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Assange cannot be extradited to US, British court rules

LONDON 

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to the US, a British court ruled Monday after a months-long case.

The Central Criminal Court or otherwise known as the Old Bailey delivered its judgement and said Assange cannot be extradited because of concerns over his mental health.

 

"The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man fearful for his future," Judge Vanessa Baraitser said.

The US government will have 14 days to appeal the decision.

Assange would face 18 counts of hacking the US government computers and violating the espionage law if he was to be extradited to the US and a potential prison sentence of 175 years.

The US is accusing Assange of espionage after WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of pages of government documents, emails, and other communications, including the US troops’ war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq wars in 2010 and 2011.

 

Prosecutors argue that Assange assisted defense analyst Chelsea Manning, but the 49-year-old WikiLeaks co-founder denied the allegations.

He was dragged out of Ecuador’s embassy building in London in 2019, where he took refuge for more than seven years.

The British police said he was arrested for skipping his bail in 2012 and on behalf of the US due to an extradition warrant.

Later, he was found guilty of breaking his bail terms in 2012 after failing to surrender to security services by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court and given a 50-week prison term.

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