September 18, 2021

British judge upholds US appeal in Assange’s extradition case

A British judge on Wednesday gave the US government additional grounds for appealing for refusal to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, arguing that the initial decision relied on a witness who misled the court.

District Judge Vanessa Barrier refused in January to file a lawsuit in the United States against Assange for spying for Assange, saying he was in serious danger of committing suicide.

Assange supporters
Assange supporters protest in London ahead of first extradition hearing Photo: AFPTV / Caroline Brenner

But Claire Dobbins, a lawyer representing the US government, said the judge did not appreciate the weight of the expert’s evidence, which concluded that Assange was not at risk of suicide.

Instead, the judge relied on evidence presented by Assange’s psychologist Michael Koppelman, Dobbins told the London High Court.

He said Koppelman had confessed to misleading the court that his client had given birth to children in hiding at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange supporters
A lower court judge ruled against his extradition to the United States – but kept him in custody until appeal Photo: AFP / Justin Talis

“He really needed to ask why he was willing to be misled,” Dobbins told judges Timothy Halroid and Judith Farby during the initial appeal hearing.

“Experts are not allowed to mislead for any reason.”

Halleroid ruled that the U.S. claims provided him with two more grounds for appeal, a total of five.

Assange supporters
Dozens of Assange supporters gather outside royal courts in central London Photo: AFP / Justin Talis

He added that a full hearing in the case, which Assange’s supporters have seen as a key figure in press freedom, would take place on October 27 and 28.

Julian Assange
Veteran journalist John Plugger (in batch) was among those who came out in support of Assange. Photo: AFP / Justin Talis

By then, Assange had been remanded in custody.

Judge Barrister initially concluded that Assange’s mental health would deteriorate when he faced “difficult conditions” awaiting him in the US prison system, leading to his suicide. ۔

Assange, currently being held in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison, is wanted in the United States on 18 charges in connection with the 2010 release of 500,000 classified files by WikiLeaks detailing aspects of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Is.

Assange's fianc سٹیe Stella Morris.
Assange’s fiance Stella Morris called her plight a “nightmare”: Photo: AFP / Justin Talis

The 50-year-old Australian followed the trial via video link from prison, with long white hair and a colorless white shirt with a bandage around his neck.

Assange’s fiance and mother of two young children, Stella Morris, shed tears after the verdict was announced, saying she had been “in constant danger to her life for the past 10 years”.

“It’s not just the law, it’s our life. We have the right to be present and we have the right to live and we have the right to have this nightmare come to an end once and for all,” he told reporters. Let’s go. “

Meanwhile, Rebecca Vincent of Media Advocacy Group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said the United States was “catching the straw” with its appeal and urged President Joe Biden to release her.

“He (Assange) has been targeted for his involvement in public interest reporting. He should not be in this position,” he added after attending the hearing.

Dozens of Assange’s supporters, including Jeremy Corbyn, a former leader of the main opposition Labor Party, gathered outside the courthouse, some waving placards saying “free Assange” and “10 years is enough”.

“This is a mockery of freedom,” Mario Montella, a 58-year-old Colombian demonstrator dressed in the Statue of Liberty, drenched in fake blood, told AFP.

“He is a journalist whose only crime is to spread the world’s rotten, dirty business,” he added.

Washington claims Assange helped intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal 2010 documents.

Sweden first issued an arrest warrant for Assange on sexual assault charges in 2010. He sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he stayed from 2012 to 2019.

Despite obstacles to his extradition, Bright decided in January that Assange should remain in custody, with the United States appealing the decision.

Copyright AFP All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *