Assange Granted Right to Appeal Extradition to America

( – On May 19, the High Court of London allowed WikiLeaks founder and Australian whistleblower Julian Assange to formally appeal his extradition to the United States. The court decided as two judges determined that assurances from the American team that they would permit Assange to appeal to the free speech protections guaranteed in the American Constitution weren’t credible.

The hearing centered around the First Amendment issue, with the legal team of the WikiLeaks founder accepting that the United States guaranteed that authorities wouldn’t push for the death penalty against Assange. Washington indicted him on 17 counts of computer misuse and espionage, accusing him of stealing top-secret information that the United States claimed put the lives of US intelligence personnel at risk.

Back in March, the High Court deferred the decision on Assange’s appeal, as it argued that the Australian whistleblower would have the right to do it if the White House didn’t provide proper assurances they wouldn’t “seek the death penalty.” Legal experts said the decision represented a victory for Assange, whose main intention is to prevent being extradited to the United States no matter what. However, they added that the White House still has many chances of getting the WikiLeaks founder to America so he could face justice there.

Politics reporters claim that now that the ruling has been made, the Australian whistleblower will have a couple of months to prepare the arguments for the appeal with his lawyers. They added that Assange will remain in the Belmarsh prison in London during that time.

The WikiLeaks founder’s legal team has said that what their client did by publishing the top-secret material must be protected by the US First Amendment. They also justified the publication by saying that the information exposed wrongdoing by the American military during its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange’s legal team added that everything he published should be found lawful, just like what happened with the Pentagon Papers published by the New York Times.

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