UK judges granted a US request to extradite Julian Assange, in a remarkable legal blow to the man who has spent almost a decade fighting attempts to remove him from Britain.
The decision reverses a lower court’s ruling that had blocked the WikiLeaks founder from being sent to the US to face criminal charges, for fear that prison conditions there would result in his suicide.
Assange, 50, has been in prison or in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, as he fought attempts to send him to face charges first in Sweden and then in the US.
The Swedish case against him was dropped, but the US government in 2019 charged him with espionage for his role in releasing hundreds of thousands of pages of classified documents via WikiLeaks, with the help of US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Australian-born Assange is being held in London’s Belmarsh prison.
He can appeal the ruling. — Jonathan Browning and Katharine Gemmell, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP