Friday, August 7, 2020 | ePaper

Assange surprised by timing of new US indictment

  • Print


Reuters, London :
Julian Assange's lawyer said on Monday he was surprised that the US authorities issued a new and wider indictment last week against the WikiLeaks founder whom they are seeking to extradite from Britain.
Assange is wanted by U.S. authorities to stand trial for 18 offences including conspiring to hack government computers and espionage. Last year, the United States began extradition proceedings after he was dragged from London's Ecuadorean embassy where he had been holed up for almost seven years. The U.S. Department for Justice issued a second, superseding indictment last week which, it said, contained no new charges but broadened "the scope of the conspiracy" and included accusations of recruiting hackers.
"We are to say the least surprised by the timing of this development," Assange's lawyer Mark Summers told a brief technical hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, adding it could derail the timing for the case.
Assange's full extradition hearing began in February but was interrupted by Britain's coronavirus lockdown and is now scheduled to resume on Sept. 7.
Judge Vanessa Baraister said the case would "almost certainly" be now held at London's Old Bailey criminal court.
Assange himself was again absent from Monday's hearing and unable to appear by videolink from prison because of medical reasons, Summers said.
Baraitser said the prison had said Assange was not unwell but was choosing not to attend. She said his legal team needed to provide up-to-date medical information for the next hearing. Summers said the medical issues related to Assange attending the court via an unventilated video booth. His lawyers say he has had past respiratory illnesses making him susceptible to COVID-19. Assange, 48, an Australian, fears decades in prison if convicted in the United States and calls the case against him a threat to free speech. Washington says he put the lives of informants in danger by publishing secret diplomatic cables.

More News For this Category

Hiroshima marks 75 years since atomic bombing in scaled-back ceremony

Hiroshima marks 75 years since atomic bombing in scaled-back ceremony

Reuters, Tokyo :Bells tolled in Hiroshima on Thursday for the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing, with ceremonies downsized due to the coronavirus and the city's mayor urging

Lebanon mourns victims of devastating blast, searches for missing

Lebanon mourns victims of devastating blast, searches for missing

Reuters :Lebanon mourned on Thursday the victims of the most powerful blast to hit the country that was already being crushed by an economic crisis, as rescuers searched for those

China threatens countermeasures as Taiwan prepares for U.S. visit

Reuters, Beijing :China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up

Turkish women rally against domestic violence as ruling party contemplates leaving key rights treaty

Turkish women rally against domestic violence as ruling party contemplates leaving key rights treaty

CNN :Women poured into rallies across Turkey on Wednesday over fears of Ankara's potential withdrawal from a European treaty on gender-based violence.Chanting their support for the treaty, women chanted, "The

Facebook rejects request to release Myanmar officials' data for genocide case

Reuters :Facebook has objected to a request from Gambia, which has accused Myanmar at the World Court of genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority, to release posts and communications by

S Africa urges Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan to continue Nile dam talks

S Africa urges Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan to continue Nile dam talks

Al Jazeera News :South Africa, the current mediator in a long-running feud over Ethiopia's dam on the Blue Nile, on Thursday urged that talks should continue despite threats of suspension

Pompeo offers $10m reward over election interference

Pompeo offers $10m reward over election interference

AFP :Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the United States would offer a $10 million reward to arrest any state actor who interferes in the November elections.US intelligence has

Australia`s Morrison says US-China war no longer inconceivable

Australia`s Morrison says US-China war no longer inconceivable

Al Jazeera News :Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said his government held a less dramatic view of US-China strategic tensions than a predecessor who warned of a potential

Colombia top court places ex-President Uribe under house arrest

Colombia top court places ex-President Uribe under house arrest

Al Jazeera News :Colombia's Supreme Court has placed former President Alvaro Uribe under house arrest while a fraud and witness tampering case against him continues.The high court's unanimous decision published

Giant of Northern Ireland peace Hume laid to rest in small service

Giant of Northern Ireland peace Hume laid to rest in small service

Reuters, Londonderry :Northern Ireland peacemaker John Hume was remembered for his unshakeable commitment to non-violence at a small funeral on Wednesday where the pope, former U.S. President Bill Clinton