© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A supporter of Julian Assange shows a placard, exterior the Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom in London, Britain April 20, 2022. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson
LONDON (Reuters) – WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who’s battling extradition from Britain to the US the place he’s needed on prison prices, has submitted an enchantment to the European Courtroom of Human Rights (ECHR), the court docket confirmed on Friday.
Assange, 51, is needed by U.S. authorities on 18 counts, together with a spying cost, referring to WikiLeaks’ launch of huge troves of confidential U.S. navy data and diplomatic cables which Washington mentioned had put lives at risk.
Britain has given the go-ahead for his extradition, however he has launched an enchantment at London’s Excessive Courtroom, with the primary listening to anticipated early subsequent 12 months.
His authorized workforce have additionally launched a case in opposition to Britain on the ECHR, which might doubtlessly order the extradition to be blocked.
“We verify that an software has been acquired,” an announcement from the court docket mentioned.
Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton instructed Reuters earlier this week that he believed the U.S. authorities would need to keep away from the case going earlier than the ECHR, because the European media was far more sympathetic to his trigger.
In January 2021, a British decide dominated Assange shouldn’t be extradited, saying his psychological well being meant he could be vulnerable to suicide if convicted and held in a most safety jail.
However that call was overturned after an enchantment by U.S. authorities who gave a bundle of assurances, together with a pledge he might be transferred to Australia to serve any sentence.
The extradition was then ratified in June by the then British residence secretary (inside minister) after the federal government mentioned the courts had concluded it could not be unjust or an abuse of course of, and that he could be handled appropriately.
WikiLeaks first got here to prominence in 2010 when it launched a whole lot of hundreds of secret categorized information and diplomatic cables in what was the biggest safety breach of its sort in U.S. navy historical past.
U.S. prosecutors and Western safety officers regard the Australian-born Assange as a reckless enemy of the state whose actions imperilled the lives of brokers named within the leaked materials.
He spent seven years holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London to keep away from extradition to Sweden the place he was needed for questioning on sexual assault prices that have been later dropped.
Nevertheless, he was dragged out and jailed in 2019 for breaching bail circumstances, and has been held in jail in London ever since whereas his extradition case is set.
Assange’s supporters say he’s an anti-establishment hero who has been victimised as a result of he uncovered U.S. wrongdoing in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that his prosecution is a politically motivated assault on journalism and free speech.
The case has gained prominence this week with main media retailers, together with the New York Occasions which had initially labored with the WikiLeaks founder over the leaked materials, writing an open letter to say his prosecution ought to finish.
In the meantime, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese mentioned he had raised the problem of Assange’s launch with U.S. officers, saying the matter needs to be dropped at an in depth.