Friday June 9, 2023 – Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to the US on espionage charges.
WikiLeaks founder Assange, 51, launched the appeal last June after then-Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an order authorizing his removal.
A judgment was handed down privately on Monday at the High Court.
Assange’s wife, human rights lawyer Stella said that he will appeal the decision.
She tweeted: ‘On Tuesday next week my husband will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court.
‘The matter will then proceed to a public hearing before two new judges at the High Court and we remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States where he faces charges that could result in him spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that revealed war crimes committed by the US government.’
It will be Assange’s last chance to overturn the ruling before his options in the UK courts are exhausted.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation said it was ‘highly disappointed by the UK High Court’s rejection of Julian Assange’s appeal of his extradition to the United States on Espionage Act charges.’
Director of Advocacy Seth Stern said: ‘The idea of Assange or anyone being tried in a U.S. court for obtaining and publishing confidential documents the same way investigative reporters do every day should be terrifying to all Americans.
‘If [President Joe] Biden lets this case proceed, future administrations will surely use the precedent of the Assange prosecution, and the unconstitutional authority to criminalize newsgathering that Biden is claiming, to go after journalists they don’t like.
‘It’s time for Biden to drop this case and show the world he’s serious about press freedom.’
There is still a chance that his extradition could be blocked by a last minute intervention from judges in Europe.
In December, Assange appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
To halt his extradition now, the European Court would have to issue an emergency injunction known as a Rule 39 order.
This allows a judge to effectively block any action until further legal proceedings to decide on the merits of a case.