The arrest of Julian Assange in London after an extradition request from the US, and the way the WikiLeaks founder was treated by a British judge, made Thursday a “shameful day” for UK justice, commentators told RT.
“The UK’s legal system is but a plaything of the US legal system. Britain is a vassal of Washington as it’s been confirmed by today’s events,” political commentator John Wight said.
Earlier in the day, UK police forcibly removed Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The 47-year-old was then delivered to the Westminster Magistrates Court where a judge labeled him a “narcissist, who can’t get beyond his own selfish interests” and found him guilty of failing to surrender to bail in 2012.
As for Assange’s extradition request by the US, the judge said the American side must produce its case by June 12. Assange is wanted in the US on charges of conspiring with US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks back in 2010.
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“Assange will disappear in to the void of the US prison system” if he’s extradited, Wight warned. He advised against trusting the Department of Justice, which insisted that the publisher will get the maximum term of five years if convicted in America.
We have to focus on the precedent, but not the words emanating from the US. And the precedent it that Chelsea Manning was imprisoned for over 35 years for her role in uncovering the crimes of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Manning was pardoned after serving seven years, but was returned behind bars this March for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks.
“They’re saying that it’s only five years, but five years in a US prison is unlike five years in any other country’s prison, with few exceptions. It’s a notoriously cruel, barbarous and vindictive system,” Wight said.
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