A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that his legal team fears for his safety both inside prison and from threats of assassination from the United States and around the world.
Speaking to Democracy Now! this morning from London, attorney Jennifer Robinson said that the threats are "inappropriate" called for authorities to investigate individuals for inciting violence.
Robinson confirmed that the British judge denied Assange bail due to flight risk concerns, despite objections from his legal team.
"Mr. Assange has cooperated with both the Swedish authorities to the best of his ability and also with the British authorities," Robinson said. "You have to remember, of course, that when the allegations came up, he remained in Sweden for more than a month-and-a-half to answer the allegations and to provide answers to the questions of the police. He left the country with the prosecutor's permission."
Robinson denounced the call by Fox News analyst Bob Beckel for Assange to be illegally assassinated. "A dead man can't leak stuff ... This guy's a traitor," Beckel said on the Fox Business show Follow The Money. "He's treasonous and he has broken every law of the United States. And I'm not for the death penalty, so ... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."
"Apart from being appalling and outrageous, it's inconsistent to be against the death penalty, but to suggest that someone ought to be killed illegally," Robinson said. "Obviously we take these sorts of very public pronouncements incredibly seriously. And people making these statements ought to be reported to the police for incitement to violence."
Robinson said that his legal team is fighting to keep hearings for Assange's extradition to the United States in Britain, rather than being held in Sweden.
"Both countries have extradition agreements with the U.S., so the U.S. can of course seek his extradition from Britain. We would much prefer to fight the extradition here from Britain," Robinson said. "Britain has a very strong tradition of liberty and a strong adversarial proceeding. Sweden, on the other hand, is not renowned for that. So we would much prefer to fight it on this ground."
Robinson says she fears Assange will not "be provided due process."
This is the Democracy Now! interview with Jennifer Robinson on December 2, just days before Julian Assange turned himself in to police custody.
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