BREAKING: Julian Assange WILL Be Extradited!

Uncategorized

On Friday, the British government ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face charges of espionage and hacking.

WikiLeaks said Friday was a “dark day” for press freedom and British democracy.

The years-long battle over the fate of Julian Assange was passed to Home Secretary Priti Patel after a Supreme Court judge in Britain ruled that the Wikileaks co-founder could be extradited to the U.S., despite a previous court ruling that blocked the move over concerns of the heightened risk of Assange committing suicide in an American prison.

Assange was indicted by a US grand jury in 2020 on 18 charges, 17 of which are under the Espionage Act.

He is alleged to have conspired to disclose national defense information following the publication on Wikileaks of the U.S. government was torturing prisoners, committing war crimes, and spying on its citizens.

According to the Home Office, Assange has 14 days to appeal Friday’s decision.

Britain’s Home Office said in a statement Friday that U.K. courts have not found that extradition of Julian Assange would be incompatible with his human rights.

More details of this report from The Verge:

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved an American request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Patel signed the order on June 17th, bringing Assange one step closer to facing espionage charges in the US.

Assange’s legal counsel plans to appeal the decision before the UK’s High Court. “This is a dark day for press freedom and for British democracy,” WikiLeaks said in a statement. “Julian did nothing wrong.”

Patel’s approval follows a series of legal losses for Assange. In December, the UK’s High Court approved Assange’s extradition, concluding that US authorities had credibly promised humane treatment in the American prison system. He was later refused an appeal by the UK Supreme Court, leaving a judge to refer the final decision to Patel. In the US, Assange would face 17 counts of violating espionage law and one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, stemming from his work with whistleblower Chelsea Manning to publish classified American military documents. The claims carry a theoretical maximum of 175 years in prison, but the US government has indicated it’s seeking a far shorter sentence.

Assange’s ongoing case has raised alarm about the legal status of journalists and whistleblowers. Groups like Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have previously called on the US government to drop the charges, warning that prosecution could have a chilling effect on reporters’ willingness to publish newsworthy leaked documents. Assange’s leaks, published in conjunction with several mainstream news outlets, revealed a trove of details about the operations of numerous governments including the US.

ABC News got some scoop on the story:

The British government has approved the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, to the United States to face charges of espionage.

Assange now has 14 days to appeal the decision of both the District Judge and the Secretary of State’s decision to order extradition.

Assange has always denied any wrongdoing.

According to a tweet by Wikileaks, Assange will appeal through the legal system to the High Court.

“Under the Extradition Act 2003, the Secretary of State must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made,” the U.K. Home Office said in a statement following the decision. “Extradition requests are only sent to the Home Secretary once a judge decides it can proceed after considering various aspects of the case. On 17 June, following consideration by both the Magistrates Court and High Court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal.”

The Wikileaks documents in question revealed that the U.S. military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents in Afghanistan. Other leaked records showed that 66,000 civilians had been killed and prisoners tortured by Iraqi forces.

The U.S. says the publication of those documents broke the law and endangered lives. However, Assange says the legal action of the U.S. is politically motivated.

Sources: WLT, The Verge, ABC News, HomeOffice