US makes formal request for Julian Assange’s extradition

The Washington Post has announced that officials from the DoJ issued the request to the authorities in the UK last Thursday, although the document hasn’t been made public.  After Assange’s arrest on April 11, the government had 60 days to deliver a complete extradition request to the UK; the hearing on the request is scheduled for June 14 at Belmarsh prison Magistrate’s Court.  The WaPo has confirmed that the Trump administration is charging him on 18 counts, 17 of which are for violating the Espionage Act.

‘US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition’,
Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019, wsws.org; some outtakes:

“Under existing British and US laws, individuals who are extradited from the UK to the US cannot be charged with additional crimes other than those included in the formal extradition request, or that were allegedly committed after the application had been issued.

According to the Washington Post, the Justice Department will not charge Assange over WikiLeaks 2017 publication of a trove of documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) dubbed “Vault 7.” “According to government officials,” it stated, that decision was taken “out of concern that doing so would do more damage to national security.”

WikiLeaks has repeatedly explained that the stepped-up US pursuit of Assange stemmed from the release of “Vault 7.” Its publication prompted then CIA director Mike Pompeo to denounce Assange in April 2017 as a “demon” and WikiLeaks as a “hostile non-state intelligence agency.”

US officials immediately stepped up their campaign to pressure the Ecuadorian authorities to rescind Assange’s asylum and evict him from the embassy. They also initiated the FBI investigation that culminated in the Espionage Act charges.

“Vault 7” exposed the CIA’s development of offensive hacking capabilities and its deployment of malicious computer viruses. Documents demonstrated that the agency had developed the ability to hack into computer systems and leave “tell-tale signs,” so as to attribute the attacks to adversaries such as Russia, China and Iran.

Under existing British and US laws, individuals who are extradited from the UK to the US cannot be charged with additional crimes other than those included in the formal extradition request, or that were allegedly committed after the application had been issued.

According to the Washington Post, the Justice Department will not charge Assange over WikiLeaks 2017 publication of a trove of documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) dubbed “Vault 7.” “According to government officials,” it stated, that decision was taken “out of concern that doing so would do more damage to national security.

“Last Friday, WikiLeaks warned that the US was also seeking to revive an attempt by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to frame Assange for “computer hacking” in Iceland in 2011.

The media organisation reported that Icelandic FBI informant Sigurdur Thordarson, who has previously been convicted of fraud and embezzlement, had travelled to Washington DC late last month to answer questions, potentially leading to additional concocted charges against Assange. Thordarson was also interviewed in Iceland in early May by the FBI team that has led the investigation into Assange.”

Even via ‘private window’ I wasn’t able to get into the WaPo, but this piece seems to have all, or most of their report, and I’ll clip a passage that concerns the report of extra charges in Grenfell’s two paragraphs about criminal Sigurdur Thordarson above:

‘US makes formal extradition request to Britain for Julian Assange of WikiLeaks’, Jerry Dunleavy, June 10, 2019, washingtonexaminer.com

“The Justice Department said those charges “relate to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”

The U.S. government alleges that Assange “actively solicited United States classified information, including by publishing a list of ‘Most Wanted Leaks’ that sought, among other things, classified documents” starting in late 2009.

The extradition treaty between the two nations would make it very difficult for Assange to be charged with further crimes once he is brought from the U.K. to the U.S., because the agreement says that persons extradited under the treaty can only be tried for crimes “for which extradition was granted” or crimes that are carried out “after the extradition of the person.” The idea that someone cannot be prosecuted for crimes not mentioned in their extradition proceedings is known in international law as the Doctrine of Speciality, although a provision in the treaty does say that the U.K. could potentially waive that provision if the U.S. asks.

Describing Assange as “the public face of WikiLeaks,” the Justice Department said he founded the website with the purpose of it being “an intelligence agency of the people.” The superseding indictment also said the information that WikiLeaks published “included names of local Afghans and Iraqis who had provided information to U.S. and coalition forces,” which prosecutors alleged “created a grave and imminent risk that the innocent people he named would suffer serious physical harm and/or arbitrary detention.”

“The Justice Department said the disclosures from WikiLeaks put sources working with the U.S. “at great risk to their own safety,” including “journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents who were living in repressive regimes and reported to the United States the abuses of their own government.”

“Nor was the WikiLeaks founder charged in connection to Russia’s election interference in 2016. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report said Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, or GRU, hacked into Democratic Party email systems, stole thousands of their emails, and then distributed them through two GRU-operated fronts — the DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 websites. Mueller further reports “the GRU units transferred many of the documents they stole from the DNC and the chairman of the Clinton Campaign to WikiLeaks.”

