Ahead of critical hearing, Assange's wife sees dim chances for him to avoid extradition

High Court in London set to begin crucial 2-day hearing to decide Assange's fate

Anadolu staff  | 18.02.2024 - Update : 19.02.2024
Ahead of critical hearing, Assange's wife sees dim chances for him to avoid extradition


Ahead of a crucial UK court hearing next week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's wife sees dim chances for her husband to succeed in his last-ditch attempt to stop his extradition to the US.

In an interview with Australian broadcaster SBS News on Sunday, Assange's wife and lawyer, Stella Assange, said she doesn’t have hope "this will go our way."

The High Court in London is set to begin a two-day hearing on Tuesday to decide Assange's fate, and if the judges reject his application, he will have exhausted his legal options in Britain

Assange has been fighting extradition from Britain to the US, where he is wanted on espionage charges.

"I don’t have hope that this will go our way. And even if it were to go our way – meaning he’d have leave to appeal and have his arguments heard in full – then it would mean Julian continues in prison," said the lawyer.

If Assange loses his appeal, then he can file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights to prevent his extradition to the US.

However, his legal team fears that the British government could try to put him on a plane before that can happen.

"It’s now a matter of life and death for my husband," Assange added.

"Julian will be put in a hole if he is extradited, there is no doubt about that," she said. "He will be put in a hole so far and deep in the ground that I don't think I'll ever see him again.”

Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, is being held in the UK, where authorities authorized his extradition to the US last year. He is wanted for his alleged role in espionage and the dissemination of classified US military information.

The US Justice Department labeled Assange’s actions part of the “largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”

He has been on remand for about four years at Belmarsh Prison after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he initially sought diplomatic asylum from Swedish authorities.

The Australian government has expressed support for Assange being returned to Australia but has stressed that it cannot intervene in another country’s court processes.

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