The WikiLeaks founder is facing extradition to the US on espionage charges FILE PHOTO. Julian Assange supporters protest in front of Westminster Magistrates Court, while calling for his release from Belmarsh Prison © Getty Images / Peter Nicholls

The UK High Court is set to start a long-anticipated hearing on the case of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces extradition to the US on espionage charges for the website’s coverage of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The long-running legal battle has seen Assange’s lawyers attempt to appeal the extradition request, arguing that the 52-year-old would not be given a fair trial in the US and could potentially be sentenced to death.

During Monday’s hearing, London’s High Court is expected to rule on whether it accepts diplomatic assurances by the US that Assange would not be held in a maximum security prison or be put into solitary confinement for extensive periods of time, would not face the death penalty, and would be guaranteed a First Amendment right to free speech.

If the British court finds these assurances sufficient, it is expected that Assange’s extradition will be greenlit. If not, however, the journalist’s lawyers will have the chance to proceed with their appeal against the extradition request.

  • 20 May 2024

    10:10 GMT

    Dozens of protesters have gathered outside London’s High Court building ahead of Assange’s hearing. Demonstrators are demanding the release of the Australian journalist. (RT)