News Release

Contrary to Reports, the U.S. Gov. Can Add Charges After Assange Extradition

In “Julian Assange Arrested in London as U.S. Unseals Hacking Conspiracy Indictment,” Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman and Eileen Sullivan of the New York Times state: “If Mr. [Julian] Assange is convicted on the conspiracy to hack offense alone, he could face up to five years in prison. The government could later seek to charge him with additional offenses, but because of extradition practices, any such superseding indictment would most likely need to come soon, before Britain formally decides whether to transfer custody of him.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press).

He said today: “The New York Times report is wrong and understates the dangers to Assange. What it states is normally the case in extradition treaties, but it’s not the case in the relevant U.S.-British extradition treaty.

“Once the U.S. government has Assange over here, they can concoct whatever charges they want to against him for anything and then ask the British to waive what’s called the Rule of Specialty. That could add up to much more than the current five years Assange is facing. The British government will almost certainly consent, unless Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister.

“I’d expect that Assange’s lawyers will try to use the European Court of Human Rights to stop the extradition and in any event, they would need to ensure that the British government receives assurance from the U.S. government that the death penalty will not be sought.”

Also see from the Freedom of the Press Foundation: “The Trump administration’s indictment of Julian Assange threatens core press freedom rights.”

Also see: Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed the Pentagon Papers, was just interviewed by The Real News. (As Assange was forced out of the Ecuadorian embassy, he was holding a book — Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State — based on a collection of interviews Vidal did with The Real News.)