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British judges Burnett and Holroyde recognized that the U.S. late filling of its assurances about the prison conditions and medical care that Assange would receive if extradited.
On Monday, London's High Court authorized WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to challenge his extradition to the United States before the British Supreme Court. This decision temporarily blocks his transfer to that country.
British judges Ian Burnett and Tim Holroyde denied Assange permission to appeal their extradition approval before the Supreme Court. However, they validated his legal team's challenge to the U.S. late filling of its assurances about the prison conditions and medical care that the Australian activist will receive if extradited.
"Under what circumstances an appellate court may receive assurances from a requesting State that did not file any guarantees during the first extradition hearing?” Burnett and Holroyde pointed out.
Assange’s partner Stella Moris welcomed this ruling and urged the British Supreme Court to hear the challenge. “We won today, but our fight still goes on since we will not stop until Julian is free,” she stressed.
U.S. prosecutors indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of military and diplomatic documents that revealed the American soldier's wrongdoing in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Although these charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison, the U.S. government’s lawyers claimed that the activist will not be held before trial in a top-security jail or subjected to strict isolation conditions in American prisons. They even assured that Assange will be allowed to serve his sentence in Australia if convicted.
"We have no guarantees over what treatment the United States will give our client since this country has violated previous agreements established for other extradition cases,” Assange’s lawyer Aitor Martinez argued.