Julian Assange Loses Extradition Bail Bid, Will Remain in Prison

On Monday, the judge ruled the Assange cannot be extradited to the US because he might commit suicide.

Assange
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Julian Assange will remain in jail as the judge who prevented his extradition to the United States believes he would abscond.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser believed there were substantial grounds to believe the Wikileaks founder would abscond if permitted extradition bail.

On Monday, she ruled the Assange cannot be extradited to the US because he might commit suicide.

The US authorities are now appealing that decision – and had requested not to release the Australian journalist from a maximum security prison till the case is heard.

Assange, who was clad in a dark suit and face mask, was not appeared to react to the decision at Westminster Magistrates Court.

The 49-year-old has been held in prison since 2019, after spending seven years-long asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition.

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US authorities want to put Assange on trial for hacking and publicizing classified information. The declassified material also included informants’ identities who were assisted US intelligence agencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

 In her ruling, the judge said Assange still had the incentive to abscond.

“He is likely to flout the order of this court,” she said. “As a matter of fairness, the US prosecutors must be allowed to challenge my decision, and if the Wikileaks founder absconds during the process, they will lose the opportunity to do so.”

During the bail application, Assange’s counsel Ed Fitzgerald QC said a supporter offered a London home to his client where he could be with his partner and their two children.

“Your decision changes everything as it changes any motive to abscond,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “On any view… [Assange] would be safer isolating with his family in the community than if he were in Belmarsh which has, very recently, had a severe outbreak of coronavirus.

 But Clair Dobbin, for the US, told the court that Assange had the “resources, abilities to secretly abscond to another country via air route.

 The barrister further said, “[Assange] considers himself as above the law and no cost is too great, whether that cost be to himself or others.”

Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, was among a huge group of his supporters who had gathered at the court.

 For her, it was “a huge disappointment.” She said. “Julian should not be in Belmarsh prison in the first place. She urged the [US] Department of Justice to drop the charges and the President of the United States to pardon her partner.

 District Judge Baraitser prevented Assange’s extradition on Monday, ruling that he was so mentally unwell that the US 

prosecutors could not guarantee he would not kill himself once he’s transferred to a maximum security prison in the country.

The US appeal against that ruling will be heard by more senior judges later this year.

 

About Staff Writer

My focus is on politics, history, religion, and philosophy of life. I present news analysis and opinion on current affairs and occasionally produce satire articles

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