UK court allows WikiLeaks, Julian Assange three weeks ahead of extradition

LONDON — A British court ruled Tuesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be immediately extradited to the United States to face hacking and espionage charges, and that U.S. officials must first assure British authorities that he will be able to rely on free speech protections and be tried in the United States. will not be sentenced to death.

Britain’s High Court in London gave U.S. officials three weeks to provide guarantees and said Assange would be able to appeal against extradition if those pledges were not met. A decision on whether Assange will receive a full appeal hearing has been postponed to May 20, should the United States provide guarantees.

Assange is expected to remain temporarily in London’s Belmarsh Prison, where he has been held since 2019.

Julian’s wife Stella Assange told reporters outside the High Court that the decision was “shocking”.

“What the court did was invite the United States to intervene politically, to send a letter saying, ‘All is well,'” she said. “The Biden administration should make no guarantees; they should drop this shameful case that should never have been brought.”

one indictment filed in virginia Assange, 52, is accused of helping former Army Private Chelsea Manning hack into U.S. systems and obtain thousands of pages of classified military records and diplomatic cables related to the 2010 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Prosecutors say Assange put lives at risk by releasing the documents, which include unredacted source names and other sensitive military details, as part of a massive WikiLeaks expose.

Assange’s Supporters and several major news organizations Alleging that he was a journalist who published shocking information about U.S. operations abroad, his extradition and prosecution would set a legal precedent that undermines the First Amendment.

The long-stalled case against Assange could quickly begin to move forward if a British court approves extradition. But in this case, Assange will have one last chance to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

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If convicted on all counts, the WikiLeaks founder faces up to decades in prison.this 18-count indictment It does not include charges that Assange released emails from Democratic officials that were hacked as part of Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a 66-page ruling on Tuesday, Judge Victoria Sharp rejected most of Assange’s arguments but found he had “real prospects of success” on three grounds: Extraditing him would be incompatible with free speech He may face prejudice because of his Australian citizenship and because the current extradition framework is insufficient to protect Assange from the death penalty.

“The United States has never prosecuted an American citizen for publishing classified information, but it sought to prosecute Mr. Assange,” said Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based lawyer. “This alone shows that he has less First Amendment protection than the United States provides its citizens.”

U.S. officials have never raised the possibility of the death penalty in Assange’s case, and none of the criminal statutes under which Assange was prosecuted would allow the death penalty. Assange faces up to 5 to 10 years in prison on 18 indicted counts. Justice Department officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The court gave the U.S. government three weeks to ensure that Assange will be allowed to rely on the First Amendment as part of his legal defense, that he will have the same free speech protections as any U.S. citizen, that officials will not seek the death penalty, and that Assange’s nationality will not Legal action affecting him. The court ruled that if the guarantees were not given, Assange would be able to appeal against extradition again. He appealed to the UK Supreme Court in 2021 but lost.

president barack obama Manning commutes sentence In 2017, she was convicted of Espionage Act and other offenses related to the WikiLeaks disclosures.Justice Department officials declined to charge Assange during the Obama administration, then reversed course and obtained an indictment during the president’s term Donald Trump — but the move sparked controversy.Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Split over whether to bring charges under Espionage Acta law typically used to charge sources of leaks within the government rather than publishers who spread the information through their platforms.

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officials under Attorney General Merrick Garland, who President BidenOversaw much of the extradition process amid growing international opposition. Australia’s parliament voted last month to call on the British and U.S. governments to release Assange.

a british judge Assange’s extradition initially halted In January 2021, it was found that he was “a depressed, sometimes hopeless man” who was at high risk of suicide in the solitary or highly restrictive conditions he could face in U.S. custody.

In a letter last year inviting King Charles III to visit conditions at Belmarsh Prison, Assange noted that a prisoner facing deportation committed suicide just yards from his cell.

The U.S. government has offered not to impose “special administrative measures” on Assange and to keep him away from the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, while he awaits trial.U.S. officials agree to let Assange serving sentence in australia If he is convicted, they noted that Assange would receive clinical and psychological treatment while in custody.

The UK Supreme Court has previously approve extradition In December 2021, the investigation found that “the UK and the United States have a long history of cooperation on extradition matters, and the United States has frequently provided and always honored guarantees in the past.” After the ruling, Assange was allowed to make more arguments.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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