Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, appeared today in court in the United Kingdom in a bid to avoid an extradition to the United States for charges of espionage.
Assange, who is currently being held in Belmarsh Prison, was presented to a court to try to postpone his extradition to the United States. When the Wikileaks architect arrived at the outside of the court, he met a large crowd of supporters, including musician MIA. Assange briefly greeted the public gallery, and was later taken to a private cell to meet with his lawyer, Gareth Peirce.
During the trial, the main allegation offered by Assange’s defense was that US prosecutors were not giving them enough time to be able to meet and properly plan their defense strategy.
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Within the court, Assange refrained from making political comments, merely saying his name, his date of birth, and questioning the various charges that are being imputed to him.
The creator of Wikileaks faces a total of 18 charges in the United States, among which highlight hacking. He considers that he was not acting badly, saying that it was a journalistic work backed by the first amendment.
Difficulties of the trial
Gareth Peirce said officials in charge of Belmarsh prison make it very difficult for her to meet with her client, in what she described as a clear violation of Assange’s human rights by denying him the right to defense.
After making known what happened during the trial, many groups of people in favor of Assange have expressed that the charges against him could cause negative effects on free speech.
At the moment, Assange has a hearing regarding the extradition to the United States scheduled for the end of February, which would last five days. Although his lawyers have tried to postpone it several times to prepare a better defense, all these requests have been rejected.
Additionally, it is good to note that Assange has already served a 50-week prison sentence in Britain, so if the extradition is canceled, he would be freed, as he has no additional charges outside the U.S.