A British judge denies bail to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who has been jailed in Britain since 2019 as he fights extradition to the United States.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser orders Assange to remain in prison while the courts consider an appeal by US authorities against a decision not to extradite him.
On Monday, the judge rejected an American request to send Assange to the US to face espionage charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret military documents a decade ago. She denied extradition on health grounds, saying the 49-year-old Australian was likely to kill himself if held under harsh US prison conditions.
The judge says Wednesday that Assange “has an incentive to abscond” and there is a good chance he would fail to return to court if freed.
The ruling means Assange must remain in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison where he has been held since April 2019, when he was arrested for skipping bail during a separate legal battle seven years earlier.
Lawyers for the US government have appealed the decision not to extradite Assange, and the case will be heard by Britain’s Hugh Court at an unspecified date.