The latest development in the Julian Assange saga is underway.
A UK court has now issued a formal order for the WikiLeaks founder to be extradited to the United States to face trial for “spying.”
British Interior Minister Priti Patel now holds the key to the final decision.
Assange’s lawyers will be able to appeal the High Court if she upholds the extradition.
Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, which published several emails in 2016 from then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
Assange has been confined in a London maximum security prison since April of 2019.
He still has a great deal of support from protestors in the UK, Australia, and the United States.
A UK court has issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US to face spying charges.https://t.co/NWYbqJa6Bg
— DW News (@dwnews) April 20, 2022
DW News has details on the court’s decision:
A UK court has issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US to face trial over the publication of classified documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The case will now go to British Interior Minister Priti Patel for a final decision. If she approves the extradition, Assange’s lawyers can still appeal to the High Court.
BREAKING: A UK judge has ordered the extradition of Julian Assange to the US where he will face a 175 year sentence for publishing
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 20, 2022
BREAKING: UK court issues order to extradite journalist and @wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.
— Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) April 20, 2022
Julian Assange’s wife spoke to the press following yesterday’s hearing:
Julian Assange's wife speaking after yesterdays #Assangecase court hearing: "The UK has no obligation to extradite Julian Assange to the US, in fact it is required by its international obligations to stop this extradition..this is a political case" @stellamoris1 #FreeAssangeNOW pic.twitter.com/5O0zWaM9WF
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2022
This morning, I watched in court as a judge ordered one of the most consequential journalists of our time, Julian Assange, to be extradited from my country to the US to potentially face up to two centuries in prison.
I never want to hear a word about our "free press" & democracy
— Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) April 20, 2022
A British judge has approved Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. The order now awaits final approval from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel pic.twitter.com/xVAxb7cKBd
— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) April 21, 2022
As one of the greatest injustices unfolds and courageous journalism is buried, listen to the silence of journalists and of those you elect – especially in Julian #Assange's homeland, Australia. Speak out now before it's too late.https://t.co/Zz5sBp4H14
— John Pilger (@johnpilger) April 20, 2022
Aljazeera has more on Assange’s legal options following the judge order:
While the move brings Assange closer to facing the US charges, his legal options have not yet been exhausted. His lawyers have four weeks to make submissions to Patel. If she approves the extradition, Assange can also try to challenge the decision by judicial review, in which a judge will examine the legitimacy of a public body’s decision.
The order comes after the UK Supreme Court last month refused Assange permission to appeal against a lower court’s ruling that he could be extradited.
Following the most recent order, Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, told the court that the legal team had “serious submissions” to make.
Assange watched the latest proceedings by video link from Belmarsh Prison, where he has been held since 2019 when he was arrested for skipping bail during a separate legal battle.
Assange still has plenty of people willing to stand up for him during this process.
They’ve made it abundantly clear that this has been an unfair attack on democracy, and the freedom of press:
The magistrates’ decision to order the extradition of Julian Assange to the US to face 175 years in prison is disappointing.
Priti Patel will now have a choice: to stand up for journalism and democracy, or sentence a man to life for exposing the truth about the War on Terror. pic.twitter.com/ORQkLJrrJL
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 20, 2022
Julian Assange is being persecuted for exposing US war crimes – in Iraq, Afghanistan & Guantánamo Bay.
Extraditing him to spend the rest of his life in a US prison is a blatant attack on journalism.
Priti Patel should defend press freedoms and reject any extradition to the US.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) April 20, 2022
Julian Assange exposed US crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
That's why the US wants to punish him and send a message to all journalists: Expose the truth and you'll be made to regret it.
Priti Patel must stand-up for freedom of speech and refuse his extradition.
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) April 20, 2022
The extradition of Julian Assange to the US will be a travesty of justice.
Journalists should be able to bring us the truth — of war crimes and gross violations of human rights — without punishment.
The Home Secretary should uphold press freedom by refusing this extradition.
— Apsana Begum MP (@ApsanaBegumMP) April 20, 2022
When exposing US war crimes leads to facing a 175-year prison sentence, it's clear that justice has failed.
Journalists must not live in fear of reporting the truth.
This prosecution has always been political.
Scott Morrison must act.
Bring Julian Assange home.
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) April 21, 2022