UK Judge Refuses to Extradite Julian Assange on Humanitarian Grounds [Update with Bail Denial]

Update: On Wednesday, Baraitser denied Assange bail while the US appeals based largely on the fact that he jumped bail the last time he was trying to avoid extradition. Assange’s team tried to make the case that COVID should get him released but provided Baraitser different numbers than the official ones.

UK judge Vanessa Baraitser has just released her ruling on Julian Assange’s extradition. While she found for the prosecution on all substantive legal issues, she found that Julian Assange was suicidal and extradition to what would almost certainly be confinement under Special Administrative Measures in the US would likely lead to his suicide.

Mr. Assange faces the bleak prospect of severely restrictive detention conditions designed to remove physical contact and reduce social interaction and contact with the outside world to a bare minimum. He faces these prospects as someone with a diagnosis of clinical depression and persistent thoughts of suicide. Whilst I found Professor Fazel’s approach to risk to be helpful, I accepted Professor Kopelman’s view that statistics and epidemiology take you only so far. As he puts it, whether the evaluation of risk is “high” or “very high” the risk is one which is “very real”.

Seventhly, notwithstanding the strong and constant support he receives from his family and friends, Mr. Assange has remained either severely or moderately clinically depressed throughout his detention at HMP Belmarsh. He has remained on an ACCT, the care planning process for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm, since his arrival at HMP Belmarsh, aside from a brief period at the end of December 2019. His prison medical notes record numerous occasions on which he had told the In-Reach prison psychologist, Dr. Corson, and other medical staff (for example a prison nurse) that he had suicidal or self-harming thoughts, felt despairing or hopeless and had made plans to end his life. He has made frequent requests for access to the prison’s Samaritans phone. On 5 May 2019, half of a razor blade was found in his cell, inside a cupboard and concealed under some underwear. Shortly after this, on 19 May 2019, an ACCT review stated that Mr. Assange was finding it hard to control the thoughts of self-harm and suicide. In the healthcare wing, concerns about his health and his suicidality led to a plan for him to be monitored with observations nocturnal checks. Mr. Assange is prescribed anti-depressants (citalopram and mirtazapine) and a low dose of quetiapine (used as an anti-depressant, mood stabiliser or anti-psychotic, with a mildly sedating effect in low doses). I accept that there are entries in the notes which indicate a much better mood and lighter spirits at times, however the overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future.

For all of these reasons I find that Mr. Assange’s risk of committing suicide, if an extradition order were to be made, to be substantial.


I am satisfied that, if he is subjected to the extreme conditions of SAMs, Mr. Assange’s mental health will deteriorate to the point where he will commit suicide with the “single minded determination” described by Dr. Deeley.

This outcome was always the most likely way Assange would be able to avoid extradition, and in many ways it is the most just. It means that the good things that Assange has done — in helping expose American human rights abuses — were also the reason he avoided extradition.

Unless I missed it, she has yet to rule whether she’ll let Assange out on bail while the US appeals.

Update: Assange’s lawyers will submit a bail application for him on Wednesday, and the US government has immediately asked for an appeal.

119 replies
  1. Chetnolian says:

    So I was wrong and misjudged District Judge Baraitser.

    It will be hard for the US to overturn this decision, based as it is on a judicial perception that the US system is not thought capable of preventing Assange from committing suicide. I have to say I hope Mr Biden’s DOJ, provided you don’t suffer a coup first, will just let it be now and allow him to drift into obscurity as he is clearly a broken man. Whether that is his fault or not I leave to others to consider.

    • emptywheel says:

      Her ruling is quite interesting on several counts. But it doesn’t rule out (arguably makes easier) a prosecution in the UK, if they were willing to do it. There was a delay before she came back to hear arguments on bail. I wonder if there’s something afoot.

      • Chetnolian says:

        Personally I doubt that there is the will to prosecute him here. Too difficult, potentially too embarrassing. It could be held in secret, and think of the fuss then. It might not have registered across the pond but there is quite an ongoing story about infiltration of activists of various stripe and danger by undercover cops who did such minor things as creating babies. The secrecy over this will, I predict, become of a higher order over the next few months. Another secrecy row they really do not need. If public, there is the potential for revelation of past British dirty tricks. And I am frankly not sure our securocrats think he did the UK, as distinct from the US, that much damage. Plus these days if it doesn’t say “Islamic fundamentalist” on it, it is hard for them to concentrate.

