The Beeb also told that “During Monday's hearing, the court heard Mr Assange, an Australian national, was re-arrested minutes earlier on a new indictment issued in June … Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Mr Assange, said he had not seen his client in person for six months in part due to the pandemic - and he told the court the latest indictment had been made ‘at the 11th hour’ without warning”. That sounded worrying.
And there was more. “But a bid to rule out the new charges failed, with District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruling they must be heard in the context of the extradition request … A separate request for an adjournment to allow Mr Assange's lawyers to respond to the new charges was also refused”. That alone merited close attention being paid to proceedings.
So it was that some did indeed pay close attention to proceedings, with James Doleman (for instance) Live-Tweeting each day of the trial (see his Twitter feed HERE). From his reporting we know that proceedings have been adjourned, Assange has been taken back to Belmarsh Prison, and the Judge will give her verdict on January 4 next year.
But that information appears to have passed the BBC by. Their report in early September was their last to date. Not so, for instance, the Guardian, which has reported on aspects of the case twice this month already. Nor the Independent, which has reported that Assange would be housed at an infamous Supermax prison if extradited. Even the Daily Mail has been carrying regular updates on the trial. So the BBC has no excuses.
Now, Julian Assange may have been an enormous pain in the neck in his dealings with parts of the media, even those who have been sympathetically disposed towards him, and the Wikileaks material he allegedly facilitated may have helped Combover Crybaby Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential Election, but journalism is not terrorism. Nor is acting in a way that makes the spooks uncomfortable.
Journalism also means reporting openly, and not selectively: as Media Lens has pointed out, the BBC had a reporter at the trial every day. But there have been no further reports. Not even one on the final adjournment of the case yesterday. It’s not as if the Beeb does not have the means for their court reporter to put out updates, even if only online.
After all, the Corporation has managed in the meantime to profile Assange, and his partner. So they could - and should - have reported on his extradition trial.
The BBC needs to stop running scared of the Tories and their pals in the press - and start doing what we pay the licence fee for. Like reporting the news. Hint.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at