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Julian Assange’s US Extradition Decision Expected from British Court | 13 years of legal battle

A British court is poised to deliver a decisive ruling on Monday regarding whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States. This decision marks the end of 13 years of legal battles and various forms of detention.

The High Court in London, with two judges presiding, will determine if the assurances provided by the US—that Assange, 52, would not face the death penalty and could exercise his First Amendment right to free speech if tried for espionage—are satisfactory.

Assange’s legal team warns that he could be extradited within 24 hours of the ruling, potentially released from jail, or his case could continue to be entangled in lengthy legal proceedings.

I feel anything could happen at this stage,” his wife Stella remarked last week. “Julian could be extradited, or he could be freed.” She added that her husband hopes to attend the crucial hearing.

Assange is wanted by the United States for allegedly disclosing national defense information following WikiLeaks’ release of hundreds of thousands of military documents related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. This included a 2007 video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, which resulted in the deaths of Reuters journalists and children.

Supporters worldwide view the US prosecution as a miscarriage of justice, an attack on journalism and free speech, and retribution for exposing embarrassing truths. Calls for the case to be dropped have come from human rights organizations, media bodies, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and other political leaders.

Assange has been detained at Belmarsh high-security prison in southeast London since 2019. The UK approved his extradition to the US in 2022 under then-Home Secretary Priti Patel after a judge initially blocked it due to concerns about Assange’s mental health. Assange and his lawyers have been appealing the decision since then.

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