Julian Assange NEWS

A new indictment against Julian Assange could further delay what was already expected to be a protracted battle to get the WikiLeaks founder out of a London jail cell and into a U.S. court, opening the door for his legal team to argue that the Espionage Act charges are political and thus not covered by an extradition treaty between the two countries. U.S. authorities want to extradite Assange to face charges that he directed the publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julian Assange, 47 and originally from Australia, is serving a 50-week sentence in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April. He has insisted he will fight extradition. Though the United States and the United Kingdom have a longstanding extradition treaty, one exception is for political offenses. The criteria aren’t clearly spelled out, but Assange and his lawyers are likely to use the charges filed Thursday to argue that the Justice Department wants to put him on trial for crimes that are inherently political in that they involve the acquisition and publication of government secrets. “At least on the face of it, it seems like it would complicate the ability of the United States to extradite Assange from the U.K. because we often think of espionage as one type of political offense,” said Ashley Deeks, a University of Virginia law professor and national security and international…

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