Assange allowed to appeal again: what does this mean?

The British High Court has ruled that it does not have sufficient grounds to believe that Julian Assange would be able to exercise his right of freedom of expression in the event of his being tried in the US, where he is wanted for publishing secret documents. This means the Wikileaks founder can once again appeal against his extradition in the UK. Commentators debate how the case could and should proceed.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Getting closer to an agreement

Something is happening behind the scenes, writes Corriere della Sera:

“At the end of March the Wall Street Journal leaked news of a deal with the US Justice Department that would allow Assange to go free and spare the Biden administration an unpleasant affair. ... Under the agreement, the WikiLeaks founder would have to plead guilty to a lesser charge of mishandling classified information, a step that could be taken by Assange without him setting foot in the US. The London sentence - five years - would also count towards the sentence in the US. This would allow the activist to leave prison without having to fear re-arrest.”

The Spectator (GB) /

Extradition would sound the death knell for press freedom

The Spectator also hopes that the USA's request will not be granted:

“The vital ability of the press in Britain to publish what it likes about foreign regimes provided it obeys our law, whatever their own law may say, is now seriously in doubt. ... An attractive feature of Britain was once a libertarian insistence that, however friendly its relations with another state, friendship did not extend to helping that state with its dirty work in rounding up subversives. ... There is much to be said for Rishi Sunak setting up a body to revisit our extradition law to make sure this kind of thing does not happen in future.” (DE) /

Set him free - also for the future

This is not yet a victory for Assange, writes:

“Julian Assange's team must continue to fight to prevent the Australian from being deported. He has merely bought some time. These proceedings are likely to take at least a few more months. It is bitter that Assange must spend this time in prison, where he has been for more than five years - without having been sentenced. What is happening to Assange is a disgrace. ... When editors and journalists are charged with espionage, the free press is in danger. The threshold for dragging the next person to court over similar charges is lowered. Julian Assange must be released.”