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14 January, 2017

Assange will agree to US extradition in exchange for Manning ‘clemency’

WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would leave his Ecuadorian embassy refuge and accept extradition to the US if whistleblower Chelsea Manning was granted clemency, the media organization has suggested.

Former US Army intelligence analyst Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence at the military base in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for passing on battlefield reports and diplomatic cables from the US Department of State to WikiLeaks.

Previously published court documents revealed that Manning’s release of classified documents in 2010 prompted the beginning of a Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks. The non-profit media outfit, which was behind the leak of emails from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, has now called for President Barack Obama to use his last days in office to free Manning. “If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case,” a WikiLeaks tweet read.

Scant information is known about the DOJ investigation into WikiLeaks, and the US has not actually requested to the extradition of its founder Assange. In August, Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting the investigation be closed, and explained how he had “repeatedly” sought information on the probe without success.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. The Australian has previously fought extradition to Sweden over accusations of rape, which he denies. He has claimed the effort is a way to have him transferred to the US, which, as of May 2016, was actively investigating WikiLeaks’ activities.

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