A great deal of the defense’s case—including quite a few of the arguments it revealed in the preliminary February hearings—focuses on the political character of the rates. Assange’s legal professionals place out that “political offenses” aren’t subject matter to extradition in the US-Uk extradition treaty, and argue that his prosecution is “currently being pursued for ulterior political motives and not in superior religion.” The Espionage Act demand from Assange, which alleges that he illegally released classified paperwork, is by its character a political offense that falls outside the extradition circumstances, the protection argues. To emphasize the politicized nature of the situation, they reference President Trump’s yrs-prolonged war with the press, referring to the media as “the opposition get together,” and “the enemy of the folks.” They raise then-CIA director Mike Pompeo’s statement in April of 2017 that he saw Assange and WikiLeaks as “a non-point out hostile intelligence agency.”
That interpretation broke with that of the Obama administration, which thought of prosecuting Assange underneath the Espionage Act in 2013 but chose not to, considering that doing so would violate a long precedent of not prosecuting information retailers for publishing categorised info they attain from sources.
“The indictment breaks all lawful precedents. No publisher has at any time been prosecuted for disclosing national insider secrets given that the founding of the country much more than two centuries in the past,” wrote journalism professor Mark Feldstein in his testimony on behalf of the defense. “The belated decision to disregard this 230-calendar year-previous precedent and charge Assange criminally for espionage was not an evidentiary determination but a political one.”
The defense’s arguments also find to undermine the hacking circumstance from Assange, which alleges that he conspired with former military private Chelsea Manning and other individuals to steal classified details. That original hacking cost, the basis of the initial indictment unsealed towards Assange in April of past yr, relied on the simple fact that Assange supplied in chats with Manning to help her crack a hashed password—thereby involving himself in Manning’s theft of top secret facts from the military services. But the protection details out that testimony in Manning’s individual court docket martial was inconclusive as to regardless of whether Assange experienced at any time essentially cracked the password, or no matter whether he would have been capable to with the information Manning furnished, or what intent the password would be utilised for if it were correctly cracked.
In June, prosecutors hit Assange with a superseding indictment that added allegations of conspiring with hackers who delivered stolen data to WikiLeaks, including Nameless hackers Jeremy Hammond and Hector Monsegur, as very well as Icelandic WikiLeaker Sigurdur Thordarsson. The protection argues that those new features serve only as “qualifications narrative” of a hacking conspiracy, and “absent proof of the Manning allegations the new further carry out could not sustain, of alone, conviction.”
Furthermore, the shock introduction of a new indictment immediately after the extradition scenario experienced presently begun in February is highly unorthodox, says Tor Ekeland. It might even signal to the United kingdom court that the US Office of Justice will pile on much more rates just after it presently has Assange in hand, he claims. Protection attorneys for Assange in a hearing Monday unsuccessfully sought to have the new features of the indictment disregarded in the extradition situation, provided that they had small time to get ready counterarguments. “It’s an offense to the rule of regulation,” suggests Ekeland. “It demonstrates that the US can’t be trustworthy not to supersede the indictment once more if Assange is extradited.”
Ekeland argues that Assange’s protection nonetheless has powerful arguments in its favor, from the liberty of the push precedents that the Assange prosecution would violate to the possible risk to Assange’s psychological health and fitness and perfectly-staying if he finishes up in an American prison. That mental health argument in distinct has worked in the past for British hackers the US has tried to extradited: Ekeland’s very own shopper Lauri Adore prevented extradition after a psychiatrist testified that he experienced from psychosis and depression, and British isles hacker Gary McKinnon escaped extradition in 2012 thanks in element to his diagnosis of autism.