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article imageUK judge to announce Assange extradition verdict early next year

By Ken Hanly     Oct 1, 2020 in Politics
The British judge who is presiding over the extradition trial of Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, said Thursday that she would give her verdict early next year as to whether he can be extradited on the January 4th 2021.
Thursday was the 18th day of hearings and the final day for witness testimony.
If convicted in the US Assange could face a long prison term
If extradited to the US and
consequently found guilty ha could face a prison sentence of up to 175 years. He is charged with 17 counts of espionage and one count of attempted computer intrusion. Assange released documents exposing US war crimes. The documents involve US State Dept. communications and other documents dealing with US wars both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wikileaks published the documents in 2010. Essentially, the charges against Assange criminalize receiving and publishing classified information.
Defense by Lawyers for Assange
A group of legal professionals calling itself Lawyers for Assange sent a letter to the UK government calling for the release of Assange with the preamble stating: " We write to you as legal practitioners and legal academics to express our collective concerns about the violations of Mr. Julian Assange’s fundamental human, civil and political rights and the precedent his persecution is setting.We call on you to act in accordance with national and international law, human rights and the rule of law by bringing an end to the ongoing extradition proceedings and granting Mr. Assange his long overdue freedom – freedom from torture, arbitrary detention and deprivation of liberty, and political persecution." The group claims that if extradited Assange would not get a fair trial in the US. The letter also claims that the crimes Assange is accused of are actually standard journalistic practices. They claim that extraditing Assange would gravely endanger press freedom.
Letter endorsed by many prominent people
A recent article list
some of those supporting the letter: "Notable endorsees include the President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez, former President of Brazil Lula da Silva, former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Luis Zapatero, and UK PM Jeremy Corbyn. The only US politicians on the list are former Senator Mike Gravel from Alaska and former Rep. Ron Paul from Texas."
Assange in poor health
Last week at Old Bailey defense testimony reported that Assange had been diagnosed with Aspergers, severe depression, and further conditions that put him at risk of suicide. Medical experts testified that if Assange were extradited to the US his suicide risk would be increased.
More about Julian Assange, Assnage extradition hearings, Wikileaks
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