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Julian Assange doesn’t consent to US extradition, court hears

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has said he does not consent to being extradited to the US over charges related to leaking government secrets.

His extradition hearing came a day after he was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching the Bail Act following his arrest last month.

The 47-year-old appeared by video link at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that the “extradition process will take many months”. The case was adjourned until 30 May.

Assange told the court: “I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many awards and protected many people.”

Outside the court dozens of his supporters, many holding posters and banners demanding his freedom, blocked the road in protest.

Demonstrators block traffic outside Westminster Magistrates' CourtImage copyrightREUTERS

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which he has denied.

The UK will decide whether to extradite him to the US in response to allegations that he conspired with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases.

Australian-born Assange faces up to five years in a US prison if convicted.

Wikileaks has published thousands of classified documents covering everything from the film industry to national security and war.

 

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