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Assange wins bid to appeal US extradition ruling

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LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday won a bid to appeal against a UK court ruling that approved his extradition to the United States to face trial for breaking national security laws.

Two London High Court judges granted Assange permission to appeal, having previously asked Washington to provide “satisfactory assurances” about free speech protections at any US trial.

Those submissions were presented at a hearing on Monday, which the 52-year-old Australian did not attend.

Assange is wanted by Washington for publishing hundreds of thousands of secret US documents from 2010 as head of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

Had he lost at Monday’s hearing, Assange — who has become a figurehead for free speech campaigners — could have been swiftly extradited after a five-year legal battle.

Instead, he will now face another court battle in his long-running legal saga, after the UK government approved his extradition in June 2022.

Assange’s wife Stella said outside court that the ruling “marks a turning point” and that “we are relieved as a family that the court took the right decision.

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