The Guardian reported on August 7, 20200 that Julian Assange’s lawyers failed to adjourn the extradition case being pressed against him after they raised objections to new prosecution evidence presented by the U.S. government.
Per the U.S. government’s evidence, Assange is being accused of recruiting hackers to steal military secrets.
On the first day of a hearing that is supposed to go on for four weeks, the Wikileaks founder appeared before the Central Criminal Court to reject an application requesting his extraction to the U.S. to respond to an 18-count American indictment.
Before his recent court appearance, Assange was arrested again on the new U.S. indictment which updated and expanded upon previous charges. The majority of these charges are for violations of the country’s Espionage Act.
Mark Summers, Assange’s lawyer, described the fresh serving of the U.S. indictment as “abnormal, unfair and liable to create real injustice.”
Summers argued that the additional indictment material came out of nowhere. These allegations consisted of data theft from banks, acquiring information on tracking police vehicles, and allegedly “assisting a whistleblower [Edward Snowden] in Hong Kong” — all of which are grounds for extradition according to the U.S. government.
“This is essentially a fresh extradition request,” Summers continued.
Summers stated: “We believe the US saw the strength of the defence case and thought they would lose [and so introduced the additional material].” He petitioned the judge to “excise” or throw out the additional U.S. indictments.
The material provided in the new U.S. indictment touches on allegations of Assange’s alleged involvement with hackers from the group LulzSec.
According to the indictment, Assange and WikiLeaks “repeatedly sought, obtained, and disseminated information that the United States classified due to the serious risk that unauthorised disclosure could harm the national security of the United States.”
On the same day, University of Maryland Professor Mark Feldstein came to Assange’s defense via remote videolink. Feldstein argued, “No matter how unorthodox, Assange is a publisher and is protected by the free speech and free press clauses of the American constitution. He has published truthful information in the public interest that exposed illegal and unethical actions by the US government.”
The hearing is still ongoing.
Trump should totally ignore the pro-national security establishment within his administration and pardon Assange. Assange’s leaks during the 2016 campaign played a crucial role in hacking away at Hillary Clinton’s already dilapidated image and making Trump look good by comparison.
Assange is a great asset for any politician who vows to drain the swamp.