Julian Assange is back in the news and no it’s not a pardon.
A British court ruled early Monday that Assange’s mental health was not in a condition to go through an extradition process back to the United States to stand a trial.
Assange faces up to 17 charges of espionage and one of “computer misuse” for publishing secret military documents that exposed wrongdoing of the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It’s speculated that Trump will pardon Assange but for now, it looks like he will stay in the UK for awhile.
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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the United States, a court in London has ruled.
The 49-year-old is wanted over the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011.https://t.co/O2n4ofW96J
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) January 4, 2021
Whatever the official arguments are, the decision not to extradite #Assange is historical for the right to information. It does not add an additional threat to investigative journalism. An extradition would have set a precedent. For those who defend him, it is a huge relief. pic.twitter.com/D7y7EwvJwm
— Christophe Deloire (@cdeloire) January 4, 2021
CNBC covered the breaking story and had this to say:
A British judge ruled on Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, one of the world’s most high-profile whistleblowers, will not be extradited to the U.S.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser said extradition would be oppressive due to Assange’s mental health.
“The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future,” Baraitser wrote in her ruling. “For all of these reasons I find that Mr. Assange’s risk of committing suicide, if an extradition order were to be made, to be substantial.”
The U.S. has reportedly said it will appeal the decision within the allocated two-week time frame.
Assange is wanted in the U.S. over the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010 and 2011. He is wanted on 18 charges, 17 of which fall under the U.S. Espionage Act.
Julian Assange will NOT be extradited to America. An excellent ruling by the British judge. Congratulations to all the dogged campaigners on Assange’s behalf. https://t.co/TBz7poH4Db
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) January 4, 2021
Breaking News: A British judge ruled against the extradition of Julian Assange to the U.S. over charges of violating the Espionage Act. https://t.co/WOY3WsPdAn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 4, 2021
CNN chipped in also:
A British judge has rejected a US request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to America, ruling that such a move would be “oppressive” by reason of his mental health.
The 49-year-old Australian has been charged in the US under the Espionage Act for his role in publishing classified military and diplomatic cables.
“I have decided that extradition would be oppressive and I order his discharge,” judge Vanessa Baraitser said in her ruling Monday.
Despite ruling that Assange would be afforded a “fair trial” in the event of extradition to the United States, the judge considered that the “special administrative measures” Assange would most likely be held in would have a severe negative impact on his mental health.
The US said it would appeal against the decision.
Where do you stand on Assange?
Do you see him as a hero who aired out some of the deep state’s dirty laundry or do you see him as a security threat?
Write your comments down below.