LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump supplied to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he mentioned that Russia had nothing to do with WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic Celebration emails in 2016, a London courtroom heard on Wednesday.
WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court docket in London, Britain January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/Recordsdata
Assange appeared by videolink from jail as legal professionals mentioned the administration of his listening to subsequent week to determine whether or not he ought to be extradited to the US.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness assertion by former U.S. Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher who had visited Assange in 2017, saying that he had been despatched by the president to supply a pardon.
The pardon would come on the situation that Assange complied with the U.S. by saying that the Russians weren’t concerned within the e-mail leak which harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign in 2016, Rohrabacher’s assertion mentioned.
Assange, 48, who spent seven years holed up in Ecuador’s embassy earlier than he was dragged out final April, is needed in the US to face 18 counts together with conspiring to hack authorities computer systems and violating an espionage regulation. He might spend a long time behind bars if convicted there.
Nearly a decade after his WikiLeaks web site enraged Washington by leaking secret U.S. paperwork, Woolwich Crown Court docket in London will start hearings on Monday – with Assange current in particular person – to determine whether or not he ought to be despatched to the US.
At Wednesday’s listening to, Assange spoke solely to verify his title and date of delivery.
He appeared relaxed and spent a lot of the listening to studying notes in his lap. He wore two pairs of glasses: one on high of his head and one other which he took on and off and twiddled in his palms.
Australian-born Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks revealed a labeled U.S. army video exhibiting a 2007 assault by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen folks, together with two Reuters information employees.
WikiLeaks later angered the US by publishing caches of leaked army paperwork and diplomatic cables.
The complete extradition listening to might be break up in two components, with the second half delayed till Could.
Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; modifying by Stephen Addison