By Tony Winterburn • 04 January 2021 • 6:42
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain February 5, 2016. image: Wikimedia
Wikileaks Founder Assange To Hear UK Judge’s Ruling On Extradition To U.S.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange find out today, Monday, whether a British judge has approved his extradition to the United States to face charges including espionage over the release of secret U.S. military documents.
U.S. authorities accuse Australian-born Assange, 49, of 18 counts of conspiring to hack government computers and of breaching a secrecy law by releasing vast troves of confidential military records and diplomatic cables over a decade ago. If Assange is extradited and then found guilty of espionage, he could go to prison for 30 to 40 years, his lawyers say, though prosecutors say he would face no more than 63 months in jail.
Whoever loses Monday’s ruling is likely to appeal to London’s High Court and the case could go to the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court, further delaying the final outcome. U.S. prosecutors and Western security officials see Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, as a reckless and dangerous enemy of the state whose actions put at risk the lives of agents whose names were in the material.
The legal team representing the United States has challenged that assertion, saying U.S. federal prosecutors are forbidden to consider political opinion in making their decisions.
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