UK’s High Court grants WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to US

Giving his judgment on Friday, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon said: “That risk is in our judgment excluded by the assurances which are offered (by the US authorities).”
Julian Assange
WikiLeaks Founder

London, Dec 11 : WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to the US to face espionage charges, the Royal Courts of Justice ruled here on Friday as the body overturned a lower court ruling earlier this year.

Julian Assange, 50, is wanted in the US on allegations of disclosing national defense information following WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked military documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars a decade ago, Xinhua news agency reported.

Assange has been held at south London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison since 2019. In January, a lower court refused the US request to extradite Assange due to concerns over his mental health, citing the risk that highly-restrictive conditions of US prisons could make him suicidal.

Giving his judgment on Friday, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon said: “That risk is in our judgment excluded by the assurances which are offered (by the US authorities).”

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

Judges ordered that the case must return to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to British Home Secretary Priti Patel, who oversees law enforcement in the UK and will make the final decision on whether to extradite Assange.

Calling the decision a “grave miscarriage of justice,” Julian Assange’s partner Stella Moris said Assange’s lawyers would seek to appeal to UK’s Supreme Court.

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