Today was Day 3 of Julian’s resumed extradition hearing in London. Outside the courtroom, advocates are demanding transparency in the hearings, and Assange Defense co-chairs Noam Chomsky and Alice Walker published a powerful critique of the media’s unfocused coverage of the case.
In court, it was a day of expert testimony and some dramatic moments. Witnesses clashed with the prosecution on press freedom and the Trump administration’s politically motivated war on journalists.
Morning Session: Dr. Paul Rogers on Julian’s Politics and the Threat WikiLeaks’ Poses to Government Secrecy and Corruption
Paul Rogers, an Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University in the U.K. testified in the morning about Julian’s political stances and “how they factor into the Trump administration’s prosecution” decisions. According to Dr. Rogers, Julian is not a political partisan, but someone committed to transparency and accountability — because of this, the Trump administration views him as a threat.
Afternoon Session: Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Trevor Timm Calls Out Trump Administration’s Bias
Trevor Timm, award-winning author and Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, took the stand this afternoon. Journalist Kevin Gosztola reports that Timm was a strong witness who pushed back on the prosecution’s aggressive questions. Timm addressed Trump’s war on journalism and challenged the prosecutor by arguing that the U.S. Justice Department is politically oriented. Timm insisted that it is not up to the prosecution to decide who is and is not a journalist, and that the government should not be determining whether the media’s editorial judgments are “sound or not.” That would radically rewrite the First Amendment.
Overall, it was a compelling day of testimony, with multiple court watchers praising the witnesses and noting that prosecutor James Lewis has become increasinglyfrustrated. We’ll have more for you tomorrow as we continue to follow the hearings. Be sure to check out our full coverage of today’s hearing, our live blog and hearing coverage from Courage Foundation’s Director Nathan Fuller. You can also find real-time updates on Twitter.