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Julian Assange's last stand

The Signal

20:21 min | 7 months ago

Julian Assange's last stand

"This is an ABC podcast after years of legal maneuvering the. Us is finally making its case in court to drag. Julian assange to American soil where he could face up to one hundred and seventy five years in prison. I'm Angelov WOK. Yeah I'm Stephen Stockwell down the signal. The wikileaks founders last ditch efforts to stay out of the. Us sorry the US has been after. Julian assange for a very long time ever since two thousand ten really when wikileaks started dumping classified material implicating. Us forces in various kinds of wrongdoing in the Iraq and Afghanistan the White House lasting the release of over ninety thousand US military records on the war in Afghanistan. This is the largest leak well. This isn't a wiki leak. This is a wiki Torah. Us military's secret. Afghanistan warlords provide the most revealing picture of the conflict so far wikileaks website released. Nearly four hundred thousand secret files on the Iraq war. Today it was the largest leak of intelligence leak in History Hillary Clinton Secretary of state in the diplomatic firestorm with wikileaks revealing a directive from Clinton for US diplomats at the United Nations to spy on their counterparts and they might finally be about to get their hands on him depending on what happens in an extradition hearing which starts tonight in the meantime massages wedding out in London's Mush prison where to Australian politicians paid him a visit last Tuesday. We'll is a pretty recode. I think the Scots would say It was very cold showers around. You know that was dame. It was a very. It was very typically London winters die. The buildings went gripe they seemed gray and I it was all very golomb and An Sheila SPLICE I. I couldn't imagine what it's like driving up there as a prisoner. Who's about to go into detention they so independent? Mp Entry Rookie. He's one of a handful of Australian politicians who are pushing to have assange released. He went to Belmarsh with George. Christianson LIBERAL-NATIONAL MP from North Queensland the itself Very big and very imposing Of SEEN IN VAIN INTO PRISONS IN A strike but this one was particularly foreboding An odd hood said that it's actually easier to break out a bill Marston to break in particular Julian assange at the weather and the dampness An all the warnings I've been given out All the security checks. It's frankly it's it's. It's not scary. But it's very wanting just to get from the car park Through the little building Leah. Trump tweet belongs. Put a lock in through all that security chicks X. Rice and that's a good half an hour or so of security just to get through. When you first have Roy I take fingerprint and I put some sort of stamp on the Becky Ham. But you can't see and I must have to put my thumb. Sorry my finger in a fingerprint reader. At least half a dozen times There was the X. Rise. There was a frisk There was a point we had to stand on a daughter and I and I suppose a drug dog fifty over took about half navigating but eventually I did along with mark companion travelling companion Philo Impeachable Christensen. Once he got through that process. Where do you end up in curiously? You end up in a very large room quite a cavernous room with rows all six seats where quoted large number of prisoners. I'm going on. And how many probably a couple of dozen prisoners all meet with visitors simultaneously but as a result of semi people in the one room. It's all my son. Noisy. You can't hear it. Almost by design might be uncomfortable with the noise and the complete lack of privacy and Julie. Well we arrived about twenty minutes after the start of the visiting time thinking. Oh in Julian's been waiting for us for I just but there's not Julian all the other prisoners are in there All the other visitors are in there and Georgian are just sitting on Allen towards the corner of these cavernous room and we had to white at least twenty minutes maybe a little bit more for Julian escorted in and I'm an. I'm told by the legal team that that is quite commonplace that Julian is treated very differently to the other prisoners. And it's quite normal full. Business have to white for him to be escorted in lost and for him consequently to have much less time with visitors. When did you first see him? I think Georgia's looking in a slightly different direction. Mean he saw him. I any modesty something. Go here or here as well. He comes Julian so swing around and for the first time I get to see. Julian assange who had a hick and he'd had to Shave. He looked what will groomed and clean cut. Nothing like the How we saw him in the photo is when he was hustled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy. It was obviously delighted to see if he was absolutely stoked and he gave us a good thin handshake. Then we sat down and got to work. What did you talk about well? The first thing was defined yet he he state of Hilton Mugabe. And the conditions of incarceration says. There was a lot of talk about how he was traveling feeling after wall. I mean we started to talk more about the issue And the case and the merits of his of his team's arguments zone perhaps Jillian feel about the extradition hearing about to stop all. He's obviously Amanda under enormous pressure. Low he he. He's obviously confident of that. He's a waste on the right thing you know. I think he's confident that They've got a great good case to make he smart enough and chided enough to know that it's not that simple knows his as an intensely political and It's impossible to guess how he will fare. You're right now. He's not a Rod Now I'm not A. I'm not a doctor or