The court rejects WikiLeaks’ co-founder’s request to appeal extradition to the United States, the case has been referred to the Home Office
On Monday, Britain’s Supreme Court rejected Julian Assange’s appeal of the decision to extradite him to the United States, where WikiLeaks co – founders are being prosecuted for espionage. It is now up to Interior Minister Priti Patel to approve the extradition.
The Supreme Court has not yet officially given its reasoning on the issue. The decision was announced by Wikileaks and Assange’s partner Stella Moris on social media.
Assange archived a petition to appeal in December, arguing that US assurances of not keeping him alone or subjecting him to psychological torture were unreliable – and Amnesty International was quoted as saying. The British Supreme Court granted his petition in January.
On Saturday, Moris twittrade that Belmarsh Prison – where Assange has been imprisoned since his arrest in April 2019 – had finally given permission for their wedding, which was scheduled for March 23. It is now unclear whether this will be allowed to happen.
The Australian-born journalist spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the British authorities refused him permission to leave with reference to a Swedish investigation into alleged sexual abuse – which ended with closure. The WikiLeaks publisher sought asylum and suspected that the Swedish case was a pretext to have him extradited to the United States, which Washington confirmed by opening an indictment related to his 2010 publication of classified American documents after his arrest in 2019.
For the publication of the State Department’s cables and Pentagon documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has accused Assange under the espionage law and is trying to imprison him for up to 175 years. The US extradition request was approved in December 2021 and is based on guarantees that he would not be abused, as the US government has expressly reserved the right to revoke at any time.
Assange has denied all allegations, and his defenders and supporters point out that he was not under U.S. jurisdiction, had engaged in journalism that is legal in the United States, and that allegations that he conspired to hack the Pentagon’s computer system were based on discredited testimony from a convicted Icelandic criminal.
WikiLeak’s official position on the allegations is that they are politically motivated and “represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know – with the aim of criminalizing basic journalistic activity.”