LONDON — A London court docket on Wednesday ordered the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, the most recent however no longer the final step in a long-running combat in British courtrooms.
The order to extradite Mr. Assange, who’s being sought by way of the US in reference to fees below the Espionage Act, will have to be signed by way of the British house secretary, Priti Patel, and Mr. Assange has 4 weeks to attraction to her at once.
The court docket resolution, delivered in a short lived listening to that noticed Mr. Assange dial in by way of video name from a jail in London, used to be the most recent blow to his makes an attempt to fend off his extradition. Protesters, as they’ve performed all over his prison combat, accumulated out of doors the court in central London.
Britain’s Very best Courtroom dominated final month that Mr. Assange may no longer attraction an previous resolution that cleared the path for his extradition, bouncing the verdict again to the Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom, which made the verdict on Wednesday.
Ms. Patel will now come to a decision whether or not to reserve the extradition or refuse the request, however Mr. Assange’s protection workforce is also entitled to make submissions to her earlier than her ultimate resolution is made. His prison workforce has till Would possibly 18 to take action. The House Place of work didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.
Mr. Assange used to be charged in the US below the Espionage Act in reference to acquiring and publishing categorized executive paperwork in regards to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on WikiLeaks in 2010. The ones information have been leaked by way of Chelsea Manning, a former army intelligence analyst.
Mr. Assange has waged a protracted prison combat in opposition to his extradition following his arrest in London in 2019, after he spent seven years holed up throughout the Ecuadorean Embassy with the intention to keep away from detention.
His defenders have sought to give the case as a question of press freedom, and his extradition to the US may lift main problems about First Modification rights, mavens say.
“The extradition of Julian Assange would even be devastating for press freedom and for the general public, who’ve a proper to understand what their governments are doing of their identify,” stated Agnès Callamard, Amnesty World’s secretary common.
She additionally stated that call positioned Mr. Assange “at nice chance of jail stipulations that would lead to irreversible hurt to his bodily and mental well-being.”