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Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: BBC/Reuters

A British court ruled on Friday that Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges that could result in decades of jail time overturning a lower court decision that the WikiLeaks founder's mental health was too fragile to withstand incarceration in America.

The High court ruled that Assange could be extradited and said the judges hearing the case had accepted assurances from the US government about the prison conditions in which Assange would be held. The judges, who heard the case, ruled that America's pledges were "sufficient to determine this appeal in the USA's favour".

Assange's case will now be sent to Priti Pagel, the UK home secretary, who will decide whether he should be extradited.

Mr Assange's fiancee Stella Moris called the ruling "dangerous and misguided", adding that the US assurances were "inherently unreliable". she said," we will appeal this decision at the earliest possible moment."

The US wants Assange to face trial on one charge of computer hacking and 17 charges of violating the 1917 Espionage Act, relating to one of the biggest leaks of classified material in history. If found guilty, Assange would face up to 175 years in jail.

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement: "Julian's life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient.

"This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower."

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