Crime & Justice

US argues Assange is not ill enough to sidestep extradition

London, Aug 11 (EFE).- Australian journalist and founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange is not “so ill” that he would not resist commiting suicide if he is extradited to the United States, where he is wanted for alleged espionage charges, the US government argued on Wednesday at the London High Court.

The court held an appeal hearing presented by Washington authorities hoping to reverse a British court’s decision that Assange should not be sent to the US because of risk of suicide.

At the end of the hearing, justice Timothy Holroyde ruled that the appeal by the US will be heard on October 27 and 28 by the London High Court.

The 50-year-old Australian journalist appeared in court by videoconference from the high security prison of Belmarsh, east of London, where he remains imprisoned until the appeal is resolved.

US legal representative Clair Dobbin argued that the ruling to block extradition by justice Vanessa Braitser was too dependent on a report by doctor Michael Kopelman identifying Assange has severe depression.

Dobbin said that the US appeal will argue Assange is not “so ill” that he would not resist suicide in the case of being extradited to the US.

Assange has no history of self-harm and has never suffered from mental illness able to obstruct his judgement, she said.

She called for a new evaluation of Assange’s mental health, arguing that he had gone to “extraordinary lengths” to avoid extradition.

“He was willing to break the law and no cost was too great, both in terms of the cost of policing his being in the embassy (of Ecuador in London) and of course the cost to himself,” she said.

By the court’s entrance, Stella Moris, partner and mother of Assange’s two children, condemned the US government’s efforts to “arbitrarily prolong” his imprisonment.

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