WikiLeaks' Assange to fight extradition to US

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was facing a court hearing Thursday over a U.S. request to extradite him for allegedly conspiring to hack a Pentagon computer. Reuters file photo

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confirmed that he will fight extradition to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring to hack a government computer.

At a court hearing Thursday, Assange said he would not surrender to extradition for doing what he called "journalism that has won many awards." Assange appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court by video link from London's Belmarsh Prison, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in 2012 and taking refuge in the embassy of Ecuador.

British police arrested him last month after Ecuador revoked his political asylum.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was facing a court hearing Thursday over a U.S. request to extradite him for allegedly conspiring to hack a Pentagon computer.

Assange, who is fighting attempts to send him to the United States, is expected to appear by video link from prison for the hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.

A few dozen supporters holding signs reading "Free Assange" and "No extradition" gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing. It's an early stage in what is likely to be a months- or years-long extradition process.

The 47-year-old Australian was sentenced Wednesday to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012 and holing up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. At the time, he was facing extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women.

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