JEREMY Corbyn has OPPOSED extraditing Julian Assange to the US where he faces computer hacking charges.
The bearded WikiLeaks founder spent 7 years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy before he was arrested and found guilty of breaching bail yesterday.
The 47-year-old hid in the embassy to avoid being sent to Sweden to face a sexual assault case – which has since been dropped.
District Judge Michael Snow told the court that Mr Assange had shown “the behaviour of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest”.
Now the leftie leader and his close ally Diane Abbott have swung in behind him, saying he shouldn’t be booted out and over to America.
He said last night: “The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.”
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- Julian Assange found guilty of skipping bail in UK and could face a year in jail
- Earlier he was arrested after 2,487 days holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy – costing taxpayers more than £10m
- He went into hiding in August 2012 to avoid facing extradition to Sweden for sex assault and rape allegations
- Wanted in US for espionage and publication of sensitive government documents
- He fears he could face death penalty if extradited to US over WikiLeaks scandal
- Ecuadorian President said Assange’s release dependent on not facing extradition to country with death penalty
- Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said “UK courts will decide” his future
- It’s been revealed Assange staged ‘dirty protests’ while in Ecuador’s embassy
His defence of Assange sparked a furious row among his own MPs.
Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips blasted the party for their backing and said he should face justice.
She tweeted: “The fact that Assange has evaded charges of sexual violence and skipped bail should be opposed by the Labour Party. I’m sure it is, I’d like to hear it.”
And her colleague Diana Johnson added: “You don’t appear to mention the rape charges against him and the fact he has evaded justice for 7 years?
CASE AGAINST HIM IN THE US
THE criminal case against Julian Assange in the US was revealed last night.
The WikiLeaks hacker is wanted on conspiracy charges for committing “computer intrusion”.
And he is charged with conspiring with ex-intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning — jailed for 35 years before her sentence was commuted in 2017 — to crack a Department of Defence password.
Assange faces a maximum five years if convicted.
Details of the US investigation emerged in a six-page charge sheet filed at Virginia’s Eastern District court on March 6, 2018.
US prosecutors say Assange knew Manning had already handed over four huge secret databases to WikiLeaks in 2010.
They included 90,000 Afghanistan war reports, 400,000 Iraq reports, 800 briefings on Guantanamo Bay detainees and 250,000 diplomatic cables.
Despite that, he agreed to help crack the password, telling her: “Curious eyes never run dry in my experience.” Later, he asked her for more information to help the operation, adding: “No luck so far.”
The pair used the Jabber online chat service to plot the hack and took measures to cover Manning’s tracks as it unfolded, prosecutors allege.
CASE AGAINST HIM IN SWEDEN
SWEDISH prosecutors are considering relaunching a rape investigation into Julian Assange.
Officials said the allegations made against him were due to expire under the country’s statute of limitations in August next year.
But his arrest means the investigation could be reopened after a request from an alleged victim.
Deputy chief prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said: “We will now examine the matter to determine how we proceed. The preliminary investigation has therefore not been resumed yet and we do not know today whether it will happen. We cannot promise any timetable for when decisions will be made.”
Assange was accused of attacking a woman after they met at a WikiLeaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. She alleged that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep even though she had refused him repeatedly.
The case was dropped in May 2017 after the director of public prosecutions ruled it impossible to proceed while he was under Ecuador’s protection.
But yesterday, the woman’s lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz piled pressure on prosecutors, saying: “No rape victim should have to wait nine years to see justice be served
Diane Abbott also defended Assange yesterday too in the Commons.
She told Radio 4 this morning: “We all know what this is about. It’s not about the rape charges, as serious as they are, it’s about WikiLeaks.
He was “a whistleblower” and his leaks of thousands of unredacted documents and state secrets were “public interest” she said, and charges were never brought against him for the rape and sexual assault allegations.
Theresa May said she believed all MPs would welcome his arrest.
She said: “This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law.”
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Assange took refuge at the embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. Today one of his accusers demanded the case be reopened.
Scotland Yard earlier confirmed he is being held on behalf of the US authorities – where he is wanted for espionage – as well as breaching his bail conditions in Britain.
America’s involvement raises further questions over the forthcoming battle to be had on his extradition – as his lawyers fear he will face the death penalty if sent to the US.