US extradition case for Assange set for next year

US extradition case for Assange set for next year
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A British court on Friday set a date early next year for a hearing on WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeUS to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report US to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report US extradition case for Assange set for next year MORE's extradition to the U.S., The Associated Press reported.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot set a full extradition hearing for Feb. 25, 2020, a hearing which is reportedly expected to last at least five days.

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Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to the U.S. and Sweden, faces a slew of charges in America.

Charges were first filed against Assange for allegedly conspiring to hack into computers in connection with WikiLeaks's release of classified government cables from Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningUS to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report US to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report US extradition case for Assange set for next year MORE, a former Army private and intelligence analyst.

Justice Department officials last month added several more charges related to publishing a select range of the classified documents that revealed the names of low-level, local sources utilized by the U.S. government, including Afghan and Iraqi nationals, as well as journalists, human rights activists and religious leaders.

Ben Brandon, a British lawyer representing the U.S., said at a hearing Friday that the case “related to one of the largest compromises of confidential information in the history of the United States," according to AP.

Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, said the case represents an "outrageous and full-frontal assault on journalistic rights.”

Assange is currently serving a 50-week sentence in a London prison for skipping bail in 2012.