UK denies Julian Assange’s extradition appeal – WikiLeaks — Analysis
Court denies WikiLeaks co-founder’s petition to appeal extradition to the US, case turned over to Home Office
The UK Supreme Court on Monday rejected Julian Assange’s appeal of the decision to extradite him to the US, where the WikiLeaks co-founder faces espionage charges. The Home Secretary Priti Paltel must now authorize extradition.
Although the Supreme Court did not officially release its decision in this matter, it has been rumored. It was published by WikiLeaks and Assange’s partner Stella Moris on social media.
Assange filed a petition to appeal in December, arguing that US assurances not to hold him in solitary or subject him to psychological torture were unreliable – and citing Amnesty International to that effect. His petition was granted by the British High Court in January.
Morissa will be open on Saturday tweeted that Belmarsh prison – where Assange has been held since his arrest in April 2019 – had finally granted permission for their wedding, which was scheduled for March 23. However, it is not clear if this will happen.
The Australian-born journalist spent seven years living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, with the UK authorities denying him permission to leave citing a Swedish investigation into alleged sexual misconduct – which ended up being dropped. WikiLeaks’ publisher requested asylum believing that the Swedish case was used as a pretext for him to be extradited to America. Washington also confirmed his suspicions by releasing an indictment relating to his publication of classified documents from the United States in 2010.
The US charged Assange with Espionage Act violations for publishing State Department cables and Pentagon documents related to wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts. Assange could be held up to 175 year imprisonment. US requested extradition in December 2021. It was based on assurances that Assange would be treated fairly and the US government reserves the right to withdraw at any point.
Assange has denied all accusations, with his defenders and supporters pointing out he was not under US jurisdiction, had engaged in journalism that is legal in the US, and that accusations of him conspiring to hack the Pentagon’s computer systems were based on discredited testimony of a convicted Icelandic criminal.
WikiLeaks’ official position on the charges is that they are politically motivated and “represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know – seeking to criminalize basic journalistic activity.”