ‘this daughter of dissidents from apartheid’. After five weeks of research using every known engine and browser, below is the one family picture I have been able to find of her sibling, Lisa, who is a theatre producer:

Vanessa  is a local magistrates’ Court Judge, and was elevated to such dizzy heights on 13th October 2011. The family were apartheid dissidents in South Africa, and her father is an eminent geneticist. The only picture we have of  Judge Baraitser herself is of her bum getting on a bike after the day’s proceedings. Go to #VanessaBaraitser on Twitter, and you will find every researcher having the same problem: she isn’t on any social media, she doesn’t have a driving licence, she appears to have a sibling working for the media in Berlin. That’s it.

The family are card-carrying North London Metrochic Leftlibs. But only VB is The Woman Who Never Was. Which obviously makes one suspect a security connection – with her operating on the quintessential Leftlib principle of declaring her verdict before she has heard the evidence.

With or without her Seven Veils, what Baraitser presents us with is a clear, classic example of State skulduggery being undertaken without fear of mass investigation, because this pokey, obscure Courtroom in a dingy London suburb is of no interest at all to Britain’s mainstream media, all of whom are studiously looking away down the wrong end of a capped-off telescope.

They’re thus not there to see, in the body of the Court, a lot of space being taken up with US officials perpetually prompting the prosecution with information and handing papers around. Baraitser views this with benign interest, oblivious to the fact that Assange himself cannot do such things: she allegedly said at one point “he could always shout”. Despite repeated allegations of solitary confinement, strip searches and other aggressive humiliations visited upon the Wikileaks founder while in custody, Vanessa Baraitser declares such things as external to her remit.

All in all between Arbuthnot and Baraitser, there is a fair degree of Pontius Pilate hygiene going on. (Handwashing is very important during a virus crisis…especially when the virus is CovertMI6-19). But both women are outclassed by the mainstream press, SkyNews, and the BBC.

Secondly, the last time I looked, Australia was a founder-member of the British Commonwealth, and Assange himself a citizen of that country. I suspect the idea of extraditing an Australian citizen from Britain to a country of which he is not a citizen is something of a first. But as always, America gets what it wants….be that a dead foreign minister, a “suicidal” civil servant fond of rusty penknives, or a war against WOMD that don’t exist.

I should like to ask why, indeed, we have any right in international law to extradite Assange to anywhere other than Australia. In March last year (2019) the Aussies issued Julian Assange with a new passport. This is not something that countries who believe their nationals are dangerous enough to put into glass cages do. On the whole. As it were.

When asked later why they didn’t want to get involved with the Assange extradition, the Canberra government said in Parliament, “We are not able to interfere in the legal processes of any foreign government”. But if they issued the passport, then they do not see JA as a threat – and thus Britain is interfering in the legal processes of a Commonwealth government.

While this is Canberra hedging its bets so as to remain populist – but well away from a deadly game of pass the parcel – I’m amazed at how little has been made of this (in my experience) unique willingness by Number 10 to accede to the extradition of a Commonwealth citizen regarded as innocent by his homeland.

Finally – and for me this is more important than everything else put together – the one tradition we do have enshrined in our extradition Law is a refusal almost always of any extradition request where there is a political and/or illegal motive.

Assange filled a gap left by the missing teeth of docile mass media lapdogs. In doing so, he may well have endangered US lives – but as they were free choice  human beings engaged in nefarious activities of which Congress knew next to nothing (and the voters even less) blaming Assange for endangering them is not unlike saying Eliot Ness endangered the livelihoods of the O’Banion Mob by cracking down on bootlegging.

Julian Assange is an open government activist pursuing his chosen profession. We either believe in free speech, ethical foreign policies and a world without totalitarian hegemony, or we don’t. He will almost certainly be extradited, and that will represent yet another reason why this image has been on The Slog’s home page since Day 1:

Footnote: Only a fool or an ideologue would be blind towards the overwhelming preponderance of hard Left sites with a less than libertarian agenda campaigning for the release of Julian Assange. Such venues are almost without exception riddled with inaccuracies, false accusations and assumptions that violence ‘is OK so long as it’s our violence’.

I wish to make it clear that The Slog remains a pacifist, mutual capitalist site rejecting all dictatorial ideologies and religions, whose sole agenda is the maximisation of the fulfilment and freedom of all citizens on Earth.