A new chapter for jailed Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange has started, with a potential extradition to the United States to face prosecution in the cards. However, according to his lawyers, extradition is “unjustified”.
After revealing top government secrets across the US military in 2012, Julian Assange was living at the Embassy of Ecuador in London. He chose to stay there in order to remain free in the United Kingdom.
However, his erratic behavior made him loose his chance to continue his exile in the embassy.
Last week, the new President of Ecuador Lenín Moreno decided to expel Julian Assange due to his disturbing behavior. According to sources, Assange was about to create a “spy center” in the building.
A dramatic arrest
Julian Assange, known for his silver hair and his smiling face, seemed dramatically aged on April 11th. A bearded man, with a pale complexion showed up in front of dozens of cameras, taken from the embassy to the police car that drove to the Belmarsh prison.
While the public eye had become used to his weekly appearance at the embassy’s window, his mostly-anticipated arrest last week hit the headlines.
Mueller report to shed a new light
Forced by police officers to get in the police car, the former Australian hacker addressed a message to his fans via his lawyer, Jennifer Robinson. “All he wanted to tell you was ‘I told you so’ – I told you so,” said his lawyer.
— CNN International (@cnni) April 11, 2019
For many, this announcement coincides with the publication of the Mueller report in the United States. Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, had in 2017 begun an investigation against the President of the United States Donald Trump.
In a new section of the Mueller report released last Thursday, a dark detail about Julian Assange’s responsibility at the DNC was shared. According to Mueller, Assange allegedly used the death of Seth Rich, an employee of Hillary Clinton to wrongly condemn Rich for complicity.
Rich’s family has always refused to believe he was working in any capacity with Assange. The former DNC consultant’s relatives always said that he was never involved with Wikileaks, a false accusation that will only worsen Assange’s situation in the United States.
Read our story: “Is The World Wide Web In Danger?“
As a result, at the end of this week, the United States requested the extradition of Assange to the United States. While his lawyer uses his self-proclaimed journalist status, he could face a year in prison in Britain, where he has been living since 2012.
But in the United States, Assange could receive a much heavier sentence. While his lawyer Jennifer Robinson has said he would challenge his extradition, the founder of Wikileaks could well spend the rest of his days behind bars.
Assange notably shared files considered top secret by Washington. The Manning affair earned a military man seven years in jail – and Wikileaks’ founder could be sentenced to even a longer term, having shared hundreds of state secrets.
A petition to “save” Assange
If the future looks very cloudy for the Australian hacker, a few handful celebrities have been speaking publicly to defend him. They see his arrest from a different angle.
According to the philosopher Slavoj Zizek, Julian Assange is a victim. “Assange taught us to love the tarnished freedom of the West and it’s our turn to help him,” he told The Independent newspaper in English.
Zizek also added that Julian Assange was rightly paranoid, since Mueller “wants him done” and that his apartment in the embassy “was tapped”.
— Bean #DropTheCharges🔥 (@SomersetBean) April 11, 2019
A petition is currently buzzing online in order to stop the extradition of Julian Assange. “Mueller wants to make it his priority, but he is still the former boss of the FBI … We would all be worried and paranoid if we were Julian,” the Slavoj Zizek concluded.
Beyond the government secret violations, Julian Assange was accused of rape in Sweden and sexual harassment several times in the past few years. Next hearing will be on Thursday, May 2nd 2019.