London, January 4: WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange "cannot be extradited" to the United States, where he is facing charges under the stringent espionage law. The order was issued a UK district court, which has been hearing the trial against him over the past one year. The judicial authority cited Assange's "mental health concerns" against striking down the option to extradite him.
The ruling, which is expected to be welcomed by scores of human rights' activists and Assange supporters, was issued by judge Vanessa Baraitser, who presided over the bench at the central criminal court at Old Bailey. China Criticises President Donald Trump for His Suggestion That Beijing Is Behind Cyber Espionage Against US.
Over the past few weeks, demonstrations were organised in London by activists who marked their solidarity with Assange. By extraditing the 49-year-old, the British government will convey its support for America's "repression of press freedom", they argued.
Assange is wanted in the US for his role in accessing diplomatic cables and confidential information from government computers, between the period of 2010-11. The accessed information allowed his organisation, WikiLeaks, to expose the US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also highlight the role of US administration in overturning regimes in several parts of the world.
The US prosecutors, who have charged him under the Espionage Act, also claimed that he helped US defence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into government computers and access confidential details including the information related to informants of the American government in conflict areas.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 04, 2021 05:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).