US: Free Speech no Excuse for Crimes of WikiLeaks’ Assange
The U.S. government began outlining its extradition case against Julian Assange in a London court on Monday, arguing that the WikiLeaks founder is not a free-speech champion but an “ordinary” criminal who put many lives at risk with his secret-spilling.
U.S. authorities want to try Assange on espionage charges that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison over the 2010 publication of hundreds of thousands of secret military documents and diplomatic cables. Assange argues he was acting as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protection.
Lawyer James Lewis, representing the U.S. government, called WikiLeaks’ 2010 document deluge “one