By Claire Gordon • 10 December 2021 • 13:42
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited from the UK to the US, the High Court has ruled today, Friday 10 December. The appeal case lodged by the US against a January UK court ruling stating he could not be extradited has been overturned. That case went against the US due to concerns over Mr Assange’s mental health.
The judges in the appeal court were reassured by US promises to reduce the risk of suicide, but his fiancee said they intend to appeal the decision. Mr Assange is wanted by the US over the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011.
The case in January was awarded in Julian Assange’s favour as the judge based her decision on the risk of Mr Assange being held in highly restrictive prison conditions if extradited. The US authorities have been giving assurances that these conditions will not be enacted upon Mr Assange unless he commits a further crime that warrants them, and this has been enough to change the verdict.
Giving the judgement, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett said: “That risk is in our judgment excluded by the assurances which are offered.
“It follows that we are satisfied that, if the assurances had been before the judge, she would have answered the relevant question differently.” Mr Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris called the ruling “dangerous and misguided”, adding that the US assurances were “inherently unreliable”. Ms Moris added: “For the past… two years and a half, Julian has remained in Belmarsh prison, and in fact, he has been detained since 7 December 2010 in one form or another, 11 years. For how long can this go on?”
Judges ordered that the Julian Assange case must return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to Home Secretary Priti Patel.
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