WOW: Journalist Union Fights UK And US, Trying To Stop Julian Assange From Facing Any Charges
The full extradition hearing to decide whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be sent to the United States will take place in February next year, Westminster Magistrates Court in London ruled on Friday.
Assange, 47, is accused by US authorities of conspiring to hack US government computers and violating an espionage law.
He is currently in a London prison after being jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail after fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.
During that time, Assange could be seen mocking the US by intentionally being caught on camera skating through the embassy on a skateboard and appearing to have the time of his life.
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) general secretary Michelle Stanistreet told the Morning Star: “The NUJ is firmly opposed to the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.”
She said: “We condemned the British government’s decision to sign off the extradition request in June because it is a direct attack on the freedom of the press and journalists’ ability to work with sources to reveal information in the public interest.”
That’s fun, but Assange will be coming to the US to answer the charges against him. Sweden is also in pursuit of Assange now that he’s out of hiding.
Sweden has reopened its investigation of Julian Assange on rape allegations and will issue a European warrant for his arrest, state prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said Monday. Assange is currently in a British prison, where he’s being punished for eluding a similar warrant in 2012.
Swedish prosecutors had idled their case while Assange was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. But with the controversial WikiLeaks founder now in U.K. custody, Persson said, “conditions have changed in the case and I believe that there are again opportunities to push the matter forward.”
It will come down to who gets him first. The rape charges involve two Swedish women who say that Assange penetrated them unprotected without consent. One of the women, referred to as Miss W, said she was sleeping at the time Assange penetrated her.
The US is not likely to halt its pursuit of Assange just because the National Union of Journalists wants them to. Assange is also said to be ill at this time and concern of his health are taking center stage over his numerous accused crimes.
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