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Wikileaks’ Julian Assange gets permission to marry fiancé in prison

Published: Updated:

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been granted permission to marry his fiancé Stella Moris in Belmarsh prison, the BBC reported on Friday.

The couple have two sons together who were conceived while Assange while living in London’s Ecuadorean embassy, according to Moris, a South African-born lawyer.

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London’s high-security Belmarsh prison service said that Assange’s application was “considered in the usual way by the prison governor.”

In reference to the decision, Moris said that she was “relieved that reason prevailed,” adding that she hoped there would be “no further interference” with their marriage.

Stella Moris stands with her children Gabriel, four, left, and Max, two, as she speaks to the media, outside Belmarsh Prison, following a visit to her partner and their father Julian Assange in London, Saturday June 19, 2021. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
Stella Moris stands with her children Gabriel, four, left, and Max, two, as she speaks to the media, outside Belmarsh Prison, following a visit to her partner and their father Julian Assange in London, Saturday June 19, 2021. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

Under the United Kingdom’s Marriages Act 1983, inmates are entitled to apply to be married in prison and that they will need to meet the full costs of the wedding, without the help of taxpayer money.

Moris and Assange met in 2011 when she joined his legal team at Wikileaks.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday in 2020, Moris said that she had been in a relationship with Assange since 2015 and that she was now raising their two sons on her own.

Assange watched the birth of his two children via video link, said Moris.

Assange, 50, has been in prison since he was arrested in April 2019 for skipping bail during a separate legal battle. Before that he spent seven years holed up inside Ecuador’s London embassy, where he fled in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Sweden dropped the sex crimes investigations in November 2019 because so much time had elapsed, but Assange remains in prison.

The judge who blocked extradition in January ordered that he must stay in custody during any US appeal, ruling that the Australian citizen “has an incentive to abscond” if he is freed.

WikiLeaks supporters say testimony from witnesses during the extradition hearing that Assange was spied on while in the embassy by a Spanish security firm at the behest of the CIA — and that there was even talk of abducting or killing him — undermines US claims he will be treated fairly.
Journalism organizations and human rights groups have urged President Joe Biden to drop the prosecution launched under his predecessor, Donald Trump.

With The Associated Press

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