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Julian Assange Extradition Hearing Begins In London

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Julian Assange extradition

The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange began Monday in London — the latest turn in the legal saga of perhaps the world's most famous secret-spiller.

American officials want Assange, 48, brought to the U.S. to face charges. The U.S. government lawyer, James Lewis, argued that the case is not about journalism or First Amendment rights, but about computer hacking and publishing unredacted classified documents. "Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a license to break ordinary criminal laws," Lewis told the Woolwich Crown Court, according to The New York Times.

Assange has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 counts related to illegally obtaining, receiving and disclosing classified information in 2010. He is accused of conspiring with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, in a coordinated effort to compromise U.S. government computer networks, and obtain and publish classified documents related to national security.


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