Lawyers representing the United States position in the London High Court, which is considering the US appeal on the extradition of Julian Assange, presented to the court a number of guarantees for the safety and humane treatment of the founder of WikiLeaks should he be extradited to the United States.
Thursday is the second and, as expected, the last day of the hearing in the Assange case in a London court, the verdict of which will be announced at a later date. The US Department of Justice is seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that ruled that Assange could not be extradited to the United States due to his psychological condition.
Among the guarantees that the lawyers notified the court about, in particular, is the guarantee that special administrative measures will not be applied to Assange in an American prison – that is, he will have the right to visit and will not be placed in solitary confinement. The US authorities also promise that he will not be sent to the maximum security prison in Colorado, unless he commits further offenses. In addition, the US authorities agree that Assange, if a US court sentences him to imprisonment, served a sentence in Australiaof which he is a citizen.
Assange’s lawyers, as well as representatives of the human rights organization Amnesty International, rejected these guarantees. They call them insufficient and also indicate that the US reserves the right to withdraw them. Lawyers point out that earlier doctors stated that Assange’s psychological state is such that he could attempt suicide in case of extradition.
Assange himself took part in the hearing on Wednesday via video link from the prison.
In the United States, Assange has been charged with a total of 18 charges, including violation of espionage laws – in connection with the publication of secret documents by WikiLeaks from various American departments. The project also published documents allegedly obtained by Russian hackers as part of a campaign for Russian interference in the US presidential elections in 2016, but the accusations are not connected with this episode. In the United States, the founder of WikiLeaks may face a virtually life sentence – more than 100 years in prison.
- The WikiLeaks founder took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, fearing his extradition to Sweden. Sweden subsequently dropped the charges against him, but the United States began to demand extradition. In 2019, Ecuador stripped Assange of asylum and was arrested by the British authorities. Since then, he has been in prison, and the court is considering the case for his extradition. In the first instance, the case ended in his favor.