Watch: Press conference held as Assange extradition ruling delayed

Oliver Browning
Tuesday 26 March 2024 13:06 GMT

Watch as a press conference is held in London after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been given a chance to continue his fight against extradition.

The United States must give assurances that Mr Assange will not face the death penalty before judges will consider dismissing his bid to bring an extradition appeal, the High Court ruled on Tuesday 26 March.

He faces prosecution in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

In a January 2021 ruling, then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser said that Mr Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide, while ruling against him on all other issues.

Later that year, US authorities won their High Court bid to overturn this block, paving the way towards his extradition.

During a two-day hearing in February, lawyers for the 52-year-old asked for the go-ahead to challenge the original judge’s dismissal of other parts of his case to prevent his extradition.

In a judgment on Tuesday, Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Johnson dismissed most of Mr Assange’s legal arguments but said that unless assurances were given by the United States he would be able to bring an appeal on three grounds.

These assurances are that Mr Assange would be protected by and allowed to rely on the First Amendment – which protects freedom of speech in the US, that he is not “prejudiced at trial” due to his nationality, and that the death penalty is not imposed.

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