Monday, May 27News For London

Julian Assange can be extradited, UK High Court rules

The UK High Court reversed the judgement of the District Judge that Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, cannot be extradited to the United States of America. The UK court ruling comes as the US gave diplomatic assurance on his safety in prison.

Julian Assange (Image: Wikipedia)

The government of the United States of America won its appeal over the extradition of Julian Assange. Pronouncing the judgement, the High Court judges, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, said: “The court is satisfied with the assurances given by the US on the safety of Julian Assange in a Diplomatic Note dated 5 February 2021.” 

Mr. Assange is accused in the US of espionage charges for publishing thousands of classified documents. The leaked files, then published in Wikileaks, had exposed the alleged rights violations of the US in Afghanistan and Iraq during the war as well as the tortures in the Guantanamo prison. 

While pronouncing the judgement, District Judge in January this year had observed that it was unclear that the US would be able to ensure Assange’s safety and the extradition would be oppressive as his mental condition was vulnerable as well as the US is known for harsh conditions in place in its prisons. 

Lord Chief Justice Lord Brunnett and Lord Justice Holroyde rejected this criticism and clarified: “The assurances were sufficient to meet the concerns which led to the DJ’s decision.”  

By allowing the US appeal, the extradition of Assange may now be closer, from British prison to the US. 

The High Court issued a direction to a District Judge to send the case to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary of the state, to decide “whether Mr. Assange should be extradited to the USA.” 

This would now be the political decision of the UK government. 

Stella Moris addresses the media outside the court (Image: PP Jaseem) 

Stella Moris, Julian’s partner, told Westminster World that Julian will approach the Supreme Court challenging the judgement. 

“We will appeal the decision at the earliest possible time. We will fight for Julian Assange. Every generation has an epic fight to fight. This is ours,” Stella Moris said. 

She also joined the protest held outside the Royal Court of Justice after the pronouncement of the judgement. 

Protest held outside the Royal Court of London against the extradition of Julian Assange (Image: PP Jaseem)

Protestors say that Julian is being prosecuted for publishing the truth about war crimes and CIA killings. 

Craig Murray addresses the media outside the High Court, London (Image: PP Jaseem)

Addressing the media, Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador, said: “These solemn assurances are from a state whose war crimes and murder of civilians were exposed by Julian Assange. The government of the United States has precisely broken these kinds of assurances in other legal cases. The legal battle and the political battle will continue.”