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Assange’s final attempt to avoid US extradition underway in London

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Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has commenced what may be his final opportunity to halt his extradition from Britain to the United States. His legal team asserts that his case is politically motivated and holds implications for journalists globally.

U.S. prosecutors aim to try Assange on 18 charges linked to WikiLeaks’ release of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables, contending that the disclosures endangered lives. However, Assange’s supporters view him as a champion of journalistic integrity, persecuted for revealing U.S. misconduct.

Speaking outside the High Court in London, Assange’s wife, Stella, likened his situation to that of Alexei Navalny, the Russian activist who recently died in custody, emphasizing the perceived risks to Assange’s life.

Assange’s legal ordeal, which commenced in 2010, led to his seven-year confinement in Ecuador’s embassy in London. Subsequently, he was arrested in 2019 and has since been detained in a maximum-security facility in southeast London.

According to Assange’s lawyer, his prosecution represents an assault on journalistic practices and the public’s right to information, garnering support from organizations like Amnesty International and Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

The U.S. contends that Assange aided in unlawfully obtaining classified materials and compromised the safety of sources. If Assange succeeds in this hearing, a full appeal will follow. Otherwise, his last recourse would be the European Court of Human Rights, where his legal team intends to seek emergency relief if necessary.

WikiLeaks gained prominence in 2010 by releasing a video depicting a fatal 2007 attack in Baghdad and subsequently unveiling classified documents shedding light on global leaders’ actions and assessments by the U.S.

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