Assange Trial: US Lawyers Argue Case Not About Politics

World | February 22, 2024, Thursday // 14:42
Bulgaria: Assange Trial: US Lawyers Argue Case Not About Politics @Wikimedia Commons

Lawyers representing the United States in the trial of Julian Assange asserted that the legal proceedings are centered on the publication of classified information, not Assange's political views. The hearing, taking place at London's High Court, marks Assange's final attempt to prevent his extradition to the US, with proceedings commencing on February 20.

In 2022, the UK approved Assange's extradition, prompting his appeal in a recent two-day hearing at the High Court in London. US prosecutors seek Assange's extradition over WikiLeaks' publication of classified US military reports and diplomatic cables, alleging that the leaks jeopardized the lives of American whistleblowers. They maintain that Assange's prosecution adheres to the rule of law and is supported by evidence.

Assange's supporters argue that he is a journalist and whistleblower who exposed US wrongdoing. However, US Attorney Clair Dobbin emphasized that Assange's prosecution stems from his indiscriminate disclosure of the names of US informants, rather than his political beliefs.

The trial unfolds against a backdrop of Assange's absence from court due to health issues. The legal saga began in 2010, with Assange spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to evade extradition. In 2019, he was jailed for breaching bail conditions.

If convicted, Assange faces a potential sentence of up to 175 years, although US prosecutors suggest a shorter term. Should Assange lose the current case, his only recourse would be to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Assange's cause has garnered support from organizations like Amnesty International, media groups, and political figures, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. His disclosures have brought to light sensitive information on world leaders and diplomatic affairs.

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Tags: Assange, extradition, trial, Wikileaks

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