“It’s only his fragile health that has saved him from extradition. The US arguments were all upheld. All journalists should be alarmed at the judgement”
A British judge on Monday rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying he was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions.
The U.S. government said it would appeal the decision. Assange’s lawyers said they would ask for his release from a London prison where he has been held for more than a 18 months at a bail hearing on Wednesday.
Assange, who sat quietly in the dock at London’s Central Criminal Court for the ruling, wiped his brow as the decision was announced. His partner Stella Moris, with whom he has two young sons, wept.
Outside court, Moris said the ruling was “the first step towards justice,” but it was not yet time to celebrate.
“I had hoped that today would be the day that Julian would come home,” she said. “Today is not that day, but that day will come soon.”
The ruling marks a dramatic moment in Assange’s years-long legal battles in Britain — though likely not its final chapter.
It’s unclear whether the incoming Biden administration will pursue the prosecution, initiated under President Donald Trump.