New trial begins on Assange’s extradition on US appeal.



File: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, May 19, 2017.


© Justin Tallis / File Photo / AFP
File: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, May 19, 2017.

During a two-day hearing, starting on October 27, the United States Government appealed against the decision of a British judge who last January blocked the extradition of the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, after arguing a high risk of suicide. The US authorities dismissed the magistrate’s arguments and asked again that the journalist be transferred to their country to face trial for publishing military secrets.

Julian Assange faces the US extradition request again more than a decade after the largest leak of military secrets through Wikileaks.

The Superior Court of London is evaluating from this Wednesday the appeal of the United States Government to revoke the ruling of the British judge, Vanessa Baraitser, who last January blocked the extradition of the Australian journalist.

The two parties present their arguments for and against his delivery at a hearing that will conclude on October 28. Baraitser backed his decision that Assange suffers a deterioration in his mental health and therefore poses a “risk of committing suicide” if he is transferred to the other side of the Atlantic.

However, Washington dismissed the magistrate’s arguments. He even pointed out that Baraitser was “misled” in the psychiatric evidence provided by the expert Michael Kopelman, whom US lawyers accuse of hiding information in his report such as that his client fathered children while taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The accusing party points out that Assange does not reach the threshold of being “very ill” so that he cannot resist hurting himself.

Baraitser also indicated that there are doubts as to whether the US could guarantee the journalist safety while he awaits a trial in its prisons, known for their “harsh conditions.”

The judge has cited the case of magnate Jeffrey Epstein, who managed to commit suicide in the custody of the US authorities.

But Washington does not give up its demands and according to documents cited by Reuters on Wednesday, ratified the offer to allow Assange to serve his sentence in Australia, his country of origin, after completing his trial in the United States.

The founder of the leak portal again faces a legal battle after more than ten years of legal disputes and after being arrested in the United Kingdom in 2019 for missing bail after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he initially faced sexual assault charges that were later dismissed.

I hope the courts put an end to this nightmare

He currently remains in a high security prison in Belmarsh, southeast London, where according to the mother of his two minor children and former member of his legal team, Stella Moris, and the mother of his two young children, he lives in the middle of “an environment terrible”.

“It is completely unthinkable that the UK courts can agree to this … I hope the courts put an end to this nightmare and that Julian can return home soon and wisdom prevails,” he said.

What is the United States accusing Assange of and why is it insisting on his extradition?

Assange is extradited to face 17 counts of violating US espionage law after he published controversial WikiLeaks files in 2010; a package of 500,000 secret files on US military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan exposing dozens of irregularities, crimes and excesses.

Among the files was a video showing US helicopter gunships firing at civilians in Iraq – in 2007 – a one-off attack that left a dozen civilians dead, including two journalists from the Reuters news agency.

The journalist faces yet another charge for computer hacking, due to the alleged help he would have given former military intelligence officer Chelsea Manning to obtain the documents from secure military computer systems.

However, organizations for the defense of human rights such as Amnesty International assure that this case violates press freedom and that the charges are politically motivated and should therefore be dropped.

“Almost 20 years later, virtually no one is responsible for the alleged US war crimes committed in the course of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, an editor who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a life in prison, “said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Any party who loses in the process for Assange’s handover to the US will be able to appeal to the UK Supreme Court again. Regardless of the decision that comes this week, months or perhaps years of more legal disputes lie ahead surrounding the case that put the United States in more of a bind.

SEE ALSO ON MSN:

The United States says that the British Justice “erred” when denying the delivery of Assange (EFE)

Video

The US says that the British Justice “erred” when denying the delivery of Assange

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