British High Court Justice Jonathan Swift has dismissed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s latest attempt to combat extradition to the United States on espionage charges. The judge contended that a new appeal would simply repeat arguments previously made and lost by Assange’s lawyers.
- Julian Assange is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified diplomatic and military documents more than a decade ago.
- e3e4wInitially, a British district judge ruled in 2021 that Assange should not be extradited due to risk of suicide under harsh US prison conditions. However, following assurances from US authorities regarding his treatment, Britain’s High Court and Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s ruling, authorizing extradition in June 2022.
- Assange is seeking a new court hearing on parts of his case dismissed by the first judge. However, Swift ruled that all eight parts of Assange’s potential appeal were not “arguable” and should not be heard.
- Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, stated that another appeal attempt would be made at a High Court hearing. Assange could still potentially take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
- Assange’s supporters and lawyers argue that he was acting as a journalist, deserving of First Amendment protections of freedom of speech. They insist that his case is politically motivated, and express concerns about inhumane treatment and the possibility of an unfair trial in the US.