Dunleavy adds that Assange can appeal his case to a higher British court and perhaps even to the European Court of Human Rights.  Oddly,  none of the WikiLeaks on Twitter doesn’t have the news, nor do any of the related accounts I’d checked.

We have no idea of Julian’s current medical condition, as it’s been over a month since Nils Melzer and the docs had examined him, and I don’t trust that Ruptly video RT.com has up for a second, myself.

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

10 responses to “US makes formal request for Julian Assange’s extradition

  1. Greyson Smythe

    Sajid Javid signs US extradition order for Julian Assange

    The Guardian,

  2. Greyson Smythe

    Sajid Javid signs US extradition order for Julian Assange

    The Guardian, By Matthew Weaver, June 13

    The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday, Javid said: “He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.”

    […]

    Javid said: “It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts.”

    • thanks, greyson; i was just coming over to add it. i did a separate diary at c99, and chose exactly the same two paragraph’s of the guardian’s coverage.

      let’s see: i don’t even need to follow procols, hearing then decision, i know what i need to do….and will do my duty. what an evil fuquetard javid is. have you read the diary above? what is and is NOT in it?

  3. ‘Julian Assange to face US extradition hearing in UK next year’; WikiLeaks founder, indicted on 18 counts in US, will have a five-day hearing in February

    “At Westminster magistrates court on Friday, the chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, ordered that a full extradition hearing should begin on 25 February.

    Ben Brandon, representing the US, formally opened the case, a day after an extradition request was signed off by the home secretary, Sajid Javid.

    “This is related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States,” Brandon told the court.

    As Brandon ran through a summary of the accusations against Assange, including that he had cracked a US defence network password, Assange, appearing by video link, protested: “I didn’t break any password whatsoever.”

    Assange, 47, who was dressed in a grey T-shirt, had a white beard and was wearing black-framed glasses, said 175 years of his life was at stake and defended his website against hacking claims, saying: “WikiLeaks is nothing but a publisher.”

    you’ll remember Lady emma arbuthnot, no doubt, and her vicious Tory hubbie MP,

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/14/julian-assange-to-face-us-extradition-hearing-in-uk-next-year

    a dozen supporters were outside the court. a whole dozen? crikey.

  4. I love Julian Assange. His future seems to be martyrdom though. But hopefully Wikileaks will carry on

  5. i love him, too, and it’s hard not to agree that he’ll be a martyr. without him, it’s hard to see WL carrying on, but the group is still accepting submissions. i wrote up more recent doings that i hadn’t posted here, but i don’t even remember why that was.

    but his 5-day trial has been postponed until feb. 2020.

    ‘British Home Secretary signs extradition order to send Julian Assange to US: *Updated’

    https://caucus99percent.com/content/british-home-secretary-signs-extradition-order-send-julian-assange-us-updated

    nice to have you stop by, complicated politics.

  6. The USA Bullies must send the small people a message: We will, We will, We will, KILL YOU if you dare to tell the truth about our lying ways…..

    • yeppers. and i just saw on RT or somewhere that ‘Lady’ judge arbuthnot will NOT recuse her (assholish) self from presiding over his coming show trial in…gads, february is it?

    • well done, and thank you. the section in which he wrote about discomfiting bush, then the D’s communications…excellent cal-out of the hypocrisy and shift to rage against julian!

      but as to this:
      “It is fashionable in the journalistic community to accuse Trump of “waging war on a free press.” Yet most of his actions have consisted of little more than rude comments, combined with occasional harassment, such as suspending the White House credentials of adversaries in the press. But that type of petty conduct does not constitute a real threat to press freedoms. Prosecuting Julian Assange for publishing leaked classified information is such a real threat, and defenders of the First Amendment must unite to repel it.”

      that is incorrect, imo. when the espionage charges were added was due to pompeo’s rage on wikileaks’ having publshed the cia vaults. it was also the reason that the freedom of the press foundation that anonymizes contributions…threw the organization out. it was a unanimous decision, trevor timm said (on pastebook), and included…daniel ellberg’s vote. you can find that fukkery in my ‘wikileaks’ category on the sidebar.

      and most recently, not the guardian, but CNN’s false news that’s been deconstructed by many, although the only time i’d weighed in on what most hadn’t seen…was on a long-dead diary at c99%. let me go fetch the link in case you haven’t seen it.

      ‘Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling’, cnn, july 15, 2019

      it’s a breathtaking hit full of lies, distortions, and twisted old news
      https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/15/politics/assange-embassy-exclusive-documents/index.html

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s