Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules

Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules

Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules

Julian Assange – founder of Wikileaks – can be extradited to the US from the UK, the High Court has ruled today. 

America won its appeal against a UK court ruling that said Assange couldn’t be extradited due to mental health concerns.

But judges were reassured by the US who promised to reduce the risk of suicide. His fiance confirmed they intended to appeal the latest decision. 

Julian Assange is wanted in the United States over the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011. 

The decision to not extradite back in January was found to be over the risk of Mr Assange being held in highly restrictive prison conditions if extradited, but US authorities have assured that he would not face those measures unless he commits an act that would merit it. 

Giving the judgement, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said: “That risk is in our judgment excluded by the assurances which are offered.

“It follows that we are satisfied that, if the assurances had been before the judge, she would have answered the relevant question differently.”

Julian Assange’s finance labelled the ruling “dangerous and misguided” adding the US assurances were “unreliable.” 

In an emotional statement outside the court, Ms Moris said: “For the past… two years and a half, Julian has remained in Belmarsh prison, and in fact he has been detained since 7 December 2010 in one form or another, 11 years. For how long can this go on?”

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement: “Julian’s life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient.

“This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower.”

Judges ordered the case must return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Julian Assange and the US assurances 

The United States has offered up four assurances over Julian Assange. Firstly, he will not be subject to solitary confinement pre or post-trial or detained at the ADX Florence Supermax jail if extradited. 

Lawyers for the US said he would be allowed to transfer to Australia to serve any prison sentence he may be given closer to home. 

The lawyers say his mental illness isn’t severe enough to prevent extradition. 

But Assange’s lawyers say the assurances over his future treatment were “meaningless” and “vague.” 

If convicted he faces a possible penalty of up to 175 years in jail. But the US government said it was more likely to be between four and six years. 

Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Julian Assange, 50, faces an 18-count indictment from the US government. He is accused of conspiring to hack into US military databases to acquire sensitive secret information relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which was then published on the Wikileaks website. 

Julian says the information exposed abuses at the hands of the US military. 

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