WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted right to challenge US extradition

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, gestures to the press from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on May 19, 2017. — AFP
  • Assange launches challenge to US extradition in February 2024.
  • WikiLeaks founder granted comprehensive right to appeal in the UK.
  • US officials claim Assange’s leaks put lives at risk. 

The Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, received a favorable ruling when the UK High Court granted him permission to appeal against his extradition to the US, an order that was originally authorized by the former Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2022.

Prosecutors assert that WikiLeaks’ disclosure of classified information and documentation of war crimes led to endangerment by failing to obscure the identities of individuals involved, as reported by the BBC.

Assange lodged his appeal against the extradition in February 2024.

Two presiding judges have now sanctioned Assange to dispute the American government’s stipulations regarding his prospective US trial, while also considering his freedom of expression protections.

Assange’s legal team, upon hearing the decision, expressed their relief and condemned the prosecution as being motivated by political agendas.

The opposition to his extradition surfaces more than a decade subsequent to his platform’s disclosure of top-secret military documents that exposed US war crimes in 2010 and 2011.

Currently detained at Belmarsh Prison, Assange has been allotted several months to prepare an exhaustive appeal within the UK legal system.

The Australian-born Assange has professed that his 2010 revelations brought to light wartime atrocities committed by the US. The favorable news was met with jubilation amongst his proponents.

Stella Assange, his spouse, referred to the judgment as pivotal in the lengthy judicial contest.

She vowed to persist in her efforts for Assange’s liberation, regardless of the court’s decisions.

The endeavor by the US to extradite Assange is founded on allegations that he was involved in “one of the most significant leaks of classified information in United States history”, according to the Department of Justice.

This includes disclosures about the US military’s involvement in previously unrecorded civilian fatalities during the Afghanistan conflict.

“This lawsuit is that nation’s retribution against transparency and accountability,” claimed Assange’s wife in regards to the actions of the US.

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