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20 May, 2024 10:14

Assange wins right to appeal extradition to US: Live Updates

A British court has ruled that Washington’s assurances that the WikiLeaks founder would receive a fair trial are insufficient
Assange wins right to appeal extradition to US: Live Updates

The UK High Court ruled on Monday that imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can appeal a US extradition request. Washington has demanded that the editor be handed over to stand trial on espionage charges for his website’s coverage of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   

In a long-running legal battle, Assange’s lawyers have repeatedly attempted to appeal the extradition request, arguing that the 52-year-old would not be given a fair trial in the US and could potentially be sentenced to death.  

In response, Washington has issued diplomatic assurances that Assange would not be held in a maximum security prison or be put into solitary confinement for extensive periods of time, would not face the death penalty, and would be guaranteed a First Amendment right to free speech.  

However, British judges ruled on Monday that these assurances were insufficient and allowed Assange’s legal team to proceed with their appeal against the extradition request.

This live stream has ended.

  • 20 May 2024

    13:18 GMT

    “We will continue fighting this thing,” former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has said, reacting to the High Court’s decision. He expressed relief that Assange’s defense did not have to seek an emergency injunction from the European Court of Human Rights, and called on US President Joe Biden to drop the case against the Australian editor.

    Corbyn also told Assange’s supporters to continue campaigning until the WikiLeaks founder is free.

  • 12:44 GMT

    Assange’s wife Stella applauded the British court’s verdict, calling it the “right decision.”

    “We spent a long time hearing the United States putting lipstick on a pig, but the judges did not buy it,” she said, stressing that the persecution of her husband has gone on long enough and that the US should drop all charges against him.

    “Now is the moment to do it. Just abandon this shameful attack on journalists, the press and the public that has been going on for 14 years.”

  • 12:30 GMT

    Amnesty International’s Simon Crowther has hailed the British court’s decision as a “rare piece of positive news for Julian Assange and all defenders of press freedom” and has called on the US to drop all charges against the WikiLeaks co-founder.

  • 12:14 GMT

    Assange will remain in London’s top-security Belmarsh Prison as a new round of legal battles over his fate plays out in British courts. The Australian citizen has been held in the facility for the past five years, ever since his arrest in 2019, when his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London was revoked.

  • 11:57 GMT

    Two senior British judges overseeing Assange’s case concluded that Washington’s submitted diplomatic assurances were not sufficient and have allowed the appeal against the extradition to move forward.

  • 11:44 GMT

    London’s High Court has ruled in favor of Assange, granting the Australian editor the right to appeal Washington’s extradition request.

  • 11:44 GMT

    Assange has chosen not to appear at the hearing in person due to health concerns, his lawyer told the High Court.  

    It was previously rumored that the editor would be making an appearance in court on Monday. Instead, he is represented by his lawyer. His wife Stella, as well as his father and brother are also present at the hearing.

  • 11:43 GMT

    Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, has reiterated to the High Court that his client should not be extradited to the US. He urged judges against accepting Washington’s assurances, calling them “blatantly inadequate.”

  • 10:10 GMT

    Dozens of protesters have gathered outside London's High Court building ahead of Assange's hearing. Demonstrators are demanding the release of the Australian editor.