German Foreign Minister Discusses Assange's Fate With UK Counterpart
17:07 GMT 13.12.2021 (Updated: 18:30 GMT 03.11.2022)
© NIKLAS HALLE'NSupporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, hold placards outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on December 10, 2021.
© NIKLAS HALLE'N
BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock discussed with her British counterpart Liz Truss the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after a London court upheld the US appeal to extradite him, German Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Christopher Burger said on Monday.
On Friday, the London High Court ruled in favor of the appeal to extradite Assange, dismissing concerns raised about the journalist's health and the inhumane conditions he might face in the American prison system. The case will now be remitted to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, after which it will be sent to the secretary of state, who will decide on extradition.
"Foreign Minister Baerbock talked about the matter with her UK counterpart, including on the sidelines of the G7 ministerial meeting. We see that the case has attracted international attention, mostly due to the state of health of Julian Assange. However, the German government's fundamental principle... is that in a state governed by the rule of law, independent courts should be respected," he said at a briefing.
Berlin is working on the issue and the minister personally discussed it with relevant parties, he added.
Assange is wanted by the United States on espionage charges after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified documents that shed light on war crimes committed by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. If put on trial and convicted in the US, the Australian journalist faces up to 175 years in prison.
Assange has been on remand at Belmarsh high-security prison in southeast London since October 2020, after serving an 11-month sentence for breaking bail after staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years.
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