Alas! Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying, US Attorneys Argue In A UK High Court: InfoGinie 21 Feb

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Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

In the legal battle that has put Assange in a British high-security jail for the past five years, his attorneys are pleading with the High Court to allow him to file one last appeal.

The American government’s attorneys, responding to Julian Assange’s defense team’s desperate attempt to prevent the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition, will explain to a London court on Wednesday why they believe the WikiLeaks founder should be charged with espionage in the United States.

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Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

Assange has been detained in a British high-security jail for the past five years due to a protracted legal battle, but now his attorneys are pleading with the High Court to allow him to file one more appeal.

Due to the 52-year-old Australian’s website publishing classified U.S. information over 15 years ago, he was charged with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse.

According to US authorities, Assange put lives in danger by assisting U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in stealing military records and diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks later made public.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

U.S. attorneys have contended in written arguments that Assange is facing prosecution “due to his alleged serious criminal offenses.”

Assange’s activities “threatened damage to the strategic and national security interests of the United States,” according to lawyer James Lewis, and put those included in the documents—including Afghans and Iraqis who had assisted American forces—at risk of “serious physical harm.”

But to those who stand with him, Assange is a journalist who broke with secrecy and revealed misbehavior by the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

They contend that he won’t receive a fair trial in the United States and that the prosecution is acting politically.

On Tuesday, the first day of the hearing, Assange’s attorneys said that Assange is being targeted by US authorities for his role in the “exposure of criminality on the part of the U.S. government on an unprecedented scale” that WikiLeaks provided, including killings and torture.

If extradited to the United States, Assange might “suffer a flagrant denial of justice,” according to attorney Edward Fitzgerald.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

According to Assange’s attorneys, if found guilty, he could get a sentence of up to 175 years in jail; however, US officials have stated that the actual term will probably be far lower.

According to his attorney, Assange was not in court on Tuesday due to illness. Julian Assange had intended to go, but his wife Stella stated he was “not in good condition.”

During more than ten years of legal fights, Assange’s family and supporters claim that his physical and mental health have suffered.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

He has spent seven years in self-exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and the last five years in a high-security jail outside of the British capital.

Stella Assange, who wed the founder of WikiLeaks while he was incarcerated in 2022, revealed last week that her husband’s health had declined due to his years of detention and that “if he’s extradited, he will die.”

For the second day in a row, supporters gathered outside the neo-Gothic High Court building on Wednesday, brandishing posters that read “Free Julian Assange” and shouting, “There is only one decision— no extradition.” The demonstration was raucous.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

Assange’s legal problems started in 2010 when Sweden requested that he be detained in London so that it could question him on claims of rape and sexual abuse made by two women. Assange ran away from custody in 2012 and took up residence in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Assange’s relationship with his hosts progressively deteriorated, and in April 2019, he was forced to leave the embassy. When he violated his bond in 2012, British authorities detained and imprisoned him right away. Due to the passage of time, Sweden ended its investigation into sexual crimes in November 2019.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

In 2021, a U.K. district court judge denied the U.S. plea for extradition, citing Assange’s propensity to commit suicide under severe U.S. jail rules. After receiving guarantees from the United States about his care, higher courts reversed that ruling. In June 2022, the British government issued an extradition decree.

Assange’s return to his own country was demanded last week by the Australian parliament.

Assange can request that the European Court of Human Rights block his extradition if judges Victoria Sharp and Jeremy Johnson decide against him.

Julian Assange Ought To Be Charged With Spying

However, supporters are concerned that since the British government has already signed an extradition order, Assange may be flown to the United States before that happens.

At the conclusion of the hearing on Wednesday, the two justices may issue a verdict, but it’s more likely that they will deliberate for a few weeks before making a choice.

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