9th June 2023 – (London) Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has lost his latest legal battle to avoid extradition from Britain to the United States. The U.S. government wants to charge Assange with 18 offences related to the WikiLeaks publication of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables.
The British government has approved the extradition, and a judge at London’s High Court ruled this week that Assange had no legal basis to challenge the ruling, according to a court order published on Friday. However, his wife, Stella Assange, announced that there will be another hearing next week, during which Julian will renew his appeal against the decision to extradite him.
Stella Assange remains hopeful that her husband will not be extradited to the United States, where he could face life imprisonment in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that exposed war crimes committed by the U.S. government. She stated on Twitter, “We remain optimistic that we will prevail.”
In January 2021, a British judge ruled that Assange, who was born in Australia, should not be extradited, citing his mental health and the risk of suicide if he were to be convicted and held in a maximum security prison. However, that decision was overturned after an appeal by US authorities, who offered a package of assurances, including a pledge that Assange could be transferred to Australia to serve any sentence.
The extradition was approved by the British interior minister in June of last year. WikiLeaks gained notoriety in 2010 when it released hundreds of thousands of classified files and diplomatic cables in what was the largest security breach of its kind in U.S. military history.