Assange put lives at risk, court told

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 25 Feb 2020

Julian Assange is wanted for crimes that put at risk the lives of people in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan who had helped the West, said a lawyer acting for the United States in its bid to extradite the 48-year-old.

Almost a decade since his WikiLeaks website enraged Washington by leaking secret US documents, a clean-shaven Assange appeared before an extradition hearing at London's Woolwich Crown Court.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser, speaking above chanting of "free free Julian Assange" from his supporters outside, cautioned that anyone causing a disturbance would be removed. She said the chanting would not help Assange's case.

The United States' lawyer, James Lewis, told the court that Assange should be extradited to stand trial for crimes including hacking, and for disseminating unredacted material which had put at risk the lives of informants, journalists, dissidents and others in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

The United States asked Britain to extradite Assange last year after he was pulled from the Ecuador embassy in London.

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