UK Judge Refuses US Extradition of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange's precarious mental health would likely deteriorate further under the conditions of “near total isolation” he would face in a U.S. prison.

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This is a court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Julian Assange appearing at the Old Bailey in London for the ruling in his extradition case, in London, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. A British judge has rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying it would be “oppressive” because of his mental health. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange was likely to kill himself if sent to the U.S. The U.S. government said it would appeal the decision. (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Elizabeth Cook

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

LONDON (AP) — A British judge on Monday rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying he was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions. In a mixed ruling for Assange and his supporters, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected defense arguments that the 49-year-old Australian faces a politically motivated American prosecution that rides roughshod over free-speech protections. But she said Assange’s precarious mental…

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