USA won this Friday, December 10, an appeal before the London Court of Appeal against a ruling of last January that had denied the extradition of the WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange to that country due to suicide risk.
The judges of this court have concluded that the United States Government has offered sufficient guarantees that Assange will get the right treatment to protect his mental health and dictated that he can be extradited.
Magistrate Timothy Holroyde indicated that the case will now be returned to the first instance judge Vanessa Baraitser -who denied delivery on January 4- so that she may in turn refer it to the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, so that she can order extradition.
Holroyde further arranged that the 50-year-old WikiLeaks founder will remain in custody in London’s Belmarsh High Security Prison, where he is serving preventive detention until the end of this process, which can still be appealed by the defense.
In the ruling, signed by Holroyde and his colleague Ian Burnett -who could not be present at the brief hearing today-, the judges consider that Baraitser, of the Westminster Magistrates CourtHe had to inform the US Justice in advance that he intended to block the extradition so that he could already present guarantees on the prison regime that would be applied to the accused.
In any case, the guarantees that Washington subsequently presented to the Court of Appeal “are sufficient,” say the magistrates, who reject the defense’s criticism.
What will happen when Assange is extradited?
During the trial on October 27 and 28, prosecutor James Lewis, representing the United States Justice, guaranteed that, if extradited, the journalist will not be subjected to “special administrative measures” (SAM, in English), such as being banned from visits or correspondence, neither before the trial nor if he were convicted, nor would he enter the ADX Florence jail – super maximum security – in Colorado, unless – he added – later he did something to deserve.
Furthermore, Washington promises that, while in custody, Assange would receive appropriate psychological treatment and, if convicted, you could serve it in your native Australia, according to information from the EFE agency.
The United States claims the Australian to judge him for 18 crimes of espionage and computer intrusion after the revelations of its WikiLeaks portal, which, among other things, exposed abuses of that country in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the defense, the charges, which it says can carry up to 175 years in prison, are politically motivated and, if they end in conviction, it would be a catastrophic precedent for press freedom.
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