BREAKING: UK High Court rules Julian Assange appeal of extradition to US will move forward

Julian Assange, who has been held in the British high-security prison Belmarsh since 2019, has been given leave by a UK court to appeal his extradition to the United States. High Court judges said that there are a few issues on which the appeal could be heard.

The court had said in March that a request for appeal would be granted if the US could not give "a satisfactory assurance" that Assange would be granted constitutional protections, that the court would not be "prejudiced by reason of his nationality" and that the "death penalty is not imposed" in case of conviction. While the US addressed these concerns in an April letter, Assange's attorneys said that "they did not go far enough to meet the court's request," per The New York Times.

The 18 charges faced by Assange in the US are under the Espionage Act and are in relation to the publication, by WikiLeaks, of secret documents on military and diplomacy. The documents were leaked to Assange by Chelsea Manning, a trans Army intelligence analyst. Fearing prosecution, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He was there until 2019, when he was forced to leave and was promptly arrested.

Assange has been subjected to lengthy back-and-forths in the UK as he fights extradition to the US. In 2021, the US request to extradite him so he could face charges on a criminal hacking conspiracy was denied by a UK judge. That judge offered concern for Assange's health and said he was at risk of suicide. The High Court reversed the decision, Britain's then-Home Secretary Priti Patel approved extradition in 2022, an additional request for an appeal was denied, and now a High Court has granted that request.

He was interviewed in Belmarsh by Tucker Carlson but the prison did not permit that to be recorded. Carlson instead aired an interview with Assange's wife Stella Assange. She indicated that Assange was facing health concerns behind bars. Assange did not attend the Monday hearing in London due to "diminishing physical and mental health," per his wife.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that a sought-after "political resolution" to Assange's case and imprisonment "has been bearing fruit" and he claimed that "more and more political leaders are coming to the side of Julian. They see the absurdity in this case. And how serious the implications this would have for press freedom worldwide."