Julian Assange’s extradition hearings have entered into their third day. Proceedings resumed this week following a six month delay due to Covid-19. US prosecutors have indicted the Australian on 18 espionage and computer misuse charges over the publication of secret US military documents on the Wikileaks website a decade ago.
Political commentator Ollie Richardson believes it is clear why Assange was arrested given the bigger geopolitical picture and from the point of human rights legislation, but says his treatment is “wrong in all senses”.
Sputnik: Firstly what do you think about the allegations brought against Julian Assange?
Ollie Richardson: I think that the allegations themselves are not necessarily important. Because when we look at the wider picture of what’s going on geopolitically, and especially what’s going on inside America, it becomes quite clear why Assange was arrested in the first place. Why his prosecution has been dragged out for so long. So, formally, he’s charged with distributing this video showing American troops, basically massacring innocent Iraqis. But in reality he finds himself a hostage of the internal struggle going on inside America between groups of elites.
Sputnik: Julian Assange’s father has described the proceedings as an “abuse trial”, do you agree with this description?
Ollie Richardson: I think if we look at the norms of the European Convention of Human Rights and other conventions, what is happening to Assange is clearly wrong in all senses. And it actually is very similar to what happens to journalists in other countries that America has essentially seized power in and I can give an example of Ukraine, where after the after the illegal seizure of power by pro West pro American forces inside Ukraine.
After the removal of Viktor Yanukovych, who was legally elected as President, many journalists who didn’t agree with this illegal seizure of power and who didn’t agree with the launching of the civil war in Donbass were heavily, heavily, heavily persecuted and some were even killed, assassinated and there was never any investigation into these murders.
Any trial of any alleged perpetrators was dragged on and dragged on and there was never even to this day, there’s no closure. There’s no verdicts, nothing and what’s happening to Assange is the same thing that happened to all so called dissidents who don’t agree with the policies of this neoconservative bloc, of which people like Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are big representatives.
Sputnik: What do you think the outcome of this trial will be?
Ollie Richardson: The outcome that is most morally correct here would be a full acquittal of all charges, because Assange hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s in the public’s interest to know what’s going on behind the curtain of America’s military industrial complex. And ultimately, he is a political prisoner.
So I guess the morally correct thing for Trump to do would be to have him acquitted of all charges. And actually, Trump really gave the game away when he was asked a question about Wikileaks, within the last 12 months, and he pretended like he didn’t know what Wikileaks was, even though in the past, he said that he loves WikiLeaks. It’s on video. He said it publicly.
So we can see that we can see the old signs that there’s this political game going on. But yeah, the correct thing to do is to acquit him and to really just put this horror, this nightmare to an end. I mean, if we’re talking about human rights and things like that, well, America can’t proclaim to be the bastion of those things when such things are happening to Assange. And then they also keep quiet about what’s happening to other journalist dissidents in other countries aligned with America and the UK. So really there needs to be some correction of course in order to not remain hypocritical here.
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