        • emptywheel says:

          Thanks. I’ve heard the same from someone else I trust. I certainly agree wrt these charges. Not sure I agree on Vault 7, including given the possibility that Vault 7 might be on somewhat different charges.

    • subtropolis says:

      Just as Mike Flynn has drifted off into obscurity? I find it difficult to imagine that he will just disappear, never to be heard from again. (Short of being murdered, of course.)

      As for bail, his previous stint holed up in the Ecuador embassy won’t be to his favour.

      I’ve just read that the Mexican President is offering him sanctuary.

  2. skua says:

    This ruling, that Britian’s major ally can’t be relied on to safeguard the mental health of a detainee, would have been unthinkable 30 years ago IMO. It is an example of how far justice has progressed.

    And at the same time Trump and BJ have conned their electors towards misery and inhumanity. Our societies are broadening in scope.

    • J R in WV says:

      Who in the blinking hell is “BJ” in your comment? Or did you mean JB as in Joe Biden? Who has in your view “has conned [his] electors towards misery and inhumanity.” ? Really? Joe Biden?

      Get real, please!

  3. Peterr says:

    According to the NYT, Assange’s team has yet to file the formal motion for bail while the case is being appealed.

    “Today, we are swept away by our joy at the fact that Julian will shorty be with us,” Craig Murray, a former British diplomat and rights activist who has been documenting the hearing, told reporters outside the courthouse, noting that Mr. Assange’s defense team would be requesting bail while the appeal was underway.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yes, as I updated, they will ask on Wednesday. They will no doubt also cite COVID, justifiably so, to get bail.

    • scribe says:

      Just the trial-court-level application of what pass for the juridical principles behind “living constitutionalism”, i.e., whatever the judge feels good about doing.

    • Desidero says:

      Maybe if he’s put in with the general population he won’t feel so lonely.
      Perhaps the USG could offer to have Pammie Lee Anderson check in on him here & there to make sure he’s “holding up”.
      I mean, not everyone suffers the deprivations of the Jeffrey Epstein suite with countless hours through the day to “consult” with and check out their attractive female counsel’s “briefs” in the lawyers chambers.
      PS – I wonder how suicidal Seth Rich’s family felt when WIkileaks & Fox ganged up against them with fake stories, after Seth’s unfortunate death?

      • AgainHead says:

        Mercy isn’t quid pro quo. That said, this is too much.

        Exactly on point w.r.t. Seth Rich and all the others’ lives harmed/risked by Assange’s actions. He reveled in risking, even harming others’ safety, physical, and mental well-being. They deserved better, and he definitely deserves worse. Remember, there are ACTUAL victims in this, and he’s NOT one of them. Concerns for them seem incredibly remote from any consideration in this matter.

        Also, _really_ tired of rich, white men claiming that they’re “too fragile for prison”, and getting away with it. Suicidal? I hear electroshock therapy works wonders, and most cells have outlets now. COVID? Why are his concerns more relevant than those of any other prisoner? His catching COVID would do no more harm than any other prisoner catching COVID (probably less, if he’s mopey — mopey, mopey hippo).

      • bmaz says:

        It is a shameless decision and makes a mockery of extradition law generally, and the UK-US treaty specifically. It is a joke. The judge is an embarrassment to law.

        • jerryy says:

          Perhaps the English are considering this as tit-for-tat regarding the rejected extradition request for Anne Sacoolas.

        • jerryy says:

          She was granted diplomatic immunity after the fact by the Trump administration. The High Court honored that long enough for her to get out of the country. That after the fact approach has roiled the country with officials there as high as Boris Johnson claiming malfeasance.

          Alternatively, there is the thought that once he was here, he could meet Jeffrey Epstein’s prison fate.

        • bmaz says:

          This is not correct. She either had it or she did not. It was asserted and the challenge thereto was rejected. The UK High Court did not overturn settled precedent as was done here as to a whiny candy ass non-diplomat.

          And there is no credible evidence Epstein was other than a suicide. So, I call bullshit on the characterization that his “prison fate” was otherwise. I have been to many dozens of jail and prison facilities, and it turns out that suicide is more common than people think.

