There is a crucial moment in the fight to stay out of a US court

ABC News

LONDON — The host of a news conference about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition fight wryly welcomed journalists last week to the “millionth” press briefing on his court case.
Here’s a look at the case: Assange, 52, an Australian computer expert, has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 charges over Wikileaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents in 2010.
While the U.S. criminal case against Assange was only unsealed in 2019, his freedom has been restricted for a dozen years.
The British government authorized Assange’s extradition in 2022.
Assange’s lawyers raised nine grounds for appeal at a hearing in February, including the allegation that his prosecution is political.
If an appeal is rejected, his legal team plans to ask the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.
But his supporters fear Assange could possibly be transferred before the court in Strasbourg, France, could halt his removal.
Assange, who hopes to be in court Monday, has been encouraged by the work others have done in the political fight to free him, his wife said.

POSITIVE

LONDON — Last week, the news conference host regarding Julian Assange’s extradition battle greeted reporters wryly to the “millionth” press briefing regarding his legal proceedings.

The Foreign Press Association’s director, Deborah Bonetti, was only half serious. The long-running legal drama surrounding Assange may soon come to an end in the U.S. G. Monday at the latest.

After his hearing in London’s High Court, Assange may be deported to the U.S. s. to answer to charges of espionage, or give him an additional opportunity to contest his extradition.

The result will be determined by the weight judges assign to U.S. S. Authorities guarantee that, should Assange face legal proceedings, his rights will not be violated.

Check out the case here:.

Australian computer expert Julian Assange, 52, has been charged in the U.S. s. 18 charges stemming from the 2010 disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified documents by Wikileaks.

He allegedly plotted with U.S. S. hacking into a Pentagon computer by army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain classified military documents and diplomatic cables regarding the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On one count of computer misuse, he is charged with 17 counts of espionage. His attorneys have stated that he could serve a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison if found guilty; however, American authorities have stated that the actual sentence will probably be far less.

Assange and those who back him contend that he worked as a journalist to reveal U. s. press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are applied to military misconduct and are protected. S. Constitution.

A 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad by US forces resulted in the deaths of 11 people, including two Reuters journalists, according to footage released by WikiLeaks.

Julian has been charged with obtaining, holding, and disseminating information to the public about evidence of war crimes carried out by the U.S. S. government, according to Stella Assange, his wife. It is never illegal to report a crime. “.

U. S. Attorneys claim that Assange intended to breach the Pentagon computer and that WikiLeaks’ releases put the United States at “serious and immediate risk.”. S. sources of intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even though the U. s. Assange has been subject to restrictions on his freedom for twelve years; the criminal case against him was only opened in 2019.

In 2012, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He was granted political asylum following an English court’s decision that he ought to be extradited to Sweden in connection with that nation’s rape investigation.

After Ecuador’s government revoked his asylum status in 2019, he was detained by British police and imprisoned for failing to appear for bail when he initially sought refuge inside the embassy.

Assange has been held in high-security Belmarsh Prison in London while the U.S. fights extradition, even though Sweden eventually abandoned its investigation into sex crimes due to the passage of time. S. keeps going.

His physical and mental well-being have reportedly declined while he is incarcerated, according to his wife.

“That’s a daily battle for him to survive,” she remarked.

At first, a London judge denied Assange’s request to be transferred to the U.S. S. , citing the likelihood that he would commit suicide under the severe confines of an American jail.

Yet after U.S., other courts allowed the move. s. Authorities assured him that he would not face the harsh treatment his lawyers claimed would endanger his physical and mental well-being.

In 2022, the British government approved the extradition of Julian Assange.

At a hearing in February, Assange’s attorneys presented nine grounds for appeal, one of which was the claim that his prosecution is politically motivated.

Following its acceptance of three of his arguments, the court in March issued a provisional ruling permitting Assange to take his case to the Court of Appeal, unless the U.S. s. assured that, in the event of extradition, he would not be executed and would enjoy the same rights to free speech as a U.S. S. person.

The US. s. gave those assurances three weeks later, but his backers don’t believe them.

The “so-called assurances” were, according to Stella Assange, nothing more than “weasel words.”. “.

Assange’s reliance on First Amendment protections was questioned by the judges, according to Kristinn Hrafnsson, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks.

“That ought to be a simple yes-or-no question,” Hrafnsson remarked. “He can try to rely on First Amendment protections,” was the response. That’s a “no.”. Therefore, the judges’ announcement that “this is not good enough” is the only reasonable course of action for Monday. Anything more is a scandal involving the judiciary. “.

If Assange wins, the case will likely be further drawn out through an appeals process.

His legal team intends to request intervention from the European Court of Human Rights in the event that an appeal is denied. However, Assange’s backers worry that he might be moved before the Strasbourg, France, court acts to block his expulsion.

According to his wife, Julian is only one choice away from extradition.

According to his wife, Assange has found inspiration in the efforts of others in the political struggle for his release and plans to appear in court on Monday.

Even if he is not successful in court, he might be able to go free again.

Last month, President Joe Biden stated he was thinking about agreeing to Australia’s request to end the legal proceedings and allow Assange to return to his native nation.

While Stella Assange called it “a good sign,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese deemed it encouraging. Officials do not currently possess any further information.

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