Jailed WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Wins Right To Appeal Extradition Ruling

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday won the right to challenge in the supreme court an earlier decision of the high court that said he could be extradited to the US.

However, the high court refused him permission for a direct appeal, meaning the supreme court will have to decide whether or not it should hear his challenge.

Outside the court, Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris said: “Today we won… but Julian continues to suffer… Julian must be freed”.

The 50-year-old WikiLeaks founder faces 18 charges in the US relating to the 2010 WikiLeaks release of 500 000 secret American files relating to its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last year in December the high court overturned an earlier ruling by a magistrates’ court not to extradite the 50-year-old Australian to America.

After the initial high court ruling in December, Moris said extraditing Assange to the US was “dangerous and misguided”.

Moris added: “For the past … two years and a half, Julian has remained in Belmarsh prison, and in fact, he has been detained since 7 December 2010 in one form or another, 11 years. For how long can this go on?”

On Monday the high court agreed Assange could appeal that ruling.

In South Africa, Assange has the support of the powerful National Union of Metalworkers of SA.