A mural of Australia's Julian Assange is seen in a laneway in Melbourne on January 5, 2021. The PHOTO AFP LONDON -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appealed to the High Court in London to block his extradition to the United States to face criminal charges, his brother said on Friday. The latest step in his legal battle has dragged on for more than a decade.
Assange, 50, is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge relating to WikiLeaks' release of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables, which Washington said had put lives in danger.
Last month, Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition, with his office saying British courts concluded that his extradition would not be incompatible with his human rights, and that he would be treated appropriately.
His brother Gabriel Shipton confirmed that Assange's legal team has lodged an appeal against that decision in the High Court. The court must give its approval to hear the appeal, but it is likely that the legal case will take months to complete.
Shipton told Reuters that they urge the Australian government to intervene immediately in the case to end this nightmare.
The saga began at the end of 2010 when Sweden sought Assange's extradition from Britain over allegations of sex crimes. When he lost that case in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he spent seven years.
When he was finally dragged out in April 2019, he was jailed for breaching British bail conditions, although the Swedish case against him had been dropped. He has been fighting for extradition to the United States since June 2019 and remains in jail.
READ MORE: Assange is one step closer to extradition to the United States.
His wife Stella Assange told reporters that they're going to use every avenue of appeal after Patel approved his extradition.