Judge rules out Assange extradition to US

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

London: A British judge ruled categorically that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the US to face criminal charges including breaking a spying law, asserting that his mental health issues put him at a high suicide risk.

The US charges  Assange, aged 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.

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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