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Assange Extradition Battle

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make what could be his final court appearance today in his long-running appeal against extradition to the US, where he is accused of leaking thousands of classified military documents. Assange has been held in London's high-security Belmarsh prison since his arrest in 2019; the British government approved an order to extradite him in 2022.

Assange, 52, faces 17 counts brought under the Espionage Act and one charge of computer misuse. The allegations stem from a 2010 document dump of classified information, exposing abuses and civilian casualties during the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the documents were provided by former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was allegedly assisted by Assange in hacking a military computer. Assange has argued the leak should be protected under the First Amendment because he was acting as a journalist at the time. The US says the release put lives in danger.

The Australian national faces up to 175 years in prison and up to five years for computer misuse. The Australian parliament is calling on the US and the UK to release Assange.

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