London [UK], March 27: The United States must give assurances that Julian Assange will not face the death penalty before judges will consider dismissing the WikiLeaks founder's bid to bring an extradition appeal, the High Court has ruled.
Assange faces prosecution in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following the publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
In a January 2021 ruling, then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser said that Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real and "oppressive" risk of suicide, while ruling against him on all other issues.
Later that year, US authorities won their High Court bid to overturn this block. In a judgment on Tuesday, Dame Victoria Sharp and Justice Johnson dismissed most of Assange's legal arguments but said that unless assurances were given by the United States he would be able to bring an appeal on three grounds.
These assurances are that Assange would be protected by and allowed to rely on the First Amendment - which protects freedom of speech in the US, that he is not "prejudiced at trial" due to his nationality, and that the death penalty is not imposed.
Source: Qatar Tribune