The Wikileaks Saga Could Be Over Soon

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Photo Credit: fulopszokemariann, via Pixabay

The hearing for Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States finally concluded. This was his last appeal in British courts before his extradition would be approved.

Assange stands accused of espionage, helping to leak classified American documents on the War on Terror. His group, Wikileaks, has been posting classified documents from around the world on a server in Sweden. The US alleges that he helped American leakers such as Bradley (Chelsea) Manning and Edward Snowden in hacking the material. Fox News reports:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s hearing at the British High Court in London for his possible final appeal challenging his extradition to the U.S. concluded on Wednesday. The court is not expected to make a decision on the Australian publisher’s fate until at least next month.

The two-day appeal hearing before a panel of two judges wrapped up after U.S. lawyers delivered arguments, as they seek to have Assange, 52, sent to the U.S. to face espionage charges for publishing classified U.S. military documents 14 years ago.

Assange was accused of sexual assault in Sweden, forcing him to seek refuge in the UK. Following the American arrest warrant, he found refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years. When expelled, he was arrested by British police and has been fighting five years against his extradition. The Hill says:

Assange has spent the last five years in Belmarsh Prison, on the outskirts of London. Before that, he spent seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

“He is being prosecuted for engaging in ordinary journalistic practice of obtaining and publishing classified information, information that is both true and of obvious and important public interest,” Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer, said in court, per The Associated Press.

Privacy advocates have long called for Assange’s release or pardon, while many in Washington have sought his arrest and conviction to crack down on leaks. Support for his cause has cut across party lines, with many opposed to government surveillance and American nation building in the Republican and Democrat party calling for dropping charges.

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