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The Standard Gazette
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UK Court Denies US Request To Extradite Julian Assange

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has rejected a request by the United States to extradite Julian Assange.

Judge Baraitser said on Monday at the Old Bailey that the Wikileaks founder would likely hurt himself if sent to the US.

Assange is facing 17 espionage charges and one computer misuse after Weakileaks leaked military and diplomatic document a decade ago.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in jail.

The US government has vowed to appeal the judgement.

Judge Baraitser said, “Faced with the conditions of near-total isolation without the protective factors which limited his risk at HMP Belmarsh, I am satisfied the procedures described by the US will not prevent Mr Assange from finding a way to commit suicide and for his reason, I have decided extradition would be oppressive by reason of mental harm and I order his discharge.”

Assange, 49, felt relief as he wiped his brow after the decision while his fiancee, Stella Morris wept as Weakileaks editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson hugged her.

The Wikileaks founder had spent seven years claiming asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange was accused of plotting with US defence analyst Chelsea Manning to breach Espionage Act in unlawfully obtaining materials, and publishing classified information that put the lives of US informants in danger, however, WikiLeaks founder denied.

Metro report quotes Kristinn Hrafnsson as saying that “The mere fact that this case has made it to court let alone gone on this long is a historic large-scale attack on freedom of speech.

The US Government should listen to the groundswell of support coming from the mainstream media editorials. NGO around the world such as Amnesty and Reporters Without Borders and the United Nations who are all calling for these charges to be dropped.

‘This is a fight that affects each and every person’s right to know and is being fought collectively.’

Assange has remained in custody ahead of a bail application which could be happen today.

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