U.K. Judge Blocks Julian Assange’s Extradition to U.S., Citing Suicide Risk

LONDON—A British judge turned down a U.S. ask for to extradite Julian Assange on spying charges, saying the WikiLeaks founder would be at threat of suicide if extradition was granted.

The final decision marks a important setback in Washington’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder for publishing key paperwork relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A law firm for the U.S. govt stated it would enchantment, environment the stage for another hearing in the coming months at the High Court docket in London.

Delivering her ruling Monday right after months of sporadic hearings because of the coronavirus pandemic, District Choose Vanessa Baraitser stated Mr. Assange has already toyed with suicide and the prospect of detention in isolation in the U.S. would most likely rekindle those views. She stated he has the intellect and willpower to get about anti-suicide protocols in U.S. jails.

“The in general impression is of a depressed and occasionally despairing gentleman who is genuinely fearful about his foreseeable future,” she stated, rejecting the U.S. extradition ask for.

In her ruling, Choose Baraitser turned down all of Mr. Assange’s other defenses towards extradition, saying there was no reason to feel he wouldn’t get a honest demo and the offenses he was alleged to have committed would be prosecutable in the U.K., much too.

Mr. Assange, a forty nine-year-outdated Australian who appeared in court docket in particular person Monday, is required in the U.S. on 18 charges of breaking espionage legislation and conspiring to hack a armed forces computer system. The alleged offenses relate to the publication in 2010 and 2011 by WikiLeaks of a substantial trove of labeled material that painted a bleak image of the American campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and their aftermath.

Stella Morris, lover of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, arrived at the court docket in London for the ruling in his extradition hearing, on Monday.


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Mr. Assange has continuously defended his work and the wider WikiLeaks project as public-curiosity journalism that uncovered wrongdoing by the U.S. and other governments. The high-profile circumstance has ignited discussion around the scope of push independence in the online age, and sparked worry that conventional media stores and reporters could equally be pursued for publishing govt techniques.

The U.S. alleges that Mr. Assange broke the regulation by soliciting labeled material from previous U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and by helping her crack a password to attain that material. Publication of the diplomatic cables and armed forces logs she furnished endangered the life of U.S. intelligence resources, the U.S. govt alleges.

In June, the Justice Section issued a fresh indictment that bundled new allegations that broadened the scope, the department stated, of the conspiracy encompassing alleged computer system intrusions with which Mr. Assange has been billed. He is alleged between 2007 and 2015 to have inspired and assisted hackers affiliated with the groups Nameless and LulzSec attain labeled data released by WikiLeaks, and to have played a position in helping Edward Snowden, a National Safety Company contractor who in 2013 leaked particulars of clandestine surveillance packages to the push, to evade arrest.

People celebrated outdoors a London court docket right after a judge there dominated that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., on Monday.


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In hearings at a London court docket unfold around practically a year, Mr. Assange denied that he solicited something from Ms. Manning or helped her steal labeled files. His protection argues that Mr. Assange’s prosecution is politically enthusiastic, a possible bar to extradition beneath a bilateral treaty between the U.S. and U.K. that governs extradition requests. His lawyers also argue extradition to stand demo challenges exposing Mr. Assange to degrading procedure in contravention of U.K. human rights regulation and undermines his rights to absolutely free expression.

Choose Baraitser turned down those arguments Monday. But she stated proof from a number of medical professionals all through the hearing confirmed Mr. Assange suffered from conditions including autism and scientific despair. He had already created programs for his dying and sought absolution from a priest, she stated.

Generate to Jason Douglas at [email protected]

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