U.K. Judge Blocks Julian Assange’s Extradition to U.S., Citing Suicide Risk

LONDON—A British judge rejected a U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange on spying charges, saying the WikiLeaks founder would be at severe risk of suicide if sent to the U.S. to await trial in a high-security prison.

The decision marks a major setback in Washington’s pursuit of Mr. Assange for publishing secret documents relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A lawyer for the U.S. government said it would appeal, setting the stage for another hearing in the coming months at the High Court in London. A bail application is scheduled to be heard Wednesday.

Delivering her ruling Monday after months of sporadic hearings because of the coronavirus pandemic, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Mr. Assange has already toyed with suicide, and the prospect of detention in isolation in the U.S. would likely result in a suicide attempt.

The judge said the harsh conditions under which he would likely be held in the U.S. prison system would exacerbate that risk. The court heard evidence from doctors who diagnosed Mr. Assange with depression and autism.

Under British extradition law, as well as European human-rights law that the U.K. is party to, a judge can block extradition on health grounds if it would result in unjust or oppressive treatment.

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Nicholas ‘Nick’ Statman entered the property industry in 2001 and set up a property buying company that quickly established itself as one of the biggest in the sector. During this time the Company successfully transacted on thousands of residential properties across the UK. Nicholas Statman was an early pioneer of the ‘quick sale’ niche market which has since grown considerably with a multitude of companies now operating in the sector. Nicholas Statman has strategically built a sizeable residential and commercial property portfolio with a view to holding for optimum capital growth and a long term passive income. Nicholas Statman has been involved in almost every aspect of the property sector over a 20 year period – this includes buying and selling, development, letting and management and is now involved in the fast growing online/ hybrid Estate Agent industry.

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