psychologist. I couldn't do a medical assistant and at capacity interview. He seemed to be holding up pretty well but every now and then you just get a glimpse into him. There'd be times when he'd be talking quite lucidly seeming to be traveling well and they just stop any clauses is a lowery's hated hated his hands and he'd be solid for the wall as he's trying to sort of get strength back. How did that meeting end where we we're all? Well Georgia constantly looking at the clock. Thinking running at a time it ended very very abruptly too abruptly We stood up and Julian Guy Jewish Christians. How many shook my head brushed. It was very actually caught a a very personal moment and then Georgia. I walked across joined his cue to to get fingerprints. Tyco will read again and and let out and and I looked across and Julia was still sitting in his chair and gave me the the clinch. Feast that you'll stay strongly. He'll keep voting so this fight is about to come to ahead. The extradition hearing runs all this week before it goes into racists until May and there have been some last minute twists. Yes what we now know. Is that assange was pitched a deal back in two thousand seventeen offering to drop the. Us extradition case is also being confirmation over the weekend that his meetings with his lawyers were being secretly illegally recorded. So we called Matt. Bevin to find out what that means for the extradition case he's the host of Russia if you're listening and a reporter on our breakfast. What we know is that a this is coming from both sides of this conversation. So a Republican congressman. Who is now not in office anymore? But while he was still in office went to the Ecuadorian Embassy and meet with assange and his lawyers and had a chat about various things and during the course of the conversation. He said that if assange can prove that it was not Russia and that it was someone else who middled in the two thousand sixteen presidential election then Donald Trump would pardon him so the specific Russian interference. That asandra being asked away was the hack on the Democrats in two thousand sixteen the DNC hack was basically group. The mall report says involved Russian military. Hackers breaking into the National Committee's email and documents server which apparently wasn't all that difficult for them because security was roughly equivalent to the security. You'd have at a second hand furniture shop over the email system. It seems to have been very easy for them to get in there. They stole stuff over a period of several months and then leaked to wikileaks. Gave it to. Julian assange for him to disseminate There was also a separate fishing attack. Biologically an email was sent to Clinton's campaign manager. John Podesta which said hey change your password by clicking this button and through more incompetence they did do that and they got access to all of John Podesta's emails and the guy goes to wikileaks as well for him to disseminate the argument. That people who don't think it was Russia make is that it wasn't them it was that disgruntled DNC staffer a democratic basically decided that he didn't like the way things are going the that he would steal the documents and send it to. Julian assange for him to disseminate. So that was the deal or the supposed deal off and in seventeen that assange needed to come out and say it wasn't the Russians. It was an inside job and both sides agree on the substance of the deal that was signed lawyer Jennifer Robinson and the former Republican Senator Dinero Rebecca but where it gets complicated is the question of whether the US government had anything to do with it. Rohrabacher says that trump didn't send me and the various various news stories. That have come out over the last nearly three years that since this happened. Indicates that he's probably right about that. He's probably telling the truth and the reason for that his story in two thousand eighteen that said that robot kept trying to organize a meeting with Donald Trump to talk about Julian assange and the theme. What has chief of Staff John? Kelly basically was blocking the door standing in the doorway going. No no no. You can't come. You know no. We'd rather you didn't go in and talk to the president so it's very possible that data rebecca was You know Acting ride acting road. Not What is the White House said about this allegation yes so then? What has said that? We didn't talk to Roebuck. He was a Acting on his own accord we don't know who he is. I know he is basically that. He wasn't acting upon our behalf and to be honest While the White House says many many things that are not true This is possibly not one of them. So let's just say for argument's sake just for a moment that the deal was a real off I it was. It was made in good faith schorr. Insofar as that term applies why would assange not have accepted this? Well there's two possible reasons. What one or the other will seem more likely to your depending on whether you think that. Russia intervened in the election if you think that Russia was the one that intervened in the election than the reason that assange couldn't take the deal is because he doesn't have any proof he can't prove it didn't happen because it did so that's one option the other option is if Roy Meller and the FBI and everyone who was investigated. These are wrong and in fact it was a disgruntled. Dmc staffer. Then assange probably couldn't take the deal either because that would be giving up his source. Okay so this deal may not have been faked that Julian assange didn't or couldn't take any way is out in the open and the timing right before the extradition hearing is very deliberate to prove that the prosecution of Julian Assange is purely a political