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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Judge bars Assange extradition to US

Judge Vanessa Baraitser cited the WikiLeaks founder's mental health problems which meant he would be at risk of suicide

Reuters London Published 05.01.21, 01:42 AM
Julian Assange

Julian Assange File picture

A British judge ruled on Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the US to face criminal charges including breaking a spying law, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.

The US accuses Australian-born Assange, 49, of 18 offences relating to the release by WikiLeaks of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables which it says put lives in danger.

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His legal team had argued the entire prosecution was politically motivated, powered by US President Donald Trump’s administration.

While Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected submissions that extradition should be barred because it would breach press freedom or Assange’s freedom of speech, she said there was a real risk he would commit suicide if he were held in a US maximum security jail.

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