Tue. Jan 19th, 2021
Julian Assange Is Denied Bail by U.K. Judge


LONDON — A judge in London on Wednesday declined to release Julian Assange on bail whilst he awaits a last resolution in the situation to extradite him to the United States to encounter expenses of violating the Espionage Act.

On Monday, the judge ruled that Mr. Assange could not be extradited to the United States simply because he would be at danger of suicide, and his attorneys sought to have him launched on bail whilst the appeals approach plays out. The selection on Wednesday was a setback for the WikiLeaks founder, who has sought for many years to stay clear of a trial in the United States on expenses that his supporters say pose a risk to press freedom.

Mr. Assange, 49, was indicted by the United States authorities in 2019 on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one particular count of laptop misuse in excess of his purpose in getting and publishing secret military and diplomatic paperwork linked to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If uncovered guilty on all counts, he could encounter a sentence of up to 175 many years.

On Monday, Judge Vanessa Baraitser of Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that Mr. Assange, who suffers from depression and has an autism spectrum disorder, could not be extradited simply because “it would be unjust and oppressive” provided his psychological situation.

But the judge rejected arguments by Mr. Assange’s legal workforce that the expenses towards him had been an assault on press freedom and had been politically motivated.

Claire Dobbin, a attorney representing the United States, mentioned on Wednesday that American prosecutors would appeal the extradition ruling, which is probable to retain Mr. Assange’s situation in British courts for at least various months. The situation could finally land in front of Britain’s Supreme Court.

In 2010 and 2011, Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, published confidential military and diplomatic paperwork linked to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supplied by the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. In 2012, he took refuge at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to escape extradition to Sweden, wherever he faced an inquiry into rape accusations. That inquiry was later on dropped.

He invested 7 many years at the embassy, wherever he continued to run WikiLeaks as a self-proclaimed political refugee. The British police arrested him in 2019.

Due to the fact then, Mr. Assange, an Australian citizen, has been held at Belmarsh, a higher-protection prison in London wherever he served a 50-week sentence for skipping bail when he entered the Ecuadorean Embassy to stay clear of extradition to Sweden. He has finished that sentence but has remained at the prison whilst the American extradition situation tends to make its way via the British courts.

Medical practitioners and specialists who have examined Mr. Assange in prison mentioned throughout the extradition hearings that he suffered from depression and memory reduction.

“I can attest to the truth that his overall health has significantly deteriorated, to the level wherever his daily life is now in danger,” Nils Melzer, the United Nations exclusive rapporteur on torture and sick treatment method, mentioned final month in urging President Trump to pardon Mr. Assange. Mr. Melzer, who visited Mr. Assange in prison, mentioned final 12 months that his incarceration amounted to “psychological torture.”

Attorneys argued throughout the hearings that Mr. Assange’s psychological overall health would deteriorate if he had been extradited, and have pointed out that Mr. Assange and other detainees at Belmarsh have been isolated for months right after a coronavirus outbreak at the prison.

Should really Mr. Assange in the end reduce in Britain, his legal workforce could also attempt to consider the situation to the European Court of Human Rights.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia mentioned on Tuesday that really should increased courts in Britain in the end blocked Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States, he “would be ready to return to Australia like any other Australian.”

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