WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protected by first amendment: Judge Napolitano

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protected by first amendment: Judge Napolitano

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protected by first amendment: Judge Napolitano

The arrest of Assange reignites a debate with no easy answer: Is the former computer hacker and founder of WikiLeaks a journalist or not?

Assange is in British jail and faces extradition to the United States on charges he conspired to reveal government secrets and hack into Pentagon computers.

But will it? But by going out of its way to charge him only under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the USA government seems to indicate it did not want to set a unsafe precedent.

Assange is expected to fight extradition to the U.S., a process that could stretch out for years.

During a press conference on why Ecuador finally turned Assange over to authorities, Romo also explained, "For several years now, one of the key members of the WikiLeaks organization and a person close to Assange has lived in Ecuador".

Assange took up residence in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden, where he had been accused of sexual harassment and rape. The two women who accused him said they had brief affairs with him while he was visiting the country, but that he later acted in a nonconsensual way - including having unwanted and unprotected sex with one of the women while she was asleep.

But Assange refused to leave the building, claiming that American authorities would use any arrest to request his extradition to the U.S.to face hacking charges. "The bottom line is that he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it has been charged", she said. The warrant has since been dropped, but Assange is now in police custody in London for skipping bail.

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Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported being raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she would "do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted. "That's not a useful way to talk about what distinguishes the Assange case".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Assange would get no special treatment from his native country or consular offices.

Assange and his supporters say he's a journalist who deserves legal protections for publishing stolen material.

Correa told CNN Thursday that the decision by his successor to revoke Assange's asylum status was "the biggest betrayal perhaps in Latin American history".

If Swedish prosecutors ask for Assange's extradition, it will ultimately be up to British courts to decide whether this claim should supersede a USA request.

Moreno earlier tweeted that Ecuador was within its "sovereign rights" to withdraw Assange's asylum "for repeatedly violating worldwide conventions and the protocol of co-habitation". David Allen Green, a British legal commentator who has tracked the allegations against Assange for years, wrote on Twitter that the Swedish request would probably be given precedence "because of historic request and pending limitation period".

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