Protesters demonstrate outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday
Protesters demonstrate outside London's Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to fight extradition to US

ANI | Updated: May 02, 2019 23:33 IST

London [UK], May 2 (ANI): WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday told a London court that he will fight extradition to the United States where he faces trial for conspiring to hack a US government website, one of the largest compromises of classified information in history.
Asked at a hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court whether he agreed to be extradited to the US, the WikiLeaks founder said that he does not wish to surrender to extradition for doing 'journalism that has won many awards', appearing via a video link from a British prison cited by Al Jazeera.
The US has requested the extradition of Assange, who was kicked out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London after the South American nation revoked his political asylum on April 11, and has charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion which carries a maximum penalty of five years.
Assange, 47, was jailed for 50 weeks on Wednesday for skipping bail in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden where he faced rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women.
"We've been saying since 2010 that the risk is real, and now we have a provisional extradition request from the United States," the state media quoted Assange's personal lawyer Jennifer Robinson as saying.
"The focus of our energies will now be on fighting that extradition request," she added.
Meanwhile, protests in support of Assange have been planned in London, Berlin, and Paris on Thursday to coincide with the start of extradition proceedings in Britain. The demonstrators will include slogans saying, "We are all Julian Assange," at n event at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin in Germany.
Assange was accused of scheming with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break a password for a classified US government computer.
Manning served seven years of a 35-year prison term for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks before former US President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017. She was jailed again in March after refusing to give evidence to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson was quoted as saying on Wednesday that the extradition battle was "a question of life and death" for Assange. (ANI)