LETTER FROM LONDON: On the Matter of Assange’s Lawyers Considering a Cross Appeal, by Alexander Mercouris

Julian Assange was not extradited to the US on essentially a technicality, not on the substantive law. The US appealed, and now Assange’s attorneys have a big decision to make. From Alexander Mercouris at consortiumnews.com:

If this happens, the hearing at the High Court in London will acquire epochal importance,  writes Alexander Mercouris. 

 The Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand, home to the High Court in London. (Sjiong, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Julian Assange’s lawyers are considering bringing a cross appeal to the High Court in London disputing parts of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s Jan. 4 judgment not to extradite Assange to the United States, according to a report by journalist Tareq Haddad.

Baraitser refused the U.S. request on narrow grounds, saying Assange’s extradition would put his life and health at risk.  But Baraitser sided with the U.S. on every other point of law and fact, making it clear that in the absence of the life and health issues she would have granted the U.S. request.

That opens the way for the U.S. government to seek the extradition of other persons, including journalists, who do the same things as Assange did, but who cannot rely on the same life and health issues.

It also means that if the U.S. wins the appeal it filed last Friday in High Court it can try Assange in the U.S. on the Espionage Act charges that went unchallenged by Baraitser.  If Assange’s lawyers counter the U.S. appeal with one of their own in the High Court against Baraitser’s upholding of the espionage charges, it would be heard simultaneously with the U.S. appeal.

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