The High Court of Justice in London on Monday ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can seek permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court on a point of law.
Assange is charged with publishing swaths of US military records and diplomatic cables which US authorities claim put lives in danger.
What was the decision?
The court agreed to a request from Assange’s lawyers arguing that the country’s highest court should rule on “points of law of general public importance.”
“The respondent’s application to certify a point of law is granted,” the court said. “The respondent’s application for leave to appeal to the supreme court is refused.”
That means the Supreme Court itself will have to decide whether or not it should hear Assange’s challenge.
A crowd of Assange’s supporters outside the court cheered as they heard the decision.
“Julian won,” Stella Morris, his fiancee and the mother of his two young children, wrote on Twitter.
“It is now for the Supreme Court to decide whether it will hear Julian’s appeal.”
What’s been happening with the case?
The decision is the latest step in a long legal battle to stop the extradition of Assange to the US to face espionage charges over the publication of classified documents by his WikiLeaks organization.
Just over a year ago, a magistrates’ court ruled that it would be “oppressive” to extradite the 50-year-old Australian to the US justice system. It cited fears about his mental health and the risk of suicide.
Last month, the High Court of Justice in London reversed that decision. The same court will now decide whether to allow Assange, who is facing 18 charges relating to the release of hundreds of thousands of secret US files, to appeal that decision to the UK Supreme Court.
Assange could be jailed for up to 175 years in the United States for WikiLeaks’ publication in 2010 of classified documents relating to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Assange has been detained at London’s high-security Belmarsh prison since 2019, despite having served a previous sentence for breaching bail conditions.
US offers assurances on treatment
Washington has provided written promises that Assange would not be detained at the ADX Florence prison in Colorado, which houses criminals such as al-Qaida extremists in near-total isolation.
Assange would also receive any psychological assistance recommended, and would eventually be eligible to apply for a transfer to a jail in his native Australia.
He previously spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faced allegations of sexual assault that were subsequently dropped.
rc/rs (Reuters, EFE, AFP)
PLEASE HELP US KEEP GOING AD-FREE
This is a "Pay as You Feel" website.
Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. If you've enjoyed reading the articles on Labour Heartlands so far, We would be incredibly grateful if you could consider making a small donation. Labour Heathlands is not your typical news outlet. We are not here to simply regurgitate the daily news cycle, that's for the rest of them. Our focus is on delving deeper, uncovering the untold stories and shedding light on the issues that the mainstream media chooses to ignore.
Our unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity means that we are not influenced by any external forces. We are not beholden to PR companies, advertisers or press barons, and we refuse to let anyone dictate what we report on. Our editorial independence is sacrosanct, and our only allegiance is to the truth.
While we do not align ourselves with any particular political party, we stand firmly against corruption, injustice and the erosion of truth and the rule of law. We believe that accurate information is the lifeblood of a democracy and that facts are not up for debate.
Once again, thank you for your support – We truly couldn't do this without you!