I had the pleasure of doing Al Jazeera’s ‘Inside Story’ programme yesterday on Julian Assange’s positively pontifical balcony scene at the Ecuadorian Embassy the other day. I was at pains to point out that:
1 – Listening to Mr Assange a stranger to the case would never have got the impression that he had skipped bail in order to avoid being questioned on serious sexual assault allegations made by two women in Sweden.
2 – Even if the US government were interested in Wikileaks it would not constitute a ‘witch hunt’ but rather a legitimate investigation into the stealing and publishing of secret government communiques. Witches do not exist. Someone who stole those cables does.
Anyhow – I was joined by the excellent Khawar Qureshi QC, an expert in international law at McNair Chambers in London. And also by a man called Anthony Timmons who is described as ‘an activist and pro-Assange campaigner.’
I must say that if I were Julian I would contrive a way to sack Mr Timmons pretty sharp-ish. Sadly I wasn’t sitting in the same studio as him and couldn’t see him on screen as we were talking (or rather while he was shouting). Perhaps it is as well. If you ever had a mental picture of a fevered conspiracy-theorist, it need remain a mental image no more.
Sadly, as Mr Qureshi and I were trying to make our points Mr Timmons – who appeared entirely unused to the concept of debate and also law (he kept referring to legislation as ‘obscure’, which suggested it was only obscure to him) – took things rather badly.
Anyhow – I do recommend it. Not because I am in it. Nor, despite his excellent and important fact-filled performance, because Mr Qureshi is in it. But because Mr Timmons is in it. Or at least is in most of it. Until he takes his microphone off and storms out while I’m still speaking. Anyhow – it is here, with our discussion starting at approximately 4min30.