Julian Assange will not be extradited to the United States

Julian Assange

Yesterday, January 4, British justice ruled that the founder of WikiLeaksJulian Assange could not be extradited to the United States for obtaining and publishing secret US government documents in 2010.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser believes that the psychological state of the complainant is incompatible with extradition.

However, after presenting the main elements of her sentence, the judge began by dismantling the defense of Julian Assange's legal team. In fact, Baraistser initially rejected most of the arguments presented by the WikiLeaks founder's defense. However, she was much more receptive to arguments related to her state of health.

During the hearing, various professionals who examined Julian Assange had detected great psychological weaknesses and concluded that he suffered in particular from severe depression, in particular for having planned his suicide in prison. Therefore, he stated that freedom of expression did not prevent the Australian's extradition.

Since spring 2019, Julian Assange is incarcerated in Belmarsh Prison, London, where you are considered a prisoner at risk of suicide. "I am convinced that the risk of Mr. Assange committing suicide is significant," the judge said yesterday.

Adopting the findings of medical expert Professor Michael Kopelman, Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry at King's College London, Judge Baraitser continued: “Based on all the information he has, he believes that Julian is at risk of suicide. Assange is very high if his extradition is imminent. It was a well-informed opinion, carefully supported by evidence and explained in two detailed reports. "

WikiLeaks published, among other things, a quarter of a million US diplomatic letters in clear text. It has been repeatedly alleged that these contained the uncensored names of American spies and informants in hostile countries, and that some effort was made to warn the United States prior to publication.

The United States government will appeal the sentence, which means that the case will go to the High Court of England and Wales. The legal arguments will likely revolve around the conditions of detention in the United States, both before and after the trial. Julian Assange faces a 170-year prison sentence in the United States.

Apart from the possession and publication of confidential documents, he is also accused of piracy for having helped his source to obtain documents. The US prosecution also accuses Julian Assange of having endangered certain US military informants by revealing his identity, which the Australian and his team have denied.

At the center of the American accusations is the activity of WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011, when the organization published secret documents that shed light on the activities of the American military in Iraq, in Afghanistan, but also pieces of the Guantanamo prison or even dozens of thousands of diplomatic telegrams.

And it is that after the ruling, several politicians and organizations welcomed the news, although some expressed dismay that the ruling was issued for health reasons:

  • The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said he had given instructions to your chancellor of oroffer political asylum to Julian Assange, who "is a journalist and deserves a chance";
  • Former UK Labor LeaderJeremy Corbyn called the measure "good news," But he said it was "alarming that the judge accepted the arguments of the United States government that threaten freedom of expression and freedom of publication."
  • Amnesty International welcomed the move, but he criticized the UK for "* participating in this process politically motivated at the behest of the US and questioning the freedom of the media and the freedom of the media."

US authorities have 14 days from the date of the sentence to appeal. Meanwhile, after the decision was announced, Assange returned to prison: His lawyers must now submit a request for bail, which will be considered on Wednesday.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com


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