Will Julian Assange be extradited to the USA by the end of 2024?
resolved Jan 1

Assange is accused of conspiring to hack into US military databases to acquire sensitive secret information, which was then published by Wikileaks.

He says the information exposed abuses by the US military and that the case against him is politically motivated.

US prosecutors say the leaks put lives at risk. They requested Assange's extradition from the UK, where he is currently in prison.

On June 17, 2022, the United Kingdom approved Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face charges, primarily under the nation’s Espionage Act, for releasing US government records that revealed the US military committed war crimes against civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the killing of two Reuters journalists. If found guilty, Assange faces a jail term of up to 175 years.

Extradition allows one country to ask another to hand over a suspect to face trial.

Every time the US wants to put a suspect who is in the UK on trial, its prosecutors ask the British government. If the request has been made correctly, the home secretary sends it on to the courts, which issue a warrant for the suspect to be found and arrested.

Once the individual has been detained, a judge examines the request. The judge must be satisfied that the individual is definitely the suspect the US seeks, and that the alleged crime is an offence that could lead to trial in the UK, had the incident happened on its territory. The judge must also consider whether the person has already been prosecuted for the crime, or whether the offence happened in a different country entirely.

Under UK law, Parliament has banned extraditing anyone to face trial in a country that has the death penalty, unless the requesting nation has promised not to impose it. Any final decision on extradition to the US is made by the home secretary.

The suspect can, however, appeal against extradition - a process that can last more than a year. The appeal could go all the way to the UK Supreme Court or European Court of Human Rights.

The UK has previously blocked a number of extraditions to the US on human-rights grounds.

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