Updated March 26th, 2024 at 16:51 IST

WikiLeaks’ Assange’s extradition to US on espionage charges delayed by UK court

Assange won't get a new appeal unless US authorities assure about his fate post extradition, said the court.

Reported by: Business Desk
Julian Assange | Image:Wikimedia Commons
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Wikileaks case in UK: Pronouncing its judgment on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States on espionage charges, a London court on Tuesday said that the 52-year-old  Australian computer expert cannot immediately be extradited to the United States on espionage charges. 

In a partial victory for the WikiLeaks founder, two High Court judges said they would grant Assange a new appeal unless US authorities give further assurances about what will happen to him. The ruling means the legal saga, which has dragged on for more than a decade, will continue.

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The case has been adjourned until May 20. The two justices Victoria Sharp and Jeremy Johnson stated that if no assurances are filed by the US, they will grant Assange permission to appeal extradition on grounds including breach of freedom of expression, and because he might receive the death penalty.

During a two-day hearing in the High Court in February, Assange's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said American authorities were seeking to punish him for WikiLeaks' “exposure of criminality on the part of the US government on an unprecedented scale,” including torture and killings.

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As per Assange's supporters, he is a journalist protected by the First Amendment who exposed US military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan that was in the public interest. The supporters have argued his prosecution is politically motivated and he can't get a fair trial in the US.

The US government said Assange's actions went beyond journalism by soliciting, stealing and indiscriminately publishing classified government documents that endangered innocent lives. 

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(With PTI inputs) 

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Published March 26th, 2024 at 16:51 IST