Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange’s extradition trial to be heard today

Tanvi Sinha

The decision of the infamous Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, is due to be made at 1000 GMT, in a case that might very well be a huge deciding factor to see if the man is to be jailed for 175 years – a life sentence- or not.

The decision will be taken by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser in the Old Bailey Court in London concerning the hearing of a more than 10-year controversies surrounding the release of secretive international documents from the part of the website (Wikileaks).

It essentially boils down to if the man is to be extradited to the United States or not.

While Assange refuses to plead guilty in the case against him in the United States, a case he says he does not wish to surrender to when his journalism had helped and protected many people, the United States remain firm in their stance as well, bringing forward a question of “Freedom of Press” for the United Kingdom court to decide on should they push for the extradition of Assange to the United States.

Assange created Wikileaks on 4th October 2006 in Iceland via an organization called the Sunshine Press. From the very year, they started exposing the dubious inside details of Somalia and the Union of Islamic Courts.

This only increased day by day and year by year of their existence. They started exposing and targeting the United States when on 9th September 2007, they exposed the US Military Equipment & Army units in Afghanistan.

As of 4th January 2021, Assange faces 18 charges in the States relating to the 2010 publication of his website that released 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking on behalf of Assange, Germany and a UN rights expert argued both with the perspective of a human rights cum press freedom issue on the case and additionally also stated that the man suffers from respiratory issues and is hence not ready for something like extradition that could compromise his health even more than it is in the London prison where he is held, where many prisoners were said to have contracted Covid-19.

The man is also said to be suffering from depression and the chances of him suiciding in prison are said to be extremely high by witnesses who saw him and had even stated that he could hear imaginary voices and music when he was detained.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, stated that the amount of bias Assange has already seen in these proceedings almost convinces them entirely of the fact that the man will be extradited to the United States and implied an un-fair trial underway.