Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate enmeshed in a conflict of interest, will no longer be presiding over the extradition proceedings of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, said WikiLeaks lawyer Jen Robinson, at an event in Sydney on Friday night .
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former defence minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group, and was until earlier this year an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The revelations highlight concerns about conflicts of interest. Lady Arbuthnot began presiding over Assange’s legal case in 2017 and ruled this June that a full hearing would begin next February to consider the request for extradition from the UK made by the Trump administration.
Divestment is organizing to remove public and private assets from weapons manufacturers, military contractors, and war profiteers. Grassroots-led war divestment campaigns are springing up all over the world, from students organizing to divest university endowments from weapons manufacturers and war profiteers, to municipalities and states coming together to divest public pension funds from the war machine.
She added that there are two other ways to launch negotiations — either by adopting a U.N. General Assembly resolution or having a country begin the process, as Canada did for the land mine treaty and Norway did for the treaty banning cluster munitions.
“Countries need to come together in a core group willing to take on the big guys, so to speak,” Williams said.
Government figures show that export licences worth £6.2bn have been granted to members of the Saudi-led coalition in the four years since the conflict began in March 2015.
The figure includes £5.3bn to Saudi Arabia, £657m to United Arab Emirates, £85m to Egypt, £72m to Bahrain, £40m to Kuwait and £142m to Qatar before it withdrew from the coalition in 2017.
Analysis: The government now must make the case that there is ‘no clear risk’ of UK weapons being used to commit war crimes in Yemen