Assange wins first stage in effort to appeal US extradition

Posted 112 days ago

From APNEWS.COM

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday won the first stage of his effort to overturn a U. K. ruling that opened the door for his extradition to U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges.

The High Court in London gave Assange permission to appeal the case to the U. K. Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court must agree to accept the case before it can move forward.

“Make no mistake, we won today in court,” Assange’s fiancee, Stella Moris, said outside the courthouse, noting that he remains in custody at Belmarsh Prison in London.

“We will fight this until Julian is free,” she added.

The Supreme Court normally takes about eight sitting weeks after an application is submitted to decide whether to accept an appeal, the court says on its website.

The decision is the latest step in Assange’s long battle to avoid a trial in the U. S. on a series of charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents more than a decade ago.

Just over a year ago, a district court judge in London rejected a U. S. extradition request on the grounds that Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions. U.S. authorities later provided assurances that the WikiLeaks founder wouldn’t face the severe treatment his lawyers said would put his physical and mental health at risk.

The High Court last month overturned the lower court’s decision, saying that the U. S. promises were enough to guarantee Assange would be treated humanely.

Those assurances were the focus of Monday’s ruling by the High Court.

Assange’s lawyers are seeking to appeal because the U. S. offered its assurances after the lower court made its ruling. But the High Court overturned the lower court ruling, saying that the judge should have given the U.S. the opportunity to offer the assurances before she made her final ruling.

The High Court gave Ass... (Read more)