A British district court judge has rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Assange was set to be put in a U.S. super-max jail for the rest of his life for charges under the Espionage Act.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser believes he would find a way to commit suicide. She also accepted that Assange was diagnosed with a “recurrent depressive disorder.” Although he functions at a high level, she accepted he was diagnosed with autism as well. reports Popular Resistance.
“I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate causing him to commit suicide with the ‘single minded determination’ of his autism spectrum disorder. I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” Baraitser said.
While this is a huge victory for Assange and for those who , some believe this win comes at a cost:
Judge’s denial of extradition of Julian Assange is a very welcome moment. Sadly, his reprieve comes not because of the many, many principled arguments against the US extradition case – all of which were rejected by the judge – but because Assange is considered a suicide risk— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) January 4, 2021
According to CNN, the U.S. said it would appeal against the decision and asked for the WikiLeaks founder to be remanded in custody while that process was ongoing.
“While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised. In particular, the court rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding political motivation, political offense, fair trial, and freedom of speech,” says Marc Raimondi, acting director of Public Affairs for the US Department of Justice.