UK: A UK Court on Wednesday issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US to face trial over the publication of secret files relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The decision now rests with Interior Minister Priti Patel, though Assange may still appeal within 14 days of any decision to approve the extradition. The ruling by a magistrate in central London brings the long-running legal saga in the UK Courts closer to a conclusion.
But Assange’s lawyers have until May 18 to make representations to Ms. Patel and could potentially launch further appeals on other points in the case.
“No appeal to the High Court has yet been filed by him in respect of the other important issues he raised previously,” his lawyers Birnberg Peirce Solicitors said in a statement last month. “That separate process of appeal has, of course, yet to be initiated.”
The case has become a cause celebre for media freedom, with Assange’s supporters accusing Washington of trying to muzzle reporting of legitimate security concerns.
Outside the court, protesters held aloft placards imploring “Don’t extradite Assange” and attached yellow #FreeAssange ribbons to walls outside the court.
Assange was last month denied permission to appeal to the U.K. Supreme Court against moves to extradite him to the US.
– THE HINDU