The judge dismissed claims that Assange was not going to get a fair trial in the United States, but blocked extradition for health reasons.
After being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had sought asylum for seven years, the Wikileaks co-founder was held at Belmarsh Prison in southeast London for 18 months. While previous bail appeals were rejected, his lawyers claimed his bail prospects were significantly improved on Wednesday by the legal victory in his fight against extradition to the U.S. on charges of surveillance and hacking. On Wednesday, Assange’s lawyers stressed new family relations here in Britain based around the two young children he fathered with his wife, Stella Moris.
Lawyers for the U.S. authorities have suggested that District Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales will appeal Monday’s extradition decision. Although denying concerns that Assange would not get a fair trial in the U.S., she blocked extradition on the grounds that prison protocols there would not deter him from possibly taking his own life. Supporters gathered before the bail application on Wednesday outside Westminster Magistrates Court in West London. In the meantime, the U.S. prosecutor who wants to prosecute Julian Assange in the U.S. said he was uncertain if the current White House administration of Joe Biden will proceed to pursue the extradition of the WikiLeaks co-founder. Zachary Terwilliger, the appointee of Donald Trump, made the remarks when it was revealed that he was stepping down as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens in this situation. There are going to be some choices that have to be made.
“Some of these are down to resources and where you’re going to concentrate your energy,” he told NPR.