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Hearing over Assange´s extradition to U.S. begins in London

Published : 25 Feb 2020, 00:13

  DF-Xinhua Report

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a police vehicle arrives at the Westminster magistrates court in London, Britain, on April 11, 2019. File Photo Xinhua.

A court in London started Monday a legal hearing to decide whether the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States.

   Facing up to 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act, the 48-year-old Australian could face as many as 175 years in prison if found guilty on all charges in the United States.

   Assange was in the Woolwich Crown Court Monday to listen to the hearing, which will last for about a week with proceedings expected to resume on May 18 for an additional three weeks.

   The secret documents that Assange published on WikiLeaks were provided by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

   Assange was jailed for 50 weeks in May 2019 for breaching his bail conditions after going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly seven years.

   He was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012 as part of a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation that he denied before the investigation was subsequently dropped.