Reuters HANNAH MCKAY
A London court rejected a request by the lawyer for the founder of “WikiLeaks” Julian Assange to release him on bail pending consideration of the appeal filed by the American judiciary against the decision not to extradite him to the United States.
“I am convinced that there are substantial grounds for believing that Mr. Assange would not appear in court for appeal if he is released today. Therefore, he must remain in detention,” Judge Vanessa Barritzer said during a Magistrate’s Court hearing in Westminster in London, which was watched by reporters via video technology.
Paraiter had ruled on Monday to reject the request of the United States to extradite her, Assange, 49, who faces 17 counts of espionage and one count of misuse of the computer, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Representatives of the US Department of Justice appealed the decision not to extradite Assange, while his defense team requested his release on bail.
Assange’s lawyers say the entire prosecution was politically motivated, backed by US President Donald Trump, and that his extradition would pose a serious threat to the journalists’ work.