Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Julian Assange's lawyers 'preparing for possible US charges'

Julian Assange: his lawyers predict US charges against him are imminent. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty sLawyers acting for Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of Wikis, said today they are preparing for a possible indictment by the US authorities.
Jennifer Robinson said her tm had hrd from "several different US lawyers rumours that an indictment was on its way or had happened alrdy, but we don't know".
According to some reports, Washington is seeking to prosecute Assange under the 1917 act, which was used unsuccessfully to try to gag the New York Times when it published the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s. However, despite escalating rhetoric over the last fortnight, no charges have yet been lodged, and government sources say they are unaware any such move is being prepared.
Robinson said Assange's tm did not believe the US had grounds to prosecute him but understood that Washington was "looking closely at other charges, such as computer charges, so we have one eye on it".
Assange is in Wandsworth prison in south London after being refused bail on Tuesday. Sweden is seeking his extradition over allegations of sexual assault.
Spking to ABC News, Robinson said she did not believe the Espionage Act applied to Assange, adding: "In any event he's entitled to first amendment protection as publisher of Wikis and any prosecution under the Espionage Act would in my view be unconstitutional and puts at risk all media organisations in the US."
Robinson said Assange was being held in solitary confinement in London with restricted access to a phone and his lawyers.
"This mns he is under significant surveillance but also mns he has more restrictive conditions than other prisoners. Considering the circumstances he was incredibly positive and upbt."
rlier this week, the US attorney eral, Eric Holder, said the United States had been put at risk by the flood of confidential diplomatic documents relsed by Wikis and he authorised a criminal investigation.
Holder said: "The lives of people who work for the American people has been put at risk; the American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that are, I believe, arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way. We are doing everything that we can.
"We have a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature. I authorised just last week a of things to be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable, as they should be."
In a letter to the Guardian today, prominent supporters including John Pier, Terry Jones, Miriam Margolyes and AL Kennedy called for Assange's relse. "We protest at the attacks on Wikis and, in particular, on Julian Assange ," they wrote, adding that the s have "assisted democracy in revling the rl views of our governments over a range of issues".

Source: Guardian

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