UK judge refuses US extradition of WikiLeaks founder Assange

Posted at 4:14 AM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 19:55:08-05

LONDON (AP) — LONDON (AP) — A British judge has rejected a request by the United States to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange was likely to kill himself if sent to the U.S. and sending him into those conditions would be “oppressive” because of his mental health. 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 Assange argue he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment protections of freedom of speech.