Justice: Assange can appeal against extradition to the USA

Justice: Assange can appeal against extradition to the USA

Stage victory for Julian Assange: The Wikileaks founder is allowed to explain in court why, in his view, extradition to the USA would not be legal. There is no end to the year-long tug of war.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is allowed to appeal against his threatened extradition to the USA. The London High Court partially granted the Australian native’s appeal. An immediate transfer of the 52-year-old to the USA has therefore been averted for the time being.

Assange’s lawyers had previously convinced the judges in a hearing that lasted almost two hours that the Australian would be allowed to present his arguments in a full appeal process.

The main issue was whether Assange, as a foreign citizen, could invoke the right to freedom of expression in the USA. The judges initially postponed the decision at the end of March and demanded assurances from the USA. However, these initially did not convince the court.

Assange faces a sentence of up to 175 years in prison

The US government wants to put the Australian on trial on espionage charges. He faces up to 175 years in prison. The US government accuses him of stealing and publishing secret material from military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby endangering the lives of US informants. Assange’s supporters, however, see him as being targeted by the Washington judiciary because of his exposure of US war crimes.

Assange’s wife Stella had expressed fears that if his appeal was rejected, he could immediately be put on a plane to the USA. Then he might take his own life, she warned.

Hoping for a political solution

In addition to the appeal process that is now pending, Assange’s supporters are likely to place their hopes primarily on a political solution. The Australian government is now campaigning for the release of its citizen. The Australian Parliament recently passed a resolution calling on the US and Britain to stop prosecuting Assange. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasized that the matter had been dragging on for too long.

US President Joe Biden recently sparked some hope. When asked whether the US would consider an Australian request to stop prosecution against Assange, he said: “We are considering it.” Albanese called the statement “encouraging.”

Source: Stern

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