U.K. Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to U.S.

LONDON — A British court ruled on Friday that Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges that could result in decades of jail time, reversing a lower-court decision in the long-running case against the embattled WikiLeaks founder.

Britain’s High Court ruled in favor of the U.S. government, overturning an earlier decision by a district court that had blocked Mr. Assange’s extradition based partly on concerns for his mental health. The ruling pointed to a number of assurances from the United States.

However, it is unlikely the end of the legal saga for Mr. Assange, who can appeal the verdict.

Mr. Assange has been charged with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, alleging that he played a role in obtaining secret military and diplomatic documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If found guilty on all charges, he could face a sentence of up to 175 years in prison.

Activists gathered outside the courthouse in central London erupted in protest after the news of the decision filtered outside.

“This is an utterly shameful development that has alarming implications not only for Assange’s mental health, but also for journalism and press freedom around the world,” wrote Rebecca Vincent, who has been monitoring the extradition hearing for Reporters Without Borders and was in the courtroom on Friday.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button