WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves Southwark Crown Court after being sentenced in London, Britain, May 1, 2019.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves Southwark Crown Court after being sentenced in London, Britain, May 1, 2019.

LONDON - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a London court on Thursday that he would not agree to be extradited to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer.

Assange, appearing by video link from a London prison, said he would not "surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many awards and protected many people."
 
Wearing jeans and a sports jacket, Assange appeared calm during the brief hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.
 
Judge Michael Snow said it would likely be "many months" before a full hearing was held on the substance of the U.S. extradition case. The judge set a procedural hearing for May 30, with a substantive hearing to follow on June 12.
 
The 47-year-old Australian was sentenced Wednesday to 50 weeks in prison in the U.K. 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.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino addresses a news conference about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Quito, Feb. 5, 2016.
Ecuador Judge Orders Detention for Ex-minister Connected to Assange
A judge in Ecuador has ordered former foreign minister Ricardo Patino be held in pre-trial detention on a so-called instigation charge, the attorney general's office said on Thursday, but the ex-official's whereabouts are unknown.The administration of President Lenin Moreno has said that Patino, who served as foreign minister under the previous government of President Rafael Correa, is connected to WikiLeaks.Moreno stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his diplomatic asylum last week.


Assange says he sought asylum because he feared being sent to the U.S. to face charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified U.S. military documents.
 
U.S. authorities accuse Assange of scheming with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break a password for a classified government computer.
 

FILE - Chelsea Manning addresses the media outside federal court in Alexandria, Va., March 5, 2019. The former Army intelligence analyst was ordered to jail on March 8, 2019 for refusing to testify to a Virginia grand jury investigating Wikileaks.
US Appeals Court Denies Manning's Bail Request, Upholds Contempt Finding
Ruling marks blow for Manning, who has been detained since March after she declined to answer questions in connection with government's long-running investigation into Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Manning served several years in prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. She was jailed again in March after refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating the secret-spilling organization.
 
Ben Brandon, a lawyer representing the U.S. government, said in court Thursday that U.S. investigators had obtained details of chatroom communications between Manning and Assange in 2010. Brandon said the pair had "engaged in real time discussions regarding Chelsea Manning's dissemination of confidential records to Mr. Assange."
 
He said the documents allegedly downloaded from a classified U.S. computer included 90,000 activity reports from the war in Afghanistan, 400,000 Iraq war-related reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessments and 250,000 State Department cables.
 
The U.S. charge against Assange carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, but he is worried the U.S. could add further, more serious allegations against him.
 
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said Wednesday that the extradition battle was "a question of life and death" for Assange.
 
A few dozen WikiLeaks supporters holding signs reading "Free Assange" and "No extradition" gathered outside the London courthouse before Thursday's hearing.

A protester writes his sign outside HMP Belmarsh prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is held, in London, Britain, April 15, 2019.
Julian Assange Supporters Prepared for Prolonged Legal Battle
Julian Assange's supporters have assembled a powerful legal team to try to block the founder of the cyber-hacking site WikiLeaks from being extradited to the United States, following his arrest in London last week.Among them are lawyers who recently defeated U.S. efforts to extradite other hackers from Britain in prolonged legal hearings or who have defended clients in high-profile human rights cases.


Some who had waited for two hours hoping to get in were bitterly disappointed when those seats were filled by journalists and lawyers. They shouted angrily at court staff and complained they were being discriminated against for backing Assange.
 
Assange was arrested last month in London after his relationship with his embassy hosts went sour and Ecuador revoked his political asylum.