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Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in 2014. Alamy Stock Photo

Wikileaks' Julian Assange wins right to fight US extradition

Assange faces prosecution in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information.

FOUNDER OF WIKILEAKS, Julian Assange has won a bid to bring an appeal against his extradition to the United States at the High Court in London. 

Assange faces prosecution in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

During a hearing in February, Assange’s lawyers asked for the right to challenge a previous judge’s dismissal of his case to prevent his extradition. 

Most of the 52 year old’s legal arguments were dismissed by the judges during the two-day hearing, but they agreed that unless “satisfactory” assurances were given by the US, he would be able to bring an appeal. 

The US gave assurances that Assange would be protected by and allowed to rely on the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, and that he is not “prejudiced at trial” due to his nationality. They also said they would not impose the death penalty.

At a hearing earlier today, the two judges granted permission to appeal against the extradition due to the freedom of speech and nationality points. 

Assange will now be able to bring an appeal at the High Court in London. No date has yet been set for the appeal. 

Lawyers on behalf of the US had said Assange’s bid to bring an appeal should be refused given the promises, provided in a note from the US embassy in London.

A lawyer for Assange, Edward Fitzgerald, said that most of the promises were “blatantly inadequate” but that they had accepted the promise about the death penalty.

Press Association