The case Assange’s lawyers will try to make

John Helmer, an independent reporter who mostly writes about Russia, said that Julian Assange’s British lawyers will defend him by putting American justice on trial.

British courts have refused Russian requests to extradite Russians on corruption charges, on the grounds that the Russians would not get a fair trial.  They almost certainly would not extradite a Russian on charges of revealing state secrets.

Assange’s lawyers will argue that Assange cannot get a fair trial in the United States any more than an anti-government Russian could get a fair trial in Russia.

The U.S. government has charged Assange with conspiring with then-Pvt. Bradley Manning to gain unauthorized access to a government computer, a charge that carries a maximum five-year sentence.

Ecuador released Assange on the understanding that he would not be tried in a country with the death penalty.  The United States of course has the death penalty, just not on that particular charge.

Assange’s lawyers will argue that there is no guarantee that, once Assange is in U.S. custody, additional charges will not be added, including violation of the Espionage Act, which carries a possible penalty of death.

The computer tampering that Assange is accused of helping occurred in March, 2010.

Assange’s lawyers will argue that, if he was in London at that time, he should be tried on this charge in a British court, not an American one.

Overall, their strategy will be to try to put the United States government on trial rather than Assange.

Helmer added that British lawyers think Assange’s chances of winning are slim, but not hopeless.

And the Wikileaks publisher already has suffered enough to deter most people from attempting to publish unauthorized U.S. government leaks in the future.   He was effectively under house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy for nearly seven years.

Caitlin Johnstone noted that Assange is in Belmarsh Prison, a maximum security prison, and that, according to his mother, he has been denied visits from lawyers or doctors, even though he is in need of medical care.

LINKS

The Julian Assange Case Now Puts the U.S. on Trial in a British Court – Is That a Get-Out-of-Jail Free Card for Assange? by John Helmer for Dances With Bears.

The Prosecution of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange by Caitlin Johnstone.

WIKILEAKS DEFENSE FUND

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