WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange's US Extradition Case Set for Next Year - NBC Southern California
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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange's US Extradition Case Set for Next Year

The 47-year-old Assange is currently in Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of London serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in Britain

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    WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange's US Extradition Case Set for Next Year
    Matt Dunham/AP
    Buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London, Wednesday May 1, 2019.

    A British court has set a date early next year for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face a U.S. extradition attempt over his role in revealing classified government and military information.

    Ben Brandon, a British lawyer representing the U.S. government, told a court hearing Friday that the case "related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States."

    U.S. officials are seeking to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act, blaming him for directing WikiLeaks' publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Assange asserts that he is a journalist with First Amendment protections and is fighting the extradition attempt. Judge Emma Arbuthnot set a full extradition hearing for Feb. 25, 2020. It is expected to last about five days.

    A Timeline of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's Time in Self-Exile

    [NATL]A Timeline of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's Time in Self-Exile

    WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange had spent up to six years in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorean embassy in London until he was forcibly carried out and arrested by British police. These were the events that led up to it.

    (Published Thursday, May 23, 2019)

    Assange's lawyer, Mark Summers, said the case represents an outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights."

    The 47-year-old Australian hacker is currently in Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of London serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in Britain.

    He was too ill to attend a recent hearing and appeared at Friday's hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court by video link from prison.