The United Nations called for Assange's right to a fair trial to be respected during any extradition process.
When Julian Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012, he was fleeing from sexual assault accusations against him in Sweden. Rather, it simply accuses Assange of trying to help Manning log into the Defense Department's computers using a different user name so that she could maintain her anonymity while downloading documents in the public interest and then furnish them to WikiLeaks to publish. The two women who accused him said they had brief affairs with him while he was visiting the country, but that he later acted in a nonconsensual way - including having unwanted and unprotected sex with one of the women while she was asleep. There's no allegation Assange disclosed American secrets to a foreign power with the goal of harming the US.
Prosecutors say Assange and Manning tried to hide Manning's role as a source by deleting chat logs and removing usernames from sensitive records that were shared. "The bottom line is he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it's been charged".
The American charges that Assange faces relate to WikiLeaks' publication of documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, using files leaked by Chelsea Manning. Though prosecutors dropped this investigation, Assange still faced British charges of failing to appear in front of a court when ordered to.
Yes. Swedish prosecutors have said the case could be reopened before the statute of limitations for the rape claim ends in August 2020.
Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a Swedish lawyer who is representing a woman who alleged that Assange raped her, told the Associated Press via text message Thursday that "we are going to do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened "so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape".
Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said his arrest "sets a risky precedent for all media organizations in Europe and around the world".
The indictment does not explicitly charge Assange for publication, a move that would have wide-ranging press freedom implications, but it does construe his interactions with Manning as part of a criminal conspiracy.
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