Friday, 19 February 2021 08:34

Assange has until 29 March to respond to US appeal over extradition

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Assange has until 29 March to respond to US appeal over extradition Courtesy YouTube

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been given time until 29 March to respond to the US appeal to revoke a British judge's decision not to extradite him to America to face trial on espionage charges.

The British High Court will decide later whether it will allow the US permission to appeal after the same date, Assange's partner Stella Moris said in a tweet on Thursday.

On 4 January, British District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled that Assange should not be extradited, saying the risk he would commit suicide in a US jail were too high.

Assange faces criminal charges for publishing classified information that was leaked to WikiLeaks by an American soldier, then known as Bradley Manning, but now, after gender reassignment surgery, known as Chelsea Manning.

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On the day of the judgment, the US was given a fortnight to decide whether it wanted to appeal against the judgment.

After saying it would be doing so, the new administration confirmed on 10 February that it would be continuing its bid to extradite Assange.

In a statement, Moris said: "The Biden Administration will soon appoint its new attorney-general and this will be an important moment to raise the pressure on the Biden administration to live up to its commitments to defend press freedom and drop the charges against Julian.

"The Obama administration, of which Biden was vice-president, decided not to pursue charges against Julian because it recognised that to do so would be a wider attack on press freedom.

"It was the Trump administration which charged him and pursued the extradition as part of its war against journalism."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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