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Assange Granted the Opportunity to Challenge Extradition to the US

The founder of WikiLeaks still faces a legal battle defending espionage charges that could result in a 175-year jail sentence.

The founder of WikiLeaks has been granted the right to challenge his extradition to the United States, where he is accused of espionage.

In March, Julian Assange’s legal team successfully appealed, requiring U.S. authorities to guarantee no death penalty if he is extradited.

At his final extradition hearing, the High Court in London allowed Mr. Assange to appeal based on freedom of speech and nationality aspects.

Julian Assange was absent from court for health reasons.


American authorities are pursuing charges against Mr. Assange for his alleged involvement in a major leak of classified information in U.S. history.

The U.S. is seeking to try the Australian-born Assange on 18 charges, primarily under the Espionage Act, claiming that his actions with WikiLeaks jeopardized national security and endangered agents’ lives.

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Edward Fitzgerald, KC, Assange’s counsel, found most promises regarding extradition conditions inadequate, but they accepted the promise regarding the death penalty.

Legal representatives of the United States argued that Assange’s appeal should be denied due to assurances given in a note from the U.S. embassy in London.

175 Years in Prison

James Lewis, KC, representing the U.S., emphasized that if extradited, Assange would receive fair trial rights, including the ability to defend his actions under the First Amendment.

Mr. Assange’s supporters express concern that he may face a lengthy prison sentence if extradited.

Mr. Assange’s family and supporters highlight the toll of legal battles on his physical and mental well-being over the years, including long periods of self-exile and imprisonment.

‘Canary in the Coal Mine’

Former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell warned that Assange’s extradition would endanger journalists exposing state crimes.

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson cautioned that Assange’s extradition would set a dangerous precedent affecting press freedom globally.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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