Crime & Justice

UK court rules Assange can be extradited to US

London, Dec 10 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s High Court on Friday reversed a ruling against the extradition of Wikileaks whistleblower Julian Assange to the United States.

The US, where a grand jury has indicted Assange on 18 charges relating to espionage and computer intrusion, which could carry a sentence of up to 175 years, in October appealed an earlier decision by a district court judge to block his extradition citing mental health concerns.

High Court judges on Friday said the US had since offered assurances that met these concerns.

The ruling on Friday means the case will be remitted to the Westminster Magistrates Court and Assange’s legal team has options of appeal.

The decision in the case could later fall to the UK’s home secretary Priti Patel.

Assange, an Australian national, will be remanded in custody.

The whistleblower was arrested by the UK’s Metropolitan police in 2019 after spending seven years under the protection of political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

He had entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning two sexual assault allegations, which were later dropped. Assange believed extradition to Sweden would bring him closer to US extradition.

The US charges against Assange relate to his decision in 2010 to publish hundreds of thousands of classified military documents relating to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on Wikileaks.

The documents were leaked by US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and included the video Collateral Murder, which showed American helicopter crew laughing and joking as they fired on a group of men in Baghdad in 2007 in an attack that killed several civilians, including two Reuters journalists.

A champion of free speech to some, a criminal in the eyes of US prosecutors, Assange has been held on remand at the UK’s Belmarsh prison since his arrest. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button