Home LATEST NEWS Julian Assange closes in on US extradition

Julian Assange closes in on US extradition


Westminster Magistrates Court in London has formally issued an extradition order and it is now up to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve it.

Simply put, I am required to send your case to the Minister of State for decisionMagistrate Paul Goldspring said during a short seven-minute hearing.

Julian Assange.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks (archive)

Photo: Getty Images/Carl Court

The 50-year-old WikiLeaks founder was not physically present in court, but followed the administrative proceedings via video link. His lawyers can still appeal to the High Court.

Unless there is an appeal, Julian Assange will be extradited within 28 days of the Minister’s decision to order the extradition.

Outside the court, a few dozen supporters of Julian Assange had gathered on Wednesday with placards proclaiming Do not extradite Assange. Journalism is not a crime or May the freedom of the press rest in peace.

Former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was also on hand to defend the Australian.

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He did absolutely nothing more than tell the truth to the worldMr Corbyn told protesters.

If Julian Assange is extradited to the United States, journalists everywhere will have to look over their shoulders if they publish information harmful to American interests. »

A quote from Excerpt from a statement by the human rights organization Amnesty International

Mr Assange has been detained for three years at the maximum security prison in Belmarsh, near London, where he married his fiancée Stella Moris last month.

She had two children with Julian Assange, two little boys conceived when he was living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The founder of WikiLeaks spent seven years in this embassy where he had taken refuge in 2012 while he was on bail.

He then feared extradition to the United States, or to Sweden where he was the subject of rape proceedings since abandoned.

He was finally arrested by British police in April 2019 and imprisoned.

His wife, a South African lawyer in her 30s, last month pleaded with Priti Patel to prevent his extradition, asking her to end this political affair.

She attended the court hearing on Wednesday.

Caught up in a long legal saga, the Australian is wanted by American justice who wants to try him for the dissemination, from 2010, of more than 700,000 classified documents on American military and diplomatic activities, in particular in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Prosecuted in particular under legislation against espionage, Julian Assange faces 175 years in prison, in a case denounced by human rights organizations as a serious attack on the freedom of the press.

On March 14, he had seen one of his last hopes of avoiding his extradition disappear, with the refusal of the British Supreme Court to examine his appeal.

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