WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been blocked from gaining access to his lawyers to discuss his potential extradition to the United States.
Assange who is being held in a high security prison in London, fears his extradition to the US may lead to the death penalty for alleged crimes including conspiring to commit computer treason.
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His defense team say that their client is unaware of some evidence in his case because of a lack of access to him in jail.
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Assange appeared via videolink at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday for a brief administrative hearing. The proceedings confirm that the basic legal rights of the investigative journalist are being trampled in what amounts to an extraordinary rendition.
Press TV reports: Assange has continued to be victimized in his legal proceedings since his forced refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he spent almost 7 years in a confined room. His alleged collusion in leaking 1000’s of documents provided by US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, documents which showed US troops murdering citizens, as well as leaked war memos from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Under UK law, prisoners have the right to legal consultation with their lawyers, and this should be confidential and respected. However, the apparent deliberate blocking of access to lawyers is hindering Assanage’s appeal case, and may consequently lead him to an unfair trail in his extradition case.
The district judge overseeing the case of Assange was quoted as saying ‘Can I make it clear that I have no desire to stand in the way of any lawyer having proper access to their client and it’s in the interest of justice that they do’, however, it seems that the powers that be are keen on making Assange a scape-goat in the whistle-blowers affair, and in spite of a lack of access to legal advice, and the fact that numerous medics have written to the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel suggesting that Assange is medically unwell, and could die in prison, it seems that Assange’s plight is falling on deaf ears.
The UK and US appear to have a track record of treating criminals in a non-uniform manner, in particular when it comes to national security issue. One only has to examine the history surrounding Guantanamo Bay to know that the US may have horrific plans for Assange, therefore, under British conventional law, extraditing a national to a state where the death penalty may be applied is normally over-ruled, unless of course, the exception to the rule is Assange, and his crime of telling the truth.