The decision of the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, does not mean the end of the legal fight against the Australian Assange, which has lasted more than a decade and could continue for many more months.
The British government confirmed on Friday that it had signed the extradition decree for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, where he is accused of a massive leak of confidential documents.
“ Under the 2003 law on extradition, the minister will sign an extradition order if there is no reason to prohibit it,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, confirming that the incumbent, Priti Patel, had signed the extradition decree. Assange’s extradition.
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But this was overturned on appeal after the US gave a package of guarantees, including a promise that he could be transferred to Australia to serve any sentence.
Patel’s decision does not mean the end of Australian Assange’s legal fight, which has been going on for more than a decade and could continue for many more months.
You can appeal to the High Court in London, which must approve the challenge. Ultimately, you can try to take your case to the UK Supreme Court. But if an appeal is rejected, Assange must be extradited within 28 days.
New legal battle
“This is a dark day for press freedom and British democracy,” said Stella, Assange’s wife. “Julian’s road to freedom is long and winding. Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle.”
Nick Vamos, the former head of extradition for Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, said Assange could use new evidence, such as his accusations that the CIA had planned to assassinate him, and rechallenge extradition on the grounds he originally argued, including the fact that politically motivated. The CIA has refused to comment on his allegations.
“I think it could gain some traction,” said Let’s Reuters. He said extradition verdicts were regularly overturned by the High Court.
WikiLeaks first rose to fame when it published US military video in 2010 showing a 2007 Apache helicopter attack on Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
He then released hundreds of thousands of classified secret files and diplomatic cables in what was the largest such security breach in US military history.
US prosecutors and Western security officials view Assange as a reckless enemy of the state whose actions endangered the lives of the agents named in the leaked material.
He and his supporters argue that he is being punished for shaming those in power and faces 175 years in prison if convicted, though US lawyers have said it would be more like four to six years.
“Allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the United States would put him at great risk and send a chilling message to journalists around the world,” said Agnes Callamard, Secretary-General of Amnesty International.
He added that if extradition proceeds, Amnesty International “is gravely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition on torture or other ill-treatment. Diplomatic assurances provided by the US that Assange will not remain in solitary confinement cannot be taken at face value given the previous history .”
The organization called on the UK to “ refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the US to drop the charges, and for Assange to be released.”
The legal saga began in late 2010 when Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain on sexual offense charges. When she lost that case in 2012, she fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where she spent seven years.
When he was finally dragged out in April 2019, he was jailed for breaching British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had been dismissed. He has been fighting extradition to the United States since June 2019 and remains in jail.
During his time at the Ecuadorian embassy, he had two children with his now-wife, whom he married at London’s Belmarsh high-security prison in March in a ceremony attended by only four guests, two official witnesses, and two guards.