UK orders WikiLeaks founder to be sent to United States


“Instead, she will forever be remembered as an accomplice of the United States in its agenda to turn investigative journalism into a criminal enterprise.

Stella Moris, the wife of Julian Assange, outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London in January.Credit:Getty Images

“The path to Julian’s freedom is long and tortuous. Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle.”

Assange is in Belmarsh prison where he will remain as his appeals take place.

He is charged by the United States under the espionage act relating to the theft of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks published, unredacted, online.

His lawyers argue that he is a journalist and editor and that his prosecution is political persecution.

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These arguments were previously rejected as reasons for barring his extradition by a British judge and will form the basis of the next legal appeal.

His Australian human rights lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said that the Australian government needed to ask the Biden administration to drop the charges.

“His health is suffering, he’s lost weight, he’s had a stroke since I last saw him – it very much looks like punishment by process,” she said, speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age at Doughty Street Chambers.

As opposition leader, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that Assange should be returned to Australia, but he has refused to say if he’s pressured the US government on the issue since winning the election.

Albanese’s office was contacted for comment.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong issued a statement saying the government noted the UK’s decision. She said the Australian government was not a party to the Assange case, nor was it able to intervene in the legal matters of another country.

“We will continue to convey our expectations that Mr Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team,” Wong said.

“The Australian government has been clear in our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and that it should be brought to a close.

“We will continue to express this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and United States.”

Greg Barns SC, an adviser to the Australian Assange Campaign, said Albanese should not wait any longer to press Assange’s case to Australia’s allies.

“This is an appalling decision,” he said.

“We appreciate the new Australian government is conscious of highly significant issues in this case – freedom of the press and most importantly Julian Assange’s human rights.

“We think now is the time for the government to work with its key allies in Washington and London to end this case.”



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