        • jerryy says:

          There is disagreement about that on part of the English:

          this also looks like a case of do as I say, not as I do:

          Suicide in prison is common, and attempts to stop it do not go far enough, as evidenced by the Jeffrey Epstein example. How Chelsea Manning fared is also evidence to consider. Adrian Lamo as well. As there are others. So sending someone to meet that Commonly Happening Fate is something that is considered in these requests.

        • bmaz says:

          This is complete horse manure. The UK “High Court” ruled as it did little more than a month ago. There is no “disagreement” unless or until a different appellate decision is rendered.

          So, unless this ignorant judge is going to release every defendant in the UK, and come represent all the incarcerated defendants in the US, she should shut up.

        • jerryy says:

          Are you also in favor of ending the US State Department program of granting asylum to people from governments we consider wrong, regardless of the publicly stated reason?

          Many places refuse to extradite to other places that have direct or indirect death penalty laws in place. This is a recognized right under various international treaties regarding human rights.

        • timbo says:

          What exactly are you arguing here then? The judge no doubt was considering the failure of the US Federal system in Epstein’s case when denying extradition of Assange to the US…

        • emptywheel says:

          Have you read the ruling? It’s actually quite good. She just rightly didn’t believe US assurances that Assange MIGHT not be in SAMs and took the psych testimony seriously. Nothing wrong with that.

        • bmaz says:

          The “psych testimony” I saw reports of was fucking quackery. And it is NOT the province for a UK judge to determine what potential detention protocols “must” be, absent a DP allegation. There is everything wrong with this.

        • emptywheel says:

          Pretty clear you haven’t read the opinion. You argue for judicial independence and judgment ALL THE TIME. That’s what this is.

        • bmaz says:

          This is complete horseshit. And, yes, I do argue for judicial independence in their judgment all the time. But not abrogation of law.

        • bmaz says:

          Golly, El Chapo also thought US BOP conditions harsh too, should his extradition also have been denied because of his little fee fees?

        • emptywheel says:

          Under AMLO it would be.

          You can’t ask for what was a really well argued decision otherwise that also applies reasonable judgment to relevant precedent and (EU) law w/o accepting both.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          It doesn’t seem like both are accepted, though. It seems like one was given the heave ho. And the other was accepted. So much for my feelings about justice, though…

        • Manuel Gonzalez says:

          AMLO announced today that his Secretary of State will be officially notifying UK of Mexico’s offer of political asylum to Assange.

        • Adams says:

          1.) Your outrage is palpable. Outrage impairs judgement. You are impaired.

          2. Invoking the “rule of law” against prosecutorial and/or judicial “independence and judgement” is ludicrous.

          3. You are correct that Baraitser found a way around the facts and the law. OTOH, the argument pointing out abuse of prisoners in US detention at all levels (not to mention torture, extrajudicial assassination, etc.) is strong, which makes a mockery of the ”rule of law.”

          4. This decision does nothing to resolve larger issues, such as press freedom. Take a little comfort in denial of bail and get over it.

        • bmaz says:

          Thank you for your continued support. From appearances, you would not know the rule of law if it bit you in your ass. Also, get lost.

    • BobCon says:

      Are there grounds for the US to appeal/reapply if they promise to address the issues of his confinement?

      I think I’d feel more comfortable if her objection was based less on mental health issues and more on objections to the US penal system, but that may be beyond what a judge can address and need to involve legislation.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, they can appeal anyway. The “prison conditions” argument is complete bullshit. An argument that Assange also made about UK confinement.

        • BobCon says:

          I think one of the many unfortunate side effects of Trump’s vicious treatment of immigration and asylum system detainees is an increased reluctance to extradite to the US, at least by some countries.

          I realize those are separate tracks, but it must affect the willingness of some foreign judges to trust our prisons and jails when they know what ICE has done to little kids.

          Obviously judges should take a careful and limited view of external factors, but it’s not helpful how our incarceration system is so messed up in so many ways.

        • e.a.f. says:

          good point. The U.S.A. simply can no longer, in my opinion, be trusted to “do the right thing” in a lot of things. Good on the Judge for not wanting to send Assange to the U.S.A.

