A British court has rejected the U.S. government’s request to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the country on charges pertaining to illegally obtaining and sharing classified material related to national security.
In a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, Judge Vanessa Baraitser denied the extradition on the grounds that Assange is a suicide risk and extradition to the U.S. prison system would be oppressive.
“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” judge Baraitser said in a 132-page ruling.
The U.S. government is expected to appeal the decision.
The case against Assange centers on WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables, in 2010 and 2011.
The documents include “approximately 90,000 Afghanistan war-related significant activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related significant activities reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, and 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables,” per the U.S. Department of Justice, which accused Assange of conspiring with Chelsea…