LIVE UPDATES FROM LONDON: ASSANGE EXTRADITION HEARING—WEDNESDAY

27 February 2020 — Consortium News

February 25, 2020
Consortium News is in London to cover the formal extradition process of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and will provide updates today and throughout the week.

WEDNESDAY 

4:45 pm London time: Julian Assange’s attorney Edward Fitzgerald QC is arguing in Woolwich Crown Court that the U.S. charges against Assange are political, as espionage is a political crime, and thus in violation of Article 4.1 of the U.S.-British extradition treaty. However the prosecution is putting forth the argument that the UK Extradition Act, the implementing domestic legislation for the treaty, does not preclude political offenses. Further, the U.S. is arguing in court that the charges are not political in nature.

For the first time, Assange spoke directly to the court, saying he wanted to leave the bullet-proof glass cage and sit with his lawyers. “I am as much a participant in these proceedings as a spectator at Wimbledon,” Assange told the judge, who replied that his attorneys could apply for bail so that he may leave the cage. Fitzgerald told the court: “This is a gentle man of intellectual nature, there is no reason why he should not sit with us.”

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