A British High Court judge has denied Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to the U.S. on Espionage Act charges. This decision puts Assange at immediate risk of being handed over to U.S. authorities, who seek to prosecute him for revealing U.S. war crimes.
Assange’s legal options to prevent extradition have significantly dwindled. Earlier, a Magistrate’s Court ruled against extradition, fearing Assange’s likely death in U.S. custody. However, the High Court overturned this decision based on U.S. assurances about Assange’s treatment, a move criticized as accepting new evidence from a state previously discussing illegal actions against Assange.
Assange’s lawyers filed another High Court appeal, focusing on the case’s substantive issues, including the political nature of his prosecution and the U.S. government’s misrepresentation of facts. However, the High Court rejected this appeal, only needing to determine if there was a legal point for an appeal, a process that took over six months.
If the High Court upholds this ruling, Assange’s legal options in Britain will be exhausted, leaving an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights as his last resort. Assange’s wife, Stella, remains optimistic about the upcoming appeal, but the threat of Assange’s extradition to the U.S., where he could face life in a maximum-security prison, looms large.