HomeFeaturedUS Awaits Verdict On Assange Extradition 

US Awaits Verdict On Assange Extradition 

US Awaits Verdict On Assange Extradition 

US Awaits Verdict On Assange Extradition 

LONDON, (IANS) – The UK High Court on February 21 concluded its two-day hearing on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against his extradition to the US on espionage charges, but the judges said they would give their decision later.

Assange, 52, is wanted in the US on allegations of disclosing national defense information following WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked military documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars a decade ago, which included an Apache helicopter video footage documenting the US military gunning down Reuters journalists and children in Baghdad’s streets in 2007.

Assange has been held at southeast London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison since 2019, Xinhua news agency reported.

Lawyers for the US said earlier that he would be allowed to transfer to Australia, his home country, to serve any prison sentence he may be given.

The UK approved his extradition to the US in 2022 under then Home Secretary Priti Patel after a judge initially blocked it on Assange’s mental health concerns.

Assange was absent from the two-day proceedings due to illness as two judges at the UK High Court, namely Victoria Sharp and Justice Johnson, heard arguments from his legal team and lawyers representing the US government.

Clair Dobbin, a lawyer for the US, said during Wednesday’s hearing that the WikiLeaks founder “indiscriminately and knowingly published to the world the names of individuals who acted as sources of information to the US”.

Assange’s lawyers referenced alleged US plot to kidnap or kill the WikiLeaks founder reported in 2021.

If the two judges at the UK High Court rule in Assange’s favor, a full appeal hearing will be scheduled to consider his challenge and could lead to a new decision about his extradition.

If he loses the case, Assange could be extradited within weeks unless his legal team can get an emergency injunction at the European Court of Human Rights in time.

Hundreds of supporters of Assange gathered outside the High Court in central London on Wednesday despite the rain, holding signs that read “Free Julian Assange” and chanting “Free Julian!” and “No extradition!”.

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