A court in London on Monday, January 4, rejected the U.S. demand for the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. This decision may be appealed by the lawyers of the American side.
According to the BBC, the decision was made in connection with the journalist’s mental health problems. Judge of the Westminster Magistrates Court Vanessa Baritser explained that the accused has symptoms of depression and suicidal tendencies.
“The general impression is that he appears to be a depressed, desperate man who fears for his future,” the judge noted.
Earlier Monday, it was reported that Assange supporters became involved in protests in front of the court in Britain and the United States. People held a rally in New York. Dozens of fans of the journalist gathered outside the British consulate. Demonstrators demanded to release the founder of WikiLeaks. Some British trade unions came out in support of Assange.
In 2019, Washington charged Assange with 18 counts, including violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to hack into a government computer. The journalist faces 175 years in prison.
Assange is currently in a London prison, where he was taken after being extradited to authorities by the Ecuadorian embassy. The journalist has been hiding there since 2012.
Former U.S. intelligence agent Edward Snowden, U.S. congressman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, actress Pamela Anderson and others have spoken with a request for clemency for the accused.