Julian Assange Lawyer Makes Desperate Plea

(RepublicanPress.org) – British authorities have been holding Julian Assange in London’s HM Prison Belmarsh since April 2019 following his conviction for bail jumping related to a European arrest warrant. The WikiLeaks founder has been fighting extradition to the United States for several years following his indictment by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in March 2018. Prosecutors filed superseding indictments in May 2019 and June 2020.

Prosecutors alleged Assange conspired to commit computer intrusion related to nearly 750,000 US Army intelligence files leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former analyst. The superseding indictments added multiple counts of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information, obtaining national defense information, and disclosing national defense information.

On March 26, the King’s Bench Division of the British High Court of Justice delayed Assange’s latest application for leave to appeal an order granting the US government’s request for his extradition until May 20. The two-judge panel stipulated that the United States government must provide assurances that the courts will respect his free speech protections and that he won’t be subject to capital punishment before it would agree to his transfer to US authorities.

The High Court held that Assange could pursue his appeal if the US government failed to meet those demands, prompting his lawyer to make a desperate plea.

Julian Assange’s Lawyer Calls for Political Remedy To Save Him

One of Assange’s attorneys, Greg Barns SC (Senior Counsel), talked to media outlets about the order shortly after the High Court released its ruling. Assange is a native-born citizen of Australia.

Barns said he wanted to “see the Australian government” continue its efforts to seek a political resolution to the situation. He warned that Assange’s health would continue declining if he remained in Belmarsh much longer. Barns also noted that, at its core, the case against his client was political and not criminal.

The following day, Barns penned an exhaustive opinion piece for The Guardian, a highly respected British news agency, discussing his client’s predicament. He said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government needed to “work aggressively” to guarantee President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland “end” the American government’s insidious “attack on freedom of the press.”

Continuing, Barns pointed out that Assange had suffered enough already since the US prosecutors started pursuing him 12 years ago. He pointed out his client’s seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy before his 2019 transfer to Belmarsh Prison.

Barns also asserted that prosecuting Assange didn’t serve the public interest. He claimed the case represented an “unprecedented attempt” by US officials to prosecute an individual who is not a US citizen and was not in the country at the time of his alleged crimes. He also pointed to the “chilling impact” on other publishers and journalists if America extradited and prosecuted his client.

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