WikiLeaks’ Assange lodges appeal against U.S. extradition

Protesters ride on a bus during a ‘Free Assange’ demonstration to mark WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s birthday, in London, Britain, July 1, 2022. (REUTERS)

LONDON  – WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has appealed to the High Court in London to block his extradition to the United States to face criminal charges, his brother said on Friday, the latest step in his legal battle that has dragged on for more than a decade.

Assange, 50, is wanted by U.S. authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables which Washington said had put lives in danger.

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Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition, with her office saying British courts had concluded his extradition would not be incompatible with his human rights, and that he would be treated appropriately.

Australian-born Assange’s legal team have lodged an appeal against that decision at the High Court, his brother Gabriel Shipton confirmed. The court must give its approval for the appeal to be heard, but it is likely the legal case will take months to conclude.

“We also urge the Australian government to intervene immediately in the case to end this nightmare,” Shipton told Reuters.