          Not many countries have a decent prison system, but the system the U.S.A. has in their “special” prisons, are simply in human and no one ought to be subjected to those conditions. Manning didn’t fare so well in that system and it is doubtfully any one has The system couldn’t prevent Epstein from suicide.

          A country which believes in treating prisons like humans would not send that person to the U.S.A.

          Canada is stuck with Ms. Meng and her extradition hearing. At least she is out on bail, but again she also would be subject to in human conditions, given that Trump only wanted her as a “trading coin”.

          The Judges decision is an indictment of the American prison system and their deterioration as a country and the deterioration of their human rights safe guards.

          The U.S.A. is in the middle of a medical crisis. It is doubtful any prison in the U.S.A. has a decent mental health system at this time, given how many people in the U.S.A. are suffering from mental health issues because of COVID. You don’t send any one to those types of conditions. Lets not forget the American prison system has some really bad medical conditions to begin with. they made documentaries about them. who the hell would want to send a suicidal person into that system.

          bmaz, you may be of the opinion this was a bad decision, and I, as a non lawyer, am not in your league when it comes to making legal arguments in this area. The law maybe the law, but then American law permits the state to murder people and call it legal execution. Sending Assange to the U.S.A. and him killing himself would be a form of execution. Whatever he has done, he didn’t kill any one, he didn’t try to subvert democracy, he was trying to “open the doors and windows”. He doesn’t deserve to die for his actions.

          I wouldn’t send any one to the U.S.A. This is the country which put little kids in what amounted to as concentration camps, after separating them from their parents.

          It may or may not be a bad legal decision, but it was the humane thing to do. Good on the Judge.

          Don’t particularly like Assange and his organization for some of what he did, but over all, he is way better than those murdering former “black water” boys, who just got pardoned by Trump.

          Now it may be argued some of my points have nothing to do with the topic at hand, but from my perspective the American legal and prison system right now are not up to snuff. Let Assange out of jail and leave him alone. While we’re on the topic, o.k. we’re not, they ought to let Snowden come home and leave him alone also.

        • AgainHead says:

          “…he didn’t try to subvert democracy…”

          Seems to me he was willingly complicit, even eager taking actions which were later shown to do EXACTLY that.

  4. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    So if you want to crime in the US and get away with it, fly to Britain for the rainy season and get a bunch of sympathetic journalists to document your depression. This is the lesson this case has taught me.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, that is pretty much it exactly.

      “Jail/prison sounds nasty, it would be hard on me!” “Oh, okay, I respect your deep feelings on this enough that the court is going to ignore the facts and law. Cheerio!”

      What an absolute load of nonsense. No criminal defendant relishes being in the slam. Are they all free to whine like candy ass babies and avoid extradition now? This is such a load of shit.

        • bmaz says:

          Welp, I have had a few fires going this morning, but I skimmed it (132 pages!) well enough. It pretty much confirms every argument against Assange and then says because he is a well supported by others whiny piece of shit, he is AOKAY. It is embarrassing for UK courts.

        • Chetnolian says:

          From my point of view it is a pretty damning embarrassment for the USA. She says, having fully supported all the US legal arguments for extradition, that the US prison regime as it would apply to Assange is so oppressive that he would be treated worse than in HMP Belmarsh. Now I do recognise that in your world anyone not American can’t have a valid professional opinion, but Judge Baraitser has obviously read the expert evidence, written and oral, pretty carefully, and that’s her opinion, which under the law she is entitled to have. A tiny, tiny bit of respect would be nice.

          By the way the positive reference to Belmarsh makes me think bail is unlikely. She might even argue that in his fragile mental state he is in the best hands there.

        • PeterS says:

          Yes, isn’t this what we want from the judiciary? Consider all the evidence, including expert testimony, and issue a reasoned and detailed judgement. The judge is not a political appointee and deserves some respect.

        • bmaz says:

          No. It is not. The decision is embarrassing to all of international law, much less extradition law, and especially for what is left of the UK.

