WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will memorize on Monday if a British pass judgement on has approved his extradition to the USA to face charges including espionage over the release of secret US military documents.
US authorities accuse Australian-born Assange, 49, of 18 counts of conspiring to hack government computers and of breaching a secrecy law by releasing huge troves of confidential military records and diplomatic cables over a decade ago.
Whether extradited and then found guilty of espionage, Assange could go to jail for 30 to 40 years, his lawyers say, though prosecutors say he would face not more than 63 months in prison.
Whoever loses Monday’s ruling is likely to appeal to London’s High Court and the case could go the UK’s Supreme Court, further delaying the last outcome.
US prosecutors and Western security officials see Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, as a reckless and dangerous enemy of the state whose actions put at risk the lives of agents whose names were in the fabric.
Supporters regard him as an anti-establishment hero who has been victimised because he exposed US wrongdoing in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and say his prosecution is an assault on journalism and free speech.
Assange’s valid team said in its closing written submission to Pass judgement on Vanessa Baraitser that the prosecution had been politically motivated “all over a unique period of US history under the (US President Donald) Trump administration.”
The valid team representing the USA has challenged that assertion, saying US federal prosecutors are forbidden to believe political opinion in making their decisions.
WikiLeaks published a US military video in 2010 showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff. It then released thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables.
The valid saga began soon afterwards when Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes. When he missing that case in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he spent seven years, all over which he fathered two children.
When he used to be in any case dragged out in April 2019, he used to be jailed for breaching British bail conditions even though the Swedish case against him had been dropped. Final June, the United States Justice Branch formally asked Britain to extradite him.
Assange’s valid team say the charges are politically motivated, his mental health is at risk, conditions in US prisons breach Britain’s human rights laws, and he and his lawyers were spied on while he used to be in the Ecuadorean embassy.
The United States valid team has said many of Assange’s defence arguments are issues that are supposed to be addressed in a trial and haven’t any bearing on extradition.
There could also be a opportunity that Joe Biden might reverse the decision to prosecute Assange after Biden succeeds Trump as president later this month.