Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he said Russia was not involved in a leak of Democratic Party emails, a court has heard.
The WikiLeaks founder’s barrister brought the subject up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ahead of an extradition hearing next week.
It refers to a series of messages that were embarrassing for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.
The emails were hacked before being published by WikiLeaks.
Edward Fitzgerald QC said there was evidence alleging that former US Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher went to see Assange while he was still at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London in August 2017.
A statement from Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, showed “Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out if Mr Assange… said Russia had nothing to do with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaks”, Mr Fitzgerald said.
The evidence is admissible, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said.
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The US wants Assange to face 18 charges, including conspiring to commit computer intrusion over the publication of US cables a decade ago.
He is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents, and could face up to 175 years in jail if found guilty.
The 48-year-old appeared by videolink from Belmarsh prison, wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and a brown jumper over a white shirt.
Source : Sky News