WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Mounts Last-Ditch Legal Challenge to Avoid US Extradition

Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mounted a last-ditch effort at the UK High Court to stop his extradition to the US to face trial on espionage charges.


Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mounted a last-ditch effort at the UK High Court to stop his extradition to the US to face trial on espionage charges.

  • The two-day hearing at Britain’s highest court began on Tuesday with Assange’s legal team presenting their final appeal to a 2021 High Court ruling ordering his extradition to the United States.
  • Assange argues the espionage charges he faces are politically motivated and did not appear in-person at the hearing because his attorneys claim he is ill. Assange’s legal team have made his mental and physical health a centerpiece of their appeals.
  • Should the High Court refuse his appeal, Assange would begin the extradition process that would eventually see him stand trial on 18 charges. 
  • Assange has been charged with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of hundreds of thousands of classified materials on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, he faces up to 175 years in prison.
  • US government officials have said Assange’s leaks had put individuals in Afghanistan and Iraq at “risk of serious harm, torture, or even death.”
  • Wikileaks published thousands of secret US files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including a classified video of a 2007 helicopter attack by US forces that killed 12 people in Baghdad including 2 Reuters journalists. 
  • Ex-Army analyst Chelsea Manning served seven years for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks before President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • James Kirchick penned an op-ed for the New York Times arguing Assange’s extradition “threatens press freedoms.” While Assange is “a man unhealthily preoccupied with the shortcomings of democracies and suspiciously uninterested in the crimes of dictatorships,” the charges against him represent “a serious threat to the First Amendment.”
  • “Among the grounds on which Assange is seeking permission to appeal is the claim that his extradition is in breach of the extradition treaty between the UK and US, which prohibits doing so for political offenses,” reported the Guardian. “Assange faces 17 charges of espionage, which [his attorney] said was manifestly a political offense and politically motivated, as well as one of computer misuse.”
  • “In 2012, Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was facing an investigation into allegations of a sexual assault. That investigation was later dropped and no charges were ever filed,” noted CBS News. “After Assange spent about seven years holed up in the embassy, Ecuador revoked his asylum status in 2019, when the Central American country’s president said his government had ‘reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange.’”



  • “Prosecutors say he conspired with US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the New York Post noted. “Assange and his supporters argue he acted as a journalist to expose US military wrongdoing and is protected under press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.”
  • “The two-day session is the latest in his long-running legal saga in Britain, and is seen as his last chance to fight extradition in the country’s courts,” Breitbart observed. “The judges will decide whether to grant him another full appeal hearing, to be held at a later date, or if they rule against him, he will have exhausted his UK legal options.”
  • Fox News reported that 46 members of the European Parliament have called on the UK to release Assange from prison and prevent his extradition to the US. Australian lawmakers have also called for the release of Assange, who holds Australian citizenship.

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© Dominic Moore, 2023

2 comments On WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Mounts Last-Ditch Legal Challenge to Avoid US Extradition

  • Unlike journalists covering up crimes here in the US & abroad, Assange actually did true journalism. Now he’s being punished because he got the truth out there for crimes that the governments have been doing. Who should be punished? Not him? How about the military? How about the cover up that the government did? I think the true crime is with them & they should be held accountable to their actions! How about we free Assange & replace him with the true criminals? They got caught, so they want to do away with him! Free him, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong, if anything he should be awarded for his actions in exposing these criminals! Trust me if he is extradited to US they will kill him & say it was suicide . All governments are criminal, but their more deadly when they’ve been exposed!

  • Journalism actually involves authoring something. Uploading someone else’s material doesn’t count, especially if it contains someone else’s personal information. He’s no journalist, just another attention seeking bottom feeder in search of web clicks.

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