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WikiLeaks founder's right to fair trial violated:Lawyer25 February 2020

Assange handcuffed 11 times, stripped naked twice after first hearing on extradition to US, claims his lawyer

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s lawyer claimed Tuesday that his client's right to fair trial has been violated.

After the first day of his extradition hearing on Monday, Assange was handcuffed 11 times and stripped naked twice, said Edward Fitzgerald QC. 

Also, he claimed, the file he read at the trial was confiscated.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser, on the second day of the trial, said she did not have the power to decide on the conditions of detention, and urged the defense team to officially convey the matter to the prison administration.

The trial is being held at Woolwich crown court in southeast London.

The defense team also responded to U.S. claims that Assange put lives at risk by publishing unclassified U.S. documents.

The team said WikiLeaks considered requests from different parties, including the U.S. State Department, for hiding names.

But the password of the file with the uncensored version of the documents was published in a journalist's book so that the entire world could access the content of the file.

The first part of the extradition hearings are set to last through Friday, followed by a second phase starting in May. Experts say Assange's extradition case could take up to two years.

If the U.K. court accepts the extradition request from the U.S., where he is accused of espionage, Assange will be able to appeal the case to a higher court and from there the European Court of Human Rights.

If he is extradited to the U.S., Assange will face 18 counts of hacking U.S. government computers and violating espionage law -- and a possible sentence of years in prison.

Last April, he was dragged out of Ecuador’s Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge for more than seven years.

British police said he was arrested for skipping his bail in 2012 and on behalf of the U.S. due to the extradition warrant.

Later, he was found guilty of breaking his bail terms in 2012 after failing to surrender to security services by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court and given a 50-week prison term.

Assange was due for a release last September but was held for longer on fears he would flee. 

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