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Julian Assange Gets Major Legal Victory in Conflict Over Extradition

[Photo Credit: By Cancillería del Ecuador - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgcomsoc/14933990406/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34813740]

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, received a significant development in his ongoing legal struggle on Tuesday. A British court has decided against his immediate extradition to the United States.

A recent ruling by the High Court in London has determined that the Australian journalist may have a strong chance of success in his appeal against the U.K. government’s decision to extradite him on espionage charges.

The court found merit in three of his grounds for appeal.

Prior to reaching a decision on the possibility of a full appeal, the court has requested certain assurances from the U.S. regarding the potential consequences for Assange.

If the necessary assurances are not filed, his leave to appeal will be automatically granted.

The court has announced that if the necessary assurances are obtained, both parties will have the opportunity to present new representations during the upcoming hearing on May 20.

The decision on leave to appeal will be made after the hearing, provided that the assurances are deemed satisfactory.

American prosecutors are seeking to bring the 52-year-old to trial for allegations connected to the release of a collection of classified U.S. intelligence documents in 2010.

According to reports, the prosecution against Assange is not focused on the publication of the secret documents, but rather on the allegations of his involvement and conspiracy with ex-U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in the illegal acquisition of said documents.

In the end, Manning received a 35-year prison sentence, which was later commuted by former President Barack Obama in 2017, after she had already served seven years.

Prosecutors and critics of Assange argue that the leaked information endangered lives.

According to Assange’s supporters, he is facing unjust persecution for his role in revealing American wrongdoing.

The leaked information shed light on civilian casualties during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other significant disclosures.

Julian Assange is facing a total of 17 charges related to espionage and one charge of computer misuse. According to Assange’s lawyers, if found guilty, he could potentially be sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison.

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