Has Hillary Clinton supporter read WikiLeaks
Extradition proceedings against Wikileaks founders : Can his young family save Julian Assange?
After almost six months of corona-related interruption, the extradition proceedings against the most prominent prisoner in Great Britain will continue on Monday. If the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is deported to the USA, he faces up to 175 years imprisonment for computer hacking and espionage. The hearing in the London Magistrate Court in the famous Old Bailey is estimated to take several weeks.
The current situation
The conditions of detention in Belmarsh prison just outside London have remained the same. But the public may now see the 49-year-old with slightly different eyes. As soon as the lockdown was announced in March, Stella Moris, 37, turned to court and prison authorities with sensational news: She is not only part of Assange's legal team, but is also the mother of his two youngest children, three-year-old Gabriel and his 19 months old brother Max.
In order to reduce the risk of the corona virus in the tightly packed jail, her fiancé should be allowed to live with her temporarily and with appropriate monitoring. The request was denied.
Julian Assange's new family
The hitherto unknown existence of a London family could still be an advantage for the 49-year-old: the right to family life plays an important role in English law. On the other hand, the deportation would be “a death sentence for Julian”, believes Moris. The South African-born Londoner with a Spanish and Swedish passport recently explained in interviews that their relationship could remain a secret for years.
The lawyer, then still under the name Sara Gonzalez, responded in 2011 to an appeal by Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson, who needed help with the Swedish extradition proceedings, which were now closed. It was about Assange's alleged sex crimes against two women in Stockholm in the summer of 2010.
The Sunday Times asked Moris whether she was uncomfortable with these allegations. "The case quickly became very politically charged, and there were also serious procedural violations," says the lawyer, who also speaks Swedish. Moris also remained on Assange's legal team after he escaped extradition to Sweden in 2012 by fleeing to the London embassy of Ecuador near the upscale department store Harrods.
Over the years, the professional relationship has turned into a love affair. Fearing negative consequences, the couple kept the pregnancies secret from Assange's asylum seekers. He only met his youngest son in prison.
Wikileaks published US secret documents in 2010 and 2011, partly in collaboration with renowned media such as the New York Times, Guardian and Spiegel. This exposed war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Assange is said to have instigated the soldier Chelsea Manning, later convicted of treason, to copy the 250,000 diplomatic dispatches, Wikileaks denies this.
The US and UK governments have always justified their relentless persecution with the "threat to the security" of their citizens in volatile countries such as Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke as Vice President of "high-tech terrorism". The authorities failed to provide evidence that the publication had actually endangered human life.
Because of the targeted leaks in the 2016 US presidential election campaign, which repeatedly harmed the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump initially claimed that he loved Wikileaks. The administration of the incumbent president, however, has staunchly pursued the prosecution of Assange; it was not until June that the charges of computer espionage were extended again.
For months, veteran figureheads of the left, as well as artists and authors, have been mobilizing on both sides of the Atlantic. The 91-year-old linguist Noam Chomsky praised Assange's activities on Saturday as "the very best journalism": it was important to defend the Australian against a "runaway state power".
“We have to stand together,” demands the writer Alice Walker (“The Color Purple”). Fashion legend Vivienne Westwood protested in the summer as a “canary in a cage” in front of the courthouse against the continued imprisonment of her “brilliant” friend. However, many former media allies have turned their backs on the Australian journalist, who is considered difficult to do.
The political dimension
The Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to get rid of the Australian as quickly as possible, no matter how. However, the conservative party felt uneasy about the unequal extradition treaty with the USA.
Washington refuses to extradite Anne Sacoolas, who killed the teenager Harry Dunn in a traffic accident in England last year and hit the road. Oddly enough, the perpetrator is the wife of a CIA agent, possibly even a member of the secret service whose investigations are the basis of the proceedings against Assange.
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