Julian Assange Scores Big Win in Extradition Fight

London court allows him to appeal order to ship him to the US to face charges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2024 7:09 AM CDT
Julian Assange Scores Big Win in Extradition Fight
Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, May 19, 2017.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Had Monday's hearing not gone his way, Julian Assange might be on his way to the US right now to face espionage charges. Instead, a London court agreed to allow him to appeal the extradition order that would send him to America, reports Reuters. The upshot is that the WikiLeaks founder will be able to at least delay—and possibly upend—his day of reckoning in the US. Assange, 52, has been in a London prison since 2019 after previously taking refuge in Ecuador's London embassy for seven years, per the AP. The US has charged him under the Espionage Act after WikiLeaks published classified documents about 15 years ago.

Earlier this year, the London's High Court demanded assurances from the US that Assange, who is Australian, would be treated fairly on a range of issues—allowed to use a free-speech defense as a journalist under the First Amendment, for example, and to be spared the death penalty if convicted, reports the New York Times. While the US provided those assurances, Assange's lawyers argued Monday they were "blatantly inadequate," and the court agreed in a short ruling. (Assange's wife ridiculed the US promises of a fair trial.)

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