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U.K. court decides WikiLeaks founder can appeal extradition request

Julian Assange in London in 2017 Associated Press/Photo by Frank Augstein, file

U.K. court decides WikiLeaks founder can appeal extradition request

Two Royal High Court judges in London on Monday ruled that Julian Assange can appeal the United States’ request that he be extradited there to face charges. Assange was born in Australia and is not a U.S. citizen. A British earlier ruled he could not be extradited until U.S. officials guaranteed that he would not be executed and would have First Amendment rights like a citizen. U.S. officials have provided those assurances, according to media reports from The Guardian and Reuters. However, Assange’s lawyers and supporters have argued that those assurances are inadequate.

What is Assange accused of doing to the United States? The U.S. Justice Department has indicted him with 17 espionage charges and one hacking charge. The department alleges that Assange played a crucial role in one of U.S. history’s largest leaks of classified information. He worked with U.S. Army intelligence officer Bradley Manning, who was convicted of espionage by court-martial in 2013 and since has had his name changed to Chelsea Manning. Together, Assange and Manning leaked classified documents related to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Justice Department. The department alleges that Assange, who founded the document drop site WikiLeaks, depicted himself as a hacking expert and pitched hacking to others to hold authorities accountable.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Emily Belz’s report offering a foreign service expert’s analysis of WikiLeaks’ impact on the diplomatic world.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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