The US is seeking Assange's extradition because of disclosures, not political views

Julian Assange / Photo EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is accused of revealing the names of the sources, and not of his political views, claim the American lawyers who today demand the extradition of the Australian.

US prosecutors are seeking a trial against Assange, 52, over WikiLeaks' release of numerous US military files and diplomatic cables. Washington claims that the Australian endangered the lives of American agents and that there is no justification for his criminal acts. His supporters, on the other hand, celebrate him as a hero who was prosecuted for exposing American crimes.

In 2010, among other things, WikiLeaks published a video of US warplanes killing civilians in the capital of Iraq, as well as information about hundreds of civilians killed during the US invasion of Afghanistan, writes BBC.

Assange is backed by Amnesty International, a number of media groups and politicians, including Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, whose party voted in parliament last week to return him to Australia.

Yesterday, Assange's lawyers told a London court that his persecution was political in nature and that he was being prosecuted for uncovering crimes at the state level and that former Republican President Donald Trump had asked for "detailed options" on how to kill him, reports Reuters.

US lawyers said today that Assange's prosecution "is based on the rule of law and evidence".

"The prosecution of the applicant may be unprecedented, but what he did was also unprecedented," Claire Dobbin told the court that will decide on Assange's extradition to the United States.

Assange "indiscriminately and knowingly disclosed to the world the names of individuals who were sources of information for the United States," she added. "These facts distinguish the complainant's position from the New York Times and other media outlets," she continued. "That is the objective basis of his persecution." "These facts set him apart, not his political views," she said.

The Australian did not appear in court again today because he is not feeling well. His legal battles began in 2010, after which he spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Then, in 2019, he was taken out of that institution and arrested for breaching bail and remains in a London jail to this day.

The UK has approved his extradition to the US in 2022, but he has appealed the decision. If he loses in court in London, he has only the option of the European Court of Human Rights.

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