        • timbo says:

          In what ways specifically? We’re not all up on the abstract nature of your arguments here… hence the sympathy for the judge’s ruling…

        • e.a.f. says:

          In my opinion, its a good start towards changing international law when it comes to extradition. Just have a look at the Meng case, with Trump wanting Ms. Meng in the U.S.A. and Canada having to go through this farce of a trial.
          Not only could the U.S.A. not provide decent programs for his mental health in the U.S.A. they couldn’t even protect him if some one wanted to kill him in jail, if he were to be placed in the general population as one commenter suggested. the number of people killing themselves in American jails has increased by 500% in the past 40 years–the guardian had that little number up.

        • bmaz says:

          In my opinion, that is done by negotiated treaty by the respective state parties, not some single judge painting outside the lines. Just because some people cheer a single decision, is not the basis for deciding anything. This decision is a joke.

          Will your hypothetical next client get this level of bullshit consideration, or is Assange specially pleading?

          It is a rhetorical question. Comment sections and Twitter are not the law. What you fleetingly cheer today may be absolutely horrible tomorrow. This is the problem. Think before you blink.

        • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

          This is what really irks me – Assange is getting special treatment that the next poor sop without his level of privilege won’t be granted.

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    Maybe Donald will join Julian in the UK and reminisce about the good old days:

    “Donald Trump could be planning Turnberry trip as Scots airport told to expect a high-flyer the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration” – The Sunday Post, Jan. 3, 2021

    “Where will Trump go if he quits the US?” – POLITICO, Oct. 27, 2020

    • BobCon says:

      Short of imminent arrest, he is not moving out of the US. I doubt he could even stand moving away from the East Coast. Obama could happily move to Chicago, Bush is content in Texas, Carter was glad to go to Georgia. Trump despises the world outside his bubble, even if he could live in Edinburgh Castle or the Doges Palace.

      • Chetnolian says:

        Prestwick has a pretty active aviation fraternity around it as it has the national Air Traffic Control Centre alongside, so there is some “there” there. The new Scottish lockdown from midnight today would complicate even the journey to Turnberry. Here is a thought. Does an ex-POTUS have diplomatic immunity or can it come and go at random like Ann Sacoolas’s?

        • Peterr says:

          He does until noon on January 20, 2021. Then – Poof! – it goes away.

          Diplomatic immunity might get him *into* Scotland without all the pesky worries about the lockdown orders, but he’d have to abide by the 10 day self-isolation requirement.

          Something tells me that Trump would be worse during a lockdown than Dominic Cummings.

        • timbo says:

          “Diplomatic immunity” ceases to exist once he’s no longer in office and has no recognized credentials.

        • Raven Eye says:

          We’d have to see what kind of passports other former presidents are carrying (plural), as well as other documents.

          I know someone who would know, but I’d never dare ask him. Some things you just don’t ask friends.

        • Raven Eye says:

          Typed too soon. It looks like former presidents have a diplomatic passport for life, though a reissued one that identifies them as a former president. That “former” will stick in Trump’s craw.

        • timbo says:

          So former Presidents are by law or by tradition treated in this way? Nixon had such a passport after he resigned?

        • timbo says:

          I hasten to add that such passports are meaningless if the ICC decides to take a hand in matters. Note that Trump would make a good test case now that he’s pardoned war criminals as if they’d done nothing wrong…

        • Raven Eye says:

          Do the numbers on that and figure out who would gain in the long run — in moderately concrete terms. We’ll see if Trump’s tea kettle keeps whistling.

      • Bruce Olsen says:

        “Short of imminent arrest, he is not moving out of the US.”

        Trump knows arrest is coming, even if not at 12:01 PM on the 20th. He knows he needs to take some kind of action, and being proactive lets Trump control his narrative and his base. He can make up some bullshit about the deep state chasing him out even though he won the election, then later coming after him with fake lawsuits that are too weak to touch him. To do that he needs to start on 1/20.

        And Trump is worth more to Putin as a defector than as a fugitive from justice, so Putin will try to force Trump’s decision with T&Cs that expire if Trump becomes a fugitive from justice. It’s how he maintains leverage over Trump (plus whatever he said to Trump in Helsinki).

        And what does he have holding him in the US? Not NYC, lifelong home; they’re about to indict him and he obviously moved to Florida to set up an extradition speed bump. Palm Beach won’t let him live at the club or even use his helipad there after he’s out of office.

