Promises by the U.S. government that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be subjected to harsh prison conditions if he is extradited are not trustworthy, Assange’s lawyer Aitor Martinez argued on Thursday.
The US Appeals UK Refusal To Extradite WikiLeaks Founder Assange
"We have no guarantees over what treatment the United States will give Assange since this country has violated previous agreements established for other extradition cases," Martinez stressed.
The U.S. government is seeking to overturn an earlier ruling by the London Criminal Court, which refused its request to extradite Assange over WikiLeak’s publication of leaked documents that exposed the U.S. military wrongdoing in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Assange is likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions,” U.K. Judge Vanessa Baraitser considered. U.S. prosecutors indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over the publication of military and diplomatic documents.
Although these charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison, the U.S. government’s lawyers claimed that Assange will not be held before trial in a top-security jail or subjected to strict isolation conditions in U.S. prisons.
They even assured that Assange will be allowed to serve his sentence in Australia if convicted. Martinez argued that these arguments are meaningless since Australia has not indicated its consent, and the process could take a decade or more.
“Assange did not commit any crime since he was acting as a journalist. In a different country and time, he would be considered a hero who told the truth about the dangers and evilness our world is facing,” British Labour Party’s former leader Jeremy Corbyn stated.