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Julian Assange extradition bail request rejected

Ahmed Kaballo

Press TV, London

Following the landmark warning on Monday by British judge Vanessa Baraitser not to extradite WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to the United States due to fears for his mental health and because of concerns he would be at risk of suicide, many expected him to be granted bail soon after and for the court proceedings to be a mere formality.

So when the news was announced that his bail was denied there was pandemonium outside Westminster magistrates court with the police even detaining a 92-year-old pensioner, much to the dismay of onlookers.

The judge's decision to deny Julian Assange bail despite ruling two days prior that he will not be extradited to the United States, has baffled his supporters and advocates who were expecting a very different result. The judge's justification to refuse bail was because she believed Assange had an incentive to abscond and thus there was a good chance he would fail to return to court if freed.

The ruling means the WikiLeaks founder will continue to be held at the maximum-security Belmarsh prison in the British capital in conditions that according to expert witness statements have contributed to his deteriorating mental state. Furthermore, as Belmarsh is currently under lockdown because of concerns regarding COVID-19 those advocating for Assange believe the judge has put his physical and physiological health at unnecessary risk.

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