Crowds demanding the release of Assangecontinue to demonstrate in London
Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks digital platform, alleged to have provided information involving Hillary Clinton to help the Trump 2016 election campaign accused the United States on Wednesday, February 26 of "abuse of process" for allegedly breaching the extradition treaty with the United Kingdom when requesting his delivery for alleged espionage crimes.
On the third day of his extradition trial at a London court in Woolwich, his lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, argued that the 2003 British-American treaty "expressly prohibits" surrender for "political crimes."
Fitzgerald argued that the charges, punishable by up to 175 years in prison, that the United States imputes to its client - seventeen related to the espionage law of that country and one for computer fraud - are "purely political crimes."
Prosecutor James Lewis, representing the US Justice, argued that the extradition process is governed not by the 2003 treaty but by the British extradition law of the same year, which does not contemplate exemptions for political crimes.
He said that the crimes charged to the 48-year-old Australian are "common criminality" and not political.
During Wednesday's session, Fitzgerald asked Judge Vanessa Baraitser to allow her client to take breaks if necessary, as "he is under medication" and sometimes "has a hard time concentrating."
When asked if he could follow the procedure, Assange denounced t the conditions imposed on him in the high-security prison in Belmarsh, attached to the court and where he is in pretrial detention, prevent him from conversing "confidentially" with his lawyers, as there are always "people present and microphones".
The judge silenced him by answering that she does not usually allow detainees to go to court and that he will not make an exception in his case, and also denied Fitzgerald's request to authorize his client to sit next to him and not behind a safety glass
Assange is required by the US for the dissemination of WikiLeaks in 2010-11, in collaboration with international media, of official documents that revealed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mistreatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo extrajudicial detention center and Human rights abuses all over the world.
Washington accuses him of helping former US soldier Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning) illegally access computers in the Department of Defense and putting lives in danger by spreading the identities of the sources contained in the stolen documents.
In yesterday's session, Fitzgerald claimed that it was the British newspaper "The Guardian", and not WikiLeaks, which, through a book published in February 2011, disclosed the key that allowed third parties to enter the original database – which contained the name of the informants- and spread it on the internet.
If Julian as an Australian citizen is jailed, media freedom and all freedom is lost. I don't understand why "news" outlets are not providing accurate news on this subject? Even this article seems to be written by a 2 year old...