WikiLeaks founder denied bail by London court


Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England.

Jack Taylor | Getty Images

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by a London court.

The decision comes after a ruling on Monday said that the 49-year-old Australian cannot be extradited to the U.S.

“I am satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that if Mr Assange is released today he would fail to surrender to court to face the appeal proceedings,” Judge Vanessa Baraitser said, according to Reuters.

He is currently being held at HMP Belmarsh in southeast London for skipping bail on a previous occasion.

U.S. authorities want to charge Assange with espionage after he published hundreds of thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011.

Baraitser said Monday that extradition would be oppressive due to Assange’s mental health and warned that he could commit suicide.

“The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future,” Baraitser wrote in her ruling. “For all of these reasons I find that Mr. Assange’s risk of committing suicide, if an extradition order were to be made, to be substantial.”

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