Dragana Trifkovic for SPUTNIK

Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail in the UK while awaiting extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations in 2012. WikiLeaks has described his sentence as 'vindictive' and also said it was concerned over the upcoming hearing on his possible extradition to the United States.

In an interview with Sputnik Dragana Trifkovic, a think tank head, shared her thoughts on Assange's sentencing and his chances of being extradited and tried in the US. 

Sputnik: Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for bail breach. What's your take on the court's decision?

Trifkovic: I can not say that this is not the expected decision, because in 2010 began the persecution of Assange. There is a big suspicion that the accusations against him were mounted because he dared to explain the truth about Western democracy to the world. Assange became a symbol of freedom of speech and resistance to totalitarianism. The videos, notes and documents published by WikiLeaks shook the whole world and showed what is behind the "democracy, freedom and human rights" policy of the Western system. It is documented in a video from Iraq where US soldiers are cold blooded killing civilians and journalists, as well as thousands of documents showing how politicians behave. Such a decision by the British court is only the first stage in prosecuting Assange, with the obvious aim of extradition to the US where he is charged for issuing military secrets and endangering national security.

Sputnik: How likely is it that Julian Assange's legal team may be successful in appealing the verdict?

Trifkovic: It is difficult to expect a fair trial for Assange because the allegations against him are unlikely politically motivated. It was precisely Assange who brought into question the entire existing Western system, and therefore the independence of the judiciary. If we consider the Wikileaks document, we will come to the question of whether all the institutions of the Western system function in the service of citizens or in the service of political structures that are guided by the idea that the goal justifies the funds. And the goal, as we have seen, is not freedom, democracy and the protection of human rights, but the achievement of the political military and economic interests of one supersile as it America was. The world has turned upside down. Now we have dissidents from the West who are fighting against totalitarianism, once it was the Communist East. Symbolically this fact is imposed through the name of Lenin Moreno.

Sputnik: What are your expectations from tomorrow's hearing regarding Assange's extradition?

Trifkovic: The court in London has already asked the United States to provide the necessary documentation for the extradition of Assange by June 12. I think there are great chances that he will be extradited to the United States and that he will be tried there for serious charges. However, such a move will further aggravate the Western system and create even greater resistance to the United States and the United Kingdom. It is possible to expect that, in the meantime, new Wikileaks documents will also appear, which have not been published so far. I am afraid that by such actions the United Kingdom and the United States will confirm all those charges for crimes against humanity that Wikileaks disclosed. Whatever happens, I am sure that Assange will be a moral winner and that after all, he will confirm his status as an icon of freedom.

*Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dragana Trifkovic and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

2. May 2019.

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