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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange’s Fight Against Extradition to Face Spying Charges Nears Conclusion

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing in London: Latest Updates

LONDON – Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is nearing a potential end to his fight against spying charges in the United States after spending several years in self-exile in a foreign embassy and in prison. His final court hearing in London, scheduled for next week, will determine whether his extradition to the U.S. can proceed. The hearing at the High Court will consider Assange’s last appeal to block his transfer, and if unsuccessful, he could face extradition across the Atlantic.

Background and Charges

Assange, a 52-year-old Australian computer expert, has been indicted in the U.S. on 18 charges related to the publication of classified documents by WikiLeaks in 2010. Prosecutors allege that Assange conspired with U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files, including evidence of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The charges include 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse, carrying the possibility of a prison sentence of up to 175 years. Assange’s legal team argues that he should be protected under press freedoms, as he acted as a journalist to expose U.S. military wrongdoing. Among the leaked documents was a video showing a 2007 Apache helicopter attack by American forces in Baghdad that resulted in the deaths of 11 people, including two Reuters journalists.

Lengthy Legal Battle and Continued Imprisonment

The legal battle involving Assange has extended for more than a decade. After seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012, Assange was granted political asylum amid a Swedish rape investigation. Despite the drop of the Swedish case, he was arrested by British police in 2019 following Ecuador’s withdrawal of asylum.

Since then, Assange has remained in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, while his extradition to the U.S. was under consideration. While his transfer was initially blocked by a judge concerned about his well-being in U.S. prison conditions, subsequent court rulings paved the way for his potential extradition, subject to assurances regarding his treatment.

Current State and Family

Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s wife, has expressed concerns about his deteriorating mental and physical health in prison. His time behind bars has taken a toll, with illnesses such as a mini-stroke and a broken rib from severe coughing. Stella visits Julian in prison every week, along with their two young sons, Gabriel and Max.

Julian’s mental and physical condition has alarmed his family, and Stella has called attention to the toll his extended confinement has taken. She worries about his well-being and the impact it has on their children, who, despite their young age, understand that their father is being prevented from coming home.

Possible Outcomes and Future Appeals

The upcoming court hearing in London will determine whether Assange’s plea for a full appeal will be granted. If his appeal is rejected, Assange is at risk of extradition to the U.S. The legal team plans to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, but there are concerns that extradition might occur before the court in Strasbourg can intervene.

The appellate process, should Assange prevail at the upcoming hearing, is expected to further delay the resolution of the case. Assange’s release has been repeatedly stifled, with deliberate strategies to wear him down and prolong the legal proceedings, according to Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief.


Julian Assange’s extradition to the U.S. lies in the balance as his final court hearing in London approaches. The legal battle has been lengthy, with significant implications for freedom of the press and the ever-evolving relationship between journalists and the release of classified information. Concerns over Assange’s mental and physical health, his continued incarceration, and the impact on his family highlight the personal toll of this high-profile case.

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