LONDON (Reuters) – The plump extradition hearing to resolve whether Wikileaks founder Julian Assange ought to light be despatched to the United States to face accusations including spying prices will happen in February subsequent twelve months, a London court ruled on Friday.
Assange, 47, faces 18 counts within the U.S. including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage legislation. He might possibly well perhaps utilize decades in penal complicated if convicted.
“It is predominant that folk aren’t fooled into believing that WikiLeaks is anything but a writer,” said Assange, who seemed by videolink from a London penal complicated, dressed in a gray T-shirt and wearing shadowy-framed glasses.
“The U.S. government has tried to lie to the press,” he told Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket.
As Ben Brandon, the attorney representing the United States, ran through a summary of the prices in opposition to him including that he had cracked a U.S. Defense network password, Assange said: “I didn’t hack anything.”
Australian-born Assange came to prominence when WikiLeaks printed a entire bunch of hundreds of secret U.S. diplomatic cables in 2010, angering Washington which said he had build lives at risk.
His supporters hail him as a hero for exposing what they list as abuse of energy by as a lot as date states and for championing free speech.
He spent nearly seven years holed up in puny rooms at the Ecuadorean embassy in London the set he fled in 2012 to lead clear of extradition to Sweden the set he used to be wanted for questioning over allegations of rape.
He used to be dragged from the embassy on April 11 and jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail.
The US has since charged Assange with a range of offences including espionage, asserting he unlawfully printed the names of secret sources and conspiring with ex-Military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to procedure obtain staunch of entry to to classified knowledge.
Brandon said Assange’s actions had been unhealthy and “by publishing the unredacted field cloth Mr Assange created grave and forthcoming risk that many intelligence sources, including journalists, human rights defenders and political activists would endure severe physical injury or arbitrary detention.”
Nonetheless, Assange’s attorney Trace Summers said the prices were an “wicked and plump fronted assault on journalist rights and free speech” and that his client did not be pleased obtain staunch of entry to to a computer to enable him to apply the case.
He told the court that Assange, who had been too sick to relief the old hearing in Could, used to be receiving healthcare. He did not make clear.
Deem Emma Arbuthnot said the plump extradition case might possibly well perhaps be heard within the week starting Feb. 25 subsequent twelve months.
Writing by Michael Holden; bettering by Stephen Addison