Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fights extradition to the US

World Today

Protestors brandish posters depicting Julian Assange as they demonstrate at the entrance of Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Thursday, May 2, 2019, where WikiLeaks founder Assange is expected to appear by video link from prison. Assange is facing a court hearing over a U.S. request to extradite him for alleged computer hacking.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is fighting his extradition to the United States. He appeared by video-link in a London court, while supporters protested outside.

The Australian-national is wanted in the U.S. on computer-hacking charges.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic has more from London.

To make their point, supporters of Julian Assange blocked the road outside the court where the case against him was being heard.

Assange, they said is a journalist speaking truth to power and not as alleged by the United States a computer hacker stealing classified military secrets.

“This case is not about hacking. This case is about a journalist and a publisher who had conversations with a source about accessing material; encouraged that source to provide material and spoke to that source about how to protect their identity. This is protected activity that journalists engage in all the time,” Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said.

Included in a vast store of information downloaded and published by Assange this fatal U.S. attack that killed civilians in Iraq in 2007.

This is the second court appearance of the week for the 47-year-old.

On Wednesday, he was sentenced to nearly a year’s prison for jumping bail in 2012.

At the time, Assange was wanted in Sweden in connection with allegations of sexual assault and rape.

Fearing onward extradition to the U.S., he instead chose seven years diplomatic immunity inside the cramped quarters of the Ecuadorian Embassy.

A new government in Ecuador gave permission for Scotland Yard to enter the diplomatic space and arrest him.

Assange was taken to Belmarsh high-security prison, where he remains.

His legal team argues, the case is politically motivated and he’d fail to get a fair trial if extradited to the US.

This hearing could be just the beginning of a long legal haul for Julian Assange and his lawyers.

There are some estimates that it could take years before a decision on his extradition is finally made and could even end up in the European Court of Human Rights.

That is, if Britain after Brexit is still a member of the European Union.


Bruce Fein discusses Assange’s extradition fight

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar speaks with Bruce Fein for more on Assange’s fight against extradition. Fein is a constitutional lawyer based in Washington D.C.

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