Assange 'put lives at risk' by sharing unredacted files, lawyer claims

Assange 'put lives at risk' by sharing unredacted files, lawyer claims”

Representing Assange, Edward Fitzgerald QC said: 'This extradition should be barred because the prosecution is being pursued for political motives and not in good faith.' He said WikiLeaks only released material already published by others.

"Julian Assange has been made an example of", Fitzgerald said.

The case against extradition may be hard for Assange's attorneys, given the historically close relationship between the USA and Britain. "In accordance with the principle of reciprocity which the failing to abide by, on behalf of Harry Dunn's family and the millions of concerned citizens in the United Kingdom, I now demand that the United Kingdom authorities block any further extraditions to the USA, including the one of Julian Assange, until such time as Anne Sacoolas is extradited and back on United Kingdom soil facing the justice system here".

Assange's lawyers argued that the U.S. charges - which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison - are a politically motivated abuse of power.

Assange's conversations with lawyers were spied on by a Spanish security firm hired by the USA while he was living under political asylum inside the London Ecuadorian Embassy.

Lewis then sought to counteract growing concern over the 175-year prison term facing Assange.

The prosecution of Julian Assange is motivated by politics and not by a "genuine concern for criminal justice", Assange's legal team argued at Belmarsh Magistrates Court (sitting at Woolwich Crown Court) on 24 February and into 25 February.

Assange argues he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection, and says the leaked documents exposed United States military wrongdoing.

Assange has been indicted in the USA on 18 counts related to illegally obtaining, receiving and disclosing classified information in 2010.

"Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a licence to break ordinary criminal laws", he said.

April 5, 2010 - Wikileaks releases leaked video from a US helicopter showing an air strike that killed civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff. And he said WikiLeaks' activities created a "grave and imminent risk" to USA intelligence sources in Afghanistan and Iraq.

USA authorities say WikiLeaks' activities put American lives in danger.

It has been alleged former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher told Assange US president Donald Trump would pardon him if he said Russian Federation did not hack emails during the 2016 campaign.

He added the extradition attempt was directed at Assange "because of the political opinions he holds", and said he would be denied a fair trial in the United States. The noise was such that inside the courtroom, Assange said he couldn't hear properly.

The White House has called the claim a fabrication.

It would be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite him because he is a "high risk of suicide". Fitzgerald said it was unlikely Assange would testify. He refused to go to Stockholm, saying he feared extradition or illegal rendition to the United States or the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Assange initially entered the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex offense allegations, which were eventually dropped.

Barrister Edward Fitzgerald, for Mr Assange, told the packed court a witness will confirm the U.S. had contemplated more "extreme measures" against the Australian.

The case will get under way before being postponed until May 18, when it will resume again for a further three weeks to allow both sides more time to gather evidence. He told presiding judge, Vanessa Baraitser, "One should not be beguiled by the hyperbole of the defence in relation to sentencing", claiming Assange would face a relatively minor sentence of perhaps 42 months-this under conditions in which senior U.S. politicians, including President Trump, have called for the death penalty.

"The principle of reciprocity is at the core of any extradition treaty", Seiger said.

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