WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange, 47 appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court late on Thursday, after his questionable arrest, there was a packed press bench and the public gallery was full.
Whilst waiting for his legal team he sat reading Gore Vidal’s History Of The National Security State.
District Judge Michael Snow said in a shock remark, “If they are much longer, I will have to ask security to go and get them.”
Representing the US government James Hines told judge Snow he was arrested with two warrants; Hines said the US government issued in December 2017 an extradition warrant.
The Magistrates heard police officers arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge at 9.15am, they were met by the ambassador.
Hine said, “He indicated he was preparing to serve upon Mr Assange documentation revoking his asylum.
“Officers tried to introduce themselves to him [Assange] in order to execute the arrest warrant before he barged past them, attempting to return to his private room.
“He was eventually arrested at 10.15am.
“He resisted that arrest, claiming ‘this is unlawful’ and he had to be restrained.
“Officers were struggling to handcuff him. They received assistance from other officers outside and he was handcuffed saying, ‘this is unlawful, I’m not leaving’.
“He was in fact lifted into the police van outside the embassy and taken to West End Central police station.”
The court was told the US requested Assange’s extradition as it is alleged, by the US government he conspired with Chelsea Manning to download confidential files.
The court then read out the charge of failing to surrender to custody on 29 June 2012.
He entered a plea of “not guilty” however, in a moment of confusion Assange was then informed he was charged under a different section of the Bail Act.
To which Assange was asked, do you still deny the charge he said, I’m a bit curious as to why there’s been this sudden change.”
Laughter was heard, and the judge said, “The computer produced the wrong section.”
Walker said his defence of “reasonable excuse” in parts relies on the claim Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot was biased towards Assange when she previously dealt with the case.
The husband Lord Arbuthnot was directly impacted by WikiLeaks activity.
The judge who clearly looked angry and bizarrely said it was “unacceptable” for Walker to air the claim in front of a “packed press gallery.”
He said, “This is grossly unfair and improper to do it just to ruin the reputation of a senior and able judge in front of the press.”
Judge Snow found Assange guilty of breaching the Bail Act and said, “He has chosen not to give evidence, he has chosen to make assertions about a senior judge not having the courage to place himself before the court for the purpose of cross-examination.
“Those assertions made through counsel are not evidence as a matter of law.
“I find they are not capable of amounting to a reasonable excuse.”
Judge Snow said Assange’s defence is “laughable” and he added, “Mr Assange’s behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.
He hasn’t come close to establishing ‘reasonable excuse’.
“His behaviour through his counsel is shameful.”
Remanding Assange to custody Snow added, “This is a case which merits the maximum sentence, which is 12 months in the Crown Court.”
Shockingly, Snow barked, and suggested Assange should “get over to the US” and “get on with your life.” However, Assange was in court to receive sentencing for breaching the Bail Act.
WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson spoke to a waiting pack of reporters, photographers and camera operators she said, “Anyone who wants the press to be free should consider the implications of this case.
“If they will extradite a journalist to the US then no journalist will be safe. This must stop. This must end.”