Thursday, 7 January 2021

United Kingdom court refuses U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange, 4 January 2021

On 21 December 2017, a federal magistrate judge, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, issued a criminal complaint against Australian national Julian Assange, charging him with conspiracy contrary to Title 18 of the US Code, section 371. The offence alleged to be the object of the conspiracy was computer intrusion.

On 6 March 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Mr. Assange charging him with conspiracy to commit unlawful computer intrusion. The US submitted via diplomatic channels a provisional arrest request to the U.K. in relation to this charge. 

On 23 May 2019, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment containing 18 counts alleging further offences related to the obtaining, receiving and disclosure of “National Defense Information”. 

On the same date, a warrant was issued by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, for the arrest of Mr. Assange for the offences specified in the superseding warrant. 

On 6 June 2019 the US submitted via diplomatic channels a request for Mr. Assange’s extradition based on the charges in the superseding indictment. 

On 7 September 2020, Mr. Assange was arrested and brought before the court in the United Kingdom. 

If extradited Julian Assange was reportedly facing up to 175 years in jail for the publication of classified information on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as publication of thousands of US diplomatic cables between 2010 and 2011.

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