US can try extraditing Julian Assange next year, rules UK court | 6/14/2019 | Staff
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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange will face a full extradition hearing on 24 February next year, Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled this morning.

The Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, Emma Arbuthnot, ordered that a five-day court hearing takes place to decide whether Assange should be extradited to the US.

Australian - Prison - Extradition - Hearing - Date

The 47-year-old Australian will likely remain in prison until the extradition hearing date, although his sentence for jumping bail in the UK expires in early October.

Opening the case this morning, barrister Ben Brandon, representing the US government, was reported to have said: "This is related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States."

Assange - Offences - Government - Information - Something

Assange is charged with 18 offences that amount to hacking and illegally obtaining confidential American government information, something allegedly done along with ex-US Army analyst Chelsea Manning. Among other things, Assange is accused of cracking a hashed password protecting files leaked by Manning, thereby committing a crime.

"By publishing that unredacted material on the internet, Mr Assange created a grave and imminent risk that human intelligence sources, including journalists, human rights defenders and political activists, would suffer serious physical harm or arbitrary detention," Brandon told the court.

Court - Video - Link - Spectacles - Assange

Addressing the court via video link and wearing a grey t-shirt and black-framed spectacles, Assange (wrongly) addressed the judge as "Lady Arbuthnot"* while declaring that "175 years of my life is effectively at stake."

Assange's barrister, Mark Summers QC, said the extradition attempt "represents an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights".

People - WikiLeaker - El - Reg - Assange

People who know the WikiLeaker personally told El Reg that Assange was not expecting to be granted bail after his current sentence ends in early October, but added: "He doesn't see himself as someone who should be in prison."

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