National Post (Latest Edition)

Judge refuses to extradite Assange to U. S.

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A British judge ruled on Monday that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.

U. S. prosecutor­s are set to appeal the decision to London’s High Court.

The U. S. authoritie­s accuse Assange of 18 offences relating to the release by Wikileaks of confidenti­al U. S. military records and diplomatic cables that they say put lives in danger.

Assange’s lawyers will seek bail on Wednesday for their 49-year-old client, who has spent most of the past decade either in prison or self-imposed confinemen­t.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange suffered at times from severe depression and had been diagnosed with autism. Half a razor blade was found in his London prison cell in May 2019, and he had told medical staff of suicidal thoughts and made plans to end his life.

Assange showed little emotion at the ruling.

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