22
Friday
November 2019
1:01 AM IST
News Headlines
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | About Deepika 
International News
UK court sets Feb 2020 timetable for Assange US extradition trial
 
London: A UK judge on Friday set a February 2020 timeline for the extradition trial of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who faces charges of computer hacking and espionage in the US. At a Westminster Magistrates'' Court hearing in London, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ruled that a full extradition hearing lasting five days should begin on February 25 next year, after UK home secretary Sajid Javid had certified the US extradition request. Assange, who appeared via videolink from the high-security Belmarsh prison for the hearing, told the judge that "175 years of my life is effectively at stake" as he defended his website against hacking claims. "WikiLeaks is nothing but a publisher," he said.

The barrister representing the 47-year-old Australian national described the charges against his client as raising a "multiplicity of profound issues" and told the court that his client will also be challenging his 50-week imprisonment for breach of his bail conditions in the UK. "We say it [the case] represents an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights," said Mark Summers. A large group of Assange supporters had gathered outside the courtroom to chant slogans and wave placards calling for "Justice for Assange". Opening the proceedings, barrister Ben Brandon, representing the US authorities, said: "This [case] is related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States."

He claimed that the US evidence will show that Assange "first encouraged" former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to illegally obtain documents and then agreed with her to "crack" a password on a Pentagon computer. "By taking steps to crack the password hash, it''s said that Mr Assange was also attempting to illegally obtain and receive classified information," Brandon said. The documents in question were said to be related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and information on secret intelligence sources. "By publishing that unredacted material on the internet, Mr Assange created a grave and imminent risk that human intelligence sources, including journalists, human rights defenders and political activists, would suffer serious physical harm or arbitrary detention," Brandon said.

On Thursday, UK home secretary Javid confirmed that he had signed an order following a request from the US government to extradite the Wikileaks co-founder. "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,” the senior Pakistani-origin minister said. Assange, who faces an 18-count indictment by the US Justice Department, had been too ill to appear before the court at a scheduled hearing last month and appeared wearing a grey T-shirt and still sporting his white beard.

Judge Arbuthnot, who presides over a number of high-profile Indian extradition requests including that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and diamond merchant Nirav Modi, is also in charge of his extradition trial. Unlike the India-UK Extradition Treaty, the US-UK treaty involves a relatively simpler legal process for extradition as the requesting state does not require to establish an elaborate prima facie case against the accused before the British courts. The charges against Assange under the US Espionage Act accuse him of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer. Assange has consistently denied the allegations and his supporters have accused the US and UK governments of an attack on free speech.

He is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for breach of his bail conditions after he spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had sought asylum. It emerged last week that plans for an extradition request from Sweden over allegations of sexual attacks in the country had suffered a setback as a Swedish district court ruled against Assange''s detention. Swedish prosecutors had dropped their rape investigation in 2017 but reopened it after Ecuador withdrew its offer of asylum to Assange in April this year and allowed Scotland Yard to arrest him.


Lankan Prez names elder brother Mahinda as PM after Wickremesinghe resigns
Nawaz Sharif meets medical experts for check-up in London
Ailing former Pak PM Nawaz Sharif leaves for London for treatment
Swedish prosecutor drops Assange rape probe
Newly-elected Lankan President to visit India on Nov 29
Sri Lanka will be friendly with all nations, but neutral in matters among int'l powers: Gotabaya
Pak successfully conducts test launch of nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile
Democrats invite Trump to testify in impeachment inquiry
Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins Sri Lankan presidential election: Official results
Ailing Sharif to travel to London on Tuesday for medical treatment
Burkina Faso army says 32 'terrorists' killed in two operations
Diplomat says he overheard Trump call about 'investigations'
Vote count on in Sri Lanka presidential election
Bolivia's growing crisis turns deadly as 5 killed in clash
Lanka PM appeals to people to vote peacefully and maintain law & order
EU rebuffs American pitch of quick deal for more lobsters
Russia plans to deliver S-400 missile systems to India on schedule: Putin
Impeachment proceedings a 'sham and should not be allowed': Trump
New Gaza rockets disrupt Israel, Islamic Jihad cease-fire
Climate change poses 'lifelong' child health risk
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Sunny Leone to feature in musical Broadway 'Abhimanyu'
 Mumbai: Sunny Leone is all set to perform in Indian classical dance show in Broadway style, "Abhiman  
Nothing wrong in taking time off to better myself: Athiya Shetty
Vanessa Hudgens-starrer 'The Princess Switch' getting a sequel
Stardom a fine balance between contentment and ambition, says Ayushmann
KERALA NEWS
Opposition leader visits injured MLA at Medical College Hospital in Kerala
 Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala called on Congress MLA S
Sabarimala temple opens for 2-month long pilgrimage season
Kerala: Mixed response to SC Sabarimala verdict
Orange alert in 4 districts in Kerala
NATIONAL NEWS
Normalcy has been restored in J&K: Shah
 New Delhi: Asserting that the normalcy has been restored in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Sh
Cabinet approves strategic disinvestment of CPSEs
T''gana techie among 2 Indians arrested in Pak; missing since 2017, says family
Rajini, Haasan hint at joining hands for TN''s welfare
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2019 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.