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24 Feb, 2024 13:45

Assange hearing shows ruling class is ‘full of s**t’ – Roger Waters

The WikiLeaks founder remains in legal limbo after a British court refused to grant or deny his extradition appeal
Assange hearing shows ruling class is ‘full of s**t’ – Roger Waters

The UK High Court's decision to postpone judgment on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s last extradition appeal proves that the British ruling class is “full of s**t,” Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has told Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi.

After two days of oral arguments, the court adjourned on Wednesday without granting or refusing Assange a fresh appeal against his extradition to the US. The UK Home Office approved his transfer to American custody in 2022, but the former WikiLeaks boss – now in poor health after nearly five years of solitary confinement in London’s Belmarsh Prison – has filed repeated appeals, none of which have been successful.

“None of these hearings should last more than five minutes,” Waters told Rattansi on Saturday. “They should go in and say ‘obviously he’s not guilty of any crime, let the prisoner go’ and that will be the end of it.”

“These people don’t believe in the rule of law,” the legendary rocker continued, referring to senior judges Victoria Sharp and Jeremy Johnson, who will ultimately decide whether to grant Assange another appeal.

“They believe in the ruling class, and they believe they are servants of the ruling class. And they will do whatever they are told,” he declared. “It’s becoming more and more transparent to we, the people…that they are full of s**t.”

In the US, Assange is facing 17 charges under the Espionage Act and a potential prison sentence of 175 years. The charges stem from his publication of classified material obtained by whistleblowers, including Pentagon documents detailing alleged US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Espionage Act has never before been used to prosecute someone like Assange, who published – but did not steal – classified material. Former US President Barack Obama refused to press charges against the Australian journalist for this very reason, arguing that Assange’s activity was protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Assange’s lawyers said that he was “too ill” to attend Wednesday’s hearing. Waters, who met with Assange in September, told Rattansi that the publisher was also “too unwell psychologically to even watch the proceedings on closed-circuit television.”

“It was emotionally very crippling,” Waters said of the visit. “Imagine being locked up in solitary confinement for five years, particularly if you’ve never committed a crime. It’s beyond all imagination.”

If the appeal fails, Assange will apply to the European Court of Human Rights and seek an emergency order to stop the extradition while it considers the case, Assange’s wife Stella said earlier this week.