"The court allows the appeal," wrote a UK judge in granting the United States' request to extradite Julian Assange. The US was appealing a Jan. 4 ruling that denied the extradition request on the basis of Assange's mental health concerns, with the judge in that case saying it would be "oppressive" and that Assange was likely to commit suicide if sent to the US. The appellate court on Friday overturned that lower court ruling, finding that US assurances were sufficient to guarantee Assange would be treated humanely, reports the AP. Assange faces 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of leaked documents.
The extradition request now passes to the home secretary, who oversees law enforcement in the UK and will make the final call on whether to extradite him. Assange’s fiancé, Stella Moris, labeled the decision a "grave miscarriage of justice" and said an appeal would be filed hastily. The Washington Post reports that would be Assange's final chance for appeal in the UK; the British Supreme Court could accept the case or opt to decline to hear it. Should they refuse the case, the Post says Assange could then ask the European Court of Human Rights to grant him a stay of extradition. NBC News reports Assange was not in court for the hearing. (Read more Julian Assange stories.)