Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, says UK government – POLITICO

Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, says UK government – POLITICO


U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange to the U.S.

Last December, the U.K. High Court in London ruled that Assange could be extradited from the U.K. to the U.S. to face espionage charges. Now, the Home Office has signed the extradition order for Assange.

In a statement, a Home Office spokesperson said: “In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

WikiLeaks hit back at the announcement.

In its response, WikiLeaks said that “this is a dark day for Press freedom and British democracy. Anyone in this country who cares about freedom of expression should be deeply ashamed that the Home Secretary has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, the country that plotted his assassination.”

Assange plans to appeal against this decision, according to the statement. “Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle. We will appeal through the legal system, the next appeal will be before the High Court,” it read.

WikiLeaks published thousands of confidential diplomatic and military classified documents in 2010 and 2011 related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

U.S. prosecutors said the massive leak endangered hundreds of lives and that Assange was aware of the dangers, prompting a U.S. criminal investigation to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. 

If convicted in the U.S., Assange could face a 175-year jail sentence.

Assange has always denied any wrongdoing. He has been held in Belmarsh high-security prison since 2019, when he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he took refugee for years.




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