        And he did telegraph it, so there’s that.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Thanks for the link, SL. No surprise that ex-POTUS would violate UK Covid protocols–that’s his metier, insofar as he has one. But I don’t understand how he can commandeer Air Force One on the day it becomes Biden’s. While I would love to see a Trump exit flight get intercepted for the purpose of recovering US government property, for that very reason (optics) I can’t imagine him trying it.

      • Raven Eye says:

        Air Force One is not a single airplane. It is the ID of the particular airplane carrying the President. A number of different Special Air Mission (SAM) aircraft could perform that movement, depending upon the requirements of the mission.

        Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Nixon’s resignation take effect when Ford finished the oath office whilst the plane was actually in the air — southwest of Jefferson City, MO? At that point the aircraft’s call changed.

        • bmaz says:

          Can’t confirm that one time….but, yes, if POTUS changes, so does the AF1 designator. If VPOTUS, or FLOTUS, is on the normal POTUS plane, without POTUS, it is not AF1.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yes, Raven Eye, I know that Airforce One denotes a fleet. I was questioning Trump’s access to any of it as of 20 January at high (or, for him, low) noon. As I recall, Nixon’s escape helicopter was not AF1, but Nixon departed under somewhat different circumstances.

      • subtropolis says:

        The flight is expected on the 19th, and it’s not any of the aircraft designated as Air Force One; it’s a 757 that is occasionally used for the first spouse or the VP.

    • N.E. Brigand says:

      One argument being made (as for example by Brad Heath) about why Trump’s call with Raffensberger might not be a crime is that Trump may lack the mental capacity to know that the claims of election fraud that he’s citing are fabricated.

      I wonder if a UK judge would rule the Trump wasn’t mentally fit to be extradited back to the US.

    • subtropolis says:

      I saw that, too. I’m unfamiliar with the Sunday Post, although I have no reason to question the sources.

      I do take issue with the notion that he plans to shack up at his golf course, though. My money would be on a late night flight to Saint Petersburg or Moscow.

      • e.a.f. says:

        Nope, he won’t go to Russia. Putin might have him killed. He is no longer of any use to Putin and Putin has other business now. Putin demands money from the oligarchs and Trump doesn’t have enough, Trump may be described as an idiot and crazy but he is not stupid enough to place himself in Russia at Putin’s mercy because Putin doesn’t have any. You can also bet Ms. Trump won’t accompany hubby to Russia either. she and the child would remain in the U.S.A. living quietly.

      • Lawnboy says:

        Re: Turnberry

        Close but no cigar. My money is on a quick trip over to Findhorn! Yup. There are Gnomes there that might believe in the grift, if anyone in the world would.
        Hey, he might become there leader , there’s hope.

        Please feel free to check out the miracles of Findhorn, Scotland 70 lbs cabbages etc, honest.

        They dont call me lawnboy for nothing.

  6. graham firchlis says:

    Expect a pandemic outbreak of SADS21 amongst all those in UK custody.

    Bit of a slog, 400+ pages of a ruling in which the judge absolutely shreds all claims by the defense regarding appropriateness of the charges against Assange. How it follows that her ruling “…means that the good things Assange has done..
    were also the reason he avoided extradition” as Marcy suggests, is unclear to me. Unrelated mitigating acts should go to sentencing, not to guilt.

    The judge made clear, expressly and repeatedly, that Assange was chargeable under UK laws for his acts so we’ll see. The High Court ruling may take months, and then it will fall to a political decision influenced by pressure from multiple IC forces.

    I continue to hold that Assange, if he survives appeal and is not charged in the UK, will be swiftly deported to Australia where he will be subject to another US extradition attempt as well as domestic prosecution under Australian terrorism laws.

    He has no significant political support at home, while every government since the mid-90s has described him as a criminal. (Anyone holding he has Australian supporters with meaningful political influence, please provide names not vague claims.)

    This ruling rests on the slenderest of reeds, and in no way expiates Assange’s criminal exposure. He has a long, long walk ahead to any sort of freedom. Celebrations are premature.

    • skua says:

      Yes. The Australian mainstream political parties are fully aware of where their noses need to lodge with respect to the alliance with the USA. From allowing G.W.B. to address their parliament, through not objecting to the torture of an Australian citizen in Gitmo, to the current PM Scott Morrison (prosperity gospel neoliberalist) accepting the USA Legion of Merit from DJT in Dec 2020, these politicians are utterly compliant.
      Assange might find succour in NZ, a 5Eyes nation which has successfully told the US to take their nuclear weapons elsewhere, and where Kim DotCom remains despite the (non-lethal) efforts of US and NZ intelligence forces.

