U.K. home secretary, Priti Patel, has approved a request by the U.S. to extradite Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
The U.S. wants to put Assange on trial for conspiracy to hack and computer misuse. He also faces a number of charges under the controversial Espionage Act. His legal team has warned he could face a 175-year prison sentence under the U.S. justice system.
Back in January 2021, a U.K. judge denied the U.S.’ extradition request on grounds that Assange is a suicide risk and extradition to the U.S. prison system would be oppressive, given the likely impact on his fragile mental health. However, last December, the U.S. government successfully appealed that decision and attempts by Assange’s legal team to seek a further appeal in front of the Supreme Court at that point failed — meaning the final decision on whether to allow the extradition to the U.S. passed to Patel who has now granted the request.
It’s not the end of road for the Wikileaks’ founder’s (long) fight against extradition to the U.S. as his legal team has resolved to mount a fresh appeal.
In a statement released after Patel’s approval of the U.S.’ request, Wikileaks wrote: “We will appeal through the legal system, the next appeal will be before the High Court.”
“We will fight louder and shout harder on the streets, we will organize and we will make Julian’s story be known to all,” it added.