Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Should Be Extradited: US Lawyers Tell UK Court


Julian Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is being held at Belmarsh British Prison.

U.S. lawyers on Wednesday launched another attempt to extradite Julian Assange from Britain, arguing that concerns about the WikiLeaks founder ‘s mental health should not prevent him from facing U.S. justice.

The 50-year-old Australian is wanted in the United States on 18 counts, including breaking a spy law, after his group released thousands of classified files and diplomatic cables in 2010 .

Lawyer James Lewis, acting for the US government, told the London Court of Appeal that a lower court judge was wrong to rule that Assange could not be extradited because of a risk brought up that he committed suicide in an American prison.

A document outlining Lewis’ arguments, presented to the court and released to the media, said the United States had provided Britain with “a package of assurances” addressing the judge’s concerns.

“The United States has also given assurances that it will consent to Mr. Assange being transferred to Australia to serve any custodial sentence imposed on him,” the document said.

Supporters of Assange gathered in court on Wednesday morning, chanting “free Julian Assange”, before the arrival of his father and Stella Moris, his partner and mother of two children.

Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is being held at Belmarsh Prison. He was expected to appear by video link, but the court heard he did not feel well enough to do so.

The hearing is the last step in a legal battle that has raged since 2012.

WikiLeaks rose to prominence when it began publishing vast treasures of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables that the United States says put lives in danger.

Soon after, Sweden requested Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes. When he lost an extradition lawsuit in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and stayed there before being finally dragged in April 2019.

Assange was later jailed for violating UK bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him was dropped and US authorities requested his extradition.

On January 4, a British judge dismissed his argument that the case was political and an attack on free speech, but said he should not be extradited because his mental health issues meant he was at risk. to commit suicide in an American prison.

Supporters see Assange as an anti-establishment hero who has been victimized for speaking out against American misdeeds in Afghanistan and Iraq and say his prosecution is a politically motivated attack on journalism and free speech.

US prosecutors and Western security officials see him as a reckless foe of the state whose actions have threatened the lives of the agents named in the leaked documents.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)


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