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WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to the United States. A UK Judge confirmed the rulings.
Assange on Monday won his legal battle to prevent being extradited from the UK to face charges of espionage. British Judge Vanessa Baraitser decided he’d likely commit suicide if he were sent to the United States.
The United States Government announced that it would appeal its decision after the rules would be ‘oppressive’ to extradite the 49-year-old Australian due to his mental health, facing up to 175 years in prison for allegedly hacking U.S. Government computers.
“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 offence, fair trial, and freedom of speech,” a spokesman from the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
The extradition will continue to be sought by the DOJ according to the spokesman.
Lawyers of Assange said they would be urging for his release from a London prison during a bail hearing set for Wednesday.
Assange has been in custody in the UK since April of 2019 after being arrested when he was removed from his safe-haven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Seventeen espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publications containing leaked military and diplomatic documents a decade ago were laid.
Assange’s lawyers say he was acting as a Journalist and was entitled to his First Amendment protections of freedom of speech for making the publications of the leaked documents military documents exposing wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.