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Britain Approves Extradition Order for Assange

LONDON — The British authorities authorized an extradition order on Friday for Julian Assange, the embattled WikiLeaks founder, confirming a court docket resolution that he may be despatched to the United States to face trial on espionage prices, although his authorized battle towards the choice is probably going not over.

While the order is a blow for Mr. Assange, whose case is seen by rights teams as a possible problem to press freedom, he’s more likely to as soon as once more enchantment the choice in a British court docket, an avenue that authorized specialists say remains to be open.

A spokesperson for the Home Office stated that “on 17 June, following consideration by both the Magistrates’ Court and High Court, the extradition of Mr. Julian Assange to the U.S. was ordered,” including that “Mr. Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal.”

The Home Office pointed to a British court docket ruling that didn’t discover “that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange.”

Additionally, the courts didn’t discover 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 U.S. he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

His protection workforce has but to say what comes subsequent. The approval of the order by Priti Patel, the house secretary, is simply the most recent flip in a protracted running-court battle and comes after a British court docket ordered Mr. Assange’s extradition in April.

In 2019, Mr. Assange was charged within the United States underneath the Espionage Act in reference to acquiring and publishing categorized authorities paperwork concerning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on WikiLeaks in 2010. Those recordsdata have been leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former army intelligence analyst, earlier than being revealed by the positioning.

Throughout the extended authorized battle towards his extradition, Mr. Assange has remained in custody at Belmarsh jail in London, the place he has been detained for almost three years. Mr. Assange married his associate Stella Moris in jail this year.

He was arrested in London in 2019 after spending seven years holed up within the Ecuadorean Embassy in an effort to keep away from detention as he fought extradition to Sweden, the place he was needed for questioning in a rape inquiry. That case was later dropped.

Under present authorities pointers, Ms. Patel is simply capable of block extradition requests in a small variety of circumstances. That consists of circumstances regarding individuals beforehand extradited or transferred to Britain from elsewhere, others involving individuals dealing with the loss of life penalty, or those that could be charged with additional, beforehand unannounced offenses after their transfers.

But if none of these points have been concerned, Ms. Patel would don’t have any purpose to refuse an extradition request and be obliged to conform, in response to the Home Office.

However, Mr. Assange’s authorized workforce will nonetheless be capable to apply to enchantment to Britain’s High Court on each Ms. Patel’s resolution and probably on a lot of different factors of concern concerning the U.S. request. The High Court will then determine which factors Mr. Assange might enchantment, if any. This course of may take a number of months.

Once he has exhausted his choices in British courts, Mr. Assange may additionally attempt to enchantment to the European Court of Human Rights, although it’s nonetheless unclear how a lot authority it might have over Britain’s resolution after its departure from the European Union.

Rights teams have expressed worries that Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States could threaten press freedom, and when the court docket decided on his case, a number of organizations denounced the transfer.

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