British High Court rules to extradite Julian Assange to the United States

Assange's partner says they will be appealing the decision

A British High Court ruled Friday that Julian Assange – founder of Wikileaks – can be extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act.

The ruling brings Assange that much closed to being turned over to U.S. marshals and escorted back to Washington, D.C., where he would be tried in federal court in northern Virginia.

Federal prosecutors charge that Assange helped hack into classified information storage centers and published thousands of pages of military records and diplomatic communications. 

Supporters of Assange say he acted effectively as an investigative journalist and whistleblower, uncovering a significant amount of damning information about American military action abroad. 

In early 2021, a British judge ruled Assange's suicide risk was too high for him to be extradited to the U.S., a decision that was promptly appealed by the U.S. government. 

For now, the 50-year-old Australian native will remain in the Belmarsh prison in London, where he has been held since 2019. 

Assange's partner, the mother of his children, and his former lawyer – Stella Moris – says they will file a final appeal to the British Supreme Court, which will hear the case only if it determines it to involve a point of law "of general public importance."