thing if donald trump the president of the United States was willing to let assange go drop all charges against him an issue him a pardon if he did something for trump. Did something that you know. That trump wanted him to do then. That is a pretty strong argument that this is just a political prosecution and that it becomes convinced that it's purely politics and that there's no you know the US government or not actually that serious about the crimes that they allege Selena Simmons to have committed than they might be less likely to allow him to be extradited because they could see him more as a political prisoner rather than as an actual national security breaching criminal and on top of that we found out yesterday. Julian assange is meetings with lawyers illegally. Record it yes. This is a story that has been bubbling along for a while. Really about the security firm. Uc global so Spanish. Investigators have been looking into allegations that that company which had the contract for security in TV in the Ecuadorian embassy was passing on recordings from inside the embassy to the parties and they uncovered some fairly a concerning. Let's say things about this company that potentially the company was recording information about Julian assange recording his conversations potentially in addition to their usual cameras that you would install in any embassy. They were also installing. Secret microphones reportedly was hidden in a fire. Extinguisher in room assange often held meetings him. Initially the report was that they were trying to sell it online to the highest bidder. But there's also speculation. I haven't seen solid proof yet but that could just be because it's not quite out yet that the information may have been handed over to the CIA at some point I either deliberately or the CIA took it. Somehow we're certain that they secretly recalled the meetings. This is there's video available in the SEC website. Y What isn't established beyond reasonable. Doubt is what happened to that information beyond it a funding its way into the hands of the AC. The it's not quite clear with the CIA. Evidently handle that information. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't but at the moment we're sort of talking about all was accessed these from American Ip addresses and that sort of thing which is concerning but not necessarily not quite smoking gun just yet okay and does this. News have any bearing on the extradition hearing that is about to take place. Ooh maybe maybe not. I mean if the US have been able to hear all of Sanjay's legal strategies before him then they may unfairly be able to prepare counterarguments however really be up to the court to decide how to deal with this if it can be shown that the US government has obtained the secret recordings. I mean you can imagine that assange is legal team will want to exploit both of the I guess new developments that we've already spoken about but more generally what's their strategy for fighting this extradition. What's the argument? The ARGUMENT IS TWOFOLD. One is that this is a political prosecution. Sange is a journalist who is being prosecuted because he did something that the. Us government didn't like that's one and the other is that will argue that the UK shouldn't release assigned to the US because the US going to trade him in a cruel and unusual way and therefore they shouldn't let him go there. Those are the two main arguments that they've been setting themselves up for a basically ever since and was arrested. So is there any clue as to how this is going to shake down or? Is it just anyone's guess? At this point it is anyone's guess but the one sort of wild card here was kind of exposed over the last couple of weeks when to Australian. Mp's including Andrew Wilkie went over and so having conversation with British Politicians Journey Corbin the soon to be ex British opposition leader. Boris Johnson and said. Look you know we need to consider whether this is a fair deal that assigned is getting is the is the US UK extradition arrangement. A reasonable one doesn't need to be reviewed and the interesting thing was that Boris Johnson didn't Swat this away and go. No no no of course. We're entirely onboard. Everything he's doing he said well. Maybe it is. Maybe there is a problem with this. Maybe there is some sort of issue with the way that we exchanged prisoners with the United States. And that was a big surprise. And the thing is that you know entirely unrelated to Julian ASSANGE CASE. There is a whole separate extradition. Fight going on with between the US and the UK and that is over this basically a diplomatic person with diplomatic immunity. Killed a young motorcyclist in a hit and run in northern England and then the person diplomatic immunity fled the country and the UK. Really wants to get this woman back but the Americans are going on on. No diplomatic immunity. She's she's here now. So maybe you could just leave that alone and ignore that. Don't do that. Don't don't force it. Come back over here. Which means that suddenly the UK wants something from the US. And I have something the US wants so you never know whether that might actually play into this. This may be a bit of a wildcard into this proceeding. That's the signal. If you do want to get in touch with meals stocky both on twitter. We also have an email the signal at ABC dot net. And we'll be back with you tomorrow so you've been you've been listening to an ABC podcast. Discover more great apes. Podcasts live radio and exclusives on the ABC Listen Up.

Julian assange Us Donald Trump Ecuadorian Embassy Georgia wikileaks Russia ABC London Hillary Clinton UK Afghanistan Iraq DNC Roy Meller Stephen Stockwell wikileaks ABC Senator Dinero Rebecca