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A London court ruled on Monday that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been granted the right to appeal his extradition to the United States.

Judges Victoria Sharp and Jeremy Johnson concluded that Assange has legitimate grounds to challenge the UK’s decision to extradite him. His supporters have welcomed this verdict, but it will likely prolong the protracted legal struggle concerning his future.


The court’s decision follows a previous ruling that allowed Assange to appeal on the condition that the US assures he would not be subjected to the death penalty and that he would receive the same First Amendment protections as an American citizen. While Sharp and Johnson dismissed most of Assange’s previous arguments, they acknowledged the importance of potential First Amendment protections in his case.

Assange faces an 18-count indictment following WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of a vast array of classified military and intelligence documents. The charges include 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count of computer misuse.

His legal team argues that Assange, an Australian citizen, should be shielded as a journalist who disclosed classified information in the public interest. They also say that assurances provided by the US regarding press freedom protections were “blatantly inadequate.” Despite this, the US government claims that his actions transcended typical journalistic activities, posing significant risks to national security.  

Assange has been detained in the UK since 2019, following the Ecuadorian government’s revocation of his political asylum, which led to his expulsion from their London embassy after seven years.


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