Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

US submits extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

J. Assange in Prison Belmarsh in London WikiLeaks Chief Editor Reveals Details of Assange's Medical Examination in Prison Ruptly. Ruptly
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2019, 18:38

Mr. Assange, 47, was arrested by British police in London on April 11 in relation to a provisional extradition request from the US, starting a 65-day window for the Justice Department to make it case for taking custody of the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder.

The Wikileaks founder is facing 18 charges in the U.S. of receiving and publishing classified information.

Britain will now consider the US extradition request and any possible new request from Sweden.

Assange had eluded arrest for seven years by holing up in Ecuador's embassy in London until Ecuadorian officials turned against him in April.

It should be noted that according to a US-UK treaty, the extradition request must be made within 60 days of an arrest.

He is accused of working with former U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in "unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to the national defence", a statement said.

Assange is now serving 50 weeks imprisonment sentence in UK's Belmarsh prison for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

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The new charges include violation of a USA espionage statute. The law has been used rarely and never against a journalist.

A USA official who spoke to the Washinton Post on the condition of anonymity over the matter, disclosed that the said request was sent to the United Kingdom on June 6 (Thursday). "Some say that Assange is a journalist and that he should be immune from prosecution for these actions", John Demers, the Assistant Attorney-General for National Security, said when the indictment was filed last month.

Hrafnsson said the charges were "very revealing about the nature of this entire case". That kind of activity could be illegal in the USA if Mr. Assange were convicted. The journalist could face more than 170 years behind bars.

"It can't be overstated how important this case is for press freedom", Mr. Hrafnsson said.

Mr Hrafnsson said the raids by the Australian Federal Police last week were a systematic attack on investigative journalists reporting on national security.

America has sent Britain a formal request to extradite Julian Assange in a bid to put him on trial for leaking military secrets.

Christophe Marchand, a human-rights lawyer who is part of Mr. Assange's legal team, said the WikiLeaks founder hasn't been given a fair hearing in Britain, and he cited cabinet ministers, such as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has said Mr. Assange should be extradited.

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