Technologist and activist Lauri Love spoke to The Canary outside Westminster Magistrates Court on 2 May. He said that the US is seeking to exact “revenge” on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange’s preliminary extradition hearing was held at 11am in a court room that only had 10 seats available for members of the public. The district judge reportedly scheduled another hearing for 30 May and 12 June, which is when the actual hearing will likely begin.
An act of “revenge”
Love, who himself spent years challenging US attempts to extradite him, explained that he believed the indictment is a “pretext” to exact “revenge” upon Assange for his role in exposing US-led war crimes. This view is shared by human rights groups and military veterans, among others.
He also warned that:
If people are too afraid to report the truth, then powerful people can get away with horrific acts.
Technologist and activist Lauri Love explained to me why he attended the preliminary extradition hearing of #JulianAssange, outside Westminster Magistrates Court today.#Assange pic.twitter.com/RTYfEba7sk
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— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) May 2, 2019
Love explained that, in his opinion, the US would “open a whole bunch of other indictments” if Assange was “successfully” extradited to the US.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson also told the press that he was “absolutely certain” that US authorities would pile on charges if Assange is extradited.
He further explained that his:
belief in the justice system here in the United Kingdom faded quite a bit.
After today's extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court I spoke to @wikileaks' editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson (@khrafnsson) and asked his thoughts on the #UK justice system in light of #JulianAssange case. pic.twitter.com/iTGpn6JSAw
— Pablo Navarrete (@pablo_telesur) May 2, 2019
Closed to the public
Only people to whom the court had issued press slips were allowed into the hearing, as I reported on the ground:
I have come to Westminster Magistrates Court today (@TheCanaryUK) for #JulianAssange's first hearing regarding his potential extradition. There is a long que here, largely due to the press and supporters who have come to report on his case or support him. pic.twitter.com/4F9WRBxvDI
— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) May 2, 2019
At least four dozen people were outside Court 3, furious that not a single member of the public was allowed in. People shouted “shame”, among other things. Why the authorities selected such a small court room for a hearing which was known to have great public interest was not clear.
Featured image via Mohamed Elmaazi
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