London, Thanasis Gavos

The two-day hearing of Julian Assange’s appeal against the decision to extradite him to the USA begins today at the High Court in London.

Mr. Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been held in the British prison Belmarsh since April 2019, after spending many years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

There he had found asylum from the espionage prosecution he faces in the US, specifically for conspiring to obtain and disclose national security information, after the publication of documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2021, the High Court in London had ruled that Mr. Assange could be extradited to the US, rejecting the argument of his advocates that the burdened mental health of their client could lead to his suicide in case of extradition.

In 2022, the High Court in the British capital upheld the decision and the minister responsible at the time signed the extradition order.

This fortnight Mr Assange is claiming the right to have the case re-examined, in a court case that is the last legal avenue his lawyers can take in Britain to prevent extradition.

As they have said, in case of failure they will turn to the European Court of Human Rights.