WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Cannot Be Extradited To U.S., Judge Rules

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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Cannot Be Extradited To U.S., Judge Rules

Via CNBC:

A British judge ruled on Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, one of the world’s most high-profile whistleblowers, will not be extradited to the U.S.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser said extradition would be oppressive due to Assange’s mental health.

“The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future,” Baraitser wrote in her ruling. “For all of these reasons I find that Mr. Assange’s risk of committing suicide, if an extradition order were to be made, to be substantial.”

Assange is wanted in the U.S. over the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010 and 2011. He is wanted on 18 charges, 17 of which fall under the U.S. Espionage Act.

His health has deteriorated while being held in a U.K. prison.

The U.S. has specifically accused him of conspiring with army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to decipher a password known as “hash” in order to access a classified U.S. Department of Defense computer and expose military secrets. 

Assange’s supporters argue that the U.S. is targeting him for political reasons after his journalism exposed alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as human rights abuses.

If the 49-year-old Australian is extradited to the U.S., his lawyers have said he could go to prison for 30 to 40 years. His mother Christine Assange said on Twitter that he won’t survive if he is extradited. Prosecutors have said he will face no more than 63 months in jail.

Assange’s lawyers said in a closing written submission to Baraitser that the prosecution had been politically motivated “during a unique period of U.S. history under the (President Donald) Trump administration.”

The legal team representing the U.S. said federal prosecutors are forbidden to consider political opinion in making their decisions.

Read the rest of the article here

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Written by: LoneRhody


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