Julian Assange wins his appeal against extradition to the United States

 The first step of Julian Assange's appeal to the Supreme Court against his extradition to the United States has been won.

Following WikiLeaks' publishing of hundreds of thousands of secret papers connected to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, Assange, 50, is wanted in the United States for an alleged conspiracy to obtain and divulge national defense material.

The US government won its High Court case to overturn a previous judgement that Assange should not be extradited owing to a real and "oppressive" danger of suicide in December of last year.

Stella Moris, Assange's fiancee, called the judgment "dangerous and foolish," and said Assange's attorneys planned to appeal to the Supreme Court.

"As long as this lawsuit isn't withdrawn, as long as Julian isn't freed, Julian continues to suffer," she said outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

"He has been in Belmarsh jail for about three years, and he is suffering greatly, day after day, week after week, year after year." Julian must be let free, and we are hopeful that this will happen soon."

Assange's lawyers, Birnberg Peirce Solicitors, have stated that the case involved "serious and crucial" legal problems, including a "dependence" on US promises regarding the jail conditions he would experience if extradited.

On Monday, two senior judges ruled there was a point of law, but denied him permission for the appeal.

However, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, who was sitting alongside Lord Justice Holroyde, said Assange might take his case to the Supreme Court.

Lord Burnett requested that the Supreme Court "take efforts to expedite consideration" of any appeal application.

The attorneys for Assange now have 14 days to file an application with the Supreme Court.

Lord Burnett stated on Monday that the point of law was about the situations in which a nation can provide assurances to an appellate court that were not provided at the time of the initial extradition.

"Despite the fact that the law in this area has long been decided," he said, "it does not appear that the Supreme Court has reviewed the issue."

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