  7. P J Evans says:

    I saw a tweet by someone named Trevor Timms, saying that no one had anticipated this ruling. I sent back that *you* had.

  8. viget says:

    Welp, there goes that. If no extradition, does the DOJ have to dismiss the indictment, or can it still stand? Pretty sure there are co-conspirators that have yet to be charged.

    But, probably Assange will walk, until some “accident” befalls him, I’m sure. Gotta clean up the evidence.

    • madwand says:

      “But, probably Assange will walk, until some “accident” befalls him, I’m sure. Gotta clean up the evidence.”

      That’s my thought.

    • subtropolis says:

      There’s no reason at all to dismiss the indictment. All this means is that the UK will refuse to play along. Those Russians who were found to be involved with the DNC hack and election shenanigans remain under indictment, though Russia will never agree to extraditing them.

  9. Yancy says:

    The UK has had little confidence in the US ability to ensure the emotional and physical well-being of incarcerated inmates, especially those suffering from
    🔻thoughts of suicide
    🔻“autism” or on the spectrum, particularly Asperger’s.

    This trend seems to be more likely an indictment of the whole US judicial and penal systems than world leaders’ opinions of Trump. (But I’m not a legal or international affairs expert.)

    **Lauri Love** extradition overturned by Theresa May when she held the position of Home Secretary in 2018.

    **Gary McKinnon** – extradition to US overturned in 2008. Decision based on concern he would not be given appropriate mental health treated for his various mental health and emotional problems.

    (Apologies if I’m teaching a Culinary Institute of America master baking class “How to Toast a Pop-Tart.” I didn’t see McKinnon or Love mentioned the post or comments.)

    • bmaz says:

      What a load of shit. I honestly do not give a flying fuck what the UK “confidence” is in the US judicial and penal systems. That is not their place. The UK has their own issues of ignorance to deal with before worrying about ours. And if your personal little “pop tarts” of Love and McKinnon were not as front and center as you wanted, that is just too freaking bad; we are not here to serve you.

      And, by the way, Marcy has relentlessly referred to Lauri Love. Wrongly in my opinion, the relevant facts are far distinguishable (and may not have been correct even as applied there), but for you to here blithely whine about not enough reference is beyond absurd.

      • PeterS says:

        I get that you disapprove of the decision but I don’t understand what you mean by “that is not their (the UK’s) place”.

        For example, the CPS website says “if the judge finds that extradition would not be compatible with the requested person’s human rights, he cannot order that person’s extradition and must discharge them. Common challenges include …. prison conditions in the requesting state”.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          And would the prison conditions here be compatible with the human rights of any of the Trumps or their cronies? Or would they be better off in the UK? Maybe the UK could build a big beautiful prison for the lot of them.

        • PeterS says:

          Unless you are arguing that the UK should NOT consider the prison conditions in the requesting state (wherever that might be), then you are missing the point of my comment.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          I think presumptuous assumptions have been made and then situational ethics were applied.

  10. smith says:

    I wonder if UK’s reference to Assange may suicide in US prisons is a reference to the questionable “suicide” of Jeffery Epstein in US prison. There seemed to be a lot of things that all failed at the same time allowing Epstein to suicide with no video and no one accountable for keeping him alive. Seems like Assange might be someone Trump might not want to be able to talk.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named some variant of “smith.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there. This is not some random subreddit forum. You have something tangible to establish Epstein was other than a suicide? No, I know you do not. Thanks for your first foray here.

    • PeterS says:

      Do you mean, did the British Judge think Epstein was killed in prison and thought that Trump would have Assange killed as well? Er, no.

      • smith says:

        I have no tangible evidence, but the similarities between the two situations and both their possible knowledge to Trump criminality in two different but equally damaging situations is there. The talk of suicide for both in US prison, under Trump’s watch sewed it all together.

        • bmaz says:

          Bullshit. Again, your evidence to “question” the only independent medical examiner in the case, the NYC one, Barbara Sampson, is what?

Comments are closed.