Julian Assange loses extradition bail bid

By Dominic Casciani
Home and legal correspondent

Publishedduration8 minutes agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightPA Mediaimage captionCampaign placards outside Westminster Magistrates Court

Julian Assange will remain in jail as he continues to fight against extradition to the USA.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said there were substantial grounds to believe he would abscond.

On Monday, she ruled the Wikileaks founder cannot be extradited to the USA because he might kill himself.

The USA is now appealing that decision – and had opposed releasing the 49-year-old from a maximum security prison before the case is heard.

Mr Assange, who was wearing a dark suit and face mask, was not seen to react to the decision at Westminster Magistrates Court.

He's been held in prison since 2019, after hiding for seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition.

US prosecutors want to put him on trial for hacking and disclosing classified information – including the identities of informants who were helping intelligence agencies in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

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In her ruling, DJ Baraitser said Mr Assange still had the incentive to abscond.

"He is willing to flout the order of this court," she said. "As a matter of fairness, the US must be allowed to challenge my decision and if Mr Assange absconds during this process they will lose the opportunity to do so."

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