Julian Assange the founder of WikiLeaks has started his fight against extradition to the US as he appeared, via video link from Belmarsh prison to Westminster Magistrates court.
Assange allegedly conspired to break into a classified Pentagon computer with intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
This charge carries a maximum of five years in a US prison in an “alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information.” In the history of the US.
Assange told the court, “I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many awards and protected many people.”
The classified documents allegedly downloaded include around 90,000 Afghan war activity reports, 40,000 Iraq war activity reports 250,000 US State department cables and 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments.
Assange is to appear via video link to the same court on 30 May for a further case management hearing with District Judge Michael Snow.