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Fri Jun 17, 2022, 05:53 AM

Top British official orders Julian Assange's extradition to U.S. [View all]

Source: Washington Post

The British government on Friday ordered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face espionage and hacking charges. Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision, the British Home Office said. Assange has been held in a London prison since 2019, after seven years evading arrest in the Ecuadoran Embassy. His attorneys argued that he was at high risk of suicide under the restrictions he might face while in U.S. custody.

The Home Office said in a statement that “the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.” Priti Patel, the British home secretary, signed the extradition order.

The home secretary is the final authority on extradition in the British system — though Assange has other legal avenues he can pursue to block the move, and experts say his arrival in the United States is far from imminent. The Home Office said Assange “will only be surrendered to the requesting state when all avenues of legal challenge are exhausted.”

Assange could ask Britain’s highest court to hear more arguments before his extradition, or he could pursue an appeal in the European Court of Human Rights. Each court would have to agree to hear Assange’s appeal, which is not guaranteed. As part of the extradition proceedings, the top British court in December accepted the U.S. government’s assurances about specific safety measures it would implement for Assange. The court refused to hear Assange’s appeal on that point in March.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/06/17/julian-assange-extradition-home-office/

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