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Friday 2 October 2020

Julian Assange And BBC Non-Coverage

After much delay, and with its subject having been imprisoned for what appears to be no good reason all the while, the extradition trial of Wikileaks man Julian Assange began last month. On September 7, the BBC reported thatWikileaks co-founder Julian Assange appeared in the dock at London's Old Bailey as his fight against extradition to the US resumed … If convicted in the US, he faces a possible penalty of 175 years in jail”.

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.

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Anonymous said...

I've been following the trial through Craig Murray's blog, as he has been in attendence every day. There has been some proper shady shit going on... have a read of yesterday's post. https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Gav said...

Craig Murray has been posting very detailed reports on each day of the hearing. It's disturbing reading.

AndyC said...

The help Assange gave to Trump, and his dealings nearer home with Farage, make it very difficult for me to feel any sympathy for him, irrespective of anything Wikileaks may have done in the public interest in pre-Trump days.

Anonymous said...

Your main guy for daily Assange trial stuff continues to be Craig Murray, https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/, and I suggest anyone interested in the trial read Mr Murray's reports

Anonymous said...

The Julian Assange kangaroo court is a prime example of corrupt collusion between Britain and the USA.

Yet another is allowing the escape of the CIA agent Sacoolas after she killed Harry Dunn.

To say nothing of invasions and mass murders of innocents in the East, destruction of nations, and creation of millions of refugees.

Given all of that, it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that Julian Assange is going to end up in an urfascist privatised Yank Gulag.

One day history is going to present an invoice for this deliberately organised murdering evil. And guess who'll have to pay it.......

Anonymous said...

The extradition treaty that the UK signed with the USA is one-sided and gives the US Government the right to snatch from Britain almost anyone they choose. The court in the UK is just going through a fa├žade and the Assange defence team will need a miracle if they can get a ruling in their favour.