Julian Assange awaits crucial US extradition ruling

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will learn on Tuesday if the High Court in London grants him the opportunity to appeal against his extradition to the United States, marking a potential end to his prolonged legal battle in Britain.

Publication: 26.03.2024 - 11:45
Julian Assange awaits crucial US extradition ruling
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The U.S. prosecution aims to try Assange, aged 52, on 18 charges primarily under the Espionage Act, linked to WikiLeaks' release of a vast array of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables. Prosecutors contend that Assange's actions endangered the lives of U.S. agents, emphasizing the gravity of his alleged crimes.

Supporters of Assange celebrate him as a journalistic crusader against establishment malpractices, highlighting his role in revealing U.S. misdeeds and purported war crimes. Assange's legal struggles in the UK started in 2010, leading him to seek asylum for seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London until his 2019 arrest for bail violation.

Since then, Assange has been detained in a high-security prison in southeast London, where he even got married. The UK authorized his extradition to the U.S. in 2022, a decision Assange has been contesting. His initial appeal was rejected last year, but a subsequent two-day hearing last month represented what his supporters view as his final chance to avoid extradition through the English legal system.

In a recent development, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit by Elon Musk against a group monitoring online hate speech.

The decision, set to be announced by two senior judges at 10:30 GMT on Tuesday, could either open the door to a full appeal hearing for Assange or narrow his options to seeking intervention from the European Court of Human Rights. Stella Assange, his wife, has starkly described the upcoming ruling as a matter of life or death, asserting that her husband would not survive extradition to the United States.

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