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02:25

UK: Assange's case 'is more about vengeance' - Assange's friend to RT *PARTNER CONTENT*

United Kingdom, Norfolk
December 30, 2019 at 22:17 GMT +00:00 · Published

Close friend of Julian Assange, Vaughan Smith, said what is happening to the WikiLeaks founder is "much more about vengeance and setting an example to dissuade other people from holding American power to account," in an interview with RT via video link from Norfolk on Monday.

During an interview the journalist repeated that people need answers from the British government at least regarding Assange's health as "a hundred international doctors have asked to arrange a visit" and they still haven't been allowed to do it.

Smith also told RT about his recent talk with Assange. Assange called him because he and his family had celebrated Christmas together in 2010. According to Smith, Assange "simply wanted a few minutes of escape and to talk to us because of the memories he had, happy memories," while his speech was slow and incoherent, even though, as Smith added, he usually speaks clearly. "He didn't actually say that he was sedated, it seemed pretty obvious he was," Smith said.

Speaking about Belmarsh prison, Smith admitted that he doesn't understand why Assange is being held there. "Putting somebody in Belmarsh is an incredibly expensive thing to do. Why we are spending that money on Julian Assange? He is not a danger to the public," he noted.

British police arrested the WikiLeaks founder at the Ecuadorian embassy in April after him spending seven years there. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is facing the US extradition request on espionage charges related to the publication of classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

02:25
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Close friend of Julian Assange, Vaughan Smith, said what is happening to the WikiLeaks founder is "much more about vengeance and setting an example to dissuade other people from holding American power to account," in an interview with RT via video link from Norfolk on Monday.

During an interview the journalist repeated that people need answers from the British government at least regarding Assange's health as "a hundred international doctors have asked to arrange a visit" and they still haven't been allowed to do it.

Smith also told RT about his recent talk with Assange. Assange called him because he and his family had celebrated Christmas together in 2010. According to Smith, Assange "simply wanted a few minutes of escape and to talk to us because of the memories he had, happy memories," while his speech was slow and incoherent, even though, as Smith added, he usually speaks clearly. "He didn't actually say that he was sedated, it seemed pretty obvious he was," Smith said.

Speaking about Belmarsh prison, Smith admitted that he doesn't understand why Assange is being held there. "Putting somebody in Belmarsh is an incredibly expensive thing to do. Why we are spending that money on Julian Assange? He is not a danger to the public," he noted.

British police arrested the WikiLeaks founder at the Ecuadorian embassy in April after him spending seven years there. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is facing the US extradition request on espionage charges related to the publication of classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

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