Julian Assange’s lawyer said the WikiLeaks founder will appeal after his extradition to the US was approved by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on June 17.
Attorney Jennifer Robinson said at a press conference held by the Foreign Press Association, "we will appeal. Julian won his extradition case last year, and the US appeal offered assurance. They shifted the goalposts, and we won on appeal.
“We will appeal this all the way, through the British courts, and if necessary, through the European Court of Human Rights,” Robinson added.
The Home Office said in a statement that “the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”
Assange has 14 days to appeal over the decision, the Home Office said.
At the same press conference, his wife, Stella, said “we’re going to fight this … I’m going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he is free.”
In a statement, the WikiLeaks organization said the decision to extradite Assange was “a dark day for press freedom and for British democracy.”
Assange has been held in a London prison since 2019, after seven years evading arrest by seeking political asylum in the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Credit: Don’t Extradite Assange via Storyful
- Stella and Jennifer, what is the first step from here?
JENNIFER ROBINSON: Sure. From the Labor point of view, we will be appealing this decision. We also have our cross appeal-- so basically, we have the ability to enliven our cross appeal points. Julian won the extradition case last year, and the US appealed, offered an assurance, but shifted the goalposts, and won that on appeal.
We still have our outstanding cross appeal points, which includes, for example, the free speech arguments, the fact that-- his inability to get a fair trial in the United States, the political nature of the case, and the offense for which he's been sought, the abuse of process in this case, including spying on Julian and us as his legal team, and a range of other points that will be raised.
We have 14 days to file our grounds of appeal, with some potential longer-- an extension of time after that point. But we will appeal this all the way through the British courts, and if necessary, to the European Court of Human Rights.
STELLA ASSANGE: Just to add to what Jen-- add to what Jen was saying, the extradition order rests on a decision to reverse the initial outcome, a decision by the high court to accept assurances that are severely flawed that the Amnesty International called that decision a travesty. That is what this extradition order is resting on.
We're going to raise points that have come up since the original extradition hearing back in 2020. And crucially, one of the most important developments is the revelation that the CIA plotted to assassinate Julian while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy-- and kidnap him and rendition him and was exploring poisoning him. This is known to the Home Secretary, but she signed it off anyway but we will be raising it on appeal.
- So before we open to the questions to the floor, can you give us an idea of how you feel today and what implications are there for the family due to the decision?
STELLA ASSANGE: Well, it's very difficult to describe what it's like as a family. We are-- our resolve is redoubled for every decision that is taken, which is a travesty. I mean, I have no words to express what it's like to see the UK process being used as a way to prolong Julian's suffering again and again. And they've been-- there has been every opportunity to end Julian's suffering, to let him be free because he has to be free. He should be free. Everyone knows it.
Process is being used to hide atrocity, and we know that-- from history, that that can be done, and the UK should not be doing that. It should not be engaging in persecution on behalf of a foreign power that is out for revenge, that foreign power that committed crimes, which Julian put into the sunlight-- specific, concrete crimes that have not been prosecuted, that have been just shoved under the rug.
And Julian who has done nothing wrong, he has done everything that any self-respecting journalist should do when given evidence of a state committing crimes, of corruption. They publish it because their duty is to the public, and Julian's duty to the public has landed him in prison for already more than three years, and he faces 175 years.