JUST IN: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Has Been Granted Right to Appeal Extradition to U.S. - www.conservativeroof.com
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JUST IN: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Has Been Granted Right to Appeal Extradition to U.S.

On Monday, London’s High Court granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange the right to appeal his extradition to the United States. The judges made this decision after finding the assurances provided by the American legal team were unsatisfactory.

In a significant victory for Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to the United States on espionage charges, two judges concluded that assurances from the U.S. government regarding his ability to invoke First Amendment protections during the trial were insufficient.

Therefore, the judges ruled that Assange’s appeal against the extradition to the United States could go forward.

In March, the British High Court postponed making a decision on the appeal, stating that Assange would have the right to appeal if the Biden administration didn’t assure the court that the death penalty wouldn’t be pursued against the WikiLeaks founder and “that the applicant [Assange] is permitted to rely on the first amendment, that the applicant is not prejudiced at trial, including sentence, by reason of his nationality, that he is afforded the same first amendment [free speech] protections.”

The hearing on Monday centered around the issue of the First Amendment, with Assange’s lawyers accepting that Washington had provided an “unambiguous executive promise” not to seek the death penalty.

The United States has charged Mr. Assange with 17 counts of espionage and computer misuse, alleging that he worked with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) to unlawfully obtain classified documents. The U.S. claims that this action jeopardized the lives of American intelligence officials and sources. If convicted in the United States, the WikiLeaks founder could potentially face a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Mr. Assange’s legal team contends that the release of classified material, which they argue revealed misconduct by the United States during its military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, should be shielded by the First Amendment. They point to previous instances, such as the New York Times’s publication of the Pentagon Papers, which the Supreme Court deemed lawful, as precedent for this argument.

Prior to the court ruling on Monday, Stella Assange, the wife of the WikiLeaks founder, told the BBC that the hearing would be “decisive” in the longstanding legal battle but vowed to “fight on until Julian is free.”

After the ruling on Monday, Mr. Assange will have a few months to prepare his legal arguments for the extradition appeal. During this period, he will continue to be detained at London’s Belmarsh prison, where he has been held since 2019.

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