US assurances that Julian Assange would not be detained under the strictest conditions of maximum security if extradited from the UK have been rejected by his fiancée, who described them as a formula to keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
Details of the proposals made to British authorities emerged after permission was granted this week to appeal the January decision that the Wikileaks co-founder cannot be extradited on mental health grounds.
They include assurances that Assange, if convicted in connection with the charges of alleged espionage and piracy, could serve any time in jail in his native Australia.
The package contains a particular guarantee that Assange would not be subject to “special administrative measures” (SAM) in US custody or incarcerated in the “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, procedures reserved for high-security prisoners. The warranties were subject to change if you subsequently “did something” that met the US test for high security measures.
The details were contained in excerpts from the UK court ruling granting limited permission to appeal, which were published by the Crown Prosecution Service.
In January, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange could not be extradited due to concerns about his mental health and the risk of suicide in a US prison.
Stella Moris, Assange’s fiancée, described the reports about the American companies as “wildly misleading,” adding that 80,000 prisoners in American jails were held in solitary confinement on any given day and only a few were held in the specific conditions. mentioned in the proposals.
“The US government also says it can change its mind if the CIA chief advises it to do so once Julian Assange is in US custody,” he added.
Regarding his time in prison in Australia, he said that he had always had the right to request a transfer from prison to complete his sentence.
“What is crucial to understand is that prisoner transfers are only eligible after all appeals have been exhausted. For the case to reach the Supreme Court of the United States it could easily take a decade, even two.
“What the United States is proposing is a formula to effectively keep Julian in prison for the rest of his life.”
Nick Vamos, a partner at the Peters & Peters law firm and former head of extradition for the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was “very unusual” for the US Department of Justice to offer broader assurances to a foreign court on the treatment of prisoners by advanced. In fact, he said that he had previously refused to do so in terrorism cases.
“It is not unusual for extradition, but it is up to Americans to give this kind of assurance because their previous approach for many years has been to say, ‘The United States legal system is fair and our prison system is capable of dealing with people with all kinds of conditions, ‘”he said.
While a date has yet to be set for a superior court hearing regarding the US appeal, Vamos suggested things could move “pretty quickly.”
While the ruling earlier this year had gone in Assange’s favor, he added: “The difficulty that he and his legal team have now is that if the court says we are denying extradition because we are concerned about his treatment, we are concerned. that a, b or c could happen, and the requesting state then provides a guarantee that says, ‘under no circumstances will that happen’, then rejects the objection.
“There is also a long history of our courts accepting the guarantees of requesting states. The question is, ‘Does the warranty actually address it, or can it be undermined by suggesting that it’s not as good as it sounds or that it will be disgraced anyway? “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism