On Monday, Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to allow Julian Assange to be extradited to the U.S., citing it would be oppressive due to the Wikileaks founder’s mental health and concerns that the American justice system cannot prevent his possible suicide behind bars.
Baraitser wrote in her ruling:
“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.”
Clearly, Judge Vanessa Baraitser recognized Julian Assange’s mental decline since he has been held captive in a U.K. prison.
Yet on Wednesday, the very same Judge inexplicitly refused to grant Assange’s bail request in order to keep him imprisoned?
It almost goes without saying, that her ruling will only further the psychological damage Julian Assange has already suffered?
But Baraitser claimed that there is a high risk of Assange not appearing for the extradition appeal proceedings.
Judge Vanessa Baraitser Refusing To Grant Julian Assange Bail Makes No Sense
It’s understandable when Judge Vanessa Baraitser had previously denied his two previous bail requests in September 2019 and March 2020.
Those bail denials took place while Julian Assange was facing extradition to the US.
But her argument for previously denying Assange a chance to regain his freedom was rendered moot this week by the very reason for refusing to grant the US demand for extradition.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson calls District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling a “great disappointment.”
It makes absolutely “no sense” to keep Julian Assange locked up any longer, Hrafnsson said shortly after hearing that Assange’s latest bail request was rejected.
At the same time, the activist’s lawyer has argued that the judge’s recent decision to deny extradition “massively reduces” any motivation not to appear in court, Hrafnsson added
Hrafnsson also confirmed what Judge Vanessa Baraitser had stated in her ruling.
Julian Assange’s physical and mental health has significantly deteriorated in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London, where he has already served a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden.