Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are vowing to fight his possible extradition to the United States following his arrest in London. On Thursday, British police forcibly removed Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he had taken asylum for almost seven years. Soon after his arrest, U.S. authorities unsealed an indictment accusing him of conspiring with Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who leaked a trove of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks—including evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. CNN is reporting the Justice Department is expected to bring additional charges against Assange. In London, Assange’s attorney Jennifer Robinson warned the prosecution of Assange could jeopardize press freedom.
Jennifer Robinson: “This sets a dangerous precedent for all media organizations and journalists in Europe and elsewhere around the world. This precedent means that any journalist can be extradited for prosecution in the United States for having published truthful information about the United States. I’ve just been with Mr. Assange in the police cells. He wants to thank all of his supporters for their ongoing support. And he said, 'I told you so.'”
Another member of Assange’s legal team, the Spanish lawyer Baltasar Garzón, said he fears Assange may be tortured if extradited to the United States. He spoke to reporters in Madrid.
Baltasar Garzón: “Chelsea Manning was subjected to torture, as special rapporteur on torture Juan Méndez revealed at the time. So, we think it is the same case, and we have serious and founded reasons for thinking this could happen.”