Assange case update

A British High Court has granted the United States limited permission to appeal a judge’s decision from January not to extradite Julian Assange. The Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder is facing 175 years in prison for publishing evidence of US war crimes.

The US will be allowed to appeal the judge’s decision not to extradite Assange on health grounds. She agreed with all the political charges such as espionage and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, effectively criminalizing journalism.

A key witness for the prosecution recently admitted to fabricating their testimony against him. Sigurdur Thordarson, a key witness for the US prosecution, admitted recently that he fabricated his witness statement against Assange in exchange for immunity from the US.

The UK decided the appeal can move forward, regardless. The US said it provided assurances that Assange might not be placed under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) nor would he be jailed in ADX Florence, a super-maximum prison in Colorado.

The US also allegedly offered Assange the possibility to serve his sentence in Australia. These reassurances are not to be taken seriously, Assange’s fiancé and partner Stella Moris said. At the same time, the British government has proposed reforms to the Official Secrets Act that could see journalists and whistleblowers punished with much harsher sentencing for publishing things the government doesn’t like.

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