12:14, June 11 35 0 theguardian.com

2019-06-11 12:14:05
Julian Assange: US charges expected to be revealed at hearing

The US will detail all the charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, when it seeks his extradition in a London court, the editor-in-chief of the whistleblowing website has said.

“The American authorities, the Department of Justice, will present the evidence in support of their extradition demand,” Kristinn Hrafnsson said.

The US justice department confirmed on Tuesday it had submitted a formal extradition request. The 47-year-old Australian is not expected to attend Friday’s hearing but could take part from prison via video-link, although it will be largely procedural.

The “first real confrontation of arguments” in court will not be for several weeks or months, Hrafnsson said.

Assange lived inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years after being granted asylum while on the run from extradition to Sweden over accusations of sexual assault.

Timeline

Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy



WikiLeaks releases about 470,000 classified military documents concerning American diplomacy and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It later releases a further tranche of more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables.

A Swedish prosecutor issues a European arrest warrant for Assange over sexual assault allegations involving two Swedish women. Assange denies the claims.

He turns himself in to police in London and is placed in custody. He is later released on bail and calls the Swedish allegations a smear campaign.

A British judge rules that Assange can be extradited to Sweden. Assange fears Sweden will hand him over to US authorities who could prosecute him.

He takes refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He requests, and is later granted, political asylum.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention says Assange has been 'arbitrarily detained' and should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden. Britain and Sweden rebuff the non-binding ruling.

Assange is questioned in a two-day interview over the allegations at the Ecuadorian embassy by Swedish authorities.

WikiLeaks says Assange could travel to the United States to face investigation if his rights are 'guaranteed'. It comes after one of the site's main sources of leaked documents, Chelsea Manning, is given clemency.

Nigel Farage is spotted visiting the Ecuadorian embassy. 

Swedish prosecutors say they have closed their seven-year sex assault investigation into Assange. British police say they would still arrest him if he leaves the embassy as he breached the terms of his bail in 2012.

Britain refuses Ecuador's request to accord Assange diplomatic status, which would allow him to leave the embassy without being arrested.

He loses a bid to have his British arrest warrant cancelled on health grounds.

Ecuador cuts off Assange's internet access alleging he broke an agreement on interfering in other countries' affairs.

US prosecutors inadvertently disclose the existence of a sealed indictment against Assange.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno says Assange has 'repeatedly violated' the conditions of his asylum at the embassy.

Police arrest Assange at the embassy after his asylum was withdrawn. Scotland Yard confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition. Assange has been charged by the US with 'a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.'

He is jailed for 50 weeks in the UK for breaching his bail conditions back in 2012. An apology letter from Assange is read out in court, but the judge rules that he had engaged in a “deliberate attempt to evade justice”. On the following day the US extradition proceedings were formally started. 

Swedish prosecutors announce they are reopening an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange.



He was arrested by British police in April after Ecuador finally withdrew his asylum and is now serving a 50-week prison sentence for violating his bail conditions.

The US has accused Assange of violating the US Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010. The 18 charges against Assange reject his claim he was simply a publisher receiving leaked material, which would be protected under press freedom legislation.

Hrafnsson said the charges were “very revealing about the nature of this entire case”. He said the Espionage Act was part of an “archaic legal framework ... and has never been used against a publisher and a journalist”.

“It’s an indication of the watershed moment that we are now seeing in the attack on journalism,” he said.

Assange is being detained at Belmarsh high-security prison in London, where he has been transferred to a medical unit due to concerns about his health.

He received a visit on Tuesday from his father, John Shipton, and the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, the Press Association reported.

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