UK Court To Issue Ruling On Julian Assange Extradition Tuesday Morning

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 26, 2024 - 12:40 AM

On Tuesday London’s High Court will finally rule on the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The court is expected to deliver a decision on if he can appeal his extradition to the United States, where he would face espionage and related charges for publishing state secrets.

WikiLeaks has said the written ruling is expected to be delivered by 10:30 am London time (6:30am ET). After this, all his appeal opportunities in the UK legal system will have been exhausted.

Image source: Reuters

Stella Assange, his wife, has warned that if the  court rules against Assange, he could be on a plane to US soil days following. He would be removed from the high security Belmarsh prison for a trial in the US on espionage-related charges and publishing state secrets, where a 175 year jail sentence would await him.

WikiLeaks has been urging all Americans to put pressure on the Biden administration to drop its case against Assange by calling House representatives and telling them to support H.Res.934. The bill, introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) requests that the Biden White House halt the proceedings against Assange.

The bill reads: "This resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that regular journalistic activities, including the obtainment and publication of information, are protected under the First Amendment and that the federal government should drop all charges against and attempts to extradite Julian Assange."

Editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsson has commented on what Assange's prosecution and possible extradition means for the future of press freedoms."It cannot be underestimated, the effect that it will have," he said. "If an Australian citizen publishing in Europe can face prison time in the United States, that means no journalists anywhere are safe in the future."

However, as we detailed last week, the Biden administration might be looking for a way to bring the 14-year long legal drama to an end. A last Wednesday WSJ report said, "The U.S. Justice Department is considering whether to allow Julian Assange to plead guilty to a reduced charge of mishandling classified information, according to people familiar with the matter, opening the possibility of a deal that would end a lengthy legal saga triggered by one of the biggest classified intelligence leaks in American history."

A plea deal means the whole crisis for him and his family could finally come to an acceptable and peaceful end after all of these years.

"Justice Department officials and Assange’s lawyers have had preliminary discussions in recent months about what a plea deal could look like, according to people familiar with the matter, a potential softening in a standoff filled with political and legal complexities," according to details in the WSJ report. "The talks come as Assange has spent some five years behind bars and U.S. prosecutors face diminishing odds that he would serve much more time even if he were convicted stateside."

In February of this year, Assange's cause received a big boost when his native Australia issued formal request to the US and UK that charges against Julian Assange be dropped. The motion adopted by Australian parliament at that time emphasized "the importance of the UK and USA bringing the matter to a close so that Mr. Assange can return home to his family in Australia."