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High Court to Rule on Julian Assange's Extradition Appeal Tomorrow

High Court to Rule on Julian Assange's Extradition Appeal Tomorrow

Mar 25, 2024

High Court to Rule on Julian Assange's Extradition Appeal Tomorrow

The High Court in London is set to deliver a crucial ruling on Tuesday regarding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's ability to appeal against his extradition to the United States. This could mark Assange's final legal challenge within the British courts system, as reported by Reuters.

Britain sanctioned Assange's extradition in 2022, a decision he has been contesting. His initial appeal was rejected, leading to a two-day hearing last month where his lawyers attempted to overturn that judgment.

The ruling by two senior judges is scheduled for 10:30 GMT on Tuesday. Should Assange succeed, it would lead to a full appeal hearing to reconsider his challenge. A defeat, however, would leave him with the option to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights as a last resort.

Stella Assange, Julian Assange's wife, highlighted the importance of the upcoming decision with a post stating, "This is it. DECISION TOMORROW."

Since 2010, Assange has been embroiled in legal struggles, which included a seven-year asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Following his eviction and arrest in 2019 for violating bail conditions, he has been detained at a high-security prison in southeast London, where he also got married.

During February's hearings, Assange's defense argued that the U.S. prosecution was politically motivated, targeting him for revealing "state-level crimes." They cited alleged discussions by former U.S. President Donald Trump about harming Assange. Conversely, U.S. lawyers have specified that Assange's prosecution is not for the publication of leaked materials, but rather for his supposed collaboration with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining them unlawfully and jeopardizing sources' safety.

WikiLeaks first gained significant attention in 2010 with the release of a U.S. military video depicting a 2007 Apache helicopter assault in Baghdad that resulted in multiple civilian casualties, including two Reuters journalists.

The recent uncertainty over the potential resolution of the case against Assange was heightened following a U.S. lawyer's comment last week, indicating no sign of an agreement after reports surfaced that the U.S. Justice Department might consider allowing Assange to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

The forthcoming High Court decision is set to determine the next chapter in Julian Assange's lengthy and complex legal battle with potential widespread implications for international extradition and press freedom.

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