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Julian Assange: MPs push for WikiLeaks founder to be granted political asylum in France

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By Euronews
Julian Assange's partner Stella Moris, speaks outside the High Court after a hearing, in London, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.
Julian Assange's partner Stella Moris, speaks outside the High Court after a hearing, in London, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.   -   Copyright  Alastair Grant/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Four French MPs are pushing for Julian Assange to be offered asylum in France amid the WikiLeaks founder’s ongoing fight against extradition from the UK to the US.

Jennifer De Temmerman, Jean Lassalle, Cedric Villani and Francois Ruffin are due to speak at a press conference in Paris on 1 February where they will explain why Assange -- currently in prison in the UK -- should be given sanctuary in France.

Assange’s defence team announced in February 2020 that it would be seeking asylum for him in France, ahead of the hearing in the UK on whether the 50-year-old should be extradited to the US for trial.

Two years on, Assange continues to fight extradition to the US, where would face trial over the release of a trove of classified military documents more than a decade ago.

In December 2021, Britain’s High Court overturned a ruling by a lower court that Assange could not be extradited due to concerns over his mental health. 

In January, Assange won the right to appeal this decision to the UK Supreme Court, further delaying his possible extradition.

WikiLeaks was formerly based in France and Assange’s children live in the country, but his lawyers admitted in 2020 that the fact that he is not on French soil would complicate the process.