An Icelandic newspaper has published information that further weakens the US extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to an attorney who’s been advising the imprisoned journalist.
Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson is an Icelandic hacker. He’s also a key witness in Assange’s extradition case. And Iceland’s Stundin has just released an article saying he “admitted to fabricating key accusations in the indictment” against Assange, receiving immunity from prosecution in exchange for his participation.
The UK is currently holding Assange in the maximum security prison of Belmarsh. The US government, meanwhile, continues to push for his extradition. The journalist could face 175 years in prison if the US succeeds in prosecuting him. Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges has summarised Assange’s persecution as “an egregious assault… on press freedom”.
Attorney: Extradition case ‘falling apart’
On 28 June, Democracy Now! explained how Assange is facing Washington’s wrath over the “publication of classified documents exposing US war crimes”. And it added that the Stundin article “could have a major impact on the WikiLeaks founder’s fate”.
Attorney Jennifer Robinson has advised WikiLeaks and Assange since 2010. And in an interview with Democracy Now!, she said:
This is just the latest revelation to demonstrate why the US case should be dropped
She also insisted:
The factual basis for this case has completely fallen apart.
Speaking about Thordarson, she asserted:
Not only did he misrepresent his access to Julian Assange and to WikiLeaks and his association with Julian Assange, he has now admitted that he made up and falsely misrepresented to the United States that there was any association with WikiLeaks and any association with hacking.
“Significant and problematic abuse”
Robinson pointed out that “in January, we won the extradition fight” (with a judge in the UK refusing to extradite Assange), but that the British court has yet to rule on whether to allow a US challenge. She added:
I think this latest revelation will only contribute to that appeal to the Biden administration to put an end to this case.
She also highlighted “significant and problematic abuse” throughout Assange’s persecution, including spying, the seizure of material, and potential illegality. “This should be more than enough”, she said, for the US to drop the case. But on the Thordarson revelations in particular, she insisted:
This raises serious concerns about the integrity of this investigation and the integrity of this criminal prosecution, and serious questions ought to be being asked within the Department of Justice about this prosecution and the fact that it is continuing at all.
Main article image via John Englart