WikiLeaks' Assange gets closer to extradition to the US

US government won appeal in English court

Published in 10/12/2021 - 10:42 By Andrew MacAskill - Repórter da Reuters - Londres

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was one step closer this Friday (10) to facing criminal charges in the United States of violating spy laws and conspiring to hack into government computers, after the US government won an appeal for his extradition in an English court.

US officials have charged the 50-year-old Australian with 18 counts related to the WikiLeaks disclosure of large amounts of classified military records and US diplomatic cables that the country claims have endangered lives.

Assange's supporters portray him as an anti-system hero, victimized by the United States for exposing the country's mistakes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The US won an appeal against a London judge's verdict that Assange should not be extradited because he would likely commit suicide in a US prison.

Judge Timothy Holroyde said he was satisfied with a number of assurances given by the US about the conditions of Assange's detention, including a promise not to keep him in Colorado's maximum security prison and that he will be transferred to Australia to serve his sentence. if convicted.

But there are other hurdles to overcome before Assange can be sent to the US: The legal imbroglio will likely reach the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal.

Assange's fiancee Stella Moris said the legal team representing him will appeal the decision.

"How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible to extradite Julian to the same country that conspired to kill him?" she asked. "We will appeal this decision as soon as possible."

Holroyde said the case now needs to be referred to the Westminster Magistrates' Court, and that the leading judges will send it to the British government to decide whether Assange should be extradited.

Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, was not in court. He remains in the London high security prison in Belmarsh, where he has been for more than two and a half years.

US attorneys and Western security officials see him as an irresponsible and dangerous enemy of the state, whose actions have endangered the lives of agents named in the leaked material.

His admirers praise him as a hero, who exposed what they describe as the abuse of power by modern states and for defending free speech.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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