Assange extradition process advances with US providing assurances to UK court


The extradition saga of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a significant step forward as the United States has provided assurances requested by the High Court in London.

These assurances address concerns raised by the court and could potentially lead to Assange's extradition from Britain.

The High Court's ruling last month stipulated that Assange, aged 52, could launch a new appeal against extradition if certain guarantees from the US were not met. These guarantees include assurances that Assange would have the opportunity to invoke his First Amendment right to free speech during a US trial and that he would not face the death penalty for any new charges.

As the deadline for submitting these assurances passed on Tuesday, the document provided by the US ensures that Assange will have the ability to assert his rights under the First Amendment in court. However, it clarifies that the decision on the applicability of the First Amendment rests with the US courts. Additionally, the document confirms that the death penalty will not be sought or imposed in Assange's case.

Despite these assurances, Assange's wife, Stella, remains unconvinced, describing the guarantees as insufficient and expressing distress about his future. She criticizes the US's stance on the First Amendment as lacking clarity and expresses concern over the prospect of Assange spending the rest of his life in isolation in a US prison.

The next court hearing in London is scheduled for May 20, where the extradition proceedings will continue. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has indicated that he is considering a request from Australia to drop the prosecution against Assange, a move seen as potentially positive by Assange's legal team.

Assange, an Australian citizen, has been entangled in legal battles for over 13 years since his initial arrest in 2010. Supporters view him as a whistleblower who exposed US wrongdoing, while US authorities argue that he conspired to unlawfully obtain classified materials.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Stella Assange calls for the Biden administration to abandon the prosecution, emphasizing the urgency of the situation. Photo by Espen Moe, Wikimedia commons.

The Era

  1. Popular
  2. Trend