London (EFE) WikiLeaks portal.
In an opinion last Tuesday to which EFE has had access, Judge Jonathan Swift considered that “none of the four arguments” raised by the defense are not acceptable and accepts the delivery authorization signed on June 17, 2022 by the then Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The magistrate also rejected, in a parallel decision, that the 51-year-old journalist can appeal parts of a January 2021 ruling, which disavowed his extradition on the grounds that he presented a suicide risk.
Although that ruling by trial judge Vanessa Baraitser was favorable – although it was later successfully appealed by the US – Assange’s legal team reserved the right to later challenge some of the arguments she had dismissed.
In rejecting this appeal, Swift affirms that “it is nothing more than an attempt to re-execute the extensive arguments already presented and rejected by the judge.”
The only option, to appeal the decision of this judge
The only remaining option for Assange’s lawyers is to try to appeal this judge’s decision, which they must do with new allegations in a document of no more than 20 pages, according to what he himself has arranged.
In a Twitter message, the computer scientist’s wife, Stella Assange, has confirmed that next Tuesday, at the end of the deadline, they will present their appeal before two other judges of the High Court, their last judicial trick in the United Kingdom.
“We remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States, where he faces charges that could result in spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing truthful information that revealed war crimes committed by the government” of the United States, affirms the mother of two of his children.
The Spanish lawyer Aitor Martínez, part of the journalist’s international legal team, has also explained on Twitter that the British Superior “rejects on 3 pages, without legal assessment, all the points of the appeal to stop the handover of Julian Assange”, in allusion to the appeal on Patel’s order.
“The decision will be appealed on Tuesday. It is everyone’s obligation to stop this aggression that would silence the free press of the world”, he tweeted.
The non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has also expressed its concern over Swift’s decision, which “takes the founder of WikiLeaks “dangerously close” to being handed over to US justice.
RSF has condemned in a statement that the judge has rejected the eight arguments put forward to review Baraitser’s ruling and warns that there is only “one last legal step” left in this country.
If the two superior judges end up rejecting the final appeal that they will file on Tuesday, the only alternative would be to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, RSF notes.
Assange has been in pretrial detention in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison since he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11, 2019, after Quito withdrew his political asylum.
The Australian has been in captivity in the United Kingdom for almost 13 years despite not having been convicted of any crime, first under house arrest in England as a result of a process instigated by Sweden and filed and, between 2012 and 2019, refugee in the embassy of Ecuador in London, after which he entered Belmarsh.