LONDON: A UK court on Wednesday issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face trial over the publication of secret files relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The decision now rests with Interior Minister Priti Patel, although Assange may still appeal within 14 days of any decision to approve the extradition.
The ruling on Wednesday by a magistrate in central London brings the long-running legal saga in the UK courts closer to a conclusion.
But Assange’s lawyers have until May 18 to make representations to Patel and could potentially launch further appeals on other points in the case.
“No appeal to the High Court has yet been filed by him in respect of the other important issues he raised previously,” his lawyers Birnberg Peirce Solicitors said in a statement last month. “That separate process of appeal has, of course, yet to be initiated.”
Outside the court, protesters held aloft placards imploring “Don’t extradite Assange” and attached yellow #FreeAssange ribbons to walls outside the court.
Journalist Carolina Graterol, 55, from Venezuela, called the ruling “another day in the death of democracy and the rule of law in the United Kingdom”.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2022