Crowds gathered outside the Old Bailey Court building in central London, where, Assange told the district judge that he did not consent to be extradited to the US in the next four weeks, the court would consider whether Assange’s Be forced to cope? Justice in the US, where an 18-count indictment accused him of recruiting hackers to steal top secret military information.
On Monday, Assange was re-arrested just minutes before appearing in court on the latest indictment, which dismissed the current charges against him. Asked if he was willing to agree to be sent to the US, Assange gave a simple answer: “No.”
No open statement was made by the defense or prosecution on Monday, but both sides released detailed documents presenting their legal claims shortly before the hearing began.
Assange’s lawyer argues that he was being prosecuted “for ulterior political purposes and not in confidence”, and accused the US of misrepresenting the facts “to bring the matter to the extent of extradition offense” Could. ” They say the prosecution is seeking to “criminalize the application of general journalistic methods” to obtain and publish information of public interest.
Lawyers representing the US said the defense was unfairly “treating Assange as he was engaged in reporting, in the same position as any journalist who is in possession of classified information.” He also accused Assange’s lawyers of “attacking the President of the United States” in his defense, repeatedly citing President Trump’s disdain for the press.
While there was very little drama inside the court room on the day of the extradition hearing, it was more lively outside. A highly non-socially deformed crowd of people, including Assange’s father John Shippton and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, gathered to voice their support for the founder of Wikileaks.
“I’m an activist, I’m very scared, I’ve lost days and years worrying about Julian Assange,” Westwood told reporters outside London’s court room. He said: “Julian Assange is the trigger, he is shedding light on all the corruption in the world.”
Shippton described his son’s extradition hearing as an “abuse trial”, arguing: “Julian is a publisher, publishing is WikiLeaks, [he’s] a journalist. It is the oppression of journalism and free press everywhere in the Western world. It cannot run, it has to be stopped now. ”
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristin Hartson told the crowd outside the court that “the future of journalism is at stake.”
Across the city, Assange’s partner Stella Morris traveled to Downing Street in an attempt to file a Reporters Without Borders petition against extradition, which has been signed by around 80,000 people. However, the police refused to accept the document and deliver it to the residence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking on 0N Sunday, Assange’s partner said: “Julian’s case has massive consequences for freedom of expression and freedom of the press. It is an attack on journalism … It will set an example if it is extradited to the US to publish inconvenient truths about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also extradite any future British journalist or publisher can go. ”
The hearing will last approximately four weeks and is expected to be heard from academics who will provide evidence on what they believe to be journalism. It may take months for a judge to consider his decision, and the losing side is almost certain to appeal the decision.
If the courts eventually approve Assange’s extradition, the final decision will be with the British government. If convicted in the US, he faces a possible jail term of 175 years.