WikiLeaks: US Is Seizing Assange's Possessions

Group says prosecutors are violating international law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2019 1:37 AM CDT
Julian Assange gestures as he arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody Thursday April...   (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
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(Newser) – WikiLeaks says American prosecutors are going to be "helping themselves" to the possessions Julian Assange left behind when he was kicked out of Ecuador's London embassy. The group says Ecuador will allow the Americans, who are seeking to extradite Assange, to confiscate items including legal documents and electronic equipment, the Guardian reports. "Ecuador has been sequestering Assange's belongings since his arrest," WikiLeaks tweeted. "Now we know why: To hand them over to the US in violation of international law." The group says Ecuador will not permit United Nations officials or Assange's lawyers to be present when the belongings are handed over.

"On Monday, Ecuador will perform a puppet show at the embassy of Ecuador in London for their masters in Washington, just in time to expand their extradition case before the UK deadline on 14 June," says WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristin Hrafnsson. "The Trump administration is inducing its allies to behave like it’s the Wild West." Baltasar Garzon, who is coordinating Assange's defense, says it is "extremely worrying" that documents and other materials that should be given to the defense team have been "arbitrarily confiscated, so that these can be handed over to the agent of political persecution against him, the United States." Assange, who spent seven years in the embassy, is currently serving a 50-week sentence in a British prison for skipping bail. (Sweden has reopened the Assange rape investigation.)

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