Julian Assange extradition hearing begins at Old Bailey

The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has gave the impression on the Outdated Bailey at the beginning of an extradition listening to on an 18-count US indictment that accuses him of recruiting hackers to scouse borrow army secrets and techniques.

Dressed in a dismal swimsuit, tie and white blouse, Assange, 49, sat in the back of a pitcher safety display in the back of the courtroom, his glasses driven again on best of his head.

Ahead of entering courtroom, he were officially re-arrested at the new US indictment which updates and broadens earlier fees. All however one are for violations of the rustic’s Espionage Act.

Requested whether or not he used to be ready to consent to be extradited to america, Assange responded: “No.”

A court sketch of Julian Assange in the dock
A courtroom cartoon of Julian Assange, who’s sought after for trial in america on fees of breaching the Espionage Act. Photograph: Elizabeth Prepare dinner/PA

The district pass judgement on Vanessa Baraitser commented: “That used to be the reaction I used to be expecting.”

There have been no opening statements via both events. The indictment says Assange and WikiLeaks “many times sought, got, and disseminated data that the USA categorised because of the intense chance that unauthorised disclosure may just hurt the nationwide safety of the USA”.

It stated: “Assange designed WikiLeaks to concentrate on data limited from public disclosure via regulation, exactly on account of the worth of that data.

“To recruit folks to hack into computer systems and/or illegally download and reveal categorised data to WikiLeaks, the WikiLeaks web site posted an in depth listing of ‘The Maximum Sought after Leaks of 2009’, organised via nation.”

Originally of the listening to, all sides launched detailed “skeleton” arguments, atmosphere out their felony claims.

The only submitted via James Lewis QC, appearing for america government, runs to 99 pages along side the 48-page “2nd superseding indictment”. The 2-part skeleton argument written via Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Assange, runs to nearly 200 pages.

In his submission, Lewis accused Assange’s attorneys of undertaking a defence consisting of “an assault upon the president of the USA [which] ignores the institutional competencies of the companies related to this example, the charter of the USA and the independence of its courts”.

It additionally stated the defence used to be inaccurately “treating Assange as even though he had been engaged in reporting, in the similar place of any journalist who comes into ownership of categorised data”.

Fitzgerald’s submission asserted that the prosecution used to be “being pursued for ulterior political motives and now not in just right religion”.

He added: “The [US] request seeks extradition for what’s a vintage ‘political offence’. Extradition for a political offence is expressly prohibited via article four(1) of the Anglo-US Extradition Treaty. Due to this fact, it constitutes an abuse of this courtroom’s procedure to require this courtroom to extradite at the foundation of the Anglo-US Treaty in breach of the treaty’s specific provisions.”

Fitzgerald argued that america government had been misrepresenting the information “so as to carry this example inside the bounds of an extradition crime” via suggesting that Assange had materially assisted america whistleblower Chelsea Manning in getting access to nationwide safety data, and that there were a reckless disclosure of the names of specific folks.

Explaining the fast extend to the beginning of court cases Fitzgerald stated this were the “first time in six months” he had controlled to peer his consumer.

The case is being heard on the previous Bailey with attorneys, observers and the media unfold out throughout a number of different courts paying attention to court cases by means of videolink.

The listening to continues.

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