Assange appeal against extradition to include reported assassination plot

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WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's brother said on Friday that the Assange legal team's appeal to London's High Court of the decision to extradite him to the United States would include new information not previously taken to the courts, including claims made in a report last year of plans to assassinate him.

"It will likely be a few days before the (14-day appeal) deadline and the appeal will include new information that we weren't able to bring before the courts previously. Information on how Julian lawyers were spied on, and how there were plots to kidnap and kill Julian from within the CIA," Gabriel Shipton told Reuters in an interview.

He was referring to a Yahoo News report from September 2021 on alleged U.S. plans to kidnap or assassinate Assange when he was holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The CIA has declined to comment on the report.

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Earlier on Friday, the UK Home Office said Assange's extradition had been approved as British courts had concluded it would not be unjust or an abuse of process. read more

Shipton said the decision set a dangerous precedent and urged the Biden administration to drop the charges.

"UK government and judiciary at the highest level has found that if you publish evidence of corruption, war crimes and torture in the UK you may be extradited to a third country," Shipton said. "It is now up to President Biden to drop this prosecution and restore faith in the ability of the fourth estate to play their role in functioning democracies."

(This story has been refiled to add full name of Assange's brother in first reference in paragraph two)

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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