Julian Assange learns his fate after years-long legal battle over U.S. extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been unsuccessful in his bid to fight his extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States where he is elected to face trial in a federal court.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported that the 51-year-old learned his fate on Monday during a private court proceeding that was only made public on Thursday.

Last year, a court ruled the journalist would be extradited to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

Assange appealed that ruling last June.

According to the Mail, Assange’s legal team does not intend to file another appeal but has until the end of the week to do so.

In the absence of such an appeal, his legal options will have been exhausted and he will have no choice but to be extradited to the U.S.

The Mail reported there is a small possibility a European court could step in at the last second and offer him a lifeline against prosecution in the U.S.

Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 at the request of the Justice Department, the BBC reported.

The embassy had offered him protection since 2012 in order to help him avoid extradition to Sweden in connection with a sexual assault allegation.

A case against Assange in Sweden, who is a native of Australia, was later dropped.

In a 2019 news release, the Justice Department released an 18-count indictment of Assange for alleged crimes related to illegally obtaining, receiving and disclosing classified information.

The indictment alleged that beginning in late 2009, Assange and WikiLeaks “actively solicited United States classified information, including by publishing a list of ‘Most Wanted Leaks’ that sought, among other things, classified documents.”

The department said Bradley “Chelsea” Manning, a former U.S. serviceman, answered the call and gave Assange tens of thousands of classified documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Manning spent years in prison for his role in providing the documents to Wikileaks.

Assange faces up to 10 years in prison for each count he is charged with minus a charge for alleged conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

That charge carries a maximum sentence of up to five years.

According to the Mail, it is believed Assange could serve a sentence of four to six years in prison if he is convicted in federal court.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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