Lawyer describes US attempts to ensure Assange’s extradition as unprecedented

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NEW YORK, April 11. /TASS/. The US is making unprecedented attempts seeking the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, his US attorney Barry Pollack said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

“It is bitterly disappointing that a country would allow someone to whom it has extended citizenship to be arrested in its embassy,” he pointed out. “First and foremost, we hope that the UK will now give Mr. Assange access to proper health care, which he has been denied for seven years. Once his health care needs have been addressed, the UK courts will need to resolve what appears to be an unprecedented effort by the United States seeking to extradite a foreign journalist to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information,” Pollack added.

Assange was arrested by the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno had announced the withdrawal of his asylum. His arrest was related to a US extradition request, US Justice Department Spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman told TASS. “I can confirm that Julian Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America,” she said.

Assange’s situation

In 2012, Assange sought refuge in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy to escape extradition to Sweden, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on sexual harassment and rape charges. Assange dismissed the accusations as politically motivated. His worst fear was Sweden might extradite him to the United States, where he would face 35 years in prison or capital punishment for publishing classified State Department documents. The rape case was dropped in 2017 but the United Kingdom continued to insist that Assange be arrested over his failure to appear in court in London.

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