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 Julian Assange extradition infographic
Graphic shows timeling of Julian Assange’s legal case.
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POLITICS

Julian Assange extradition appeal

By Duncan Mil

February 19, 2024 - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will find out if he has exhausted all potential challenges through the British courts to being extradited to the United States, where he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

His protracted British legal saga has included seven years of self-exile inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and five years London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison.

The High Court has scheduled two days of arguments over whether Assange can ask an appeals court to challenge the June 2022 decision of Priti Patel -- then home secretary -- to approve an extradition order.

“His life is at risk every single day he stays in prison,” his wife, Stella Assange said last week. “If he’s extradited, he will die.”

U.S, prosecutors say he conspired with U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He faces 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one charge of computer misuse. If convicted, his lawyers say he could receive a prison term of up to 175 years, though American authorities have said any sentence is likely to be much lower.

Assange and his supporters argue he acted as a journalist to expose U.S. military wrongdoing and is protected under press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I worry about him every time he gets sick,” Stella Assange said. “The mental toll is extreme.”

Sources
PUBLISHED: 19/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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