Julian Assange cannot be extradited to US, British judge rules

Julian Assange cannot be extradited to US, British judge rules
Julian Assange pictured in April 2019. Source: PA
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States to face charges of espionage and of hacking government computers, a British judge has ruled.

The decision, focusing on Assange’s health, was delivered at the central criminal court by the district judge, Vanessa Baraitser.

She said Julian Assange was likely to be held in conditions of isolation in a so-called supermax prison in the United States and procedures described by the US authorities would not prevent him from potentially finding a way to take his own life.

The judge said in her ruling: “I find that the mental condition of Mr Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.”

Lawyers for US authorities have been given 15 days to appeal against the ruling.

Her decision came after she knocked down one argument after another made last year by Assange’s lawyers.

She said, sending him to the US would not breach a bar on extradition for “political offences”, and she had no reason to doubt that “the usual constitutional and procedural protections” would be applied to a trial he might face in the US.

But the judge accepted the evidence of prominent medical experts, including details of how Wikileaks founder had suffered from depression while in prison in London.

Baraitser said: “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely depressed about his future.”

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