LONDON: WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has appealed to the High Court in London to block his extradition to the US to face criminal charges, his brother said yesterday, the latest step in his legal battle that has dragged on for more than a decade.
Assange, 50, is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables which Washington said had put lives in danger.
Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition, with her office saying British courts had concluded his extradition would not be incompatible with his human rights, and that he would be treated appropriately.
Australian-born Assange’s legal team have lodged an appeal against that decision at the High Court, his brother Gabriel Shipton confirmed. The court must give its approval for the appeal to be heard, but it is likely the legal case will take months to conclude.
“We also urge the Australian government to intervene immediately in the case to end this nightmare,” Shipton said.
The saga began at the end of 2010 when Sweden sought Assange’s extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes. When he lost that case in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he spent seven years.