“They have stopped watching vulnerable people come to trial in 2024, joining hands and praying for someone to be charged and defended. This is not the “world-class court system” envisioned by the DOJ.
“It’s not even a functioning justice system.”
The guilty plea hearing at the British Embassy in Berlin of a Briton accused of spying for Russia is one of the first major cases to be delayed by a strike by defense lawyers.
David Smith, 58, a security guard, will bring nine charges at the Old Bailey under the Official Secrets Act, which date back to May 2020. Alistair Richardson attended the charge, but Smith’s lawyer was absent, so a lawyer represented him.
Judge Wall said: ‘This limits the amount we can reach, but it is important to maintain this list so that the case can move forward as much as possible so that we can maintain the trial date in February.’
He held a new guilty plea hearing on October 4, adding: “I understand why the defense attorneys weren’t present – there’s no guarantee things will change by that date.”