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Julian Assange: British judge rejects US's request to extradite WikiLeaks founder

Julian Assange
Posted at 5:01 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 07:22:03-05

LONDON — 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.

U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked military and diplomatic documents a decade ago.

Lawyers for the 49-year-old Australian argue that he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment protections of freedom of speech.