Nigel Blackwood

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Person.png Dr Nigel Blackwood TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(psychiatrist, spook?)
Nigel Blackwood.jpg
NationalityUK
Alma materCambridge University, University College London
Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at King’s College London. Expert witness for the US prosecution in the Julian Assange extradition case.

Nigel Blackwood is Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at King’s College London (KCL).[1]

Assange Hearing Day 17

On 24 September 2020, Dr Nigel Blackwood told the extradition hearing at the Old Bailey in London that Julian Assange was suffering only “moderate” depression.

Giving evidence as an expert witness for the US prosecution, Dr Blackwood rebutted other experts’ findings on the seriousness of Assange’s condition, adding his suicide risk was “manageable”. He told the court:

“Mr Assange has proved himself to be a very resilient and very resourceful man and he has underplayed that”.

At the request of US prosecution lawyers, Dr Blackwood examined Assange during two meetings in March. In his written submission to the court, he said that it would “not be unjust” to extradite Assange to the US.[2]

Craig Murray reports

On Thursday morning, Dr Nigel Blackwood, Reader in Forensic Psychiatry at Kings College London, gave evidence for the prosecution. He essentially downplayed all of Julian’s diagnoses of mental illness, and disputed he had Asperger’s. In the course of this downplaying, he stated that when Julian had been admitted to the healthcare wing on 18 April 2019, it had not been for any medical reason. It had been purely to isolate him from other prisoners because of the video footage of him that had been taken and released by a prisoner.

Edward Fitzgerald QC asked Blackwood how he knew this, and Blackwood said Dr Daly had told him for his report. The defence now produced another document from the prison that showed the government was lying. It was a report from prison staff dated 2.30pm on 18 April 2019 and specifically said that Julian was “very low” and having uncontrollable suicidal urges. It suggested moving him to the medical wing and mentioned a meeting with Dr Daly. Julian was in fact then moved that very same day.

Fitzgerald put it to Blackwood that plainly Assange was moved to the medical wing for medical reasons. His evidence was wrong. Blackwood continued to assert Assange was moved only because of the video. Dr Daly’s medical notes did not say he was moved for medical reasons. The judge pulled up Fitzgerald for saying “nonsense”, although she had allowed Lewis to be much harder than that on defence witnesses. Fitzgerald asked Blackwood why Assange would be moved to the medical wing because of a video taken by another prisoner? Blackwood said the Governor had found the video “embarrassing” and was concerned about “reputational damage” to the prison.

So let us look at this. Dr Daly did not put in the medical notes that Assange had concealed a razor for suicide in his cell. Dr Daly did not put in the medical notes that, on the very day Assange was moved to the medical wing, a staff meeting had said he should be moved to the medical wing for uncontrollable suicidal urges. Then Daly gives Blackwood a cock and bull story on reasons for Assange’s removal to the medical wing, to assist him in his downplaying of Assange’s medical condition.

Or let us look at the alternative story. The official story is that Healthcare – to quote Ross Kemp where “security is on another level” – is used for solitary confinement, to hold prisoners in isolation for entirely non-medical reasons. Indeed, to avoid “embarrassment”, to avoid “reputational damage”, Assange was kept in isolation in “healthcare” for months while, according to four doctors including on this point even Blackwood, his health deteriorated because of the isolation. While under Dr Daly’s “care”. And that one is the official story. The best they can come up with is “he was not sick, we put him in “Healthcare” for entirely illegitimate reasons as a punishment.” To avoid “embarrassment” if prisoners took his photo.

I am going to write to Judge Baraitser applying for a copy of the transcript of Lewis cross-examining Professor Kopelman on the razor blade, with a view to reporting James Lewis QC to the Bar Council. I do wonder whether the General Medical Council might not have reason to consider the practice of Dr Rachel Daly in this case.[3]

 

Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 17blog post25 September 2020Craig MurrayI am going to write to Judge Baraitser applying for a copy of the transcript of Lewis cross-examining Professor Kopelman on the razor blade, with a view to reporting James Lewis QC to the Bar Council. I do wonder whether the General Medical Council might not have reason to consider the practice of Dr Rachel Daly in this case.


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