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Julian Assange can appeal the decision to extradite him to US and UK court rules

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Julian Assange can appeal the decision to extradite him to US and UK court rules

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LONDON — A British court ruled on Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could appeal a decision that would allow his extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act in connection with obtaining and releasing secret government documents.

The latest twist in the long-running case comes after a ruling last month that he could be extradited to the United States to face the charges, an overturning of a lower court ruling.

The decision to extradite Mr Assange hinges on whether conditions in the United States while in custody would be too harsh for his mental health, which his lawyers say has become increasingly fragile.

Last year, a British lower court judge rejected the extradition request, saying Mr Assange could be driven to suicide if held in the most secure prison in the United States. But last month, Britain’s High Court said it was satisfied with assurances from the Biden administration that Mr Assange would not be held there, and if found guilty he could be allowed to leave. serve his sentence in his native Australia if he asked. this.

The charges against Mr Assange stem from the publication in 2010 of diplomatic and military files on his website, WikiLeaks, after they were leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst.

The indictments, which were handed down during the Trump administration, accuse Mr Assange of participating in a criminal hacking conspiracy by offering to help Ms Manning cover his tracks and also encouraging hackers to obtain and send secret material.

They also accuse him of violating the Espionage Act by soliciting and publishing secret information, charges that could raise deep First Amendment questions.

The trial is taking place in a British courtroom after Mr Assange spent years locked up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he fled in 2012 while facing an investigation into sexual assault charges in Sweden. These charges were eventually dropped.

He was expelled from the embassy in 2019, and the same day the United States unveiled an indictment against him for hacking. Weeks later he was charged under the Espionage Act and has been held in Belmarsh Prison in London since 2019.

Julian Assange can appeal the decision to extradite him to US and UK court rules

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