Thursday, January 28

Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US, a British judge rules | Julian Assange


Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States to face government spyIng and hackIng charges, a British judge decided.

the decision It was pronounced In the central crimInal court by the district judge, Vanessa Barrister.

She said the WikiLeaks founder is likely beIng held In solitary confInement In a supposedly maximum prison In the United States and that the procedures outlIned by the US authorities would not prevent him from fIndIng a way to kill himself.

” I fInd that Mr. Assange’s mental condition is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” the judge said. Lawyers for the US authorities have 15 days to appeal.

His decision, focused on Assange’s health, came after he shot down argument after argument made last year by Assange’s lawyers. SendIng him to the United States would not violate an extradition ban for “political crimes,” he said, and he had no reason to doubt that “the usual constitutional and procedural protections” would apply to a trial he might face In the United States.

But he accepted evidence from leadIng medical experts, IncludIng details of how Assange had suffered from depression while In prison In London. ” The overall impression is that of a depressed and sometimes desperate man who is really depressed about his future,” Barrister said.

The case agaInst the 49-year-old man relates to WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the wars In Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as diplomatic cables, In 2010 and 2011.

Prosecutors say Assange helped US defense analyst Chelsea MannIng violate the US Espionage Act, was complicit In computer hackIng by others and published classified Information that put Informants In danger.

Assange denies conspirIng with MannIng to crack an encrypted password on American computers and says there is no evidence that anyone’s security has been compromised. His lawyers argue that the Indictment is politically motivated and that he is beIng pursued because WikiLeaks published US government documents that revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses.

Over the weekend, Assange’s partner had said the decision to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder to the United States would be “politically and legally disastrous for the United KIngdom.”

Stella Moris, who has two children with Assange, said the decision to allow the extradition would be an “unthInkable travesty,” addIng an article published by the Mail on Sunday that would rewrite the rules of what was allowed to publish In BritaIn.

” Overnight, an open and free debate on the abuses of our own government and also of many foreigners would chill.”

Chronology

Julian Assange extradition battle

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WikiLeaks publishes around 470,000 classified military documents on US diplomacy and the wars In Afghanistan and Iraq. It later publishes an additional stretch of more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables.

A Swedish prosecutor issues a European arrest warrant agaInst Assange on sexual assault charges InvolvIng two Swedish women. Assange denies the claims.

A British judge rules that Assange can be extradited to Sweden. Assange fears that Sweden will hand him over to US authorities who could prosecute him.

Assange is questioned In a two-day Interview about the accusations at the Ecuadorian embassy by the Swedish authorities.

BritaIn rejects Ecuador’s request to grant Assange diplomatic status, which would allow him to leave the embassy without beIng arrested.

Police arrest Assange at the embassy on behalf of the United States after his asylum was removed. The United States charges him with “a federal count of conspiracy to commit a computer Intrusion by accessIng to decipher a password of a classified computer of the United States government.”

Assange’s extradition hearIng begIns at Woolwich Crown Court In south-east London. After a week of openIng arguments, the extradition case will be postponed until May. Further delays are caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

A hearIng scheduled for four weeks begIns at the Old Bailey and the US government is expected to make its case that Assange tried to recruit hackers to fInd classified government Information. If the courts approve the extradition, the British government will still have the last word.

Judge Vanessa Barrister adjourns the case.

Stella Moris urges Donald Trump to pardon Assange before he leaves office.

A British judge rules that Assange cannot be extradited to the United States. The United States has 15 days to appeal the sentence.

Over the course of hearIngs last year, Assange’s lawyers had called witnesses who told the court that WikiLeaks had played a vital role In exposIng revelations that exposed how the United States had conducted wars. In Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among them, the founder of the legal charity Reprieve, Clive Stafford-Smith, said that “serious violations of the law” such as the use of US drones for targeted attacks In Pakistan had come to light with the help of documents published by WikiLeaks. .

Daniel Goldberg, who leaked the Pentagon documents on the Vietnam War, had also defended Assange, sayIng he had acted In the public Interest and warned that he would not get a fair trial In the United States.

Assange has been detaIned In BritaIn sInce April 2019, when he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy In London, where he had taken refuge seven years earlier to avoid extradition to Sweden for a sexual assault case that was later dropped.

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www.theguardian.com

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