Julian Assange received another blow in his battle to avoid extradition to the US on Wednesday. A UK court approved the extradition order, which would see the WikiLeaks founder sent to the US for trial.
Assange is wanted in the US on espionage charges and faces an 18-count indictment accusing him of conspiring to hack military databases to publish classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, Assange could receive a 175-year jail sentence, although the US government has said he would likely face a sentence of between four and six years.
In December,banning extradition over concerns about Assange’s mental health and conditions in US prisons.
Assange appeared in court via videolink, and following the court’s decision, said via his barristers that he plans to appeal. His lawyers will submit his case to the Home Secretary Priti Patel in the hopes she will intervene and prevent the extradition.
Wednesday’s decision by the court was criticized by Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International‘s Secretary General, on the grounds that it put Assange at risk, and also represented a broader threat to press freedom. “The charges against Assange should never have been brought in the first place,” said Callamard. “It is not too late for the US authorities to set things right and drop the charges.”
Assange’s appeal is set to continue. For now he is remanded in custody in the UK.