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ASSANGE TO PRESENT FINAL APPEAL TO AVOID EXTRADITION ON FEB 20: Julian Assange is wanted on 17 charges of espionage and computer intrusion, all stemming from revelations about U.S. war crimes


Dec 19, 2023

On Tuesday, Stella Moris-Assange announced that her husband, Julian Assange, will file his final appeal to avoid extradition to the U.S. in the High Court of London on Feb. 20 and 21.

This proceeding might be the Australian journalist's last opportunity to prevent his extradition to the U.S., where he is wanted on 17 charges of espionage and computer intrusion, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years, all stemming from the revelations through WikiLeaks about the war crimes committed by the United States.

During the two-day hearing, two judges will review the decision made on June 6 by Judge Jonathan Swift, who had denied Assange permission to submit any further appeals, a decision questioned by the defense team of WikiLeaks' founder.

In this final stage of this battle, Assange faces two possible outcomes: either the judges grant him permission to appeal aspects of his case that his defense had not addressed so far, or they agree with Swift to prohibit further appeals, triggering the extradition process to the United States. The journalist could also appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

In the June ruling, Swift upheld the extradition authorization signed on June 17, 2022, by then-Home Secretary Priti Patel. He also rejected the appeal of the 52-year-old journalist regarding parts of a January 2021 ruling, which had disallowed his extradition due to concerns about Assange's risk of suicide.

While the initial ruling by first-instance judge Vanessa Baraitser was favorable, Assange's legal team reserved the right to challenge some of the arguments she had dismissed.

Julian Assange has been confined in the high-security Belmarsh prison since his arrest at the request of the U.S. on April 11, 2019, after his expulsion from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which revoked his asylum.

The computer expert had sought refuge in this embassy in 2012 after his initial arrest in 2010 related to a Swedish criminal case, which is now archived.

"The last four and a half years have taken a considerable toll on Julian and our family," said Stella Moris, who married Assange in prison after having two children with him while he was at the Ecuadorian embassy.

"His mental health and physical condition have significantly deteriorated. A fair trial, let alone Julian's safety on U.S. territory, is impossible if he is extradited. The persecution of this innocent journalist and editor must end," she said.

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