US Claims Julian Assange Endangered Lives by Revealing Secrets


Lawyers for the US have argued in a High Court hearing that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified US documents through Wikileaks, and should be extradited to face justice. The hearing is the latest in Assange’s five-year battle against extradition. His lawyers have claimed that the US case is an act of “state retaliation”, making extradition against UK law. If his appeal fails, Assange could be extradited within weeks.

The US legal team alleges that Assange assisted Chelsea Manning, a US intelligence analyst, in obtaining and publishing unredacted documents related to the Iraq war and US State Department cables. The prosecution argues that this led to severe consequences for the named sources in the documents, including arrest, asset loss, threats, and harassment.

Assange’s lawyers have countered that the US prosecution is politically motivated and that Assange is being prosecuted for standard journalistic practices. They also claim that US authorities had planned to kill or kidnap Assange while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy.

The judges will deliver their judgement later, likely not before mid-March. If Assange’s appeal is denied, his last resort would be to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to prevent his extradition. If he is granted permission to appeal, he will remain in jail while the case is prepared for later this year.

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