Lawyers for the United States on Wednesday have accelerated their attempts to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom.
The US lawyers said that concerns around the 50-year-old Australian’s mental health should be an obstacle from facing US justice. Meantime, the WikiLeaks founder is wanted in the US on 18 criminal charges, including breaking a spying law, lawyer James Lewis, acting for the US government, told the Court of Appeal in London.
In 2010, Mr Assange and his activists group have published thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables, Reuters reminds. Eleven years after, the American lawyers insist that a judge in a lower court in London had been wrong to rule that Assange could not be extradited because of a high risk he would commit suicide in a US prison.
Additionally, the US had provided the UK with “a package of assurances” addressing the judge’s concerns.
“The United States has also provided an assurance that the United States will consent to Mr Assange being transferred to Australia to serve any custodial sentence imposed on him,” the document said.
Assange’s chances to be extradited are very slim
The hearing is the latest stage in a legal battle that has been raging since 2012.
The Londoners who support Assange, have gathered on Wednesday outside the court building from early on Wednesday, chanting “free Julian Assange”, before his father and Stella Moris, mother of Julian’s two children, arrived.
Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is being held at Belmarsh Prison. He had been expected to appear via video link but the court was told he did not feel well enough to do so.
U.S. prosecutors and Western security officials regard him as a reckless enemy of the state whose actions threatened the lives of agents named in the leaked material.