WikiLeaks’ Assange to hear whether he will be extradited to United States
January 4, 2021
Westminster Magistrates Court is expected to deliver a ruling in Julian Assange’s extradition trial. U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one of computer misuse over the publication of secret military documents related to military action in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011.
The documents, passed to Assange by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, included State Department cables and reports on the two wars. The site’s controversial leaks included thousands of emails from U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Clive Stafford-Smith, an Assange supporter and founder of the legal charity Reprieve, argued at Assange’s trial in 2020 that the documents brought to light by WikiLeaks exposed "grave violations of law," such as the use of U.S. drones for targeted strikes in Pakistan.
The judge previously denied Assange bail over fears he is a flight risk. He jumped bail in 2012 when he sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange stayed there for seven years before being evicted and arrested. He has been in custody at Belmarsh prison in London since Apr 2019 and is expected to appear in court via video link every 28 days before the Jan 4 ruling.