Much of the protection’s case—together with lots of the arguments it published within the preliminary February hearings—makes a speciality of the political nature of the costs. Assange’s legal professionals indicate that “political offenses” are not topic to extradition within the US-UK extradition treaty, and argue that his prosecution is “being pursued for ulterior political motives and no longer in just right religion.” The Espionage Act rate towards Assange, which alleges that he illegally launched labeled paperwork, is by means of its nature a political offense that falls out of doors the extradition stipulations, the protection argues. To emphasize the politicized nature of the case, they reference President Trump’s years-long warfare with the click, relating to the media as “the opposition celebration,” and “the enemy of the folks.” They carry then-CIA director Mike Pompeo’s observation in April of 2017 that he noticed Assange and WikiLeaks as “a non-state adverse intelligence company.”
That interpretation broke with that of the Obama management, which thought to be prosecuting Assange below the Espionage Act in 2013 however selected to not, since doing so would violate an extended precedent of no longer prosecuting information retailers for publishing labeled knowledge they download from resources.
“The indictment breaks all prison precedents. No writer has ever been prosecuted for disclosing nationwide secrets and techniques for the reason that founding of the country greater than two centuries in the past,” wrote journalism professor Mark Feldstein in his testimony on behalf of the protection. “The belated resolution to overlook this 230-year-old precedent and rate Assange criminally for espionage used to be no longer an evidentiary resolution however a political one.”
The protection’s arguments additionally search to undermine the hacking case towards Assange, which alleges that he conspired with former military non-public Chelsea Manning and others to scouse borrow labeled knowledge. That original hacking charge, the root of the primary indictment unsealed towards Assange in April of final 12 months, trusted the truth that Assange presented in chats with Manning to assist her crack a hashed password—thereby involving himself in Manning’s robbery of secret knowledge from the army. But the protection issues out that testimony in Manning’s personal court docket martial used to be inconclusive as as to if Assange had ever in reality cracked the password, or whether or not he would had been ready to with the ideas Manning supplied, or what objective the password can be used for if it had been effectively cracked.
In June, prosecutors hit Assange with a superseding indictment that added allegations of conspiring with hackers who supplied stolen knowledge to WikiLeaks, together with Anonymous hackers Jeremy Hammond and Hector Monsegur, in addition to Icelandic WikiLeaker Sigurdur Thordarsson. The protection argues that the ones new parts serve best as “background narrative” of a hacking conspiracy, and “absent evidence of the Manning allegations the brand new further habits may just no longer maintain, of itself, conviction.”
Moreover, the marvel creation of a brand new indictment after the extradition case had already begun in February is extremely unorthodox, says Tor Ekeland. It will also sign to the United Kingdom court docket that the US Department of Justice will pile on extra fees after it already has Assange in hand, he says. Defense lawyers for Assange in a listening to Monday unsuccessfully sought to have the brand new parts of the indictment dismissed within the extradition case, for the reason that that they had little time to organize counterarguments. “It’s an offense to the rule of thumb of legislation,” says Ekeland. “It displays that the US can’t be relied on to not supersede the indictment once more if Assange is extradited.”
Ekeland argues that Assange’s protection nonetheless has robust arguments in its desire, from the liberty of the click precedents that the Assange prosecution would violate to the prospective risk to Assange’s psychological well being and well-being if he leads to an American jail. That psychological well being argument particularly has labored prior to now for British hackers the US has tried to extradited: Ekeland’s personal shopper Lauri Love have shyed away from extradition after a psychiatrist testified that he suffered from psychosis and melancholy, and UK hacker Gary McKinnon escaped extradition in 2012 thank you partially to his prognosis of autism.