The founder of Wikileaks will not be extradited for the moment. A British court postpones the decision: the United States would have to offer guarantees first.

Several people hold protest signs in the air outside a British court

Protest in London: Assange supporters hope for his release Photo: Alberto Pezzali/ap

LONDON taz | Julian Assange has been imprisoned in Britain's high-security Belmarsh prison for five years, awaiting a decision on whether he should be extradited to the United States. On Tuesday, London's highest court decided that his extradition will be postponed further.

The court said Assange could be confident that three of his objections could be successful on further appeal. However, this depends on whether the US can provide sufficient guarantees in the next three weeks so that Assange can invoke the First Amendment of the US Constitution – and with it the protection of freedom of expression – in a trial in the USA.

The United States would also have to prove that the procedures there would not affect his Australian citizenship and that the First Amendment would apply to him as it does to American citizens. And: it must be ruled out that Assange faces the death penalty. If the United States can offer these guarantees, the expulsion could be approved. However, Assange's defense lawyers should be able to comment on this in advance. If the US does not meet the court's requirements, there will be a new appeals process.

Assange is the founder of the Wikileaks platform and has been fighting for his freedom for more than 13 years. Under his leadership, Wikileaks published 700,000 secret documents about US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010, including a video showing the bombing of civilians in Baghdad, a clear war crime. The United States is demanding his extradition to Great Britain to stand trial in an American court. In the worst case, Assange faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years.

Does Assange expect a fair trial in the United States?

The ruling states: Assange's case is above all a question of freedom of expression. Therefore, you have the right to appeal. Although the United States claims that Assange did not exercise necessary journalistic care when she published the names of security and intelligence officials. What she counts is her right to be able to invoke the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The lack of this right is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, the court also ruled that Assange's crimes were not political in nature and that the United States therefore requested his removal. Furthermore, the court did not accept any of the points related to the fact that Assange did not expect a fair trial in the United States. There are also reports that the CIA, the US foreign intelligence agency, is tracking Assange. yahoo news who supposedly wanted to kill in the Ecuadorian embassy in London would have no influence on the expulsion or the criminal process in the United States.

Assange's defense had repeatedly argued that these reports made the US government's statements appear unreliable. At a press conference at the law firm of Assange's defense team on Tuesday afternoon, Julian Assange's wife, Stella Assange, called the ruling strange: “The British court gives the United States another chance to present a political objection, not a legal one.”

Overall, the case should have been dismissed from the beginning. Journalism is being criminalized, claims Stella Assange. “It is now clear that the case concerns the persecution of a journalist for his opinions,” she said. From her point of view, this is the only way to understand the reference to the First Amendment.

Both Stella Assange and Wikileaks director Kristinn Hrafnsson stressed at Tuesday's press conference in London that the case only came to light during the administration of former US President Donald Trump. His predecessor, Barack Obama, would not have wanted to take action against the Wikileaks founder because Assange worked as a journalist and was not a hacker. The United States government should – instead of offering more guarantees – withdraw the extradition request.