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Saturday, Dec 03, 2022

Julian Assange allowed to marry partner Stella Moris in jail

Julian Assange allowed to marry partner Stella Moris in jail

Couple who met while WikiLeaks founder was living in Ecuadorian embassy given permission to wed by Belmarsh governor
The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been given permission to marry his partner in Belmarsh jail.

He has been held in the London prison since 2019 after the US took legal action to extradite him.

He was granted permission to marry his partner Stella Moris after applying to the prison governor.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “Mr Assange’s application was received, considered and processed in the usual way by the prison governor, as for any other prisoner.”

The couple, who met when Assange was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, have two children.

Moris told the PA news agency: “I am relieved that reason prevailed and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage.”

Prisoners are entitled to apply to be married in prison under the Marriages Act 1983. Governors then consider applications and, if granted, the cost of the service is picked up by the prisoner rather than the taxpayer.

Marriage ceremonies involving prisoners are required to take place in prison, with the exception of Category D prisoners, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Assange, an Australian citizen, was arrested by police after spending five years in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had sought political asylum as he fought to avoid extradition to Sweden, fearing he would be taken to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

He was jailed for 12 months for skipping bail but was kept in Belmarsh while a lengthy legal case was mounted by the US.

In January a judge refused the US’s request to extradite Assange, but an appeal was lodged, with the outcome still pending. No date has been set for the wedding.

The couple have been engaged for a number of years and have been trying to get married despite the legal action. Their sons Gabriel, four, and Max, two, are British citizens.

The couple were taking legal action against the prison governor and the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, accusing them of preventing a wedding being held.

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