Judge Vanessa Baraitser this morning accepted the arguments concerning the mental health of Julian Assange to deny the request for the extradition of the Australian citizen by the United States. British justice believes that an extradition would pose a risk for Julian Assange, who would be likely to commit suicide if transferred to an American prison.
For the judge, Assange’s extradition to the United States would indeed expose him to special measures of imprisonment, which would put him at risk of suicide. According to the judgment published on the website of the British Ministry of Justice, Julian Assange suffers from several mental pathologies, ranging from depression to post traumatic syndrome. Several witnesses called by the defense considered that the risk of suicide was “substantial”. These are the arguments that were finally retained by the judge to justify her decision.
Breaking: UK judge rules against extradition of Assange to US #AssangeCase
– WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 4, 2021
Holy shit https://t.co/RYXU8NtEcz
– Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 4, 2021
The US still has 14 days to appeal the UK decision and as the BBC reports, US authorities have indicated their intention to appeal. According to the Associated Press, Assange’s lawyers, for their part, want to demand the release of Assange, who has been detained in a British prison for more than a year and a half.
The soap opera continues
Julian Assange is the target of a procedure in the United States, in particular for having disseminated in 2010 confidential diplomatic cables through the Wikileaks website. He is also accused of having attempted to hack or have instigated the hacking of confidential US military databases relating to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has 18 charges in the United States and faces a total of 175 years in prison if the US courts find him guilty of the charges against him.
This judgment follows a five-week hearing that took place in February and September. He was arrested in 2019, after spending more than seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. Ecuador had decided to withdraw his diplomatic immunity in 2019, the government of the country having considered that Julian Assange had “repeatedly violated international conventions and the protocol of cohabitation”