Julian Assange to find out if appeal against extradition to US can proceed

The decision is due at around 10.45am on Monday.

File photo dated 13/01/20 of Julian Assange
File photo dated 13/01/20 of Julian Assange

Julian Assange is due to find out whether he can take an appeal against the decision to extradite him to the United States to the Supreme Court.

Assange, 50, is wanted in America over an alleged conspiracy following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In December last year, US authorities won their High Court challenge to overturn a ruling that Assange should not be extradited due to a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.

Assange’s fiancee, Stella Moris, called the High Court’s decision “dangerous and misguided” and said the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyers intended to bring an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Julian Assange extradition
Julian Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

For a proposed appeal to be considered by the UK’s highest court, a case has to raise a point of law of “general public importance”.

On Monday, the High Court will give its decision about whether this applies in Assange’s case in what is expected to be a short verbal ruling.

If the judges rule there is no point of law, Assange will not be able to appeal to the Supreme Court, and the extradition request would be sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval.

Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, for Assange, previously said the case raised “serious and important” legal issues, including over a “reliance” on assurances given by the US about the prison conditions he would face if extradited.

The decision by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Holroyde is due at around 10.45am.

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