Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeJulian Assange given permission to marry in prison Press freedom advocate: Unclear how recent US kidnapping allegations will impact Assange case US tells UK Assange could serve any sentence in Australia MORE's legal counsel argued in his London extradition hearing Tuesday that Assange tried to contact then-Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE after he realized that unredacted U.S. diplomatic documents were going to be leaked on the internet almost a decade ago.
Mark Summers, Assange's lawyer, told the London court that Assange called the State Department shortly before the documents were released in 2011 and said, "Unless we do something, people’s lives are put at risk."
According to Summers, the State Department directed Assange to call back “in a couple of hours," Reuters reports.
The U.S. is seeking to extradite the 48-year-old Assange on 18 counts of hacking U.S. government computers and an espionage offense. Assange allegedly worked with former U.S. soldier Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth Manning Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship Biden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition MORE — known then Bradley ManningChelsea Elizabeth Manning Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship Biden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition MORE — to release 250,000 pages of classified communique.
Summers described the allegations against Assange as “lies, lies and more lies."
The prosecution, representing the U.S., has argued that Assange's actions endangered personnel in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, according to the news service.
Last year, Washington requested that Assange be extradited after he was apprehended from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange spent the past seven years in the embassy, avoiding being returned to Sweden to face sex crime allegations that have since been dropped.
Assange was arrested by U.K. authorities after he skipped bail and has been held in custody pending the outcome of the trial.